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MiniLD #59
 
Ludum Dare 32
 
Ludum Dare 31
 
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Ludum Dare 29

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Gold Star
Awarded by Newt_
on December 10, 2014

Newt_'s Archive

Pretty Much What I Expected

Posted by
Monday, August 24th, 2015 8:08 pm

Well, LD33 was the first Ludum Dare that I entered and wasn’t able to finish. I had a ton of prior commitment and work to get done over the weekend, so instead of stressing in the few hours of free time I had, I just played around with a little prototype instead and had some fun. I’m not going to submit what I’ve made as it hardly qualifies as a game, but overall I’m content with how things went. (Plus I really like the idea so I’m going to keep working on it in secret 😛 ) Hope everyone got what they wanted out of this compo!

 

See you in December! For real this time!

I’m going for it!

Posted by
Friday, August 21st, 2015 6:37 pm

It’s time for another Ludum Dare, and I’m excited! Unfortunately, I won’t be able to participate for all of Saturday, so that just leaves me with Sunday if I hope to enter the compo. Right now, my plan is to just scope smaller than I ever have and work on getting some sort of product by the end. If I run out of time, I’ll probably just submit whatever I have. Not everything has to be perfect!

 

Good luck!

Is it worth it?

Posted by
Saturday, August 15th, 2015 12:40 pm

I’ve participated in (and successfully completed) 3 Ludum Dares so far, and I’d really like to join again next weekend. The problem is, this time of year is incredibly busy for me, and I have to be away for all of Saturday. Do you think it’s worth trying to throw together a quick game on Sunday, or will whatever I make be so sloppy and unimpressive that it would be better to just skip this one?

Sophistication Annihilation

Posted by
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 7:38 pm

Well, I’ve finished my 3rd Ludum Dare. It gets more fun every time! My entry for this compo is the game “Sophistication Annihilation.” It’s a typing game, but don’t let that fool you! “Sophistication” is very fast-paced and fun, and I’m really happy with how much I was able to finish! My only wish is that I could have added music and more animation, but I’m planning on releasing a more polished post-compo version later, so I can do that stuff then. Loving playing all your games!

actionShot

titleScreenhighScore

Click the picture below to play my game!

chapsonhorse2missilerender

I’m IN! And trying something new!

Posted by
Friday, April 17th, 2015 7:47 pm

It’s that time again, and I can’t wait to participate in my THIRD Ludum Dare! This will also be my second time entering the compo. Hopefully I will be finishing in time for the compo deadline, but I will be gone for much of Sunday, so I might just have to enter into the jam. But that would be alright!

My main goals:

  • Create a new style of game. The three games that I have finished (2 in LD, 1 in #1GAM) have all been point-and-click games. I’m very happy with them, but I’d like to try something NEW- a platformer or action game, perhaps?
  • Continuing off the trend of trying something new, I’ve been playing around with Audiotool recently, and it’s really awesome. (You can listen to the first thing I’ve just made here. It’s kinda cool.) I’d really like to devote more time into audio for this game. Graphics too, if I have time.
  • Finally, I don’t want to stress out about how well I place in the scoring. Last time I was blown away by how surprisingly well my Text (Message) Adventure game, SMS placed. Especially since I will be gone most of Sunday, I might not have the good fortune of creating as mind-blowing of a game. I want to try and remember that the prize is not in our score but in the products we create and the fun we have, and as long as we feel like we’ve gotten something out this competition, then we should be happy. Hoorah.

The themes will be announced in several minutes, oh man! I have good ideas for Unconventional Weapon and Companion, but really most of the themes seem pretty solid. Honestly, I’m surprised the theme I submitted, Harvest, made it into the final round. I also hope it doesn’t win. 😛

Happy jamming everyone!

SMS, a Text (Message)-Based Adventure!

Posted by
Sunday, December 7th, 2014 9:17 pm

Well, my second Dare’s in the bag, and my first time in the compo! It was a much different experience than my last time. Where last time my fun was accompanied by 3 days of twitchy-ness and stress, this time I felt like I really got in the zone. My experiences this time do further my theory that py2exe has an agenda to break whenever I’m up against a deadline, though.

PLAY IT HERE

So what did I do? When I heard the theme “Entire Game on One Screen,” I instantly thought of a phone. I threw around some ideas for possible games (apps as minigames, for one), but I decided on doing a story-based game, the polar opposite of my last arcade game entry. I decided that the player would experience the story indirectly through conversations with different characters in text message threads. I didn’t want it to just be a visual novel though (nothing against visual novels, but since I didn’t really have visuals either, that would be reading a novel sent line-by-line over text. Fun.), so I wanted to make sure the player felt like they were really having an effect on the story.

example2

It was the part that took the longest, but I am very happy with how the story turned out. I don’t want to spoil too much, but let’s just say it’s a roller coaster of emotions. :)

classic fayad

As for the phone interface, I’m content with it. I wanted to add sounds and more maneuverability, but I think it gets the job done.

Finally, in my sleep-deprived, jam haze, I somehow implemented a bug feature that causes a crash whenever the user clicks, well, anywhere except on a message. Or if they click more than once. My story is pretty long, so I knew that almost no one would start completely over from a crash. The ending is my favorite part though, so that would be a huge waste! I have yet to squash the bug, but I have been successful in implementing a temporary (and ugly) fix:

error hack

Thanks for reading!

LD31: End of Night 1!

Posted by
Friday, December 5th, 2014 11:23 pm

Alright, I’m calling it a night somewhat early here so that I can wake up and seize the day fresh tomorrow! I’ve put about 3 hours of code into my game, and I’m fairly happy with the progress so far. I have a really strange idea, but I think it just might work! :) I don’t want to be to specific just yet because my idea will probably change a whole lot over the next two days, but I can say it’s going to be almost completely story-driven, which is the polar opposite of my last LD game, so this will be interesting. 😀

Ludum Dare 31: I’m in!

Posted by
Friday, December 5th, 2014 4:29 pm

Ludum Dare 29 was my first Jam. And it was awesome.

Life got in the way for LD30, but I’m back for 31. And I’m pumped.

This time I play on entering the Compo rather than the Jam, so that I can be content with a smaller scope and therefore spend less time as a jittery mess adding game mechanics Monday night and more time cleaning and making my game perdy. But we’ll see.

Coding: Python/Pygame

Graphics: I just got the free trial for Pickle, and I’ll play around with that. If all else fails, I can fall back on my old pal Gimp.

Sound: No plan yet! I guess I’ll just wing it. :)

I’ve got almost 16 hours worth of music lined up on Spotify, so I should only have to repeat the songs once or twice each. 😛

So much hype! Let’s do this!

Well, I finished. That was… an experience. I set out to create a procedurally-generated timeline that follows the story of a lovably-dysfunctional country, and I think I achieved my original vision, sans one thing (but we’ll get to that later). For now, let’s do this post-mortem in order.

FIRST OF ALL:

Link!

WHAT WENT RIGHT:

Pretty much everything, up until the last day. I was relieved when I first found out that we could split up our 48 hours rather than enduring one stressful marathon session, and that made the experience very chill and enjoyable. I am a bit ashamed to admit that I fully embraced that legendary “feature-creep”, and while this greatly slowed progress, what I am left with is a virtually-innumerable number of possible events that can happen to your little country.

FOR EXAMPLE!

When an event is generated, it goes through a narrowing-down process. First, the overall category of the event is picked from the “event tree list”, as I have called it. The options are: (Political Affairs (20% Chance), Internal Affairs (25%), Pop Culture (50%), or Unique Occurrence (1%)) For this example, let’s say political affairs was picked. From there, an “event branch” is picked. This particular selection includes: (Change In Power (15%), Law Enacted (25%), Political Scandal (20%), and Diplomatic Relations (40%)) After that, each of these branches has many variables to make each event call unique.

batland

This doesn’t even delve into name generation, where I basically sprinkled random.randints like salt on an extra-bland bowl of rice.

This brings me to my next “What Went Right”: Name Generation. I gathered up the top 100 baby names for both boys and girls, a list of over 2000 popular surnames in Europe  (Even the rawest list I could find was still a beast to copy into a list in a way that Python could understand it.), and various spelling lists to add nouns, adjectives, and verbs. Although this probably was the most tedious step in my dev process, it was oh so worth it. Figure A:

banddemo

Figure B:

burn

My third of my triumphant triumphs was the way that events have a domino-like effect on the next ones. While much of what happens in a given event is throwaway fluff, Timeline (that’s my entry’s catchy abridged name) remembers quite a lot. This effect can be blatantly seen in examples like this:

changeshaveeffectsIt can also make for very interesting event sequences, as seen in this interesting executive solution to a problem.

here's what i think of your strikeTechnically, the president (with a fitting nickname) did free Nate from prison.

(Sidenote: I guess I should probably mention the dates, which I think are really cool. Basically, you give Timeline a number of years to generate and it will evenly space (with some healthy standard deviation to mix things up) 50 events per year from today’s date on the calendar, including leap years and all that. Python’s calendar and datetime modules sure are nifty!)

My final and most right of the things that went right is just the sheer unpredictable nature of the game. Not a single timeline that anyone generates will ever by the same as anyone else’s. This makes each generation feel exciting and unique. (To me, at least.) This also made me feel the need to take screenshots of some of my favorite events, as I knew that no one else would likely see exactly the same ones. Here are some of my favorites:

you had one job

hands off my juice box

notsusupiciousatall

(Not suspicious at all, right?)

WHAT WENT WRONG:

I am pleased to say that overall, on the front of what went wrong, I can honestly give an answer of “Not much.” Like I said earlier, I was pleased to be able to break up my 48 hours over the past week, but that led to one big P-word: Procrastination. As I blissfully coded away, I focused too much on my time limit (which I kept track of with a nifty little desktop timer), and not enough on the actual deadline of Sunday at midnight. I still had a comfortable 20 hours of time remaining on Sunday afternoon, but since 00:00 GMT is a significant amount of hours earlier for me, that meant that I had to quickly cut corners to put out a game on time. This led to a stressful couple hours, during which my laptop crashed, my internet decided not to work, and Py2exe, a program that I have relied on many times before for turning my Python files into executables, decided to flat-out break. I was luckily able to get Timeline submitted on time (heh), but I had to compromise on one significant feature: graphics. My original plan for Timeline was to be a navigable timeline (makes sense, right?) where the user could display and skip over color-coded events as they pleased. Instead, I finished with this:

command windowDon’t let the gnarly-looking command window discourage you from playing, though! It’s still plenty easy to generate and skim through whichever events your little heart may desire. I just had something different in mind. (Hey, perhaps that will be the sequel!)

The second thing that I wanted to implement but didn’t have time for were starting and end-game events. I wanted to provide the reader with some sort of closure for their beloved country, but at the moment he or she is just slapped with a blunt “The End.” Maybe I can say that I wanted the reader to be creative and come up with their own ending! Yeah, let’s go with that.

Finally, I wanted to expand name generation just a smidge more to have slight differences between art, song, and video game names. Right now, all three media types use the same function to get their titles. There’s no noticeable side-effects for the most part, but every so often you’ll get something like this:

instant classic

I think it’s fun to imagine how this game would be played.

FINAL NOTE:

Mini LD 53 was an almost-completely positive experience for me, and although I would have liked to have known about the 12-hour submission grace period before I almost threw my computer into the sun trying to finish in time, it has taught me some valuable lessons about efficiency and increased my ability to visualize what the code I type will do, without running it. I encourage all of you to download Dysfunctional Country Timeline Simulator 2014, and post what you discover! Finally, I’ll end this mammoth of a post with one of my favorite screenshots that I took while testing my game.

lawP.S. I used a timelapse program to document the entire 34-hour process, perhaps I’ll throw in some music and upload it somewhere! :)

Mini LD 53 Progress Report 2: Randomly Generated Names

Posted by
Monday, July 14th, 2014 8:43 am

Hello all! I hope for those of you that are working on your game right now, it is going well. I have been doing the fun job of making loads of randomly generated names. These will be assigned to specific events in my timeline game. So far I have an option to generate Person, City, and Band names. I created these functions using data from top 100 baby names for boys and girls, a museum in England’s list of most popular last names (a little over 2000 I believe), and some spelling lists. The results can be hilarious.namedemocitydemo banddemo

Now to actually start creating events!

 

Mini LD 53 Progress Report 1: Time Enough at Last!

Posted by
Saturday, July 12th, 2014 10:10 am

Hello all, and this progress report is a bit of a strange one, as the Mini LD technically doesn’t start until next weekend. The host of the LD has said, however, that starting early is OK, as well as breaking up your 48 hours into as many bite-sized segments as you like. (Link: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2014/07/06/minild-the-53rd-edition/#comments) And that’s awesome, because that means we don’t have to waste precious dev time with pointless things like sleeping, eating, and social interaction. :) My first Ludum Dare was LD 29 in April, and this is the first Mini I’ve been able to participate in. And I’m excited!

I love that theme this year is  “The Future is Now”, and I’ve been playing around with the idea of a generating a future timeline of sorts, with unique events being procedurally generated each time. I don’t know how much I’ll be able to actually do, or if it will even be a playable game, but it’ll hopefully be interesting! I’ll be using Python and Pygame, much like I did for LD 29.

I’ve been keeping track of my time with a desktop timer (at this point I’m a little over 2 hours in), and I’m also trying out a timelapse program this year, so we’ll see how that goes. So far, I’ve written some code that picks X amount of dates between a start point and an end point on the calendar. Eventually an event will be assigned to each of these dates, but for now they are just numbered. Good luck to everyone, whenever you may start!Dates

 

Final Progress Report: Post-Submit

Posted by
Monday, April 28th, 2014 6:12 pm

Welp, that was exciting! I have never worked that hard without stopping for that amount of time before. I barely slept, but it was worth it. I learned not only some more efficient coding techniques, but I also learned how to plan and stick to an idea from start to finish. Although it’s not perfect, I’m really happy with how my game turned out. It’s been really cool to be a part of something so big, and I hope this is my first LD of many!

final1

Play my game, Dig!, here:

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-29/?action=preview&uid=34427

Progress Report 6: Actually a Game!

Posted by
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 7:12 pm

I haven’t done a progress report in about a day, so here’s basically what I got done on day 2:

Firstly, I added 10 new things that you can dig up.

Secondly, I added a GUI at the bottom of the screen. It contains your bag, the time limit, and the ‘Run Away!’ button. Your bag can hold up to 5 things. It’s up to you to find and decide your five chosen items and run away before time runs out. If time runs out, you lose all your points. (My original story idea was you were an amateur archaeologist without the necessary permits to dig for artifacts, so you resort to digging up peoples’ backyards while they’re at work.)

day2_1 day2_2

Finally, I’ve added a scoring window. You get points based on the rarity of the items, how long the round took, if you had any yahtzee-like bonuses (3,4,5 of a kind, full house), and finally if you were “clean”. That means that you refilled every hole that you dug, leaving no evidence that you were there. (P.S. After some play testing, I’ve nerfed the clean bonus a smidge.) All these different bonuses mean that players have to plan their attack. They could hunt for one really rare item to get the basic points up and then find a four of a kind of something extremely common to get a big multiplier, or they could focus on getting out as fast as possible. I’ve been having a ton of fun building/playing it. I won’t have much work time tomorrow, but I hope to get in a title menu, some audio, and a how-to menu if I’m lucky.

Progress Report 5: Dirty Piles

Posted by
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 8:29 pm

Hello, all! I hope you’re having a good time coding in whatever time zone you’re in. I took a break for several hours this afternoon, but now I’m back, and I’ve added a new mechanic to my digging game: dirt piles! Exciting, huh? 😛

move1

Now, when you dig holes, you now receive piles of dirt that you have to manage. They stack in piles of 3, but you can not access the tiles that they cover. You can also put dirt back into holes.

 

move2move3

You can also rearrange treasures* that you dig up. This will come into play when I (hopefully) implement a bag to take items to the shop.

 

move4This new element of having to manage your space will make the game more tense when there is a time limit.

Good luck everyone!

Progress Report 4: The Surface!

Posted by
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 12:27 pm

Alright, after some hard work I’ve made a ton of progress!

I’ve replaced the temporary tiles that I had earlier with actual grass and dirt, created somewhat-randomized hole generation for when you are digging, and added a few possible things to dig up. This is my first time doing any pixel art, so most of it’s pretty rough. :)

newgraphics

Now I have to draw some more things to find and figure out how to turn this into an actually challenging game. Oh, and I should probably remember to blink as well.

This game jam thing is more work than I thought it would be.

Progress Report 3: Buried Treasure*

Posted by
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 8:04 am

I’ve now implemented a system for assigning various items to be contained in each block of ground. There are 4 lists of items at the moment: common, uncommon, rare,  and very rare. When a new map is generated, each tile is assigned an item. Items in the “common” list have the highest chance of being picked, all the way down to “very rare”. If no item is picked, the tile is assigned “nothing”. I will absolutely need to tweak this, as in my last dig I dug up two holy grails. 😛

revealing

Now that I’ve got the framework laid out, off to learn how to create decent textures! Away!

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