Welcome to Ludum Dare 29!
The live blog for Makers Local 256 members participating in the Ludum Dare 29 72-hour team competition will be here! All members who are participating, please post about your progress here!
A livestream for the competition will be at Charlaxy's Twitch.tv stream. The event is now over, but you can still visit the video section of this link for an archive of it.
Here's some pictures from our brainstorming process. We've decided upon a theme and mechanics for a game; currently we're working on a framework in Unity 3D using C# scripting.
As Saturday went on, we brainstormed about how to do the framework, and then got to programming in Unity 2D.
Now that the event is over, here is what the participants had to say about it.
Leon "Noel Madness" Kennedy
I heard about the competition on Friday afternoon and had very little free time to think how or what was going to happen with the production of the game. But, I was eager to get started - I had worked with most of the other developers before and I had the chance to work with David and Ben for the first time through this event.
The first night there was a lot of brainstorm - a lot of concepts going around and it seemed no one had any egos and creativity was high. I understood that many people had very little experience with the unity system so there was a huge ramp up time. Every seemed to take their positions in stride and we settled into a comfortable rhythm of getting story elements from King and Sunshine.
I was in this weird place of doing some textures but a lot of conceptual art based off the story to help set the atmosphere for the game. Tools I used were almost entirely digital actually - I didn't have paper so I sketched in photoshop, and vectorized some preliminary ideas into Illustrator and take them back to Photoshop for its more extensive raster abilities.
I didn't complete nearly as much as I would have liked - but what it did do was press me into learning perspective drawing instead of character and general form sketching which I have been doing since December. At the end of every day I would spend three or four hours studying up on perspective drawing, looking at examples and then come in and get some work done on the pieces in the pipeline.
It's truly a strange feeling being in an environment where everyday you are learning something fun and challenging and have a tangible reward at the end. Everyone was supportive, encouraging and we shared countless laughs. Development worked in the same room as sound and art and sometimes story. It created a stronger sense of unity in production since we were together.
Things I learned enumerated:
1.)Perspective drawing was the biggest, learning how to draw a landscape in 1 point perspective
2.) Speed and quality is everything - namely speed; if I could turn out 1 mediocre bits versus 3 less than mediocre but worth improving ideas then I made a larger impact on the production because at least there is something being produced.
3.) Tensions will get high, it's just a part of being invested in something.
4.) Help one another in whatever branch they are doing, make an effort to communicate effectively about every problem that you are tackling. Don't compartmentalize, make sure everyone knows what is going on with you.
5.) Enjoy what you do, then go home and learn to do it better.
Patrick "King" Phillips
I heard about the Ludum Dare through Leon on Friday morning, and while the two of us arrived late to the party by about 30 minutes, we immediatly got to work on the project. As a group we delved into the possibly games that we could have built around the theme of "Beneath the Surface", eventually coming to the conclusion that the best game would be a socially conscious spy game. We decided on the fundamental mechanic of the game was that the player would "execute" the guards and steal their appearance, and then the player would have to immitate the executed guards appearance or arouse enough suspicion to an "alert" state.
I myself helped to document the process and fleshed out on the mechanical design with the assistance of the group.
I was tasked with developing the story with Daniel "Sunshine_Dan" Rhodes. After talking about the core mechanics a bit, we developed a tree of events that would guide the player through the backstory through snippets of information dropped randomly throughout the levels.
Summary of work performed:
- Brainstormed the game with the team
- Defined the mechanics of the game with the team
- Developed a basic story board.
- Daniel and I developed a detailed story board.
- I developed the plot.
- Consulted with Ray on the specific details on the plot
- Changed the plot to reflect a stronger story with Ray's suggestions
- Fleshed out the plot points into "data snippets" for the player to find
- Fleshed the story out more.
- Began editing work for consistency.
- Had Daniel review work and edit for consistency.
Over all I felt kind of useless because I couldn't contribute much to the programming aspect of the game, this lead me to realize that I need to learn more ideas of how things are done in the raw coding area of the game. Over all it was a good experience and would recommend for anyone to join us on the next team based programming sprint.
David "Nykodemus" Brooks
Having participated in both the solo Ludum Dare several times, and the group jam once before, I nevertheless had a completely new experience with this Ludum Dare. I am grateful to everyone whom I had the pleasure of working together with, and hope everyone had a great time.
Main lessons learned from this experience are: 1) know your tools 2) keep it simple 3) game first, then features
1) know your tools... everyone knows this, but this Ludum Dare was sort of last-minute for all of us so nothing we could do. This lesson is always the first lesson learned from Ludum Dare, and generally the most common mistake. Preparation for the next Ludum Dare would be for everyone (artists, sound people, and story people) to become at least somewhat familiar with Unity (or whatever toolset we decide to use).
2) keep it simple... My go-to rule is: think of the simplest version of the game you can possibly think of, then make it twice as simple. Shoot for that goal. It is ridiculously easy to think you are making a simple game when in fact it is not at all simple.
3) game first, then features... the game must come first. Make it fun and crappy, then make it better. If the core mechanic isn't finished by the end of the first night, you're gonna have a bad time.
Throughout all the difficulties, I think everyone performed very well, especially the art, sound, and story teams. They were able to generate far more life and content than I thought possible in the time span allowed. Well done everyone! :)
For next time: I have found that the best way to prepare for Ludum Dare is to take part in smaller game jams. I propose we do a monthly or bi-weekly single-night game jam from now until the next Ludum Dare. We should also set up a mailing list.