Ludum Dare 35
The Theme is:
Shapeshift

About Rose (twitter: @Rose_Abernathy)

Play more games I've made on my website: http://roseabernathy.com

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Miss Turner’s Magical Pet Swap Shop post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @Rose_Abernathy)
Saturday, April 30th, 2016 2:52 pm

In Miss Turner’s Magical Pet Swap Shop, your job is to transform animals into other animals by resizing their body parts. This was my 14th Ludum Dare entry, and I’m quite happy with how it turned out! Here’s a little about what went well and poorly.

What went well:

Choosing the right idea

There are a few important criteria I try to keep in mind when deciding which idea to pursue for a Ludum Dare game:

  • Cute and fun: I want to make a game that I would like to play.
  • Interesting and unique: LD is my chance to try out new ideas, and innovation is the best way to make a game stand out (other than amazing art, at least.)
  • Feasible: I have to be able to get something done and reasonably polished in time, which means no overly complex systems or high asset count.

Of all the ideas I brainstormed for the theme “shapeshift”, a game about transforming animals into other animals best satisfied this criteria – and I think the idea led to a great game.

Careful planning & architecture

Once I decided to make a game about transforming animals, I set out to do some research. I brainstormed animals that I could include and sketched out what they might look like in my game. That allowed me to pinpoint which features would have to change, and how they would morph. Finally, I put together a sketch of how all the animal parts would connect. I went to bed on Friday without having written any code or created any art, but feeling good about my plan for the rest of the event.

scan1 scan2

I also spent some time planning the code architecture. Resizing animal’s body parts is the core of the game, so it was important setting up the parts would be as easy and bug-free as possible. I defined a BodyPart superclass so that every body part only had to worry about drawing itself based on the current values of properties. This definitely made the implementation go smoothly!


What didn’t go well?

Getting stuck on one problem for too long

My original plan included two more ways that the player could transform the animal: patterns (tiger stripes, giraffe spots, etc) and features (horns, manes, etc). I had an idea about how to apply patterns by using canvas blend modes, but when I started working on it, I was stumped on how to make it work with Phaser’s graphics system. I stubbornly worked on the problem for hours, making only slight progress, until I was finally forced to give up. At that point, I was low on time and couldn’t implement the animal features either. I should have gone for the more straightforward task first, and I should have abandoned the problem when I wasn’t making progress quickly enough. I’ve found that the compo’s 48 hours (or the jam’s 72) is enough to get a lot done – but not when you work on the wrong things!

Careless mistakes

With such a short amount of time to work, it’s hard to avoid bugs and other issues. But, I was in such a rush to finish that I made two obvious mistakes. The first was that I accidentally uploaded the wrong version of the game – a version which had only 2 animals instead of 15! Luckily I was able to upload the correct version quickly. The second mistake took me a while to find out about. Commenters were complaining that they couldn’t make the legs thick enough to satisfy the customer – it turned out that I had written “thin” where I meant “thick” in the parameters for the customer’s dialogue. Another easy fix – but I feel bad for the players who got stuck in the game because of my typo. I definitely should have played through the game more before submitting it so that I could catch all these silly mistakes!

There are plenty of things I’d like to improve about Miss Turner’s Magical Pet Swap Shop, but I’m happy with with how it turned out! You can play and rate the game here.

Tiny bug fix for Miss Turner’s Magical Pet Swap Shop

Posted by (twitter: @Rose_Abernathy)
Saturday, April 23rd, 2016 11:59 am

legs

Comments on my entry, Miss Turner’s Magical Pet Swap Shop, pointed out an issue: when the customer meant to tell you “the legs are too thick”, they would say “too thin” instead! This is a simple error caused by finishing up the game late at night, so I swapped the strings and uploaded a new build. For those wondering, this is the line I changed:

legWidth: {min: 20, max: 60, control: “x”, describe: [“legs”, “thin”, “thick“]}

Play & rate the game here!

Miss Turner’s Magical Pet Swap Shop – submitted!

Posted by (twitter: @Rose_Abernathy)
Monday, April 18th, 2016 2:23 pm

screenshot2

LD35 Progress Gif

Posted by (twitter: @Rose_Abernathy)
Sunday, April 17th, 2016 3:01 am

g1_small

I still have a lot to do to finish the game, but I’m happy with my shapeshift mechanic!

Rocketship Rescue submitted!

Posted by (twitter: @Rose_Abernathy)
Monday, December 14th, 2015 1:26 pm

My entry is Rocketship Rescue – an Asteroids-style game with a unusual control scheme! Can you get the hang of controlling the ship with using just the left and right keys and rescue all the randomly-generated aliens?

PLAY

Bar the Door

Posted by (twitter: @Rose_Abernathy)
Monday, August 24th, 2015 3:35 pm

 

screen1

Bar the Door is a fast block-puzzle game where you spend every day as a human blockading the door.. and every night as a werewolf trying to get out and murder innocent townspeople!

Play and rate

SwordCrafter submitted

Posted by (twitter: @Rose_Abernathy)
Monday, April 20th, 2015 4:48 pm

I didn’t feel like making a game about using weapons, so I made one about creating weapons. SwordCrafter is a game about designing swords – and you can make them as unconventional as you like!

 

Need a sword name?

Posted by (twitter: @Rose_Abernathy)
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 9:05 pm

I needed some sword names for my game so I wrote a simple random generator. Here’s a few of the names it generated:

Morningslicer, Earth Blade of Blood, Poisonripper, Lightbringer, Stonekiller of Grief, Fatebringer, Demonslicer, Vorpal Needle, Oathslasher, Nightsmasher of Darkness, Nightslasher of Vengeance, Daybane, Ice Edge, Wingkiller of Death, Blood Needle, Chancesmasher, Ludumtwister of Ice, Doom Needle, Nightcrusher of Fire, Night Blade, Poison Edge of Justice, Ravenripper, Hopebane, Firetwister, Raintwister, Wing Edge, Oatheater, Life Needle, Darknesspiercer, Chance Blade of Fire, Deathtwister, Nightbane, Devilpiercer, Stonetwister, Dawn Saber of Vengeance, Blood Blade, Bloodslicer, Stonecutter of Ice, Darkeater, Sunbane, Lovethirster, Vorpal Edge of Truth, Rainkiller, Griefkiller, Chancebringer, Lifekiller, Earthcutter, Lifebane, Hopesmasher of Death, Acidthirster

Art done

Posted by (twitter: @Rose_Abernathy)
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 10:52 pm

layout

I’ve (almost) finished the art for my game! Woo! It’s an endless runner style, but with some additional complications. I also got some programming done, so I expect to be able to get the game working tomorrow. I still need a name for it though…

 

I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @Rose_Abernathy)
Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 1:31 pm

This will be my 8th Ludum Dare and I’m very excited! Unlike previous LDs, I’ll be working alone and I’m determined to finish on time and not drop into the jam. I’ll be limiting the time I spend on it the best I can, since my best games (Busy King, Nod) have all come out of LDs where I had very little time and had to keep it simple.

Tools:

  • Photoshop
  • Either Unity3D or HTML5 (I might use Quintus) – it depends on what kind of game I decide to make.
  • Bfxr and Fake Music Generator (I just heard about this from LD and it seems great!)

Good luck everyone!

 

BUNKER 29

Posted by (twitter: @Rose_Abernathy)
Monday, April 28th, 2014 11:00 am

We managed to get in some game development time despite attending multiple Journey into Nyx prereleases  – and the result is BUNKER 29, a small but tricky resource management game. Give it a try!

I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @Rose_Abernathy)
Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 11:17 pm

I’m in once again for my 7th LD!

Engine: Unity (for the first time!)

Graphics: Photoshop

Music/Sound: auto-tracker and sfx

 

My goal is to make a single, simple, fun element of gameplay! Everything after that is just polish. That’s what I said last time and then I ended up making a very complex game without fun gameplay… but this time I’m really going to stick to it!

Post-Compo Version of “The 10-Second Murder”

Posted by (twitter: @Rose_Abernathy)
Monday, September 16th, 2013 1:22 pm

I told myself I’d get the post-compo version done before the end of voting… and I just barely made it!

title

I added artwork, music and sfx, UI improvements, and a new subject to investigate.

You can play the new version here, or play and rate the compo version.

The 10-Second Murder

Posted by (twitter: @Rose_Abernathy)
Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 7:02 am

My jam game is a murder mystery about a professor’s mysterious death during a 10-second blackout. It was a bit too ambitious for 72 hours, but I’m pretty happy with what we got done.

Here’s what the game looked like on Saturday:

accuse_old

And here’s the final look:accuse

I’ll post a longer post-mortem later. For now, you can play my game here!

 

Progress??

Posted by (twitter: @Rose_Abernathy)
Friday, August 23rd, 2013 11:33 pm

I started working on a murder mystery game. This is almost definitely a mistake. I don’t know why I’m doing (another) dialogue-based game when I’m supposed to be practicing programming, not writing dialogue. Still, if I can finish the game in 48 hours, I think it will really stand out. Well, bedtime for now and I’ll consider starting over tomorrow.

Early character sketches:

faces1

I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @Rose_Abernathy)
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 12:30 am

I thought I had a conflict but it was moved, so I’m 100% free this weekend and I can’t wait! I love Ludum Dare! This will be my 6th time.

  • Code: HTML5/JS with Quintus
  • Art: Photoshop
  • Sound: SFXR
  • Music: Autotracker-C

In the past I’ve tried different approaches to LD and focused variously on fun, innovation, polish, or learning a new platform. This time my goal is to make a game with a future after LD. We’ll see how that goes!

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