Last weekend a group of friends and I decided to participate in the Ludum Dare 38 game jam. We split up into two teams of 3, each with two programmers and one artist.

What went right:

  • Theme:
    • Often in past competitions I found the theme to be underwhelming, but this time around we were able to come up with a handful of decent ideas in the first few hours and pick the best one from them.
  • Team:
    • Being in a team is infinitely easier in many respects: when you’re feeling tired, all it takes to get your spirits back up is someone fixing a bug you’ve been staring at for ages, or make a cool looking effect.
  • Workspace:
    • We were lucky enough to have access our school’s “Oasis”, a small, quiet space for (typically international) students to work. It worked great for us as it provided white boards, a speaker system, a kitchen, and a ping pong table.

What went wrong:

  • Not much actually, other than staying up until 3 submitting our game, but that’s all part of the fun

Day 1: none of us know what is to come

Brian, the other programmer, quickly had the level generating and a pretty fancy looking spawn/despawn animation:

And our artist, Aidan, had made quite a bit of progress on the player ships:

In the meanwhile I had been working on the player movement:

One tough challenge I faced with the player movement was getting it to work both with a controller, and with keyboard and mouse. In the end the two control systems function quite differently; when using a controller the player looks in the direction the left joy stick is pointing, whereas with the keyboard the player turns clockwise and anticlockwise when pressing the left or right arrow key respectively.

Even though we’ve all been exhausted this whole week from the late nights and long hours, we’re all really glad we participated since we learned lots and had a great time. We also found out that we make quite a good team and therefore might be working together on future projects together. (we even made a team twitter account!)

You can find our game here:

Thanks for reading! I know I said this last time but the next post really will be again covering my graphics API project, since I’m finally done a few other projects that were taking up a lot of my time.