Just submitted my entry for MiniLD 58 (Intergalactic Pong) last night.
Same rules as regular pong except everything is now set in space and the ball is now an asteroid and there are planets that can pull the ball in and also the ball can wrap around the screen because space.
So after rating 100 games for Ludum Dare, I thought I’d talk a bit about a few of my favourites from the compo/jam. They may not be the best out of the competition, but these were the ones that I find have an aspect of good entries that each of these succeed at.
This is the entry done by brilliant flash game developer Jussi Simpanen, aka AdventureIslands. He always does games for jams big and small and his entries usually bring a quirky design and incredible polish to them, and this one is no exception. In Tightrope Theatre you must travel from A to B, all while riding a unicycle avoiding fire, spikes and the ground below. The entire game is 24 levels long, and feels very complete for a game done in two days, although you kind of wish there was more. Knowing that Jussi tends to add new stuff to his entries every now and then, maybe there will be more to this entry.
This is an example of how you should achieve a innovative gameplay in 48 hours, you use one mechanic with a unique spin and give it as much potential as you can. In this case, the mechanic of the game is jumping, and the unique spin is that your jumps are limited, but will increase depending on how you play. Eduardo uses the mechanic in a room where you have to jump to survive and you get this gem.
Most game jams have a theme, and as a developer you are free to interpret that theme to whatever for your game: you can use a literal route (in LD31, that would mean literally running the entire game on one screen), the metaphorical route or the technical route. With Screen Mover, Sh1rogane decided to go beyond literal and technical with the theme to produce something that may look like a simple platform prototype, until you quickly realise you have to move the game window to progress. The only issue with this idea is that keyboard input it locked while the window moves, but the post jam version does fix this.
Sometimes you don’t have to make a game that’s fun to make it a good entry, you can tell a story, show off some great music or in this case, make some really beautiful graphics. The puzzle game elements are clever, but this game is really good at showing off bloom and neon. It just makes it look wonderful, and the music is really soothing as well. As you may tell from my entry, I love neon glow, and this game does a great job at showing it off.
If all else fails, just make a game that is fun to play, and make it addictive for an added bonus. This game’s style reminds me a lot of Terry Cavanagh’s Super Hexagon, and since the developer is planning an Android/iOS release, I recommend him get Chipzel to do music for the game.
Don’t forget to play my entry Glow Drop if you haven’t already.
This is my third or fourth Ludum Dare I’m in. For this jam I decided to test my idea of terrain destruction to be done in Unity because I wanted to use it to port my old game I’ve been making with other guys for Global Game Jam 2012. It was the first time when I heard of game Liero and we used similar targeting and ninja rope from it. I never quite got time to port the game (we wanted to publish it on mobiles) so my idea to create destructible terrain was quietly developing in my brain :).
For this Ludum Dare I decided to make 2-4 player deathmatch game on single screen inspired by Super Mario Smash Bros I played recently, use destructible terrain with a lot of shooting because everyone loves shooting action, right? :). Also I thought that this shouldn’t be rocket science to do because I didn’t have whole 48 hours to spare (I got comics workshop in that time, trainings etc. etc.)
What went right
Terrain generation, destruction and reconstruction! For my idea I used Unity built in 3D Terrains but viewed them top down with a crossed plane in the middle:
Terrain was generated with Perlin Noise function also available in Unity and collision detection with terrain was already there too. For terrain destruction I wrote my function to update terrain heights so that destroyed terrain would lower itself below plane in the middle. It was tricky to do it because I imagined the game screen and terrain should be looped so It wasn’t very optimized in Compo version. Result of terrain destruction and deconstruction from falling debris:
I wanted also to include ninja rope to climb but I ended with simple jetpack because it was easier to implement and because jumping wasn’t working so good (Physics for platforming doesn’t always work very well), jetpack replaced need for jumping :).
Finally I’ve added shooting with bazooka and machine gun and second player which resulted in compo version.
What went bad
I haven’t got enough time to make proper player avatars so there were only spheres in compo version. I haven’t got time to implement all sounds I wanted and add more weapons, weapons switching etc.
Compo version is not very optimized because terrain destruction modifies whole terrain. Collisions are not very good so when player avatars are close to each other they don’t hit themselves.
And most important thing – I haven’t got time to make any title screen :).
I liked the idea of terrain destruction and oldschool hot seat fun multiplayer shooting so much I decided to make more proper post-compo version.
First thing I started with was creating avatar for players. Again I got crazy idea that I wanted to realize, use plasticine to make model in T-pose, scan it to computer and then animate it! My girlfriend Paulina made fun plasticine model of a soldier with jetpack, then I used Android mobile app Autodesk 1-2-3DCatch to make series of photos of this model, this was sent to the cloud by app and in a couple of minutes I got nearly complete 3D model. You can see some photos and model on Autodesk page here: click click
I downloaded .obj files with textures and using Blender I removed all background stuff, stitched all gaps, made some other errors (never use “Remove doubles” on model with defined texture UVs! – use Decimate modifier!), fixed T-pose, rigged model and started to make walking animation.
After that Paulina made plasticine models for weapons, they were tiny so I modeled them myself in Blender. Only used photo as reference:
Next I made model animations with character moving hands+head up and down and simultaneously weapon rotation animations so they could be blended with character walking animation. At first it didn’t work because animations were on a single action timeline and Unity wasn’t blending them. I needed to separate them to different action and then put them again on a single NLA Strip o_O. After that and some coding for animation blending it started to work:
Then I fixed bullets origin on the end of weapon, added extra weapons to already implemented uzi and bazooka: shotgun, pistol and grenade launcher. Next I added blood particles:
I played a little bit with Unity ragdolls to test if they would work with my model and … it worked great as you can see from this test:
Paulina made me really great logo for game’s title screen and finally I got permission to use two music tracks for title and in-game from DADi ( soundcloud , Facebook page ) – once again BIG thanks! They fit nicely to the game I think.
You can watch results here:
Post compo version is available for all of you to play and have fun with it. If there will be interest I will be more than happy to develop it further. Among many things game needs some more optimizations, computer opponents and maybe online modes.
So I was late to the party and only decided to start on my Ludum Dare game on Sunday evening, I had been busy all weekend. I knew I didn’t have much time so I went for the Jam even though I was by myself and would’ve qualified for the Compo. Because of the time constraints my game has loads of bugs and aspects which I have clearly cut corners. But despite this I am happy with the outcome. I have managed to get a small buggy game working.
I chose to make a 2D shooter because I have done it before and it would save time. Christmas is just around the corner so it was a favourite in terms of game ideas, and who doesn’t love a violent santa?
The game itself has got pretty good overall reviews and considering the time put in to it I am very happy with the result. The game functions which is a miracle in itself. On top of that with (good) music, (good) art it really looks like a game.
I am quite proud of it and to answer the question, yes it is possible to make a game in 8 hours. Whether or not it is good, thats for you to decide.
A little bit more information about our game – multiple detective story ‘One Killer – One Window’.
In general terms we agreed with many of the complaints about non-great english you list. Sorry for our bad english, we promise to improve next time by making next game with great narrative story. Especially we like games with deep narrative.
If somebody wants examine complexity of the project and its storyline you can take a look to our matrix of positive/negative dialogues, monologues and whole table of persons here. Of course we would prefer that you find out this story by playing the game. How you can see at first it was written in russian, then translated in english.
Shortly about game.
You play as a detective who broke his leg on a mission, so now he’s forced to spend time at home. At the beginning of the game you receive the anonymous letter with brief information about the killer in the house across the street. There are only two facts, using them we can analyze his/her relationships with house inhabitants.
Neighbours visit each other or spend their time alone. Once in an hour you can look at any window to listen the conversation behind it or to find what person is doing now.
Your goal is to find out who the murderer is before he finds you.
There are 10 characters in the game, each of them has its own reason to become murderer.
Please post comments about what your liked or disliked about our game!
Hey everyone! We enjoyed developing Disco Kitty Nightmare so much over the past few days during the comp that we want to further expand on the game. Fix everything that was wrong with it that we didn’t have time to fix and continue learning from our mistakes. If anyone is kind enough, try out our game and leave feedback, positive or negative! I don’t care, I just want to know everything that you guys hate/love about the game or if you just want to listen to some groovy music. Check us out at
Going into the compo I had a general idea of what I wanted to accomplish in my first ludum dare. My goals were simple:
Keep the scope of the project relatively small.
Make a complete game. (i.e. have an ending, sound effects, music, etc…)
Make the core game play function very well.
I really struggled to come up with a decent idea for this theme. Plus this being my first ludum dare, I didn’t want to attempt anything really crazy. I wanted to make something complete and functional.
Ultimately I went with an idea I had been wanting to implement for awhile, a top-down 2D platformer, and somewhat disregarded the theme. I wanted to see how this idea would pan out and if I could do it in 48 hours.
Engine – Unity
Language – C#
Graphics – PyxelEdit
Sound effects – Bfxr & microphone
Music – LMMS
What went right:
The core mechanics of the game function well. (i.e. movement, jumping, and sliding on ice is fluid and accurate)
Once I built all the elements of the game. I was able to produce a decent amount of content, due to the reuse of elements to create different challenges.
I kept the scope small and the input minimal. (i.e. you can move with left click and jump with right click)
The game is complete!
What went wrong:
I am not an artist. The game art is functional but nothing more than that.
Time management. At a few points I got stuck on game play issues. Due to being slightly OCD, I couldn’t move on without fixing them to “perfection”. This may not be entirely a bad thing, but when you have a deadline to consider I could have managed my time better.
Didn’t attempt to really use the theme.
I am happy with my game. It is challenging and offered more depth than I initially thought with such a simple movement/jumping scheme. My motivation behind entering the compo was more to develop my game development skills and see what aspects of a game I need to focus on. I learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses. Next ludum dare I will try and really engage with the theme.
This was my third Ludum Dare, and I think it went the best so far. It was my first time ever trying to work with Unity’s 2D tools, but they work pretty much the same as the 3D so it was much easier than I had expected to learn. It was also my first time building a game from the ground up to run in a browser, which if anything removes a task, since I can control what sizes the game is played at.
If you’re interesting in checking out Rubble, it’s here
What went well
Idea – I chose a simple idea, and because of that I was able to have the core mechanics and a few levels implemented before the end of the first day. Simple platforming mechanics are relatively easy to implement using Unity
Time Management – I did a pretty good job of making myself stick to a schedule. I told myself that the first day would be all code, with maybe some art, and the second all level design. I stuck to this pretty well, but of course I had a few more ideas during the second day that I couldn’t not implement.
Rubble – I’m really happy with how the rubble mechanics look and work, and how the rubble interacts with other objects.
Performance – Considering on some levels I have upwards of 100 pieces of rubble on the screen at any one time, I’m quite happy with how Unity and my own code worked to keep the load relatively light, which is important for deploying a browser game.
Brainstorming – As soon as I saw the final 20 themes, I started jotting down simple ideas for almost all of them. This meant I already had the basic idea for my game before I had to start really designing when the theme was announced.
What went less well
Level Design – In hindsight, I think it would have been more interesting to use the rubble so that the player moved ‘down’ the tower, and the rubble falls on top of the level. This would have allowed for the rubble to have been a much more interesting part of the game, and not just constantly getting used as a ‘floor’, which made all the work I did on the rubble seem somewhat pointless
Time Management – I stuck too rigidly to my schedule, which meant I ended up wasting time implementing features like trophies and additional obstacles, instead of making more interesting content, since I still had time left at the end of the first day.
Sleep! – I ended up not getting enough sleep, and so burnt out with a few hours left that I could have used to make a few more interesting levels. I just added a simple end screen, called it done, and submitted with hours left before the deadline; because I was too tired to think of any more levels.