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Ludum Dare – Untangle Post Mortem!

Post mortem time~! Welcome Untangle – my second Ludum Dare compo submission. You can play & rate it here. Code repository is here.

Theme & Concept:
Theme was connected worlds.
I was unprepared. Saw theme at 3 A.M. (UTC+1 timezone) and gone to sleep. I wanted to woke up with nice ideas like last time, but I paid more attention to theme illustration than theme itself, so connected worlds changed in my head to colliding worlds. I came with nice idea, but… it wasn’t proper for this LD. After some tweaks I came out with:

2D shoot them up game. Various worlds tangled together, and – as multidimensional police officer you must jump inside your trusted tank and fight strange monsters! Some of them just gone crazy after Connection, some came from other worlds. Ultimately you must untangle worlds, and bring peace once again!


At first I imagined something more like Get Medieval, but with level morphing in manner similar to The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons. There are connected worlds, and we can find objects from various worlds on single level. If we close connection to e.g. if we travel through water world, and close connection to grass one, all objects from that worlds would dissapear. New paths could open when tree vanished and old paths could be blocked, when liana perished.

I think it was great idea, but too large for me to complete in 48 hours. In the end Untangle is something more like Crimsonland, and tangled worlds only consist of three tiles – one for each world…

Time Handling:

It went way better than last time. Of course I still got distracted on the first day (It’s not my fault! Friend of mine came over!), and on the second day I got great crisis. I got too bored with Untangle, and was nearly ready to give up. Few hours before deadline I learned to hate this project, and despise my effords to finish it. But in the end I realised that I’ll hate myself if I don’t finish it before deadline.

Tip for next time: if you cannot fix something don’t hate it!

Altogether I spent about 24 hours on Untangle (it’s about 8 hours more than last time on Treasure Seeker!)

What went wrong:

  • Last hours of Ludum Dare was awful. That demotivation is something I could avoid,
  • My implementation of tile map render is very laggy. I need to learn frame limiting,
  • Graphics…
  • I struggled too much with performance and file handling, so yet again I failed to add any SFX to game.

What went well:

  • I learned a lot! About handling pointers with STL containers, about gemetry, handling mouse with allegro game library, handling some display events,
  • I broke my limits, and moved further away borders of things I can do in 48 hours,
  • I spend less time on making those crappy graphics. The same effect with less time. It’s good in some way.
  • Happines from finishing game, and being part of community!

Againt, participating in Ludum Dare was great experience. It was fun, rewarding (if we wink at that few hours of hate-project phase) and I’ll definitely take part in next one! If everything’ll go allright – it’s possible that we’ll organize a real life Ludum Dare gathering in my hometown in Poland with my friend.

Also I think that I learned enough to write small allegro 5.0 tutorial. Stay tuned!

And remember to never give in to your fear that you don’t make it in time. You will. Just don’t panic and calmly think if you could cut some features, and then implement!

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