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Some of the top entries I’ve played this LD

Posted by
Monday, May 9th, 2016 12:36 pm

So, Ludum Dare is about to close out and I figured making a top picks list would be cool. I didn’t play a tonne of games, but I did play some super cool ones. Here are some of them, in no particular order:

1.Lumiania

The inner kid in me still adores platformers. There’s just something about this genre that holds near and dear to my heart and Lumiania is certainly a well made platformer. It’s not super innovative, or breaking any new grounds, but it’s short, fun and a joy on the eyes. Sometimes that is enough~

2.windowframe

An absolute joy of a game. It is everything one pictures when thinking about an innovative LD game. It’s a brilliant and quite a meta concept, and what is also awesome is the fact the game that is built around this concept is also really solid fun. Go play it!

3.SUBJECT 26

My pick for the story based entry this time. Even though the story didn’t exactly grab me, I feel this one deserves a tonne of props as well for its brilliant atmosphere, well made puzzles and over small touches and attention to detail that almost no other entry has.

4.Toyquake

This one is just fun. It’s not super pretty, or amazingly innovative. It doesn’t sound like a Hollywood movie, and there’s little to no story. What it has is genuine fun and addictiveness. I am also a touch obligated to put this on as I am currently the highscore holder. I strongly urge you to try and beat it, as it’s definitely a fun and chaotic ride.

5.Disarranged

I just had to, okay? It has a Couch Man song in it. It’s just too good not to put on the list. It’s also quite a bit of fun, unlike quite a few humour-based entries, so props on that as well!
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As usual, if you still haven’t done so yet, I’d love it if you played my entry here!
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A few closing words..

Posted by
Friday, May 6th, 2016 11:49 am

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So LD is coming to a close rather soon, so I figured a post was ado. I’d like to thank everyone who has checked out my game, and I’d also like to urge anyone who feels like it and hasn’t done so yet, to give it a play and perhaps drop me a vote. Regardless, I also wanna rate some more entries as well, before the certain closes, so if you have a cool entry (yours or someone else’s) that you’d want me to take a look at, please drop it in the comments! I will try to give them all ratings and write you some words of feedback as well~

>PLAY/RATE MINE HERE<

Are you looking for a short and polished experience?

Posted by
Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 2:40 pm

Then maybe you should try my game!

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Note: the creator of this game can only guarantee 50% of described in the title.

Douglas’ Escape – Post Mortem

Posted by
Saturday, April 23rd, 2016 5:08 am

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So the past weekend I created a game for LD called Douglas’ Escape. In this (short) post I will attempt to do a little self analysis of this project and how it came to be.

So as usual the theme was announced at 4 AM for me so I figured the best course of action would be to go to sleep and look at the theme in the morning, rather than stay up, get swarmed by ideas and fall asleep hours later because of that. I had checked out the final voting list of themes and was quite worried that “Shapeshift” would come out on top. That was exactly what ended up happening. At first I was quite miffed by this because I figured there would be no way of me coming up with an idea that is original and doable for this theme. This is the first time my past LD experience came in handy: rather than rush into a dumb idea out of panic, I started browsing the site and looking at what other people were going for to get some inspiration for my project as well.

After about half an hour or so I had already gotten a pretty solid idea in my head: Rather than controlling a character who shapeshifts themselves, you control a character that shapeshifts their environment. The inspiration for this came from two things:

A) I saw a lot of people doing shapeshifting characters, which I guessed would have been everyone’s immediate idea.
and
B) I saw this interesting gif of a game where you were controlling a shaman character. It didn’t have anything to do with how my game would play out but the idea of a shaman immediately brought to mind the idea of nature, which in turn combined with the theme gave me the inspiration for shapeshifting the environment rather than the player. I would quite like to play that game, so if you know it and you’re reading this, please do post it down below!

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Anyway, I knew that shapeshifting the environment in any complex or grand way would be way too ambitious to fit in the time limit of the jam, so I went to work simplifying my idea. Almost immediately I had figured out that the environment would be made of blocks, and that the player could extrude them up and down to their liking. This very simple mechanic was also the reason why the game has grid based movement and roguelike mechanics. With such and focus on blocks, grid based movement was almost a given and since grid based movement is often used in dungeon crawler roguelikes/roguelites, I figured why not make the enemies in my game function similarly. I also wanted puzzle like combat, where the most efficient way of killing enemies would be extruding the blocks below them, rather than fighting them with melee. Since the enemies also moved when you extruded blocks, you had to plan ahead and extrude where they would be going, rather than where they are now.

This set of mechanics and ideas immediately sounded like something that could be really good, so I decided to stick with them. Obviously quite a bit was changed for the final product, but the core concept remained the same. I also had a bunch more ideas that never made in, such as horizontal block shifting, elemental enemies that could only be killed if you extrude the right block type below them (such as lava for the ice enemies, ice for the fire enemies etc.) and many more that if this becomes a real game, I’ll be sure to add.

With a solid mechanics list (on paper) behind me, I went to work actually programming them. The first thing was the grid movement, which was quite easy to get working, surprisingly. Only took me a couple of hours to work, if memory serves. Then I started adding enemies and things got…complicated…to say the least. I had the hardest of times trying  to get the enemy AI to work how I wanted it to. A lot of that, I figure, was because I had not thought it out well enough before jumping into code, which is a habit I need to start killing. Anyway, with about a day and a half of nothing but placeholders and programming, I had them functional. The artist in me called and I started working on some sprites to cool off from all the coding.
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Most people seem to praise my art style and the graphics in my game, but surprisingly enough, they were some of the simplest work I’ve done in quite a long time. I purposefully made the graphics faster to produce by making them smaller and simpler in design (just look at Douglas himself even, he doesn’t reallly have a face lol). I tried my best to keep my style in them, however, which is why they all have these very bouncey animations and my usual pastel like coloring. For the most part I think I made all the right decisions when it came to the art. With that ended day 2 and I knew there was no way to make it for the compo, so I had to settle for the jam.

Monday, before heading for school, I created a quick tileset to use for the game, or at least started work on it. Then I headed to school and after coming back, I had the most chaotic set of seven hours in my life since the last time I did this in the summer. In those seven hours I created all the levels, all the tutorial text and all the other things that make this a game, including sound effects and music which is something I am proud to have in my game since I didn’t last time. A lot of the decisions made here were probably not the right ones because of how short I was on time, but I knew I couldn’t make this a real game with the time I had left, so I just made it a mechanics showcase piece and tried to polish that. With how short I was on time, I believe this was the right decision, but I am still a bit bummed because of it.

With about an hour left on the clock, I quickly uploaded it and went to pass out in my bed. With that concluded my second Ludum Dare.

Here is what I think went right with it:
-The art. I loved it and so did a lot of other people it seems.
-The core set of mechanics. While I may not have used it as effectively as I could have, I still like it a lot and I want to make it a real game in the future.
-The motivation. I had a lot of points where I would have given up, but I kept my morale up and made it thorugh.

Here is what I think went wrong with it:
-The levels. While I enjoy them, they amount to nothing much but simple mechanic showcases that aren’t really that particularly clever. I could have used the concepts a lot more and a lot better. This is something I will keep in mind if I continue this project.
-The lack of certain things. A titlescreen, a proper ending, a tutorial etc. A lot of things could have been added.
-The title. I do not like it, but I drew a blank right before uploading it so I went with something quite generic sounding.

In conclusion, this Ludum Dare has been my best yet. I finished a game that in my opinion is much better than my last attempt and came to be with fewer issues. This mechanics set is one I enjoy a lot and I think I can take way further than in my entry. I think I may continue work on this even after the LD and even potentially turn it into a real thing, which is something I could never say about my last entry. If you’d like to give my game a shot, please do so!

>PLAY THE GAME HERE<

I made it!

Posted by
Tuesday, April 19th, 2016 3:46 pm

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So yeah, guys, I made it! I had some doubts entering after my last failed attempt but I did it and I am quite happy with the end result. I really had so much more fun than last time and I think it shows in my game as well. Go give it a try and tell me what you think about it! Also you can drop me some of your entries down below, or just suggest me some general entries to try out. I’ll get to the post mortem shortly.


>PLAY HERE<

batmun

..a mouse with a propeller hat.

Time for some enemies..

Posted by
Sunday, April 17th, 2016 8:01 am

ldenemy

Just a quick enemy sprite for my game I figured I’d share with y’all.

Starting to look like a game finally..

Posted by
Sunday, April 17th, 2016 7:06 am

ldpreview

A little roguelike in terms of movement as you can see..

ld35char

Hopefully my main character. Not sure what to call him yet..

I am in once again!

Posted by
Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 4:27 am

I find LD super fun in a sadistic hate your sleep schedule type of way, so I am going to try to participate once again. I’ve only done 2 of these with the second one being a bust, so I am probably going to try to keep things simple and fun this time around. As usual my tools of the trade are:

Programming: GM: Studio.

Graphics: MS Paint(suck it h8trz).

Sound: BFXR, FL studio, Audacity and I may even try to compose some stuff with BeepBox.

As usual, good luck to all the doodz entering. I hope this LD will be a good time for everyone!

An Eulogy to a Failed Ludum Dare Project

Posted by
Thursday, December 31st, 2015 6:36 am

Ever since I last prticipated in LD, I knew I just had to give it a go again, but I knew that for this jam I wouldn’t have nearly the time I had for the last one(I was gonna have school work, I couldn’t afford to stay up until 6 o’clock in the morning etc.) Despite all that I was determined to give it a go. I woke up, saw that the theme was a tie and was intrigued by it.

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I set out to create a platformer since that is the genre I love the most. The idea was that you could switch between your child self and you adult self, thus literally growing up. Each of your ‘versions’ had unique abilities (child version was made for platforming, adult – for combat).

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I worked hard to make a base engine with all the mechanics and for the most part, I think I succeeded. Everything was in place, and the game, for as simple as it was, felt fun. However, I was fast approaching the deadline and I didn’t have any content to display said mechanics. I quickly set out to create a quick level to show them off, and I did. It was pretty basic stuff, but it could work as a game mechanic showoffer(not sure if that’s a word). It was, however, very late and I also had an exam the next day so the project was abandoned. I flopped pretty badly on the exam, too, needless to say. My game was simply too big in scope for a single man to complete, I was really disappointed by the fact I failed (both on my exam and on LD). I felt crushed. Thankfully, I was given an opportunity to rectify my mistakes, and that’s the thought that kept me going. I guess if there’s something for you all to learn from this, it would be to plan the scope of your game well, or else you might end up like me. Thank you for reading, if you wish to try out my crappy test level regardless of the fact it’s not in the jam, you can do so here.

Main character down!

Posted by
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 12:00 pm

So I got the basic concept sprites of my character down. Her name is Remi, and during the game you control both her cheerful young child form and her adult no nonsense form. Thus, literally growing up by switching between the two~

main character

Thoughts, as always are welcome~!

I’m in (hopefully)

Posted by
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 1:56 am

So yeah, second time around doing this. I hope to do better this time, but probably won’t since I have much more limited time. Anyway, we’ll see if I even make it to the end. Probably going for the Jam with these tools:

-Graphics: MS paint/GM: Studio.

-Development software: GM: Studio.

-Sound effects: Bfxr.

-Music: I’l figure it out later on.

Now with the obligatory “I’m in” post out of the way. Time to figure out what I’m doing. Best of luck to all of y’all!

 

Drack’s Mansion ratings analysis

Posted by
Wednesday, September 16th, 2015 6:37 am

So the LD scores came in and I decided to give them a bit of thought. For a first timer, not that bad. Here they are:

LD33 resaults

Coolness is good, as I expected. I rated about 85 games which is more than good enough, in my opinion.

38th is where I placed graphics-wise. Considering the fact almost every single comment praised the pixel art, I am not surprised. Highest rated category as I suspected, but breaking the top 40 in any category with your first LD is something pretty kick-ass.

228th in theme. I didn’t do that much creative with the theme outside of the story and set-up, IMO. Yeah, Drack is a billionaire who just bought a mansion and people are bothering him so he kills them, which is a pretty creative idea, but nothing really in the design of him nor the mechanics plays up that fact. I’m surprised I hit as high of a number as this.

281st overall. For a first timer I think that’s very nice. I didn’t expect much more considering how many entries this jam had.

363rd in mood. I think that is mainly due to the Nuclear Throne style lighting system.

367th in fun. Not bad. I expected it to be higher than mood and theme for sure, especially considering the fact many users said it was pretty fun if classic, but not that many said it was that original with its theme.

504th in humour. I had no expectations for this category. The game had a humourous premise but nothing that funny beyond that. I am happy with it, though.

560th in audio. As expected, not high at all. Audio was the one aspect of the game I disliked the most. It had no music and the sound effects weren’t all that great. I did not have time to polish it in that area.

And finally 766th in innovation. The game is classic, especially for Ludum Dare. An endless wave of enemies storm you and you kill them. Not particularly original, is it? I wasn’t aiming for it to be so but if I had known more about LD before going in maybe I would have done something more inventive.

What the scores thought me: there’s a difference between what feedback users give you in comments and your final scores. Many people said that they found it fun, yet very few mentioned the mood or the theme. Despite that theme and mood got placed above fun. For next time, I am definitely placing more focus on time management, brainstorming, prototyping and audio. hopefully, it will make for a better entry.


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Thank you!

Posted by
Monday, September 14th, 2015 12:15 pm

As Ludum Dare is coming to a close in a few short hours I feel the need to thank you for everything. Thank you to the holders of the jam for giving me this spectacular opportunity. Thank you to everyone who participated and created wonderful games for me to play. Thank you to all the streamers, YouTubers and the like for promoting the Jam and the awesome entries in it. And most of all thank you to everyone who rated/commented on my game: Drack’s Mansion!


drackgif

Obligatory best of LD list №9001

Posted by
Sunday, September 13th, 2015 11:15 am

So Ludum Dare 33 is coming to a close soon. I had loads of fun in my first Ludum Dare, but also had to deal with a lot of stress. Despite that fact, overall I feel better as a developer now that I have done this and I am looking forward to improving for next time! Anyway, enough about myself, let’s move on to some of the best games I have seen this Ludum Dare. I am not saying these are the only ones I liked, these are just the stand-outs for me.

5.Corruption-5

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This is a simple game, mechanics-wise, but what I loved about it is the story telling. The lighting was perfect for the setting and I feel it did the absolute best job at telling a story this Ludum Dare. It’s short, too. And stable.

4.Bunny Inferno

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A brilliant little game, that shows exactly why Ludum Dare is all about depth in simplicity. The game is simple to grasp, yet very engaging. I absolutely loved the take on the theme as well as it made you, the player, feel like a monster.

3.Mobs, Inc.

MobsInc

This game was a fantastic example of taking a simple mechanic and running with it. At first, the game’s combat seems very simple but it is surprisingly engaging, fleshed out and deep. This is also one of the most polished entries of this Ludum Dare, as well as a good example of great Game Feel.

2.Werewolf Quest

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I think the person who I am deep down played a big role in choosing this one. Platformers were always a genre I loved so this simple, yet elegant platform action game had enough depth, length and challenge to keep me interested and having fun for a long time. It’s classic, but polished and fun!

1.The Devil’s Daughter

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Simply the best game this Ludum Dare has to offer. From the amazing style of the visuals to the great oldschool feel of the soundtrack it is all one big ball of greatness. The mechanics are classic but so polished it doesn’t matter. The level design is just that perfect oldschool hard that just keeps you trying more and more until you beat it. This is also, to me, the most creative monster of LD33. The character(and the game itself) just oozes charm and funniness. It has a Profanity Laser! Just go try it!


Finally if you feel like trying my game, you can do so here.

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