Ludum Dare 27
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 24
Ludum Dare 24 Warmup
Ludum Dare 23
About Tim Bumpus (twitter: @theBumpus)
Sixteen-year-old Christian trying to be a storyteller and a game developer. I'm here to make my dreams become reality.
The artist formerly known as Puzzlem00n.
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Technically, there is an entry with my name on it, so I could say I finished a game if I wanted to. Systeme, my teammate Finnbar’s entry, was originally to be our game. But given what has actually happened, it’s really only his game. And with respect to him, I’m really, really disappointed in it.
Unlike the last two Ludums, I didn’t lose this one entirely to lack of motivation. So that’s a plus. Rather, I lost it to bad planning and bad team management. So let’s go over what’s happened, shall we?
The First Night
Ludum Dare starts Friday night at nine o’clock here on America’s east coast. I was teaming was Finnbar, like I said, who lives in London, where it was 2 a.m., so I had to do brainstorming on my own, apart from a little chatting with a friend. Finn was supposed to be the music guy and help a little with programming, while I was the main programmer.
So, the theme was Connected Worlds. Now, my first thought upon hearing that was Space Elevators. Haha, Space Elevators. Funny, right? I moved on, though, trying to come up with a real idea, but honestly, I wasn’t very focused. I stayed up quite late trying to get something good so Finn would have something to do in the morning while I was asleep, and I finally sent him three ideas. I didn’t really like any of them, but I told him he could pick one or come up with his own and I’d catch up with him in the morning.
We Rise At Dawn– Er, 10 o’clock
When I awoke, I was first met with what seemed like pretty good news. Finn had picked the Planet idea, and had already completed a prototype!
The Planet Idea: “Make your own planet to music. Very much like our old game, Song of Sparks. Add cool stuff to explore to it, or things that can kill other players. At the end, fly around and explore others’ planets.”
I wasn’t sure if I even liked that idea. I mean, exploring other players planets? That meant networking. And there were just so many parts to it. But I liked the “Make a Planet to Music” part. That sounded fun. And Finnbar chose it over my other half-hearted ideas, as I’d expect, since it involved music. He’s a music guy.
To my surprise, though, our good friend Michcioperz offered to help out with the network code, offering us a server he’d paid for! Wow! So that could work after all. And Finn already had a prototype where you could edit a planet and it would spin and stuff… but wait, what? All the code is based on rotating graphics– none of it is class-based, which meant that none of it could really be salvaged for a final product. Either he wanted a proof of concept or he likes instant results more than code that will actually be useful in a final result. I’m not really sure.
So, we talked about where to go next. I specifically said I wanted to create a planet class just before I went off to lunch. When I got back from lunch, though, I found that Finnbar had already started making a planet class. Uh, okay, I guess he can do that… wait, he’s using Moonscript?
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with Moonscript– it compiles to Lua, so it was perfectly compatible with what we were doing– but I don’t know how to use it at all. He had picked it because it has built-in classes for object orientation, which we needed, but I already had a library that could do that in Lua! But Finn didn’t know how to use it, so he picked Moonscript. And honestly, I had no idea what he was doing. He kept assuring me it would be fine, but I searched his code, and to me the whole thing seemed like a mess. I was still getting the impression that he was going for instant results instead of anything useful. So that’s what I told him.
There was nothing I could really do. I was supposed to be the code guy, and here I was without be able to work with any of the code. I told him I had half a mind to scrap what he’d done and start from scratch. But I didn’t, for a while– I let him keep going and I hoped that maybe it would start making enough sense for me to step in. (It never really did.)
So I had a lot of time to think. I kept thinking about how hard the idea was, and how it wasn’t really going to work. It needed to be simplified. I searched through my first ideas– blah, blah, Space Elevators, blah… Hm. Space Elevators. Wouldn’t it be funny to have a shmup game about defending a Space Elevator from space pirates and seeing how far you can get it? And hey, what if the game was played to elevator music? That’d be hilarious!
Wait… why hadn’t I thought of this to begin with?!
Alright, we’re closing in on the start of the show, so it’s about time I declared my base code.
It includes my favorite libraries from the LÖVE community, basic outlines for entity and gamestate structures, and an in-progress version of my in-development tile.lua library. It handles collisions between entities and tile grids in the cleanest way I know how. Feel free to use it, just know it’s not done just yet. (Especially know that it breaks if the entities are much taller or wider than 2x the tile size.)
Also, I’m going to be teaming this time around with Terrabyte, a.k.a. terrabyte_aura, a.k.a. terraby_t, a.k.a. Finnbar. I generally call him Finnbar. In the past, he has been instrumental (heheh) in the development of our MiniLD 43 entry, Song of Sparks, and also developed the pretty dang awesome YOU MUST GET THE ATOMS without my involvement. And then he programmed some DIY gamer kit for UK people, but I’m still not sure I understand that. He’ll probably be a big help with music.
You already know what tools I’m using. My goals for this LD? Only to make a game.
As always, good luck to everyone, especially you new guys because blah blah you make the event what it is or something.
See you on the other side.
“Day and Night,” “Strength In Numbers” and “You’re Not Supposed To Be Here” are my personal favorites. (Especially that last one– think about it, in every video game the player is supposed to be there, as a rule. Can anyone possibly make a game where that isn’t true, or at least feels like it isn’t?)
But in the end, I don’t really care. Any theme could make for a great game.
…Except seriously, you people didn’t like “Maps?” What’s wrong with maps? Who doesn’t like maps?!
After these posts have turned out to be lies the past couple of times, I’m not quite sure what the point of writing another long enthusiastic post could be. Just trust that I’m going to be trying again. Possibly with a team this time. We should probably have it figured out at this point, but we don’t.
More details to come. Thanks for your patience.
That is all.
I’m IN, part two! In Part One, I began the I’m In posts (FIRST!), established my persona and idiosyncrasies, shamelessly plugged my domain name, and asserted the dawning of a new era! Sixth LD here we come!
- CODE: Lua + LÖVE in Notepad++. My basecode can be found here, a collection of community libraries. It’s got lots of cool stuff in it that brings me up to par of Flixel users,
but it’s not quite ready to use yet. I’m still working on getting it together.EDIT(4/20): It’s pretty much ready to use now. =) Still haven’t added Spriter support, but I’ll get to it.
- GRAPHICS: Paint.net, possibly Photoshop. BIG NEWS: I’m going to use Spriter, if I can get it to work. And BIGGER NEWS, my pen tablet! EDIT: I’ll probably try using AutoTileGen.
- SOUND: Aria Maestosa for music. (S/B)FXR for sfx, and my laptop’s mic. Audacity, for everything.
- DESIGN: Pen, paper, the font of eternal inspiration (internet), and Tiled for tiles. Yes, I do still hate Tiled.
- STREAM: Open Broadcaster Software and my twitch.
- Make something weird. I hate making games that are the same as tons of other games, but when I try to do something irregular, my thoughts turn to making something “cool.” Making something cool, though, is not the right way to think about it. It just leads me to try to be better than everyone else, and takes me away from making something FUN, which should be the goal. Making something “weird” seems to be the better way to think about it.
- Make it juicy. I got reminded of that big juiciness presentation on grapefrukt’s site, so I figured, why not follow some of its advice? And even more importantly, the advice of this.
- Explore my design space. You know, insert as much coolness as I can within the constraints of my idea. I mean, there’s only 48 hours, but what I’m trying to say is that I’m going to try stuff.
New CoolWeird stuff.
- Minimize combat. The fact that 90% of the games in the world involve combat is lame and restricts the art, man. We can do so much more, and I intend to. (Other things that restrict the art, man include realism, goals, standardized controllers, and F2P.)
- Tell a story. I feel like my best talents are in the realm of storytelling, and yet, my entries never tell stories. (Okay, one did, but said story was admittedly terrible.) I’m going to try to have a stronger focus on characters and writing this time.
- Save time for aesthetic. Graphics and music are important parts of the game that I often leave for the end. I’ll shuffle my normal schedule around to get them done earlier, I think.
I will ignore all the goals above as required.
So, I’m thinking tomorrow or Sunday (probably Sunday), I’ll start streaming some warmup action. I’ll probably code myself an intro and maybe a small game. I’ll keep you guys updated! UPDATE (4/20): Maybe tomorrow.
P.S. Good luck to everyone, especially the newbies! I like to say that without them, the Ludum Dare wouldn’t be the Ludum Dare. Which is why I just did.
Last LD, a lot of people were having trouble with getting motivated, including myself. I attributed this at the time to a strange lack of the usual pre-event hype. To prevent the same thing happening again, I have decided that the “I’m In” postings should commence as soon as possible. So here’s mine!
Hello, everyone! I feel like I’m meeting an old friend again already– not only because it’s been so long since I’ve had Twitter to talk about games with, but because it’s been even longer since I’ve had only Ludum Dare and no Twitter. Those were the days. I’ve been on hiatus from Twitter for a while, you see, and it’s been nice, but I do miss the spontaneous conversation.
Allow me to introduce myself, just because I can. I’m Tim, formerly Puzzlem00n until I recently decided that screen names are annoying, I’m 15, and I make games!~on occasion! Coincidentally, a couple days ago marked the two-year anniversary of the day I first joined this site and revealed myself to the internet. I’ve done five Ludums since then, and it would have been six, too, if it weren’t for that meddling motivation loss. I’ll get away with it this time!
Upon getting to know me, you’ll find that my general personality traits include: arbitrary loss of willpower, strange mixings of optimism and cynicism, no desire to understand low-level code concepts, ranting self-deprecatingly about life problems, switching interests from games to writing/animation/comics, not actually liking to play games, giving unneeded advice (OR SO YOU’LL SAY), and making lists. Other than all that, I’m told I’m pretty rad!
So what have I been doing lately, I’ll pretend your asking? Well, I’m trying to put together my personal website AND find a way to update it with content five or six days a week! See the extremely early WIP timbump.us, the greatest domain name ever conceived (world record pending).
The point is, I’m going to be doing this. And I mean I really am going to do this. And if I’m lucky, this is going to be the beginning of a new age of Tim.
Of course, that’s what I said back on New Years’… =)
(My toolset will be revealed semi-dramatically in my next post.)
This post is mainly so there isn’t a huge gap in the chronology my LD page. Most people have already figured out that I didn’t do it, but this should clear things up for posterity.
Why didn’t I do it? I have no idea. Seriously. Lots of people were reporting a lack of motivation this time around, whether it be because of the holidays, lack of the usual hype, or bad vibes spreading through the internet like a plague. Most of us just pushed through it, but not me. I have no will to get past motivational walls.
Ludum Dare was the one thing I’d never failed. The one commitment I’d never broken. Sure, I had to do the jam a couple times, but I made something. I always pushed through and made something. But this time I caved before I even got out of bed in the morning.
The life I want for myself can’t be sustained by sitting back whenever I “don’t feel like it.” But I haven’t overcome the problem just yet.
But did I learn anything this LD? One thing. From sitting back and watching, I learned I’ve been approaching the competition from the wrong angle. It shouldn’t be about coming up with the coolest interpretation of the theme or the best mechanic. It should be about making a game that’s fun. Because if it doesn’t have that, then what does it?
Man, I’m cutting this post close. Well, hello world, Tim here for his 6th LD! I can’t wait to get this started, it’s been a good while since I’ve worked on a new game. My tools:
- CODE: Coding Lua with LÖVE in Notepad++, as always. I’ll be starting off with my collection of community libraries, which I really need to make sure is up to date before this thing starts.
- GRAPHICS: Paint.net, or Photoshop if things get crazy. I’ll likely try to use my pen tablet. I wanted to try out Spriter for this one, and I still might, but learning it could waste a lot of my time.
- SOUND: Aria Maestosa for music, or Musagi, if things get even crazier. iNudge or Otomata,
whenif I run out of time. (S/B)FXR and my laptop’s built-in mic for sound effects. Audacity for tying up loose ends.
- DESIGN: A notepad, a writing utensil, the web for research, and Tiled for tiles. I still hate Tiled.
- STREAM: Open Broadcaster Software. And my Twitch, obviously.
My goals for this Ludum (which I recommend everyone write down):
- Make something in a SUBgenre I haven’t. I’m cutting off the “no platformer” restriction this time, just because I’m starting to miss making them. But I still haven’t made an action platformer. Or a (good) puzzle platformer. Or a metroidvania. Or a combination of all three… But let’s try to avoid the whole “get crazy” thing.
- Make the game worth playing. My games have certainly been getting better, but so far I haven’t made anything you’d expect to get press attention. Could that change this time?
- Make the graphics look good. Again. I thought I did pretty well with this goal last time, but let’s face it, it still wasn’t all that great. And the graphics rating was worse than the last one (which was only a bunch of rectangles!).
- Make a game with no killing? I’m not really sure about this one. I mean, I support the message behind McFunkyPants’s #NOKILL challenge, but none of my games have had any killing in the first place. Can’t I make one with combat just once?
- Try NOT to give up in the middle! It’s not like I’ve ever done this before. It’s just I’m secretly not in that good a mood right now, so I’m afraid it could happen.
As usual, good luck to everyone, especially the newbies! Without you guys, Ludum Dare wouldn’t be growing nearly as big as it is.
So, for this 27th LD compo, I made a game called X-TREEEME Pin the Tail on the Donkey. XPtTotD for short. And all in all, I think I–
For the first time in one of my LD entries, this game had *drumroll* good graphics! No, really!
So yeah, I’m pretty proud of that. Let’s go over how it all went down:
Friday night, I spent the hours trying to come up with an idea. I chatted for a long time with my friend, and we came up with this: a game where you have to go from checkpoint to checkpoint in 10 seconds. I went to bed satisfied with the concept, but I couldn’t fall asleep. While I’d love to play that game, I decided against being the one to make it when I came up with something much better on the brink of sleep. When the subconscious works best, as you know! It can be summed up below:
I have no memory of what thoughts led me to come up with that, but I really do love the idea.
Saturday, I woke up and got on the Team AllHailNoah IRC and started my livestream. The IRC was our private alternative to the overpopulous Ludum Dare IRC, and we had fun on it. My live stream was never visited by too many people at one time, but the people who watched were helpful (especially Aran Koning) and we listened to music from Spongebob. My standard (set by last time) is now three enemy/obstacles per game, and since these ones didn’t need any path finding, it was much faster than last time. I ended the day trying and failing to make tile graphics.
Sunday, I picked back up on the graphics and finished them all up. I then did the level design. I’m pretty bad at level design, so it took way longer than I wish it had, but it got done. I had to cut any pretense of story out of the game, but I had time to work in the instructions graphic you see above instead. I also got to work with a gui library this time, so adding buttons was a breeze! In the end, the biggest disaster was how little time I had for music at the end, compounded by a crash in Aria Maestosa the first time around. Luckily, no one has complained about it so far, so I guess somehow it’s not that annoying.
To be honest, I haven’t even beat all the levels in the game myself. But I know they CAN be beaten.
What Went Right:
What Went Wrong:
- It’s a bit difficult.
- I didn’t get to put in any story.
- The music.
In the end, I’m sure this will get a higher score than all my other games in all categories (except maybe mood and audio). Once again, I had a great time. See you at LD28!
Okay, first off, I want to explain that I did in fact do a warm up game. I made a bad Pong clone in 2 hours and 45 just before the competition stated. So ha!
Now, here’s my game idea so far. You see the level for ten seconds. You can scroll around it, but the player won’t move. You can move, however, once the ten seconds are up, and the map disappears. You’ll have to walk the map from ten seconds of memorization, while avoiding buzzsaws and mines until you reach the exit.
If I pull it off, it should be pretty fun. For updates, see: