Not yet sure if I’ll use my Windows/Mac, C++, OpenGL framework: TurtleBrains or if I’ll go with AS3 and FlashPunk, but I do know I am in and ready for LudumDare 31. Hopefully this will be a bit better than my failed #LD30 attempt. Weekend is free from other plans, and ready to make a game!
About BlackBird (twitter: @@timbeaudet)
Hiking, Motorcycling, Camping, Kayaking, Programming (duh), Sim Racing, Game Development.
Not my first 48hour LudumDare rodeo, but I have missed a couple recently. Not this time. I’ve signing up to use the yet to be finished Turtle Brains framework, my high-quality C++ framework for real-time application and (slightly lacking [sound, sprites, animation] at the moment), 2D game development on Windows and Mac, and maybe someday, Linux.
So for tools I’ll be pretty much using:
- C++ (Visual Studio, XCode)
- Unfinished TurtleBrains Framework
- Audacity, Recorder, SFXR (if I can get sounds working)
- Inkscape, Paint.net, MS Paint, Blender (if I go 3D instead of 2D)
Probably a few tools that are not listed here, but I will be attempting to do LD30!
Note: TurtleBrains is available, as-is, if you want it just ask BlackBird on the LudumDare irc channel or email me and I’ll get you a link. I am not going to link it publicly just yet because the feature set is incomplete and the documentation is lacking a little. The current documentation can be found at: http://www.timbeaudet.com/turtle_brains/documentation/ which doesn’t have much for the “game development” side because, being honest, that is currently lacking… I wanted to have 2D sprite management and sounds by now, but only have a state machine, and basic keyboard/mouse input.
Ready for the weekend to begin. We will be using:
- Code: FlashDevelop: AS3 with FlashPunk
- Art: InkScape / Paint.NET
- Sounds: Audacity / ???
- Design: Whiteboard
Hoping for surveillance in space as a theme. Good luck all!
Well, it is time for LudumDare 23, and I am IN. I am also handicapped from my normal 3 monitor + TV for media. Down to 2 monitors and the TV for media, I think I will live but I am annoyed with the amount of real-estate lost. Mostly the left most monitor that is not existing would be used for the web-browser and thus documentation. This now has to share with the right monitor which is primarily the “chatting and socializing” monitor with double duty of file exploring on the HDD for assets and such. Center remains the environment for programming and debugging the application. The TV off to the side is mostly for media/movies/tv … I need to listen to noise while working.
Last weekend was Ludum Dare 22: Alone, obviously why else would hundreds of people gather to make no less than 891 games not including those that were not submitted? I took part of this awesome gathering for the second time, with Ludum Dare 21: Escape being the first. During that entry I had the following postmortem of which after reading I realize I didn’t put in all the things that went wrong. I feel to that list should have been “pick a smaller idea”, although I suppose that previous idea was very flexible in size.
What went right:
I had the weekend to myself, with no interruptions or responsibilities.
I picked a framework I was familiar with, and had tools to do what I needed.
I followed the theme well with a simple idea of taking a team sport, and playing alone vs the other team.
I spent little time debugging issues, crashing, etc.
I added sound effects and music early on.
What went wrong:
The idea was far too big for a weekend project, too many little rules.
The idea never turned into a game really, despite a win/lose condition; It was too hard, or too repetitive if the player managed to learn the patterns.
Some art; the player/ai characters, was completely temporary and never replaced with something better.
I spent far too much time programming. My framework needs to allow me to manage/do less, if it is to be useful in LD.
What was learned:
I need to spend more time on art/music and content. To help with this I am rewriting/adding to my framework so that it will manage more things for me. Instead of loading a sound, and remembering to unload it, I should just be able to PlaySound(“Yada.wav”). It would go a long way in reducing the time I spent programming, or at least the time spent programming “needless” things. An idea for a 48 hour game must be small. I went into this compo knowing I needed to aim to be complete with my game by the end of day 1, yet the idea I chose was far too big for that.
I am waiting for the next LD, where I hope I can shine through and get this done right.
Play and Rate: 10 Yards Alone
So last night I jumped in feet first with a very broad sense of what I was going to do; I now need to know exactly how it will play, and the very minimum gameplay, win/lose/scoring conditions and prepare myself to complete the minimum by the end of today so I can take Sunday off. That said, I also just woke up, so I am a tad hungry. Design over breakfast sounds good to me.
I was able to get something looking fairly well, I feel, without much effort or time. However it does not have any gameplay yet besides a player that can move in 8 directions. Tomorrow morning I need to jump directly on the gameplay portion.
I am not sure postmortem is the proper term for this entry, being I can’t be sure the life of the project has come to an end. Perhaps it has. Regardless of the lifetime of the project, this post is about what happened, what went right and what went wrong, as I worked on my Ludum Dare 21 entry: Escape. Sorry, I made the “what happened” a little longer than I expected, skip to the bottom for a true post mortem.
Ludum Dare 21: Start – 1 month:
This weekend started at least a month before with preparation and cleaning my slate for the entire weekend. I made it clear to family and friends that I would be busy during the weekend. Under no exceptions, (perhaps a big pay bonus), was I going to go into work; regardless of the circumstances or consequences. Luckily work didn’t want me to come in, so I didn’t need to worry about consequences. I had my framework picked; homegrown DirectX 9 engine written in C++, my language of choice. I was set. The week leading up to Ludumdare I made a blank project from my template – in doing so I felt I’d automate this process; which took me the full week nights after work. However, I can now type “CreateProject ProjectName” and out comes an already compiled template project that is at blank screen and ready for development.
Ludum Dare 21: Start – 5 hours:
No lie, there were several ideas floating around my head and was hoping for Castles to be the theme. I went shopping for some food and supplies for the weekend so I didn’t need to waste time doing so later. The IRC channel; #ludumdare was insane, I started a G+ hangout that filled with so many people, and I didn’t know them all, but we all shared a passion for Game Development. Finally, it was time.
Ludum Dare 21: 48hrs Remaining
Theme: Escape. Thoughts crossing my mind, #ludumdare going insane, I left the G+ hangout and went to my white board, and to cook a meal while I thought up ideas. I was pretty surprised that I had three right off the bat, each with their own challenges. One was a turnbased puzzler that would have been easy on the programming side, harder on the content side. Another I threw away based on scope, it was much too big for a weekend. The final was a physics based glider falling through a maze like puzzle to the ‘exit’. Despite being harder with math and level design, I choose the physics based glider on the basis that content would be kept to a minimum.
Ludum Dare 21: 44hrs Remaining
I had created a 2D camera, and sprite class – two things I overlooked on my framework, which admittedly is typically used for 3D projects. I managed to get the basics going before heading to bed to sleep on my idea before committing completely.
Ludum Dare 21: 36hrs Remaining
Woke up, ate a good meal and planned to work on the physics of the glider until I got it right, so that I could avoid wasting time on level design by setting the physics in stone before a level is started. The physics gave me some problems, it took awhile to figure out that the equation for lift did not apply it in the correct direction. That and other strange things. I spent far longer on the physics that I wanted, and I never got quite what I wanted out of it – but it was somewhat controllable.
Ludum Dare 21: 24hrs Remaining
I spent about 2 hours trying to get a randomized tunnel to generate, and quickly gave up on the basis I didn’t like the outcome of any of the work. So at this point the choice changed to making a quick and dirty level editor, which actually came out very well. By the time I went to bed I had wrapped up a level editor that I could play, edit, play, edit in quick succession. Hung out on G+ hangouts as much as possible, had some good discussions while still getting stuff done.
Ludum Dare 21: 13hrs Remaining
Motivation has dropped quite a bit even though I was on the final stretch. Time pressure was starting to begin as I realized I didn’t have a level or anything – but I did have my main gameplay mechanic; physics. To accurately test the level I was about to develop, I needed to add the collision for the game – which was much more difficult than it seemed. Despite using code I had from another project for line-to-line collision, it did not work. In the end, debugging proved that I was putting in the wrong lines… Many hours wasted.
Ludum Dare 21: 6hrs Remaining
A final burst of energy to finish the level, add a score counter, title page and share it on #ludumdare – got some feedback, made a quick and dirty tutorial page – that added a lot to the look and feel of the game. Removed the level editor and temp map files for the final build. Tried making some music for the game, but failed miserably.
Ludum Dare 21: 0hrs Remaining
Submitted the project as a jam on the basis I did not share my code. However, I followed every other rule strictly.
Ludum Dare 21: Postmortem; What went wrong
- This was the buggiest project I’ve worked on in years, I had to cross hurdle after hurdle; physics, line collision, level design.
- I did not put enough effort into created the game music, or sound effects – and this would have paid off huge in the end.
- My own expectations were let down on basis of; physical feeling and level design.
- Although I took a good share of breaks, getting out of the apartment would have been useful.
Ludum Dare 21: Postmortem; What went right
- The visual quality stunned me, it actually came out looking decent.
- I made good use of breaks for food, shower, sleep, and thinking.
- I finished, it was close to complete, and I had a lot of fun.
Check out the project, rate it, leave comments and most of all – hopefully it is enjoyable, even for a few moments.
I procrastinated too long on making a video for the “I am in” compilation, but I am officially in for LudumDare 21. I may opt for the jam on the basis I am using my own DirectX 9 framework that is not publicly available, and I’m not sure I want to make it publicly available. I have issues.
Beyond that I plan on using Visual C++ 2010, Notepad++, Inkscape, Audacity, Pidgin for IRC, Google+ for some good times, and I’m not sure what else; I do need something for music/sfx.
Woo, lets get this party started!
I normally would not be using the crappy laptop to power the TV/media screen – but I had to do something since my 8800 has fried and I’ve already lost “so much” screen real estate already… I know, third world problems. Anyways.
Well, I guess I’ve made infinitely more progress than expected since I didn’t expect to work on this MiniLD project. That said I am disappointed with what very minimal progress and effort I’ve put in, given how excited I’ve been about this for the last two weeks.
I wasted time on a Splash Screen right from the start, then a quick “Play Game / Quit Game” Main Menu. My idea was to network a very simplistic game, but not sure if I’ll be able to do that. I have abstracted a ‘GamePlayer’ class for the option, and the game is turn-based. I just need to add the world, turns, and gameplay. Lets see if the steam will raise, I’m not nearly as hopeful as I was previously.
I got to blackscreen late Friday night, but knew I was expected to go into work. While laying in bed, frustrated with work and not having the ability to join LD, an insane hack/idea popped in my head to complete my weekend work task in about an hour. Which to my luck has, mostly, succeeded. I could be working on the bugs it still right now but – I figured it mostly works and other engineers probably have better ideas at the areas I fail. Fast forwarding, my point is that I am now able to start working on my mini-LD project, something I’ve been looking forward to do since the theme was announced way back when.
So, here I sit, at 1pm Saturday, hoping that I my mini-ld project is mini enough to see through completion.