I also finished my first Ludum Dare last night and I am very happy, that the most of the other gameinventors who played my game enjoyed it, like I did when creating the game ( I also enjoy it playing/testing 😉 ). The Only thing I have to say: time was very short. So much to do: Programming, making graphics, thinking, animating… and there are still other things to manage: eating food, drinking enough water to concentrate, going to toilet. Sleeping – of course. Even if it was a little bit hard to sleep with this much pressure in the subconscious. And at the end there has to be a fully playable game.
My first thoughts were like: “Oh – my god!”
How am I going to manage the time? What should I use my time for? Graphics, just programming (little graphics), planning, ideas, music? I also had no idea what to do in the first place. Maybe some people who watched my stream on twitch saw ( not heard) me talking on skype and teamspeak, getting over and over new ideas and discussing what to do. But as I started to do the first graphics I got the flow and could bring up all my energy to finish this more or less raw, but still playable and enjoyable game!
What I did right or wrong
The right decision was to chose the libgdx for my game!
First I focused on graphics (maybe a failure, because in the end I nearly ran out of time! :/ ). I submitted the game ONE minute or maybe less before the submission was over! And it was really, really exciting and close. After I found the style, how the game should look, I started to rig and animate the character. Then I created the skin for the enemies. By the way: Thanks to the creator(s) of Spine who made this great and simple animation tool for rigging and animating characters and menus! It made it very easy for me to make thos smooth animations.
Unfortunately I got stock by loading them and bringing the characters to life… for about 1 hour. There went the first part of the time I was missing in the end.
After I got them finally to work ( maybe my own way of doing it… let’s say by work around the actual problem of it) I started to implement the first raw test-map for the game and the mechanics for the jump’n’run… and I got stuck again! Unbelievable!
I tried to deflect me from the problem with glitching collisions or sometimes no collisions by eating, playing the piano, eating, going to toilet (where some good ideas came from :D) and lost this way much time again. But finally made the collision ( also with a workaround which is even quite nice!). But I still had so many things in my mind, which were to do during the next 12 hours: the exit of the map, different screens (levelstart, levelend, decisionscreen), variable attributes for upgrades, random map generator. 12 hours: such stress! Ultra.
The less time I had, the more rougher the code was going. In the beginning everything was fine. Nice OOP. In the end some bugs appeared and every snippet of code was just like it came out of my hands and not my brain.
The Core of the game: The decisions. They were actually the last thing I implemented. I think this was a huge mistake! There was not much time and not much concentration left (2:30 | GMT+1) and they should definitly make sense! You only get one of the displayed upgrades after getting through each random generated level:
You jump 2 times higher than before BUT You jump 3 times lower than before.
Doesn’t make any sense, heh? Well…. I had to get through this last thingy, but I finally made it…. somehow….
Thanks to all people who supported me while programming: Thanks to my girlfriend Julia, who supported me whereever she could and delivered some food :3 Thanks to the guys of the endless-aerospace teamspeak who always had some nice ideas! Thanks to my coworkers who skyped with me and motivated me to finish it!
I hope I may be proud as everybody else who made it this far during the compo!
I enjoyed programming/designing / animating, did you too?
Everybody who’s interested in what I am creating usually or who wants to see what will happen to the project after ludum dare can follow me on twitter: WhiteLlama