Ludum Dare 33
Coming August 21st-24th!

Posts Tagged ‘jam’

Disaster Theatre – a postmortem

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 5:12 pm

Hello everyone!
We wanted to write about our experience in our first Ludum Dare, and talk a bit about our entry, Disaster Theatre, and its development. So HERE-WE-GO!


I hear you say? Why, that’s a good question! We’re three teams and two freelancers, 10 people in all: three from a bonfire of souls, another three from Doce Brujos, and two from Moitapechá, plus  Daniel Parejo and Christian Luque Hurtado. All in all, a rad bunch of people! You can find what each of us did in the game’s credits, plus follow us on the various twitter accounts right in this paragraph 😉


How it all started

From the start, our art direction was clear: our background artist, Christian Luque, is quite good with watercolor (as you can see 😉 ), and we always like the idea of making a game with this style. Conversely, finding a main mechanic which we all liked proved to be quite difficult, as we all had different ideas about what an “unconventional weapon” would be. Ultimately, the idea of a director having to give actors their appropriate script before they ruin the audience’s fun by acting a different part was created organically, stemming from all our different ideas.

The good

  • Art direction: Christian’s art is great, and everyone liked it from the start. Because of the medium it’s something that makes Disaster Theatre way more unique, distancing it from a lot of other entries.
  • Coordination: we split into two somewhat independent groups  (art and programming), as we all knew what had to be done, with periodic general meetings to talk about what we did, what we were doing, what problem we were having, etc. This worked extremely well insofar as it made us all aware of the others’ work and their progress, and we could help each other out if we had any problems.
  • Specialization: the art team was very compartimentalized, as we had two people working on character art (Bruno & Cristina), one on backgrounds and items (Christian Luque), helped by Alvaro (who also provided complementary art), and one on animation (Christian Fratta). All in all, this helped immensely with our productivity, as we didn’t have to switch continuously between software and types of work.
  • Experimenting: as will be mentioned in the “bad” section, the animator never worked with Spine before the jam started, and two of the programmers didn’t work much with Unity in the past. This proved to create a few problems, but in the end it was great experience for everyone, as it allowed us to take a vacation from the software we use daily, and of course learn lots of new things! Three days of full immersion are a lot of time to be spending with a piece of software, be it an animation package or a game engine, you will learn to use it, and use it fast.


The bad

  • Coordination: while many organizational things went well, one of the biggest problems we had in the end was that two of our programmers had to work on the last day, and as yopu could expect all kinds of things started going wrong with code! We did solve most of them, but it took the third programmer an entire morning of code spelunking to understand why a few things didn’t work as expected. This is all time we could have used implementing other things, or fixing more bugs.
  • Tutorializing: since the game’s concept is not completely straightforward, many players don’t “get it” right out of the box. This could be solved with a tutorial, which is what we tried to implement at the end of the jam, but given the time constraint we weren’t able to do it properly for launch (though we’re fixing it right now!).
  • Art scanning and processing: Working with handmade art is a good idea. It looks interesting and attractive, especially if you have a great artist like Christian Luque. But it has a bad side: to scan and process all these illustrations tooks us an entire afternnon (backgrounds and UI elements), time we could have spend making more art.
  • Bugs: one of the hardiest bugs in Disaster Theatre appeared a few hours before the end of the jam. With the programmers who created the system in question unavailable, we didn’t really know where to put our hands. In the end we did find a way, after much toiling and grinding of teeth, but it goes to show: always test stuff out before your programmers go home! Especially if the jam ends at 3AM local!
  • Feature creep: since the game was developed by Spanish people and an Italian guy, all of whom know English fairly well, so we had the idea to make a multilingual game, why not! Truth be told, the translations were quick and didn’t take too much time, but in trying to implement xml file reading in unity’s webplayer we lost a lot of time for a feature that didn’t end up in the release. It’s great to experiment on jams (we do it all the time), just be aware of how much it could take from the game itself!
  • Not testing the development software before the jam: the one who ended up doing all animation for Disaster Theatre never animated in Spine before, or even in 2D. Needless to say, this took a lot of time to correct at the beginning, as acquiring familiarity with his companion-to-be for the next three days took the better part of the first day.

If you didn’t already, you can play Disaster Theatre here! Go on, what are you waiting for!

Grease Colosseum – Postmortem

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 11:17 am

Hey there, BoxedMeatRevolution here.

First post since joining in LD 31.

Who are we?

Just a bunch of people who like to program but struggle with pretty much everything else.

Our game?

An arena game where you kill enemies by using grease to slide enemies into obstacles. Play and rate our game here!

Grease Colosseum. Beware of fire!


This time ’round we used: Processing (js), MS Paint/, LMMS, SFXR.

Stuff we did well?

  • We pulled through in finishing (we had a bit of a crisis halfway through in our creative direction)
  • Execution of our mechanic was passable; the grease was fun to use, albeit with a bit of a learning curve
  • Fairly complete game in most aspects
  • Deployed the game via the web

Stuff we could have done better?

  • Smashing into enemies is too difficult to pull off
  • There are some graphical incongruities
  • Our choice of using processing.js made debugging painful and performance terrible on low-end machines
  • We had some light-bulb moments after submission was over for cool gameplay enhancements, too bad we didn’t have time to implement them :(


Thanks Ludum people

Posted by (twitter: @@blindskystudios)
Monday, April 27th, 2015 7:27 am

So as well as this being our first Ludum dare we’re also very new to making video games so this jam was a brand new challenge for us! But it’s been a blast playing all the insane games that came from this dare, and its been awesome to read the comments you guys have given us for our game BLODAU.

This is a rad community and we can’t wait until the next jam!! So to show our love I’ve made ya’ll a little gif of our game’s character :)



Posted by (twitter: @chikun_dev)
Sunday, April 26th, 2015 11:23 pm



‘You Can Shave The Baby’ is a minigame experience that harks to the time-honoured Warioware minigames with a special dash of bizarre tasks that require the user to suspend their disbelief – and their sanity. The inspiration of the game draws from a series of weird and wonderful in-jokes Josef and I developed, incorporating elements from previous games we have made (all of which are available on our website).
If you haven’t played it yet – check it out! Find it here, or on our site at




‘I want to make a weird game’. So we made one. Originally going down the avenue of wanting a hybrid horror-adventure in the vein of Yume Nikki, the project immediately turned into something else at the start of the jam.
The basic coding for the minigame format was fairly simple and self-contained once it was complete. In the vein of making minigames via Warioware: DIY the logic behind the games was easy: it needed,

(1) a timer, countdown and increasing speed,
(2) a win and lose state,
(3) different modes of user input that triggered success in minigames, and
(4) a life and score system to add progress.

After that, development was smooth sailing and the major focus of the programming was to tailor elements (2) and (3) to the unique specifications of each minigame.



As Josef was doing this it was up to me to ascertain the creative direction we wanted to take to give the minigames their personality, whilst retaining the challenge of the game. We made up a list of potential minigames, incorporating a basic description, and the win/loss states of each minigame.

Despite the bizarre nature of the game, many of the concepts revolved around non-sequitur comments, running jokes or references to previous games:

  • Aphrodite in the ‘disguise’ minigame was a character in Turtle Simulator.
  • ‘Don’t Spook The Bird’ is based on a photo of a sulphur-crested cockatoo I took at a nature reserve and features in
  • I wrote a short story called ‘Pizza Pants’ at six in the morning at the Global Game Jam in Sydney. It stands as the only written example of pizza fetishism in literature.




All in all the game came together relatively efficiently, unlike the tension of previous Dares. My only concern during development was that we would not create enough minigames to sustain the interest of players – using the base 30 minigames in a level of WarioWare, I think there was always room to expand.
We came up with few actual challenges during development, but one large roadblock manifested in the last few hours of the Jam – a major storm hit the coast of NSW, Australia, and caused power outages that ended up lasting for a week from that very night. Fortunately, when the power went out on the morning of the last day, most of the work was complete – it was only a matter of uploading the game via phone and praying for electricity.




So what did we learn from making the game? How could we improve the baby game?
(1) Develop more varied and innovative game mechanics
Due to time constraints, many of the minigames revolved around either using the arrow keys on the keyboard to steer the direction of an object, or hovering or clicking the cursor to highlight a change in a graphic. Making tattoos, shaving babies, and putting on makeup all rely on the same fundamental mechanic. With more time to develop ideas we could have certainly provided the player with a more engaging and challenging experience.

(2) Actually related to the theme
A common criticism of our game was that it had nothing to do with the theme. This is completely correct – Josef asked me, “Ryan, how does this relate to the theme?” I replied to the effect of who cares. At the end I think I implemented some tenuous intro theme about coming across a hacking weapon in the form of a floppy disk, but the plot was certainly a last minute ass-pull. We made the game for the abstract minigames, and that’s about it.

(3) More animation and graphics for seamless game experience
Though the simplicity of the minigames in WarioWare are simple, there’s a lot going on in the animation department. With more time we could have implemented fades and transitions between the opening cinematics, provided more animations to gague success and failure, and actually provided an ending to give an end goal and thus closure to players after the novelty of the minigames wears off.





Regardless, it’s clear from the feedback we got that people feel ‘You Can Shave The Baby’ was unique in style and memorable. That’s all we could ever ask for.


Shoe Gun Girl – Postmortem

Posted by
Sunday, April 26th, 2015 1:39 pm

Click on the picture to play/rate the game!

Hi all!

Shoe Gun Girl was my 3rd attempt at Ludum Dare and it proved quite fun and instructive, as always!

A few days before the start of the jam I wasn’t sure I would be given a very inspirational theme so ‘An Unconventional Weapon’ came as a rather pleasant surprise. I started to talk about it with my friend Aurélie and she suggested to use something from ordinary life as a weapon. “Why not a woman’s shoe?”, she said.

A bit later I went out to run in a nearby park (a very nice place in Paris by the way, it’s called Les Buttes Chaumont) and I realized it could be the perfect basis for designing the setting of a platformer. I also thought it would be cool the have some realistic movement drawn from real photographs for animating the main character (like Jordan Mechner did for the original Prince of Persia game) so I promptly asked my friend if she could come later in the day to make some pictures.

Next step was coming back to the park to take a few pictures that would serve as reference material: trees, bridges and so on.


A few elements from the park.

I also drew a few sketches on my notebook:


Tree and park gates put on my trusty notebook.

Then I found myself a quiet table in a café and started designing a level. Experience from previous jams showed it’s a good idea to try to limit oneself: I decided to have only one level. It would nevertheless include a few different sections from the park and would involve climbing to the highest spot in the park (so yes, slopes !). (more…)

Hushbert’s Theme

Posted by (twitter: @rojomojogogo)
Sunday, April 26th, 2015 1:07 pm

I updated Hushbert’s theme a little. It’s a relatively minor part of my game, but I dig it, and I thought I’d share this with folks. Have a listen!

If you haven’t played Hush yet, click below to give it a try!

Play Hush

Frenzy Inc Postmortem

Posted by
Saturday, April 25th, 2015 1:39 pm


I’m actually very proud of Frenzy Inc, the game my team and I made for this jam. It was my first time entering with a team, and my other team members first game jam. I’ve been working with them on games for a while, but the time-limited nature of a jam was new to them. We made a game that we’re all proud of, and thats really the most important thing about the jam. We have also got some excellent comments and useful feedback on our games page, which give us a warm fuzzy feeling and help to make the game better.


What went right

  • Time and resource management. I was the only one on the team able to dedicate a whole 72 hours to this game. But we were able to plan and work around this to use the team members whenever they were available. And I still managed to get a total of 18 hours of sleep over the weekend, so overall a win.
  • Visual Style. I’m a programmer, but I ended up doing all the 3d modelling on this one since I was the only one on the team with any experience doing it. I’m happy with how the game looks, even if it is very simplistic.
  • AI. This was really my first time writing a proper AI for the player to work against. I learned a lot from the process, but I think the key part the the AI for Frenzy Inc is how they behave when not in combat. You can actually just stand around and watch the AI for a while and see how they behave, and I spent a fair amount of dev time doing just that.
  • Small level. When you limit time, you have to limit some aspect of your game. We decided (reluctantly) that the best thing to cut back on here is size of the level. Having a smaller level enabled us to do a much higher level of detail on the level we did have, and devote more time to other features.

What went wrong

  • Lack of warm-up. My team is largely used to working within pre-existing frameworks, so we spent a fair amount of the first 12 hours spinning our wheels trying to get back into working in plain Unity. We got there, but if we had spent that time before the jam less time would have been wasted.
  • Lack of gameplay testing. Because we were all working remotely, putting together all the pieces to make our game feel complete didn’t really happen until the last few hours. This meant we really didn’t know how the game would be played to fix a few things, such as a few strategies which are far too effective, which really isn’t good for a high-score based game.


We’re working on fixing the problems with the game and adding a few features we wished we could have added for the jam for a post-compo version, so if you liked our game stay tuned for that.

You can play Frenzy Inc here:


Posted by (twitter: @chikun_dev)
Saturday, April 25th, 2015 4:45 am





Looking for premium, experienced baby-shavers to shave the baby.

Casual hours, $16.95 p/h to shave the baby.

Perks include holding the baby, talking to the baby, and of  course the joy of shaving the baby.

Call (02) 9815 4000. Ask for “Randy.”


You too can shave the baby in our game. “You Can Shave The Baby”.


Ultra Hat Dimension Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @crowbeak)
Friday, April 24th, 2015 8:45 pm

UHD Title

Our game, Ultra Hat Dimension, is a puzzle game in which you are a hat designer. You won a prestigious hat design contest on another world, but at the ball in your honor everyone suddenly went crazy, aligned themselves into factions based on which of your hats they’re wearing, and started attacking each other and you. So your goal is to get out of the palace. To do so, you have to get past the crazed guests, using hats to avoid getting punched backwards and to move people so they’ll get out of your way and/or attack each other.


This was my first team effort, done with Woof (@woofycakes), Yuzuki (@yuzukimasu), and Eniko (@enichan). Woof was on art, Yuzuki on music, Eniko on programming, and I did the writing, level designs, and mouth sounds. As someone who always found group work incredibly frustrating in school, I was pleasantly surprised by how awesome it was to focus on one area and let the others take care of their areas so we could end up with a game which has been very well received.

This is a long postmortem, so read on after the break to learn more about how we made it!


Get the Game! PostMortem

Posted by
Friday, April 24th, 2015 6:18 pm

So, we wanted to share our PostMortem with you guys but it seems it was too long to post it here so here is the link if you want to read the opinions of the team : PostMortem


If you haven’t tried our game you can play it here : Get the Game!

Here are some reviews of the game:



Here is the Team :


Greetings from Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico!!


Posted by (twitter: @matnesis)
Friday, April 24th, 2015 12:12 am





by matnesis

Hush Trailer

Posted by (twitter: @rojomojogogo)
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 11:03 am

I created a trailer for the intro to my jam entry, Hush. Take a peek!

Hush is a music / memory game where you must discover and play bits of songs in order to break the Seals of Silence and return the stolen voices to the creatures of the forest!

Play now!

LD-32, That One Time I Finished A Game

Posted by
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 5:32 am

Play and rate LIGHT

This isn’t going to be your typical postmortem, just some random thoughts. I’ll try to make it short.  The main thing I wanted to say is: Thanks to Ludum Dare and the community, I have a FINISHED game!  Yeah, that’s my big announcement 😀

For a long time I’ve been working on game side-projects, all unfinished.  Why didn’t I finish them, you ask?  I did not want to! I have always had a weird mindset about my games;  I always thought “This game is too good to be finished. It has to be perfect”, maybe some of you can relate. LD is what I needed: a theme, a deadline, a competition, and a community. This was my first LD and LIGHT is my jam entry.

Some lessons learnt:

  1. Perfection is good. Clumsiness is 10x better!  There are so many irrelevant things (in your game and in life), and only a few things that are are important.
  2. Get a prototype running early. Don’t like what you get? you avoided a trap. Like what you get? you’ve got a good starting point.
  3. Work with what you have before adding new stuff. You can always figure out a way to combine the small things you already have to make something big.
  4. Limit yourself! When you bind yourself to a smaller set of rules and interactions, you build an intuition towards the game early on.
  5. Make learning your game fun. It should be about the player discovering the rules not studying them.
  6. Presentation, presentation, and presentation! The worst thing that could happen is a player not feeling in control.


How did this help me in my game? (You can skip this if you haven’t played the game)

  1. I perfected the important stuff only. My hero character is a bloody stick figure and gets stuck in doors sometimes! But turns out it’s good enough. Here’s a timelapse.
  2. The prototype made my life easier. When you have a prototype, the rest is a smooth iterative improvement.
  3. I didn’t add anything new unless I really needed it. For example, I have 5 puzzle pieces in my game, I thought 5 won’t make enough puzzles, I need more. Turns 5 was more than enough to make surprisingly challenging puzzles. I even threw away some levels that I thought were not good enough. The trick is I had to choose the ‘correct’ 5 pieces.
  4. Because the game is simple, and with the intuition I quickly acquired playing it, it became easy to: design levels, balance the game, get a feel for the player experience, improve presentation, and plan ahead.
  5. Introducing the rules to the player was easy. I had a game with few mechanics that I’m skilled at. Then I looked into every single mechanic and skill I have and made sure I conveyed it to the player in the form of a small challenge. I could have listed instructions on the main screen, but where is the fun in that?
  6. The player should feel in charge. I felt that lots of the games I rated were not very good at this. If the player finds himself in the middle of a battle with stuff flying around, hit points being being subtracted, a prompt telling him to take action, and no feedback to whether he’s doing good, they lose the sense of control. Oh! so you’re going to show them a ‘Game Over’ screen? Guess what? They no longer care…

Some may think my game is not good, and to you I say…

In conclusion, thank you again guys!

Go play and rate LIGHT!

Noaksey’s Second Live play – Tonight at 8PM GMT

Posted by (twitter: @NoakseyV1)
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 4:32 am

Hey Guys,

Quick update for those looking to get their games reviewed and critiqued

Following my advert from the other day (found here)

Those that have registered will be being played tonight at 8pm GMT !

Want me to play your game? Follow this link to register your game

Register Me!

SO fair I have the following titles in my play list.

An Unconventional Weapon

MacOS X build!

Posted by (twitter: @DeadBodyOutline)
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 3:01 pm

Another fresh build. But it is quite slow on my machine (not so powerful).

Mac OS X

Since I will not touch the code, I will let it as-is. See you there 😉

Finally, Windows build

Posted by (twitter: @DeadBodyOutline)
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 9:05 am

I finally managed how to build my game for windows, so it’s alive now!

Windows build

Take a look on it 😉

I can’t finish the game the way I want. There are no intro scene, no Game Over screen, no progress update (there are logic to do it already, just don’t show yet). Enemies should appear more frequently after some time, but not implemented yet.

Also, I found a bug on this build: the character do not move and shoot at the same time. It’s strange, as it works on linux. Can I try to fix it and update the build, addressing just this issue? Or let it the way it is right now??

Well, will add more details on the postmortem… Also, I plan to finish the game, but now I want to play all entries! YAY!

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