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Le Chef Farteaut Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @diegomac)
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 11:00 am

le-chef-farteaut

 

You can play it HERE

Hey!

This is Le Chef Farteaut Postmortem!

First of all, I know, it’s a lame idea, but I couldn’t think anything else that fast and at first seemed like a very simple game. And finishing my game for LD was really important since I’ve failed the last 2 LD’s main events that I’ve participated.

So, you control Péter, Le Chef Farteaut. You really need to go to the bathroom, but first you have to struggle through your messy restaurant’s kitchen. You have to fight and avoid giant mutant radioactive cockroaches and spray them with your farts (yeah, that’s the weapon). You also use your farts as an aid to run faster, jump higher and float through the air.

I’ve started saturday late. LD begins here in Brazil at 10 p.m. so I was already kinda sleepy, besides been pumped thinking about a game concept.

First, I wanted to get the movement mechanics right and tight. Walking, running, jumping, changing directions and FARTS. At first I didn’t know how I would use them as a Weapon and who would you fight with it, but I’ve learned that is far more important to develop anything than nothing in game jams. I knew that ideas would come in the process and I tried to kept the Done Manifesto in my mind.

Character Movement + Tiled Integration + Physics were done very quickly into a prototype, thanks to HaxeFlixel. Tweaking them to perfect values took a little longer, but I was very satisfied with them in the afternoon.

Then, was time for some (f)ARTS. At this moment, I was forced to define the complete game concept idea…I just had some white square that could fart bouncing around the window. I was SO frustraded, no ideas popped for a long time, but I had to draw something. And I’m a programmer by formation who is trying to be a self-taught artist. But learning during a jam is just insane, but I had no other option. PyxelEdit saved my time as I started drawing some generic white tiles, that made me think about kitchens, then chefs, then restaurant dirty kitchens, and then the whole concept of the game.

After that, I started drawing/animating the chef and I did pretty well I guess for a brogrammer and learning (f)artist. Basic level +chef arts were done and saturday was over. Time to sleep.

Sunday was all about art and polish. Refined tiles, kitchen props, chef animation, fart particles, some hazards like spikes and tuning player movement some more. I wished I had finished it for Compo, but I had soo much more to do.

le-chef-farteaut-2

 

Monday I did the rotating saw blade, polished death, level transitions, sounds, menu, build the advanced levels and the radioactive cockroaches. That was my Trello self-management Done column (you should read it bottom-up):

le-chef-farteaut-task

To resume, some bullet points:

  • Bad
    • Fart jokes (sorry);
    • Wasn’t able to manage time again, couldn’t make it to Compo;
    • Art Frustration! Lost a lot of time learning/experimenting new techniques, worflows and tools;
    • Difficulty ramp too steep. Not enough time to tweak it;
    • Fart could’ve been explored more as a weapon;
  • Good
    • Haxeflixel and PyxelEdit, pure love here;
    • Art made me happy in the end;
    • Menu Screen teaches all the buttons you need, without a tutorial;
    • Level Design and progression as a tutorial;
    • Game Design was actually pretty fun;

See ya in August, or some miniLD along the way.

BaseBrawl!

Posted by (twitter: @diegomac)
Monday, March 30th, 2015 3:36 pm

basebrawl-gameplayYou can check it out here!

Hey!

This is my first #minild and the first time that I really participate in a Ludum Dare event. There was other two times that I’ve joined in, but I wasn’t able to pass through prototype stage because of time constraints. I’ve never could be more than 5 hours developing during the 48 hours time span, because of ‘life stuff‘. This 7 days #minild allowed me to really get into development, start to finish, including making decent graphics and polish.

So, the idea was to make an action pong, one that you really have to time your reaction, besides positioning the paddle, to be able to rebound the ball with some kind of attack. This and a baseball resting on my desk resulted in BaseBrawl!

I’ll try to do a mini devlog/post-mortem/whatever here:

First of all, prototype! HaxeFlixel was just awesome for that.  I started to develop the game on 23. 24 at night I’ve already got the final prototype (keys: A / Z / arrow keys), while learning more about HaxeFlixel’s API.

And I’ve managed to implement most of my designs which I highlight:

  • Swinging the bat up or down, controlling the ball motion;
  • The closer the ball to your character, stronger the strike. In game there are 3 levels of strenght, but through code I could decrease/increase that with ease, by changing a number;
  • Some basic but powerfull AI. Again, changing a number, I could set when the Computer would start reacting based on the percentage that the ball has traveled throught field. E.G.: if I set it to 50, AI would react when the ball reached the middle of the road. That as awesome for difficulty tweaking.
  • The cars and manholes were all tweakable too, setting some time range values to them randomly appear between them.

Some of them I was not able to do it, because I really wanted to focus on art + polish and feel that the game was finished. They are:

  • Variable ball angle rebound depending where the ball was hit relative to character Y position. That would add more deepness to gameplay strategy;
  • Gamepad support;
  • Porting and testing to other platforms (although HaxeFlixel is PERFECT for this, I preferred to worry more about polish than porting, because, in theory, everyone can play the Flash version)

So, prototype was ready, time for some basic art! I started with the baseball CEO players and I think they came out very good. It was like my second time doing pixel art and my first animating them. I’ve struggled to do a 4-frame walk animation, but they were bad. Really bad, like they were always moving the same leg back and forth. Then I went for the buildings (weird perspective, but I think they work), road, ball, cars and finally manholes. I used 2 days for that. It was very challenging (and some times frustrating) but I really like them.

Friday came, last day to jam, time to polish! I rushed a lot and then I got:

  • Sounds with bfxr, music with autotracker. The stronger the hit, more intense the sound of it.
  • Lots of screenshake + screenflashes (out of the box with HaxeFlixel!). These were awesome to give more feedback to the player. Stronger the hit, stronger the screenshake. The strongest strike flashes the screen. When someone scores screen flashes with the respective color;
  • HUD with the scoreboard;
  • Ball Trail and Hit Particles;
  • Win / Lose Conditions;
  • Two-Player mode;
  • Menu + Game Logo + Tweens! (Tweens are awesome, and again, out of the box with HaxeFlixel);

And that was it! I had lots of fun, it was my first #miniLD, #1GAM, complete game, start to finish, art and polish, and it really motivated me to do lots of others.

I’ll see you at LD#32. Yeah, I’m in. 😉

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