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Sharing an Artwork made for Kitsune :)

Posted by
Sunday, May 1st, 2016 8:51 am

Hello guys! Now that we’re one week from the results of the 35th Ludum Dare, I had some free time to de-rush artworks I made for our game Kitsune.
Hope you’ll enjoy this one, any feedbacks are welcome :)
Cheers, and thank again for all of your games!

Mathieu

kitsune_artwork

[Post Mortem] Kitsune by Lullaby team

Posted by
Sunday, April 24th, 2016 12:53 pm

screen1

Hello there!

Here’s a new post to talk about last week-end. Indeed, and as always (or nearly always), I definitely HAD to take part to LUDUM DARE!
As some of you may know, the 34th LD turned out pretty well for us, so Lullaby decided to team up again, and to renew the experience of Jamming. Now it’s been a few days since the end of the Ludum Dare 35, and it’s Post-mortem time!

And if you want to play our Game, Kitsune, it’s over here!

Ludum Dare #35 : “Shapeshifting”

For this Jam session, we were the same team of three : Louis Denizet (Prog/Assist. GD), Benjamin Baldassini (Music Composer), and I, Mathieu Clavel (Main GD/Art). But this time, it was a bit more special : I was alone on board, Game Design-side. Louis was moving to his new living-town during the week-end, so I had to take care about all the Game Design, documentation and Art during his absence. He would get all my work when arrived at his new place, and start to code the game.

japon

So let’s enter into Kitsune development. First of all, what is Kitsune ? Well, look down to learn more 😉

A (new) Game Designer challenge!

This time, I decided to go for a new game design method. I took my old Game Design Document format and put it in the trash. I needed something more efficient, that Louis would be able to understand “crystal clear” without us communicating in live by Skype or telephone. The ideas would be illustrated by a moodboard with keywords, expressing the proper DNA of each feature. Then, I’d list efficient user-centric lines that would need to be checked one by one in the TODO List.

FDNA_3CExample of Moodboard illustrating 3Cs

And now it’s time to actually make things happen (…again)!

Then, it was a go for the “production” part. The graphic part went good, and even faster than during the last LD. I had a really precise view of what I wanted : Japan, Old-fashion Theatre set, a fight between Good & Evil. Classic, but definitely working :) In the same time, I made a first prototype of the game in order to help Louis get a precise idea of the 3Cs (that he would custom/improve later).
Talking about Louis, he finally managed to get some time in the weekend, and started programming over my first prototype. I polished art, hand-made animations and documentation during the week-end, and was informing Louis about where exactly we were in the project, as he was in the train to his new living-town. As stressed as we could be with just a beginning of game and all the DATA done, I kept on iterating on the design, and Louis started programming and making feedback on the design again at the first second he was back at home…
Unfortunately, I was working on Monday, so I just closed and shared my files Sunday at night, and went to bed. At the same time Louis was still working, it was kind of a Relay race !
We were looking at the timer, and were only starting to make Level Design and still improving the Altars behavior and rules. The tutorial part went particularly good, as Louis had kept the experience of our previous entry concerning that part. We finally made some adjustments, and the game was cooked.

The goal of this LD35 was to create a game with a great experience concerning the Mood and Gameplay (that we wanted nervous, timed and fluid, cf. Moodboard), and I think that we’re pretty close to that today.
We won XP on organisation, and creation and adaptation of processes. We produced something, and lived a unique (and I think non-reproductible) experience. Ludum Dare style.

GAME OVER

What went wrong?

Since we don’t have any result yet, I can only make suppositions. On a production-side, I think that the word that could describe our week-end is “cahotic”. When I was doing stuff for Ludum Dare, Louis could not, and when he could, I was working or getting a bit of rest. It cost us precious iterations steps on the game, and we have been lucky that the final product ended so well.
The release was a problem too, though. We had no time in the first few post-release days to look after our game, and came back to it only around Thursday. So we started to vote for others and get review only around Friday. After these reviews, I think that I’m able to tell our weaknesses on this project :

  • The game isn’t playable on Web (Windows only). Again. And it’s still a thing that Web-playable games will get more exposure as you don’t have to install them on your PC.
  • The fact that the game has a “Die & Retry” gameplay is totally assumed, but can make some players fly away.
  • Level Design balance is still one of the last things we do, and I think that it should change for the next time.

Actually, thanks to all of you guys, we have a lot of good and constructive feedbacks on Our Ludum Dare page, so I invite you to go and read them :)
Anyway, we’re always waiting for more and more feedbacks, so hope you’ll like it!

Cheers :)

 

Mathieu, aka Ekilibr

Flowering Souls : Post-mortem

Posted by
Thursday, December 17th, 2015 11:28 am

Hey there!

My name is Mathieu Clavel, and today I’m the speaker of my group Lullaby.
So it’s been a few days since the end of the Ludum Dare 34, and it’s Post-mortem time!
For this Jam session, we were a team of three : 2 Game Designers (Louis and I) – one programing and one making the art stuff – and 1 Music Composer. First of all we would like to thank you all for the games you’ve made. Each LD is a great adventure, and there are so many awesome entries! Each time we’re proud to be part of it, alone or in group like this time.

cover

But let’s talk about Flowering Souls development. First of all, what is Flowering Souls ? Well, it’s our game, and you can try it right here :

[I really wanna try this game and leave a constructive comment!]

It was the first time Louis and I were working together, and we discovered there was a good synergy between us : the final game was designed on paper in less than one day. We decided to use both of the themes this time, and after a few ideas going to trash, we had our final concept.

Screenshot_LD34_1

Then, we launched the “production” part. The graphic part went surprisingly good. The last time I made graphics for a game was far from now, but at the end of the first day, all the characters assets were designed and ready for animation.
On his side, Louis was completing our List of Features, and we were experimenting and messing around with these mechanics in the same time that he implemented them.
At the end of our first day, we were confident : everything would be on schedule.
The second day was more about experimentation, modifications and polishing the “engine”. Louis also prepared a Level Design tool that would help me to design wave of ennemies, while I was creating animations and FXs.
The last part of the Jam was far more stressfull. We were looking at the timer, and were only starting to make Level Design and still improving ennemies behavior. It became more and more painful since we discovered the first couple of bugs (that we would take 45mn to solve), opening the gates of the “what the hell is happening ?!”. The tutorial was a big part of the time we spent on fixing bug, because we really wanted to get something clean and understandable.

Finally, we managed to deliver the game on time, and now we’re really proud of it!
We learned great stuff, produced something in 72 hours, lived a unique experience, and now it’s time to play :)

Happy hollidays to all of you, and see ya for the next Ludum Dare!

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