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In I am.

Posted by (twitter: @mathk_)
Friday, August 21st, 2015 3:30 pm

Hey folks,

I’ll be trying to whip up a game this weekend.

I will be using:

  • My own C/C++ engine which I should have prepared a lot more this week but oh well.
  • Probably Blender for some uber simple models.
  • Club Mate.

We’re in…

Posted by (twitter: @mathk_)
Friday, December 5th, 2014 8:11 am

EDIT: We’ll be making another post with a team account. So scratch this one! :-)

 

Heyho everybody,

two friends and I are gonna join the fun this weekend.

We will be using Java with Slick2d, a lot of Club Mate and hopefully some fastfood to somehow get a game together!

 

Good luck to everybody!

I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @mathk_)
Friday, December 14th, 2012 12:45 pm

I’m in for my second LD.

I’m playing it safe by sticking to my tools: Java and LWJGL (Slick2D).

I’m now gonna go stack up on food and drinks, then (hopefully) sleep early to wake up early to a (hopefully) glorious theme!

 

Have fun girls and boys!

Memory Inc.

Posted by (twitter: @mathk_)
Sunday, October 21st, 2012 6:51 am

Hey folks!

There are quite a lot of updates about my game.

First and foremost, I had to rethink the storyline, streamline it to make it fit in with the visuals and gameplay. Therefore I also had to change it’s name again… “Closer to You” was definitely chosen way too hastily. I’m learning valuable lessons here!

Anyway, the game is now called Memory Inc. and here’s what it’s about:

Memory Inc. is a 2D platformer with a mixture of quick jump n’ run action, a metroidvania progression and memento-like storytelling.

You’re an agent being sent into a guys subconscious by Memory Inc. – a company hired to help people remember. On your journey through the mind you set free the supressed memories about a long lost love, causing your host unbearable agony and leaving you to deal with a more and more hostile environment. The only way to heal your clients pain is to get to the bottom of it, whether he wants it or not.

It’d be real awesome if you could tell me what you think about that story setup. 😉

Here’s some more stuff that I worked on:

I’ve made some more visual updates, added new sprites.

The slightly updated menu screen.

Updated the agents (players) sprite to fit in with the slightly altered scenario.

Made a little Illustration for the title screen (probably).

Also, I’ve started working on my homepage and naively hope to finish it today.

Remember to hit me up on Twitter for pizza and snacks!

Closer to You

Posted by (twitter: @mathk_)
Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 2:48 pm

I have pretty much settled on a name for my game: Closer to You. It fits the story and mood I am going for, is short and not a tongue twister. Sadly, I just realized that it is not “googleable” (my brain’s too exhausted right now x)) at all…

Anyway, I have made a little update of the development status:

And as always, if you would like to get more frequent updates or simply chit-chat, follow me on Twitter.

Update and a happy belated #ScreenshotSaturday

Posted by (twitter: @mathk_)
Sunday, October 14th, 2012 3:26 pm

Okay, guys and gals – I’ll force myself to give you another little update about how my game for the OctoberChallenge is coming along.

Procrastination, Story & Concept

I have had some slow days in the last week, with some problems to motivate myself. As I’m a chronic procrastinater even for stuff which I really deeply care about (like games), I’ve developed few little tricks to overcome my anxious, lazy demons.

Most often – for me, atleast – the problem is, that I simply pick too broad goals for my to-do-list.

Something like „work on game“ will not work for me at all – something like „fix bug X and redo the art for enemy Y“, on the other hand, will work real wonders.

The former will enhance the feeling of „this-is-too-much-work“ as it doesn’t set boundaries. Also it doesn’t reward you for finishing todays to-do-list at all because it doesn’t emphasize any goal that has been reached. „work on game“ can mean a minute or 16 hours. It doesn’t break my vicious circle of procrastinating brain chemistry (I’m no doctor, but that’s how it seems to work for me ;)).

The latter – on the other hand – emphasizes exactly that. You can reward yourself extremely easy by checking easy and quick tasks. As you have clear goals for the next day it also happens really often that I come up with solutions while trying to fall asleep or being under the shower – because I know what’s coming next. That doesn’t happen with the more broad and general goals. To me, another really important aspect is that I have a clear end which I can work towards. If I have to do some things which I don’t find particularly fun, then I will work extra fast and efficient because when I’m done with them, I’m done for the day.

What I would generally suggest to those of you with the same bad habits as myself: try to find causes! When you procrastinate over and over again, even though you actually like what you do, it doesn’t mean you’re a lazy person (I doubt such a thing even exists) or it is somehow hardcoded into your genes, it just means that you formed bad behavioural patterns which form this sort of vicious circle.

I assume most of us are pretty good at analytical thinking (and creative at the same time, which seems to encourage procrastination ;)) – some self analysis can actually really help in these cases.

What are your experiences with procrastinating and overcoming it?

 

Enough of the rambling and on to my actual work!

As my daily goals got broader and broader over the last week, I realized that some concepts for my game really lacked definition. A few of these worked wonders for getting me on the right track again:

I had big holes in the story which I had planned as a major column of my games experience – so they had to be dealt with. After that sink was unclogged, creativity and motivation could flow again. Sometimes it’s the simple things!

 

Happy belated #ScreenshotSaturday

Some screenshots taken from a small testbed-level:

The testbed – this is where the magic happens… hopefully!

My placeholder (or maybe not, we’ll see!) menu screen

 

Development Process

I would like to talk a little about my development process and pipeline. Maybe some of you find it interesting.

I develop my, yet to be properly named, game in Java with the aid of the Slick2D framework. Java was a no-brainer for me, as that is the only language in which I have some notable experience and it is also what we mostly use at university (and I actually LIKE it ;)). Slick2D – on the other hand – I will probably only use for really small quick prototypes after this one. At least until it gets some major updates (or I take the time to contribute some things myself). It caused me some very unnecessary bugs, also the TilEd implementation is not really sufficient and has a few weird bugs (including inexplicable, OS-specific ones).

That leads me right to my next tool:

My testbed level… those who played my LD24 entry might recognize it!

TilEd

It does everything I need for this project and quite a lot more, yet it also does have its quirks… Can somebody recommend another awesome Mapeditor with Java support? Don’t get me wrong – I would strongly suggest you try TilEd, it’s just that it’s not very stable for me and it could really have a more streamlined user experience.

 

For source control I use Git with Bitbucket:

Commits of the last days

Even though I work alone on this project, I actually don’t want to miss this anymore. Once it is set up, it is really comfortable for working on multiple computers and also for when you just quickly want to try some things in your code without the fear of breaking everything. Good integration in Eclipse via Egit!

 

Twitter

Last but not least I’d like to bother you again with my twitter stream. I’m pretty new to twitter so I would love to have a chat (and maybe some mutual following? *the-rock-stare*) with more of you over there! 😉

My desk and a little update

Posted by (twitter: @mathk_)
Sunday, October 7th, 2012 2:02 pm

As suggested by Dir3kt, take this photo of my current coding castle (nice alliteration… note to myself: pat myself on the back):

As chaotic as always… OctoberChallenge or not, doesn’t matter 😉

Update on my game:

I’ve done mostly under the hood work in the last couple of days, added support for different resolutions and fullscreen, added my menu framework, support for multiple gamestates (which was desperately needed) and a basic scripting system. I’m pretty happy with the progress so far. Sometime next week I will probably start doing some actual gamedesign work again (note to myself: pat myself on the crotch!).

If you like to stay updated, you can also follow me on Twitter, where I’ll try to ramble a bit more often about my game and games in general (and it is also heartbrakingly lonely there :'( …).

Diving into the horrible code mess I left

Posted by (twitter: @mathk_)
Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012 12:39 pm

Greetings everyone!

I’m in for the OctoberChallenge and I’m really curious to see what I will be able to come up with.

Here is my plan:

I will take my game „Ideas“ which I made for Ludum Dare 24 and turn it into something which I hope will be commercially viable.

For everyone who missed out on my LD entry:

Ludum Dare 24: Ideas

It also received quite the favourable rankings:

#4

Fun

4.12

#20

Overall

3.92

#23

Mood

3.81

Nevertheless, I feel that I can still improve on it pretty greatly.

 

The name „Ideas“ will only be a working title from now on as I have come up with a new story. It will still take place inside a persons mind, but with a drastically more serious tone to it. I don’t want to give everything away right now so I’ll just tell you this much: I want to hit some Inception-Fight Club’esque emotions here!

I’m pretty confident that i can pull this off, even though the time is really short. Time shortage also partially has to do with me starting to study Computer Science at the university this month.

 

To better manage my workload I started to actually make 3 different TODO-lists:

  • One for the entire month in which I drop everything that needs to be done at some point and then forget about it.
  • One for the upcoming week. I put about one weeks worth of stuff from the bigger list in here.
  • And then – you might have guessed it – one for the next day. In here I put one or two items from the weeks list.

I hope this system will help to relieve the feeling of „oh jolly good f**k – this project is (too) huge!!“, as the smaller lists really break it down into more managable chunks and help beat the procrastinating demon lurking inside of me.

 

Back to the game.

I aim for 1-3 hours worth of playtime in the end so there is a lot of content to be created (comparing to the 2-20 minutes of the original entry… depending on how great or sucky your platformer skills are). There will definitely need to be a handful of new game mechanics to make the journey stay fresh and interesting the whole time.

 

Today I finally took a leap of faith and jumped right into the horrible mess of code I left after the LD. 8 hours worth of digging and I refactored most of it and scratched some parts („UI“ and the simple scripting) which need to be redone.

Gosh, that was scary! But now I can happily start on some new features and improvements which are desperately needed for a product that eventually shall sale.

 

There are of course a lot more things to consider, including a simple but hopefully effective business and marketing plan. I will try to update you about my progress at least every couple of days. Until then, take this screenshot which practically still looks just like my LD entry:

Jump, Jump!

First LD

Posted by (twitter: @mathk_)
Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 3:16 pm

I’m in as well, going for the compo…

I’ll be using:

  • Java with Slick2D
  • possibly TilED
  • Cubase with some sample libraries
  • GraphicsGale and/or Photoshop
  • Coffee

I’m quite familiar with my tools and overall I feel slightly optimistic, even though I’m still a novice game developer.

 

Have fun everybody!

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