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Sorry for a wall of text.

TL;DR: I think I made a really nice game that has plenty of potential. Please try it!

————Skärmklipp 2016-12-12 03.10.18

Now, a week after the ludum dare weekend I think I have recovered enough to write a post mortem. And I am not exaggerating – I have been exhausted this entire week from really pushing myself during those 48 hours (or maybe just the last 10 hours – procrastination is my second name).

Ever since I started making games around a year ago I have had the idea of making a space rpg. It is you, your crew, your ship, and a star system. Traveling between stars, encountering  enemies, trading goods and exploring the most remote parts of the universe. I think it is a great game concept and many would agree. I have attempted it before but gotten stuck on doing 3d combat, or prgramming an AI. Once I went weeks thinking about how to make an AI in a galaxy without actually sitting down and trying things. What needed was some pressure to produce something – enter ludum dare 37. Skärmklipp 2016-12-17 14.20.41

This was my third ludum dare and the first time I didn’t have plans with people over the weekend so I had some high expectations of what I could make now that I had the full 48 hours to work. I also had new skills and could make decent 3d models quite quickly as well as develop simple systems in unity, such as movement and shooting, in quite a short time. With these building blocks I really thought I could make something great. Did I? Well, as we all know, 48 hours goes quite quickly.

Day 1 – Friday night.

As I am in Sweden, my time zone is a bit off. This meant that the theme was announced 3 am for me, and I stayed up with some idea that I could start working as soon as the clock ticked over. But I was sitting there, staring at the screen with a blank mind and a tired body. I decide that this was the most stupid idea ever, and went to bed. I fall asleep though with an image in my mind – a one room spaceship.

Day 2 – Saturday morning.

Well, falling asleep at 4 am means that you don’t get up working at 8 am. Rather, it was around noon when I finally booted up my PC, and with this idea of a game based in a one room spaceship I started modeling in blender. A simple room, a desk, some computers, steering wheels, thrusters, and a character later i really believed in my idea and had a tingling feeling that I was working on my dream – a space rpg. Set on this goal, I took a lot of inspiration from FTL, a game I have barely played, but with direct control of a character inside a ship. I got a a system working where you could “travel” between stars. What it actually was was clicking on things and a text changed in the top of the screen. But this simplicity is key – you don’t need to actually move between stars, only give the impression that you do. Skärmklipp 2016-12-17 14.24.20Now it was around 7, 8 pm and I got kind of contempt, which is quite a dangerous feeling when you don’t really have any gameplay.  My girlfriend came over and the rest of the night was spent watching movies and development stopped. I had an idea of sitting up all night continuing to work, but a mechanical keyboard and a girlfriend trying to sleep doesn’t go well together. However, this made me feel super stressed and I couldn’t sleep. I realized I didn’t actually have a game and these grand ideas suddenly felt quite impossible. Lying in bed I formed a mental list of the main features I wanted – combat, trading and upgrading. I also had specific ideas of how these were going to be implemented, but it was all spinning around in my mind.

Day 3 – Sunday.

The morning was spent both working on the game and spending time with my girlfriend. Lots of breaks and progress was quite slow, but the pressure of what I wanted to make was pushing me. Around 3 pm it was almost coming together, with 10 hours to the deadline (again, in Sweden the deadline is 3 am Monday morning).  Combat was clunky but working, I had a really nice animation for moving between stars, and I was working on an inventory and trading system – something I feared would never work. However, keeping it simple again with limiting the amount of items that exists I could simply have each item be a string an not much more. This way was quick and easy to make, but it has very limited potential to be expanded, and a mess to work with if the game grew bigger. I continue to make an upgrade system and suddenly this mental list of mind that keep my head spinning was almost cleared. The time is around 8, 9 pm when my girlfriend goes home and I am in for the last sprint. What I needed was some kind of story, or goal in the game, as well as getting a win/loss condition working. Slowly but surely, this started coming together and the game was nearing completion. Fixing last minute bugs, creating a simple tutorial, adding a main menu, made it just in time with about 10 minutes to spare before deadline. I throw together some screenshot, literally sitting on the edge of my seat and finally publish it on the website. Now during this time I was continuisly drinking coffee so when everything was done and finished, around 3:30 a, it took around another hour or so before I finally fell asleep. The game was done, but so was I. Skärmklipp 2016-12-17 14.23.33

A week later. I am now sitting here and feel like I woke up after being a zombie for a week. The few comments I have gotten have been really nice. People seem to appreciate the effort and the scope I dared to have for this ludum dare. I also agree with the criticism – the combat is clunky, and movement is slow. A few quality-of-life improvements are needed but otherwise it has great potential.

Potential, yes. And I do want to continue working on this. However, the code is a mess, a true and complete mess. The upgrade system, made in the last few hours has long hard coded string in it, and a simple spelling mistake would make it all fall apart. I hope I have the energy to sit down and rework some of this, because if I did, I think it could make a really great game.

 

Try it out here, and try to look past the rough surface, and see the potential behind it.

I’m done

Posted by
Sunday, December 11th, 2016 9:26 pm

And wow, I am tired. I think I’ll try to write a post-mortem tomorrow, but it is 3:30 am here now, and I just wanna go to bed. Really crunch into the last minute.

Take a look though. It kind of came together at the end.

ALONE IN SPACE

 

You might say a space rpg is too ambitious

Posted by
Sunday, December 11th, 2016 3:54 pm

And you would be right. However, taking a lot of inspiration from FTL, my game is starting to take shape. There is combat, star traveling, and trading. All while being in one room. My biggest concern is that the gameplay isn’t satisfying and the lack of polish. Some hours left and I think an upgrade system, and some TLC this thing might just come together.

 

Skärmklipp 2016-12-11 21.53.13

10 hours left and things feel a bit shaky

Posted by
Sunday, December 11th, 2016 10:48 am

One room gif2

One room gif1

My room is taking shape!

Posted by
Saturday, December 10th, 2016 7:34 am

Skärmklipp 2016-12-10 13.32.31

Stayed up for the announcement, time for bed now

Posted by
Friday, December 9th, 2016 9:27 pm

So its 3:30 am here in Sweden, and I stayed up just to find out the theme. I thought would perhaps start working as well, but it will have to wait for the morning.

I hope I will dream lots of ideas about one room games..

See you tomorrow!

I’m in! I think..

Posted by
Friday, December 9th, 2016 6:51 pm

Hey!

Third time’s the charm, right?

Well I hope so. This is the first I think I have nothing else planned for the ludum dare weekend, so I should be able to make something really good. At least I hope so. Because right now I am not super excited and I mostly just want to do nothing this weekend. However, I think as soon as that timer clicks over, I will put on some coffee and just start!

Mini ludum dare for myself

Posted by
Sunday, October 2nd, 2016 2:38 am

So last night I was playing one of those way too common survival sandbox games with my friends, and I got to thinking that I should make one myself. In one day. Today.
Like a little mini ludum dare for myself. Gonna use some stuff I have previously made otherwise I’ll see how far I can get in one day. And perhaps I’ll make it my October Challenge!

Join me in either challenging yourself like this, or follow my stream here

Skärmklipp 2016-10-02 09.35.46

I’m DONE

Posted by
Sunday, August 28th, 2016 2:42 pm

I wasn’t going to enter this ludum dare, but I did anyway.. With only a couple of hours free this weekend I made something quite unexpected.

Check it out

Skärmklipp 2016-08-28 21.26.37

I really want to participate, but not sure if I have time. Might just prototype some stuff and see how it goes!
Skärmklipp 2016-08-27 12.55.36

I am streaming!

Posted by
Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 12:21 pm

Want me to play and rate your game? Leave a comment!

Stream!

Play my game! :D

Posted by
Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 11:30 am

How much bug fixing are you allowed to do?

Posted by
Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 8:11 am

In the rules it says that you are allowed to fix “game-breaking” bugs. What is meant by this? For instance, in my game there are mainly 3 issues I want to fix:

1) A location where you can glitch out into a place where enemies can’t reach you – ruining the point of the game.
2) Towers – in a tower defense game – that don’t fire properly, they only fire at certain enemies when the should be firing at all.
3) Difficulty – the game is way to easy, which could be easily fixed by tweaking some properties.

Now, number 3 is obviously not a bug, and definitely not a game breaking one, so I am not going to fix that. Number 1 doesn’t really matter too much in my opinion. It is number 2 that I feel is the big issue. The game works, and is playable, but one of the big mechanics doesn’t work, and if the game only had that, it would be unplayable in my opinion.

Of course, it is hard to judge this and it is very subjective. My real question is: Can I upload versions alongside the original? Say, having one version that is the game in its current state, one version with the tower bug fix, and a third version that would, in my opinion, not be qualified for judging but there for fun with balanced difficulty and fixed glitch.

– Mango Malarkey
PS. My game is a compo entry and this is my first time participating in LD

Here is the time-lapse of my process! :D

Posted by
Monday, April 18th, 2016 7:20 am

Im done.

Posted by
Sunday, April 17th, 2016 6:44 am

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