About TheScragglyMan (twitter: @https://twitter.com/TheScragglyMan)

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One Room

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016 12:26 pm

1

My take on this theme was two fold, as many of you who have already played it would see.  My intention and the delivered project were very different due to an intense brain fart within the last 12 hours.  I had no idea where to take my idea.  Firstly i took the theme literally creating a platform portion out of the theme name, the second take on the theme was to have a collection of one room style mini games for people to play.

The result is a buggy game which doesn’t really encompass what i desired but instead serves as a reminder that my planning stage is some what flawed in design.

I wanted to  adapt my development slightly choosing a different method of working which worked out pretty nicely but seemed to squander any further development.   The second portion of the game is a top down shooter style which contained “hidden” enemies, i don’t just mean hidden from view, i mean they literally don’t exist.  I used markers in the top corners and middle of the “game Screen” to represent these enemies who fired rainbow triangles at you.

The point of the game was to struggle with it, there is no perma-death, instead your “score” or tries are displayed on the end title screen.  (Remember the aim was to have many games for people to play) since this didn’t go to plan i believe i tried to hard to increase the difficulty of the second portion, whilst deliberate i think in hindsight i made the wrong choice.

I’ve learnt a great many things since my last entry, and even more since my first, but i don’t feel like ive found a method of working which encompasses all ive learned and i keep getting tripped up in the planning and execution of my ideas.   This is obviously an area i hope to improve in the future.

If you want to try out my game you can here.
Thank you for reading, and well done to everyone who entered.

Where does the time go! it only seems like a week ago I submitted a game which I felt wasn’t to the best of my ability, and ventured on a mission to improve and fix a concept I was actually quite proud of.

Unfortunately all this working and prototyping to find a game with in a game has taken far more time than i realised and I haven’t had much time left over to play and judge other peoples entries so i wanted to take a moment to apologise to that, and promise that i will return vote and play some more before the jam is up.

Feed Back analysis

I requested feedback directly on my submission, at the time of entering the jam i was pretty unsure of what went wrong, and have akin’d this to split focus,  This entry was the first i had actually attempted to come up with a nice menu for people to look through, and whilst the “finished” project is limited, the direction sapped development time away from more important elements, like game play, and physics.  I poured through the comments on my entry with one eye closed, nervous at what people would say.

Nice game, I liked your artwork and music, the idea is pretty interesting too.

Since you wanted some feedback:

The movement felt a bit clunky to me, having the player build up (and lose) speed rather than instantly translating may help smooth things out.

Hit detection seemed a little off, spikes falling through floors and the player getting stuck on platform edges.

I think some sort of graphical effect showing the range of the power might have also been helpful. Highlighting blocks or something like that.

It seemed as though some people managed to take something positive from what i witnessed as a more rage inducing game, and the feed back was extremely helpful in creating a new design and and concept to follow.

I think you have a good idea here but I believe the implementation needs a little work. The color system I think is intriguing as a design direction. Take a look at a game called Color Zen. You might be able to get some inspiration there to apply to your platformer.

It was great to see people behind the concept, regardless of the buggy example i had provided,  the graphics overall was well received, i was quite shocked by this considering the method involved turning phone camera pictures into usable sprites due to a fail with my tech.

What was wrong & what i have done to fix it.

From Backwards controls, to Overly mean level design, there was a lot of feed back in terms of how hard the game was,  i have stepped off the difficulty wagon onto a more fun design.  Implementing more predictable yet challenging elements to the levels, whilst trying to retain some difficulty i want swatch to be a fun platformer.

RNG spikes are now more predictable, they fall at a specific rate.   game mechanics have been reworked to include a more simplified version of play,  There are a total of 4 buttons (minus alternatives for left handers), and the mouse & left click play an important role in how you play the game now.

Swatch no longer has the ability to manipulate the background, he can now interact with colour samples and use them to destroy painted blocks to get through the level.   Left clicking, the method of using functions in swatch has been redesigned to allow for minimal controls,  it uses something which I call object specific functioning, so the use and what it does depends mainly on the object you are interacting with.  This allows me to have multiple functions without having to bind all the controls all over the place.

Movement is a lot better considering I simplified swatches design, he is now a block of paint,  there has been health added to the game.

SLOW DOWN

So you have a game, and you want to make death and other events have more impact, you slow the game down right? well in swatch slow down is used to give you the player a few more fractions of a second to react and attempt to save yourself.

An example of this is a dropping spike, in the previous version a spike would fall, hit you and you’d die, in this one, as the spike entered a specific range of you, the game would slow down for a few frames, allowing you to attempt to avoid the spike.

Slow down is an important game mechanic in swatch now, considering the controls are divided between swatch and the cursor,  you have to be aware of both of these elements at the same time.  Slow down during large impacts, or near death allow you more time to switch focus.  Currently I have tried these out on a few testing levels to see how it worked and i can’t wait to see what other people think of it.

Colour use

The use of colour has been redesigned also; with in the entry, you could only alter the back ground to delete blocks you were with in range of.  Now you collect droplets of paint to alter swatches colour, and you can even “cannibalise” some of his “body” to create projectiles to shoot at enemies.   Collect so much of one colour and swatch will change colour.

Paint samples used to unlock colours which you could use,  not paint samples are moveable objects which you use to destroy coloured blocks.  You simply navigate to them with swatch to activate them, then aim and click with the mouse to send them on their way.  Paint Samples come in related colours to the painted blocks, and these must be paired in order for the block to be destroyed,   Shooting directly at the sample, will mix swatches paint bullet with the primitive colour of the sample.

The game-play is all about progressing through the levels and surviving the hazards with in them.  You will need to think about where and how you are going to play the level, collecting droplets of paint to manipulate swatch colour in order to mix with samples so you can progress, all the while avoiding spikes, enemies and other hazards in the level.

Swatch was never supposed to be a “holding hand” game, in design i wanted to make something people had to figure out for themselves, with a little added help from the tutorial levels, the rest of the game is up to you to figure out.   The cursor helps with this, it changes and indicates points of interest in the room, you can use this to find objects which you need to progress. 

Trigger traps, destroy enemies and avoid hazards, collect droplets, and use game objects (launchers) to reach hard to reach areas, whilst utilising effects (slow-down) for those last minute saves.  Oh and now each level contains its own spawn point, no more starting from the beginning.  

I really cant wait till I have more to show on this Post Jam version, and I hope the above has some of you itching to see more.  (let me know in the comments)

From a developer perspective, I think I have finally found a direction I am happy with taken…it only took 3 weeks worth of concepts and coding.

Thank you for reading! (I promise to rate more games in the next few days)

TheScragglyMan

Updates and hindsight

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 9:26 am

Hindsights one of those things that likes to bite you in the bum sometimes,  and driven by that i have began working on a more concept focused version of Swatch.   You can read more on that here (to save me repeating everything) 

I am trying to really buckle down with learning to code more, and pull out some decent ideas, get some working concepts together, it would also be nice to make some solid contacts with other indie dev’s of all skill levels.  I am the only one in my friends circle who is in to this stuff.  So i made a twitter. Would be great to get to know some people, so give me a follow if you like.

Twitter

Blog

I think one of the hardest aspects for me is ignoring graphics, personally as a gamer, i don’t find them to be vital to gameplay, i enjoy many games with “potato” graphics, but this LD, i just couldn’t ignore them, i have taken the last few days to learn how to draw objects with code, and have been playing around with that, creating a kind of “show” game.

swatch2.0-2

I am using a new “core” system to indicate colours, and the relationship between these colours will be an important game dynamic.  Allowing the player to manipulate objects if they share the same core.  The screen shot above shows the player object linking to a block, and pulling it towards their position.

This will allow the player to move certain objects around the screen, there will be blocks who have no core, and therefore no manipulation capabilities, these in effect are static objects, should a jump in the game seem impossible to make, the player will be able to drag a block from somewhere else, into a position which allows them to make the jump.

Here is a brief list of changes to Swatch.

  • New core concept, core colour indicates objects relationship in the game.
  • Player core is effected by most of the game play dynamics, depleting with use of the player skills, and changing / increasing via in game pick-ups. (The player can collect “cores” via pickups through out the levels, how they use the core and its attributes is up to them. 
  • Linking / pulling.  Players are able to “Link” to objects,  This is a system implicated for ease of coding, it changes the games code, as it alters objects cores to indicate proximity to the player.  An circle which is outlined indicates the player is not close to that object, a filled circle indicates the player can interact in some way with that object.  LINKING saves this information, and disables the active checking whilst the player is linked.  This way, all interactions are with the linked object. [Pulling] Allows the player to move objects in the game screen,  they can use this for a multitude of reasons,  Reach hard to reach places. Draw faces out of the blocks. Make a little house, what ever they like haha.
  • No orientation, Down is where ever the player has landed.  At the moment this dynamic needs further work as it disorientates to much, I’m thinking of adding a switch, or some type of restriction to it. There will be more on this as it develops.  But consider this to mean (Sticky Player). 
  • Swallow & Spit Again this is a fairly new concept so more on that another time. 

Hopefully there are some ideas people can get excited about here.  I’m looking forward to seeing how and where this project goes.

Thanks for reading.  Follow and leave a message ^^

It was a journey, – Swatch

Monday, April 20th, 2015 9:22 pm

GameOver

Swatch was hardly an ambitious project, but even so, there was much I had to leave out due to focus issues and lack of motivation towards work.  I’m still pretty new to this, and i have spent four months not having to rush anything i’m working on.  Its such a great learning experience this LD stuff, but more on that later.

So whats missing from swatch? 

  • [Damage over time]  I wanted to include a dynamic where colours and the relationship they had with one another impacted the player,  Complimentary colours would be considered safe, everything else would damage the player,  This would mean you had to keep moving to stay alive and in design would have added a nice urgency to the game.
  • The blocks in Swatch are colour coded, and standing atop of one and changing the background to the same colour makes the block vanish for good.  I wanted to include a block which would vanish & re-appear when the background colour was different.  I had major issues figuring out a collision system which wasn’t hit or miss so scrapped it.
  • MORE LEVELS, I am seriously disappointed in my level design skills, whilst I think the levels I have are fun, I would have hoped for more (so please consider this a Concept, if it gets interest I would more than happily continue to work on it).
  • Multiple ways to finish levels, This kinda exists, but also doesn’t but i wanted it.

What Does swatch have? 

  • a total of 4 levels,  These come in Easy and hard forms (can pick this from the title screen).
  • Alter and remove blocks via changing the backgrounds colour (this is your weapon)
  • difficult levels, well, I like to think they are.  I wanted to make something challenging and fun, something people will want to finish.
  • Some funny little animations.

I learned a lot this time round, as my mouse broke down and my tablet refused to work, i had to draw little swatch by hand and edit a photograph of him since my scanner was broken too, is it any wonder i lacked motivation.

In comparison to my first LD (31) my approach was better, my time management almost was, but with a day spent with family issues I decided to enter the jam instead.  Getting this game in was a huge achievement for me, i didn’t give in, and i worked hopelessly at it carving out a direction from what was left.  I love the concept, and i really do hope other people do too.

if you would like to check it out?(click me)

Please comment and feedback, and if you would like me to keep working on it, Do say.

Congrats to everyone who submitted something, and if this is your first LD, i hope you enjoyed it :)

So far

Monday, April 20th, 2015 4:51 pm

1 2 4 deaded GameOver level two

SWATCH SO FAR

I have been attempting to get this game together, Working on some potential levels with some interesting mechanics.  But my collision code was messy, and i didn’t want to waste endless hours trying to think of a way to make this work.  Unfortunately my progressive idea for the levels is on hold till after the LD judging, should people be interested in me developing the game further.

Regardless of the fact i haven’t been very focused, its been really fun working on this game.  There are a few things i am proud of, The first being the fact the character animations look OKAY.  With a dodgy mouse, and a broken tablet, i had to draw the frames by hand, Take a picture on my mobile, Clean it up in photoshop, scale it and put it into the game,  Its not a process i am used to, but i like the results.

The general gist of the game is to make it to the end, Since there are only two levels, i would like you all to think of this entry as a concept to what the game could be had i known what i do know, back when the Jam started.  You must navigate the levels, Collecting Colour samples (3 available) and mixing these together to Progress through the puzzles.  There should be multiple ways of finishing the levels.  But my mind is fryed.

Just cleaning up the game atm, Adding some editional sounds because the background music is annoying, but its only short.

I hope you like the screen shots, please share your thoughts so far, i could use some encouragement. haha

 

The Reason I have No Levels yet

Monday, April 20th, 2015 10:22 am

Swatch,  So for aprils theme, i decided that Colour would be the unconventional weapon used in an unconventional way.  The gif below shows a snippet of how i wanted the game to work.

kf1rz

The Game has two unconnected levels so far, and i’m just finishing up the bug fixing issues before i delve into making as many as i can in the next 9 hours.

I have to say though, I quite like the Death animations and the game over screen, Was the effort worth it ?(considering i have no levels for people to play) dunno… maybe haha.

Wish me luck in getting some levels together people 😀

The Reason why i have to enter Jam

Sunday, April 19th, 2015 8:30 pm

kec0g

After spending a lot of time working on potential extras during what should have been the main brunt off my development, i decided to create an animation where Swatch will shake his ass at you when you die.  Above is the proof.  See This is what i meant about being less disciplined than i first thought.

enjoy the gif,  I unfortunately may not make the complete intended level amount, the game may simply be a loose concept showing what i would have liked to have done, had i been more disciplined.

I feel Hugely Disappointed in myself tbh, The lack of focus i had this time round was really shocking. I am going to have to find a way to really force my self into motivation.   For tonight, i have completed 6 of my 10 listed set up requirements, i plan to finish the rest tomorrow before going on to level designs,  Before then though, Sleep.

Good night, and well done to all those who made the compo.  Congrats to you all.

Swatch.

Sunday, April 19th, 2015 5:36 pm

OMG I CANT BELIEVE I ACTUALLY POSTED A BLANK POST!!!

1

 

Okay so I realised with roughly 10 hours to go, that my work flow and my organisation needs serious work. My plan to do as much as i could in that time, boiled down after a minor crisis with the missus (everything is fine now but it was a close call).

Due to the encouragement (that one guy who shared a encouraging message during a dark moment), I will enter Swatch into the jam.

My last game was a whole other cookie,  Seeing as everything generated on one screen,  I entered this LD with a small amount of knowledge, Forgetting the work and items needed for a game like this. I have learnt a new lesson, And i will submit a semi finished project into the jam this time tomorrow.  More so out of pride and a want to share an idea which , I, was so excited about at first, but ultimately my drive and motivation was really lacking this time round.

Such an eye opener.

thanks for the support everyone.

13 hours left

Sunday, April 19th, 2015 6:14 am

1 2 3 4

 

So there are only 13 hours left, and im at a point in the game where I have almost lost hope.  The idea was so fleshed out , but as the hours whirled by i began to notice certain elements where i needed more thought,  Creating a puzzle game with blocks with no idea how these blocks are going to interact with one another.

I have 13 hours to try and make this game something more interesting and fun.  I doubt there is enough time at this point.  What to do what to do?

Into LD32 With Both Feet

Saturday, April 18th, 2015 9:53 am

Last December I really enjoyed taking part in LD31, and STS did quite well (in terms of how well i thought it would do), so i waited in anticipation for 32 to start, After the theme was released i made a ton of notes, but decided to sleep and get a fresh start in the morning, People have already done so much work already, and i feel quite lost and behind.  But i have my concept starting at the moment.

Swatch

Presenting: Swatch

Unconventional Weapon???

I decided to further my descriptive and perception of this to be not only a “weapon” of unusual type, but also the use of that weapon to be as unconventional.

Swatch is a platform game with a twist, the principle of the game is based on the primary colours and their relationship to one another.  Your weapon against the game, and the use of it is the ability to manipulate the games background,  This impacts blocks, Hiding those of the same colour.  Altering the players colour to that which is in a positive relation to the player.

Ones understanding of colour and there relationships to each other will determine your success since standing on blocks with opposing colours will damage the player.

Of course it’s still early days, and i am a couple of hours in, Looking forward to seeing where this project goes, still have a lot of set up work to do, like character animations and the like.  But work is underway,  Good luck to everyone taking part. 

Feel free to chat to me on twitch. : http://www.twitch.tv/thescragglyman 

Come say Hey! 😛
TheScragglyMan

STS Results

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014 10:16 am

Results are in

So i spent the night like most of you, strangely nervous and impatient awaiting the release of the results. When they were posted up, i hesitatingly clicked to find out how i had done.

Ratings:

Coolness 81%
#384 Graphics 3.37
#630 Audio 2.58
#698 Mood 2.77
#723 Overall 3.04
#723 Fun 2.91
#1107 Theme 2.86
#1109 Innovation 2.16

I’m not sure if “proud” would be a great word to use for my descriptive of how i feel about the results,  Some categories i expected to do low in,  Innovation for example.  others i was quite pleased with my placement for my first LD and game ever,  Graphics and Overall / Fun for example.    I try not to focus to much on placement, there were so many entries for December, so many amazing games.

To achieve  3.04 overall for my first ever game, i have to say, its not to shabby, sure it would have been nice to have achieved more, but to achieve that with the simple idea i had is nothing short of surprising to me.  

I still believe i played it way to safe, i should have pushed a little more, so that’s my plan for April, to up my ratings on innovation and use of the theme. 

Final Comments: 

This has been one hell of an experience, and whilst it would have been nice to have a one hit wonder, right off the bat, i prefer having an opportunity to grow and develop my “skills”.  So watch this space people. I’m coming for you! haha.

I still plan on working on a January release of STS, which i know will be an improvement on the LD31 release, going to use my ratings to develop the game into something more,  I plan to keep my blog updated on progress (please comment if you would like a link to that, i don’t want to just go ahead and link it).

Congratulations to the top 100 games and congratulations to everyone else, Regardless of ratings, what you and I achieved in getting something playable out in the time given.  Its a win in itself.  

Thank you to everyone who rated and played STS.
TheScragglyMan

A huge Thankyou

Monday, December 29th, 2014 5:48 pm

I wanted to give a huge thank you to everyone who played and rated my game,  this was my first entry and i learnt a lot.  Its been great being part of the community and I’m looking forward to LD32, where i can put all i have learnt to action :)

Honestly some amazing entries, and some amazing people, you are all awesome.

Highlight: Knowing people were actually playing something i made. 

Biggest Regret : I think i played it safe, but like overly safe. 

What is the future for STS? I plan to keep working on it, and release a more complex game, now i have unlimited time, its going to be hard to keep myself motivated, but the thought there are those out there who liked what i had so far is enough to keep on powering through.

I don’t expect to get amazing ratings for my first entry, and to be honest, i’m proud simply for making the submission with a semi polished version of my original idea.

I have played some amazing games this past few weeks.  I wish i had time to play more.  For those i missed i hope to get your next entries.

again thank you to everyone who voted on Simple TopDown Shooter

TheScragglyMan~

STS (Simple TopDown Shooter)

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 2:21 pm

With all the posts people have put up recently about their continued work on their entrys i thought i would take the time time talk a little about my own.

So I sat in front of my PC on Sunday the clock ticking down from 5 hours. I sat with my notes open, and a list of features before me.  My plan had been simple but unintended bouts of hibernation had stolen what little time I had, some things had to be cut, ignored and even avoided.  I still had general bug testing to do, a memory leak and a whole lot of sprites half finished.

I’m not saying what I entered is that different from what I intended just that it was a modified plan that would hopefully fit with in the time I had left.  I pondered the decisions over pizza.

Like many people on here I have decided to release a fully tuned version of my entry, now this wont be released for download till after LudumDare31 has completed its rotation,  I don’t feel right releasing a different version of a game already out there, when its being judged and played,  but hope that my vision and all the things i intended can be strengthened or adjusted by the feedback i receive from you lovely people.  So here is a slight Change-log to what you can expect next year.

  • Features unlocked rather then simply present.
  • Highest score displayed on “Start screen” (this was a major oversight I’m almost embarrassed i didn’t put it in the entry)
  • Extra fire-modes for the player to thrash around with.
  • A more tuned enemy generator.  (The current works, but is designed to stagger difficulty, most people only manage to get around 30 points, the first difficulty step up is after 45).
  • I plan to look at controls, as well as offer a game-pad support
  • Working on a Android version.
  • Much more.

The game will be as jump in and play as it is now, just with a more Directive nudge in terms of what you can do.   I entered this compo on a whim, a fresh faced dreamer, and i’m glad i did, to all who have played my game and enjoyed it, you have my thanks.

 

Eyes of envy

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 6:07 am

Okay right!

I have been learning how to code for games since march, i barely call myself a bedroom developer, I enjoy the process, the logic and the design and seeing all those elements pull together.

I find it really hard to understand how some of you out there managed to pull off what you have in the same time it took me to realise i was chewing more than my mouth could handle and draw a “settle here” line just to make it on time.

So i thought, since i’m new to the … community?  How about a little GTK (Get To Know) post ^^,  So yeah tell me a little about yourself, How long you have been indie dev’ing why you started, interests? any advice for those like me who are just starting out on what we all hope will be an enjoyable and painless time.

MY SNIPPET:
I started learning code after i had extinguished all potential out of the event system in RPGMAKERVXACE.  I enjoyed lacing events together, to create systems and managed to implement quite a few changes just by abusing this system.  I then realized how limited it was doing things this way and so decided to start learning ruby so i could alter the game “FROM THE SOURCE!!”.  I quickly realized that actually, i hated ruby.  So jumped into game maker studio and started learning C++ and C#, i found what i had learnt from RPG maker translated over … kinda.

Now i’m hoping to move on to different platforms, unity, things like that and hopefully continue learning code.  I like the logic behind code, the absoluteness it possesses,  I study Psychology at university in my spare time (haha) and its all basically here say, i like absolutes, i like answers which follow some form, and i think its that element which draws me to learning computer languages.

The process or decision to start making games is fueled by my love of playing them.

Sorry for the long post, Comment if you feel like sharing a little about yourself.

As for those who entered Ludum 31, Seriously everyone well done!!

-TheScragglyMan

Entry Submitted

Sunday, December 7th, 2014 7:28 pm

1png

 

View Entry Here 

STS (Simple TopDown Shooter):

The Beginning: STS wasn’t my first idea, originally i wanted to create a grid like game, Kind of like an rpg, but mostly like a puzzle game.  However the ideas came slow & not steady, so i scrapped the ideas 7 hours in, and decided to focus on simplicity. 

The Development: I wont lie, i had to scrap a lot of my earlier ideas, it would have been nice to add bosses, or other ships, but with the code i had, there wasn’t enough time to create the sprites. Code them into the game and create a whole new different generator code for them, sure i could have just created a random generator which changed the ships sprite, but tbh that would have felt like a plastic addition. so i left it out.

Beyond that, the game actually is very similar to how i envisioned it.  Endless wave game, where you attempt to survive while the difficulty stacks up. 

Programs i used:

  • GameMakerStudioPro [Game Engine]
  • Photoshop / aseprite [graphics]
  • audacity and ableton live [sounds]
  • http://www.bfxr.net/ [Sound effects]

I hope you like my first entry, and i look forward to checking out what everyone else does.

Well done to everyone 😀

So Far so … well?

Saturday, December 6th, 2014 3:31 am

So i heard about Ludum Dare whilst viewing GameStudioLive on twitch (click the link and go say hi and support Ollie).

I decided to enter on a whim, being new to programming, and making indie games, i have embraced the theme with slightly crossed arms and a face of confusion, and i have decided to create a top down shooter. with procedural generated items.

What these items are is beyond me at this point in time, i’m thinking enemys, maybe some sort of level to navigate round.  So far its all looking pretty okay.

You can watch me as i make the game by visiting this link here TheScragglyMan.  Please do follow, and pop in and show your support to a new “bedroom” developer.

Heres a sneak peak at what i have so far.


Hope you like. Thanks for reading & Stay Frosty. (good luck to everyone)

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