Nuclear Drone

A Ludum Dare 48 hour compo entry (A Small World)


  • Download Link: TBC
  • Source Code: TBC
  • Timelapse: YouTube



On April 21st-24th, the 38th edition of Ludum Dare was held over on This time around the theme selected by the community was 'A Small World' and in typical fashion it was announced at 03:00 on Saturday morning (GMT+1). After an hour or two or deliberating about what kind of game to make, I finally decided on a side-on game feature a radio controller drone. The drone would have a limited signal range and battery, and this would support the premise of the small world theme.

Being my sixth time participating in the LD event, and because I am using my game library the setup of the project and the boiler-plate code when smoothly. I decided this time to try and concentrate on the graphics first, being attempting to implemente any gameplay. I wanted to try promote the appeal of the game on social media much earlier in the development than I had with previous game. My rationale was that it is easier for people to become excited about the graphics of the game rather than the abstract concepts of the gameplay programming.

in the end this approach also propped up my motivation throughout the event. Having decent art asserts to use throughout the development made the progress over the weekend more visceral and I will be using a similar approach in the future.



As is usual for the Ludum Dare, I recorded a timelapse video of the whole weekend. You can watch the 48 hour period in a little over 5 minutes in the video:


Lessons Learned

Lessons learned is something I would usually do on paper after a Ludum Dare event. Unforunately this time around I found that I made a few mistakes for various activities during the development lifecycle. I figure by keeping a record of lessons learned, I will at least be able to review these points in the future in order to improve for the next eventes


What went well ...

The initial setup of the project and boilerplate code went very smooth, and I lost little time in getting to the development of the main game.

Starting with the graphics let me create a visually appealing premise - even before there was any gameplay. Were my social media skills better, I may have even been able to start a little hype before the end of the weekend

And not so well ...

I left the distribution of the game until the very last hour - and it didn't work. I just couldn't get the final jar to properly reference the external libraries. This could just be down to tiredness, but a bit of preparation and the use of a build tool would probably have been helpful.



Animated gif of title screen
Screenshot of Nuclear Throne