Power Outage? Ship it! Spirit of the Dare

Posted by (twitter: @madjackmcmad)
January 4th, 2016 12:54 pm

It was bound to happen one of these Dares. On the Saturday night of the compo, I lost power at my house and succumbed to sleep. Between the initial outage (around 11:30pm) and my ensuing extended power nap, I lost about 12 hours of development time in a 48 hour contest. Then I lost two more thinking that I should just give up and write this one off.

demon_truck_final_smaller

What was I thinking!?

For me, the spirit of Ludum Dare is that you make what you can and ship it. This time around, surprise: that limit was suddenly 36 hours instead of 48… and that’s it. Nothing else changed. Sure, 12 hours is a full 25% of the time allotted, and that means drastic cuts, but it doesn’t have to mean an unfinished experience. Does any of this sound familiar to you?

  • Had to drop a number of features.
  • Didn’t have as much time to polish as was necessary.
  • Game felt full of potential but didn’t get a chance to deliver.

In other words, Demon Truck felt just like every other Dare project, just shorter. When I realized that, I was able to put the final hours into making the game a closed experience– one that starts and ends satisfactorily.

Enemies got cut and there are only two bad guys with two bad guy behaviors, all the other ones were dropped.

Upgrades are handed out in a static pattern over the course of four waves, and not randomized choices after each wave.

Waves are all built by hand in some awful code, and not the dynamic endless-wave style of previous LD projects of mine.

The game ends after a short set period of racing and demon-fooming, with a humorous nod to the power outage that made me cut things short.

Compared to many other LD compo entries, Demon Truck lacks complexity and challenge. However, the spirit of the Ludum Dare is not to make something complex and challenging, it’s to use the time you have to make what you can and ship it. Players can sit down with Demon Truck, have a fun ride, and be done in a few minutes. I’m proud of that, and it’s a lesson I’m taking with me to April’s contest as well.

Play it here if you’d like! http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-34/?action=preview&uid=5448

 


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