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Im in

Posted by (twitter: @mactinite)
Monday, November 21st, 2016 7:46 pm

Decided not to save this for the new website (HYPE), but…. I’m in.

I’ll be using Unity, Blender, and Gimp. Also some tracker for music.

 

Seriously though. New website hype.

 

 

Rather difficult choice but….

Posted by (twitter: @mactinite)
Saturday, August 20th, 2016 11:16 pm

I’m in.

I will be using Unity + Gimp + BFXR + LMMS.

Might try some VR Stuff, who knows what could happen in this wacky world.

 

Personally, I think the whole Ludum Shake-Up is a bit weird. I would have had liked to have voting, but I’d rather not risk losing this site to get it. Ludum Dare means a lot to me, and I want it to continue being what it is. I understand cheating is an issue, and I like fairness as much as the next guy. So I will suck it up and do what Ludum Dare stands for. Which is to make a game and give it to the world. Have fun everyone!

LycanQuest Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @mactinite)
Friday, April 22nd, 2016 2:10 am

Hello everyone!

I hope playing and rating games is going well! I just wanted to take a few minutes to talk about my game and the new things I tried out that happened to work out for me. Anyways, here we go!

running_from_dog

This go ’round I got the idea for my game pretty early on. I wanted to make a game where I could focus more on design, and good look and feel. A metroidvania felt perfect for that goal. I listened to a lot of GDC design talks leading up to ludum dare so I could be prepared with a proper toolbelt for level design. From the talks I listened to, 3 things stood out to me as important:

  1. Iterative Design
  2. Visual and Audio Juice
  3. Taking inspiration

First off I will talk about Number 3 very quickly. In my game I obviously “take inspiration” from Castlevania. The level design and the look and feel lean towards that, but also games like Limbo and Risk of Rain. There are a lot of original ideas here, it is amazing how lots of new ideas are experimented with here, but personally, I see no shame in emulating the design practices a game that you love. At any rate, nothing really controversial here, moving on.Screen3

Next I will talk about Visual and Audio juice. I watched the GDC talk “Game Feel: Why your Death Animation Sucks” and it showed some really cool effects I wanted to use. (note: chromatic aberration) So that was clearly something that inspired the way I made my death animation, and when you get hurt. Along those same lines it’s a similar effect when you transform. It was important to me that the player feel the effect of the transformation without having to elongate the animation, and also to draw attention away from my poorly done animation, so that’s why you get the scream and the chromatic aberration. Now the cool screen effects were only one part of it, the particle effects were another thing that added to the weight the sprites had, it was very easy to set this up with Unity and it’s animation system, hooking a public method into a keyframe is vastly powerful for visual effects

.progress

Lastly iterative design, the last tool on my toolbelt. Coming in to Ludum Dare I had this pipe dream that I’d be done with the mechanics by Saturday so I could spend all Sunday polishing and tweaking the level design. This didn’t happen for a variety of reasons, which meant that I didn’t have a chance to really use this tool much. The level design did change a bit from my initial vision after playtesting it myself, but it definitely could have used a few more passes.

Even with the worlds tiniest toolbelt, I was still not able to avoid complications. Unity provided plenty of those for me, and the CharacterController2D by Prime31 that I adore didn’t initially act as expected. So after some tweaks I got it working for my player, but I really spent too much time with little sleep trying to tweak things like the jump that detracted away from implementing more important things, like enemies, and the boss. I kept running into little issues like this. Knockback proved difficult to implement at 3am, as did enemy wolf dashing, but still I got it to a functional state. With all these tiny features taking hours to implement, it left me with a little less than an hour to design and program the boss. Fortunately I was able to copy code from the other enemies and just change it to fit with my idea for the boss. Even with all these problems, I was happy I ended up with a complete game, however tiny it is.

effects

Not to say I ended up with a perfect game either. There were lots of bugs and tweaks I couldn’t squash or fix. There was always a problem with the sprite flashing of enemies when you hit them, knockback was still inconsistent, human combat was awkward, the boss fight wasn’t clear, and the wolf enemies dash made them seem to come out of nowhere. I also had some design problems that I just couldn’t get to; for example getting a platforming section directly after getting the wolf form was no good as the wolf form was meant for speed and damage, not platforming. But even with the hundreds of glaring problems, I ended up with something I  put a lot of work into, and I feel like I can be proud of it.

Final_Boss_screen

So with that, I will leave you guys with this:

No matter how many problems you or others see in the game you made, be proud of it. You did the game developers equivalent of a 100 meter sprint, and you crossed the finish line in time. Take the problems you see and the feedback you get here to make a better game next time. I hope to see you back here in August. 

 

You can play/rate my game here: http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-35/?action=preview&uid=26320 

P.S. I uploaded a post-compo version of my game with controller support, improved enemies, and a sort of checkpoint system.

 

Making some good progress as Saturday comes to a close…

Posted by (twitter: @mactinite)
Sunday, April 17th, 2016 2:14 am

I want to be able to do pure level design tomorrow and bug fixes, but as I keep getting stuck adding effects to my game I am a bit behind schedule. No worries though. I don’t feel like I have an insurmountable amount of changes to make. Anyways, Here’s a gif:

progress

Oh and also if you wanna watch me work on it I’m still streaming: https://www.twitch.tv/mactinite/

Oh and double also. I have a name for the game! LycanQuest.

Anyways. good luck everyone!

All right, Here we go again!

Posted by (twitter: @mactinite)
Monday, April 11th, 2016 10:51 pm

Hello everyone,

Thought I’d stop by and do my “I’m in” post, but first I wanted to talk about preparing for the worst.

Just a quick PSA, save often! Also use Version Control! if you’ve gotten by without it so far you are lucky!

So, if you’re doing Ludum Dare, and you’ve practiced using the Game Engine, Framework, or lack thereof; you’ve nailed the asset pipeline for your respective tools, and Now you’re wondering, “What could I possibly do to prepare even more for ludum dare?”; I’m here to tell you:

  1. Choose a version control system, preferably offsite. (here are a couple to get you started: Github, Bitbucket)
  2. Make an account! (easy-peasy right?)
  3. Learn your choice of website (use their tutorials or figure it out on your own. Learn how to create a repository, name it, and configure it for your project. here are some links: Githubs tutorials, Bitbucket tutorials)
  4. Choose between the command line, or a GUI Client.
    1.  choose a GUI Client if you’re completely new to source control or just want something easy : SourceTree by Atlassian, Github Desktop, Git Kraken. (Personally I like Sourcetree, but honestly these all look fine, consider walking through the tutorials on the site of your choice to get accustomed to the terminology and how to push, pull, commit, and merge.)
    2. Command Line, you’ll need to learn the commands and all the awesome things you can do. Here are some resources: Tutorials by Github, Derek Banas on Git (Youtube)
  5. Set up your local! You know how now because you learned so much from those tutorials and resources!
  6. Kind of a repeating step, commit often and push to the repository as you finish features/whenever feels good. Whatever you commit will be saved locally until you push to the server.

Okay. Now with my conscience clear;

I’m In!

See you guys out there, have fun, and save often!

I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @mactinite)
Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 12:50 am

Just here to say, “I’m in!”.

This will be my 6th Ludum Dare and I am excited for it.

I will be using:

  • Unity
  • Visual Studio
  • Gimp/Photoshop
  • LMMS/Audacity
  • BFXR/SFXR
  • cgMusic (or something similar if I feel the need)

I’m running on a fresh install of windows so hopefully I’m not missing any programs. Oh also I’ll be swapping out this mechanical keyboard with something less fatigue inducing.

This year I hope to improve two things: Better UX in my games that make them intuitive, and better looking art more geared towards my strengths.

What are you hoping to improve this year?

Good luck and have fun!

Quick Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @mactinite)
Monday, August 24th, 2015 12:41 am

This time ’round I decided I would do something I hadn’t had a chance to build. I was going to build a City-builder strategy game… This turned out to be a poor idea for a game Jam, but I did learn a lot and had a ton of fun.

Anyways this is what I built:

http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-33/?action=preview&uid=26320

Many of you won’t get past the first minute in the game as it is a careful balance just to get off the ground. With more time I would have tried to find a solution for this. Without knowing the intricacies of how the game works I don’t think it is possible to intuitively figure it out. Not without experimentation and lots of failure. This is not a good thing for a Ludum Dare (or any small game), as the judging by the community demands more bite-sized, straight forward games.

While making the game I got to the point where I wasn’t sure how I would turn this into an actual game, but not wanting a repeat of last time, I pushed on. Hoping for fun gameplay to emerge, and maybe it could be fun if the initial uptake wasn’t so tough.

The best part about this game was the time I had making it. I learned a lot, and had a lot of fun seeing the resident population come to life (and also die). Anyways for those of you that play my game and won’t see the endslate, here it is:

A bit morbid, maybe, but there is an obvious allegory there, and perhaps one not so obvious.

 

Anyways, thanks for reading and good luck to you Jammers!

 

Day 1 Progress

Posted by (twitter: @mactinite)
Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 3:34 pm

I’ve decided to make a strategy game with randomly generated terrain. Here is some gifs highlighting my progress!

RandomGen

Random Terrain!

 

I can place buildings!

I can place buildings!

The buildings are working away, generating resources.

The buildings are working away, generating resources.

Oh No! The colonists have started polluting this planet!

Oh No! The colonists have started polluting this planet!

 

Well. That’s what I have so far. I need to start working on some more building types and an enemy/obstacles

My work/battle station

Posted by (twitter: @mactinite)
Monday, August 17th, 2015 9:39 pm

This is where I will be working this weekend.

 

IMG_20150817_191712

Now I showed you mine, show me yours. 😉

 

I’m in! With a vengeance!

Posted by (twitter: @mactinite)
Monday, August 17th, 2015 1:17 pm

Last time around I failed and couldn’t come up with a good plan in time to execute it. Which was a shame because I felt like I was so prepared.

One thing I didn’t do was a good I’m in post, so that was definitely the cause 😉

Well, it was actually my lack of preparation with the tools I was using and I had ran into problems that I couldn’t solve in a weekend.. So like a good programmer I have learned from my mistakes and have taken on projects to keep myself familiar with my workflow. Here are some things I’ve done since the last Ludum Dare:

 

View post on imgur.com

Procedural Dungeon Generation and platforming.

View post on imgur.com

Auto Tiling and arbitrary Resource Management.

 

Anyways here we go!

 

I’m In!

 

I’m going to be using Unity 5, paired with Visual Studio.

I will also be using Blender and Photoshop to get those awesome (read: poorly made) graphics.

For the music side of things I will be using Audacity + LMMS + CGMusic or something like that.

 

This time around I have spent a lot of time learning my new tools available to me in Unity5. Well some of it at least. I will be taking advantage of the Event System, GUI and 2D stuff along with a few workarounds that I have learned to make things work right and fast. I also have gotten a sort of workflow down with doing rendered sprites from Blender.

This time around should be fun and will hopefully be less of a failure.

Just.. Can’t… Make.. It…

Posted by (twitter: @mactinite)
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 3:01 pm

I tried my darndest, but I just don’t have the time. I spent too much time trying to get silly things to work that I lost sight of where I should be. This is the first time I haven’t been able to make it. Hopefully it’s the last one that feels this bad. Good luck everyone else! Keep on pushing!

PSA – Latest chrome update disables NPAPI Plugins by default. :(

Posted by (twitter: @mactinite)
Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 3:58 pm

Fellow Unity Devs, and those in similar situations, the latest chrome update disables NPAPI plugins by default making Unity Web Players not show up. I’m sure most of you already know this and know how to fix it, but some of you may not notice until you start deploying over the weekend. So if you use chrome and want to be able to Play/Rate Unity Webplayer games you’ll have to turn NPAPI support back on.

You can enable them by navigating to chrome://flags/ and enabling NPAPI (Ctrl-F and search for NPAPI) 

This setting is set to disabled by default in the latest update as google is phasing out the dated API in favor of newer methods (HTML5 and their native client stuff among others).

If you don’t want to be bothered by it I suggest trying out Unity’s WebGL build that’s currently in beta.

Good luck all!

When is an appropriate time for these posts?! I’m In!

Posted by (twitter: @mactinite)
Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 1:23 pm

I didn’t want to do this too early so I’m doing it now.

I’m In!

I’m going to be experimenting with a different workflow as far as asset creation goes. I have been experimenting with rendering 3D models as sprites like they did back in the days of Donkey Kong Country. With my limited knowledge in pixeling sprites I think this will help my art improve if I end up going for a 2D game. Anyways these are the tools I’m using:

  • Unity 5
  • Photoshop/Gimp
  • Blender
  • LMMS
  • Audacity
  • Maybe BFXR or SFXR.
  • and maybe CGMusic or one of those incredibly awesome music generator sites.

That’s pretty much it, and with the latest update to unity I haven’t really been using any plugins however I do have one I will use if the need arises and that’s Rotorz Tile System

Anyways, what are you guys doing? How have you been?

What a nice MiniLD theme!

Posted by (twitter: @mactinite)
Friday, March 20th, 2015 1:19 pm

I think I’m gonna whip together a pong clone this Saturday. I want to focus on squeezing as much juice out of this as I can. Without having to focus on programming I can focus on the art and animations which I need to improve in as well. Awesome!

Orion In A Winter Puzzle-Land Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @mactinite)
Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 10:31 pm

First off, if you’ve yet to play my game and would like to you can do that here http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-31/?action=preview&uid=26320

Alright, now into the post-mortem!

Orion Header

 

Why did I make this game?

Well, you see, it was simple really. I wanted to learn how to design some puzzles and had never done anything like it before so I thought to myself, “Awh heck, why not”? More realistically, a top down game (3/4 perspective) seemed like one I could fit onto one screen (with some trickery of course!). Anyways, I think I made a good choice, but I also think my lack of puzzle design shows in the amazing catalog of 9 levels.

The Tools

To make this game I used a pretty standard set of tools; Unity was my engine of choice, along with Blender for the 3D jazz and I used cgMusic and LMMS to generate and prettify me some tunes. I also used Photoshop to do the textures and the (minimal) GUI. I’ve been using this suite of tools for awhile now, since before my first Ludum Dare game for the most part and I’m pretty familiar with them so I can generate a lot of junk in 48 Hours, which is good for this kind of thing, but I am learning other tools as I progress through my education and life.

The Trickery

Earlier I mentioned some trickery; I used some visual trickery in Unity to fit my game into the theme. This trickery was that I would Tween every object on and back off of the screen between switching scenes, which personally I though was a pretty nifty trick and with iTween it was really easy to make it look “cute”. Now making the objects all fall onto the screen is the easy part, the hard part is taking them all off of the screen at the same time. While it may not actually be that hard, My method served another purpose as well. When all of my objects drop onto the scene they also “Check In” with a level manager and then I have cached references to all the objects in my scene! Pretty awesome I think.

My Problems

LEVEL DESIGN LEVEL DESIGN LEVEL DESIGN.

Level design is hard.

I was able to make 9 levels, of varying difficulty and they do have an order and I tried to teach the player how to play the game through the gameplay rather than a tutorial. I’m not sure how I did, but I think in some regards I did okay. It’d be helpful if you let me know what you think!

What I did right

(I think)

The aesthetic. I think that I designed the different parts of my game in a way that is suited to my abilities and pleasing to the eyes. Some things could have been better of course but I think it fits my “cute” aesthetics. Also on a related note, I recently adopted a black kitten and he’s constantly getting into things he shouldn’t so I felt I should model my protagonist after him, heck they even share names! Here is Orion the (real) cat!

 

Rawr!

Rawr!

Conclusion

  • Always try something new to you
  • Always be learning
  • Draw inspiration from life
  • Use cute cats.

And with that I think I’ll go back to rating games!

Once again, if you want to try out my game it is herehttp://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-31/?action=preview&uid=26320

 

Unity Embed PSA

Posted by (twitter: @mactinite)
Sunday, December 7th, 2014 11:39 pm

I’m sure a lot of you have figured this out, but you can get the embed to work perfectly in your submit page if you modify your export page to take up the whole page. It makes it embed really nicely. If you’re not very good with html and javascript I found a nice little tutorial to help you do that.

 

http://unitycoder.com/blog/2013/03/31/webplayer-100-width-height/

 

if you get it working right it will look like this: http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-31/?action=preview&uid=26320

 

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