About iandioch (twitter: @iandioch)

Irish indie games enthusiast. My nickname used to be Soupy McSoupSoup

Entries

 
Ludum Dare 26
 
Ludum Dare 25
 
Ludum Dare 24
 
MiniLD #36

iandioch's Trophies

The "My Mother is Tremendously Excited for Ludum Dare" Award
Awarded by Tim Bumpus, aka Puzzlem00n
on August 20, 2012

iandioch's Archive

My Ludum Game

Posted by (twitter: @iandioch)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 1:04 pm

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Just a little update on my Ludum Dare game (for Ludum Dare 25, “You Are the Villain”. Yeah, lovin’ the theme!).

It’s one of those endless runners (because I hate making levels, random is the way to go).

And, in the spirit of my Irish Indie Challenge, I’ve gone for a crazy art style – everything is in shades of red 😀

So you’re running and jumping and trying to escape. Because what kind of villain are you if you’ve never had a daring rooftop escape?

ld25_1

Keep in mind that I haven’t made the player sprites yet, they’ll be red too (same fella as on the title screen). I’m really happy with the art so far – it’s unique and not all that bad, if I do say so myself!

Altogether I’m having loads of fun, in the Ludum Dare spirit. Game-jamming is a fantastic way to spend a weekend.

“Usability” Voting Category

Posted by (twitter: @iandioch)
Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 1:55 pm

I’ve been thinking that there was something missing from the Ludum Dare voting categories (and apparently I’m not the only one). Mr. Zarzecki gave me an idea as to what that was, but I think I’ve found an answer that’s a little less specific and a little more versatile (imho): “Usability“.

You know that game that has the great graphics, catchy chiptune soundtrack, and unique ideas, but is let down by its controls? Have you come across a game that is great once you get it going, but is a pain to get running? Or perhaps you’ve just played a game that looked fine, but ran at 4 frames per second?

Usability is a category that defines the user’s technical experience of the game, or how easy it is to actually use, never mind play. It includes everything from the player’s experience in unzipping, installing, or loading the game (EDIT: read my EDIT!), to the UI, controls, and framerate. It incorporates the user’s interactions with the program, outside of the game itself. It could even include how easy the menu is to navigate, or how awkward it is to get the game running on your calculator.

I realise that I’m new here, and that it is totally not my place to make suggestions like this. However, I think that Ludum Dare could really benefit from an addition like this. Perhaps my fresh new perspective is an advantage?

If you like the idea of Usability, or have a suggestion for an alteration (or a completely new category, whatever) feel free to shout about it in the comments. Zed (of Flibble fame) also has a suggestion for a new “Narrative” category, if you want to discuss that too. Or, if you have the power to actually make this happen, I beg you to at least consider it.

So. Usability. That’s my jam.

-iandioch

EDIT: Okay, a problem in my original idea has appeared, and that is in my mentioning of the installing/unzipping experience being included into the Usability score. This of course would be completely biased to web games, which would limit people to Flash, Java, etc. I’m sorry guys! That didn’t occur to me at all when this idea first popped into my head. So that element obviously cannot be included into it. But I still think we need this category, or something similar (“Polish” as one person suggested? But it doesn’t include controls).

Revolvolution Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @iandioch)
Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 1:05 pm

So, I made a game called Revolvolution for this Ludum Dare. (Unfortunately I’ve now learned that ReVOLVOlution was the name of a marketing campaign by Volvo, so a google search shows nothing D:)

Revolvolution Menu Screen

24 was my first proper Ludum, and I’m very happy with how my game turned out. You can play it right over here. Feel free to drop a comment, I’m definitely doing a post-compo version and I’d like to know what I need to fix.

So, back to the topic at hand, Revolvolution postmortem. Here we go!

The Positives 😀

  • I made a game in less than 48 hours, and people seemed to like it.
  • Some people (Two that I’ve heard, Ditto and Bluefoxgs) even liked it enough to bother finishing it. That’s a good 10 minutes work, at a guess. I’m surprised they gave it 1 minute, never mind 10.
  • The art style of the game. Kind of old-school, so fairly pixel-y, it didn’t take long to do and turned out great. I tried to keep it fairly persistent throughout the game, and don’t think I did too badly! The carpet in levels 1 and 2, what many people seemed to like, was the very first asset made (it might have even been made before the code) and is modelled on the one in my grandmother’s sitting room. Keeping it in the family 😀
  • I enjoyed myself! Definitely going to try and do the next LD.
  • I had a fairly unique take on the theme, imho , after vowing not to do an inevitable petri-dish shooty-thing, or some variant.
  • The game is fine for both QWERTY and AZERTY, and anyone else can use the arrow keys. It’s suitable for leftys who use their mouse backwards too, because both the left and right mouse buttons work. It’s also okay for colourblind people, but you might not get to admire the lovely carpet in the background.

The Negatives D:

  • Really big thing: the Processing version that I’ve been using for the past few months (2.0a6, in the hopes of getting Processing for Android working) decided to stop working the day before the LD.  So I went and downloaded the newest build, 2.0a8. I gave it a quick run-through, it all seemed fine and dandy, and off I went to bed. I had a heart attack the next day when I tried to export though: the newest alpha doesn’t yet support exporting to applet. So no web version, or JAR, or webstart. Just native applications. (It’s okay, I’ve fixed my problems!). But that panic wasn’t great. Felt I should’ve been better prepared.
  • No music, or sounds. The way you add that in Processing is through the Minim library. But I’ve had troubles with Minim in the past, so I decided to leave that as an extra thing to add if I had time at the end. I had Autotracker create a few tunes, listened to them, but hadn’t time for anything more. (Hope I’ll have sounds in the post-compo version).
  • The FOV. I had a gradient pasted over the playfield centred on the player. Although some people (including me!) liked it, it had a bit of an impact on the framerate (made it up to 10fps slower in some cases) and some felt it was too limiting. I agree now that was a bit restrictive, so I’m rethinking it for the next time.
  • Uploading. Mediafire denied all but the Linux version of the game. Twice. Then Dropbox uploaded an early build of the Windows version fine, but took too long doing the others later on, so I had to give up and try somewhere else. After some quick searching I found CX.com, which seemed to do fine. But the Mac version is on Mediafire, because why not. I wouldn’t have had to negotiate all of this if my program had been a Jar, as I’ve never had a problem with StaticVoidGames‘ uploading…
  • I didn’t have time to make any posts or interact with the community during the compo D:

So, that’s my story.

Revolvolution Game Page

Play Revolvolution on StaticVoidGames

Prepare for the Revolvolution

Posted by (twitter: @iandioch)
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 3:33 pm

My game is finished. I’m done. Deployment was my biggest problem, I hope to be able to fix that tomorrow. You know, give a proper web version.

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But anyway, I give you: Revolvolution

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Hope you enjoy. No mac version because of my aforementioned deployment problems. Also, I just decided to continue this into something more than a Ludum Dare game.

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Almost Forgot Mah Tools

Posted by (twitter: @iandioch)
Saturday, August 11th, 2012 6:06 am

So I posted down there somewhere about how I am planning to enter, but it may still not happen. (Thanks for the suggestions btw. I’ll give them a go…). But, I just remembered; I totally forgot to say what I’m going to use if I do manage to take part!

I’ll be coding in Processing, because it’s simply amazing. I encourage you all to try it.

Any graphics will be done either in-code (as that is what Processing is best at), or in Paint.NET.

Sounds? Unlikely. If I do use sound, I’ll be using the Minim sound library for Processing. The sounds would probably be from sfxr. (I keep hearing about bfxr, but haven’t tried it out yet :3). But my brief adventures in Minim ended with uncountable errors, so I think I’ll take the safe route and go sound-free (unless I have the game finished in the first 24 hours and have plenty of time to fiddle!).

So: Wish me luck! And good luck to you too!

I’m in. I hope.

Posted by (twitter: @iandioch)
Friday, August 10th, 2012 12:29 pm

So, I ‘competed’ in the last miniLD. That was my first experience of a gamejam, and it was fantastic. I’ve been looking at the big-boy’s proper full-on Ludum Dare for a long time, with dreams of entering. I think this is the one. 24 Here I come.

So, here we go:

I’m in.

I hope.

I could code all day long, but nobody else in the house understands. They don’t even know what a jam is, and what it means to me.  So, knowing my luck, the jam weekend will be the one where my mother decides to kick me off the computer or my brother decides he wants to spend all day playing his god-awful golf sim.

If it were up to me, I’d be coding for every one of the 48 hours.  But, life tends to jump in the way every time I try.

So, fingers crossed, hopes up, star firmly wished upon.

I’m in.

The New Cruithne: less difficult, less twitchy, and more fun!

Posted by (twitter: @iandioch)
Friday, July 20th, 2012 2:18 pm

So, I made a Spaceship game called Cruithne (pronounced ‘croo-ih-nyuh’) for miniLD#36. I really loved making it, but on release, people said that it was more than a little bit too hard. I quote @Puzzlem00n here: “I like what you have going here, but this game is so hard it’s ridiculous”.

Sorry guys!

I’ve updated the game with smoother controls, weaker gravity, and a bit less thrust. You can play the updated version on StaticVoidGames.com here.

The new version has 3 new (relatively easy) levels (4, 5, 6), to make a grand total of 13ish. If you have any comments, criticism, or proclamations of your undying love, feel free to post them here, or tweet me @iandioch. Don’t be shy!

I might get around to adding another few levels sometime in the future, if you want. My convoluted code makes it a bit awkward, but I’ll suffer it if you ask nicely 😀

Hope you enjoy the game!

-iandioch

Cruithne, More Difficult than a Snake trying to Wave!

Posted by (twitter: @iandioch)
Sunday, July 15th, 2012 2:02 pm

I finished my game yesterday. Now time to chillax…

So, my game. ‘Cruithne’ (pronounced ‘croo-ih-nyuh’) is a ‘quasi-satellite’, which meany wrongly believe is the Earth’s second moon. But in my game, it is the name of a little spaceship.  That, apparently, is ridiculously hard to control. Sorry guys 😀

So, hopefully I’ll be updating it in the next few days. Probably another 5 or so levels at the beginning before it gets hard-as-nails. I’ll make them a bit more open, and a bit less hellish 😀 I’ll also give the turning and thrusting a bit of a fiddle. If and when I do update, you’ll be able to play it at the same URL.

If in the meantime you get frustrated, you can use the ‘T’ and ‘Y’ keys to shuffle through the levels.

I really enjoyed making the game. The time limit was nice, as I would never have enough time in one day. It was my first experience of coordinate geometry in programming, and hopefully next tie I’ll be able to use what I’ve learned.

But, making the levels… D: They were a pain!

It’s probably my fault. The only way I could think of writing the levels was one giant switch statement. Look on the bright side, at least it’s not a pile of if()s…

So, yeah. That was bad enough. But as for even thinking about levels, I was at a dead loss. I thought that would be the easy bit. It’s not like @KevinWorkman’s, where he has to think up of puzzles. I suddenly have a greater respect for all of those mobile games.

Does anyone have any tips on level design? Or any links to articles? I’m sure these won’t be the last levels I’ll ever need to make in my time…

EDIT: Okay, just remembered I’m going away tomorrow, so the update’ll be the end of the week at earliest.

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