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About Dark Acre Jack (twitter: @DarkAcreJack)
Hail to the #KINGINDIE, fools.
Don't let your kids grow up to be gamedevs.
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Archive for the ‘LD #20 – It’s Dangerous to go Alone! Take This!’ Category
Here’s the last push for a bit of attention to my LD submission, if you have a second and haven’t already done so, please check it out and toss me whatever rating you feel it’s worth.
This whole experience has been absolutely fantastic. Thanks and much love to the organizers and participants for making this such a great ride to be on!
Here I present the “edited and abridged for LD’ers” version of the post-mortem:
What Went Right
1. Leveraging the Power of Unity Prefabs
All of my past projects up to this one had been done almost exclusively in C#, with almost no special use of the Unity environment. They were done that way to help me come to grips with coding in C#.
For this LD, I threw that mentality out the window and crafted nearly everything in scene, using prefabs. What an amazing difference it makes! Defining game objects, exposing the variables on them, and using drag-and-drop to configure game play is really what Unity is all about, and I’m glad I had this LD to finally realize that.
2. Scripting Tight
Sort of a knock-on effect of switching over to prefabs, code bloat was immediately reduced to a negligible amount. With all the variables explicitly used and exposed on the game objects in scene, it was far easier to manage what was going on and limit the overall messiness of the scripting process. That’s not to say there’s no kludgy-hacky nonsense going on, but there’s far less than there was when I was in pure code mode.
3. Winning the Theme Roulette
This time I followed the theme selection very closely. I hadn’t before because I didn’t want to set my sights on any one theme before the final was announced, and avoid any kind of disappointment. This time I didn’t really fixate on a theme, but I had a very strong feeling that ‘It’s Dangerous…’ was going to be chosen. The night before the compo I dreamed a fully-formed concept for a game that used this theme, so you can imagine my relief when it turned out to be the one that made the cut. Lucky advantage.
What Went Wrong
1. Uneven Production Process
When tackling any long-term project, I tend to break things down into manageable chunks and then assign levels of ‘completeness required for play’ to them. This means there’s a round of building, and producing passable assets so that I can start to see if a game is going to be fun or not.
For Ludum Dare, though, it seems that one thing that makes games stand out and get recognized is the end quality levels of art. I’ve always envied these 2D wizards that can crank out beautiful pixels for their projects that really make them shine. So, I told myself I was going to push it to the limit with the 3D assets this time out. The problem was I focused so much on making the 3D nice that I had little time for audio and controls polish.
It’s always a trade off, a fine balance of managing just how much to produce in the time given.
2. Not Enough Kitties
Apparently this is also an important thing to producing a popular entry, and I’ll endeavor to add more cute meme-cats to my future entries.
3. Not Enough Zelda
Looking back at it now, I probably could have taken the time to insert at least a few nods to the venerable Nintendo classic, but I’m still happy with my interpretation of the theme and glad that it left enough leeway for all the other creative entries that weren’t strictly focused on emulating the Tri-force hunter in one way or another.
It’s really important to note that this LD sparked enough of a creative fire under my butt to finally abandon another project that I wasn’t really having much fun with and shift all of my production over to creating an improved version!
Thanks again and congrats to all that participated in this LD, I’m looking forward to seeing you all and more come the next one.
<click here for Dark Acre Jack’s entry>
Thanks everyone for the feedback thus far on my entry, most notably Daniel X. Moore’s comment about not being able to run Unity on Linux. I’ve put together the above walkthrough of the game from start to finish.
So, for anyone having issues running it or beating it, you’ll get the whole experience here and hopefully still be able to contribute a rating!
I’ve also prepared a version of the video without commentary. Thanks again for checking out my stuff, I’ve had a blast playing through everyone else’s!
If you watched the first one I tweeted, this version has a bit of commentary added.
To everyone who has completed this Herculean task and come out smiling, I salute you.
To those that fell to the mighty and unending blows of concentrated content production demand, I say this: fear not! For though this was an even-numbered competition and that makes it a very cool one to have completed, there will be many, many more. Many more chances to test your resolve and prove that you can, like some of the very stalwart few, produce ass-kicking games in a fraction of the time the people in big pants do.
Thanks for coming out, and we’ll see you in the time lapses!
How convenient is that that LD20 rolls around just as a break appears in the Dark Acre development cycles? Uncanny, that.
Hoping to bring the improved levels of skills to craft a far better entry than the last one, but mostly just hoping to stay conscious and lucid enough to finish.
Bringing the usual suspects to bear:
- Unity 3D Pro.
- C# scripts programmed from scratch, same as before.
- CS5 Suite, mostly Illustrator/Photoshop.
- FL Studio 10 Producer Ed.
- Pixelplacement’s iTween
- The powers of darkness.
Looking forward to another weekend of madness and torture!
Dark Acre Jack