I originally didn’t plan on participating in this year’s LD. But since i already skipped last year, and seeing all those tweets of friends coding up entries, i couldn’t help but try my luck. The theme was perfect, as i didn’t want to spent more than a few hours on the entire thing.
I participated in Ludum Dare 26, theme “minimalism”. Below is my battle report.
I decided on a dialog based text adventure. Using libgdx, i quickly threw together the dialog engine, all in all a whooping 300 loc, including json parsing, same fancy pants interlaced shader, and a morse code renderer and audio player. All in all i spent about 1.5h on coding. I’ll put up the source tomorrow, to tired to write a proper .gitignore.
Once that was done, i had to come up with a story and characters. Behold my design tools:
Two things became immediately clear: it’s extremely hard to come up with a compelling “story”, and it’s even harder to put all that into a concise format. One of the two characters talks in morse code, so any utterances had to be extremely short. This limitation, nay, minimalism was rather hard to deal with.
In the end, i spent a good 5.5h working on the dialog. Lessons learned: text-adventures (in spite of a better genre name for …—…) are harder to make than platform games with crazy mechanics, and i’ll never be a writer. Also, there don’t seem to be any good dialog editing tools. The closest i got was some random mind mapping software, but even that was more cumbersome than pen & paper.
I’m happy with the end result. Go give it a try. You can enjoy it on your desktop (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X), provided you have Java installed, or in your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari), provided WebGL is supported. All through the glorious power of libgdx!