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Ludum Dare 24
 
Ludum Dare 22
 
Ludum Dare 20

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The Black&White Retro Charm Award
Awarded by Orni
on August 27, 2012
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Awarded by Colinchocolate
on December 19, 2011

eld's Archive

Evolution of a monster: The post mortem

Posted by
Sunday, September 9th, 2012 12:23 pm

Evolution of a monster

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-24/?action=preview&uid=3145

The things that went right

Using Unity
was one of those things that helped out this time around as well, it made it possible to get the basics going and have the results be playable in the browser, it meshes well together with blender and assets were easily made with that kind of pipeline in place.

A simple artstyle
was put in place once again as is typical with how I usually go about my ld48 entries, it makes it possible to make high-end looking looking visuals without actually not putting in any more time than I would’ve with a 2d game, the textures are all simple and reused, the ambient occlusion and detailing is just overlays, the objects in the world are pixeled sprites that always faces the camera and made it possible and easy to make new items without having to push for 3d objects, which would’ve been devastating for the time-budget.

Sfxr and Musagi!
easy effects and environmental ambience as well as an ending song I made in the last two hours of the compo. drpetter is awesome!

Hanging in there
The worst enemy is usually the moment where you realize that the theme is the worst theme, (They’re all the worst theme, every time!) and that moment the second day when you wake up and realize that you’re never going to be able to finish the entry, these moments happen every time, and working through them to the end and really pushing for having something done for the deadline.

 

 

And the things that went wrong

“I think I’ll do this instead!”
I had a completely different story planned out for the thing to begin with but as I progressed I stopped following my notes I had written on my idea, and went far too much into “do it as I go”-land, this is most likely something I should handle better in the future.

Joining in one day late
ended up slicing what I wanted to do in half, and made the game itself very short, I already had much of the gameplay elements I needed in place, but those extra ~24h would’ve given me that time to actually add game-extending content.

The technical side
of the game was put together fairly quickly, but chosing to leave some things less than stellar ended up hurting quite a lot in the end, the carrying-physics being one example, it works quite well but ended up with one big downside: people can carry items out of the geometry, which turned out happening more often than not.

No playtesting.
All of the playtesting was pretty much being done by myself, and that was bad. One of the things I noticed in the end was that people took a scenario as being given a key and a closed gate as being given one obvious outcome, combine this with people then ending up trying to use the key on the gate that it doesn’t work on and they’ll end up pushing the key outside the world and breaking the game progress completely, having them miss out on the short bit that is most of the game, and the ending!

 

 

For the future


I really enjoyed the aesthetics of something like ultima undeworld and that ended up affecting how the project ended up looking like, the physics were also something that I took from UW, I really love those cobbly old dungeons with water and small monsters nests and the things they’ve gathered, with junk just cluttering corners and the player scavenging to find something that is useful.

My plan is to create a bunch of stuff inside unity to make it easy to make puzzles and connect things like levers and doors, a weighted plate to a trap, or a keyhole usable with any defined key. This with a bunch of new art-assets and a longer worked-through game could end up being a fun and less buggy adventure to go through, something in the length of an hour or two and then release that as an extended version.

Thanks everyone for yet another fun competition!, now I need to take the time to play some entries!

Evolution of a monster submitted!

Posted by
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 4:29 pm

I’m way more happy about actually finishing this than the project itself, which was too much being squeezed into just a day of work, most of what I planned didn’t go into the game. I also changed the direction of the game somewhere in the coffee-haze.

Here it is, playable from start to finish, physics will without a doubt bug out and leave the game broken!

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-24/?action=preview&uid=3145

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alas, poor Yorick!

Posted by
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 5:17 am

Evolution?

Posted by
Saturday, August 25th, 2012 11:56 pm

So I missed out an entire day and will have to make this a 24h compo for myself, keeping myself back a bit on assets and colours! :)
My plans are for a partially amnesia style short adventure on the topic of forced evolutional science GONE WRONG!  DUN DUN DUN!

Might or might not finish this, but at least I will try!

 

I’m in!

Posted by
Friday, August 24th, 2012 8:36 am

Will be using Unity, blender and photoshop!

“And then, alone…” extended version progress.

Posted by
Sunday, January 8th, 2012 4:33 pm

So I have been busy working on a better and improved version of my ld48 compo entry.

With better hacking feedback and visual clarity, along with improvements to make it more fun and less random.

 

Aswell as better and less insane controls so the game is more focused on the game and not keeping yourself from flying into walls, plus a better far away indication on usable objects by just looking at them.

 

With future additions being a bit longer and full story along with an extension after the current ending.
A new additional type of hacking minigame that is more of a puzzle than the reflex-based minigame that is in now.

 

Just a reminder

Posted by
Wednesday, December 21st, 2011 4:15 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then, alone at Epsilon-1, the post mortem!

Posted by
Monday, December 19th, 2011 4:18 pm

Playable here

Last time around I had jumped feet first into flash and actionscript3, knowing very little, but learning a lot. This time I was going for a way more graphical project, and I was going to make it within unity.
The theme ‘alone’ hit and it meant I would be doing a space themed game, with no other people, and a lone astronaut. I love that kind of sci-fi.

 

The good

Using unity.
The Unity engine turned out to be the most useful thing this time around, the amount of prototyping that could be done rapidly, the seamless exportation from blender which meant I could make a change to a model and it would instantly appear back in the game.

Graphical tricks
Most visual things in this game is pulled off with sloppy tricks, like focusing the detail I made where you actually see it on the player and leaving other areas largely untouched. Textures were made less to ideal, but still functional, so that I could get them in and pull a consistant visual rather than just ending up with two models.
All environmental station parts are built from a tiny piece of texture with enough variation to pull it off, the outside is nearly a crime, but works. Leaving the shading very flat overall gave me the ability to paint in more details into the textures themselves rather than having to rely on shading, which would add more work on top of the much I already had on my list.

Modular reusable gameplay elements
I made a few objects and wrote scripts for them in a way that I could just spread them out and connect them to things, such as doors to any amount of hacking panels, which at the point of writing the story I was able to squeeze out a few datapads within the last hour or so, and alter around hacking panels for different effects such as hotspot movement/shrinkage, difficulty, and amount of hacking stages.

The terrifyingly bad

Late actual prototyping
The first day was spent entirely just thinking of a setting and making art, with the first thing being a fully textured player model, could’ve only been worst if the first thing I made was a menu. The effects of this can be seen in the game itself, while the setting worked out nice and looks pretty, the gameplay is rushed and largely untested, with the hack-minigames lacking the variety they could’ve used. Prototyping early will be my goal for the next ludum dare.

Heavily visual project
Aiming to make this very visual and 3d project was a bad idea and still is, but still totally worth it. The effects were that of spending a majority of the time on art, which essentially makes the game an interactive story rather than a game.
Making a simple 2d project will be my goal for next time, but I know I will most likely end up doing another full on 3d project.

Lack of testing
Large parts of the game and story was implemented late the last day, which means they went untested, I wasn’t able to give it a proper gradual increase of difficulty, and instead it jumps around.

Bonus

Overall I was quite satisfied, from learning, pressing myself and eventually not giving up, which I was close to doing early the second day. My marriage also survived another ludum dare!
Definitely doing this again next one!

And then, alone at epsilon-1

Posted by
Monday, December 19th, 2011 3:59 am

So after squeezing in the story and ending in the last few hours I finally have an entry that can be played from start to finish. It ended up almost an interactive story with reflex-based hacking minigame at its center, which I wish I would’ve extended a bit more to include more puzzling.

I’ll be writing up a big post mortem on this shortly.

Nonetheless, no regrets!

Play the game here: And then, alone at epsilon-1

 

 

Kittens in cryosleep.

Posted by
Sunday, December 18th, 2011 2:51 pm

 

Yep, I’m in that club now.

Oh! what’s in there!

Posted by
Saturday, December 17th, 2011 5:50 pm

Modular stationparts, animated airlocks and now I need some gameplay surrounding these.

“playable” and a final player character

Posted by
Saturday, December 17th, 2011 10:37 am

So I realized I should’ve warmed up a bit more on unity, as I’ve spent far too much time hitting a few brick walls, but hopefully I might be able to pull through in some way.

Good new though, fully textured and hastily rigged and animated astronaut, so it’s on to environment pieces and the rest of the game now.

A first playable, sans much gameplay, can be found here: http://www.eldpack.com/ld22/

And a reminder to myself: artheavy = disaster waiting to happen.

 

 

Posted by
Saturday, December 17th, 2011 5:02 am

 

So my game is about having to be left all by yourself in the middle of nowhere in an escape-pod, but luckily ending up near an outpost.But, unluckily it’s been abandoned for quite some time, so it will be a game about navigating zero gravity in a clunky space-suit, to and from a derelict space station.

And, some further texture work in progress:

 

lonely jetpack astronaut

Posted by
Saturday, December 17th, 2011 2:01 am

 

Working on the astronaut main character for my ‘alone’ entry, I’m already regretting my plans to have the entry be graphically heavy!

oh woe.

 

 

And I’m in again!

Posted by
Tuesday, December 13th, 2011 2:49 pm

This time around I’ll be using:

Unity, photoshop & blender.

Monophobia – post mortem

Posted by
Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 1:05 am

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-20/?action=rate&uid=3145

This was my second ludum dare, but my first time actually finishing something. The game was very spontaneous and unplanned all the way through, much like how my writing will end up like now, but in the end it worked as a fantastic incentive to finish something, and learn something new.

The theme ended up being one of the more confusing ones, there’s no clear indication of what it even is about, even if everyone has been there and experienced it themselves a hundred times over, but after some thinking I just ended up wanting to do a technically simple game, a rogue-like, and give the gameplay a twist if the theme. I love roguelikes, and I’ve never made one myself, and it fit with me having just about zero experience with as3 and my previous experience being c++ and from mainly being an artist.

In the end I came up with Monophobia, a rogue-like about the fear in danger of going alone, instead of combating monsters in a random dungeon you would enter these social encounters with people in a randomly generated city, and in the end of each day you would be rewarded with a reinvigorated mentality and a stronger one as well depending on how well you did.

 

 

The dangers in the game would end up being a standard ‘you lose your health you die’, which was renamed as mentality, as it represented your mentalstate. Your mentality would be consumed every time you did a daring social encounter, and the more socially tough a stranger was, the more you’d have to talk to him, in the end that friend would be more rewarding to have in the end of the day when you leveled up. Each friend that followed you would also act as a bonus to your social skills, and them agreeing with you would boost the amount of damage you did each social attack. I regretfully never had time to make it any more depth than that.

During the night you’d get haunted, which I initially planned to be your personal demons taunting you when you were alone, I never got around giving them taunting outbursts with the damage they did, it would’ve been a bit more fun and descriptive of what they were.

 

 

In the end there was more I had planned that I wanted in, like giving the player an incentive to go explore the city, stores to visit and buy things in, parks and places giving you and your daily comrades a bonus for doing fun stuff, and the coins and items you’d collect. I also wanted to implement more random encounters beyond the few I managed to get in for the end of the day, (with the zombieday being the actual fun one), as it would have given the random element of the game even more randomness. But with the timelimit I had to do what was the best for finishing the actual project in time and decide to cut things out.

 

 

 

What I got right


Using a web-deployed language such as AS3.  Not only was it simple to use and easy to prototype things fast, it also made it easy for me to put my game up.

Simple art. Characters are just one sprite, no directions, animation consisting of it being flipped, terrain was just 16×16 tiles too, fast and easy to make.

Replacing characters in the font with art.  I could easily draw  out special icons in text and the draw borders around the interface without adding any new code, it just used characters in the font I wouldn’t use for anything else.

The console. It is where I pushed every single bit of information into, once again, giving me more time for everything else, but that’s a given for a roguelike, fast to implement, got lots of use out of it.

Random generation. Could have potentially lead to better replayability, but it gave me more time to focus on the places in coding that I had issues with, since I wouldn’t be making any levels.

 

What I got Wrong

Using a language I wasn’t familiar with. This was what got me the last time, and this time around I manged to know it well enough to finish something, but it cost me some time having to read up on things that were different from what I knew, it hurt the project, but I don’t regret it.

Not using a framework. Could’ve saved time there without a doubt, a majority of my time went into actually writing the codebase before I even got to any gameplay since I was using just barebones AS3.

Making a roguelike. They’re complex by definition, I should have planned my game around a single simple but fun to perform gameplay element, and just polish around it, and in the end I didn’t have the time to implement everything I wanted in.

 

 

Conclusion

Have had a terrible cold this weekend and still coughing my lungs out, but it was still totally worth it . Ludum dare is awesome, I’m doing it again.

Also, Roguelikes are awesome fun, and I’ll most likely give this one some more work so it gets what it missed out on.

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