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Ludum Dare 32
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Posts Tagged ‘post-mortem’

Reverse Ram Runner Post-Mortem

Posted by
Monday, February 23rd, 2015 6:27 pm

Wow, I can’t believe I manged to finish a Ludum Dare contest entry, even if it is a mini. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do anything at all, considering I didn’t find out about the MLD until the 23rd, the very end of my weekend. After that, I had work for the remaining days until the deadline, which is why I decided to use Game Maker for the game. Anyway, enough of that, on to the post-mortem proper.


What went right:

  • I finished a game for once. Whooo!
  • All the basic bits of the game are in place and working properly.

What went wrong:

  • Almost no polish! That’ll happen when you hardly have time to work on something that has a deadline.
  • No music or sound effects.
  • Didn’t do much for me in the way of learning new things.

After We Saved the World: post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @DietrichEpp)
Monday, February 23rd, 2015 12:09 pm

After We Saved the World is a tactical RPG with a twist: you start out with all of the characters, all of the best items, and all of the most powerful skills, and you must return everything back to the way it was when you lived in generic fantasy village #3. All in all, I’m counting this one as a success, but it was a rough ride.

What went wrong

  • Stubborn refusal to use an existing game engine. That’s right: the game is built on nothing more than WebGL and a couple random libraries like howler.js. Worse still, I came into this project with front-end development skills that were novice at best, so I had to sink a lot of time into learning how to use node.js and gulp and things like that.
  • Bad timing with work. I know—I’m who’s running this Mini LD, and I could have just chosen a week where I didn’t have as much of a conflict with work! But I just didn’t plan everything out well enough. A bit of stress and overwork had me on a bad sleep schedule before the project even started, but by the end of the week I managed to get some consistent good nights of sleep in.
  • Large scope. This is the perennial problem with Ludum Dare games, or games in general, or heck, software projects. A tactical RPG, what, was I insane? It turns out I just had barely enough time to get combat and basic game structure working before the end of the week.

What went right

  • Creative Commons assets. Even though I had always made my own assets for Ludum Dare in the past, I decided to go the Creative Commons route for almost everything except for music and a few odd UI elements. I managed to find some great sprites, textures, and icons on Not only is it better than what I could have done by myself, but the whole thing even looks like it was supposed to fit together.
  • Rolling my own WebGL code. I know that this is also in the “what went wrong” column, but I’ve been doing OpenGL for long enough that my first thoughts after picking a genre were along the lines of, “ah, I know how I want to batch this data”, and “these are the shaders I need.” I even managed to simplify the pointer hit test code: rather than write a bunch of geometry code to calculate which tile the player clicked on, I just read the coordinates out of a special WebGL buffer.
  • Choosing a concept that is both new and fun. I love tactical games, and that enjoyment transferred well to the project. But I had never made a tactical RPG before—to be honest, I only ever played Avernum—and that meant I wasn’t rehashing a game that I had made before.

I’d post a link to my game, or a screenshot, but something is wrong with the time vortex. Check back later.


Posted by (twitter: @gillenewnovo)
Saturday, February 21st, 2015 12:33 am

Hi folks, that was my first MiniLD participation, and I liked it a lot! The feedbacks were very helpful, thank you all from the heart.

I imagine that, unlike 48hours Jams I got used to do, this MiniLD give me time to create something more solid or polished. I loved finish the whole game and then publish it on android mobile platform. So I’m glad to made this goal for this event.

Bright side –
– I managed to finish and polish the game.
– I got a good result with a simple mechanics.
– The feedback from everyone was wonderful.
– Finally I will be able to publish the game for mobile (only android for now, but… yay!! :D).
– Found 1 million dollars!!!!!

Downside –
– The musical part was something very exhausting, because in addition to my musical skills are still not very good, my audio hardware was with a bad quality.
– Many commitments and concerns were surrounding me throughout the process.
– I lost one million dollars :(((

Even with these great emotions, I believe I will survive for more weeks.

MiniLD 57 – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @bytegrove)
Friday, February 20th, 2015 6:27 am

This was my first MiniLD.
I might’ve had too many ideas in the beginning, and all of them more or less seemed to be dead ends. But luckily, something WONDERFUL happened, and everything turned out fine. This happened when I least expected it!

What went right:

-I found no bugs!

What went wrong:

-Everyone else found all the bugs!

TV World Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @GaTechGrad)
Thursday, January 1st, 2015 6:40 pm


For each Ludum Dare, I like to change genres to keep things interesting.  This time, I decided to create a classic shoot-em-up (aka shmup), since I’ve never developed one before.  Since the theme was “Everything on One Screen”, I decided to make a television screen the protagonist of the game.  I made the entire game based on adventuring through various television channels.  I don’t believe anyone has ever done a television themed game before.

I started with the weather channel, which included snowmen as enemies, since the “Unicode Snowman” seemed to be a lock for the Ludum Dare 31 theme.  Then after defeating the last snowman boss, you get a gray remote which takes you to the next channel, which is the “Sportsmania” sports channel.  In this channel you must blast the numerous footballs which approach you.  Defeating the mega sized football at the end grants another gray remote which takes you to the next channel.  In the classic movie channel, it is entirely black and white themed and movie reels are the hazard.  Along with the classic look, there is also classical styled music that plays in the background.  The remaining channels are the 24 Hour News, Kids Club, Out of this World (sci-fi), American Pickers (country music), Ultimate Chef (cooking), and Furry Buddies (animals and pets).  Each channel has its appropriate enemy types, which include dollar bills, lollipops, UFOs, cowboy boots, pizza slices, and kitties.

There are two power-ups in the game, which can be acquired by defeating enemies.  The red remote will increase the player’s fire rate.  This ability can be upgraded five times.  The magenta remote will increase the player’s fire spread, which can be upgraded twice so that three projectiles are fired at once.

What Went Right

This was the first time I used the Playmaker addon for Unity for an official Ludum Dare entry.  I did use Playmaker to create my Bag Boy warm-up entry, which I think turned out quite well for the amount of time that I spent on it.  There is a steep learning curve to using Playmaker, but once you know how to use it, creating a game becomes much easier (especially 3D games).  I didn’t write a single line of code for this game, which really makes the game development process less stressful.  I was able to spend more time coming up with ideas, and implementing those ideas took much less time than if I was writing code.  Managing the game engine is much simpler by creating the FSM diagrams and adding the appropriate actions.  I used Taron’s Verve Painter again for creating the background, but I applied a pixel filter in Gimp to make to appear more television-like.

This time I also used an online tool called Trello, which was recommended in one of our local Knoxville Game Design meetings.  It provides an efficient interface for recording tasks and ideas, and it allows you to mark which features have been implemented and completed.  I think it’s more targeted towards team development, but I found it to be a useful tool while working solo.

I did a webcast to Twitch during the entire game development process.  I am really happy with the results of my time-lapse video.  My development desktop is on the left, with the current date and time below.  On the right side, you can see me on the webcam and the IRC chatroom of my Twitch channel.  I think displaying the chat room in the stream encourages people to comment on the status of my game.

What Went Wrong

The night before the competition started, I upgraded my Unity development environment to the latest version.  This new version had a completely new UI system added, so I wasted a few hours trying to figure out how to get it to work.  Then I discovered that the old GUIText and TextMesh components weren’t easily accessible, and the new UI components were not compatible with Playmaker.  Therefore, I wasted even more time downgrading my Unity development environment to the previous version.

After that happened, things were going fairly smoothly.  I did have a small problem getting the scrolling background working, because I forgot that the background plane size is 10×10 units.  However, I had done a scrolling background for one of my previous games, so I was eventually able to figure it out.

Getting the bullets shooting correctly also took more time that I had anticipated.  The bullets were shooting into the screen.  Eventually, I took the approach where I set the initial rotation of a bullet, and then just translated it forward in the bullet’s local Z-coordinate.

I left all of the modeling for the last few hours of the competition.  Honestly, I was proud of the number of models (the television model for the player and nine different enemies) that I was able to churn out in two to three hours.  However, none of the models were animated.

The enemy AI is probably the most glaring flaw in the game.  The enemies just basically go from right to left on the screen at a constant rate.  I could have easily made the enemies move at different speeds.  Making the enemies movie in different patterns, and having the enemies shoot back are definitely features I would like to add in an upcoming release.

The power-up system was completely unbalanced as well.  I used a simple random variable to determine if an enemy would drop a power-up.  This meant that sometimes you could go long stretches without getting a power-up, and then other times you may get multiple power-ups in a row.  Additionally, after maxing out your power-ups, you would complete the game by simply holding down the spacebar.  For the next competition, I will try to devote a little more time towards balancing the game.

I liked the music that I made for the game, however I could have spent more time on it.  I basically combined various Apple loops in Garage Band, while also modifying the speed and pitch.  I read the Ludum Dare rules and this is apparently acceptable, but I really like to be the one entering the notes for it to feel like my own.

How Did I Do?

I don’t know.  After Ludum Dare 27 I quit checking my rankings.  I check the top 100 winners list, so if I’m not on there it really doesn’t matter to me.

Where to Go From Here

I think I’ve developed a solid shoot-em-up engine, so I just need to add new power-ups, more enemies, smarter artificial intelligence, and increase the length of the channels (levels).  I would like to add a money system to the game so that the player can buy new power-ups and abilities.

Earlier this month, I released One Gunman, another one of my Ludum Dare games, on the Windows Store.  That’s definitely a platform I would consider releasing TV World.  I already know the process for putting a Unity game on the Windows Store, which isn’t too difficult.  However, I found that it is really easy to get lost in the shuffle on that platform and getting sales can be tough.

I would definitely like to release the game on the XBox One, since the XBox Live Indie Game (XBLIG) marketplace is pretty much dead.  However, getting approved to develop for the XBox One is much more cumbersome than XBLIG, since you’ve got to pitch your idea and go through a lengthy approval process to get a development kit.  However, I’m hoping that my experience with publishing to the Windows Store will prove useful for publishing on the XBox One, since they are supposedly based on similar operating systems.

There’s always mobile platforms, such as iOS and Android.  I’ve made a simple build for my Nexus Android tablet, but the controls really need some work, which requires more time.  I created some simple virtual buttons, since obviously a tablet doesn’t have a keyboard.  However, virtual buttons work differently than a mouse, keyboard, or joystick because they are touch based.

I know others have had success with publishing games to the Playstation Vita, so that is another paltform I may give a try.  There’s also other less popular consoles like the Ouya, but the cost of the developer’s license is usually my deciding factor.

Then there’s always ad revenue sharing sites like Game Jolt and Kongregate.  These web sites are fine, but I’ve never made any serious profit from them.  Thefore, I’ll probably release the compo version on those sites, and save the improved version for other platforms.

I am also considering Desura, since the cost to publish on their service is low or free if I remember correctly.  I would consider submitting to Steam Greenlight, but honestly 100 dollars is a lot to invest if there’s no guarantee that your game will ever get published on the service.  However, that money is supposed to go to charity, so I wouldn’t feel to bad about making that investment.

screenshot001You can play the compo version of TV World from my page.

Noice results here!

Posted by (twitter: @SixtenKastalje)
Tuesday, December 30th, 2014 7:04 pm

Thank you everyone, it has been a great Ludum Dare!

My results were far better than the other two LDs I’ve participated in. #111 in Theme and #193 in Innovation, that’s awesome and just gives me motivation to aim for the top 100 next time!


As I participated in the jam this time, without a team and made all stuff myself as if it were for the compo, I think these results are pretty good. I made some nice stats below, comparing how I did my previous LDs:


Stat 1: Fixed Ranking

Top percent calculated as #Ranking divided by total entries for each LD compo/jam.

Stats ranking LD31 SK16 Games



Stat 2: Score

Just the raw score – 1 to 5 stars.

Stats score LD31 SK16 Games



Oh! And you can play my game here:

Old Game on an Old Screen

SK16Games_LD31 thumbnail Game Jolt

- See you all in April! (hopefully)

Game bundle sale!

Posted by (twitter: @GameGrapeStudio)
Tuesday, December 30th, 2014 5:36 pm

High Flyer BackgroundGameGrape Studios Robotz Background

Hello and welcome to the  Holiday Sale! In this years sale you can get both High Flyer and Robotz for 80% OFF!

Regular Price: $10.00 USD

Sale Price: $1.99 USD

High Flyer is a game where you fly through many different levels while shooting down torrents and taking down anything that gets in your way!

Robotz is a game where you move around the map while taking down waves of robots and collecting coins and ammo! Survive as long as you can!

So what are you waiting for? Get High Flyer and/or Robotz today!

Both High Flyer and Robotz were Ludum Dare games.


High Flyer:



twitter image

GameGrape Studios (C)’2014. All rights reserved.

Existential Post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @Zazanxors)
Tuesday, December 30th, 2014 12:20 am

So this was my third Ludum Dare, and I have to say I had a blast. Making Existential has been a load of fun. I learned a bunch and ate a lot of pizza in the process.

I’m not going to summarize each day in this postmortem however, as I’ve already done that in both of my progress posts for the respective days.



I’m happy with this overall. Originally I expected higher ratings, but in hindsight I understand why I got what I did (except for Audio – I’m getting way too high a score for that) – I had taken a project that was a little bit big for Ludum Dare and this resulted in me having to focus almost entirely on gameplay only. Almost no polish was able to be done, and as a result my ratings suffer. Besides that, I wasn’t able to make the theme have that large of an effect on the player, and so it was difficult to notice.

What went good

  • Unity 4.6 UI system. I love it so much.
  • Eating, getting sleep, etc
  • Gameplay. Seeing as I focused mostly on this, I think I actually did it pretty decently.
  • SharpDevelop. Magicolo suggested it as an alternative to MonoDevelop and it’s a huuuge improvement.

What went bad

  • Graphics. Since I focused on gameplay so much, I didn’t have much time to improve them.
  • Audio. Same reason as above – no time.
  • Project Scope. It wasn’t terrible, and I was able to do it, but as I’ve said it’s because of this I wasn’t able to polish the game.

So what now?

I’m planning on finishing up the game, hopefully by the end of the week. I plan for it to be my first ‘real’ project as a game developer, and am planning to release it for free on, GameJolt and Kongregate. I also plan to in the process improve the scripts I’ve made for making platformers.

Anyways, that’s all. Have a good day, and see you next Ludum Dare (oh hey that rhymed).

Houston: Expedition diary Part 3

Posted by
Thursday, December 25th, 2014 11:54 am

Merry Christmas, Ludum Dare!

This is the expedition diary of Houston.

Day 1 additional decryption:
GamesJam work process video materials attached:

Day 2 additional decryption:
The result of 27 hard hours was surprising – our game was awarded by Microsoft

The prize is – certificate for a package of promotion in windows store.
Scientific Note: the level of endorphins rose up sharply.

Jam Entry: Houston, We’ve Got a Problem

Previous parts of expedition diary:
Expedition diary part 2
Expedition diary part 1
Information bulletin for new astronauts

Expedition FB group
Let us Tweet you some space news

Ghoul Rush post-mortem

Posted by
Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 4:18 pm

Let me tell you a story about making of Ghoul Rush. It might not be the most enticing story in the world, but I need to write it, and hopefully some people would find it useful.

Everything started with #GamesJamMicrosoft here in Moscow. It’s a local competition, organized by Microsoft, that was specifically timed to coinside with Ludum Dare. Contrary to LD, this event was offline, with everybody working in one place; it also had a number of prizes. The moment we heard of it, we decided to try taking part. Where “we” are Chaos Cult games – a group of like-minded people all working in gamedev, and goofing around with indie development.


Down the Rabbit Hole Post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @cxsquared)
Monday, December 22nd, 2014 3:02 pm

Down The Rabbit Hole

This was my first Ludum Dare (though not my first game jam) so I thought I do a little post-mortem about my experience. First off Ludum Dare is now my favorite game jam I’ve been in and I can’t wait to do another one. The community is the best game developer community I’ve ever seen. Now to the post-mortem thing. My main goal was to just finish a game. The game didn’t have to be fancy, I wasn’t trying to make some ground breaking new game mechanic, and the game didn’t have to be crazy good. I did however want to try and create a fairly complete and semi-polished game, and I think I did a decent job at that.


What I used…

  • For programming I used Haxe and HaxeFlixel.
  • For music I used Logic Pro.
  • For sound effects I used SFXR and more specifically the SFXR library for HaXe.
  • For the art and levels I used PyxelEdit.

What went right…

  • Music
    Music and audio was my passion long before programming was so I did want to try and make a cohesive audio (music/sfx) experience. I was very proud of how well the music set the tone for my game. I do wish I had a little more time to mix the music but not having time is kinda the norm for a game jam. The sound effects where made using SFXR and were actually generated with code instead of being prerecorded sounds. Using the SFXR library for haxe actually allowed me to create multiple sound effects really fast. That allowed me to create less repetitive and more interesting sound effects. My biggest surprise was how well the sound effects mixed with the music. Overall the sound effects were the biggest improvement to the game with the least amount of time spent on them.
  • Story
    Near the end of the compo I though my game was a little too short so I added some text in between each level. I can’t tell you how much this gave my game personality and that personality took my game from a standard platformer to something more. Just a few lines of text added a lot to my game. I think adding a little story/text to any game, especially one made for a game jam, can make it so much better.

What went wrong…

  • Ideas/Gameplay
    The theme threw me off a little but I stuck too it. I’m glad I stuck to the theme but wish I would have had the knowledge to create my initial idea. Looking back I should have tried to come up with a simpler idea that I knew I could pull off at the start. Trying to do something that I hadn’t even remotely done before cost me a whole day of work. In the end I think my simple idea of just a platformer turned out much better than my original idea.
  • Code Knowledge
    Game jams are the best place to learn new things but being my first Ludum Dare I was more interested in the competition aspect of it all. I just wanted a decent game that would hopefully place semi-well in the compo. That said I should have made myself a little more knowledgeable about the framework I was using. This didn’t hurt me a lot, but I wish I would of had a better grasp on the framework I was using to give me more time for content creation and polish.


Final words…
I think my game turned out pretty well for my first Ludum Dare. I’m really happy how everything came together and I can’t wait for the next one. The best thing about this jam is the community and how nice they are. I’ve received a bunch of helpful comments and not one hateful statement. The community surrounding Ludum Dare is a great one.

Thanks for reading this and it would be cool if you checked out my game []. If you leave a comment I will 100% go play and rate your game. Even if you don’t play my game there is a chance I’ll play yours. I’m aiming to play at least 250 games by the end of judging.


Posted by (twitter: @Wertle)
Friday, December 19th, 2014 11:08 am

2014 has been the year of many game jams (for me, relatively), and one consistent trend has been that each jam gets more and more chill than the last. LD31 is probably the most low-key, easy-going jam I’ve done to date. All the same, I’m quite pleased with our game, One Does Not Simply Walk Into More Doors.


Looking back on why this jam felt so relaxed,  I think most of it came down to experience and attitude and how that shaped our process. Also, figuring out a jam workflow between two designers who have different game-making tool preferences ended up being really efficient…


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