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I’m in

Posted by
Friday, April 15th, 2016 8:40 pm

A little late to post though.

I’ll be using unity, paint.net, and lmms if I get around to music. Gonna be tough considering I have next to no experience in unity. LET’S GO! YA!

Renaming my entry to “How fast can YOU click?!”

Posted by
Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 9:33 pm

So I’ve decided to publicly reflect on my first LD experience! To begin, I’ll just put out there that I was tremendously excited for this event. I’d been wanting to do one for over a year now, but always came up with excuses for why I was too busy over the weekend. This time however, I manned up and got down to business!

Let’s talk about preparation for a bit shall we? I remember seeing I believe the week before LD31 that there was a Mini LD with the theme of preparation. This genuinely got my gears turning. I hadn’t thought about preparation prior to that. My plan was to wing it! Realizing that planning ahead for the event would be to my benefit, I started thinking about how I should tackle things. After getting set for food, work station, and company (my lovely girlfriend who passed her time studying in the same room :D), I started to think hard about how I wanted to make the game. I was stuck, not knowing what I should use to create this game! I thought back to the few games I’d made in the past and the tools I used to make them. I was most comfortable using C# and XNA, however about a year ago I decided to  let go of the XNA days altogether. I was quite familiar as well with C++ and DirectX, however – though I like lots of coding – this route would require too much coding for me and I wouldn’t finish on time most likely. Other options available to me were the various game environments advertised on the LD tools page. I’ve really been wanting to become adept at Unity for a long while, but like I said, I like visualizing things in code and also my familiarity with Unity wasn’t great enough for me to go ahead with it for the Ludum Dare (on the contrary, perhaps that’s the reason I SHOULD have gone it).

This dilemma became a last minute issue. I waited until the theme was announced before deciding to once and for all go with what I’m comfortable with – XNA. I should clarify an important plot point (yes, plot point – this is going somewhere). The XNA I will be speaking of, until further clarified, is not actually regular XNA, but Monogame. I’m sure many of you have heard of it – it’s quite a wonderful thing I suppose, if you still enjoy using XNA.

Moving forward, when I found my dream of snowman being the theme shattered on the floor, I picked up the pieces and came up with an idea so brilliant, Morgan Freeman’s voice pales in comparison to its wonder.

(Dramatization: Morgan Freeman’s voice pales in comparison to nothing)

So now seriously, let’s talk about the game. My original idea right away was to somehow show snowman getting back at voters for not voting for it. Actually, before the voting even ended, I wanted to do something similar, but with Kittens (if you’ll recall, Kittens came last be a LOT in round 2). My ideas for how the game was going to work were FAR beyond what I could accomplish in the time period, however, that’s not to say I’m not happy with what I got done. I wanted to make the theme evident by making the game take place inside a snow globe, and then potentially I would have events where an actual sized human hand would grab the snow globe and shake it up, killing anything inside and making it snow nicely again :-) A BLOOD SNOW MUAHAHA- excuse me… I got carried away. But yeah, there would be spots for cover which the player could reach before the globe was to be shaken up, and you could tell when the globe was about to get shaken by how the snow fall had faded to almost nothing. That was the idea anyway. I also wanted to add some more minor things to the game than what you can see now: some HUD, a dive/dash mechanic for the player, more animations, more/better sfx, music, etc. The list goes on, but really all of that is beyond my skill level for short periods of time, not even factoring in time lost running into problems….WOAHHH

PROBLEMS! What a seamless transition to the topic. So let me tell you ALL about my actual production period. I began with a simple drawing of a snowman. I wanted it to be pixelly – I like that style. I whipped open Visual Studio, made my Monogame project, and started to code from scratch, cause I’m hardcore like that (does using a framework or library really count as working from scratch? In fact, if it was truly considered to be from scratch, wouldn’t I need to build the computer myself too? Perhaps forge the parts – gather the natural resources? I digress.) I coded away for a while until finally, I decided to add some sound to my masterpiece…and BAM! A warning which I had seen before. ‘Fixable’, I thought. *Applied assumed fix*…BAM! Same warning. I was so confused with what was happening. I’ll cut to the details as I remember them: Monogame still requires the XNA content pipeline (or something like that) to process certain types of content, so things like sound and spritefonts just were not working out for me. I spent SO MANY hours trying to fix this. Finally, for some reason I had the idea to copy this project into an OpenGL Monogame project, because OpenGL is more portable I believe, and HEY! I was able to get SOUND! But there was still no obvious way for me to load spritefonts. At this point I didn’t waste too much time; I thought, ‘Why not just use a regular XNA project?’ And so I installed XNA onto my machine and copied the project AGAIN to an XNA Windows Game project. From that point onward, I had no more content issues, however, the damage had already been done. I’d also like to mention that I’d slept for 16+ hours over the weekend, so does that qualify me for like a Ludum Dare ‘Super Compo’ category or something? JAM – 72 hrs. COMPO – 48 hrs. SUPER COMPO – 30 hrs. No? Okay, I won’t complain.

There were only minor problems besides the huge time wasting content problem I had. My artistic skills held me back a bit, but I think I made something nice looking this time around.

My final thoughts on this game actually come from reviewer feedback. So far I’ve received decent feedback for my game (my coolness isn’t quite up there yet, so my exposure is low, but I’ve gotten some hits). Basically, I realized after reading some of the comments that I didn’t even test my game…woops. Allow me to elaborate. I saw people commenting what level they got to in the game, and I was shocked at how BAD people were at my game. I had played it and remembered getting to around level 52. I decided to play my game again seriously and was surprised AGAIN at how BAD I was at my OWN GAME! Level 30!  Then I realized it…I only played the game serious once during development, and it was before adding a final difficulty increase per level. As a result, at a certain point, the game becomes not really about skill all and more about how fast you can click a mouse xD. This made me laugh, but also came as a relief, since I think for some reason it adds a nice touch. Sure the average playing time for this game is about 3 minutes and then drop, but hey, it’s my Ludum Dare entry and I’m proud of it.

Go check out its page if you feel like it! And thanks for reading my LD31 adventure.

I’m in!

Posted by
Friday, December 5th, 2014 11:02 am

This will be my first ludum dare. Feelin pumped about it!
I’ll be using:
-Language: Java
-Graphics: Paint.net
-SFX: sfxr
-Music: FL Studio

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