Minimalistic Minimization - A Ludum Dare Compo Postmortem

A post-mortem of my experience developing a game for Ludum Dare 26.

From April 26th to the 28th I did not sleep very much. Instead, I built a game for Ludum Dare.

You can play it here: Minimalistic Minimization

I used Unity3D, and UnityScript.  I built the ship in Maya 2013, and did a little art in Photoshop CS2. Everything else was all from Unity. I also ingested ice cream and caffeine in the form of a Monster.

What went right:

  1. I finished! Being my second time, I understood my limits a little better, and knew my time frame.
  2. The game is basically complete. It keeps score, it has sound, it has a beginning and an end.
  3. The game is fun (according to the comments, and friends, and, of course, myself!).
  4. I enjoyed doing it. I am now a super technical person, so doing the programming side of games is a little hard for me, but I love learning how it all goes together. This just gave me another opportunity to do so.
  5. Getting the rotation of the ship just right. I love the feel of it, as it barrel-rolls around the debris.
  6. And, getting the explosion of the ship just right.
    1. The explosion has two parts. One is a particle effect, and the other is a bunch of instantiated rigidbodies.
    2. The ship also slowly shrinks, but still allows the player to control it until it finally is destroyed.

What went wrong:

  1. It's not built with efficiency in mind. Which is fine for a 48 hr competition, but when it comes to porting it to mobile, this might cause some problems.
  2. I also spent a lot of time on an idea that I eventually gave up on. This happened last time as well.
  3. Decided at the last minute to try and get the sound working. I have never worked with audio in Unity, so figuring it out on the fly was almost a disaster.
  4. I did not have very much time for art, though seeing as the theme was "Minimalism", I was not as worried about it.
  5. When it came to submitting, I reallized an hour after the fact that my Mac app was not linked correctly. Who knows how many people tried to play it and couldn't. (Probably no one, since I submitted an hour or so early, but still.)
  6. Staying up all night does not work. I stayed up until 5 am, and then slept until 2 pm. Then, it still took me awhile to get back into the game to finish it.


I love Unity. The forums, the answers, the documentation. It just makes sense.

I think the reason I enjoy these game jams is the camaraderie I feel with the other devs. Watching my twitter feed blow up with images and funny quips about experiences, pleas for help and profanities as something goes horribly wrong, and the ALL CAP tweets of joy really makes me feel like a part of some huge force. The fact that I can ask a question and not be laughed at, but get a genuine and thoughtful response, is the number one reason I participate. The community. We are indie, but not independent in the sense of being alone. We are all together.

Also, I enjoy making games.

Please, let me know what you think of the game. I would love your feedback.


The original can be found on my blog -

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