Ludum Dare 33
Coming August 21st-24th!

About JigxorAndy (twitter: @JigxorAndy)

I'm a game developer from Melbourne, Australia. I'm currently working on Dungeon Dashers!

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I’m In!

Posted by (twitter: @JigxorAndy)
Friday, August 24th, 2012 10:40 am

This will be my 4th Ludum Dare that I’ve participated in (not including some mini-LDs!).

I’m not sure if I’ll be doing the Jam or Solo this time around. I’ve never done the Jam before, but I’ll be heading to a friend’s house with a few other devs, so I might end up doing the Jam which would be a nice change.

I’ll most likely be using Multimedia Fusion 2 for the main part of my development as it’s the tool I’m most familiar with. It’s great for fast development.

For sound I’ll be using LabChirp and Audacity for editing.

For music (if I do solo) I’ll probably use FL Studio.

Art will be probably be pixels for their speed!

Chronolapse for forming a timelapse later.

Recently I’ve been making a lot of good progress on my main project, Dungeon Dashers, so I hope I don’t break the flow on that by taking a couple of days off for LD.

Also, don’t forget that all the cool kids do the Kitten Challenge.

Rated 100 Games! Here are my favourites

Posted by (twitter: @JigxorAndy)
Monday, May 7th, 2012 5:24 am

I’ve played and rated 100 Ludum Dare entries so far, and along the way I’ve found a fair few games that are really a lot of fun which I’d like to share with you all. What follows, in no particular order, are my favourite games from Ludum Dare #23

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Tiny Wizard – kebabskal

Actually, this one probably is my favourite. I love the bite-sized levels, slow difficulty increase, and of course the general gameplay. It’s really very satisfying to simply shoot and move around, and beating each level feels great!

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-23/?action=preview&uid=8353

 

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Dude, where’s my planet – Zamando

Beautiful to look at, though challenging.

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-23/?action=preview&uid=12041

 

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Celia – Finn Stokes

Stunning graphics, a cool core mechanic and a lot of fun.

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-23/?action=preview&uid=7674

 

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Inside My Radio – TurboDindon

A unique and innovative take on music games. It’s good to see a music game in Ludum Dare. Extremely well polished.

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-23/?action=preview&uid=5611

 

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Prince of Leaves – evilseanbot

A feel good game. Cute graphics and an original bespoked music track which make you want to play all the way through to the end.

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-23/?action=preview&uid=7902

 

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Corebound – Ryusui

Challenging at times, but very rewarding. Unique gameplay mechanic which is sort of an automatic twist on VVVVVV’s gravity system, allowing circular orbiting movements.

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-23/?action=preview&uid=12635

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Lililput – Incredible Ape

Amazing pixel art and educational fun! Learn to type like a pro while destroying aliens!

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-23/?action=preview&uid=12165

 

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Astro Break – hulahulahest

One of the most compelling games in the competition. Powerups and new weapons can keep you blowing up rocks all day!

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-23/?action=preview&uid=528

 

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Little City – dustmyte

Hilarious game with entertaining dialogue. Nice black and white visuals as well.

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-23/?action=preview&uid=12796

 

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Microscopia – azurenimbus

The premise is simple: Navigate to the center of the screen. The real question is, where are you? Very innovative.

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-23/?action=preview&uid=12119

 

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And, I may as well shamelessly plug my own game too!

ANT SURF HERO: THE SURFENING – Jigxor (Me!)

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-23/?action=rate&uid=3289

 

Thank you to everyone who has submitted awesome games. I’ve had a lot of fun playing them so far, and I can’t wait to play some more! I hope you all do the same.

Ant Surf Hero – Press Down! Enhanced Windows Build

Posted by (twitter: @JigxorAndy)
Thursday, April 26th, 2012 6:02 pm

It wasn’t obvious in the original version, but you can press down to make the ant run faster. I’ve built an Enhanced Windows version which makes this clear, has better performance and has fullscreen support:

Download/Play Here

If there’s demand I can make a Mac OSX build and a Linux one too (though the fullscreen support might be lacking or undesirably smooth the pixel art!).

Ant Surf Hero: The Surfening – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @JigxorAndy)
Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 11:04 pm

Play ANT SURF HERO: THE SURFENING here!

Timelapse (YouTube)

Things that went well:

  • Core gameplay. I was pretty happy with the way that the shooting and movement turned out. It’s generally quite fun to kill enemies.
  • Art. I was inspired by the graphical style of Another World (mainly for the bullets and crouching) as well as Sword and Sworcery (for the long limbs). This is really the second game that I’ve tried my hand at proper game art (after last LD’s entry, Stray Whisker)
  • Movement. I spent a fair bit of time tweaking the movement in response to feedback from people in the IRC channel (thank you!). I had a lot of people say that the movement was initially too ‘slidey’  and ‘fast’. I slowed it down and tweaked it a lot. I think changing this made the game more accessible to a wider group of players.
  • Flash exporting. I developed my game in Multimedia Fusion 2, and I used the Flash runtime to make the game web based. I wanted to do this to allow a larger group of people to play my game. As I know from past as well as personal experience that web games get played much more in LD than those which have to be downloaded. It’s much easier for someone to simply run a flash game than it is to download one. Not to mention that flash is also cross-platform. I had intended to build Mac/Linux/Windows versions as well, however I decided it wasn’t necessary in the end. The only advantage would have been giving the player fullscreen.
  • Storyline. I am quite happy with the storyline in my game, even if my sense of humour is quite strange. I’m glad that I got around to putting in an ending with some dialogue. A fair few people have said that the game is quite funny, so I’m glad that it entertained a few people. I was proud of the way I weaved the theme into the end dialogue as well.
  • Kittens. The game contains at least two!
  • The Ant. I put the ant on early in the game, it was actually one of the first features right after shooting. I liked the way that the ant’s role changed in the game’s development. I wasn’t sure if there was going to be more than one player ally ant or just the one. What I think is cool about having the ant is that it’s not necessary for gameplay, yet people will often stay on it because they feel they should. You’re able to run through the whole level without him, and it’s really up to the player what they would like to do. I intended for this sort of freedom, though I’m sure it will go unnoticed by many (just as the ability to run faster with the ant by crouching on him).
  • Different playstyles. In addition to using the Ant to your playstyle, I also purposely made the death the way it is to allow a wide variety of players to play. For more ‘casual’ players, death isn’t much of a deterrent, and they can still complete the game and reach the end storyline. For more ‘hardcore’ players, they are able to collect all of the stars and try to play for a highscore. Death brings a penalty of 300 points. I have still not seen anyone get 50/50 stars, which does in fact display a very small Easter egg – please screenshot and post in the comments if you do!

Things that could have gone better

  • Music. If you watch my timelapse you’ll see that I spent a lot of time trying to make music. I had a fair few attempts in a variety of programs. I even pulled out my old Gameboy and Gameboy Camera and tried to use the tracker on that for chiptunes! In the end I used FL Studio with some free VSTs and created a short looping track. I think it was better than having no music at all, however it still wasn’t a very good song and it took a while to do. I mainly just wanted something that didn’t make people’s ears bleed, so I think I achieved that 😛
  • Camera. The camera works in the finished version, but that also took a couple of hours to get right. It was the only thing that actually frustrated me while making the game. I had a lot of glitches with it (jumping around too much, not being smooth) but it worked out okay. I wanted a camera that looked ahead, but also took into account how fast you were moving. I think that since you don’t really notice it in the finished game then it must be okay. I would have liked to spend much less time working on this.
  • More levels. I would have liked to do one more level. I had intended some sort of running out of an exploding base scenario, but time being what it is, got the better of me. I think the level design was quite successful in the levels that were completed though. There is a fair bit of variation, and I would have liked to explore different types of enemy placement.

 

If I did this game again, I don’t think I would change the way I made it. I used my time quite well and I think I made a fun little game that is entertaining for a short coffee break. I am interested in taking the idea a little further, perhaps taking the main character and putting him in another setting.

I had HEAPS of fun during this Ludum Dare. The IRC channel and Twitter were especially exciting, I felt there was a constant buzz happening and I talked with a lot of cool people about their games. It was a really fun experience.

I hope this Post Mortem helps other players in developing their next game!

Timelapse of ANT SURF HERO: THE SURFENING

Posted by (twitter: @JigxorAndy)
Monday, April 23rd, 2012 9:55 pm

Play/rate: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-23/?action=rate&uid=3289

(Probably better to play it before watching the timelapse – which may contain spoilers).

It took ages to upload this video! I’m glad it’s finally up now. I used Chronolapse to take the screenshots, followed by XVid and Virtualdub for compression.

Post mortem coming next!

100% Coolness. LET’S DO THIS!

Posted by (twitter: @JigxorAndy)
Monday, April 23rd, 2012 1:32 am

I’ve got a lot more free time now than I did last Ludum Dare. I’m going to play and rate as many games as I can! I invite everyone else to see if they can get 100% cool as well.

Who’s up for the challenge?

FINALLY FINISHED! ANT SURF HERO

Posted by (twitter: @JigxorAndy)
Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 2:05 pm

ANT SURF HERO – THE SURFENING

Posted by (twitter: @JigxorAndy)
Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 10:15 am

ANT SURF HERO

 Latest version now up of ANT SURF HERO! Make sure to clear cache / force refresh!

Play at: http://www.jigxor.com/ld23/

Level 2 + Ending soon!

I updated the camera!

Posted by (twitter: @JigxorAndy)
Saturday, April 21st, 2012 9:40 pm

I don’t know why I spent hours on the camera. It was one of those things that was really bugging me. And I don’t think it’s perfect yet still. Gah! I need to do other stuff though, like work on more levels. I also tweaked the controls and movement a lot in response to feedback I received on the IRC channel. Thank you to everyone for your feedback so far! Let me know if there is anything else you think needs tweaking.

Play latest build http://jigxor.com/ld23/

Ant riding platformer shooter game with lasers.

Posted by (twitter: @JigxorAndy)
Saturday, April 21st, 2012 5:37 am

Playable build of my game so far here: http://jigxor.com/ld23/

It’s some kind of ant-riding platforming shooter with lasers. A fair bit still to do, but it’s fun at the moment I think. I’d love to hear all of your feedback. Let me know what you think I should do next!

So far so good

Posted by (twitter: @JigxorAndy)
Friday, April 20th, 2012 8:23 pm

Working on a little platform shooter, set in a Tiny World 😉

COMBINE ALL THE THEMES

Posted by (twitter: @JigxorAndy)
Friday, April 20th, 2012 6:16 pm

Top themes are:

Tiny World, Exploration, Evolution, Survival, Minmalism, and I intend to combine them all!

But seriously I have a good idea that can use all of these elements :)

Time to get started.

Livestream here: http://www.livestream.com/jigxor Hope it doesn’t lag.

 

Getting ready!

Posted by (twitter: @JigxorAndy)
Friday, April 20th, 2012 5:14 pm

I’ve got to do a few things before it all starts:

  1. Configure livestream (done). Will start streaming 5 mins before it starts.
  2. Download latest Multimedia Fusion 2 Flash exporter
  3. Setup a basic website for me to upload my game to later
  4. Have a shower! (I just woke up)

I’m so excited :)

I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @JigxorAndy)
Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 10:22 am

I’m going to be using Multimedia Fusion 2 for development as usual. It allows me to work super quick. I’ll be using Lab Chirp and or a/sfxr for sound. And I’ll probably go with pixel art within MMF2’s editor for simplicity.

I might try and  livestream the whole thing as well using Livestream.com. I did that for molyjam and it was quite fun, and it also kept a nice record of it. I usually use chronolapse.

Looking forward to it!

5th Overall!

Posted by (twitter: @JigxorAndy)
Monday, January 9th, 2012 10:12 pm

I’m pretty happy with 5th overall :)

This is the second Ludum Dare I’ve entered and it was a fun opportunity to try some new things such as giving graphics a decent go. It’s rewarding to see that people enjoyed playing my game and I’ve had a lot of fun playing others’!

Time to work on a larger scale game!

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Stray Whisker Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @JigxorAndy)
Wednesday, December 21st, 2011 7:56 am


Play/Rate

Stray Whisker Here!

When the theme was announced I was lucky to get an idea pretty quickly. Since kittens had been another candidate I had already been thinking about games with cats and so I decided to create a game where a kitten was left alone to fend for itself until the player was able to find others. I started making the game with no idea of how it would actually play in the end. I just concentrated on making the game as fun as possible to just move around and be a cat. I didn’t consider any goals for the player, and even in the finished game I don’t really think there’s really a “goal”. There is an ending. I just wanted to make a game where you could play as a cat. And in essence, that’s what my game is about. It’s about pretending you’re a cat, jumping around like a cat and being a cat. If people find enjoyment in simply moving and interacting with the objects in the world, then I think that the game achieves this aim. In a way, it’s like being a little kid playing with a toy figure outside, except instead of a toy figure, you have a virtual one. You can “win” the game in a very very short amount of time, but I would expect (“hope”) that people would spend time exploring the world and jumping around.

If you haven’t played the game yet you can Play And Rate The Game Here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-22/?action=rate&uid=3289

It would be good to play it first since the following may contain spoilers.

With these things in mind, here is my short post-mortem:

Things that went well

  • Graphics and cat animations. I rarely do graphics for my games. I usually partner with someone else and I’m the code monkey. So I was pretty happy with the graphics I did in this game. I started out doing “rough sketches” for the cat and buildings, however I liked the style and so I kept them for the whole game. Many people have asked me what tablet I used to draw the sprites with, but I actually just used my normal mouse. I have a large mousepad so I was able to do large sweeps to get natural curvy lines such as in the trees. I felt that the animations were quite fluid and I’m happy with those.
  • Visual ambiance. I wanted there to be a lot of “stuff” to play with in the game and I think there is a fair bit to do such as smashing pots, playing with the ball, wind particles, leaves, grass, water, butterfly, etc. I would have added more of this if I had time (rubbish, rats, more ‘junk’).
  • The red ball. I am very happy with the movement of the red ball and I think it’s a lot of fun to play with. Some people do find it hard to move exactly where they want, which is understandable. I find it easier myself because I spent so long playing with it while developing the game. I would have probably tweaked the movement a little so that you didn’t have to throw it around so much to get it to go where you want it. One thing I really love about the red ball is that nobody ever says that you need the red ball. Yet almost all of the players I have seen play my game attempt to take the ball as far as they can to the end.
  • The Cat AI. I’m pretty happy with the AI of the cats that you come across. They weren’t meant to follow you constantly, or be completely random, and I think they’ve got a good blend. The AI of the cats you encounter differs slightly (the blue one is a bit more ‘sporadic’) but they both switch between moving randomly, following you and following the ball. Some people found the other cats annoying when you’re trying to move the ball – but I think they’re fun. They want the ball just as much as you!
  • The cat movement. I think it’s very fun to just run and jump around, with no particular goal in mind, and that was one of my aims for this game which I think I’ve achieved.
  • Level Design. I designed a lot of the game in a way which hopefully also explains the player’s abilities. An example of this is when you encounter the red ball. There is a wall directly in front of it, indicating that the ball can indeed be thrown. I also was quite happy with the placement of certain “triggers” such as when the first cat starts following you. Having watched people play the game, they all seem to do the exact same thing. They stop when they see the blue cat… jump up and down for a bit, trying to get its attention, and when they finally give up and think that the cat won’t follow them, they walk off to the right and the cat jumps down. Similarly the interaction with the dog forces the player to jump over it to dodge it, and the lack of buildings makes it a true chase.
  • Focused effort. I put a real good effort into this game and I think it really paid off. I really did spent most of the weekend on it apart from a couple of a parties at night. And I even went crazy and pulled an all nighter on the last day until 7AM in the morning!

Things that could have gone better

  • Only one ending. I had originally designed the game for two endings, one with the girl and one with the kitten friends you have made. I was hoping that the player would have then been faced with an emotional decision to choose between the cat friends they had made and the girl, their owner. I wasn’t able to implement a second ending for a couple of reasons: I created the girl’s ending first, and after doing so I found it very difficult to work out where exactly to place the alternate ending. Should it have been when you walked into the kitten den? The problem with that is that then the secret (where you take the ball to the kitten den) would not have worked, as it would have triggered the alternate ending first. The second reason I didn’t put it in was of course, as always, I didn’t really have time to do it. In the end I compromised with one ending and one secret.
  • Variety in the backgrounds. I had hoped to have every single object (primarily buildings/trees) uniquely drawn. I did pretty well with making the trees unique, but there were only 3 building types which I duplicated many times throughout the game. Again the reason for this was time, and a bit of effort. The buildings weren’t really that hard to draw but I had to complete other more important tasks.
  • Music. There was no music or ambiance in the game. I spent some time (as you can see in my timelapse) mucking around with FL Studio to create some ambient music. I didn’t finish this and I didn’t use any music in the end as I felt that a bad track would actually detract from the overall game. There is one gorgeous track by FearOfDark that would have suited the game very well I think. However since this is LD we of course have to make everything from scratch. The track is here: https://8bc.org/music/FearofDark/Recovery+%28VRC6%29/ Try playing the game with this in the background!
  • Sound. I did some sounds pretty well I think but there could have been more. In the end I had jump/land/pot break/pot hit/dog bark x 3/various meows (in retrospect that is a fair few effects :) )

 

If I had another chance I don’t think I would have done anything differently (process/time-wise). I would have changed the above problems in my game, but overall I am quite proud of what I made and I think it’s an entertaining little game for 48 hours.

I hope that this post will help others in developing their games next LD!

Please checkout my game if you haven’t already done so: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-22/?action=rate&uid=3289

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