About Caveware Digital (twitter: @caveware)

A collective of dream engineers from Newcastle, NSW. We do not make video games. We make 'cyber experiences'.

Come with us on http://caveware.digital/.

Entries

 
Ludum Dare 35
 
Ludum Dare 34
 
Ludum Dare 33
 
Ludum Dare 32
 
Ludum Dare 31
 
Ludum Dare 30
 
Ludum Dare 29
 
Ludum Dare 28

Caveware Digital's Trophies

Humor - 1st Place - LD29 (Jam)
Awarded by r2d2upgrade
on May 20, 2014

Caveware Digital's Archive

DO YOU WANT TO MAKE TRIANGLES IN SPACE?

Posted by (twitter: @caveware)
Monday, December 14th, 2015 12:12 pm

chars

Amy, Chiyo, Crystal, Melanie, Skylar, Zoe… and bird. SPOOKY!!!

chikun Is In Once Again!

Posted by (twitter: @caveware)
Monday, August 17th, 2015 9:07 pm

Hey guys! We’ve participated in every Ludum Dare since LD28, and this one is no different. Our toolset this time is essentially the same as previous jams:

Engine: LÖVE
Version control: Git via Bitbucket [link to repo]
Editors:

  • Audio: Audacity / Psycle / SFXR
  • Code: Brackets
  • Graphics: GIMP / Photoshop
  • Maps: Tiled Map Editor

You can also follow us on Twitter to get updates / a cheeky follow from us 😉 Looking forward to jamming with you all!

‘BABY BORN’ – A POSTMORTEM FOR YOU CAN SHAVE THE BABY

Posted by (twitter: @caveware)
Sunday, April 26th, 2015 11:23 pm

‘BABY BORN’ – A POSTMORTEM FOR YOU CAN SHAVE THE BABY
A CHIKUN GAME BY JOSEF AND RYAN

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‘You Can Shave The Baby’ is a minigame experience that harks to the time-honoured Warioware minigames with a special dash of bizarre tasks that require the user to suspend their disbelief – and their sanity. The inspiration of the game draws from a series of weird and wonderful in-jokes Josef and I developed, incorporating elements from previous games we have made (all of which are available on our chikun.net website).
If you haven’t played it yet – check it out! Find it here, or on our site at chikun.net.

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01
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THE DESIGN PROCESS FOR ‘YOU CAN SHAVE THE BABY’

‘I want to make a weird game’. So we made one. Originally going down the avenue of wanting a hybrid horror-adventure in the vein of Yume Nikki, the project immediately turned into something else at the start of the jam.
The basic coding for the minigame format was fairly simple and self-contained once it was complete. In the vein of making minigames via Warioware: DIY the logic behind the games was easy: it needed,

(1) a timer, countdown and increasing speed,
(2) a win and lose state,
(3) different modes of user input that triggered success in minigames, and
(4) a life and score system to add progress.

After that, development was smooth sailing and the major focus of the programming was to tailor elements (2) and (3) to the unique specifications of each minigame.

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02
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As Josef was doing this it was up to me to ascertain the creative direction we wanted to take to give the minigames their personality, whilst retaining the challenge of the game. We made up a list of potential minigames, incorporating a basic description, and the win/loss states of each minigame.

Despite the bizarre nature of the game, many of the concepts revolved around non-sequitur comments, running jokes or references to previous games:

  • Aphrodite in the ‘disguise’ minigame was a character in Turtle Simulator.
  • ‘Don’t Spook The Bird’ is based on a photo of a sulphur-crested cockatoo I took at a nature reserve and features in reddit.com/r/lovebird.
  • I wrote a short story called ‘Pizza Pants’ at six in the morning at the Global Game Jam in Sydney. It stands as the only written example of pizza fetishism in literature.

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04
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CHALLENGES AND LIMITATIONS –
HOW DO WE IMPROVE THE BABY?

All in all the game came together relatively efficiently, unlike the tension of previous Dares. My only concern during development was that we would not create enough minigames to sustain the interest of players – using the base 30 minigames in a level of WarioWare, I think there was always room to expand.
We came up with few actual challenges during development, but one large roadblock manifested in the last few hours of the Jam – a major storm hit the coast of NSW, Australia, and caused power outages that ended up lasting for a week from that very night. Fortunately, when the power went out on the morning of the last day, most of the work was complete – it was only a matter of uploading the game via phone and praying for electricity.

 

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03
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So what did we learn from making the game? How could we improve the baby game?
(1) Develop more varied and innovative game mechanics
Due to time constraints, many of the minigames revolved around either using the arrow keys on the keyboard to steer the direction of an object, or hovering or clicking the cursor to highlight a change in a graphic. Making tattoos, shaving babies, and putting on makeup all rely on the same fundamental mechanic. With more time to develop ideas we could have certainly provided the player with a more engaging and challenging experience.

(2) Actually related to the theme
A common criticism of our game was that it had nothing to do with the theme. This is completely correct – Josef asked me, “Ryan, how does this relate to the theme?” I replied to the effect of who cares. At the end I think I implemented some tenuous intro theme about coming across a hacking weapon in the form of a floppy disk, but the plot was certainly a last minute ass-pull. We made the game for the abstract minigames, and that’s about it.

(3) More animation and graphics for seamless game experience
Though the simplicity of the minigames in WarioWare are simple, there’s a lot going on in the animation department. With more time we could have implemented fades and transitions between the opening cinematics, provided more animations to gague success and failure, and actually provided an ending to give an end goal and thus closure to players after the novelty of the minigames wears off.

 

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05

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Regardless, it’s clear from the feedback we got that people feel ‘You Can Shave The Baby’ was unique in style and memorable. That’s all we could ever ask for.

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BABY SHAVERS WANTED

Posted by (twitter: @caveware)
Saturday, April 25th, 2015 4:45 am

hispanic-traditions-shaving-baby-hair

 

BABY SHAVERS WANTED

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Looking for premium, experienced baby-shavers to shave the baby.

Casual hours, $16.95 p/h to shave the baby.

Perks include holding the baby, talking to the baby, and of  course the joy of shaving the baby.

Call (02) 9815 4000. Ask for “Randy.”

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You too can shave the baby in our game. “You Can Shave The Baby”.

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Milk Baths!

Posted by (twitter: @caveware)
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 11:08 pm

MILK BATH TIPS FROM CHIKUN GAMES:

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keith_david-milk_bath

 

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Are you feeling flustered?

Has the world got you down?

Try a milk bath! (pictured above)

 

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Sometimes all you need to relax from the rigors of the Ludum Dare is a nice milk bath!

All you need to do is fill your bath with lavender, geranium oil, honey, milk, and (most importantly) an African-American man.

Climb on top of the man and enjoy the cool, comforting feel of the milk bath.

The strange feelings you are experiencing are completely natural. Let the man tell you about his milk bath recipes. This is normal.

When you are finally relaxed, get a straw and drink all the milk in the bath with the man. You can even make it a game!

You could even fit two or more men in the milk bath! How many people can you fit in your bath?

I hope this helps you unwind now that the Easter break is over!

 

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MORE BATH RECIPES IN OUR GAME, “YOU CAN SHAVE THE BABY”.

All bath recipes inspired by our new game.

Find more tips about how to relax in our game, ‘You Can Shave The Baby’, right here!

b-baby

Posted by (twitter: @caveware)
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 8:14 am

wallpaper

Aketa Continues

Posted by (twitter: @caveware)
Sunday, December 7th, 2014 11:07 am

aketa

Character!

Posted by (twitter: @caveware)
Saturday, December 6th, 2014 8:56 pm

aketa

Our game is called Aketa. It’s interesting.

THIS IS THE GAME

Posted by (twitter: @caveware)
Saturday, December 6th, 2014 3:28 am

beauty

Hi guys! Another four months, another Ludum Dare. This time our roster’s a little smaller, but we feel that will make us more focused. Our team this time is:

  • Cohen
  • Josef
  • Keiran
  • Mathew

Tools we are using include:

  • Bitbucket
  • Brackets
  • GIMP
  • LÖVE
  • Psycle

Don’t forget to follow the progress of our other team member who is doing the Ludum Dare solo, Micaldom.

Thank you, and good luck!

STAR TURTLE 64 POST-MORTEM

Posted by (twitter: @caveware)
Sunday, August 31st, 2014 8:01 am

Hi there! We’re chikun, and we made a game called Star Turtle 64. It is the sequel to our Ludum Dare 29 game Turtle Simulator, which rode on the wave of ‘simulator’ games at the time and came first for Humour in the Jam with 4.58/5.00.

We are an eight-person group, and have competed in many game jams, as illustrated by the table below:
members

We experienced our best reception from Turtle Simulator, which has outlandish writing and strange characters. So we decided to continue that theme in this Ludum Dare. Sadly, our main writer had prior commitments, and we underestimated the extent of these commitments. As we realised this, and also realised that we were relying on our writing, we decided that we needed to focus on other aspects of the game. Here I will break down each part of the game and list what we did right and what we did wrong.

Main Menu

Let’s start off with an obvious one. The main menu was created almost entirely by Chris, one of our programmers. All of the code was written by him, and the final redesign was by Josef.
main1main2

This was a major success. Not many negative points to mention, except for potentially a better background image. The ‘scale mode’ and ‘volume’ options were little flairs that we hadn’t included in a game before.

Enemies

We hadn’t written a combat system like this before. Random enemy spawning was calculated by Mark and refined by Bradley, who also wrote the player’s weapons, inventory, and enemy movements and attacks.

 

 

 

 

 

As a positive, it was an interesting new system which was implemented quickly. Bradley’s code was effective and powerful, even though it was messy and structured strangely. The inventory animation was smooth, and the weapon-switch hotkeys on Q and E, though not widely used, were appreciated.

As for negatives, there were too many enemies according to some comments. This was a common topic of discussion, with some people praising the ‘fight or run’ battles, and others feeling overwhelmed. The final boss was also unclear, which makes sense. (The final boss has its type above its head instead of health – you have to shoot it depending on its weakness). Some people didn’t like enemies respawning upon leaving a room.

Writing

Ryan wrote a script with most parts fleshed out (intro speech, Garfunkel speech, level introductions and Broodmother), and Josef filled in the rest. Ideas were bounced around constantly, and a prominent one which stuck was the Michael Jordan basketball planet (originally the Air planet).
write1 write2

 

 

 

 

 

The dialogue was well-received this time. We planned to include so much more, along with many NPCs, but we had little time to complete anything substantial. We originally planned to have planets which were ‘at war’ and which hated each other, but that could not have existed without NPCs.

Map Design

Our map designer Mathew decided to approach this Ludum Dare with a greater focus on backgrounds than on tilesets. This may have lead to our maps being larger than we’d previously anticipated, though much more detailed.
lava

The largeness of our maps is a common criticism. We also originally planned to add much, much more into our environments, including collectibles to open up other puzzles, and small villages. A more concise and better developed script and vision would have lead to better maps. There were a lot of last-minute decisions which meant we didn’t have time to change the maps either.

Graphics

Only one member of the group didn’t contribute to graphics at any level and that was Cohen, our dedicated musician.

  • Bradley recoloured the knights and also designed the spaceship. He designed the weapon sprites and also created the inventory screen.
  • Chris designed the original main menu.
  • Gage designed the pulsating planet links and the hell gate which appears in the middle of the space pentagram. He also designed the on-screen controls of the Android port.
  • Josef edited the main menu and added HP above enemy heads. He also chose fonts and wrote the credits menu. He implemented animations and dialogue.
  • Mark designed most of the sprites in the game (including the main character). His pixel art was impressive, and also very quickly produced.
  • Mathew created all of the maps in the game (backgrounds and borders). He also designed all of the planets, except for the basketball planet.
  • Ryan designed the ‘cover art’ for the game.

9UjglVj (1)

Our graphical style was mostly criticised. One person claimed our graphics were disturbing. Why would they think that…
1One reason that people didn’t like our graphics was perhaps that our backgrounds had more detail than our moving entities. Seven people working on graphics also creates a certain level of inconsistency, which was probably a problem too. I suppose a dedicated sprite artist and greater attention to detail is what will help us next time.

Audio

Most of the (rather expansive) audio production was handled by Cohen, with Josef creating a few tracks and Ryan creating the main theme. We used Psycle, Cubase, Audacity, sfxr and an electric guitar.
psycke

This is the most work we’ve put into background music in a game, by far. It has resulted in a 21-track soundtrack. Some people wanted music to be improved, but most people enjoyed it. Not all sound effects were implemented due to time constraints, however.

Technical

Prior to this game jam, we used Dropbox. This was mostly terrible. We used Bitbucket and git this time, which was vastly superior, especially for a group as large as ours this time. We highly recommend it for even small groups. We created a framework before the Ludum Dare started which was highly helpful.

We also used bit.ly to track link clicks this time. This was useful to see who is clicking what:
links

Conclusion

We believe we performed well this time, however we feel there were many areas where we could have improved. We probably weren’t used to working in such a large group.

This time, we may do well in Humour again, but we aren’t sure exactly how we’re going to do in rankings. Hopefully we do well, and we’re confident that we’ll do well in -some- area, but we’re not sure where.

Thank you for reading! Please check out our game if you haven’t already. Here are some photos from the development process as well.

CAN YOU FEEL IT?

Posted by (twitter: @caveware)
Monday, August 25th, 2014 6:27 am

9UjglVj (1)

Have you known the majesty of the cosmos?

Posted by (twitter: @caveware)
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 4:10 am

Screenshot from 2014-08-24 21:08:48

Can you feel the universe?

Posted by (twitter: @caveware)
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 3:15 am

Screenshot from 2014-08-24 18:38:30

DAWN OF DAY 2

Posted by (twitter: @caveware)
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 5:15 pm

Chat systems are coming along beautifully.

Screenshot from 2014-08-24 10:12:31

How it all comes together

Posted by (twitter: @caveware)
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 10:00 am

Screenshot from 2014-08-24 02:57:24

Source-code railways.

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