[LudumDare] Recap of the #30 #31 and #32 edition.

At the beginning, it is important to put the figures of the last 3 LD :

LD 30 : 1493 compo entries (Connected worlds)
LD 31 : 1364 compo entries (Entire game on one screen)
LD 32 : 1353 compo entries (An unconventional weapon)

As we can see, it’s globally balanced. I will balance them anyway when I will put my personal results.

The ludum dare 30 was my first one and it is normal that my game was not really totally finished. As I said in a previous post, the troubles were that I had a lot of ideas and I wanted to add all of them in the game. But due to the time, only a part of them was in and the remaining ideas stayed in my mind. The other problem is my game was not fun, not polished and too complicated. I was almost the only one who could understand my game. But anyway, a lot of things was made during this edition and I was proud of the amount of things I programmed.

The ludum dare 31 was a short edition for me because of exams on Monday. However, I decided to program an introduction to my game axed on Frozen. This cost me a lot of time in my 28 hours available (8 hours at least). The problem was that my game got no real mood. A little bit, but not enough. The story was weird and the game was again too complicated. But complicated also for the programming part because a lot of random things needed to be balanced. My boss was amazing in the programming side, but not as amazing as I wanted in the player side. The global idea was innovative because the boss was able to be better and better, fight after fight. Exactly how I wanted it. The theme was normally correctly implemented but, due to the introduction, this was not really the case. Again, I need to focus myself on a simple game, not a complicated one. And also, an implicit tutorial would be better than many tutorial screens.

The ludum dare 32 was a full edition with my new framework named EasyLD. Instead of Löve2D, I programmed with Drystal, a lua game engine. This edition was really good because I wanted to make a better game than the first two entries and also because I had a great game idea. However, the colors/mood were not implemented and no story is in the game. So it is just a game, no more. I need to focus myself on it next time. I respected the rule of “make a simple game” but because of the theme, I was under the obligation to add a boss part, which was a little bit bad. The remaining things were great but next time I have to work on the mood and story, added to the theme. If I can do this, I will be able to make an amazing game. Think about it a lot before programming it, and you will be able to make something great!

Now the results: (I balanced the top on 1500 entries to show the real improvements)

Overall

  1. LD32 3.33 #401 (444.5 : 30%)
  2. LD30 3.02 #746 (749.5 : 50%)
  3. LD31 2.68 #1025 (1127.2 : 75%)

As we can figure it, the 32th edition was clearly the best one with an entry in the top 30% of the ludum dare programmer. I can be proud of it because it was my goal. My first entry was on the average, a good one so. And the LD31 was clearly a bad one because of time and the complicated features I tried to implement instead of making something fun. Next one, I will try to be on the top 25% at least!

Now, the best category in which I do the best things, each LD :

Innovation

  1. LD32 3.70 #137 (10%)
  2. LD30 3.29 #458 (30%)
  3. LD31 2.10 #1126 (82%)

At first, I have to say that the LD31 was really innovative in the way the boss can evolve but the most part of the players which play my game was stuck on the introduction and don’t skip it, so the innovative rate is not at all representative. The innovation can be read on the LD31 post. For the two other, I am happy to see that each time I am on the first part of the top. Best entry was the LD32 edition were I was able to create a really good game. Top 10% is I think something that I want a day to get for the overall part. And I have the skills to do it. I am just a little bit too quick at the beginning of a LD. I need to think of it a lot before starting the programming.

Fun

  1. LD32 3.31 #349 (25%)
  2. LD30 2.62 #918 (61%)
  3. LD31 2.45 #1034 (76%)

It was my goal for the Ludum Dare 32 edition, and I did it. Top 25%! Regarding to the last two entries, I was really bad in this part because my game was too complicated to be quickly understadable. I was able to create an implicit tutorial which allows the player to directly play the game without reading anything. This is something I need to keep in my next entries.

Theme

  1. LD30 3.75 #189 (12%)
  2. LD32 2.87 #880 (65%)
  3. LD31 2.73 #1131 (82%)

Each time, the LD31 is the bad one, but it is understandable enough because of the introduction here. I made something really amazing during the LD30 which consists to link two worlds. This is why the theme was really well-implemented. For the other ones, I said I had no idea how I can link the unconventional weapon theme with my game enough to get something funny. I keep the funny game I had and I added the theme to it which was not enough. However I limited the bad rate. Just good enough. This is something I need to work on for the next entry. But it really depends on the theme!

Humor

  1. LD31 2.80 #354 (25%)
  2. LD30 2.71 #337 (22%)
  3. LD32 2.28 #785 (58%)

I didn’t add a story to the LD32 game, so the funniest part was to kill the boss. Not enough at all. However, when I was able to add a story, I was able to generate some humors! And I think it is great enough! Top 25% on both LD where I created a story, so if I can develop a real story around it, I can get a better rate easily. It is not that complicated! Story remains the master word for the next ludum, with the word MOOD.

Mood

  1. LD30 2.82 #700 (47%)
  2. LD32 2.72 #729 (54%)
  3. LD31 2.41 #927 (68%)

The thing is clear. I am just on the average, no more. I never add a real mood to my game, just a little one which is just enough but not as clear as a real one. I need for the next ludum to create a game where the Theme, the humor and the mood fit well. For that, I need to get a story, a good theme implementation and a good choice of design! If I can, I will be able to get a master piece. The mood is the key if you want your game to be great, to be remembered. Of course, the fun part and innovative part is clearly something that you need to have. But as we can see, I am able to be really good in innovation and fun. So, let’s work on a story, a mood which can be remembered my game in the mind of the player. A mood where the player feels totally in the game. Hard I think, but possible if I can think about it a lot before programming! I have the time, I know it. Don’t hurry yourself.

Graphics

  1. LD32 2.74 #736 (54%)
  2. LD30 2.67 #827 (55%)
  3. LD31 2.35 #1015 (74%)

One rate where if you make a great game, you will get a better rate even if your graphics skills were bad. Why? I don’t really know but you can see it with the difference between LD31 and LD30. The LD30 graphics style were really bad, and the LD31 graphics were clearly better! However, the rate are the opposite. You can see the same between LD30 entry and LD32 entry. The graphics were clearly better with some AreaAnimation and SpriteAnimation, however, the rate are the same. Weird. It sounds like if you make just average graphics, your rates in this category will depend on the other rate (overall/innovation). One thing is sure, I need to homogenize my graphics around a mood, a theme, a story. I need to choose a style and when I chose it, focus myself on it. The LD32 entry was not at all in this definition because the upper part was abstract style and the bottom part pixel perfect. I will think about it but it is not a priority at all. Mood first.

Audio

  1. LD30 3.03 #367 (24%)
  2. LD32 2.92 #433 (32%)
  3. LD31 2.54 #655 (48%)

The audio part of my games seems to be just enough to be well rated. A top 33% if my game got a high overall, and a bit less if my game is clearly bad. But always over 50%. I think I will keep this way because audiotracker.py with a combination of track for LD31 helps a lot to get a good music in a short time. I want to work on it, but I don’t have the time now. I will see if a day I can be better. Not now. SFX is good and the idea of voice “KO; WELL PLAYED…” was really great. I will keep them and SFXR too. 3.03 is really a good mark !

So, in conclusion, what can I say. A master word for the next entry : MOOD. And trying to fit the theme. So I can recapitulate this on the following list:

  • Story: Create a great one. A little one.
  • Mood: Around the story, and fix it.
  • Theme: Think about it before and after the beginning of the LD. Don’t hurry.
  • Innovation: Be as innovative as you were.
  • Graphics: Focus on the mood, a unique style.
  • Audio: Be as always. It is fine.
  • Humor: If you get a story, I trust you.
  • Fun: You show us you can create a funny game. Do it again.

Thank you for reading. This article will help me a lot for the next entry! I need to work on EasyLD now and my Internship. Of course, I need to keep the Trello part of LudumDare because it helped me a lot. Normally, the next entry will be more amazing at the last one! Keep going!

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