Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Ludum Dare 38 - How Polar Protector came to be

Ludum Dare 38 was my first experience with a game jam, and overall it was a damn good one. As expected, I found myself under a lot of pressure to avoid over-scoping, and I think I did so successfully. I ended up finishing the game about 10 hours before the deadline for the compo.




I woke up at 6AM on Saturday morning. The theme was announced 2AM prior, but I decided that waking up early rather than staying up late would buy me more time during the event.

Despite the fact that I'd just woken up and was effectively dead for the next few minutes, I rushed to my computer to find out the theme - "A Small World".

After spending 20 minutes puzzling, drinking tea to wake me up and then puzzling some more, I had an idea. I would create a game where the player stands on a small world and fights off enemies. A few iterations later, I had the core concept for my submission.

I decided to name it "Polar Protector", since the aim of the game is to protect the poles at each end of the planet. Not magnetic poles, but rather actual metal poles jutting out from each side.

I spent most of Saturday programming and drawing up graphics. I worked for 13 hours straight(from 6AM to 7PM) and came out the other end feeling significantly less than alive.

I would estimate that out of these 13 hours, I spent about 8-9 hours on the art and 4-5 on the programming. For someone who barely scrapes passable when trying to make art assets, I think that's more-or-less expected.

I took Sunday a bit slower, since the bulk of the game was finished by that point. I only had to make some sound effects, music, and stick a load of particles everywhere. I made the sound effects by recording myself making noises and then messing with it in Audacity, save one sound that I made in sfxr. Try to guess which one!

I made the music using BeepBox, and I put the particles everywhere and removed the ones that didn't make any sense. All in all, it was a successful venture.

If you're intrigued by the final product, you can find it (along with its source code) on Gamejolt here:

http://gamejolt.com/games/polar_protector/251600

I also recorded a short timelapse of the game being created. Unfortunately, I forgot to record the final 10% where I added the particles and the music, but most of it is there. You can find this timelapse on Youtube below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G__q-WFoLeI

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy playing my submission!

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