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What Have We Created?! – Post Mortem

Posted by
Sunday, April 26th, 2015 10:08 am

“This time let’s take it easy and make a simpler game” – famous last words of a Ludum Dare 32 participant.

What Have We Created?! is not only the title of our game, but also sums up some of the emotions we felt towards it a few hours prior to submission. Our game idea was deceptively simple – let the player create a monster and unleash it on a city – but actually proved a lot more fiddly to implement that we had anticipated, and we were caught at the 11th hour panicking about what could be cut out so we could submit on time.

What went right – Becky’s music came out really well this time, mashing up the “Bwooooom” movie trailer sound to create a really atmospheric track for the monster launch. Alex achieved an impressive amount code wise, made all the more impressive by the fact that she only started using Unity a few weeks ago. Even if the game could have used a few more hours tweaking, there is a lot going on behind the scenes with the monster building section. In terms of graphics, I am pretty pleased with the how the cityscape turned out.

What went not so right  –  There was a lot the never got put in the game that we would have liked to add or finish. We wanted to put tanks and choppers into the city portion of the game (indeed the graphics were done) but we ran out of time to implement the enemies properly. Also its pretty clear from the feedback we’ve had that its unclear to some players quite how the monster fits together and that there are too many of certain kinds of tiles spawning – easy things for us to fix but we simply didn’t have time to get that level of polish. Plus a million-billion bugs.

Had I done the project again, I would have held off making the lab background so busy – it would have worked as well or better with a much simpler design, leaving me with more time to help Alex with exporting and tweaking.

This is our third LD, and in many ways this project was our most ambitious. Our aim was to beat our previous rankings (#42 overall for both entries) but judging from the feedback so far, it seems our game has been less well received than before. If nothing else, this project has been a success in helping us learn the work flow for Unity, so fingers crossed our next jam will go a little smoother.

And next time we will be making a pong clone.


Please play and rate our game.
Thanks to those who have already done so.

Or try here for a slightly tweaked post jam version.

What Have We Created!

Posted by
Monday, April 20th, 2015 8:21 pm

No really, what have we created?!

Perhaps the world is simply not yet ready for our genius. The called us fools! FOOLS! Their lack of vision will finally be their undoing when they face the might of our LAB GROWN GENETIC ABERRATION OF ULTIMATE DESTRUCTION!!

Using the power of SCIENCE you can now create your own monster, and set it loose upon the unsuspecting inhabitants of the city below. See its fire breath as it brings burning oblivion to your enemies. Watch as it topples the tallest tower block. Gasp as bullets deflect off its mighty armour.

Warfare will never be the same again once the most UNCONVENTIONAL WEAPON of all has been unleashed! How long will it survive before the pitiful weapons of mankind bring it to its knee/s?

Rate and play!

LD03

There’s still a lot of bugs, but we’ve worked hard the last few days to create a thing of beauty. Hopefully when we’ve had some rest we will fix the worst of them and upload a new version.

For now….sleep…. -O-

Nearly there…must…keep…going…

Posted by
Monday, April 20th, 2015 10:20 am

 

Feeling tired now, but only a few more hours to go… UI and particle effects from now until closing time.

LabBackground

Who is she

Posted by
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 12:13 pm

7

A city at sunset

Posted by
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 5:47 pm

Ripe for destruction…


bck

First monster mockup

Posted by
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 12:24 pm

Now needs arms, tails, possibly butts.

WIP!

Look at this cutey :)

Posted by
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 11:07 am

Cutey

Tiles are coming together

Posted by
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 9:43 am

Started making drawing concept art and making assets this morning, going well so far!WIP!

Randomised 8/16-bit sound generator

Posted by
Sunday, April 5th, 2015 3:47 am

Not mine but if you want a quick, easy, 8/16-bit sound generator I came across this today :) http://www.superflashbros.net/as3sfxr/

Last minute vote grubbing

Posted by
Monday, December 29th, 2014 6:20 am

Thanks to everyone who has voted on our game and left comments! If you’ve not yet played it, this is your last chance to tell Mr. Fox to shut up.

mrfoxpng

Rate our game!

 

Ever noticed something about the title?

Posted by
Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 2:38 pm

1

More like…

2

Illudum…

 

 

3NATI!

Screen One Post-mortem – Alex’s perspective.

Posted by
Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 8:47 am

Sam covered most of the issues in our project in her write-up.  I wanted to talk a bit about the mechanics and how they evolved fairly chaotically.  Most of our ideas were “flavour first” as in they were inspired by the setting rather than invented to fulfil a mechanical purpose.  When we came up with the concept we were saying things like “maybe something ridiculous happens like the cinema gets attacked by bees or a giant snowman” rather than “what combination of interactions would provide an interesting challenge”.  We talked about having an intermission, adverts and a newsreel like in real-world 1940’s cinema so that we could inject some narrative into it and tell a bit of a story.  I wanted to have that classic trailer horn sound accompanied by a giant silhouette of a snowman projected over the audience!  What we ended up with was something a bit more abstract and puzzley akin to zoo-keeper.  If we’d decided early on that this was essentially a puzzle game I think we would have spent more time trying to come up with column/row interactions and then pulling a bunch of relevant real-world explanations out of our asses.  We might have also made something less confusing!  But then on the other hand we might have lost some of the style and charm which has received some good feedback so to be perfectly honest I’m quite glad we didn’t do that and instead decided it would be cute if there were bunnies with long ears :)

One thing we’re going to continue to do in future jams is make sure we have somebody working on sound effects!  It makes a world of difference adding appropriate music and sound effects to a game and I think the most noticeable change when we realised the game was suddenly going to be fun to play was the first time I ran the game after adding Becky’s sound effects.  So adorable!  Also without the music we wouldn’t have come close to conveying the mood we wanted would we?  <3

There’s still a fair few bugs we’re aware of and the clutter on the screen is definitely a bit of a situation overload but I’m really happy with what we managed to create!  In the meantime I’m enjoying playing other people’s entries and seeing lots of interesting concepts come out of a very difficult theme! -x-

~~~~RATE AND PLAY~~~~~

Screen One Post-mortem – Sam’s perspective.

Posted by
Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 6:23 am

Sam’s Perspective – Art

Friday night I am haunted by dreams about Snowman games. Saturday morning, I wake ready to pitch and Octo-Dad style game about a snowman just trying to have normal family life in a centrally heated home and then…

“Entire Game on One Screen”

Well then.

We were a bit stumped by this theme (if “theme” is really the right word…). As we brainstormed, Alex had the wise idea of googling the word “Screen”, and from there Becky suggested setting the game in a movie screen. We bandied the idea of playing as a cinema usher around for a while, but I was really not liking it. From an art perspective, I wasn’t sure how I could make this an interesting project for me (what, no spaceships?) and I was equally concerned as to whether we could make anything fun out of the concept. I pretty much vetoed the idea. But two hours later, with no other workable ideas, I relented and we pressed on regardless.

As we worked on it though, I began to get inspired. Alex stripped the game play mechanics down, cutting out fluff from the original idea (sweeping up popcorn, for example) to get a nice core gameplay idea based around arranging the customer’s locations. This added puzzle elements to the game and prevented it from simply being a lot of busy work. Meanwhile, Becky and I focused in on the idea of it being in a 1940’s cinema, using the inspiration for jazz samples in the music and the Art Deco styling on the graphics.

Then around Saturday afternoon, sketchpad in front of me, I asked “Should the customers be humans or cute animal people?”, only to be immediately answered by a unanimous chorus of “ANIMAL PEOPLE!”. The rest is history.

By Saturday night the core engine, music track and backgrounds were all in place, but a complete game was still a long way off. Sunday was filled with animation, sound effects and working on the mechanics. As the day wore on though, I became more concerned that the visuals of the game were getting cluttered and it was hard to tell what was happening. One reason for this was that Alex had done early play testing with just a few customers in the game, and as she added more to ramp up the challenge, it became a lot more busy on screen. I went to bed Sunday concerned that the finished product might be a bit of a visual mess.

10686634_10152991358441535_7022783387568619424_n

Early Build. Needs more animal people.

 
Monday was a work day for us, so I didn’t get back on it until after 4pm GMT. With a fresh pair of eyes on the game, I added “mood auras” to show when customers were unhappy, new icons, and perhaps most importantly some animations to show when things were happening in the audience, whilst Alex added in the sound effects and text. These changes really helped with conveying the game’s information, although I am not 100% satisfied with how it turned out and there are definitely a few things that might have helped had we had time, such as more animations or an indicator as to which row the player would move down when they were on the aisle.

If I was making the game again, I would keep the style, but would take a different approach to making the assets, perhaps using bolder colours or giving them outlines/dropshadows to help them stand out. This is what Ludum Dare is great for – learning through mistakes!

ScreenOne

Finished!

Ultimately I am really pleased with how our game turned out. There was a lot of frantic tweaking with two hours to go, but we got something working, unique, original and  fun to play to boot. In addition the music turned out great and that’s something that sets it apart from a lot of entries.

Hope you enjoy our game!

~~~~RATE AND PLAY~~~~~

Cheers, Sam

Nearly done!

Posted by
Monday, December 8th, 2014 4:12 pm

 

 

Mon2309

Just doing the last odds and ends, nearly time to upload our game, Screen One!  😀

Mechanics are all coming together!

Posted by
Sunday, December 7th, 2014 1:34 pm

Sun2032

This customer needed to pee >:

Posted by
Saturday, December 6th, 2014 3:33 pm

Sat2230

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