Ludum Dare 35
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Enliven Postmortem

Posted by
Saturday, January 2nd, 2016 6:50 pm

20160102145809

Hello! Welcome to the post mortem post thing for Enliven. I will try my best to briefly explain what happened during those 3 packed days, and why we couldn’t get the game finished in time. :(

Day 0

So, this Ludum Dare was pretty unique – instead of our standard battle station in the Ernst residence, we got to work in a studio apartment! On top of that, we’ve had a newcomer to the team – Rom Haviv! Rom is an awesome game dev and friend who also makes games in his free time. He has made some stuff for Ludum Dare in the past, and he’s an awesome artist and programmer.

This was the first time we worked with someone new, and it proved to be an awesome experience. 😀

We spent the first day figuring out how to set up a git repository and installing Windows on a newly-formatted computer. Everyone went to sleep on his own couch, all hyped up for tomorrow.

Day 1

Everyone was a bit surprised about the entire two themes fiasco. It left us all a bit confused, so we went to get some breakfast to clear the confusion. We started thinking and sketching game ideas that involved one or both of the themes.

We settled on a simple tower defense game, where the towers actually branch from a central seed you need to defend, and you build more towers and branch even further by killing enemies.

anime

We worked on a simple engine and some graphics while churning out concept art, but eventually we slowed down to a grinding halt when we realized the idea was kind of… eh.

This is where shit hit the fan.

We started breaking our heads over what to make, unable to think of an idea. We sat dormant and just waited for the right idea to appear, but nobody came.

We thought of a bunch of interesting game ideas, such as a puzzle game where you play a robot who can only move on one axis, and can switch to the other axis by pressing the two directional keys at the same time. Each switch would cost some power to execute, and you’re limited to a certain number of switches every level.

20160102145808

Still, we couldn’t collectively agree on a good idea that everyone wanted to make, and it started getting late. Eventually we were getting tired, and even considered giving up, but we agreed to give it one more shot tomorrow morning. We went to sleep as sad gamedevs with nothing to show. :(

Day 2

We woke up fresh with some new ideas, and after some brainstorming, we all agreed we liked the concept of planting seeds to navigate around levels and solve puzzles. Filled with determination, we quickly started working.

Rom & I worked on the engine. Let me tell you this: working with another programmer in Game Maker and Git is utter hell. Constant crashes, errors, missing files and unsynced projects made this experience an absolute mess. I cringe when I think of the hours that went to waste because of fiddling with this crap. After wrestling a few hours with Git, we decided to just screw it and use SVN and instead. And it actually made things simpler (but Game Maker still has shit support for that kind of stuff).

A few hours down the line and we created the basic game mechanics (platforming, vine collision, seeds) and the smart camera.

cool

Meanwhile, Itamar and Mati were hard at work on some sprites, and made some pretty pretty stuff.

Pzuz_sprite8_strip9

mushpatatojump

קפיץ קופץ קפיץ קפיץ_strip17

Most of the animations you see in the game were created by Itamar.

More and more hours went into work and soon we had some basic gameplay and tiles to make pretty gifs:

cool3

We finally had something going our way, and we hit the bed satisfied, but unsure if we were going to be able to pull this off with just one day left.

Day 3

Cue pressure. We woke up extra early and just got straight to work without wasting any time.

Jason sent us some cool sound effects and music he worked on while we were asleep. I think he did a great job with the sound design this time around, as good ambiance and mood was something we were hoping to achieve.

We knew we had to work fast if we wanted to accomplish anything, and there wasn’t much of it left. First thing I did was to add the springy flower and explosive plum, while Rom worked on the underground tunnel seed.

cool7

NNNGGGHH god i love particle effects

You can already see here that most of the art assets were complete. We still needed to iron out some bugs and flesh out a few mechanics, but the main thing we were missing were levels.

Mati sat down and started designing some levels that teach you the basic mechanics of the game, while Itamar finished any remaining assets.

Everyone worked tirelessly under pressure to put in as much as we could, but time was running out and we figured we wouldn’t have enough of it to make a proper game with levels. After consulting with some comments, we decided to just finish the game abruptly and put in a sandbox level that lets you mess around with the existing content of the game.

There’s not much to say about what went behind the scenes here, as we simply just churned work while time ticked away. Eventually we had to stop to upload the game.

What went right?

  • Teamwork. Even though we almost caved and gave up, we stuck together and made something even though we almost lost hope.
  • Graphics. I’m always amazed at the stuff Mati & Itamar manage to put out in  such a small amount of time, and they’ve done it again this time.
  • More programmers. For the first time ever, I didn’t work on the code alone, which was a pretty weird experience, but made things that would otherwise be impossible in this time frame happen.
  • Ambiance. It was something we were aiming to accomplish here, and I think Suezo managed to pull it off nicely.
  • Workspace. Working at the apartment was awesome, and it felt extra indie, too!

What went wrong?

  • Time. Because we started actually making something an entire day late, we couldn’t make the game we really wanted to make, and had to submit an unfinished product.
  • Repositories. I cannot stress enough how bad Game Maker’s support for team projects are. I didn’t really suffer from it until now, because I was the only one who tinkered with the project file, but now that I see how bad it is, it makes me want to run away to Unity asap. (which will happen, eventually!)
  • Ideas are hard. It’s always hard to find someone everyone likes and wants to make, and this time around the process actually took up an entire day worth of work, which is pretty sad.
  • Literally everything aaahhhh

 

So yeah, we submitted an unfinished game, but in the end it was absolutely worth it. We proved to ourselves that we can stick together and make something even if things look grim, and it was all worth it for the lovely comments you guys have left on the game so far. We’ve seen people streaming the game and playing it on YouTube, and some people have actually created carefully planned speedruns of the game, which is absolutely awesome!

I’d like to thank Rom who actually managed to endure our shenanigans and memes, and worked like an absolute pro. And as always, Jason, or Suezo, for kicking so much ass.

Lastly, I’d like to thank you, Ludum Dare. You guys filled us with motivation to actually submit the game and make it into what it is today. You guys are absolutely awesome, and this community is something special. <3

Play/Rate Enliven here

Lonebot ♥♥♥

ps. Mati & Itamar need to finish Undertale

Happy (Belated) Holidays!

Posted by
Tuesday, December 29th, 2015 8:52 am

מזל טוב ישו

Merry christmas and a happy new year from Lonebot! ♥

Play Enliven

DONE!… sorta

Posted by
Monday, December 14th, 2015 6:31 pm

cool7

So, we went with suggestions and uploaded the game even though it’s not complete. Well, that’s what we get for starting one day late!

Play Enliven

We don’t expect good ratings, but we still hope you’ll have fun with this one. :)

128 Text - Copy

Probably not gonna make it

Posted by
Monday, December 14th, 2015 2:17 pm

cool5

All of the game mechanics are in place, but sadly, we do not have enough time to design normal levels.

Boing

Posted by
Monday, December 14th, 2015 6:05 am

cool4

Best Vine Compilation

Posted by
Sunday, December 13th, 2015 3:58 pm

cool3

Now to make this into a game.

Monstre de Coiffure from LD33 is now on Android!

Posted by
Monday, October 12th, 2015 11:38 am

Hey Ludum Dare!

I’m excited to announce the release of the official port of Monstre de Coiffure from the last Dare for Android!

In case you forgot what Monstre de Coiffure is, it’s this:

You can play this on your Android device right now for free! We plan on adding a bunch of cool features in the near future, so stay tuned :)

Get it from here

 

Play the original

And a big thank you to everyone who supported and encouraged us to make this port. We love you Ludum Dare :)

FABULOUS FOUR

Posted by
Tuesday, September 15th, 2015 3:14 pm

4gif

FOUR!!!

Results are in and they are looking gorgeous

We’re very happy with how this LD turned out, and we want to thank everyone who played, rated, commented and wrote about our game! <3

So what’s next in store for Monstre de Coiffure?

Well, the obvious takeaway from this Ludum Dare is to port it to mobile. Maybe we’ll make a full game with an entire campaign and perhaps even a story to go along with it!

Once again, thank you Ludum Dare for being wonderful as always (looking at you, Mike!!) and this experience really was a blast for all of us.

Thank you!

Lonebot ♥

Monstre de Coiffure Postmortem

Posted by
Wednesday, September 9th, 2015 1:50 pm

pe la pepe big

Hello! You are now reading the post-mortem post for Monstre de Coiffure. I will try to explain what happened during those 3 crazy days, and how we actually got shit done considering time limits.

This Ludum Dare was very messy in terms of work time. Itamar had to work 50% of the time, and both Mati & Itamar got tickets to see the Alt-J concert they have been waiting months for. On different days. Time was of the essence, and we had to find ways to work around the pressure.

Day 0

I got to Mati & Itamar’s house as always. Itamar wasn’t around (he works as a barista) so me and Mati enjoyed some oriental food and mayonnaise. We set up our battle stations and hit the bed. Itamar came later in the night.

Day 1

We woke up and found out about the theme. We all went “meh” simultaneously, because we had really been hoping for some of the other themes to win. The Ernst’s dad made us some delicious hot cheese burekas, and we started cracking on game ideas. Mati thought of a game about working at a monster beauty salon. We immediately loved the idea and started playing around with it, but soon Itamar had to leave for work :(

A few hours later, Mati had some pretty sprites ready, while I started to have doubts about the game. I didn’t find what would make it fun or addicting.

Edward Pedro_strip3 Spraycy crab666_strip2 Lip to the Stick_strip3 gabot

I seriously started thinking about dropping the idea but Mati convinced me to continue working on it to at least get something playable going, and then decide if we wanted to keep it. I drew a disgusting placeholder and coded some basic stuff like buttons and basic effects. Fast forward a few hours and we had a basic engine ready.

At the time you could only interact with the eyes that would follow a base monster sprite around, making it seem like they were part of it. I took a second look at what we had so far, and actually began to like. I’m really glad Mati convinced me into working on the game. I continued to spew code while Mati continued to design some stuff, and like 4 hours later we had all of the basic tools just about ready gameplay-wise.

I’m actually really proud of how loop-able this gif is.

We were all blown away by the amount of love this gif has gotten, so that gave us a lot of motivation to keep working on the game.

At this point Itamar came back from work and immediately started the monster bases, but we soon had to go to sleep.

Day 2

We all woke up to some delicious cereal. We decided we’d work mostly on the monsters, a background, and the random traits engine.

Itamar spent all day working on the monster bases, which later became our trusty customers:

spr_longhead_strip3

Longhead

spr_blobas_strip3

Blobas

spr_zomben_strip3

Zombdatner

spr_ograti_strip3

Ogtarine Core

Each monster base has a bunch of unique parts that belong to it (eyes and mouths) while we also had some generic parts that would fit on most monsters.

For example, this mouth and eye are exclusive to Longhead:

Monstra_0001s_0003s_0003_1 Monstra-2_0002_Layer-3

While these look good on anyone:

Monstra_0001s_0000s_0003_4 Monstra_0000s_0001s_0000_i-3.3

The way the randomization works is by picking a base body, and dictating some parameters that would decide the number of eyes and mouths the monster had, and where everything would be positioned on its’ face. This beauty AI was very time consuming to write, but I think the monstrosities it can create are worth it in the end:

    

After we had a good old-fashioned Lonebot Pizza Party™, Mati worked hard on a nice barbershop background while I worked on some cheesy * * * particle effects * * * and soon we had something real nice going:

Itamar and I spent literally hours optimizing the monster randomization to make sure almost all combinations looked horrifyingly tasty, while Mati churned hours on finalizing the background. Soon Itamar had to leave for the concert and it was just me and Mati, left listening to Mario Paint covers of Shrek songs. (also Monsters Inc. music and French cafe music because reasons)

Suezo had started working on music and sound effects and we hit the bed.

Day 3

We all woke up to hear Suezo’s work. He made us some awesome sound effects for spraying and painting stuff, however, the music he made us wasn’t really what we wanted. :(

We were really hoping to have some layed-back-sorta-ironic French musette music in the background, but instead Jason took it in a more of a stressed French pizzeria shop working around the clock theme. It was really good, but it wasn’t what we were looking for, so unfortunately we had to drop it. You can still listen to it here:

Itamar had to work again and Mati and I were left together again to finish up the game. Mati finished up any missing sprites, while also finally finishing the background (which is made of two parts – a background and a foreground)

כךךךך בהיר יותר

test dovakin ke$ha_strip2 למה בהדונס+5

I started cracking on the actual gameplay-y part of the game. I wrote an accuracy algorithm which would produce a number between 0 – 1 that would represent the accuracy of any beautification done on the monster to the requested features on the mannequin. I added some progression, such as requests becoming more absurd as you would play, or small things like needing to be more accurate when applying lipstick.

I won’t bore you too much with how the game evaluates your score and increases in difficulty as you play, while also preventing repetition in generated monsters.

We churned work hours but soon Mati had to go to the same concert Itamar went to yesterday. I went home and continued working from there.

I still had to implement a Game Over screen, a tutorial, sound effects and music. I created a simple app-esque screen with some stats about your accuracy and how many rounds you finished, and a credits scene. It actually was a lot of work and time was running out, and I couldn’t stay up late because I had to go back to the army in the morning. The game was pretty much done at this point, but it had no sound.

I added two (hopefully) unlicensed musette tracks from YouTube and recorded sounds (such as my Ukulele’s strings for applying mascara or those monster moans you hear when you finish a round).

I was really under pressure, but I had made in time. Then I thought about a funny idea. I got some generic screams and yells from findsounds and implemented into the game without Mati & Itamar’s knowledge. I think they actually add a lot 😀

And that’s it! I was done, just on time. My head was on fire and I went to sleep only to wake up to another lengthy army day.

What went right

  • Fun. This isn’t something I usually say, but I think the game is really fun to play. It’s easy to pick up and learn.
  • Polish. Despite the many constraints we had to work with, we still managed to push a shiny monstrosity.
  • Graphics. I really want to give the bros some mad props here. I think the monsters look amazing, and everything just clicks together when you look at it.
  • Variety. The gameplay isn’t repetitive and you’ll get a bunch of crazy monster combinations when playing, which is something really important a small game like this should have.
  • Humor. It’s pretty funny, right? Right?

What went wrong

  • Time. Real life really decided to interfere with the development of this game, and we had to work under a ton of pressure to push it out.
  • Tutorial. I didn’t have too much time to implement a proper tutorial, so what we have now is admittedly kind of a mess, in terms of a tutorial.
  • Feedback. We originally wanted to implement a visual feedback on how you did each round. Itamar even drew some cool score sprites that would pop from under the bell when you’d finish a stage, but I was just too exhausted to implement it. I’m really sad it had to be that way.
    SABF

That’s it. We had a ton of fun working on this disgusting abomination, and we really hope the world likes it. I think this might’ve been one of our best Ludum Dares to date.

Play/Rate Monstre de Coiffure here

Lonebot ♥♥

 

P.S: Happy birthday Mati, you magnificient Afro baring hero.

5 Fabulous Games You Should Totally Play

Posted by
Saturday, September 5th, 2015 8:15 am

Sorry for that clickbait title. Here are some of the many games we liked a lot.

DISCLAIMER: some of these screenshots may or may not have gone through a beautification process before being posted (MSPaint)

 

A Heart Between Parts

100mem

Do you like adventure games? Do you like beautiful pixel art? Do you like French Toast? If you’ve answered yes to zero or more of these questions, you should absolutely play this gem.

 

Mobs, Inc.

sprite76_100memet

PROMOTION

Seriously though, amazing graphics, animations and crisp gameplay make this game into one bloody beautiful mess.

 

Intergalactic Love Machine

חמוד

Hone up your best pick-up lines, because there are some disgusting 8 legged monstrosities in need of loving in this hilarious, well written dating sim.

 

Monster Academy

8733-shot2-1440367784

It’s like WarioWare, except you have to be a dick to everyone. Extremely well made.

 

And finally, here’s the inevitable shameless self-plug:

WHY ARE ALL THOSE MONSTERS SO GODDAMN PRETTY? CAN I BE PRETTY TOO? CAN IT BE IN A FORM OF A TIME LIMITED VIDEOGAME? CAN I PLAY IT NOW?

Yes you can, by playing our game:

Monstre de Coiffure

 

GLHF ♥

 

FINISHED!

Posted by
Monday, August 24th, 2015 3:52 pm

GET READY TO LOOK YOUR PRETTIEST IN OUR FABULOUS NEW GAME

screen3

Play Monstre de Coiffure here

Here’s a song to celebrate:

Omelette au Fromage

Posted by
Monday, August 24th, 2015 1:00 pm

We’re nearly done!

idk7

Not sure why I chose this title. Just felt like saying it. Anyway, some more particles and we should be done with this game!

EDIT: Fixed the title.

Cleaning up

Posted by
Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 2:01 pm

IDK4

Mistakes were made

KILL ME

Posted by
Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 5:52 am

idk3

each ludum dare I die inside a little more

edit: DAMMIT GIFCAM GREEN SPRITES =/= GREENSCREEN

The prettiest Placeholder

Posted by
Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 11:40 am

idk2

This is shaping up to be dumber than I thought.

I feel pretty

Posted by
Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 7:50 am

idk

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