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Ludum Dare 30

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Hot or Cold?

Posted by
Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 8:20 am

logoHot and Cold is now officially #654 game in the world of this compo. Yeah, I was hoping for the top 500, but it’s not bad for a first timer who delivered something not quite finished, okay? Also, I scored top 200 in humor (umm, fine, I’m a hilarious person) and was placed 249 in audio (wait what?). I’m proud!

Now, is there a way to see all the games I rated in these past three weeks or did I firetruck up by not taking a screenshot?

Hot stuff, Cold stuff – LD 30 post mortem

Posted by
Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 11:37 am

logo

First game jam in my career done, resulting in Hot and Cold. Time for a summary! I’ll list what went right and what went wrong, just because everyone does it this way.

Hot stuff

  • Graphics.
    Other than some stuff that I’ll mention later, I did a pro job here. Honestly, I don’t know a thing about drawing and art in general, so it was quite a challenge. I decided to go for a minimalistic look with 8×8 pixel tiles and sprites – relatively easy and quick to make, not much detail is needed and can still look good. Credits for inspiration go to this tileset by Soundlust and the game I once enjoyed – Legends of Yore.
    scr
  • Animations.
    There’s just a few of them, they’re all 3 or 4 frames long and the logic behind them is quite strange, but in my humble opinion they look really good. Especially destroying barrels is very eye-pleasing.
    Sprite-0003
  • Aseprite.
    Connected with the two above points, the software I used. As stated on gosu forums before, Aseprite is the only pixel art tool I don’t hate. I used old free 0.9.5 version for the compo, but I was happy to pay $10 earlier today for the newest version. It’s really good.
  • Concept.
    I was quite pleased the theme, but to be honest I would be happy with almost every one there was. In the final voting I upvoted more than a half of them, and downvoted only two. The idea of stwitching between worlds might not be very original, but it’s a good setup for a game and it was the first thing that came to my mind, so I just went with it. Of course, lots of planned features were dumped/changed as time was passing, but the main point is there.
  • Game mechanics.
    There might be not much to it, they’re quite poorly coded and rather undertested, but I was very pleased to realize that they all seem to work OK. Maybe I just didn’t try hard enough, but at current state I wasn’t able to cause the game to crash or even find any major bugs (and I’m the person that is supposed to know all the code flaws).
  • Blogging.
    Okay, some of you might think it’s just a waste of precious time, but I found writing these short posts very helpful. I’d really recommend doing this, as it basically lets you think for a moment about what you’re doing, rate your progress and simply blow off some steam. Just take a look at my journal, it’s not too long, but there’s abundace of hilarity and drama.
  • Exacly, drama.
    Ludum Dare is just too much fun, drama and excitement. I was so glad when it was over, but I would (and I will) do it again. And again. And maybe once more.
  • It’s a game.
    Not much of a game, but it is. It has some kind of a a goal, and a win condition, and shit. So it’s a game by definiton. That makes it not truely complete, but the most complete game I ever created. Let me elaborate. I made jCaster, but it’s basically just an experiment (and it’s in development – very very slow development – for over a year now). I made – and finished – this pretty neat Game of Life implementation, but as we all know (or should know) – GoL sadly does not fulfill any game definition known to humanity. I made some other projects that are not even worth mentioning. But yeah, my point is – last weekend I finally made a game. Deal with it.

Cold stuff

  • Time management.
    I hesitated what should be number 1. on this list, but now I’m pretty sure it’s the right choice, because it’s the source of all further evil. I had 48 hours to make a game and I wasted more than a half of it. Looking back I don’t think I spent even 20 hours actually working. That means, I wasted at least 28 hours on sleeping, eating, drinking too much beer and making all the general stuff when all I had to do was follow the damn train, CJ to create a damn game. And I even failed to prepare a mind map, or a TODO list, or anything alike. I made myself disappointed.
  • Levels.
    There’s the tutorial that you can go through in less than one minute (I finished it like 20 minutes before compo ended). And that’s the only thing that a regular player can see in game besides main menu. So yeah, not much in terms of gameplay. And that’s the main direct reason why my entry is rather disappointing (or a complete faliure, if you prefer).
  • Code redundancy.
    That’s something very specific that makes me not sleep very well at night ever since. I can’t understand how I could think it’s a good idea to load every level from 4 different files and store the data in (wait for it) 7 (seven!) arrays. Okay, to be honest I know how – I had 2 different ideas to approach this matter and ended up mixing them. I did not fix this for, how I happened to think of it at the moment, simplicity (sic!) sake. But still, that’s just one example.
  • Code in general.
    Yeah, even though I’m known of hacking the hell outta every single line of code I come into contact with, I believe this might be the ugliest source I’ve ever produced. Mixed conventions (or no conventions whatsoever), chaos, devious logic that even I won’t be able to understand after a while and everything is hardcoded. Still, it’s some kind of fail/win situation, because as mentioned above, it turned out to work quite decently. But don’t read it, especially if you want to become (or already are) a good programmer.
  • No debugger.
    One of the reasons for the two above. You know, I love writing in Ruby. And I love using Komodo Edit. The problem is, there is no good free Ruby IDE with a debugger (I think there’s Aptana Studio available, but it was crashing on my PC when I tried it some time ago). Komodo is a really lovely editor, but it’s only an editor, a fancier Notepad. I’d love to own Komodo IDE, but $90 for a personal licence, seriously guys… Anyway, of course there’s always an option of debugging in command line, but I never really used it, so it would probably be slower than searching for mistakes by reading the sources backwards and underwater. So there was no debugging involved at all.
  • Lowering standards.
    The game was supposed to have

    “pretty complicated levels, not only with fires and barrels but also water, lava, rocks, guards and stuff”
    – myself

    I think we all know what happened :)

  • Message window.
    Or the big ugly sign. You know what I’m talking about. This thing:
    screen
    It’s hideous and I know it, because it was supposed to be just a temporary placeholder. And it happened to stay there. (To some extent the same could be said about main menu background, except it’s not that ugly.)
  • Effects.
    Or no effects at all. You know, lights, shadows, particles etc. I wanted to have at least some kind of cool transition effect between dimensions, but again it was something killed by priorities.
  • Music.
    I had an opportunity of at least trying to create something, but my decision, decision was I’d rather sleep. So then there was no other option than generating soundtrack in cgMusic. The actual levels themes – you know, the ones you will never hear – are pretty nice in their generic way. And then there’s this absurd march I decided to play in tutorial :)
    And you know what, I was lying about the “you will never hear” part. Level 1-4 music is included with game files (in levels directory).
  • Travels.
    Would not recommend.

So here you go. That’s all I can think of at the moment. Again, I’d like you to check out Hot and Cold. It’s not all bad, and at the very least you won’t waste too much of your time on it :) I’m thinking of eventually making a post-compo version to actually finish what I started.

Tomorrow I wish I will finally start looking at other people’s entries. Sadly, I’m just one guy and I can’t rate all the games out there. So if you specifically want to hear my opinion, feel free to ask, I’ll be happy to give one! (especially to a person who was not bored to read this far :))

Damn that’s one long post.

Finally

Posted by
Monday, August 25th, 2014 9:12 am

Some peace and quitet at last. I think I’ll take a nap. But first let’s have a beer. Just one, I promise!

IMG_20140825_180750

I’m going to write a summary of what happened in past two days, but not just yet. Maybe tomorrow.

good morning LD!

Posted by
Monday, August 25th, 2014 12:04 am

After 3 hours of “refreshing” “sleep” I had to go to work. Which means 8 more hours in front of a screen. I think my eyes will explode.

Ludum Dare is so much fun! (when it ends)

You know what? My next LD entry will feature exploding eyeballs.

Not ideal finish

Posted by
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 6:25 pm

So I was like an hour or two short to add some actual levels other than tutorial. Thats’s a shame, but then I’m still glad I made something that works. Check it out, will you?

ingame2

Now I’m going to bed. Tomorrow will be better.

I’ve had it…

Posted by
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 4:16 pm

Enough is enough! No more programming! (Well, maybe except some cosmetics…)

I can’t believe it, but I got everything working! Now just quickly make some levels, and it’s all over!

screen

Crying over pieces of code

Posted by
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 1:05 pm

Using an editor with no debugger is not the best idea, especially when you’re in a hurry. As a result I have created the most chaotic and hardcoded source ever. My heart breaks every time I look at some fragments. Just look at this:

code

The only purpose of this monstrosity is to make floor (10 different tiles) render correctly. And I’m not going to change it, because it works!

Anyway, I have one big thing left to code – projectiles. And then I’m pretty much sorted (after multiple lowering of expectations about the final result). But before that I need to shower!

I’m not screwed (yet)

Posted by
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 11:27 am

Just an update. Slowly but surely, I’m getting there. If I’ll manage to complete everything but level design by midnight (it’s 8:30 pm here), I might be fine. And that’s the plan for now.

Wanna see some barrels?

barrel

It’s Nice To Go Trav’ling (no it’s not)

Posted by
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 8:22 am

Frank Sinatra approved this post (despite being dead).

IMG_20140824_171442

I can see everything I want on the screen, providing everything I want is my own face.

Oh boy. At least I have some internets here.

Edit: Turns out I feel quite sick trying to work on a bus. Well, thats another 2 hours wasted…

Am I?

Posted by
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 6:19 am

sure

Yes, a million time yes, I’d love to, thank you!

Yeah but honestly, I’ll do my best but I don’t think I can finish in time…

Not the best day

Posted by
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 3:38 am

I did not make any progress in like 12 hours. That’s not very good time management. Woke up today feeling horrible, headache is literally killing me. Not ideal.

There’s so much to do. Add actual interface, finish game logic, make music, add sounds, and what worries me the most – level design.

I need a coffee. It’s going to be a very long day.

Decisions, decisions

Posted by
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 2:16 pm

It looks fine! Nothing really happens here yet, but at least it started to look like a game.

bg1

The character doesn’t walk through walls any more, added some random background outside… That’s all good. Other than that, so far I know there will be fire. And barrels. And some magic involved. And not much of a story. Basically, I’m going for some kind of logic/puzzle game. We’ll see.

I don’t think I’m able to do any more programming today. I definitely need some R&R. What I might actually do before going to sleep is try and make some music. But I never did music before. I happen to own Stagelight license and it looks interesting, on the other hand there’s rezoner’s chirp that looks simple enough even for me… but still this shit scares me.

Of course, I could also call it a day and skip directly to bed. And regret it tomorrow. Decisions, decisions…

Making progress

Posted by
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 12:11 pm

Not too much progress though. I have some basic mechanics sorted and an almost working title/menu screen!

title

Honestly? 4 levels + tutorial seems a bit too optimistic at the moment. I’ll probably end up making two. Hopefully. Or just give up halfway through.

Codename: Hot and Cold!

Posted by
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 7:48 am

It’s like, what, 14 hours in? So yeah, what I have in mind is a guy that can switch between “hot” and “cold” dimension. The problem is, I don’t know yet why he does it.

Anyway, I managed to code some simple map rendering and made this guy whose only ability so far is walking through the walls.

map

One major issue – I still have no idea what kind of challenge should the game provide.

Panic

Posted by
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 3:46 am

Woke up 45 minutes ago. Panicked. Painted this:

tiles

What the heck do I do next?

I’m so ready!

Posted by
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 3:11 pm

No I’m not.

I don’t think I have the best code base out there:

Now I’m going to get a beer and go to sleep before the theme is announced. And then panic in the morning. That’s how I roll.

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