Last weekend I participated in The Arbitrary Gamejam #5, with the theme “Damn the Torpedoes! Full Speed Ahead.” I came up with “Davy Jones Freezer,” where you’re an ice cream transport that needs to get through a minefield to deliver ice cream to an island.
This wasn’t as tight a game as The Little Volcano, but I learned a lot of new things. Things that worked:
- Having a tutorial class. I always loathe doing the tutorial and it was almost painless.
- Having a goal for the player. The judge for the last Arbitrary Gamejam pointed out that a goal would have been nice and he was right!
Things that didn’t:
- The workflow of drawing something in ArtRage, exporting it to Gimp, magic-selecting the canvas away from the edges, resizing it, exporting it again… ugh. I’m sticking with pixel art from now on, the workflow feels a thousand times more efficient.
- The ocean class kind of got away from me. Not only did it become one of those mutant classes that contain references to everything, but I spent a long time struggling to create an infinite board. I think I probably could have broken the problem down better with a few minutes of thought (and maybe a piece of paper).
- Up through the end, the background was irritatingly flicker-y. Still not sure why, but I think I need to understand the LimeJs rendering code better.
I wanted a font that said “Here there be dragons.” When Andrew saw it, his reaction was, “Would you like a Dove bar?” Now every time I see it, I think “Dove bar.” The theme of the game doesn’t help, I guess.
All in all, I’m glad I did it, I learned a lot, but I’m a bit disappointed in the final product. This weekend is Ludum Dare, so hopefully I can create something that I’m happier with.