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Ludum Dare 34
 
Ludum Dare 33
 
Ludum Dare 32
 
Ludum Dare 31
 
Ludum Dare 30
 
Ludum Dare 29
 
MiniLD 50
 
Ludum Dare 28
 
MiniLD 46
 
Ludum Dare 27
 
Ludum Dare 26
 
Ludum Dare 26 Warmup
 
Ludum Dare 25

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Late-ish Warmup Entry: Gotta Groove!

Posted by
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 4:08 am

Gotta Groove! Screenshot
This was a lot of fun! I whipped up the game code in an hour or so, and then spent a lot more time than I expected to lovingly crafting some pseudo-8-bit graphics, inspired by the Hack-a-Jam 05 theme.

Before LD26 I’m also trying to learn to use MilkyTracker for chiptune music, so if I put together some decent samples I might update Gotta Groove and add some (and fix a timing bug while I’m at it).

RESIST THE GROOVE.

Mini LD#40 – Struggling with webcam input

Posted by
Monday, February 25th, 2013 9:26 am

I’ve been crashing and burning hard on my goal to create 25 games this year (made plenty of prototypes on schedule but always seem to run out of steam when it’s time to make the game look like more than a bunch of colored rectangles), so I hoped that Mini LD#40’s smaller time limit might help me with Game #4. I’m calling it Hell Terror Cave of Darkness.

You play as a guy who fell in a dark cave and have to escape by moving and jumping, but the cave is filled with ghosts and monsters. You die if you come into too much contact with either one. The only way to kill/repel ghosts is to turn on your flashlight–which will be controlled via webcam input! (Monsters will avoid you in the dark but are agitated by light and will attack.) Controls are WASD and a light source, or a light source and arrow keys depending on your handedness. A lamp, an iPhone, a bike light, anything will do. (Alternately, if you’re playing in a bright room, you could shade the camera with your hand to control the darkness.) Is it unwieldy? Probably, but it gives me an excuse to learn about coding with webcams! I’ve learned something every time I tackle a weird, ambitious prototype.

I wrote some code using Pygame and VideoCapture that detects light concentrated into the center of the camera using a brightness formula, and built a game world that lights up and darkens accordingly. My problem is that the webcam operations and character movement don’t mesh well–the game grinds to an unplayable standstill whenever the webcam is running, regardless of whether or not the video is actually displayed on screen, regardless of the rate at which brightness is calculated from the webcam, and regardless of the amount of player input.

I’ve tried adjusting the number of pixels analyzed, the frequency of the analysis, etc., but this problem is really stumping me. I can’t figure out if my crappy notebook PC is part of the problem, and I’m not sure how to tell the webcam to run in a more conservative manner.

I’ve made a good run at this Mini LD, but time is running out fast and I might have to abandon ship if I can’t sort this problem out soon.

My top three picks for LD25

Posted by
Monday, January 7th, 2013 8:13 am

Well, there’s under 11 hours to go, now. The deadline really crept up on me. I’d been meaning to do some write-ups on my favourite entries, but with such a small amount of time left, it’s not going to be anything fancy.
In no particular order, I really think you should check out:

The Visitor, by avaki : Play as an alien sneaking onto a spaceship to kill all the humans by cutting the power supply. The catch? Humans are radioactive to your species, turning the wandering crew NPCs into toxic hazards. The level of polish and unique twist of this game impressed me. It only has 8 ratings right now, though, so go check it out!

Young Villain, by Rubsrub : All the pieces come together in this game, where you play as a future villain who hasn’t quite grown up yet.

Sealed Evil, by Neonlare : You are an ancient evil, sealed away…in a can. Squish innocent victims in a variety of locations to earn souls, used to buy some really fun powerups and more levels to stomp around in. Don’t let the slow start and a bug or two get you down. This game is the most fun I had during the competition, and the game I spent the most time on.

Sorry it’s so brief, but I really thought these three games deserved a mention, even with just a little time left. Try them out!

Build-a-Bandit Post Mortem

Posted by
Sunday, December 30th, 2012 6:51 pm

This was my first Ludum Dare, and I had an absolute blast. I’m already looking forward to the next one!
buildabandit_title

My entry was Build-a-Bandit, a Wild-West duel simulator game where you create a bandit with very stereotypical villain features and then send him to duel the sheriff and take money from the banks in the towns you visit. By adjusting attributes like how twirlable your mustache, and how tall your hat is, you also affect how your bandit fights.

Every slider corresponds to a relationship between two stats that I left ambiguous to encourage playing around. Going to one extreme or the other will rob you of the benefits of the other stat, making choosing your bandit dependent on the player’s preferred style. Do you balance your bandit in the middle, or make him a huge tank? The three scales (hat, mustache and eyes) are Firing Speed/Defense, Accuracy/Power, and Dodge Rate/Critical Rate respectively. Tweaking the hat size has the most noticeable effects, but all three play a huge role in behind-the-scenes numbers.

I surprised myself with how Build-a-Bandit turned out. I’m very happy with the final product. There are a ton of flaws, featureless gaps and things I wish I could have done, but I get the feeling most people can rattle off lists of should-haves after a timed event like this. I’d never made a game to a state this complete before, even accounting for the missing stuff, and while I was making Build-a-Bandit, I got to enter that coveted Flow State, where you’re so absorbed in the work that everything comes together with no distractions. Little problems that needed solving, I was able to solve without a lot of conscious thought, even though I might have trouble explaining why I came to the solutions I did. For me, that feeling was the biggest reward of Ludum Dare 25.

Other things that went right:
(more…)

Update # 3 – Build-a-Bandit is functional

Posted by
Sunday, December 16th, 2012 1:38 am

Aside from a few basic usability things (a title screen, toggling fullscreen/windowed mode), and a few essential cosmetic touches (the sheriff STILL needs a face), I can say that Build-a-Bandit is finished on a basic level! Whew. Of course, the last 17 hours will go towards more polish and adding more fun stuff, a goat, levels, perhaps even another feature or two.

Remember my first screen shot with the blank slider screen? Today it received a major, essential face lift:

buildabandit_face1

buildabandit_face2

I spent most of the morning drawing the face and facial features, and was able to implement them without much trouble. The sliders still need labels, but from the top, they control Hat Size, Mustache Type, and Eye Squinty-ness.

buildabandit_duel

The duel part looks much better too! The menu isn’t great and there’s some graphical glitching and debug numbers, but I’m proud of my tiny General Store!

Now, I’ll work on implementing the rest of my desired features one by one until the competition is over. This has been a really fun experience, and I’m already looking forward to the next Ludum Dare!

14 hours in – Build-a-Bandit takes shape!

Posted by
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 9:28 am

After working at this for about 14 hours, I’m feeling relaxed and happy. Even though there’s a lot of work left, there’s a clear end in sight and aside from balancing the game, most of the changes from here on out will be cosmetic.

So, here’s a look at my take on villainy: Build-a-Bandit. Basically, you customize your bandit based on wacky stereotypical villain caricatures: how squinty the eyes are, how twirlable the mustache, etc, and then send them into a shoot-out against the sheriff (Who I just noticed doesn’t have a face at this point? Sorry.)

The three adjustables were going to be body type, mustache and eyes, but body type might take too much time to sprite so I’m going with hat size instead. Each of these attributes will affect an aspect of your bandit’s shoot-out, but how and to what extent are yours to puzzle out.

Here are some before-and-after screens showing how the different sliders affect your bandit’s appearance:
buildabandit_s1

buildabandit_d1

buildabandit_s2

buildabandit_d2

Tomorrow, I’m hoping to:
-slap a real background on the duel screen, and a nice menu with health bars too
-give the slider screen a makeover, with a face showing the changes to your bandit in real time before you enter a duel
-add sound
-do further balancing, add multiple sheriffs with different stats

Mustaches

Posted by
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 6:21 am

Before today, I’d never sprited anything in my life.
I spent something like two hours today making sprites, which included animating a copious number of mustaches.
Here is a sampling of the fine mustache selection that will be available in my game:
villainmustachedemo
There is also pixelated chest hair at some point, but the less said about that, the better.

Graphic-less, but working!

Posted by
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 12:51 am

What on earth is this?
villain1
It sure doesn’t look like a game, but it is! Most of the real action is happening on the command line, though.

The idea came to me pretty early into the competition, but it’ll be easier to explain once I have some graphics going. I’m working hard to get the groundwork finished.

The real challenges with this game will be making the graphics and balancing the action. Since I’m an inexperienced coder, something that’s easy to get running and then can be tweaked indefinitely is a far better choice for me than pulling my hair out over a physics engine.

I’m in!

Posted by
Thursday, December 13th, 2012 2:31 am

I’ve never done anything like this in my life, but I can’t wait to try!

I’ll be using pygame, GIMP for graphics, and BFXR for sound.

Good luck to everyone, and a hi-five to anyone else in Japan taking part!

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