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Mark’s First Ludum Dare

Posted by
Wednesday, July 4th, 2012 9:26 pm

In about 50 days, I will partake in my first Ludum Dare event.

I started making video games before I knew what a compiler was. I remember in middle school finding a book at the library that taught you to build your own games using QBASIC. I studied the lessons, and started coding my own games with pencil and paper using the syntax I learned. I didn’t actually understand what I was supposed to do with that code to make it work until high school when I took a programming class and learned all about the pieces of software that you needed to install to compile and run your code.

Since then, while I’ve dabbled with game modding, I never really completed a game worthy of any sort of attention. I was just as well enjoying the constant challenge of completing any programming project that the (revenue-generating) world would throw at me. As I honed my craft, though, I was overtaken with the fact that I wasn’t doing something right. I’ve gone through plenty of different paradigms: the procedural spaghetti code of Pascal, the Test-Driven Development-minded ideas of Inversion of Control from the ALT.NET community and C#, and the KISS of python. My work brought me from architectural overengineering in my first job out of college, to “just get it done now” in my current job as a consultant. Over time, I’ve learned lots of different possible ways to architect a solution, and am hoping to finally bring much of those lessons back to where it all began: making video games.

With 50 days out, my plan is pretty simple: work on developing the toolchain I’ll use to make my 48-hour game. While 50-days out seems like a lot, it really comes down to seven weekends of half-devoted time, plus a few days throughout the weeks after work.

These posts will detail the decisions and plans that I make in order to make this Ludum Dare successful.

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