May 05 2011

Ludum Dare 20: My first go with XNA

Theme: “It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this!”

This was the first time I participate in Ludum Dare, and I had decided to use XNA, a framework I had never used before (but Ludum Dare is a fine motivator to learn something new).

The bad news is that I failed. Pretty bad! This is what happened…

For those of you who don’t know what XNA is: its a framework for making games, developed by Microsoft, and its main advantage is that you are able to deploy your game to the Windows, Xbox360 and Windows Phone 7 – platforms without having to maintain three different code bases. And yeah, you use C# as your language =).

As I already said, I failed pretty bad. I do believe that everyone has to try and fail once at Ludum Dare before getting a grasp of it. You don’t have enough time to do anything, that’s the challenge! 2 days can feel like 2 hours, and suddenly you are facing the deadline with a game that isn’t playable at all, but at least it has a fancy re-useable animation system! Because, you know, we have to animate stuff or we won’t have a game. Too bad though that we have no game to put it into.

So around mid-day on the second day I started to realize that there was no chance I was going to make it.
I spent the last hour, before giving up, deploying what I had to my Xbox 360 (which was kind of cool).

So Ludum Dare #20 was a failiure, but I learned an important lesson!

  • You should start small and iterate
  • Even your simple idea will turn out to be too much for 48 hours
  • Don’t build re-useable systems or fancy code
  • You make it in time for the deadline or you don’t make it at all
  • I want to do this again!

And finally: a super crappy video of me starting the game on the xbox (and showing the same game on my PC).