Ludum Dare 32
Theme:
An Unconventional Weapon

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About Christina Antoinette Neofotistou

Illustrator and gamedev. Hardcore gamer since 1984

http://castpixel.tumblr.com/

reach me @ [email protected]

Entries

Christina Antoinette Neofotistou's Trophies

All hail the queen!
Awarded by bitserum
on August 29, 2013
The Construct 2 User Award
Awarded by 7Soul
on December 19, 2012

Christina Antoinette Neofotistou's Archive

For those who missed it, here’s my writeup on Ice Story. Thanks everyone for the overwhelming replies, I’ll get round to replying to all.

gameplay2

So you know how sometimes a game feels like it already exists, and you are just discovering it, instead of inventing it? This is one of those.

GAMEPLAY AND THEME

Ice story (氷物語 – Koori Monogatari) is my loving take on Bubble Bobble and Snow Bros, and specifically the arcade versions I played as a kid, with a mix of Rocket Slime.b4tumblr_m3dhj5fT3g1qazvr5

My main thinking was to have ice as a weapon, but the freeze spell is not the weapon, that’s just middle-ware. No, the actual weapon is the sequence of events you need to perform, sort of a ritual, a routine, in order to get rid of the dinos. Freezing enemies to perfection, then flicking them in the air by performing the Dash special move, then successfully catching them on the rebound.

I tried to make the routine interesting and satisfying, so you’d get into it fast and it would hopefully become habitual and pleasurable. I know it has for me. Controls are kind of tough at first, they might need tweaking to appeal to first-time players. On the other hand, I may make the judgement call that players should just deal with these controls, because they reward you with considerable power and versatility once you’ve mastered them. We’ll see.

screenshot4
GRAPHICS
Here’s all the Technical Stuff ™: I used Photoshop CS5 for graphics and animation. As usual I start with a messy mockup that contains every sprite and work my way up to more refined sprites and tiles in a new file if necessary. Here’s some process on the main character, an ice mage called Nya. Her favorite food is narutomaki. I based her loosely on my friend and pixelartist @vagaaabond (go check her out).nya runThere was some worldbuildinggoing on in the background, even if it didn’t explicitly make it in the game. It’s still there somehow.
Nya is a peace-loving nerd who likes nothing better than to study her ice magic alone. In quiet.  She is interrupted by an infestation of, um, dinosaurs falling from the sky. This is clearly the doing of her friend Kya. Why can’t she be content with being an ice mage too? Why does she have to dabble in chaos and prehistoric monsters?
I thought some blend of japanese culture and western fantasy would be cute. I also stumbled upon an article that said job recruiters in the US strongly dislike “black” names in application forms and don’t call back 27% more often than “white” names. This is obvious to anyone who’s ever encountered racism and I also don’t mind making white people uncomfortable, so I chose “Nya” from that list, although I might make it Shaquandra in my post combo version.
tinyFood

witch

screenshot2
Then came level building. I really had to stop myself from making these, they were so fun. I made 10 and decided to stick with that, so I could playtest and refine them sufficiently, at the same time as I was checking the engine for (tons of) bugs.

Another interesting thing happened during level design that convinced me this game was on the right track. See, I had already made a “hurry up” mayhem mode to incentivize the player to solve the level faster. It looks like rocks randomly spawning from above and then falling until they meet a platform with some camera shake, like so:rocks fall

So I had an idea for a level that called for destructible terrain. I thought of scrapping it at first, because I didn’t have time to make an exploding terrain animation. But then it hit me, I already have one. I made an invisible “bomb” object over the terrain I wanted destroyed and wrote a function to the effect that “when terrain is destroyed, make the terrain tiles disappear and create a rock there”. The illusion is perfect, and it comes from thinking “inside the box”, re-using vocabulary that my game already had. That was a first for me, and it’s a very powerful feeling.

level with bomb
MUSIC

I used a free YM2151 emulator VOPM for the sounds, and let me tell you, it made a whole lot of difference. The YM chip was hardware by Yamaha famously used in the Sega Genesis, and some awesome person has made a collection of instrument presets from actual Sega games. Just the thing for a dev in a hurry. I was never proficient with FM synthesis, but comfortable enough to tweak the already pretty stellar presets into something more usable for my sounds.
vopm
I managed a pretty self-contained and cute soundtrack consisting of an intro tune, 2 in-game themes and a gameover jingle. You can get those here.

INTRO

the main gist of my intro idea stayed intact despite the time constraints of the jam, all because of Construct 2′ awesome visual editor. It’s basically “type this on screen” then wait 1 second, then do something else. It goes on for a while :D

intro code
And another thing that saved me tons of time was making the tutorial “action replay” pre-animated. I’ll explain: I captured a short segment of me playing the game, and because it’s pixelart, it came out crystal clear and tiny at 125kBytes. Compare that to the hassle of making code for actually recording your position and button presses at every dt. Since Construct 2 imports GIF files as sprites (very reliably too!) it was easy to go back and annotate the controls.ttorial

CONCLUSION

LDjam is super fun and awesome!
Also here’s the spritesheet with all my graphics for the game.

Thanks for reading this far, play the game, rate it, hate it, have fun with it and in general :D

Christina out!

spritesheet

 

 

 

gameplay24

 

Full of FM synthesis, Sega arcade-quality goodness.

Get it HERE or, better yet, play the GAME

gameplay2

So you know how sometimes a game feels like it already exists, and you are just discovering it, instead of inventing it? This is one of those.

GAMEPLAY AND THEME

Ice story (氷物語 – Koori Monogatari) is my loving take on Bubble Bobble and Snow Bros, and specifically the arcade versions I played as a kid, with a mix of Rocket Slime.b4tumblr_m3dhj5fT3g1qazvr5

My main thinking was to have ice as a weapon, but the freeze spell is not the weapon, that’s just middle-ware. No, the actual weapon is the sequence of events you need to perform, sort of a ritual, a routine, in order to get rid of the dinos. Freezing enemies to perfection, then flicking them in the air by performing the Dash special move, then successfully catching them on the rebound.

I tried to make the routine interesting and satisfying, so you’d get into it fast and it would hopefully become habitual and pleasurable. I know it has for me. Controls are kind of tough at first, they might need tweaking to appeal to first-time players. On the other hand, I may make the judgement call that players should just deal with these controls, because they reward you with considerable power and versatility once you’ve mastered them. We’ll see.

screenshot4
GRAPHICS
Here’s all the Technical Stuff ™: I used Photoshop CS5 for graphics and animation. As usual I start with a messy mockup that contains every sprite and work my way up to more refined sprites and tiles in a new file if necessary. Here’s some process on the main character, an ice mage called Nya. Her favorite food is narutomaki. I based her loosely on my friend and pixelartist @vagaaabond (go check her out).nya runThere was some worldbuildinggoing on in the background, even if it didn’t explicitly make it in the game. It’s still there somehow.
Nya is a peace-loving nerd who likes nothing better than to study her ice magic alone. In quiet.  She is interrupted by an infestation of, um, dinosaurs falling from the sky. This is clearly the doing of her friend Kya. Why can’t she be content with being an ice mage too? Why does she have to dabble in chaos and prehistoric monsters?
I thought some blend of japanese culture and western fantasy would be cute. I also stumbled upon an article that said job recruiters in the US strongly dislike “black” names in application forms and don’t call back 27% more often than “white” names. This is obvious to anyone who’s ever encountered racism and I also don’t mind making white people uncomfortable, so I chose “Nya” from that list, although I might make it Shaquandra in my post combo version.
tinyFood

witch

screenshot2
Then came level building. I really had to stop myself from making these, they were so fun. I made 10 and decided to stick with that, so I could playtest and refine them sufficiently, at the same time as I was checking the engine for (tons of) bugs.

Another interesting thing happened during level design that convinced me this game was on the right track. See, I had already made a “hurry up” mayhem mode to incentivize the player to solve the level faster. It looks like rocks randomly spawning from above and then falling until they meet a platform with some camera shake, like so:rocks fall

So I had an idea for a level that called for destructible terrain. I thought of scrapping it at first, because I didn’t have time to make an exploding terrain animation. But then it hit me, I already have one. I made an invisible “bomb” object over the terrain I wanted destroyed and wrote a function to the effect that “when terrain is destroyed, make the terrain tiles disappear and create a rock there”. The illusion is perfect, and it comes from thinking “inside the box”, re-using vocabulary that my game already had. That was a first for me, and it’s a very powerful feeling.

level with bomb
MUSIC

I used a free YM2151 emulator VOPM for the sounds, and let me tell you, it made a whole lot of difference. The YM chip was hardware by Yamaha famously used in the Sega Genesis, and some awesome person has made a collection of instrument presets from actual Sega games. Just the thing for a dev in a hurry. I was never proficient with FM synthesis, but comfortable enough to tweak the already pretty stellar presets into something more usable for my sounds.
vopm
I managed a pretty self-contained and cute soundtrack consisting of an intro tune, 2 in-game themes and a gameover jingle. I’ll upload those shortly too.

INTRO

the main gist of my intro idea stayed intact despite the time constraints of the jam, all because of Construct 2′ awesome visual editor. It’s basically “type this on screen” then wait 1 second, then do something else. It goes on for a while :D

intro code
And another thing that saved me tons of time was making the tutorial “action replay” pre-animated. I’ll explain: I captured a short segment of me playing the game, and because it’s pixelart, it came out crystal clear and tiny at 125kBytes. Compare that to the hassle of making code for actually recording your position and button presses at every dt. Since Construct 2 imports GIF files as sprites (very reliably too!) it was easy to go back and annotate the controls.ttorial

CONCLUSION

LDjam is super fun and awesome!
Also here’s the spritesheet with all my graphics for the game.

Thanks for reading this far, play the game, rate it, hate it, have fun with it and in general :D

Christina out!

spritesheet

 

 

 

I’m in!

Friday, April 17th, 2015 1:37 pm

I’m in!

Photoshop CS5, Construct 2 and FLstudio are my weapons as usual.
This is my 8th LD! Here’s some of my past, un-fun but pretty to look at games :D I regret nothing!
Hopefully more women and girls will participate this year.

Have fun everyone!

<3 Christina
13139-shot0.png-eq-900-500 13139-shot0.png-eq-900-500 13139-shot1.png-eq-900-500 131339-shot0.png-eq-900-500 143139-shot0.png-eq-900-500

Super Snow Girl

Sunday, December 28th, 2014 5:59 pm
my beat-em-up experiment for Ludum Dare

my beat-em-up experiment for Ludum Dare

Why not give my beat-em-up experiment a try?

I didn’t mean to complete this. Just to have fun with graphics and mechanics. And it worked!
What I learnt on this project:
Enemy AI, beatem-up Z-movement, Finite State Machines, hitboxes and attack boxes.

Super Snow Girl

You rock, LD.

Super Snow Girl gameplay

Thursday, December 11th, 2014 2:30 pm

Gameplay gif of my beatemup engine “Super Snow Girl”

nw 2014-12-11 23-16-12-19

Super Snow Girl is my kind of beat-em-up

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 6:18 pm

No, not the “unfinished game engine” kind, you big silly.

So I made this. It was exhausting and fun, and I hope you dig.

Love ya fellow LDers long time.

Click here to get to the game. Engine. Whatever :D I don’t mind that it’s unfinished. If Humanity needs it a whole lot, I have confidence it will get made. Otherwise it’s fine as it is!

screenshot4funeral2 roundhouse   screenshot6 screenshot  screenshot3

I’m in!

Friday, December 5th, 2014 2:15 pm

I hope this time I make something fun, not just pretty.

Wish me luck, and shout out to all female gamedevs participating (a disappointing 4% last year)

Here’s some of my previous work:

2-550x399 BosMHSnIQAEmzPN 5 3-550x337 1-550x332

World Tree – postmortem

Monday, August 25th, 2014 12:21 pm

Didn’t make it this time.
As I keep reminding everyone, I’m no coder. So even simple pathfinding leaves me scratching my head. This time it beat me completely. Maybe next time!

My game was going to be about greek goblins (kalikanjari, a common eastern european monster/malevolent spirit). They are supposed to live in the underworld and work all December to bring down the world tree. But invariably, their trickster nature gets the better of them, and they come to the surface for one night, which of course makes the World Tree heal itself, and their work is never done.

I’d like to see them succeed. Naturally influenced by the great Dungeon Keeper and some Amiga nostalgia, some time and resource management are needed, and a little fighting to keep things interesting. I worked hard for 2.5 days and disappointingly only have a design doc and a piece of music to show for it. I want to finish it, but I can’t make any promises. Pathfinding for the goblins in a maze of sidescrolling tunnels has left me stumped for now.

Not much more I can say. I will enjoy playing everyone’s games as always, even though I won’t be able to vote this time.

I love LD, thank you all for taking part.
Christina

mockup2

I’m in!

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 10:52 am

I’m in for the 8th time!

First a serious note: as a feminist female gamedev, I can’t help but feel a lot of concern for Zoe Quinn’s abuse and harassment. None of us female game devs deserve rape threats and nude photos of us being posted against our will.

Here’s a good article for those of you who want to know more.

And now onto the fun!
Here’s some stuff I’ve worked on in the past :D

Shop Music – gameboy chiptune

Heaving of the Depths - jrpg for LD 29

Heaving of the Depths – jrpg for LD 29

Kumiho

Kumiho, a bullet hell by me and awesome gamedev Fedor Jutte, and one of the best games I’ve been involved in so far

Xenoball

Screenshots from Xenoball, a 32×32 game for #lowrezjam (WIP)

Legend of Troll

Legend of troll, a puzzle platformer. I want to make it a full game someday

The Follower

Friendly advice, from an LD veteran (actually from all LD veterans :P) : make your game small and manageable. Otherwise, like me, you’ll end up with a super-ambitious project that isn’t finished or fun :D I’m hoping to take my own advice this year <3

Good luck to everyone, I love our community!

13139-shot0

This LD I had the strange idea of making a j-RPG.
Thus Heaving of the Depths was born. You can play it here

13139-shot2

WHAT WENT RIGHT

1. It’s pretty! I wanted a very beautiful game and I think that went well. There’s a ton of art in this thing. As usual, I create new assets as needed. I ended up with two large photoshop files: an overworld sea where you navigate the ocean in your pirate ship, and a battle screen, where I made all battle sprites and animations. What this lets me do is keep a consistent color palette and style across the whole project, and essentially replaces the concept art stage that a normal game goes through. I used amazing references like Legend of Zelda Windwaker and Breath of Fire IV.

big map

Overworld assets

2. I learnt tons of stuff! I used cinema4D and my nonexistent 3D skills to make a fast and loose 8-direction ship with minimal effort. I tried my hand at procedural generation: all islands are generated randomly within certain limitations, to keep the level solvable and the sea traversable. I had a stroke of genius at the last moment and created a “miner” entity that swims through the level and places gold coins wherever it goes, at runtime. This was to ensure an interesting curving path through the level, so players would want to explore it.

3. It’s a complete adventure, my storytelling skills were also, I thought, nonexistent, but the story of Sunny and Cod just flowed through me like I was on fire. It’s got a beginning, middle and end, it’s got obstacles and emotions. I usually end up making a very unfulfilling game. This time I feel I made a difference.

4. it has a branching storyline. Well, ok, a few tiny branches. Such as when you are defeated by the 3 blacktopuses you get a different message to the one you get if you clear them. Or when Sunny tells you you need the fast sail if you don’t have it, but acknowledges if you’ve already bought it. But that’s still a lot of work. I have a much better grasp of how to implement a dialogue system.

5. it has a turn-based battle system: implemented from scratch. Boring and barebones, yes. But it gets the job done.

6. I get to develop it further. I’m dedicating the next 6 months to this game. I started a new devlog here

13139-shot1
WHAT WENT WRONG

1. No sound  I didn’t have the time

2. Button-mashing battles the battle system is uninteresting. That’s ok, and it’s all I had time for, but if I’m going to make this a full-fledged RPG, I need a good battle system. Feel free to send me ideas. Grandia and Child of Light are obviously lovely choices, where the result of a battle can be spectacularly overturned. Also Persona 3 and Fallout 2 have good battle systems. Since you’re spending half the game in battle, I owe it to myself to fix the button-mashing boringness.

3. Time management. Well I don’t know, I did a lot for three days. But it’s not as fun as a more complete experience such as the amazing SCUBA BEAR (go check it out NOW). On the other hand, I like to follow through with my ideas for Ludum Dare, instead of making a smaller game just because of time constraints.
Here’s my Timelapse video:

And thanks to everyone who commented, everyone who played my game, everyone who made a game for us to play. I love Ludum Dare, I want to never stop making games.

Until next time,

love,

Christina

screenshot5 SCREENSHOT6 screenshot2

It’s called “The Heaving Depths” and it’s mainly about my fear of dark spots in the water when I go swimming. But cleverly disguised as an RPG and a love story between two girls.

You’ll see!
I barely got any sleep, my code started breaking apart at the seams after a while, but I kept at it.

If you play it, and feel the urge to tell me what you liked or disliked about it, please do, I’m all ears. I’m probably going to finish this if there’s enough interest, so it’d be cool if I made something you guys like to play.

PLAY IT HERE

Let me grab the opportunity to tell everyone how much I love, love LOVE LD, I never want to stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you everyone for making this, my 6th Ludum Dare a joy to participate. Thank you for making games, thank you for commenting on other peoples’ games, thank you thank you thank you!

Expect a postmortem and a timelapse soon.

I’m in! LD29

Friday, April 25th, 2014 2:27 pm

I’m in!

Construct 2, Photoshop and FLstudio are my weapons. This time I’ll be trying to concentrate on FUN and replayability. Good luck to everyone! I love LD, let’s make games forever! Lovely to see female gamedevs on the keynote.

Here’s a pixel I prepared earlier.

sherlock

You only get one Follower

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 8:45 pm

screenshot title

OK, this is my game for this LD!

A sandbox mix of Terraria, Populous, that old game “Diggers 2: Extractors”, Dungeon Keeper and From Dust. I tried to be 100% bound by the theme, and decided on “you’re a Goddess, and you only get one Follower”.

Since there’s not a lot of gameplay, it’s still too early to say if this has potential. If it does, please let me know. If it sucks, ditto.
If you have any requests/ideas or know how to make an A* Pathfinding algorithm that works for platformers and doesn’t make my AI look dumb, please PLEASE chip in ;)

dug

It’s my 5th LD and I loved every minute of it. I had two panic attacks during my 3 days of making it, but anti-anxiety medicine are my friends these days anyway.
The most rewarding part was, even though I’m an illustrator I actually spent more time coding than doing graphics! Like, a lot more.

Timelapse and Post-mortem coming soon.

Game Created in 72 hours

FLstudio for the music
Adobe Photoshop for the art
Construct 2 for the code.

PLAY IT HERE

Will be entering as well

Friday, December 13th, 2013 5:15 pm

I don’t trust myself too much, because of panic attacks, so I’m joining solo. Worst that can happen is I don’t make a game.

But I’m in!
As usual:
Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash for the art
Construct 2 for the code
FLstudio for the music

This is my last game, Legend of Troll

ingame intro screen

 

poster large9-01

 

Hi fellow LD gamedevs! My game PAWS has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its completion. We’ve been working on it for 19 months and it’s really starting to shine, we think.

Take a look at our screenshots and please try the playable  alpha demo. If we get funded, the game will be available to the world in 6 months. If we don’t, it’s 19 months of work down the drain, because we’re poor gamedevs like everyone, and will not be able to develop it further. So please support our Kickstarter. Thank you for your time,

love, Christina

bling

alphademo

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