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I'm just a humble nerd with awesome hair.

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October Challenge 2012 Unfinished
 
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Ludum Dare 24 Warmup
 
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Minimalism? Really?

Posted by
Friday, April 26th, 2013 7:43 pm

Minimalism? This is the worst theme for me. I wasn’t terribly motivated before, and this is not helping at all. I can’t think of a single idea that I’d actually want to do for this theme. If I can’t think of anything in the next couple of hours, I’ll just skip this Ludum Dare and play Fire Emblem: Awakening.

Oh look, Lua code!

Posted by
Friday, April 26th, 2013 6:36 am

Since I’m a person who doesn’t break rules, here’s all the code I may or may not use for the Ludum Dare.  Here’s what’s inside:

  • A minimax library in Lua
  • An A* library for Lua which includes a binary heap and an AVL tree library
  • Spoon, which is just a collection of helper libraries I use for LÖVE.  It contains a message passing library, a state manager, some math classes, and some other things I can’t remember.
  • A breakout clone that I’ll likely use as a base for my Ludum Dare entry.

I should probably use this time to pimp my somewhat neglected gamedev blog.

Let’s do this! Maybe…

Posted by
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 6:54 am

I’m in…kinda. I haven’t been feeling very motivated lately, but I feel like I must redeem myself after my last Ludum Dare entry (such failure).  And this is my 4th LD in a row!  I can’t break the streak.  I think I’ll just try to make something, very, very small this time.  I’m going to come up with a plan on what to spend my limited time on (which will likely fall apart).

  • Code: LÖVE + Spoon (my personal code library) + assorted freely available libraries = Quality game?  I’ll have to post this sometime.
  • IDE: Geany.  I might try ZeroBrane, but I had so much trouble trying to change the syntax highlighting.
  • Graphics: Gimp, Aseprite, and Pinta.  Probably more Aseprite than Pinta.
  • Sound: Sfxr, Audacity, and possibly my mic
  • Music: Ardour, Hydrogen, my mic, and my instruments.

I can’t do any worse than last time.  Also, I really hope potato wins.

Robo Jerks – Post Mortem

Posted by
Tuesday, December 18th, 2012 8:02 pm

“I can totally make a turn-based strategy game in 48 hours!” I stupidly exclaimed at the beginning of the Ludum Dare 25.  I aimed high, eventually aimed for progressively lower targets, and still missed.  My game, Robo Jerks, is in a playable state, but it is far from complete.  But it does have an orphanage to destroy, because those smug orphans need to be knocked down a peg.

What went well

  • LÖVE is so lovely, and it has the best library names.
  • I’m not a huge fan of pixel art, so I’ve mostly stayed away from using ASEPRITE.  However, this game had me making 32×32 images/tiles, so I gave ASEPRITE a try.  Holiest of craps, that thing worked wonders!  The art for this game was relatively painless.  I’m not saying the art was great, but it wasn’t a painful, depressing process like it previously has been.  Then again, that might just be because I was only making 32×32 tiles.  Regardless, I’ll definitely be using ASEPRITE for things in the future.
  • Trello!  I used Trello to organize and keep track of what I needed to do, which helped me stay focused.
  • The theme!  You are the villian?  It’s great because I could pretty easily make any kind of game I wanted to.  I didn’t panic for a hour because I couldn’t think of an idea.

What could have gone better

  • I put off adding sound and music until the end, which was a mistake.  I should have definitely worked on the music earlier, since music isn’t that hard for me.
  • I should have practiced (i.e., make warm-up games) and worked on my code base a bit more.  There were definitely some libraries that I wish I had made beforehand that I definitely will be making for future LDs.
  • I spend a couple of hours at a party on Friday.  That was a social obligation I should have neglected.
  • I rewrote the in-game UI because the first thing I did was make a really simple, keyboard-based UI (that took longer than I planned on) just so I could have units do things.  And the kicker is the rewrite wasn’t anywhere near what I originally intended to do, but I had to settle because I was low on time.  Hence, I ended up with a UI that was clumsy and frustrating, especially to those who didn’t spend several hours playing it.  I should have just taken the time to get the UI right the first time.  That would have likely saved some time.
  • The GUI library I made for LÖVE was missing some features I thought I implemented, which caused quite the headache.
  • The menu screens: boring.
  • I really would have liked to have a multiplayer mode.  In retrospect, I could have squeezed in the time for that.
  • I intended on having an additional use for energy: abilities.  The idea was you’d have these buildings you’d have to build, and for each one you build, you can use an ability (at the cost of energy); e.g., healing a unit, allowing units that have used their turn to go again, and bombing an area to damage units.  I had to cut that.

What went horribly wrong

  • Just like last Ludum Dare, I planned on doing too much.  I though I was planning out a manageable amount of content, but had to cut out a lot of stuff (what does an alot of stuff look like) in order to make progress.
  • AI.  I completely underestimated how much effort the AI would take.  I originally wanted the enemy army to be able to build units to fight you, but I didn’t have time to implement that.  I also didn’t really have any time to implement any intelligent AI.  Units just move towards your base (without thinking about the attack range of your units) and attack the first unit within range (without thinking about the health of your units).  I originally just wanted one level, but since I didn’t have the time to get the AI right, I just quickly added 2 more levels (and a weird-looking level select screen) with more enemies.
  • Since the victory condition is destroying the orphanage and the AI couldn’t produce units, there was a long, boring trek across the map to destroy the orphanage after defeating all the enemy units.
  • Originally, I intended on having a fog of war and an extra unit: the scout.  The scout’s purpose was to provide vision, especially for long ranged units with little vision (basically, the artillery unit).  I had to drop the scout as soon as I dropped the fog of war.  However, the units weren’t really all that balanced after that point.  If I had originally planned for having 3 attacking units, I could have had a nice paper-scissors-rock thing going on.  The infantry unit is cheap, but pretty useless.  I wanted to give each unit abilities in order to fill the gap left by the scout, but I had no time for that.
  • The maps: so boring.  When I realized that adding terrain you couldn’t move across would be nice, I realized that I would have to rewrite and test a lot of things to make that change.  So that went to be bottom of my to-do list, never to be seen again.

Normally, I fiddle around with my game for at least a couple of weeks after a Ludum Dare.  I distinctly remember saying “NOPE!” to that when I submitted my game.  I claimed I didn’t want to see any code for several days (which would interfere with what I do for a living).  That was a filthy lie, I was working on the UI the next night.  I might even follow through and release a less-terrible version in a couple of weeks…but I’m not sure I’d get my hopes up.

Tiny Warm-up game

Posted by
Thursday, December 13th, 2012 8:17 pm

I made a tiny warm-up game in preparation for tomorrow.  That was a bit of a lie.  I took a warm-up game I made for the last Ludum Dare, and updated it to use the code base I’ll be using for the competition.  Since I am not a dirty, filthy rule breaker, you can find the code here.  My body is not ready for the Ludum Dare, but I felt that way the for the last two Ludum Dares.

I’m going for it! Again!

Posted by
Friday, December 7th, 2012 7:30 am

This will be my third Ludum Dare in a row.  Now it’s time to spend the next week preparing.  Hopefully I’ll have a game that’s nicer to look at this time.

  • Code: LÖVE + Spoon (my personal code library) + assorted freely available libraries = Quality game?
  • IDE: Geany.  It’s nice, but I wish I had a better IDE for Lua and LÖVE.
  • Graphics: Gimp, Pinta, and possible Aseprite.
  • Sound: Sfxr, Audacity, and possibly my mic
  • Music: Ardour, Hydrogen, my mic, and my instruments.

I’m going to neglect social obligations so hard this weekend!  Who am I kidding?  I have no social obligations.

Failure

Posted by
Thursday, October 25th, 2012 4:09 pm

I’m officially giving up on the October Challenge.  There’s no way this game will be done by the end of the month.  However, I’m still going to try to release my game (that I still haven’t named) and make a dollar off of it.  The October Challenge is now the Eventually Challenge.  While I have your attention, I should pimp my game dev blog.

A violent collision with a wall

Posted by
Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 7:22 am

I think I’ve hit a wall with my game.  I elaborate more in my devblog, but here’s the gist of it: I have most of the core gameplay in place…and things aren’t working as expected.  A lot of tweaking (some things may need to be drastically changed) will be required before I’m happy with things.  Not to mention I still haven’t work on the graphics, UI, full controller support, etc.  My point: it’s becoming increasingly unlikely that I will get this done in 16 days.  But I still plan on finishing this and selling it at some point.  The October Challenge will become the Eventually Challenge.  When is eventually?  Maybe January-ish 2013?  How much will I charge?  I’m not sure.  I’m debating whether to go the pay-what-you-want route or just charge $1.  But first, I have to finish this game and figure out what to call it.  I can’t sell a game called “Space Game!”

Look! A screenshot!

Posted by
Friday, October 5th, 2012 6:31 am

Bam!  First screenshot.  I know it looks a bit shabby, but hopefully things will look better once I start working on the art.  Also, I’ve started a dev blog, because I’m told that the thing to do.

I’m getting my dollar!

Posted by
Sunday, September 30th, 2012 10:41 am

Even though I have serious doubts about being able to make something worth buying in a month, I’m going for it.  I’m going to take my game from LD #24, End Humanity!, and make it into a “full game”.  Since I don’t have to stick with the theme of evolution, I’ll probably change things around.  I’m thinking something involving space ships.  That might result in easier art for me, which is great.  I’m not an artist, and currently, I rather work alone on this.  There’s so much I’ll need to do during October.  Maybe I should start a dev blog, for that seems to be the thing to do.  But enough of my rambling, onward towards glory!

End Humanity! – Post Mortem

Posted by
Monday, August 27th, 2012 11:57 am

Mission complete!  I (mostly) finished my 2nd Ludum Dare game, End Humanity.  Since post-mortems are the thing to do, I shall be doing that thing.

What went well

  • LÖVE is still great, and Lua is still…alright.  It was a pleasure to work with.  I can’t recommend it enough.  Supposedly there’s a potentially working web-player for LÖVE.  I’ll need to see if it will work with my game.
  • I was able to come up with an okay game idea based on the terrible, terrible theme.  I take that back, it’s not terrible, it’s just that I didn’t expect it to win.  I had a decent idea of what I could do for most of the last 20 themes, but I had no idea what to do for “evolution”.
  • I was able to finish the “core” of the game relatively quickly.  Making placeholder art really helped, although some of the placeholder art I ended up using.

What could have gone better

  • I wanted to make a game that was different from my last game, but I made another shooter.  Not that I have anything against shooters, I just wanted to do something a bit different.
  • I think should have spent a few minutes making very simple and effortless placeholder sounds and music in addition to the placeholder art.  I think it’s easier to program the sound/music initially instead of towards the end like I did with this game.  In retrospect, some of the placeholder art could have been simpler; e.g., the plane could have been a giant triangle.
  • sfxr and Audacity were quite handy, but I wish I had the time to use my mic and at least attempt to get some better sounds.
  • I wish I had time to put a tutorial in.  If not that, at least a help screen.

What went horribly wrong

  • I think I tried to make my game too big.  I only put 24 hours into the game.  If I had put in the 30 hours that I originally planned to, then I think I would have been fine.  But I didn’t.  I didn’t get to add all the abilities, enemies and features (e.g., mute) I wanted to add.  Also, I didn’t get a chance to properly balance the difficulty.  I tried to at least make the game beatable (unlike my last game), but I’m a bit worried I made the game too easy.  Now that I think about it, it might just not get hard quickly enough (that’s what she said).  I think the later waves might be a bit brutal.
  • Since I ran low on time, I just forgot to do certain things.  I forgot to turn off the FPS counter off.  There are no sounds or graphics for the heal and toxic cloud (which is now an invisible toxic cloud) abilities upon activations.  I completely neglected to make the ground something other than a green slab of green.  I’m sure other neglected things will come to me later this week.
  • It took me 2 hours to come up with and record all of the music, and that’s terrible (too long).  I’m not too pleased with how the battle music turned out.  Also, I don’t think it’s properly EQed.  Since I was so strapped on time, I didn’t get a chance to go back and readjust the levels like I had wanted to.
  • Art is still hard!  Pinta is okay when it works, but it’s a bit buggy.  Gimp is nice, but too meaty for my mouse drawing abilities.  Maybe I should invest in a tablet.  I figure it would be easier to draw things with a tablet than using a mouse to do psuedo-pixel art.  I’m not really that into pixel art anyway.

So that’s pretty much it.  Have you destroyed humanity yet?  You probably should.  I’m sure this is where people start doing the self-promotion; e.g, telling people to follow them on various social things.  Unfortunately, I’ve no wares to pimp.

END HUMANITY!

Posted by
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 7:23 pm

If only I spent more time on my game.  Regardless, I finished…mostly.  I got annoyed with the theme and everyone who voted for it, and I got a little misanthropic.  48 hours later, and I mostly finished my game: End Humanity.  I would like it if you played my game and put an end to humanity.  I just noticed that I completely forget to at least attempt to replace the green background with something nicer.  Sigh.  Art is hard.

 

 

Dodger

Posted by
Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 6:05 pm

I just submitted my warmup game, Dodger.  I’ll likely use most of the code for that game for the main competition, and I’m no filthy rulebreaker.  Thus, the submission of the game and its code.  I am ready for LD24!

 

I’m going for it!

Posted by
Monday, August 20th, 2012 11:17 am

This will be my second Ludum Dare.  I actually achieved some degree of success with LD #23, so I might be able to do it again.  The goal was to spend the last month practicing for this (and improving my abysmal art skills), but I’ve been suffering from a huge lack of motivation for most of the month.  But still, I’m in it.

  • Code: LÖVE + a library of code that I’ve yet to name (I’ll post it a couple of days, because I follow rules), because it worked so well last time.
  • IDE: Geany.  It’s nice, but I wish I had a better IDE for Lua and LÖVE.
  • Graphics: Gimp, Pinta, and possible Aseprite.
  • Sound: Sfxr and Audacity
  • Music: Ardour, Hydrogen, my mic, and my instruments.

I’m going to neglect social obligations so hard this weekend!

Save Your Planet! – Post Mortem

Posted by
Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 7:01 am

For my first Ludum Dare, I made Save Your Planet!  I enjoyed making this far more than I thought I would.  Since everyone seems to be doing post-mortems, I figured I shall do the same.

What went right

  • LÖVE is great!  Lua is…alright, but LÖVE is great.  I don’t think I would have gotten this done without LÖVE.
  • The music too far less time to make than I thought it would.  I normally get super anal (ha!) when I sit down with my bass/guitar and record stuff.  Time constraints are handy, it seems.
  • sfxr + Audacity allowed me to make the audio with a quickness.  I think I only spent 20 minutes at most on sounds.  The audio could have been better, though.
  • Even though the theme wasn’t my favorite thing in the world, I was able to think of something to make and come up with a plan within my first hour.

What went wrong

  • I didn’t think I was going to finish at all (I’ve never actually finished a game before), so I didn’t put more effort into it.  What can I say?  Arrested Development won’t watch itself.  This filled me with regret when I had 12 hours left and something that could actually be submitted.  I only worked on this for 20 of the 48 hours.
  • Art is hard.  I’m just not very good at it (yet?).  I didn’t spend enough time working on my art skills before the start of the Ludum Dare.  Not only is the art less than optimal, it’s a bit inconsistent.
  • The start of Ludum Dare fell on the same night as a Cake concert!  And I don’t have a smart phone, so I didn’t even know the theme until I got home 3 hours later.
  • I didn’t get a chance to add everything I wanted; e.g., power ups, more enemies, a tutorial that isn’t just a screenshot with text on it, and an actual victory screen & music.  The lame victory screen I added is just the game over screen, except instead of “Game Over”, it says “Victory!”.  Weak sauce.
  • I had a nice plan as to how I’d organize all my code.  That plan fell apart during the last 6 hours, and my code got really ugly.  I guess that’s to be expected.
  • I really wish I remembered to think of a better name than “Save Your Planet!”.

I’m definitely will be doing LD #24, and encouraging others to do the same.  Have you played my game yet?  You should.

I’m not dead!

Posted by
Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 8:05 pm

I can’t believe I not only survived, but I actually have something to show:

Save Your Planet

I nearly ran out of time, so it’s a little rough.  I never got to think of a better name than Save Your Planet!  I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the power of LOVE.

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