About 8BitPimp

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Ludum Dare 36
 
Ludum Dare 29
 
7dRTS
 
Ludum Dare 26

8BitPimp's Trophies

Actually Finished His CnC Inspired RTS
Awarded by Kris with a K
on August 7, 2013

8BitPimp's Archive

Surge is done!

Posted by
Sunday, August 28th, 2016 8:00 pm

Link to my entry:
Surge

All in all the development seems to have gone really smoothly!
I did just have a terrifying moment though, with 1 hour left I was packaging up the game and building it in release mode when I noticed half of then enemies would randomly not spawn!
Turned out to be an uninitialized variable, but it could have been a show stopper!

I cant wait to play everyones games tommorow after I get some sleep!
Well done everyone!!

Surge, now with music and art!

Posted by
Sunday, August 28th, 2016 1:56 pm

Everything has been going to plan so far!
There is now 6 hours left, and so far I have added all of the Pixel Art, and even had time to make some oldschool tracker music!

Still to do:

  • Sound Effects
  • Font rendering
  • Title screen

If I find time, i’d love to add:

  • Another boss/enemy type
  • More power-ups

 

Been working on a boss stage!

Posted by
Sunday, August 28th, 2016 5:25 am

I’ve been working hard this morning to add a boss stage to my entry.  Its a snake like creature, which you have to shoot from the head to the tail in order to defeat it.

On the technical side, its implemented by blending between different lissajou patterns every few seconds or so.  There is also a bit of sinus bob on each segment to make it look a little more lively.

 

 

Update on project ‘Surge’

Posted by
Saturday, August 27th, 2016 4:35 pm

So I have been hard at work today, slaving away on my galagalike.  Its soon going to be time for me to call it a night, which makes this a good time to post an update.

This is my 4th ludum dare, and its shaping up to be one of my favourite so far.  I have learned from previous jams that my weakness is that I tend to leave the
game mechanics to last, so I force myself to implement them first, and then tackle art in the second day.  Hopefully that will explain the ‘boxes’ visible in my work in
progress video below.

Tommorow I plan to implementing sound, bosses, more powerups and most importantly pixel art and procedural enemy designs.  Lets see how that gets on…

For those wondering, the connection to ‘Ancient Technology’ is a thin idea that your trying to fight yourway threw an alien hord, trying to reach… the ‘beacon’…
an ancient device who long ago push the scurge back from whence they came.

 

I’m also posting regular updates to https://twitter.com/Aidan_Dodds

Hope everyone else is having fun too!!

Skull Mountain (Submitted)

Posted by
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 2:58 pm

Image

 Had an absolute blast making this game!

Page for Skull Mountain:

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-29/?action=preview&uid=20953

Mountain of skulls.

Posted by
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 4:58 am

Working on my main characters animations right now:

char_wip_1

Lode Storm – Now with added sound!!

Posted by
Monday, July 29th, 2013 5:52 am

This marks the first real release of lode storm!

screenshot

 

I spent most of this morning adding sound and some music to the game.  Me and my girlfriend recorded all of the voice overs and I composed the music too.

I want to add in a win condition check and extra levels too.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/vlloxiks83hc890/lodestorm_v0.2.zip

Lode Storm Beta – Out now!

Posted by
Sunday, July 28th, 2013 1:37 pm

Hello everyone,

I just put up a playable beta of Lode Storm, my entry for the 7RTS.  I hope you all enjoy it, and please let me know what you would like to see changed and improved.  I wont make working right up to the deadline unfortunately since my hands are cramping up and it to painful to type any more.

See my entry details for a complete description of how to play.  I am worried that it wont be too intuitive.

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/minild-44/?action=preview&uid=20953

Lode Storm – Classic Fog

Posted by
Friday, July 26th, 2013 7:40 pm

 

I couldn’t sleep tonnight so I added in some fog of war, which was down as one of my tasks for tomorrow.

lodestorm_fogofwar

I will post the details of the cool algorithm I came up with on my blog tomorrow.

The8BitPimp.wordpress.com

 

Lode Storm – For this 7 Day RTS

Posted by
Thursday, July 25th, 2013 11:53 am

An extreme amount of effort, mental stress, sleep loss, and caffeine have been put into my entry so far.

Code name ‘Lode Storm’, it is a tough effort to recapture the magic of the classic RTS games mainly C&C.

I am the sole developer, doing the programming and all the graphics too,  and it is implemented in C++ and SDL.

Most exciting is the AI which uses some pretty gnarly algorithms, and is capable of some really nice stuff already.

Plenty left to do however…

lodestorm

More info will be posted up soon on my blog :

the8bitpimp.wordpress.com

Ninja Flare in continued development

Posted by
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 4:49 am

So I received lots of great feedback for my entry into this Ludum Dare #26 which inspired me to keep a blog documenting the continuing development of Ninja Flare. Builds of the game, and source will all be available from there, as well as some of my other projects. Hopefully it may be of interest to some of you, and it would be nice to keep receiving feedback as development proceeds. the blog can be found here:

http://the8bitpimp.wordpress.com/

Here is a little spam of the new sloped tile animations.

NinjaRun

Ninja Flare patched to run on Windows XP

Posted by
Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 1:58 pm

Someone commented that they could not play my entry into this LD due to an error stating “Not A Valid Win32 Application.” or something like that. I recompiled a version that should run on Windows XP machines as well as windows vista +.

I hope this solves the problem, and thanks everyone for your nice comments and constructive feedback :)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/yip3kh3ydgnqr47/LD_26_winxp.zip

 

I’ll post a pic too because it is more obvious what my game was then just the name so you can see if you were effected by this.

screen2

Ninja Flare Post Mortem

Posted by
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 6:08 am

So A full day on from the deadline, it might be a good time to reflect on the process and lessons learned through development of Ninja Flare.

First off, I compiled a little footage made looking at some of the backups I made of the game during development. This might give an interesting insight into the way the game was put together, and the order that things appeared in the game.

When the first list of final themes was put together, I tried to come up with a plan for each of the games, all 25 or however many there were. Some ideas spanned multiple themes so it made sense to try and cover as many as possible. I was really happy when ‘minimalism’ was chosen because Ninja Flare was a game I really wanted to have a go and make. The idea I originally had was very different to what was produced however and there were a few lessons to be learned from that.

My original idea was that you would play a ninja, in a run and jump setting. The loose storyline was that you were an assassin sent to kill the emperor because he has neglected his people and was corrupt. The game would start with you killing the emperor and then being chased by his elite guards, thus satisfying the need to run in this game. If you would be too slow then they would catch you and kill you, game over, try again. I also knew that for this kind of game to really work, the levels would need to be procedural, so that was on my list of things to do, although I didn’t yet have an idea for the full setting. My loose idea was that it might take place in the city and you would be running over roof tops.

Thinking back this was not really a strong enough game concept or plan, since there was still too much to decide upon, and I had no idea how most of the systems in the game would actually be implemented. I was panicking due to the deadline and I just wanted to get something running and start developing, so in future it would be better to remember that planning properly saves time in the end.

mocup

My first step was to create the player sprite since this would be one of the most important elements of the game. I also wanted to make a mockup of  the backgrounds etc to really get a feel for the aesthetic of the game. You can see the original mockup above. At the same time I started to program the player code and render him just as a rectangle, focusing only on the physics themselves. Pretty quickly the ninja sprite was integrated and tweaked to look right. Next the camera system was implemented. This was first done by giving the camera physical properties and accelerating it towards the player character, but in the end this changed to make it more stable and responsive.

I started to avoid thinking about the hard things and instead opted to add quick things to make it feel fuller, such as particle effects for his sliding feet, and leaves that fall across the screen to give a sense of the speed of movement and some depth to the world. In an artistic sense I wanted to avoid that it feels like everything is happening on one plane, so I wanted a foreground, mid and background with appropriate parallax.

Eventually I pulled out my sketch pad an came up with the idea for how to procedurally generate the levels in the game. This is essential the concept I used:

Method

The width of the ledges are random but they are bound to have a minimum and a maximum size to keep the level progressing, and to avoid super tiny ledges. The space between each new ledge is random, but can also be zero, since that is not a problem. The height of each new ledge is calculated as the height of the last ledge plus a random factor. The ledge height is then bound by a preset maximum and minimum to avoid this randomness taking the player slow way up into the sky or way down load with each new platform they jump on. It might not seem necessary but the way I implemented the parallax for the foreground and background, I needed the player to stay in a known region in the Y axis for best effect.

The ledges were stored in an ordered array from left to right of the screen, and as soon as the rightmost tip of the first ledge went off screen, I would pull that ledge out of the array, shuffle them all down, and generate a new ledge at the end of the array. This gave an infinite supply of ledges for the player, and is quick and simple. We just care about the level as much as what can be seen by the player, and they don’t care that the level doesn’t actualy exist behind or infront of you, thats realy just an illusion.

After this was implemented, I still had little idea of how to implement any form of enemies, or the enemies that would chase you across the level as I originally planned. I opted instead to fill my time adding little visual features like the clouds in the background, the sun, the grass, trees and pigeons, etc. Looking back that was really just because I wanted to avoid thinking about the difficult part.

I did however come up with a really nice effect for the sun in my opinion and it was super simple to achieve. I started with a fast circle drawing algorithm and decided that to create the heat ripples I wanted I would need to disturb the X location of each row in this circle as it was drawn. By storing the disturbance values as an array, the height of the sun, I could store these offsets and easily modify them to create the animation. I employed a very similar technique to that used in my level generator. Each frame I move the array up one place, and add in a new value in the space created. This new value, is just the value one place ahead of it in the array, plus a small random value. This then gets limited to avoid the sun being able to drift by accumulated randomness. In signal processing this acts like a form of high pass filter.

I also realized that I needed to add in objects to the platforms since they manage to convey the players speed and location and give the player some kind of reference for where the player is in the world. With solid blocks of colour, the only reference the player has is the gaps between the platforms as they move across the screen. It is crucial that the player knows exactly where they are and how their character is moving during the game. I added the grass and trees and such things to try and help this situation.

The enemies were the last thing that I put in and this was done when there was only around 6 or 7 hours of time left. This was a huge mistake to not give myself enough time in this respect because the enemies are the challenge to the game. Without some kind of obstacle for the player to overcome or any challenge to have to navigate, there really isn’t a ‘game’ in my opinion. In Ninja Flare, the baddies were added without much thought to their purpose or the challenge they would provide.  These enemies were quickly drawn up with the player sprite as a base. There is a pool of 6 enemies that is reused through out the level. Dead enemies are taken from the pool and inserted randomly on top of the first platform that is currently  still off screen to the right. They are removed as soon as they are off screen to the left and added back to the pool of enemies, waiting to be recirculated again. There are about 6 possible enemies in the pool, so that is the maximum number that may be generated by the game. They follow a simple state machine, so that if the player is on their platform and in range of them then they must run towards him. If they are very close to him, then they should swipe at him. If he is past them then they sit idle, because I didn’t want to have to mirror the sprite to have them running to the right.

Unfortunately the last few hours of development were rushed into creating a menu, and making the player able to kill these enemies and also be killed by them too. I wasn’t able to tweak anything to create a real challenge in the time I had left. So they exist in the game as an unfinished challenge. There wasn’t enough time left in the end to even implement some form of scoring, so the players don’t really feel like the game is rating and challenging them. But lots of people seem to like the time I spent on the graphics and not on the game play so it want necessarily wasted, just misplaced I feel, in the challenge to create a game.

The main lessons that I take away from this, my first Ludum Dare is this:

  1. Proper planning is essential, since without it time will be spent in the wrong areas without a clear goal of what must be done.
  2. Only focus on the most important elements of the ‘gameplay’ first. The ‘gameplay’ IS the game so that must be focused upon.
  3. When designing, really try to understand how each feature should be implemented, to check if it is feasible in the time available.
  4. Don’t plan around things that you don’t have a plan of :)
  5. Ludum Dare is fun as hell 😀

Ninja Flare can be found here:

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/?action=preview&uid=20953

Video of ‘Ninja Flare’

Posted by
Monday, April 29th, 2013 4:08 am

Thanks for all the feedback I received from everyone. Its really amazing to get such constructive crits as well as great praise. I captured a little demo of it being played how I envision it should be played. Check it out:

 

Whhhew.. just finished..

Posted by
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 6:48 pm

Well it was all a bit worrying just how last minute the enemies were put into the game but they came out quite nicely, and the animations are smooth. I also had the realization that my delta timer I was using was all screwed up, so at the last moment I had to shift to fixed frame time updating for the entire game, so every animation and movement constant had to be tweaked to get it back to looking and feeling right again. Well this is my first game using all my own pixel art so this is something that I am extra proud of. Its also my first ludum dare, and I can safely say that, I loved it.

 

screen2

8BitPimps Work in progress

Posted by
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 7:13 am

A quick image of my work in progress ninja free running game. You can slash, jump, use a grappling hook, slide and skid. Each level is infinite and procedurally generated and in theory gets harder the farther you run through the game. Hmm… no enemies yet however :(

 

8bitpimp wip

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