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Over 100 Ratings!

Posted by
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 9:11 pm

Thank you everyone who rated my game. Just surpassed 100 today! Yay!

And if you haven’t yet, now’s a good time to try this awesome-hard rhythm game I made. =)

100 Games Later… Some Favorites/Highlights!

Posted by
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 11:48 pm

Woo, got to 100 games played and rated. It’s a lot of fun, but also a lot tougher than expected since I like giving some useful feedback to each game’s creator(s). Didn’t succeed on all counts, but I think I did a pretty good job.

Anyway, I guess I’m not the first one doing this but I think I’ll celebrate my 100 games mark with a little highlight reel of my favorite games so far!

 

True Treasure of Kartoffelschloss
http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/?action=preview&uid=20884

Of the 100 games I played, at least 5 of them had the “you lose an ability/item after each level” mechanic as the core minimalism thread in the game. This game executed it amazingly well. At first it looks like a decent platformer with bad wall jumping, but once you get through a few levels it becomes very deep and one of the funniest and most emotional games I’ve played this LD.

 

Follow The Line
http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/?action=preview&uid=17883

Very simple and polished one-button game. Challenging and frustrating, just like a one-button game should be. It’d probably make a very good mobile game.

 

Centroid
http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/?action=preview&uid=12606

Puzzle game where you find the center of mass of a shape. I felt like I’ve seen the idea before but nevertheless it’s still damn original and the execution is great.

 

Be The Wind
http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/?action=preview&uid=22673

Not so much a game, more a fun little zen garden. You swoosh around, plant trees, make the procedurally generated trees swoosh around, and smile. Found this one on Reddit, actually.

 

Gods Will Be Watching
http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/?action=preview&uid=11045

The gorgeous LucasArts adventure style graphics is the least impressive thing about this survival adventure. You are stranded on a planet and you have 30 days to get out. In the meantime you have to manage crew morale, food, fix a radio, and generally not get killed by one of the many things that want to kill you. It’s reminiscent of Oregon Trail, if Oregon Trail involved decisions like “should I kill off the mom who is infected with a deadly alien virus so everyone else can eat her rations?”.

 

Unfortunately, my Unity Player decided to completely crap out on me this last week, so I haven’t played any of the Unity games yet. Hopefully I’ll be able to do that soon because some of these Unity games look damn good!

Oh here have a shameless plug of my own game. My favorite comment so far is that it’s almost as mean as Super Hexagon. =)

Post-Compo Facepalm Moment

Posted by
Monday, April 29th, 2013 5:57 pm

So my game, Canon, is a fast-paced rhythm action game where you control 4 player characters and making tight synchronized jumps in sequence. What would be really bad is if the obstacles each player character faced were somehow desynchronized do the jumps become even tighter and almost impossible.

And that’s what happened in one of the levels because I forgot that 0 is a number. Turns out that since I made that level last (I made and tested the hardest levels before it) I was good enough to pass it even with a bug that made the jumps extra challenging, so I didn’t even notice it.

But that’s not the facepalm moment! The thing that made me feel dumb is that I’ve actually fixed the bug three hours before deadline (after I uploaded the original game and had someone comment on the unexpected difficulty of that level) and compiled everything. I just forgot to upload it!

So I hope that uploading, a day after the deadline, a fix I made before the deadline is cool.

/facepalm

Canon – My LD 26 Solo Entry

Posted by
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 3:01 pm

Woo. I’m finally done with my first Ludum Dare entry! The game is called Canon. You can find the LD entry here.

shot1 shot2 shot3

Screenshots don’t really convey the game very well. You can watch a gameplay video I made of some of the later levels. Or just play the game on Kongregate. (I’m doing a couple more rounds of bug testing before submitting it to LD.)

It’s a very simple “run and jump” game with a small difference: the game takes place on a square. Instead of moving in a straight line the obstacles move around the sides of the central square, and you control a jumper block on every side. So in essence, you’re playing four games at once, each slightly offset from the other.

A canon, if you will.

And to reinforce the idea of a canon, each jumper makes a nice little tone (same note, different octaves) when it jumps. So what started as a simple idea of “hey what happens when you change the topology of an autorunner?” became a crazy mix of run and jump and rhythm and music and patterns. I suppose that my interpretation of the theme (beyond the minimalist graphics) was that I took a very minimalist genre and added lots of repetition to it.

Oh and it has Dvorak keyboard support and Kongregate stats, because I am crazy.

Inspiration

This game was definitely inspired by Canabalt, and the working title of the game was actually Canonbalt—the last level of the game is still named Canonbalt as a tribute. Other inspirations came from weird musical things like handbell ringing and shape note singing. The arrangement of the octaves actually comes from a somewhat obscure American vocal music tradition, and having them arranged this way means that you rarely get successive octaves being played and so things don’t sound boring. The ideas of a finite number of repetitions per level, a practice loop (for the relaxed difficulty), the music happening as a result of player reaction instead of a built-in metronome and some of the level designs were inspired by my long time obsession with American folk dances.

Ludum Dare

This was my first LD and my first real game, though it’s my second game jam and probably my twentieth game if you count all the joke games and fan games (using/referencing other IPs/assets) I’ve made. Oh and I guess I made some crappy Visual Basic games decades ago but those don’t count. The theme definitely made the competition much, much easier as I’m pretty bad at art and music composition and being able to finish all my art in less than five minutes meant I had more time for other things. I’ve slept more than I’ve been led to believe that LD participants should partially because of the theme and partially because Stencyl 3, the toolkit I have been using, is stupidly fast and powerful. Perhaps I will learn what it’s really like when the next theme is “Fancy Art and Full Orchestral Music”.

Post-Mortem

Not that I’ve gotten much feedback yet, but I think the biggest issue I’ll run across is level design. First of all, there were definitely not enough levels. I find myself wishing for more when I playtest the game, and I definitely have ideas for more varied and challenging levels. The problem is that I’m not very good at the game myself (I had to cut out about 50% of the footage from the gameplay video because they were of me failing) and so it’ll be tough making sure any more levels get tested properly. That brings me to the other thing: I’m not very good at games like this. A lot of time was spent making sure that all the jumps and levels were possible, but that meant that for people who are really good at the genre the hardest levels would not be too challenging.

 

 

Oops!

Posted by
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 1:43 pm

Accidentally deleted about 1/3 my code! Good thing the pseudocode (which was the hard part) was backed up?

First Ludum Dare!

Posted by
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 12:54 am

Woo, first time doing The Most Famous Game Jam Ever.

Working title of the game is Canonbalt. It’s four basically autorunners played in tandem. Currently most of the design is done and the core game mechanics (jumping, gaps, etc.) are done. The next step is to flesh out how to store level data, figure out the death/failure mechanic, implement some UI and do some prettying up of things.

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