This will be my 12th ludum dare! Here are some gifs of my recent LD entries:
For windows users, I made a little countdown clock that you can stick in the corner of your screen. It floats above other windows and shows the time you have remaining. The deadline is set in the filename, so you should change that to reflect the compo/jam deadline in your own timezone.
If you live in Europe, then the compo is split over 2 days. This is generally how I split my work between Saturday and Sunday:
- Day 1 – engine, controls, graphics, music.
- Day 2 – gameplay features, level design, sound effects, menu, particles and other visual effects.
I recommend this schedule to others. My reasoning? Day 2 can be stressful – or rather – you will feel the pressure of time. When you’re under pressure you will rush things, and the engine/controls/graphics/music can’t afford to be rushed!
If you do rush these things, you don’t do them as well or as carefully. So they will be more prone to errors, and you won’t really have time to properly test/debug/fix them.
Engine – Say you rush your engine (that is the game loop and the core physics of your game). If it doesn’t work properly, then you could have a broken game. Nothing else will matter.
Controls – Imagine if the keys/mouse input doesn’t work properly. Imagine if a character can’t make jumps it is supposed to be able to make. Or if the speed/feel of character movement is just wrong/bad. Imagine if an inventory or in-game menu won’t open. Your game could be unplayable.
Graphics – Rush your graphics and spoil them and your game will look bad. Graphics create first impressions. Your screenshot is all that will entice players to click your game, and your game could well be judged after a mere 60 seconds of play. First impressions are everything!
Music – Leave it until day 2 and it’s the sort of thing you’ll keep putting off until it’s too late! And if you rush your music then your game could sound bad. Painful sounds will put player’s in a bad mood, which could be the difference between “I like your game” and “I don’t like your game”. Don’t make them want to turn down the volume.
Day 2 – If you’re finding things too stressful, then try not to worry. Don’t worry about making a big game with many levels and a zillion different items. Short games are often preferred anyway! Everybody cuts corners on day 2, so let it happen. And always have fun, and let that fun show in your work.
Good Luck. See you on the other side