About gdquest (twitter: @https://twitter.com/NathanLovatoArt)

I am a freelance game designer. I release a free tutorial every week on youtube.

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Ludum Dare 33

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Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 11:07 am

bannière-25

Participating to this event has been quite a challenge for Arthur and me. We decided to use our own game engine, and it was a lot of fun! The jam turned into a great learning experience.

Instead of a postmortem, I decided to work on a video to share my take on how to approach a jam. Beyond finishing a game and getting a good rank in the competition, jams are one of the best occasion to become better designers. They also are great to find new partner.

I think it wouldn’t be useful for you to read a postmortem about our entry, as it is very straightforward: the game has some potential, but it feels very repetitive as it lacks content. It was our first time making a game together with my teammate. It took us a day to find our marks, and we weren’t left with enough time to implement everything we wanted to.

Instead, I’d like to share a trick I used to gain a lot of time with asset export during the event. When you use an automatic export tool like Photoshop’s or shoebox’s split PSD function, your pictures are trimmed. In a jam, as you want to place assets really fast in game. Sometimes, you need whole batches of assets to have a fixed size. That way, you can give multiple assets the same pivot position, and have them line up easily in game.

It’s actually pretty simple to achieve: you just have to draw one black pixel in each corner of your desired bounding box, and set it to 1% opacity. It won’t be visible to the player, but it will force your exporter to preserve the image size you want. As we don’t have an editor yet in our engine, this was a real timesaver, for animations in particular.

I set every pixel back to 100% opacity in the exported image below to reveal those black pixels:

Slam-sheet

In Photoshop, I am putting them into a smart object, which is duplicated to each group that needs this export constraint. It is something I use for animations, but not only. It’s really helpful with life bars and other UI elements that need to stack as well.

Crystal-Rumble-Screen

Do you want to get in touch? You can find me on twitter @NathanLovatoArt.

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