Clueless Postmortem - Ludum Dare 28

16 Dec 2013

I participated in Ludum Dare this past weekend, and Clueless is what I have to show for it. (I’m simultaneously proud and embarrassed of what lives behind that link.)

A brief postmortem:

Things that went well:

Tooling

I ended up super happy with all of my tooling choices: libgdx, Box2D, and Tiled among others. Everything more or less work as expected and was easy enough to learn (though I spent too much time learning on the spot), and ending up with an HTML/JS deliverable was nice. I also had a blast working with Java in IntelliJ all weekend.

Friends

Getting together with coworkers to hack near each other made the weekend much more enjoyable. The mutual energy kept us all focused on our games, but ping-pong and board game breaks provided much needed relaxation after hours of heads-down coding. Having people to bounce ideas off of also proved helpful when I got in a rut. And most importantly, I’ll always choose a shared experience over one I have alone.

Shipping

I almost called it quits mid-Sunday, but I’m glad I followed through and ended up with something shippable. I feel like I’m in a really good place for future LDs.

Things that went less than well:

Nailing down the idea too late

I didn’t have a clear idea of what my game was going to be until ~5pm on Saturday, leaving me with not a ton of time to build and polish it.

Graphics

Artistic skills are not something I’ve spent much time developing. And it shows.

Movement

The guest’s movement is my least favorite thing about Clueless. It looks awkward, and it leads to games where there are no killings for at least a minute. The worst part is that I knew how to make it better, but I ran out of time. Maybe I’ll fix this after voting is over and release v1.1.

Box2D overkill

My final product ended up not really needing the sophisticated physics engine I spent time learning and building against. Some of the intermediate versions of the project leaned on it pretty heavily, but by the end I could’ve gotten away with simple AABB collision detection.