The Ludum Dare 32 rating analysis

So with Ludum Dare 32 judging results released, let’s take a look at our game’s ratings!

First, how did Star Driller Ultra, a project I worked on solo for 48-hours, do?

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2 categories that made it to the top 100, and 1 that made it to top 25? I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t good. Still, to be honest, I was a little disheartened by these ratings for a day or two. I should be a little more careful about my expectations next time.

Given these ratings, it’s clear that I delivered with the overall presentation of the game, with graphics being the main highlight. As I have initially suspected in the post-mortem, the fun factor was weaker than the presentation, a big problem for a space-combat action game. And I did pretty badly with innovation and theme, despite proudly proclaiming to be an experimental indie developer. It seems those need a little help.

As an aside, there were several things Star Driller Ultra achieved, including an IndieGames.com article, and 3 different Let’s Plays. It was pretty cool to see all these opinions and gameplays from different people.

Next, let’s look over how these ratings compares to previous entries. The last Ludum Dare I received ratings was Ludum Dare 31’s Laundry Day. Here’s how my ratings seems to be trending.

Almost universally positive! Although the comparison is pretty unfair: Laundry Day was supposed to be a satire of social games, and wasn’t intended to be rated highly. Additionally, it was the first time our team was learning Construct 2, while for Star Driller Ultra, I already had 5 years of experience with Unity. Regardless, the overall increase in ratings is certainly a positive sign. The only eye-catching exception is innovation dropping, which looks like something I need to improve on (I’m less concerned with humor and theme).

I’ve also calculated how I compared to others, using percentiles (ranking divided by total number of entries).

We see the same trend as ratings, so that indicates that ratings are a pretty good measure of performance.


How about the Unconventional Stick Swinging Simulator, another project I worked on solo, but this time within 12 hours?

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The audio and graphics were removed since the music and the character animations were taken from pre-made sources. Still, the ratings doesn’t look good at all. To be honest, I’m not surprised: the game was deliberately designed to be poor, similar to the Goat Simulator it was taking it’s inspiration from. At the time, I only had 12 hours, so the goal was simply to make something working and game-like. Even though I’m proud with what I’ve created within those limits, I fully agree with those polarizing comments: it is a bad game.

So color me surprised when I managed to dig up a couple of Let’s Plays, mostly positive, despite having less promotional effort. There’s one that gave an honorable mention to his top 5 Ludum Dare game list, another who loved it, one that figured out the whole game is intended to be asexual innuendo, and one that didn’t like it at all (and ironically is my favorite Let’s Play of the bunch).

Compared to Laundry Day, it looks like this:

Yikes! It seemed either Laundry Day had some subtlety in its presentation that more people liked, or Unconventional Stick Swinging Simulator was just too slapstick. Or I didn’t rate other games using this account, and it simply got polarizing ratings. I can’t say for sure…

Obviously, ranking percentile isn’t any better.

But I had fun making it! That’s what counts the most.

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