About Open Skies Games (twitter: @openskiesgames)

Open Skies Games Studio was founded in 2015 as a name under which Saphirako could release his projects.

Entries

 
Ludum Dare 33

Open Skies Games's Trophies

Open Skies Games's Archive

Save Yourself! – Post Mortem:

Posted by (twitter: @openskiesgames)
Monday, September 7th, 2015 10:50 am

Hey all!

So we had a blast finally taking part in the Ludum Dare for the first time. I figured I should probably make a post-mortem, but since this is my first LD, that makes this my first one of these too. Sorry in advance. XD


What Went Right:

 

Keeping Resources in House:

Everything you see in the game, be it the pixelated alien that was initially developed for a 16-bit game or the villagers/tents clearly made in MS Paint, were made by us. The music (that is to say, the same chord progression over and over and over…) was made by us. The only thing we didn’t make was the engine itself.

 

Keeping the Game Simple:

You are an alien trying to get home after an electrical failure causes your spaceship to crash. To the villagers, you are a monster that attacked them with a giant fireball (your ship). You’re goal is to get your communicator, call for help, and try not to kill any villagers.

 

Whiteboard:

Thank. God. They. Exist. This tool, while it sounds trivial, was SOOOO useful during the whole process and helped us move along easily. We would have been lost without it.

 

Pow-Wows:

About every 3 hours, our group stopped working for 5 minutes to discuss what had been accomplished, what was needed, bugs that were discovered, and ideas to be pitched. It helped streamline the development process.


What Went Wrong:

 

Scratch:

While a really cool resource to use for some things (including game-jams), it did not help our team get this done as we thought it would. I (@Saphirako) made the mistake of not introducing my team to Unity soon enough. They weren’t comfortable with using something they did not know well. That being said, Scratch was discovered by one of our team members the night of the theme revelation and we scrambled to find ways to do things as we had no idea how to use it at first.

While it is rather simple to use and we got the hang of it, the nagging feeling of “what the heck is this thing I’m using?!” got to me multiple times during the Jam. It also did not have a way for us to simultaneously work on the same build. Each pow-wow inevitably included the process of attempting to sync up 3 different versions of the game. In at least 2 instances, there were implementations of game objects that were created with out-dated data. (ie. Old character movement scripts) And, though I can’t reference any pow-wow in particular, I know we definitely solved the same problem twice on at least one occasion.

 

Time:

For those of you that reached Level 2, you may have noted the Orange villagers had bows and arrows and yet, they did not fire at you. We made a decision to cut that feature so that we could release on time.

For those of you that noticed that the Alien had a walk cycle but none of the villagers had any type of animation. We made a decision to cut that feature so that we could release on time.

Noticing a pattern? The game had another level planned, 2 more enemy types, an HP bar, recharge for your attack, a fireball animation instead of a black ball. All of these things were cut when we realized we overextended ourselves. Even by the end of the jam, we realized after all the cutting, we weren’t merciless enough with the concepts that we came up with. But again, as it was our first time, we expected this to happen.

 

Venue:

I love my school. It excels at a lot of things. These things include fantastic internet speeds during the Summer. However, I made the mistake of not reserving a room until Wednesday evening. That was NOT enough time to get all the kinks out of the process. Let me clarify:

My plan – Reserve a room at the college with a whiteboard, internet access, and climate control. It wasn’t going to be too large, but it would be able to fit a team of 3 or 4 people plus some filming equipment.

What actually was the case – I reserved a room that required key access. I did not have the credentials to access said key access and had to call campus police each morning to get into the area I reserved. The room itself was a pretty comfortable for our team of 3 with some equipment, but it wouldn’t have done so with a team of 4. I also did not contact our network admin and, as such, the ethernet port for the room was switched off. We had to resort to Wi-Fi the whole time. Which would have been fine but it ended up pretty bad for streaming. Which brings me to my next point…

 

Streaming:

Multiple times the stream went dead and after 3 attempts, we had to give up the streaming video of the white-board. (The bandwidth just couldn’t handle it…) I would say a good hour of my development time was troubleshooting the stream.


 Conclusion:

 

Ultimately, we at Open Skies Games Studio are pretty pleased with our first-ever game jam product. It gave us a good idea for what to do next time around and brought us to meet a whole bunch of cool people. We had a blast and look forward to our next game jam, but first we look forward to seeing all you budding Indie Devs in MA at Boston Festival of Independent Games this Saturday, September 12. It’s gonna be a blast!

 

Special Thanks to:

Scratch, by MIT  –  Our Game Engine

Stonehill College  –  Our Venue

The team at OSGS which happened to be my family for this Jam. You guys rock!

 

Game Over Screen

Feel free to give our game a try. We’d love to play yours too! Just comment your game on this post with a link and we’ll play and vote! Want to ask us a question? Either post a comment and we’ll reply OR send us a tweet at @OpenSkiesGames.

Enter (one of) the newbie(s):

Posted by (twitter: @openskiesgames)
Thursday, August 13th, 2015 10:58 pm

Hi! I’m Michael from South Shore MA this will be my first attempting the Ludum Dare. I’m looking forward to meeting some devs in Cambridge this time around. I love programming, sound design, and messing around in 3d environments so I’m not really sure where my strength truly lies. This will kinda prove it to me. Below is a list of what I may be using/what tools I have available for use this LD:

 

Graphics:

  • Blender
  • Unity3D
  • Gimp

 

Audio:

  • Ableton Live Lite 9
  • Audacity


Scripting and Programming:

  • C#
  • Java


Streaming:

  • Twitch
  • OBS


Computers: (Through One Drive storage for seamless commuting)

  • Dell M6500 (Windows 10 Technical Preview – 10130)
  • MacBook Pro Late 2009 (OSX 10.10 Yosemite)

[cache: storing page]