There were around 1000 Jam entries for Ludum Dare 30 (citation needed). I’m tired and slightly disappointed (spoilers!) but here’s how my game held up. I threw in some of my thoughts for good measure.
Not as great as my first entry in Ludum Dare 24. No marks over 4.0 but nothing less than 3.0 so slightly better than average?
Humor is the highest ranking! And I find that super surprising. Most of the “humor” I added was probably in the last hour when I threw together the game over screens. And those were simply text on a black background. Soooooooo yeah. Interesting. I didn’t really intend to make the game “humorous” it just sort of ended up that way I guess. I also find it strange that a 3.42 isn’t my highest mark but is part of my highest ranking category? Okay sure, I’ll roll with it.
Next is audio. The music was universally loved and it isn’t even mine! It’s ”Mining by Moonlight” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) [aside: he makes some awesome royalty-free music go visit!]. The only reason I could use the audio was due to the relaxed rules of the Jam too. So I find it hard accepting that mark (which is the highest of all with a 3.68).
Then there’s theme, which was “connected worlds” this time around. I expected to score lower because of my very loose interpretation of what constituted a “world”. I won’t go into my original vision for the game (which got butchered by the end of the jam) but it would have made the idea of countries as different “worlds” more apparent. And I cut all that stuff out and people still made the connection!
Innovation! I think I try the hardest each competition to innovate, to make something unique. But with connected worlds I guess you get a lot of games about manipulating graphs. Like mine, which is about manipulating graphs! Because graphs are inherently based around connections. Much innovation such wow.
Mood is fifth! Mood is fifth? I wanted jazzy, relaxing music but that’s all I really consciously contributed to the mood. So uhhh ranking presented without comment?
3.41 (#248) overall. So top 25%? Again, no real comment here. The game was better than mediocre.
Fun is way down near the bottom and I sort of expected it there. The game ended up being hard. Frustratingly hard I think, which is a combination of bugs and lack of tutorial/instruction (both a result of not having enough time). These are easy things to fix…
Graphics are last. Are you surprised? I’m not surprised. The menu screens are basically white text on a black background. The game only has 1 image, essentially, and that’s the overworld map. The graph is made up of simple circles and lines (and the things are hard to see). I short-changed graphics in terms of gameplay because I was running out of time.
I rated 25ish games so pretty bad coolness (1204 out of all 2500 entries so mid-pack).
I think the one important thing this compo taught me is that I refactor a lot. Waaaay too much. Or I spend too much time on features that end up getting cut. And it’s all just wasted whereas I could have put it towards a tutorial, or more game mechanics, or anything else. I noticed it too with Ludum Dare 24, so I guess this just reinforces it: I need to stop wasting so much time!
I’m happy I made something, but I had a vision of a great game that I slowly strangled and contorted as the remaining time diminished. So I’m sort of sad to see this is the result. Maybe I’ll actually make that game some day.