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Two Worlds – a short post mortem

Posted by (twitter: @SmartGaming_ru)
Friday, September 5th, 2014 6:55 am

I’d like to write a few a short post mortem about my LD 30 entry called “Two Worlds” (second prize for original title?). I think if I’ll wait a few days longer I’ll never finish it. So… This was my first Ludum Dare and I’m very happy with my results – I’ve made a finished – but pretty simple and unpolished – game. I was able to overcome my usual difficulties with game making – low motivation, focusing on some time-consuming useless features and, mostly, unfinished, half-working parts.

Two Worlds – interactive “strategy” game.

What went right:

  1. Fixed GUI. I was using old version of NGUI for Unity and wasn’t sure how it will work with modern scaleable UI. I decided to use fixed elements size and position. And that was one of the greatest discovery for me. On my another project I spend about 70% of time making “cool” interface, with scaling, draggable elements etc. If only I made something simple and fixed before – I think that project would be finished by now, not frozen for X months. For my compo game, I’ve made UI in about 2 hours and didn’t change it at all for the whole two days. And that was amazing.
  2. Feature cut. I’ve got a lot of elements planned. Most of them made it into a game, but wasn’t as deep and complex as I wanted at first. Usually, i’d like to make some complex system with many elements, random text generation, results etc. For the first time I said “Stop!” to myself and made everything just simple and fuctional.
  3. Focus. I’ve spend two days just. making. a. game. I think I was going to a shop for some food, but that’s all. Good sleep, comfortable room and no distractions – I think that’s all you really need to make something.

What went wrong:

  1. Presentation. Black screen with colored buttons just doesn’t look cool. And it’s completly lost on screen with other competitors. And it doesn’t look interesting at all. Also, I’ve spend too much time in development, missing all the “Developer Logs”, streams, discussions etc. I think things would be much better if I spend 1/4 of my time just writing about game, talking with other devs, and maybe improving my visuals a little.
  2. Playtesting. I didn’t understood that some of my cool features like “second trade option” was used by really low percent of players and the most used game options are the least fun. I think it’s really important to give someone your prototype and watch how fun it is to play and what actions the player will actually do instead of what YOU think he’ll do.
  3. Polishing. Everything is working, that’s a good thing. But there are many parts to be improved. And thou feature cut saved me a lot of time, some parts could be better.
  4. Progress bars. I always loved turn-based text games, like my own. But in some compo game I saw progress bars. You click on action, get the progress bar and just wait a little. And then you can click again. And then I realised, that I should use progress bars instead of turns and actions too! This can really improve game dynamic. You can have one huge progress bar for portal opening (like 30-45 seconds) and cooldowns on each possible action (grow resource, train troops). This can be really fun! And it’s really easy to balance the whole thing just by adjusting time! But then I understood that 48 hours passed about two days ago and became sad. But I’ll use progress bars and cooldowns in some future project.

I hope you’ve got something interesting from my post :-)

Finished!

Posted by (twitter: @SmartGaming_ru)
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 12:12 pm

I don’t think I can make anything else today and so my “Two Worlds” game is out. Yay. It’s even playable and fun (sometimes). You can check it on compo page.

In a few words – it’s a text-based strategy about two worlds, connected through the Portal. One has food, another has fuel and they trade with each other each month. But their resources aren’t infinite, so one Realm will fall at the end. You can choose a Realm to play with (and actually you can control the other realm if you want – buttons are clickable). Also there is an “automate” function – it will produce some goods and select trade option for both Realms – you just need to enable it and click on “Open Portal” button. Also there is a restart button in the top-right corner. Have fun :-)

TwoWorldLudumDare30_3.png

Two Worlds: progress report

Posted by (twitter: @SmartGaming_ru)
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 1:07 pm

After almost 12 hours, I’ve got something playable. You can check latest web build (Unity web player). Select Greens and go for it. But Reds are almost the same in terms of realised features. Tomorrow I need to finish trade system (more random results and options), combat system and end game conditions – for now you can actually trade negative values… Basic AI will be fine too, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to finish it in time.

Two Worlds WIP version

Progress report

Posted by (twitter: @SmartGaming_ru)
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 5:52 am

Almost 5pm here and I just started to actually make some gameplay mechanics. But I won in insane battle versus UI, buttons, fades and interaction. Some problems took almost half an hour to find a simple solution. But now the fun part begins, you can actually click on button and get some gameplay-related result. I hope to finish three major game parts today and leave tomorrow for polishing and improving.

progress_1progress_2progress_3

Connected Worlds – progress

Posted by (twitter: @SmartGaming_ru)
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 12:49 am

I really hope my game won’t be called Connected Worlds at the end…

connected_worlds_lol

Anyway, I made a clickable button and updatable (is it a word?) text label. I believe, you can make anything with this tools. Also I made my first ever sound effect in SFXR and simple button image for NGUI. To my relieve, old version of NGUI works well and pretty similar to the last one. I’m expanding idea of  two Realms – one with food and another with fuel. I even made some intro story for them, but since english is my second language and my grammar sucks… you get the idea.

main_menu

 

Now it’s time to actually make some gameplay.

Starting…

Posted by (twitter: @SmartGaming_ru)
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 10:39 pm

I slept during the first 4 hours of compo, but the last week was very hard. Connected Worlds is an amazing theme. I’m going to open mindmanager and start brainstorming some ideas. From the first look I’ve started to think about few destroyed civilizations, connected through some kind of portal and transfering resources to each other. Or going to war, because their world is dying. That’s a good start. My main problem right now – I missed warmup weekend and didn’t try old free NGUI version for Unity. I really don’t know how this is going to work. But let’s start with brainstorm.

Connected Worlds

After ~half an hour, I’ve got myself a much clearer vision of a game I want to make. Now it’s time to start some prototyping. Unity, NGUI Free and uScript Personal – I hope everything will be alright :)

I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @SmartGaming_ru)
Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 1:51 pm

Hi! I’m looking forward to participate in Ludum Dare 30 compo. This will be my first time :)

Tools:
Engine
– Unity. I’m using it at work and for personal projects.
Graphics – Photoshop.
Sound – I’ll give sfxr a try.
Coding – C#, but mostly I plan to use uScript for visual development.
Libraries – uScript Personal Learning Edition and NGUI Free Edition.
Other stuff: Tortoise SVN for version control, pen and paper for design.

I like to make text-based highly interactive game prototypes with multiple actions, choises and consequences and I hope to improve my motivation skills due compo :-)

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