Ludum Dare Post Mortem


What is a Ludum Dare Post Mortem?

You may be asking this question yourself while reading the criptic title of this post, unless you have already been part of a Ludum Dare event and have seen such type of articles published after the time to submit one’s game ends.

A formal definition could be that a Ludum Dare Post Mortem is a written exercise, usually published publicly at the Ludum Dare website, with which the developers recap on their experience of creating a game under 48-72 hours. Informally we could say that it is a opportunity to advertise your game and let people know about the details of its development.

Usually a Post Mortem includes the following sections:

– What went right

This is the starting section following a short introduction of the game. It is used to convey the set of things that contributed to the game as is, the ones that helped improve its quality or that eased the process of development.

– What went wrong

The aim of this section is to dissect what set of things hampered the development of the game and stopped it from being much better. Normally they are related with the lack of time, to poor planning, issues with the tools used or bugs that make the game frustrating to play at best and unplayable at worst. Other times accidents prevent the developers from finishing their game or from implementing all their ideas, so this is a good opportunity to acknowledge such occurrences for people to know.

Sometimes new ideas and learning are gained from such issues, which are then compiled in the next section.

– Lessons learned

This is, from my particular perspective, a key section and one that sometimes is forgotten or mistaken for things that went wrong, which is a mistake by itself, as some lessons may be learned from things done right and none may be available from unlucky events such as accidents.

The idea behind this section is to extract the new things that have been done right to make them repeatable, and then the new issues and problems faced during the event so we may prepare for them better in order to avoid them or mitigate either their impact or probability, or both.

– Future plans

In this section the developers outline the plans that they may have for the game they just created. This is a great section to add if you want to continue its development and are looking forward to publishing it, as it will help you maintain the level of interest your game has generated during the rating phase and after the results publication.

It is also a good idea to add here links to the game website and social networks, as well as a page where people could sign to receive a newsletter, as it will help you gauge the level of interest in your game.

– Conclusion

Finally, this is the place where developers sum up their experience with the Ludum Dare event and conclude with some final thoughts on their game. It is a good time to thank people for playing your game, invite them to follow you on social networks and finish with a call to action, for instance to recommend your game to their friends.

We hope this has been a useful blog entry and we look forward to reading your feedback on the comments below.

Would you like to see a real life example of a Post Mortem essay? Visit the Post Mortem of COPY GUN, a Mandarina Games creation for Ludum Dare 32:
http://ludumdare.com/compo/2015/05/05/copy-gun-post-mortem/

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