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Ludum Dare 33
 
Ludum Dare 32
 
MiniLD 50
 
Ludum Dare 28
 
Ludum Dare 27

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I’m in!

Posted by
Friday, August 21st, 2015 7:58 pm

Can’t wait for Ludum Dare 33!  After some inconsistency in the past, I’m in now for 2 competitions in a row!

I’ll probably be using either GameMaker and MS Paint, or Adobe Flash and Adobe Illustrator for programming and art respectively.

My tentative goals this time around are to focus on polish and finally get some audio into my game.  We’ll see how that goes.

Good luck to everybody!

-Static 64

There’s Only One St. Nick Self-Assessment

Posted by
Friday, April 25th, 2014 3:12 pm

Ludum Dare #29 is upon us, and I realize I never made a review of my last game, There’s Only One St. Nick. So, better late than never; here are my thoughts:

For Ludum Dare #28, I decided to make a grid-based, real-time strategy game.  The player controls Santa Clause to manage the workshop and get ready for Christmas by hiring elves, making toys, and improving his skills.

What went well:

  • Strategy game mechanics
  • Development tools (Game Maker 8.1, MS Paint)
  • Game Balance

I decided to push myself for this Ludum Dare by making a strategic game, which I hadn’t done before.  Surprisingly, this worked very well.  I designed the “engine” to run like a wanted and be flexible to new mechanics.  This time around, the features weren’t quite as modular – I had to get a certain amount of mechanics working before the game was fun or playable.  However, once I set up the framework, I could enhance it bit-by-bit.  I had more features planned, but I managed to get in enough to make the game interesting and entertaining.

My development tools remained the same since last time, and this was fine.  Game Maker is not the best suit for a strategy game, but this actually made for an interesting challenge that I’m glad to have faced.

Lastly, the game balance feels just right.  The scoring system is a little off (see below), but the time spent on each activity (chopping wood, hiring elves, etc.) is perfect to create the fast-paced, zany feel I wanted the workshop to have.  There’s always something to do, but it never feels like much more than you can handle if you time it right.

 

What went poorly:

  • Interface
  • Lack of Sound
  • Scoring

Although the game’s info bar displays what you need to know, it can be hard to read and interpret, especially for a new player.  Additionally, I ran low on time at the end and had to rush to put on a title and end-screen.  This results in a very sloppy look.  I made the right choice in prioritizing gameplay, but it would have been better to have a cleaner appearance.

Again, I neglected to add sound to my project, which can be almost annoying while playing.  I would have loved to add some wacky background music and sound-effects, but I didn’t leave myself enough time to do so.

Finally, even though the game balance is spot-on, this is not reflected in the score as much as it should be.  My goal was to give the player points for every gift they delivered (this is the main driving goal of the game), as well as an “efficiency” score that rewards the player for delivering gifts as early as possible.  This means the player has to choose between upgrading their skills early to invest for the late-game or getting as many quick gifts in as they can.  I still think this system is good, but it isn’t properly tweaked and just doesn’t make much sense in it’s current valuations.

 

Final Thoughts:

Despite its flaws, I am proud to say that my game turned out to be a success.  It isn’t pretty, but the overwhelming consensus in the comments was that not only were the mechanics interesting, but the game was just plain fun.  And that is what I’d call the result of a successful 48 hours.

I Want to Play Your Games!

Posted by
Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 1:21 pm

After making my own, I’m itching to play all the other great games made last weekend.  But, I can mostly only play web-based versions, which are hard to find via searching.

So, if you’ve got a web-based game and want more reviews, post a link (or title) in the comments and I’ll try and play it.  Publicity for everyone! Win-win situation!

And it wouldn’t be right not to post my own, too (sadly not web-based, though) so:

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=22813

 

Edit:  Also, click the little heart button to like this page so others can see it and find games to play, too.  Thanks!

I’m In!

Posted by
Friday, December 13th, 2013 1:38 pm

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  And my first December Ludum Dare.  I’m in!

Story O’ Dare Assessment and Last Chance to Rate!

Posted by
Monday, September 16th, 2013 12:25 pm

As the voting for LD #27 winds down, I decided I should assess how my entry went, and give some last minute publicity for my game, Story O’ Dare.

Story O Dare Title

If you don’t know, Story O’ Dare is a collection of minigames, each based on a phase of the Ludum Dare competition.  I had planned it to be longer, and might release a post-compo version.  Let me know if you want to see that happen, please.

 

What Went Well:

  • Small scope
  • Development tools (Game Maker 8.1, MS Paint)
  • Modular level design
  • Humor

As this was my first entry into Ludum Dare,  I wanted to keep my scope reasonable so I could actually finish.  I really didn’t want to make a collection of minigames, but I decided it was probably the best way to finish with a completed game.  When I came up with the Wario Ware parody based on LD, I decided I had to go with it.

The “modular design” worked well, especially on Game Maker, because I could accomplish my game in chunks, and every feature I added could stand on its own and enhance the game.

Game Maker and Paint, while not the most sophisticated tools, served my purposes well.

Lastly, I give myself a thumbs-up for the humor I incorporated into the game.  I knew at the outset that the jokes in each level relating to the competition would be appreciated by some and lost on others.  And that’s what happened.  I knew my audience, and despite the fact that this approach limits the appeal, I think it helped me achieve my goal.

 

What went poorly:

  • The first level/minigame
  • Lack of sound
  • Few levels
  • Submission

I knew the first level of my game would be confusing.  Requiring players to click on an onscreen keyboard is strange enough, without the additional challenge of knowing exactly what to type.  Some players got the reference to the “I’m in!” blogs, but not as many as I hoped.  I still stand by my decision to include this stage, but if I were to do it again, I would put a few stages before it to draw in players more quickly.  I’m sure I turned many away on that first level before they got to the easier parts.

As far as sound goes, I consider my game’s lack thereof a forgivable, but undesirable.  I have never incorporated sound into a game before, and although I had hoped on getting it in, I just couldn’t pull it off.

I did manage to get a fair number of levels in, but I had more planned that I couldn’t finish in time.  I wanted to include other phases of LD, especially more about making games, but I had enough to make the game presentable, and I choose to create the simplest ones first to maximize my efficiency.  For better or for worse, quantity trumped quantity in this minigame collection.

Unrelated to the game, I ran into a big issue when it came time to submit.  Not realizing in advance that Ludum Dare did not host the entries, I had to scramble at 9:00 to find an alternative.  This won’t be an issue in the future, but it was agonizing at the time.

 

Again, let me know if you want to see more of what I planned in the form of a post-compo release.  Thanks for reading!

Wario Ware with a twist…

Posted by
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 4:09 pm

I didn’t want it to come to this, but 10 second Wario-Ware games it is.  So, prepare for –

Story O Dare Banner

I’m in!

Posted by
Friday, August 23rd, 2013 5:50 pm

Man, is that fun to say!

I’m ready for my first official Ludum Dare.  I tried to enter the mini LD 7dRTS but couldn’t find the time, so this will be my debut.

 

Thanks to Quill18 for his live broadcasts which introduced me to Ludum Dare ( back in LD 24 with “Pinbology”).  I’ve been following the competition since then, and now I’m ready to compete.  I’ll be using Game Maker 8.1 and MS Paint.  That’s all I know so far.

So, here we go.

Good luck to everybody!

I’m In!

Posted by
Sunday, July 21st, 2013 8:50 pm

I think that’s how it works….

 

So, this is my first LD event.  I found out about it around LD 24 when I watched Quill18 make “Pinbology”, and I’ve been following the competition since then.  I finally made an account for the last 48 hr compo, but haven’t been able to enter until now.

So here I am!  I love the RTS theme, and have an plan in mind.

Programming – Game Maker

Art – Paint

Scope – … yeah.  The game I have in mind is pushing the limits of what can be accomplished in 7 days, and what I can do even in more time.  I know that goes against all advice I’ve seen on here, but we’ll see how it goes.

 

Good luck to everybody!

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