Ludum Dare 25

Wow, nine months without posting a thing. Epic downtime. It has been a busy year what with LEGO Batman, LEGO Lord of the Rings, LEGO City and preparations for the steampunk webseries I’m shooting. More on that shortly, plenty of filmmaking news to come!

I did manage another Ludum Dare weekend in the run-up to Christmas – that game is a stealth-’em-up called Infidel. I’m still too ambitious in these weekend challenges but at least this time I stayed focused on mechanics and gameplay over art. It’s all good practice.

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And the beat goes on…

The Christmas holiday was a wonderful break, and I forgot how spending the day at work takes it out of you. Particularly as we’re now on the final stretch of LEGO Batman 2. I’ve had no energy left for side projects at all.

However, there are a couple of game jams coming up, which I’m excited about. I’m hoping to have cleared the bulk of my TT work by then so I can spare a couple of weekends.

The MolyJam is a semi-serious event based on the wild imaginings of spoof twitter account @PeterMolydeux, but surprisingly many of his deliberately pretentious pie-in-the-sky game concepts could actually work. I love the idea of starting with a joke tweet that was intended to be ridiculous and unachievable, and making it work. I have picked my source tweet, but I’ll write about that later.

Soon after that, it’s time for the epic Ludum Dare 23. We could easily break 1000 entries this time! My only plan for this event is to craft a player experience to begin with, rather than the vacuous but pretty efforts I’ve made before. I shall also start collating my game jam efforts here for posterity.

Throughout April it’s also this year’s ScriptFrenzy, which I’m beginning to think of as a game jam for screenwriters. I won’t be participating this year, as I have too little spare time, but my Voidships partner Steve Turnbull has some interesting plans.

When the dust has settled on that lot, it’ll be time to kick our steampunk web series into high gear. But that warrants a post of it’s own. Stay tuned…

Ludum Dare October Challenge

LEGO Harry Potter years 5-7 is done, so I have a little spare time again, and there’s a week left of the Ludum Dare October Challenge. I’m going to expand Fireflies into a full game – still a short one, but I’m going for quality over quantity.

I’ve been mulling it over for a few weeks without having a chance to do much, but this week I actually sketched a rough layout for the game and made a few decisions that will simplify the core mechanics considerably.

It’s an odd feeling designing level layouts – normally my job is making gameplay mechanics work within a level designed and built by other disciplines. I’m enjoying stretching these underused game dev muscles…