In August 2014 I decided to participate in Ludum Dare 30, a 48 hour game jam that takes place every 4 months, 1 in April, August and December. I’d known about Ludum Dare for a few years, but I believed for some reason it was limited to developers who use either their own engines or bare bones libraries like openGl, after browsing previous games and seeing the majority were made with Unity or Game Maker I realised I could join in. This was also around the time where most of my projects never saw completion, and this competition would be great practise and a good benchmark test of my abilities.
I decided to use the tools I’m most comfortable with, Game Maker: Studio for the game, MS Paint for the graphics and Tux Guitar for music, a strange bunch of tools, but they get the job done. I freed up my weekend, making sure there would be as little distraction as possible, which kind of worked… It was just waiting for the theme announcement after that!
The theme was Connected Worlds and I remembered how bad I am at coming up with ideas quickly, but this wasn’t going to discourage me. I settled for a very loose correlation to the theme (that nobody understood) which was a sidescrolling platformer where the player controls a world war 1 courier who’s motorcycle has broken down and must now traverse dangerous mine fields in enemy territory.
I aimed too high really, I had planned for multiple levels, but only managed to get one finished, that being said, the game still felt complete and my main focus was art, music and mood, which all turned out great. Personally, my first Ludum Dare went really well, I never realised how much you learn during game jams, you cut corners in such imaginative ways that help highlight problems in your current work flows and techniques, it’s also really fun, providing you sleep.
Results! It’s fun making a game, but it’s even funner(?) knowing people have played it and enjoyed it… or at least enjoyed the visuals, audio and mood, which were all in the top 100! Which is insane when you think that over 1500 people participated. So the breakdown looks like this:
Wasn’t too sure what mood meant and why I scored so high, but I believe it’s to do with story and setting, and with a bang on 4.00 I can only assume everybody who played gave it a 4, so that’s good! Graphics and audio were definitely the strong points of the game, so it all adds up nicely, my first Ludum Dare is a success!