About Dr. Mo (twitter: @BakamoStudios)

I'm Jonathan Landis, also known as Dr. Mo or Hitstun. I used Game Maker 7 for my first two compos, and I'm now using HTML5 in LD #28. I really need to learn Unity, though. It's great.

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Archive for the ‘LD #25’ Category

Skeleton’s Revenge Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @BakamoStudios)
Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 12:03 am

skeletonsrevengefu

I’m glad I had the chance to participate in another Ludum Dare compo. I made Skeleton’s Revenge, a Nintendo Hard 2D platform game where the standard player and enemy traits are reversed. I planned better and got a game done in 48 hours without cutting features, but now that the ratings are in, it’s time to take the gloves off and critique my own game for real.

No video this time, since my previous LD video has only 77 views as of this writing. Throughout this postmortem, I’ll be comparing my ratings with my other LD game, Asteroid Defender from LD23.

Innovation (2.79, #394), was (2.67, #549)

LD 25’s theme was “You Are The Villain,” and the first approach that comes to mind is to take an existing type of game and flip it around so you now play as the villain. I took it a little further and made the player character act like an platform game enemy, and make the enemies act like platform game heroes. I spent a lot of time on the enemy AI for running, jumping, and attacking, but I couldn’t get them to convincingly act like a player would.

Fun (3.57, #65), was (3.17, #239)

Yay, my game is fun! I’m really happy to make top 100 in something this time. The platforming mechanics are solid unless you’re an enemy landing from a big jump. Every death is your own fault unless it’s the jump pictured above, which I found out was a two-frame window. I got a lot of comments saying that they couldn’t get past that jump. I had to rush and build all the levels in the game in the last two hours of the compo, and the game suffered.

Theme (3.23, #360), was (3.25, #314)

I adequately stayed within the theme. After playing other entries, I realized that my skeleton doesn’t do anything evil or villainous other than attacking the heroes that get in his way. I do like the video game hero archetypes I ended up with: the animal mascot character (goat), the weapon-swinging warrior (hunter), and the brittle soldier with a gun (gunner.) At least the game has an ending this time, but the final boss battle was terribly anti-climactic.

Graphics (2.38, #569), was (2.58, #593)

Yeah, my games look like ass. I thought I stepped up my programmer art this time. My sprites are actually animated now, and I stuck to a monochrome theme to make it easier for me to crank out sprites when I needed them. There’s no reason I couldn’t have done 3-color sprites instead. The levels are constructed entirely out of white blocks and spikes, which I admit is extremely lazy. I should’ve added some backgrounds, or at least some different-looking blocks.

Audio (3.00, #169), was (3.00, #216)

Renoise rocks! I put more effort into music this time, and I like how it turned out. I wanted to sound like a Nintendo hard 2D platform game, and I don’t think I subconsciously channeled Castlevania this time. That SID sound I used as a lead instrument is loud and kinda grating, so I should have replaced it with something better. Bfxr is excellent for generating sound effects, but it’s so ubiquitous in Ludum Dare, it didn’t help my audio scores.

Mood (3.08, #211), was (2.36, #626)

Players seem to really like trolling this game’s enemies. Finally, you deal collision damage to enemies! We haven’t seen that since Wario Land! I reversed the vulnerability to spikes, too, so only enemies get killed on spikes but you can walk across them harmlessly. It’s good to troll enemies, but like I said, you don’t actually do anything mean in this game. I really should have worked some Videogame Cruelty Potential into this.

Overall (3.14, #282), was (2.92, #452)

This game was a good experiment. I kept my expectations low, and I got a fun game out of it. It’d have been better if I made better decisions in design. The monochrome graphics were easy to make, but it wouldn’t have killed me to add some color. Considering the game was made in 100% Game Maker pseudocode, I had no reason to run out of time for level design and testing. I made a decent game, but I want to make a better game next time.

Coolness (28%, #990), was (20%, #1007)

I could say some stuff about how I started a new job two days after the compo and multiple schedule changes sapped my energy to do stuff outside of work. Yes, that happened again, but that’s no excuse. I still had plenty of days off, and I got sidetracked with Minecraft, Deus Ex, and other games instead of rating more entries. Thank you to all the players that found my game and tried it. If I get another LD weekend off work, I’ll do it smarter.

Skeleton’s Revenge is Done!

Posted by (twitter: @BakamoStudios)
Sunday, December 16th, 2012 7:23 pm

1goat

skeletonsrevenge1

Just sliding across the line at the compo deadline, it’s my entry, Skeleton’s Revenge! After a hero and his goat slay the skeleton’s master, the skeleton has nothing left to do but to take it to all these 2D platform hero archetypes. March into the village, knock those heroes into instant kill spikes and bottomless pits, and exact your revenge!

Check it out on its submission page or download the game now for Windows. I’d like to get this on other platforms, too, if anyone has another way to compile Game Maker 7 games.

I feel like I did a lot better this time than my last LD. I kept my standards low, especially for graphics, and it definitely paid off. I only had to cut one level because I ran out of time, and everything else I wanted is in there. The game has pretty decent length for a Ludum Dare game, and the difficulty ramps up nicely. I’m really pleased with how the music turned out, too. Renoise is awesome.

All Enemy Types Done

Posted by (twitter: @BakamoStudios)
Sunday, December 16th, 2012 3:54 am

+1 goat1 and hunterattack and gunner1

ld25screenshot3

All three of my planned enemy (hero) types have been drawn, implemented, and scripted, and they’re in the game. Not much has changed, but I’m glad the hard parts are done. I’m finally going to bed now at 6am EST. Before the deadline, I’ll have plenty of time to make all the sound and put together some levels. I’m not changing this art.

Windows users, the updated version is here. It supports keyboard and gamepads.

Goat Headbutt Action

Posted by (twitter: @BakamoStudios)
Sunday, December 16th, 2012 12:59 am

1goat

ld25screenshot2

My game about 2D platformer trope inversion has AI now! The goats can now platform themselves around the map without falling into the spikes very much, and they’ll fearlessly leap at you horns-first if they’re at the right range to hit you with it. The goat AI had lots of bugs, and I spent almost the entire past 8 hours in debugging hell. I’m finally happy with how the goats turned out, and the remaining 18 hours will be spent sleeping, implementing the other two enemy types, adding some sound, and coming up with a name.

I’ve uploaded the new goat-AI version of the game right here. It’s Windows only, but it supports gamepads.

I Have a Skeleton!

Posted by (twitter: @BakamoStudios)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 4:46 pm

1goat

ld25screenshot1

My game for Ludum Dare 25 is a 2D platformer where the player and enemy tropes are switched around. You play as a basic skeleton that does nothing but move, jump, throw bones, and run into things. Your enemies are platform game hero archetypes like hunters, soldiers, and animal mascots. If you touch an enemy, the enemy takes the collision damage and gets knocked back. Since you’re a monster, you’re immune to spikes, and spikes only hurt enemies. Your bones don’t do much damage, but the most dangerous thing about you is your ability to knock back enemies into spikes or bottomless pits.

As you can tell, I’m not putting a whole lot of time into art right now, but the game is playable! Use Left and Right or A and D to move, L or button 1 or button 4 to jump, and K or button 2 or button 3 to throw bones. This is a Game Maker 7 game, so sadly, it’s for Windows only. Download the game here.

Let’s do this!

Posted by (twitter: @BakamoStudios)
Thursday, December 13th, 2012 1:57 pm

I’m Dr. Mo from Bakamo Studios in Columbus, Ohio, USA, and I’m joining the compo once again. This is my second ever game jam, the first being my LD #23 game Asteroid Defender. In that one, I put too much work into the mock-up screenshot and mock-up music, and I ran out of time before I could do the real thing how I wanted. This time, I decided that I’m going to talk less and code more. The only screenshots you’ll get out of me will be from the game. Also, I’m getting more serious about my music this time, so I’ve just bought the amazing tracker Renoise. I’m still using Game Maker 7 for this compo since that’s what I’m fastest with.

Code: Game Maker 7.0 Pro, GML
Graphics: GIMP 2.8.2
Sound: Renoise 2.8.1, Bfxr

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