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Ludum Dare 29 Post Mortem: Defy Hades

Posted by
Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 2:45 pm

This last weekend I participated in Ludum Dare 29. I teamed up with one of my good friends. The goal for me for the weekend was to learn on the fly how to use Unity 3D, and get a better understanding of C#.

The weekend was a phenomenal success. Click here to go to the submission page.

After the theme for the weekend (Beneath the Surface) was announced, we took about an hour brainstorming possible ideas that matched the theme. We initially wanted to make the game about Hell, since Drew has been playing a lot of Dark Souls lately, but since I like Greek Mythology, we ended up making it about the underworld. Drew is a 2D animator by trade, and we both enjoy old school platformers, so a 2D platformer seemed like the logical choice.

Having settled on a theme, we quickly went ahead making our lists of what needed to get done. Drew on his paper, me on my computer. Preparation was key to us getting it completed. I made a brainstorming web of everything I could think of that would be needed to get the game done and Drew had lots of post-its with several things written on them, and little check boxes next to each item. As he said, filling in the check boxes gives you a little dopamine rush each time.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 1.38.10 PM

Each of us, armed with our own organizational tools and sitting at a kitchen counter, set forth to check off every item on our lists.

We made good progress on friday. We got a workflow set so that we could get Drew’s assets into the game pretty much as soon as he could finish them, and got the first level pretty much done.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 1.58.48 PM

Saturday we polished up the first level. We made the second level. There was lots of coding. There was lots of tracing down where bugs were. There was lots of staring at C# and then saying “hey Nick, why isn’t this doing what I think it should? … thank you Nick!” and even some “hey Nick, why isn’t this doing what I think it should? … wait, nevermind, I got it.” I got the coding set up for the animations for the 2nd and third obelisks and was very happy that I figured it out on my own.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 2.21.11 PM

Sunday was when crunch set in. getting a decent nights rest saturday, I knew I had my work cut out for me to get all the animations working correctly. Unity has a tool called Animator. It allows you to connect one animation to another by creating a transition. Animator is a very new feature in Unity and can be a little buggy. What I didn’t know until I got the animations from Drew for the 2nd and 3rd obelisks, was that if you make a transition without having art assets in the animation yet, Animator will create a buggy transition by default and you have to delete each transition that is bugged and remake it.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 2.22.41 PM

Put bluntly, there were a lot of transitions made saturday night, that I deleted and remade Sunday morning, and then deleted and remade again Sunday afternoon. We continued to plug away though. We laid temp music and sound effects in so the programming could get finished. Drew got the animations for all of the transformations finished. We completed the third level.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 2.24.28 PM

At 9pm we had all of our items completed aside from fine tuning music and making sound effects. We knew those would be the easiest items, and required us to move from our friend who was hosting the game jam at her place, back to mine where my recording equipment was set up. We moved our equipment back to my place. Drew went home to take a shower and have a small break. When Drew came back, he had a 4th level planned out. Immediately, we knew we could do it, it would just take some time. We knew we needed to have it, otherwise the game would be boring. We had all the mechanics and programming required, it was just time. It would take us a while to sweeten the music and get the sound effects in, but we didn’t really need to sleep.

At 8am Monday morning, we had a finished 4th level. The game was now finished for submission, with music, sound effects, and what we felt was a short but entertaining game.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 2.25.20 PM

I successfully made a game. The feeling of completing the Ludum Dare 72 hour Game Jam was the most accomplished I have felt in a long game. It was challenging. We learned a lot.

Next up, The Public Domain Jam.

Who’s in?

Defy Hades

Posted by
Monday, April 28th, 2014 6:58 pm

Our first Ludum Dare game is complete!

It was a long three days but we did it.  Check out the completed game here on Ludum Dare –> Defy Hades


Here’s a few screenshots to give you a feel for the game


Go play the game and let us know what you think!

Still shot from “Defy Hades!”

Posted by
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 9:03 pm




Escape from the Underworld

Here you are, flying through the air!

Look for our game around 2PM PDT tomorrow.

-Josh and Drew

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