About Somnium

Entries

 
MiniLD #71
 
Ludum Dare 37
 
Ludum Dare 35
 
Ludum Dare 34
 
Ludum Dare 33
 
Ludum Dare 32

Somnium's Trophies

Charming Programmer Art Award
Awarded by blubberquark
on May 7, 2015
Thinking Outside the Box Award
Awarded by blubberquark
on May 7, 2015

Somnium's Archive

My Compo-game, “Open-plan Office Distractions”, is about a team of developers, and the numerous distractions they face by working in a one room open-plan office.

Pre-project Boss-briefing

Pre-project Boss-briefing

In my original brainstorm, the game was supposed to be a management-game. You would actively control the workers, by assigning tasks, optimizing development processes, etc.

However, as I implemented the office, and the various “distractions”, I realized that I actually found it much more entertaining, to just watch the poor workers be hindered by the various distractions.

In the end, I therefore opted to remove most of the player interactions, leaving only the concept of spending “golden marks” (a reward triggered by finishing projects on time) on a few upgrades and on removing “failure”-marks (thereby prolonging the game/simulation).

I think this decision worked out rather well – in a way, I feel that the various mishaps which happens to the team during the projects are more entertaining, since you cannot prevent them directly.

I hope that you will try out my game, and leave a comment. Does the lack of “traditional” player interactions benefit my game?

Oh no, I have a deadline to reach, but the Boss just won't stop talking!

Boss, please let me get back to work!

 

I’m in!

Posted by
Friday, August 21st, 2015 8:07 am

I’m looking forward to my second LD.

Programming:
Java (LibGdx)

Graphics:
I’ll probably use Aseprite

Sound/Music:
I’m spending today looking for some good tools, in the hope that I’ll have time for making sound and music for my game this time.

 

The N.I.D. Project – Post compo version

Posted by
Friday, May 8th, 2015 11:27 am

Post-compo version of The N.I.D. Project

As I briefly mentioned in the post-mortem I posted earlier, I had a look at my TODO list of unimplemented features from the Compo, as well as the very constructive comments on my game, and decided to spend 16 hours extra on enhancing my game (corresponding to having submitted the game as a Jam entry), just to see how much of a difference an extra day can do.

 

To re-cap, in the game, you play a mind-reading surveillance weapon, in the form of a cloud of nanites, which can infect and jump between human hosts. The objective is to infiltrate an enemy facility, gather vital intelligence about the weapons being developed there, and escape.

 

Download the new version from my entry page (it has been added as a text link near the bottom of the entry description), if you want to try out the new features :-)

 

New features include:

  • Smoother movement (repeatedly requested in the comments :) )
  • The ability to probe the minds of your hosts, discovering their secrets, and finding ways to manipulate their actions.
  • Visual feedback on when it is possible to transfer to a new host.
  • Individual personality traits, which affect how your mind control powers affect your host.
  • Additional audio feedback.
  • More detailed statistics upon mission completion (as well as hidden bonus objectives).

The N.I.D. Project – A post mortem

Posted by
Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 2:46 pm

Introduction

As this was my first Ludum Dare, I thought it might be instructive for me to reflect a bit over the experience :-)

The game I made is called The N.I.D. Project. You play a mind-reading surveillance weapon, in the form of a cloud of nanites, which can infect and jump between human hosts. The objective is to infiltrate an enemy facility, gather vital intelligence about the weapons being developed there, and escape.

The NID Project - screenshot


What went right?

The concept:
I used a few hours on brainstorming the theme, deciding on the idea of an unconventional weapon which used some kind of mind control or possession. Combining these elements with the concept of infiltration, resulted in a pretty solid concept, because I could continuously draw new ideas from it during development. The hardest part was to filter the resulting list of possible features, so that I only considered features which could be completed within the 48 hour time limit.

The mechanics:
Gameplay-wise, I was going for a mood which would combine an element of exploration with an element of planning. I decided early on that the player should not be able to move by himself. Instead he would have to lie in wait, observing the personnel inside the base, and choosing the right time to “ambush” them, in order to make progress. This means that the game is more of a puzzle game than an action game, but I think the mechanics worked out pretty well. In order to accentuate the exploration aspect, I also implemented an “exploration fog of war” mechanic, so that you gradually reveal the base as your host enter the different areas. To enhance the mood, since you control a mind-reading weapon, I also put a lot of effort in simulating the “minds” of the personnel as well, so that you can see details about what your current host is thinking/doing (this was implemented by exposing a lot of the AI-states through the UI, by giving them meaningful names).

Time management:
While I did not have time to implement all the features on my “nice to have” list, I still think that time management was one of the things that went right. I kept a TODO list of features, and focused on gradually enhancing the core features, so that the game was playable at all times. The only exception was when I discovered that I had forgotten to make the menu-screens – luckily it only took around an hour to make them, or I’d been in trouble :-) I focused on having the basic game features ready at the end of the first day, allowing me to concentrate on enhancements all of day 2.

The graphics:
While my graphics would probably be considered functional at best, in comparison to a lot of the other great games here, I still consider the graphics a huge success compared to my usual results :-). Following recommendations from this site, I tried out Aseprite, which is the first drawing program I have ever tried, in which I can be somewhat productive :-)

Sufficient rest:
As the Compo started at 3 AM in my local time, I was able to go to bed early, and start working directly after a night’s sleep. I made sure to get 6 hours of sleep after the first day, and I made sure to go outside for a walk a few times during the Compo as well. This meant that I stayed effective for most of the compo (although I was a bit exhausted in the last few hours)

Practice with development tools:
I used Java with LibGDX to develop the game. I spent the weekend before the Compo on making a few small games and tests in LibGDX to acquaint myself with the framework, and this allowed me to be much more productive during the Compo.


 

What could have gone better?

Music and sound:
I had planned to do some kind of music for the game, but looking at my TODO-list I decided that implementing more game play features would probably be a more effective use of my time. For the next Ludum Dare, I should definitely practice a bit beforehand on learning some basic music skills and/or relevant programs.

GUI:
I am not satisfied with the GUI. The exploration/mind-reading details of the game required a lot of text, and the indirect control required a few UI controls. But I don’t feel that the UI meshes very well with the game map. Perhaps a more sharply divided GUI might have been better, rather than trying to “blend” the text areas with the game area.

Map-building:
I ended up spending a lot of time on creating the map, since I basically ended up with representing the map in a handful of text-files, and then parsing them into the game. For my next Ludum Dare, I should probably find an appropriate map-editor, and declare a parsing-library beforehand, in order to read the map made in the editor.

Smoother character movements?
This has been mentioned a few times in the comments of my game. I would probably not have had the time for the extra complexity, but I am considering adding this to a post-compo version, just to see if it “works better”


 

Thoughts about a post-compo version:

Looking at my TODO list of unimplemented features, as well as the very constructive comments on my game, I’ll definitely  make a post-compo version of the game (including experimenting with smoother movement). I am considering spending 16 hours on enhancing the game (corresponding to having submitted the game as a Jam entry), just to see how much of a difference an extra day can do :-)

I’m in!

Posted by
Friday, April 17th, 2015 2:28 pm

I’m in! This will be my first LD.

I’ll be using Java/LibGDX

 

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