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Passing This Time

Posted by (twitter: @metkis)
Friday, April 17th, 2015 10:50 pm

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Started a 1v1 local deathmatch super-soaker game about an hour and a half ago where you would in theory have to get water and pump your gun inspired by my childhood times with the silly contraptions. I have too much work to do this weekend so this is unfortunately all you’ll get to see as I’m dropping out. If someone else likes the idea, please feel free to use it. I imagine many games will take some influence from Splatoon and use water as their mechanic anyways.

Have fun everyone!

Neath (Post-Mortem)

Posted by (twitter: @metkis)
Sunday, May 18th, 2014 12:44 pm

As the end of the voting period looms, I decided to write a postmortem for my Jam entry, Neath. This is my second Ludum Dare. I had some troubles coming up with what the game would be going which led me to miss the competition deadline, but eventually completed it, with a short playable section, for the Jam. I focused on creating a great mood, simple gameplay, and creating a visually striking game in the time period I had. You can play it Here. In the spirit of my first entry, Crew, I’ll be listing some of the things that went right, some of the things that went wrong and what I hope to do differently next time around.

 

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What went right:

  • I finished the game in time for the jam I lost some sleep on this one, but made a concerted effort to get enough sleep and remain vigilant in working on my game.
  • I decided to use Unity last time around I utilized GameMaker: Studio for my entry. This time I told myself I would tough it out and Use Unity for the first time to complete a game. The things I learned in the process were invaluable and it helped give me more confidence in the engine, which I wanted to move to full-time for any game development.
  • Polish I spent a lot of the time implementing features that really didn’t need to be there, but made the experience classier. I also implemented some features that were there just so I could learn how to do them. For instance, despite having only 2 letters in the game, I created a system for handling any items and any letters with variable text. The same is true for the simple dialogue system in the game, which is triggered and custom, and displays text via script. The motions of the paper swooping in, the flickering of the flashlight on, and etc. were all fun to finish and see in action and I think added a lot to the game.
  • Atmosphere I spent more time than I’d care to admit on the sound alone. I am no sound designer by any means, but wanted the game to have a lot of atmosphere and a heavy mood. Luckily, it wasn’t in vain and a lot of people actually noticed how much work went into the sound design. I had initially planned to finish by the Compo time, so many of the sounds are self recorded, but when the time passed I decided to include some snazzy royalty free stuff to boost the level of quality.
  • I didn’t overstep my abilities Last time around I messed around with random generation and in the process created a sort of broken game. This time, I kept it simple for the most part and tried a lot of new things that I needed to know eventually. It made me more confident when I figured something out, and it kept me going until the end.

 

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What went wrong:

  • Ran out of Compo Time As the competition ended a sigh of relief came over me. I was a lot of pressure and I missed the gate because I was too hung up on what the game should be. Admittedly, the game kinda came out incrementally. Instead of having that grand vision in my head like my last game, I was confused about what the game was trying to be. As a result, a lot of the game occurred naturally, which was fun, but also lead to a shorter and kinda plain game-play experience.
  • Brevity There wasn’t a lot “too” my game, but it also was a quite brief experience. If there’s anything people remarked about negatively it would be this. In its briefness, the game did feel more like a mini-demo  or a “slice” of game-play than a full experience, which is interesting. I don’t feel too bad about this, being the sole developer and having it be my first time going full-sail with Unity.
  • Lack of Interesting Mechanics I wanted the game to have a mechanic that related to the theme of “Beneath the Surface”. Unfortunately, I just didn’t think of anything clever enough to get the pass from me.

What I would do differently:

  • Spend Less Time on Prep Last time around I told myself I should have spent more time on prep, but after struggling to come up with an idea this time around, I realized things would have gone smoother if I had just taking a shot at something. I think this part is going to depend on the theme and the options that I’ve come up with, but overall just jumping into something helps grease the wheels.
  • Gameplay First, Next Time! I want to do something interesting with game-play. I think adventure games are a hard sell during Ludum Dare and it’s not the most fun to see in action either. For Crew, I hated myself for trying to do something I knew I wasn’t insanely good at with random generation. This time around, I felt like I tried hard and learned a lot about Unity to go forward and make something more interesting to actually play. Next time I think I’ll focus on creating a simpler, but more fun game.
  • Create a post-comp version? To be honest, I dislike post-comp versions. Not only because when I’m done I just don’t want to look at the game anymore, but also because I think – at least within the voting period – that it’s against the spirit of Ludum Dare. Some post-comp versions I’ve seen have completely changed some aspects of a game or added more levels that weren’t there initially. For anything but game-breaking bugs, a post-comp version is disingenuous to me, but I understand its place in the Jams. Next time around maybe I’ll work on a post-comp version just to see if it’s worth it and if my opinions have changed on it.

Final words: 

Like my previous jam, I got a lot of kind words and some coverage from sites like Warpdoor and IndieStatik. This time around it was a lot more positive because the game worked, hah! It was once-again fun to commit my time to this and helps me realize more and more that this is what I want to do with my life. Thank you!

 

Neath is READY TO PLAY!

Posted by (twitter: @metkis)
Monday, April 28th, 2014 9:02 am

 

 

 

Thank you guys for your support during the Jam!

 

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Finishing Up “Neath”, It’s almost gold, baby!

Posted by (twitter: @metkis)
Monday, April 28th, 2014 7:34 am

I consider the game playable and polished at this point. I’m still going to tweak some things because I have time, but overall my mini-adventure game Neath is basically finished, main menu and everything. I’ll post again when uploaded, but here are some sweet screenshots for the fun of it. SO EXCITED!

 

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Got Message System and Dialogue in, Woo!

Posted by (twitter: @metkis)
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 8:14 pm

With the pressure of the 48hr off, I’m surging forward. Got a dedicated message system and chatter for your character in. A couple of puzzles and the end are all I need for what will be like a super mini-adventure game. I’ve had a lot of fun so far and a lot of the work in things like sound won’t be apparent until you guys get to play. I’m super happy with it so far, and I think you will be too.

 

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Lots of work done, Lots of work to do.

Posted by (twitter: @metkis)
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 8:19 pm

I‘m thinking I might be destined for the Jam, but I’m working pretty hard!

 

realstandfin walkingdesertfinlightreallyfin

It’s Windy Out There…

Posted by (twitter: @metkis)
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 2:53 pm

windy

Things are coming together into… Something?

Posted by (twitter: @metkis)
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 1:44 pm

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Put it all together…

Posted by (twitter: @metkis)
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 12:27 pm

And we’ve got movement!wevegotmovement

Working on Animations

Posted by (twitter: @metkis)
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 11:34 am

Completely behind right now. Still not sure what I’m actually making, but I’ll be damned if something doesn’t get done!

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Taking the day to discover my game.

Posted by (twitter: @metkis)
Friday, April 25th, 2014 8:59 pm

I’ve spent the last hour or so coming up with some ideas in my head and getting them a little more defined. I’m still kinda lost about what I really want to make yet. Here’s some concept art from the process, though!

 

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Crew, A Futuristic Detective Game (Post-Mortem)

Posted by (twitter: @metkis)
Friday, December 20th, 2013 6:46 am

 

 

The 28th Ludum Dare 48 is my first game-jam. I decided at the stroke of midnight and after seeing the theme that this this time I would finally be competing. The experience has been a great eye-opener for me about what it takes to make a game in any length of time, and it’s been a great win for me to meet with so many people that were willing to give my game time and say something nice or constructive about my work. You can find my game here, if you missed it or would still like to give it a go.

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What went right:

  • I finished the game in time for the competition It was a busy weekend for me with a birthday party to go to and work to get done. I got plenty of sleep still and managed to finish the game in what I thought was a fair amount of time. I wouldn’t say the game took more than around 16 hours of my 48, which includes all art, music, sounds, and programming.
  • I decided to use GM:S I started the project in Unity and just decided to switch to GM:S which I thought would expedite the process of making it. I was right. I think the game would have taken a lot more time in Unity, fidgeting around with their 2D support and getting the code right on first go.
  • The idea I thought of a lot of mechanic-based ideas in the beginning, most of which were implemented by other developers numerous times. When I thought of this idea, I decided to go with it. It’s not really something I thought I would make, either. It’s not a completely simple game mechanically, so there was a lot more programming involved than I would have liked. Still, people were intrigued by the idea and I got a lot of support on Twitter for it.
  • Mood and visuals I got a lot of complements on the look of the game and people liked the music and sound effects. Funnily enough, the game wasn’t pixel-art in the beginning and was instead a more comic style shown below. I decided to try Rezoner for music creation and it worked in a pinch. I created the music in 15 minutes and two sounds were created with it as well. BFXR was used for my sounds and worked great.
  • I tested my boundaries I suck at any sort of random generation, and I needed to use a lot of cross-referencing and code to complete the game. Some part of me would have rather leaned on simpler mechanics like built-in physics or a pre-made platforming engine, but I didn’t My code ended up making up the whole thing and it was really tough for me to figure out how to solve some of the problems I ran into, but also really rewarding.

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What went wrong:

  • The dialogue system Close to finishing my game, the dialogue system seemed to be working great. I was designing something that would give each character their own specific dialogue while also offering hints at the killer. I was really happy with how it was turning out, but time ran out, and the system was repeating dialogue between characters. Because of the mechanics this meant it was sometimes very difficult to find the correct killer of the captain.
  • Not user-friendly I consider my game to have a lot more rules than a lot of jam entries. I’m actually okay with this quality to the game. The problem in user-friendliness comes with a lack of an in-game tutorial and a unified selection system. The game displays some selections differently from others. As a designer, I should have applied the process of KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid), but I was in a rush in the last hours.  This is the number one complaint I got, and one of the first things I will fix if I decide to go any further with the game.

What I would do differently:

  • Spend more time on the competition, or move to the jam My problems could have been fixed with more time. I haven’t uploaded a post-comp version because I’ve been busy too. I didn’t regulate enough time to fix the dialogue system or add in a tutorial so the game remains imperfect. In my spare time I will fix it up, but I knew going in it was going to be rough and perhaps should have settled with the jam instead of the competition. I had other ideas about what the game would be, but had to cut them short because of my time. Clues would be included and the scoring system would have been deeper – all the wouldofs in the world don’t really matter, though.
  • Spend more time on prep some of the issues I had would have been fixed if I just expounded more for myself on how I was going to handle the mechanics. A lot of it, for me, was “Shoot, I still need to have x system.” Then I was rushing to finish that. I think good prep is the foundation for good design in general. This seems especially true in game design.
  • Make something with less code focus / use more examples I wrote a lot of the game with my own code, which isn’t great. If there’s such a thing as programmer art, then there’s certainly artist programing, which is what I felt I was doing. The systems held for the most part and I have few true bugs as my dialogue problems come more from design issues than poorly written code; however, in the future I might try to lean on other open libraries so I can finish things faster and make sure things work how I need them to.

Final words: 

I got so much more support for my game than I ever thought I would. Indie Statik had my game in a list of featured LD48 games, some cool people retweeted it, and I got a lot of love here on Ludum Dare’s page. In a time when I’m really questioning my ability to make games, it really put a smile on my face and gave me a lot of drive to work harder next time. Even if the game didn’t turn out how I wanted, even if it wasn’t as fun as I expected, I’m still glad I just made something instead of saying I was making something all the time. I have to take this time to THANK LUDUM DARE AND THE GREAT DEVS HERE for giving me a great time and something to be proud of.

Crew, A Futuristic Detective Game (I FREAKIN’ FINISHED SOMETHING)

Posted by (twitter: @metkis)
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 2:15 pm

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HERE IT IS! I FINALLY FINISHED SOMETHING

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=27592

Crew is a futuristic re-imagining of CLUE, where you try to discover who killed the captain of your spaceship, where, and with what. The game-play includes narrowing down suspects with information and writing down info on loose pieces of paper. Not only can you solve who killed the captain of your ship, but you also get judged and graded on how well you’ve done and how few clues you took. 

Wow, this is my first time doing a Ludum Dare, and I am pooped! 

I’m glad to have the game done, even if the gameplay needs some work, I’m so happy to finally finish something real. I noticed some small bugs I hope to fix before competition judging begins, but right now I’m taking a breather. Thank you all for the support and heart-ing while I worked on it, kept me going!

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Crew, A Futuristic Detective Game (third update)

Posted by (twitter: @metkis)
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 12:48 pm

 

crewfinal

Crew is a futuristic re-imagining of CLUE, where you try to discover who killed the captain of your spaceship, where, and with what. The game-play includes narrowing down suspects with information and writing down info on loose pieces of paper. Not only can you solve who killed the captain of your ship, but you also get judged and graded on how well you’ve done and how few clues you took. I’m hoping to finish for the jam deadline, but we’ll see!

I’m coming in on the home stretch and running out of time to get the game how I want it, but right now it works.

  • Integrated selection with score system.
  • Added scoring.
  • Main menu added.
  • Room selection added, as well as hover for room name.
  • Item system now hiding items in rooms correctly.
  • Investigation added, investigate rooms for clues, the fewer you have to investigate, the better your score.
  • Winning and losing is fully implemented.
  • Lots of icons added.
  • Fixing dialogue to be a tad better (working)

I have a big issue right now with the dialogue system that might not be fixed by launch. Dialogue sometimes overlaps, making it near impossible to narrow down the suspects to a single person, meaning you have to guess between a couple possible subjects at times. I initially wanted to add clue system along with investigation which gave you an option to look for clues as well as investigate in order to narrow your murderers down, but I just don’t think I’ll have time as I’m rather burnt out. I’m pretty happy with what I’ve made so far in such limited time, though. As a first time LD’er, I’m learning a lot right now.

Below is a screenshot of the final interface and everything! Working great in HTML5 as well.

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Crew, A Futuristic Detective Game (second update)

Posted by (twitter: @metkis)
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 8:13 am

Made even more progress in the last five or so hours.

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Crew is a futuristic re-imagining of CLUE, where you try to discover who killed the captain of your spaceship, where, and with what. The game-play includes narrowing down suspects with information and writing down info on loose pieces of paper. Not only can you solve who killed the captain of your ship, but you also get judged and graded on how well you’ve done and how few clues you took. I’m hoping to finish for the jam deadline, but we’ll see!

  • Dialogue / GUI text system with that nice typewriter effect implemented.
  • Random dialogue system coded, dialogue is complete but needs tweaked.
  • Named the Rooms, Weapons, and Suspects.
  • Suspect selection was added along with icons for suspects.
  • Weapon selection was added.
  • Audio on/off toggle was added.
  • Name-tags were added when hovering above suspects

Crew, A Futuristic Detective Game (first update)

Posted by (twitter: @metkis)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 8:38 am

So I decided on a title and gameplay. Crew is a futuristic re-imagining of CLUE, where you try to discover who killed the captain of your spaceship, where, and with what. The game-play includes narrowing down suspects with information and writing down info on loose pieces of paper. Not only can you solve who killed the captain of your ship, but you also get judged and graded on how well you’ve done and how few clues you took. I’m hoping to finish for the jam deadline, but we’ll see!

Made some solid progress, but right now I’m out of gas. I finished most the graphics, some simple theme music, the sound effects, and even part of the game logic. Hopefully more tomorrow!

crewfinal

 

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