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In again

Posted by
Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 3:35 pm

Let’s do this LDJam thing! No particular goals, just want to enjoy the event.

I will use the same set of tools as last time.

Framework: HTML, Javascript, ImpactJS, my own analytics stuff
Text editor: Kate
Graphics: GIMP, Inkscape, Infinte Design
Audio: Maybe Autotracker or Fake Music Generator and bfxr or jfxr. Audacity to edit my own recordings, done wth my mobile phone.

Base code: (just a basic HTML template and minimum CSS)
https://bitbucket.org/f7f5/ld48-base-code/src

Good luck to everyone!

LDJAM analytics

Posted by
Saturday, May 16th, 2015 5:21 pm

So this time I decided to collect some analytics to try to find out more about the way LDJAM voters played my game.

Number of sessions: 41

I had 34 votes at the time I did the analysis. These 41 sessions came from 34 different IP addresses.

Number of plays per session:
min: 1
avg: 1.24
max: 9

The histogram shows the frequency of the number of plays. More that 30 visitors played the game a single time.

Plays per session

Well, 4 users didn’t event start a game (the only recorded event is “quit”, that is fired when the visitor leaves the page).

All this means that most players just play once, vote, and go to the next game.

Game length (time)
min: 15 secs
avg: 1min 52secs
max: 3min 58sec

Well, my game was designed to be played in quick sessions, so this feels about right. I didn’t want to bore people too much

Session length (time)

Avg: 5min 46
Min: 15sec
Max: 46min 23

(OK, someone had the game tab open for more than 1 hour, but they played for 10 minutes and probably left the tab open while they did something else, and only closed it much later.)

The 46min session included 9 plays spaced throughout the full timespan. One visitor played for 15secs and gave up. I guess you can’t please everyone.

Scores:
High: 14290,
Avg: 6095
Low: 200(*)

Only 17 visitors played until they lost all the energy – others quit mid-play – so I only have recorded scores for those.

(*) – The lowest score was, in fact 0, but I decided to ignore because it might not have been a real try.

Conclusion:

My interpretation is that LD participants are focused in their mission to rate as many games as possible in order to get their own games rated, and don’t spend much time in each game. They optimize their time by playing once, voting, and moving on to the next one. This was more or less what I expected, and I even tried to design the gameplay around that: something easy to understand and start playing and that wouldn’t require a long play session to enjoy.

Still I was hoping to get at least a second try from most players (I think I almost never rate a game before playing twice, to avoid scoring on a first impression). I’d say it’s my game’s fault for not looking too pretty or just not being interesting, except I don’t think my results were that bad. In fact I’m fairly happy with them. I got:

#333 Overall 3.41
#59 Fun 3.87

It was my best overall result ever. Same goes for theĀ fun category. So I guess that’s just the way it is: you typically get a “Jupi Plays”-like run through your game (great videos, btw) and probably only the top games overall are able to grab player’s attention for a longer time. So many games to play, and so little time :)

Big thanks to all those who played, and especially to whoever played 9 times! :)

Next time I’ll try to record my own playing/judging habits as well.

Anyone else with analytics data to share and compare?

My game: Kick it hard!

Hell yeah!

Posted by
Sunday, April 12th, 2015 10:42 am

I’m in, once more.

I will use a familiar set of tools:

Framework: HTML, Javascript, ImpactJS
Text editor: Kate
Graphics: GIMP, Inkscape
Music: Some generator like Autotracker or Abundant music.
SoundFX: Probably a mix or recorded sounds (Miidio app for recording and Audacity for editing) and generated effects (with bfxr or af3sfxr).

I prototyped a tool, in Python, to log some statistics about (included in the base code) how people play my game, so I’ll probably host the final game in AppEngine.

Base code:
https://bitbucket.org/f7f5/ld48-base-code/src

Good luck to everyone!

Definitely in

Posted by
Monday, November 24th, 2014 7:59 am

I’m back for #31! The goal is simply to have fun creating my game and playing the ones made by the other participants.

I will use the same set of tools as last time.

Framework: HTML, Javascript, ImpactJS
Text editor: Kate
Graphics: GIMP, Inkscape
Audio: Maybe Autotracker and bfxr or af3sfxr.

Base code: (just a basic HTML template and minimum CSS)
https://bitbucket.org/f7f5/ld48-base-code/src

Good luck to everyone!

Voting is almost over…

Posted by
Sunday, May 18th, 2014 12:23 pm

…so don’t forget to take a screenshot of your “Previously rated entries” list if you want to keep a record of how you voted. If I recall correctly this list just disappears after the voting is closed…

Underground feedback

Posted by
Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 3:21 pm

So, for a refreshing change: this time most of the complaints are about audio :)

Most requested feature by commenters was music during the game!

I agree with this, it would have been better :)

So why didn’t I include it? Well, honestly, I don’t think my tunes are that great. I used music generated with jcgMusic and, don’t get me wrong, I think the result is fabulous considering the effort and time I needed to put into it. But I don’t think they are good enough to for backgound music during play; I feared they would get annoying quickly, so I only used them while waiting for game start, and on the congratulations screen after beating the game.

Vanishing audio!

This is really, really annoying! Some player said that audio stopped working after “Game Over”, or, at least, after some time. I also noticed some quircks while testing but, most of the time it worked just fine on Linux Firefox and Chrome.

This is a major problem. I need my games to have working sound effects. I used ImpactJS as a framework, and I was actually warned before the weekend by someone who also had audio troubles with the same framework. In the past I also had some issues with CraftyJS.

Is it possible to have decent HTML5 audio on games? Is the framework the guilty part, or am I using it wrong? If it is, what’s the least problematic solution JS/HTML5 games?

The good news

Judging by the comments, people seem to have fun playing Underground. I especially enjoyed knowing that someone hacked the JS code to get more lives and finish the game! :)

Anyway, here’s a video playthrough just to show it’s not that difficult (well, I do get killed two or three times šŸ˜‰

Don’t forget to play and rate Underground.

The cake is not a lie

Posted by
Friday, April 25th, 2014 2:25 pm

In a couple of days, the comments to my game might be bitter…

LD Cake

but at least I know this weekend will be sweet šŸ˜‰

Eagerly awaiting the start of the competition.

I’m in…

Posted by
Friday, April 18th, 2014 4:12 pm

…for a third attempt. Again, I vow to draw better graphics (not just boring squares and circles) and make a better effort in gameplay design.

Tools:

Framework: HTML, Javascript, ImpactJS
Text editor: Kate
Graphics: GIMP, Inkscape
Audio: Maybe Autotracker and bfxr or af3sfxr.

Base code: (just a basic HTML template and minimum CSS)
https://bitbucket.org/f7f5/ld48-base-code/src

Good luck to everyone!

Problems running Unity Linux standalones

Posted by
Friday, December 27th, 2013 3:38 pm

I noticed that many Unity users are now exporting a standalone version for Linux. ThisĀ  is great news, because otherwise I coulndn’t try their games, as there is no Unity Web player for Linux :(

However I’m not being able to run most of these standalone executables, and I was wondering if other Linux LDers are havingĀ  similar issues. The most common symptom is that the game just fails to start without any error messages, or displays the screen size/depth selection window and exits right after that.

I guess this could be related to the target architecture – I have a 64bit version of Fedora 19, and the exported games seem to be for 32bit, but I don’t know if there’s a log file somewhere that might give some insight about what’s going on.

Static Room – Afterthoughts

Posted by
Thursday, December 26th, 2013 3:27 pm

The core idea was to have a map that changes as you play, and you only get one room that never moves from its place and can be used as reference.

Initially I was thinking about moving the rooms from place to place automatically when the player crosses some predefined doors. But after playing with that concept on Saturday I was not entirely convinced with the result, and was afraid players would not understand right away the logic behind what was going on, dismiss it as merely random map shuffling and walk away with a poor impression. So Saturday evening I added switches. I wish I could have made more levels and take more advantage of the mechanics,Ā  but unfortunately I couldn’t get more done on Sunday.

The worst: graphics. I actually lost 2hrs on Saturday trying to draw some characters, but with terrible results. So in the end I realized that if I wanted to finish a game, I needed to stick to boring raw geometric figures.

All audio was generated: sound effects with as3sfxr and music with Otomata. I was happy with the result, considering the time it took, but some of the comments mention a couple of bugs I wasn’t expecting, like music not playing or stopping and restarting when the switch are activated. I need to improve the robustness in the future.

Anyway, I think in terms of playability it was a step forward from my previous LD, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement.

Thanks to everyone one who played so far and specially for the comments.

Cheers!

Link to my game

Hey! I’m in!

Posted by
Monday, December 9th, 2013 3:22 pm

My 2nd go at Ludum Dare. This time my objective will be, not only to finish a game, but to have good playability and level/screen design. Maybe I’ll even try to draw some characters instead of just dots and boxes!

Tools:

Framework: HTML, Javascript, CraftyJS
Text editor: Kate
Graphics: GIMP, Inkscape
Audio: Somthing that will create audio for me :). Maybe Autotracker or Otomata; bfxr or af3sfxr.

Good luck to everyone!

Games I cannot play…

Posted by
Sunday, May 5th, 2013 7:38 am

Silly question: when rating a game, it says:

If you can’t run this entry, please leave a comment saying so and explaining why. Do not score unrunnable entries.

So, if I cannot run a game, am I supposed to:

  1. Leave the scores blank and explain why I could not run the game in the Comments (non-anonymous) box right under the ratings table
  2. Or leave a comment in the Comments section at the bottom of the page?

There are 2 comments boxes in the same page and I don’t think the instructions are very clear…

Sine Gameplay – Thoughts

Posted by
Sunday, May 5th, 2013 6:51 am

First, I would like to thanks everyone for playing my game and for the all the constructive comments! I really appreciate the feedback.

It’s almost unanimous that the game very difficult. I was afraid that might happen. This is, in part, due to being the first time I enter LD, and to me just wanting to get something working and ready to release at the deadline.

A couple more thoughts:

  1. Alternative control methods. Initially I had several ideas: keyboard, mouse with some sort of drag action (like dragging a slider to adjust amp, freq) or just reacting to mouse movement. I tried coding some of these quickly, but the first I got working decently was the one that made it into the game; my focus was on finishing *something* first and then optimizing later if I had time.
  2. Level creation. This is a task I had never made before. So I just created levels by playing kind of randomly on a blank level, recording the path, and then placing obstacles around that path to force that particular solution. Probably it would have been a better idea to design the levels from the point of view of someone playing the game for the first time. I had 3 initial levels (2,4,6) and then, by Sunday night when I was playtesting, I had forgotten the exact solutions and realized they could be really tricky even for me. So I created another 3 easier ones (1,3,5). Maybe these are still too hard :)

For the next LD competition, I need to improve this:

  • if I try an original mechanic, I should reserve more time for getting the gameplay right, experimenting with the controls and other settings to tune it into a balanced experience.
  • or stick to a tested mechanic, so I don’t need so much effort into tuning it correctly.

Anyway, here’s a video of how to beat all levels:

I did it! (with PM)

Posted by
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 5:13 pm

screenshot

Yes, I achieved my main goal of finishing and submitting a game.

Check Sine here.

 

QUICK POST-MORTEM

So I was going to do a minimalistic game anyway, because it was my first attempt at LD and I suck at creating art, which means that I was already more or less on topic. The downside is that now everyone else was also doing some sort of minimalistic game…

I have no idea if my idea is original: I never played a game exactly line this, by I also didn’t bother checking the web to see if it had already been made. On hindsight, I think I got my inspiration from two sources:

Creating levels was surprisingly hard. I hope at least that the ones that made it into the game are playable, and still provide a nice challenge.

I would have loved to play around more with the core mechanics: try to make longer, horizontal-scrolling levels, instead of fixed width ones, or use some sort of continuous control (mouse controlled slider or knob, keys for increasing/decreasing the Amp/Wave length) instead of the “quantic” controlsĀ  in the game, but I went for the simplest thing that worked – my focus was on releasing something at the end of the 48h.

Enough for now. Maybe I’ll post something more in one of the next days.

Let’s do this!

Posted by
Thursday, April 25th, 2013 1:02 pm

My goal is simply to finish: release a playable game, however basic, by the end of the 48hrs.Ā  Being a programmer I’ll focus on code, game design and gameplay, and do minimal graphics and audio. Maybe I can include an easter potato.

Tools:

Framework: HTML, Javascript , CraftyJS
Text editor: Kate
Graphics (if I do more than boxes and circles and text): GIMP, Inkscape
Audio: Autotracker / a sound effects generator.

 

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