A Successful Failure

Posted by (twitter: @JoeCreates)
April 17th, 2016 10:58 pm

This was my seventh Ludum Dare. I always aim for the compo, though for my last couple of entries I ended up overflowing into the Jam. I’d only failed to finish once before (Ludum Dare 33), and it felt pretty terrible. Not only was it the first time I had failed to finish, but I also felt like what I had produced was not worth using.

Once again–Ludum Dare 35–I did not finish, but this time I feel quite differently about it. I could have gone into the Jam, but realistically I know that would not have helped. I still had some fundamental issues to fix and was far behind where I needed to be.

In the first morning I produced a rough mockup. My thinking was that if I kept to low resolution silhouettes, I could save some time on art compared to my usual style. It didn’t really work out. It didn’t do any art beyond this, but it’s pretty clear is wasn’t going to be a simpler task than usual to complete.


Following that, I produced some music. It’s very rough but I was pretty pleased with it for how quickly I put it together.

Finally I came to implementing my shapeshifting mechanic idea, which is perhaps the most ambitious I have attempted in a Ludum Dare. Having not completed any new level design or art for this jam, here is a demonstration of the machanic in my LD32 game, Fathom, alongside a gif showing the original LD32 mechanic.



One issue I have with Ludum Dare is that it often leaves me with an idea I really want to work into a full game, and finding the time for that is very hard. Each Ludum Dare seems to add another game to my todo list, and Fathom is already on that list! However, I feel this new warping mechanic suits my plans for Fathom very well, both in terms of story and gameplay. I have many ideas for variations on this mechanic, and many ideas for puzzles.

Unlike in LD33, then, I feel I have actually spent my time in a useful way. Furthermore, I am newly inspired to do more work on Fathom!

2 Responses to “A Successful Failure”

  1. MistySoulsGames says:


    This mechanic is really cool. And the LD 32 is awesome too.

    What is the engine you are using?

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