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Ludum Dare 31

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Progress Update – Man Cave Defense

Posted by (twitter: @JayRHR)
Saturday, December 10th, 2016 3:21 pm

Quick progress update. My LD37 is called “Man Cave Defense”. Defend against the enemies trying to prevent you from enjoying your man cave… Time, Distractions, Obligations and needs will invade your cave. Blow them up, shoot them down – whatever you do, let them not spoil your paradise!

Meanwhile, enjoy your man cave gadgets to get points to spend on defenses. For example, enjoy your fine espresso machine.

EspressoMachine

That’s one fine-looking espresso machine, if I may say so myself.

I think I’ve already made more models in Blender for all my LD entries combined. Ok, maybe not but pretty close.

As opposed to my Nature Nurture entry from a previous LD, I’ve dumbed down the scope and gameplay a bit so I’m feeling pretty good about finishing this Tower Defense game in the 48 hours for the compo. Fingers crossed!

Ludum Dare Spirit

Posted by (twitter: @JayRHR)
Friday, December 9th, 2016 1:39 pm

Just sayin’

Ludum Dare Spirit

Yes, in!

Posted by (twitter: @JayRHR)
Thursday, December 8th, 2016 1:54 am

Since I was only half-in on LD36 and didn’t actually submit, I guess I can’t actually call this my 7th LD. But anyway. It’s number 6.5.

The usual:

Unity, Visual Studio (community edition)

Blender, Gimp, Paint.net

Garageband, Ableton Live Lite, Audacity, Sfxr

A late “I’m in” and update

Posted by (twitter: @JayRHR)
Sunday, August 28th, 2016 12:29 am

Didn’t have much time this weekend, but can’t resist trying to put something together. So, to make things easy I’m doing a parody game.

Introducing my game – Rockemon: Walkabout – Just as you thought Pokemon:Go couldn’t get any more exciting, I bring you the Stone-age version (ancient technology, get it?).

The game includes:

  • Absolutely pointless and mind-numbing up-leveling
  • Visit Rockestops to gather throwing rocks, throwing leaves and throwing sticks
  • Visit Caves to train your pet rocks – throw your rocks into the cave to see them not do much of anything
  • Do some walking about and find pet rocks!
  • Play “rock, leaf, stick” to catch pet rocks (rock breaks stick, leaf wraps rock, stick punches through leaf)
  • Cutting edge graphics, including but not limited to: hand-crafted 3D models done by a total n00b (me!) in Blender; stunning “hand-painted” landscapes with amazing parallax effects; beautifully animated spinning menus that won’t make you dizzy at all, based on the most basic 3D shapes available in Unity;

If you’re not as excited as me to play this game, I can’t blame you!

I carefully selected the most jaw-dropping scene to get your mouth watering. Enjoy this beautiful scene of one of the Rockestops in the game!

Rockestop

Wall Buster

Posted by (twitter: @JayRHR)
Monday, April 18th, 2016 9:32 am

Finished as expected this time, although I didn’t do any music. That was actually not due to time constraints but rather a lack of inspiration. I started two songs; the first was starting to sound cool but didn’t fit the game at all. The second didn’t really go anywhere. I guess the muse wasn’t present this weekend.

LD35Play1

Other than that, things went mostly ok. I remained fairly bug free up to the last hours. Squashed what I saw and submitted. There’s a few left but nothing major preventing playing. Could have done a bit more on graphics (mostly polishing the UI) but I think it turned out pretty ok. I’m a bit concerned it’s hard to grasp at first, and I tried my best to minimize the amount of controls. Although leaving out a specific control to place the big block (and instead placing it automatically) may turn out to be a bad decision.

Go play and go rate!! Wall Buster

I’m In (#5)

Posted by (twitter: @JayRHR)
Friday, April 15th, 2016 3:59 pm

The usual tools…

Unity/C#, Visual Studio (community edition)

Blender, Gimp, Paint.net

Garageband, Ableton Live Lite (maybe), Audacity

Caffeine

4th “I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @JayRHR)
Thursday, December 10th, 2015 1:17 pm

The usual tools…

Unity, Visual Studio (community edition)

Blender, Gimp, Paint.net

Garageband, Ableton Live Lite, Audacity

Monsters Under the Bed Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @JayRHR)
Monday, August 31st, 2015 9:45 pm

Third Ludum Dare for me. You learn something every time. My first LD went surprisingly well, the second one was not so great. This third one went pretty well. Play and Rate it here.

MUB3

The Theme

The theme didn’t really give me ton of ideas like the last two. I was thinking of a Godzilla-like game where you had to destroy houses, but it didn’t seem like a very interesting mechanic, or at least I couldn’t envision much around it. So I started thinking, what do monsters do or where are they anyway. So the in-the-closet and the under-the-bed idea was born. It was pretty clear form the start that Godzilla or under the bed games would be plenty. Oh well.

Learn from the Past

MUB4It’s clear I’ve learned a lot from previous LDs. I’ve been ok with time management usually, although last time I got hung up on physics bugs and coding menus to no end. This time, I went back to basics and decided the menus should be last, and as simple as possible. Apart from the mouse sensitivity option I didn’t actually code much into UI, although the buttons at the top of the game are technically Unity UI buttons. The main menu is just mouse raycast detection against the 3D scene.

The other thing I learned in last LD,MUB5 is that creating a quick bitmap for a UI element can be a really easy way to clean up the UI. So the buttons at the top became pictures of the cubes, with icons on them. It just looks so much more polished.

Goals

Do more art work. Use Blender more instead of basic 3D shapes in Unity – those are also easier to texture. And so I did. The toys are all made in Blender with my limited skills, and then textured using Paint and Gimp. I wouldn’t say the game has top of the line graphics, but it’s an improvement over last time. And even with the limited amount of 3D models, the game looks a lot more polished from a graphics point of view then my previous LD entries. Ok, the baby is still made up of Unity primitives… but I had it in as a prototype and it just worked somehow, I didn’t want to replace it.

MUB1            MUB6

Another goal was to not repeat last LD’s mistake of getting hung up on a specific issue. I think I was just lucky I didn’t really run into anything. I didn’t find any major bugs that I couldn’t solve in a minute or two.

Anything bad? … anything?

Not really, actually. I was kind of ahead of where I was in last LDs already on Saturday by noon. I did music early (usually a last-minute effort here), already had some levels. So I actually spent some more time making a few more models and texturing them. A power outage cost me a few hours, but it wasn’t a big deal. You could argue that could have been another level or two. Which brings me to the usual bad thing, I could have had more levels.

So overall, from a personal standpoint I consider this my best LD entry to date. But that’s kind of the point maybe, each LD should be a bit better…

Play and rate Monsters Under the Bed

 

 

LD33 Progress

Posted by (twitter: @JayRHR)
Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 10:20 pm

Mechanics are mostly done, need to finish up one more piece. Other than that, I’ve made significant progress and finally an LD where I’ve started using Blender for more things than cubes or spheres :-) Still need to add sfx and music, and need to create a few levels beyond my test level. I’m also hoping to do some more Blender stuff as far as creating furnishings for the rooms etc to make it look better, if I have time.

I know screenshots of the menus are never exciting, however I’ve setup a scene using assets from the levels so it’s relevant I guess. Guess where monsters live? That’s right, under your bed and in the closet!

Pic01

I’m in

Posted by (twitter: @JayRHR)
Friday, August 21st, 2015 7:00 pm

The usual toolset.

Unity, Paint, Blender, Gimp, Visual Studio, Audacity, Garageband, sxfr

Wound Up! Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @JayRHR)
Wednesday, May 6th, 2015 9:17 pm

 

 

 

Finally, my post-mortem right before judging ends!

Entry02

 

I hesitated to enter due to some obligations over the weekend. I ended up starting 2 hours late, and did indeed have a really short weekend. 25 hours in all, which isn’t much of course. So considering that, it’s not too bad. Judge for yourself: http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-32/?action=preview&uid=42145

However…

What Went Wrong

Basically, I wasted a ton of time on the physics and the UI. And the UI still sucks, although I spent a serious amount of time generalizing things to be able to add more power ups, but wasn’t really able to use much of it. I haven’t really done any elaborate UI before with Unity, and so I was looking for good ways of doing things. So on the positive of that, I learned a few things.

For physics, I ran into all sorts of snags. The car’s acceleration tripped me up big time. I really wanted to car to move slower as it wound down. That effect is somewhat there, but not as clear as I had intended. I struggled with the acceleration a lot to find out I was doing it wrong (updating forces in the regular update method is baaaad… somehow I knew that, just never had to deal with it). The other issue, which actually isn’t fixed, is that a head-on collision between car and the walls dead-stops the car. I’m not sure if it’s something specific I did, or some typical physics/speed/update issue. Any sort of slight angle (which most people seem to do) avoids the issue, so I decided not to waste time on that.

I’m not happy with the music. Basically, the tracks aren’t entirely on beat with each other. Due to lack of time, I decided to not spend more time on it. I think most people don’t notice but it really does bother me :-)

So all in all, wasted time on some things, which severely cut into the power ups and upgrades I had planned. The initial idea was also to unlock certain power ups as levels progressed. Oh, well.

What Went Right

Well, I did learn quite a few new things. And I also used quite a lot of lessons learned from the previous LD. Mainly, last time I thought I did a good job in making it easy to create new levels. In my after-jam updates I reworked some of that. This LD, I took those lessons learned and pretty much made an entire level editor with little effort.

I did come up with an interesting concept (again). Last LD I scored pretty good in innovation, but not so well in fun. At least this time I got several comments saying they had fun. That was definitely something I had in mind from the start, and I think it worked. I made sure the music also was lighter and more fun.

I also wanted to do a better job at the graphics. I’m not an arts guy so it’s a challenge. I did some more Gimp stuff and a few Blender things, but not quite as much as I wanted. Still, for my goal to be a bit more polished I can argue it’s better than last time, though not close to what I wanted to do. But I do feel I’m a bit more comfortable at least with the tools like Blender and Gimp than last time. Also, the rotating camera in the menu, although a silly feature, is one of those things I feel is a step in the right direction on going beyond the mechanics into better polish.

Overall

I’m not very happy with the entry for two reason. 1) It’s a good concept and I think I was able to prove the concept and show the potential. But the lack of upgrades and powerups is to the detriment of my idea. But it was a pure time issue. 2) I do like puzzle style games myself, but I’m somewhat annoyed I didn’t go an entirely different direction than last time. I think when I looked at the theme, I was thinking Angry Birds style stuff and ended up getting stuck in the physics puzzle space. So, it’s not intentional but I really need to try a non-physics puzzle game next time! :-)

We’ll see where I end up. But personally, I wish myself better luck next time.

Entry01

Submitted Wound Up

Posted by (twitter: @JayRHR)
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 9:04 pm

So, the 48h compo is over, and I was able to submit. Not everything is done and I rushed the music and the UI and still didn’t get it all done. I’m missing the upgrades and weapons I wanted to do, although I quickly added the Fruit Shoot weapon (although not much fruit, just red balls – no more time to do any modelling).

But oh well, any submission is a good submission. And I think I was able to show the potential of the game and the music helps the mood so oh well. I’ll do a proper post mortem later.

Go play and let me know what you think.

http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-32/?action=preview&uid=42145

Entry02

 

Wound Up

Posted by (twitter: @JayRHR)
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 12:38 am

Totally forgot to post any sort of updates. So well, here goes.

The goal is to knock over the various targets in the scene. You have a wind-up car, you can wind longer to drive longer. You aim the car in a particular direction, hold the mouse to wind up and when you release, it goes…

Before each round, you can select one car upgrade and one weapon. The car upgrades affect behavior of the car. For example, if it collides and stops, it will reverse and turn 90 degrees, then go forward again. Weapons are, well, unconventional.

So far, things are going ok. As usual ran into annoying physics gotchas. Also spending a lot of time on the menu/dialogs. The intent was for the car upgrades and the weapons to be power ups that enable these features in different levels. We’ll see what features survive by Sunday night :-)

Unfortunately, it’s not showing well at this point because I don’t have any decent levels. But the mechanics seem to be working well, and it mostly behaves as expected. Also, need to figure out if I want some options or so for the camera, or keep this fixed view. While in the menus, there’s a rotating camera around the scene, which looks nice.

Screen01

Ok, I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @JayRHR)
Friday, April 17th, 2015 10:21 pm

Trying to find an unconventional game for the unconventional weapons theme.

Usual tools:
Unity 3D (5.0 this time)
Gimp and Paint
Visual Studio 2013
Audacity
Blender (in case of any 3D work)

LD31: Slope Challenge³ Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @JayRHR)
Saturday, December 13th, 2014 10:17 am

To set the stage, check out my LD31 entry “Slope Challenge³” here: http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-31/?action=preview&uid=42145

Screen_Challenge_completed

I’ve done game development for a long time, as a hobby, although not much in the last 5 years or so. I usually just worked on engines and graphics and that’s what I loved. I think the only ever polished, finished game I made was a PacMan clone way back in high school. It had modding tools and texture editors and all that stuff (DOS-based but in graphics mode, using Turbo Pascal).

So, game design is definitely new to me. And I’m still getting used to Unity and some other tools. I knew going into the dare that I was going to have to take the experts’ advice here: keep it small and manageable, work within your limitations. When I watched other jams play out, I always wondered what people were thinking working with levels and having to generate that much content. Of course, that’s exactly what I ended up doing here.

So what went well?

Mostly everything, given the time constraints and this being my first time entry. I stayed away from generating much art (well, besides designing buttons I didn’t create any), and the music is very minimal – just a quick loop. I think for this type of game both are acceptable anyway. But, I did go to sleep around midnight both nights, and started again around 7/7.30 am. So not bad.
And, I did end up using Blender for the coins, for whatever reason Unity kept screwing up the cylinder rotations and after spending too much time trying to figure it out, I just made a model in Blender for the coin. Yay, I used Blender (minor personal victory dance).
Kudos to myself for creating the whole structure in such a way that adding an extra level was really no effort at all (prefabs for the win!).
The fact that I had never done audio in Unity before scared me a bit, so I kept putting it off. It ended up being easier than I thought. I had also never created sound effects etc, but a hollow wood coffee table worked wonders: rolled a can of beans for the game ball’s sound, tapped some tools on it for the collision sound effect. Used keys in my hand for the coin collection sound.

 

What lessons to learn?

Work on my art tool skills. If I can work blender properly and texture, I could do more interesting things. Or, I could go for 2D of course. Also, I’m still of the opinion that working with levels is not such a great idea, because you have to create them all. I think I did ok creating an easy and a difficult level, to show the potential of the game.
Had some computer trouble with music. I wanted to use my new PC for music, but I just didn’t get to learn Ableton Live Lite at all prior to the compo. So I switched to GarageBand on the Mac – which then had issues with the keyboard. I could have done more with the music, I had time left, but I was scared of putting it in the game. I hadn’t done any audio in Unity ever, and I had to put in a mute button for the music (especially since it’s short loop).

 

Conclusion

It was really fun and I did a whole lot better than I had imagined. I didn’t think I was going to be able to do this (or at the very least switch to the jam to get more time and use pre-existing assets), but I did and got into each category (except humor) – although art leaves something to be desired but it’s not very relevant to this game anyway. And of course, learned a whole lot. Proud of my first ever compo entry, it’s a decent game. And definitely proud I actually pulled off something pretty ok in the time allotted.

 

Slope Challenge

I think it’s worth exploring the game further. Some good comments and watching some people play has resulted in some good ideas to work on. Shortcuts to switch blocks and visually seeing a “ghost” block while you’re trying to place it are the number two things that need to be done. If I create more challenges there will be more opportunity for other types of obstacles and blocks.

Vote, Vote, Vote!

Posted by (twitter: @JayRHR)
Monday, December 8th, 2014 1:52 pm

In all the cheering I forgot to announce I was able to finish the game and submit it for the compo! Kudos to myself.

I’ll be posting a post mortem later, for now, please vote on Slope Challenge³ !

 


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