About axoona (twitter: @axoonaa)

Amongst other things I am a hobby game developper, musician and music composer.

I love all kinds of games: video games, table top RPG, live-action RPG (LARP), board games, trollball, escape rooms…

Entries

 
Ludum Dare 37
 
Ludum Dare 36
 
Ludum Dare 35
 
Ludum Dare 34
 
Ludum Dare 33

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Concern about our planet

Posted by (twitter: @axoonaa)
Tuesday, December 27th, 2016 5:35 pm

There’s a very subtle political message in my entry Loop Hell.
Since people don’t seem to mention it, I wonder if I didn’t make it way too subtle 😀

loop_hell_antarctica

Anyway I added some hints and the entire solution (text description and video of the “ending”). If you’d like to take a look you can find it here.

Post Mortem of Loop Hell

Posted by (twitter: @axoonaa)
Thursday, December 22nd, 2016 12:56 pm

This post contains spoilers, if you would like to check out the game first before reading click here.

Loop Hell is a puzzle game where you are damned to loop in the same room over and over again for eternity. The game plays with gamer’s expectations I guess, as they expect some sort of a escape room type of game, where their actions would eventually allow them to get out of the room. Instead there is no way out, the character is truly in hell, the one where you end up after doing something wrong. The objective of the game is finding this out. There is only some sort of brief explanation why the character ended up in hell: the articles and the final dialog. But again, he is in hell so there is no time for small talk.

The game is therefore a bit annoying. It was intended this way althought I may have made it a bit too much for some people. I mean it’s really a pity people abandon the game halfway before discovering anything…
In other words, it needs to be annoying because otherwise the game doesn’t have sense but it should be somewhat less annoying so that people would not abandon… tricky question really.

loop hell

Anyway this is my first Ludum Dare entry made in Unity. It worked well, I think I will be switching to this technology completely, even though it has a major drawback for game jams which is the long load time of WebGL versions.

 

The good points

graphics – I’m not a graphics artist so graphics take a lot of time, this time was no different, I have spent half of the time doing visuals but I’m quite happy with the result. I have beed practicing pixel art since last time and I feel I’ve progressed. I’m also really pleased with the animations. I used GIMP for static graphics and aseprite for animations and it worked well.

char machine

music – I like the tune I composed even though it could have been more elaborated but I guess in a loop game about hell it serves its purpose. I used LMMS which is very powerful for a free of charge tool!

time management – it is difficult to devote all 48H to Ludum Dare and usually real life can’t wait so it’s important to assess well the time available for game creation at the beginnig. The initial game idea served this purpose. I have made a list of priority stuff to implement and made things based on these priorities. I am happy because I managed to implement all the priority stuff.


Points to improve

testing – testing a loop game is hell. Literally. I have overseen that during planning. I’ve spent 6 hours just playtesting and debugging the game, and it was really time consumming. So it is an obvious point but still worth metionning: when brainstorming on game ideas think already about testing. The good side of this was that I have played the whole loop several times and still found that annoyingness was acceptable…

small details – I didn’t have time to implement any small details that should show the player that the room is changing, any superficial objects that could introduce error, or small changes to the puzzle.. the fact they didn’t make it into the game was that they had low priority. The question is whether the game would be really much better with them inside. Should I have gone for the jam? I decided it wasn’t worth it.

the puzzle itself – the puzzle itself is very simple and may be too simple. But I’m torn on this one, I know some people abandon the game because they don’t see the solution so maybe if it was more complex even more people would abandon?

Anyway I’ve received some fantatastic feedback so far, and thank you so much for that. This has been an intersting game experiment and I hope more people will play the game and tell me what they think. WebGL and downloadable versions are available.

Loop Hell on Newgrounds

Posted by (twitter: @axoonaa)
Thursday, December 15th, 2016 5:00 pm

This is really cool: Loop Hell got Daily 2nd place on Newgrounds! :)

It’s a puzzle game where you are stuck in a time loop damned to loop over and over again in the same room.

loop hell

Loop Hell

Posted by (twitter: @axoonaa)
Monday, December 12th, 2016 11:32 am

my puzzle game set in a strange room made for the compo.

progres

Link to Loop Hell on itch.io.
Submission page.

Well spent Free Afternoon

Posted by (twitter: @axoonaa)
Thursday, September 15th, 2016 7:18 am

Just a few days before the feedback period ends if you have a Free Afternoon and you would like to spend it on getting frustrated over ancient technology of the 80’s and 90’s you still have the time.

Give it a try and see if you are patient enough! 😀

Play Free Afternoon

(well, the game is not going anywhere so you can play afterwards as well)

Post jam version of Free Afternoon

Posted by (twitter: @axoonaa)
Monday, September 5th, 2016 2:42 am

Just wanted to let you know that the post jam version of Free Afternoon in available on newgrounds.

This is basically the same game as the original (I wasn’t much motivated by adding any more levels to it…) with the walkman level improved visually (slightly better graphics and animations added). I made the level in an hour or so during the jam so it really needed improvement.
There are also several medals implemented if you like this sort of thing.

Link to the LD entry.

Free Afternoon Screenshot

Free Afternoon

Post mortem of Free Afternoon

Posted by (twitter: @axoonaa)
Thursday, September 1st, 2016 9:57 am

Free Afternoon is a game about ancient technology of the 80s: floppy discs, rotary dial phones, walkman cassettes…
You have a free afternnon and want to install your new video game but encounter problems.

During this Ludum Dare unlike my previous ones, the final game evolved a lot from the original concept. Usually I think of a game concept and then stick to it for the 48h, sometimes skipping or adding some additional functions if time allows or doesn’t allow.

What stayed from the original concept was a series of “mini-games” or “levels” including various technologies which were all connected by a common story line.
However originally I have really thought of mini-games whereas in the end it’s more of a experience levels. Can’t say whether it’s for the better or worse, it’s just a fact.

The reasons for this are purely technical. For exemple the level with the rotary phone, in the beginning I wanted to make it as an arcade game, with a finger character who would dial the phone. I started making it with Unity, thinking it would be easier to implement based on all the physics engine already present in Unity. But it was all tangled up, I spent a lot of time trying to make work all the diffrent colliders and triggers (the platform, the dial numbers, the receiver…) with the correct rotation of the rotary dial and of the finger character that would travel in the rotary… in the end it was just so complicated and didn’t work smoothely, and I still didn’t have any other levels ready, no sounds, no music that somewhere on sunday I decided to skip all the arcade stuff and just do a mouse only game without any finger character. I also decided to switch technology and passed to ActionScript and FlashDevelop which I master much better and in which I judged it would be much easier to implement the rest of the game (and it was…).

The original arcade level of the telephone, in the final version the scaffolding is gone:

initial_telephone

It also become clear on sunday that I wouldn’t make it to the compo with a playable game so I decided to go for the jam. I didn’t work on monday (which doesn’t mean I was free) but I could count on a reasonable amount of time to finish the game.

After the modfication of the concept on sunday afternoon it all went quite smoothely without any problems, I even managed to put into the game the cassette walkman part (which took me just an hour and a half to draw and code.. and you can probably see that the graphics of this level are a bit worse than the rest of the game, I’ll probably change that part if I do a post-jam version).
The walkman part itself was supposed to be a bit different with more songs and hints scattered all over the soundtrack, where you would need to jump from song to song to find the final hint, change sides etc.. but well I coudn’t really do more in an hour.
Which just confirms the necessity to work with tools you master during a jam. If I hadn’t spent half of my time trying to make work the physics engine in Unity which I have never used before I would have probably made a more polished, complete game overall. The thing is I am really conscient that you shouldn’t jam with a techno you do not master and I have decided to do it either way! Maybe sometimes you just need to learn it the hard way 😉

While failing to arrive in the compo might be considered a bit of a pity as I have worked solo and done all the graphics and music assets by myself, switching to jam allowed me to come up with a finished game and also use telephone and walkman SFX from third parties which was a considerable gain of time.

All in all it was a good jam, I like my game, it’s not very standard and I think the concept is quite original. Whether it is fun or not to play is for you to judge.
But I know it could have been much better if I had stared working on the final idea right from the start.

What went wrong
– use a technology I do not master for a type of game I have never done before -> spend too much time on trying to figure things out technically and doing assets and animations that therefore didn’t make it to the final game
– dropping out other old technologies such as VCR and old television due to lack of time
– the need of simplification of the cassette walkman level

What went good:
– the decision to modify the concept and swich to a technology I master in order to be able to spend more time on assets than on coding which enabled me to finish a playable game
– create music early – I think the quality is better this way
– create graphics assets before coding: less time spend afterwards on adjustments

Thank’s for reading, you can play the game here.

Free Afternoon

Posted by (twitter: @axoonaa)
Tuesday, August 30th, 2016 7:55 am

Here’s my LDJAM36 entry about such ancient technologies as floppy discs, rotary dial phones, casette walkmans…

Hope you’ll enjoy the experience :)
Play Free Afternoon.

screenshot1

GIMP scheme script-fu for pixel art

Posted by (twitter: @axoonaa)
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 3:41 pm

I like using GIMP for various reasons. Obviously because it’s free of charge. But also because it offers powerfull scripting tools.

I was doing pixel art for my game this time and I used GIMP to create it. It’s been really the first time I have been creating pixel art if you don’t count my very first Ludum Dare entry were I just made a few pixel sprites.
While doing pixel art you usually need to enlarge your visuals without any interpolation. I know of two ways in which it can be done, either in the code or by embedding images that are already enlarged. While the first option is probably prettier I prefer the simplicity of integrating images that have already the right size. The drawback is that you need to enlarge the images one by one.

That’s why on Saturday I developped a small scipt-fu in scheme for GIMP which enlarges all photos chosen in the input, by a specific ratio, and with chosen interpolation (no interpolation by default). The enlarged photos are created in the output directory.

Well maybe I’m reinventing the wheel but script-fu scripts are very difficult to find on the net and developping in scheme can be really painfull (I don’t know of any existing debugger, anyone?). So I’d like to share my script, maybe someone will find it usefull.

filename: batch-enlarge.scm

(define (script-fu-batch-enlarge globexp outpath ratio inpol)
(define (resize-img n f)
(let* ((fname (car f))
(img (car (gimp-file-load 1 fname fname)))
(outname (string-append outpath (car (gimp-image-get-name img))))
(newy (* (car (gimp-image-height img)) ratio))
(newx (* (car (gimp-image-width img)) ratio)))

(gimp-image-undo-disable img)
(gimp-image-scale-full img newx newy inpol)
(gimp-file-save 1 img (car (gimp-image-get-active-drawable img)) outname outname)
(gimp-image-delete img)
)
(if (= n 1) 1 (resize-img (- n 1) (cdr f)))
)

(let* ((files (file-glob globexp 0)))
(resize-img (car files) (car (cdr files))))
)

(script-fu-register “script-fu-batch-enlarge”
“/Script-Fu/Batch/Enlarge by ratio …”
“Multiple images resize batch process”
“axoona (@axoonaa)”
“Copyright 2016, axoona”
“April 16, 2016”
“”
SF-STRING “Input files” “Absolute path to your input files\\*”
SF-STRING “Out path” “Absolute path to your output files\\”
SF-VALUE “Ratio” “2.0”
SF-VALUE “Interpolation none-0, linear-1, cubic-2, lanczos-3” “0”)

You just need to copy the script file into your GIMP scripts folder (by default it’s something like user\gimp\scripts) and then update script-fu (Filters/script-fu in GIMP).
And the batch should be working.

The final result gives this, at least 33 images were required to create this scene:

screenshot3

And if you’d like to play the game here’s the link: The Great Biohazard Escape

Post-compo version in Daily Top 3

Posted by (twitter: @axoonaa)
Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 3:13 pm

Yey I’m thrilled that the post-compo version of my game The Great Biohazard Escape made it to the Daily Top 3 on Newgrounds. Very happy :)

Why not give it a try ?

screenshot2

The Great Biohazard Escape – Post-Compo Version

Posted by (twitter: @axoonaa)
Sunday, April 24th, 2016 6:29 pm

Just wanted to let you know that a post-compo version of The Great Biohazard Escape – my point&click escape room adventure about a scientist infected by a deadly virus that gives him the ability to shapeshift is now released.

This version has now a more catchy outro, an auto save game option, newgrounds medal and includes all (or at least most of) the remarks I got in the comments: bug corrections, a new icon for change screen and some text hint changes.

I hope you’ll enjoy it!

screenshot

The Great Biohazard Escape

Posted by (twitter: @axoonaa)
Monday, April 18th, 2016 7:36 am

My first post during the weekend, I was just too busy or tired to take the time to write.

I decided to do a Point’n’Click Adventure/escape room game about a scientist infected by a deadly alien virus that gives him the ability to shapeshift. You can check it out here.

I will be happy to read your comments!

screenshot

We used to be Neighbours Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @axoonaa)
Thursday, December 31st, 2015 7:51 am

These are some post-mortem thoughts on my game We used to Be Neighbours – a game about growing walls.
This time I wanted to create something that would maybe make people think for a while after playing the game…

screen2

For me Ludum Dare starts at 3am on Saturday so I prefered starting in the morning after breakfast 😉
This time I have actually spent some time on Friday, brainstorming some of the 20 final themes. Nothing too detailed, just sketching the main game concept and judging it’s feasability in 48h period. I had an idea for Growing and I didn’t have any for Two button Control so I sticked with my initial concept for Growing theme.

On Saturday morning I have detailed my game design, I didn’t want the game to be too complex as I had practically no code base (just the main menu, sound control, image loading etc) so I had to do everything from scratch.
But it turns out in the end that the fact that the game isn’t too complex is probably it’s major flaw…
Yet, there are still several strategies to tackle the game, so it should get the player entertained for a while as the real objective of the game is not to get the maximum points but to unlock the alternative ending.

I am really happy about the music in this game. Even though I have spent a few hours composing a song in MuseScore on sax and piano only to realize in the end that it didn’t suit the mood of the game too much. So I had to rapidly compose something diffrent (using LMMS) which turned out quite all right considering the scarce time I had.

In the end as I really liked the sax and piano song I decided to play it when the player unlocks the alternative ending.

You can find both songs here:
We used to be Neighbours Theme
Theme in F for sax and piano
(I tried to embed these in my post but it doesn’t seem to work..)

Overall it was a good Ludum Dare, except for debugging which took longer than expected I managed to do everything as planned which is a plus.

Why don’t you give the game a try?

We used to be neighbours. A game about growing walls.

Posted by (twitter: @axoonaa)
Tuesday, December 15th, 2015 4:46 pm

Watching the news every day makes me feel somewhat sad about what is happening at the moment in Europe especially…
and so I made this little game
don’t let the cheerful graphics mislead you…

Please give it a try and let me know what you think

screen2

Red and Blue have been neighbours for ages.
But Red territory is so small and they are so many, they pass into Blue territory.
Blue need Red because they generate money, but they are also afraid of them.
You play as the leader of the Blue people.
Are you going to follow these fears to earn power…
Or are you going to try something different?

————————-
Build your wall as big as you can, enroll soldiers, shoot at Red..
But the real objective of the game as you have probably guessed is to find an alternative solution…

I’m in

Posted by (twitter: @axoonaa)
Friday, December 11th, 2015 4:36 pm

I’m ready, can’t wait to start!
(wait no.. I think I will go to sleep first 😉 )

will be using :
flashDevelop for Dev
git for source control
wacomTablet+sketchbook+gimp for graphics
spriter for animations
midi keybord+museScore+audacity+LMMS for music
sfxr or audio recorder for sfx
ivona software for voice generation

The Zombifier – Post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @axoonaa)
Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 4:45 pm

This is some post-mortem thoughts on my game The Zombifier.
First of all I’d like to thank all the people who have played the game. Your feedback has been very generous and it’s been a real pleasure to read.

This has been my first Ludum Dare so frankly speaking I didn’t know what to expect. Make a game in just 48H!? Are you joking?!
Therefore, my objective was to make a playable, complete game which would respect the theme. That meant spending time on gameplay and adding some indispensable art and music, but nothing too fancy, just the essentials.
The Zombifier screenshot

The theme “You are the moster” was chosen at 3a.m. local time.. so I woke up to see what it was, thought about it a bit and went to sleep again, hoping thant great ideas will come to me in the morning. They didn’t… I mean I had several nice ideas for a point&click or interactive fiction.. But it seemed too risky, I didn’t think it would be possible to create an interactive fiction in just 48H.. Since then I had lot’s of occasions to discover some great Ludum Dare games and find out that it really was possible, but in the meantime I decided to stick with the objective of making a complete game, without much fuss. I chose therefore a simple mechanic and went with a slow zombie chasing around chaoticaly running humans, with some soldiers shooting at it. Not the most innovative subject..

Gameplay was the most important so I actually spend some time prototyping the mechanics with circles and squares instead of real art. When it seemed ok, I added some rudimental graphics (not the ones seen in final version) and happily it turned out better that I had accounted for. I’ve chosen small pixel sprites because I find it easy this way to make something presentable fast (not that good pixel art is fast and easy…). Then I implemented the traps and the soldiers. I improved the graphics and made the sounds. I used speech generator which I transformed slightly in Audicity and then added some music with LMMS. This was really fun to make and even came out not so terrible in the end and unexpectandly resulted with a nice retro arcade look & fill of the game 😉

And then on sunday while playtesting I found that it would be a good idea to add some medkits… This had a huge impact on gameplay and I think is what makes it “playable” (together with traps).

The game is basically a one level, where you try to survive as long as you can, and earn maximum of points. So leaderboard seemed essential and I’m glad I managed to implemented that (on kongregate). I hoped to add some more medals and animations at the “game over” screen but I’ve run out of time, and somewhere around midnight local time, decided I would skip all that. It’s a pity… Because it would have been nice to have something more than just a silly song “You are Ex-ce-llent” to congratulate the player that he performed well.

But overall, I am really happy with my game, I have acheived my objectives and the game is quite fun to play. I haven’t touched the game since the compo, as I don’t really think that there is a point.

Since then I’ve been enjoying all these other fantastic Ludum Dare games. I’m amazed at what others achived on such a short notice. And I must say that I have learned a lot, especially while playing 😉 although I suppose it was necessary to first confront myself with the challenge, to be able to see how others have dealt with the scarce time ressource.

Does it mean that nothing went bad? Sure no, I just prefer to concentrate on the good stuff. I’ve already pointed out a few of the bad things, the hackneyed subject, the banged out ending. Also one could always complain that the art and the sound are too simplistic but I don’t really mind as that’s what I aimed for. Something seems sometimes wonky with the controls, when the zombie stops to feast, I’ve seen it in playtests already, but decided I’ll leave it be, that it might actually add something to the mood as a zombie can sometimes be non predictible. But it may annoy some people. And I spent time figuring out how to make LMMS work, I spent time on things I didn’t include in the end: designing the menu, writing code and drawing the medals…
Most important, I think that the in-game explanation is not sufficiently clear regarding traps. You need to set traps to win the game, and it seems from some feedback I received that these weren’t used much or even at all.

So this was my first Ludum Dare and I’ve enjoyed every single bit of it. It won’t certainly be the last.

And if youd like to play the game, it’s available here. Don’t forget to set traps. Often 😉

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