About Stals (twitter: @StalsKnight)

Game Designer, Developer. I write about design and game development as well as game jam stuff on my blog here: Let's Make a Game

Entries

 
Ludum Dare 34
 
Ludum Dare 32
 
October Challenge 2014
 
Ludum Dare 30
 
MiniLD #53
 
Ludum Dare 29
 
Ludum Dare 28
 
Ludum Dare 27

Stals's Trophies

Stals's Archive

From Ludum Dare 30 to Release

Posted by (twitter: @StalsKnight)
Sunday, June 5th, 2016 7:51 am

m4RplzJ
It’s been a long road, but we are finally closing on a release. Lintrix was originally called Linker and built during Ludum Dare #30 http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=25969

It’s been over 22 months since then. We got a ton of encouragement here for the original jam-game, which was a major contributing factor to continue working on it. The original prototype was voted highly, and we tried to keep what was good about it in the final version, though improving the visuals and the flow of the game, adding a bunch of new mechanics including moving crystals which we can’t imagine a game without now.

[ LD 30 ]
25969-shot12
[ Current ]synCT5n

We want to thank Ludum Dare & Mike for inspiring developers all over the world to create amazing things. Lintrix wouldn’t exist without this community, and four indie developers from Russia would have never come together to make this game.

Here’s our trailer:

+ some gifs

Lintix will be coming out on iOS this summer and also on Android a bit later after and maybe PC in the future.

We will also be releasing articles on the time manipulation and design process soon to which you may want to keep an eye out, either follow me on Twitter or check our Dev Blog, Thank You!

NGHGM Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @StalsKnight)
Monday, January 4th, 2016 11:39 am

It is the last day judging already, and we haven’t posted a postmortem yet. Let’s fix this =)

Some of the things I will talk about reference game elements/systems so you can check out the game first HERE. (We only spent a couple more hours on the Post-Jam version. This version makes it a bit easier to understand what is going on, so if you maybe already tried the game but didn’t understand it – please try the Post-jam version)

Bad

– We didn’t time-lapse the process (I feel so sad about that)03
– The game didn’t have the motivation to do your best with each individual motherboard
(kinda fixed it in a post-jam version by adding a motherboard counter that is you final game score (lower is better), but it is still not ideal)
– We didn’t have time for better feedback (for example adding a preview of your move, showing how much each stat will increase and why). The game may seem simple to implement, but there is a lot of systems and UI.
02– Theme. We think the theme is kinda there, because your skills increase, as well as the score and stats you achieve each time. But this is definitely not a game 100% dedicated to theme. We didn’t want to sacrifice some of the fun or add some arbitrary things that make the game less accessible (like two button keyboard controls where the mouse would be ten times better) just to fit the theme.
– Difficulty / Tutorial. For a random free game on the internet we ask the player to understand too much, and because there is no tutorial, you can only understand it with “tips” section or some feedback (i.e. changing stats after you place the card).

Good

– Sound and Music. Thanks to Mote Keatinge we have awesome sound effects and music05
– Playtesting. When we came up with an idea for a game, we immediately started playing it on paper, just writing different rules on pieces of paper. This helped us understand what else the game needed to be more fun, finding out the right board sizes and types of cards.  Playtesting also helped a lot with balancing the game and finding a good amount of “cool” you get at the start and spend on each card.
– Playable digital version. Because we a had a paper prototype we didn’t need the playable version as soon as you need it otherwise, but to test card upgrades and replayability we still needed it sooner than later. Considering the number of rules and UI work getting the fully playable version at the evening of the second day was pretty good and gave a much of time to balance this stuff as well.
– Tools. We went with Unity with which we are quite familiar with at this point, so googling didn’t take up like half the time ^_^

We are pretty much pleased with how the game turned out and maybe will make it into a full game some day.
See you on the next LD!

>>>> Play Here <<<<

ForgeCraft Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @StalsKnight)
Friday, May 1st, 2015 8:44 am

This was our fifth Ludum Dare and we had some goals this time:

  •  to make just one mechanic – failed!
  •  polish it – kinda failed!
  •  will not work untill 5 in the morning – totaly failed!
  •  all went as planned? – YYEEEEEYYYY!!!!!IMG_0665

We spent 2 days in a coworking with people playing Mortat Kombat near us, and table football tempting to be played (which we did ^_^)

IMG_0659
Overall concept was that the player would collect resources to craft weapons and give them to the clients.
The first idea was a game about worker placement – you would have a worker and a few places for him to work – like a forest (to get wood), some place to get stone and so on. You would get requests from the clients that require specific amount of that resource. You would get money for it and spend it on getting more workers and improving storage space. But that felt like the player would not have a lot to do, and would just watch what happens. We didn’t think it would be very fun to play, and we didn’t want to spend most of the Ludum to check if it is true or not.

match
So we scraped the idea and thought of other ways you can collect resources (still keeping the clients) and so the “match 3” mechanic came to mind, but as any managment games we thought we should give the player more things to care about. From the setting – really quickly Forge machanic was added (where you would click on the Thermometer to increase the heat of the forge, and specific weapons require specific heat that you should maintain.)
And so we started implementing it, thinking how should we make a win condintion and what could you spend your money on.

Here are major pros and cons:

The Good:
– Fun
– Game’s visual and sound feedback that we had time for (like needed temperature and its highlight)
– Had time to test and fix bugs at the end
– Potential for improvment and full release
– Some things are intuitive
– What you need to complete the request
– Event heat becomes obvious after few iterations of trying to get how it works

The Bad:
– First day was spent designing the game, and coming up with something interesting
– Didn’t have time for proper health implementation (in not much thought put into it, and because there is low replayablity (without permanent power ups and stuff) we thought for the Jam it would be best just to remove the loss condition
– Didn’t have time for everything else
– Almost no strategy, only twitch skills
– No visual feedback for successful/failed orders (like screenshake and specific labels)
– Upgrade button is not attracting your attention after first appering, some people didn’t see it even after 20+ minutes of playing
– Bad tutorial (nobody reads it):

  •  not a swap match 3
  •  diagonals are allowed
  •  bad final goal explanation

Timelapse of the development process: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sX_46eaI1k

For some pic’s and updates on other games we develop you can follow
https://twitter.com/TheBrenor
https://twitter.com/Svetozzzar

Untitled 5

Play!

ForgeCraft Timelapse

Posted by (twitter: @StalsKnight)
Thursday, April 30th, 2015 2:16 am

After a few days of trying to make a timelapse in a software that for some reason was making video just black, we finally solved the issue, so here you go:

For some pic’s and updates on other games we develop you can follow
https://twitter.com/TheBrenor
https://twitter.com/Svetozzzar

Untitled 5

                                                      Play!

Some LD32 Picks

Posted by (twitter: @StalsKnight)
Saturday, April 25th, 2015 1:57 pm

Game are listed in no particular order:

Fathom by Joe Williamson

1fathon

Ex-Sword-Stential Crisis by Team Ex-Sword-Stential

53184-shot0-1429588539.jpg-eq-900-500

Flail Rider by jushii

40591-shot3-1429561289.png-eq-900-500

Badass Inc by deepnight

2982-shot1-1429618716

Genemon by Pietro Ferrantelli

2

Also please check out our game: ForgeCraft
Untitled 5

Linker Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @StalsKnight)
Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 8:35 am

25969-shot0

We haven’t decided what to write as an introduction, so we will just describe what went right and what went wrong during our 72-hour jam.

The Good
– Task management – it was our first game jam with more than one programmer in a team so we were a little bit worried about how it would go. But we’ve separated our responsibilities well and haven’t disturbed each others work much.
– One solid and well-polished mechanic
– Music – our friend, Lind Erebros, helped us on a very late stage by making a background music just in a few hours (https://soundcloud.com/svetozzzar/linker-main-theme)
– Unity usage – helped us to speed up the development. This is also our third game which uses Unity so we didn’t need to spend half of the time googling =) (Unity prefabs are great to design levels and allow to implement additional functionality at the same time)
– 2 of 3 days spent together in a co-working space – personal comunication really helped us with quick decisions about game design and priorities
– Art – we got an artist this time who made stylized trixel graphics which looks just awesome

25969-shot1
The Bad
– There’s no need in a right mouse button that deletes existing lines. Unfortunately, we understood this only when it was already implemented.
– Difficulty curve isn’t smooth enough
– Only one game mechanic
– Only 10 levels
– Worlds and hearts use the same animation, we couldn’t find a way to randomize the starting frame
– We didn’t have enough time to implement parallax and some animation for shields (lines)
– “Game Completed” screen is not rewarding enough for the player
– No storyline (even though game description has some foundation)

Conclusion

It was fun. We need to rest now -)
If you are interested in the later development process you can follow the blog here: http://letsmakeagame.net/ or http://lintrixgame.com

LD Page: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=25969

PLAY!

Linker Timelapse

Posted by (twitter: @StalsKnight)
Friday, September 5th, 2014 4:34 am

It’s been more than a week and we finally managed to make a timelapse video of the Ludum Dare 30 game creation.

If you haven’t played “Linker” – you can play it here: http://stals.itch.io/linker
LD Page: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=25969

For some pic’s and updates on other games we develop you can follow
https://twitter.com/StalsKnight or the blog here: http://letsmakeagame.net/

Play!

Dream Ticket Timelapse (miniLD#53)

Posted by (twitter: @StalsKnight)
Thursday, July 24th, 2014 3:59 am

This ludum dare was our first attempt at making a game in Unity, and also we thought why not try making a timelapse with screen capture + a webcam, sometimes we enjoy watching those ourself.

So here it is:

You can play a game for your self from the miniLD page:
http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/minild-53/?action=preview&uid=25969

For some pic’s and updates on other games we develop you can follow
https://twitter.com/TheBrenor

Depths Beneath Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @StalsKnight)
Friday, May 9th, 2014 6:48 am

 

25969-shot0

We are team of two gamedev guys from Russia with holy dream of there own game with blackjack and hooks. And so we made “Depths Beneath” for the LudumDare 29 Jam.

 

WHAT WENT RIGHT

made a lot
Even though we were making some stuff for the first time – we made a lot: upgrades, coins, wrenches, fuel, different levels, ending, silhouettes, moving camera, ect.

addictive gameplay cycle
Dive – collect coins – buy upgrades – dive deeper – collect more coins – buy more upgrades – and so on

sound effects
At first we used SFXR, but effects were not very good. We change it with more cool and atmospheric from the freesound.org and liked it a lot.

auto-hook
At first player could launch hooks by clicking in the direction and it was not that fun.

hook_click

We rethinked this ability and made it an auto-hook!

hook_more!

managing resources
So that you need to choose what you move towards currently – to repair, refuel or go for the gold

goodies between levels
After the first time you see it – it gives you more of a purpose to go down

sweets_small_di3

http://inception.davepedu.com/ – adds more drama

 

WHAT WENT WRONG

too big for 2 people
As it turned out the initial idea was too big to make for two people in three days. We worked really hard 12+ hours a day, but still didn’t have time for the “gameover” screens that explains why you start again, as well as some warning text in advance, particles, correct invincibility, easing, etc

neither bad nor good visual
Haven’t spent enough time thinking about art and whole visual of game. Immediately started drawing and failed in the end, when whole game looks like it was gathered from different places

3rd day was monday
There were not enough time because we were working that day – but still spent 8+ hours after work on a LD game until the deadline

“collect all” bug
(still exist lol)

balance
Almost impossible to complete the jam version (whiners :-P)

 

End thoughts

There was no blackjack -(

In the process we panicked about a few things – for example when all sound effect were distorted in the game and we didn’t know it needed 16bit 22khz mono .wav but managed to solve all the major problems.

Anyway making the game was really fun and we will definitely participate next time with a smaller idea. Hopefuly.
Currently, we are working on an super awesome post-jam version (for mobile)
You can checkout jam and post-jam versions here:

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-29/?action=preview&uid=25969

Finished

Posted by (twitter: @StalsKnight)
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 2:23 pm

I Finally finished!

That was an awesome experience – i always wanted to make a tilebased game – so  i thought of making a rogue-lite/like.

I thought i would not have the time for floor generation, and in the end i didnt. I made some levels in txt and just select random from that list – which turned out ok.

game

Was bug fixing for the last couple of hours  a bug where labels would  not despawn it they were playing playing and animation during floor transition – and got a bit frustrated,

but still had a lot of fun making it. Definitely will participate next time.

You can check out the game for your self  – here:

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=25969

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