okay so this is a post mortem of the game i made for ludum dare called bloody tentacles. if you arent familiar with it, here is a gif that illustrates the gameplay fairly well.
basically 5 stages of that. and spikes too. you control the body with wasd and the tentacles with the mouse. they aren’t big stages so i hope it doesnt overstay its welcome/become samey towards the end, although it might somewhat since the last level is a bit tough.
alright on to the postmorteming.
so what went well?
what went wrong?
this would have been sweet but it would have taken more time. i’m glad i simplified. i might still do this in the future but it is unlikely. maybe even in another game.
so anyway, if you havent played it, you should! it’s actually pretty fun i think, and i don’t always say that about my games.
he awaits you
since the last time i entered (which was a failure since i did not finish my game), i finished college, became a professional game developer, and finished a few games.
so maybe it will go better this time? i don’t know. i hope so. i took friday and monday off so that i won’t be exhausted when it starts and so that i will have enough time to do the jam if i dont finish in time for the main compo.
i’ll be using js and rolling my own engine i think, but maybe unity and c# if the theme really seems like it would be better 3d.
Hadn’t expected a good theme, nor that I’d even want to now that gamedev is my day job.
wasn’t happy with my last entry, lets see what i come up with this time.
language: haxe (targeting flash).
text editor: sublime text
libraries: maybe polygonal.ds, but maybe just the haxe stdlib. hard to say.
good luck, me.
Now that the dust has settled, it’s probably reasonable for me to write a bit about the development process of my Ludum Dare Jam entry, Crashed on Planed Minutiae.
That said, I’m happy with my choice. It allowed me to write the logic for the game at an very high level, including writing a (very) small domain specific language for generating random levels. The compiled code ran quite quickly, and I didn’t really have any performance issues with it (that said, the game runs at 30fps, and not at 60 like I would have liked. I attribute this to my reckless calls to the canvas, more than to any fault of ClojureScript). I was able to write a couple macros to ensure that my canvas stack usage was always valid (every call to
context.save() had a matching call to
context.restore()), and to ease some of the burdens of the canvas’s API. Once more of the quirks with ClojureScript are worked out, I’d recommend it to anyone.
More detrimental to my progress as a whole than the language I used, was the fact that there seems to exist no good tool for writing canvas paths. My process involved tweaking lots of numbers, much guess and check, and just ditching things that I couldn’t make look right. THis, more than anything else, was why I ended up entering the Jam as opposed to the primary competition itself (that and poor time management, of course)
The game itself is somewhat neat, it’s a top-down adventure game, I wish I had time to add more features. Originally my plan was to have beasts rise out of the ocean and attack you as you harvested the crystals. You would have also gotten a blaster, to fight them off (in fact, the dialog still says that you do get one, but it does nothing). I would also just used HTML for the minimap/health window. Much more hassle than it was worth, and for no benefit.
Overall, I count it a success, even though I wasn’t as excited about my product as I had last time I entered (which had the benefit of being my first game as well).
I’m planning on entering Ludum Dare 23. I will be using ClojureScript, and developing using various HTML5 technologies.
Last year I enjoyed entering the competition immensely, but I made some mistakes which I intend to correct this time around.
Number two fell out of not being that good. Surprisingly, I’ve become a much better programmer between last December and now. Last time I was very focussed on making anything that worked. I was hoping to follow the alone criteria by naming my game “Alone Where?”, and having no other characters. Eventually I dropped the “Alone” from the title because it felt like I was trying too hard, and then the title became shortened further to just “W”. Regardless, I’m going to follow the theme at least somewhat more closely this time.
As far as the third is concerned…. I’m notoriously terrible at doing anything social online, especially when there is code to be written! I have no patience for social networks or blogs, but who knows…. I’m at least making an effort to not be as antisocial this time around by posting this :p, and I’ll see if I can post at least nightly status reports regarding my game next time.
I’m unsure as to whether I’ll enter the Competition proper or the Jam this time. I will likely only have time to do the Competition, but who knows, that ended up being a spur-of-the-moment decision last time anyway based on “whelp it ain’t good enough now, so Jam it is”. Either way, it’ll get released!
I can’t wait.
Seems like typically people list their tools and such.