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The second 24 of 48

Posted by (twitter: @dikidoom)
Monday, August 27th, 2012 6:06 am

Yesterdays rush left no room for a blog post, so this is a bit belated –
but the game is finished, and you can give it a whirl here!

After I got the prototype running, I used the second day to gradually extended the gameplay mechanics (just ‘driving’ at that point) to include crashing and jumping, to construct an actual goal: to drive without crashing, by jumping over obstacles if necessary. A few fidgety bugs held progress back a bit (more of that in a post-mortem later), so it was already early afternoon before I got around to thinking about content: better graphics and sound, and the level should ‘evolve’ in a more interesting way than just ‘swirls’ 😛

I started with sounds to set the overall mood, which should evoke a technologic/aggressive flair similar to WipeOut. In fact, the direct inspiration for the music was the badass song “The Nine” by Bad Company. Counter to my initial assumptions, I had to resort to Cubase for the music, which took a substantial chunk of time. Even worse, it was super effective! and left the graphics and level design seriously lacking in comparison 😛
So I set out to remedy that by including different track types: straight, gapped, linear, …

Although these were technically implemented rather fast thanks to JavaScripts flexibility, complexity began to run high – while time ran low. With less than 2h left, proper sequencing and balancing seemed out of reach, so I left the levels ‘swirling’ randomly. Instead, a frantic redesign of the player ship and a title & logo were thrown together.

As soon as the graphics were in, the differences between them became incredibly jarring: the clean-cut low-res sprites of the prototype clashed with the higher fidelity of the player ship. To reconcile the two, the entire game resolution was turned down to 320 x 240 – which united them in a nice old-school look that fit the action nicely.

All in all, a lot of compromises had to be made to finish in time, so that the result is still closer to a prototype than a polished game. However, I think it was actually helpful having to cut corners. Instead of labouring indefinitely over every detail, things were thrown together fast to get a quick view of the whole – which was instrumental in discovering big flaws early on. The experience was very educational, and I hope that some of you might even enjoy the game :)


coming along…

Posted by (twitter: @dikidoom)
Saturday, August 25th, 2012 4:26 pm

…better than I thought.
JavaScript serves a nice backhand with first-class functions, which makes generating the ‘streets’ a lot easier – by nesting multiple small functions that each do one specific thing (e.g. influence curvature, amount of obstacles, ‘street’ diameter).

What is less nice is the way transparency is handled; my sprites show an ugly rim. I have a vague idea what the problem is, but don’t know of any image editors that save their transparencies in the proper way :(

Still a lot to do.

On the first 24 of the 48…

Posted by (twitter: @dikidoom)
Saturday, August 25th, 2012 12:54 pm

… things are dragging along rather slowly.

After righteously sleeping past the Theme announcement (completely legitimated by my Timezone) I started sketching ideas first thing in the morning.

The results were rather meager, though; I could only imagine about 2 of them making an acceptable game. The first was the idea of generating a park full of funny plants, each slightly different than the others, and being able to influence their evolution.

That sounds rather boring, so instead I decided to go for a high-speed WipeOut/Space Harrier/F-ZeroX -alike racing game were the track is made of winding, growing tendrils. It’s hard to put into words, and the concept sketches are not much help either, I’m afraid :)

The coding went awfully slow, though! I caught myself dropping into a quick and dirty imperative style very early, which made later iterations increasingly difficult and generally obfuscated the code.

Lunch was no highlight, either, and after spending the afternoon fighting some very annoying bugs I’ve only got a bleak prototype that must now be bent into an actual game.

I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @dikidoom)
Friday, August 24th, 2012 3:40 pm

First time participating, let’s see what happens :)
I’ve been lurking around for quite a while now and finally allotted some time to do this –
Very excited to experience the (dauntingly large) community from the inside!

My programming language of choice will be CoffeeScript,
using processing.js as the ‘base’ to build upon.
Code will be edited in Emacs,
any other assets will probably be created using Cfxr and ASEPRITE,
oh, and here is a photo of the workspace:

View of a workspace

My Hardware consists of neatly arranged rounded rectangles.

Best of luck to everyone!

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