Ludum Dare 30 ended and the results are in! And we did BETTER THAN EXPECTED, at least better than I expected. Woot! Out of 1045 jam entries, our game Hello, Alien! scored surprisingly well:
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This are the best results of any Ludum Dare I’ve entered yet. Our game seems to be a really fun(ny) experience! Big thanks go to Florian Kager, because he did a great job creating the music/audio for the game. I still can’t believe it, I’m utterly happy that people seem to like what we are doing!
Another reason to celebrate: We published the first revised Post-Compo version, with old bugs fixed, new bugs introduced, three new levels and finally a (hopefully) not sucking way to rotate objects.
Next goal will be bringing ‘Hello, Alien!’ to a mobile device and I really want to add more levels and more ways to manipulate the laser.
This Ludum Dare we created a little puzzle game, which we called ‘Hello, Alien!’ and you can go play it here.
About the game:
The aliens have been living happily in their connected galaxies, until an asteroid storm disconnected their interplanetary connection based on laser satellite technology. Help them to restore their connection, by using mirrors, splitters and bombs.
The good things that happened:
- LAZORZS! The laser effects turned out to be pretty neat, and it’s really fun just playing around with the lasers. (Thanks to this laser creation guide.)
- Artstyle: I tried out various artstyles and came to the conclusion, that pixelart is what I suck the least at. So, I’m happy I decided to create pixelart and stuck with it.
- Teamwork: Although Florian (Sound and Music guy) had a lot of other things going during the weekend, he managed to create some sweet music and sound-effects, so that I could focus on other tasks. We had a pretty fast feedback-loop so that iterations over created assets were quick and painless.
- Dropping the lose condition: In the first versions of the game, you would lose the level when you grilled those nice aliens and you had to restart the level, undoing all your hard work. But killing the aliens is the most fun part! And it’s a god damn puzzle game, there is no need to ‘lose’ the level. There are states of the level that mean the level is solved, and everything else just means it isn’t solved yet. On the other hand it will certainly make sense to add some sort of element that the laser isn’t allowed to hit, before the level counts as solved. But it shouldn’t need a complete level restart, just some repositioning of the necessary game elements.
The bad things that happened:
- Unnecessary (Failed) Optimizing: I wasted some hours reworking (“optimizing”) the laser raytracing code just to fail at one small bug. It turned out the first sloppy code was good enough in the end.
- Last minute level design: I created some levels during the second day, but a lot of the third day was spent refining them as tutorial levels. The last hour before submission was used to quickly create more ‘non’-tutorial levels, and were quite hastily put together.
- Level Editor Lacking Usability: Also the editor for creating the levels was made during the weekend, and some features were really clunky to use and/or not fully implemented. So creating levels was a really tiresome progress. This further slowed down the ability to create more levels for the game.
- Did not finish art assets: I did not manage to rework all the graphics for the final version, so the planets and buttons don’t quite fit aesthetically into the rest of the game.
Ludum Dare was certainly a fun experience and gave us the feeling of actually having accomplished something (even if not much).
So, the next thing we will do, is to polish our Ludum Dare entry and add all the features we would have liked to add. For the post-compo version, we would also like to get it on Android, because we figured, it would make a neat mobile game.
Soon Ludum Dare 30 is going to start, and we totally intend to participate. (Even when the theme is going to suck.)
Tools we’ll be using:
Any other projects will be put on hold during this weekend, because Ludum Dare takes top priority.
Taking showers? What is that?
Eating? I’ll live from what I find between my keyboard keys. (most certainly Ramen noodles)
Sleep? Ain’t nobody got time for that! I got to create a game!
-an average Ludum Dare participant
Our goal will be to have fun and to create something that is also fun. Maybe trying out some new things along the way. And maybe, with a little bit of luck, we will even be able to call it a game.
Business or not, it’s important to have short-term and long-term goals. Also telling other people of your goals makes you more likely to actually try and achieve them. So, what could be a better way of telling everybody than through a public website?
We will participate in every upcoming Ludum Dare just for the fun of it. This also includes the next Ludum Dare 30, which is on the weekend of August 22nd to 25th. Ludum Dare always provides an excuse to try creating something new, and is a welcome variation to everyday life.
At the moment we are working on refining another Ludum Dare entry.
I participated in Ludum Dare 29 and entered a small game called ‘Below Earth’. It’s about running around in a cave and throwing around bombs to blow sh…stuff up. We decided to further develop and polish it, so that it could count as a full game. We would like to be finished with it before Ludum Dare 30 starts. For no particular reason, but you have to set yourself deadlines to stay motivated.
The current downloadable builds (and the original LD entry) and the source code of ‘Below Earth’ are available on Bitbucket. Free for everyone to download and try out.
We will talk in detail about this project and its progress in future blog posts.