Ludum Dare 54: Don't Get Crushed

Don't Get Crushed was my submission to Ludum Dare 54, my second-ever attempt to enter a game jam. The game didn't end up much like what I was imagining when I started working (blame the 72-hour time limit, and my own limitations for that). The graphics aren't great, and it's got a few glitches-- but I think it's fun.

Before entering Ludum Dare, I probably would have explained the appeal of game jams as a way to test your skills against other game developers. That's still an attractive aspect of it, but my thinking has changed quite a bit in the past week.

I'm new to making games, but I've made stuff before: writing, software, images, even a bit of music. Most of the time? Nobody cares.

Because of the way LD is set up, if you put in the time to review other people's games, your game will be prioritized for other people to review. You'll get actual feedback!

I made this goofy, glitchy thing, and people are playing it. 33 People have left numeric ratings (I won't know the results of this until the rating period closes, in 8 days)! 21 People left written feedback! One person even drew a picture.

It's kind of exhilarating. If I continue to enter game jams, it'll be because it's fun as hell to make stuff and get actual feedback.

What's next?

The feedback on the game has been quite nice, but here's some of the criticism it's gotten (all valid):

  • Levels are too long
  • No way to know your progress within a level
  • The graphics are too "basic"
  • It's kind of sloppy that while the game starts and plays all with the keyboard, you need to use the mouse to click "try again" after getting crushed
  • No real sense of urgency...
  • ... and without that sense of urgency, the game can be pretty easy if you play carefully.
  • no score to see.

One thing I hate, that nobody has mentioned: the shaking effect that sometimes appears in the crushers or the obstacle blocks isn't something I programmed or intended, it's just some side-effect of Godot's physics, I guess. I'd like to at least have more control over that.

What I'd like to try to have a "post jam" version of the game, available the day ratings are released, that addresses most of those points.

After that, there are other game ideas I'd like to move on to, but might revisit this one sometime.

Ross Karchner @rossk