Chicken Snatch – The inside coop!

Posted by (twitter: @stalkjimmy)
August 27th, 2013 7:00 pm



Chicken Snatch is my second LD entry. I made run run amoeba  last year, skipped a couple LDs and now a year later my LD rash was itching!

What was different this year? I was ready! I knew to dream big and focus little. I knew to  stock up on things like coffee, deodorant and granola bars. I knew that having no friction in a platform game kinda sucked.

What else was different? It seemed like the whole universe was trying to stop me or tell me to start a country music jam instead. My car’s engine blew immediately after 1300$ of repairs and my hardrive went on my main dev box!!

Lets get to the good stuff..

So I log into IRC and what happens as soon as I log in?

Screenshot from 2013-08-23 21:01:16


BAM theme in your face! 10 seconds?! why does space never win???

So I high tail it with my artist and Q.A. girlfriend to the coffee shop with the same notepad from last year.

We drink coffee/tea, we talk, we drink, we talk… it comes down to a traffic light administration simulator OR a fox and chicken platformer. hint: this post is not called traffic (game)jam – the inside coupe ~ I just made that up!

Our system is pretty good. I do all the sprite/tile/design/code and she does the fine art, concept art, story boards and QA testing as I update builds. We use trello to keep organized slightly and she reports bugs and updates stuff on there.


We stay up until 4am and have a rough prototype we release to our friends online

Screenshot from 2013-08-24 09:30:34Screenshot from 2013-08-24 01:17:17

Sunday I wake up super early, finish the tilesets and add a dog.

Screenshot from 2013-08-25 03:34:30

We break, run some errands that are totally FAIL (more on that later) and then come back and finish the game up. I crank music and design the level and she finishes the congratulation artwork.


So lets postmortem a little :)

What went well?

  • I used a framework and code base I’m real experienced in so there were not many bugs
  • The game controls felt good and the game play concept was really fun from the beginning
  • The Art created for the title and end level screens was beautiful
  • My friend in Florida hooked me up with music I requested on time
  • The game actually worked in IE9+
  • I was able to make the game freshly installing Linux mint wiping my entire system
  • people helped me. On twitter, on steam on irc and everything in between. suggestions, code problems, you name it. Community is good, ludum dare community is amazing. seriously go buy some coffee and pretend I did it thanking you.
  • using trello to work on things

What did not go well..

  • So remember I dropped windows? well I needed visual studio to change the mime support on my hosts web.config for ogg support for html5 audio… I ended up switching my host to Linux which left the public site down for a few hours and I had no public QA from the friends
  • I didn’t implement the ending level screen until really late Sunday night and it introduced a bug… the player kept re-spawning and exploding AFTER you beat the game. BOOM dead fox BOOM dead fox BOOM dead fox BOOM dead fox BOOM dead fox BOOM dead fox. I had to work in a few hours and here is this omgAWEFUL bug staring me in the face..
  • I use impactjs and JavaScript which is cool because I’ve used impact for 2 years and I work full-time as a developer writing internal business apps (mostly in html5/js). HOWEVER I also used impact++ which really improves impactjs, but it also requires a learning curve. This was probably not the best decision but Collin Hover saved my game by tweeting back and forth with every issue I had. I really owe him some success because I would have lost a lot of functionality if he couldn’t help me and I had to drop impact++ from the game.
  • I added some lighting effects as seen above in the dog image.. they just did not work. I wanted the game to have a night feel but the lighting just made it look weird and took away the retro coin-op feel I was going for.
  • Sunday I left for 3 hours to go look at a truck I was going to buy at a dealership AND IT DIDN’T START… SERIOUSLY?!!? I called ahead and said I was coming a day in advance and the damn thing doesn’t start when I get there… WOW I could be working on my game instead of wasting my time in Chardon, OH with a truck I can’t even test drive… (I’m still mad about this).
  • Firefox hates audio. I don’t know why but I just am done messing with Firefox and it’s problem with my .ogg sounds.
  • Everyone is making awesome gifs on their blog posts and I can’t seem to find a way to do this without some dumb website stamp. (I don’t own photoshop CS)
  • If you do beat the game then it will ask you to press space to replay. this actually reloads the page because I was having a major issue removing the existing entities from the game. the chicken counter would double (based on how many chicken entities are in existent). and the player wouldn’t reload properly.
  • I ran out of time as usual so I didn’t……
  • tweak the jumping from a press once to a press and hold. This prevents players from using skilled jumps and releasing to have more control.
  • have time to make a fox cutout appear in when you enter the fox hole. This would have added more to the play and experience.
  • fix a bug that if you die jumping, you will respawn with the same velocity you die with. It’s kinda fun but will piss you off in a speed run.
  • get Firefox working.. but I didn’t have time to mess with the audio. stick with chrome or safari for optimal experience please.
  • make the fox drop the chicken on death instead of respawning with it in it’s mouth.
  • get the game on kongregate
  • get the game on newgrounds
  • get the game everywhere I could get the game

Stuff used

A Very Special Thanks to:

  • My first fan Matt Tippens @matt_tippins
  • @i8bugs one of my best friends far away
  • @collinhover I can’t thank you enough for what you do for the impact community and my games
  • @Orlai for never holding back
  • 507th Aristoi aka mochnant Good ideas are hard to find
  • @bryan_on_rails thanks for letting me spam you all weekend
  • John Zeller, Sorry I blue screened you, switch to linux :)

So anyway this was a blast and I did like 10 times better than last year!



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