Tiny’s Adventure in TV Land – A Ludum Dare Postmortem

Tiny's Adventure in TV LandLast weekend I created the adventure game “Tiny’s Adventure in TV Land” in 48 hours for Ludum Dare #31.  Prior to the competition I had a plan for the development methods I would use and roughly how I would spend my time.  This is a postmortem of how it went.

What went right:

  • I completed the game in 48 hours!
  • The thematic portions of the game were easy for players to identify.
  • Improved graphics. This game was visually nicer than my previous Ludum Dare entries.
  • The overall game design I came up with Friday night largely held throughout the weekend.
  • Having a tested build system in place.  This made the submission hour a breeze.

What went differently than I expected:

  • Dropping mobile support early. Prior to the competition I wanted to make a mobile entry, but I decided there wasn’t time to tweak a game type I was unfamiliar with.
  • Time management. I’d planned to have the entire prototype finished Friday, and then iteratively polish it over the weekend. Instead, the game came together a few hours before the competition ended.

What went wrong:

  • The first level was too hard.  Some players mistook the carrot as life or status indicator instead of an item to retrieve.
  • I didn’t allow enough time to create a soundtrack.
  • The physics were floaty.  I went with it, rather than changing it, but this limited the level design later on.

After each competition I have an idea of what I need to work on.  These are my plans:

  • Practice composing music in GarageBand.  I need be good at this and have a solid workflow in place prior to the competition.
  • Study photoshop techniques.  I learned quite a lot during the competition and I think I can improve even more for the next one.
  • Improve my use of JavaScript 2D physics and use a better tweening solution.

Overall, I had fun participating in this Ludum Dare. I learned the most enjoyable part of the game development process for me is at the point when the game is assembled just enough to be playable. I’m looking forward to the next competition in April.