Here’s come Ludum Dare 31!
Level A Week: same idea for level designers, some folks on the Facebook group for Washington, DC Area Unity Users Group are doing it.
Constraints: Match your “A Week” with a gamejam theme using CompoHub
Inspiration clone a classic:
Idea: Strategy game about screening army/infantry movements using Calvary (like Napoleon did.)
What went right: Nothing really.
What went wrong: 1) Day light savings, always, always causes me to have some serious insomnia. I’ve probably spent at least 20 hours trying to fall asleep this week. 2) Lack of Time, a lot of important things came up and I wasn’t able to put much time into the idea.
What I learned: I spent some time messing with my drag and drop code, but probably should have just banged out a hacky version and moved on. I too easily slip into, “What IS the right way to do this,” instead of just banging something out and learning from that.
Feelings: Meh, Life Happens (I don’t know how you say that in feeling words.)
Play (Warning is is completely unplayable!)
Adriel Wallick’s wonderful post-mortem about her Game A Week experiment inspired me to try it out.
Idea: How many games of pong can a human play at once.
What went right: 1) Unity, I got it up and running fairly fast with very little code. 2) You can play it.
What went wrong: 1) Work got busy and I had to put in some overtime. This reduced the energy and time I could put into the game. 2) I also ran into troubles with Unity’s 2D physics and spent a fair amount of time fiddling with it.
What I learned: I need to either match the idea I pick with Unity features I already understand, or accommodate “research” time when considering the viability an idea if it needs a feature or area of Unity I haven’t used before.
Feelings: Anger, Hate, Frustration, Disappointment, Helplessness, Guilty, Embarrassed, Let down
We often hear of Posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD, especially associated with combat veterans and difficulties they face returning home, but did you know there is a positive version of PTSD called Posttraumatic Growth? Game designer Jane McGonigal and author of Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make us Better and How they Can Change the World found herself in a troubling situation. After a sever injury to her head, she began having suicidal thoughts! Her solution was to gamify her recovery! The game is called SuperBetter!
She gave a Ted Talk about the experience: Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life
… found that as the number of people working in a single room went up, the number of employees who took sick leave increased apace. Workers in two-person offices took an average of fifty per cent more sick leave than those in single offices, while those who worked in fully open offices were out an average of sixty-two per cent more.
What’s more, Evans and Johnson discovered that people in noisy environments made fewer ergonomic adjustments than they would in private, causing increased physical strain. The subjects subsequently attempted to solve fewer puzzles than they had after working in a quiet environment; in other words, they became less motivated and less creative.
Here’s a wonderful webcomic about sustainable creativity by Stephen McCraine. It has some great insight and perspective on procrastination and finishing projects.
Start From the Beginning
Also, he’s doing a Kickstarter to make a physical book version: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/stephenmccranie/brick-by-brick
I’m happy to report that the Greenlight page for Iron Roads went live last night!
Please, show your support by Voting for the project!
PS In case you missed it Iron Roads has it own website now too: http://www.IronRoads.net
The DC chapter of IGDA is doing a Text Adventure gamejam this weekend at the Westwood college:http://sjklevine.com/igda_dc/textjam/
I no longer live in DC, but I thought I’d jam along with them! If you want to join me, I setup a Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/611843362194465/
Recommendations for tools:
(dev wiki) http://choicescriptdev.wikia.com/wiki/ChoiceScript_Wiki
(dev tutorial) http://www.choiceofgames.com/make-your-own-games/choicescript-intro/
(gamasutra article) http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/DanCox/20130304/187702/Learning_Inform_7_Part_1.php
An alternative for those who think text games might be too boring, and want a meatier game experience while still fitting the theme of the jam, would be to try an “Idle” game:
(candy box) http://candies.aniwey.net/
(a firelit room) http://adarkroom.doublespeakgames.com/
This was my best GDC yet. I had some great business cards, my resume and something to talk about: founding and running the Washington DC Area Unity3D Users’ Group. I had a wonderful time, did the most networking of my life and came home very inspired! I even got to meet and chat with Matthew Davis one of the creators of FTL. (WHAT! You haven’t played FTL!! GO BUY IT NOW!!! )
On the last day of the trip, I decided to go to the Dutch Game Garden at their consult. I met of Maarten Wiedenh of Reus which he is playing in the picture above. It’s a cool game about Gods and planet building, its worth getting. On the way, a monk approached me and gave me the “Work Smoothly” medal pictured above. It struck me as smart way to think about working , “Work Smoothly.” It’s become a sort of motto now, whenever I get harried or out of sorts I remind myself to get collected and work smoothly.
[Yes, another HORRIBLY late post, cut me some slack!]