LD31 Postmortem

The game-making period for LD31 has drawn to a close. And the results?

Well, unfortunately, I didn’t quite make it. The major change in my development approach really slowed me down. Its disappointing for sure, as Ludum Dare really is something special when it comes to the community and the feedback afterwards.

Nonetheless, I was able to take a lot away from this Ludum Dare, and I don’t consider it a total failure by any means. Let’s break it down:

  • Base Code: Oh wow. Yes, have good base code. Now, in my defense, I’d spent a good week or so prior hashing through the basics of the entity-component system and making sure I could at least do simple things like get a graphic on screen, move it, and play sounds. But in the end, I was still firing way too much from the hip. Combine that with my relative lack of inexperience with OpenFL and it meant getting through even simple tasks could chew up time. Had I not had the base code I did have, I would have been sunk probably right out of the gate. So now I’m taking away a lot of ideas for what I can do to polish my WIP engine up and get ready for next time.
  • Paradigm Switch: Oh wow again. When you switch from object-oriented practices to more data-driven practices, it can be a bit jarring. Again, I got slowed down as simple tasks were no longer encapsulated in single objects but managed by multiple objects. Since I didn’t have much in the way of base code and I’m not supposed to use member functions as adamantly, it sometimes meant I was writing more code and the same code more than I wanted to. This will hopefully also be covered in my engine polish, so that I can still keep things neat without heavy encapsulation.
  • Momentum: I did have other things going on over the weekend. But this combined with basic functionality taking longer-than-ideal times meant building any sustainable momentum was tough even when working over longer spans. It meant breaks became more appealing and I ended up having trouble garnering motivation. So for the sake of momentum, taking even more time to wrap my head around the other two things above is crucial.
  • Experiencing Something New: I used to think people were mildly crazy when they would say things like “I’m going to try learning a new engine/language over Ludum Dare.” O_o. And guess what? I’m not convinced that its NOT crazy to some degree. But if anything, it exposes you to new ideas and ways of doing things. Being able to walk away with a little more experience and familiarity with my new toys and use it to get stronger is so big. So I get the appeal now. Be crazy people. Try something new. Just be prepared for increased mayhem over the weekend!

So there’s my LD31 experience in a nutshell. Hopefully you found it helpful for yourself in some way. Thanks for reading, and hopefully we’ll be right back at it for LD32!

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