Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ludum Dare 25: Post Mortem

Play Dig-Dug Dungeon Here!

Link to Ludum Dare Entry

Wow, what a weekend.

I came down with an unpronounceable disease on Friday (turns out it's kidney infection) and feared for the worst but since I couldn't see myself missing out on LD, I pushed through. By Saturday, thanks to some amazing medicine that not only takes away the kidney infection but mysteriously makes me extremely hungry too, I was feeling much better.

This was my 4th Ludum and most likely my most memorable one. When I saw the theme was 'You are the Villain' I was a bit disappointed, it being the topic I had wanted the least to win. But, I decided on a Dungeon Keeper clone and within an hour I was enjoying myself immensely.

I got in about 16 hours of solid programming on Saturday and was very satisfied with what I was able to achieve. It was my first time making a game of this scale in JavaScript and I was enjoying the experience very much.

Then came Sunday.

Everything started going wrong. This was largely due to the fact that the limited processing power of the JS engine was wreaking havoc on my AI code. 20 Minions running around in a labyrinth of tunnels? No thank you! I spent most of the day trying to figure out how to fix it and only after hours and hours of testing and fiddling did I find a solution. By that time I was pretty annoyed and disheartened. I started thinking about how the game looks crap and isn't any fun to play.

I wanted to give up but knew that I would regret it. So I started implementing tiny little things that made the game more fun. Made some sprites for the minions. Added little sounds to events. Wrote a message system that gives you hints on how to play and other random information. I also gave the minions the ability to say random things (mostly moaning about their pathetic little lives of servitude) and suddenly, the game took on a whole new meaning. Instead of meaningless digging through tunnels, the game was now about this little Reaper dude oppressing minions and smiting heroes. It became a little world, not just a few little blocks on the screen.

So far, I've been getting some great comments on my game. Here are a few of them:

This gets its high rating from me, not from innovation (DK), but from awesome music and the funny things the minions say, and the fact that it's a fully functioning RTS in 48 hours!
This is surely how DK would have looked on the C64 ;)

wow wow wow WOW WOW WOW I WANT MOAR.

5 stars

"Oh you are a cruel master!"

Loved this game!

AWESOME GAME! I love this. At first I almost gave up because I couldn't figure it out, but once I did, I loved it. This deserves a full release.....make it happen!

And lastly, some screenshots:


  1. Cool little game, I did find one bug. You can't tell them to mine on one of the hero's rooms or whatever, which makes sense except that way you can reveal where they are through the fog of war.

    1. Thank you very much for taking the time to try it out. I appreciate the heads-up, I'll certainly look into that.

  2. I loved.

    I totally understand how empty it would have been without all those little things that brings that game to life. Your experience about it is appreciate . (I'm writing it down somewhere on my desktop : "totally useless features can be what makes a game a game in the first place")

    And for a bug : Minions seems to never reach a tile tagged as "to dig" if the only way to get there is to cross an ennemy room.