When I last submitted an Ludum Dare game, I gave myself an MS Paint trophy. I submitted another game, one I daresay is a bit better than the last, so here’s my reward.
that’s some CGI right there in case you can’t tell.
This LD was a blast. I spent the weekend hacking with four colleagues from Braintree and we had ourselves a hootenanny.
The game is more or less as I had imagined, albeit with a few missing bells and whistles. The last big gameplay feature where villagers build huts is still in-progress, and it could really use a GUI to tell you what’s going on. Still, remarkably complete, especially when compared to how very far short I fell last time.
What Worked Well
- Knowing Unity - this time around, I knew the tools somewhat before going in. I have yet to finish a game in Unity, but I have banged out a couple of rough prototypes prior to this. In particular, the Catlike Coding tutorials were very helpful.
- Comradery - While I remain a fan of the solo format, leaving home to gather with like-minded hackers was extremely helpful. Just as in my daily work, my colleagues inspire me to be better than I am.
- One Fun Thing - I took Tom Francis’ advice and made a game around one fun mechanic and prototyped that mechanic immediately. I spent a lot of time making sure the fire-breathing looked and felt just so, but I think that was time extremely well spent. It’s still fun to fly around and set things on fire, even if you don’t understand what the game is really about.
What Didn’t Go Well
- 3D Modeling - I realized I needed better tooling to make the ork fortresses, which is where I started to spin my wheels. Google Sketchup is a straightforward enough tool, but I really found it hard to navigate. I have a license to Blender somewhere - I need to dig it up and rediscover that tool.
- Visuals - These aren’t my strong suit. I cheated by going for a very basic look (one commenter compared it to Darwinia), but even then I spent more time on them than I ought to have. I don’t know what the solution is here though.
Other Miscellaneous Thoughts
I really had fun with this. One of my 2014 New Year’s Resolutions is to try and make a game every quarter. I have a few things I’d like to experiment with - in particular, I want to see how hard it is to make an online multiplayer game. I am going to finish up Our Man Dragon first though.
As always, thanks to the organizers for making this happen. LD is a very special event for me.