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Moonlight: The Post-Mortem

Posted by
Monday, August 24th, 2015 12:24 pm


Play Moonlight here!

So this was my very first Ludum Dare! and my third game overall, I had an absolute blast making it and I’m happy with how it turned out! Now that I’ve had some sleep I thought this would be a good time to look back over the project and discuss what went right, wrong and what I want to do next.

What went right

I slept on it, Immediately.
My timezone helped a lot with this! LDJAM didn’t start for me until 2am, I did stay up to see what the theme was but I went straight to bed right afterwards. This was a good idea because while I was relaxing I came up with a few ideas, one of which being the one that I ended up using for Moonlight. It might sound silly but I actually dreamed of the idea and how it would look when finished! I woke up fresh and excited to get started early the next morning!

Going in with an open (or empty!) mind
I had no idea what kind of game I wanted to make, even up to the moment the Theme was announced, I think having no pre-conceptions was what helped me keep the idea fresh and simple! I never had time to start overthinking! I genuinely think you can over plan for these things, and in fact saw a few cases around me where this had happened and the person had to call it as their plans were overly ambitious (hopefully they’ll carry on working on their ideas though!)

Kept it simple
This is probably the thing I did the most right, it was a very simple idea to begin with, but I even simplified it from there! Originally there were more enemy types and the game wasnt as much as an endless runner as it ended up being. It was my plan from the start, being my first Ludum Dare, to take a very very simple concept and polish it as much as I could over the 48 hours. I feel in this regard I was successful!

Made the game almost entirely in squares, then did the artwork and sound later
For the majority of the first day the game was made up entirely of brightly coloured squares, like this:

I fleshed out almost all of the mechanics at this point, and wasn’t concerning myself with the artwork at all – I figured if it wasn’t fun to play at this point it probably wasn’t worth spending hours getting it to look good either.

Live Tweeted Everything!
I’m not sure my followers enjoyed this as much as I did! But I posted lots of progress updates over the 48 hours, seeing all of the favorites, retweets and positive feedback kept me motivated, and at one point helped me break through the wall that I hit around the 30 hour mark.

Didn’t sweat the little things
There’s a lot of little niggly annoyances, even now, that perisist in the game, code smells, graphical mistakes that stick out to me – but not to other people! I’m glad I didnt waste hours trying to fix this stuff.

What went wrong

I didn’t take enough breaks
The first 16 hours of the compo involved me working flat out, I think I stopped for maybe 15 minutes a couple of times, then I slept, then I did the same the next day. I’m lucky I had the next day off work because it made me ill. Never do this!

I didn’t eat enough
Same again, never do this. By submission time I was exhausted and feeling very ill. My energy levels were way too low.
Some bugs I couldnt figure out
There are always going to be bugs! I just wish I had enough time to fix some of the more pressing ones before the deadline! Next time while planning I need to take this into account!

Those damn gaps between tiles
I think this is a unity thing, there’s a very fine gap in between each tile – I think I looked at this for maybe 2 hours and had to move on. If anyone knows how to fix this please tell me!

What next?

I’m not sure! I don’t think I’m going to expand on this game more – but I’ve definitely got some ideas in a similar vein that I want to try out! Until then I’m going to get some rest, remind the cat that I’m still alive, and play some Ludum Dare games!!

Moonlight is done!

Posted by
Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 6:50 pm

It’s just your average camping trip.

My third game overall, and my very first LD Entry (in the compo no less! Didn’t think I’d make it in time!)

I hope you all like it! ^__^





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