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Make your Music (2)

Posted by
Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 4:17 pm

Well, a while ago I posted about GreaseMonkey’s awesome tool. I had some spare time so I worked a bit on it trying to get it more configureable. I packaged it into a .exe for those who don’t have Python and together with it a batch file to read the instrument files I made (most are GreaseMonkey’s original instruments) to easily configure your music.

As usual this is a work in progress, any suggestions are welcome :)

Download it here (.rar 2.5mb)

You can also get the direct Python version if you have python 2.x installed properly

Also you can check the project on my site for no reason, but there are some samples there :)

If you make any awesome new instruments I’d love to see (hear) them…

 

Cheers! :)

Call for opinions on Analytics

Posted by
Monday, February 24th, 2014 5:22 pm

Hey fellow devs,

I’m here to bring to the table a small discussion on analytics. What I want to ask is: what do you guys think about embedding analytics in Ludum Dare entries? Something like http://www.gameanalytics.com/, for example.

I’m currently working on a full version of my last LD entry and thinking back I believe I could’ve benefited from input obtained from analytics. On what terms would you guys be comfortable with recording data from your gaming session?

Personally I wouldn’t mind anything that is non-intrusive (in other words, as long as there’s no recording any personal data). For instance the link I provided above is a great tool for developers (I don’t really care about their module for purchase intention, the cool part is analyzing hot spots to help level design).

Looking forward to some opinions, thanks! :)

Make your Music

Posted by
Friday, January 10th, 2014 8:11 pm

I’m not in the MiniLD unfortunately, won’t have time since I’ll be travelling this weekend.

However today I stumbled across an older post by GreaseMonkey where he created a music generator in Python. I downloaded it and was impressed by the outcome. And curious as I am, I started messing around with stuff and broke extended his script.

I failed at making a Banjo, but it actually came out okay, so take it as you will. Here’s my list of all scripts, feel free to use them at will. I’ve also uploaded some Mp3 samples converted from .it

You’ll need Python 2.x to run it, works for me with 2.7 (win installer here). To listen and eventually convert .it files I used VLC (win installer here).

How to convert in VLC:
1. Media > Convert / Save
2. Press “Add” => Select the .it file
3. Press “Convert/Save” > Select Audio – MP3 profile
4. Choose destination file. Name your file whatever you want .mp3 and Start.

Enjoy, and credits to GreaseMonkey for an AWESOME job :)

 

PS.: The most unique one is probably INDUSTRIAL. And I’m still working on PHANTASMAGORICAL, it’s broken and sounds like crap, I don’t recommend using that one.

Bullets Rating Analysis

Posted by
Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 6:05 pm

First of all thanks to all who played and rated our game. We especially enjoyed watching streamers playing our game, one of the most memorable moments, to me, was watching Leth (Wanderlust & Risk of Rain) playing it. It was extremely rewarding! I tried setting up a stream of myself playing LD games to try and give someone else that same experience, but I didn’t get it working properly :(

This was our first LD entry and we learned loads with it, not only technically, but regarding employing certain abilities, time management and all the other things that come with the pack.

We placed #12 in Graphics, which is unbelievable! Our average score was closer to a 5 than a 4, that leaves me speechless. I’m so glad that people appreciated the art so much, we dedicated a lot to graphics. Which also explains why other areas didn’t reach the same tier.
We placed #119 Overall, which is exciting, but showed us that we could’ve dedicated less to graphics and more to improving the overall experience, as shown with our #141 in Fun. Perhaps that is the most important category of them all, there’s nothing more rewarding than to know that people are having fun with something you made, we’ll definitely invest more in that on the next LD! :)

I think some buggy and poorly tuned values hindered our overall ratings, which eventually got fixed in a post-compo version. The community’s feedback helped us really focus on fixing them and we’d love to hear any feedback about our post-compo, especially if you have already played the compo version of the game.

So, once again, I’d like to thank the awesome LD community as well as leave the link to our post-compo version, should anyone like to try it out :)
Post-Compo Version

Animating the Character

Posted by
Sunday, December 29th, 2013 8:02 pm

I worked on Bullets are Fatal in this LD (our team’s first entry in LDs), and particularly spent a lot of time working on getting the animations to blend in with the controls and physics.

Bullets are Fatal is a fast-paced 2.5D platformer/shooter built in Unity, where our scene is 3D with 2D props and characters. I decided to give Unity’s all-new 2D functionalities a spin and, while it’s clearly moving in the right direction, it’s still very new and requires a bit of workarounds.

I’d like to share with you guys a bit of how the process went and some insights on how we developed our platformer controls and character animation. If anyone would like more details I’ll be happy to explain =)

The first part of getting the character to work was to actually make him move, for this I created an abstract class to handle Inputs, from which each type of Input derives (keyboard & mouse, gamepad, AI). On top of that, a generic Character Motor reads data from the Input class to apply physics and movement to the character. This allowed us to use the same class for the main character as well as all our enemies. The enemies process AI and feed the AI Input, which is read by the Character Motor. Likewise, the player’s inputs are fed through the hardware input readers (which process latest activity to decide which one is being used between keyboard and gamepad) and read by the another instance of the Character Motor.

This is where animation comes in. With the art assets prepared and properly imported, the next phase of work started: making the different animations reflect user input and physics. Our character was built in several separate pieces: hat, head, eyes, nose, mouth, torso, left arm, right arm and legs. Most parts have 4 variants, allowing us to mix and match to create many different combinations. We also created a shader for color replacement, so that we could make a base color somewhat like a chroma-key, and just replace that shade with whatever color we like to create more variations. Although this worked, we didn’t have time to implement a character maker, so a default light-blue clothing was the only color that our little dude ever wore.

jump_hat-01 This is an example of the “Jump” animation for the 2nd variation of our hats.

Each body part has it’s own Animation Controller, controlled by an animator script, which reads data from the Character Motor. For this the character has a Game Object for each part, with a Sprite Renderer and an Animator. Aside from all the normal variables, they had another one called ID, which was a key for a blend tree that would switch what variant of that part was the currently selected one.

mouth

This also allowed us to implement different behaviors for each part, such as a second layer for the left arm (the one that carries the gun) allowing the “Shooting” animation to be played at any moment, blending it with whatever animation was being played by other parts.

The hardest animation to get to work is the jump. At first we had anticipation, but we quickly realized that doesn’t work well because either the character starts sliding on the floor during the anticipation or you lock him in place, which is very quirky and annoying. Having removed that, the whole Jump had to be split into what we called Jump and Fall, where the first part is during the ascending part and, once the apex of the trajectory is reached, the Fall comes in. This also allowed us to easily use the same animation for cases where the character actually falls from a platform without jumping. At last we made a quick landing animation, which plays once the character is grounded. Once again, we thought of having an anticipation to landing, but that would require predicting the trajectory, which isn’t pleasant and very prone to bugs. So we cut those frames out from the animation and kept landing, with an additional rule to the legs, where the “Run” animation overrides landing in case the character is moving horizontally.

All this, unfortunately, took longer than expected, leaving no time to actually tweak values such as running speed, jump acceleration and maximum height, sensitivity and physics behavior (such as keeping momentum or not and how fast should the character “brake”).

In post-compo version we addressed this (albeit still some issues to solve), but we learned quite a lot in the process.

Here’s a quick view of the animations in action!

 

2D Plaftormer Character Controller

Posted by
Monday, December 16th, 2013 2:16 am

State Machines

 

State Machines! Animation, player character controller fine tuning… after hours… and hours… and hours, he’s almost good to go!

 

Streaming us and pc screens!

http://www.twitch.tv/damnpete

 

Other posts from the team :)

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2013/12/16/procedural-level-for-a-platformbeatem-up/

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2013/12/14/run-with-your-gun/

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2013/12/14/wild-assets/

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