Before I begin, I just want to say that I am super excited for LD 37! This will be my 10th time participating (Compo)! Unfortunately, I didn’t participate in LD 36, as I was too busy working on the OST for the upcoming game Mutant Chicken (coming to Kickstarter tomorrow!). Therefore my last LD was LD 35, and there I made Photagogue; a beat ’em up game where you go back in time to punch dinosaurs.
So, I got some tips for you Ludum Darers that I want to share. These tips are just from my experience, so feel free to disagree.
On the day of the event, (in no particular order) get lots of sleep and take a shower. I recommend showering right before the time hits because I don’t want to waste my time showering during the weekend. I know it sounds funny but you want every minute you can get to work on your game. Also, sleep is really important too because you’re not going to get a lot of sleep during the weekend. Personally, I like sleeping 4-5 hours on both days, giving me a total of 8-10 hours of sleep during the weekend. The best part: buy some snacks, like starting today! Buy super unhealthy snacks, and drink soda to stay up (also who doesn’t like soda?)!
Sleeping and Eating
Stay up as long as possible. If you have difficulty staying up, have others around to talk to, drink caffeinated beverages, and don’t get too comfortable where you’re sitting because you don’t want to fall asleep. Eat delicious unhealthy snacks! Or if you want have small meals, cook them before hand so they’ll be faster to reach, don’t go cooking a full-blown meal. You can last with a little bit of food over the weekend.
Making Your Game
If you don’t finish making a game, DON’T WORRY because you’re not alone!
GAMEPLAY is important! Yes, pretty Graphics are nice, good Music is even nicer, but you need Gameplay. Make a Game in 48/72 Hours. Graphics, Music, and other things definitely improve your game, but you only have 48-72 hours to create something. Shoot for the gameplay. The first thing you try doing with your game is to create the core mechanics. Make all the Graphics rectangles, and forget about the Sound for now. You don’t even need to turn in your entry with fancy menus. Sure, on the last day you can change the graphics, but earlier on just focus on the Gameplay.
Now this is just my opinion, you can do whatever you want. And if you’re going to make a story game or a game that’s just about the visuals, then just ignore what I said about the Gameplay.
THEME is pretty important, but not as important as you think it may be. If you can think of an idea for a game revolving around the theme in a few hours, awesome, but if you can’t than just start making a game that you have been wanting to make and then incorporate the theme later; or just don’t incorporate the theme at all. After the Compo/Jam is over, you receive ratings on multiple categories, and there is only one Theme Category so if you didn’t care about the theme, no big deal. (If you don’t incorporate the theme into your game, I recommend not saying anything about it in your game’s description, because people may think that the theme was included.)
Once again, do whatever you want; this is just my recommendation. Some people like to take their time to come up with an idea for a game, and that’s okay, I just recommend getting that out of the way fast.
If you haven’t completely finished your game (which is probably the case), try to finish/polish it even though your entry is already in. When you’re done with that, add the link to the Post Compo/Jam version of your game next to the 48/72 hr version so that people can play both of them. Not only does it make you feel better about yourself, but it can also persuade some people to possibly give you better ratings based on your Post Compo/Jam version.
RATE GAMES! Rate as many games as you possibly can, and give everyone a comment! The more games you rate, the more times your game shows up on the front page. Comments help as well because some people will look at their comments and click on your name to see your game (also it’s just a nice thing to do). If you can rate more than about 250 games (which is pretty difficult to do), your game may show up on the Most Coolness page which would be awesome because lots of people visit that page. If you don’t rate any games then just about no one will see your game, so…
What I do
I usually work on the core mechanics for the game first, and then make some music for it so it plays better. I personally think the graphics should go last.
That is just about all I have to say. And once again, these are just my recommendations, so feel free to do whatever you want.
Tools I’ll be using:
Graphics: MS Paint (Yeah I know)
Level Editor: Ogmo Editor
Anyway, Good Luck to Everyone Participating in LD 37! c: