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I’m In!!!

Friday, December 5th, 2014 4:24 pm

Very, very excited to participate in my second Ludum Dare!

For this LD I will be using Unity, Inkscape, GIMP, jfxr, Blender, and…a yet to be determined program for composing music. I’ve had soundation.com recommended to me so I am going to check that out.

Here is a link to the base code that I will be using. It’s mostly 2D platformer code, I might not use most of it depending on what kind of game I make, but it comforts me greatly to have access to it just in case.


Happy game making, everyone!! :)

Beneath the surface of time

Sunday, April 27th, 2014 9:31 pm

I had a wonderful time participating in my first Ludum Dare! I am simultaneously impressed and disappointed with my final game — I feel great for how much I was able to make, but I was certainly a few hours shy of what I had hoped for with respect to polish. A great lesson for next time!

I wanted to explain my interpretation of the theme. I wanted to try and make a game that would be different than the others — I expected many subterranean and underwater games, as well as a large number of more abstract games like “beneath the surface appearance of a person” type of thing. I started considering what the “surface” of various other things might look like, and I became interested in the particular example of “time”. I started to think a lot about what might be underneath the “surface of time”. So my idea was to provide the player with a surface that represented a series of actions over time, and they would have to find the movements in a 2D or 3D space that were “beneath” this surface of time. A bit of an abstract approach, but it was one of my explicit goals to try and have a really unique interpretation of the theme (the first game jam I went to, I did what I thought was a clever twist on the theme, only to then create an almost identical game to two other groups). So I tried to think several layers deep, and perhaps even several layers in the direction of weirdness, but I wanted to try and make sure that no one else had the same interpretation as me.

A more post-hoc interpretation of this game also comes to mind, on a more metaphorical level. This game is also about this sort of “fake it til you make it” facade that many people experience in their professional lives — how companies or individuals project an image of confidence and competency, while on the inside they feel as if they are resorting to unsophisticated or unimpressive techniques to achieve their results. This company, the 4-D Design Studio, is the inside look — a designer who has no idea what he’s doing, and you — working on clearly obsolete equipment.

I am really particularly disappointed in the amount of polish this game has — as I mentioned earlier. It has (almost) no sound, and few animations that I had intended actually got done — swapping out the pieces of paper between puzzles, beeps and boops when the pistons move, etc. There is obviously a lot of room for polish, and I had hoped to use all of Sunday to exclusively work on polish — but probably many people reading this know how that best-intention based goal often ends up in reality. It’s a tough lesson to submit a game that doesn’t feel ready to be submitted, and perhaps it would have been better suited to just take the extra day and submit it to the Jam, but I felt very compelled to face my deadline of the actual compo, whether I had done a good job or not.

I have to say that overall, I am really satisfied with some of the puzzles, and some of the visual art. I really like the scrappy paper that the blueprints are on, and some of the puzzles are pretty challenging. So there are certainly some positive takeaways from this project.

So, all in all, a fairly bittersweet experience for my first Ludum Dare, but it was really fun and very instructive! Thanks for checking out my game, I hope you enjoyed it!

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