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Ludum Dare 27

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Postmortem: Kaiju Simulator

Posted by
Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 3:00 am

I have to admit that that when I saw the theme for Ludum Dare 33 I was pleased. It gave me an excuse to make a giant monster game because let’s be honest….who wouldn’t want to be a giant monster destroying everything in its path? In my head the game would have everything that you’d see from a godzilla movie, people running scared and being stomped on, cars flying, buildings crashing, lasers, fires, explosions, tanks, helicopters, jetfighters, battles with giant robots. The end result was short of the original vision but I’m still happy with the end result given the time limit.

godot_ss

My past language of choice has been Haxe using the excellent Haxeflixel framework but for this game I decided to give the Godot engine a go since I found the animation system in Godot to be awesome and it enabled me to create the monster’s walk animation quite easily. In fact, I think I spent the great part of the first day just tweaking the walk cycle. The monsters various body parts were just made of images that I had exported from vector graphics using Inkscape. I’ll definitely be using Godot for more game jams in the future.

buildings_sheet

The pixel building art came out better than I expected. At first I wanted to make the buildings 3D but I found it was easier for me to just make 2d quads in 3d space (my blender 3d modelling skills are practically non existent). It might not be apparent but all the objects (other than the player monster) are auto-spawned as the player moves left to right. I just didn’t have enough entities to make it look as if it was the case.

kaiju_ss2

Sound and music are almost non-existent for the most part. My attempt to learn Garageband in the last couple of hours before the handup was pretty much futile. It wasn’t so much about learning the tool but more about having the musical skills to whip up something cool. I have to admit I got a bit lazy with the sound effects because there are minimal sounds in the game.Unfortunately, I forgot that jam entries could use external assets but it didn’t occur to me to add pre-made music. Darn.

Originally, I wanted to hand in the game for the compo and I had worked right up to the deadline and into the one hour submission period. I thought I made it but I found out that my entry had been put into the jam category late on the third day. Oh well, I had more time to add more polish to the game. I spent the rest of the third day just sprucing up some of the graphics but then I thought, “What would a kaiju be without its superpower?” And that’s when the laser beam and mouse rotatable torso came along. It definitely added to the compo’s version “stomp on everything” limited gameplay.

So where to from here? I’m going to continue developing this into a more full fledged game. There are still more of my kaiju elements that I need to see in this game. I also think it would work well with controllers or even mobile touch screens. Much more to come!

Play and rate Kaiju Simulator now! Comments and feedback very much appreciated.

 

Turn Fighter Foo – post compo version

Posted by
Sunday, September 8th, 2013 3:37 am

After the ludum 27 48 hour compo, I continued to develop Turn Fighter Foo in order to bring out a version that is closer to what I had imagined.

So whats new?

The first major thing (not visible though) is that the code base has been ported from Flixel with Actionscript/Flash to HaxeFlixel  with Haxe/OpenFL. Doing this has the advantage of being able to port it to other platforms natively. Expect something like gamepad support on desktop or a mobile version sometime in the future!

Improved graphics/music

There are a few new hit animations for the fighters as well as new animations for the new moves that they can perform. The background has been spruced up a little to make it less bland and some background music thrown in to accompany the fighting. Here is an example of what to expect:

tffpostcompo

Improved gameplay

The first major change is a rebalancing of the play matrix for moves. You might have noticed that kick is probably the most overpowered move in the 48hr compo version. I’ve tried to create a version where there is always a counter to any move. For example, kick is now countered by the low sweep like the picture above shows. And air attacks can now be countered by a new uppercut move. The play matrix is still not perfect but it is far better than the 48 hr compo version. Along with the new normal moves, there are also a couple of special moves that I’ve added which were inspired (aka ripped off) from most fighting games. The first is a ranged fireball attack and a move called the phoenix punch which kinda resembles a dragon punch (very original I know! 😛 ). Have a look at the moves list below for how to execute the new moves. More special moves to come in future versions hopefully.

The post compo version now has several options that can be customised such as the ability to hide your inputs from your opponent, increasing/decreasing the number of inputs per turn and changing the turn timer duration (or have unlimited time). The last option enables Turn Fighter FOO to be played in Ippon scoring mode which means that a turn ends as soon as one fighter performs a decisive blow on the opponent scoring one point. The decisive blow occurs when one fighter performs a move that naturally counters the opposing fighter’s current move, thus getting the hit. Score three points and the match is over.

tff_menuoptions

Last but not least, I’ve added an AI player for those that do not have anyone to play with. Yes, there is now a single player mode! The AI is not great but it should be enough to get a flavor of what the game is all about. I’ve gotten feedback regarding my compo version about how some players didn’t have a partner to play with so this one is for those players! :)

The post compo version of Turn Fighter Foo may be found (along with the original version) at my ludum 27 entry page here.

New Moves list

  • Upper cut – down, punch
  • Low sweep – down, kick
  • Jump punch – up, right, punch (if facing right)
  • Fireball – down, right, punch  (if facing right)
  • Phoenix punch – right, down, right, punch (if facing right)
  • Duck – down
  • Idle has been removed as an input. Use block instead.
  • Controls for player 1 has changed to w,a,s,d for up,left, down,right and j,k,l,n for punch, kick, block, clear move list.
  • Addition of new ready button for the unlimited time match. When both players hit the ready button, then the turn plays out. Player1 ready – space, Player2 ready – end.

Post mortem – Turn Fighter Foo

Posted by
Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 7:05 am

So I’ve decided to write a post mortem for my first ever ludum dare entry Turn Fighter Foo. I’m really proud of what I had achieved in such a short amount of time and I just wanted the opportunity to share the story and the thought processes behind it.

The first day

When the theme “10 seconds “was revealed on the ludum site at 10:30 am local time, the first thing I did was to brainstorm and write down every idea I could come up with related to the theme.  Ideas for mechanics like 10 second power ups, 10 second lives and 10 second timers floated around mixed in with game ideas like escaping from a monster with only 10 second of stare time (yeah I ripped it off amnesia), a 10 second hundred meter dash and even a …ahem “reproductive” game with the control system of dance dance revolution to try and get a 10 second climax result.

My initial attempt was to build the monster game with a flashlight with a 10 second battery life that you could use to scare away the monster using Construct 2. Eventually, I got bored with the idea and ditched the monster game and was back at square one. I had a look at my list of brainstorms again and fell upon number 10 on the list which read “10 second to decide what to do in a situation – Each turn is a second”. I then started to think about creating a turn based game where you had a limited amount of time (10 seconds) to make a decision like timed chess. I remembered a previous game that I had stumbled on from a previous ludum dare called RockPaperRPG which was a game where players took simultaneous turns to select from melee, block and magic to defeat an opponent. I was going to extend upon that idea but with timed limited turns. This meant that I needed a greater range of actions to choose from so that time became a precious resource for the player. It so happened that I had just bought Mortal Kombat on steam that morning too and I thought about whether anyone has built a turn based fighting game before. And so the basic idea behind what would become Turn Fighter Foo was born. I tried to create the initial prototype in Construct 2. Below is a picture of that early prototype.

construct2TFF

By late Saturday afternoon I was beginning to become frustrated with Construct 2 and I was ready to throw away this prototype too. However, I really liked the concept, I just didn’t like the way I had to manipulate arrays in the editor. I made the hard decision to give up on Construct 2 and fall back to coding the game on flash via the flixel library. The other problem was I had agreed to go to my friend’s birthday gathering and so I was going to lose my whole Saturday evening. I decided to make a quick appearance and get back home in time to do more development. The quick appearance saw me coming home at 12:00 am and slightly intoxicated. I started quickly banging away on the keyboard and within a couple of hours I had a white square moving within a grid which was more progress than I had made with my first prototype.

The second day

After six hours of sleep, I got up at eight and proceeded to start hammering away code. Most of what you can see was made on Sunday. Progress was slow but steady. By around lunch time I had the basic input and battle replay system up with a white square moving around. By late afternoon, I had two squares duking it out on a grid. I spent most of Sunday night actually programming the structure of the game, I had a battle engine but I still needed a game structure to handle the flow of the game from beginning to end plus reset conditions. I also needed all the other UI stuff that showed status (like healthbars). I also spent a bit of time doing the sprite graphics on Sunday night.

tffsprites

Most of the early morning of the Monday was spent fixing up issues and making sure that there wasn’t any major problems with the code flow. I also took some time to create sounds using bfxr and that Sakura tree in the background. By about 4 or 5 am on a Monday morning I probably had the final build and spent the next hour working out hosting on google drive, writing the readme and going through the process of submission. The title “Turn Fighter Foo” was selected when I had to fill in the name box in the submission process. I wanted something that was a parody of Street Fighter 2. Originally, it was going to be “Turn Fighter Too” but I took a play on the term Foo Fighter (I originally had in mind the band Foo Fighters) and with the word “Foo” in a programming context.

 

TFF

 

Positives

  • I like the basic concept of the turn based fighting game and I can see areas where I can iterate upon it.
  • I made a playable game! It’s a bit bare bones but it does have all the elements of a game’s structure.
  • I really enjoyed the experience and the 48 hour time limit really stopped my procrastination habit in getting the game out.

Negatives

  • No AI player. That means no single player mode in the version I handed up.
  • The moves aren’t really balanced. The play matrix code is pretty horrible and copy and pasted at various sections.
  • No music … I didn’t really plan this part at all.
  • There was a lot of time wasted.
  • I only had two hours of sleep on Monday morning before I went to work.

Lessons learnt

  • Know your tools well. I was never really comfortable with Construct 2.
  • Don’t try to fit in too many other things on a ludum dare weekend.

Going to go play and rate some of the other games now. Hope you enjoyed reading what I went through. You may find my ludum entry here

Finally turned it in..

Posted by
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 2:16 pm

TFF

 

I finally turned in my first game for ludum dare – Turn Fighter Foo.

This is a turned based beat em up where you (and your opponent) have 10 seconds to key in a series of inputs and then the battle plays out each move and its results. Because of the time limit, I didn’t have the time to implement an AI player for single player mode. Originally, I had all sorts of ideas like combos, specials and characters but as time ticked by, they got crossed out one by one. I’ll probably visit those ideas post competition. The scene that you see up there, I had envisioned a fight scene between Ryu and Ken from Street Fighter under the sakura trees. Probably, could have used more work with the visuals but alas my art skills are almost non existent.

I’ve been working on this the last 22 hours…and I feels a little dizzy now. The development was a bit hectic on the second day because I basically gave up on the tool which I originally intended to use (Construct 2) late on the first day and started on getting something working in flixel/flash instead.

You can view my ludum entry here

 

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