We made a game for the Ludum Dare 30 (which began quite a long time ago), but we hadn’t had time to post about it here.

The theme was Connected worlds and our game’s name is Grow Your Planet. You can play it here!

Meanwhile, here is the postmortem. You can skip to the conclusion is you find it too long.

What Went Right

For our first Ludum Dare, it went really well, actually. Following is a list of what we are really satisfied:

The Main Idea

We found the idea of making planets grow in a pot at home quite easily, and we found it really cool. Moreover, it fitted the theme very well, while remaining original (we didn’t want to make a platformer with two overlapping levels or such other quite obvious ideas).

The Graphics

We aren’t so good at pixel art, and hand-drawn graphics add a personnality to the game (I think so, at least). People seemed to like the style, Ylang did a really good job here. Many thanks to her!

The Programming

Stencyl is a wonderful tool that I’ve been using for some while, so everything went quite smoothly. No bugs, no unsolvable problems, no features that needed to be removed due to their complexity… The main challenge was the use of the image API, for the “taking pictures” part of the game, but here again, it wasn’t that hard.

What Went Wrong

Nothing Just kidding. Actually, nothing went really bad. Some things could have been better, though:

The Platformer Levels

To reinforce the “connected” part of the theme, we decided to add levels of some sort—and we chose platformer ones—to make the planets interact which each other. Sadly, this decision was made too late, and I ended up not having the time to make them. As a result, I made a small, poorly implemented one that can be completed in 5 seconds, and duplicated it to make three levels. This is the main thing to rework in a post-compo version.

The Polish

The game is not polished enough: it lacks transitions when you unlock a new planet, and the ends abruptly. For the next time: do not finish 30 seconds before the deadline!

The Communication

I am quite new to this, so I did not really communicate about the game. This is a thing to improve for next time, to gain more visibility.

What Went Neither Right Nor Wrong

The Music

Maple did a quite good job here, but the music was made at the end, too quickly, we did not have the time to record it and I implement it poorly in the game. Next time, we should begin to work earlier on this aspect of the game.

Time Management

We slept enough (too much?), and we respected the delays we fixed ourselves for each of our goals. We took it maybe too easy and relaxed, which caused the not-so-good platformer levels. It is strange to say that, but we’ll need to sleep less next time!

Conclusion

We had a lot of fun and are very satisfied with our first Ludum Dare game. We could do almost everything as planned. Just need to sleep less and to communicate more. Beside that, we did quite well.

We’ll be back for sure in December!