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Postmortem — Epic Rampage

Posted by
Monday, December 17th, 2012 2:11 am
Monster destroying buildings and wreaking havoc.

Epic Rampage screenshot

Personal Goals

For this solo jam I had basically decided on two goals beforehand which I would work towards in any case.

My first goal was to make game making fun again. Recently I’ve been very busy developing a sequel to this thing, but development has been kinda slow so I’ve been feeling in rut. Entering jams like this one helps to feel that thrill again. There’s just nothing like pumping out a game under pressure to get the blood flowing. (pun intended)

My second goal was to develop my artistic side. As I consider myself primarily a coder, I have noticed my lack of artistic skills often limits me in various ways. I wanted to remedy that, so I practised Aseprite and created some fine pixel art this time.

What Went Wrong

  • Sprites: Player character. Way too much time was spent perfecting these sprites. If I had instead spent more time on the code and on different enemies and buildings, the overall game might have been much better. Good thing that time was still useful as I have developed a bit of a feel for process. The player now looks a lot better than he looked at the beginning. (don’t laugh, check the time lapse)
  • Balance: This is a game design issue that I still need to grapple. What”s the best approach to designing systems that make sure NPCs behave in fun ways, levels look interesting, and enemies spawn in sensible amounts as the game progresses? I think only experience will solve this one, and maybe more thinking ahead of time.
  • Bugs: Some annoying Unity bug I had not encountered before. Somehow importing audio files ceased to work properly, meaning I could no longer mark them as 2d sounds. It is the reason some sound effects are barely audible.

What Went Okay

  • Choice of engine: Unity3
    I had anticipated making a game in a style similar to Minecraft or Fex (pixel art on 3d geometry) which would suit Unity, my engine of preference. However, when I got my actual game idea, I dropped that in favor of going all-in 2d. Installing a different DE did not seem like a fun way to waste time, so I decided to keep using Unity. In retrospect it might have been slightly easier to work in a native 2d engine or something like Flash, but once you know the tricks, it’s not all that different or hard to use a 3d engine for pure 2d.

What Went Right

  • Infrastructure: Implementing sprite animations was much easier than I thought it would be. As long as you think it out in advance, and don’t need too much optimization, it can be done in a very short time frame.
  • Sprites: Lots and lots of enemies. Each of them with his own 16×16 sprites.
  • Sprites: Player character. That climbing animation looks good!

Time lapse

Recorded with Chronolapse at 1 frame per minute, over ~35 working hours. processed by VirtualDub and Hybrid.

 Conclusion

This has turned out to be a great little game, with a lot of potential. I can’t wait to develop it further and see what else I can do with it. But first some optimization. Some of that haste-induced code is ugly! Then we’ll start the actual 99% the work on any game, namely of polish… polish… and more polish.

Regardless of reception or overall success of this game, I’ve had a blast participating in this Ludum Dare for the first time. I think this is not the last time you’ll hear of me.

 

Presenting — Epic Rampage

Posted by
Sunday, December 16th, 2012 7:46 pm

Finished and submitted my first Ludum Dare compo entry.

This little gem is titled Epic Rampage. There’s a huge ass primate, and a city, in one place. I think you’ll guess why it’s named the way it is. If not, you’ll find out when you play it. :)

Backstory

When I saw the theme ‘You are the Villain’ the first thing I thought of was sending my slaves dwarfs to their horrible deaths in a different, well known game. The second thing I thought about was a game I played when I was young. Very young. Back then everyone still used www. before every url, and Flash was still called Shockwave. On the Shockwave website there was a game, similar to this one, which I had tons of fun with as a child. Sadly, after some time, it vanished from the web, as so many things did back then. I could no longer remember the name so I could not find it again if it even still existed in some dark corner of the web. I made this game to try and recreate that experience. While it still lacks a lot in style and gameplay compared to it’s ancestor, I feel it comes close to the original feeling, and with some a lot of polish, this could turn out to a very brilliant gem indeed.

Monster destroying buildings and wreaking havoc.

Destroying buildings, and tanks and hotdogs and wreaking havoc!

Look forward to a postmortem and timelapse!

Ready to rumble

Posted by
Friday, December 14th, 2012 1:47 am

Hi,

I’ve participated in several physical game jams before, but always in a team. This will be my first time entering doing a solo jam and joining the Ludum Dare compo. I’m primarily a coder. Hopefully the art side won’t be too much trouble. :)

Tools I’ll be using:

  • Unity engine
  • sfxr for audio
  • aseprite for art
  • and whatever else strikes my fancy

Good luck to everyone! 😀

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