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Ludum Dare 35
 
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I’m in(ish)

Posted by (twitter: @crtmth)
Friday, August 26th, 2016 9:09 pm

This is a busy weekend and my aging laptop seems to be on its last leg, but I’m going to try to get something done if I can. This will be my third time in the jam!

Last half hour of voting…

Posted by (twitter: @crtmth)
Monday, May 9th, 2016 7:27 pm

I’d like to tell you to go play my game SEMILUCID here…

…but if you haven’t played Nyamo’s Adventure yet, play that instead. Best game this jam IMO.

So many games!

Posted by (twitter: @crtmth)
Thursday, May 5th, 2016 11:14 pm

Capture2

Well I’ve officially given 3 times as many ratings as I’ve received, and I’m exhausted now after playing 30-40 today alone. Someone go play my game and make the ratio a little better! Also check out this post for more information about the game! Thanks everyone!

Some words about SEMILUCID

Posted by (twitter: @crtmth)
Wednesday, May 4th, 2016 5:55 pm

Capture

First of all I want to thank everyone who played and commented on my game. Praise makes me feel good and constructive criticism helps me make better games in the future, I appreciate it all :) 51 votes feels like a lot but I’d be happy to get a few more!

I won’t embed the playlist but for those who enjoyed the music you can listen to the full tracks here: https://soundcloud.com/kali-zephyr/sets/semilucid-ludum-dare-35

If you haven’t played the game yet, it’s here (Windows only): http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-35/?action=preview&uid=63895

Here’s an exhaustive list of the tools I used for anyone curious:

  • Gamemaker Studio
  • FL Studio
  • sfxr
  • Photoshop
  • The voice recorder on my phone
  • LibreOffice (for the readme :p)
  • Mountain Dew
  • Pizza
  • ????? (the secret sauce)

I came up with the idea for this game a couple weeks before the jam in a vivid dream that looked somewhat similar to what the game looks like today (I don’t know how to write the shaders to make it look exactly like my dream, I wish haha). After I had the dream I decided I would make the game for this jam, figuring I’d find a way to make the theme fit when it came time. When the theme was announced it took me a couple hours to decide how to make it fit, but I decided on making the player transform into a bigger “nightmare” than the others after achieving “lucidity”. Before the player becomes lucid, they run from the nightmares but still have some control and ability to recognize what’s happening, hence the name “SEMILUCID”.

This is my second time participating in Ludum Dare, the first time being in December where I made a top down space shooter game. In that game I focused heavily on gameplay and balancing, without giving a whole lot of thought to aesthetics. In the end I made a fairly ugly game with complex inner workings that nobody could see, and I don’t think anybody actually finished the game, making it seem a little bit pointless to have put the effort in. This time I decided to make something with very simple gameplay and no real ending, instead focusing mainly on manifesting a trippy, dreamlike vibe through the visuals and music. Although I’m not particularly good at making visuals and music, I feel like I was mostly successful in this project. There are hidden meanings in the sounds and symbols of this game that aren’t vital to understand in order to play the game, but for me makes it feel like an artistic expression of myself.

Anyway, the point I’m really here to make is that if this game makes no sense to you and you don’t find it fun, I don’t mind, and if you are one of the people who do get it and enjoy it (I know there’s a few out there), you are the ones I made this game for. I’m happy to have had the opportunity to add my own tiny little work of art to the awesomely creative mix of beautiful games this Ludum Dare has offered. Thanks everyone for making this jam a joy to participate in!

P.S. I’m sorry about the shadow monsters that hide behind walls. Those guys are bastards and I should have done something about them.

tl;dr Play SEMILUCID if you like weird psychedelic dreamlike art games!

Posted by (twitter: @crtmth)
Saturday, April 16th, 2016 5:12 pm

 

View post on imgur.com

Some of my progress so far. Poor framerate is just because of the tool I used to make the gif, does anyone know better options besides gifpal? The idea for this game came from a dream I had, none of the actual gameplay has been implemented yet but the idea is that you will be chased by nightmares while searching for items which will bring you into lucidity. When you collect enough the gem representing your dream consciousness will transform/shapeshift into a lucid creature capable of eating your nightmares. Once you eat all the nightmares you enter another procedurally generated maze with more nightmares than before.  Your goal is simply to stay asleep as long as possible without letting the nightmares wake you.

In!

Posted by (twitter: @crtmth)
Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 6:26 pm

Going to be participating in the Jam for my second time now, first time was in December. I didn’t do too bad my first time but I think I’m better prepared now so hopefully this time will be even better! I plan on doing some further experimentation with randomness/procedural generation, this time with levels, last time was with music. I may or may not have a friend join me to help with the music this time, we’ll see! Can’t wait to start!

LD34 Post-Mortem – Sector5-0

Posted by (twitter: @crtmth)
Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 3:14 am

SSfin2

I just want to start off by saying thank you to everyone who organized and participated in this Ludum Dare, it’s been a very fun experience and even though this was my first jam, it won’t be my last :)

At first I wasn’t sure what to make of the theme, but I quickly decided I would use the mouse with both buttons as controls, with the possibility of incorporating growth somehow. I had no idea what type of game I would make when I started, only the control scheme, so first I made a blue box that followed the mouse over an orange background, with no idea where I was going. My goal was simply to finish a game, good or not, and my plan to achieve that goal was to start simple and build up. I decided it would be a shooter when I made it so that the blue box could shoot blue balls, and that’s when I started thinking about the aesthetic of the game. It almost ended up being about controlling a tank or some other land vehicle, but one of the major factors in my decision to make a space game was the simplicity of creating my own star field background that could be used throughout the game.

From there I decided the game would be about a space cop who uses brutal force to take out space pirates, with donuts to increase the shield (very silly, I know). It’s been a while since I played it, but IIRC the old shareware game Inner Space had a mechanic like that, and that game was definitely an inspiration. After that it’s kind of a blur, I just got into a really good flow and started cranking out what you can play now. Because my only goal was to complete the game, most of my initial effort was simply making sure the basics worked correctly (eg. title and game over screens, UI, controls). It paid off because before 48 hrs in I reached the point where the game was essentially finished, I just needed to add levels and enemies. After that it was just a matter of constantly testing and tweaking while I added those things. Of course, the last half-hour of development ended up being stressful anyway, I put in a final boss that turned out to be (probably) unbeatable, and I was frantically making changes up until literally five minutes before the deadline. Now I think that my skills were possibly adversely affected by the stress and I may have made the boss too easy, but I don’t think anyone’s actually made it that far anyway.

Tools used:

  • Gamemaker Studio
  • Photoshop
  • FLStudio
  • SFXR
  • Starfield Generator
  • cgMusic (I’ll talk about this one in the next section)
  • Didn’t use it during the jam, but I made the font last week with FontStruct.

What went right:

  • The music! I didn’t think I would have music initially, I figured I would be better off without music than with whatever crap I managed to come up with. I started to get curious about procedurally generated music, and searched for a while to find a program I could use. I found quite a few, but most of them either sounded like crap or were overly complicated. Or both. I was about to give up and write off the time I wasted as a lesson learned (lesson would have been “Computers Can’t Make Music”) but the last link I clicked on was for cgMusic, which created the MIDI score the music in-game is based on.
  • The flow! I wish I could get into grooves like that all the time. I took care of myself but I spent most of my waking time working on the game, because I wanted to and it was fun.
  • The engine! I had basically no problems whatsoever getting the engine working. I think the only fatal errors I saw all weekend were typos of the “whoops, forgot a bracket/equal sign/etc.” variety, and even then I only had maybe 5-10 of those. Couldn’t have gone any smoother.

What could have gone better:

  • Couldn’t get a web build working. I thought it would be as simple as telling GM to compile for HTML5. Ha! How naive I was two days ago… I think the main problem is that the audio doesn’t preload but I don’t even know where to begin on fixing that, and even if I did I wouldn’t be surprised if there were other issues.
  • (IMO) the graphics. I’ve had a few people tell me they liked the graphics but I think they were just being nice. I won’t be too hard on myself, they did turn out better than I expected, and I actually like a couple of my enemy designs, but I’m not much of a visual artist and I think it showed. Also my least favorite enemy sprites are the first two and I feel like that leaves a bad impression.
  • The game is too fast-paced for me to simultaneously play and get good screenshots. Really minor but the last section had three points so I figured this one should too :)

Ok, wow, that was long-winded. I was going to highlight a few of my favorite games others have made but maybe I’ll save that for another post. Thanks for reading, whoever actually took the time to read this far!

TL;DR

I had fun participating in my first game jam and it went way better than expected. When’s the next jam, anyway? :)

Finished!

Posted by (twitter: @crtmth)
Monday, December 14th, 2015 9:59 pm

SSfin2

Well, I wasn’t sure I could do it, but I pulled it off! This is not only my first ever game jam entry but also the first game I’ve ever considered “complete”. It’s not the greatest thing ever but I still think it’s pretty fun even after hours of testing and tweaking, I hope others enjoy it as well! Click the picture to go to submission page.
Time to take a break finally, then on to rating games!

I’m in

Posted by (twitter: @crtmth)
Thursday, December 10th, 2015 7:37 pm

This will be my first game jam, and I don’t have full confidence in myself to create a game in 72 hours, but it sounds fun so I’m going to take a shot at it.

I’ll be using Gamemaker Studio, sfxr, Photoshop, and maybe Pyxel Edit, GoTile, and Bosca Ceoil (if I have time to add music).

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