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4 hours in, first break

Posted by (twitter: @chesnaisa)
Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 12:23 am

Of course, I woke up one hour early, having miscalculated the time difference. Oh well.

Got off to a great start, got some ideas on paper and quickly picked a path to stick to. Given how little experience I have in 2d game dev, I don’t want to thinks too much and risk ending up short on time.

After setting up a new project based on my boilerplate, I started drawing a bunch of placeholders:

Some kind of window?

And now, breakfast, before I start tackling the gameplay proper!

Later all!

My boilerplate

Posted by (twitter: @chesnaisa)
Friday, August 21st, 2015 2:28 pm

Ok so as I mentioned in a previous post, I’ll be writing my game in clojurescript.

I was originally planning to use the phzr library, but found that I actually prefer to simply use js interop in my clojurescript code. There’s some pretty nifty macros which make this painless.

I decided to go ahead and prepare a nice codebase to be able to start coding without hassle. Given that I don’t have that much experience in clojurescript development (I’ve been using mostly normal clojure for now), it turned out to be a very, very good idea – if you’re interested in clojurescript game development, or if are looking for a very minimal environment to start developing phaser games in clojurescript, then go ahead and find it here.

You’ll see that I’m using the awesome figwheel plugin to auto-reload any change to my code. This considerably speeds up development by doing away with the need to refresh (most of the time!).

And now, off to sleep!

Don’t have to stray from the right path after all

Posted by (twitter: @chesnaisa)
Thursday, August 20th, 2015 3:26 am

So something interesting happened while I started warming up :D.

This came out: https://github.com/dparis/phzr

So yeah, no javascript for meeeeee.

It’s crazy because while warming up I was actually pulling my hair out trying to get back into a js thinking mode. I’ve been worshipping learning Clojure for the past 6 months now, so I’ve come to expect a few things from a language which aren’t exactly there in JS.

For example, I started trying to implement a feature I’d thought of, using sets. Yeah… for those who don’t know, well, implementing sets in javascript is a bit shady. I’m sure there’s third party libraries somewhere but the basic advice I found was:

var mySet = {‘a’ : true, ‘b’ : true};

if (‘a’ in mySet) {something}; etc etc…. sure, that’s not too bad but… this isn’t a set, I don’t have native support for unions and stuff.

yeaaaaaah nooooooo…

(def mySet #{:a :b}) => #’user/mySet

(mySet :a) => returns :a – and all the clojure.set functions come with it. union and intersections, etc, etc

Also, this allows me to develop using a repl, just having my changes instantly appear in my game without even having to refresh my browser.

Anyways. I’m even more motivated now 😀

 

I’m in!!!

Posted by (twitter: @chesnaisa)
Monday, August 17th, 2015 12:37 pm

Alright, this time I’m sure I’ll have time, and I’m super motivated!

I’ll be using phaser.io and Pisken, most likely. I really want to get a basic 2d game out, but if the theme lends itself to it I may still go the Twine way.

Good luck to all!

Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @chesnaisa)
Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 2:38 pm

Well, my first comment is that it went well. This was my first LD, and to be honest it was as much about making a game as it was to discover whether I actually enjoyed that — that is, to work hard on a game.

I enjoyed it. There is a certain satisfaction in seeing the accomplished work (no matter how far it is from what we expected it to be at first, no matter what we had to scacrifice in order to get it delivered unto the audience ere the deadline) which I was lucky enough to experience and which I hope to experience many times again in the future.

 

Things that went well:

  • When deciding to participate in LD, I had one goal in mind: finish a game, no matter what. That’s exactly what I did. I woke up at 3am (South Africa yay!) to look at the theme and start thinking about it. I had to decide what engine to use, and ended up choosing Twine precisely to be sure to finish my game (technical difficulties might have arisen with Phaser, given my relative inexperience in computer programming).
  • By the end of the day I had written a big part of my game, or rather story, because it lacked any kind of real branching or player agency. My goal not being for the player to just click through masses of text, but actually be puzzled and perhaps try to understand what was at work, and what was questionned by the game. Given some of the comments I received, that goal is achieved.
  • I made the good call ( I think) to scrap all the art that I drew Saturday morning, because it weakened any impression the game might have on the player. Though this meant throwing away a few precious hours of work, I am convinced the game would be ridiculous with it.

 

Things that could have gone better:

  • Preparation: not enough sleep during the week, did not go shopping for food beforehand (though I have to admit that going for groceries at 7 in the morning while all my housemates are still passed out from too much partying gives one strange of empowerment).
  • Ambition: Obviously, next time I must make a graphical game, not that a Twine game is not a real game, but simply because I have to get out of my comfort wone (writing). Get those sprites going!
  • Player agency in the game: even though some people found it interestingm I wish I had had time to really give more possibilities for players to interact with the story, give more repercusions, more connection between the worlds…

Things I learned:

  • About text games: just because it’s text does not mean it is easier, because to implement a new mechanic you have to write it in, which can be a problem if inspiration is not here.
  • About games: for the first time I actually found myself realising that I had to think about how others would approach my work, and interact with it. This is totally new to me, and a great lesson learned.

And now, back to rating stuff!

 

Day 2

Posted by (twitter: @chesnaisa)
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 12:40 am

And after 7 hours of sleep, I’m back with the writing. Yesterday I got a pretty good chunk done, as well as worked on the style (no ugly Sugarcane for me). I kind of like what I got to:

ld30screenshot

Needs some more padding though I guess.

Today I’m going to finish linking all parts together ( so that the story is playable from beginning to end), and then whatever time I’ve left will be spent on trying to make the game as fun/interesting/whatever as possible.

But first I must have breakfast.

 

First thoughts

Posted by (twitter: @chesnaisa)
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 12:59 am

As I mentionned in my first post, this is my first LD, and it is in fact my first game jam. What this effectively means is that while I do have some experience in making small games (nothing fancy though), I have never actually gone through the process of designing a game for anyone else than myself. In that respect, it is the first time that I make a game, an object for other people.

I am quite happy with the theme, I think no one was really surprised since it had such a good score in the first round of voting. Having found my main mechanic (one is enough, keeping it simple for a first obviously), I had to choose between implementing it in Phaser (HTML/JS) or in Twine: a “classic” video game or a text game?

In the end I chose Twine: my goal in this LD is to actually finish a game and get feedback from it, and Twine is easier for me (though next LD my goal will probably be to make such a game but not in Twine…). After some review of the engine’s basics I wrote some first passage drafts, trying to find the best way to express my take on the theme. I am quite comfortable with writing and it has always been my favourite mode of expression.

Except I realise now that my goal is not really to express anything; rather, I should be focusing on what people will feel when playing it, the experience I want to create. I’m not writing a poem or a short story; I’m writing a GAME. This realisation alone I probably could not have had without LD. So I guess that’s a first positive point.

Anyways, here’s my first attempt at a Twine enemy. Behold:

Very expressive.

Very expressive.

And now back to work! Cheers!

I’m in too!

Posted by (twitter: @chesnaisa)
Saturday, August 16th, 2014 3:24 am

Hello everyone! This will be my first Ludum Dare. I’ve been meaning to participate for some time, but never had the opportunity…now it has come! I’m kind of new to game programming and design, but I guess that’s what this is all for, get your hands dirty trying to finish something (no matter how bad it is)!

I haven’t figured out exactly what language/engine I will be using. I have been learning Javascript/Phaser.js and have been able to do minimal stuff with it, so I’ll probably go with that. However, if I feel that it would produce a better result and be more manageable, I might go with a Twine game, or use Python/Pygame (though all the packaging issues rebuke me a little) Well, we’ll see…

As for graphics, I’ll be using Gimp and perhaps my pencils/sheets of paper/camera…

I’m really curious to see if I’ll have the time (given my utter lack of experience) to add sound, but if I do I’ll probably try and use jfxr since many people have been recommanding it.

Cheers!

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