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Good morning!

Posted by (twitter: @Senevri)
Saturday, August 27th, 2016 1:22 am

I made a choice between “starting on time” and “getting enough sleep.”

Sleep won, as it often does. I do wish I’d been up to get the theme percolating in my mind earlier, though.

So, ancient technology, huh? Time to do some research. As a cop-out I could go for ancient game technology — or so I did consider, but our most ancient games, Chess, Go and Backgammon, are quite difficult to implement very fast.

Ancient weapons technology is under consideration. I’d prefer building something instead, though, but we shall see.

In any case, it’s brainstorming time!

Note of my Participation

Posted by (twitter: @Senevri)
Friday, August 26th, 2016 1:06 pm

Synchronicity!

I need to learn Cocos2d-x this weekend anyway.

Will probably chronolapse. Unsure if I will stream to Twitch.tv.

Jam Done. Last Timelapse.

Posted by (twitter: @Senevri)
Monday, December 16th, 2013 11:15 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeyUwpqyQEI

It’s barely a game, but it is one. End movie is gobbledygook, I just wanted to check if I could do a cinematic scene.

The tiles aren’t that awful, and there’s some potential in the silhouette sprite.

Had a last minute crash bug, and some trouble getting the composite creature’s body parts to co-operate. I intend to do a postmortem later on, since there were some interesting things…

I’m quite happy with the amount of interop I could get out of Tiled. I guess I could go up to, say, having objects contain a “script” parameter, and then write logic in there, even.

Biggest problem? I didn’t start jammin’ until about 4 hours before the deadline, and it’s a bit questionable if I even made it. I was just exhausted.

Compo Failure. I guess I’m Jammin’ then?

Posted by (twitter: @Senevri)
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 8:30 pm

I mean, what else would I do? Give up? Hah!

Regarding timelapse capturing, I ended up dithering on the capture rate quite a bit. Today ’til time ran out will be up at youtube. I’ll probably record some tomorrow, too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9QobKpEL3Q&feature=youtu.be

Micro-postmortem(compo):

Premise: Compo ran from Saturday, 4 AM to Monday, 4 AM.

Saturday was fine, really. Except, I never got the game to work quite the way I wanted it to.

I completely crashed at 3PM for four hours, and then again, at 21:45, which lasted to 1:00 or so. I actually missed some recording there.

After that, it’s been fine. I just ran out of time.

what would I do differently?

I’d probably get a full and complete night’s rest between Saturday and Sunday.  I just don’t work that well on sleep deprivation.

I still had enormous issues coming up with a concept I was happy with. I’m not sure what I would do about that.

Solution?

I guess… If I’d have to say… a bit of behavior forcing. Do not allow yourself to write one row of code before you have your concept. In general, it’s a good idea to know what to do, before tryig to do it. :)

I would have liked more time to do prep work with HaxePunk – I did have time, waiting for the compo to start, though, so I can only blame myself there.

Next time, I’m likely to go with something targeting JVM, or Löve2d. And yeah, I’m participating next time. That being said, I rather like having collision, entity management and all that being handed to me all ready-like, like this.

like, like.

My entry will be up here:

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=25313

Now it’s just a question of how far I can get before time totally runs out.

Last time, even if it wa a week late, I did get my game into a shape where I actually enjoyed playing it. A little bit.

So, I’m hoping I’ll get the compo to a similar shape. I’d rather not spend an extra week on this, like I did last time.

Compo failure seems imminent.

Posted by (twitter: @Senevri)
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 1:58 pm

I haven’t been feeling too well today, which is a nice excuse. Biggest problem has been the lack of a strong concept. Still, I’ve gotten some interesting things done… I think.

I might be able to make the Jam deadline, which seems a bit of a waste, as I’m doing everything, more or less from scratch. I don’t much… I didn’t much like the idea of writing a Tiled reader from scratch, but I’ve gotten quite comfy with them internals.

Getting acquainted with the Component Entity System design pattern will probably be useful later, too. Also, I warmed up to Haxe, mainly due to it’s list comprehension and first-class functions.

Progress, of sorts.

Posted by (twitter: @Senevri)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 2:32 pm

Okay, after some technical difficulties I got everything working.

Really, if I didn’t want the ease of flash distribution for this, I would have preferred working with something I knew better than the few hours I’ve spent learning haxe and haxepunk. The current Tiled library is of a rough sort.

Oh, and the power went out for a couple of hours around noon, too.

capture

Terribly messy, but yeah. Co-operating nicely with Tiled, right now. I’m trying to put a lot of the game logic into Tiled – Sprites, for an example, are declared there.

Primitive stuff, really, but I’m enjoying it. A bit worried about getting everything done in time. Animations are rough, but fun. At the very least it’s looking nicer than the last one.

Speaking of messy, the architecture is all over the place, too… but that’s par for course for LD. I really should spend more time getting comfortable with TDD.

I still have trouble with coming up with strong enough ideas. I’ll need to work on that next.

Maybe some sort of a… action>consequence chain thing? Or…  I really don’t know yet.

Saturday’s timelapse will be available here:

http://youtu.be/7xoWBkxs5iU

I’m in, Ludum Dare the 28th.

Posted by (twitter: @Senevri)
Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 7:55 pm

I thought I’d make a note, to be polite, and to commit to doing this thing.

This time, I will be using HaxePunk, and targeting flash, so more people have a chance to play. I’ll also be more heavily focusing on visual appeal, since that was left way behind the last time. Can’t tell much more before the theme is picked.

Truth be told, I’m not that fond of Haxe and HaxePunk, and it does require compilation and refresh, so I won’t be able to tweak things on the fly, or anything. Then again, I haven’t worked with them for very long.  Syntactically they’re fine,  looking like strongly typed Javascript to my eyes, but of late, I’ve been preferring the syntax of lua and python.

Basically, me and my RSI don’t much like chording for {}s on a scandinavian keyboard. I can shift-alt to US layout, though, but while my fingers mostly remember it, my recollection is far from perfect. I will most likely try to type using the US layout just for fun.

Apparently, the standard GUI interfaces of eclipses, fooDevelops and such is better for RSI than even vim, which seems a bit odd.  Vim, once you get a hang of using the motions without arrow keys, is pretty nice. I am considering a switch to Cream, though — I really don’t see any reason not to, at this very moment.

I’ll probably have to do some modifications to the tiled-library in HaxePunk, it will be in the recording — I’ll be recording with Chronolapse, probably, if possible, I’ll start with 1 frame per second, and when I get a bit into it, I’ll lift it to 1 frame per minute.

I’ve generated a ton, or five or so, game ideas during the wait already. So that’s cool.

*edit*

Oh, audio-wise, I’ll be going with bfxr, and, maybe, the Chirp Composer. I am not a musician, though.

I must also mention Tiled. Ogmo keeps crashing on me. DAME seems powerful, but the way it looks is no good.

I’ll probably animate using some mixture of Paint.net, GraphicsGale free and/or Aseprite. Possibly maybe with some measure of  OpenCanvas thrown in.

Participating in something

Posted by (twitter: @Senevri)
Saturday, September 28th, 2013 8:56 am

I really want to do MiniLD #45. 

I set up Devkit Advance, and dug the internet for some tutorials. But, I haven’t even gotten started yet, and I presume I only have two more days. Oh well.

Also, I definitely intend to participate in the October thing, probably doing something for Windows Phone 7. It’s XNA, compatible with WP8, and WP7 dev doesn’t require Windows 8.

10 Seconds to Disaster Postmortem.

Posted by (twitter: @Senevri)
Thursday, August 29th, 2013 7:39 pm

When the time came, and the theme was set, I was initially dismayed. It was … not one of my favourites. Oh well.

Fortunately, I knew I needed some things working in XNA, regardless of what I did, so I could just start coding, while watching Ludum Dare screencasts at Twitch. so, I wrote an engine which rendered textured quads, and set up the camera so that I could set them on screen with pixel precision.

Some 9 hours in, I finally started getting  an idea I liked.

The initial concept was, that you’d play a hero, who’d have to stop a disaster, every 10 seconds, and rush to the next one. I imagined a caped character, saving planes and trains, stopping robberies and alien invasions.

Well, that wasn’t going to get done in 39 hours. So, time to simplify.

The times I’d played Arkham Horror, or the last time I spent over-analyzing the setting in Sailor Moon, probably cued something.

What is there was just one  disaster type, that of interdimensional invasion? You’d fight the creatures rushing in from portals, and… stuff. I was kind of fuzzy on the details, but closing the portals or taking the fight to the enemy should be an option. Initially I had civilians whom the monsters would attack, and locations the player could visit, but time pressures -> snip.

Onwards, with the post-mortemizing!

What Went Right:

Quite a bit. I was about 90% satisfied with my experience and results, although this was my first LD, and my second build-a-game-over-the-weekend participation.

Starting with the Engine.

Certainly not always a good idea, but in this case, I had a pretty clear idea what I wanted to do – I didn’t want to do any modelling, but I wanted to have access to rotations and whatnot. This was also my XNA learning project, and I made good use of the first nine hours, despite having no idea of what I’d make.

That being said, I had to rewrite the core of the thing, as my initial version was badwrong. Of course, I figured the correct way to do it immediately after a good night’s sleep, when the competition had finished.

Simple Design

Not having an overambitious design cut down on time needed, and I stil barely squeezed the minimum in, within the time limit.

Focusing on Finishing and Staying on Target

To get a game, not a game demo, I needed win and lose conditions. I sort of got there – if I’d just slapped a “you win” screen in front of the player, when they reached the final battle portal stage, it would have been complete. Now, while there’s a distinct lose condition, there wasn’t clear win condition. It has a screen showing controls, and even some sound effects.

It’s not just a tech demo, but an actual, if tiny and not very entertaining, game.

Coder Art

I like drawing, and I’m not horrible at it. I intended to leverage that, but I slapped in some quick placeholder art — which ended up being pretty much final. It’s aesthetics grew on me, like an alien fungus. I didn’t end up spending much time on it, just adding tiny little animations, which made things quite lively enough

Tiled

The Tiled editor, while very simple, is great at quickly putting levels together, and I know some simple tricks with it, so that was fun.

What Went Wrong

Not that much, really.

Using 3d.

Not in and as itself, but learning and building took a huge chunk of time, which I could have avoided, if I’d just stuck to blitting. As it turned out, I didn’t really need all those 3d features at the time.

Of course, now that I’ve rewritten the engine and so forth, I’m starting to see some benefits from the 3d engine in the background, but for the purposes of the competition, it was redundant.

Getting Zero Peachy Keen Features Implemented

I had a plan to give players power-ups depending on how they performed during each 10-second segment. Various attacks, heals, and other neato things. As I got none of them in, the player was left with two basic attacks, both which are kind of meh.

Using CamStudio for Timelapse

Not a big thing, but I lost first three hours of video due to hitting esc at the same time as CamStudio offered a save dialog, and that was that. ’twas a pain, mostly.

Afterwards, I familiarized myself with Chronolapse, which is much better regarding timelapse recording.  I also lost a few minutes fighting with CamStudio, which may or may not count.

(I linked the timelapse videos in previous posts, if you’re interested)

Not Paying Enough Attention To Rules

I didn’t know there was a hour’s grace time to upload the product, after the actual competition time was done. I could have put in a bit more work on the game had I known that. Ah well.

Level Design, or Lack Thereof

My test level end up being pretty much the final one. I could have made the gameplay much more pleasant by simply redoing the level’s layout. Few things are as permanent as those meant to be temporary.

Still, I’m not very good at level design, in general. Need to improve there.

Coder Art

On the other hand, this was another thing, where an investment of, oh, 3-4 hours would have given me much more stylish graphics. Not that I had the time, due to spending most of the first day building the engine.

 

My LD27 Entry

Post-compo, pre-postmortem.

Posted by (twitter: @Senevri)
Monday, August 26th, 2013 8:19 pm

My entry, for the record:

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/&uid=25313

I just had to rewrite the engine. I mean, it was much slower than it should have been., making the game unplayable at spots.

Now? It’s fast. Very fast. Possibly blazingly fast. Makes the technical and gameplay issues all the more glaring.  😀

I’ll probably putter around until I’m satisfied. The engine itself is now suitable for future projects, too.

Looking at the comments, all those “wouldn’t work” ones worry me. Is it the Monogame? or compiling with VS 2012? or something else?

Anyway, I’m glad I got a game done, instead of a tech demo – you can win and lose this one, after all. Still, I hoped I wouldn’t miss my goals by this much.

The coder art sort of grew on me, like a mold. Especially with the animations.

 

I didn’t know there was a submit hour. // Sunday’s Timelapse

Posted by (twitter: @Senevri)
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 8:18 pm

Well…

Ugh. I could have worked on the performance a bit more. Code leaks somewhere. Not that much of a learning experience really. Still, interesting.

I’m happy I had time to put in an intro screen, as well as ending screens. I’m not happy that the final boss battle was completely missing. I guess I could just have put in a “you win” flag, and display a screen of some sort.

The card system missing – which was one of the big deal ideas – is a really great shame.

The art doesn’t actually bother me that much – I think the scribbly paint art is kind of cute.

Enter at Game Over was supposed to restart, instead it crashes.

Biggest problem above all else is the framerate tanking.

Dropbox link should be :

https://www.dropbox.com/s/o7v959nahj2zbwf/LD27.zip

Github:

https://github.com/Senevri/LudumDare

 

LD #27 Saturday’s Timelapse

Posted by (twitter: @Senevri)
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 2:13 am

I do these partially for my own enjoyment, but still, sharing…

Had some recording issues and missing about the first three hours. Still, definitely long enough.

Saturday done

Posted by (twitter: @Senevri)
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 6:18 pm

I have some technical problems, so I’m hoping I’ll make it.

I was actually hoping I would be doing mostly content-creation at this point. I got into a nice rhythm with the screen recording thing, too. Might be interesting.

Virtualdub automatically figured out how  to append all the separate recording segments, which was cool.

At one point I completely broke the code, and had to regress a bit. Fortunately,  I always start with a Git repository.

I’d really hope to be working on some arts – a strong point of mine, I think – at this point ,but instead I’m running with simple coder art right now.

It has it’s charm, too.

For a while it threatened to go tower defense, but I avoided that. Me and XNA can manage, but we don’t really get along all that well. :/

I kind of like the engine, though – rendering sprites on quads, so I can rotate, scale, translate etc. them, as I wish.

Goal is putting in some sound effects and music, too, just to put BFXR and AudioSauna through their paces, but we’ll see. Tick tock….

Timelapse woes

Posted by (twitter: @Senevri)
Friday, August 23rd, 2013 10:26 pm

Okay. So, I’m using CamStudio to record the process, which isn’t bad, but I seem to have a bad habit of hitting esc when  the save file dialog pops up. I’ve lost at least 3 hours worth of material already.

Oh well, it was mainly setting up the engine, and stuff. Still, a bit of a shame. I’m doing 15 min increments now. May need to go to 30min increments.

The engine is coming along, at least. Still a bit lost, design-wise.

I’m in, for the very first time.

Posted by (twitter: @Senevri)
Wednesday, August 21st, 2013 9:54 am

It’s LD #27, right?

I’m still a bit fuzzy on rules. Libraries are not allowed, but a package like Unity is?

I’m thinking I’ll use the opportunity to familiarize myself with XNA or MonoGame.  Probably harder than LÖVE2d, but it’ll be fun. Right?

*edit* I doubt anyone’ll read this, but I’ll leave audio for BFXR and AudioSauna. I have a scanner, so I might pencil any artwork I need. I have GIMP, openCanvas and Paint.NET for graphics.

I have puttered around in MonoGame and there’s been some trouble – certain things aren’t as easy as one might hope for, and some features are missing. Still, it’s close enough to the start time that I might as well write the libs I need during the compo. I’m still iffy whether I should write a Tiled reader, or a custom editor for any levels I might need.

I’ll be posting a timelapse video on youtube afterwards.

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