Steam Heart – After Jam Thoughts

Posted by (twitter: @@sinclairstrange)
August 30th, 2016 10:49 am

Ah yes, my sleeping pattern is a little wonky right now :/ So it’s time to post up the obligatory after jam thoughts!

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You can play Steam Heart ‘ere!
Or you can watch a playthrough if you want right ‘ere!

Dawn of the First Day

So waking up at 5am, I found out the theme was ancient technology which wasn’t any surprise considering the previous results. In a way I’m somewhat glad it was something broad/setting than a gameplay mechanic, as it allows me to create anything I want and set it with-in a universe based on the theme.

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(Beta sprites/HUD As you can see it originally had a timer and only two switchable weapons.)

So in my head I fancied making something I love which is run-n-gun games as this jam was a little more relaxed without the ratings. I really fancied making a tribute to Treasure’s classic Mega Drive games and this jam was a great excuse to take some time out to do so! Anyway the first thing I did was to sprite up some characters, get a basic movement/shooting engine down. Originally the setting was set in a Arabian styled world, however when I came to spriting the enemies, they came out looking, rather Steampunk…

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(Not many enemies to battle, I focused more on those delicious bosses! Yum Yum!)

So with that, I just completely changed my vision in my head, which in the long run I guess kind of worked, as it made designing the end bosses a lot easier and less time consuming. However I did have to re-sprite the main character as the original didn’t quite fit, however it didn’t take too long!

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(Why do they always wear their goggles on their head and not around their eyes?)

Once that was done and basic engine was finished (with enemies, restarts, power-ups, the whole guff) I started in creating tile sets and building the first level. Actually a lot of time went into making the tile sets, I went through a couple of changes. It was gearing towards the end of the first day and I decided to get some sleep, the next two days were going to be tough.

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(The tile set/colour palette for the destroyed city. Made of orange cheese!)

Dawn of the Second Day

So after having roughly six or so hours of sleep, I jumped straight back to it, I finished up the tile set and was well onto my way of creating the first area! Making and designing short little sections followed up by a boss is how I like to start my morning.


(This was the first area, look at those lovely explosions, mmm retro-explosions)

I actually spent a lot of time on the end boss on the first section, as I wanted to somewhat re-use its AI and destruction triggers for future bosses. After making the first section I knew then I wouldn’t have a “full game” ready in time as I somewhat planned. This is when I thought it’d be best to make it just one level that gave a taste of the past glory days of Treasure and Sega. This is where I decided to make some different areas/mechanics in the same stage so it wouldn’t all look boring and monotonous. This is why you see the blimps attacking in 1-2, the sewer parts in 1-3/1-4 and the whole town destroyed at the end of the stage.

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(I utterly love boss fights. Tis why I based this game on Alien Solider/Gunstar Heroes)

In the first day I managed to create the first four bosses. I was aiming for 10-12 or so bosses but I just knew I couldn’t achieve that at the current level of polish. It was at this point I knew it was best to make good and interesting fights, other than cheap short ones. It feels better when you explode something up when it’s been a challenging and fun fight.

It was closing up on the second day and I just needed some rest. I had a long way to go the next day and I just knew it’d I’d create things better if I had some sleep.

Dawn of the Final Day

After a wonderful 5 hours of sleep, I woke up at 4am, made a curry and got back to finishing off this game. (Actually in hindsight I should of woke up later and not had that curry, I was somewhat lagging towards the afternoon and pace just went right downhill.)

Basically the last day was spent on finishing up the levels, so it had a nice end of to the stage, not too short, not too long. I did envision a part where you’re chasing the blimp on an anchor but I just didn’t have the time to put it in. >.< I did however add in a cutscene half way through the stage, I just wanted to show off that they is somewhat a story, even though it’s never resolved in this game. It was around this sleepy point in the afternoon where I decided to create music as I tend to make better sounding tracks when I’m dozing off oddly. Plus it re-perked me up into finishing off the game


(Added in for extra cuteness! Cheekily used Dynamite Headdy for extra lulz DAC files :3)

In the last half ‘n’ hour of the jam, I created the menus, intro cutscene and ported it to windows and flash. When that submission hour popped up, I clicked submit and went straight to bed. I felt I’d deal with bugs in the morning. (There were only a small handful I found which were fixed easily, *sigh*)

After Thoughts

This jam was so far my favourite one as it was so relaxed as there wasn’t any ratings to worry about. (Even though I never care about them, except trying to make top 100. It’s always been about what can I make in under 72 hours and having fun!) I have nothing much to say about this jam as it’s just been super fun making bosses and seeing lots of explosions. In hindsight, I’d prolly shouldn’t of had that curry and got more sleep. I think I could of added a couple of extra bosses if I wasn’t so laggy towards the end.

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(Sad we didn’t get to see more of Mr.Genericsteampunkmonopolyman.png)

Overall though, I’m actually rather happy of the end result, it makes a lovely change considering the last LDjam was terrible for reasons.

Anyway it’s now time to start playing and rating others games. I hope everyone had fun jamming! Can’t wait until next time.

-Joel


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