About EggDestroyer (twitter: @EggDestroyer)

French Game design student. I like to make games.

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Ludum Dare 28
 
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Is my game eligible for compo, and how to rate graphics & audio ?

Posted by (twitter: @EggDestroyer)
Tuesday, September 10th, 2013 12:59 am

So, here’s my LD27 game, EBDS : http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=9406. This topic isn’t about my particular game tho : it’s just used as an exemple.

Lots of assets come from the Internet.

I made it in less in 48h. I was alone, I designed it myself and I coded it from scratch with Game Maker : Studio, so I logically put it in “Compo”.

However, I made my graphics assets by taking some CC0 pictures from Google Images (mostly redirecting to Wikimedia), and my sounds – except the music – come from the website freesound.org.

I reworked both so they could fit in the game (color mask and filters for graphics, various cuts and mix effects for sounds), but after some comments, I asked my self two things :

 

* As I didn’t actually CREATE (meaning : taking the original basis) most assets, is my game still eligible for Compo ?

* Which criteria could be used to rate graphics & audio ?

 

Maybe one of the issues here is the border between “from scratch” and “not creating anything”. Is the use of internet-assets in another category than the use of a game engine which you didn’t wholly create ? In the other hand, isn’t it the only way to “reward” people creating their own material over people barely copying ? Is this objective something to consider in the frame of the Ludum Dare ?

Discuss !

 

EDIT : Just a small note to clarify my intentions :) I don’t want to complain, to justify myself or to say why-I-should-be-in-compo. Maybe I shouldn’t at all, and I’m perfectly okey with Jam, plus I had a lot of fun to make the game, and this counts the most.

The idea is rather to discuss about the rules, which I’m not really sure to completly understand despite reading them, mostly this one :

“Photos and recordings you make of people or things are acceptable content, just you must acquire them during the competition.”

-> Does “acquire” imply “taking pictures by yourself”, or is “searching CC0 pictures in Google” acceptable ? This may sound like a rhetorical question to justify oneself’s mistakes, but I assure you this is not my intention. :)

E.B.D.S – Honest and actually accurate postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @EggDestroyer)
Monday, August 26th, 2013 3:24 am

I finished my game. It’s called EBDS.

Here is a picture. People like pictures.

 

This is a post-mortem. I like post-mortems.

 

What went right :

I finished it.

What went wrong :

It’s not perfect.

 

On an unrelated note, here is the Wikimedia Creative Commons 0 picture of a squid. I like squids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet another highlight post about great games – Part 2 !

Posted by (twitter: @EggDestroyer)
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013 1:40 pm

10 days ago, I posted a little highlight of my favourites entries to celebrate my 50 first games played – you can find it HERE.

Now, I reached 100 games, which means it’s time for another highlight for the 50 latest ones. Once again, this is based on my own jugement, and doesn’t mean the games I’m not mentioning “suck” : they just didn’t hook me up as much as those ones. Also, no particular order. Let’s do this !

 

Aduno – Jam

Minimalize junk forever ! Aduno is a clever puzzle game reminding me some childhood educational games about logic, except more challenging and fun, like some sort of “extra light Space chem”. What struck me is the very polished animations, looking IMO sort of “professionnal” without ruining the game nice style.

 

Unfurl – Jam

Zen atmosphere, scroll theme, simple rules yet great complexity : Unfurl faced the theme “full power” without betting on minimal graphism. Unfurl scrolls to create lines of shapes, but do it right, as unfurled scrolls will hide bottom ones. This underrated game twisted my mind quite hard despite apparent simplicity – the zen atmosphere almost mocked me !

The team even created a fake traditional game to give presence to the tutoria, which was fun and unexpected.

 

Drug hunt – Jam

I’m usually not fond of “wtf-game throwing random images and you and call it a day” as it’s often a lack of actual effort to come up with something well thought. One could argue about my point of view and go one step further on the meaning of art, but for now I’ll just praise Drug Hunt’s successful blend of “what the hell ?” factor and actual, well thought features.

This game is basically a suit of thematic mini-games depending on which drug you take. It’s very fast paced yet clear enough for most of games (not EVERY game tho) to bring an actual perceptive challenge. And of course, the atmosphere is nuts, yet “well thought nuts”, rendering the experience IMO even more enjoyable.

 

Tessitron – Jam

Which seemed to be your average rythm game turned into a creative blend of Guitar hero (well, Frets on fire here) and a rail shooter. I almost felt like playing Rez in some parts. The whold experience, mix of an electro trip and a frantic rail shooting quest for the Evil Boss, is remarkably well put together, despite the somewhat awkward connection between letters, colors and enemies. Minimal 3D trip at its finest, but including satisfying pacing and challenge : deal !

 

Root Route ! – Jam

This may be my favourite entry of 100. Everything in this game feels “right. The gameplay is simple, effective, includes ressource management, yet it’s a NON-RUNNER-one-button-game (okey, well, it’s some sort of vertical, super twisted runner-like). This kind of minimalism allows some liberty on graphic design, which happens to be very well crafted, feeling both nostalgic and polished, yet very coherent with the music & sfx, which happen to be very enjoyable and setting a soothing mood.

But the most impressive feature, which perfectly makes up for the few imperfections (high difficulty curve, no previous zoom which would be handy to plan the level ahead, hitbox somewhat difficult to guess), is the amount of appealing details : clear interface, the flower blooming more or less depending of the scoring, the zoom back on top when the level is finished and the general feeling of constructing something different each time.

 

Some extra games I liked very much as well (-> look at them, really, they are great) :

Street of rave – It’s not only the name : this game is great fun, to play, to watch and to complete ! Make people dance, avoid angry cops : what’s not to like ?

Mind the gap – Minimal, symbolic subway simulation. Downright excellent, great atmosphere (very soothing), playable for hours : totally worth playing !

Escape the minimalism – May seem like a basic platformer, but really has an interesting mood with variating epileptic rainbows, very powerful.

Metahotel – An interesting puzzle game blending AI management, logic and reflexes with elegant graphism.

Less is more? – Everybody is talking about that one and I can see why. Mesmerizing puzzle game twisting Mondrian with style.

QbQbQb – “Orbital match 3”, great in every field with very impressive polish and mood.

Rainbow rocket – The most interesting way to pilot a rocket ! So very hard to handle but great potential and excellent experience.

Bezier challenge – Will ring a bell to every “maths nerd” for a reason : very peculiar concept and design, which makes the game fun to play.

Aranmi – The sole idea of making a game based on a rake and sand is amazing enough, but succeding it is even better. Relaxing yet challenging RAKE game !

A simple circle – Smart puzzle game with smart scoring system : this game proves that simple doesn’t mean stupid or meaningless.

 

 

That’s it. Also, feel to take a look at my own entry (which includes a cute circle and a creepy voice) : YAHG.

 

Yet another highlight post about great games

Posted by (twitter: @EggDestroyer)
Saturday, May 4th, 2013 5:02 am

 

Okey, I have been playing 50 games so far, so I felt like doing a small highlight post to share my discoveries ! This is based on my own jugement, and doesn’t mean the games I’m not mentioning “suck” : they just didn’t hook me up as much as those ones.

So here we go !

 

IAO – Compo

Take the control of a line ended with two red dots. Rotate the line, hit the small “triangle” icons flying with your red dots while avoiding “line” icons, and voilà, you evolve into a triangle. Now, catch the “square” icons. Rince, repeat, evolve.

Minimal yet very interesting gameplay, rising challenge tho the game may be a bit too hard, simple but very elegant graphism (very nice particle effect on catching a symbol): it nailed the theme very well. What really impressed me tho is the jazzy tune, incredibly fitting the game. Plus it’s a web game so you have no excuse not to try it !

 

Unst – Compo

Click a square to make it move. Green square + red square = death. Fit the green squares in the center. That’s it. With clear rules, good feedbacks and well crafted tutorial levels, Unst seems to be impossible not to understand. I wondered if I could find any challenge.

Boy was I wrong. The game becomes really challenging, maybe even a bit too much as the level rises dramatically on “The chosen one” level, but that’s the point of a puzzle game : getting one’s mind challenged. Simple yet deep, add a tune, you’ve got it right.

Dock zone – Compo

So, you play some schoolgirl fleeing from the rise of a strange, abstract water while picking up pyramids with making plank-bridges. This game got some weird yet very enjoyable style, greatly helped by a very unique audio atmosphere, both calm and disturbing with resonating, dramatic-beat-like footsteps.

Gameplay-wise, the game works quite well, with numerous puzzle levels mostly playing on timing. While not sure about the “minimal” part, I really appreciated the whole lot.

Russian blob – Jam

Let’s start by a warning : the people who made this game are good friends of mine, coming from the same school. But quite frankly, I wish I didn’t know them, so I would appreciate even more the cheer quality of the game without feeling corporate.

There’s so many things right about this game I don’t even know where to start. The game idea is simple : a 2D platformer. It’s also unique : you play a blob which can split into several smaller blobs, allowing you to make more elaborate actions that I won’t spoil as discovering them is really satisfying. The graphic design is very well made, and the music/sfx are both great downright hilarious (I sometimes randomly listen it). Also, there’s quite a lot of levels for a LD entry.

But the best part may be that it’s a GBA game. I’m not kidding. Wow.

 

Gods will be watching – Jam

 

I have already seen a billion reviews mentioning that game, so I felt putting it here would be a bit redundant. But the game really deserves it. Yet again, everything is incredibly well made. Manage a team who have to survive 40 days in terrible conditions : the food is lacking, there’s a deadly virus rampaging in the air, it’s so cold you have to lit a fire, everybody’s morale is getting low, you have to repair a radio… There’s so many things which can go wrong that surviving seems to be a miracle. But guess what ? The game is so hard, winning may indeed be a miracle. But it’s not frustrating. Would you fail, it’ probably because you fucked up something. So I hope you’re ready to feel guilty about someone’s death.

But hey, let’s mention… everything else. The graphics are simply gorgeous, the audio atmosphere is excellent and the whole mood of the game is stunning. Some feedbacks may help about which action costs or doesn’t cost action points and the story introduction may seem pointless by parts, but mentioning these “polish” elements just proves how well made the game is.

 

Also, there’s some other games I’d like to mention briefly as well (-> you should look at them) :

 

Stalker – Atmospheric point & click with actual pictures, inspired from the book stalker. Immersive.

Sociales Santillana – Minimal “match 3” with a twist : you play on polygons. Enjoyable !

Alien Raid – Very minimal STR. Pummel down aliens. Interesting.

Cottonhead – Cute and gorgeous pixel plartformer, short but refreshing.

TNAFT – Social game : guess which colors people prefer. Addictive. Playable on mobile !

Hubu handler – Pet simulation, incredibly cute and well made. Don’t you DARE slap him, you MONSTER.

 

 

Oh, and, if you feel like taking a look at my entry, here is it : YAHG.

 

YAHG – Small post mortem

Posted by (twitter: @EggDestroyer)
Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 2:43 am

Screen2

 

All right. My entry, YAHG, was my 2nd LD entry. Last year, I worked on this, which was also my first game made alone, my first “Jam” game, the first time I made graphic & sound assets for a game… it was a lot !

But anyway, this time, I was up for something a bit different. It was mostly a technical Jam for me, not really a fun one. Let’s get into details !

 

What happened ?

I had two main objectives in mind for this LD : learning how to use Wwise and code something. 

The Wwise part is obvious : I never used it, only watched some tutorial videos, and I really wanted to learn, as this engine totally blows my mind. Fortunately, an alumnus of my school, Cédric Liaudet, created a Game maker plug-in… which happens to be one of the only ways I know to efficiently create video games.

I could learn how to use something else (like… Unity), but leaning both how to use Wwise AND a new engine in 48h seemed too much of a task for me. Plus, I didn’t take the occasion to code something finished, even with Game maker, for almost one year, and I didn’t want to loose one of the few technical skills I have. So yeah, Game maker studio was a natural choice.

I worked 36h. I actually had some ideas about the concept before the LD, something in the lines of “let’s make a game with creepy robotic narration with very minimal graphics so I can pretend I’m a hipster” (whatever that means). So when I saw the themes, I was like “okey, let it NOT be minimalism, because I would be stuck with my idea”. Well, there was no way around it.

 

The successes !

* Wwise ! WWISE ! – Well… Yeah. My main goal is a success : I made a decent use of Wwise engine, with some RTPC’s on volume and pitch and a random container. I learned how the whole thing works : post events, soundbanks, all that stuff which were abstractions 4 days ago. As I put everywhere, I owe a lot to Florent Dumas for his help on how the thing works.

Here’s the best part : I heared my very first Wwise-generated sound RIGHT on the CLIMAX of the music of this scene, and my God was it epic. I’ll never forget it. 😀

* I can actually code ! Somehow. – I don’t think there’s anything really complex about the game. Maybe the “line drawing” part was a bit tricky, but that’s it. Nevertheless, I was pleasently surprised that I was able to add more and more fonctionnalities with everything going on smoothly. I’m able to create as many levels as I want with minimum extra coding ! So even if I’m not an ace programmer, I feel like I may be able to use another technology next time.

* It’s sort of finished – It obviously lacks some polish (see : “The failures”) and is quite short, but the game is playable, has a beginning and an end, and I reached my objectives. This feels good. I even had the time to make some tests thanks to some friends of mine, which revealed several big weaknesses, part of which I could adjust (not everything unfortunately).

* Looking at it isn’t unbearable – I’m a terrible artist. My graphical choices are mostly bad ones, it takes me a lot of effort just to draw basic things, even making something sober yet not desperatly ugly is a miracle for me. I don’t say the game is beautiful, but I feel like it’s style doesn’t fuck up the global experience by its ugliness, and that’s a lot to say.

* Some people enjoyed it ! – This is my biggest success. I didn’t expect anyone to say they’d enjoy the experience, mostly because of the failures described afterwards. I don’t know if it’s because I was too much into it to be objective or if I took it too much as a technical exercice…

 

The failures :(

* No music – The other points are way, WAY more important, but the absence of music is my biggest disappointment. I’m quite sure it would have brought something, even if it was a simple 30s chiptune loop. But I simply didn’t find any place in my “pipeline” to create it, as I always either found something more important or wasn’t in the right condition. That’s even more ironic for a game using a sound engine !

* Barely understandable voice… and game – Yeah, well. I had several feedbacks of people not understanding either what’s the goal of the game, how the volume system works, or just what the goddamn voice is saying.

I couldn’t do anything for the latter as I only had very basic Text to speech softwares on which I had little control. Plus, the whole technology seems to be not so accurate, which is quite understandable. Having no decent microphone (this is bad), I couldn’t record & modify my own voice, so I had no alternatives but to take 2nd speech center.

The game understanding is much more concerning. I tried to put one extra indication on the title screen, but the voice control system is quite messy and confusing, and many people don’t understand it. I’m not sure what I should have done unfortunately. Any ideas would be appreciated. 😀

* Weak use of my gameplay system – So, here was the idea : you have to use the voice volume to make good use of the voice.

Sometimes it gives advice while it’s too low so you have to up it. Sometimes it’s too high and threatens to kill you, so you have to lower it. In fact, I tried to add an extra “analysis & reflex” challenge component, hindering the player while working on the core gameplay experience (finding the exit), along with the moving spikes.

I really believe it’s a decent idea… Unfortunately weakly used, mostly because of my low level of control on the voice changes (I had to use Game maker timelines : it worked, but it’s quite annoying to do) and my lack of time. So the game may have this boring feeling due to the weak gameplay. :(

* I wanted to do 10 levels… – [SPOILER ALERT] – 7 is a dumb number. I like round numbers, like, 10. And I had extra ideas for 3 more levels, so I was a bit sad no to have the time to make them. Actually… I sort of “had” the time, as I had 2h remaining before the end when I submitted the game. But I was too afraid to fuck something up, even more with my high level of tiredness, so I didn’t even try.

* Minimalism ? Where ? – Yeah, well, I thought “Minimalism” could be a very weak theme for the LD, basically because I was afraid to see too many “whatever the game is, it has minimalist graphics with geometric forms so it’s OK” entries, even if there is a lot of great things to do, as some games I’ve already played so far showed me.

And guess what ? YAHG is exactly this kind of game. :p

* No HTML5 export !! – Little disappointment here. I have GM:S with HTML5 export so I was excited to be able to export it for web. But Wwise makes this impossible due to the DLLs. So… no HTML5.

 

Would you have any feedbacks, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment here or on YAHG’s voting page. :)

I CAN HAS GAMEMAEKER

Posted by (twitter: @EggDestroyer)
Saturday, April 21st, 2012 12:37 pm

So… Yeah, here we go for a Game Maker project. I might have been able to use something a bit more powerful, but I was afraid that, for my first LD entry, I’d have to cope both with the obvious time/motivation/inspiration issues and some extra technical limitations.

 

 

I’m very impressed by the beautiful and well-thought games that people come up with, and I hope my contribution will at least be able to pump up the participation numbers. In short, this game isn’t going to be GREAT, I just really hope it’s going to be FINISHED :-)

You have to help an atom to grow bigger ang bigger before it overcharges and exploses. For that, you have to grab some particles and bring them back to your core, but you can’t break too much the balance : if you already have 2 more electrons than protons, you’ll have to grab protons.

In short, a simple arcade game with increasing difficulty (WIP, as the actual CLEAR counters, not just somme random numbers), nothing metaphysical or really innovative unfortunately. Hopefully I’ll put the remaining 29h to good use to rest and decently finish this.

 

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/15899781/Atominus0_1.exe (and some GROSS, LOUD, KICKASS MUSIC BEAT – http://dl.dropbox.com/u/15899781/MusiqueJeu.wav)

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