Hi there, Internet.
This weekend I completed my third Ludum Dare (and second solo Ludum Dare). Things were a little different this time since due to some scheduling and resource weirdness with the site admin, there was no ratings portion of the competition.
I did, however finish another game using Game Maker 8 and am pretty happy with the results! I think I definitely managed to make more of a 'game' this time than with Bear (see here for my last entry). It's not even (that) broken, which is nice. There are a few glitches here and there, but overall it isn't super broken considering I am not really a game developer.
Here is a breakdown of the game and what I ended up with and the process of developing the game.
In case anyone doesn't know, Ludum Dare is 48 hour game jam that goes on around the world. Users have 2 days to make a game entirely from scratch using the tools of their choice (including graphics, code, audio and so on).
The theme for this Ludum Dare was 'ancient technology'. I did not particularly like the this theme (I really prefer themes related to game play style) and find that themes that encourage certain kinds of visuals and plot sort of limit the variety of the entries. I decided to make my entry mimic a game-and-watch style LCD handheld game, and also to set it in goofy ancient Egypt in order to have the theme represented twice.
I started out with a pun, honestly, as will 99% of my ideas. So I set out to make a bomb throwing side-scrolling game of some sort. I tweaked the controls to feel more like a LCD handheld, and eventually the game morphed into a puzzle game, which was cool and unexpected. The first solid day I basically built the engine, physics and tweaked elements of the game play itself.
"The first solid day I basically built the engine, physics and tweaked elements of the game play itself. "
After I finished the engine and had it working fairly well, I moved onto level design. Once the game started to lend itself more and more to a puzzle game, I started creating different block types for each level. There are key blocks which destroy lock boxes when exploded, timer blocks, and so on. I built ten levels and play tested them to make sure that the puzzles progressed somewhat logically and worked consistently. I was still working with placeholder graphics at this point, and I ended up leaving better graphics basically until the end, which is unusual for me. I really got caught up in making a playable game and designing elements that could easily apply to future levels. The end result is a pretty simple game, but I'm still quite content with it.
After creating the levels, I updated all of the sprites and tweaked some gameplay elements that needed fixing. I also made sure that the levels flowed properly, added intro and outro sequences and added sound effects. In the end, there are ten levels to play. I am actually pretty happy with how the game came out, so I will likely go back and add more levels and fix some bugs in a few weeks.
After a couple more hours of tweaking, the game was done! Thanks for checking out this post, I've really been enjoying doing Ludum Dares the last couple of years and it has definitely sharpened my game-making skills and renewed my interest in making games.
If you'd like to play the game, it's available for download through the Ludum Dare site here:
My Storeenvy Shop
My Ebook Shop
My Facebook Fan Page
My Twitter: @graceparkman
My Youtube Channel