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I’m in – that’s all I know at this point!

Posted by (twitter: @argontus_)
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 4:53 am

Ahhh LD and a free weekend? Nice! Time to get jammin’!

 

After sleeping for something like 10 hours in, I’m hopefully awake and ready to tackle the theme! I was hoping for something less action/violence-oriented, but perhaps an unconventional weapon could be something completely different than those that are used to kill? Gonna be tough to come up with a game plan. Tough, I say!

 

I will be using Unity with Playmaker this time, it’s a good opportunity to get to know Playmaker better. I’m also entering the Jam and not the Compo, since I might get company to help with the game and also I’m not sure how to tackle distributing the source when it’s built upon Playmaker. Plus I get more time to finish the game!

 

Ah well. Time to start scratching me head. Good luck everyone! Hoping to see great games this weekend!

MELD, a game of friendship and crossing distances

Posted by (twitter: @argontus_)
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 10:23 am

Well, I didn’t get it to the point I had hoped, but I submitted my entry nevertheless! Check it out! (web build doesn’t work because I used Unity 4.6 beta)

MELD is a game about friendship and crossing distances. It’s also annoyingly unfinished.

On the other hand, I got practice and learned more Unity, but on the other hand I think I planned better the last time I partook in Ludum Dare. At some point I lost my focus completely because I had no clear roadmap planned. Also, like I mentioned in the last update post, I was pretty distracted due to having new PC parts that I desperately wanted to try and benchmark, and also having a fresh OS with no programs.   So, what’s missing from the game?

  • First of all, the game can be finished. But it is not that funny, and it’s really quick, because I only made placeholder/test world. The game was supposed to have pieces of an artefact lying around in the four worlds, and multiple characters would have been needed to carry the pieces. After putting the artefact back together, the friends would have completed the level.
  • There are some issues with multiple characters in the same screen (camera follows only one).
  • Music, sounds, animation. Bells and whistles that make people want to try the game.
  • Controller support. The game was meant for 4 players in the same room from the beginning, but currently it can only be played with keyboard and switching characters.

 

Full playthrough of MELD

The future plan is to continue working on the game. I like the idea and would love to expand on it. Feel free to kick my butt via twitter (@argontuscreates) so I can get something done 😀

The second morning starts slow

Posted by (twitter: @argontus_)
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 3:10 am

Good <insert time of day>! I woke up after very tight sleeping, I was up for the most of the night trying to get my teleporting script to work. After sleeping (and bacon+eggs+fried bread!) I just typed it in, fixed a few small bugs and it works. I should start listening to myself when I’m pondering on whether to catch some sleep or try to continue with tired brain.

 

Anyway, my progress is still very slow. My new PC parts came on Friday and for the first time ever I actually have a fast, more high-end computer, and that eats some of the coding motivation because half the time I’m tempted to fire up some games to see if I can finally play them with more than 5 fps 😀 Also I upgraded from Windows 7 to 8.1 and downloading + installing programs takes some time, too, not to mention setting them up the way I like. Oh MonoDevelop, why do you have to be so uncooperative by default.

 

On to progress update! My game is about connecting four different worlds (well, the worlds are clones of each other for now) by matching the camera so that players can jump through gaps to each other’s worlds. I have still some problems to solve, like zooming the camera when multiple characters are in the same world so that all of them stay in the world’s camera view. And zooming might break the difficulty, so that’s something to think about. Also I don’t have any game rules in place, so the game can’t be finished. I’m worried that I can’t get enough functionality in to call it a real game by the end of the competition, but at least I’m getting practice and I most likely will continue working on the game afterwards, since I like the idea of a local 4-player co-op puzzler.

The worlds are separated from each other, so it is up to you to work the camera and get the four buddies together.

Slow progress

Posted by (twitter: @argontus_)
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 7:39 am

I’ve probably spent more time today cooking than coding! I came up with an idea in an hour or so after waking up and checking the theme, but I’ve hit a few snags implementing the idea. I’ve checked the LD page out every now and then and I really like how people interpret the theme very differently, so many great ideas out there that are genuinely novel and different to each other. I look forward to getting to play the games already!

 

My game is a 4-player game (1 to 4 players) with screen split into four worlds. Each character is controlled by a player, either simultaneously or if there are less than 4 human players, you can switch to whichever character you like. Each character explores their world and tries to match their camera so that their world connects with the adjacent world, in which case the characters can jump into each other worlds. I have a few alternative ideas for the objective of the game, but most likely each character has to find a piece of an artefact in their world and get another character to help them move it. When the four pieces of artefact are joined, you win!

 

Four worlds connected

 

The game doesn’t have a name yet, but I think that doesn’t really matter. It comes with time I guess! In other news, I just finished drawing the character thumbnails, I most certainly don’t have enough time to animate them all, but I’ll try to get all four in the game anyway. I feel it makes for a better multiplayer for each player to have their own character :) I kind of like how the thumbnail silhouettes turned out. Each of them feels different and in some way interesting.

 

Characters! But so much work!

I have more work to do than I can manage in the remaining time, but I think I’ll get something done. And I’ve grown to like the game idea so much I think I will continue working on the game even after LD. Back to work, then, I guess!

I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @argontus_)
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 12:38 am

Good morning! Or whatever time of day you’re currently having. Coffee, bacon, eggs and fried bread. Yum. Ludum Dare is only few times a year, so it’s nice to make it a bit more festive with an extravagant grease-fest breakfast!

 

I spent last night putting my new PC together and basking in the glory of its performance, as I’ve never really had a contemporarily powerful computer. Exciting to be finally able to use multiple programs at the same time, such as Unity and Photoshop, without the computer throwing violent fits of protest!

 

Connected worlds, eh? The first impression is: I don’t dislike it. Maybe I even like it! I’m currently jotting down ideas built around connected worlds, perhaps after a couple hours I get to start building a game.

 

I’m not yet sure if I’ll make it to the compo, but if not, then I’ll aim for the jam. Going by the compo rules anyway. I will use Unity, Photoshop, Shoebox, perhaps Audacity and sfxr, not sure about the music yet so I might use Inudge or something. Links to most of those are found in the Tools section of the site.

 

Good luck everyone! Have fun!

My favourite theme! Yay!

Posted by (twitter: @argontus_)
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 12:23 am

I was hoping that “Beneath the Surface” theme would be selected and what do you know – it made it! Too bad I won’t probably have time during the weekend to scrape up a game of any sorts. Oh well :) I like the theme so much that I should create perhaps a 1GAM out of it…

 

I had this idea of a modernised text adventure, with some graphics on the background and sounds & music to create atmosphere, non-static text that could appear in different parts of the screen, maybe even some real-time sequences. Seems that like most people here, my initial feeling of the theme leads underground, although ‘surface’ could really mean anything and going beneath the surface is simply passing a threshold.

 

Good luck everyone! I hope that really great games come out of this LD. If you have never finished a game (in Ludum Dare or otherwise), now is a perfectly good time to do it! That’s all that counts, after all!

What! I actually managed to finish a game?

Posted by (twitter: @argontus_)
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 6:54 pm

 

Behold! Pink, angry… somethings…

 

Now this is something I’m proud of. My second LD and I managed to squeeze out a playable game!

The game is called Stabby Slimes. Yes, I hadn’t thought about naming the game until I realised I have to enter something in the compo entry title field. It’s up for grabs as a web build and also platform-independent .jar file.

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=27076

Although I didn’t have time to implement my original idea, which was an RPG where you can only loot one item per playthrough. The idea is still there, though, and I will probably use it in some other game. My game now fits to the theme in a much more clichéd way, as you only get one life. You get health from killing enemies, though.

 

I’ll write a proper postmortem sometime next week, it’s almost 4am here and I have to go to work in a few hours… Thanks everyone for the great Ludum Dare! I really enjoyed watching people’s streams every now and then. I hope you all had a lovely compo and are having a lovely jam and that everyone learnt at least something during the weekend! :)

 

Time for sleep!

Posted by (twitter: @argontus_)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 6:53 pm

Oh boy, I’ve actually managed to get stuff done today. Not as much that I planned, but considering that I already have something playable that can almost be beaten or lost (as soon as I add damage to weapons), I can’t really complain.

On tomorrow’s agenda:

  • finish weapon damage & hit collisions
  • fix the weapon swing
  • add more enemies
  • add a new item type, implement inventory
  • add game over/victory screen
  • add point counting
  • replace temp graphics with something nicer
  • add sounds
  • implement boss fight
  • add collidable tiles to the map

Out of that list, I expect to manage the first few, especially since I’ll be enjoying a concert in the evening and probably won’t get up early. But it’s good to plan anyway :)

 

fencing

Here’s a screenshot from earlier this night, the guys are happily whacking at each other with their swords. Only, there was a slight problem with the weapon scale. Can you spot it?

 

I’ve been up for about 19 hours, so it’s time to catch some sleep. From what I’ve seen (been peeking at people’s streams and posts every now and then), there are some really promising projects cooking. Good luck everyone!

What! I actually have managed to follow my roadmap?

Posted by (twitter: @argontus_)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 10:13 am

Now this is nice. I just realised that I have 100% more playable game than in my previous LD game, which ended up not having a playable game state… Since this is my second Ludum Dare, I’m happy with the direction.

wip1

The player and an enemy. Now to add… the rest… of the game…..

Now I still think that I spent far too much time today trying to get ANYTHING drawn on the screen, only to realise that my camera was off by a bit. Whoops…

Well, at least I’ve still got this evening, night (I’m not very good at staying focused when tired, except when in the “zone”) and tomorrow to go. Next I will try to get the boneheaded enemy character to try attacking the player, and implement some damage/health mechanism to make attacking worthwhile. A long way to the boss fight and “Game Over” screen…

 

Oh, and we baked some delicious joulutorttus with my girlfriend. I suspect they will start disappearing mysteriously during the evening.It’s important not to code with an empty belly… Mmmm.

Now to warm up some mulled wine along with these bad boys. Well, not these. These are from Wikipedia. Ours don’t have sugar on top.

 

Time to continue! And oh boy are there a few games here already that I’m itching to try. I have to say, I’m not sure I entirely liked the theme initially, but now that I’m more used to it, there are some pretty nice ideas out there. Much more diverse than the dreadful “10 seconds” last time.

Good morning! Or… afternoon…

Posted by (twitter: @argontus_)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 4:21 am

Ahoy sailors!

 

Nice so see so much activity here already! The theme was revealed at 4 am in Finland, so my first hours were sweet (I think I dreamt of some delicious cinnamon pastry at some point) but not so productive – after a hard-working week I don’t get up very early, even if it means losing a few hours of productivity :)

I should make a game about cinnamon pastry.

 

Now that I’m finally more or less awake, it’s time to get rolling! I think I’ve got my idea down – it’ll be a short but sweet RPG where you can only ever loot one thing. There will be a boss and after that you’ll be awarded points that will be calculated from these components:

  •  the time it took you to complete the game
  • overkill damage (the leftover damage of a killing blow)
  • amount of killed enemies
  • amount of player HP left
  • the value of your loot – you could skip getting a helpful combat item and instead take a surefire point boost

Now that’s the starting point, I will probably narrow it down a lot. Also the balancing might be too time-consuming, we’ll see…

 

pickone

 

My roadmap for today will be this:

  1. I’ll start with a simple screen with the player that can be moved.
  2. Add an enemy, implement HP and damage actions.
  3. Add an “inventory” of one possible item that can have a visual representation and some stat
  4. Make the enemy drop the item
  5. IMPLEMENT BOSS FIGHT LOL!!! …I might not have time for a proper boss fight so I’ll go with a bigger enemy that has more HP and more damage, and see if I have time to code more gimmicks to the fight.

After that (if I manage to get it done at all) I’ll focus on drawing some graphics and making or using CC-licensed sounds/music.

 

I’ll make the game in Java using LibGDX. I thought about using Unity, but I’m afraid I might end up learning the new 2D stuff for the whole weekend. I’ve been lately getting into libgdx and at the moment I think it requires the least amount of time spent in learning the ropes – C++ and SFML are also nice but with Eclipse I get to cut the amount of time spent in boilerplate code by a lot. Also, libgdx provides a desktop, Android and browser build with the same base code, so that’s very nice.

For graphics I’ll use Photoshop, sounds not yet sure (might end up getting CC-licensed stuff since I don’t have a lot of experience with sounds and music) and for fonts and stuff I’ll use Shoebox.

 

Allright, time to get started! Happy Ludum Dare everyone!

Oh man, look at the time!

Posted by (twitter: @argontus_)
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 1:45 pm

This has been a very inspiring Ludum Dare so far. Especially as it’s the first time I’ve taken part!

Looks like my game isn’t going to make it through in the Jam in a playable state, as I’ve got work tomorrow. However, I like the idea (which has been contributed to a lot by my lovely girlfriend) so I’ll try to finish the game during the next week or so.

 

My game is called Ludum Dare Simulator, or LDS #2.78e^-3 for short, and the idea is that you have to create a game for LD in ten seconds by clicking relevant things around your desktop. The game involves a lot of frantic mouse bashing and should be entertaining for at least 30 seconds. We’ll see, hopefully.

Here’s a couple screenshots from the game thus far. It has working intro, menu and game states, even though the game state is still quite empty and lacks the game mechanics.

lds_menu

lds_game

Most of my time has sinked into coding basic stuff such as application class, state system, animation and UI systems, and this is my nemesis – it is hard to not create too large and complex systems for a project of this scope. I wrote and maintained a large cross-platform UI library at work during last winter and based on that experience I luckily realized what an endless mess I was heading to today, so I cut it short and decided to go the simple route with this project. So at the moment I have no generic UI code, all the drawing and events are handled in states. That aside, this LD has been a great way to learn to use SFML.

I have also burned many hours at drawing the art. I’ve never really done pixel art before, so it has been quite a learning experience.

 

I think I’ll head to bed soon, so I wish the best of luck to everyone and thank you for the awesome Ludum Dare! Next time I will be prepared!

Nom-nom time…

Posted by (twitter: @argontus_)
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 7:26 am

I’m off to shop some groceries for a delicious chicken salad… The Jam has been slow for me thus far. Looks like I should have started preparing earlier to get the basic entity system, state machine etc. code working. Starting from absolutely scratch is time-consuming! After lunch I think I’m at a point where I can start worrying about the idea for the game and drawing something on screen… 😛

 

#define My_First_LD

Posted by (twitter: @argontus_)
Friday, August 23rd, 2013 11:54 pm

Hello world! I decided to quit lurking and start coding. I actually decided it yesterday, so I don’t have any tools or framework ready. Whoops!

I’m not really super-seriously trying to achieve anything cool, so my goal is to get something working during the Jam. But making an account and posting about it might turn out to be a good motivator, as I’ve spent many Ludum Dares thinking about making games and doing nothing creative 😉

So, I’m trying to build something playable in C++ with SFML 2.1. I code with Qt Creator, though no Qt in this project. For graphics I think I’m going to use either Photoshop or Inkscape, also found this nifty tool called ShoeBox that looks great for fonts and sprite sheets/atlases and whatnot. For sounds and music I settle with free stuff that’s in the net, such as Kevin MacLeod’s awesome tunes. So much coding to do that I might end up lacking in the art department…

Anyway, armed with a barrel of coffee and no ideas whatsoever, here we go!

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