So, a few hours ago I made this post.
This popped up just now:
Well done, Itamar. Guess this Ludum Dare is a success after all!
I have a love-hate relationship with videogames
Ludum Dare 37
Ludum Dare 36
Ludum Dare 34
Ludum Dare 33
Ludum Dare 30
Ludum Dare 28
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 25 Warmup
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 23 Warmup
Ludum Dare 22
Ludum Dare 22 Warmup
With the Dare almost over, I wanted to take a moment to let you know that no one has defeated Mati’s high-score in INFINIROOM yet (95 seconds).
Will Mati remain INFINIROOM’s undefeated champion until judging ends?! Only a few hours left to find out!
Whew! Just in time as well.
There were seriously some amazing games for this Dare, all thanks to the overflowing creativity of the LD community. We love you guys!
Now all that’s left to do is sit back and hope we did well.
Make sure to use this time to rate some games and make sure everyone gets a rating!
And hey, while you’re at it, why not play our game?
Hello! You are now reading the post-mortem post for INFINIROOM, our Ludum Dare 37 game. In this post I will go into detail about what happened in each day of the Jam, and how we worked under pressure with tight time constraints.
This one’s pretty long, so click ‘Read More’ if you’re into that kind of stuff!
Mati & Itamar made a badass timelapse of making the art of INFINIROOM (and another game which i’ll probably talk about in the post mortem).
Anyway, so far the games we’ve played were super awesome. I think part of this is a product of the awesome theme we had this time around, which really contributed to some amazing ideas we’ve seen.
Thanks to Game Maker Magic, you can now play INFINIROOM inside your browser.
What’s the point of having a room if you can’t run up its’ walls?
Hiya! We’re in.
Since things are tight this time around, we’re only going to have 1 day to make a game instead of the usual 3 days. Let’s hope we can cram in as much content as possible!
Heya! Welcome to our Ludum Dare 36 post mortem (better late than never!).
Unlike my previous postmortems, I will not be dividing this one into days because of how differently this Ludum Dare went down. Instead I will try to analyze what happened, and explain why it happened.
In case you haven’t already seen, we didn’t finish a game on time. So what happened?
We initially set up in a studio apartment along with two other teams – one of them being our friends SUNFURY! And let me tell you – the atmosphere at that place was incredible. People were stoked about making videogames, talking about various design and mechanical concepts, discussing engines – it really was amazing. And this entire Ludum Dare was worth it just for the vibe we had here, but more on that later. We went to sleep pretty early.
We had an idea right off the bat of day 1 – a game about using an old clam-type cell phone (get it? it’s ancient technology) with special powers to fight off mobs of enemies.
The main mechanic would be that you would have to use the numeric keypad on your keyboard to dial numbers for different weapons and powerups, and upgrade them in-between stages.
We all really liked the idea and got straight to work, but after a bunch of hours we realized we couldn’t find a way to keep the game “interesting” so to say – constantly redialing the same numbers for the most powerful powers seemed boring to play with, and randomizing the numbers each time would just make the mechanic a tedious task for the player – so pretty late into the day, we dropped the idea.
Still not losing motivation, we sat down and tried to think of new game ideas. It took us another full hour of iterating various ideas to come up with one we all liked. The basic premise was to play an explorer in an apocalyptic desert-themed wasteland, using your hacking abilities to revive long-ago-deactivated robots to fight for you as you traverse the landscape.
The first problem we ran into was the feel of the game. Originally, both Itamar and I immediately envisioned the main character as being mysterious and somewhat sinister, playing like an evil overlord of some sort, but Mati didn’t see the game that way, and tried other designs which we just couldn’t agree on. This lead to Mati and Itamar working on just the main character’s design (in an attempt to define how the game would feel) for the rest of the day.
Meanwhlie, I was struggling with the code. For the past few months, GameMaker has been giving me nothing but headaches and this time wasn’t different. I felt like I was fighting the engine just to make a simple top-down Hyper Light Drifter-like movement system. From here on out I felt my motivation slowly die out and my doubts rise.
We did have something to look at at the end of the day, but I wasn’t satisfied with it at all. It felt clunky and sorta thrown-together, making me really doubt my work.
The second day didn’t go much different for me, although it did go pretty well for Mati and Itamar, and the guys at SUNFURY. I kept struggling with GameMaker and making extremely slow progress.
At this point I felt like I had lost all motivation – I couldn’t see this game being finished on time. In the end, I’m willing to admit it was I who dragged us down and caused us to not finish on time. After struggling so much with engine, I just felt like I couldn’t work properly anymore – and starting a new game would be insane right now.
But we still tried; going into a “team meeting”, we talked about what can we do now. We tried to think of new game ideas – and some of them even sounded cool – but it would just be impossible to make anything enjoyable or actually good-looking in just one day (and the few hours we had left). We went on a long walk to try to get me motivated again, and for a while it worked, but I just found myself in the same no-motivation predicament an hour later.
The last day was the most draining for me, as I found myself, for the first time in my life, actually disliking the task of writing code. It was horrible.
Meanwhile Mati and Itamar had already finished a plethora of awesome art assets:
And Jason had made two incredible music tracks along with a bunch of professional-level sound effects for the game. (it’s really high quality stuff!! go listen to it in the prototype)
All of this just made me feel worse – I really felt like I was bringing the entire team down. Mixed with some other messes in my life, this was set to be a really shitty experience.
But then, we had a team talk.
Mati and Itamar talked to me, not about the game. but about how I feel. They told me people sometimes screw up. They told me it’s okay. They told me they had fun. And heck, aside from failing the Dare, I had a ton of fun myself. We cooked our own food, we made a ton of jokes, we talked to amazing people, everything about this Ludum Dare was just great. Why was I feeling so bad?
It took me a while to understand it, but I guess Ludum Dare isn’t just about making a game. It’s about getting together and facing challenges with friends. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes life’s not so fun. Everyone has crises. Everybody falls. What’s important is to keep moving – and we do that by surrounding ourselves with people we can love and trust, people who know what it’s like to fall.
Mati and Itamar convinced me to upload the unfinished prototype, even though I felt ashamed of it. Now it’s on display on our Ludum Dare profile, along with our other, more complete games. And I don’t regret it one bit. It wasn’t about the game this time around – it was about the experience!
Overall? This Ludum Dare was absolutely amazing. Yeah, I didn’t make a game, and I failed my favorite challenge, but I got together with friends. And hell, SUNFURY (Rom and Tom) made and finished their own game, and it came out awesome!!
That’s it! Sorry if this got a little bit emotional – I waited with this postmortem so I could rest a bit and then openly write about how I felt.
Until next time.
– Lonebot ♥
Hello again! It’s been a hectic week, but now I can finally breath and relax a bit.
If you haven’t been following, we haven’t really made a game and finished LD36 with only a “tech demo” of sorts.
HOWEVER! We will still play as many of your games as we possibly can, and still give you guys feedback, and of course – trophies!
You should give trophies out as well! Read up our small PSA to learn more (and even get some cool trophies Mati made):
So yeah, we didn’t make a game in time, we didn’t beat the challenge, but we still had a ton of fun doing it – and that’s what’s important. I love my friends.
You can play what we made here! And a proper postmortem is coming soon as well, probably.
Until next time,
Don’t know if we can finish on time, but we’re having fun.
Hello again! It’s that magical time of the year again where we gather from around the world to make videogames in an unreasonably short amount of time.
As you may already know, this time around there are no ratings, which means, you’re going to have to rely entirely on feedback and criticism to know how you did.
So, are user comments the only way to receive feedback for your game? NOPE! In fact, there is one long-forgotten feature that has existed on this site since the dawn of time itself – Trophies!
Trophies are awarded from one user to another and appear on your profile page for everyone to see.
This Ludum Dare, let’s make an extra effort to give every game the attention and feedback it deserves. Although ratings are gone this time, we can still be an active, constructive community. And if someone did really well – let’s give them a shiny trophy.
Anyone can award a trophy to anyone, so we thought – why not have some fun with it? @ even made a bunch of trophies in preparation for the Jam – feel free to share them around and award them to anyone you see fit:
Good luck to us all!
And by the way, we’re in.
– Lonebot ♥
Hello! Welcome to the post mortem post thing for Enliven. I will try my best to briefly explain what happened during those 3 packed days, and why we couldn’t get the game finished in time.
So, this Ludum Dare was pretty unique – instead of our standard battle station in the Ernst residence, we got to work in a studio apartment! On top of that, we’ve had a newcomer to the team – Rom Haviv! Rom is an awesome game dev and friend who also makes games in his free time. He has made some stuff for Ludum Dare in the past, and he’s an awesome artist and programmer.
This was the first time we worked with someone new, and it proved to be an awesome experience. 😀
We spent the first day figuring out how to set up a git repository and installing Windows on a newly-formatted computer. Everyone went to sleep on his own couch, all hyped up for tomorrow.
Everyone was a bit surprised about the entire two themes fiasco. It left us all a bit confused, so we went to get some breakfast to clear the confusion. We started thinking and sketching game ideas that involved one or both of the themes.
We settled on a simple tower defense game, where the towers actually branch from a central seed you need to defend, and you build more towers and branch even further by killing enemies.
We worked on a simple engine and some graphics while churning out concept art, but eventually we slowed down to a grinding halt when we realized the idea was kind of… eh.
This is where shit hit the fan.
We started breaking our heads over what to make, unable to think of an idea. We sat dormant and just waited for the right idea to appear, but nobody came.
We thought of a bunch of interesting game ideas, such as a puzzle game where you play a robot who can only move on one axis, and can switch to the other axis by pressing the two directional keys at the same time. Each switch would cost some power to execute, and you’re limited to a certain number of switches every level.
Still, we couldn’t collectively agree on a good idea that everyone wanted to make, and it started getting late. Eventually we were getting tired, and even considered giving up, but we agreed to give it one more shot tomorrow morning. We went to sleep as sad gamedevs with nothing to show.
We woke up fresh with some new ideas, and after some brainstorming, we all agreed we liked the concept of planting seeds to navigate around levels and solve puzzles. Filled with determination, we quickly started working.
Rom & I worked on the engine. Let me tell you this: working with another programmer in Game Maker and Git is utter hell. Constant crashes, errors, missing files and unsynced projects made this experience an absolute mess. I cringe when I think of the hours that went to waste because of fiddling with this crap. After wrestling a few hours with Git, we decided to just screw it and use SVN and instead. And it actually made things simpler (but Game Maker still has shit support for that kind of stuff).
A few hours down the line and we created the basic game mechanics (platforming, vine collision, seeds) and the smart camera.
Meanwhile, Itamar and Mati were hard at work on some sprites, and made some pretty pretty stuff.
Most of the animations you see in the game were created by Itamar.
More and more hours went into work and soon we had some basic gameplay and tiles to make pretty gifs:
We finally had something going our way, and we hit the bed satisfied, but unsure if we were going to be able to pull this off with just one day left.
Cue pressure. We woke up extra early and just got straight to work without wasting any time.
Jason sent us some cool sound effects and music he worked on while we were asleep. I think he did a great job with the sound design this time around, as good ambiance and mood was something we were hoping to achieve.
We knew we had to work fast if we wanted to accomplish anything, and there wasn’t much of it left. First thing I did was to add the springy flower and explosive plum, while Rom worked on the underground tunnel seed.
You can already see here that most of the art assets were complete. We still needed to iron out some bugs and flesh out a few mechanics, but the main thing we were missing were levels.
Mati sat down and started designing some levels that teach you the basic mechanics of the game, while Itamar finished any remaining assets.
Everyone worked tirelessly under pressure to put in as much as we could, but time was running out and we figured we wouldn’t have enough of it to make a proper game with levels. After consulting with some comments, we decided to just finish the game abruptly and put in a sandbox level that lets you mess around with the existing content of the game.
There’s not much to say about what went behind the scenes here, as we simply just churned work while time ticked away. Eventually we had to stop to upload the game.
What went right?
What went wrong?
So yeah, we submitted an unfinished game, but in the end it was absolutely worth it. We proved to ourselves that we can stick together and make something even if things look grim, and it was all worth it for the lovely comments you guys have left on the game so far. We’ve seen people streaming the game and playing it on YouTube, and some people have actually created carefully planned speedruns of the game, which is absolutely awesome!
I’d like to thank Rom who actually managed to endure our shenanigans and memes, and worked like an absolute pro. And as always, Jason, or Suezo, for kicking so much ass.
Lastly, I’d like to thank you, Ludum Dare. You guys filled us with motivation to actually submit the game and make it into what it is today. You guys are absolutely awesome, and this community is something special. <3
– Lonebot ♥♥♥
ps. Mati & Itamar need to finish Undertale