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V229 – Web Build is up!

Posted by
Thursday, August 29th, 2013 5:42 am

v2292

The hyper-advanced V229 prototype battle pod now features an enhanced man/machine interface,  allowing remote pilots to control the vehicle from the safety of their web browsers.

ALERT! ALERT!

V229 power consumption is already beyond 5000% safety threshold.

Use of this module is not OH MY GOD WE’RE UNDER ATTACK~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=21279

 

—–

Ahem.

Forgive the delay getting the web build up guys, real life’s been pretty flat-out since the Jam.

Have fun, let me know what you think!

 

 

 

 

 

Freaking cool weekend.

Posted by
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 7:49 am

Hey guys – I had a really fun weekend.  This was my second Ludum Dare, and it all went a lot more smoothly than last time (minimalism pfffffft).

v2293

My game’s called V229, and it’s a bit of a nod to NGE where Shinji’s power cable’s come unplugged and he’s gotta get the job done before his batteries run out.  Only being mainly a programmer, the giant mecha robot quickly became a hovertank.  No legs to animate, you see.

So, you’re in your hovertank, racing around blowing up badguys, only your battery’s only going to last TEN SECONDS! So fresh batteries are pickups, and there’s this whole tradeoff between trying to cover enough ground to destroy enemy spawn points, and not straying too far from a pickup.

I really spent a huge chunk of the weekend just playing the game -it was almost completed in one day, and I spent most of the second day just polishing a few glitches and adding audio.  Actually, that’s one thing I’d really like to spend more time on in the future – audio always seems to be , for me, this crazy mad rush in the last 4 hours, and although I try to give it as much attention as I can it’s really not enough time to unleash the awesome.

So yeah, it was really a fantastic weekend session. No difficult bugs or unforeseen tech challenges, I got about six hours sleep, drank a shitload of rasberry tea, had a bag of pistachios.  My dev soundtrack was Atari Teenage Riot the first day, Bonobo the second – and I think really getting into ATR steered the game down the fast twitch gameplay path it took.

What did I learn? Man, I ABUSED Raycasts for all kinds of crazy action in this one.  I’ve always avoided them in the past – they just seem like they’d be really slow – but now look at me casting rays all over the place.  The best use here, I think, was in picking a spot to spawn an enemy from.  Each block that makes up the level can become randomly corrupted and start spawning bad guys, but I had to be sure they picked a neighbouring spot that wasn’t claimed by another block, and was inside the level.  Normally I’d write up a Grid Manager class that’d allocate tiles and objects to grid locations, but in this game I’d really just kind of plonked the assets down and lazily used Unity’s FindObjectsOfType<Blah>() voodoo magic to build any sort of containers I needed.  So when each block needs to spawn an enemy it just throws Raycasts in each neighbouring direction until it finds one that only collides with the Ground Layer, and then bam. there’s your spawn location.

Anyway, enough jibber jabber.

Check out V229 – I’m glad I jammed this weekend, and I hope someone gets a kick out of the game.

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=21279

 

 

 

 

Back for more – i’m in.

Posted by
Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 11:00 pm

I know after last Ludum Dare I was all “that was great and everything but I’d much prefer to jam with others next time” but, yknow what? It’s time to step up and do it all again.

Are you ready for the programmer art, world?

Like last time, I’ll be using Unity, Gimp, and Reaper.

 

 

BLOCKADE – postmortem (i’m not dead yet)

Posted by
Monday, April 29th, 2013 6:26 am

Am quite happy with the weekend’s efforts.  I’ve been doing 48hour game jams fairly regularly over the last few years, but this was my first attempt going solo.  Up till now, a huge part of the jam workflow has involved lots of bouncing ideas off others – yknow, teamwork, communication, that kind of stuff.  It was tempting to collaborate again for this one, but figured it was time to step up. Everyone else was playing Planetside anyway.

THEME REVEALED

And I was all groan.  I know we’re all hipster indie wankers and yes obviously we all love cubes and stark Eno-esque soundscapes and empty blank canvases –  but was honestly disappointed that something a little more exciting didn’t come up.  It’s already been pointed out here a thousand times already, – we’ve only got 48 hours.  Less if you want to sneak in a quick round of your favourite MMO.  It’s gonna be minimalistic anyway.

The theme was revealed, I leaned back in my chair and sighed. Profoundly.  Then went and took a shower, soak up some steam and decide if this was something I wanted to spend my weekend on.  I almost walked away.  Almost had a regular weekend.

So I spent about four hours just sitting around trying to think minimalism.  What do I do? Cube Rotator: the game?   Circle clicker?  Line drawer?  Screen Shaker?

I think I was taking the theme too literally.  I was getting frustrated that minimalism is a design choice, an aesthetic – not something to base your game on.  After a few hours following that rabbit hole I read someone’s twitter post – sorry, I didn’t catch the name.  It said: MINIMALISM DOESN’T SUCK. YOU’RE PROBABLY TAKING IT TOO LITERALLY.

Man, you’re right. I was.

That got me thinking – take something – anything, and just do a minimalistic presentation of it.  What’s huge? What’s epic?  What’s something you love?

SPACE, obviously.

Man, I frigging love space.  And space battles. Who doesn’t?

And strategy games.

Oh man, SPACE!

…and minimalism.

 

THE GOOD

Once I was over the initial brainfreeze, this game started coming together really quickly.  I had a good idea of what I could expect to do in a weekend, so managed to come up with something right on scope, I think.  And timewise, it was about right – the game became playable and (slightly) enjoyable about halfway into the Sunday, leaving the rest to add sound and tinker around with bugs.

And I think the game’s got a certain charm.  I’m thinking about adding to it over the next few weeks, add a few extras that should make it faster, more fun, better.  That’s what it’s all about right?

 

THE BAD

At about midnight on the Saturday, I got caught up in this bit of C# that just wasn’t working.  I spent about an hour and a half just trying permutations of what I already had there.  Normally when this happens I go for a walk, clear my head, watch a movie and come back to it fresh.  But no time man, no time!  I figured I’d spent enough time on doing this with code, I’m using unity damnit, and have learned with Unity that if you’re spending more than half an hour trying to write a script, then you’ve probably missed a checkbox somewhere.  Just drag and drop it my friend.  So that’s what I did. I spent about ten minutes doing some fairly tedious and labour-intensive drag-and-dropping (if you must know, I was manually linking each grid space to its neighbours by selecting each neighboour and dragging them into the centre square’s Neighbour List. This requires very tedious clicking of the padlock button on and off).  The really funny thing is, I think this was all the break I needed – literally as I dragged the last lot in, it dawned on my where my code was wrong.  Oh, how I laughed.  It was kind of this awful,  wretched, demented chuckle that really very few experiences in life other than latenight dev can dredge up.  Anyway, it was done. I had dragged, and I had dropped. The great labour was done.

 

WHAT HAVE I LEARNED

So the two big hangups I had on this project were kind of thematically related.

I had a lot of inertia dealing with a jam theme I found uninspiring, and I probably spent too long on one fairly simple code problem. In hindsight, both those timespans could’ve been used much better doing something else.  I think I need to be able to detect when I’m in a loop and exit out much sooner.  Step back, look at what I’m doing, and know that there is another way.

That probably applies to a lot of things in life.

Cool huh?

Also, how good is space?

Anyway, that’s my rant.  Check out my game, and I’ll try to check out yours.

It’s this one

48 hour breakdown

Posted by
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 7:22 pm

Well, it’s over. Congrats yall.

How’d you spend your 48 hours?

Blockade  production looked something like this:

blockade-48hours-breakdown

 

 

BLOCKADE

Posted by
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 5:39 pm

And it’s done!

(mostly)

Blockade: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/?action=preview&uid=21279

 

For my first taste of Ludum Dare I’ve taken an EPIC SPACE BATTLE and represented it in super minimalist form.

Check out the audio! Oh man.

And now to play everyone elses games!

 

blockade-screenshot

INTERSTELLAR WARFARE

Posted by
Friday, April 26th, 2013 11:41 pm

interstellar war

So this is what I’m going with.
It’s mankind’s final defense against alien invasion.  Minimalist style.

 

 

I’m in too!

Posted by
Monday, April 22nd, 2013 11:41 pm

I’ve done a few gamejams, but this will be my first solo 48hour effort.  Most interested in seeing how a deadline impacts a pants-optional dev environment.

I’ll be using
– Unity3D, C#

– GIMP

– Reaper

– A MIDI controller keyboard and bag full of electronic doodads for sounds

 

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