Ludum Dare 34
Coming December 11th-14th Weekend

Posts Tagged ‘post-mortem’

Massacre Monday – the Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @wg_phancock)
Friday, September 4th, 2015 7:20 pm

We’ve gotten a ton of great feedback from our fellow participants (thanks for that!), and I decided it was finally time to write a little post mortem of our entry Massacre Monday.

The goal for our two man team during this LD was to create an action game with a visceral feel — lots of visual and audio feedback, a feeling of general carnage, and just a good “feel” to the controls and gameplay. We had never done a full-on action game before, so it was a very good test for us. Based on the feedback we have gotten, I’d say we managed to do a pretty good job pulling it off, but there’s always room for improvement.

You can play Massacre Monday HERE if you haven’t already, or read on for my long-winded post mortem notes:

The Good

  • OpenFL and HaxeFlixel performed admirably with the amount of sprites and alpha/blending effects we threw at it. Framerate and performance were a little bit of a concern for us but overall it worked out great as a framework choice.
  • Based on feedback and watching streamers play, I feel like we really got the frantic/chaos feeling down in the end. We learned a lot about good techniques for “juice.”
  • We did a pretty good job focusing on the MVP features and time management. Nearly everything major was done by the end of the second day. Very happy with our organization on this one.
  • We got a ton of positive feedback on the victim names and our “ending.” We were hoping it would be impactful, but it seems it was even more impactful to some people that we thought it would be. We were glad to see it evoked the feeling we were hoping for.
  • I didn’t originally set out to go for a GTA1 feel to the art, but once it started to get put together, I went with it. Glad to see that mentioned in the comments.
  • The blood spatters for the squished pedestrians were a fairly late addition, but I think they really helped reinforce a feeling of permanence and chaos.
  • I was glad to see some folks get a laugh out of the few random wilhelm screams we threw in. Those were literally added 5 minutes before we compiled the final build.

The Bad

  • A lot of people we watched play seemed to want to be able to destroy the tanks and other military. We wanted the military involvement to be more of a “timer” to keep play sessions from dragging on and force you to dodge and avoid getting blown up more the longer you played. Either this was a poor design decision or we didn’t do a good enough job of conveying their invincibility to the player; not sure which one.
  • We wanted to keep everything to as few buttons as possible, so we went with one action button. I think in the end, however, having two buttons for dash and attack probably would have been a good choice, especially when using a gamepad.
  • We probably could have included more battlefield feeling with some car parts staying around after getting blown up, and some scorch marks from bombs and explosions. We had originally planned to try to do some of that but simply ran out of time.
  • We originally wanted to have more car varieties, like cop cars, school buses, vans, and SUV’s, but we ran out of time to make the art. Cop cars driving up with cops jumping out would have been a great addition for the early game before the tanks show up.
  • We also wanted to have a little more variety to the city, such as a park or courtyard/square. Time constraints hit us again.
  • The game could benefit from a little more variety. For a Jam session where most players play at most 5 minutes, I feel like we probably hit the sweet spot as far as play session length, but if this were a full-fledged game there would need to be quite a bit more to it.
  • I would have liked to have experimented a little more with some shader effects, like blur, pixellation, or red tinting when getting hit or low on health. A little more visual feedback when near death or after a large health loss probably would have added to the chaos and immersion. We also wanted to try to add a “deafened” audio effect after losing a large amount of health, but never got around to it.
  • I misspelled “memoriam.” Got corrected a couple times on that one 😉

Are we going to expand on this game and do a post-jam version? Maybe, maybe not. We have plenty of ideas, but at the very least we will take what we learned here and apply it to future projects, like the JRPG roguelike we’ve been working on for the last year or maybe a future action game. There’s always more games to be made!

De-monstration post mortem

Posted by
Friday, September 4th, 2015 3:06 pm

Hi. My name is Alexzander Protasenya. I’ve made the “de-monstration” game for this LD33.

The hardest thing with post-mortems for jam games and prototypes – when do you declare that “mortem” part? When the jam is over? When you’ve made everything you wanted for the game? When you just give up on making it better?


I’ve decided to go with the last one. De-monstration have recieved a considerable lot of feedback for its idea and gameplay. My guess is, that means I’ve made it just complete and fun enough. I’ve never planned turning it into a commercial game, so I thought I’d call it a day, archive it and go onto other interesting stuff I’ve got going on and brewing up.

Before we start, I’d like to send bright thank-rays to every LD participant, who have rated and commented my game. Thanks, folks, that was a lot more and better than I expected! 😀

Read on for the idea overview and “went wrong/right” lists.


The Supper – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @codagames)
Friday, September 4th, 2015 11:54 am

Hi! This was my first LD/game jam and I posted a bit about it right after it ended, but thought I’d spend a bit of time now to go a bit deeper into my experience and process.

Here’s the link if you want to give it a go first.



The Live Jam

For most of the weekend, I was at a live jam site at Babycastles:


At first I was planning on just going to hang out with people and catch up on my own work, but once I was there and saw some of the cool stuff people were working on, I got swept up in the good vibes and decided to go for it!


The Concept

The theme was a curve ball for me. The first night I spent just thinking over different concepts and debating whether I wanted to go through with any of them. I had this  concept in my head for a weird action-y stealth game where you play a border crossing monster refugee in a hood and cloak, but by Saturday morning I still couldn’t get the ideas to line up. I thought about dropping the whole thing, but around lunch things finally started clicking: a murder mystery with turn-based, rogue-like movement, a simple charm/suspicion mechanic, and the original avoiding line-of-sight idea.

Then I started drawing a bunch of stuff out which is pretty close to what wound up in the final game:






The Mechanics

Once I had the basics down on paper, I started up Unity and made a fresh repo in Git. I purposely tried to keep the scope very small, and limited the player to doing basically three things (apologies for the massive GIFs):



Charming (lowering guests’ suspicion)


And Murdering!


This sounded simple at the beginning, but eventually it became clear that there was a ton of hidden stuff I didn’t fully consider beforehand:

  • The player character and AIs needed to track line of sight with every other entity
  • Characters needed to track collisions with walls, furniture; furniture should block characters but not line of sight, etc.
  • The AI needed to disperse somewhat intelligently without needing a complicated pathfinding solution
  • The UI needed to do a lot more than let the player choose between the main actions (Charm and Murder).
    • Cancel actions
    • Inform the player that he/she’s in someone else’s line of sight
    • Inform the player of the guests’ suspicion levels
    • Enable transitions between game states: Title screen, pause, restart, dialogue, limericks, movement, action menu, etc.

Even while trying to keep things as simple as possible, coding everything up took longer than expected. I wasn’t ready to submit by Sunday for the compo as planned, but luckily was able to spill over to Monday for the jam.


The Environment

When I started the environment work, I started in full color, with lots of detail, and a slight, isometric tilt. About 20 minutes and one bookshelf later, it became obvious I didn’t have time for this. So I thought about how I could cheat, which is what led me to the black-and-white silent film concept. This worked out well since it cut the amount of time I’d need to spend on environments way down while adding more to the larger theme and mood.



Using a tilemap was super useful since it allowed me to iterate on different layouts very quickly, which played a big role in solving my limitations with AI movement.



The Characters

Before Monday, all the characters in the game were white squares. At first I planned on doing static board game-y pieces, but later decided I wanted the character designs to 1) give the characters distinct personalities and 2) inform the player about their suspicion level (to minimize UI and helper prioritize the murdering!).

With this in mind I spent a good part of Monday building a modular character facial animation system.

Base face – Suspicion level: 


Character Overlays: 


Giving the characters personalities was a lot of fun!



The Limericks, Audio, and Other Polish 

I wanted to establish some context at the start and end(s) of the game, but didn’t want lots of boring exposition. So I decided to go with silly, old-timey limericks:



Turns out coming up with passable rhymes takes time, since a) I’m not a writer and b) there needed to be a lot more than I had originally anticipated to support the various start/end states:

  • The intro
  • Getting caught in the act
  • Getting accused when a guest’s suspicion maxes out
  • Ending 1
  • Ending 2

Luckily I was able to recycle a bunch of the lines which helped cut down on the time.

Once this was done I hunted down a few last bugs and added the audio which added a lot to the ambiance and tied things together nicely.


The Result!

Here’s the again game if you’re interested in giving it a spin!

I had a great time making it. It was like a lovely little game-dev vacation that recharged me creatively for my real work.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed. If you have any questions for me, throw them in the comments or tweet @codagames!

LD33 Post Mortem – How I spent my time

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 3:00 pm

This time I tracked my time using ManicTime so I can present you this fancy table of how I spent my time:

Saturday Sunday Total
Programming 7,79 h 10,09 h 17,88 h
Sleep 3,31 h 4,11 h 7,42 h
Playtesting 1,47 h 3,53 h 5 h
Research 2,66 h 1,58 h 4,24 h
Music 2,09 h 0,92 h 3,01 h
Art 1,1 h 1,81 h 2,91 h
Physics Editors 2,88 h 0 h 2,88 h
Breaks 1,61 h 1,17 h 2,78 h
Brainstorming 1,09 h 0,18 h 1,27 h
Sounds 0 h 0,61 h 0,61 h

Friday is not on that list because for me Ludum Dare started at Saturday 3am. For simplicity I didn’t list Monday either, instead I just broke the 48 hours down into Saturday and Sunday. ManicTime tracks automatically which application has focus and I later assigned one of the above categories to those applications. I may have miss assigned some, so those numbers probably aren’t 100% accurate but close enough.

How it went down

For me the jam started at 3:00 am and I woke up at 3:45am and started right away. I brainstormed ideas for an hour and played the winners from the “You are the villain” Ludum Dare for inspiration. I decided to go with a physics heavy  approach. At one point I was thinking about naming the game QWOPzilla, so you you can see what my inspiration was.

I’ve never worked with any box2d physics editors, but thought that it would save me some time. So I went searching but it seems there are no decent free programs that can handle joints. There is R.U.B.E but that is not free and there is  box2d-editor but that can’t handle joints. Since I was working with LibGdx I had the option of using Tiled Map Editor in combination with Box2DMapObjectParser. But that turned out to be to uncomfortable to work with. In the end I build everything in code so I wasted almost 3 hours on the editors (plus some odd hour programming some useless stuff in). My experience with box2d is very limited so that wasn’t very efficient either, I had to look things up constantly (research category in the table above).

At the end of the first day the game was barley playable and I had started drawing some art and composing some music. But none of it was in the game. I wasn’t really satisfied with how far I had come but I was tired so I went to bed around midnight.

The next morning I implemented the art and began building the level. I was rested and could use the stuff I had build the day before so I had a motivational high as there seemed to be a lot of  progress.

At that point my idea for the game was that you could decide which monster you want to play. Either the monster on the unicycle (pretty much what the finished game is like), or you could play the audience which is throwing tomatoes and booing at the monster. I had the tomato throwing in the game but those made the game crash sometimes and I wasn’t able to track that bug down, even though I spent quite some time on it. That feature would have given my game more depth and more points in theme and probably graphics but in the end I had to cut it.

The result is a finished game and I think out of my LD entries this is the most fun one. Before the compo my main goal was to improve in the fun and overall categories and personally I think I succeeded. Also I wanted to compose the music myself instead of relying on generated music. I reached that goal too, so I can’t really complaint. But given that I had envisioned something else, it leaves behind a sad afterthought.

Play it and tell me what you think. I can’t wait to see what the ratings look like.

Lessons learned

Finishing a game still isn’t easy for me so I came up with the following lessons for myself. Hopefully I will heed them and handle my time more wisely next Ludum Dare.

  • Avoid tools you are unfamiliar with.
  • Kill features that turn out to be time sinks early. Think of a simpler alternative instead. I’m sure the tomatoes would have made it into the game if I had taken an alternative route.
  • Do your homework. Decide beforehand what tools and libraries you want to use and familiarise yourself with them.
  • Don’t be afraid to fake it. For example instead of implementing proper collision detection I limited the jump with a simple timer. To my knowledge no one noticed. And having an imperfectly implemented feature is often better than not having the feature at all.

The Monster Way – Post Mortem

Posted by
Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 9:23 am

There is our Post Mortem for The Monster Way, careful spoilers inside !

The game is right here if you haven’t test it yet.


About a month ago Anna and I decided to do the next LDJam together with a textual adventure enhanced by Anna’s artworks and some musics. The fun part was that in between she is went back to India and I am living in France. So it will be a long-distance jam which in our mind felt pretty cool.

A week before the event I started to prepare tools so as to be ready to begin on saturday morning: a private channel on my Slack to talk and share the LDJam with Leo Marius (, technical researches about how to add images and sounds to a choicescript game (our awesome game engine! and tweak some visual parameters (colors, backgrounds… ).

We also knew that we would be in office on the monday, so the jam will be a barely 2 days and a half.

On the saturday morning I was up at 5.30am (french time) to the skype rendezvous, but Anna was about an hour an half late so I started reading and thinking about the theme and I came up with an idea not amazing or very innovative in my mind but simply “doable” and fun.

At last Anna arrived on skype and we started talking about the theme, I shared my idea with her and she surprisingly thought it was cool!

So we took about an half-hour to build the game’s ideas: you play the final boss of a dungeon, you have to kill heroes, and between fights you have take care of your lair and try to not get bored by the loneliness of your status. We run for 4 fights and 3 “break time”, and an ending with a mirror thingy and finally a portrait of your monster based on your choices. No sounds nor musics, because… I guess we both knew that we wouldn’t have time to properly do it.

Then we started to work.

It was simple and pretty vague but at the time it seems quite sufficient.


My main goal of the day was to make the storyline, build the choices and the situations to give Anna characters, objects and rooms that she would design. As I started the writing, Anna worked on a couple of rough concept art to visualise the art style of the game. She decided to go for a dark background, monochrome line art, to keep it simple given the number of illustrations to do.

On my previous LD game (Escape The Killer) I had built the game as I was writing it, when an idea came, I would instantly change everything previously written and build upon it it in the following stages of the game. So planning (the story, the choices), writing (describing situations and dialogues) and building (coding the game) were then completely entwined.

But this time, I started writing and planning, and when noon arrived I was barely writing the first break time and I couldn’t keep up with the Anna’s rhythm. So I pushed forward the planning and let entire sections empty to give Anna the elements of the story she would need. Sadly I think that the cohesion of the writing took a huge hit because of that. At the end of the day, I had 2 fights and a waiting time partially done.

Because of the time difference I finish the day alone (Anna is 3 hours and a half ahead of me) with a serious fear that I might not be able to finish the game. I came the sunday morning with two plans to finish the game:

First, make the 3 first fights and end up with a “To be continued” screen with a joke or something like “You are not the monster, we are. Because we haven’t finished the story. Sorry, better luck next time! Kiss kiss”.

Second option, cut a chapter (one fight and one break time) and go straight to writing of the final fight, which was a problem because I had then no idea of who will be the hero (who must be special) and how the “mirror thingy” will actually leads to the defeat of the monster. Also the beginning of the game was, at this point, not playable (lots of branches not connecting), most of the game mechanics and most images weren’t in place, and the painful main door feature was only half implemented (yes, the door can be closed, open, destroyed by you or by the heroes, rebuilt fully or partially… Basically, the door joke went too far for our own good).

In short I was really worried.


Anna and I chose the second option: go straight for the last fight and skip the third fight (too sad, she had already drawn the two alternative heroes of the 3rd fight!). That was the best choice, ending with a “To be continued” screen would have been to deceptive for everyone I guess.



Here is the third “hero” who should have attacked the lair of the monster.


I decided in the morning that Jenny Everywhere would be the best fit to beat our villain. Luckily Anna agreed to the idea to use her with the dream twist to conclude the game smoothly.

At noon I was beginning the writing of the last fight, it kept me busy until the evening running out of time, my girlfriend accepted to write two secondary story branches that were still unfinished, saving me two hours of work. Following her advice, I also decided to use a final easy story trick to close the game and save a bit of time.

Anna ended the last essential pictures we needed to complete the game and go back home. She was jamming at her office to use the internet connection which is way better than her home’s. She wished she had more time to draw the minions and more illustrations but at least the main stuff were done: 34 illustrations, plus the framed version for the achievements!

By the end of the day I had filled the voids of the choices and most of the game was in place. I was glad that most of the writing was done cause I was about to ran out of ideas to make new path and new items for the monster.


Because we were both working on monday, Anna devoted her free time to proofread the game and I mostly assembled the pieces together (add missing images and missing conditions), clear bugs (the main door took me a complete hour, to finally make things a bit simpler), make the ending screen and achievements.

An hour before submitting the game I began to write the ending little “poem”, who wasn’t supposed to be a poem at all, but a paragraph describing roughly attributes of the monster. I put it together quickly and submitted it.


Looking back, the planning phase was certainly too light, despite the simple story plot. I didn’t really manage to really have the story in mind and to keep it focused, so the game is a bit chaotic and overflowed by itself. Which is finally a fun and joyful part of it.

I realise that a lot of paths and a lot of characters kind of leads automatically to a lot of writing just to keep the story on tracks, but sometimes too superficially. Small jokes became completely time consuming (like that stupid door, that was introduced initially only because Anna drew an open door in the first concept art!). And I didn’t expect it to cause that much delays on the games mechanics and on the drawing.

Luckily Anna wasn’t bottlenecked on the illustrations even if it went close!


The very good part of this Ludum Dare was that we were on the same page all along and we were both very aware of the priorities of the development. And also we did finish a playable game in time so, hey! Kuddos to us!


It was a really fun experience, exhausting one but truly a new step. The distance was in my opinion playing for us because it somehow forced us to take some time to rest and relax.


Thanks for playing the game, and thanks to all participants of this LD33.

R-ADIUS AI: A Not-A-Post-Mortem Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @battlecoder)
Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 6:15 am

I want to start with a big thanks to every person who’ve played my entry so far. You are the best!

After each LD, I like to write about what went right and what went wrong (which is normally an extensive list of hilarious fails and the occasional random good decision), but this time I’m doing something a bit different. I’ll be focusing on something that a lot of people seem to be intrigued about: The AI for the enemy spaceship in my entry; R-ADIUS:

R-ADIUS AI: It can be a bit frustrating, I know.

R-ADIUS AI: It can be a bit frustrating, I know.

I didn’t think it was something worth writing about, but surprisingly a lot of people seem to think it is and have shown interest on a full write-up on how it works,  so I guess I’ll do exactly that, hoping that it would help someone out there… somehow…. I don’t know.

If you are one of those who wanted to know the magic behind the “clever” ship, you’ll be incredibly disappointed, though.


First Person Giant Monster Game Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @xanjos)
Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 8:12 pm

Just wrote a post-mortem for my LD33 game First Person Giant Monster Game which you can view on my blog.

Also, for those who haven’t played/rated it yet, click here to have a go. I’m also still looking for more games to play/rate so click here to submit your game and I’ll get round to playing/rating them as soon as possible.

Post-Jam: Added a fancy health-bar

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 12:34 pm
We didn't managed it to draw and code a fancy health-bar in time.
After some complaints about that, we decided to make one "Post-Mortem".
here you go:

screenshot new healthbar


If you haven't played our game yet, your can do it here.
We had a lot of fun this Ludum Dare and we hope you also have fun playing our little game.
Feel free to rate and comment, we appreciate your feedback.



Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @JangoBrick)
Monday, August 31st, 2015 4:37 pm

So Ludum Dare #33 lies behind us now, and I take the chance to write a quick follow-up of how this all turned out for me.

There is also a timelapse video of Virus‘ development:

The Preparation

I didn’t prepare much this time. No basic games to get back into the whole process, not many commits to my engine.
What was important though was that I made a list of ideas for the 20 final themes, which helped me a lot in getting creative and was quite a bit of fun, too.

The First Night

I forgot to commit final but crucial changes to my engine, which I consider would be cheating since then I would be the only one with access to that code. I noticed my mistake very late, and after documenting and committing everything there were only about two hours of sleep left.

When I woke up and started Eclipse as well as my timelapse software, I noticed the latter didn’t really work. Everything looked JPEG-ish, even though I had set it to PNG. I spent the last seven minutes before the theme announcement quickly building my own timelapse script, just to realize the original software did work correctly… Anyway.

I was not happy with “You Are The Monster”. Not at all. I mean, I knew that the chance for it was high, but still. I ended up making my biggest mistake, not sticking to the idea I had prepared beforehand. I wanted to do something atmospheric, something calm, like flying a bird. There was my idea – you play an eagle, which looks friendly at first glance, but for something like a mouse an eagle is quite the monster.

I built awesome flying mechanics (really, they deserve to be called “awesome”), made the textures, and put it all together into a lovely little eagle. It would even sit down when you flew it to the ground!
Unfortunately, after spending around six hours on that, I had no idea what to do with it.

My eagle

After sleeping a little, 14 hours in, I gave up. Back to my original idea: playing as a virus that infects all of humanity.

Starting Over

Progress came fast, since I had mostly the whole thing in mind from the start. In just a few hours, the basics were already done, although it was still far from a game.
In the evening that day, I took a break from coding and started with:

The Music

I am bad at making music, there’s no doubt about it. Partly because of my missing experience, I guess – this was the second time I ever made something for real.
It isn’t what you’d expect when you think of the word “music”, it’s rather some disturbed synthesizer sounds with a heavy focus on drums. Those are the only two things I am not that bad at. It turned out OK.

Want to listen to it? Play my game!

Making It A Game

After tuning the music to my satisfaction, I added the progress minimap, tweaked the gameplay and added the main opponent: vaccine production.

I also changed the background to a non-static one, with a pseudo perspective on the houses. Very proud of that!

Final look at Virus

Voice Acting

I appear to be surprisingly good at voice acting. It was my first time to ever narrate anything, and I only did one single recording, but it turned out very well!
One hour of effects work to make it sound like some highly-disturbed walkie-talkie transmission, and suddenly my game got a lot better.

Testing & Fine Tuning

Obviously, when you have played such a simple game for a few hours, you get really good at it. That is a problem, because as the developer, you have had to play it over and over again, which means you don’t know how hard or easy it is for someone starting from the beginning. That is where I got other people involved, basically just playing the game and reporting back how it worked for them.
Then followed lots of fine tuning, since the game turned out a lot harder than I had thought.

After one of them managed to win, I called it a success and submitted my game.

My Overall Experience

This Ludum Dare was absolutely great. I had a bad start, but after that, everything went very smoothly and I am happy with the outcome.

The way I did it this time appears to be how I should always handle game jams in the future. Giving everything you have drains a lot of energy, and you lose more than you gain. If you do this in a more relaxed way, you are not exhausted and get to do more.

  • If you haven’t yet, you can view my entry here: Virus
  • The development is available on YouTube, sped up to just over 5 minutes: Timelapse
  • And please vote :-)

Thanks for reading,

So who’s the Monster in The Mammoth anyway?

Posted by (twitter: @inbetweengames)
Monday, August 31st, 2015 7:04 am


David here from inbetweengames. After giving everybody a bit of time to may be check out our game ‘The Mammoth: A Cave Painting‘ and reading the awesome comments on the page, I wanted to talk with you guys a bit about the integration of the theme that we decided for. This is going to be somewhat of a spoilerfest so if you want to check out our game with fresh eyes best do it now before reading this. We’ll be waiting here.



Everybody good? Are you ready for a hippie, arty rant? Cool, let’s go. :)

At first glance it’s not very obvious who the monster really is in the game. There’s no clear Sesame Street or Horror like monster at all. The Mammoth itself seems like the first obvious answer but that.. well is that a monster really? Does the game fulfill the theme at all? We think it does, it’s just when we were brainstorming we took all of our obvious first ideas and threw them away. All of those were good ideas and there are a few games in the jam that went for them and executed them beautifully. We just decided for the oddest one that hopefully has more than one possible answer about who the monster is. So let’s look at some of the possible answers together.


A quick excursion into semantics about how we read the theme to begin with. In our minds the sentence ‘You are the Monster’ can mean a great many things.
It can be ‘you’ as the player. It can be ‘you’ as someone else in the world that you’re saying this to – aloud or in your mind.
It can be ‘you’ as the collective you. Everybody. A group of people. etc. So which one did we go with? Basically all of them. Let’s check them out.


The obvious choice for the answer of who the monster is. You’re the mammoth – so you’re the monster. Kind of an odd choice for a monster though isn’t it? But we thought the way Mammoths (and most animals actually) are displayed in cave paintings like the famous Chauvet Cave gives them monster like qualities. The animals are drawn immensely large in comparison to humans in the pictures in a way that goes beyond a realistic depiction of scale and probably has much more to do with the perception of meaning and power. So scale here is based more on emotional and magical evaluations rather than the ones our modern minds would focus on.
On the other hand when we looked up the term Monster on Wikipedia (of course we did) we found this little perl of a quote:

The word “monster” derives from Latin monstrum, an aberrant occurrence, usually biological, that was taken as a sign that something was wrong within the natural order.‘  Wikipedia

The Mammoth in the game is also meant as a totem like representation of all mammoths, THE Mammoth as a whole, as an idea, a shadow on a cave wall – you might have heard that parable before.
So the story of The Mammoth in the game is not really the story of a single mammoth. It’s a legend on a cave wall telling of The Mammoth as a symbol, meaning all mammoths really and how they went away which obviously is what’s wrong with the natural order. The story is told by the hunters whose many hands also mark the borders of the level. In this case you as a player are telling the story by playing in a theatre like performance. Which leads us to..


Very cathartic to smash up the hunters’ village at the end…though I lost my last baby mammoth in the process. Point made, I suppose?Ryusui

Now since this is a game you as the player are the one driving most actions in the game. So when we heard that the theme was ‘You are the Monster’ we kind of went ‘Oh well we have done this before, let’s just do it again.’ Which was based both on the fact that we did a game called Spec Ops: The Line before in our day jobs at YAGER but also had never done a game jam before. So it seemed like a safe option.
So within the game our goal was to turn you as the player into the monster. We give you something that you care about hopefully and then we construct circumstances that in all likelyhood will take it away from you with a clear culprit to project your negative feelings upon. You will either care and seek revenge, in which case you’re a monster, or you won’t care at all, in which case.. well you get where I’m going with this.


I’m truly upset that the horrible hunters did what they did :(TailyILoveYou

The only problem is that I (as the mammoth) am not a monster… the monsters are the bad humans who killed my kids!Galvesmash

Now that we have the more obvious answers out of the way it gets a little more interesting. The Hunters in the game are really the ones killing all the Mammoths right?
So they’re kind of the monsters. Which is a comforting thought because we get to shove the blame on these external evil beings that we have no connection to – if it would’nt be for the fact that..


We are the hunters. We as humans have eradicated more species than anything that came before us including whatever killed the motherflipping Dinosaurs.
It’s quiet possible that we will add ourselves to this list eventually. We are the monsters.


Really loved the sad story for this although I don’t see how the mammoth was a monster in this case.RougeRogue

Now this can mean that we either missed the theme completely or something a bit more meaningful.
For that second option I’ll just leave this one to some of the commenters on our page who laid it down perfectly in my opinion:

Hard to say if you’re the monster or the hunters. I guess, in the end no-one really is, they’re all just trying to survivedickpoelen

Oh my god that was so depressing! I don’t think I was the monster here though, I only cared for my progeny. But weren’t the Hunters protecting their children too when they were hunting instead of watching their beloved die from hunger?

Is there really anyone to blame, is there any monster or is the world itself the merciless beast? The story of the Mammoth and the Hunters repeated several times in the past and will happen again, perpetuating the neverending suffering… but I can’t help to wonder, and I cling to that though as it is my last glitter of hope, is there a way to spare one mammoth child and make the herd anew?Hvedrung

Thanks for reading this wall of text and please let us know what YOU think by commenting here or on the game page!
We’ll write a more traditional post-mortem sometime soon but this just kind of started to write itself after thinking about your comments. :)


Sly Slime – Revenge On All Players

Posted by
Saturday, August 29th, 2015 11:00 pm


The slime is the most common monster in JRPG. Millions of them were killed by players during the whole video game history. So it’s the time for REVENGE!!

After 72 hours of hard work, we made this game – Sly Slime. It’s visually beautiful, fine-tuned, also brutally hard and unforgiven. You are weak just like your kins, so try your best to survive this bullet hell, sneak and send these players to hell! Give them everything you got!

Please visit our game page here, and don’t hesitate to rate and comment!

Good Game, Good Luck, Have Fun!

Monster of the Matrix: post jam progress

Posted by (twitter: @@jespertingvall)
Saturday, August 29th, 2015 5:13 pm

Still having a cold decided to continued working a bit on my Ludum Dare 33 game Monster of the Matrix. In the game you play as a skeleton trapped inside a dungeon crawler. But something is wrong… You realize that you are trapped inside a world that is shutting down. You must escape…! And something is hunting you….!

New version

  • The original Ludum Dare game had one random generated level of fixed size, with one exit. After the jam I split it up into 7 different sized, still randomly generated, levels. It also added a new gameplay element, doors. They made the game much scarier since they limited your sight. And behind every door an agent could lurk…
  • A stamina mechanic was added. You need to rest and can not run the entire time. The agents more a little bit faster than you, so you can not loose them unless you are running from them.
  • More and scarier sounds where added, among them footsteps to the other skeletons and really spooky music from Connor O.R.T. Linning.
  • I also integrated Gamejolts API into the game, giving the player achievements.

Old version of game



Hello Ludum-Darees!

This is my first post-mortem butchery and I am very excited to share my experience doing the music and sound design for our entry:



Given the fact that we started slightly off schedule and that we changed the mechanic and aim of the game in the course of only 2 days we were

slightly limited regarding fine tuning the game but we made due with the resources we had…

For this game we (tried) implementing Fmod into making the audio behave a lot more dynamically and react to inputs rather than just looping seamlessly from beginning to end.



This is only the 2nd time I have used Fmod inside a Unity game and I was relatively happy with what we achieved but I there are several hurdles that I would like to get over for future jams:



-Making instruments come in after each other

-Changing the snare-sound when switching between left arrow key and right arrow key

-Creating a “muffled” effect when entering the giant peaches

-Transitioning from the main beat to the transition and into the new section

Making things sound cool and glued together

-Switching between sound effect stings


Fmod for an audio person is fairly simple to use as it acts just like any other “DAW” (Digital Audio Workstation ie. Ableton/Fruity Loops/Pro Tools/Reason)

Its main purpose is to make the programmers life a bit easier by creating parameters that the programmer can tie to an event/instance in the gameplay, hopefully making

the programmers life a lot easier (in theory at least  :D)

It also serves to create a bit more interesting audio flow which is really essential because hearing a loop over and over is annoying.


The music track is ssplit into 7 separate audio layers:

Layer 1: Basic Groove with Snare 1

Layer 2: Basic Groove with Snare 2

Layer 3: Synth Pad

Layer 4: Rhythmic Synth 2

Layer 5: Melodic Synth 1

Layer 6: Melodic Synth 2

Layer 7: Drop


These layers are “Events” in fmod and I have several parameters that affect these layers on the fly:

Parameter 1: Switch between Layer 1 + Layer 2

I wanted to have a different snare sound for when you go left with the catapillah then when you go right. This feature was purely experimental and maybe a bit unecessary but definitely added to the dynamic of the audio.

When you change the parameter, the audio layers should crossfade “smoothly” from one into the other.


Parameter 2: Bring in layer 3-6

The different synths that you hear when you fly through the golden pips (located on the inside of the fruit) were initially meant to be 3D objects that you have to find but we ran into time constraints and just made them add to the track.


Parameter 3: Trigger “Drop sound”

Because the game was centered a lot around the music everything had to be synchronised to the tempo of the track; the transition time from the basic groove to the drop layer and back could be set in musical increments which was just what we needed. I set it to be 1 bar, which might be a bit too long but was the most musically pleasing variant.


What I learned :

-Transitioning between layers/events and having the transition happen rhythmically while maintaining a fairly immediate response is a very delicate task

-Too many dynamic changes in the audio can be positively tributing to the gameplay but shouldn’t be overused. Repetition is very important too.

-Learn your programs beforehand; knowing the ropes of Fmod/Wwise or even just Unity’s native audio mixer can help save time when you are crunching to get general gameplay polished before the deadline.


We had a lot of fun making “Cataphilla” and there are so many more opportunities on the audio side that I would like to explore – maybe a post-jam version is soon to follow :)

If you are interested what I’m talking about check it out:


Thanks for reading/scanning through!

-Mexicanopiumdog, Pomb, Brendon

Wild Flirting: the post mortem

Posted by (twitter: @calendulagame)
Saturday, August 29th, 2015 12:35 pm

Hi all!

Blooming Buds here with the post mortem of our first Ludum Dare entry as a team. Some things went right while others went wrong, but in the end we came up with a quite positive balance.

The game

In Wild Flirting you take the role of a monster trying to find love using a dating app. The problem is that you have the social skills of… well, a monster. You’ll have to check user profiles and learn about their personalities while you chat, so you are not uncovered and banned from the app.



The process

We have to admit that we had a hard time finding the game idea. We started with a point and click game about being a disguised alien in a spaceship. You had to eat people without getting exposed. We had some more mechanics and contents planned, but we decided to go to sleep and keep thinking before committing to that idea.

The next morning we were not fully convinced with the idea, so we started from scratch! We discussed the idea for like three hours, and then the “Dating app simulator” thing crossed our minds. We switched to the new idea pretty fast, since it was more affordable and heavily focused on design, which is the part we enjoy the most!

We splitted the work into four groups: design, code, art and music.

The design focused on building a huge dialogue database. We had to create a narrative big enough for 10 different characters, each one with its own personality and its own set of questions and answers. We ended up with about 12 pages of script. At first we thought that it was going to be easy, but then we realized that coming up with this amount of meaningful content was really hard and time consuming.

Before the magic


After the magic

On the programming side, we started from scratch. First, we coded a parser to store and link every conversation with each character. After that, we implemented a simple conversation scheme (question-answer-question-reply), trying to mimic the flow and aesthetics of apps like Whatsapp or Tinder.

With the aforementioned coding finished, it looked like we were close to be done. But nothing further from reality. The main scene transitions (between character selection screen and conversation screen), the intro screen, the art positioning in a pretty and usable way… All these “details” took about 60%-70% percent of the development time.


Let me see your guts, Unity

The art team had to build a good environment for the game (the monster’s chamber) with a few animated details. Besides from that, any dating app would need profile pictures, so we had to draw a portrait according to every character designed, which somehow represented its personality.

For the music we had the chance to use a Farfisa Professional 88 organ of a friend of us. That brought exactly the kind of sound that we were looking for. A perfect mix of the 60’s seductive songs and dark humor.

The real MONSTER

What went wrong

  • Distance: lesson learned. The problems in the development of a game are directly proportional to the sum of the distances between all the members of the team, or something like that. We made the whole game separated.
  • Not very modular: our game basically occurs in a single scene, which usually means problems when dealing with Unity + Git.
  • Testing (minimal): we had no testing. Ah no, wait… two people.
  • Last hour bugs: The two testers found some bugs just before the deadline. So we were in a hurry!

What went right

  • Scope!: we are proud to say that it was, surprisingly, highly accurate. If we had decided to put some other mechanics or content we probably wouldn’t have finished on time.
  • Organization was key: knowing what each of us had to do at every moment kept us busy and focused.
  • Team work: we had constant communication, allowing us to help each other and providing feedback when needed.

What we used

  • Code: Unity, C#
  • Art: Photoshop, Illustrator
  • Music: Farfisa Professional 88, Cubase, Audacity
  • Collaboration tools: Google drive, Gtalk and bitBucket

Thanks for reading and feel free to try Wild Flirting!

Try it out:


Path of a Psychopath – A Post-Mortem

Posted by
Saturday, August 29th, 2015 9:12 am

I am incredibly happy with this summer’s Ludum Dare results. Not only feedback has been overwhelmingly positive in areas we only started experimenting in, the game managed to get 3.11 on kongregate which is huge new record for us and motivation to keep ever going.

Now, what is this game, you may ask?
It’s an interactive story with a somewhat uncommon interpretation of the theme: instead of straight up Godzilla-style destruction we went for the more subtle dictatorship-building kind.

What went well:

  • We kept it simple. This may sound silly but it feels like the hardest part of every LD is planning small, then cutting most of it off to fit in time. We focused a lot on doing the MVP (Minimal Viable Product). We made just enough conversations and cutscenes for the story to have a beginning, an arc, an ending. We could have added so many more, had the ideas for them all. But rather than shipping a game with 8 incomplete and ugly and inconsistent levels, we decided to have the 4 we had and polish them.
    We added effects, refined the texts, had playtesters fish out the bugs and try to break the game by clicking everywhere they shouldn’t be clicking. This all ended in a much better experience all-together. Keep in mind, a longer game is not necessarily better.
  • We dared to go for minimalism.
    This saved us both time, effort and probably made the game better all around.
    Instead of full figures and faces, we used silhoutettes. Easier to draw (art is a weaker side of our team compared to the visual wonders some others make here :) ) and it allows the player to place the characters of their own imaginings into their place. We had a very clear idea of how our monster would look but others from all around the world would probably have different ideas so we settled for an evil-looking hat.
    The other artistic decision was making the game full grayscale. It ties in well to the old-timey atmosphere and generally dark storyline and also saves us the color-picking effort.
  • Teamwork. This is the 6th Ludum Dare the full team takes part in and by this point, we work together really well. There is a general sense of who is a master of what and how much progress we should be making by the nth day and the need to ask each other what we should be doing once we finished X task is smaller every time.
    Despite our scheludes being all over the place, we managed to make our best game yet.
  • Shine, polish and juice. We added a bunch of effects that really help the atmosphere appear. See one below for example.

What went wrong:

  • The aforementioned scheludes. We didn’t plan ahead enough for the LD and families and stuff so I believe if we had more working time we could have done some more features and scenes.
  • Spaghetti code. We did not have a conversation-framework so we made one on the fly – making the final debate that has a large conversation tree instead of the randomly rolled standard kind of the first 3 was a lot of pain and copy-pasting. Seriously. For lack of better ideas to name them, I made 40 functions with the names one, two, three… forty.
  • Recording device. Our music is praised a lot in comments but it was recorded with a camera that was lying around the house. It would probably be even more gorgeous with an actual microphone.
Very sinister!

Very sinister!




Play the game by clicking here!

Hell Court – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @9chuckeles9)
Friday, August 28th, 2015 3:10 pm

This is a long post about my experience making Hell Court. Reading time: 7-10 minutes.



About the game

Hell court is a platformer, where you are a master of a dungeon in hell. Humans that have sins come down here to be judged. You first listen to all the sins they have made. You then deal physical and mental pain to them, based on the sins they have committed.

Here’s how I made it.

Before the Ludum Dare

Two days before the start I was kind of bored and visited There I noticed that Ludum Dare is starting soon. I immediately started voting and let my family know that I will be coding a lot in the following days. This would be my second game jam and I was curious what I’ll come up with.

To maximize productivity, I told everyone not to distract me during the jam. I also installed Cold Turkey to block distracting sites. I paused every aspect of my life not related to making games, such as reading books.

I was ready.

The start

The Ludum Dare started at 3 am. I could not sleep well, so I got up at 5. I read the theme and started coming up with ideas. Soon enough I came up with the idea of my game. You will punish humans for their sins in your hell dungeon of some sort.

So I took two sheets of paper and started drawing. Images, mechanics, anything.


Then I drew a rough plan of a level from the game and made a todo list.


After all that, I was ready for the computer. So I created a Github repository and Unity project inside it.

First day

I decided that I will create the platformer part of the game first. This had to be good enough, so it would not stand in the player’s way. I created sprites for the devil and some blocks in Aseprite. Then I moved to Unity.

I should now mention that my artistic skills are horrible. I knew that, but I also needed to create graphics for the game. My previous game looked bad. I knew it was because I’ve been using random colors (and lack of drawing skills of course :P). So this time, I wanted a simple color palette with few colors I wouldn’t have problem using. I used ColorBlender and Coolors to create a simple color palette. I also restricted myself to 16×16 pixel images to keep things simple. In the end, I think it all paid off.

So back to Unity. After a while, I had the movement done. I then added stairs into the game.

Next, I started working on the sins system. I wanted every human to choose random sins from the sin database I would create. The exact number would be defined by level settings. Every sin would have associated mental and physical pain.

Done. Now humans. For movement, they shared some of the components of the player. I also added random movement so they don’t just stand still.

Now I needed a way to deal the pain. I added a pot and a skeleton. Then UI and dialog system. Then I made humans and skeletons say random stuff.

I wasn’t worrying about the quality of the code at all. It ended up being a mess, but I was astonished about speed at which I kept adding things. Lesson learned.

Anyway, first day was ending and I was happy with the progress.

2 3

Second day

I started by taking a paper again and drawing mechanics I wanted in the game. I also drew objects and the sequence of the listening table. Finally, I made a new todo list.

IMG_20150828_215313.601 IMG_20150828_215335.891

That day I wanted to add animations and sound. So I started drawing idle, walking and carrying animations. Then I moved them into the Unity. Making animation states in Unity is super easy, so I had all animations in within an hour or two. Next, sound. I downloaded Bosca Ceoil for the music before ahead of the start. I decided not to create any music, though, because I had no idea how.

For the sounds I used sfxr. I added them in, putting code to play sounds all over the codebase (and adding comments like “shouldn’t be here, but it’s LD so whatever”). I couldn’t get 3D sound in Unity working for my 2D game. So I wrote custom system to handle volume and panning (and random pitch) of the played sounds.

With animations and sounds the game felt great to play. It made me proud. The best sound system in the game is that for the dialogues.

More levels, menu, highscore system, random objects to fill the levels with… I made good progress. I went to sleep happy.


Third day

I decided to add statistics tracking to the game, just for fun. I used Mixpanel and Mixpanel-Unity-CSharp I found on Github. It working great. I tracked useful statistics, but also some funny ones. Like the number of times a human has been picked.

I needed more ways to deal pain. So I added flying ghosts, reusing logic from skeletons. Then lava. I also added a healing table.

After that, I spent a lot of time creating levels. I found out that Unity is not that great for building 2D levels, especially tiles ones.

After all that, I added flamer.

The game was done.

It was about six hours before the jam ending, so I began the preparations for a release. First time I was releasing a game in Unity.

At first, I created and entry just with a Windows build, but I also wanted a web build. After a few tries, I wasn’t satisfied with the WebGL build, so I made a Web one. I put the game on, wrote a post and a tweet. Later I also added Mac and Linux builds. I couldn’t test them, but Unity makes it so easy, so why not.

What went well

  • No distractions. I blocked them all, on the internet as well in the reality.
  • Graphics. By using a constrained color palette and image size, even I was able to put out decent graphics.
  • Code. I didn’t worry about the code. I didn’t refactor much. I didn’t create complex systems. That allowed me to advanced faster. The code is a mess, though.
  • Planning. I drew a few things, made a simple todo list and that was it. Then straight to computer. No long descriptions or anything.

What to do better next time

  • Some basement for code. This I will accumulate over time, just right now I started from scratch. I would certainly need a code for game object pool, for example.
  • Recording development. Right now I only my memory to recall what was roughly happening. Next time, I will probably record a timelapse and write notes.
  • Keep the game short. According to my statistics, nobody made it past the fourth level yet! That means that nobody even tried a flamer yet. Next time, present features faster.


The future

I will work on the game. Some aspects need to be tweaked or removed, like the platformer side of the game. I also need to rewrite most code.

Also, I’ve never sold a game before. I will try it with this one. The full reworked version will hopefully be my first paid game. I will create a blog and post updates there. I’m thinking I’ll use Tumblr for that.


Thanks for reading this long post! If you haven’t played Hell Court yet, check out my entry here.

What do you think about the game? Should I continue working on it? Please leave a comment here or at the entry page. Have a nice day!

This post has been checked by the wonderful HemingwayApp.


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