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And I’m Done! I present to you all: Lunar Frenzy!

Posted by (twitter: @fireblend)
Sunday, December 16th, 2012 1:14 am

Well, unfortunately (or not) I won’t be near a computer from now and until the end of the competition, forcing me to scale back my project. However, I’m still very proud of it, as it’s entirely playable, both through Flash and Android devices!

“After years of living under the shadow of puny planets, an oversized moon goes rogue, in a revenge-fueled trip across the universe with one goal only: smash all those planets into tiny little pieces. Will it succeed? Or will it fall to the many space-mines that litter the galaxy?”

The game was made with touch controls in mind, so I strongly suggest you play the Android version if you have the chance. All comments are extremely appreciated! And don’t forget to post your highscore!

Feel free to check it out, and greetings from Costa Rica!

image3943

An Evil Looms

Posted by (twitter: @fireblend)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 11:05 am

So, this game is probably more fitting for the “end of the world” theme, but a few graphic adjustments and it’s ready for this LD!

Controls and object generation is all done. Now it’s time to handle collisions, scoring, damage and all that jazz. Hopefully it won’t take too much of my time, since I won’t have much tomorrow.

Going for it, second time this year!

Posted by (twitter: @fireblend)
Friday, December 14th, 2012 5:23 pm

So, after having successfully participated in the Global Game Jam and Ludum Dare 23 earlier this year, I shall embark upon the LD experience once again! My tools:

  • Language: ActionScript
  • Engine: Haxe
  • IDE: FlashDevelop
  • Graphics: Inkscape, The GIMP
  • Sound: I have the least experience in this area, so I’ll probably give sfxr a go if I have any time to spare.

Since I’ve already got some plans for this weekend it will not be as big as my first effort. But we’ll see how it goes! I’m confident I can have something fun up and running quickly enough.

Anyway, greetings from Costa Rica, and good luck to you all!

Disregard All Humans: A Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @fireblend)
Friday, April 27th, 2012 10:20 pm

So, since they’re all the rage now and my “conclusion” post right after the development time ran out was pretty short, I thought I’d do a more fleshed out postmortem, so that I could reflect on the experience so far, and put on (virtual) paper what I think I’ve learned from this edition of LD.

In case you haven’t played my game, you can find it right here: Disregard All Humans; I guess it’s a requirement if you want some parts of this post to make sense 😛

Background:

So, my name is Sergio, and I’m a 23 years old Costa Rican software engineer getting his CS master degree. Even though I do enjoy them greatly, and I’ve developed a couple of demos throughout my career, I’ve never actually embarked on the adventure of creating a game, much less in 48 hours and all by myself! In January I participated in the Global Game Jam, but it was with help from a very skilled team which had let me to play to my strengths and just help out with development. The challenge a LD posed was uncharted territory!

Not satisfied with not having enough experience with 48-hour development cycles, I decided I would also learn a new programming language and game-making framework throughout the weekend: Lua and Love2D. I consider myself pretty language-agnostic, and since I didn’t really have experience in game making other than with SDL (and I knew I wouldn’t finish in time if I went with that), I decided to take a risk and after browsing around I settled with those two tools as my weapons of choice. I set up a new github repository with a mostly blank Lua file, and waited for the compo to start…

The theme:

“Tiny World” wasn’t exactly the theme I was expecting (to be fair, I wasn’t really expecting anything. I’d glanced at the final round of voting, but didn’t think much of it trying not to settle on anything before the theme was decided); I spent around 2 hours thinking about the theme, throwing ideas around with my girlfriend and brother, and that’s how we came up with the basic idea I would pursue, to which the finished product is actually pretty close.

I figured many people would think of the “oversized character moving around a tiny world represented as a circle” mechanic (and I was right), but I figured the specific “destroying cities, eating humans” gameplay would be unique enough to differentiate my game from others, and this being my first LD, it seemed simple enough to be finished by the time the compo ended. I was clear in that I wanted an intro an ending screen to go with the game, and an arcade-ish feel for the actual gameplay.

I was pretty happy with this little "collage" I made, showing some of the game's different states. Even though it wasn't a conscious choice, the game looks pretty cartoon-ish, doesn't it?

What went right:

Mostly everything. Using Lua and Love2D allowed for me to do very rapid development; Love2D being insanely intuitive and straightforward, and Lua having a syntax as easy as a syntax can be. I chose Geany as my IDE, being my usual choice for mostly everything I do, and I couldn’t have made a better choice.

From there, I went at a pretty stable pace; by the end of the first day (7PM-1am) I had a main character who could walk and jump. By the end of the second day (6am-10pm) I had all of the game’s mechanics implemented and working, and that allowed me to focus the rest of my time on a title screen and an ending sequence, which I think gave a nice level of polish to the final product.

Regarding graphics and music: I’m no artist. Graphics were made with Inkscape which allowed me to do clean vectorized assets that at least looked consistent, while the music and sounds were auto-generated and modified slightly using Autotracker-Bu and sfxr, respectively.

What went wrong:
I don’t think I regret many of my decisions. I should have asked for more feedback from people so that I could realize that bullets being fired from buildings had a sort of “cheap shot” feel to them, and I should have considered shrinking buildings along with the world to make it feel more like the main character was growing, and not that the world was shrinking.

Regardless, considering life got in the way of my development time, I don’t think I could have squeezed many more features before it ran out. I think the scope was just right and I planned ahead well enough to get things done by the end of the 48 hour limit.

Conclusion:

This being my first LD and arguiably my first finished game, I’m extremely proud. It’s gotten a really great reception and received more attention than I could’ve asked for or remotely expected. This has given me a “developer high” and the crave to learn more so I can get better results on my next entries (currently learning HTML5+js); LD is a remarkable testing ground.

Speaking of which, I’d like to add that an unexpected and yet awesome part of this whole experience has been the time after the 48-hour limit. Rating games and getting your games rated by other, waaay more experienced developers from all around has been amazing, and the good reception my game’s had has proved to be a huge ego boost 😀

All in all, a great experience, and I’m already looking forward to the next LD!

Disregard All Humans: Done!

Posted by (twitter: @fireblend)
Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 7:37 pm

Well, I must say I’m really, really happy with how this turned out. This being my first Ludum Dare I hadn’t the slightest idea of what to expect (I’d participated on this year’s Global Jam, but I worked with various other very skilled people there), or how I would manage the scope of my selected project. I settled with LOVE2D and Lua about 5 hours before the clock started and I have to admit even though I didn’t have any previous experience with either, both turned out to be wonderful choices.

Anyway, I successfully completed the entirety of my game as I had initially envisioned it as soon as I’d settled on a mechanic, and even added a fancy ending sequence as well as a main menu/title screen I ended up being very satisfied with. Regarding the project’s shortcomings as they’re apparent to me, even though the core mechanics and the general feel of the game are something I’m proud of, my not-very-good art skills really show on the finished version, and there might be some wonky stuff to work out on the collision-detection side of things, but that’s just me being pesky 😉

All in all, I’d consider this a success. I have to do a timelapse next time though, I would’ve loved to watch one for this project and I honestly didn’t even consider it due to it being my first LD; I promise to be more prepared the next time :)

Finally, here are some screenshots. If you want to try my game, click on the image (or right here), and please, enjoy!

Greetings from Costa Rica!

Screenshots for Disregard All Humans!

P.S. See you all next LD! :)

Progress!

Posted by (twitter: @fireblend)
Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 9:18 am

So, this being my first Ludum Dare, I haven’t really found the time to do progress updates (also, I haven’t had all 48 hours to work), but here’s one. There’s around 9 hours left and I’m confident I’ll finish the game 😀 I’m working now on the final details, such as title screen, endgame/credits section, highscores, etc… it’s a good thing I focused on the main game first, or else I’d probably be rushing out features right now. Anyway, here’s how the title screen looks right now, I’m actually pretty happy with it!

Disregard All Humans, Title Screen

I've called my game "Disregard All Humans"

 

Greetings from Costa Rica!

First Ludum Dare; all systems go!

Posted by (twitter: @fireblend)
Friday, April 20th, 2012 11:07 am

So, after having successfully participated in the Global Game Jam earlier this year for the first time, I set Ludum Dare’s 23rd edition as my next goal. In that occasion I had a great team though, so it’ll be a challenge to adjust the scope from that to a one-man project. Feeling a little experimental I’ve decided to learn Love2D for this event, and I’ve already set up a git repo over at github, as well as a small development environment on the PC I’ll be working on. It’ll be my first time with Lua, but I’m a good learner and I don’t think that’ll be too much of  a setback.

Some tools:

  • Language: Lua
  • Engine: Love2D
  • IDE: Geany
  • Graphics: Inkscape, The GIMP
  • Sound: I have the least experience in this area, so I’ll probably give sfxr a go if I have any time to spare.

Anyway, really looking forward to getting started 😀

Greetings from Costa Rica, and good luck to you all!

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