Making a game to practice for LUDEM DARE 46!

I'm exited to take part in the next Ludem Dare in two weeks time, and so thought I'd give myself a mini-challenge to make a game within 2 days as practice. I often find that even projects I intend to be short often end up being stretched out and unfinished, so setting myself such a short goal really helped get the project done.

Here are my 3 best tips I could give from what I learn that I think are vital to ensure you can successfully finish a game jam on time:

  1. Gamemaker is bad at GUIs. I had essentially finished the 'game' part of my development before I realised I needed a menu so my game didn't just immediately start on-boot. GM is not great at GUIs, and so simpler is better in my opinion. I think you could pre-plan a very simple menu that would apply to 99% of game jam entries, that don't require a mid-jam panic when you realise you need one. Have a plan!
  2. Cover your weaknesses. I am a programmer by nature so I did that to the best of my ability and then used royalty free assets for music and art. Whilst I can make some mediocre art and music, I am still a beginner and so it takes me far too long to produces theses assets in the timeframe of a game jam but comparatively little time to program! Or be a part of a team if you can!
  3. Keep the scope small. I used a rule of 3. 3 difficulties. 3 enemy types. 3 weapon types. A game jam entry can always be expanded afterwards if you wish, but its a good chance to get your core ideas down, see if people enjoy them. If people really like it - it may be a good idea to carry on the project. If not, learn from the feedback and move onto the next iteration or project!

Here's a link to my little challenge project. If you would like to give me some feedback, it would be highly appreciated as it will help me improve for ludem dare 46!

Files 3 MB
Apr 05, 2020


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