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My Unofficial Entry into LD37

Posted by
Friday, December 16th, 2016 8:19 pm

As the Title states this is my unofficial Entry into the 48/h LudumDare. I recently Participated but was unable to complete the full 48/h. Life happened and as such real life takes precedence over Ludlum. My withdrawal from the competition was necessary but It still left me longing to share my work and participate. I find the community and this event deeply inspirational. During the past week I was emotionally and physically  down after a couple frantic days; But during this time It was suggested to me that I should instead complete the game and share it.

Last night and this morning  I set out to do this. I want to be very careful as to keep true to the spirit of the competition. I left my horrendously sleep deprived code in. No new features, unplanned additions, or music. When I had to abandon the jam I was working on the art assets. So as such I finished and polish the Art. Since I had no done any work on the  music I figured I would leave this for a future update when The symbolic 2 week of judging is over.

I know this project won’t be taken into account for voting but I would Still love to get feed back. I have great passion for creating but there is still unsurmountable amounts to improve. Every jam every challenge is a chance to learn and this one was no exception.

 

Here is my Game: Room For One


 

 

It was always my intention to do a Postmortem of the game process. I always find them an interesting read.

 

LD#37-One Room

Before the 9th I knew I had a rough Idea that I wanted to work with Unity UI system. I have never payed much attention to it, as I’ve been more concern as late with game AI. There is something wonderful in creating an AI that feels and breath human but in honestly is very simple. So my personal challenge was set I would create a UI heavy game.

When the voting began There were a couple of topics that peeked my interest. Among them was “Save yourself, not the world” I found that I could have created a very sinister reality to play in. On the other spectrum was “One Room”, this topic screamed 3d, the very thing I was trying to avoid.

Needless to say when the topic was announce I was a bit disappointed. But this is the nature of the competition everyone can vote and majority rules.

While Brain storming and filtering inout of other ludumdare participating  streams, It really became obvious that most were going a very literal interpretation of the One Room theme. As to not fall into line with the status quo It took me sometime to figure the path I was going to take this theme on. By switching the words I came up with the sentence “Room for One”. This was to become the foundation of my game It entailed That what ever it was It was only one.

One leader, One Item, One safe, One choice, there was lot of give to this way of thinking. I was very quickly setting my self up for my first mistake.

I have not works much with UI, but I say I had more experience with UI then I had making and writing a narrative driven game. My first mistake came from grossly under estimating the amount of writing I would have to do and the amount of time writing takes. With a clear head and more time Im sure I would be able to complete a narrative game but for Ludlum this was a bad Idea. So the first few hours were me sitting trying to bring life to these characters. Atlas I had the well fortune to have started the writing a narrative first because When I decided to abandon this direction I had plenty of time refocus and rebuild a different game.

It is a pity That my first game could not be created for I had Imagined an elaborate story for each character It was tale of Misfortune and Hard decisions. But the shear amount of dialog was over whelming.

I was unto my second attempt, this time I took more a trade route approach. Trade for one item then go onto the next city and try to make a profit. In between roads there are police and thugs walls and shortcuts. Your job was to choose one to carry between cities. Contraband, Passenger, Legal Cargo, all with their own unique risk. This project was also plagued  by too much dialog as well as my unfamiliarity with the UI system. My code architecture was all over the place As I need a dynamically driven scenarios with limited writing. But very quickly I realize that the way I had set UI and code That I would have had to hard code a lot of it.

Ain’t nobody got time for that. This how I spend the first night, Early production of two games to be later abandoned. Luckily for me 3rd  is a charm.

I restructured my second game to bring you what I have to show today. It is a wonderful simple game 4 location 3 tradable locations and 9 characters. Each character has 9 unique items and will only appear at a given time in a given location. Your task is to Find and Trade for the one item. the twits is every time you move from location to location you pick up a panic card. This panic card can be bad for your motivation and as soon as you lose motivation Game over.

There were couple of challenges to fix here. My 2nd game attempt taught me that I would have to limit the unique dialog and restructure the way I used cards. The real complication was the trade system. If I had a random list of items and gave the character a choice between both what would this entail. Would I have to remove that Item from the list for ever. If I wanted each character to feel different would I have to create unique Items for each character. How can a character evaluate the wealth of my trade.

Questions I spend some time exploring and some elaborate solution can to mind. But I had to keep myself on point. I opted for a very simple random trades. I divided everything into ordinary Item, Special Item, Epic Item. The epic item would be used for picking “The One Item”. This would be the players main goal and win condition. The special item are more valued items and for therefore are the only items “The One Item” can be traded for. and finally the ordinary items are filler, their task is to give the character something to trade when they have no interest in what the player is trying to trade with.

At the start of the game “The One Item” is chosen from all the epic items. out of the 80 items remaining 54 unique trade recipe are created. This is were the challenge lies for the player. In order to get “The One Item” the player must first find and get what item it trades for, to be in the right place at the right time. in other words you have to get a bird to trade for chocolate bar to trade for wheelbarrow to finally get “The One Item”. Figuring this out would be very challenging as ever game would have different recipes. So I implemented rumours, give the player the recipes one at a time. An opportunity to figure the puzzle with out diminishing the challenge too much. The longer you take at finding the answer the more chances of losing the game, but the more information you will get.

As I write this I realize that it has gotten too long so Im going to leave it here. If you read all of my post I thank you, If you played my game a big hug to you, If you did both well I truly appreciate it. Have a good one everyone.

 

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