About brantkings (twitter: @brantkings)

Just an aspiring game designer from Brazil.

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Ludum Dare 36
 
Ludum Dare 26
 
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Submitted! My third LD :)

Posted by (twitter: @brantkings)
Sunday, August 28th, 2016 9:20 pm

sstitle

Hey! Proud to present my game, MIND STRAFE, my third LD entry. First time 3D. Hope you have fun with it as I had making the game!

Would like to have more time to make sound, music and more attention into the story (I ended up almost unrelated to the theme). But those things happen, there’s still some evolution in the mechanics in the game, and I’m kind of proud of that.

Link to page

 

Progress, game still not finished

Posted by (twitter: @brantkings)
Sunday, August 28th, 2016 3:28 pm

Woa last image before posting the game, here you go! 5 hours left gogogo!!!

 

Text is just provocative I guess

Transition between text scene and battle scene

First day progress for the compo

Posted by (twitter: @brantkings)
Saturday, August 27th, 2016 8:58 pm

Wowww who knew 3D was this hard.

I’m a little bit sad it did end up like just an arena shooter for now. I’ll have to find how to spice it up at least visually.

Woo! Progress! Have fun you guys!

I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @brantkings)
Saturday, August 27th, 2016 10:07 am

Just slept, and I’m going for the compo 14 hours in. I’m going 3D for the first time ever in my life in this. Brave or stupid?

Unity (and all the example material, plus DOTween)

Photoshop

Aseprite

FL Studio

Audacity

Bfxr

I’m IN.

Posted by (twitter: @brantkings)
Friday, August 21st, 2015 4:29 pm

Unity 5, HG, GIMP, Monodevelop…

Let’s do this.

We are in!

Posted by (twitter: @brantkings)
Friday, April 25th, 2014 5:23 pm

We are in!

Probably we are gonna do somethig on Flash or AIR. Flashdevelop + GraphicsGale + Audacity anyway.

Good luck, have fun!

Late to the party

Posted by (twitter: @brantkings)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 7:51 am

Well I’m late to the party, but I’ll try this.

Actionscript 3, Flex, Gale Graphics and Audacity, as usual.

Good luck 2 all!

My Peculiar Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @brantkings)
Friday, May 10th, 2013 4:02 pm

This is the postmortem for my entry: My Peculiar Car! If you didn’t played it, please do!

shotPost

What happened

Conception

Well, when the theme went online, I was on a party. I got home drunk so I just decided it was better to drink water, have an inspirational sleep and a shower. After all that, I kinda had the idea ready (I was lucky this time). What I thought: so, minimalism was doing the minimum to express the most? And combining that with an idea I had some time ago that changing a gear would be a puzzle while driving cars, I had maybe a good idea, and hopefully I wasn’t too far behind.

Programming some squares

So I went programming right away. Flixel is my engine of choice because it helps you a lot with basic stuff like States and animations. I decided to do first 5 discrete lanes and have a car being able to change between them first. I opted to not make them continual because it would be hard to make a parallel between a gear change and a car move. OK. With that ready, I had my first problem: how should I give the the impression of speed? I really thought about doing a top down view with parallel lanes and all, but opted for a top-gear like experience, using perspective.

I actually tried to implement these darker colors that made the impression of speed here, but it bogged down the fps so much, I left it away. Maybe I did it in a dumb way.

Ah, Top Gear. I actually tried to implement these darker lines of colors on the road that made the impression of speed here, but it bogged down the fps so much, I left it away.

While the top down would be really easier to implement, I wonder if in the end the game would feel less like an racing game and more like a double puzzle-game kinda like Frogger with more restrictions. I spend a lot of time implementing the perspective, mainly because with Flixel, use scale and position at the same time and you are never really sure of what is going on. I had to use a lot of magic numbers that mysteriously make everything work and I hate that. That is really one of my few problems with Flixel.

So, with the lanes, cars and obstacles ready, I had a silly little game hihi. But I still had to implement the gear. That was way easier than the perspective lane, and everything went pretty straightforward. I finished implementing it, and when I finally had the two together  the gear blocking the movement of the car, I actually thought I had a neat game idea. The problem was with the gear map generator: it was super random and sucked. Always guaranteeing that, with each new map, you can go left and right at least once made it a lot better, but in my opinion, it still lack something more.

Squares race! You can see how the first gear map generation algorithm sucked horribly here.

Squares race! You can see how the first gear map generation algorithm sucked horribly here.

 

Another thing that I did very rushed: the cactus positioning. It was completely random. It maybe still is. I tried to making it better by making the chance of cactus appear bigger in less crowded lanes, but that was it. It is still bad. If I ever expand this game, the level design is the first thing that needs to get better.

Drawing some stuff

On to the graphics, I really wanted to draw everything as simple as possible, without shades or anything. Then I completely threw that from the window while drawing the car, because I shaded and everything. It took a lot of time (it looks kinda cool). For everything else (except the fish because it is important), I tried following simplicity.

For most sprites, I drew a fast silhouette on Graphics Gale, changed it’s colors, and that’s it. I tried to exaggerate the man’s animations on the car to make the impression he is trying really hard, I don’t know if it passed that message. But if it ended up not terribly ugly, I guess it is hooray.

I concluded a pretty obvious thing: if you make it smaller, you draw better. So what I did was drawing the intro, game over and the outro images as 80×60 sprites, and then scaling them 10x in the game. It looks rushed, but it looks like something.

I tried to make the color palette like a really sunny desert, that goes well in the eyes, and I guess that went awesome.

Sound

Then, finally was the part of putting some sound in the game. This is where the game got downhill.

See, sound is a very important part of the game. But it ends up that flex only accepts 44000hz mp3 files. And wasting some time editing, recording and filtering to discover that your sound fx wouldn’t be able to be used in flex is so frustating it almost hurts. Some sounds did work though, like the motor one. I don’t understand why sounds recorded with my mic didn’t work, if it worked before (including on my last LD entry, Just Politics).

But that led up to a good thing: after failing 3 different sound effects for the gear, I stumbled upon a free sax solo on the internet. I said “why not” and that turned out to be one of the best features in the game. Way better than me screaming on your headphones when you achieved the sweet, blue spot. Haha!

I couldn’t compose any music, I wish I could, I’ll try to learn that.

Finally

I ended up just moving the GUI, asking my friends for a opinion (something that did help a lot!), and trying to polish the game the most I could. In the end, I was finding difficult clicking with the mouse. But then, the reception was great, and I liked it.

I didn’t really do it all in that chronological way depicted here, but more or less so.

So, to sum it up:

The final game!

The final game!

What went right

  • Well, I was for five minutes browsing through a certain free sound page on the net, and while I couldn’t find any honks I have been able to find a snazzy sax solo. Downloading it ended up being my best decision in this compo, as the sax sounds really got praised.
  • Simple, without shading pixel art with exaggeration is kinda beautiful, passes the message and it is easy to do. Don’t have time? Do the sprites on a smaller grid and then enlarge it.
  • It was really easy to screw up with this idea. Early playtesting people were just asking themselves why the car wouldn’t move. Adding a little trembling on a locked gear handle did the trick, maybe? Or the tutorial? Anyway, people didn’t ask that in the comments.

What was wrong

  • I really wish I knew what went so wrong about sound. This Audacity vs Flex fight was really, really frustating, and I ended up giving up a lot of sounds that could make the game so much better.
  • The cactus generation is of course the worst part of the game: a little less procedural generation, and more well-thought position I guess would be for the best.
  • I don’t like how the gear HUD look, I could do better (and the handle don’t look like part of the game at all).

PS.: Yeah, sorry for any engrish.

Finished!

Posted by (twitter: @brantkings)
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 6:33 pm

My first compo, finally! That was hard, but fun. Ludum Dare is, indeed, very awesome. When else I would put up to do something like this.

Oh dear. What utmost import thing could have happened!?

Oh dear. What thing of utmost importance could have happened!?

Here is my entry link, have fun, this game is pretty short:
http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/?action=preview&uid=7556

Gotta sleep now, it’s pretty late! Good luck all! GG.

A proper game!

Posted by (twitter: @brantkings)
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 10:13 am

Finally, my first compo game is almost almost ready! Sound FX and Graphics going!

So long, pink car

So long, pink car

But a friend told me something that’s gonna make me paint the car green. Don’t ask me what is it, I can’t unsee it. So, after that, tutorial. And after that, story and menu!

First day!

Posted by (twitter: @brantkings)
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 7:01 pm
Kinda like top gear right?

Kinda like top gear right?

Yeah, first day is over, just in time to finish the core gameplay code. This isn’t much different from the last shot, I know, but it is! Finally got a game, that means I’ll deliver for sure something this LD! But, whether is that good or not depends on today. On to level design, graphics and sound!

What is happening!?

Posted by (twitter: @brantkings)
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 10:49 am

I really need to start getting faster on this!!

ld2013

 

Behold my racing/ puzzle game!

Late “I’m in!”

Posted by (twitter: @brantkings)
Friday, April 26th, 2013 7:37 pm

Little late to tell, but I’m in. I’m using everything on the attached files. Have fun, all of you! Let’s make this LD memorable!

I’m using Flixel + FlashDevelop + Flex do develop it, so it has to be easy access! Good luck!

Just Politics – Our Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @brantkings)
Thursday, December 27th, 2012 11:01 am

 

You all had awesome holidays? Hope so.

So this is the post-mortem of our game Just Politics we did for the Jam. It’s out now because, you know, time + holidays.

This is what happened in the three days:

So in the beginning of the first day we’ve just finished arranging who was going to participate in the jam. We did the whole thing in one of the team members’ house. After we got the theme we were having some problem with getting the entire team together, so one of us transformed into a laptop with skype and we begun to discuss ideas and the engine we were going to use.

After a lot of ideas, the team started to like the idea of “a politician going around sucking innocent people’s money and laughing”. Then we began to finish discussing the engine we were going to use, and we ended up in a fight between Flex+Flixel and Unity. Simplicity and what we thought the power of the IDE (Flashdevelop, if you’re wondering) won and we kept Flixel. We divided our team of three people in “Game Designer”, “Programmer” and “Artist”. It was like just the focus of attention, because by the end of the day everyone programmed (we’re all Computer Science students, so no problem at all with that).

In the second day, after we started working on things we did realize that everyone was thinking on a different game and the game was taking a peculiar shape because of that. In the beginning, as shown in the screenshot below, the road was divided so the politician was robbing people from an abstract distance, from his office or something like that, without people ever noticing his presence. We soon scrapped all that and ended with one, big road. All was discussed every now and then.

So in the third day we continued to work until at afternoon the basic game (a single sprint, as we would call a mandate of the politician) took place. So we discussed for some time where we could go from that point on. We decided we made some sort of meta-game to make the played feel that he is progressing and at the same time we would do some tweaks on the game itself to be more satisfying.

So in the fourth day, one of our members had to leave HQ, but he worked fine from a distance. In the end we rushed some final tweaks in the game (like a pause screen, and pre-loaders) and finally launched it. At the time it felt like we could do more but now I see that we did our best. I believe the entire team is the same way about this.

So, tl;dr, we’ve came from nothing to this:

And then this:

Well, the good parts are:

  • We were doing it for the jam, so we made it accordingly and plan things through before starting any move.
  • We discovered one of our programmers to be a fast and good artist.
  • Flixel actually helped us with performance (I believe) and things like off focus events and pre-loaders, so the game could be more complete.


And, the obligatory bad parts:

  • We couldn’t agree too much in a game design idea. Every new idea brought up led to a discussion. I don’t know if that’s really a bad part, but surely made the whole thing more exhausting.
  • We used a game engine without anybody experienced on it.
  • We forgot to introduce some kind of invincible blinking on the game, resulting in some frustating sprints if you got unlucky.


PS.: Engrish? Typos? My bad.

 

A Screenshot

Posted by (twitter: @brantkings)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 12:20 pm

Politics. Pure villanny.

ld2012

Hello were IN!

Posted by (twitter: @brantkings)
Friday, December 14th, 2012 10:33 pm

Prepare for trouble and make it triple!

That bad joke aside, me and my two friends are getting ready for the JAM. We are using Unity and got the main idea ready. Just saying it now at once, and no public/owned assets planning in yet.

Good luck for you all!

 

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