Posts Tagged ‘Dark Acre Jack’

How Do You Rate?

Posted by (twitter: @DarkAcreJack)
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 2:03 pm

Cross-posted from the Dark Acre blog
How Do You Rate?

The only thing more important than finishing & shipping—yes, those are one thing—a Ludum Dare 48 compo entry is then rating the hard work of all the other clinically insane brave competitors. Well aside from eating, drinking, & sleeping but that should go without saying. Shouldn’t it?

In the earlier days of LD48 this was a relatively easy task to accomplish, even for the competitor with a day job. A couple hundred entries could be leisurely played over the course of the allotted two weeks.

Then somewhere along the line LD48 became more mainstream—this said without a hint of hip irony, I mean come on, it’s the truth—attracting larger numbers of participants each time.

The most recent event saw some 2,347 (supposedly) playable video & analog games submitted for peer evaluation.

Competitors are given 3 full weeks to play then rate each entry, & leave a comment if they’re feeling egotistical/snarky/fancy. I tend to leave a lot of fancy, ego-driven snark. It shows I care.

So 3 weeks. That’s 30,240 minutes. Assuming you do nothing but play & rate entries that allows just under 12 minutes for each one.

The key question then becomes how much time should you allot for playing vs. offering stars & design advice? It takes me about 8 minutes to complete my own entry, & I know exactly how to complete it. I imagine it could take some folks upwards of 30 minutes to finish. If their goal is to be completely, magnanimously fair with the ratings process they wouldn’t even have time to finish & would be forced to offer a rating based on an experience not wholly experienced! Not that there’s anything wrong with that, game journalists & forum commenters do it all the time but that’s beside the point.

A person is then forced to make certain compromises if they want to go sifting through the entries for the gems. There are gems in there, trust me, but unless you just want to sit back & wait for others to find them, not bother rating—which ends up reflecting poorly on your own entry—, & shun the process entirely you need some form of filter.

This was my 8th Ludum Dare 48 in a row. I’ve gone from rating all of them to not giving a damn & then realizing I have to give a damn if I’m to get rated myself, so I’ve run the gamut.

I’ve crafted a handy spreadsheet of my evaluation process, suitable for framing.

It’s a “do unto others” sort of framework, & I’m horribly selfishly biased because I’m capable of producing web builds. But I’ve stomped my way down that route only because I kinda wanna get as many people as possible to play my game. If I was only in it to show off I’d just pull a SOS.

Rate early, rate often. Rate with purpose.

It’s only time that you’re wasting. Too bad it’s the only thing that you’ve really got.

Once More Unto the Breach

Posted by (twitter: @DarkAcreJack)
Friday, April 19th, 2013 4:20 am

You Never Go Full Indie


Compo only.

I’ll be using just Unity3D—Pro, but just the bare bones stuff that’s available in Free aside from the custom splash screen—SFXR for sound effects & FL Studio for a song loop if I’m feeling fancy.

iTween for basic animations.

Modeling & advanced animation in 3D Studio Max, texturing in Substance Designer, UI via NGUI. External image editing via Photoshop.

Oh, & M2H’s most excellent Localization Package since it makes text handling such a breeze.

Lots of alcohol. Kids, if you drink don’t drive.

Oh, and don’t go full indie. You never go full indie.

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