I spent the last month doing post-compo enhancements to my Ludum Dare 24 entry, Karyote, and I have to say, I am actually becoming pleased with the way my game has come together. I’m surprised, really, because for the longest time I felt that the game just wasn’t very good. (more…)
Voting is over. Rankings are up.
I wasn’t expecting great things for Karyote, and I got about what I expected.
|Ranking/1406||Category||Score (out of 5)|
Comparing to my LD23 game, I ended up doing about as well as last time. I’m a little surprised, because I really didn’t think this game was as good at deadline, and I struggled during most of the compo, both to come up with ideas for the game, and to implement most of my experimental ideas, and I probably put in 10 fewer hours over the weekend on this one.
Really, both games are fairly similar if you compare them — they both are about microorganisms. I guess microorganisms are easy to do games about when you don’t have any good ideas ;-) I hope I have a game idea for LD25 that doesn’t have anything to do with microorganisms!
Now that I’ve worked out a lot of the kinks in my post-compo version, I think Karyote is a lot better than it was at deadline, and I wonder how the enhanced builds I’ve been working on over the last two weeks would have rated. I’m two major features away from calling it complete now, and I am hoping it won’t take me much longer than the next two weeks to finish it up.
I’ve patched a few bugs and added some enhancements to Karyote, and plan to make several more changes in the next few days as I’m able. There’s a post about it on my Ludum Dare journal.
I thought I’d write up a little postmortem of the enhancement here:
After struggling with the idea and trying to come up with what the game should be all weekend, and being disappointed with what I was able to deliver by the compo deadline, it’s really interesting to me that I’m actually starting to like this game now that I’ve fixed the first two high priority issues.
What I take from that is that I am better at critiquing and improving something that exists than I am at coming up with something new. That’s consistent with how I know myself, too. What’s interesting to me about this is that I somehow am able to switch from being a “whole cloth designer” coming up with a new game design to a “critic” and when I’m in critic mode, I know just what the game needs, while when I’m trying to develop the design that “designer” mode me came up with, I get frustrated and hate what I’m making. Maybe it’s not so weird, though — it could be all I really needed was to play it enough to figure out what it needed.
Comments I’ve received on my game have been generally positive, as well, which surprises me. I wonder whether commenters/raters apply a sliding scale of expectations when it comes to providing feedback. I mean, it’s one thing to compliment someone on an effort that was good relative to their current ability and constraints. It’s another to say that a game stands up relative to other entries, or even among all games of all time. I think it’s safe to assume that the comments I’ve gotten aren’t expecting LD games to be among the all time greats, and that people are generally inclined to deliver positive feedback and encourage the developer, rather than slam it.
I tend to judge myself more along the “all time” basis, though, which is harsher but also a higher standard to aspire to, and pushes me to do better. So it’s surprising to me when people say they enjoyed something I made when I don’t think holds a candle to Pac Man. But it is really nice to know that people have tried my game and that some of them have even enjoyed it. Getting comments, good or bad, is extremely positive for me. Just having the knowledge that people tried it out makes me feel like it was worthwhile to make it.
I’ve posted a postmortem of my LD48 #24 project, over on my ludumdare.com journal.
After poking around for my old journal entries on ludumdare.com, I think they may purge content, so in case that’s true I’m mirroring the post below, after the cut:
It’s not much at all yet, but I have an alpha build of my entry for Ludum Dare 24: Evolution up and running in HTML5.
It’s not really playable yet, at the moment I’m just working out some motion and object prototypes. Graphics are all placeholders. You’re always in the center. Move with the arrow keys. Left/Right turns, Up moves forward.
Somehow, I’m doing another game with a microorganism theme. LD#23 was Bactarium, LD#24 will be called Karyote. You control a single celled organism that mutates as you play.
I still need to figure out what exactly you’re doing in the game, but I have some ideas that I haven’t implemented yet, so I’m a little further along than it looks as far as the concept goes. I’m designing as I go, mainly this is design by fiddling around. That’s a dangerous way to go on any project, but when I don’t have much of an idea to begin with, I find it’s one of the most reliable ways of getting me going. Hopefully I’ve learned enough lessons from previous projects to avoid messing up the code architecture, so debugging and feature changes don’t turn into a nightmare toward deadline.