About Mach60KAS (twitter: @Mach60KAS)

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The fab js game that involves like 6 colours and is short award!
Awarded by RHY3756547
on May 2, 2013

Mach60KAS's Archive

(Not So) Soulless Capitalist Robots – 72h Jam Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @Mach60KAS)
Monday, January 4th, 2016 5:41 pm

<– It’s like the Prisoner’s Dilemma, in space. Probably. Soulless Capitalist Robots! –>

Game design is hard. It’s even harder when it takes you most of the first day to reach a workable idea! I’d decided before the event that I wanted to design another multiplayer game, and for better or worse that’s what I made. Inspiration struck after I’d designed the network backend – what if I wrote a game for two players where the winner had to choose who would die?

Being a huge fan of Virtue’s Last Reward, the Prisoner’s Dilemma felt like it went hand in hand with my idea for the game’s conclusion. I’d found it was a natural fit for the “Two Buttons” theme, and the money aspect was a way to link the “Growing” theme in as well.

I’m very happy with the polish I managed to put into this entry – while it’s a smidgeon rough and maybe not engaging in quite the ways I’d hoped, my reviewers so far have mostly been happy to play it and I can’t really ask for much more than that! It’s been a learning experience, and I think it can improve my work when April rolls around:

What went right?

  • Settling on a simple, focused idea allowed me to put a lot more polish in than I usually have the time to.
  • Writing my own engine code made me feel far more comfortable than my past work with Phaser – where trying to do anything particularly advanced with image data leads only to heartbreak and awkward bugs. It helps that I feel more comfortable when I understand all the internals, rather than working with a black box.
  • Trying out Pyxel Edit for this event was a good choice – it was far simpler to work with than Photoshop, which isn’t the best for pixel art. It made animation a snap!
  • Including a chat system was a fantastic idea, and I think it makes up for a lot of the features that never made the cut. It gives me a lot of room to try and negotiate with other players, act the part, build up trust and sway their decisions. It’s been interesting to see how other people play the game too – I’m surprised that so many players cooperate so readily!
  • I had a great time on sprite and tileset design this time around, I felt like it just worked out the way I wanted. Just going for it rather than freaking out seems to be the best strategy!
  • I managed to get in music again! PxTone is a fantastic music editor to work with during Ludum Dare.

What went wrong?

  • It took me a long time to come up with an idea – while I did use this time to work on my network backend, it’s extremely demoralizing to work on network code without being able to test or try it out with anyone else. This is probably the exact opposite of how I’m used to developing games – it really sucks when you can’t see the results of your work!
  • Trying to write UI code without a decent framework is an absolute disaster – and I’m awful at it to begin with. Trying to create buttons and other elements was an exercise in patience, and quite a large time sink.
  • Writing my own engine code was a double edged sword. I feel like the time it took could have been better spent literally anywhere – and it’s almost certainly part of why my game was pushed back to the Jam.
  • Being pushed for time meant I couldn’t extensively play test the game – having played it so many times with other participants has given me a lot of insight on how it should be improved.

What was missing from the final game?

  • Powerups – Every 4th turn was originally meant to introduce a bonus for the next round, such as a multiplier on coins obtained. I wanted a system like this to try and introduce competitiveness between players, and to try and influence riskier play and more betrayal.
  • Balance – Without powerups to mix up the formula, the game can grow quite stale over time. With some play testing, I could have discovered this sooner and reduced the amount of rounds per game. Additionally, rounds are too rapid-fire to allow for proper conversation. While I did need to add a time limit to prevent obstruction of play, I think if I made both of these changes it would fix the game’s feel, giving decisions and discussion a lot more weight.
  • A chute to drop money on the player characters. This is the thing I’m saddest about, actually! It’d spam coins and bank notes all over the screen, if it existed…

Thoughts for the future:

I’d like to maybe rewrite and improve my engine code and network backend. If I release it to the public, then I’d have a great basis for future dares that I’m more comfortable with than existing engines. Having a decent UI framework cooked up too could save me a lot of time and effort in future, too!

I didn’t have too much trouble with art and music this time, but I still think that it’s important to grab some more practice from time to time.

Sticking with simpler ideas seems, obviously enough, to be the best strategy. I think I could have done with more planning throughout, I’ve found in the past that concrete plans generally allow me to focus and work faster. There’s not much that can remedy having no ideas, apart from taking the risk of planning your game before the theme is announced.

Favourites so far!

I haven’t played as many games as I usually do, but these are a few of my favourites so far. Give them a go!

Agent Hooker by Phoenix849 and suVrik

 

Double Kick Heroes by BlackMagic, Gyhyom and Elmobo

 

Grow Your Love by DDRKirby(ISQ) and Kat Jia

 

Spinning Around by DinnerInTheDark

 

Thanks for reading, have fun and keep on voting!

Professor Chaos’s “48H Postmortem”

Posted by (twitter: @Mach60KAS)
Friday, August 28th, 2015 8:30 pm

–> Do you love fish puns? Jokes about hair? Social situations made awkward? Play Professor Chaos’s “Mean Sardine Machine”! <–

This dare I asked myself, “Hey, why don’t I take it a little bit easier?”. My last LD projects have all been multiplayer games – which means an increase in work load during the event as well as one hell of a commitment over the voting period. I hadn’t worked out anything about my toolsets before beginning the event – I figured everything would fall into place, more or less. But hey, I got to make something that people seem to find funny – and I’m pretty proud of that in a way.

I feel like I could have done so much more with this, had I spent my time properly and prepared better. It’s all in the past now – all that remains is to take my own advice into account for this December:

What went right?

  • Staying away from making a multiplayer game was probably for the best. Even with watcher pages and notifiers, it’s incredibly frustrating whenever you see the “I tried to play your game but no one was on” comment – it’s so draining having to watch your own game like a hawk as well as rating others. It’s even worse when you can see people rate after not even playing.
  • Going for a script based game was almost as easy as I wanted it to be. Less programming, and so less debugging! I achieved what I wanted to do by encoding levels in a JSON format and putting command tags in the text itself, such as <wait: 1> to control the UI and the flow of the game.
  • Writing a comedic game meant I could adopt a similarly silly style for the character portraits – I went with the crazy eyebrows everywhere in honour of Dr. Wily. People seem to like them, which is all I could really hope for.
  • I got in music, for once!

What went wrong?

Professor Chaos, Eyebrow Wielder Extraordinaire.

Professor Chaos, Eyebrow Wielder Extraordinaire.

  • Writing a script based game is emotionally draining. Writer’s block is real, and it’s even worse when you’re trying to be funny. I felt like I was just rehashing jokes and beating various dead horses by the end of the writing process. At least in programming based games there’s a constant stream of work to keep you busy when you’re low on ideas – this kind of thing just left me staring at the screen for extended periods.
  • No preparation. I went in without any idea of what engine I’d be using, as well as if I’d even be using one! Not a good start, and I ended up using phaser again more out of desperation than anything else.
  • I got to spend just an hour on the music, which led to me getting stuck on making it loop decently.
  • Deciding to take it easier this jam made me work slower. It’s hard to explain, but I know that if I’d worked anywhere near as hard on this as I did for my past 3 games then I’d have so much more to show for my time. Perhaps deciding on an easier project harmed my determination.

What was missing from the final game?

Background art for every scenario was originally a key part of my game plan, but I ran out of time and had to settle for hastily labelled blank backgrounds. Similarly, there were meant to be far more portraits completed – they share the same fate. I intended to have sound effects and more music, as well as having all the characters speak aloud in Animalese (a feature I think would have been hilarious), but alas. The story was essentially complete as well, but I’d have loved to fit in a larger variety of jokes and interactions.

Thoughts for the Future:

  • Prepare beforehand, and practice your languages and tools of choice.
  • Never decide to take it easy – you’ll just ruin your work ethic!
  • Consider writing dialogue parsing/scripting libraries beforehand and providing them to the community to give yourself more time during the main event. God, do I hate string parsing…
  • Practice pixel art and drawing itself more often, or else you’ll be completely at a loss when you find yourself in an art heavy project.

Favourites so far!

I’ll let all these games speak for themselves – you really owe it to yourself to play these!

We Missed You! by RHY3756547

http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-33/?action=preview&uid=7339

Lady Bug by dickpoelen

http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-33/?action=preview&uid=34953

456 Tahini by wademcgillis

http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-33/?action=preview&uid=3444

The Trial of Tyrone Rex by Manky

http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-33/?action=preview&uid=22901

Writhe: The Thing from the Omega Sector by DragonXVI

http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-33/?action=preview&uid=35553

Thanks for reading, have fun and keep on voting!

5 Small theives jumping around a cavern. Chaos all around!

Once you pass 3 players it’s like someone blew up the national mint or something.

–> Thieves’ Honor <–

Deciding to learn Node.js and Phaser simultaneously while in a hectic game jam situation? Probably not one of my best decisions. But implementing my first ever multiplayer game was an amazing experience – I’ve learned so much and had great fun testing out the infrastructure with friends! It may not be flashy, but I’m actually pretty happy with the core gameplay mechanics for my game this dare.

Timelapse

What went right?

  • Phaser – Most of the time, Phaser is a wonderfully intuitive engine! Everything (mostly) just works, and I had a great time learning it on the fly. It was a wonderful change not writing my engine code from scratch this LD, it meant I could get straight in to mechanic and level design! Its audio system is also fantastic and easy to use, no need to manage channels etc.
  • Node.js – Using Node.js+WebSockets was a fantastic idea, it’s an extremely easy method of setting up server communication! Having to try/catch everything just in case though was not one of the most fun experiences of my life, though…
  • Multiplayer – My favourite part! Multiplayer really made this game fun to develop and test, and deciding to make a game based around it was the best idea I’d had for the design! Although it makes it harder for people to rate my game and it means I have to constantly watch my default score, I think I made the right choice – it wouldn’t have been fun at all without. Still, I have to stay eagle-eyed for when some poor player connects to my server. :I
  • Designing the Mechanics First – I think this approach was best for my game this time around; usually I focus on the art first, but here I deliberately chose to fine-tune movement etc. Having the game feel fluid is a wonderful factor in the enjoyability, and I hope players feel the same way!
Finding weird moments like this really helped make the game feel more lively while I was coding it. Thanks, assorted internet friends! :')

Finding weird moments like this really helped make the game feel more lively while I was coding it. Thanks, assorted internet friends! :’)

What went wrong?

  • Phaser – It seriously felt like I was fighting the engine at points when my  idea of how a thing should work differed from the implementation. I spent like an hour trying to move text and groups to the front before I learned the right way to handle them (Hint: completely different from sprites). That’s really not the kinda thing you want to happen when time is a major issue!
  • Art – Although the graphics look completely inoffensive, they’re so bland that they may as well not be there. Being majorly out of practice, I got hit with the reality of my situation – so much polish had to be cut, tiles ended up looking nice close-up but so generic from a distance, character art and UI design was rushed… This wasn’t helped in the slightest by the extra time eaten up by learning Phaser. RIP beautiful particle effects everywhere… :'(
  • Scope Changes – I’d initially planned a game where you play against NPCs and monsters, while going further into the screen and occasionally fighting another player 1v1. As you can tell, the game as it is is completely different! I also intended to have only 4 players to a game as well, but this had to be cut due to the actual amount of players I expected as well as the time it would have taken to set up such a system. I also really wanted different game modes in the original version, like racing the other player to the goal, or fighting monsters together… but I’m happy that I got the gameplay as pure as I did.
  • Server and Client Bugs – This was a crazy issue for me at the end, where I found out after submission that my server was refusing to generate new instances after a game ended. I had to keep my game offline while the rescue rangers stumbled across it one by one while I tried to get coursework done so I could patch my Node.js server to do what it was meant to. It’s incredibly frustrating to see people find your game and then just walk away with a “Server down” or “Couldn’t connect” comment scrawled on your page. I managed to get it done, but I feel that if I had more experience in writing server-side code then I never would have been in that situation.
  • Music and Sound – There was none, I’m afraid! D: I had to hastily make some sounds in sfxr in the last hour or so of the compo to try and add to the game, but some of the sounds are totally wacky and out of place as a result… I feel music would have really given the game a lot more “oomph” if I’d written some, but alas.
  • Controls – They kinda suck, judging from all the feedback so far!
We're rich! Messing around with friends made this dare feel so much more exciting.

We’re rich! Messing around with friends made this dare feel so much more exciting.

Favourites so far

  • Snowman’s Land: SNOVERCHILL by RHY3756547. A fantastic multiplayer snowman snowboarding snowball fighting game by a friend of mine, super polished and amazing fun. If you haven’t played it yet, then go play it ASAP! He’s on the server pretty much constantly, give it a shot!
  • Tightrope Theatre by AdventureIslands. Very unique mechanics, and an interesting take on the theme. I have no idea how AdventureIslands pulls it off every dare! Great set of levels to play through.
  • An Adventure on my Screen by Erhune. Impressive TPP styled RPG which takes the “One Screen” part of the theme VERY LITERALLY. Great fun to mess around with, probably one of my favourite ideas so far!
Having Zalgo rate my game was a great, if frightening experience,

Having Zalgo rate my game was a great, if somewhat frightening experience,

Thoughts for the Future

I’d really like to revise and have another design pass at this game – I feel the core concepts are strong enough to get an enjoyable post compo entry! To do that, I’d need to:

  1. Completely gut and rework the art.
  2. Write some music.
  3. Limit servers to 4 people per instance.
  4. Clean up my code.
  5. Refine the mechanics and controls.

All of this would need done before adding any new features, but I’m very excited for the future of this game! If I choose to keep at it, I’ll keep my blog updated with progress here.

For future dares, I need to have way more practice with my engines and the appropriate programming paradigms so that I have time to get sweet graphics and music into the game. I also need to work way faster, I type so slowly right now!

Thanks for reading folks, keep on rating those games!

Warp Ryder Cup Postmortem and Timelapse

Posted by (twitter: @Mach60KAS)
Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 5:20 pm

4 Ludum Dares down, many more to go! I managed to “finish” my “game” within the 48 hour window this time, and I didn’t stress out anywhere near as much as I have for previous events. I’ll take that as a sign of consistency. As always, I’ve learned so much over the course of this past weekend and I’ve had a great time to boot! Anyhow, shameless plug for my own game here to accompany the obligatory postmortem.

Timelapse

Tools and Software

  • Sublime Text 2 was used for all JavaScript / HTML / JSON / CSS once again. Thankfully, I had enough common sense to not use it for map editing this time around.
  • Adobe Photoshop CS6 was used for all graphics, sprites and tilesets.
  • Tiled was used for map editing and design.
  • PxTone was used to write any audio.
  • Firefox Nightly and Google Chrome for testing.

What Went Right?

  • Experience in programming. Over the course of the past year, I’ve been programming far more regularly – so I’ve noticed myself writing far, far less mistakes and being able to more efficiently debug those I do make. Naturally, this means less time stuck in a rut, moping over the sorry state of my code!
  • Having past code and engine work to refer to. Having past examples makes for a great starting point to start working while you come up with any ideas, and allows you to iterate on the design of any underlying systems. Besides, I always love coming up with better solutions to problems than I could have thought of before!
  • Swapping over to a dedicated level editor. I have no idea how I got by manually editing a CSV list of tiles last year and calling it ‘level design’, but Tiled was a breath of fresh air. The JSON export is probably the single greatest feature I’ve ever used, and the interplay it has with JavaScript is far more intuitive than interpreting XML. Being able to actually draw levels was a godsend as well, I have to say I’m never going back from using Tiled after this.
  • Once again, Canvas and JavaScript were great choices. Apart from differing support between browsers, I love the ability to put up a single version of my game that most people should be able to run. Couple that with JavaScript’s ease of use and you have the perfect game jam toolkit.

What Went Wrong?

  • I kinda lost my drive to work on the game for a while. Unhappy with the state of my game at the time, art and gameplay alike, I lost most of my drive to code for a large portion of Sunday. Had I not done that, I could have implemented a few more features before the deadline (including, you know, scoring). Urgh.
  • Cut features lead to seemingly meaningless design decisions elsewhere. Considering the game features only golf as far as gameplay mechanics are concerned, having to walk around everywhere seems rather stupid. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to implement any enemies or aliens, or even proper entities so little artifact design choices are littered everywhere.
  • Harsh choice of palette. As much as I enjoy working with limited colour palettes, this time I had an awful lot of trouble coming up with graphics that weren’t trash. Ideally, I should have created far more colourful structures around the map to help create contrast and allow the generally flat blues of the asteroids and walkways to stand out more.
  • Sprite design? Still not my cup of tea.

Stuff I Enjoyed

  • Working with new tools and file formats. Although it took a little while, working with new programs like Tiled was a very interesting experience, and I’m certainly glad to have spent some time working it out! It was fun integrating someone else’s map format into my own engine, I’ll admit.
  • Painting nebulae for backgrounds. Photoshop’s ability to map an image to a given colour table was amazing, and allowed me to go wild with a nice set of brushes on my tablet while still keeping in my 8 colour limit thanks to automatic pattern dithering etc.
  • Writing music, for once. It was kinda meh, but I totally do not regret writing some music for a change. I have enough oddly silent Ludum Dare projects as is.

Thoughts for Next Time

  • Be more positive. I really need to not get too hung up over the current state of my game, knowing full well that additional time and effort will almost always make it better in the end!
  • Pick a colour scheme, but don’t be afraid to deviate. Sometimes, 8 colours can be just a little bit too stifiling.
  • Reel in my ambition. I hate having to cut features as the deadline draws near, but at the same time I still like seeing my original idea transform and evolve as compromises have to be made over the event.
  • Come up with a more ‘fluid’ game idea. I love fast movement and freedom in games, so I want to make something far more unbounded next time.
  • JavaScript forever. Seriously, you can’t make me use your fancy ‘engines’ by this point.
  • Consider time management. Then again, I never really benefit all that much from excessive planning and so on. So this probably wouldn’t be all that good for me.

Again, if you’ve spared the time to read through all this then thank you very much! This is more for myself to crystalise any knowledge I’ve gained for surviving game jams, but it’d be even better if this ends up helping any of you folks out there. Now, get back to rating all those games!

-Felix

Treasure! Postmortem and Timelapse

Posted by (twitter: @Mach60KAS)
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 9:19 am

So, I managed to finish off my game just in time for submission hour last night. There’s not much, but it’s really been a great learning experience! If you’re interested, you can find the submission page at http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/?action=preview&uid=5788. I’ve put together this postmortem for anyone interested in the myriad problems that can occur if they’re looking to join in Ludum Dare:

Timelapse

For my third Ludum Dare and my third game, even though I preferred it to my other games I was a little bit disappointed. Why? It’s simple – inexperience with javascript pushed me beyond the 48-hour target and into the Jam.

Tools and Software Used

  • Sublime Text 2 was used for all the Javascript code, HTML and CSS. I even edited the maps exclusively with it!
  • Photoshop CS5 64-Bit was used for the tileset, sprite and image design.
  • Famitracker, an excellent NES tracker was used to create the sound effects.
  • Google Chrome for testing.

What went right?

  • The stylistic choice of an 8-colour palette really helped simplify the graphics work, and using a set of tonally similar colours makes the graphics easier on the eyes.
  • Tileset design was just as easy as I’d remember it!
  • I had written a system in javascript for loading files and calling specific tiles from tilesets in another project a few weeks prior – a lot of the initial code (which I was writing before I had a fully-formed idea) came naturally.
  • Thankfully, working with canvas and javascript for game logic proved to be quite intuitive in the end.
  • Level construction was quite an easy task once I figured out the many quirks of my systems; it took just a few hours to extend out from a single room to an entire complex of rooms!

What went wrong?

  • Having never so much as looked at collision checking code, writing this (very important) system took a significant amount of time.
  • Writing the game logic was unfortunately troublesome at first while I tried to figure out where each step should occur in the update queue.
  • Being a newbie at javascript, it felt a bit like writing the rendering and control systems took far longer than it should have taken. Ideally I should have anticipated this and prepared an engine in advance or researched an already-existing one.
  • Map editing by text was painful. And I do mean that with all sincerity. I had a look at Ogmo engine mid-compo but I ultimately decided that decoding the file format would have been far too much trouble.
  • Sprite design is… not exactly my cup of tea.
  • I could have probably managed my time more efficiently, or planned it out at all.

Thoughts for next time:

  • Have way more experience with your chosen programming language!
  • Plan out your time well, even if bugs do crop up it’s good to keep a rough idea of what you want to have finished by a certain time.
  • Have an engine you want to use picked out in advance! Unless of course there isn’t an engine quite suitable for your idea.
  • Ideally, write something simple enough that you can finish with enough spare time to write sound effects and/or music. They really complete the experience, and it really sucks not having any completed in time.

If you’ve read this through, then thanks a lot for your time! Now you can return to rating all of the wonderful games that LD48 gives rise to. :)

-Mach

Closer!

Posted by (twitter: @Mach60KAS)
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 10:32 am

ld26-3
Collision code between the character and environment is in! Now to deal with sprite collision, sprites, etc…

(Also, I have some nice tiles to boot!)

Engine in progress!

Posted by (twitter: @Mach60KAS)
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 4:44 pm

ld26-2

I am now close to finishing the backend for sprite rendering in my engine! I have collision as well as the core game logic to write after that, but at least the visual style looks nice. Still, I fear that the ALTTP-styled Boss Rush of a game I was intending may be tough to pull off with the clock ticking away. I shall figure something out though…

Tah-Da!

Posted by (twitter: @Mach60KAS)
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 4:28 am

ld26-1
I have no idea what I’m making for my game, but at least I have a preloader and an 8-colour palette!

100 Games played – Now for the highlights!

Posted by (twitter: @Mach60KAS)
Thursday, August 30th, 2012 5:08 am

After 3 exciting days of playtesting, I’ve finally gotten enough games rated for that coveted Coolness Gold Medal. So I may as well share the best games I’ve found so far with everyone! :) So, in no particular order:

Evolution: A Parallel Narrative – Ali Sajid Imami

“This is a text adventure. And I had to cut corners, and a few worlds.”

Evolution: A Parallel Narrative is the story of one young engineering student who, on the night before their Final, embarks on a journey through the books on their shelves. A rather entertaining read, and well presented to the player too!

GiRL2501 – braingale

“a collaboration between John Sandoval, mooosh, Jack Sanders(BlueSweatshirt), and PostPre, of http://braingale.net

play as a smokin hot tsundere shoujou on her journey to teach a self-autonomous cyber lab AI what being sexy’s really all about B) ”

Lovely graphics and a very nice soundtrack make for a very enjoyable game – there’s nothing quite so satisfying as ripping apart robots with your latent psionic powers. 😉

Revolution – BrothersT


“Revolution is a fast-paced fighting game with unique physics, where you try to see how many past versions of yourself you can take on at once, (r)evolving to the next level at each stage.”

Featuring absolutely great spritework and animations, Revolution also boasts an interesting take on the theme of Evolution. The game gets exponentially harder as you go on, having that addictive arcade-like quality to it. Just go play it!

RED PLANET – BuffaloPhil

“You are a geologist on Mars in this sci-fi adventure game. Nearly killed me getting this much done in 48 hours, hope you enjoy!”

Presented similarly to a point-and-click adventure, RED PLANET very thankfully steers clear of the cliché “AI is a Crapshoot” trope that you might expect. The ending squicked me out a little, to say the least, but it’s still a very enjoyable adventure game.

Papillon – ChevyRay

“Felicity is being haunted. She must explore the depths in order to find the power she needs to face an increasingly powerful and menacing foe.”

While containing no sound, Papillon is a very beautifully drawn, well thought out Metroidvania style game. The game handles very well, with extremely fluid controls and the game’s bosses are creative and steadily increase in difficulty. I highly recommend this game to everyone! :)

Strike of Rage ! – deepnight

“They don’t want to pay you more. But you will make them pay.

STRIKE OF RAGE!
A violent story about social evolution, revenge, money and kittens.”

A wickedly funny tale of one man’s journey to get the pay raise he deserves. With his FISTS. Fantastic pixel art, over-the-top style – what more could you want?

Octogeddon – flyingbear

“You ARE octogeddon, a mutant octopus bent on world destruction. Mutate more legs and evolve each of them into deadlier weapons until you become the ultimate eight-legged killing machine!”

More awesome, silly fun with a great soundtrack and simple, addictive game mechanics.

OF SPECIES – kato9

“I was on my way to Aeolis Mons. We lost communication with the rest of our unit earlier this morning after they were dispatched to the supply drop site. I had a strange dream last night. I can’t quite remember what happened but it was terrifying in a way I can’t put into words. It felt like a premonition – something dark was coming.”

A graphically stunning point and click adventure, OF SPECIES shows off what can be done in just 48 hours. Quite an interesting game itself, it creates a very foreboding atmosphere even though it’s really quite a short game.

How evolution really works? – keenblaze

“So, this game is about human evolution… Wait, I didn’t see any human in the game! Anyway, there are nice jelly squares, which will teach you how evolution actually works. ”

More like an interactive sketch than a game, and a pretty funny take on how natural selection works. Except, told through the lives of pixels of jelly? Worth playing if you want a chuckle! :)

Terra Tam: The World Warrior – L

“This is Terra Tam, a “fighting” “game” in which you are badly, hilariously outmatched. Tam, an ordinary human being, has been unwittingly chosen to compete in a space martial arts tournament by the fearsome ruler of our galaxy. The fate of humankind, and to a much greater extent Tam, is in the balance. Since humans, unlike most space-faring races, do not actually possess any innate combat abilities, can she survive even thirty seconds against these powerful beings?”

Another game full of wit and humour. Not really a game as such, but it’s better if you play it! :)

Encarmine – Sailerius

A visual novel about a duo of spirit hunters – with some pretty great art, fitting music and an interesting twist it’s certainly worth your time!

LimiT – Sakuyan

A very graphically lovely game about one small creature’s evolution and… well.. the ending is certainly very interesting… 😛 By eating more and more, you become a more complex creature until you eventually reach the limit of evolution.

Goin’ Bananas – A Sci-Fi Melodrama – Topher Florence

“This is a short interactive story about life in the future. The story was created in Twine. The music was generated in cgMusic and mastered in FL Studio. There are 12 possible endings. This game contains adult language and dialogue.”

A text adventure told through twine, and quite possibly one of the single funniest things I have ever seen at Ludum Dare. In the author’s own words it’s “kinda politically…reprehensible” – except that’s what’s so great about it. In a story where plot holes materialise from nowhere, characters can un-die in several endings and names and ages are as flexible as paper reading all twelve endings is absolutely necessary. Because basically each ending is its own twist, some of which had me rolling around in laughter. Easily a must-play!

The Sky in the Room – Porpentine

“THOUSANDS OF HOURS OF NONSTOP VIOLENCE, SEX, DRUGS, DEPRAVITY IN A 4D ENVIRONMENT ENCOMPASSING BILLIONS OF MULTIVERSES, WITH OVER ONE THOUSAND “GAMEPLAY”

interactive fiction | Twine | mutant positive | queer | body romance | adaptive implants | vector anxiety | Italian pop songs | meloperadramatic | surgery | molto passione”

A bizarre, exciting, heartwarming and overall enjoyable piece of interactive fiction. Yet another Twine entry, it honestly needs to be read since my words can’t do it justice.

Curiosity, The Untold Story – Zoomyzoom

“The Curiosity Rover first moved on Mars on the 22nd of August 2012. Humanity rejoiced as our most advanced rover yet began to explore the Red Planet.

It’s mission: Find out if Mars could ever have supported life, and check radiation levels for a possible manned visit to Mars in the future.

This story is a lie.

What NASA didn’t tell you is that Aliens had visited Mars before, leaving all the humans they abducted on there. Sadly one of them was a zombie.

Now NASA has sent up the Curiosity, a mark IV Death Robot, with only one mission objective.

DESTROY ALL ZOMBIES. ”

The author’s description is all that needs to be said. Enjoy.

That’s essentially all of the games I’ve enjoyed most so far, naturally I won’t have found all of the great games in this Ludum Dare! If you’ve actually read this far, I may as well shamelessly plug my own Twine game, found here.

Thanks to all the authors for making these games, and to the staff at Ludum Dare for organising all of this!

2052 Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @Mach60KAS)
Monday, August 27th, 2012 9:33 am

Well, this Ludum Dare was certainly many orders of magnitude easier than the previous one; for that, I’m beyond infinitely thankful. Where the previous LD had me basically begging for death in the last few hours, I felt far more relaxed overall working on a more simple piece of interactive fiction – considering I find writing to be far easier than coding! The game itself can be found here. As before, I’ve put together a timelapse video of the process (though it’s nowhere near as exciting as the one I made for Quark).

I’m really, genuinely pleased with the result this time around, and I’d really best get on to the actual Post Mortem itself!

What Went Right?:

  • I analysed more or less exactly how much free time I had over the weekend, and planned accordingly. Having failed to keep my weekend free, I had somewhere in the region of 16 hours of time to work on a game – so I decided that I’d need to make a far easier project if I wanted to have a completed entry. Hence, why I decided on writing interactive fiction.
  • Choosing a far easier project majorly cut down on stress. Unlike the previous Ludum Dare, I wasn’t freaking out or obsessing over the clock. With a far easier project in the works, I could afford the time to take it easy and more or less relax.
  • Twine is fantastic, and extremely easy to use. I had never used it before this weekend, and yet in no time at all I had grasped not only how to work it, but also to customise virtually all facets of 2052’s design. Having prior experience with CSS helped out here, naturally, but CSS is so user friendly that allowing the user to build their own stylesheets was a fantastic idea in and of itself.
  • I ate well and got plenty of sleep over the weekend.
  • I cut out all the supernatural elements I had originally planned for the story. Seriously, that stuff just does not gel well with dystopian Sci-Fi.

What Went Wrong?:

  • I had entirely neglected to secure the weekend off. A laundry list of real life obligations cropped up, and I should have prepared against them far in advance.
  • My story lacks a high amount of interactivity. I feel if I had more time, I would have based all of the elements in the story on player choice – just now it reads more like fiction scribbled onto an html document rather than true interactive fiction.
  • Some more art would have helped to set the mood. I only had the time to create the opening graphic, and I feel more small graphics like that would have helped to show the world of 2052 to players.

Things to Consider for Next Time:

  • Actually take the time off work!
  • I should have far more interactivity in any future IF I make – otherwise it just isn’t fun.
  • I shouldn’t feel restricted to the standard definition of a ‘game’ either: Ludum Dare is all about experimentation!
  • Submit more food pictures.Keep on having fun with LD – I should try to relax and keep away from overbearing pressure when I need to.

That’s it for this overview of my second Ludum Dare experience, I might post again later to show some of the LD highlights once I’ve reviewed 100 games or so. If not, then I’ll see you all again in December!

Uploaded!

Posted by (twitter: @Mach60KAS)
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 6:55 pm

So in the end, I only managed to get a single picture done for 2052. However, I’ve managed to expand on the the prose overall and I’m ultimately happy with my Interactive Fiction! The completed game can be found here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-24/?action=preview&uid=5788

The opening image to 2052.

While having an Interactive Fiction entered into Ludum Dare seems very unusual to me, I thought it’d be worth a shot, and I was definitely right!

I’ll probably write up a post-mortem of my experience in the morning! :)

Finished! (Mostly)

Posted by (twitter: @Mach60KAS)
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 4:45 pm

Finished the Interactive Fiction itself, now all that remains to be done is as much polish as possible up to the deadline.

  1. Get the basic story and structure finished.
  2. Enhance and embellish all of the prose where necessary.
  3. Add lovely black and white pictures.
  4. Create CSS styling for the pages.

I’ll be doing those objectives probably in that order, at any rate.

I suppose a briefing of the project itself would be in order, since I ave posted no such thing so far:

Set in the future, 2052 is set in a dystopian world where megacorporations have evolved to the point of controlling and shaping all of the world around them through their tight grip over the media and police, while humanity as a whole is mired in a state of dependency to its corporate masters and the population grows ever more destitute.

…I think I tried to sell it too hard there, but you get the idea. I hope? :)

Dinner, and the final few hours

Posted by (twitter: @Mach60KAS)
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 1:40 pm

Obligatory Ludum Dare Food Picture

Back from work at long last, now the time has come to focus and finish off my game! Attached is a picture of my (very quickly and gratefully eaten) dinner from work: One of the reasons I’m quite happy to be working at a restaurant!

Good luck to everyone else who hasn’t finished yet!

CSS Styling: Finished!

Posted by (twitter: @Mach60KAS)
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 3:39 am

Restyled the page to suit the story more thematically now (I feel black text on grey really wasn’t fitting it in the slightest). Took very little time, so now my checklist looks more like:

  1. Get the basic story and structure finished.
  2. Enhance and embellish all of the prose where necessary.
  3. Add lovely black and white pictures.
  4. Create CSS styling forCSS Styling the pages.

Once I get the story out of the way, I can work on some small pictures to accompany (since raw text would be very grating for a games competition…)

Further progress!

Posted by (twitter: @Mach60KAS)
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 2:35 am

I’m pushing onwards, and soon I hope to have the story finished! Thankfully, using Twine has been a breeze – I’ve managed to pick it up in no time at all.

Now, I get to find out how much of this I can do before I have to go to work…

Working Slowly Forwards

Posted by (twitter: @Mach60KAS)
Saturday, August 25th, 2012 6:27 am

I’m making some progress on my project! Unfortunately, I’ll be out for most of today but I do have a general plan of attack:

  1. Get the basic story and structure finished.
  2. Enhance and embellish all of the prose where necessary.
  3. Add lovely black and white pictures.
  4. Create CSS styling for the pages.

Hope I can get this done! 😛

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