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Ten Second Sprint Postmortem

Posted by
Sunday, September 1st, 2013 11:00 am

Ten Second Sprint was made in 48 hours for Ludum Dare 27, in August 2013. As my second Ludum Dare entry, I knew how the competition was going to go down, but I still didn’t have much experience or expertise. Here’s what went right, and what went wrong.

What went Right

Preparation

Of all the Ludum Dare theme options, ‘Ten Seconds’ had the most votes by a long shot. With this knowledge, it seemed that ‘Ten Seconds’ would be the theme for Ludum Dare 27. So I started thinking of a game that fit the theme. I knew I wanted to do a platformer for Ludum Dare 27, so I though of a simple idea, not too complex, a platformer with a ten second time limit.

Sound Effects

I used sfxr to create the sound effects of Ten Second Sprint. Even though sfxr is really easy to use, I managed to get great sounds for Ten Second Sprint. I feel this made the platforming a little better, as having a pleasant noise when you jump is very rewarding.

In-Game Music

The clock alone didn’t add enough tension to the game, so I wrote a musical piece with that purpose in mind. The music gets continually higher pitched until the end, where it cuts out as you run out of time and lose. This adds the tension that was lacking before. This also lets players know when their time is running out, they’ll remember that when when the notes change pitch, they’re running out of time.

Precise Platforming

I’m no great programmer, so that restricts my game development quite a bit. It took time and lots of trial and error and I’m very pleased with the final collisions. I feel it all worked out well, it was very precise in my testing. Precise collisions were necessary for making Ten Second Sprint fair and fun to play.

Focus

I often get frustrated or bored during the less exciting development tasks, but the 48 hour limit of the Ludum Dare is a great motivator. It never gives you a break, so you don’t have a chance to postpone. Constant pressure is a great short-term motivator, but having it all the time could be damaging to your sanity.

What went Wrong

Switching Programs

Not too long into making Ten Second Sprint, I realised I would need more rooms than GameMaker: Studio Free Version’s 5. So I switched to GameMaker 8.1 Lite, where I had unlimited rooms, but a small watermark. I am able to use any other software or programming languages, so I’m stuck with GameMaker for now. I don’t have the paid version, so that restricts me from making the best game I could, as the restrictions limit my ability to implement my ideas.  Buying GameMaker Studio has been on my todo list for a long time now, and I hope to have it by the next Ludum Dare.

Unimplemented Ideas

I had many ideas I wanted try during the creation of Ten Second Sprint. Different types of color schemes and different blocks were some of them. Unfortunately due to my lack of skill, I couldn’t implement them in Ten Second Sprint. I still have interesting mechanics in my head that could make their way into future projects of mine.

Slow Physics

The physics of Ten Second Sprint are very basic. The player does not move fast or have any fancy sliding mechanics. This is acceptable, but I made the player fall unnaturally slow. I feel this breaks the pace of the game and feels wrong. Increasing players moving speed would have been a good idea too. Next time I’ll focus more on the feel of the player’s character.

Confusing Code

Ten Second Sprint was coded very poorly. My GameMaker Language code is all messed up. It doesn’t follow a strict format and it`s impossible to understand. Next time, I’m definitely trying to work on this and make it easier to read and edit.

Theme

The theme of Ludum Dare 27 was ‘Ten Seconds’, so I made a game with a ten second time limit. This wasn’t very creative on my part, I was hoping to think of something super creative. Maybe I should change my expectations next time.

Ludum Dare 27 went well for me. I’ll definitely participate next time, if I am able. I have learned a lot from this experience. I didn’t have to make a masterpiece to feel accomplished.

Ten Second Sprint can be played here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=21642

All Done!

Posted by
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 4:39 pm

thumb

 

All Done!

Finished after 2 days of hard work! It’s a platformer with thirty 10-second levels.

I’m pretty happy with it, can’t wait to get some feedback.

I’ll hopefully be doing a postmortem soon.

Enjoy!

I’m In

Posted by
Wednesday, August 21st, 2013 1:06 pm

I’m in for the competition.

I’ll be using gamemaker and milkytracker.

glhf!

Ready to make a game!

Posted by
Monday, April 22nd, 2013 6:03 pm

I’m in for the jam thing.

i’ll be using gamemaker, with pxtone for music.

glhf!

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