Ludum Dare 33
The Theme is:
You are the Monster

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About KunoNoOni (twitter: @KunoNoOni)

By day I am a mild mannered white collared man working for Corporate America, At night when the sun goes down you can find me behind the soft glow of my monitor, hacking away at yet another creation of mine...

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Dragon’s Horde – An LD33 Game that almost wasn’t! – Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @KunoNoOni)
Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 4:18 pm

Inspiration can come from the most unlikely places!

So there I was on Friday night, watching some YouTube videos on Unity while I was waiting in the IRC Channel for the theme to be announced. I had my list of game ideas up and had gone over them several time making sure I was happy with each of the ideas I had thought of for the different themes in the final round. ‘You Are The Monster’ only had one idea next to it, sadly I wasn’t really happy with it but it was one theme out of 20 and only had a 5% chance of winning… or so I thought :). 9 O’clock pm EDT rolls around and the theme is announced.

My heart sank… ‘You Are The Monster’ wins the final round. I looked at my idea again, still not happy with it. So I begin to brainstorm again for the next hour and I come up with something. To be honest I’m not really sure why I think of anything for this theme as it can be interpreted in many ways. I should of had a hundred ideas for this theme! But I didn’t… With the idea I did have I started in on making some art for it, and I come up with a few different designs.

I played around in Photoshop making some animations, brought the sprites into Unity and played around with the sizing of them. Then something weird happened… I lost all motivation to continue with this idea of mine… in fact I hated the idea… and I was back at square one… sigh… it was just about 2AM now… I gave up and went to bed.

Woke up before 9AM, still didn’t have a game idea yet. I make myself some breakfast, walk the dogs and basically just mill around the house. Around 10:30-ish I decided to see how everyone else is fairing on the LD website. I scrolled through the different posts and then I came upon a pic in one post. I stared at it for a few minutes and just like that I had my game idea! I again went back to Photoshop and mocked up some art, created my project in Unity and began the long journey of turning my idea into a game.

Now on to the Post-Mortem…

What Went Right
Let’s start off with some good news shall we :).

1. The Art – Not being an artist by any stretch of the imagination I was still really happy with the art I created. I am especially proud of the gold coins I made.
2. The Idea – Once I knew what I wanted to do I was able to easily flesh it out quickly.
3. Experience with Unity – This hindered me a little last LD, but this time around I was much more confidant.
4. Not a lot of bugs – This was a blessing :) It also helped me focus on getting the game complete instead of having to go back and fix things too much
5. Effective Time Management – A great skill to have for a Game Jam! :)

What Went Wrong

1. Collisions, Collisions, Collisions – Yep, I had problems with them again! Seem I was not aware a BoxCollider2D has a top and a bottom. This caused me about 20 minutes of frustration :).
2. The spawning of the enemies – While the spawning works, I do think I could have made it better than what was implemented
3. More player abilities – This of course comes from hindsight, but I’m thinking I should have added another ability than just shooting. like a breath bar that gives you the ability to breath fire that covers a small radius in front of you. Once the bar was depleted it would take like 30-45 seconds to recharge.
4. Knight’s Sounds – I’m not sure why but coding the sound so you could hear the knights death cries too longer than expected. I think it had something to do with a change that was made in the way Unity 5 handles prefabs. I could be wrong :/

If you’d like to Play and Rate my game, you can find it here. See you all in December for LD 34!

Of course I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @KunoNoOni)
Friday, August 7th, 2015 5:34 pm

Ah its Ludum Dare time again! Can’t wait! I was really surprised at how well I did using Unity for LD32 that I’m going to be using it again. Not sure if I’ll do a 2D or a 3D game but I’ll be using Photoshop for Sprites/Textures. Autotracker for music again unless I can find something else. I also actually submitted 2 themes this time around, but what ever theme wins good luck to all who enter!

The Power of Love, A Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @KunoNoOni)
Monday, April 20th, 2015 6:29 pm

Well its that time again, time to sit back and reflect on this past Ludum Dare. Even without knowing I undertook Sol_HSA’s challenge of using a new language. Normally I used Actionscript 3 with the Flixel Framework, but this time I used Unity 5 with C#. After LD31 I promised myself that I would switch from Flash to Unity. Talk about timing :) Anyways, let’s move on…

What Went Right
Let’s start off with some good news shall we :).

1. I finished my game using a new language! This is always a great thing no matter how good or bad the game is.

2. I had a good idea of what I wanted to make. There were some bumps along the way but I’ll discuss those down below. This kind of theme really fits any genre and also lends itself to be interpreted in some really unusual and downright funny ways. Unconventional Weapon… could be anything! I chose love as my weapon and I have to say I really had fun making my game.

What Went Wrong
Alright its time to get to the meat and potatoes of this Post-Mortem :).

The Original Art
When the theme was announced my initial idea was to do a platform style game. Seeing how I wasn’t really limited in the size my art needed to be I started to draw my heroine, Lizzy Lovesalot. Believe me when I say I can not draw to save my life! She looked horrible and I really had no idea how I was going to animate her. That is when I scrapped the idea of a platform game and came up with the game that I submitted. Which is kind of funny as I started using Unity for its 2D features and I ended up making a 3D game lol.

The Inexperience Factor
Having not used Unity for an LD before I was not prepared for what lay in store. I was not prepared for some of the issues I would have. So let’s talk about those issues and perhaps someone might be able to give me some advice or insight.

1. My third person player controller wasn’t the greatest. I think it had something to do with the camera, you know, no rotating :) I know I need to work on a better third person controller. I know Unity comes with a first and a third person controller. I may look into those or just try to build one myself. Would give me more practice, which is something I really need right now. While I am disappointed in the controller, I thought it was neat how the player rotated. Perhaps that style of controller would have worked if everything was in front of the player. Something to look into I’d say.

2. I pretty much understood how collisions and triggers worked, but for the life of me I could not figure out why the player character stopped colliding with the walls I made around the play area. I tried everything I could think out. The player always had a rigidbody component attached. The walls didn’t have one so I tried putting one on them. nope they fell from gravity, so I turned off there gravity. nope, I could still pass right through them. I removed the rigidbody and made them triggers then added a script which would push me in the opposite direction if I touched them. nope, that didn’t work either. Now that I think of it, the only thing I didn’t try was recreating them. Not sure how I missed that one. Should have been the first thing I tried. Derp! :)

3. The relationship between a prefab and its script. I was under the illusion that a prefab with a script was a self contained thing, which means if the prefab had a button that turned it on and off I could put out multiple ones and they would work independently. Umm, yeah no that is not how it works :). In hind sight what I should have done was have a List or Array of bools in an empty gameobject who’s job would be to keep track of which prefabs were on and which were off. You know what they say about hind sight :)

That is about it. It really came down my inexperience with Unity, which will get better with time and practice… lots and lots of practice :) I may have to add learning Blender in there too as I might just need some 3D models someday beyond the basic geometry Unity supplies.

If you’d like to Play and Rate my game, you can find it here. The instructions from the game are posted for you to read as are some Notes and Tips. I know the controls are a little clunky but since there are no wall collisions you can move outside of the play area and practice controlling the player! See its not a bug, its a feature! Just remember the player will move forward in the direction the crosshair is facing.

Using Unity was a great learning experience and I can’t wait for LD33!

Compo and Unity Asset Store

Posted by (twitter: @KunoNoOni)
Monday, April 6th, 2015 5:13 pm

So what is the ruling about this? Can I use Assets from the Store in my Compo game? I’d honestly think not since the Compo is a create all assets from scratch but I see other talk about using them in there Compo games and wanted to get your thoughts on the matter.

Is the Unity Asset Store off limits for the Compo?

I’m not really sure why I wrote that big title…

But yes I am in for my 10th round of Ludum Dare! The last 2 times I went in with an idea of the type of game I wanted to make and both times I ended up having to start over because it wasn’t working. Not this time baby! This time I’m going in with no idea of what I’m going to make. I am making one change to my usual weapons…

This time around I am using Unity 5.0 instead of Flash with the Flixel Framework. While I might not be as proficient with Unity as I am with Flixel, I feel I will have more freedom to make the game I wanna make.

So whatever the theme is, expect a really really simple game from me. I probably will go for a 2D instead of a 3D game but I will let the Theme guide my game making choice.

As far as the other tools go, I’ll still be using Photoshop, BFXR and autotracker.

I hear walking simulators are all the rage now, I might try my hand at that… 😉

Rail Gunner – A Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @KunoNoOni)
Sunday, December 14th, 2014 10:00 am

The theme for LD31 was ‘Entire Game on One Screen’, this can be interpreted in many ways. my interpretation was to have a game where everything is on one physical screen. No popup menus, no scrolling levels, no switching views of any kind. After the last LD I thought about what type of game I would like to make for the next LD. This is a practice I am no longer going to do, I won’t tell anyone else not to do it but as for me I am DONE! Let me explain. Normally I start with ‘what went right’ but because this section isn’t going to be very big I will start with…

What Went Wrong:

1. Multiple restarts

This is going to be the only entry in this section, but it is the main issue I had and all of the other issues will fall under this as sub issues. Let me start at the beginning (usually I good place, amirite? 😉 ) So I did my voting thing for this LD and I actually voted up the theme of this LD in round 4 and the final round. I thought it was a great theme for an LD. I still do. Fast forward to Friday night, I’m home from work and waiting for the theme announcement while watching the IRC Chat.

We were all sure the theme was going to be Snowman, everyone was talking about what type of snowman game their going to make. Others are like ‘if the theme is snowman I’m quitting!!!!’. Then the theme is announced, I was a little anxious prior to the announcement but I already knew what I was going to do. So as I do every LD I start in on the Art, there wasn’t much I needed for the game I had in mind and I even figured I’d be able to get some coding done before I went to bed for the night.

It was at this point I realized my idea wasn’t going to work (should have seen this as an Omen. I mean come on! If I’m at the Art stage and I already know the game wasn’t going to work I should have dropped the idea and thought of a new one!). So I quickly modified my idea and continued on (The blinders were fully extended and tunnel vision was engaged!).

I was able to get some coding done before going to bed. I got about 5 hours before I woke up and started in on a full day of coding. I coded for 9 hours before I stepped back and said, ‘this isn’t going to work’. This is not something you want to say 20 hours into a 48 hour challenge. But I said it, and boy did it hurt! This was a real let down.

I really wanted this to work, but I knew if I kept going with it I wouldn’t finish the game on time. So at 5:10pm I decided to start over. I quickly came up with a new idea which was much more reduced in scope than the last game. Again I started in on Art, but only on what the player was going to look like. I wanted to get the player working then I would add in the other sprites.

I spent a little over 3 hours trying to get the player to do what I wanted him to do. I looked at the clock, and all I could see was time that I could not get back. Frantic at this point, I again decided to do yet another restart, but I didn’t need to think of another idea I just needed to rethink my approach for the one I had. Which is the game I actually finished and submitted.

So those sub issues I talked about in the beginning are the following:

A. Limited Knowledge/Limited Ability of the Framework

I fell in love with the Flixel framework when I found it back in 2010. It was easy to use and I could quickly get a game up and running in no time. It is good for Platformers and Shooters, but in my opinion not really much else. Yeah I was able to make a strategy game with it but it was pretty limited. It is no longer being updated by the author anymore, although there are some community members who have taken it upon themselves to do some updates, but the last official version is 2.55.

The problems I was having stem from this issue, either I did not have the knowledge to do what I wanted to do or it just couldn’t be done with the framework. Many of the big contributors to the project have left and either created there own frameworks or are using other frameworks. I told myself before the LD began that I this would be my last LD using Flixel and that I would be moving to Unity3D for all future LD’s. I’ve been tinkering around with Unity for a few months now, but I’m no where as proficient as I will need to be to compete in an LD but I have 4 months to learn what I need :)

B. Scope of the Project

George Santayana once said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.“, Oh how true this quote is… I think from now on I am going to read my past Post Mortems before I start any future LD just so I do remember what my previous issues were and hopefully I can avoid them. This is the 2nd LD I’ve had to restart a project because of either scope issues or framework issues. Interestingly enough in each of those LDs I already had an idea of the game I wanted to make… Like I said above, I’m done with that… going in blind will be so much better! :) What sucks is before the LD started I told myself I needed to make a game that could work on a mobile phone and it took me 30 hours before I actually did that.

C. Ideas Cut Because of Time

There was one thing I remembered from one of my past LDs, LD23 I made a shooter and of all the comments I got from it 2 stuck with me. 1. let the player hold down the button and fire and 2. add in some powerups. This time around I did add in the ‘hold and fire’ ability but I had to cut the powerups from the game. I just didn’t have the time, the game itself was made in a little under 18 hours. Now had this been my original idea I’m sure it would have been better than it already is.

D. Polish, Polish, Polish

You hear it every LD, ‘this is a great game, just add some more polish and this could be awesome’, yet another thing I didn’t have a lot of time for. Which kinda explains why the game is harder than it should be. I was kinda going for the ‘bullet hell’ look and feel but perhaps I should have built up to it. I was too focused on actually completing the game as time was not in abundance for me.

E. Lack of Planning

This is definitely my most weakest point :). Alexander Pope once wrote “For fools rush in where angels fear to tread“, yeah that’s me with planning LOL! Some LDs I have an idea and I’m able to see it from beginning to end and not have a problem, other LD’s I see the finished product but not the route I need to go to get there, or I have a good understanding of what needs to be done but I don’t see the pitfalls until I bump into them. I really need to work on this.

F. Overwhelmed by the Grand Scope of Things

Create a game in 48 hours! HOLY COW IS THIS A HUMUNGOUS UNDERTAKING! Can it be done, of course it can, thousands of games have been created in 48 hours or less, heck I’ve done it 9 times myself! But every LD I get the theme, think of an idea and then freak out about what I need to do to complete said idea. I really need to hire someone to smack me when this happens and then smack me again and tell me how my idea is to large and needs to be reduced in scope. This is essentially what I did to myself which each restart. I reduced the scope of my project until it was very manageable.

I could go all day with ‘What went wrong’ but I think you get the point… So let’s hop on over to…

What Went Right:

Hmm… let’s see… ummmm… Ahhhh… well…. OOO I got one!

1. Completed a Game

Yes, I completed a game for the LD. Its a decent game too, a little rough around the edges but very playable. You can try it HERE.

Yeah, that’s about all I can come up with. Its really sad that this is the one thing I can think of that went right but I have to be honest with myself, this was my worst LD experience ever. Hopefully the next LD will be a better experience and I’m pretty sure I will not forget the events of this LD for a long time. I also hope I never need to repeat them in a Post Mortem ever again. I really hope your LD experience was better than mine. See you all in April of 2015 for LD32!

RailGunner is ready for judging!

Posted by (twitter: @KunoNoOni)
Sunday, December 7th, 2014 8:59 pm

Title

A Game made in 48 24 18 hours!

Its an arcade shooter, with spunk!

Play and Rate it here!

9 times? 9 times. I don’t remember him being sick 9 times.

Posted by (twitter: @KunoNoOni)
Sunday, November 30th, 2014 8:44 am

I asked for a car, I got a computer. How’s that for being born under a bad sign?

Yes this will be my 9th appearance at Ludum Dare.

I’ll be using my usual suspects, Flash w/ Flixel Framework, Photoshop, BXFR, Autotracker.py (for music)

Good luck to all who enter and remember “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Have fun all!

Arcaena – A Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @KunoNoOni)
Monday, August 25th, 2014 9:51 pm

This was my 8th time participating in the Ludum Dare and I have to admit I love doing it! I really liked the theme this time around and locked in on an idea pretty quick. I had never made an rpg style game before but felt it was the best way for me to get my theme across. RPG’s and Strategy are my staple games I love to play so I tried to imitate the turn based battle style of the earlier final fantasy games. I got it done, for the most part :) but I digress, on with the Post-Mortem.

What Went Right:

1. Theme and Idea Connection. Like I said I loved the theme and had an awesome idea for it. The really cool thing about the theme was how open ended it was. There were so many ways to interpret it, which will make for some really interesting games. I went with a straight forward literal interpretation. Worlds which are connected by warp gates.

2. Pixel Art. I have to say, this is my best pixel art out of all the LD’s I’d done. I’m really astounded by how great I made everything. Now I might sound like I’m boasting but honestly I’m not, well maybe just a little ;). I’m no artist as is evident by my other games I’m just really proud of the job I did.

3. Sounds. Normally I spend a little over an hour getting just the right sounds for my game. This time though getting my sounds was quick and easy.

4. Battle Feedback HUD. Originally my battle HUD was either black or white, depending on which world you were in. I had jotted down that I wanted to put in some way for the player to know when they could attack and when they couldn’t. An hour before the deadline I decided to put in the battle feedback HUD. So now when you get into battle the players weapons with be green if you can attack and red if you cannot attack.

5. Knowing My Tools. Every LD game I’ve made has been made with Flash using the Flixel Framework. I had learned to use it back in 2011 and felt proficient enough with it by LD 22, or so I thought. But that was 3 years and 7 LD’s ago, a lot has changed as has my ability with Flixel. Earlier this year I started to learn Unity but do not feel I am ready to start creating games with it just yet. So I will stick with Flixel at least for one more LD but we will see. My art is made in Photoshop and I’ve been using it for several years now. If memory serves me correctly I started using version 5 back in the early 2000’s. I’ve used other programs but I always come back to Photoshop. I want to learn how to use Blender as it seem like a really cool program. Perhaps I will as I learn more and more about Unity.

What Went Wrong:

1. Pixel Art: Yes I know I put it down above, but let me explain why. While it was some of the best art I’ve made to date it took me entirely too long to make. Normally I spend Friday making all the art for my game. This time around not only did I spend all of Friday but most of Saturday morning too. To make matters worse, some of the art I made had to be remade on Sunday. All of this probably happened because of the…

2. Scope Of The Project. While I love the idea I came up with I do feel it was a little too big for an LD game. Days before the event I kept telling myself “the game needs to be small” and “I need to finish all the programming on Saturday”. Because of the scope of the game certain elements weren’t up to par. Which leads me to…

3. The Battle System. Oh what a clunky mess this was :) I really tried to mimic the Final Fantasy turn based combat. Its kinda there, which the exception that the boss attacks as your moving back. In my defense, it was the first time I tried implementing this type of system in a game. It looks so easy when I was playing Final Fantasy :) Now let’s talk about…

4. A Weak Story. It was really cliche and kinda hacked together. Besides not being an artist, I’m also not a story teller :) So it is what it is. HAHA! This would be the number one reason people lose interest in the game. Now what do all of these issues have in common, well I’ll tell you. Its me getting…

5. Flustered Before The LD Starts. It never failed. I vote for the themes I want, when the final round starts I jot down all the themes and try to come up with at least 3 different ideas for each theme, sometimes I can and sometimes I only get one or two idea. More often than not I can’t think of anything or the one idea I do get it really weak and I have a hard time understanding how I’m going to make it. To make matters worse, when the theme is announced I freeze up and my mind goes blank. I look over the ideas I came up with, if there are any and instantly hate them all :) I believe my problem stems from my lack of creativity and under used imagination. Another one of my problems is once I come up with an idea I get overwhelmed by the grand scope of what I need to do to complete the project, rather than taking it in small manageable chunks. I’m not much of a planner, but I’m really trying to learn to be one. as I feel it would greatly help me with my game development.

A little about the game:

I wanted to take some time here to kind of explain why I created the game in the style I did. I’m an old school gamer and I have a fondness for retro style games. My game Arcaena reflects some of the old school styles used in other games. The battle system, as I’ve said before, tries to imitate the turned based battle system of Final Fantasy. The movement on the maps is in the style of the original Wasteland game from 1988. Having read some of the comments I’ve gotten for this game and some of my previous entries I’m beginning to believe a lot of these concepts have no place in games today. Perhaps I need to rethink my approach to game development. Seems I have some thinking to do before the next LD.

An inspiring quote

Posted by (twitter: @KunoNoOni)
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 4:54 am

Every morning when I get to work I check my email on my phone while I walk to get ice. Every morning there is an email from Thoughtful Mind with an inspiring quote, today’s quote really connected with me as the Ludum Dare is tonight! I’d like to share the quote with you all here.

It is about Confidence and its from Joe Namath (for those who do not know he was a great quarterback in the hey-day of American Football)

Confidence…

“When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.”

– Joe Namath

So to everybody participating in the Dare tonight, have confidence in what your about to do and let’s all see those amazing things your about to make!

I’m In…Schrödinger’s cat style!

Posted by (twitter: @KunoNoOni)
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 4:33 pm

I’m in…and not in! HA!

Either way I’m using Flash w/ Flixel Framework, Photoshop, Bfxr and random generated music.

My entry is ready for your playing pleasure!

Posted by (twitter: @KunoNoOni)
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 3:43 pm

Another Ludum Dare in the bag! My entry – The Moon Has Monsters! has been submitted.

The Moon Has Monsters!

Click Here to Play and Rate my game!

Short and sweet

Posted by (twitter: @KunoNoOni)
Thursday, April 24th, 2014 6:49 pm

I’m in, using Flixel, Photoshop, Bfxr and random generated music.

Done and Submitted!

Posted by (twitter: @KunoNoOni)
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 6:16 pm

I present to you my Ludum Dare #28 Submission…

titlestage1a stage2 stage3 stage4 stage5

You can play it here

I wasn’t able to get any animated .gifs though…

We that’s all for now. I hope you enjoy the game, I really had fun making it!

Progress Update 4

Posted by (twitter: @KunoNoOni)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 11:39 pm

I am now 80% done. All major coding is complete, just need to add sound, some music, and polish but I will save this for the morning. I have some real nice reflections to share when I do my post mordem. All in all coding has been going smoothly. So I guess I’ll keep this short and sweet. No pic again this time but I promise to post many pics once I’ve finished the game. I may even post a gif of some action :). Now its bed time.

Progress Update 3

Posted by (twitter: @KunoNoOni)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 4:29 pm

I’m about 60% of the way done. I have the main mechanics coded, as well as the intro and several cutscenes. I will finish the remaining cutscenes before moving onto the last few stages and the ending. I hoping to finish the bulk of the coding tonight so I can focus on sound, music and polish tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes, I’ll update once more before I call it a night.

Till then.

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