About DaleP (twitter: @dale_price)

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Ludum Dare 36
 
Ludum Dare 33
 
Ludum Dare 28
 
Ludum Dare 27
 
Ludum Dare 27 Warmup

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Something a little different

Posted by (twitter: @dale_price)
Sunday, August 28th, 2016 4:42 pm

So I’m doing an online multiplayer game.

It’s something that I probably wouldn’t have done if there were ratings this round: a text-based game that takes place in a terrible 90s chat website (table-based layout and all). Through the actions available in the chat interface, you can interact with the fictional AI that controls the chat room and accomplish things that can have an effect on other players.

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 4.31.33 PM

Some Progress

Posted by (twitter: @dale_price)
Sunday, March 27th, 2016 6:23 pm

I have the basic API and web front end done for players to create and join each other’s games. This uses Node + Express to host a RESTful API on the server and some basic JQuery stuff on the client. Communication during gameplay will take place using SockJS web sockets, which will hopefully be fast enough for decent gameplay (which probably won’t be that fast-paced for an RTS – space is big).

The multiplayer lobby of my game, Interplanetary Thermonuclear War

Would you like to play a game?

I’m In for MiniLD 66

Posted by (twitter: @dale_price)
Saturday, March 26th, 2016 2:41 pm

I’ll be making an interplanetary war strategy game involving orbital mechanics.

I’m planning on using Phaser on the client side, using WebSockets to talk to a nodejs server. I’ve worked a little bit with WebSockets before for web frontend stuff, but this will be the first time I’ve tried doing a networked multiplayer game.

If networked multiplayer doesn’t work out, I do have a fallback plan to use the basic game mechanics for something that’s single player and more tycoon-like. Let’s see how this goes!

Irresistable Tentacles

Posted by (twitter: @dale_price)
Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 3:14 pm

The eldritch monstrosity waves its tentacles to command a brainwashed mortal to play music.

Commanding a possessed mortal to play music for the overlord

Wave your tentacles in the abyss because the monster exists

Posted by (twitter: @dale_price)
Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 11:08 am

Four slimy tentacles waving into the abyss

I’m in for LD33

Posted by (twitter: @dale_price)
Friday, August 21st, 2015 2:35 pm

I’m in for what will hopefully be my third completed LD – I completed entries for LD 28 and 29, but between then and now I’ve started an LD and a MiniLD and ended up abandoning my ideas partway through.

 

Tools

Engine: Phaser with Javascript – In past LDs, I’ve used ImpactJS but always felt like its inheritance structure added unnecessary overhead just for throwing something together in a weekend, and it rarely gets updated with new features anymore. For this one I’m going to try Phaser, which seems to let you throw in code as (dis)organized as you want and seems more feature-rich. I made a spaceship fly around with Newtonian physics and a basic “autopilot” as a warmup and may post it to the warmup week(end) later this afternoon.

IDE: Coda 2

Art: Pixelmator for raster, Inkscape for vector

Audio: bfxr (duh) plus GarageBand and Audacity as needed

Internet connection: 1 bar of T-mobile via tethering my phone because my actual ISP is taking months to get internet to my house

 

Finally, I thought I’d share The Art of Screenshake from Jan Willem Nijman of Vlambeer. I found it a great way to get into the mindset of making small, fast tweaks to help draw players into your game, so it’s practically required reading for LD. On the off chance you haven’t seen it, go watch it before the compo starts!

I’m In… finally

Posted by (twitter: @dale_price)
Friday, April 25th, 2014 11:31 pm

It’s one in the morning here and I’m just starting.

I’ve decided on a horror/stealth game in ImpactJS that takes place on the ocean floor. Your undersea research station is under attack by… some indescribable horror from under the sea floor… and you’ve narrowly escaped in a slow-moving deep sea crawler with no working visuals of what’s going on outside. All you have is sonar which will wake the beast if you’re not careful.

I’m in for MiniLD!

Posted by (twitter: @dale_price)
Friday, January 10th, 2014 6:16 pm

This might sound like a crazy conspiracy theory, but what if the world’s most popular search engine is actually a rogue AI involved in a scheme to take over the world by subtly influencing people’s search results?

Monitor

I’m making this game of indirect world domination using HTML+JS, with Pixelmator for graphics, and a combination of Bfxr, Audacity, and Garageband for sound. Hopefully I’ll manage to make some actual background music this time.

Postmortem: Captain Spacebeard

Posted by (twitter: @dale_price)
Sunday, December 29th, 2013 2:15 pm

Captain Spacebeard in The Centauri Run

If you haven’t played my vertical-shmup-with-nonviolent-options, it’s here.

Origin

After going for a more novel (read: difficult to implement) time-travel-based game mechanic in my previous LD entry, I decided early on that I wanted to do something simpler this time, but focus more on executing it well. I also had space on my mind thanks to the recent beta release of Starbound. The first idea I had that I really liked was a top-down shooter along the lines of Elite or Escape Velocity, but where those games offer you numerous upgrades for your ship, you would only get one: maybe it’s a single weapon, maybe it’s a tractor beam, maybe it’s an afterburner or cloaking device or extra shields. To keep it simple, I decided to go with a vertically scrolling shoot-em-up to allow for simple, linear level design and not a lot of story to write, allowing me to focus on the mechanics. The first generic space pirate name that came into my head: Spacebeard the Pirate. Arr.

Things that went right

I think I did a decent job making a game that accommodates the different play styles offered by the different ships. If not, at least I learned from it. Namely, that offering three different mutually-exclusive options for how to play adds a lot of time testing every single level edit.

Art: To make the player ship, I just drew one “base” ship and changed the color, cockpit position, and weapon/device attached to the wings. This approach worked wonderfully as it allowed me to give each ship a distinctive look with little time and effort. I applied the same modular approach to enemies as well and was able to create a decent variety while maintaining a constant style.

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 2.05.35 AM

Things that were cut

I originally narrowed down the range of ship abilities to choose from to four: a weapon, tractor beam, repulsor beam, and cloaking device.

Screen Shot 2013-12-14 at 12.11.00 AM

The first three made it into the final game. The cloaking device would have allowed the player to sneak past enemies for a limited time. Of course, that would require more complex enemy behaviors, which I also dropped due to time concerns in favor of a simple back-and-forth-while-shooting movement. It also would have been difficult to make a fun stealth game on top of the rest of the game (and pointless considering ~75% of players wouldn’t experience it in one playthrough), so I dropped the cloak ability. Near the end I needed an NPC and was pressed for time, so I guess you could say the cloak ship still made it after all.

Things that went wrong

The cockpit is one pixel off center on all of the player ships. Somehow I didn’t notice this until it was too late. Grr.

Theme? Apparently the people commenting on the game aren’t picking up on my idea that you only get one ability on your ship. Whatever—I didn’t care much for the theme anyway because it was too restrictive in how you could interpret it (See: all of the games where “you only get one [life/projectile/unit of time].” No matter how good many of these games actually were, 100 other people used the same exact mechanic).

Pacing. Too much of the player’s time is spent waiting for enemies to come on screen. When tweaking the scrolling speed, I tried to find a balance between giving the player enough time to deal with the enemies and obstacles on the screen and moving forward fast enough not to be boring. If I ever work on this game more or make another vertical/side-scroller, I’ll give the player control of their ship’s speed and limit weapon ranges so less happens offscreen.

Level design: in retrospect, it was a bad idea to make the levels entirely out of asteroids. This probably confused a lot of players who picked the repulsor or tractor beam and wondered why they couldn’t manipulate the ones which were part of the level boundaries, which were poorly distinguished from the movable ones.

Poorly differentiated asteroids that serve totally different purposes. Pop quiz: which of these can you push with a tractor beam?

Poorly differentiated asteroids that serve totally different purposes. Pop quiz: which of these can you push with a tractor beam?

Captain Spacebeard in: The Centauri Run

Posted by (twitter: @dale_price)
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 7:29 pm

Finished in time for the compo: Captain Spacebeard (play here)

It’s a vertical-scrolling space shooter, but with the option of nonviolence — you can only pick one ship out of your collection, and only one has weapons. But the others have their own useful abilities – use debris as a mobile shield with a tractor beam, or shove everything out of your way with a repulsor beam-equipped ship. Which will you pick?

Screen Shot 2013-12-15 at 8.27.54 PM

I’ll write a proper postmortem later on.

Player abilities

Posted by (twitter: @dale_price)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 10:30 am

I’ve been working on the player ships’ abilities and got the tractor and repulsor beams working. The tractor beam acts like an (intentionally) clumsier version of the HL2 Gravity Gun and can hold an object at a set distance in front of the player, as seen with the asteroid in the gif. It works by constantly sending pairs of projectiles (the glowing green things, which hopefully I’ll have time to replace with something smoother looking) forwards; the left projectile moves whatever it hits to the right and towards to the player, while the right projectile moves whatever it hits to the left and towards the player. If they hit when they’ve only just been created, they push the object away instead so it stays at a safe distance. The repulsor beam works similarly, but always pushes away from the player.

tractordemo

I still haven’t done the cloaking device though, because I have yet to make enemies that would be affected by it. Enemies, levels, and UI are my next steps.

Title screen

Posted by (twitter: @dale_price)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 8:44 am

I’m making a shoot-em-up in which the player doesn’t necessarily even have weapons. So… yeah.

Captain Spacebeard in The Centauri Run.  A large collection of contraband, and an equally large collection of stolen spaceships to deliver it. But only one man knows how to fly them.

Gotta make your mind up

Posted by (twitter: @dale_price)
Friday, December 13th, 2013 11:19 pm

Which ship will you take?

Screen Shot 2013-12-14 at 12.11.00 AM

Rejected Game Ideas

Posted by (twitter: @dale_price)
Friday, December 13th, 2013 8:53 pm

Classic Mac Emulator: You only get one mouse button

QW: The one-legged spinoff of QWOP

Firefly: The Game – You only get one season

Justin Bieber’s Lyrics Challenge: You only get one word to use in a song, over and over again (baby baby baby, oh)

I’m In Again

Posted by (twitter: @dale_price)
Thursday, December 12th, 2013 12:15 pm

This will be my second Ludum Dare. Depending on the genre I decide to go for, I’ll either use ImpactJS or just plain ol’ HTML and JS, possibly with the help of CreateJS.

I’ll use Pixelmator, Inkscape, Pixaki, and/or Procreate for graphics. BFXR, Audacity, and GarageBand for sound.

Time Loopy

Posted by (twitter: @dale_price)
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 9:16 pm

Here’s my first Ludum Dare compo entry, Time Loopy:

First few seconds of the game, Time Loopy

It’s a game about being stuck in a ten second time loop and using your past selves to overcome challenges, written in ImpactJS (HTML5). Some thoughts:

  • I’m happy with how the character design and animation turned out, and the time travel mechanic works surprisingly well. However…
  • The game isn’t really polished at all. It’s too easy to miss the dialogue, you end up having way too many versions of yourself which get in the way if you’re not fast enough to complete the level (with no way to reset them except reloading the game), and there are no menus to speak of.
  • I didn’t have time to get enough people to playtest the tutorial portion, so I have no idea if it makes sense to anyone other than me. The overall level design could have been better if I hadn’t been rushed during that part.
  • I only got to make one level. I spent too much time getting the time travel mechanic to work well (and getting ImpactJS to be deterministic at a mostly reliable framerate so the playback of past selves would work), and it also doesn’t make for easy level design when the player gets put back at the beginning every ten seconds and has to deal with multiple versions of theirself from the past. I may explore the concept more when I have time to make better and more varied levels (perhaps the player could be required to use the past selves to distract enemies? maybe he/she has to make sure the past self doesn’t die or get injured?)

Good luck to everyone in the jam as you’re finishing up, and thanks to the LD staff for making this a fun event.

 

 

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