Ludum Dare 20 Results

by arkeus

Ludum Dare 20 judging officially ended a few days ago, and I thought I’d look back on how Diamond Hollow did, and how I think I could have improved. The different categories that were judged were Innovation, Fun, Theme, Graphics, Audio, Humor, Overall, and Community. In total there were 288 entries.

Fun – 1st Place

The results of the fun category were exciting to say the least, as it’s the category that I was aiming at the most. Placing first in any category on my first LD is great, but I’m especially happy that it was this one. 🙂

Community – 3rd Place

I have to admit this one I wasn’t expecting. However, I’m not going to look into it too much, as I’m sure not all the people voting really do read the blogs and watch the timelapses of the entries, so it’s probably not anything to be really proud of. But if you do want to see the timelapse of one of my monitors during the competition, you can find it here:

Overall – 5th Place

There isn’t much to say about this category either, other than there is room for improvement.

Graphics – 6th Place

Graphics were something that I probably put too much time into, but I’m glad it paid off. I’m not a great artist, so making even simple art takes me a lot of time, so devoting the time I did put me back a lot in terms of gameplay. However, I’m glad that people liked the result. There is a lot of room for improvement here. The biggest one being that there is one very simple type of environment in the game, and it’s the same all the way up the cave. There is nothing to break the monotony of grass platforms in a dirt cave, and I think that probably hurt me a lot. In retrospect, it would have been simple to make slightly different tile types (such as dirt instead of grass, etc) without adding much to the art OR development time, and would definitely have been worth it. Making more variety is something I will try to do better next time.

Audio – 16th Place

This was the biggest surprise to me, and I’m not sure where people got the idea that the audio is any good at all. I’m going to make the assumption that it was the sound effects, because I can’t to hear the original music without wanting to take sandpaper to my ears. But somehow people were able to bear through it, and it sounds like some even enjoyed it. Even more than graphics though, there’s a ton of room for improvement. While making the game I downloaded the FL Studio demo, and went through a ton of tutorials on youtube, and then just ended up winged it, clicking random notes until it slightly resembled music. For the next one I will likely prepare some, learn how to use the program effectively so I’m not spending 4 hours just trying to figure out how to create music. 🙂

Innovation, Humor, Theme – Low

These three I’m not surprised at doing terribly in because I tended to ignore them throughout the competition. In terms of innovation, I decided that in the time I had, I’d rather take some elements from familiar games and combine them in a way that was fun, rather than come up with an original concept. In terms of theme, as soon as the theme was announced I decided to ignore it completely and just tie something into it in the end, mostly because I wasn’t too happy that a “silly” theme won, and I didn’t feel like it was worth crafting a game around, especially when it’s a quote from another game. There was definitely a few games that took the theme and made it interesting, but it was just so broad that anything could be made to fit it a little, and it seemed better to do that with something fun than try to make something tailored around it fun. And finally, in terms of humor, I threw a ton of Portal-like quotes in there that seemed to be hit or miss for people. Some people liked them, and others didn’t. I suppose, depending on the theme, I may put more effort into humor next time around.

Overall I am very pleased with the results, and hope to do it again in August.