“More an Experiment, than an actual game!”
The decision to participate at Ludum Dare (for the first)
I did want to compete in a Ludum Dare before, but I hadn’t time.
But this time I swore myself to take part in it, if I could imagine a setting under the impulse of the moment. – I couldn’t. I disliked the theme.
So I spend the first day of the compo-challenge derping around in various streams and saw a vast amount of people coming up with great ideas.
On the morning of the second day I started drawing planets. They were better than expected, so i showed them a buddy of mine (kuchenkruste).
We both liked the sprites and decided spontaneously to take part in Ludum Dare 30 (Jam).
What went well:
– The sprites turned out to be prettier than I expected. (they’re still far from beeing perfect)
– Writing parallel on the same code with my buddy using Saros (http://www.saros-project.org/) and Eclipse.
> That’s it
What could have been better:
– We startet to implement a render-routine using int-Arrays (raw pixels), after implementing the rendering of the primitives (ovals, lines, rectangles and polygons), we decided to dump that project and use Java2D instead.
– If we were more bound and determined, we would’ve been more motivated.
– Our time management. (Also a lot to do in real life, so that we couldn’t work fulltime on the game)
– If we’d been more organized, we could have made faster progress in implementing the application frame and the drawing
– The fun aspect in the game comes to short, there a not a lot of fun gameplay-mechanics implemented, that we planned to implement
What we’ve learned:
– pixel-pushing (alias working with int-Arrays) is cool (because you learn of how it can be done)
– use Java2D instead of pixel-pushing (you can still achieve the pixel-look) and it’s easier to scale and rotate stuff in
– premake your own engine or library, if you don’t want to use an existing one
– know the libraries you want to use (at least a bit)
– prepare everything you can (which is not forbidden in the rules; eg. prepare a development environment, choose an engine or library (or prepare an own))
– twinkling and colored stars look better than static, white or yellow ones
What i’ve learned:
– Lambdas in Java 8 are great and very powerful!
– tell your family (as long as you live with them), that you have something to do at the weekend and you don’t want to do housework during the competition.
– Before submitting, test the compiled project jar. (For me it turned out, that during development the game used a different font, than as a compiled jar file)
Because we wanted to take part, and not throw away the “game”, we handed it in anyway (approx. half a minute before the time limit ended (and the submission hour began)).
It is more an experiment, than an actual game. Technically it isn’t even an experiment, but an animated and interactive slideshow through my drawn sprites, in that you can connect planets with a kind of leash.
We know that it’s not really great, but hey, it was fun to programm, to participate and we had a lot of fun in skype and during the development.
Have a look on it and please don’t hate on it, we really know it’s bad.
cheers ~ keddelzz & kuchenkruste