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Ludum Dare 31

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Thank You!

Posted by
Tuesday, December 30th, 2014 10:47 am

This was my first Ludum Dare, and I was amazed to find myself in second place in the jam!

I will definitely be turning this into a full game in the near future! :)

Congratulations to everyone, and thank you for making this jam possible (and awesome)! It has been a valuable experience for me.

See you all at the next one!

escchar_ratings

You can check out the game HERE, or see the post-mortem HERE.

Escape Character – Postmortem

Posted by
Saturday, December 13th, 2014 4:03 pm

Play/rate the game HERE!

This was my first Ludum Dare. I had been encouraged to enter many times before, but I always made up excuses like “I have no time”. I finally convinced myself to participate because I realized that my OCD tendencies to overthink and nitpick and never get started had become a major hindrance. “Ludum Dare will change that”, I thought.

What went well?

  • I managed to come up with a game idea which fit the theme reasonably well (in my opinion). It took a bit too much time to think of it, but I think it ultimately paid off.
  • Over the course of 72 hours, I eventually developed the ability to see what I am doing from “the outside”. I was eventually able to actually tell myself things like “You’re overthinking this.” or “You don’t have time for this. Move on.”
  • This was my first time doing pixel art. It went better than I thought it would! 😀

What went not so well?

  • I ran out of time. I had originally intended for Escape Character to be a compo entry. When I realized that was not going to happen, I made it a jam entry instead. And then? I ran out of time again! In a panic, I had to cut feature after feature just so I could make the time limit. I had ultimately learned how not to waste time, but not soon enough. At one point, I was literally writing a full blown operating system with task management and a virtual file system. Luckily, I realized that this was insane, and designed persistent windows instead, which turned out to be quite fun!
  • Unity. I had never encountered so many Unity bugs in such a short period of time! But I shouldn’t be too harsh on Unity. It saved me more time than it wasted.

escchar_dev

Lessons learned

  • Adapt. Embrace change. A huge mistake was to cling to a very specific, initial vision of the game. I had originally envisioned a very fast-paced, combat-heavy game. At one point, I realized that, if I wanted to implement two more battle mechanics, I would necessarily also have to implement more battle scenarios to apply those mechanics. On the other hand, I had already made a very complex system of text editors and GUI widgets. I capitalized on this and instead focused on the writing, which surprisingly became one of people’s favourite parts of the game.
  • Expect the unexpected. Something will very likely go wrong, so don’t be too ambitious.
  • Sleep when your body tells you to.
  • Polish last. “It has to be done eventually anyway, so just do it now.” – This was my old mentality about polish, and it has screwed me over way too many times. It is very liberating to be able to focus on making things work first, and then feel the magic in the moment when the polish makes the whole thing come together.

Conclusion

All in all, this has been a great experience, and I will definitely be doing this again! :)

P.S. Please help me out by rating Escape Character, and send me your games in the comments so I can return the favour! Thank you! :)

Escape Character

Posted by
Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 6:34 pm

Hi guys!

So I finished my first Ludum Dare! :)

My game is called “Escape Character”. It was completed in 72 hours for the Jam.

You can play/rate it HERE.

SCREENSHOTS:

PREMISE:

You are a file on a computer which is suddenly given life. What do you do?

INSTRUCTIONS:

All instructions are given as part of the game!

LANGUAGE & TOOLS:

Unity, C#, Visual Studio, Photoshop, BFXR, Audacity

EXPERIENCES & THOUGHTS:

There was a lot more I wanted to make, but the time constraint and a bunch of unexpected Unity bugs made it impossible. Among things I wanted to add were: more enemies, more levels, a context-menu mechanic, and a lasso mechanic.

This has been a very enlightening experience. I decided to try Ludum Dare to test my own ability to stop overthinking things and just get something done. I’d say I was half successful in meeting that goal. On one hand, I did catch myself many times and cut a lot of detail in order to make the deadline. However, I still ended up allocating too much time to details, and cut too much content, resulting in a slightly more polished, but more incomplete product.

I will definitely be doing this again. =)

I’m In!

Posted by
Saturday, December 6th, 2014 4:46 pm

Hi everyone!

This will be my first Ludum Dare.

I am aiming for the compo, using Unity3D and C#. I will fail miserably and enjoy it.

Cheers, and good luck! ☃

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