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I am a self-taught developer based in Slovakia – I make games, websites, drawings, and generally enjoy a good challenge.
I make games in haxe (formely AS3.0), and am always on the lookout for expanding my knowledge and experience – if you need a programmer, or a graphic designer, let me know :)
Finally got around to editing the timelapse video for Nightshift Hope you enjoy!
Next up, I will edit the trainwreck of a first episode of let’s play your LD games. As many of you (five people that were there) know, everything that could possibly go wrong on a stream did go wrong, but it was fun nonetheless, so we’ll be trying on a slightly more powerful machine next time. But, submissions are still open, so:
As is tradition, I participated in another Ludum Dare, with the theme ‘Shapeshifting’. Though the game is rather simple and certainly not revolutionary, it might be one of my best LD entries to date.
For a change, the important life-changing exam week was not right after the LD, but just before. So I didn’t really have time to make sure all my libraries are ready, nor to make a wallpaper for this LD (I used the one from last LD, terrible, I know!) … But it felt like a relaxing weekend after the weeks of studying. For the second time, I was at my girlfriend’s, not at home. So, once again:
And so on with the yumm.
I didn’t really go through the themes the day before, didn’t try to calculate the most likely one. Mostly because I wasn’t truly happy with any of the themes. So on Saturday morning, seeing the theme was ‘Shapeshifting’, and inspired by Elvie:
And also this derp that goes by the name of Ninja:
I thought, shapeshifting into a cat could work as the basic plotline. My initial idea was that the player was a werecat, turning into a cat every full moon. The intro could be somewhat fun, making the player think he was going to turn into a classic werewolf, and in the very end revealing the truth with a dramatic meow.
A roguelike approach
As far as the game itself goes, I first thought I’d make a simple topdown roguelike – the player / cat would go through ‘dungeons’ that would turn out to just be the rooms of the player’s house looking extremely exciting and dangerous to a cat. There could be some basic RPG levelling, gaining experience, etc. To go with the theme a bit more than just the intro, I wanted the player to learn new ‘shapes’ along the way, by scratching scratchposts.
Each shape would have slightly different abilities, advantages and disadvantages. For example, most basic cat shapes would be ‘jumpy’ – automatically jumping / teleporting to nearby sources of noise, with a QTE overlay to scratch up whatever the source was, otherwise continuing in regular combat. The catloaf shape would reduce this radius of jumpiness, or completely eliminating it. The player would not be able to move as a catloaf, however, so it would be a purely defensive shape.
Another idea was the idea of some meta-game progression. Every night, the player would turn into a cat, but during the days, they would wonder what happened, clean up the mess, etc. Or maybe they have just moved in to a new place, so everything is packed in boxes, and every day the player can unbox the furniture of another room, thereby allowing the player to add elements into the nightly ‘dungeons’ one by one.
I was somewhat committed to this idea already, and yet, it didn’t feel extremely exciting. I realised that I was not really using the theme, that a roguelike game is quite a lot of work to make, that I wasn’t exactly sure how the game would play, I just knew the intro was okay. Luckily, it was still morning, and I changed my mind while talking about my ideas with my girlfriend. I thought a shmup, while not an uncommon or new genre, would be interesting to try out – I could focus more on proper polish of the game, instead of getting overwhelmed by implementing difficult game mechanics.
And the introductory shapeshift would just be slightly more goofy – as a werecat, you decide to put on your space helmet and fight the evil space mice (for no real reason).
I have decided to keep the idea of different cat ‘shapes’, however, as an analogue to weapon selection in classical shmups. Destroying scratchposts stations would produce a power-up for one of the player’s shapes.
Then it was quite easy to make progress. With the idea being a bit silly, I didn’t have to worry about consistency, or a horror mood like I did with my previous point ‘n click entries. So – space mice, guard dog, flies and bees, scratch stations, yarnball magnets. The graphics were old schoolesque and, as usual, I limited myself to a small palette – 11 colours in this case.
At some point, I thought about a boss fight. A guard dog seemed appropriate, it could attack by barking, jumping, scratching, et cetera – a lot of room to make various boss attacks. Before I got to making any of that, I thought of the music for this boss fight. Surf rock seemed fitting at the time. Misirlou (covered by Dick Dale) is a good example of this genre:
So I attempted to make some music. Using my own music library, coding the notes like this:
While the library certainly has some errors, it works. But writing down notes like this is most definitely not a good method of making music. I need to get around to making a GUI for it one day, enable MIDI input maybe – then release it for fellow Ludum Darians. So, the end result was that the music I made was not exactly stellar. It fills the silence, but it’s by no means good.
Accepting my defeat after about two hours or so of messing around with it, I just left it as it was and moved on.
Then it was high time to make actual content. I had some cat shapes, some enemies, some power-ups, but nothing to hold it all together. I thought no levels could be complete without walls! They worked somewhat … But as someone pointed out in the comments, they were mostly frustrating, with the hitbox being too large and the walls dealing too much damage.
I made my job somewhat easier by typing up the levels as text, then using a PHP script to convert it into a Haxe array and paste the result directly into my source code.
My time was running out, however, and I decided that three levels + a boss should be the bare minimum. The result is that the levels I had were somewhat rushed and, unfortunately, they introduced a lot of artificial difficulty by swarming the player with lots of enemies or difficult mazes. Nonetheless, I was extremely happy to submit something resembling a finished game at 3 in the morning.
The reception was very positive, mostly complaining about the difficulty, which motivated me to make the casual easier version so that people may get to the boss and enjoy the full game.
In fact, this is the very first LD game I will remake and try to get greenlit on Steam, with the help of my friend for the music. Here’s a trailer:
The Deluxe version will include different areas, many more levels and bosses, additional shapes, good music, and so on. Here’s to hoping.
Once again, I thought I would try to record a couple of videos / let’s plays of your games, played and rated by me and my girlfriend, maybe some guests. I think it’s really enjoyable to get live feedback of what your game is like, so if you’d like to see that, add your game to my list. I will release videos on my YouTube channel (or possibly stream them on twitch) as soon as we record enough footage. Also, we will try our best to be objective with each game, giving it our best try, weighing its pros and cons before putting them in a comment for you.
(we failed last time due to busy life, but this time we’ll manage, I promise!)
Another Ludum Dare over! Not very satisfied with my product, but I’m still glad I submitted something.
This LD was the first one I didn’t do from home. Spent the weekend with my girlfriend, which meant:
Yum. But, even though I didn’t have to cook, I was still running out of time way too soon. First night I went past 2 am, then on the second day till deadline.
Very early I knew what I -wanted- to do: a platformer, where you are trying to save the last tree in the world by exploring caves and collecting stuff. I thought it would have been nice for it to be rogue-lite (different levels), and I wanted a special slow-motion power (that I might use in a different game now). Luckily, I scrapped the rogue-liteness immediately, cause that never really works out during LD.
So my goal was to have a simple enough platformer with the hub (where your tree is), and three+ levels. Each would be beatable in three ways – an offensive route, a defensive route, an exploratory route. All of these would then result in the player collecting different amounts of different tokens, which would then make the tree grow.
Quite quickly I was able to write a pixel-perfect 2D physics engine. But then came my new nemesis: slopes. It’s surprisingly difficult to make the player go up and down some stairs without clipping or glitching around. I barely fixed it for the finished game, I think.
Then I started spending more and more time on the first level, the ‘crystal grotto’. Pretty or not, I spent countless hours on drawing that level. A neat tileset with some decorations might have done the trick. I finished the background to it at 1 AM of the first night, which is when I realised I got into time trouble.
But, I didn’t want to give up. I made the hub and tree growth work, then started the second level. Once again, spending way too much time just drawing mushrooms. And before I knew it, it was over.
No time for music, (good) sounds, additional levels, polishing. With luck, I will get ratings on par with Elemental.
But still happy for the experience, and that I didn’t give up like LD 32. Hopefully my next entries will be more successful!
16th time entering (21st including mini LDs), 7th time submitting (hopefully!) and it’s time for some changes once again. As much as I disliked the trend of Flash dying, I guess I’ll get over it – might try to go for HTML / JS this time, if I get my libraries running for JS. So:
I thought I would try to record a couple of videos / let’s plays of your games, played and rated by me and my girlfriend. I enjoy seeing my games played, so if you do too, add your game to my list. I will release videos on my YouTube channel as soon as we record enough footage. Also, we will try our best to be objective with each game, giving it our best try, weighing its pros and cons before putting them in a comment for you.
(It’s our first time too, so hopefully we manage this :D)
So, this was fun. Even though I missed 5+ hours because of family business, I pushed till 3+ in the morning on both nights. Yup, European timezone. I did spend quite a lot of time on the backgrounds / art, so I hope the ratings reflect that. But it cost me some polish – I had to rush the endings in the last minutes, test them, fix them, etc. The last minutes were very hectic. I did play around with the radio track for quite a bit, but I don’t regret it. It’s simple, but it sounds quite nice. And it’s officially my first game soundtrack ever! (That is actual music, not … deep sinewaves playing random patterns)
The story might be confusing, here’s how it was supposed to go:
You, the player, wake up in the jungle with cliché amnesia
You find a facility in the jungle, containing an ominous-looking and -sounding machine that makes you its ‘secondary agent’ by making you wear a VR headset
It tells you its objectives
You go ahead an explore the nearby hunting town, which is almost empty, except for 3 people (it’s off-season)
You find parts of the machine in the town, but the townsfolk won’t give them for free
As you talk to them, they grow more and more suspicious of you; they ‘disappear’ one by one – to you it looks like they just leave town or lock themselves up, etc. – it is actually the machine creating an illusion
In reality, it controls you through the headset, making you kill all the people and forget about it
You gather all the parts, it then reveals the final objective – Exterminate – and that you have already completed it
Cue footage of you killing everyone one by one / the VR illusion is turned off
I know, it’s somewhat ominous and doomy-feeling, I like that kinda story. Maybe it’s for the better that I couldn’t finish it 😀 Oh well.
Hope you enjoyed this game, looking forward to playing / rating yours!
Aiming to get even better results than last time! (#11 mood, #31 gfx, #50 overall) Though that was already quite a success. As always, will try my best to add -real- music into my game … Maybe try a tracker of some sort? Other than that, hoping to research some AI-related stuff before the actual LD.