We were a smaller team this time: two programmers, one artist and myself in the same room, while another artist was about 1 thousand Kilometers in a straight line from us, and we could only talk to our musician through email. We couldn’t afford to be too ambitious so… no pressure.
It’s been a while since I did any game design from the ground up. With the exception of two months doing freelance work at the start of this year, I’ve been unemployed for more than a year now and I felt a bit rusty. My focus lately has been shifting from completing older design docs, to learning Game Maker Studio, and then deciding that I should read up more on logical thinking for programming, and at the same time spruce up my memory on an easy to learn language that I was still familiar with, Processing.
This led into choosing Game Maker Studio as our framework, besides the other three local team members having some experience with it, during any design downtime I could jump into the sprite or level editor and help them out. Hell, I could even help search for solutions if we’d get stumped by some of the different ways GMS does things, I can say I’m way too experienced in that.
«That’s a wrap!», we said when “alone I art” was submitted, «We’re not going to do another Ludum Dare before making full games out of this and Eggscape, okay?»
We all agreed, until seconds later someone reminded us that the next Ludum Dare was going to mark the 10th Anniversary of the competition.
«#&$*@!», I said, before blacking out and waking up four months later and right when the theme was announced.
«The theme is Tiny World?»
«#&$*@!», there, I did it again.
As we were packing our stuff after making Eggscape, someone said something in the lines of “Let’s do this again in December!”, and since that day in August we’ve been talking about participating once more in Ludum Dare.
As the final week till LD #22 began, we followed the theme voting closely, coordinated our votes and shared the possibilities of each theme that interested us. Having learnt a lot with LD #21, we were confident that this time everything would work out better, even with two fewer members.
It was around 11pm when I left my house with a 1 hour trip ahead until I met the yet to be named Make A Game team. Having memorized half of the list of possible themes, I spent the little I could of brain waves keeping my car on the road, and tried to think of quick game mechanics suited for a 72 hour game development.
I was the last of the team to arrive; I met some new faces and joined in on the ready up ritual. There were still 3 hours until the official LD #21 theme to be revealed, so we started throwing ideas around, writing them down on our white boards and linking them to similar themes.
The team, too busy to pose for a photo
The awaited hour finally came, and the Escape theme was victorious. We quickly (and sleepily) gathered around one whiteboard and started discussing our previous ideas, along with new ones. Among them, the Survival Tetris game was highly praised. For some dumb reason, I went to my computer and searched if someone already had done such a thing. It existed, and in two quite different forms. In one you only controlled a stick figure, and in the other you controlled both pieces and a round character. We were bummed out.