The results are in, and… it’s nothing to brag about. I do like that innovation is my strongest category again.
I don’t know exactly how many entrees I’m ranked against. The stats say that there were 1597 entries in the “jam” competition, and 66% of all entries (“jam”, and a separate competition, “compo”) met the ratings threshold for getting ranked, so maybe I’m ranked against 1067 or so “jam” entries? That puts me in the top half for most categories, and not far from it on the Overall. In a competition that includes professionals, hobbyists, and teams, I feel OK about that.
Here is some weekend progress on Don’t Get Crushed (post-jam version, to be released after the review window closes):
Fixed the janky vibrations
improved some art
The level number now included a decimal component, making it clearer how much progress you’ve made within a level
You can also see the previously reported progress: visible scores, the ability to restart using the up arrow, and the crusher following the player more closely (and no longer leaving a safe area on the bottom of the screen)
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.
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.