About tayl1r (twitter: @tayl1r)

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Ludum Dare 37
 
Ludum Dare 36
 
Ludum Dare 35
 
Ludum Dare 34
 
Ludum Dare 33
 
Ludum Dare 32
 
MiniLD #58
 
Ludum Dare 29
 
MiniLD 48
 
Ludum Dare 28
 
MiniLD 47
 
MiniLD 46
 
October Challenge 2013
 
Ludum Dare 26

tayl1r's Trophies

Jupi's Jam Favorites
Awarded by Jupiter_Hadley
on April 21, 2015

tayl1r's Archive

Carlander

Posted by (twitter: @tayl1r)
Wednesday, December 14th, 2016 5:00 am

Hello! I made a game for the Ludum Dares 37. It’s called Carlander and you can play it here!

I interpreted the theme as “only room for one” because I didn’t want to make Minimalismism again, which I think explored this (very prescriptive) theme quite handily. You may regard this as illegitimate but you can vote against it for that I guess.

I also made a video that shows me making it which you may enjoy.

Day 1

Posted by (twitter: @tayl1r)
Saturday, August 27th, 2016 7:29 pm

A bit different than usual. I usually rough up some assets and get the gameplay all working on day one, but this time it’s barely interactive at all. And this is still WIP. Maybe I shouldn’t have played Overwatch for 2 hours?

Repost because my images didn’t work… They probably won’t this time either.

Edit: Nope! Ugh, it’s here: http://imgur.com/fwceNAJ

Revamp HTML5

Posted by (twitter: @tayl1r)
Saturday, April 30th, 2016 7:18 am

I added the HTML5 version of my game Revamp just because… it’s kind of lagging behind in votes, basically. I figure a lot of people are just looking for things that are easy to click on and play so it might help.

Unfortunately the bricks in the level, which are on cubes instead of sprites (don’t ask), do not look correct. And I cannot open my source and fiddle around with stuff 2 weeks after the compo, so they’re kinda stuck looking like that. Everything else seems fine, but I’m still keeping the Unity Web Player version for this reason.

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You can play Revamp here!

Revamp: Post-Mortem (Difficulty)

Posted by (twitter: @tayl1r)
Saturday, April 23rd, 2016 9:43 am

My game is too hard.
[Credits roll]

post1

To elaborate a little more: the main piece of feedback I have been receiving is that the game is nails. Even friends I’ve linked the game to have been vocal about the difficulty, and one threw in the towel to boot up Dark Souls 3. Although, I’ve received a positive feedback from people who enjoy games like Super Meat Boy and I Wanna Be The Guy in the comments and I’m very glad it’s reaching an audience. In truth I don’t think the same is actually that hard, but rather it doesn’t do much to make its difficulty appealing to people who aren’t attracted to challenge.

Frustration

I think a lot of my games are pretty difficult, but have ways to alleviate the frustration of the game being too hard. For instance:

  • Left-leaning (LD34) has you trying to control a fast car that can only turn one direction. You will crash into walls a lot, but those deaths are pretty fun (camera shake, lights, debris) and your next car flies out of the gate almost immediately. You almost don’t have time dwell on it because you’re already rocketing into a different wall.
  • Walpurgis Night is a bullet hell dodge ‘em up with escalating difficulty and fairly long sessions (2-3 minutes) with no checkpoints, but by doing well you accelerate time and skip parts of the level. This means as you get good at the game you’re getting much further in the same time period.

With Revamp there isn’t really any mitigating mechanics to the frustration of it being difficult. You either do it or are unceremoniously spat out of a checkpoint, so it lacks any kind of granularity. And these checkpoints are very spread out meaning each sequence of challenges feels very intense.

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Tutorial

Another factor is the lack of onboarding. The area immediately after the tutorial level (above) is basically the test-bed I used during development that I was very good at, because I had been playing it straight for over a day by the time I was putting the level together. This disproportionate spike would be a bad enough if the game was simply a traditional platformer, but this section requires pretty good use of the bat and wolf transformations. And while the wolf form is fairly simple the bat has all sorts of unclear rules:

  • It moves in a sine-wave and always starts going down-right to avoid you getting significant height out of spamming it.
  • You need to hold the button to keep travelling.
  • It drains blood rather than taking a flat amount.

Doing the second jump in the game requires you to be very aware of this, you need to time your bat form so you will arc under some spikes and that means starting as you’re level with them. Anything else means death by spikes or lava. There is no sandbox area for you to test once you enter the door, and the bat tutorial doesn’t require you to use these mechanics! You can actually do the bat part of the tutorial by using wolf and jump cancelling over the ledge (a mechanic I implemented but is never used as part of a jumping puzzle). This is a huge fail.

Sucker Punch

As soon as you land from this jump there’s an enemy directly in front of you. This enemy, thanks to the spikes on its head, can only be killed by charging it as a wolf. But each transformation takes blood and upon landing you will not have enough to claw its face off. At this point some players are still not aware there is even a resource associated with transformation, so the idea of neutral jumping waiting for it to refill is not one they’ve been thinking about.

I’ve had a couple of people compare this positively to the start of Bloodborne where there is a huge spike in difficulty around a bonfire surrounded by enemies and there is nothing you can really do but grit your teeth and get through it. Even after beating the area you’ve no idea where the next shortcut or lantern is, and the area after is inhabited by a new giant enemy who is scripted to punch you in the back if you avoid him and head up the natural route. But I don’t know if I completely agree with this and honestly it’s not what I really wanted to do. There is a tutorial for a reason! It’s just bad…

post3

A similar problem occurs later as the players are not directly shown that killing enemies gives them full blood immediately. Bouncing off enemies to get full blood and fly over obstacles is pretty important later…

Oh well, you live and learn.

If you’re not too deterred by all that, feel free to play Revamp!

Revamp Walkthrough

Posted by (twitter: @tayl1r)
Tuesday, April 19th, 2016 4:45 am

While I don’t think my game contains sucker punches or purposely deceptive level design, it does require precision with its new mechanics and hasn’t got quite the on-boarding time they require. As such friends and Internet folk have offered me feedback such as:

  • “I can’t get past the second jump”
  • “How am I supposed to get on that ledge there is a dude on there”
  • “Were you in a bad mood this weekend?”
  • “I’m going back to Dark Souls 3.”
  • “Why?”

I recorded a reference playthrough that should show how to tackle the game. Should you require it!

Play Revamp!!1


I will do a post-mortem later in the week with all my deep, deep regrets.

Revamp

Posted by (twitter: @tayl1r)
Monday, April 18th, 2016 1:55 pm

I finished my game! Please go and play it and stuff. It has a webplayer (unless you’re on Chrome)!

01

So far reactions have been mixed. And by mixed I mean everyone has fun learning the mechanics and then as soon as they leave the tutorial room they turn on me. Saying rude things like “why did you make this so hard” and “are you for real?”

I will definitely try and do a post-mortem as I think there are some interesting truths here.

Walpurgis Night

Posted by (twitter: @tayl1r)
Friday, April 8th, 2016 7:30 pm

Hello all. I’m definitely in for the upcoming Ludum Dare. In fact, I never miss one… if you ignore all the ones I missed.

One of the Ludum Dare game jams I definitely did enter a few years ago was MLD47 with its theme “Humble Beginnings.” For this I created Fireworks, a remake of my first ever from-scratch game, which was a survival shmup (or dodge ’em up, I guess!) set in a fireworks display. Later, when I was moving into the realms of mobile development I ported this over into an APK, both to get a feel for the platform and so I had something to play on the train. It got the interest of a few people and my friends encouraged me to create a full version. So I did.

There are a lot of changes over the original game, especially when it comes to the amount of content. There are multiple levels with unique patterns, the patterns themselves are a lot more interesting, and collecting spent fireworks results in a chaining system. The different levels and skill-based time skips mean it hits a variety of difficulties but keeps the sessions quite small. Instead of the clock being a set target the game is now endless, but at key milestones (1, 2, 3 minutes) you unlock stars for opening additional levels… Hopefully there is a lot here to sate the bullet hell aficionado.

Screenshotsssss

Wowsers.

iTunes | Google Play | presskit() | website

Left-leaning Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @tayl1r)
Saturday, December 19th, 2015 4:15 pm

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Hello, my game is called Left-leaning that you can play here. I decided to pick the theme Two Buttons and you control an out-of-control car with:

  1. Turn left
  2. Toot horn

The horn is entirely a red herring and hopefully makes the tricky game play quite bizarre as you have no right turn or acceleration control. While for some of the development it did have a purpose (toggles a different type of gate) I decided the horn being useless was sufficiently amusing to me. At least several hours into a game jam with no sleep…

Deciding On The Idea

Before most Ludum Dare jams I look at the themes and try to think of something for all of them. For instance: I came up with 42 ideas for LD33. However, I never came up with anything for Growing or Two Buttons because I couldn’t see a way of subverting the obvious, they seemed quite narrow and directing and I think this was also true in practice. Left-leaning is obeying the theme, but it isn’t doing anything creative or subversive with it, you could dramatically argue the useless button is defying it, but as I said above that came later! No such luck.

I did hit a bit of a block and started playing around with different concepts. Originally I wanted to do both themes and it was a lot more like a Tron bike, however this got dropped along with turning right once I had doodled some levels on a notepad. I also wonder how much the idea has come from me playing sparrow racing in Destiny while my friends and I get very upset at the physics.

Level Authoring

For Ludum Dare 28: You Only Get One I made a game called First Hour Superpower, where you chose a single movement ability from a selection of four. This needed quite a complicated map as your selected ability needed to make sure you could go into unique areas, so I did the sensible thing of reading the map information from a text file. Except this is a real pain, because the web player cannot read text files without doing all sorts of faff I didn’t have time for, and the result was I had no web player version.

First Hour Superpower did not place at all in Ludum Dare 28 due to lack of votes and one of the contributing factors was definitely that you had to download an executable, although not the only one and my coolness rating is extremely uncool. My next two entries (Last Word (MLD48) and Sword and Shovelry (LD29)) had everything hand-generated in Unity to ensure a web version. And I voted on a lot of games.

Fortunately, I also made Tower of Icarus (Procedural Death Jam) where I realised I could make the level segments (it builds the world like Spelunky) as tiny images and just load the information in using pixel data which also gets bundled up with the web version. I also used this for Boxing Day (a Space Ape hosted game jam) and New Super Pong (MLD58)!

So, if it’s not broke why fix it? I used a similar system here:

Untitled-1

As you can see walls are white, normal ground is black, roads are grey, oil (yes, it’s supposed to be oil!) is a darker grey, switches/gates are different shades of red, etc. However, this system is definitely not a silver bullet by any means. The main problem is you run out of usable colours really quickly, and it’s a really weird work flow. Wouldn’t recommend it for a real game but it’s nice for something targeted at the web player.

WebGL 

I thought I’d just be hitting a button and exporting to WebGL as the web player is now defunct on Chrome. However, the output was pretty terrible, at over a hundred times the size with no lighting and frequent crashes. However, the web player version also completely hard crashed my Mac in Safari! This was the most frustrating part of the compo, especially since I didn’t know until after with no idea what was causing it, and all I could really do is put big warnings in the itch.io description.

Level Design

I think the level design in Left-leaning is all over the place. The last level is far too hard and I’ve received a lot of colourful feedback for it, there are several levels that are way too easy (such as the first mud one that is easier than the starting level) leading to a weird difficulty curve, and I don’t suitably introduce concepts like ice before making you play with them. Everyone also asks why some levels have red/yellow exit gates and I don’t really have a good answer. They are special, harder exits that cause you to skip the next level, but I’m not entirely sure why I thought content skipping was a good idea for a game jam!

Name

I hate the name Left-leaning. Since I panicked and chose it I have encountered the word Widdershins and if I ever make any spiritual successor to this game I’ll definitely be taking that as the name!

Left-leaning Gameplay Vid

Posted by (twitter: @tayl1r)
Tuesday, December 15th, 2015 8:45 pm

It’s a quick video of my game in action! You can also give it a spin, but only in an anti-clockwise direction, yourself!

http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-34/?action=preview&uid=5556

ss04

Left-leaning

Posted by (twitter: @tayl1r)
Monday, December 14th, 2015 10:08 am

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Hello, I made a game for The Ludum Dares Thirty Four with the theme Two Button Control that has the name Left-leaning. You can play it using this link (highly recommended).

You play an out-of-control car with two buttons:

  1. Turn left
  2. Toot horn

Unfortunately, we’re all out of buttons, and this means you can’t turn right or brake. What does your trusty horn do to the concrete, mud, snow, oil, and spikes in your way? Nothing. It makes a sound effect play. Maybe a dedicated horn button was a mistake?

It ramps up in difficulty but, if the colourful feedback I’ve received is anything to go by, there’s a bit of a jump at the end. But, if you complete if you’ll see a black screen with 3 lines of congratulatory text and if that’s not an incentive then I don’t know what is.

View post on imgur.com

End of Day 1

Posted by (twitter: @tayl1r)
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 9:12 pm

I’ve got an idea

Posted by (twitter: @tayl1r)
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 7:32 am

Untitled-4

October Challenge: Two Years Later

Posted by (twitter: @tayl1r)
Wednesday, November 4th, 2015 7:02 pm

I’m not entirely sure if I completed the October Challenge, I have made £11 but I also spent about £150 on licenses and music. So I either did it or failed it pretty hard. I’m not sure. But I really enjoyed working on it and releasing something, I learned a lot in the process, and my reaction seems almost comical looking back. I’m not entirely sure why I’ve started writing this, but I guess it would be nice to draw a line under something that made me pretty bitter at the time, but is completely understandable with hindsight.

sales

The game I made was MetritronHF for the 2013 October Challenge, which is an Arena Shmup made of retina burning particle effects and not particularly stylish ones. It was a “full version” of a game I had made previously called Metritron, a mix of Metrics and Robotron. The original was based on a Peter Molyneux quote for the 2013 Molyjam:

“We’ve got tons of graphs and data coming in, and looking at that is the most inspirational thing I have seen as a game designer, ever.”

While you were fighting the original game logged a lot of pointless statistics and collated them in a Peter Molydeux Twitter account kind of way. Being near enemies increased terror, dying increased sadness, confusion was just a random number, boredom increased with time, etc. But none of them were particularly readable. I was particularly fond of the statistic “dog” which was just your x position whenever it snapshot the graph.

pre_metritron

However, MetritronHF dropped all this to be more of a traditional arena shmup, which was probably my first mistake. The stats were stupid, intentionally so, but they were a shtick and made the arena look a lot more interesting. Instead of game acquired lots of levels, enemies, bosses, and bullet patterns (I wonder if anyone has finished it!), but writing “contains lots of enemies” in the bullet list of features is always a bit weak, and wasn’t nearly as intriguing as a screenshot with “Player Indifference” being flashed up as an abstract number.

All in all MetritronHF is fairly… unremarkable. I would say it’s competent mechanically, and with the later levels it does become something unique with its bullet patterns, but there’s nothing special about it at all. The first tens of stages are just blasting skulls or being ran into by the confusing behaviour of the coffins (they switch moveable axis every few seconds and cannot be hurt while non-coffins are alive… but this isn’t explained). Not exactly the most engaging intro.

One of my biggest mistakes was probably making the game pay-what-you-want and I’m sure I would have made more just from inquisitive people if I had set it to a dollar. Part of me just assumed I’d be getting my money back from the goodwill of the universe, or perhaps from the sheer guaranteed buzz of posting something in an insanely fast moving Ludum Dare newsfeed. You might be surprised to hear this was not the case.

9mvMUL

Initially I planned to release the game for Xbox Live Indie Games and this was basically a disaster that cost me $90. I had a problem with my account that is affecting a lot of people, where the website would create a circular loop and crash on any browser or device making it inaccessible. This is a known issue, and I suspect is caused by an inconsistency with my Japanese Xbox and English account, but it meant it was impossible to do anything like submit a game. The issue had existed for years, but the platform was basically no longer supported, and the consensus from the forum was basically that if it happens you’re screwed.

I first tried to fix the issue and then tried to get my fee back but this seemed impossible. Going to the support page asked you if you were using XBLIG or Windows Phone and choosing the former dumped you unceremoniously on the front page as if you had never clicked on the support link, I received no response from their official e-mail after writing to them multiple times, and the Windows Phone live help just told me to use the XBLIG one. The one that doesn’t exist.  

I decided instead to publish on PC. However, this needed a little bit more work because it was basically built for a console. This meant resolution, keyboard/mouse support, a new way to store scores, etc. But that was fine, I ended up making quite a nice framework for this I could drop into any game as well. Of course, I would ever use XNA ever again.

7dr7FX

Finally, armed with lots of videos and articles about talking to the press I sent off special personalised e-mails to specific authors. The text got to the point, provided keys, used Vlambeers presskit site generator, and everything else you’re told to do. And I got no responses, which should not have been a surprise. It was a free, generic arena shmup with no selling angle.

Duskwalker!

Posted by (twitter: @tayl1r)
Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 6:00 pm

I’ve finished my game! Tail your prey during the daytime, and turn into a monster at night.

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End of Day 1!

Posted by (twitter: @tayl1r)
Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 4:56 pm

This actually is my final form.

Day 1 Update!

Posted by (twitter: @tayl1r)
Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 2:09 pm

nina

Just chucked my food in the oven, so I thought I’d wind down and share what I’ve got so far. And I’ve actually made some decent progress! Technically the core mechanics are in, but until there’s some more feedback you will just randomly die… :)

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