Ludum Dare 27
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 17
About Spiridios (twitter: @spiridios)
Spiridios is a Software Developer in Redmond, Wa who likes to try his hand at making games now and then.
Could the theme “10 seconds” be interpreted as 10 individual seconds? Could a game be made where something interesting could happen inside of 1 second? From those questions came Snap Encounters, an RPG with no RPG elements due to lack of time.
Was the experiment a success? Feedback so far is pretty unanimous: 1 second is too short to make a real decision and there’s too much text.
Too Much Text
Since this is a story-based game, that’s like saying an FPS has too much shooting. Since reading is a free action and isn’t timed, I’m not sure this is a valid criticism or just an issue of wrong target audience. I can certainly tweak it a bit since my writing does tend toward verbosity.
1 second is too short
As implemented, a player must examine the 32×48 pixel encounter creature, examine their two 48×48 pixel choices, interpret all that, and pick a choice appropriate for the encounter. All within one second. Since there’s no HP, making the wrong choice means you die and have to slog through the same encounters all over again (or give up and go play a more fun game).
How To Fix
I think 1 second can still work, but there needs to be a lot less for the player to process for each encounter. My tentative idea is to remove the randomized choices entirely. For each encounter you get the same three choices: fight, flee, or fraternize. The tutorial part of the game will teach these to you, so that by the time you need to make a snap decision, all you have to think about is “oh, that’s an ogre and I’m level 1, RUN!” instead of “That’s an ogre, my choices are, uh, let’s see. Oops, too late, I’m dead.”
Also, the sting of making a wrong choice will be reduced when the RPG elements are introduced. Instead of “oops, I gotta go through all that again?” it’ll be “ouch, I hope I find a health potion soon.”
If you want to see how hard making a decision in 1 second really is, go play Snap Encounters, it’s HTML5, so should run just about anywhere that has web and a keyboard.
It’s just after midnight here so there’s 18 hours to go! I have two of my ten required encounters in. The encounters are hard to get a screenshot of since they only last 1 second, so here’s a shot of the title screen. Yes, I know the text is a bit hard to read over the trees. That’ll be fixed… Time permitting.
Oh, seems I failed to say “I’m in”.
I’m using C#/XNA, SpiridiEngine, with a port to HTML5 via JSIL after compo end. The game code itself is pushed periodically to bitbucket in case my desktop burns down, takes my file server with it, and I have to continue working using only my underpowered laptop.
When I thought of minimalism, I thought of removing the entire visual experience and leaving only sound – essentially making you blind. It turns out I wasn’t the only one who thought of minimizing graphics to near non-existence without going the text adventure route. Here’s a rundown of the games I’ve found so far in which limited vision play a role. Feel free to link in the comments more games in which limited vision is a mechanic, I’d love to play more takes on this!
- You Must Escape
- Out of Darkness
- Come No Closer (this one’s a bit on the edge, since you do get a flashlight and there’s no downside to using it)
- The Blind MazzzZZZZe of Colors
- Blind guy Vs Zombies
- BlindSight (another flashlight game, but the flashlight does play into the mechanic)
- Conversion (my game)
Many many thanks go to Kevin Gadd for implementing panning support in JSIL, despite my feeble and failed attempts at implementing it myself. And not only doing it, but doing it in three days! You can now play Conversion in Chrome at least. It may work in Safari (I do not have a Mac to test it on). It does not work in Firefox.
So for anyone who skipped this amazing(ly short) audio experience because it required Windows and XNA, go rate it now! Unless you’re a diehard Firefox or IE fan who refuses to use any other browser, then, err, have a puppy.
I wrote a game titled Conversion, after the condition known as Conversion Blindness. You cannot see, so you must complete the game using only your sense of hearing and sense of touch. It’s minimalist by reducing your senses and distilling the environment down to the remaining senses. The game is intentionally vague about what’s going on in an attempt to immerse you in the confusion of someone who just had a traumatic event trigger blindness.
That’s already a bit of a spoiler, so if you don’t want to be spoiled further, go rate Conversion and come back. We’ll wait.
It’s almost halfway and and my game logic is kinda sorta there. I just got done recording a pile of sound effects, since the majority of my content is audio in nature. I need to sort through them and edit them and then I can actually get into the meat of the game.
I’m trying to make an audio-centric game, but XNA’s positional audio doesn’t work like I had hoped it would. Plus, it’s not JSIL supported so no web version. Pondering faking it with 2D audio so I can control more aspects of it and get JSIL support.
Here’s a screenshot of the only screen that’s not developer-only at this point.
Argh, what an awful theme….. Except, I’ve got an interesting concept for a game. Dunno if I can pull it off, but I’m actually excited.
Potato’s results are in:
|12.||Potato||Votes for: 1086||Votes neutral: 204||Votes against: 1311||Total votes: 2601|
Whether you voted for potato, voted against potato, or voted meh potato, potato has the most voter turnout for any theme in Ludum Dare history* Long live/Death to/I don’t care about Potato!
* well, technically I only looked back to LD 21, but back in those days we’re only talking a few hundred participants rather than thousands.
I declared my in-ness a couple weeks ago, but I still need to declare my library usage:
- Compilers: Visual C# Express, JSIL
- Libraries: XNA, SpiridiEngine
- Editors: Visual C# Express, Notepad++
- Debuggers: Visual C# Express, Chrome developer tools
- Graphics: GIMP
- Map/Level editing: Tiled
- Music: autotracker-bu, OpenMPT, and possibly Abundant Music
- Sound Effects: bfxr, possibly my iPod classic + microphone
- Sound other: Audacity
- Whatever else I need as I go.
Also, I guess I should throw fuel on the potato pile. Uh, potatoes contain poisonous solanine when green, have a famine named after them, can be used as ammo in cannons, and are starchy. Potatoes are extremely dangerous and should be banned! Therefore, potato is a wonderful theme for LD!
I’m running through the Slaughter and I notice a pattern:
- If Wishes Were Horses
- Past Prologue
- Move Along Home
- The Storyteller
- In The Hands Of The Prophets
- A Man Alone
- Captive Pursuit
Maybe I’m just showing my own biases by noticing a pattern here….
(Edited to add another that just showed up)