About Mr. Jif (twitter: @maggardJosh)

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OGREAT

Posted by (twitter: @maggardJosh)
Monday, August 24th, 2015 9:28 am

ogreatGameplay1

 

So I completely forgot to post on here, but my game is finished!

This is my second time doing the 48 hour compo and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. There was a lot more I wanted to do for the game and I might improve it a bit with a post-compo version.

http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-33/?action=preview&uid=19204

Let me know what you think!

Space Driller – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @maggardJosh)
Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 6:23 pm

or Blue-Moltar Goes Digging

Hey, everybody!  Dan reporting here in place of Josh, since he says he’s “no good at this.”  If you haven’t had a chance yet, you should totally try out SPACE DRILLER.

Unfortunately, the whole cast didn't make it in to the compo.

Driller questions his career choices.

It’s about a guy (who ended up looking like a blue version of Moltar) with a drill, in a space-mine, fighting ghosts, slimes, and giant tiki-heads.  This was the first ever LD in which I’ve been able to participate, and I have to say that it was quite the experience.  All the tales of the fun and the stress and the reward were all quite accurate.  We all had a blast making it, and it was a very fun ride.  Some time after the ordeal, we’ve both had a chance to mull over our experiences.  Lots of things went right, equally many went wrong, but in the end it got finished!

 

What went right

-The idea

  • D – It didn’t take us very long to get rolling.  SPACE DRILLER was our second idea to hash out, and we kind of stuck to it.  I thought the idea of a guy in space with a huge drill that he used to kill things was hilarious.  It was kind of a jumping point for more ridiculous ideas that everyone seemed to like.

 

-The design

  • D – It was pitched as a Metroidvania game from the get-go, which also didn’t take very much convincing to get everyone on board.  The idea of a melee-range Metroidvania seemed like it might not work for a moment, but the prospect of a few ranged powerups (that didn’t make it in!) made us stick with it.  Then Josh showed me a gif of him surfing atop of a horde ghosts with a drill, and I knew that we were golden.
  • J –

    Cowabunga

-Prior knowledge

  • D – We’ve made games before, both together and on our own, so we had a good grasp on how to get going quickly.  It let us know where we could go nuts and when to dial back, as well as cut out a lot things that would normally have been easy mistakes to make.  The allure of entirely hand-drawn and painted assets is a strong one, but that bit me in the ass twice already and I wasn’t about to try again in a 72 hour competition.  I had personally never done art on a pixel-by-pixel level, but it went smoothly enough after getting started.
  • J – Having used the Futile framework for almost a year now was definitely beneficial. It let us get rolling quickly and we knew what was reasonable and doable in the 72 hours.

 

-Implementation of elements

  • D – It seemed like as soon as I finished the art of something, Josh would have it in the game and working in the next five minutes.  I’d draw some tiki heads, turn around, and then they were hopping along my screen.
  • J – Programming art may not be fun or nice to look at, but it lets the programmer implement the objects and as soon as the actual art is done for it there’s no waiting time for anyone.

 

-Setting realistic goals

  • D – We wanted more.  So much more.  But that’s true of every game dev out there.  Personally, I had no problems in dialing back the amount of things to have in the game.  We were really good at cracking down and being realistic at what we could and could not have in the game, which is what let us put as much polish on the game as we did.
  • J – Yeah many features didn’t make it in and many features were cut out at the last second, but that is a part of LD eh?

 

 

What went wrong

-The OTHER deadline

  • D – I had a business trip scheduled for Monday that could not have been changed.  The plane left at 7am, and I was sweating it pretty hard over not being able to finish what I needed to do.  My plan was to get a few levels designed, sleep an hour, then do the rest on the plane trip.  Turns out I got no levels done, sat with my eyes closed for 30 minutes, and had even more levels to do while on the plane (I was 95% done when I touched down, though!).
  • J – This was terrifying. For a while I wasn’t sure we would have a playable game to submit.

 

-Lack of experience

  • D – So this was my first foray into Unity.  As well as the Futile framework.  And the level editor we used.  Though I got my levels laid out on my plane trip and felt great about it, it turns out that I had set it up in a funny way that meant a little more work to actually get it all working.  There was also an issue between the two of us that caused some slight panic.  As it turns out framerates are kind of important when calculating jumping height, and my dude was jumping far different than from what Josh had.  Thankfully, he’s a wizard and fixed it.
  • J – This was my first time programming a Metroidvania and I overlooked the fact that gravity was applied to the player based on the amount of time that passed since the last update. It was quite a revelation when I realized that Dan and I were playing essentially different games with different jump heights. Luckily I was able to fix this quickly but this could have easily been a game breaker and wouldn’t have happened if we were physically in the same place at any point during the jam.

 

-Technical issues

  • D – I discovered some limitations with Photoshop the hard way.  It could have potentially been a bug, but it eventually started giving me crap about slicing images that I did not appreciate.  Also, upon my plane landing and securing a bit of time for myself to work before the deadline, Unity decided that it did not like the texture atlas.  I was reduced to worrying and testing whenever possible in the final hours.

 

-Communication

  • D – We didn’t meet up face-to-face once throughout the entire weekend.  We easily could have, but for some reason decided not to.  Communicating entirely through text chat can be counter-intuitive a lot of the time, and I left Josh confused with many things I said in regards to some very important aspects.
  • J – This was definitely a big problem. Several issues came up that would have otherwise been no problem at all. Also some ideas took longer to get across than they should have.

 

-Testing

  • D – Virtually none happened whatsoever.  What testing that did happen was frantic and last-minute.  We might have saved a lot of headache had we done it sooner, and it’s definitely on the list of things that need to happen in the future.
  • J – The lack of testing definitely left some of the levels much more difficult than we had intended.

Post-Compo plans

  • D – More of everything.  Enemies, art, locations, powerups, and an actual story!  We had some pretty rad stuff that we wanted to implement initially, and we’re going to try and go forward with it.  The Incredible Flying Drill might not make a full return, but I promise that more fun things will take its place.
  • J – Don’t listen to Dan. We’ll still have flying drill. I’ll hide it in the game somewhere.

Done!

Posted by (twitter: @maggardJosh)
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 2:02 pm

I’ve submitted my first 48 compo game!

screenshot

 

Time War is a top-down shooter/puzzle game. You have 10 seconds to clear the level of enemies.

Each enemy killed gives you a little bit of your time back making the layout of the level and the order in which you kill enemies very important.

Features 7 unique levels and 2 powerups.

Had a blast creating it and hope you guys like it!

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=19204

 

 

Screenshot Update

Posted by (twitter: @maggardJosh)
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 11:40 pm

Made some progress and game mechanics are coming into place (thank goodness because I had no idea where to go with it :P)

The game is shaping up to be more of a “puzzle” type of game instead of the “action”-y game that I had planned on. The player gets 10 seconds to kill all enemies in the level but every enemy you kill gives you a little more time to finish the level, so on the more complicated levels strategy comes into play.
screenshot2

screenshot

 

Going to grab a short nap and get back to work! LUDUM DARE! 😀

I’m in

Posted by (twitter: @maggardJosh)
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 6:49 pm

This is my 3rd Ludum Dare but my first time trying the 48-hour compo. Hope I can make something that isn’t horrible!

Tools

  • Engine: Unity/Futile
  • GFX: Gimp
  • SFX: sfxr & LMMS

Good luck everyone

– Jif

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