Lifes Decisions


  • Posts: 148
Hey all, I entered my game in to the jam, called 'Lifes Decisions'.

It is a story based game designed to target real life emotions. I decided to use the theme of 'you are the monster' to think about how people can be monsters, and do people realize even honest people have to make decisions that negatively affect others and cause harm. So does that mean you are the monster too, or just part of the game of life?

A few people have already left nice comments on my submission, any more honest reviews are welcome.

You can play the game in the stencyl arcade:

I really enjoyed using Stencyl to make it. I will now go thru everybody elses submissions and leave some reviews  :)
Website: Satch
Twitter: @satchapps.


  • Posts: 148
A post mortem (originally wrote this for myself, but have reworded it to post here in case anybody else finds it useful).

Thanks to those of you who reviewed my game, it was massively appreciated  :)

Post Mortem

There were 1526 jam entries. I was targeting the 'mood' and 'theme' categories to score highly in. I am pleased with the 'mood' result being #73, very happy with that, but the 'theme' was only #471 which I am disappointed with. Overall I was #313 which I am quite content with.

What went well:
This was my first ludum dare, and in fact my first ever release, so the fact I finished it and got some really nice reviews was a big result for me.

I learnt quite a few new things in Stencyl, and also about game development overall. Which in itself is invaluable, and for that reason alone I would recommend doing a game jam to others. At the end of it I got a strong feeling of satisfaction which made it all worth while.

The community was great. I emailed the organiser of ludum dare and he gave me great replies. The reviews from my fellow stencylers are also much appreciated. I love that people actually played the game and left honest reviews, that is worth its weight in gold. I also enjoyed playing other peoples games and reviewing them, even if I dont enter future jams I still plan to be involved in reviewing entries.

What didnt go well:
I am on UK time but was busy over the weekend so I only managed to do 2 hours work on the saturday, it meant I properly started the game Monday morning at 8am and finished it in the early hours of tuesday morning, in fact I had something like 7 minutes to spare before the ludum dare entry time passed!! I put a total work time in of around 17 hours.
      LESSON: next time I will either plan better so I can use all the time, or not do the ludum dare at all, as the next few days it messed up my regular work as I played catch up from the mental drain!

On the topic of the theme 'you are the monster' I felt most people would go with the obvious and simply make it so the character was a monster. Because of this I decided to try and think outside the box a bit, and settled on using the theme to try and create a game that would make people consider whether their actions in real life actually mean they are a monster themselves (in real life) because their actions have negative consequences on others. I was very pleased with the idea, and hoped that most people would also think the same, even if the game itself didnt work out how I hoped. In the end that didnt quite pan out.
      LESSON: I think the result was a blend of me not making it obvious enough at the start (instead I had relied on people reading the description) and people not playing the game all the way through. To those who didnt read the description or play the game all the way through they may have rated it very low for the theme. I didn't realise you could actually ignore the theme altogether and make a game on anything you like. In future I plan to either use the theme very loosely and do something obvious, or ignore the theme altogether. I spent a good amount of time and energy on it, and in the end it was for nothing, definitely a lesson learnt there.

Having looked through the results I should have entered the compo instead of the jam (however couldnt due to my earlier mentioned busy weekend). I noticed from the results lots of the games that where in the top few spots are done by at least 2 people, sometimes up to a team of 6 people are credited with different roles. I feel that by doing it on my own, competing with teams of people is realistically incredibly tough. A few of the games in the top jam results are done by individuals so it is possible, but certainly at this stage in my process of trying to become a games developer it is not going to be possible to get close. Had I have entered exactly the same game in to the compo I feel I could have ranked more highly for my chosen categories.
      LESSON: I plan to enter the compo in future, but will not be entering the jam. I didnt have any targets for this jam (other then complete an entry!) but do plan to set targets for myself next time, perhaps picking one category to focus on and try and get in the top #25. I think setting a high target would really help me push myself further and help my focus better.

Im delighted I did the jam.
Im pleased with my results.
I learnt some really good stuff in stencyl.
I plan to do more in the future.
And I would highly recommend it to others!

Thanks for reading this, I hope you can take something away from it.  :)
Website: Satch
Twitter: @satchapps.


  • Posts: 2
Heh , nice work.

Well i was also disappointed in the end. I have 200 votes from the community, and all comments said wonderful graphics and amazing music. Expected at least top 100. But that didn't happen .

Oh well. Once again , Congratulations.