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MiniLD 73: MUSIC!

Posted by (twitter: @martijnfrazer)
Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 4:22 pm

MiniLD 73: Music!

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Hello!

Welcome to miniLD 73. This is the final miniLD before Ludum Dare 38 starts on 21 April, which is LD’s 15th anniversary. So this miniLD is a great opportunity to get all your gamedev stuff in order for the big event next month.

Now, as you’ve guessed from the image above, the theme for this miniLD is: MUSIC!

Music is an important aspect of any game. It plays a big role in setting the tone of your game and it has a major influence on the emotions the player is feeling. However, during the short, hectic and rushed dev time of a game jam, it’s sadly often an overlooked aspect. Many LD entries don’t have any music at all and I feel that’s a real shame.

So, this miniLD is a chance for you to focus on music specifically, do experiments and learn how it influences your game. If you’ve never made music before, this is a great way to get started. I’ll put a list of (free) tools at the bottom of this post, in case you’re looking for things you can use to start composing. If you know of other useful things not listed, please share them in the comments below!

You may interpret the theme in any way you want, for example:

– make a game with an awesome soundtrack!
– create music for a game you had already started!
– make a music game!
– whatever you can think of!

MiniLD 73 starts right now and will run until LD38 starts. Don’t wait too long though, because all sorts of LD38 stuff will happen as the event comes closer (theme voting, the slaughter, the warm-up weekend).

So don’t hesitate, and get rocking!

List of music tools:


* Bosca Ceoil: https://terrycavanagh.itch.io/bosca-ceoil
* Bfxr: https://donkeyspaceman.itch.io/bfxr
* Drumbot: http://www.drumbot.com/
* Sonant Live: http://sonantlive.bitsnbites.eu/
* Audiotool: https://www.audiotool.com/app
* BeepBox: http://www.beepbox.co/
* LMMS: https://lmms.io/
* Audacity: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
* Ardour: http://ardour.org/
* DarkWave Studio: http://www.experimentalscene.com/software/darkwave-studio/
* orDrumbox: http://www.ordrumbox.com/
* Temper: http://www.angryredplanet.com/temper/
* Mixxx: http://www.mixxx.org/
* Hydrogen: http://www.hydrogen-music.org/hcms/
* Rosegarden: http://www.rosegardenmusic.com/
* Qtractor: https://qtractor.sourceforge.io/
* MusE: http://muse-sequencer.org/
* Open ModPlug: https://openmpt.org/
* MilkyTracker: http://milkytracker.org/
* SunVox: http://www.warmplace.ru/soft/sunvox/
* FamiTracker: http://www.famitracker.com/
* MadTracker: http://www.madtracker.org/
* Many more trackers: https://woolyss.com/tracking-trackers.php
* And even more trackers: https://woolyss.com/chipmusic-chiptrackers.php
* pxtone (thanks euske!): http://www.cavestory.org/pixels-works/pxtone-collage.php
* blipseq (thanks TehVulpez!): https://drive.google.com/
* FL Studio (free demo, thanks freyby!): https://www.image-line.com/flstudio/

Presenting my 6th LD entry: Homes under the Hammer

Posted by (twitter: @martijnfrazer)
Thursday, December 15th, 2016 9:04 am

I can’t believe this is already my 6th Ludum Dare. This time, I’ve made a game about property development, ie knocking down walls to turn cramped little spaces into… ONE ROOM!

It’s called Homes under the Hammer and it looks like this:

Can you make a profit? 😀

Warmup weekend for Ludum Dare 37

Posted by (twitter: @martijnfrazer)
Sunday, November 27th, 2016 4:48 pm

Hello everyone! Ludum Dare is fast approaching… Are you ready for it? 😀

First of all: Ludum Dare 37 will be held in the weekend of December 9th on the new site! If you want to participate, you will need to make an account there. If you join now, you’ll still have time to slaughter some themes before theme voting starts next week.

Now, the weekend before a Ludum Dare, we traditionally organize something we like to call the Warmup Weekend. Since the new website is not quite ready yet, we will be doing the warmup weekend here on the old site.

So between this moment and the start of LD37, you’re encouraged to test your tools. Make some art, import it, and draw it on screen. Make some sounds, import them, and play them on cue. If you’re using a new development tool, figure out the development cycle. Learn how to make a release too!

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Go to STONECONF 12,016 BC

Posted by (twitter: @martijnfrazer)
Wednesday, August 31st, 2016 4:47 pm

STONECONF 12,016 BC

I made a text game for LD36 called STONECONF 12,016 BC. In this game you play as a stone age caveman who has invented the wheel. To inform the world about your invention, you decide to head to STONECONF, the largest conference on stone age technology in the world. But the event starts in 10 days already, so you better hurry!

I’ve tried to incorporate the theme in both the content and the presentation of the game. I could really use more feedback, so if you are looking for a game to play, please consider mine :)

STONECONF 12,016 BC

Presenting: STONECONF 12,016 BC

Posted by (twitter: @martijnfrazer)
Saturday, August 27th, 2016 6:21 am

I wasn’t really planning to participate, but seeing the awesome theme and the big turnout, I can’t help myself. So I’m going to make a small little thingie this weekend called:

STONECONF 12,016 BC

Theme suggesting is now over

Posted by (twitter: @martijnfrazer)
Thursday, August 11th, 2016 10:00 am

We’ve been collecting theme suggestions for the upcoming LD for 6 weeks now. As LD36 is coming closer, the time has come to gather the results and start preparing the theme slaughter. During the slaughter, we will ask all of you to vote on the themes we’ve collected, so we can determine what the best ones are.

We’ll launch the slaughter as soon as the list of suggestions has been cleaned up (remove duplicates, profanities, etc). Thanks to rnlf for taking care of this.

In the end almost 8,000 themes have been submitted, which is absolutely amazing. Thanks to everyone for your input, you did a great job!

Almost 3000 themes suggested!

Posted by (twitter: @martijnfrazer)
Saturday, July 16th, 2016 7:00 am

Since theme suggestions opened about 2 weeks ago, I’m happy to report that almost 3000 themes have been suggested so far \o/

If you want to follow the numbers, I made a graph which shows them as they come in:

LD36 theme suggestion graph

http://dev.martijnfrazer.nl/ld-theme-graph/

It automatically updates every ~5 minutes or so, so hopefully we’ll see it roll over to 3000 any time now!

LD36 Theme suggestions are now open!

Posted by (twitter: @martijnfrazer)
Saturday, July 2nd, 2016 9:30 am

Ludum Dare #36 is scheduled for the last weekend of August. That means we have about 8 weeks to go, so it’s time to start deciding on a theme!

Important note: The contest is being hosted here as usual! Both theme selection and submissions will be handled here, as has been done for all previous Ludum Dares.

UPDATE AUGUST 8: This is the last week of theme suggesting! We will start the slaughter soon, so if you still want to submit some themes, now is the time!

Theme suggestions

If you have suggestions for a theme we could use, please share them with us using the form below. You can submit as many themes as you like, the more the better!


LD36 theme suggestions form

[ THEME SUGGESTION FORM ]

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The shaving never stops!

Posted by (twitter: @martijnfrazer)
Thursday, April 21st, 2016 3:11 am

If you haven’t played my game Barber Blues yet, now is the time!

View post on imgur.com

Shave like there’s no tomorrow! 😀

Barber Blues TIMELAPSE!

Posted by (twitter: @martijnfrazer)
Tuesday, April 19th, 2016 5:54 pm

I hereby present the timelapse video which shows how I made my LD35 compo game BARBER BLUES: living the dream. If you haven’t played it already, please check it out :)

So for all you sceptics out there, here’s the proof I did create it all by myself within 48 hours! 😀

Barber Blues: post mortem

Posted by (twitter: @martijnfrazer)
Monday, April 18th, 2016 5:21 pm

Barber Blues post-mortem

For this LD (my 4th already!) I made a game about shaving beards, called BARBER BLUES: living the dream. If you haven’t played it already, please check it out :)

ld35-trailer

How this game came to be

Day one

I approached this LD in the same way as I have the last few ones: spend the first morning thinking of various concepts, instead of diving directly in with the first random thought that comes to mind. I like to compare at least 3 different ideas, so I can pick the one that seems the most doable and fun. I’ve written some more about this process (along with some ideas that didn’t make it) here.

Once I knew I wanted to make a game about shaving people’s faces, I wondered if I could pull it off, so I started by trying to implement the shaving screen. Luckily LÖVE (the framework I’m using) has features to manipulate individual pixels of images, so I knew that by creating a picture of a beard, I could remove bits from it based on where the player clicks the screen. And since I can read the individual pixels from images, I can also compare two images (ie. the desired haircut with the actually created haircut). That’s really all I needed! The rest of the game has little to it from a technical point of view. I was so confident that I even added completely useless (but fun!) particles flying around while shaving, even though I had to still make an entire game around it.

By the time the shaving screen was fully implemented, it was already evening and I was a bit tired from coding all day. That’s why I decided to spend the time until bed on making a soundtrack for the game. Somehow blues / rock & roll seemed fitting to me for a game about beards and barbers. I first created some drum tracks using the awesome samples by Toontrack and added some basic piano parts using the Wurlitzer from Arturia. On top of this foundation, I recorded bass guitar, rhythm guitar and lead guitar parts in my little home studio. I had a blast, because before I knew it, it was 2 am. I quickly posted the soundtrack to the site and went to sleep.

Day two

This was a bit of a scary day, because even though I’m happy with my music and shaving implementation, I haven’t actually got a game around these things. So I spent the entire second day of LD frantically working to get at least the most basic things into the game. During this process I also changed the name of the game from the generic “Barber Shop” to the more fitting “Barber Blues”. I worked until deep into the night to get the different screens in, tell the intro story, draw the inside of a barber shop, make walking animations for my client character, connect clicking him to the shaving screen, connect the shaving screen back to the barber shop and finally implement the end screen for when the player runs out of money, because ultimately the barber shop always goes bankrupt (awwww, so sad).

I even needed some time of the submission hour to get my game in a presentable state, but all in all I’m happy with the result :)

What went right

  • I’m glad I spent some time thinking of various concepts, instead of just going with the first one that came to mind. I wouldn’t have thought of a beard shaving game if I had started coding/drawing right away.
  • It was very useful to make a mocked up outline of the entire game beforehand, as it resulted in having a clear idea of what to make the entire weekend.
  • I really like how well I’ve implemented my shaving mechanic. Normally I just change numbers randomly until it works, but this time I’ve actually sat down and did the math, and it shows. It has been solid from the start.
  • I’ve never made particles before, but I think I’ll never ship another game without them. Loads of fun!
  • It was cool to record some improvised music, instead of having real compositions. This made it doable to record quite a bit of music in not that much time.

What went wrong

04

  • I played with my shaving implementation too long on day one, which meant I had to make basically the entire game the next day. This resulted in unnecessary time constraints in an already tight schedule, which means some things I would have liked to add didn’t make it into the game.
  • One of these things that I didn’t have time to implement is variation in how the clients look. They all have the same outfit and same white skin tone, which is something I regret a lot. I wish I had added some more diversity there.
  • The inside of the barber shop is too bare bones and doesn’t even include any barber furniture. A plant would also have been nice.
  • Balancing the game was hard. Sometimes I felt it was too easy, other times it was clearly too hard. On top of this, the actual payment clients give you is quite random, which makes it hard to judge whether it’s properly balanced.
  • I would like to have recorded my sound effects a little better, but I was running behind. So instead of going up to my studio and use my proper mics, I just blurted something into my laptop mic. This is especially apparent in the door noise when a new client enters the shop. It might seem minor, but I really hate it when the sound isn’t right.

That’s it! Or is it?

I’ve considered making post-compo versions of my games before, but never had the energy to actually do it. But this time, I’m more serious about it. One of the features I would *love* to have is that screenshots of the resulting haircuts are uploaded to Twitter. Wouldn’t that be awesome to see? Making a post-compo version would also allow me to create some diversity in how the clients look, add some furniture to the barber shop and perhaps most importantly, properly balance the game to make sure it’s neither too harsh nor too boring.

I’ll make another post if and when I make this updated version, and I’ll update the LD page accordingly. You can follow me on Twitter to stay on top of things.

OK, that’s it. Thanks for reading and I hope you have fun with my game:
Barber Blues: living the dream.

Barber Shop soundtrack

Posted by (twitter: @martijnfrazer)
Saturday, April 16th, 2016 6:32 pm

I just finished recording 4 songs for my LD35 game called Barber Shop.

It’s all blues / rock & roll. I don’t know why, but it seemed fitting somehow.

Welcome to the Barber Shop

Posted by (twitter: @martijnfrazer)
Saturday, April 16th, 2016 1:36 pm

Good day sir. Please take a seat and relax. This will be over before you know it.

Introducing: BARBER SHOP

Posted by (twitter: @martijnfrazer)
Saturday, April 16th, 2016 5:57 am

Introducing: BARBER SHOP

I spent the first morning of LD35 thinking of different games I could make this time. Here are some concepts that didn’t make the cut:

  • A prince thinks he has found a princess turned into a frog, but it’s really just a frog.
  • A side-scrolling racing game where you are a car that can change into an airplane. You have to avoid crashing into objects.
  • Some kind of two-player puzzle game where there are a bunch of objects (basically balls) on top of a pinball-like level. You can either push an object down the level, or change the shape of one, before the turn goes to the other person. The further the ball goes down, the more points you get.
  • You are a body-builder and have to train different parts of your body. You can only focus on one thing at a time, while all the other parts of your body are declining. After time runs out, you go to a body-builder competition where your body is judged on how pumped up you are and how symmetric you look.
  • You are being chased by a tiger and need to escape through a narrow door. Sadly, you are too fat to fit through the door, so you first need to run some more to lose enough weight (this one was actually coined by my gf and I think it’s hilarious :D).

In the end, I decided to try and make a barber shop game. In this game, you will play a barber who has to shave people’s beards & moustaches. Clients come in with huge amounts of facial hair, explaining to you how they want their beard done. Your cursor turns into a beard trimmer and when you click, you start shaving their hair off. In the end, the client judges his beard based on how much it resembled his wishes and how symmetric his facial hair is.

I made a (mockup) outline of the game in this gif:

ld35

Follow me on Twitter if you want to see how it’s coming together :)

Top 3 games by timespan

Posted by (twitter: @martijnfrazer)
Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 3:43 am

I decided to make a list :3

Top 3 games by timespan

  • “Spore” by Will Wright 
(spanning billions of years)
  • SAUROPOD vs THEROPOD” by Martijn Frazer 
(spanning millions of years)
  • “Civilization” by Sid Meier (spanning thousands of years)

Post mortem: SAUROPOD vs THEROPOD

Posted by (twitter: @martijnfrazer)
Tuesday, December 15th, 2015 7:36 pm

So I made a dino game this LD: SAUROPOD vs THEROPOD

I’m pretty happy about how it turned out, even though I didn’t have time for a bunch of features and art that I did plan on doing originally. People seem to enjoy it, which is sort of a first for me, haha.

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