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I do it! Again!

Posted by
Wednesday, April 6th, 2016 9:14 am

Second Ludlum Dare! The first one went great, and my Wife barely wanted to kill me after it was done!

Tools this time around are gonna be:

Hardware – MacBook (More mobile/flexible than my MB Pro)

Microphone – Blue Yeti (I did fully voiced dialog last time. Might do the same, or maybe just for SFX)

IDE – Unity (I do professional GameDev in Unity so…)

Editor – Visual Studio Code (No more Monodevelop!)

SFX – Live and bfxr

Music – Logic Pro X (I suck at music, just ask anyone who played my last game)

Sprites – AseSprite, Graphic, Photoshop

3D – Qubicle (I don’t know if I’m going to do 3D or 2D), Cheetah3D

 

Space Invadees – Post Mortem

Posted by
Sunday, August 30th, 2015 9:35 am

Invadees3

Play and rate

tl;dr

What went right
Graphics – I love the brain!
Cut scenes – I think they’re funny!
Gameplay – Controls and such work and feel pretty much how I wanted them

What went wrong
Levels – Too many levels for 48 hours!
Music – Not my forte.
Bugs – I had too much content that I was generating too fast.

Lessons learned
Don’t nest too many actions in C#
I can build a fully featured and relatively large game in 48 hours
I suck at music

Invadees1

Well, my first Ludum Dare is done, and it was awesome! I’ve done game jams in the past but LD is a whole other ball of wax. This time out I decided to be ambitious, insanely, stupidly ambitious!

The theme came as a surprise to me. I had planned for lots of them but “You are the monster” slipped through the cracks. Fortunately, a few months ago I had come up with the idea of a “space invaders in reverse” game. The only problem was, my concept was for a full scale game with cutscenes, hand crafted levels, and full 3d! Way too ambitious for me to do all by myself in 48 hours!

Invadees4

Well, never let it be said I lacked for ambition! It turned out to not be that tough. I started with the 3D modeling. I used Qubicle, (the 3d designer that cross road used), I wanted to use a limited Atari style palette so I used 8 total colors. I’ve been using Qubicle for a while and like it. My approach was to draw a “sprite” first in 2D. Then extrude into 3D and then carve out details. I’m super happy with how my models came out, especially Emperor Brain. He is my favorite character I have ever designed!

I also needed 3d text. I used Cheetah3D which is kind of a leaner, cheaper, Maya. I like it better than Blender because Blender has a UI designed for people from some planet that has more arms and fingers than Humans do! Anyway, creating 3D text in Cheetah was really easy.

Invadees2

Finally, I could move onto code. I’m genuinely happy with all the code I wrote on Saturday. I built all my classes as state machines. My idea was that if I took the extra time to structure everything correctly at the start then I would be able to greatly simplify the “crisis code” I knew I would be writing on Sunday. That was the best decision I made during the jam!

So, in addition to all this I also needed to script and voice cut scenes. I know I’m insane! The scripting was really easy. I’ll be the first to admit it could be tightened up. But for something that was more or less a stream of consciousness, not too bad. The script itself took me about an hour. Recording dialog took another hour. I used Audacity because it is the only recording software I have a clue about! For the actual recording I used the Blue Yeti microphone. I’m pretty sure I used the wrong settings on the mic and I forgot to use the spit guard (my wife knows about recording audio, not me, so I was SOL). If I had set myself up like I normally would for recording it would have sounded a lot better!

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 10.29.28 AM

One thing I wanted to do was edit the audio files to make the whole thing tighter, but I didn’t have nearly enough time for that! I also didn’t have time to rerecord for anything other than serious issues and flubbed lines.

Another thing I needed more time on was level design. For some reason I decided I needed 9 levels. There was no way for me to make 9 hand crafted exquisite levels. This was a huge mistake. I wish I had focused on making 4 perfect levels rather than 9 decent ones. Live and learn!

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 10.32.05 AM

One really interesting thing I learned about Mono is that if you have too many nested actions it will freak out, use 100% of the CPU and hang. I’m not sure why this happens. But it didn’t make for a fun Sunday surprise! I ended up needing to remove the ability to skip individual lines of dialog. This little surprise took a couple of hours to fix. It was the only major technical hiccough.

Generally though, I’m super happy with how everything came out I definitely plan on being back for LD34!

No really, play and rate

P.S. I screen caped all the cut scenes in case anyone is interested in the entire ludicrous story!

I made it!

Posted by
Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 8:51 pm

Invadees1

This was the most ambitious project I have ever done in 48 hours! To make it more onerous, I decided that I needed cutscenes. And that they should be fully voiced! This being the Compo, I had to do all the voices myself. But I think it came out pretty darn well. It was certainly a close thing to get everything done. And some of the stuff is not as polished as I would have liked. But, I think I genuinely did everything I could.

Interesting thing I learned about Unity and Mono. There is a limit to the number of nested actions you can have before the compiler just dies. I was using callbacks on my animations and it got so bad I couldn’t even open the project! I ended up switching to Coroutines and everything went back to normal

Anyway, try the game. It’s fun, and the cutscenes are awesome!

http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-33/?action=preview&uid=49246

 

 

I iz in!

Posted by
Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 4:49 pm

All right, after years of excuses (some valid) I am all in for LD!

I figure if you are gonna do a thing, do it right! So, it’s just me and the Compo! I plan on using this as an opportunity to binge on candy, pizza and soda. Oh, and make a cool game (But mostly candy)!

Tools will be

MacBook Pro (my ‘puter),
Unity (my ‘ngine),
Visual Studio Code (eye dee eee),
Ase Sprite (two dee),
Cheetah3d (tree dee),
Qubicle (more tree dee!),
Logic Pro X (tunes)

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