In for My Tenth Time

Posted by
August 20th, 2015 10:19 pm

Wow, this is my tenth time competing at this point (both overall and consecutively)!  You’d think I’d have learned a thing or two about both preparing and game design in general.  Ah, well.  Also time might be tight as we are performing the largest system deployment I’ve been involved with at work, starting at 9PM Friday, and continuing Saturday morning.  I’m not expecting it to take too much of my time personally, but if something goes wrong, I may be tapped most of the competition.

In any case, this time around I’m changing up my tools.  The last 9 entries were all done in XNA, and well I finally need to let go since Microsoft has done so apparently.  I set up a new machine with VS2015 and Monogame, and spent the last hour porting over my last entry to Monogame as a Warmup weekend.  It’s not half bad, so I’d suggest taking a look and letting me know if the game works on your machine (it’s the first time I’ve compiled anything in Monogame).  You can find the warmup entry Here.

 

I’ll be using the following during the competition:

Programming: Visual Studio 2015, C#, Monogame 3.4, Notepad++.

Graphics: Paint.NET, Sketchbook Pro, Paper, Pencil, Camera.  I typically draw my graphics on paper or with a sketching program, then bring them into Paint.NET to convert them to 8-bit style sprite.

Sound: Famitracker, Audacity, and an Ukulele.

Base Code: My custom engineported to Monogame.  At this point it pretty much abstracts out Monogame and wraps all needed operations into nice custom objects.  Once again I suggest stealing my code, and let me know if you decide to use anything (I’m curious if anyone ever uses anyone else’s base code).

Font: For any text display, I have been using a free font  from http://www.proggyfonts.net/, specifically Proggy Square.  I have converted it to a spritefont (PNG) for use in XNA (both full size, and something that fits in 8×8 for NES style graphics).  The original font and converted formats can be downloaded Here.  I keep telling myself I’ll draw a new font during the competition, but this is up here in case I don’t have the time.

 

Finally, this is where I put some sage advice to those new to the competition:

  • First and foremost sleep regularly.  You can only be an effective developer for so many hours in a day, and loss of sleep will make them unproductive.
  • Make something small and simple; get that done then polish the game until it gleams.  If you can get a working game engine early, then you’ll be in great shape.
  • Get somebody to play your game often.  The more people play it before you submit, the more stupid mistakes you’ll fix before the competition is over.  There is a great community here, and the folk in IRC will usually be able to help here (they helped me debug an issue related to culture settings in one of my previous games that I would never have caught on my own machine).
  • Absolutely everything you make will take longer than you expect.
  • Post screenshots as you go.  This also helps judge audience interest and can help you polish your game.  Also, I like looking at works in progress when I get burned out, so I would hope to see yours.
  • Submit what you make, even if you get frustrated or don’t think it’s your best work.  The critique you get will help you the next time you compete.
  • And most importantly have fun.  Seriously, this is a friendly competition; you don’t win anything except that you made a game, and maybe some bragging rights.

As always, good luck, and I hope to see your games come Sunday/Monday night!

 


One Response to “In for My Tenth Time”

  1. MiniBobbo says:

    I am also doing a new system implementation on Friday evening and may get tapped out if things go poorly. Hope your implementation goes well!

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