Ludum Dare 32
When a friend tells you “. I propose you a crazy project in seventy-two hours,” What can happen? Exactly, a Road movie. But we have neither the budget nor an enviable route to make our spiritual journey, so we entered into the Ludum Dare and let me announce the result experience: it was amazing.
For those who do not know the mechanics of Ludum Dare, they are competitions where you get a theme voted randomly and you have seventy-two hours after the theme is released for making a game based on it (forty-eight hours if you go into solo mode).
So, it all starts with Johnny proposing me to participate, I couldn’t say no, I was convinced it would be a great experience and I would learn a lot. Weeks passed and we were talking about it, joking and looking suspiciously the themes that appeared in the voting. Until finally it arrived, April 17, and we met in the sanctum sanctorum of No Wand Studios, his office in CIEM.
There, with a few beers on the top floor we were talking about a hell of an idea I’d had for the theme companion. I do not know if it was the view which made us feel like a redoubt of irreducible maños with all Zragoza sleeping but us or it being the first in a team talking about making a video game instead of play or the emotion of the moment, we though it was such a good idea that the theme companion was the one that should be released. The hours passed as we prepared and the great people from DeuSens came so that we would record the process of creating a video that soon you would be able to watch. The H time came and as well-trained soldiers we turn from the boats landing as avid bird blue you know it. There it was: An unconventional weapon. Here we draw the first conclusion: wait to know the theme before making delusions.
Nothing to worry, we had plenty of ideas. We went down to the cave in the CIEM and prepared the brainstorming. The truth is that it took longer than expected, but we went through many ideas until we decided that we wanted the weapon used as a concept and not as an object, because most people would use an object as a weapon. But we were still stuck on the concept that we wanted to use as a weapon. After several turns on the floor which became our new home for three days, I saw the light: I proposed a design that I had in my head as a check idea from a long time, the weapon would be to use history through holograms. Before proceeding I must make a point, pacing through the first floor of CIEM clarifies ideas, I was afraid to discover that the meaning of life wasn’t 42, but fortunately I only had the idea of the game.
The idea seemed to be liked so we started to give it shape in more detail. So, after a few hours of discarded ideas, walks downstairs and explanations of why not to be confused with contemporary and modern age it all was tied up. It would be a video game on isometric view, with great weight in history and would use different holograms to be solving the situations presented in the form of puzzles.
With all this in our head and all accumulated desire we went up to the office to work. We even had the level design made up. After making the first character, our artist saw it clear; we had bitten off more than what we could swallow. The plan was too ambitious and in the time we had it was impossible that we would finished. My dear readers, I allowed myself a plot twist reward to anyone who has endured so far: part of the team was going to Barcelona to a concert by Blind Guardian, so the productive hours were reduced to forty-eight.
No worries, far from running in circles or discuss between us, we did overcome ourselves, we redid the level and we adapted to that new reality. I must also announce that it was the first time I worked with them as a team and at this turning point we really felt like as a team, all rowing the same side, the important thing was to finish the game and not personal egos or need of personal contributions to be removed from the game as good as they were. With the reborn project (more affordable) with the essence intact we continued to work until it was time for our brave to take the train and go to see the concert.
Let us now fast-forward the tape to put us on Sunday morning. To be fair, on Sunday the only exciting thing we did was a family meal thanks to some girlfriends from the team who brought us food (they didn’t trust us to eat well … or simply ate: D). I could bore you telling in details the whole process was behind the game, but enough to know that everything went smoothly. The script was completed, translated (thanks Ana for the hard work you did), the graphics were in a good pace, programming and music also began to take shape.
— No Wand Studios (@NoWandStudios) abril 19, 2015
So after the dizzying shots where the heroes learn to be in it by force as in all action movies, it already was Monday night. We only had two hours to deliver and the game looked half finished. We detected a bug, but it would have to be solved later. And it was time to upload … I was evident think that we all experience the rush. The tired faces momentarily disappeared: we made a game. Short and with some bugs, but it was our game.
After the hard road, the truth is that we were surprised by the good reviews we are receiving, we invite you to try it your yourself so you can check they aren’t actors hired by us: The Jonbar Point.
Although the game has some flaws, we want to polish it for uploading it on the web as part of the projects done. In addition, we were interviewed on the radio program ‘La bolsa de Judas’ where we discussed a little more our experiences and what it means to engage with a company dedicated to the video game sector. You can hear our wonderful voices here:
Little left to say to conclude this experience. For my part I learned a lot about storytelling with this game and I know that everyone also learned a few things on their field. But the lessons weren’t only technical, we learned how to work together, to listen to each other, and to believe in ourselves … I can’t finish the article without paraphrasing Archimedes, which wanted a support point move the world, give me a team like this and we will move the industry. See you in Dreamscape.