About Falkreon (twitter: @Falkreon)

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Ludum Dare 37
 
Ludum Dare 25
 
MiniLD #37
 
Ludum Dare 22

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Disclosure and Tools

Posted by (twitter: @Falkreon)
Friday, December 14th, 2012 3:15 pm

As the time draws near, I’d like to share some of my code. The blit repo is Java2D framework code from my failed LD21 entry. I won’t be reusing the game portions of the code, but I included it so people can pull it apart and see how it’s intended to be used. Starlight is some random non-game-specific OpenGL code. I’ll most likely be leaning on the starlight code for my game this time around.

https://github.com/falkreon/starlight

https://github.com/falkreon/blit

Other places I may be pulling from: JOgg/JOrbis at http://www.jcraft.com/jorbis/ and I have a hacky proprietary way of hooking Vorbis SPI by javazoom – http://www.javazoom.net/vorbisspi/vorbisspi.html

Music’s coming from Renoise. I just want to give a shout-out to some of my favorite VST devs:

http://www.contralogic.com/vst-plugins/pterosaur/

http://www.wollo.com/vst.htm

and of course the irreplaceable (and rather expensive) Miroslav Philharmonik

 

My dev environment is chilling on a couch with a MacBook Pro, coffee, headphones, and a Wacom tablet (using Photoshop and Seabreeze for graphics software). I’ll be taking breaks and otherwise staying healthy throughout the compo; you just make better decisions and produce better work when well-rested. I may do the music on my desktop, since I have Philharmonik installed over there and not here.

Good luck everyone, can’t wait to play all the games!

I’m In

Posted by (twitter: @Falkreon)
Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 4:18 pm

Let’s recap:

I’m Falkreon. I’m a prolific Minecraft/Bukkit/Forge/Spout modder and I also develop games as standalone cross-platform JARs.

My goal this time around is to shade in a lot more atmosphere and polish than my previous entries, and continue upping the WTF factor by abandoning or eliding features people generally expect in a genre. Every Ludum Dare, get about ten games I can’t live without, so I definitely agree with the keynote, it’s kind of like getting a hundred xmas presents at the end.

Behind the cut: I relate some of my LD history and share some wisdom received over the course of the production.

(more…)

Erased – Post-LD version

Posted by (twitter: @Falkreon)
Monday, January 2nd, 2012 2:46 pm

I had a lot of wonderful feedback for this year’s LD. I never would have gotten so many people to playtest and give honest opinions. I spaced out a timestep issue, which is almost unconscionable – and there was a serious spell bug that I only discovered after the compo. So, since then I’ve been nailing down loose boards, slowing down combat, improving text, making things Just Work.

So, with much more sense-making:
Erased 1.3 (Post-LD version – don’t rate me based on this!) 

The original entry is over here – again, rate me for what’s in the post below, not the link above.

www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-22/?action=preview&uid=5762

Changes in the post-LD version include but are not even remotely limited to:

  • Fixed timestep for all modes (known issue: cosmetic spell animations still act a little weird)
  • Slowed down battles in general, more distinct spell naming and effects
  • Added “1/Q 2/W 3/E 4/R” captions in battle mode so you have a hint of how to fight
  • Moved player dialogue over the player’s head and colored it, added more tutorial/help text
  • Drastically overhauled intermission text
  • Walking into an object now interacts with it, making space/enter often redundant
  • Player and enemy health increased
  • Player and enemy spell upgrades separated – major bugfix!
  • Player battle sprite is now animated
  • Most intermission backgrounds swapped with a higher-res version
  • Music added and sounds gutted to make room for less-irritating sounds
  • Battle is a seperate screen now instead of being painted over the map view.
  • Made Nyan Cat’s role in this story much more clear

Please let me know what you think. I hope this release demonstrates my sincerity in listening to constructive comments, and I really will take them to heart and make the next game better. Also, if you have a post-LD version, I’d very much like to play it!

 

peace,

Falkreon

 

 

Post-Mortem for Erased

Posted by (twitter: @Falkreon)
Monday, December 19th, 2011 12:14 pm

This is my second time here, and I really wanted to charge through and release an actual product that actually worked. At the same time, I wanted to show people that having healthy eating and sleeping habits makes a better end-product. Hopefully, everyone enjoys playing my offering; I’ll be releasing a post-LD version once voting is complete.

 

Here’s my time-lapse:

http://youtu.be/qf5tMLdWytA

 

None of the music I was working on made it into the game. There wasn’t time to fine-tune a creepy, atmospheric score, and substandard music can kill a game. Feature removed. Instead I spent time on a particle system and a bitmap font so I could put more information on the screen. In the mad dash to make deadline, I forgot to put the little 1/Q, 2/W, 3/E captions above the spell buttons, so people are having trouble figuring out how to fight ;_;

 

Something really huge I want feedback on is the speed of battles. Some people are reporting “too fast”. But it started out sort-of-turn-based and that was slow and confusing. I think my solution is going to be:

* Add the control text that’s supposed to be above the actionbar

* Slow down the regen rate out of battle

* Add more “stupid-time”. That is, monsters should be disoriented for longer at the start of each battle, and take longer to choose their spells.

* Probably split up spell cooldowns. Right now it’s one recovery rate – cast a big spell, take 30 ticks to recover, cast a small one, take 10 ticks. I’ll change that to individual cooldowns similar to MMO’s. That will also give players a clearer expectation of when their spell will be ready to cast.

* Particle effects for “I’m casting a spell!” and spell nameplates. I feel like having more steps of animation and visual feedback would help prepare players and inform them that yes, indeed, the monster is casting a spell. I think some people just see a bunch of dots fly by and die.

* Internally, split up the battle and map screen. This would have the effect of the map not showing through behind the battle, but then I’d also be able to put a cool backdrop in, and I’d have a lot more latitude to fix controls and graphics that are getting out of hand.

* Look into speed differences between low-end and high-end computers. This should -not- be happening, but since the game has a time element, I may include some more internal time inspection just to make doubly certain fast computers don’t hose the game.

 

Did I miss anything? Do any of these changes sound like a terrible idea? I want to hear about it.

 

I’ve played a bunch of the compo entries so far, and I love them to death. Thanks to everyone for making this whole thing possible!

 

 

 

 

Second Break – Battle Mode

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

I took another break. Seriously, it’s the way to get through these things.

I’m still making the health and magic bars work, but you can start battles, cast spells, and defeat crazed robots. I’m -really- happy about my progress.

 

 

Next up, I’m going to throw some sfxr/bfxr sound effects in there and work on randomly-generating floors. Yes, that’s not our theme today. Just wait till you see how I pull it in!

 

Keep up the good work, developers. Some of your entry updates so far are making me kind of nervous! :)

Day 2

Posted by (twitter: @Falkreon)
Saturday, December 17th, 2011 7:50 am

Those of you who haven’t slept yet in the competition, it would be wise to do so now.

Seriously, you can’t think if you don’t sleep. Eventually you use up all your neurotransmitters, and you only regenerate them when you’re unconscious.

 

So far, so good! Loner is sliding around on a tilemap – the framework I posted earlier has been a huge help. I slapped together a RogueView and a RogueModel for roguelike game mechanics, but I really want a Shining Force/Arcana twist to the battles. Here’s hoping we have time.

My immediate goal is to have one enemy on-screen and be able to fight it.

 

Good luck everyone! I can’t wait to play all ze games!

Erased

First screenshot of "Erased"

Laugh, and the world laughs with you…

Posted by (twitter: @Falkreon)
Thursday, December 15th, 2011 6:09 am

I’m in!

This will be my second LD. My first entry’s scope was simply far too big, and it never saw the light of day. This time I’ve come back with a graphics/control toolkit of my own design, JLayer to help out with music playback, and a promise-to-self to spend more time in design and be ruthless in cutting out the fat. This year the whole shebang will also be in jnlp/Java Web Start, so you can launch it directly from the site.

A couple notes on tools: Sfxr/bfxr is absolutely invaluable for sound effects. Gimp is no replacement for Adobe Photoshop, no matter what open source evangelists say. Renoise and Reason/Rebirth are extremely powerful all-in-one music studios.

Finally, I have had my brain filled with cool ideas all year. I’m dying to use steganography to embed the levels into something else. There are UDP tricks I’ve been meaning to implement. Story ideas that haven’t seen prime time… yet. And they may not in the next couple days either. I have to be ruthless about these things. When the theme is revealed, I’ll start designing all kinds of crazy stuff. (seriously, people have asked me what I’m smoking. I’m not!) Then I’m going to kill my baby, crossing off more than half the things I want to put in until I have something I can implement in 24 hours, even though the compo is 48. If all goes well, for half of the compo I’ll be ‘done’ with my entry and adding pure gravy. If not, well, good thing I crossed those things off.

 

Good luck to everyone! Many of my favorite flash games came from Prior LD’s (yes, that was a pun), so I can’t wait to play what you’re writing! This is not an easy challenge, but keep plodding on – I believe in you.

–Falkreon

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