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Follow your Skill : Post Mortem

Posted by
Saturday, December 28th, 2013 7:53 am

172bf9e973150197b1aefa928886a060(For a link to the game, click the image) 

Hey, it’s my second Ludum Dare, it was much harder this time around since it went to be a platformer.

First Day :

There we were, me and my “crew” searching ideas on Skype, throwing stuff around on the chat, until I had the one idea that would bind them all : 5 skills (one was removed along the way), 1 skill point and several maps to exploit the concept.
It sounded easier to do on the paper, so we rushed into CraftStudio (the gamemaker used to make the game) and started creating one map each (It was around 5-6 levels if I recall) and that was our first mistake, not focusing on one and only one map.
Our second mistake was already there too, each map had it’s own textures, and not everybody can make great textures, at the end of the day we were proud, nothing could’ve warned us of the errors we were making.

Second Day :

I woke up quite late and couldn’t start the server until X hours, I started it and we resumed the levels editing (I also implemented a platformer script I did for another game), but at around the 36 hours mark (the middle of the jam) I just looked at the maps and I figured out it was just not right at all, everything looked weird, that’s where I had figured out we had just lost those 36 hours and we were in crunch time.
So I quickly scrapped the map and focused on making one map with one set of simple texture (that I had already used in Delayed) as an aesthetic thing I added a color for each path.
I focused on scripting while the crew were making the levels, and there I needed to find a way to kill the player with the red block, it was not going to be easy.

Third Day :

My idea was to make 6 points around the player that would figure out the block ID it was in and if it was the red block it would insta-kill the player, it seemed easy but after trying for 2 hours I simply gave up and went for the “simple” idea (that was going to ultimately make the game need optimisation) which was making every red block and entity (if I recall it was around 360 entities in total but that was the only way to get the game made in time) so we did that and the end result was the possibility of death. (minus the 2 seconds freeze due to the scene reloading, I’ll explain this one later)
I quickly made sounds in BFXR and a member of my crew gave me a music, another found a name to the game.
After this I was coding each block type and after a while it was finished, with only 2 hours on the clock, it was around 1am and I had school so it was really quick, I posted it and left to bed, but I was happy because we had finished the game.

After the Third Day :

I had the game tested by some friends and they all thought it was good, but after each death the 2 seconds lag was annoying since you die a lot in the game.
So I went to fix that with an instant respawn and since every blocks were entities it was easy, but there was the need for an optimised version as some people couldn’t play it because of framerate issues, so I knew what to do, figure out a way to wipe the 360 death entities, and I took my block ID idea that I had previously and after hours of testing I had finally managed to do it and erased the 360 death entities, and it was working like a charm (it may have slightly bigger hitboxes though) so I released the optimised version and voila, I had finished the game !

In four months, there’ll be the next Ludum Dare, and this time we’ll keep it simple, see you there !

 

 

Delayed : A post mortem.

Posted by
Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 7:32 pm

DelayedPres

 (link to the game : http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=26486 )

 

About time I made a post mortem about my first Ludum Dare ever ! (And not my last)

First Day :

Seeing the theme before going to sleep didn’t help me in the research for a game idea, I was sure it would somehow but nope, of course the Ludum Dare was timed with me going back home, so I had to basically search an idea and start making the game inside a driving car, but it was worth it because if I hadn’t done it I wouldn’t have had the bases ready AT ALL.
Finding an idea, I think it took 30 minutes, a pen and a paper, I wanted to make something original and not a WarioWare/McPixel clone, and then I had this grid image in my head, and then “What if there was a delay of 10 seconds between the moment you press the key and the movement” and it was done, I had found my idea.
For the visual style, I wanted to replicate a computer kind of style, really electronic feel to it, and I adapted the story as such.
Also, trying to figure out several ways to implement the movements was fun, at first I went with physics but it was glitchy, then I went with raycasting but it was even worse, I finally settled on the game checking which tile ID was next and moving the player if it was not the one pre-defined.
Also, the joy I felt when it was working was amazing.
Thank god I never stay’d in front of a problem for too long or else it would’ve sucked so much time, I prefered to ask Elisee (creator of CraftStudio the game maker I used to make the game) for help (I never planned in participating to the 48 hours comp, just the jam)
And this was day 1, I managed to get a movement system working. (And I even have the first “level” I did which was really a prototype)

Second Day :

Waking up and on the computer I go !
The game was too easy, it needed a little spice, so I said to myself, “Why not make some doors and locks” and okay let’s roll with it, plus I’ll be able to borrow the code from my other game Subversion, this is when it struck me, it was not in the library (I had wiped my disk a few weeks ago) and I said to myself : “Oh I just backed it up elsewhere, but….. where actually ?” and this is when I started to stress, I searched everywhere, every inch of my laptop, every inch of my hard drive, my two external hard drives, NOTHING, I couldn’t believe it (And I still can’t) HOW COULD I’VE NOT BACKED UP THE PROJECT !? I tried GetDataBack but I couldn’t find anything, the whole game I worked weeks on is just gone like that and that really pissed me off, but I needed to move on and continue, to make an homage to him (Which had practically the same visual style) and I started coding the trigger system which is a basic trigger pos minus player pos and if 0 then remove the block at X-Z and I then started making more levels and I asked my friend Thoune if he’d like to help me on that and he agreed and that really boosted the number of levels, and I told myself “Since he’s going to make levels I should make a score system”, it was a challenge so I said to myself, let’s go then ! I streamed a bit of it here : http://www.twitch.tv/jordo76/b/451330923 and I was really pleased with the result.
After that I went to sleep.

Third Day :

Waking up and, let’s go on the computer !
There was a lot of levels that Thoune did that I needed to implement and since it took a long time to playtest and everything I went right away into it and this is where some troubles appeared that cost me hours, for some reason the player was not synching to the map, the first issue was on the Tutorial level and that was awkward because it worked fine yesterday, I eventually figured out how to fix it by moving the stage to a set coordinate, I think it happened thrice, after porting a few levels I went ahead and created some sounds, it was the first time I created sounds (I used SFXR) so I was never sure, but the response was great so I guess I managed that !
I then went ahead and asked a friend of mine if he did chiptunes, we talked for a bit and I gave him full control on the music, and it turns out the response was again, great so this was a good thing, at one point there was only 2 hours left,I started streaming : http://www.twitch.tv/jordo76/b/451962808 we had no ending and no last level, so I went ahead and created the last level “DATA SCRAMBLED” which was designed to be the hardest since you’ve to go around the whole map several time, I think it take more than 220 moves to complete it, after that I coded the endgame (not going to spoil you :P) which is REALLY simple and quick but it sync with the game “story” (or description of the game on the Ludum dare page) at that point there was 1 hour left on the clock and this is where I tweaked the difficulty on levels a little, when there was 30 minutes left I went ahead and added little humorous text on almost every levels and thus it was done !
My first Ludum Dare game !

This was a great experience overall, and as I already said I’m participating in the next (Except if I really have NO ideas or can’t due to some personal reasons)

 

2 Hours left stream !

Posted by
Monday, August 26th, 2013 3:49 pm

DelayedBanner

Hey guys, there is almost 2 hours left and I still need to implement several levels (and an end game) before I submit my game, come watch me, the more the better ! 😀

http://www.twitch.tv/jordo76

PS : Chiptune music in the background is guaranteed.

Streaming the making of my Ludum Dare game : “Delayed”

Posted by
Monday, August 26th, 2013 8:14 am

DelayedBanner

This is also my first post, and first ludum dare too, I’m excited and I hope I’ll be able to finish in time, maybe not, maybe it’ll not have sounds or music !

We’ll see, I’ve got 9h47m left after all !

http://www.twitch.tv/jordo76

 

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