dotLife Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @sinfritz)
April 29th, 2013 7:40 pm

shot_1

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/?action=preview&uid=17724

 

I had a pretty relaxed time making this game for the most part!  This entry turned out alright and I feel happy about it.

Theme

Thanks to the theme I learned a lot about minimalism!  There really isn’t so much a category for minimalism in art, music, etc.  In art, it seems to take from other forms, mostly from abstraction. It really is just a lifestyle.  At least that’s the conclusion I made.  It seems similar to buddhism, but not exactly.

Development Summary

Post-screen FXs

I wanted to do something neat for the visuals to add that extra immersion in the game since I’m gunning for an adventure sort thing.  First I wanted to try to refrain from using what Unity 3D provides and roll out my own.  I’ve coded shaders before, but that was such a long time ago that I’ve nearly forgotten the bizarre conventions it has.  So I tried to convert my old bloom effect to cg and things blew up left and right.  Compile errors for shaders are never helpful.

What I got working though are two things: color quantization and de-resolutionizer.  The color quantization basically just lowers the resolution of each color channel with a given value.  For this game, I basically set it to 8 colors.  De-resolutionizer just gets the center pixel of each row and column based on a given x and y dimension.  This is an effect you see a lot back in the Super Nintendo days.

The rest of the effects are pulled from Unity: Bloom and noise effect.

Mixing both bloom and color quantization gave that nice effect.  I had fun just moving around the level seeing the colors mix in an interesting way.

Flocking/Boids

I’ve coded this a while ago and I decided I want to try it out and see if it turns into some sort of interesting game mechanic.  Turned out to be a big pain.  Flocking is actually not that bad to implement.  The difficulty is making it behave right and, like anything physics related, tweaking it.  Between post-screen effect and this was pretty much my entire Friday night and early Saturday.

The game took a different direction when I didn’t have time to further work on the flocking.  I actually wanted it so that you sort of herd triangles around and avoid other flocks, in this case, the squares.  I played around with it and never got anything solid.  The squares still use them though.

Level Creation

Levels are mostly comprised of: 2 types of square, a triangle, 3 spikey things, and a roundish-polygon.  It got a little tedious tweaking the levels since I manually placed those things and wasn’t really grouping and organizing them.  That’s my bad.  As a result, I manage to only make a hub level and 3 other ones.

The flower is made the same way.  I basically just drew different pieces and just placed them together.  I wanted to make each one unique, but I never got enough time, so it was mostly copy/pasted.

Music

My favorite composer, the cgMusic comes back for this one.  This time though, with the added bonus of: http://solmire.com/ Having the right sound-font to converting a midi makes a huge difference!

Everything Else

Some of the code I used in the game were pulled from my collection of Unity core scripts.  Some of those are such a time-saver.  Things like: dealing with input, changing scenes, saving game states.

Fun Facts

Compared to my old postmortem entry, only a few energy drinks were consumed for the entire time.  And I got to sleep!

 

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