What Ludum Dare 46 did to me

As I promised, here's the post about my LD46 experience. My submission was in Compo category, so I had 48 hours and I had to build a game from ground up all alone.

For me it was the first game jam I ever participated in, also the first time when I needed to work on the game fast. That was an interesting time, I had to use some tricks that I don't usually use and do things effectively to save time. Can't say that it was blood and sweat, but without experience it feels really intense.

The theme of the jam is "Keep it Alive". Didn't thought about ideas before 48-hour timer started, so when I got up in the morning I needed to take some notes. At first I wanted to make a rythm game about an old PC that is trying to handle modern software and struggles with it. I made up a plot telling a story of a man who has that old PC, with which he played games, worked and studied in his good old times, but now it's time to buy a new one. The man doesn't want to leave his metal friend and he is still trying to run modern software and work with it. The idea was that first levels of the game are about old games that PC handles well and you can easily beat the rythm game, but later levels come more and more difficult and at some point you just lose. The PC can't run those programms and sadly the guy admits that a new one had to be bought. The game is about good old times, nostalgia and sadness that comes when you have to leave something behind. However, if you succesfully beat some amount of levels the man decides that it still can work out for someone else and gives it as a present for his little cousin this way giving the PC a new life. So the game should have ended with the scene where the cousin plays with the PC and some final words. That ending should have met the theme of the jam.

This idea in my opinion is cool, but after trying to make a rythm game mechanic I failed. Also, I would need to make a lot of music, in which I am no expert. That idea is too big for 48-hour jam and a lonely inexperienced developer. 

Then I went on writing down ideas. My final concept was about a cleric that heals a warrior in a fight. In the first day of jam I made a prototype with placeholders. In particular those placeholders were Gogot logos as they are present in any new project folder. They are the healthbars, the enemies and everything you can imagine. By the end of the day mechanics were working pretty well, I decided to make visuals the other day. All in all, can't say that it was particularly hard, but I was very excited when I finally found a way to make a laser beam with Line2D node. That was amazing feeling, especially because I found this out myself without internet. In addition, I am very proud of music that I came up with. That one track is not very good, but for me it sounds nicely and I think that it has a very good property. It does not kill your ears with an annoying loop.

That's my experience of making a game, but there's something else about jams which is even more important. It's the community. I was shocked by enthusiasm and energy that all people on the Ludum Dare website shine with. It's amazing to get active feedback from people, read their posts, play their games, helping them, giving them your feedback. Also the system on the website is cool. It pushes overseen games up to the top of the list to let more people see them.

Games of the jam are very different. There are bad, good and some are absolutely brilliant. However, quality of them is not that important. For me the most important was that I can see the games made with hands of interested people, some of them are inexperienced like me and just starting out. I am not alone, that was a very resonating message for me. With this thought in the end I want to share some games that I enjoyed.

Some of the games are in my LD46 Favourites collection https://itch.io/c/843014/ld46-favourites

https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/46/autoexec - The main idea for me is very appealing and overall the game is very fun to play.

https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/46/$195711 - Fun little game. Can't say much, it's just nice as it is. Maybe just some more visual details to add.

https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/46/waste-of-space - Interesting and addicting game. Love the concept.

https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/46/none-left-behind - Nice take on the theme with interesting mechanics and very polished graphics and animations.

https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/46/pyromania - Very fun game. Enjoyed the graphics and main mechanics. For some reason throwing things into the fire is addicting.

https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/46/rise-of-the-purple-slime - Interesting mechanic, fun camera and nice levels. Hope this prototype will be finished in future.

https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/46/genki - Fun endless top-down shooter. Very dynamic with good sound and visuals.

https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/46/battery-panic - Interesting concept with good execution. Very good for Compo.

https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/46/keep-him-alive-5 - Enjoyed this one a lot actually. Even recorded a "speedrun" of it, because I liked the pace of it.

https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/46/gaia - Enjoyed the mobile version. Has fun mechanics.

https://fabrizio-spadaro.itch.io/ice-ice-baby - Very cute game with interesting concept. Enjoyed the smiling ice cube a lot.

https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/46/purple-thing - Very fun game. Enjoyed it a lot. It's very similar to another game on the list, which I like.

https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/46/keep-it-charged - good puzzle game with neat graphics.  However, needs some little improvements.

https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/46/s-l-i-m-e-s-division - Very fun, well balanced and looks good.

https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/46/aed-the-spark-of-life - Cute game with appealing graphics. A little more development time invested in details can make this really cool.

https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/46/fleur-defense - Polished, cute, good looking game. Enjoyed it a lot.

https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/46/dino-spin - I swear this is my current favourite for the jam. Looks cool and very polished.

https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/46/adrena-line - This one is simple, but very dynamic. Like games like this.

https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/46/mr-cheesy - Very funny runner. Good take on the theme.

https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/46/remember-apollo - This one is brilliant. Amazing artwork and interesting concept.

I put the most popular games of the list in the bottom to promote those that are not that famous.

Thanks for a beautiful wallpaper - http://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/46/$183315/ld46-wallpaper

And of course my own game - https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/46/he-needs-healing

Thanks for the jam and for reading this really long post to the end!

Get He Needs Healing


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(1 edit)

I replied in ldjam.com, but here it is as well:

Nice writeup and nice seeing another Godot game. I'll check the game out.

In particular those placeholders were Gogot logos as they are present in any new project folder. They are the healthbars, the enemies and everything you can imagine. 

Every 2D Godot game explained. I made a 3D Godot game, so unfortunately there was no space for the sweet logo to be used as placeholder.

I was shocked by enthusiasm and energy that all people on the Ludum Dare website shine with.

I completely agree with you. I've been around since 2011 and what I always loved about Ludum Dare is exactly this. And the fact that the website is open to anyone to post is what makes this energy fly around.