Ludum Dare 31
Theme:
Entire Game on One Screen

Judging ends in:
It’s time to Play and Rate Games!

PlayRate80Star

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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Ludum Dare 31
 
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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.

Progress Update #2

Posted by (twitter: @KunoNoOni)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 10:53 am

Its almost been 12 hours since my last update. I have finally settled on a name for my game. YAY! I’m calling it Science Ship Cleomedes. The basic premise is you are the captain of the Science Ship Cleomedes and while on a science expedition you encountered an alien virus when completely disabled all the systems on your ship! With some luck and ingenuity your engineer gets life support and propulsion working. She then explains the virus has crippled the shields and weapons to the point she can only get one to work. She goes on to further explain that neither will work at full capacity. If she gets the shields working they will work for a 5 second burst, will only be able to take one hit and will need to recharge for 20 seconds. If she gets the weapons working they will only fire one shot at a time before needing to recharge for 20 seconds.  You’re 50000 miles from Earth, and you can only have shields or weapons. So what will you choose?

Here is a Screenshot of my progress.

progressUpdate2

after taking this screenshot I realized my spaceship looks like a car…

When I have more I will post another update.

 

 

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