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Snake in a Cube PostMortem

Posted by (twitter: @OUGameDev)
Saturday, May 11th, 2013 9:35 am

The entry from the University of Oklahoma’s Game Developers Association.

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/?action=preview&uid=19139

The Good

– Theme

I know many people really didn’t like the theme, but for our group it was extremely helpful. The whole team had a lot of school work and deadlines coming up, so going minimal was fantastic (Even though we could have done it with any theme) for us to be able to get in an entry and still have time to finish non ludum dare things.

– Brainstorming

Our first brainstorming session went really well. We came up with a lot of fun minimal ideas and quickly picked one to run with, allowing us to start development early.

– Scale

We were able to run with a really simple idea that we could get up and running fairley quickly (by midday saturday). Then we had the next two days for polish and homework, which worked out great.

– Camera

We played around with the perspective and orthographic cameras a lot trying to figure out which one we liked best. And I think we made the right choice. Using ortho during the game makes it a lot easier to now if you’re about to hit a pellet (if you’re on the right plane) or wall. And then the final zoom out to perspective when you die ended up looking fantastic.

– Audio

I really go back and forth between this being good or bad… The music came from a recording session that went from 2am-7am, so by that point you never know what’s going to come out. I would definitely change some parts if I did it over, but the two tracks came out catchy enough and fit the game once you get used to them.

 

The Bad

– School

We all had a lot of work that had to be done that weekend other than for the Dare… This made us choose a much simpler idea, which turned out well, but the extra time could have helped polish up the controls and difficulty curve a bit.

– Audio Processing

We initially had the idea of making the colors or scale of the pellets/cube ‘pump’ to the beat of the music (which influenced the harder beats in the audio tracks). However, this ended up just making things a lot harder to see and just didn’t look that great, plus the game was already difficult enough to wrap your mind around. So there was quite a bit of time wasted on the feature we never used.

– Difficulty

I wouldn’t necesarrily put this in the bad column, but a lot of the initial players went in to the game thinking it more a snake clone than a puzzle. They would try and keep mental track of the whole 3d space while they played (really hard) instead of just coming up with a few heuristics/tricks to solve the position puzzle (rather simple). We posted a helpful video and that our current high score was 91 to try and let people know that there may be a better way to think about the game.

 

WIP

Posted by (twitter: @OUGameDev)
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 7:39 pm

WIP_Screen1

And we now have Music!

Posted by (twitter: @OUGameDev)
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 5:22 am

Granted… I feel like I’m getting away from the theme… but w/e. Any comments/crits welcome.

Also… OU GDA is in for our 4th Dare (Don’t think we ever did a we’re in post for this one yet)!

Feline Homicide Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @OUGameDev)
Tuesday, December 18th, 2012 8:20 am

Wooh! Coming off of the last Jam where our team had to pull out early, this one went really well.

Feel free to play and rate our game:

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-25/?action=preview&uid=19139

Good:

  • Scale: Last LD, we decided on way to large a scale for the game (causing us to not really have a game by Sunday night and having to pull out). This time we went with an extremely simple idea that we could get actually playable in a single day, then improve on.
  • Lots of good ideas: The theme allowed so many good ideas, we could easily come up with quite a few unique ones quickly, something we felt was difficult with “Evolution” and “Tiny World.”
  • Style: Mostly do to our artist, our game had a lot more style than any of our previous games and we were able to put together a “complete” package.

19139-shot1

  • Time Management: Partly due to our simple idea, but it was a lot easier to manage our time and not be as stressed during the whole process.
  • Good Team: Although this is the first team our artist Jammed with us, we all meshed really well and didn’t really have any conflicts (Other than some discussions on the design of the game).

 

Bad:

  • Change From 3D to 2D: Our game was originally in 3D; however, do to some technical issues, to save time our artist decided to change over to 2D. He was able to crank out a lot of art quickly so it turned out to be a good thing, since we might not have finished otherwise.

catdrowner3dcatdrowner2d

  • Unity’s Prefabs: For all the things that are great about the Unity game engine… working with prefabs on a team with source control can be a nightmare… Prefabs not saving connections correctly would constantly be breaking the game during merges.
  • Last Minute Changes: Although we got a lot done before hand, the last 3 hours became a mad dash of cutting / making compromises as we pushed to finish the game on time.
  • Coming off of Finals: The three programmers just finished a week of finals, so we started off tired and warn out. However, even while getting sick we pushed out the game, just wish we were a bit more rested beforehand.
  • Ruined Pizza: The first night… the pizza that was delivered was smashed into the side box… I mean really… Thankfully the company sent us another for free, so it turned into a good thing.

Almost Done! How about some music?

Posted by (twitter: @OUGameDev)
Monday, December 17th, 2012 9:16 am

The team is putting some finishing touches on the game before the Jam submission. In the mean while, here’s the music in the game:

Does this man look like a villain to you?

Posted by (twitter: @OUGameDev)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 7:48 pm

cat murderer

I mean really…

Brainstorming

Posted by (twitter: @OUGameDev)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 3:01 pm

2012-12-15 01.20.00 2012-12-15 01.20.14 2012-12-15 01.20.29

GDA is in for the LD#25 Jam!

Posted by (twitter: @OUGameDev)
Friday, December 14th, 2012 2:38 pm

GDA_Logo

The University of Oklahoma’s Game Developer Association is in for the third time in a row. After having to pull out last Jam do to scope issues, we’re done with Finals and ready to GO!

Team:

3 Programmers

1 Artist

 

Tools:

Engine: Unity with C#

Art: Photoshop / 3ds Max

Music: Reason

Source Control: Hg on Bitbucket

 

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