Samuel Hindmarsh

Ludum Dare #23: A Cross-post


The following is a cross-post of my blog/journal from the Ludum Dare site.

First post from a first comp-er

Well here goes.

I first heard about Ludum Dare during the previous competition, LD #22. I thought it sounded like a great idea, and enjoyed watching a number of live streams over the weekend. Immediately, I decided that I was going to enter LD #23, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that it fell during a two-week break from university. But alas, a number of things have since transpired to ensure that my first Ludum Dare would be less than ideal, including:

  1. A large number of assignments which need to be completed over the break. One for each of my four courses, in fact. If I can’t get these finished in time, then there will be no entry from me this year. I really don’t want this to happen.
  2. The second round of the ANZAC League, the preliminary competition acting as qualifiers for the International Collegiate Programming Competition, is scheduled for Saturday, 20th of April. Including transport, this will take approximately the first seven hours out of Ludum Dare. Not only that, but the competition is mentally exhausting.
  3. Turns out the competition is on the last weekend of the uni break, and because of the time difference here in New Zealand, it doesn’t end till 1pm on the Monday. Unfortunately this means submitting my entry on Sunday night.

Combined with work commitments, my sleeping schedule, food intake requirements and A-League Grand Final watching, I’ll have a total of about… 15 hours to work on my entry. Regardless, I am determined to submit an entry for this competition. Due to my very limited time constraints, and the fact that it is my first attempt at the competition, my entry is probably going to be poor at best.

A few details about my entry:

After the competition ends, I’ll be cross-posting all the blog posts and the final game on my personal website (which I won’t plug here – it’s pretty bare at the moment!) for archival purposes.

Bring on next weekend!

The Day Before:

In my first post, I pointed out that I would be severely limited in the amount of time I’ll be able to set aside for LD23 this weekend, and combined with my complete lack of artistic ability, I’m glad to say that my Minimalism theme has made it through to the final round of voting! I’m obviously hoping it becomes the chosen theme for this LD; it would mean I would be able to get away with Magnavox Odyssey-esque graphics, and call it an “artsy” game, as well as saving me plenty of time I would have otherwise spent on the art.

Games-as-art, or just rubbish graphics?

I spent today drawing a class diagram of one of my previous games, in order to get an idea of how to best set up the underlying engine stuff. I don’t have much history as far as games go, and writing an engine from scratch in a 48-hour game development competition seems frankly self-destructive (I’ve never used any libraries before – I’ll probably learn how to use LWJGL or something before LD24) , so I need all the preparation I can get. It will be a challenge, no doubt.

Hope you’re all getting excited about the weekend – I know I am!

All done!:

Successfully completed and submitted my entry with 12 hours to spare!

Title screen from trapped.

As I mentioned earlier, I was incredibly short on time this weekend, and had to whip this game up in 11 hours. Combined with the fact that the engine was built from scratch in pure Java (the only library I used was JLayer, for the playing of mp3 files), the quality is a little poor. However, it’s perfectly playable, so that’s something I’m proud of.

LD23 has been a great experience, and definitely one I’ll be able to learn from for LD24. But I’ll discuss that in a proper post-mortem tomorrow.

Good luck to everyone else who’s still going – push hard for these last 12 hours!

trapped.: A Post-mortem

I’ve been putting off writing a post-mortem for a while now, so I thought I should really write it before voting closes tomorrow and interest in LD #23 dwindles. So without further ado

What went right:

What went wrong:

All in all, I felt it was a successful first attempt at a Ludum Dare compo entry, and I can’t wait for LD #24 – I’ll be looking to make a much deeper game next time, with the story, graphics, music and gameplay creating a cohesive experience. That’s the aim, anyway!