Ludum Dare 41 has come and gone and the results are in! There were many amazing submissions (2018 in the Jam category, 3049 total) and it was great to see Deck of the Dead in the mix!
Ludum Dare 41 Jam Ranking
The theme of this jam was "Combine 2 Incompatible Genres". Participants were given 72 hours to create a game incorporating this theme. My initial ideas for genre combinations and basic mechanics were:
- Typing/Runner: Typing letters/words correctly makes the player run
- Typing/Racing: Typing makes the car accelerate
- Puzzle/Shooter: Clearing blocks kills enemies
- Memory/Shooter: Matching cards earns ammo
I opted for my fourth idea and adapted it to be a Memory Card/Zombie Survival game.
What Went Right
- The game was completed and submitted on time
- The genre combination worked well
- Core mechanics were implemented, fully functional, and provided a challenging gaming experience
What Went Wrong
- The scope had to be dialed way back to finish on time
- Omission of in-game controls/instructions left some players unsure of how to play
- A couple of nasty bugs slipped through testing (patched post-release)
This was a great learning experience! Being my first game jam, I didn't have a solid idea of how much I could accomplish in such a limited time frame. I had planned on adding many things such as multiple enemy types, weapons, animations, a scrolling level, etc., that ultimately didn't make it into the submission. In my haste, I also forgot to include in-game controls and instructions. I thought the user interface was intuitive enough for players to grasp the mechanics but a few reviews reinforced to me the importance of explicitly presenting these details.
I plan to make Deck of the Dead into a fully featured release after I wrap up my current project, Bud Blitz. I'll likely target mobile platforms as I think they would be best suited for this type of game. The knowledge gained and feedback received from this game jam are invaluable and will help to make the next iteration of Deck of the Dead an even more entertaining and challenging experience.
I'd like to thank everyone that played and rated Deck of the Dead and tip my hat to all my fellow indie developers that participated in LD41. I look forward to seeing you all in LD42 in August!