I took part in Ludum Dare 21 last weekend.
I didn’t get anything submitted in time due to reasons I’ve already gibbered about over on their blog: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2011/08/23/thieving-fingers-post-mortem/ but it was a good experience nevertheless.
It showed that my engine is in need of a lot of work, and that my highly prized *cough* resource manager that I had spammed about last time was as much use as a heap of molten slag.
It’s far too basic.
Now, that’s basic in the sense that it does very little to protect yourself from grabbing a chainsaw, and attempting to use it to trim your nails. It’s powerful, yes, but you’re likely going to lose a finger or two. And for heaven’s sake, don’t sneeze!
So yes, engine needs more work, I think… the resource manager is probably fine as it is, it just needs some layering on top of it to make it less dangerous to use. I also need a hashed string implementation, rather than relying on unsigned ints everywhere, which become a total pain to manage.
However, 599 other people managed to submit something! That’s quite an achievement… and while I’m still slightly bitter about my laptop, in that I could’ve been number 600, I’m somewhat glad I didn’t get anything submitted in time, as there’d be no way I’d have much of a chance of rating much of that at all! And that would be bad to all the work people have put into them.
Doing games in 48-72 hours isn’t easy, but it’s really rewarding – you get so much freedom to do whatever you want that you just can’t get in a work environment. Ironically, it’s a good stress reliever for me, as after pounding at system bugs and platform issues for however long I have been, to be able to take a step back and chuck something together in a random weekend “FOR TEH LAWLS” is rather nice. And while I technically could do that every weekend, since when have I ever been that organized?
Anyway, hopefully they do the same October challenge as they did last year, as I’d be keen to enter that… as well as the next Ludum Dare around December-time.
Perhaps I’ll even have an engine that isn’t full of bugs for once!