Postmortem: My Ludum Dare game SUPER LANDSHARK MISSILE ATTACK

This was my first Ludum Dare ever, and my 3rd real game jam in total ever (did one Indie Speed Run and one Global Game Jam, and by far my best jam ever – each jam builds on the previous one, and the LEVEL UP that one gets at game jams are just TOO MASSIVE TO PASS UP. I hugely encourage everyone to do game jams as often as they’re able to!

My LD48 game SUPER LANDSHARK MISSILE ATTACK turned out way beyond all my own expectations. I was never good with Unity! Please give it a look :)

One thing my experience has told me is that I always write postmortem part 1 of my jams and then never get to part 2. So screw that, I’m going to do this one quick and in reverse chronological order like Memento :)

Score attack!

Another thing I was sad to not have had time to put in was score tracking, so I’m making a competition! Send me screenshots of your high score and the highest scorer this week (ending Monday 5th May) will get to design a level for SUPER LANDSHARK MISSILE ATTACK with me :D

landsharkscore_BANNER

Adding sound

I didn’t have time to add in sound and music, which disappointed me greatly, so I played the game over some rocking track and made a video of it :)

Finishing

Eventually I detailed things a bit more, added more levels (there are three in total right now) and colour and juice and stuff and rushed it out the door in the final 6 hours:

landsharkpost07

Fleshing it out

I dropped in a bunch of objects, found some homing missile code, and went to town in a gameplay test. AND IT WAS AWESOME. So I pretty much didn’t change the gameplay from this kind of stuff:

landsharkpost_05_gameplayTest_web

And then amped it up in magnitude, and added score tracking and a timer, which made EVEN MORE AWESOME

landsharkpost06

Physics

Then I spent more than half of day one trying to get the physics for landshark working. One of the things I really wanted was for him to swim up walls… And generally defy gravity. Eventually after a lot of maths and help from other people’s maths:

landsharkpost_03_physics_web

landsharkpost_04_physicstest_web

Planning

I actually don’t remember where the idea came from. All I remember was that initially I wanted LAZERS. But that was hard so I went missiles :) This was my “project manager” over the weekend:

landsharkpost_01_book

What went wrong:

  • Very little actually, I was REALLY surprised.
  • Lack understanding of Unity physics (or indeed any maths physics), of Quaternions, of Vectors, etc, made it really really tricky.
  • Didn’t budget time for sound and interface.
  • I wasn’t sure what the scope was from the beginning and built as I went
  • Spent a ton of time on swimming up the wall mechanic… But didn’t end up using it a lot. It was one of those REALLY out of the way mechanics that had all sorts of mad implications that I couldn’t have considered when I was making it. Like falling into the infinite sky :P But it’s not really so much “wrong” as “something I can explore more” :)

What went right:

  • Being surrounded by other jammers, we could all ask each other about things. It REALLY helped everyone :D Jam in a herd! If it works for zebras it works for jammers!
  • I let myself go – picked a theme, basic idea, and just explored how it played. The lack of a solid, defined, “dead” goal from the get-goal for me allowed for a refreshing exploratory approach to this jam.
  • Not having to justify every decision, thing to try, etc in a team made it really easy to rapidly try and discard ideas. Not that I don’t appreciate being in a team. I really missed being able to specialise and do what I do best and let everyone do what they did best. Good for time, less good for focus and attention to detail.
  • Google Sketchup. Seriously, it’s the only 3D program I know and without it I wouldn’t be able to make ANY 3D. Well, besides the cubes and spheres. Thanks for the fish shark!
  • Unity. I give it lots of hell, and it gives me lots of hell, but without it I would never ever have made something that looks so big in such a short of time. And this applies to EVERYONE. It’s a great big sandbox, all you have to do is to find how other people did what you want it to do… And remember syntax XD

It was truly fantastic! I’ll never ever miss another Ludum Dare EVER! :D

Give SUPER LANDSHARK MISSILE ATTACK a go!

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