LD22 was my first go at Ludum Dare, and I had an indescribable amount of fun doing it (play my game, read the post mortem).  A big part of why it was so amazing was because I livestreamed the whole thing, and a significant number of my YouTube subscribers turned out to watch (I believe I averaged 200-300 viewers the whole time). Many of the ideas for the story and gameplay came as a result of discussions with the viewers in real time.

It also felt stupendously good to finish a game, which I know a lot of other programmers can relate to. It gives me hope that maybe one day I’ll quit my job and turn to game development full-time.  In the meantime, I have LD23 to look forward to!

Last time around, I made a game in Unity 3d.  I’m a huge fan of this framework, though because it’s only a part-time hobby my actual expertise with this (or any game framework) is relatively limited.  This limits my ability to perform as efficiently as possible and prevents me from dabbling with the more advanced features, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing for a 48-hour compo.  I may use it again, depending on the theme.

However, I’m wondering about doing something that is far more inline with my day-to-day expertise. It would be different from the “standard” submission, which carries both good and bad baggage. It’s also possible that I’ll be spending more time than I’d like with “low-level” functionality.  Namely, I’m thinking of developing a game as a web app that would include considerable server-side functionality (as opposed to doing a JS/HTML5-canvas thing — though such features may make an appearance).  Programming in Ruby on Rails is what I do every day — could this translate to making a game?  There’s considerably latency implications, though this can be minimized depending on the type of game and through AJAX techniques (or web sockets, though this WOULD be new/unknown territory for me).  Dungeon Crawl Web Tiles is a really impressive example of what’s possible.  It also opens up certain multiplayer possibilities WITHOUT needing to muck around with the more complex issues involved in typical multiplayer games.

I may make a test/practice/warmup game to experiment with these techniques, though April is looking VERY busy right now and I’m not sure when I’ll find time.

LD23 takes place April 20th-23rd, 2012.