Ludum Dare 41: Total Carnage Post-Mortem

Hi again! Over the past weekend, I took part in the Ludum Dare game jam. This is my second time participating in the jam, and is my first time working solo. The theme was announced at 2am on Saturday morning and… IT SUCKED! ‘Combine two incompatible Genres’ , it did’t make sense, how could you make a game that was good if the mechanics where meant to be incompatible?? Nevertheless, I got to work thinking about ideas. My initial idea was to merge a RPG turn based battle system with a rhythm game, something I’ve been planning on working of for a long time now, however, due to the fact that this would require a lot of good music, I decided against it. My next idea was a wave based car chase game. This was the idea I went for.

I was at work from 10-6:30 saturday, so quickly implemented the driving mechanics before I had to leave. This can be seen implemented here:

I spent the day at work excited about getting home so I could start working hard on the game, so when I finally got home, despite being mentally drained from a mind-numming day of work, I launched Unity and began implementing the enemy vehicles. They where chasing the player fine, smashing into  each other at fast speeds whenever the player took a sharp turn. It was fun, but I wanted the crashes to have more of an impact, hence I added a crashing sound effect and made it so that enemies and the player would begin to smoke and catch fire as they took damage.  This made the game a lot better, making the crashes a lot more exciting.

Next, I got to work on making the enemies come in waves. This took a little bit of tweaking to get right, as originally 6 enemies spawned in the first wave, which made the learning stage of the game super difficult. I soon settled on 2 enemies for the first wave, and added a further 2 extra enemies on each wave after that. I also felt like the game should be set in a desert, due to the very Mad Max-esqu style of gameplay.

By this point I’d been working for around 8 hours straight, and decided to call it a night and went to bed. I didn’t get as much sleep as I’d have liked, however I woke up the next morning ready to get to work finishing the game. I was only entering the Jam, so had 72 hours rather than the 48 hours you had to enter the comp, however, I wanted to get finished within 48 hours as prep for next time, where I will hopefully enter the compo.

I got to work bug fixing and polishing, adding pause menus, title screens and optimising the game so It would run nicely in a browser, as I wanted the game to be easy to play so that people didn’t have to download anything.

At the end of it all, I decided to change my tire smoke particle effect into large dust clouds that followed the cars around the desert. Its a small change, but it really made the game feel and look better.

By the end of the weekend I had a finished project.

Play the game at: https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/41/total-carnage

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