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Let’s do this!

Posted by
Friday, April 15th, 2016 11:27 am

After missing the last LD I’m once again in looking for some more creative awesomeness :)

My weapons of choice:

  • HaxeFlixel (4.0.1 woot!)
  • Pixen
  • Tiled
  • Audacity
  • SunVox
  • BFXR
  • Sublime Text
  • Coffee!

It’s going to be a though weekend, considering I’ll have to go out most of Saturday afternoon (people have this tendency to get married at the most inconvenient times) but I’ll manage anyway.

Good luck everybody!

Once more into de fray!

Posted by
Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 5:54 am

I’m back again, eager to build something interesting and hoping a nice and inspirig theme gets chosen this time!

As with the last time, my toolset is mainly unchanged:

HaxeFlixel ♥
Pixen
Tiled 
BFXR
PxTone (maybe)
SublimeText

 

As usual, I’m aiming for the compo, but instead of spending the day coding by myself I’ll be working alongside a friend who is taking part in LD for the first time. I hope we can help each other get motivated :)

Good luck everybody!

CurseMan’s post mortem

Posted by
Wednesday, May 6th, 2015 3:18 pm

Once again into the fray. Once again writing about this awesome experience that Ludum Dare is.

And once again writing another finished game post mortem. And it feels good :)

Here is how it all went:

 

Initial panic

As usual, and since I live in Europe, I decided to sleep in instead of waiting for the theme announcement at around 3AM, so I woke up “early” and ran up to my computer to see which one had been chosen out of the list.

Then I saw it: “An unconventional weapon” it was.

Crap.

It’s not that it is a bad theme, because it isn’t. Let’s just say that I was not really into it and I didn’t have any great ideas or interest in it.

But hey, Ludum Dare is completely about overcoming your limits and tackling difficult and daunting tasks, just like this one. So I got a cup of coffee and set out to think and brainstorm about what could be achieved and done with the chosen theme.

After spending a good 2 hours “working” on it I hadn’t come up with anything interesting or worth doing. I was a bit stressed and I started to think that maybe I should just give up this time and try to spend my weekend outdoors, considering that the weather was amazing at the moment.

But before doing so I thought It would be cool to check out what other people were doing and posting about on the LD blog. I started looking around and found some neat -but very scarce- interesting concepts and a lot of dull and boring ideas. I felt as if I wasn’t the only one strugling with the theme and I felt a bit pissed at me for not being able to come up with anything.

And the inspiration hit me like a train wreck.

 

Now we have a plan

My concept was really simple but I thought it would fit the theme quite nicely. It consists of a 2D side scroller action game, in the style of the MegaMan games where you play as a character called CurseMan.

CurseMan attacks his enemies by throwing terrible cursewords in the form of giant speech bubbles with swearwords inside (very comic like).

Also, to boost the quirkyness of t he concept I wanted to do really simple and raw graphics with bright colors that would stand out for not being really fit for almost anything. It would give players the impression of the whole game being a joke about itself.

My main inspiration for the graphic style came from the excellent Electric Retard comics, that you should totally watch right now (Yes, they are NSFW on steroids and we love them that way).

Since I wanted to recreate a somewhat “realistic” 2D world I set out to code up my tilemap system, with support for different layers that will help me build a rich and interesting level and add a bit of depth to the scene.

After a few hours coding I had an early prototype with CurseMan jumping and swearing all over the place:

IMG_0738

Early cursing prototype

 

Working policy

I’m fairly comfy with my current set of tools for game development. HaxeFlixel works like a charm and I love developing with it more with each day that passes. The same goes for Sublime Text and Pixen, which is a breeze to use (except for some random bugs here and there but oh well). Tiled is also extremely useful when building maps and by this point I’m quite fast building things with it.

IMG_0747

DA PLAN

 

Knowing this, and using what I have learned from past LDs, I decided to plan things out rifght from the start.

I set to code the game engine and mechanics during the whole first day, using placeholder art while developing every functionality and then spend the whole second day creating maps, enemy layout, graphics, sound and so on.

This polciy worked pretty well, and I’m sure I couldn’t have made it in time with so much content in the game if it weren’t for it.

But it also had its drawbacks. For example, I had to spend some more time coding during the second day because I hadn’t planned everything as toroughly as I thought, and some functionalty was still needed to be coded up and fine tuned.

This policy also left me with almost no time to test everything out until almost the las few hours, and the game turned out to be a bit boring and could have used a few new mechanics for defense and avoiding attacks. Sadly I didn’t have the time to implement them, because I was busy putting everything together and recording sounds for the game.

And this is precisely why I liked working in this “organized” way for once. I set my standards a bit higher, and I wanted a complete game that was beatable, that had an ending, that had sound effect for everything, diferent enemy types and even music.

And I managed to achieve all of this, which makes me really happy :)

 

Captura de pantalla 2015-04-19 a la(s) 23.11.07

CurseMan’s world is a rough one

 

Some trouble along the way

I faced a few problems, specially whit the resolution of the HUD group for the player health and on screen messages. They turned out to scale up in a complete different way when exporting the game to flash, and this forced me to make some choppy hardcoded stuff that I woulddn’t recognise as mine in public.

Also, I spent a full half hour fighting against a bug that crashed the game when using different attacks. Turns out the “key” parameter on a FlxSprite is rather important, and you shouldn’t change an object’s graphic when there are more instances of this class using it and having it named with the same key.

Now I know that. Ouch.

All in all, these were minor things that are minimal in comparison with I have faced on past LD’s (I’m looking at you, enchant.js).

 

The bad

– The theme.

– The game is funny and amusing, but it doesn’t have much lasting appeal.

– The mechanics could have been fine tuned and also adding a defensive move would have improved the gameplay a lot.

– Music is there, but sucks hard. I really need to spend more than 5 minutes punching notes in.

– Those #$%&! grannies.

 

The good

– Being able to complete a full game with player progression, varied enemies, music and two different endings.

– Coming up with a weird but funny idea out of a theme that I didn’t like that much.

– Having a big map full of detail and grumpy enemies.

– Almost no bugs at all.

 

Captura de pantalla 2015-04-20 a la(s) 20.45.21

 

Conclusion

This Ludum Dare has been a bit of a rollercoaster for me. I was dissappointed at first, stressed during its course and happy on the end. It has served meto test my abilities, which in comparison to prior compos have been inmensly improved. I feel a lot more secure doing this kind of thing, and this feeling of accomplishment and joy of creating things is really difficult to match in any other place.

And the best part of it all is that the best is yet to come!

 

Also, don’t forget to give CurseMan’s adventures a try, and if you like it (or if you don’t) please feel free to rate it as well.

PLAY+RATE CURSEMAN

Thanks for reading!

 

CurseMan is here! #$%&!?!!

Posted by
Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 2:05 pm

CurseMan is trying to get back home, but everybody else is trying to kill him with their foul and offensive language!

But CurseMan didn’t get his name for nothing…

Captura de pantalla 2015-04-20 a la(s) 21.19.28

CurseMan is a 2D side scroller with a RPG twist. You must learn new swear words in order to beat tougher enemies!

curse2_resize

PLAY+RATE IT HERE

Thanks a lot for playing!

And i’m done!

Posted by
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 5:02 pm

Just as planned, I managed to finish up everything I aimed for by midnight (Europe), woot!

The result?, it is called:

Captura de pantalla 2015-04-19 a la(s) 23.59.16

 

Who is a man that defends himself and fights all over using his enormous swear words:
Captura de pantalla 2015-04-19 a la(s) 23.10.45
And you can play it right here!

Good luck everybody! ♥

 

Count me in as well!

Posted by
Friday, April 17th, 2015 11:30 am

Here I am, once again, ready to make something awesome (or die trying to!).

Same as last time, I’ll be using:

HaxeFlixel ♥
Pixen
Tiled (if needed)
BFXR
SublimeText

And whatever crosses my mind for music.

Bring it on! 😀

Universal Love gameplay

Posted by
Friday, September 5th, 2014 2:10 pm

Are you a lover or a fighter? 😀

output_8oiD6q
Play it here!

<3

Universal Love – Post Mortem

Posted by
Saturday, August 30th, 2014 3:59 pm

Hi everybody!

I’ve been away for the first week after the deadline ended (vacation and travel time, woot!) but I’m back now to just sit and recap for a moment the ups & downs that took place during the creation of my last submission:

universal Love Banner

 

 

 What went right

The initial concept for the game involved a space station that destroyed planets by chomping them to pieces right after catching them with a gigantic intergalactic hook. That idea seemed fun enough but from the moment I started thinking about it I just became bored with it. Instead of committing to it and trying to make it work somehow I completely ditched it in favor for a new and completely different idea. That’s when I came up with the idea of planets loving or blasting each other with missiles inside a solar system, while letting the player control one of them, allowing the player to intervene in this cosmic relations simulation.

Once the idea was decided y prototyped it pretty fast and the art came up together really nicely. I wanted to give the game a 16 bit look so I spent some time looking at how games like Super Metroid and Starfox draw their space and planets, you can totally see the similarities in there, apart from the fact that my art is nowhere near as good as those two examples.

The other big staple came up with the AI. I was a bit scared when I started to program it, thinking that it might not be fun enough to play against or that it may turn up to be way too random. Turns out my fairly simple approach worked right from the start so I didn’t have to tweak or change it too much. It works really good, and totally gives the impression that it is far more intelligent that it really is, which for me is a complete triumph.

 

scr2

 
 What didn’t go so well

To be honest I don’t really have much to say here. I managed to finish everything on time and without facing many real roadblocks along the way, but If I must mention something it should be the trouble I had trying to make the turn system work out. I might also add that I would have liked to have better looking menus and text, which now look a bit bland in my opinion. Also, apparently the objectives are not easily noticeable so I guess the notification messages need to be larger or better presented. Lastly, I didn’t have time to come up with any good ambience music, which I think would have boosted up the experience a bit further.

 Conclusion

In general I am absolutely happy about my submission, considering that my only and most important goal was to be able to finish something up that was completely done and playable and that it managed to give players at least 5 minutes of fun.

And I think I somehow managed to do just that :)

Go ahead and give it a try!

Play+rate Universal Love!

 

Universal Love

Posted by
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 1:42 pm

And I’m done!

Enjoy some Universal Love! 😀

tweet

Progress so far

Posted by
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 10:29 am

Well well, after starting around 5 hours behind everybody else (Europe rocks) and spending a few hours scratching my head while trying to figure out what to do with the theme, I finally got to work and have already spent around 5 hours into it.

This is how it is looking right now:

ld30

 

 

It’s a weird but simple idea and I think I might be able to pull it off on time. We’ll see about that 😀

Good luck!

 

I’m in once again!

Posted by
Monday, August 18th, 2014 3:22 pm

Hi everybody!,

I’m joining in for LD30 this weekend and I must admit I’m quite excited about it!

 

I’ll be using:

Pixen – 2D graphics.

 SFXR/Sunvox – audio and music.

 HaxeFlixel – Engine.

Tiled – for maps (if needed).

 SublimeText – editor.

 

I’m so excited that I even compiled a few tips for newcomers I have learnt during my -short- experience on past compos, you can find it here:

http://www.strandedsoft.com/getting-ready-for-ludum-dare/

Good luck! 😀

Leaving Home: Post Mortem

Posted by
Thursday, May 1st, 2014 6:18 am

Hi there!,

As my first ever submission to Ludum Dare (Jam) I must say I’m quite satisfied with the ending result.

I started out quite late on saturday morning. I live in Europe so I was already around 8 hours behind schedule. But nothing to worry, since the proposed theme really inspired me.

At first I though about the typical kind of games: digging, submarines, mining, monsters from the depths coming to haunt the player and so on.  Problem is, I wasn’t really feeling like programming any of those kinds of games and I suddenly decided I wanted to make a story-driven game where the player knows nothing right from the start (not even the controls) and has to start moving and checking things around trying to figure out what is going on. In other words, I ended up making a point&click adventure game about an amnesic astronaut stranded on a strange orange planet with two suns (woot).

leaving home
 What went right

– I ended up being quite pleased with the game’s atmosphere and graphic style. Detail is minimal and only vital objects are in plain sight. I got the graphics done in no time at all. I guess I’m getting quite used to Pixen by now.

– The story-  I know you can only get a glimpse of it given the length of the “game”, but I had a full and sound script ready on paper and I’m really looking forward to finish it up and letting you all people play it to the end.

– Even though I had little time to spend on making the game over the weekend I somehow managed to get something done, playable and without bugs. It may not be a big deal for everybody else but it is for me, since I wasn’t so sure about uploading it considering the story wasn’t finished and that in my mind the game probably was only appealing to me. By sunday night I was sure I was not going to publish it but a good friend encouraged me to submit it anyway and I must say I’m glad I did, considering the good reviews it is getting now.

What didn’t go that well

– Using enchant.js –  I’ve been working with it over the last few months and I’ve somewhat become fond of it. It’s really easy to set up, it’s clean, and you don’t have to work that much to get basic stuff up and running. This is what I thought before starting the compo, considering I’ve already finsihed a few (action) games with it.

Truth is, I had to spend more time that I would publicly admit figuring out how to get the click listeners working on objects and text labels. I also had some trouble with the character’s movement, but this is probably my fault, since it was my first ever point & click game.

Also, the scene structure worked well in action games, but with and adventure game like this one I ended up with having a big hardcoded mess which works, but I would not dare to finish up a full game this way. I totally have to set up a more clever way of doing things.

– Not being able to add more content to the game – I spent a lot of time getting everything working so in the end I only had the time to set up 8 scenes, and beacuse of that the game feels more like the a micro-demo than anything else. Good news are that I  really want to keep working on it and release it sometime.

– The TERRIBLE walking cycle of the player’s sprite (sorry about that).

– Almost no sound at all- I wanted to keep things silent at the start of the game, and that really builds up the mood I think, but being honest, adding a bit of ambient sound could have improved the experience a lot.

All in all, I’m happy of having taken part on LD29 and I’m really looking forward to the next one :)

By the way, if you are interested on seeing where “Leaving Home” goes please check out for news here: http://www.strandedsoft.com/ or follow this twitter profile: https://twitter.com/StrandedSoft

Thanks a lot everybody and good luck!

Newcomer here!

Posted by
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 10:31 am

Hi there!

It’s my first time competing at LD48 so I’m not really confident that I might make it on time (Jam, maybe?) but sure as hell I’m going to try! :)

Only spent a few hours on the game so far, but things are starting to take shape:

Beneath the surface

 

Good luck everybody!

 

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