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TickType Postmortem

Posted by
Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 6:12 am

This LD I made TickType (http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=1078), a combination of a typing game and a
count-the-seconds game.

What went right:

I actually entered! – This was my first serious compo entry since LD18 3 years ago, it was nice to at least make something.

I learned to use AS3/Flixel! – I’m amazed how easy it was, I felt like I spent most of this LD actually making the game instead of trying to figure out how to make the game.

Innovation! – People who understood the game seemed to find the game quite innovative. Probably more than I did, really, given that it’s the second time I’ve made a typing game and there’s been a couple of TV gameshows lately using this kind of ‘count the seconds’ thing, but the combination seemed to work well.

In-game instructions! – actually, see What went wrong. 😀

What went wrong:

In-game instructions – So, I added an in-game tutorial. It wasn’t perfect – it was a bit rushed so there were a few points that weren’t explained properly – but it did its job and I was pretty happy with myself for managing to include it. However, having watched one video review where the reviewer didn’t have time to watch the tutorial or read the instructions (making the game impossible to play), I get the feeling that there were probably others who did the same. Partly this is my fault – for future games I think I’ll probably try to make a tutorial that automatically appears while playing – but still, it’s pretty sad that my game’s scores might have suffered a bit just because people can’t take a minute to read/watch how to play.

Not appealing enough as a game – with the above said, it’s also likely that my scores suffered because it’s not a great game. 😀 I’m really happy with the idea and confident that I could develop it into something better, but the end result – while I was happy with it when it was finished – is disappointing in hindsight.

People didn’t even play half of the game – TickType has ‘easy’ and ‘hard’ modes which play very differently – unfortunately, most players seemed to ignore the hard mode completely, and although easy mode was the default (to make it easier to learn how to play), I’m surprised that so few players tried the hard mode which was the way the game was originally intended.

Scores don’t quite represent comments – As I’m sure many others will have noticed too, you can get fairly positive comments but end up with a poor score. I think this is because people think it’s bad to post any negative comments, which is ridiculous – constructive criticism is essential. Unfortunately this, combined with not being able to see individual scores, makes the final results weird and disappointing.


Overall though, this was a pretty standard LD – the game making community experience is great, it’s great to get feedback via comments and especially via videos/streams, and we all got the chance to play some really awesome new games, but the scoring is almost entirely meaningless and depressing and should just be ignored and removed. :)


Posted by
Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 9:15 am

It appears that a lot of games have not received scores in any category at all – at first I thought it was due to having 0 coolness, but I then noticed the same for a number of other games with a reasonable coolness %. Are more people rating N/A than usual, or is there another reason for this? Either way, it’s pretty disappointing that what seems like hundreds of games have not received a score at all. I think the ability to see individual ratings needs to be brought back – not necessarily in the old list format, which would be huge now due to the popularity of LD, potentially make voting less anonymous, and bring back the old all-1s/all-5s complaints, but perhaps following hamster_mk_4’s suggestion in the comments on the results post, which is to display the number of times each score from 1-5 was given in each category. Even if a game doesn’t get enough non-N/A ratings to be counted in the main list, they should at least be able to get some score feedback.

another generic LD23 post

Posted by
Sunday, April 1st, 2012 9:15 pm

Currently a little addicted to Drawception, but haven’t completely forgotten about Ludum Dare, nor has someone else – http://drawception.com/viewgame/H1PYLSpPSp/ludum-dare/

Looking forward to LD as usual – LD23 will mark 2 years for me and while it’s been a pretty dull 2 years in general, LD weekends are never dull. :) As usual I’ll probably forget about the warmup, start the LD proper unprepared, complain about the theme on IRC for half a day, then make something surprisingly ok anyway.


Posted by
Thursday, January 12th, 2012 6:28 am

This LD was the first time I entered the Jam (http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-22/?action=preview&uid=1078) and I’m pretty happy with the results, especially the 3.21 for Fun (my best score in that category out of 4 LDs, and 19th out of the Jam entries). It’d be nice to be able to see the individual scores again – removing them does prevent some of the usual LD drama, but it’s nice to be able to look at each individual rating for a better idea of peoples reactions, because an average of 3 could mean a lot of 3s, or could mean a mix of 1s and 5s, and while comments are more useful, not everyone leaves one.

Anyway, taking the extra time instead of releasing something half finished seems to have paid off, though I still wish I’d been there at the start – I forgot about this LD and the LD Facebook group seems to have gone silent. My initial feeling about the game was that it wasn’t really anything special, but it was the most solid game I’d made, and I don’t normally feel much passion for making stuff like that yet I have a lot of respect for those who do, so if I can find myself being productive outside of LD time then I might turn this into something bigger and better.

5th time lucky

Posted by
Sunday, August 14th, 2011 6:54 am

This will be my 5th main LD, so far I’d put my record at one success, one nice try, one learning process and one failure.

As usual I’ll probably be using C++ with HGE, PSP7 for programmer art, and Milkytracker for music if I find myself with the time and inspiration for it.


Posted by
Sunday, August 7th, 2011 1:55 pm

I’ve been using HGE for all my LD games so far, and it’s been used for a few other LD games such as Hockey Islands, but it’s previously been Windows only. Thanks to the need to port the excellent Hammerfight to Mac/Linux for the Humble Indie Bundle 3, there’s now a port of HGE available here. Development of HGE itself seems to have died off, but as it is I’ve found it ideal for LD and now with it having some cross-platform potential other LDers might want to consider it as an alternative to SDL/Allegro.


Posted by
Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 5:02 am

Another LD over, not sure how I feel about my scores this time – on the one hand, the scores are a mess, on the other, my game was a mess so I wasn’t going to take them too seriously anyway. :)

There has, however, been another epidemic of unjustified all 1/all 5 votes, and as the number of entrants grows this is sure to keep happening more and more. On the bright side, while I was a bit busy/lazy this time round, there’s 5 people who managed to rate all/nearly all the games (someone even managed 101%! :) ), and 21 who rated at least 25% of them. It’s possible that those figures include the people responsible for giving nonsense ratings, but even discounting them there’s a good enough base there that I think it might be a good idea to set up some kind of volunteer judging panel who could be trusted to rate and comment on a certain percentage of games (with each game distributed evenly amongst the panel) and give the ratings a bit more meaning. I feel a panel like that should be somewhat selective, but also in some ways more open – for example, someone could be allowed on through past LD experience (entering and rating), but even non-entrants with reviewing experience could join too – basically the LD organiser’s choice, or perhaps open to a community vote. Seeing as a number of indie game sites/blogs cover LD entries already I’d like to think a few would be happy to help out with that, and external help with rating would also reduce the pressure on those entrants who feel obliged to rate but would rather focus on developing their LD entry further while it’s still fresh.

That said, even if a few spoil it for the rest, I like that the current system gives everyone involved a voice and it might just not be LD without that.

LD20 – sort of victory post!

Posted by
Sunday, May 1st, 2011 7:30 pm

Entry page

The gameplay is unfinished, there’s no audio, and the code is terrible, but I think I did a decent job with the presentation (as far as programmer art goes) and I think it’s a good base for a completed game, so I’m happy enough with it to submit as opposed to my total failure in LD19. LD18 is definitely still my best, but this might do better for graphics and humour. :)

I do have some good ideas for turning this into a proper game so I’d like to develop it further (maybe for the Jam, maybe later) but I always say that and nothing ever really happens, haha. :/


Posted by
Monday, March 14th, 2011 6:22 am

MiniLD page here.

Near-future failure

Posted by
Sunday, December 12th, 2010 3:41 pm

This will be my 3rd main LD. As long as I finish the weekend with something I’ll be happy, though getting a top-5 finish in something other than Coolness would be awesome. :) I’m sticking with the usual C++ and HGE setup – good to see a few others using it too – and I’ll be using PSP7 if I need to draw boxes or stickmen, and Milkytracker for music and/or procrastinatory jamming.

Sonic Boom victory post!

Posted by
Monday, September 6th, 2010 6:20 pm

While 50th overall is definitely a step up from last LD, 16th for audio (for the first game I’ve ever used sound effects in) and equal 6th for innovation (4.04 average!) are amazing results and it’s definitely a victory by my standards. :) Thanks to everyone who voted!

This has been a great LD for more than the scores, of course. While I have to say there were a number of games that felt too similar, there were also a good number that stood out, and the standard of presentation as a whole was fantastic. The feedback and support from the community throughout has been incredibly encouraging and uplifting, and while the previous LD was a good learning experience this has blown it away.

Work on an improved AS3/Flixel version of Sonic Boom is well underway and hopefully others are developing their games further too – I look forward to seeing them. :)

Sonic Boom complete-ish

Posted by
Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 1:51 pm

Entry pageDownload (windows only, but should hopefully work in wine)


I’m not sure I’m going to get much more done with this in compo time, but I’m delighted with how this has gone – the code’s a lot neater than my usual LD attempts are, the game feels quite complete (though not polished), it’s the first time I’ve used sound and music (if you call this music!) and while the finished product isn’t anything amazing I think it’s somewhat enjoyable and I hope someone else agrees. :)

While I wasn’t too keen on the theme – enemies as weapons struck me as something that’s been overdone already -and I’d have preferred to make something other than a shooter since that’s what my last mini-LD entry was, I’m delighted with the ideas that eventually came to me and I can see myself expanding this one in the future.

Sonic Boom preview

Posted by
Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 12:35 am

demo 2 (windows only, but should work in wine?)


Haven’t added the levels/scoring yet and it needs balanced/shinified, but the basic idea:

You’re in charge of a sound-powered ship. Sadly all you’ve been able to fit on board are a few drums, which are only powerful enough to charge the engines. Fortunately, amongst your enemies are three rather noisy ones, whose presence on screen enables you to fire your 3 wave-shaped weapons. Flying close to them gives you greater firepower, but be careful not to destroy them, otherwise you’ll be left without weapons until they respawn. Arrow keys to move, mouse to aim, left click to fire.

I’m considering making two games in one here – the original plan was a side-scrolling shooter with pure keyboard controls, and if I’ve got time I’d like to add that as an option for those who find keyboard and mouse control a bit awkward.

The Legend of Flying Cow Head

Posted by
Sunday, May 16th, 2010 5:03 pm

I’m not entirely sure how I got here, it’s playable (WASD movement, space to shoot, esc to quit) but that’s about all I can say. I’m going to bed.



COW: Cow On Wheel

Posted by
Saturday, May 15th, 2010 10:58 am

Need sleep, not a whole lot here but I’m sure it’s enough for someone’s epic. Apologies in advance. :)


Island Tour Racing – complete and failure

Posted by
Sunday, April 25th, 2010 4:04 pm

‘Complete’ in the sense it’s vaguely playable and I’ve uploaded it, and I implemented most of the main features  – basic movement stuff, randomly generated track (though for now it’ll always load the same one – this is intentional for time trial play, and it’s not like there’s much replayability with different tracks anyway), islands with purchasable repairs and upgrades, and you can find out your time if you complete the three tracks(or losing message if you lose all your health) though you have to go into the log file to see it.

‘Failure’ in that there’s not much gameplay and what’s there just doesn’t have a good feel to it, and there’s next to no presentation/interface or music, and even for programmer art it’s a bit below average,  and out of everyone who actually followed the theme I’ve probably set a record for smallest use of islands. Gameplay wise I’d mostly have liked to have added mines and/or opponents and a way to choose tracks.

Anyway, overall I’m pretty happy with it for my first time actually taking part in LD rather than just lurking around, and I’ve surprised myself a bit with what I’ve done here despite failing to prepare as much as I’d have liked. Looking forward to playing the other entries starting tomorrow, considering developing this a bit further though probably in more of a spacy direction, and looking forward to the next LD. :)



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