About arkeus (twitter: @arkeus)

Software Development Engineer by day, Indie Game Developer by night. You can find my blog at http://iarke.us - I post regarding my projects... And stuff.

Entries

 
Ludum Dare 29
 
Ludum Dare 28
 
Ludum Dare 26
 
Ludum Dare 25
 
Ludum Dare 24
 
Ludum Dare 23
 
Ludum Dare 22
 
Ludum Dare 21
 
Ludum Dare 20

arkeus's Trophies

The All Posts Hearted Award
Awarded by alfredbaudisch
on August 26, 2012
The YOU MADE ME HUNGRY Award
Awarded by SonnyBone
on December 22, 2011

arkeus's Archive

Finishing Touches

Posted by (twitter: @arkeus)
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 4:28 pm

I’ve finished up the remaining particle effects, added automatic saving, added sounds and music, and did a bunch of balance passes. I’m hoping the easy difficulty ends up being easy enough and the hard ends up being hard enough. At this point I’m just making sure I didn’t miss anything before I officially call it done!

Gotta go fast.

Almost There

Posted by (twitter: @arkeus)
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 12:13 pm

At this point most of what is remaining is bug fixing and polishing. There’s a ton of shit that needs polishing, along with many nice to haves (such as saving progress between plays). There are some relatively minor bugs that I just might not bother with, since even if you notice them, they don’t affect gameplay much. It also doesn’t really run at all in pepper flash in chrome for some reason, but I’m hesitant to try to figure out why.

Sometimes It Takes A Meteor

Posted by (twitter: @arkeus)
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 9:21 pm

Still making progress. I keep adding things I wasn’t planning on. I should stop soon or I won’t have time…

Zap Zap Goes The Squid

Posted by (twitter: @arkeus)
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 6:47 pm

Most of the gameplay is done. Gotta zap them squids.

Pew Pew, Frost Lasers

Posted by (twitter: @arkeus)
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 3:51 pm

Made a ton of progress today so far, most the main components are there now. Just a few more concepts to finish up and then I should be able to start making gameplay gifs.

Here’s some shiny:

Basic Puzzle Logic

Posted by (twitter: @arkeus)
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 12:24 am

So I decided on a puzzle game. Going to have a mining in the ground theme. For now I got the basics of matching and constantly scrolling up working. I have ideas of how to make it unique, but I’ll need to play around with it to see how well it works.

Progress so far:

 

I’m In, Maybe

Posted by (twitter: @arkeus)
Friday, April 25th, 2014 7:30 pm

I think I’m in. Wasn’t planning on it, but I’ll give it a shot. Don’t be super surprised if I give up and spend the entire weekend watching Netflix instead!

I might plan on streaming some of the time, but only if it doesn’t get too distracting. Will have a timelapse as usual regardless.

Language: AS3 using Axel (with FlashBuilder as my IDE)
Graphics: Photoshop
Sounds: As3sfxr
Music: Random music generation tool from googling (probably the one I used last time).

Jump Chip Complete

Posted by (twitter: @arkeus)
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 8:03 pm

I managed to submit before the website exploded and then took a much needed break. I’m hoping to do something more in depth in the future, but for now, here it is:

Jump Chip

Play And Rate
http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=4155

Jump Jump Boom

Posted by (twitter: @arkeus)
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 4:09 am

Progress update!

I’m done with all the basics. Music, sounds, title screen, main levels, etc. The only things remaining are the “super” levels and the two endings. I’m hoping I can get all done ahead of time.

Obligatory gif, with cool laser particles:

Jump Chip Go Kaboomy

Posted by (twitter: @arkeus)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 4:09 pm

I should probably stop making Jifs and work on the game… But looking at gifs does make it easy to identify places I’ll need to add polish later (like when teleporting, and the disturbing lack of particles!)

Genetically Enhanced Rabbits

Posted by (twitter: @arkeus)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 12:28 am

Well, I tried to go for genetically enhanced rabbits, but somehow ended up with robots. Rabbits, robots, what’s the difference?

The 28th Hour Is Upon Us

Posted by (twitter: @arkeus)
Friday, December 13th, 2013 6:46 pm

I’m in at the last minute! Stocked up on boring food and don’t plan to leave my apartment this weekend. I’ve got 15 minutes to get situated and set up… #orsitheredoingnothingfor15minutes

Language: AS3 using Axel (with FlashBuilder as my IDE)
Graphics: Photoshop
Sounds: As3sfxr
Music: Random music generation tool from googling (probably the one I used last time).

Antichromatic Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @arkeus)
Saturday, May 11th, 2013 4:12 pm

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a post mortem for one of my entries, so I felt I should do it this time. This time around I made a skill based platformer where the main concept is the ability to switch between a white and black dimension, which is required to avoid obstacles and solve jumpy puzzles. If you want to skip the wall of text and just play, check it out here. Otherwise, read on!

The Good

I’m extremely satisfied that it feels less like a competition entry and more like an actual game. I also enjoyed it enough that I never felt like it was tedious to playtest as I went along. On the contrary, I often spent more time than I should have to test a feature, since I’d test something, but then just continue playing until I remembered I was working under a tight deadline.

Graphics. At the start I had terrible tiles. I normally don’t spend time redoing anything once I’ve completed it, but after I got the autotiling done and realized how bad my tiles looked, I redid them from scratch, and I’m extremely happy I did. The end result let me easily add cool effects such as the tile swapping. I also randomly got the idea to add noise, which I think ended up looking really neat and enhancing the visuals in a very short amount of time.

Content. I was able to get quite a bit of content into the game. I feel like the game is long enough that if you like it, it keeps you interested for a while, without being too long. The length also lends itself well to trying to speed run if you’re so inclined.

Difficulty. Some people will hate it for being hard, but I feel that it hit my goal of how difficult I wanted the game to be. There are some rooms that are unnecessarily hard, and some that are quite easy, but overall the difficulty will keep you smashing your head against the wall on your first time through, but due to skill based rooms you’ll find that once you get better all the rooms end up being very easy. In the post competition version, I’m creating a higher difficulty mode, which is many many times harder. You’d be surprised how much harder a room can become when adding 2 or 3 enemies. This lets me make the normal mode a bit easier, without taking away the experience from the more hardcore players.

Theme. As usual I got quite a few comments complaining about the theme, but I personally loved my take on it. I listed out a bunch of ways to interpret minimalism, and eventually settled on “limited palette”, and further narrowed it down to “black and white”. But instead of just making a black and white game, I based the entire gameplay mechanism around this small concept, and I really enjoyed how it came out. It borrowed a lot of ideas from past projects I’ve done, but I feel it still came out feeling quite unique.

Library. Using Axel was a great choice. There’s always times when I’m tempted to use something else, but I always feel satisfied that Axel lets me create a high quality game in a short period of time. There’s always the slight downside of alienating those who are running on hardware without stage3d support, but in a community like this where the people playing are also developers, there are very few players who can’t play the game.

The Bad

Inconsistent feature set. Initially the game was heading towards a kind of ikaruga-meets-platformers style, where there was going to be a lot of bullet dodging and absorbing. This was the main cause of the gun and shooting aspects of the game. However, by the end it was more of a VVVVVV if you swapped colors rather than gravity. Unfortunately, the gun had become an integral part of the game, so it would have been hard to remove (and by that point I’d become somewhat attached to it). But if I had to the chance to start over, I probably would have completely foregone the shooting and put more emphasis on timing jumps and planning routes. I feel that the areas where the gun is used don’t fit in all that well, and sometimes it just feels like a waste of time (eg. “each time I die I have to sit and rekill that snail, ugh”).

Lack of secrets and achievements. I think secret rooms would definitely increase the sense of exploration. Also, I think achievements would give more you another reason to play around and explore, rather than simply moving straight forward. Speaking of…

Linearity. I feel like I didn’t get a good balance of linear vs exploration. The very first 2 items require you going back and forth between the same room, but after that there is very little backtracking, and you simply follow the path straightforward until you reach the end, then turn around and take the 1 side path you passed that you couldn’t reach before. There definitely could have been some improvement in this regard.

Controls. Apparently a lot of people want space to jump, but that ended up not working too well. I think the biggest issue is that I really wanted to allow the player to shoot with the keyboard if they weren’t using a physical mouse (it sucks with a touchpad), which severely limited the amount of keys I could reasonably use. I feel that once a player gets used to the controls, they do fine, but it can be a bit jarring. If I had more time I’d probably have added a couple alternate control schemes.

Music. This is a given. I dislike creating music, it just doesn’t interest me. I don’t expect to ever be able to create the really nice soundtracks that some of these other games have, but this is something I have accepted.

Tutorials. I had originally wanted to go with instructions written on the wall, but I ended up dropping it for the sake of time. That’s a kind of thing that I can end up spending too much time making it so it doesn’t look terrible, and by the time I needed instructions in game there wasn’t much time left. The way it ended up was that message boxes would pop up, and completely destroy the immersion you had. This was one of the things that I managed to fix for the post-compo release.

The Meh

Planning. Something I don’t know whether I liked or not, was that rather than planning out my full feature set and figuring out exactly how I wanted the game to play, I instead dove straight into code after figuring out the core concept of black vs white platformer. I designed enemies as I went along, and came up with new features constantly. It wasn’t until the last 18 hours or so that I actually knew what I was expecting the game to look like at the end. I feel that the end result was good, but most of the way I felt like the game was going to turn out terribly. And while I was satisfied in the end, I don’t know if it was worth the anxiety during the competition. However, the data point of trying it once makes it hard to determine whether this is something that is worth it going forward.

Sounds. I feel that while the sounds are okay, there could definitely have been more dynamic sounds. Since there are so few actions, the sounds don’t really do much to fill the gaps in the bland music. I feel perhaps things in the environment that make noises as you run by them, for example, could go to great lengths to help. But on the other hand, things like that take quite a bit of time, and typically I’m afraid to spend too much time on sound, so I’m unsure if sacrificing something else to improve sound (which many people may not even have enabled) is worth it.

Post Mortem. This thing is really long and after skimming over it I feel like I’m trashing my own game, when honestly I feel quite proud of it.

The Future

I’ve almost completed work on a post competition version which fixes a lot of the difficulty issues by evening out the normal mode, and adding a harder mode you can play after. I’ve fixed a lot of minor things (tips on the walls at the beginning to help players realize they need to backtrack instead of simply going forward, saving of your progress, better mute/quality controls, etc). I’m trying not to rearchitect or spend too much time on it (as I’ll never actually end up finishing it if I do), so I’m leaving things that change the core concept for a future game if I feel so inclined.

Anyway, here’s the related links. Enjoy!

Play And Rate The Game
Download The Source
Watch The Timelapse
Check Out Axel (The Library Used To Created Antichromatic)

Antichromatic

Posted by (twitter: @arkeus)
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 8:25 pm

The world has been fractured. Entities are scattered to one of two dimensions. A small group has been working to find the source of the fracture and restore the world to it’s former (admittedly more colorful) glory.

You’ve managed to infiltrate the source’s facility and obtain a set of armor allowing you to pass between dimensions at will.

Now all that remains is finding the source of the fracture and destroying it.

Play Antichromatic Now!

View The Source

Watch The Timelapse

Pretty Much There

Posted by (twitter: @arkeus)
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 4:49 pm

Pretty much complete. Right now I’m just playing around with trying to find bugs and fix some performance issues (which seem mostly related to Pepper Flash being annoying). Feels good not rushing at the very end! I was originally aiming for 10 minutes of content on your first playthrough, but apparently it takes about 45-60 minutes to complete on your first try (and after playing all weekend it takes me about 9 minutes with ~20 deaths). Wahoo.

It’s Reading Rainbow!

Posted by (twitter: @arkeus)
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 1:39 pm

It’s time to meet your maker hear the tollin’ of the bell…

 

Stream: http://www.twitch.tv/iarkeus

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