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Stuffed Beetle
Awarded by YinYin
on December 20, 2015

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I don’t know if you’re proud of me

Posted by
Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017 5:47 am

but I’m definitely proud of me

#43 Fun(Jam) 4.00
#140 Humor(Jam) 3.53
#167 Overall(Jam) 3.76
#272 Innovation(Jam) 3.43
#301 Audio(Jam) 3.30
#318 Theme(Jam) 3.80
#375 Mood(Jam) 3.39
#425 Graphics(Jam) 3.52

Right there with Kojima-san and mr. Reedus right now

Super Crash Box: The Movie: The Videogame: The Folk’s Tale

List of ideas/inspirations for one room games

Posted by
Friday, December 9th, 2016 9:34 pm
  1. VR gimmicks (everyone who voted the theme simply due to having a Vive, I’m onto you)
  2. Crappy flash-type “escape the room by clicking at things” affair
  3. 70s arcade boxed gameplay thing (Asteroids, Tetris)
  4. One of those random-ass party games where you have the camera struggling to keep all 4 players onscreen
  5. Portal/Spacechem-type puzzle game
  6. Worms/Liero maps that are entirely enclosed
  7. A boss game
  8. Hotline Miami 2, AKA HM without walls (don’t actually do this pls)
  9. I am Bread (I actually loved that game)
  10. Super Crate Box
  11. Please Don’t Touch Anything (actually an LD game on VERY similar theme)
  12. Papers, Please
  13. Rocket League
  14. Literally any type of game with a “toys in the kid’s room” cop-out

Wow the theme I downvoted won

Posted by
Friday, December 9th, 2016 9:07 pm

View post on imgur.com

I’m gonna do it anyway.

Business as usual

Posted by
Thursday, December 8th, 2016 6:15 pm

Jumping on the Vlambeer ripoff bandwagon

Posted by
Thursday, September 1st, 2016 3:08 pm

So for this Ludum Dare, we decided to rip off one of our favorite bite-sized games – Super Crate Box by Vlambeer. I named it Hero of Alexandria.

It looks like this:

And here’s Super Crate Box:

The motivation was simple – my graphics buddy googer got sick of my top-down fetish and wanted to finally make a game viewed from the side. At first I wanted to make a sidescroller, but googer wanted an endless game, and since we’ve both played Super Crate Box, it seemed like a perfect choice (although I must admit it took me a while to realize). Then things went a bit south when we started discussing how to approach the theme. I got this really strong idea for a parody of Hero of Alexandria where he’s a literal action hero, an ancient Greek McGyver meets Duke Nukem of sorts, but googer absolutely detested that. Then the rest of the team realized the gravity of the situation and quickly banished him to prevent damages to the project that would no doubt ensue as a result of his utter lack of interest.

One day I will tell the legendary tale of his lone travels through the wastes in search of a new, deeper meaning of life, but not now.

Fast forward to Monday, Hero of Alexandria is out, and it’s probably the best game to ever come out despite the utter lack of any audio. Or it would be. If Super Crate Box wasn’t better. And had audio.

So now I’m gonna explain why that is. First of all – there was no time for audio. Second of all – I’ve studied Vlambeer’s design for centuries, which is the same amount of time it took me to read all of the negative comments on my previous games, which all seem to boil down to “dude it’s so hard and not understandable.” The second part was fixed by taking an already simple game and ripping it off, the former was a bit harder. Making easy games isn’t that easy, especially when your favorite part of games is the challenge.

So how do we make Super Crate Box easy without completely butchering it?

I’ve done several changes to the core design to make the game more casual, but kept the juice. Super Crate Box lacks a moment-to-moment difficulty curve, it rather puts you on more challenging maps as the game progresses. Hero, however, has a very obvious one as you play – the Caesar’s rage meter, which dictates how often and what types of enemies spawn. The pit mechanic of SCB where the enemies respawn when falling into it, except faster and tougher to dodge this time, is removed, and is rather tied to the Caesar’s rage. This way you are still punished for letting enemies fall into it, but not as harshly. More rage means both more romans, but also more lead.

Lead pipes are the Hero equivalent of boxes, the main gimmick of SCB and the thing that earned it so much praise. It’s not a bad mechanic per se, but it needs all weapons to be on the same level of usefulness to work properly, which SCB doesn’t offer in my opinion. Generally my SCB play sessions end with switching from the disc gun to the double pistols and wondering why I had to skip my visit to the RNG church last Sunday. For Hero, I opted for an upgrade system, where the weapons are mechanically different, but the next one deals more damage per second than the previous. The lead pipes, which are used as a type of XP points for the upgrades, are also not spawned randomly but rather fall out of dead enemies. This removes the need to run around the map to collect crates, which is another perfectly good layer of complexity sacrificed for accessibility.

As for the weapons, your starting weapon, the ancient Greek xiphos sword, is also the only one which knocks enemies back, giving you a bit more literal room for mistakes since you don’t have to keep retreating as you fire, but its damage output is abysmal and it’s not effective against midgame enemies who are immune to knockback.

The second weapon type is the shotgun, which is hitscan, in stark contrast to Super Crate Box which had only one comparable weapon, the laser rifle. For a good reason – hitscan is quite potent. No prediction required, just click and the enemy instantly takes damage. Being reliant on hitscan, Hero is a much more accessible game, albeit with a bit less depth to it.

The third weapon is the machine gun. At this point it becomes quite evident that another staple of Vlambeer design is being trampled – there should always be a reason to stop shooting. Hero never really has to stop shooting once he gets the machine gun. Everyone playing the game just picked it up a minute ago, why would they want to not shoot? Let’s just let them mow romans down with tons of screenshake and shields flying everywhere!

The pillar bazooka is the ultimate example of not giving a hoot. It has an insane fire rate, and it causes large scale destruction. Fire it into a battalion of Caesar’s troops and watch spears fly. Everything that gets as much as clipped by the explosion takes massive damage, overkilling any enemies not in the turtle formation. At this stage of the game, the last seconds of the timer are ticking down, and the fireworks on display are mostly just for the show, however there are also so many enemies now it still takes some serious moves to survive.

The timer is there to give the game an appropriate ending. I’m not a huge fan of games without an ending. “Beat your score” sounds to me like “see how far up this infinite hill you can push this boulder, Sisyphus.” Unfortunately, I rushed Hero’s ending mere hours before deadline and it glitched out to boot, so it’s even less impressive than intended. Still, I’m glad the game has a goal to work towards and isn’t just an infinite gauntlet, googer.

Some things stayed – the blocky artstyle, screenshake, enemies flashing, being knocked away on death, and the whole map is the same design as the first SCB map, again to make the game easier. Since killing enemies is more straightforward, more spawn per wave, just for more carnage. The flying enemies aren’t present – both to buy more time for other things and because they’re a major case of my deaths in SCB. The jumping is a bit more floaty so jumping over enemies is easier and there’s a bit more hangtime for easier timing of shotgun shots and sword swings, and air control is also more prominent.

I intended there to be a bit more backstory and characters, which is also in contrast with Vlambeers philosophy of “show it, don’t say it.” Just for the heck of it, I’m gonna write potential dialogue here.

[Scene: Heron working at his workshop, a bunch of his inventions around, an old Greek dude rushes in]

[Old Greek dude] “Heron, the greatest inventor of Alexandria… Caesar’s troops are crossing our borders”

[Hero of Alexandria] “So that good for nothin’ Herakles has finally given up the ghost? Here, hold this”

*Hero puts a small aeolipile in the old greek dude’s hands*

[Old Greek dude] “What would this… amazing construct… Be?”

[Hero] “Just a harmless toy”

*Hero brings out a machine gun*

[Old Greek dude] “And that?”

[Hero] “A not-so-harmless toy. Stand aside. Caesar must have gotten a wind of my plans. Can’t let the guy just take over my latest device like that.”

And for the ending:

[Scene: Rome]

*derpyfaced Romans chomping on lead pipes get nuked*

[Scene: Nuclear explosion reflected in Hero’s sunglasses]

[Hero] “And that’s the end of the Roman empire… Maybe they shouldn’t have eaten so much lead”

*pan to background*

[One old Greek dude to another] “Told you he was our time’s Albert Einstein”

 

Dibs on a visual novel for the next LD.

>Theme

Posted by
Friday, August 26th, 2016 8:04 pm

oh yeah and I’m in why not

I’m too awesome for this

Posted by
Saturday, May 14th, 2016 2:29 pm

So here’s our game:

http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-35/?action=preview&uid=62808

This ludum dare’s been quite a bit different than the last time. You guys barely tried then, now you kinda did. No fair.

Actually it was the exact same with me. But it wasn’t enough, barely got any points where it mattered. Audio of course was stellar, which came as a huge personal tragedy. I promised our musical genius friend Snijboer I’d try and overtake his category, but it was all for naught, he’s too good and just ended up carrying us again. Oh well.

The real problem with the game wasn’t that any of us didn’t try hard enough, the problem was that I specifically tried too hard. The theme was, of course, terrible, and unlike the last time I had no idea what to do and ended up coming up with this idea of a destruction derby where you drive a shapeshifting car over various surfaces that I ended up not able to execute properly and losing sight of the goal many times along the way until it ended up somewhere on the “meh” side and having absolutely nothing to do with shapeshifting.

It was a game though, and it was too hard because I couldn’t think of a way to make it easy. Probably sounds kinda stupid but that’s how it is. People kept telling me that I should buff the armor or make the enemy cars slower, but when I do the former you just waste a bunch of time being really confused pushed around by the other cars until you run out of gas and die, and when I do the latter their presence disappears entirely.

Another thing that not many people appreciated was the controls and the general weirdness of the game. I’m awesome enough to think up all these crazy piece-o-lard features AND use them effectively, but to most people the game just feels alien. Where to start – it’s a top-down game, not a popular thing these days. It’s a top-down driving game, probably haven’t seen one of those since GTA 2, and besides, driving itself isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. And worst of all, it’s a top-down driving game with a really weird mouse-controlled camera that I have literally never seen in any 2D top-down game. I made that up, and watching streamers play, it was not an easy-to-grasp concept. Doesn’t help that looking out for cars coming for you is a huge part of the game. The driving itself, I think, hope, was universally liked? A streamer grunted that it was kinda drifty, but eventually got into it, generally got positive feedback otherwise. I spent a ton of time on the physics and trying to nail that drifty feel, coupled with dynamic camera sway to drive it home a bit, but not to an excessive degree this time, learning from Turbo Tram Drift, my previous LDjam entry that made some people seasick (which I found super hilarious considering it’s a 2D game)(apologies to anyone who actually threw up).

One major flaw that I knew from the very beginning was the tacked-on shapeshifting part that was supposed to play a much more major role. The goal of the game is to gather enough fuel to be able to enter your car’s plane mode for long enough to fly over the canyon that you spawn next to and save yourself. It was supposed to be a little thing that you have to figure out, but as it turns out, unlike the Hollywood movies, figuring things out while in the middle of a hectic life or death situation can be quite difficult, especially if you don’t have any time for that stuff and have a lot more games to review.

Attempts were made to up the presentation from the last time. Now with a proper main menu, pause menu, actual buttons to click (including one to quit the game), sound effects and even a touch of dynamic lighting using normal maps, the game is officially ready to become the star of the 1998 Ludum Dare.

The game wasn’t too buggy, I can’t think of anything actually. It’s just a bit rough around the edges when it comes to dying, you can actually unpause the game after you die and the game still goes on in the background, even though you can’t see anything. Most likely nobody even noticed (kinda hard to see when you literally can’t see).

So the takeaways for the future endeavors are:

  • The camera can work if I force it down your throat next time. I’ll make a shooter and laugh at your misery while your fingers curl in pain trying to grasp your mouse to aim and shoot. No more ignoring it out of comfort.
  • Hard games aren’t for Ludum Dare, especially those without difficulty curves. It’s not your fault you’re not as awesome as I am.
  • Either make an action game where you turn your brain off or a point’n’click adventure that you try to figure out, not both.
  • I might need a new musician since I have no idea if Snijboer is fine with having his music in such shitty games anymore, I know I wouldn’t. Speaking of which, his Soundcloud.

If you have no idea what to do, consult TVTropes

Posted by
Friday, April 15th, 2016 9:28 pm

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ShapeShifting

But DON’T CLICK ANY LINKS! You’ll waste your time.

This also helps, but only if it booms the concrete.

In for the gold

Posted by
Friday, April 15th, 2016 5:33 pm

The last time things didn’t go as smoothly as expected and we ended up 2nd (-hundred)(and sixty-first), but this time is gonna be payback time.

That’s right, and now we’ve got a NEW version of the Unity engine, locked-and-loaded.

UNITY-THREE-DIMENSIONAL-FIVE-THREE-FOUR-EFF personal.

He’s the dark crusader of Unity engine. He’s the underdog mutated hero of our generation.  Some call him JavaScript. Some call him UnityScript. Just who is he, anyway? I have no goddamn idea. And neither do you. But one thing is for sure – with him by my side, we’re gonna win this.

But what is this?! ACTUAL AUDIO?! That’s right, we’ve handpicked only the best quality royalty-free sound effects over the course of our preparation period (three minutes), and aren’t afraid to use them to blow your socks off!

Googer, the graphics guy, still can’t use anything but MSPaint. So there’s that too.

And will the time-travelling synthmaster himself, Snijboer, make a return?

I don’t know. He didn’t seem too keen when I asked.

Turbo Tram Drift post-death analysis

Posted by
Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 6:30 am

Turbo Tram Drift

Prior to the event, I already had the basic idea of the game stuck in the back of my mind. A few years ago, I came across the Multi-Track Drifting meme, and, being a fan of both trains and cool driving techniques, it was oddly fascinating to me. Researching the source material came up with Densha de D, a parody of the famous drift racing anime/manga Initial D, with much of the same plot and characters, except racing trains this time around. Densha de D franchise includes a manga and 4 videogames. It was the videogames that had me hooked.

(it starts 8 minutes in)

Seeing the two-button theme gave me a glimmer of hope. “Growing” seemed to be doing well too though, which made me nervous. That theme just sucked, I just wanted my trams, man. Needless to say, things couldn’t have taken a better turn in the end.

Right after the theme announcement, I instantly went to work, no brainstorming needed. I’d had the blueprint lying in the noggin already for a few years, it was all about making it actually work, and this was the drive that I needed. My progress was fast and I had two bogies connected to each other following a randomly generated tramway path by the end of the first day. On the second day, googer, my graphics Steam pal, drew some neat tram and tramway graphics without questioning the whole idea, which was pretty damn impressive considering the outright absurdity of it. On that day I added a second rail and made drifting work properly with some difficulties. At the end of the second day I realized I needed some audio in the game, so I turned to Snijboer, a synthwave/outrun artist I know from an internet forum, to lend me one of his tracks. Thankfully he agreed. Huge props to him. Third day was hectic because drifting wouldn’t work with my way of keeping the bogies on track, so I had to improvise, but the results were manageable, if a bit less stable. It was in the last few hours that googer got a ton of homework, making the enemy trams, game over screen, victory screen, speedometer, and sparks flying off the wheels when drifting that ultimately didn’t make it in. Meanwhile I rushed to get everything working in the game, finishing up the gameplay on the fly. One of the features that didn’t make it in on time was derailing when going into curves too fast, which is in my opinion a big shame. It would definitely force people to slow down, which became a real problem after launch.

View post on imgur.com

I was about getting done 2 hours before the deadline. It was the awkward time when I had no time to polish up things (couldn’t figure out how to prevent music from repeating itself without making duplicates of it for the life of me), but there weren’t any small features left to add either. Thus I mostly playtested and fine-tuned. googer was vocal about the way the mechanics worked, namely the speed and direction of other trams – saying it would be better if they traveled in the same direction and much faster. I did manage to speed them up without the illusion of them following the rails breaking (they dont really, they just run off the tracks if you hang around long enough to see them reach a curve), but changing the direction I refused to do. The way you can’t drive on the left adds some depth I think. Another criticism was that the maximum speed is too high, but I insisted it is up to the player to drive at their own pace. This is important because it makes the timer mechanic work – if there was one ultimate speed to drive at, everyone would finish at once and people wouldn’t be able to compare how many second they had to spare after winning. Unfortunately, there was nothing communicating this to the player in the actual game, thus this became a common sentiment after launch.

screenshot

What did I learn? That the basic idea works, but the 72 hour limit is not to be underestimated. Admittedly I got a bit cocky after the first day, seeing the amazing progress, not realizing things would get harder later on, and not implementing vital features on time. This game has the potential to be much better and I plan to continue working on it alongside my other projects. One of the things I’d like to do is replace the timer with an actual AI opponent chasing you down, where you try to distance yourself from him in the set time, or just race him to the finish line, perhaps with some pre-made racetracks (although I’m not yet sure if googer would be up for drawing them as I’ve yet to ask). I’d like to have the main challenge of the game be the curves and drifting them, as per the initial plan. The camera got some people dizzy, which to me indicates the curves were too sharp and the drifting perhaps a bit too abrupt, so I’ll see if anything can be done about it.

Now it’s down to the upcoming two weeks to see just how good the game is in people’s eyes. Being our first (shomewhat) finished game, it wouldn’t be a catastrophe if we ended up last, especially since winning was never really the goal. You know…

It was the challenge.

takumithetraindriver

I was told by our sponsors to post this

Posted by
Sunday, December 13th, 2015 11:56 am

View post on imgur.com

 

Klaker – the MS Paint artist fuel.

Am I doing this marketing thing correctly

Waiting for A E S T H E T I C S

Posted by
Sunday, December 13th, 2015 7:57 am

W A K E  U P  A R T I S T ヌードル 4 2 0 G OD D A M N I T ル ー ヌ

70% done

Posted by
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 7:23 pm

somewhat undrecooked

Somewhat al dente still, but getting there

Welcome to the famous disco live

Posted by
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 1:14 pm

Just so you know

Posted by
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 11:44 am

Mouse input in two button games is cheating.

I just said it so it’s official.

I’m in

Posted by
Wednesday, December 9th, 2015 12:59 am

And you, yes you, better watch out, cuz I’m a hotshot. Unlike the guy who’s with me, Cookiemuncher. I don’t know what’s up with that name either. Anyway, he’s doing the graphics, and despite him, I’m gonna win this thing and all the prize money riding on it.

Engine: Unity 5. And not just that. Unity-five-point-god-damnthree

Language: JavaScript. You may be underestimating me right now. You may be think, what kind of poser is this? Well guess what, pee-sharp punk. I don’t even know. I just picked JavaScript up one day and stuck with it.

Graphics: MSPaint. I know, right.

Audio: Who needs this.

This may be my- our first time, but that’s just because I’m on an entirely different level. I mean, just look at you guys, the games that usually win. Surely it can’t be that hard to blow you amateurs out of the water. So watch out, Drury’s in town now. I don’t even know where Cookiemuncher is. Some village. In Serbia. Or whatever.

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