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“A Pong Story” & the story behind it

Posted by
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 6:45 pm

Hello all,

This was my second LD compo (first was #29). I wasn’t even going to join until my friend told me the theme behind it. The second game I ever created (years ago now) was a story-driven avoidance game where I first learned what it meant to “break the fourth wall” (by a commenter on my game). With the theme being “connected worlds”, I decided it was time to return to that idea.

With a late start and work today, I had to keep the concept simple, so I decided that a Pong remake would be the best option for the base game. The point of the entry is the story anyways. I decided on three parts to the story and thus three levels to the game. The game aspect was completed yesterday. Last night, I added in the dialogue (was going to also do the ending scene, but never got around to it).

Originally, the idea was to add in the music and sound effects this morning so that I’d have time for the voice-overs afterwards. However, it was not meant to be. This was my first time ever using cgMusic, so it took some time to learn (and then figure out how to convert the file). I didn’t know about its existence until a friend mentioned on my livestream (I was taping the entire process).

In the end, I’m mostly pleased with the end result. I could have done a better job with the music if I had learned how to use it faster, and the lack of voiceovers is disappointing as it would have added a lot to the mood, but that was a stretch goal right from the start. I did get all of my main ideas in it, so it certainly feels more “complete” than my LD 29 game. I’ll be interested to see if I can do better with this game over that one.

If you want to play/rate it, please visit the game page (the game is on Kongregate, so it’s easy to be able to play it). Thank you! :)

End of My First Day

Posted by
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 10:07 pm

As I started late, today was the first day I had to work on the compo. I’m pleased to say that the game is all but done on the simple end of things. The gameplay is solid (for a one-day game :P). The difficulty levels have been implemented. I have the text part of the dialogue finished and added in. Doing a simple game idea definitely helps with the time constraint. I will say that it’s tougher to do a game in black & white than I thought it would be. I had to fudge it a bit to do the menu.

Still left to do:
Sound Effects
Voiceovers (last thing I’m adding)
Ending Scene

2.5 Hours In (for me)

Posted by
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 12:27 pm

Due to my late start, I’ve now only been working for about 2 1/2 hours so far. Progress has gone well overall so far. I’m being as true to the style and feel of the original Pong game as possible. It definitely has a retro feeling going on. I guess that’s a second way it connects two worlds… the past and the present. The end game will have just three levels, each with dialogue (and hopefully voice-overs). I hope to also add in a “quick play” option to play a level once it has been beaten in the story mode, as well as multiple difficulties.

If anyone is curious to watch, I’m streaming it at livestream.com/stencyl (am taking a quick break right now, but I saved the creation of part 1, so that’s watchable).

The three levels will end up being:
1. Classic Pong
2. Reverse Pong (you try to lose; not as easy as it sounds :P)
3. Duo Pong (two paddles at once working for you; one is yours, one is AI)

Joining in Late

Posted by
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 9:57 am

Well, the compo is over a quarter over with, but I’m going to try to join in anyways. I have a quick concept that I hope will do well despite my lack of artistic (both graphic and sounds) abilities. Last night, I realized that the best connected worlds are ours and video games. I’ve made games that have broken the fourth wall in the past, and I plan to do so again with a simple game of Pong. 😉

Post-Mortem (Invasion From Below, 48-hr Entry)

Posted by
Thursday, May 1st, 2014 8:00 pm

First off, I’m not even quite sure what I’m supposed to write here; I’m just assuming it’s supposed to be a summary of the process and what I learned…

My entry, Invasion from Below (http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-29/?action=preview&uid=36095) was a 48-hour entry, which was actually completed in about 10 hours done live in my livesteam (www.livestream.com/stencyl).

As the livestream name indicates, the entire game was made with the game creator Stencyl. I’ve been using Stencyl almost since it came out (version 1.1), but there was a new API added in 3.1: the Image API. I guess it’s a pretty common thing in most game creation tools, but it’s brand new for Stencyl.

Thus, I decided that a 48-hour competition (in which I knew I’d only have a few hours of the 48) would be a great time to learn how to use it. Yeah, it was brilliant. I had many issues right from the start and actually drastically changed the game soon after starting (was originally going to use bullets, lasers, etc. from the buildings at the top of the screen instead of laying mini mines).

The idea for the game was born out of the desire to use the image API in a creative way. I originally thought of the enemies burrowing upwards and making tunnels behind them that would speed up enemies that followed after them. I quickly realized that was going to be too much with the time constraint, and the game you see is the result instead.

I also quickly realized that I was going to have to give up in certain areas in order to finish on time. Those areas were graphics and especially sound (there is no sound at all in the game).

In the end, I’m mostly pleased with the result. I do realize that I should have at least added sound effects (I REALLY suck at making music). Also, I really should have tried to take more time balancing the game. It’s really tough when you first play, but when you get down the system, it’s possible to get really far.

One thing I’m surprised with is the overall response from fellow LD players. I personally didn’t think my own game was that great in the end (for playing; the technical aspects behind it are pretty impressive since this is my first Image API application and got it all to work), but overall the comments have been decent. The lack of sound will definitely kill it in the end, but I’m glad that it seems like a lot of people are finding it to be a worthwhile game.

In the end, I only used three resources: Stencyl, Paint.NET, and, of course, some music to code to ;).

Will I ever do another LD? I tend to doubt it. This past weekend really wore me out; I’m still recovering from it. If the game does a lot better than I’m expecting it to though, I may just go ahead and try again, focusing on a simpler idea to pull off.

Thanks for reading!

Well, I Made It in Time…

Posted by
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 5:04 pm

This was a pretty insane contest for me. I ended up basing my game on the brand-new Image API in Stencyl, which took a while to learn. In the end, I’m proud of what I ended up making. I’m not expecting it to do well, especially with my graphics and lack of sound, but I had to focus on what I could do.

Thank you in advance to anyone who rates it (especially those who don’t totally hate it ;P).

Link: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-29/?action=preview&uid=36095

Officially beginning…

Posted by
Friday, April 25th, 2014 9:28 pm

This is just another one of those generic “I’m in” posts. I finally have an idea for a defense game that really fits the theme well. The entire thing will be streamed from start to finish on livestream.com/stencyl

Programming: Stencyl
Art: Paint.NET
Music/Sound Effects: Banging my head against a wall (am considering doing that literally just because I suck so bad at sounds… :P)

A Stupid Question

Posted by
Friday, April 25th, 2014 6:53 am

This is just a quick question: how do I set my profile image? I don’t see the option in the Profile center… I even tried uploading it as media, but I can’t seem to figure out this simple task :P.

Possibly Joining #29

Posted by
Friday, April 25th, 2014 6:43 am

There’s not really much to say here. I’m considering joining the LD. Some of my best games have come from 8-hour non-stop programming, which is what I’d need to do for this jam. Given the time constraint of my job, I’m not hoping for much, but it might be fun to see what happens and to stream my work in my livestream (livestream.com/stnecyl) and see how many show up.

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