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Tiny Square, Big Tower Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @EvilObjective)
Monday, December 15th, 2014 6:15 pm

So this was my fifth Ludum Dare (holy crap time flies!) and I’m pretty happy with how my game turned out.

I wasn’t able to get started on my game until Saturday afternoon so the pressure was definitely on by the time I sat myself in front of my laptop. Normally I come up with an idea pretty quick after setting to work, but unfortunately I didn’t find this theme too inspiring and sat staring blankly at my laptop for the first hour. Eventually I decided the theme would be perfect for a semi-deconstruction of the platforming genre, and the idea for Tiny Square, Big Tower was born.

Tiny Square Big Tower1

You start at the top and get to see the entire game in one massive fall from the top of the tower to the bottom , where the game begins

The idea was this: take the classic platformer concept and put the entire game on one screen/level. I decided to use a tower as a setting and use each “level” of the tower as the individual platformer levels, including a boss fight at the very top. I also opted to keep any necessary instructions or story exposition to the game screen and have the character fall from the top of the tower to begin so that the player can see the entire game before they actually start playing. Since I’m hardly an artist I relied on building the entire game with squares/rectangles to the aesthetic as minimal as possible.

What went well

– Aesthetic turned out better than normal for me

– The humour was well received

– The controls and level design were well received

What went wrong

– Probably not tied closely enough with the theme

– Sound issues/glitches in any browser but Chrome

– Too short

 

Given the time frame I’m happy with how it turned out. I’d definitely like to build it into a larger game. One of the biggest lessons I learned this Ludum Dare was the impact character size has on the feel and control of the character. Originally the character was not a tiny square, just a normal size square. This turned out to make the character movement feel too floaty and bulky. Once the size of the character was reduced significantly, that floaty-ness felt (and looked) way more natural.

Anyways give it a play/rate if you’re interested!  

Postmortem – You Only Get Juan – Jam Entry

Posted by (twitter: @EvilObjective)
Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 3:22 pm

Postmortem – You Only Get Juan – Jam Entry

 

Massive Explosions! Full 7.1 THX Sound Surround! Sexy Characters!

…our LD28 entry didn’t actually contain any of these things, but we still had fun making it. Our team consisted of Ludum Dare newbies (first LD for one member, second LD for the other two) and despite having to work around a couple of christmas parties, our entry turned out pretty good.

Juan Track Mind

Our group of local game devs all met up at a nearby Starbucks just prior to the start of LD48, and from there smaller groups were formed as the theme was announced. While brainstorming concepts related to the theme, @craigpfau came up with the title ‘You Only Get Juan‘ while the mechanics and story by @JackTai_ and myself followed suit.

What Went Right

To make the most of the theme (and not just rely on the ‘Juan’ pun) the game mechanics all revolved around the theme of ‘you only get one’. The game mechanics matched this theme in three ways:

  • Juan is the only character that the player is allowed to ‘catch’ for points
  • The Juan Direction bus used to get Juan can only move in one direction (to the right)
  • You only get one shield charge (used to deflect ‘non-Juans’ away from the bus) per Juan caught

The use of the theme to direct multiple aspects of the game mechanics is something we are quite proud of.

What Went Wrong

Time was a major factor (as with each Ludum Dare I suppose!). However, with everyone having Christmas parties and other social functions that same weekend, time was more limited than ever. Most of the work got done on the Friday night and Monday morning (at least on the programming side). There were some glitches that certainly would have been worked out if the full weekend could have been dedicated to our entry.

Another issue was the use of GameSalad as the engine. While GameSalad made it very easy to prototype the game Friday night, exporting to HTML5 from GameSalad leaves something to be desired. The game had multiple different issues across browsers, specifically sound being intermittent or non-existent, text displaying improperly, and general physics nuisances. In the end the game seemed to work best on Chrome, but unfortunately it still did not quite run as intended.

TL;DR

Another Ludum Dare down and another good time had. Happy New Year Everyone and see you in April.

Russ, @EvilObjective

edit: You can play/rate it here:

Happy I finished my first LD, ‘A Day In A Life’

Posted by (twitter: @EvilObjective)
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 2:46 pm

What an experience! I finished my first ever entry for Ludum Dare called ‘A Day in A Life’. You play as an easily irritable man who must make it through daily mundane experiences without losing control and turning into his alter ego, ‘Hulkster’. Tools I used:

Engine: GameSalad

Art: Sketch

Sound: GarageBand and cfxr

Here is a picture, I hope you play it and enjoy it!

A Day In  A Life

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