About Frimkron (twitter: @frimkron)

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Frimkron's Trophies

The Disapproving Cat Disapproves This Theme Award
Awarded by GBGames
on August 21, 2010
The Black Badge of Zorkitude
Awarded by nilsf
on September 3, 2009
The Dwarf Award for the best Use Dwarf command
Awarded by Ariel Yust
on August 31, 2009
The Patented Safety Spike Award
Awarded by Hamumu
on August 23, 2008
Game Most Likely To Give You Motion Sickness Award
Awarded by dstrysnd
on August 13, 2008
The Stair Wars Memorial Trophy
Awarded by toasty mofo
on August 12, 2008

Frimkron's Archive

About an hour’s work

Posted by (twitter: @frimkron)
Saturday, August 20th, 2011 3:18 am

Well about an hour in and I’ve got a main loop running with a guy moving around. I wasn’t kidding when I said I’d spend next to no time on graphics:

Oddly enough, the guy has the same expression as I do when I look at this game.

Begin

Posted by (twitter: @frimkron)
Saturday, August 20th, 2011 2:33 am

Woken up, checked the theme, been out of a walk to get the ideas flowing.

I think I have a rough idea of a suitably simple, if not particularly interesting, game to shoot for. Time to get stuck in to code!

I’m In!

Posted by (twitter: @frimkron)
Friday, August 19th, 2011 3:50 pm

I’m totally in and ready to rock hard this time.

I will be using:

I will attempt to abide by the following self-imposed rules:

  1. Get all my tools and libraries ready to avoid wasting time on setting things up ready to code
  2. Have some game ideas in my head before the theme is announced. Have one last look at the theme list and come up with an idea for each
  3. Keep it astonishlingly dizzyingly simple to the point where I scoff at my own game idea because it could be thrown together by a visually-impaired amoeba in a timescale measured in planck time
  4. Put absolutely no effort into graphics until the game is working. So throw together placeholder graphics that look like scribbles at best
  5. Spend zero time making the code “nice”. If the code isn’t repulsive to look at, I’m doing it wrong. It should be the most hacked together piece of crap I’ve ever written. If it runs, it’s good enough.
  6. Have the game playable by the end of day 1. So the core gameplay should be in place, and ideally the levels done too (depending on what time of game it is. The concept of “levels” may be more complex than I’m aiming for here)
  7. Don’t get hung up on bugs if they’re not total show-stoppers – they can be squashed in the cleanup phase
  8. Spend day 2 polishing the thing to a shine, including sounds and music!

I have a feeling this is going to be the greatest Ludum Dare E V E R.

Best of luck, everybody!

Post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @frimkron)
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011 1:28 pm

Ok, time for me to write about what went well and what didn’t go so well for my LD20 entry.

My Idea
Even before the theme was announced, I’d decided that I was going to make a game with a tank in it. When I saw the theme, I immediately had the idea of driving a tank through a hyrule-like land, pwning stuff. I discarded the idea of doing this from a side view, because I decided it would need some decent 2D physics to really do that justice. So instead I had the idea of doing a top-down scrolling shooter with lots of monsters and shooting and dodging bullets. So I had 2 ideas to combine: 1) rampaging through Hyrule destroying everything in sight with ease and 2) having massive firefights with lots of incoming bullets and big monsters. The trouble was, I realised as time went on that these two ideas weren’t really that compatible. How could the environment being raged through resemble the Zelda overworld if it was full of giant bullet-spewing enemies? It was at the point when I added rupees to collect, with no reason to collect them, that I finally thought “where on earth am I going with this?”. As the deadline loomed, I threw in a boss for something to fight against, but this still left the rest of the level as a pretty useless killing spree. Next time I’ll think my idea through more carefully before I start.

Graphics
I was pretty happy with how my graphics turned out, considering the timescale. I think I’m getting better at using GIMP with each LD I do. That said, I think I could have sacrificed some of the graphics time to work on the gameplay more.

Sticking to the Plan
My original plan was to pick a dizzyingly simple idea, bash it out in half a day and then spend the rest of the time polishing it to a shine. Needless to say, it didn’t turn out like that. I didn’t have anything even remotely playable after half a day, so I just had to soldier on until I did. I think my idea was more do-able than for previous LDs, though, so it was a step in the right direction. I just need to scale down my ideas even more next time. I think my problem with the clashing ideas was partly to blame here. In future, I’ll pick an idea that’s more well-defined and not leave any holes to be invented around later. Trying to implement the idea is hard enough once you start coding, without having to finish working out the half-baked idea at the same time!

What Suffered
Because I didn’t get the tweaking and polishing time that I’d intended, I didn’t end up with something fun like I’d hoped. And sound and music didn’t make it into the game this time either, which was a shame. I was looking forward to throwing together a tune that was rpg adventure-ish, with a bit of Ride of the Valkyries mixed in. Next time, gadget!

The Jam
I’d originally intended to keep working on my game on the Monday and submit it as a jam entry as well as a competition entry, seeing as I had the day off work. But I wasn’t happy enough with where the game was going, and felt way too sleep-deprived to do any more work on it, even for one day. Plus, I had major issues getting py2exe to build my Windows version and that ended up taking me half the day anyway. Soooo I decided to just be lazy instead.

Right – that’s that off my chest, now to start playing all the awesome-looking entries I’ve been getting incredibly jealous about. Seriously, there are so many interesting entries this time – I can’t wait!

Timelapse!

Posted by (twitter: @frimkron)
Monday, May 2nd, 2011 2:28 pm

I finished editing together my timelapse video. Its on youtube here:

I didn’t leave it running overnight, so there’s a jump halfway through between day 1 and day 2. I’ll write a postmortem tomorrow.

Sort of a Game

Posted by (twitter: @frimkron)
Sunday, May 1st, 2011 8:19 pm

I sort of got some kind of playable thing together by the deadline – more or less.

It was nowhere near what I wanted it to be; no audio, no real gameplay other than a quick boss fight, no titles, no ending… But I guess the graphics could be a lot worse.

I’m going to work on my game more tomorrow and probably enter it as a jam entry, too. I’ve also got to edit my timelapse together. But now, sleep.

Some Progress

Posted by (twitter: @frimkron)
Sunday, May 1st, 2011 12:58 pm

I’ve made a fair bit of progress on day 2, but I have a lot of work to squeeze into the next few hours to get something playable together.

I’ve done a cheap and cheerful intro sequence though, and here’s a screen from it:

I’m current racking my brains trying to come up with a way I can alter my game to make it more of a challenge, while at the same time trying to finish off bits that are required just for it to work properly.

Anyway, I should get back to work!

End of Day 1

Posted by (twitter: @frimkron)
Saturday, April 30th, 2011 2:44 pm

Well I’m calling it a day for day 1. Here’s a screenshot so far:

I’m going for some kind of vertical shooter involving a tank. But there’s not much in the way of gameplay in there yet. My hopes for getting a fully-playable game in place in half a day were maybe unrealistic.

I think if I’m going to fulfil my intention of having lots of tweaking and polishing time, I’m going to have to scale down my idea a bit. I’ll sleep on it and I should have a revised plan in the morning.

Screenshot Time

Posted by (twitter: @frimkron)
Saturday, April 30th, 2011 4:18 am

It’s time for a screenshot:

Not much to see, I’ve got a scrolling tilemap in place.

Next I’m going to get somethings moving around on it!

Beginning

Posted by (twitter: @frimkron)
Saturday, April 30th, 2011 12:36 am

Ok, just got up and checked the theme. Wow – didn’t see that one coming! It’s certainly an interesting one. I think to fully do the theme justice I’m going to have to do a Zelda parody of some kind.

I have an idea, anyway. And hopefully its not too ambitious. I’m churning the idea around in my head still, trying to refine it into something as simple as possible. Like I said in my earlier post, I want to have my game more or less complete in half a day so I can spend the majority of the time tweaking and polishing it.

Well, here goes! Good luck, everyone!

I’m out. I mean IN!

Posted by (twitter: @frimkron)
Thursday, April 28th, 2011 2:18 pm

I have a good feeling about this LD. I missed the last one so I’m going to make up for it this time with extra awesomeness. It’s a 4-day weekend here in the UK, thanks to some guy getting married or something, so I’ll have extra time to get my environment, tools and libraries ready beforehand, maybe get some food in the fridge in preparation, etc. And on the Monday I’ll be able to do that jam thing that all the cool kids are doing these days. It’ll be fun to see how far the momentum takes me, post-deadline.

My toolset:

  • nano – yeah I code in nano. Shut up.
  • Myrmidon – a PyOpenGL-based 2D framework by Fiona
  • pythonutils – a small collection of miscellaneous util functions I wrote
  • py2exe – creates standalone Windows exe from a python program.
  • Graphics Gale – still my favourite pixel editor for animation. Luckily it works reasonably in Wine
  • The GIMP – open-source paint program
  • Rosegarden – an open-source sequencer I’m still getting to grips with
  • sfxr – MSPaint for sound
  • Audacity – sound editor for cleaning up stuff
  • PyCatcher – for making a timelapse. Fiona fixed it!
  • Lots of paper – for brainstorming

And some rules I’m laying down for myself, to help avoid the mistakes of previous attempts at this:

  • Prepare – I’m going to make sure I get enough sleep beforehand
  • Keep it simple – I’m going to pick an idea that I believe I could make in half a day, and if I really have it done by then, I’ll give it some serious polish
  • Don’t be clever – I’m not going to try too hard to be clever with the theme or to invent a whole new genre
  • Suppress desire for clean code – I decided after the last competition that I would put less focus on code quality
  • Make it fun – I’m going to put more focus on tweaking my gameplay until it plays well
  • Make time for audio – I never get any sounds or music done. But this time will be different!

Timelapse

Posted by (twitter: @frimkron)
Wednesday, August 25th, 2010 4:01 pm

My timelapse is uploaded!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiHW9Kum49I

Done All I Can

Posted by (twitter: @frimkron)
Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 5:42 pm

Well I just uploaded my entry, but it was grossly unfinished as the ending will show. I’ll sort out my timelapse tomorrow and maybe write a post-mortem. I had fun, but I don’t think I’ll be finishing this game any time soon. The code is pretty clean and all, but the game itself just doesn’t do much for me. Probably because it doesn’t do much at all 😉

Enemies as weapons!

Posted by (twitter: @frimkron)
Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 9:56 am

Time for an update. Not much has changed since last time, visually. But underneith I’ve got a system for scripting enemy patterns and stuff, which is pretty nifty. Python’s generators are great for this kind of thing.

Here’s a screenshot:

fk18screen3

The things glowing yellow are dead enemies that you can collect and become ammo as shown in the right sidebar. So the star-shaped enemies become shurikens that you can fire back with. This means I now actually comply with the theme! Hurrah!

Next I’m going to try and throw in some more enemies, then think about sound, I suppose.

Morning

Posted by (twitter: @frimkron)
Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 2:24 am

I’m awake, breakfasted and ready to start hammering out code again. This is my priority list for the next few hours:

  1. Player death
  2. First enemy weapon
  3. Ammo counter
  4. Flight pattern system
  5. Level scripting system
  6. See where we go from there

End of Day 1

Posted by (twitter: @frimkron)
Saturday, August 21st, 2010 3:36 pm

I think I’ve been neglecting my screenshot duties, so here you go:

fk18screen2

This pretty much sums up the extent of my game at the end of day 1. There are some enemies, you shoot at you. You can shoot at them and collect their broken hull.

I had really hoped to be a lot further along, but that’s always the way it goes. Tomorrow I’ll get the whole enemies-as-weapons thing in there, player damage, enemy patterns, etc etc. Right now it’s time to do some serious sleeping.

Good night!

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