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Finished my sixth Ludum Dare!!

Posted by
Sunday, August 28th, 2016 8:05 pm

Capture2

I have completed my sixth Ludum Dare! I’ve made a “Papers Please” inspired game about telegraph operator. I’m very proud that I actually have proper graphics and sound this game. Big achievement for me. Yay! Now it is time to get some rest before starting playing games submitted ūüėÄ

You can play my game here: http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-36/?action=preview&uid=21428

The life of John ‚Äď Post Mortem

Posted by
Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 9:22 am

Capture

This is¬†my fifth Ludum Dare. However, there are only¬†4 entries on my profile because I didn’t finish my¬†first game. (So if this your first LD¬†and you finished the game, good on you!)

I’m a big fan of strategy games, as a result, I¬†have the tendency of¬†making strategy games for¬†LDs. As it turns out, strategy is not the best genre for LD¬†because¬†it requires a huge amount of work to build the system and fill it with contents. On top of that, it needs a lot of play testing to¬†balance the complexities you have built. And finally, it¬†needs a great tutorial to introduce the player to the complex system. I’ve learned that the hard way from my previous two entries so I’ve decided to try something simpler.

And I failed ūüėõ

I set out to make an idle game because it is a genre I’ve been wanted to try and it doesn’t require a lot of arts (I’m bad at making game arts). After the theme was announced, the¬†idea of making a game about growing up caught me. I found the¬†idea compelling because I love The Sims series and¬†it also fits the idle game genre very well. As I was toying around with different game mechanics, it occurred to me that the card game dominion fits very well with the ‘growing’ theme. In dominion, ¬†you started off with this crappy deck and¬†you have to build and grow your deck while playing it. It is a very cool mechanic and I wanted to corporate it into my game since life is kind of like that where you started of nothing and slowing build up. That’s when the idea started to form in my head. I started working on a card game prototype:

CWAyA0mUAAAIteK

This is what I had after day 1 (I was quite slow because I got distracted by Youtube. Lesson learned: Do NOT watch youtube during Ludum Dare!)

As you can see it is pretty similar to the final game. At this point,¬†I’ve decided to have the¬†player draws a hand each turn and he¬†can only choose a certain amount of cards to ‘play’ (like in real life you can’t do everything either). However, the amount of cards you can ‘play’¬†depends on your age (like in real life you can do more things while you are young but as you grow older, you have less choices). I’ve also decided the¬†cards the player¬†didn’t ‘play’ will¬†have negative effects in order to create difficult decisions. Sorry if it caused you agony when playing the game, it was all intentional (that’s how life feels like right :P?)

It was all well and good until I realized I need a lot of cards to fill ~80 turns (that’s roughly the amount of time I wanted the game to last). I spent half a day making the arts and the rest of the time went into the cards. Cards for the early game were fine as in they were balanced quite well because I have been play testing them. However, as the deadline draws closer and closer, I have less and less time play testing.¬†That was the first mistake I made.

The second mistake was that I never build my game. I learned this from my last unity game but I didn’t take it to my heart. Throughout¬†the submission hour I struggled to build a game that looks great: the fonts looks blurry on different resolutions. (I still haven’t found a good solution to this problem yet. Let me know if you have one.) In the end, I rushed out my game without properly playing it once.

Everything was settled after I submitted my game, it was then I have time to actually play my game through. That was when I had the¬†‘holy crap!’ moment. I found that¬†my¬†mid and late game cards were¬†buggy as hell. As some of the early player¬†pointed out, some cards just kept appearing again and again. For example, the ‘Marriage’ card kept popping up even after he has married. The pace of the game was also terrible because of balance issues, as I said some cards kept appearing and that makes other cards never appear. It turns the game into a very repetitive experience. In my attempt to¬†remedy this, I made a build after deadline and created a separate link on the page to that build.

To sum up, I’ve learned the same¬†lesson the third time: play test the¬†god dam game! I guess what I should done was to cut out some contents and made the time to play my game. However, I’m very happy that I finished another game and others can play it. I guess that’s the best part of LD.

I hope you enjoyed reading this. If you are interested, play the game and let me know how you think. For me, the final score doesn’t really matter, what it matter is your feedback. So make sure you¬†leave a comment whether¬†you like it or hate it, I just want to know. Thanks for reading :)

Play my game here: http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-34/?action=preview&uid=21428 (As I said, play the fixed version otherwise you would have a bad time)

I’m in for the fifth time!

Posted by
Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 3:48 pm

I’m in, this will be my fifth time to participate in Ludum Dare. Everytime I said to myself don’t make strategy games but ended up making it, maybe I will make something else this time….maybe

My tools:

Engine: Unity 5.3
Language: C#
Graphics:Gimp
Audio / Music: Hopefully some audio this time

Happy Jamming! :)

I’m in

Posted by
Saturday, April 11th, 2015 2:51 pm

This is my fourth Ludum Dare so I would accept the challenge of doing something different ūüėÄ
I had been using java + libgdx combo for the past three time and this time I decided to learn Unity and make the game in Unity!

IDE: Mono Develop
Engine: Unity 5
Language: C#
Graphics: GIMP2
Music: sound effect / music generator?

Milkyway Tycoon Post Mortem

Posted by
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 10:50 pm

You can play and rate my game here

Back in LD#26 , I made a crappy puzzle game that was neither finished nor fun. In LD#27, I finally made a finished game called “10 second roguelike”. Although it only ranked #450, I received a lot of comments that were both helpful and inspiring. It was nice to hear others enjoyed your game especially when you are not a professional game developer. It was also really satisfying to see other people played my game. Therefore, I decided to join this Ludum Dare again to have some fun and yea it was definitely a hell lot of fun.

I decided that I would make a strategy or tycoon game this time around since I’ve never made one and I love strategy games. I was hoping the theme would be Alchemy or Fortress but it turns out Connected Worlds is a also great theme for making a strategy game (as you can see from so many entries being a tycoon game). My game was inspired by a super old KOEI game call Aerobiz Supersonic¬†(yes, I love old KOEI games as you can see from my attempted to remake¬†Uncharted Horizon¬†2).

 

Let’s now talk about what went well and what went wrong in this LD.

 

=== Things that went well ===

 

Using an iterative approach was good because it turns out I have to throw away A LOT of the original design due to time limit

Try out new things.  I used Java + Libgdx which I was familiar with but I had never made a tycoon game nor that I know how to use scene2D to create GUI and I learned a lot.

Play testing is important. I finished early as a jam entry because I was aiming to get into the compo, but it turned out to be good because the first comment pointed out I had some game crushing bugs. It also let me have time to play test it myself which enables me finding out my original version was way too simple.

Music is important. It made my game feel much better after I added background music.

Getting into flow. At some point I lost track of time and it felt great to keep on coding. I was amazed by how much I had done when I finished. I also need to thank my girlfriend for her support :)

Separating the data with the game logic simplified my play testing because I only need to run the game again to see the changes I made.

 

=== Things that did not went well ===

 

Time Management. I was aiming to get into the compo but I ran out of time to replace the place holder arts I found on the Internet.

Poor Tutorial. I thought it should be easy for people to learn the game because I included in-game help info. It turned out I did a poor job and everyone complained about the game having a really steep learning curve at the start.

No test run before start. Libgdx changed a bit since last time I used it and the documentation wasn’t kept up to date. I spent quite some time fiddling with the code to get some of the GUI element right.

Forgot to buy groceries before the compo. I ran out of food to cook during the day and I had to go out and buy stuff which made me lose an hour of coding.

Need more play testing when making a strategy game. I still feel my game is too easy.

 

Overall, I had a great time last weekend and I will definitely come back for the next ludum dare!

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