About maartene (twitter: @@maarten_engels)

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We’re in!

Posted by (twitter: @@maarten_engels)
Friday, December 9th, 2016 2:39 am

Danny and I will be participating in the Jam for the second time.

We’ll be using:

  • Unity 5.5 with ProBuilder;
  • Photoshop / Affinity Designer;
  • Blender for modelling that KITT scanner;
  • Music will be from Jukedeck or licensed assets;
  • Chiptone for SFX.

Looking forward for a weekend of fun and coding.

I’m out, we’re in!

Posted by (twitter: @@maarten_engels)
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 2:18 pm

I wrote that I would be participating this weekend and still am. But with a twist! My brother-in-law will join me and we’ll enter the Jam instead of the Compo.

I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @@maarten_engels)
Monday, August 8th, 2016 2:31 am

#LD36 looking forward to it. I’ll again be participating in the Compo.

I’ll use my usual selection of tools:

There is however a twist, as i’m migrating my primary workflow to Windows. So:

  • Photoshop or Paint.net instead of Pixelmator;
  • Music Maker Jam instead of Garageband.

I might use some existing code, in particular:

 

Shape Running – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @@maarten_engels)
Sunday, April 24th, 2016 6:12 am

Man, time flies when your having fun. 48 hours are over before you know it. Anyway, I had a lot of fun creating Shape Running for my second Ludum Dare: Ludum Dare 35. So here is my Post Mortem.

What went well

  • Creating a quick proof of concept. At first I wasn’t too happy about the theme. Coming up with an idea for a game usually isn’t my biggest issue. For me the main question is: “how am I going to make this fun to play? (in 48 hours)”. So I always draft up a quick proof-of-concept to determine whether I believe enough in the idea to commit fully to it. I time box this activity to two hours max: if within two hours I don’t believe I can make it fun enough, I abandon the idea and try the next one. Fortunately, this time I could continue on the first idea I turned into a proof-of-concept.
  • Time management using Kansan Board: I love using Kanban for managing time and tasks. At all stages of development I have a complete overview of tasks that still need to be done, without being distracted of the ones that I’m currently working on. It also helps allocate time: how much time are you willing to spend on a task if there are still 10 waiting?
    At the start of day 1Somewhere in betweenAt the end

 

 

  • Graphics and Sound. I’m really happy on how the game turned out looking and sounding. I decided to allocate extra time to graphics and sound (especially music), because I like to deliver a complete and polished experience. The graphics are actually quite simple (lots of primitives), no texturing, but the use of shaders and image effects (bloom and motion blur) really help them stand out. The music was created using loops in GarageBand which is a blast to use.The game in action

 

What didn’t went well

  • Second mechanic: the game basically has only one mechanic: change shape in time. There is no strategy or variation whatsoever. In particular, you can’t become any better at the game once you finish it. So I really wanted to find a second mechanic, but wasn’t able to find one that actually added to the fun. I tried sideways movement and acceleration and actually went and prototype both, but my implementations just weren’t adding to the fun. And in my opinion that means that if they don’t add to the fun, they take away from it. So one mechanic it is, but if anyone has any suggestions for an extra mechanic, one that adds (strategic) depth to the game, please let me know in the comments of the game (or this post).

Link to game: Shape Running

I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @@maarten_engels)
Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 2:07 pm

Second time participating, hope the theme Gods will be kind to me. :)

I will definitely be using:

  • Engine: Unity3D;
  • 3D models: Blender / SketchUp;
  • 2D sprites/textures/etc Pixelmator;
  • Music & SFX: GarageBand and AS3SFXR.

Depending on the theme, I might use the field-of-view solution from Sebastian Lague’s tutorials (https://github.com/SebLague/Field-of-View)

I will license fonts from https://www.fontsquirrel.com

(Tail Power) – Results & Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @@maarten_engels)
Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 3:00 am

Hi all,

LD34 was my first ever Ludum Dare or Game Jam for that matter. And boy, did I have fun.

Anyway, I would like to share some of my experiences and talk a bit about the results for my entry: Tail Power (Compo).

screenshot2_small

What went well?

  • Submit a complete game &&
  • Within 48 hours &&
  • That is fun and playable
  • Stuck to the plan: keep it simple
  • The feeling of accomplishment after clicking the “Submit” button.

In other words: my main goal was to actually deliver within 48 hours. I had no idea how long everything was going to take, so chose to play it safe. This meant to make sure to keep the game design simple. To use technology I’m familiar with and don’t try anything risky. Also, I knew I had to find time to trim the tree somewhere in those 48 hours and also spend some time with family. Note: submitting actually takes quite some time, so I was happy to have allowed enough time for that.

What didn’t went well

  • Input controls and build targets: I chose Unity WebGL as the main deployment target. On my Mac / Safari combination this has some issues with control. For instance, the standard fire button (left-control) and an arrow key trigger Exposé (switching between virtual screens), so you can’t really use left-control reliably on a Mac together with arrow keys. “No problem! I’ll just use the [space] key to fire then!”. Nice try, space key in Safari scrolls the page one page down. So I ended up using the ‘/’ key to fire.
  • A frame within a frame: the actual game is hosted on itch.io within an embedded frame. This frame embeds the Unity WebGL page. My target screen sizes (960×600, Unity default for WebGL) ended up with introducing several scroll bars. Worse, using the arrow keys started scrolling the frames in addition to controlling the player character on screen. What a mess. I ended up adding WASD to control the player in addition to arrow keys.
  • Unity lighting: I wanted to use baked lights to indicate blue and red zones on the play field. However, lights also needed to illuminate the player as it moved around the play field. I tried using light probes but couldn’t get it to work. So, I ended up using about 12 real time point lights. That didn’t help performance. In the post compo version I finally settled with using one directional light and color grading.
  • Could have done more: even with trimming the tree and family affairs, there was still time to maybe add some more stuff.

Results

First off, thank you to everyone who played and rated my game. Much appreciated!

My entry ended up somewhere in the middle of the pack. Which I’m pretty happy with actually.

results

I’m not surprised by the relatively low score for innovation: in the end this is just snake with a gun strapped on. I did not take any risks, something that will be a goal for me in April.

Apart from the scores what really helps are the comments some of you left about the game: what you liked and didn’t and suggestions for improvements. These really help make a better game. So thank you to all who left feedback.

Final thoughts

I can’t begin to describe how much fun participating was. Next time I’ll definitely make sure to freeze all family related activities during the time of the Compo. See you in April!

You can play the game here

 

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