About eli (twitter: @elibrody)

not a spy.

Entries

 
Ludum Dare 30
 
Ludum Dare 28
 
Ludum Dare 26
 
Ludum Dare 25
 
Ludum Dare 24
 
Ludum Dare 23
 
MiniLD 32
 
Ludum Dare 22
 
Ludum Dare 22 Warmup
 
Ludum Dare 21
 
Ludum Dare 20
 
MiniLD 25
 
Ludum Dare 19
 
Ludum Dare 18
 
Ludum Dare 17
 
Ludum Dare 16

eli's Trophies

Tri-Forced
Awarded by Dark Acre Jack
on May 4, 2011

eli's Archive

Living in a Bubble – progress #1

Posted by (twitter: @elibrody)
Saturday, April 21st, 2012 8:01 am

Some kind of progress. Seems like the movement is working too, if a bit jerky.

Texture is from my photowalk this morning:

https://plus.google.com/115369982511844801329/posts/ERW1MdC2T6B

Ghost Town post-mortem is up

Posted by (twitter: @elibrody)
Saturday, December 24th, 2011 10:36 am

I made a post-mortem for my game, “Ghost Town”.

You can click this link with your pointing device to see it!!

Timelapse: The making of Ghost Town

Posted by (twitter: @elibrody)
Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 1:36 pm

Covers about 20 hours of actual work, most of which spent with a warm cat on my lap.

Post-mortem coming soon!!

Edit: thanks Galman for helping with the embed!

Ghost Town progress — on G+

Posted by (twitter: @elibrody)
Saturday, December 17th, 2011 11:13 am

Hi people! As I approach the end of day one, I thought I’d say hi on the LD blog.

My game is called “Ghost Town” (working title).

I’m tracking progress with Google Plus simply because it’s easy to toss photos and screenshots up there. I’m not really doing major blog posts this time. (Also I shoot random updates on twitter.)

I’m seeing tons of amazing stuff on the LD page, this is incredible.

Good luck to everyone!!

IT’S ______ TO FINISH LD48!

Posted by (twitter: @elibrody)
Sunday, May 1st, 2011 5:27 am

Oh, Old Man! You can do better than that!

 

Just look at that

Posted by (twitter: @elibrody)
Saturday, April 30th, 2011 1:37 pm

Look at that, just look at it. You’ll never see a more beautiful reproduction of the Link vs. Old Man screen in your entire life.

Old Man

Posted by (twitter: @elibrody)
Saturday, April 30th, 2011 2:28 am

yeah you saw it here first

nobody steal my idea ok thanks

 

map made using Tiled.

Old Man made in GraphicsGale.

(Going to be using previous production version of Flixel)

Lost Races’ Artifact Recovery: Coroner’s Report

Posted by (twitter: @elibrody)
Friday, December 24th, 2010 4:35 am

or, A Million Ways to Ruin a Good Idea

nice pants, shorty

Last Things First – The Conclusion

This game (“Lost Races’ Abandoned Artifact Recovery“) failed. It is not fun (actually rather boring). It fits the theme, but not in the way I wanted. It does not transmit the information intended. It is not very funny, either.

In short, the game does not live up to any of the goals set. Let’s go over why.

The Concept

This is the only part of the game I am proud of, even if it is not reflected in the finished product in almost any way. You take the role of an exploring astronaut, scavenging old, abandoned machines and technologies left behind eons ago by advanced races (now extinct). This mechanic alone may have been interesting, but there is another twist: whilst you are busy discovering and cataloging these machines, another technologically-advanced race is monitoring YOUR progress.

I was struck by this model of double-discovery as a good take on the theme, and something that would probably be rather original. The game wouldn’t explicitly tell you that you are being watched, rather it would become clear as you played. (Also, if your actions arouse too much attention, you are destroyed.)

I decided to go with a mechanic that requires the player to upset a random distribution of “glowing stones”. As the player organizes stones around focal points (the artifacts), they are unwittingly making their presence known. I show this by using a minimap in the lower right-hand corner, which actually represents what the aliens see on the planet.

Daniel recommended using negative entropy as a measure of organization (defined here), which worked very well. I built a quick proof-of-concept in MATLAB. It’s like a poor-man’s pattern recognition algorithm, and Flash was able to do it reasonably quickly.

For the same number of points, entropy is reduced as they are clumped up

Another thing that spurred me forward: I don’t know of any other game in which the minimap plays a key part of the mechanic.

The Riddle

This is my fourth Ludum Dare competition. This compo marks one year since I made my first game, for LD16. If so, why, oh why, do my tilemaps look like this:

I know retro is in, but Windows 3.11???

Why? WHY WHY

The Failure

Ultimately, despite the good concept driving it, the game failed to communicate what was necessary.

The scary voices I added were ambiguous to the players. Along with the “alien” writing (Wingdings), they were meant to correspond to the interest level of the aliens, ie. how organized the playing field is. Similarly, the minimap was not recognized for what it was, and I was asked “why doesn’t the player appear on the map?”.

The graphics were very, very ugly (except maybe for the astronaut’s helmet, which I liked).

Evidently, the algorithm failed as well. Depending on the random starting layout, entropy would drop at different rates as clumpiness was achieved. Also, I couldn’t account for different player styles, so maybe clumping differently had an impact on the measurement. In any case, people could play through the game without losing and without knowing about the Overwatch aliens. To these players, it was a boring, repetitive game with no point and no reward.

Random distribution - no alien threat

After player "organizes" the stones near artifacts - high risk

To players who lost, I doubt they understood that if they redistributed stones after discovering an artifact, they could avoid the aliens’ attention.

Ironically, I thought of a great way to improve it, after the competition was over. Instead of piling stones on top of artifacts, the player should uncover them from beneath mounds of stones. This is more intuitive, and might be coupled with a physics element to provide a less “grindy” feel. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to test it out.

Dear Eli: For Next Time

  • Try to make a SIMPLE game that does ONE THING and does it WELL.
  • Don’t bother with forced artsy concepts that hold up an entire game. Maybe these concepts need to be built, but maybe they don’t need to be in game-format. Maybe it’s the wrong medium. Maybe.
  • GOOD GRAPHICS
  • If completing the game does not provide satisfaction, there needs to be something more than a title screen that says YOU WON!!! on it.

Hope I do better next time. Thank you for reading and I apologize for making another non-fun game.

By the way: if you have read this far, then YOU WON!!!

Maximum caffeine intake

Posted by (twitter: @elibrody)
Saturday, December 18th, 2010 4:34 pm

Flixel! Yes!

Dr. Astronaut vs. The Glowing Asprins

Yeah I got stuck on lots of stuff! Especially making that terrible background. Much worse for wear!

Happy about the minimap/monitor thing, though.

I guess it’s time to make a GAME out of it, wonder if that will happen.

See you tomorrow!

The Setup

Posted by (twitter: @elibrody)
Friday, December 17th, 2010 6:48 am

New apartment, new office-space constructed. You thought it wasn’t ready yet, huh? You thought I wouldn’t have time to hang up the whiteboard in between lab reports?

Secondary (temporary) monitor graciously provided by zDanielz!!!
**Disinterested Cat not included

This weekend, witness the Ludum-power of this fully armed and operational battle-office!!

iħ ∂/∂t |ψ> = H|ψ>

yes

Posted by (twitter: @elibrody)
Sunday, December 12th, 2010 12:37 pm
  • Yes
  • Yep
  • Uh-huh
  • Yes (again)
  • Yeah
  • Yez [sic]

Atop Mt. Brawlalot – complete!

Posted by (twitter: @elibrody)
Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 2:15 pm

Smashing chompers and staying on the tallest mountain in the area? Sounds difficult …

Are you up to the task??

Only one way to find out.

screenshot_4

Don’t get carried away.

use your imagination

Posted by (twitter: @elibrody)
Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 1:58 am
come on

come on

It is a thrilling battle between the forces of good and evil, as clearly represented by these lovingly-crafted models.

Previously, on Ludum Dare

Posted by (twitter: @elibrody)
Saturday, August 21st, 2010 2:36 pm

I know you guys are following closely, so I won’t insult you with a recap. I’ll just put this baby up and let her explain everything:

Atop Mt. Brawlalot - "placeholder" splash screen!

Atop Mt. Brawlalot - "placeholder" splash screen!

We all know what “placeholder” means in Ludum Dare, don’t we now?

Ballad of semi-despair disguised as non-despair through food-related metaphor

Posted by (twitter: @elibrody)
Saturday, August 21st, 2010 7:18 am

Wifes made me a lunch! It is delicious!

wifes-built tortillas!

wifes-built tortillas!

Tortilla and chili!

Tortilla and chili!

Basically, sometimes your Ludum Dare is like lunch. You eat and eat, and then it’s gone. Same deal.

Oh and I am making a game too. I have spent all day debugging HingeJoints in Unity. No idea what I’m doing. Basically.

GOOD LUCK!

tool fuel

Posted by (twitter: @elibrody)
Friday, August 20th, 2010 4:04 am
200 grams of joy

200 grams of joy

At least something will be Elite this round!

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