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Jordan Goulding, Blogger

January 21, 2013

3 Min Read

Hello Gamasutra.

I participated in the Ludum Dare for the first time. Check out the site here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/


And my entry is here: You are the Asteroid!


I did the competition part of the event, so I had 48 hrs to create a working game. The theme was "You are the Villain".

I used the Unity3D engine, as this is what I am most familiar with, as well as scripting in javascript. I also used generous amounts of energy drink, and copious amounts of drive-thru food. Not the most healthy of choices, but it is what it is.


What went right:

  • I FINISHED!!!. I was able to upload a playable game. That was awesome. My first completed game.

  • The effects. I enjoyed the imagery of my game. Going for over-the-top fx was fun. Maybe could have been pushed a little bit more. Using Unity's shuriken fx system is easy, and very enjoyable. Seeing the instant results of what you are doing is great.

  • Coding - I brushed up on my unity scripting abilities, and had a blast doing it. Right now I am trying to learn C#, but "Unity Script" is easy for me to understand.

  • The community - I really enjoyed the event, and following along with others as we all participated. It was extremely fun seeing all the entries.I am glad that after working so hard, we all were able to play and rate our peers. Always nice to see the competition, and to know and understand the struggles we all had, and the acheivements.

What went wrong:

  • I think the biggest thing that affected my performance was the fact that I started out with no direction. Halfway through I changed what I was going to do, and didn't even have a one-sheet for the design or purpose. I was going to do an endless runner, but switched to a top-down shooter. Without having direction, I wasted a few hours dawdling around, trying to figure out what I should work on.

  • Controls - Didn't get a lot of time to test them. They worked, but it seems many people found them confusing. I chose to have the asteroid always pointing at the mouse, which caused some confusion at first on how to control and where to shoot. Also, the edges of the map were supposed to play like the original asteroid game, but I never got it working quite right. Basically it just teleported the player to the other side. This probably caused the most confusion.

  • No sound. Submitted at the last second, and had no time for even placeholder sound.

  • Art. I am an artist, so coding took all of my time. I would have preferred to spend it all on the art, making things a lot prettier. However, I do believe I made the right decision in focusing on mechanics before art. This is why I was able to finish.

  • Sleep. I stayed up all night the first night, so I lost a lot of time sleeping in on Sunday. This was a mistake, but I did what I could.

Overall, I had a great time. Pushed myself, as I am an animator, and never really did a whole game before, so this was intense. I learned a lot, and I am excited to continue participating in the Indie community. I love it here. I believe game jams to be a very important part of the indie community, and game development as a whole.


I would also like to thank everyone who commented and helped out. Once again, a great community. You all rock.


Follow me: @rainbladestudio

Check out my dev blog: http://rainbladestudios.blogspot.com/

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