About tcstyle (twitter: @RustyBotGames)
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 24
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 22
Ludum Dare 22 Warmup
Ludum Dare 21
The technology behind
This Ludum Dare I only could spend one day for making a game and I wanted to try out a new technology (HaxePunk). Usually that’s not a good idea for a time restricted jam, especially with restricting oneself even further.
Working with a new language and library worked surprisingly well. Tuning down the scope of my game probably helped, but Haxe seems to be quite a convenient language to work with. The HaxePunk library was a great addition to have quick results, as most of the basic engine stuff necessary for my game was already in there.
For creating some ambient background sound for my game I had a nice idea: As it is finally spring now in Germany, I wanted to record some spring sounds, like birds. I did this with my phone, which worked pretty well. Unfortunately transferring the file into Audacity did something very strange to the sound and it was too late to figure out how to solve it. That is the reasons the bird sounds seem more like from a jungle than a mid-European garden.
What’s that game about
As mentioned, I didn’t have the full 48 hours, so I had to come up with something really simple. The basic idea has some resemblance to my LD23 game Bottlecolonies, but this time with free placement and only two different colors. This makes the gameplay probably a little boring quite soon.
The idea is, that with each new planted flower, the existing ones will grow through different stages. If there are negative influences around (potatoes, mushrooms, different kind of plant) and surpass the positive ones (same kind of plants) the plant will decay. Additionally, a feature implemented quite late, the mushrooms will spread for a while. So goal and strategy of the game is to place the same kind of plants close to each other, block spreading of mushrooms and avoid the negative stuff around your seedlings. The rhythm as how the two different plants are seeded is quite simple. Each three plants it will change. You will win the game if there are enough grown plants and will lose if there are too many decayed ones.
What went right
- Getting the idea (I already had this idea in my mind for OneGameAMonth for the theme “spring” and it also fits the LD theme)
- Fast progress with a new tech (I’m surprised by myself how well I got into HaxePunk)
- Making a Flash game (a lot more plays than usually with a Windows standalone)
- Finish in time (was a long evening, but I did cut the features early enough)
What went wrong
- Making the background sounds (as mentioned above, and took me some time to mix the few recorded sounds to not be to repetitive)
- Player feedback in the game (A lot of people mentioned it: an indicator for the placing position and some feedback what will seed next would be great; I agree)
So all in all I’m quite happy with my entry.
After rating over 50 games (some of the previous recommendations included), I noticed that I played some games definitely worth to play and rate, that have only a few ratings yet. I mostly found those games by random browsing, searching for specific keywords (haxepunk, haxeflixel) or a comment on my entry.
This is a clever physics based simulation where the position of your one and only shot per level decides if you solve it or not.
The basic mechanic is pathfinding for your troops by drawing the path. This makes an interesting but short strategy game.
Not only you have to switch the RGB colors on the protagonist to surpass specific obstacles, but also those color components define the hero’s stats.
Another great simulation-like concept. This is based on Conway’s game of life. Solve the puzzles by adding the right cells. Pretty challenging.
Retro 3D space navigation. I had to get into the joystick-like controls (remember X-Wing back in the 90s), but the gameplay is pretty good.
Reaction driven puzzler that is really minimalistic. Great concept and style.
Go play and vote, have fun!
There it is:
If anyone could give me a hint why the flash file scales up to browser window size, I would be very grateful. Found out a way around this with hosting it on my blog. The “music” are hand-recorded spring birds in our garden (and some strange auto-processing through file converting makes it sound pretty jungle like).
After leaving out the last LD, this time I’m in again for my fifth LD.
Already had some special food yesterday for preparation:
This time I will go with some different tools (no python/pygame) and will give HaxePunk a try. So hopefully I will craft a game that is playable via web in your browser of choice.
- Wacom Bamboo
Have fun, to everyone!
Finally I found some time to make a post-mortem for “Watercolor Wheel Evolution“:
What went well:
- Letting my daughter with her now 3 years doing the art. She did incredibly well, had fun doing this (as every time she can make some watercolor pictures), and was really impressed with the result in the game. Seeing her self painted creatures move along the screen put a really big smile on her face. Is there a better way to give your child some insight into your game-making hobby?
- Being in the jam – not only due to the teamwork but to have this extra day. This is quite valuable with wife and two children at home.
- Fixing late bugs. Wow, it is quite scary everytime what strange bugs will appear if your game is almost finished and the deadline approaching. But I could fix them.
- Noticing the progress I’ve made since my first LD one year ago. This is one of the greatest aspects of this time restricted jams. You really get a hang on efficient techniques for creating and developing and also improve in code structuring even if it’s still quite a mess compared with a project in a more extended time frame. The sound/music recording, which cost me some time last LD, was merely a routine this time.
What went wrong:
- The game mechanics. I totally missed the point with giving the player a good incentive doing the things the player should do to make the mechanics work. I don’t know if that was due to lack of testing the game or a misconception of the whole mechanics.
- Social (real) life. My wife fled with the children on sunday noon as I was too much into game development. Returned in the evening ;).
So if you like to, you can play and rate here.
The family team’s project is done. Almost all of the arts is by my little daughter (almost 3). She also had some impact on the strange name of the game ;).
So this is the current progress of my game. All the arts is by my daughter, who will become 3 next week, except the player circle. She refused to try drawing a circle even if she’d done before with the yellow one. *sigh*
Some of the stuff swirling around should be collected by the player, some should be avoided. What you collect in a given time will decide your next stage, which resembles evolution into the next generation.
Just a picture from yesterday on which the lead artist of our team (my daughter) is creating the game sprites.
I’m in this weekend. Due to the fact, that my wife and my children are swirling around, I’ll do it differently than planned. I’m going to enter the jam with my older daughter, who will become 3 next week, as my teammate. She would like to do some painted arts for the game and probably will also give me some game design advice (like “pa, this game needs more pirates”). Here is a reference how the art style could look like:
- python with pygame
- paper, watercolor and pencil or felt pen
- audacity + acoustic guitar OR
Actually I’m really considering using this Raspberry Pi as my new target platform for game jams like Ludum Dare. The technical specifications are rather limited which gives an extra challenge. As I’ve already been using mostly python and pygame for game development this should work without much extra effort. Next I’m going to test if my previous entries run on it. (This should not prevent me from having additional Windows builds of my games )
On other platform-related news, some French guy that goes with the webname “Loopingstar” has experimented with the basic idea of my LD23 game Bottlecolonies and made a port to Flash with some extras added. I especially like the variations in buildings and clearer visual feedbak of points earned/lost while placing buildings. You can give it a try here: http://loopingstar.fr/colonies/colonies_v2.swf
The final day of rating is approaching very fast. After playing about 10 percent of the Ludum Dare 23 games and my LD23 folder growing to alomst 1 gig I would like to suggest a few games with only few ratings that should get more ratings (Click the headlines):
Cracked – BlackBird (33 ratings)
Interesting puzzle game. Gets more challenging in later levels. Game mechanics work pretty well.
Robots Are Red, Violets Are Blue – d_durham (39 ratings)
The control mechanics for the robot are pretty unique and make this game interesting to play and quite challenging.
c!ph3r – frosty (33 ratings)
A game about the right timing. The setting is great and the sound effects almost make a soundtrack.
World In A Bottle – Serilyn (38 ratings)
Pretty atmospheric concept about balancing a world in a tiny bottle. Also it has the smem basic idea as my game with a completely different execution.
Tiny Garden of Hope – steamgirl (40 ratings)
Very beautiful game which isn’t that difficult to beat if you are patient enough for letting the robot give you some advice.
Go and play those, they deserve more ratings than that. For my own game I’m actually working on the next post-compo version. You can find some information here.