I’m very old but in my youth some clever geeks invented video games and even better personal computers. Some of the early/retro games from my youth are very simple (in modern terms) but were also very good.
The above image is my take on the first level in Cannon Fodder using Unity and my limited art and nonexistent sfx/music skills. (see video below to compare with actual game)
I think LD’ers should warm up with a retro remake/demake of one level of a game they like. You won’t have to dream up a new game design you just get a chance to use your skills to remake one level of a classic game.
This puts the focus on your skills and should highlight when you compare your results with the original where your weaknesses lie. Then armed with this information you can put yourself on a training program to strengthen your weaker skills or change your game development strategy to lean towards your better skills.
I think this approach would even work well for groups of indies doing a game jam as it will allow them to see their colleagues skills/weaknesses and better prepare them for the actual event.
The good thing is you can probably do this in less than a day (depending on the target game’s complexity).
So do you think your next warm up would be better as a remake/demake of one of your favourite retro games?
And what weaknesses in my skillset does my attempt highlight?