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Glad to be back!

Posted by (twitter: @bradley_pollard)
Friday, April 15th, 2016 3:19 pm

It’s been well over a year since I last had the time to do one of these, and clearly Ludum Dare is more important than doing my Masters project 😛

This time I’m gunna have some fun and make a game with a tool I’ve never worked with before – PICO-8. I’ve loved the look of PICO-8 for a long time now and been wanting to try it out. For added challenge I’m only going to work with the in-house tools it provides, which means coding on a tiny low res screen!

And of course, I’ll be streaming the whole thing. Probably won’t record a timelapse this time, but if you want to watch my progress, check out twitch.tv/bollard some time tomorrow morning (UK time).

Objective Time Lapse

Posted by (twitter: @bradley_pollard)
Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 4:56 pm

This time around I used Unity, so actually have Mac, Linux and Web versions of my game to fill up the other download slots on my entry! That of course has meant I had no space for my timelapse, so here she is:

Please consider rating my game here too!

Objective Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @bradley_pollard)
Monday, December 16th, 2013 8:17 am

It’s funny, the title is pretty misleading. This is going so be a subjective post, but never mind!

Title

All in all, I’m pleased to say I completed my second Ludum Dare with success, and submitted a game. In fact, you can rate that game, Objective, here:

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=17874

However, here’s a more extensive breakdown:

What went right:

  • Unity! Unity2D was great to use and means I now have versions of my games on all platforms, and the web!
  • Vectors. I had fun with some vector maths thanks to David who was working alongside me at Imperial College London (you can see his game here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=29908). Could always have spent more time on the handling though.
  • Live Stream. We got up to 33 viewers at one point, so thanks all for stopping by!

What went wrong:

  • Day 2 was a bit of a fluff. Wasted a bunch of time in the afternoon feeling like I was kind of done, but actually ended up with loads of work I wanted to do in the last 4 hours. Should have brought my notebook with me.
  • Sound effects. I’m not happy with them really, that’s why I included a button to turn them off (M). Plus, I don’t even have music this time.
  • Finding the objective. Given more time I would have added a marker so you know where “The Market” or “The Bank” is. As it is, there are only 5 places so you should learn pretty quick.

I could keep going on, but there are games to rate, so peace!

34 Hours Since starting…

Posted by (twitter: @bradley_pollard)
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 11:19 am

And I have pretty UI and stuff, with customised game over messages! I even put in an Easter Egg for good players this time 😀 Any of the cool dudes on my stream right now will know what that is.

Ludum Dare 4 Ludum Dare 5

Once I’ve come back from McDonalds I’ll be making some sounds, and trying to add some more objectives I think. If that fails, more art can’t hurt, right?

14 Hour Update :D

Posted by (twitter: @bradley_pollard)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 2:45 pm

I don’t know what it is about Ludum dare, but it always makes me over excited for particle effects:

14 Hours In

Honestly, in game, it looks pretty sweet. In the last 7 hours I have tightened up my car controls significantly, however there is still room for progress. I now have 3 different objectives, although one needs a little more work done to it. From here, tomorrow looks like a lot of UI, Menu and Sound Effect work – along with making the map bigger of course.

Welp, I’ll be heading home and sleeping soon, but thanks to those who stopped by on my Live Stream!

Progress Update 1!

Posted by (twitter: @bradley_pollard)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 7:56 am

Well, 7 hours in now and we’ve gotten to this point:

7 Hours In

Not sure why I’m working in black and white, but anyway, the idea of the game is you have but one objective at any one time. However, there are a bunch of micromanagement issues keeping you from doing it. We will see how it goes.

Imperial College Represent!

Posted by (twitter: @bradley_pollard)
Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 6:43 am

Well, it’s been a year since my first Ludum Dare entry and I finally have time to take part again. This year I’m moving away from XNA due to it being a pain for people to play my game. Instead, I plan to use the following:

Engine: Unity2D/C#

Art: Paint (yes, MS Paint)

Sound: Audacity or maybe BFXR

Little scared, as its been a while since I flexed my C# muscles properly, and Unity2D is still super new and I only know the basic Unity3D workflow. But I will soldier on! And at least this time, I will have a web based version of my game (plus Linux, boo yah).

Oh and finally I will be streaming my efforts LIVE from the Imperial College London computing labs, along with the fellow Computing/Physics/EEE students that join me for the event from my Twitch channel, http://www.twitch.tv/chavtw.

Get hype!

‘The “Great” British Weather’ Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @bradley_pollard)
Thursday, December 20th, 2012 2:32 pm

PostMortem

Play it here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-25/?action=preview&uid=17874

Ludum Dare 25 (48 hour Compo)was my first Ludum Dare, and only really my second attempt at starting and finishing a large game. Of course I had tinkered making variants of Snake and such beforehand but other than Neutron Craft I hadn’t much experience going start to finish on a big project.

As such, I kept my scope small and aimed to make sure I had a finished game. I’m happy to say I completed that goal, but of course there’s always more you wish you could have done:

What went right:

  1. I finished the game.
    Really happy about this one. But pretty much mentioned this above.
  2. The aesthetic.
    I am not an artist. Heck, I can barely draw a straight line. But I feel by taking advantage of a minimalist theme, and making use of effects like particle emitters I was able to get a lot more mileage out of my bad art. Heck, people have even been saying the art looks great in the comments!
  3. It doesn’t break (mostly).
    Luckily, I haven’t had anyone complaining my game is downright broken (yet – touch wood). As far as I can tell it shouldn’t actually crash (at least not my work). There is a slight issue but that’s for the next section…

What went wrong:

  1. It’s not that clear how the scoring works.
    I probably should’ve listened to my peers earlier on about getting a much stronger game aspect into this, as for at least most of the first day it was just an interactive weather simulator/toy. I spent so long in the first day implementing the three weather features that day 2 became making a scoring system out of it, and left no room for anything else. I’ve had criticism that the scoring method isn’t clear (which I agree with), however I also didn’t want to just spell it out so people knew the exact formula. But also, I was distracted more by my “cool idea” for the theme, than actually how I was going to make it a game.
  2. The format isn’t that accessible.
    I used XNA, as it’s something I’ve been messing around with a lot recently. I wanted to keep practising with it so I stuck with it, but next time I’d like to make my game easier to play for more people.
  3. Something crazy happened with the compiled executable…
    So, the weirdest thing occurred in the dying hours of the compo. I (stupidly) only ran the compiled executable of the game, outside of the debug mode in Visual Studio, for the first time, and found if you clicked off the window, and left it so it wasn’t the “active window” for more than about 5 seconds, the game crashes. For no reason at all.
    It’s funny too, that the game logic and audio still runs in the background (I can hear it get to the game over screen). And yet the window is unresponsive, due to some AppHangB1 error. I’m certain it’s not my code (at least directly). I tried so hard to fix it but just had no time. Thankfully it’s not a game breaker – just don’t click off the window while playing! (Which I assume most people wouldn’t do anyway :P)

Lastly, I leave you with my timelapse! Thanks for reading :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SsaEmsWmUw

Complete!

Posted by (twitter: @bradley_pollard)
Sunday, December 16th, 2012 1:20 pm

As far as I can tell, I’m done with my first Ludum Dare Compo. I will make my way home then work on putting together a timelapse and uploading my game, ready to submit.

Screen7 Screen8

 

As you can see from the first screen I now have a nice introduction that displays the first time you play – also here’s an example of the lighting I mentioned in my previous post.

It’s a game you really have to see in motion (the particle effects are gorgeous), so I hope somebody checks it out!

Was fun guys, and best of luck to everyone still working :)

The final stretch!

Posted by (twitter: @bradley_pollard)
Sunday, December 16th, 2012 11:13 am

It was funny, before I went to dinner there was a huge rumble of thunder outside, and I was convinced my game had begun to control the real weather. Sadly it’s not so, and I just got soaked on the way home for my troubles.

 

Screen6 Screen5

 

As you can see above, we now have a game over screen with funny/helpful comments on your score, and the dudes in the crowd will now “speak” their thoughts about the current weather. Not in the above shots is the lighting I added depending on the weather conditions.

Really not a lot left to do. Will add Time Remaining to the HUD so you know how hard to push the little guys and hopefully a neat splash screen which will explain the idea of the game when you first play. Other than that we’re done!

Title screen ahoy!

Posted by (twitter: @bradley_pollard)
Sunday, December 16th, 2012 3:33 am

Ah man, it’s really coming together:

Sceen5

 

Now to make game over conditions, and an end screen with your score displayed. Would like an in-game splash screen describing the objective and effects of the three abilities however.

First BSOD :(

Posted by (twitter: @bradley_pollard)
Sunday, December 16th, 2012 2:12 am

Ah man, I was waiting for this to happen. I’m working on campus so can’t use my beefy home PC, and instead have been relying on my creaky 5+ year old laptop. Formatted especially for this, it still has issues at a hardware level.

Ohno

 

I was lucky it didn’t go yesterday to be honest. No work lost however. Keep on!

Live for day 2!

Posted by (twitter: @bradley_pollard)
Sunday, December 16th, 2012 1:49 am

Just need to sort out a decent method of scoring and then it’s polish all the way 😀 Lots of tweaking values, making pretty and music decisions to come…

http://www.twitch.tv/chavtw

Last post for the day.

Posted by (twitter: @bradley_pollard)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 3:51 pm

Think I’m gunna call it for today, and start again by 8am tomorrow. Managed to get a bunch of stuff in there, crowd members now jump when they’re happy, get blown over by the wind and new particle effects for the wind too. Sound effects are in (at least provisionally, might have to make a mute button because they are a little brash) and most awesomely the wind interacts with the rain (blows it sideways):

Screen3

Screen4

The second screen in the red circle has a dude fallen over, and the purple circle shows jumping fella’s rocking out to the show.

Will get some score based actual gameplay tomorrow – will probably tie it to the length of a song. Had an interesting idea suggested to me to parse the user’s My Music folder and choose a random song, but seems tricky. Fallback is to just make an 8bit tune ~3 mins long.

 

Status update 10 hours from my start…

Posted by (twitter: @bradley_pollard)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 11:11 am

It’s been a productive ten hours! Now the player, playing the role of the British Weather, can proceed to rain and electrocute (with lightening) unsuspecting festival goers. They become appropriately annoyed and leave depending on their unhappiness, and there are bars and numbers to display things. Only wind needs to be added as a feature.

Screen2

 

Latest screenshot!

After all that I need to somehow work this into a scoring system that makes sense. I need a way for people to be BETTER at my game than someone else. Tweaking will ensue.

Audio should be fun, can’t wait to make 8 bit lightening and rain sounds. Making an 8 bit band however will be something else.

Might pretty-fy up the cloud with some particles later, and detail the sky.

Also, I’m live again for the last stint of the day – so join me!

twitch.tv/chavtw

Lunchtime update.

Posted by (twitter: @bradley_pollard)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 6:52 am

Been working for pretty much 5 hours, and got this so far:

Screen1

Being British, I chose my villain to be the English weather. The player plays as a cloud that can rain, thunder and lightening on a crowd of festival goers. You have to try and make them as unhappy as possible without having them leave – you can’t have any fun if no-one is around!

Rain is made using a particle emitter. Crowd members will bob up and down soon and such. Currently working on adding gameplay. Somewhat important.

 

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