Okay! Time for a debriefing. This was my first Ludum Dare and it was great! I coded. I pixeled. I spilled food on stuff. I drank a LOT of faygo Rock n Rye. Good experience all around. Here’s my 48 hour compo submission~
(Click that for the entry page)
Divernaut is about exploring, and underwater caves, and dangerous sea creatures, and seaweed, and air bubbles, and explosions! Also spaceships. Don’t worry. It’ll all make sense soon.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
I was a little drunk at the beginning of the event. This turned out to be a good thing, because when the theme was announced, it made it way easier to grab a notebook and just puke out like 10 pages nonsense inspired by “Beneath the Surface”. I while later, I went back and read it all, then picked out all the not stupid parts and formed my concept from them. I also had a production schedule that I put together based on reading past LD post-mortems. That production schedule is likely the main reason I actually finished anything. Having deadlines within a deadline is a very effect time management trick for goal oriented people such as myself. “Yes I have 48 hours to finish this, but I only have ONE HOUR LEFT TO FINISH MY TEMP GRAPHICS D: *panic panic panic*”
WHAT WENT WRONG
Friday afternoon, I was getting ready for the event when SURPRISE! Apparently there was going to be a party at my house that night. There ended up being a two or three hour overlap with the party and Ludum Dare, which was fairly distracting. Lesson Learned: Don’t just plan for the event. Plan for your life around the event as well. The bright side was that this party resulted in the “a little drunk” detail mentioned in the previous section. My other big woulda-coulda-shoulda involves that production schedule I had. I did not follow it as strictly as I should have. Once I reached the mapping/level planning phase, I started finding bugs. This is normal. Unfortunately, with most of the bugs I’d think “Oh this is tiny, I’ll just fix it right now and then get back to mapping.”. That was a bad idea and it ended up costing me my game’s music, and some graphical polish (it’s easy to mistake the green fish for missiles). None of the things were game breaking bugs, so I should have just noted them, and taken care of as many as possible during my debug phase. This would have let me stay on schedule and give the game a soundtrack.
ADVICE FOR NEXT TIME (for myself, and newcomers)
Have a plan. If you’re like me and already had a plan, have a better plan. If I hadn’t stuck to my production schedule, I probably wouldn’t have even finished at all. I got side-tracked just a little bit, and paid for it with a soundtrack. Don’t make my same mistake.
This was my first Ludum Dare, and it was a fantastic experience. I like making games, and this even was incredibly revitalizing to my creative drive. I’ll be doing my best to join every future Ludum Dare.
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Did you like Divernaut? Are you interested in more games by Dustout? Check out the
Dustout Games website.