Posted by (twitter: @diegomac)
March 30th, 2015 3:36 pm

basebrawl-gameplayYou can check it out here!


This is my first #minild and the first time that I really participate in a Ludum Dare event. There was other two times that I’ve joined in, but I wasn’t able to pass through prototype stage because of time constraints. I’ve never could be more than 5 hours developing during the 48 hours time span, because of ‘life stuff‘. This 7 days #minild allowed me to really get into development, start to finish, including making decent graphics and polish.

So, the idea was to make an action pong, one that you really have to time your reaction, besides positioning the paddle, to be able to rebound the ball with some kind of attack. This and a baseball resting on my desk resulted in BaseBrawl!

I’ll try to do a mini devlog/post-mortem/whatever here:

First of all, prototype! HaxeFlixel was just awesome for that.  I started to develop the game on 23. 24 at night I’ve already got the final prototype (keys: A / Z / arrow keys), while learning more about HaxeFlixel’s API.

And I’ve managed to implement most of my designs which I highlight:

  • Swinging the bat up or down, controlling the ball motion;
  • The closer the ball to your character, stronger the strike. In game there are 3 levels of strenght, but through code I could decrease/increase that with ease, by changing a number;
  • Some basic but powerfull AI. Again, changing a number, I could set when the Computer would start reacting based on the percentage that the ball has traveled throught field. E.G.: if I set it to 50, AI would react when the ball reached the middle of the road. That as awesome for difficulty tweaking.
  • The cars and manholes were all tweakable too, setting some time range values to them randomly appear between them.

Some of them I was not able to do it, because I really wanted to focus on art + polish and feel that the game was finished. They are:

  • Variable ball angle rebound depending where the ball was hit relative to character Y position. That would add more deepness to gameplay strategy;
  • Gamepad support;
  • Porting and testing to other platforms (although HaxeFlixel is PERFECT for this, I preferred to worry more about polish than porting, because, in theory, everyone can play the Flash version)

So, prototype was ready, time for some basic art! I started with the baseball CEO players and I think they came out very good. It was like my second time doing pixel art and my first animating them. I’ve struggled to do a 4-frame walk animation, but they were bad. Really bad, like they were always moving the same leg back and forth. Then I went for the buildings (weird perspective, but I think they work), road, ball, cars and finally manholes. I used 2 days for that. It was very challenging (and some times frustrating) but I really like them.

Friday came, last day to jam, time to polish! I rushed a lot and then I got:

  • Sounds with bfxr, music with autotracker. The stronger the hit, more intense the sound of it.
  • Lots of screenshake + screenflashes (out of the box with HaxeFlixel!). These were awesome to give more feedback to the player. Stronger the hit, stronger the screenshake. The strongest strike flashes the screen. When someone scores screen flashes with the respective color;
  • HUD with the scoreboard;
  • Ball Trail and Hit Particles;
  • Win / Lose Conditions;
  • Two-Player mode;
  • Menu + Game Logo + Tweens! (Tweens are awesome, and again, out of the box with HaxeFlixel);

And that was it! I had lots of fun, it was my first #miniLD, #1GAM, complete game, start to finish, art and polish, and it really motivated me to do lots of others.

I’ll see you at LD#32. Yeah, I’m in. 😉

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