Dungeons of Loot: A Postmortem


This has probably been the best LDJam I've actually done in a while, between having my prep done and not having to crunch to complete the project Ludum Dare 42 turned out really well.

What went right?

I would say everything, but that's not really true. 

  • Scope: I usually have a relatively difficult time correctly scoping projects (which is probably why I have so many projects on hold). It took me a little while, but after coming up with an idea and being able to card up the initial tasks I wanted to do I managed to set my scope pretty well.
  • Efficiency: I sometimes found  that I would be horribly inefficient when it came to previous jams, whether it be from taking on things that I know little about or taking up areas which I know I'm bad at (like music for example). This time around I focused a lot more on making the gameplay mechanics work rather than making some fan-dangled amazing graphics and music.
  • Lack Of Crunch: I don't usually actively go out of my way to crunch my way through making a game, but being able to not get up a silly hours, pull all-nighters or sacrifice breaks helped a lot in keeping the project itself on track. In the first few jams I participated in I did do all of that, mainly because I didn't know any better.
  • End Product: Somewhat recently I've felt that within jams etc I haven't really made something that I've enjoyed in the end. In this case I feel I've made something that is actually fun to play. 

What went wrong?

Not many things actually went wrong this time around, which was somewhat surprising.

  • Not having a better design: This may have actually helped in this case, but I felt that I should have had a better design in the initial gameplay elements, as I wouldn't have had to cut things like parts of the UI or other features I wanted to put in the game itself.
  • Not having a solid idea: This is probably a bit of a shock considering I generally have a good idea of the kind of project I usually want to put out when doing a game jam. But this time I didn't really have that, I initially wanted to make a farming sim where you could  only use a piece of land once. This idea got sidelined as I was going about the initial designs for it, I had to weigh up the pros and cons of doing both the farming sim and the dungeon crawler. 

Conclusion:

In conclusion this has probably been the best I've ever preformed in a game jam without putting my health at risk etc. Honestly, it's really nice to be able to put out something that with a little bit of work could be a fully fledged game. If I had to give any advice to those who are starting game development, or participating in their first game jam etc  is that scope things out to slightly push above what you know you can do and don't be afraid to ask if you need help.

Hopefully over the next few weeks I'll be going into the more technical side of this project with the whys and hows of what I did over on my patreon https://www.patreon.com/mrlparker

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