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It’s nearly time.

Posted by
Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 2:46 pm

I’m in for Ludum Dare 24. Since I didn’t make it into college this semester, I owe it to myself to get at least something productive done.

Tools of the trade:

  • FlashDevelop – For all my programming needs.
  • Flixel – It’s the best! Beats the rest!
  • Graphics Gale – Pixel art program, using the free version.
  • Adobe Fireworks CS4 – In case I need to use some filters, or more advanced editing.
  • DAME – For the map editing.
  • Open ModPlug Tracker – For whatever musics end up being made.
  • AS3SFXR – for some sweet sound effects.
  • Chronolapse – For taking snapshots and making the timelapse.
  • X-Split – Free version for use in streaming whenever I’m working.
  • And most importantly… Google – for the everything else.

This Ludum Dare is shaping up to be a pretty good one guys. Just remember to eat, drink, and sleep.

Best Friend post mortem

Posted by
Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 4:39 pm

This was my very first Ludum Dare entry, and I had a lot of fun with it

It actually got me motivated to make a game from start to finish, even if the game wasn’t so great. That said there are some things that I learned from doing this that everyone might benefit from.

When we were all sitting there voting on the final bunch of entries, the three best ideas that entered my head were for Forgotten Places, Kittens, and Consequences. I had a solid idea for Alone, but when the theme was actually announced I really fumbled it a bit. The final idea to come to mind had nothing to do with gameplay at all, it was a story idea. You’re a kid with your dog, your dog gets stuck, and you have to try to get the dog out. The twist was that you couldn’t do it the way you’d expect. Either you or the dog died, and you (the player) had to make that decision, and I’m certainly not going to make you feel good about either of them :)

Things that went well:

  • Livestreaming. I really only had a max of 6 viewers at a time, and all of them were friends that I know in real life, but having someone there watching you is an amazing motivational tool. Want to go to 4chan real quick? Better be content you don’t mind everyone seeing. It also opens up a channel for some good ideas to get pelted at you when you get stuck.
  • Art. Considering what usually gets saved and called art, I believe that the majority of the game art ended up pretty good. It’s a bit tile-ey but someone told me that it was a bad idea to spend the whole weekend drawing art, so I tried to get done with the art as quick as I could.
  • Story. It’s an implied story, since there’s no text or dialogue (Unless you count the endings). I really wanted the player to enjoy the dogs presence and make the dog seem like a standard idiot dog, the kind that just roams around sniffing and being generally useless. And then once the player really likes the dog, take it away from them, and present them with a possible way to save the dog. I think it worked pretty well, and when I get comments like “You monster!” I know that they felt the emotions I wanted them to feel when playing the game.
  • Sounds. Everything that seems like it should make sound does, and there’s also the little happy dog yap at the end as it runs off with the bone. I like it :)
  • Multiple Endings. Games that have alternate endings always seem to require an extra bit of thought into how you go about completing it, and with a game like this i feel having the two endings was a really nice touch.

Things that could have gone better:

  • Level Design. The level was really just slapped together as I added more and more to the little debug area that I started with. It certainly could have been more interesting, with things like traps, and enemies, or at least some form of challenge.
  • Gameplay. The game isn’t fun, at it’s core it’s a button stomping game. This is really because all I had focused on is the feeling of being separated and alone.
  • Music. I have never made an original tune before in my life, the music in this game is pretty bad, which is why I added in the mute button.
  • Programming. The game is a horrible mess inside. At first I wasn’t really going to have that many objects so just placing the objects directly in code seemed like a good idea at the time, but as I got farther I realized I had like 150 lines of just adding new objects into the level. I haven’t used the DAME exporter for anything more than a CSV editor with a  GUI for a long time, so I could have taken the opportunity to get used to the exporter again.

The game itself wasn’t very fun, because the idea that I had in my head was for a story driven game, not so much a cool gameplay concept. I was short-sighted when I was making the actual game and just wanted the specific scenes that are present in the game, and wasn’t really taking much consideration as to how to hold the players attention.

Really it seems like the worst part of the game is… the game. As I was finishing up I began to realize that my game wasn’t a game as much as it was a mindless button stomping adventure, and by then it was far too late to go back and really change it. If (lol when) I do another Ludum Dare, I intend to put more thought into how to make the game fun before I work a story. It’s supposed to be a game after all, and there’s no point playing a dull game.

Best Friend (TestSubject06 Compo Submission)

Posted by
Sunday, December 18th, 2011 3:09 pm

Best Friend

It’s about a boy and his dog, as cliche as ever. There are two endings to get, and the dog is stupid. Control with the arrow keys, press M to mute the music.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13349757/LudumDare22.swf (Looks best in standalone flash window)

Here’s the source: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13349757/LudumDare22.zip (You must link it to flixel 2.55 as an external library, with photonstorm’s powertools 1.9 installed if you want it to compile)

And here’s a timelapse of the making of Best Friend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOY8cDkqlSY

Did I submit that right?

I’m going to bed.

Posted by
Saturday, December 17th, 2011 2:24 am

This is what I’ve got for the end of the first night.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13349757/LudumDare22.swf

TestSubject06 is in

Posted by
Thursday, December 15th, 2011 3:01 pm

I’ve never done a Ludum Dare before, but over in #flixel they’ve convinced me to give it a shot. I have no idea if I can even get something up and running in time – but I’m going to give it my all this weekend! Hopefully we get a topic that I can really run with…(Go Go Alone!)

Software

  • FlashDevelop, with Flixel and Flixel Power Tools
  • AS3Sfxr
  • Adobe Fireworks for pixels
  • OpenMPT for .mod

 

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