The last two days have been crazy. It’s been a while since I’ve worked on a game, and I was nervous about jumping into a game jam while my skills aren’t up to par, but I am extremely proud of myself and what I built.
What did I build?
Well, I built a game called Tumbling Towers. I’ve come to call it a reverse Tetris/Jenga style game where you receive a random block and you must build up and try to not knock the tower down. The goal of the game is to build as high as you can and score as many points as you can.
Where the theme “You Only Have One” came into play is where you can only build with one of the three materials in the game, and you can only build in one direction (up); (yes, for some reason I instinctively ended my sentence with a semi colon there… the two days of heavy coding must’ve drilled that into my head much, much more.)
Sounds cool, where can I play it?
There’s a web version hosted on my web server, here. It has links to download the desktop versions. Those links are also on the game page here on the Ludum Dare website.
It wasn’t just me who worked on the game, I got some late assistance from a good friend of mine, who did some of the art last night. (Just the building blocks). Also, I used a friend’s music he made for the game.
I’m not really sure. I really want to continue the project and make it more clean, pretty, polished, etc. and maybe release it on iOS/Android. A few of my friends have been playing it pretty often and have been enjoying the builds I was sending them, and I think it can be a pretty fun game to play on tablets. It needs some optimization for them, but it can be done.
When I decide to jump into doing that has yet to be decided, but maybe early January once I’m done with my One Game a Month project for this month.
If anything, I might use this as a base for a Physics based puzzle game I had an idea for a few weeks ago. It could go hand in-hand with it.
What did I learn?
This is something I want to write down to allow myself to reflect on my skills and learn how to improve next time I work on a game.
Art – Art isn’t my strong suit. I should have found an artist at the beginning. The artist I worked with mid-way through only had enough time to do work for a small bit of the game.
Scope – I applied a rule I made for myself long ago, which was to keep it simple and not go out of scope. For once, I followed the idea of just creating a simple mechanic and working from there. For game jams, this works wonderfully well. Definitely something I’ll consider again next time.
Testers - This was the first time I actively put out builds during a game jam. Twitter friends as well as my personal friends were more than willing to test out the game in it’s early phases, which helped me discover a bug that wasn’t showing on any of my 3 computers. Test early, and test often!
Programming - Holy crap, I programmed this entire thing?! I still don’t believe it. I know C# and Unity, and have made things before, but never completed anything. I consider what I did a completed product, even though it has it’s obvious flaws. This has boosted my morale and while I know I can’t take on a super crazy, out of scope project just yet, I do know I can create simplistic games in Unity 3D.
Unity’s 2D is Really Easy – Oh yeah, Unity has a really easy 2D system. I thought it’d be a bit challenging, but it works extremely well and is easy to pick up. Definitely using Unity’s 2D development tools from now on.
Until next time…
Well, that’s all. Thank you Ludum Dare, and the Ludum Dare community. I made some good friends during this jam that I didn’t expect to make. It’s been fun chatting in the chat rooms, checking out everyone’s live stream, and tweeting with you all while I took breaks and relaxed. I can’t wait for the next one and am happy I finally have a completed project for the Ludum Dare/Jam.
Time for me to shameless plug myself:
If you’d like, please follow me on Twitter. My handel is @AngryFacing.
You can also check out my website, http://mudry.me, which I’ll be updating with game development blogs, and so forth. If you want, you can also check out some of my shipped games and other projects.
Thanks again everyone and see you all next jam!
Oh, I recorded myself doing a lot of the development. If I can pull the videos from my Twitch stream, I’ll post a time lapse.