The Ludum Dare Game that Almost Wasn't but then Was

Ludum Dare Compo came around again. A global 'game jam' competition that challenges participants to develop and publish a video game from scratch in 48 hours based on a mystery theme announced at the beginning of the deadline. Once again, I was in. The theme? Running out of power.

I got off to a fine start. Progress was great after a mere two hours in. The world of "The Last Gladewarden" was coming together nicely. A few of the trickier mechanics were already slotted into place and even Blender's insatiable desire to swallow my soul appeared less vengeful than usual.

Disaster struck as I headed to bed at 5 AM. I realized the spark was gone. There wasn't anything wrong with the Gladewarden, there just wasn't anything new about it. The planned hybrid action/tower defense was far too close to Antagonistic, my last Ludum Dare title. Sure, there were a number aesthetic and gameflow differences, but the code I was writing was painfully similar to that previous title. It wasn't new enough, different enough, 'dare'ing enough.

The next morning I awoke to a sobering realization: I was quitting. Ludum Dare Compo may very well be one of the most grueling technical competitions in the world and I wasn't about to kill myself rehashing the same ol', same ol'. I was out.

A mere hour later, I was back in. A concept had bloomed in my mind so bonkers is simply had to be given a chance. But could I make it? I had already lost nearly 15 of my scant 48 hours. There was only one way to find out!

With only six hours left on the clock, I was still missing the victory/failure conditions and an actual algorithm governing the main power mechanic. It was going to be tight, to say the least.

The game was completed with less than 30 minutes left until the deadline. 

Thus, without further ado (mostly because I'm drifting off to sleep here at my keyboard*), I present Airship Engineer: A gonzo little arcade game that challenges you to maintain three cantankerous steampunk engine contraptions to keep your travel schedule. Admittedly, it is missing a couple of my signature touches (such as an animated main menu), but it is a fine bit of silly fun. I hope you enjoy.

Grab it from MikeyKae.Itch.Io
See what other contestants thought about it at Airship Engineer's Ludum Dare page

*Then I went to sleep and forgot to post this until now ;)