Finally got around to releasing the source and the timelapse for my game – with some nice music by DDRKirby(ISQ)!
And the source is available here! Or …
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 :)
Awarded by N0_Named_Guy
on August 26, 2013
This weekend I participated in yet another Ludum Dare. This one was exceptional, however, because there were no ratings. It was also exceptional for me, because it’s the first time I submitted a (mostly solo) Jam entry, meaning I had 72 hours for creating the game. The theme was Ancient Technology, a clear winner compared to the other themes.
Apart from Ludum Dare, there was another important event – moving to our flatshare in London (I’ll study here, woo) from our temporary hostel accommodation. The plan was to move in as soon as possible in the morning, but naturally, got there around 3 in the afternoon. Luckily I could get my hands on a computer for some two hours before that, in a café.
In a way it wasn’t so bad, because for the longest time I wasn’t really sure about what kind of game I was making.
From the very first moments I was considering a bit of a twist of the theme – it is the far future, humans discover ‘ancient technology’ (something from our time), completely misunderstand it but are amazed nonetheless. Like discovering ‘windows’, then placing them in the middle of the rooms instead of in the walls, or discovering forks and knives, then using them like chopsticks. You get the gist.
In a way it’s similar to Asimov’s ‘The Feeling of Power’, although that wasn’t my intention!
(secret concept art)
What a journey. For the last couple of hours, I’ve been working on the music … Obviously, my tool of choice for composing it was Photoshop:
But, I’m pretty proud of the results! The music adds a lot to the game. Now I wish we had ratings
For the first time ever, … Going to do the jam! (solo, but still)
I did release the compo version … (here), but this morning I was woken up with a list of things to be implemented for the jam version, so … That’s settled! Fixed the wallpaper:
Obviously, I’m in.
Lots of things happened and will still be happening during this weekend … Notably, moved to London (ICL, woo) for my studies. Saturday afternoon is when we should check in at our new place, so hopefully I can get something done in a café with wi-fi nearby.
In other news, a new wallpaper.
And that link above now leads to my brand new server somewhere in the Netherlands. The domain is more appropriate now.
I’ve been trying to improve my workflow too, to spend less time on the repetitive tasks. Right now, I have all of these to make my life easier:
Whenever I update assets in-game, the process is currently:
This is kinda slow … I’m considering writing a script that would detect changes to Photoshop .psd files and use ImageMagick to automatically create .png versions. And then, an Asset manager for my ever-expanding library (to be released, of course) which would update the assets in-game live? If I can make it in time.
Hopefully this LD is interesting enough for all of us even without the ratings. Good luck!
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:
(this is a mirror of this blog post on thenet.sk)
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.
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 scratch
posts 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.
That’s right, there’ll be a remake / full version of Nightshift coming to Steam soon. Stay tuned!
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!)
I always liked the timelapses. Even though I like this game less. 😀
(mirror of my blog)
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!
Here we go again.
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:
And a wallpaper teaser:
So, good luck everyone!