I'm a game developer from Melbourne, Australia. I'm currently working on Dungeon Dashers!
About JigxorAndy (twitter: @JigxorAndy)
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 22
Ludum Dare 21
So I’ve been going since the competition started and now I’m at the stage where it seems to be coming together somewhat.
I started by trying out some stuff in Flashpunk for a couple of hours, however I’ve never made a full game in Flashpunk and I also wanted Box2D physics. So after following some tutorials and getting some basic stuff up and running, I decided I should take a look at Multimedia Fusion 2’s support for Box2D in Flash. I want to make my game primarily in Flash this time around so that it’s got a wider audience (as compared to a EXE binary). I think the idea I’ve got is pretty neat and I want to share the experience with as many people as I can.
I’m making a physics based game which is meant to convey certain feelings and emotions, to do with being trapped.
I’ve got the basics in Multimedia Fusion 2 working and I’ll keep working on it today. I should probably eat lunch at some point.
We tested the online game that we’re making for the Jam. There were around 20+ people playing throughout the session.
Here’s a screenshot of a few of us running around:
I’m hosting the game from my computer in Australia and it seemed to handle itself pretty well. At the peak there was about 30kb/s being sent.
Time to package it up and submit!
I’m working on an Arcade MMO with a few other developers. It’s ambitious but we’ll finish it.
Here’s a WIP screenshot with some badly resized tiles. The game is going to be a platformer where you’ll be competeting to gain skills, evolve and kill other players.
Also it’s in space.
I literally woke up 1 minute before the theme was announced, and I hadn’t put my alarm on. Good signs!
I think I should take a powernap to think about the theme and then I’m heading to my friend’s house to Jam..
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.
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
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!
Dude, where’s my planet – Zamando
Beautiful to look at, though challenging.
Celia – Finn Stokes
Stunning graphics, a cool core mechanic and a lot of fun.
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.
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.
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.
Lililput – Incredible Ape
Amazing pixel art and educational fun! Learn to type like a pro while destroying aliens!
Astro Break – hulahulahest
One of the most compelling games in the competition. Powerups and new weapons can keep you blowing up rocks all day!
Little City – dustmyte
Hilarious game with entertaining dialogue. Nice black and white visuals as well.
Microscopia – azurenimbus
The premise is simple: Navigate to the center of the screen. The real question is, where are you? Very innovative.
And, I may as well shamelessly plug my own game too!
ANT SURF HERO: THE SURFENING – Jigxor (Me!)
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.
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:
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!).
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!
(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!
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?
ANT SURF HERO
7AM! Time for bed