Ludum Dare 33
The Theme is:
You are the Monster

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The Monster I Am – Postmortem

Posted by
Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 7:33 pm

Another Ludum Dare has come and gone, and I’ve managed to cobble together something that resembles a game. This time the theme was “You are the monster”.

Friday – Concept

I had some trouble coming up with a concept at first and started writing down as many ideas as I could. The idea of an old black and white monster movie came coming up. I was thinking about old monster movies like Godzilla which reminded me of Rampage so I played the NES version for a bit to help come up with ideas. The funnest part about Rampage is climbing on buildings and breaking them down, so I decided to concentrate on mostly that. At the time I wasn’t very confident on my idea though and was afraid to get moving very fast because I was hoping that a better idea would come up. I ended up wasting about a few hours adding some random feature to my game engine that wasn’t even used on this project.

The only real bit of development I did on Friday was to quickly block out what a scene might look like using the tile editor in my game engine. This screenshot shows about as far as I got the first night…

Friday night – 3 hours in – Rough concept

Saturday – Building Physics & Platforming Mechanics

I tried to hit the ground running on Saturday and worked through most of the afternoon getting the building simulation working. It’s a pretty simple concept. Buildings are made out of square blocks and connected to neighboring blocks in a grid. Blocks apply a force to their neighbor to keep them connected, and break if they get pulled too far apart. It took a lot longer then I hoped to get the physics tweaked out properly. It’s like if you apply too little force the the buildings just fall apart, but if you apply too much they freak out and explode. So getting that working took most of the day and I was discouraged at many times because I thought the idea would not pan out for technical reasons. One problem throughout development was that the physical simulation is fairly taxing and does not run at full speed in debug mode.

Saturday Night- 24 hours in – Physics sim on buildings

Saturday Night- 24 hours in – Physics sim on buildings

I also added some simple platforming mechanics and the ability to grab onto buildings. First tried using a distance joint for grabbing but threw that out in favor of just manually applying an acceleration to the grip point. Spent probably way too much time working on the player sprite and went through many variations. I started with my sprite from LD31, morphed it into something like Frankenstein, then went greyscale, and finally back to color with a more surreal looking sprite. I thought glowing red eyes would look cool, but it wasn’t visible enough and I wanted to draw more attention to the player so I switched it to be a glowing sprite with black eyes. There were a few revisions in between that I lost, and research into other ideas for characters.

Player sprite evolution

Player sprite evolution

I wasted much of the night on Saturday. Took many breaks include a several hours long dinner with a friend. By the end of the night I was still not sold on my concept and it didn’t really come together until the next day.

Sunday – Fire, Enemies, Random Levels

I worked pretty hard on Sunday in an attempt to make up lost ground. Adding the fire spreading across the buildings was a major improvement in making the simulation interesting to watch. I also added a kind of electricity simulation that turns window lights on/off randomly if they are connected to the ground.

View post on imgur.com

One major thing still missing was any kind of enemies that attack the player. I ended up with only enough time to add one enemy type, planes that fly around shooting the player with a machine gun when they are in range. The flight patterns took more time then I expected because I wanted them to fly somewhat realistically to match with the realistic physics on the buildings. Since the game wasn’t much of a challenge with only this one enemy type I ended up making the fires damage the player, still not sure if that was the right decision because it can detract from the joy of destruction.

I spent about an hour on Sunday adding sound effects. I’m not very happy with the results, but it’s better then nothing. There was a lot of other features that I probably could have skipped. For example there is an intro section where the player starts small and transforms. It was a cool idea but I didn’t polish it enough to call it out and it will probably be overlooked by most players. Also the little tiny humans are kind of hard spot, and their physics/AI is wonky but I wanted them to give a better sense of scale.

The last thing I added was the random city generation which I banged out in less then 30 minutes. It was a risky thing to add at the end, but I didn’t know what else to do after you destroy the city. There wasn’t time to add any randomization on the trees or little humans, so they always in the same places from the editor. I would have liked to add a lot more variety in building type and stuff but there wasn’t enough time for such luxuries.

What Went Right

  • Visually looks pretty cool and is fun to watch.
  • Physics destruction sim is pretty cool.
  • Gameplay demonstrates that this could be a decent game if polished.

What Went Wrong

  • Building physics is a performance hog. Does not run well in debug mode.
  • Sound effects are horrible.
  • Got discouraged, didn’t trust my idea, and wasted a good portion of the weekend.
  • Visual Studio keeps freezing up and I have to manually shut it down in task manager. This happened at least 10 times and throws off my forward momentum because I forget what I was working on and lose my place in the code.
  • Wasted too much time working on stuff that got thrown away or didn’t matter.
  • Needed to spend more time polishing jump physics.

View post on imgur.com

I’m glad that I participated in this Ludum Dare, though it’s not my best entry. I took a chance on a technically risky idea and it payed off pretty well. Also, I think this is probably my strongest in visual imagery in a Ludum Dare.  I will continue working on it and release an enhanced version with 2 player support soon.

The Monster I Am – Postmortem Link

Posted by
Monday, August 24th, 2015 10:33 pm

View post on imgur.com

I wrote up a postmortem for my game and made a new GIF.

Also released an enhanced version with a few tweaks that I will continue to update.

Postmortem

Ludum Dare Entry

The Monster I Am

Posted by
Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 9:25 pm

I had trouble deciding on an idea but pushed through as best I could and this is what I came up with. It’s mostly a physics playground but I think it looks kind of cool and with a little more polish could be pretty fun. There is not as much gameplay as I would have liked. Also the sound effects are really bad. I programmed the randomness in about 15 minutes at the very end of the compo so hopefully it works.

Link to my entry: The Monster I Am

Progress Pic

Posted by
Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 2:12 pm

I’m very far behind, had trouble coming up with a solid idea but pushing ahead…

View post on imgur.com

Am I in?

Posted by
Friday, August 21st, 2015 7:15 pm

Bulkhead2

Reporting in to attempt my 7th Ludum Dare.

(Gif is from a top down action roguelike I’m working on called Bulkhead.)

Previous Entries

  • Scan Lines (LD31) – A platformer where the world is being rebuilt one scan line at a time.
  • (R, G, B) (LD26) – A minimalist adventure game with cool lighting effects.
  • Dark World (LD25) – A platforming game from the enemy’s point of view.
  • Spacescape (LD21) – Escape the space station before it destructs, with hand drawn art and vocal sounds.
  • Light The Way (LD20) – Guide the creatures to safety with your light, featuring a cool lighting effect and simple art.
  • Protractor (LD18) – A katamari shoot-em-up, featuring a dynamic ship construction system and abstract visuals.

My Tools

 

NI… I mean IN!

Posted by
Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 8:53 pm

I’m in for my 7th Ludum Dare. Let’s do this!

Previous Entries

  • Scan Lines (LD31) – A platformer where the world is being rebuilt one scan line at a time.
  • (R, G, B) (LD26) – A minimalist adventure game with cool lighting effects.
  • Dark World (LD25) – A platforming game from the enemy’s point of view.
  • Spacescape (LD21) – Escape the space station before it destructs, with hand drawn art and vocal sounds.
  • Light The Way (LD20) – Guide the creatures to safety with your light, featuring a cool lighting effect and simple art.
  • Protractor (LD18) – A katamari shoot-em-up, featuring a dynamic ship construction system and abstract visuals.

My Tools

48 Hour Game Dev Panel

A few months ago I hosted a panel all about 48 hour game development with some other Ludum Dareists…

Monster Mart – Education Game Jam Entry

Posted by
Saturday, March 14th, 2015 4:11 pm

I just wrapped up my entry for the Austin Educational Game Jam. I thought you guys might dig it. This was a week long game jam and I worked with one other person who did most of the art.

In my game you play a cashier in a grocery store for monsters. You will need to scan items, bag them efficiently, count the customer money, and give them their change. It starts easy but difficulty ramps up quickly. I will be showing it at the expo tomorrow at the Palmer Events Center in Austin Texas.

Download Link: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/42191645/MonsterMart.zip

MAGFest 13 Panel – “How to Make a Game in 48 Hours”

Posted by
Sunday, February 15th, 2015 10:52 am

We did a panel about game jams at MAGFest and the video just went up today!  There were some super talented and experienced panelists and we covered a lot of ground. There was a lot of audience interaction and interest. We talked about all aspects of the 48 game jam, from sleep schedules to art styles.

MAGFest was really fun too! I recommend checking it out. They put up nearly all the panels and a lot of the music on The MAGFest YouTube Page.

Here are links to our panelist’s Ludum Dare pages and dev blogs…

Link to the slides because they are kind of hard to see in the video.

MAGFest Panel – How to make a game in 48 hours

Posted by
Wednesday, January 7th, 2015 8:44 pm

I’m going to be hosting a panel at MAGFest called “How to make a game in 48 hours” and could use a few more people to be on the panel. We will be talking about developers experience, advice, and the impact of rapid prototyping competitions on the gaming community. Mostly I’m looking for people who have extensive game jam experience, are already going to MAGFest, and will be available to be on the panel at 8:30 Friday night. Please contact me if you are interested.

Also please enjoy this graph I just made showing the incredible growth rate of Ludum Dare…

ld_graph

Perfect looping GIFs of my game

Posted by
Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 8:48 pm

Postmortem for my Ludum Dare 31 Compo Entry

Posted by
Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 10:50 pm

This was my 6th time entering Ludum Dare. I wrote up a postmortem of my experience if it is of any use to anyone. Congrats to all who participated!

Read the Postmortem

Play/Rate my entry “Scan Lines”

GIF of my game, Scan Lines

Posted by
Monday, December 8th, 2014 7:04 pm

Play / Rate – Scan Lines

I’m working on a postmortem.

Scan Lines

Posted by
Sunday, December 7th, 2014 10:49 pm

I made a game. I wanted to explore the concept of having a scan line constantly pass over the screen while the camera stays stationary. I didn’t have much time for this one and spent about half the weekend implementing the core mechanic. I think it’s an interesting concept and it was fun to make. I would like to spend more time on the level design some time and try out the many ideas I had to cut. My entry only takes a few minutes and has many incremental saves, but it does get somewhat difficult.

This video shows my entire entry so if you are judging please play it first!

Click here to play and rate Scan Lines!

 

Do it live!

Posted by
Friday, April 25th, 2014 11:21 am

Hey, I’m back for my 6th Ludum Dare. My primary goal this time is to keep things as simple as possible and focus on polish. Good luck to all who compete!

Previous Entries

  • (R, G, B) (LD26) – A minimalist adventure game with cool lighting effects.
  • Dark World (LD25) – A platforming game from the enemy’s point of view.
  • Spacescape (LD21) – Escape the space station before it destructs, with hand drawn art and vocal sounds.
  • Light The Way (LD20) – Guide the creatures to safety with your light, featuring a cool lighting effect and simple art.
  • Protractor (LD18) – A katamari shoot-em-up, featuring a dynamic ship construction system and abstract visuals.

My Tools

And here’s a little video of the current project I’ve been working on…

I’m in!

Posted by
Sunday, August 11th, 2013 12:24 pm

I’m back for my 6th Ludum Dare. My open source game engine has recently been beefed up with some nice new features like copy/paste, undo/redo, and group selection in the editor. I also implemented a nice text decal system which is featured in the GIF below. These new features should make level design much easier so I’m excited to give them a test run. Good luck everyone!

Previous Entries

  • (R,G,B) (LD26) – Minimalist platforming adventure with physics based controls. Featuring a cool post processing lighting effect.
  • Dark World (LD25) – A platforming game from the enemy’s point of view. Features dynamic lighting.
  • Spacescape (LD21) – Escape the space station before it destructs, featuring hand drawn art and vocal sounds.
  • Light The Way (LD20) – Guide the creatures to safety with your light, featuring a cool lighting effect and simple art.
  • Protractor (LD18) – A katamari shoot-em-up, featuring a dynamic ship construction system and abstract visuals.

My Tools

Ludum Dare on Reddit

Posted by
Tuesday, May 21st, 2013 7:42 am

Ludum Dare results should be front page on reddit, let’s make it happen!

http://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/1erkci/ludum_dare_26_results_are_live_link_to_top_100/

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