It’s done. I completed my first ever Ludum Dare project. Over the course of roughly 48 hours, with the help of caffeine and little amounts of sleep, I finished a new game jam project, Tumbling Towers. Over that small course of 48 hours, I logged my progress through a variety of development blogs on the Ludum Dare site, YouTube videos and an entire stream on Twitch.TV. Here’s a quick recap:

What is Tumbling Towers?

22629-shot0Tumbling Towers is a physics based, tower building game where you must build the tallest tower you can using only one type of material.

There are three materials in the game: Wood, Ice and Stone. Each of the materials has their own attributes. Wood is very average, Ice is the lightest, but is a little bouncy and has zero friction (so it will slide on the slightest slant), and Stone is very heavy and falls very fast. Depending on which material you use, you get a different amount of points. If a block falls off, you lose those points.

Where did the idea come from?

22629-shot1When I heard the theme for Ludum Dare 28, “You Only Have One,” I honestly didn’t know what to build. I wrote down a few ideas in a Google Doc and started to merge them together until I came up with this. I knew I wanted to build a 2D game and have it utilize Unity’s physics engine. I created a script that created an object and started building with it, and started building upon the idea and making it fit with the “You Only Have One” theme.

What did I learn from the experience?

The 48 hours of game development of game development from the Ludum Dare have taught me a lot. I learned much more out of this game jam than I expected to.

To start off with, it’s been a long time since I’ve worked programmed a project from start to finish. For a long while I started to believe I wasn’t able to do that, however I proved myself wrong.

On top of that, I grew my programming and Unity 3D skills. I used Unity 3D all summer long while making Wobbles, but I didn’t do much programming. That changed this weekend when I programmed Tumbling Towers from scratch.

I also learned that I am not an artist. As you can tell by a quick glance, I didn’t put much into the art of the game since I am not very skilled when it comes to creating sprites. Luckily, I had a good friend of mine jump in and do the art for the materials. Big thanks to Astara for taking time out of her study and work schedule for finals. 🙂

What’s next for Tumbling Towers?

First sketches for a bigger, more in-depth version of Tumbling Towers.
First sketches for a bigger, more in-depth version of Tumbling Towers.

I’m not exactly sure. For at least a week or two it’s going on hold. I have a few other game projects and mechanics I want to experiment with before I get started with Tumbling Towers again.

I have ideas for the future of Tumbling Towers, such as bringing it to mobile, since I think it could be a very fun mobile game. Its mechanic lends itself to working very well on tablets and phones, on top of being played on computers. I also constructed a pretty solid story on why you’re building towers, and with much more time to develop it, it could end up being not just a fun game, but interesting as well!

In my documents for the game, I have ideas for making it more appealing and hopefully more fun, and if I get back to working on this particular game, I’ll at least have a path to follow for it.

So what’s my next project?

My next project is to continue my One Game a Month project, Frozen Kitten, which I haven’t done a blog about just yet, but have been recording my progress and put up one video of the basic mechanic on YouTube.

I also have a card game, Sovereignty, which I worked on many, many months ago with a friend, Erik Scott, and we’re getting ready to launch it very soon, after taking a long hiatus from it.


Until next time…

That’s all for now. I’m off to get a few things together for my 1GAM project and the remainder of the week. I’ll put up another post for Tumbling Towers once voting for the Ludum Jam starts in about a day. Until then, please feel free to check out the web version of Tumbling Towers. 🙂