Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My first Ludom Dare experience + 48hour Game Entry

      Hey everyone! It has been a crazy fun weekend. I finally participated in my first Ludum Dare challenge ever and it was a great experience!

If you are an indie game developer like me, I am sure many of you might have heard of Ludum Dare. If you haven't heres some info. Ludum Dare is a really well known challenge/competition to the game dev and indie dev scene. Developers are given 48 hours to create a game (solo) based off a theme that was voted on by the community. There is of course other challenges such as a team challenge and mini challenge and I think a couple other ones too, but I participated in the solo 48 hour challenge. The challenge started over the weekend and ended this past Sunday.

Anyway, as I said earlier, this was my first time ever competing in the LD challenge. I have always heard of it for the past years and even checked out some older entries a while back but never participated until now.

The funny thing is, I wasn't even really planning about participating. I just came home that day, signed into twitter and all I saw was tweets from various people posting their progress on their LD projects. It caught my attention and looked really interesting to me so I said to myself "Alright, I'm in!".

The theme this time was "Connected Worlds". A really awesome and cool idea for a game theme. I actually recently tried out a couple of other peoples entries and there are some really good ones out there. Really creative entries posted by a ton of other indie developers. I encourage you to go check out some of entries and give the devs some support. You can check out the entries here: LD30 entries (there is a lot!)

What did I make?
For my entry, I made a game I like to call "Ice Cream Aliens"
A challenging puzzle platformer game without any jumping! Venture off to various colorful puzzle worlds that all connect to each other, meet aliens and get the ice cream at the end!

Game Screenshots:

You can play it directly in your web browser Here: Ice Cream Aliens - Web(LD30 Version)
Also you can check it out in my LD page HERE

     -Move with WASD or Arrow Keys
     -Use mouse to click on some objects

How to win:
 There is different colorful block worlds that all somehow connect to each other. Each block world is different and has a different puzzle that you must survive. The aliens you meet a long the way might give you some hints. Jumping in this colorful block world is illegal. Falling off will start you from the first block world. Your goal is to get the delicious ice cream at the end. Are you ready to take on the challenge?

Experience and dev notes/progresss:
     I had a little less time than 48 hours because I had actually started a day late. I have never worked so continuously and non-stop on any other project before. I just felt like I had to get it done. It was a great feeling to complete so much game dev work in one single sitting. I actually did not plan out any of it. I made up this whole game randomly as I went.  I would just go ahead and add each new idea to the game that came to me without even thinking about it. I didn't get to some things like adding sound fx or music or creating proper menus for the game, but the rest is all there and I am proud of it.

     Through out the time that I was working on my entry I would occasionally drop by to my LD page ever couple hours and write little blog dev notes/current progress updates/post screenshots of what I was doing or got done. If your interested you can check out those entries over here on my LD page:
Ludum Dare - Snowconesolid

The tools I used to make this game:
   -Unity Game Engine
   -Unity Playmaker

Closing Thoughts: 
     Overall, I was extremely satisfied with the final game I created. I even say somewhere in my LD blog entries that I think it (Ice Cream Aliens) might be one of my favorite game projects I have ever created. It was challenging and fun and really pushed me further as a game developer. Of course the game is not perfect do to the time constraint but I am really happy with it. I think sometime in the future I want to go back to my game, polish it up and update it or build more to it and release it again. This was my first LD but I defiantly don't think it will be my last. I look forward to participating again sometime in the future. Ludum Dare 30 was a great experience and I wish everyone who entered good luck!

Thanks for reading!

More soon!