Ludum Dare 32 -Zoo Racer Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @refreshgamesuk)
April 20th, 2015 10:18 am
Play the game by clicking here!

Play the game by clicking here!

Well, that weekend was a blast and a half!

I thoroughly enjoyed the weekends Ludum Dare, it was great to be doing a game jam in a room with all the other Jammers in Plymouth Uni ( LUDUM DARE HYPE!)  sat next to my bro, chatting game dev stuff whilst coding, etc.

Whilst I’m still recovering from it at home today, taking a day-off from anything code-related.
Now’s probably a good time to write up a post-mortem of my Compo Entry:

 


WHAT WENT WELL.

Assets, Assets Everywhere!

Assets, Assets Everywhere!

Modelling a LOT of Assets, still inside Milkshape 3D.

That really old 3d modelling program that I still love using, particularly for Game Jams. Just checked my models folder now, almost 30 different Models. Even a couple of textures!

The theme was really open so it allowed for things to be a bit more out there.

I started off with a list of things that wouldn’t be weapons. You know, the usual stuff, road signs, furniture, fruit ‘n’ veg and somehow my barely awake brain took a jump towards making a cart fighter game. Probably because I really wanted to make one of those!

Your Aarray of Weaponry

Your Array of Weaponry

After determining the viability of weapons at the start of day 2 I settled on the following:

  1. A lego brick, painful b*****ds to step on.
  2. A lemon. Because, y’know, who throws a lemon?
  3. A stop sign.
    and
  4. A fire-cracker.

There were lots of other ones I’d hoped to use, mostly from movie cliches such as melon carts, people walking side to side with a glass pane, etc, etc. But I was short on time so 4 was enough.

Laying out the assets to form a nicely laid out race track.

I’m really happy with the visuals for the game. I did get carried away with fleshing out the race track with objects. Just so as the player, there’s something else to look at besides the track. Also, you can’t just hold accelerate for the whole of the lap which is good.

Audio (as in, there is some audio)

I’m still no musical mastermind, probably never will be. The SFX turned out quite well and I’m happy to quickly click through SFXR and ensure weapons have distinct noises, do announcer and character bits ‘n’ bobs but background music I always find tough to make something sound nice.

Having said that, there’s a loop of around 30 seconds in there which, whilst I’m not too happy with it, I made it a lot quieter than the sfx, so. If it’s annoying, at least it’s quiet. :)

Rolling out some Racing A.I.

It took a fair amount of time to set-up and get working, but once it was I was much happier with the game itself, as it was starting to turn into one. The enemy A.I. will race (really well), collect and use power ups and generally screw the other A.I. over during the course of the race.

I was really close to adding rubber banding to them but with only 4 minutes to go before the end of the compo, some things had to be left out.


 

Code to do? Okay, time to make an app icon first though?

Code to do? Okay, time to make an app icon first though?

WHAT WENT NOT SO WELL

Over-estimating myself

I foolishly, as I normally do in game jams, over-estimate the amount of things that I can fit into the time available so things, as usual, end up being cut-out. I did all that I could this time around and had more time available to myself than in previous jams, which shows in the game, as in:

The game is unfinished and has bugs, but the basic game itself is in there, speaking of which:

Known Bug list:

  1. Oliver the Hedgehog, not a playable character.
    Just ran out of time with coding the A.I. during sunday evening, gutted!
  2. Not much of an ending -The announcer will say “Winner” if you won and “Finish” if you placed 2nd or lower and then you go back to the menu screen. Not enough of a reward.
    I’d hoped to add a victory sequence, 2nd-4th sequence and 5th or lower one, the sound files are there and ready to be used but, that’s going to be used in the future.
  3. Cheating A.I.
    Yes, there go a lot faster than you a the start of the race. I could have added more paths for them also, but by that point fatigue had set-in.
  4. Mini-Map – Why are there 2 mini-maps?
    Because, time, sleep 😛

Essentially I’m going to give it a week before I come back to the game and sort out how I’m going to progess with it post-jam but I’m looking at developing the game further and adding crazier weaponry for sure.

TAKEAWAY:

I’m still shattered but I’m generally really happy with how the game has turned out so far. I’m gutted It’s missing some features but proud that I’ve made I functional, fairly playable cart racer game base to expand upon.

So, yeah, click the image below to try it out for yourselves!

play-zoo-racing


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