Ludum Dare 25
What went right:
Simple reference game: Friday at 6pm, Dave Alleca showed me Spike: A Love Story. Press a space bar to drop a spiked ceiling onto a passerby. It was simple to play, and the animation, sound, and writing was polished. I managed my scope.
Simple reference art: There’s many illustrations of dragons, peasants and knights to borrow from. I enjoyed referring to these and composing some cartoon characters. Cartoons are easy to make in Flash. Most everything was morphed from an oval. I felt relaxed on Saturday evening as I illustrated and animated.
Pace: Almost every hour I committed to git. I logged each hour. I was aware of the time left and the goal for the hour. The log motivated me and balanced my perspective for the next time I make a game quickly. I took a break most hours; that was part of the rhythm. I slept eight hours each night. I was never exhausted, even though I did work 10 hours on Friday before starting the Ludum Dare at 6pm.
What went wrong:
Over invested in infrastructure. I used Flixel. For such a simple game, next time I might go with native Flash. I was concerned about performance, yet the walking animations still had a little bit of stutter in them in Flixel. I used a scene movieclip to compose the elements and to sync the sound with the visuals, and to dynamically generate sprite sheets from the animations.
Nice to have polishing before essential requirements. I had planned to add fireball since the beginning, but I did not start programming it until about 2 or 3 hours before the end. Until that moment I could not consider the difficulty. Afterward, I made the fire and bite more deadly, but enabled a dominant strategy to pace fireballs.
Indecision. I over-invested and polished because I was not sure about how much time I would need and wanted to have a well-rounded game. I put off adding more features because I wanted to polish what was already there. I was not too clear about my goals. I was not sure about blitting or vector art, about using particles or custom animation. So I made both.
Altogether I enjoyed the experience and have been encouraged by the positive comments that imagine a potential follow-up for Sleeping Dragon.