#LD19 Post Mortem (Very Lonely in a Spaceship)

I spent roughly 2 days of my life last weekend to participate in the most daring quest of the Ludum, #19’s theme being “Discovery”.

There are many reasons developers go to jams, I usually do it for the freedom but this time was different for me. Fresh from my Tron 3D experience the night before, I wanted to learn how to do all the neony stuff I saw, and given that the whole week I was studying rendering techniques I jammed for the learning opportunity.

Things That Are Bad

Unclear scope

While this isn’t my first jam experience, I still did a rookie mistake of trying to make too many things happen. I basically worked a couple of hours trying to make the game render in different screen sizes! Although experience worked for me when I used some code out of the box (like using PBE’s logging interface to create my own command line).

Too many distractions

I played CityVille too much. 🙂 (The fact that I’m using my girlfriend’s company issued laptop, which meant her bugging me to check if her crops haven’t withered yet, didn’t help either)

"Come let us ruin his productivity!"

Plus 2 Christmas parties on Saturday and a hangover half Sunday. (Look at the brightside, I actually have a social life!)

Lack of motivation to finish

The moment I knew how to make the glowing text thingy — bloom effect, for those in the know — I knew I was done. That was the thing I sat out to do and now I can’t find any motivation to do anything more.

Things I Should Have Done

Commit to goals before doing anything

If I should do a jam game the way I do a day-job project, I would set out to write the main goals — stories if you are an Agile freak– that I should accomplish during the course of the jam. Having the goals written down makes it easy for me to pace myself and map out the game’s direction. Writing a design doc is a waste of time, but writing bullet points isn’t. Here’s what I should have written:

  • Learn how to make things glow
  • Learn how to do those radar blips
  • Create dynamic captain’s logs

I usually let the design grow organically but it really helps to have a direction. I played CaptainForever again and I must say, I was unconsciously or consciously leaning towards that.


I learned a lot of technical stuff during the jam so..  it’s all good. I might finish the game in the future or I may not, but I’ll certainly reuse some of the things I did for this game.

Play Here

2 responses to “#LD19 Post Mortem (Very Lonely in a Spaceship)”

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