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Ludum Dare 35
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I played too much mockup

Posted by
Saturday, December 10th, 2016 2:35 am

Started with some art assets, did a mockup.


Results are in!

Posted by
Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 10:16 pm

Ludum Dare #35 results are in!

#56 Innovation 3.97
#125 Theme 3.89
#142 Mood 3.48
#147 Overall 3.67
#205 Fun 3.50
#219 Graphics 3.59
#245 Audio 3.19

Now that it’s my second Ludum Dare, these numbers mean a lot more to me, as I can track my improvement since the last entry. I have improved in all categories! Not only that, I have done so with significantly less time as I had to scrap my idea half way through and start over.

Innovation seems to be my strong suite, going from #177 -> #56, and score from 3.69 -> 3.97.

Last time I wrote I was surprised by #467 on graphics with a score of 3.11, imagine my surprise with this vast improvement to #219 and score of 3.59. I attribute this mostly to allowing the players to choose a color scheme, I doubt the pixel art itself caught anyone’s eye. I did say I’ll improve in this category, and I did.

Fun feels like my weak suite. Even though it is an improvement from last time #371 -> #205 and 3.30 -> 3.50, I feel like this is the area I need to improve next time. I suspect it has to do with the games both feeling like prototypes (because they are), lack a proper introduction/tutorial, and severe lack of content. I doubt anyone played my game for more than 5 minutes.

Last time I had no sound effects at all, but dropping straight into #245 for my first attempt is pretty neat. I’m not really worried about improving in this category, as I have no real need to be known for my sound design. As long as it’s there, and it doesn’t make people want to pull their ears off, I’m happy.

And overall #147 is great. I’d like to be able to hit overall top 100 next time, but I’d be happy if I just hit top 100 in 2 categories over just 1.

Mood and Theme, I’m not actually sure how people rate it. I personally rate theme as matching the core theme of the challenge, in this case Shapeshift, and Mood is the combination of story and delivery. I have no idea why I got high rating in those, but I’m not really worried about it either.

I’m really happy I participated. I’m really happy I scrapped my idea and started over. Next Ludum Dare, I’ll try to keep the scope small enough so I can add actual game content.

Last time, Dungeon Surge‘s results:
#177 Innovation 3.69
#300 Overall 3.47
#371 Fun 3.30
#467 Graphics 3.11
#468 Theme 3.75


Chambershift postmortem

Posted by
Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 7:05 am

This is my second Ludum Dare, and it was a much bumpier ride than the first one. In LD34, I already had an idea brewing in my head for the better part of a year that just happened to fit the theme. The added two button control limitation simply kicked everything in place forcing me into decisions. It was great.

The competition started at 4 am for me. I chose not to set an alarm, but woke up at 3:50 and decided to stay up. Checked the theme and was very disappointed. I feel shapeshift is a very rigid theme without enough room for interpretation, it could be a theme tacked on anything, but it didn’t drive any interesting mechanics for me.

I tried thinking outside the box, what can shift? the player character is obvious. Maybe the levels? Maybe something else. I came up with a sort of neural network idea. Entities moving across nodes through connections, and the player changing the connection to achieve some goal. For some unknown reason, I falled back on an idea I had a long time ago, of remaking a version of the board game Dominant Species. This was a big mistake. I didn’t think it through, and didn’t properly estimated the time it would take to implement. I should have stayed with a neural network idea, where each node changes the entities moving through it.

At the end of the first day I have not made enough progress, I had an ugly UI that didn’t convey shape shifting at all. I went to sleep unhappy.

7 am on Sunday, I woke up with the decision to scrap the game and start over. Having a much more limited time, I had to choose something very simple. Inspired by an old game called Blast Chamber, I decided to make a chamber you can shift around. I initially wanted to make it multiplayer, local, but thought I won’t get as many votes, so made a solo experience instead.

Hard at work, I finished the core game, playable and all, in about 12 hours. I decided I wanted the game be polished, so spent 5 hours adding graphics, sounds and menus. At about 11 pm Sunday I was burned out. I stopped short of prettifying the menu, and spent the next hour uploading and editing pages.

What went well:

  • The second game is really solid with an interesting core mechanic.
  • I managed to polish it fairly well and happy with the resulting aesthetic.
  • I’m really happy I finished a game in spite of initial unhappiness, I pushed through and I finished it.

What went badly:

  • Pigeonholing myself into an old idea because that was what worked last time.
  • Not correctly estimating development time on initial project.
  • Designing a UI that is contrary to the initial design, which was entities moving, and ending with a circle with numbers inside for nodes.
  • Pushing forward on Saturday while I already knew the idea was a bust.

All in all, I’m really happy with this game, and if I find the time and motivation, I intend to work in some more content. And I’m looking forward to the next LD!

Done and submitted

Posted by
Sunday, April 17th, 2016 4:01 pm

Scrapped my original idea 26 hours in, so had to do a quick game in 22 hours.
Ended up finishing ahead of time, pretty happy with the result.




Scrap it

Posted by
Saturday, April 16th, 2016 11:31 pm

Shapeshift theme wasn’t inspiring. I tried to come up with a non-obvious result to the theme, and came up with an idea for a “network”. Instead of going further with that idea, I got dragged into an old idea I had, which doesn’t excite me anymore. At this point going back to my original idea feels like a stretch, time-wise.
It’s time to trash it, and start over.
7:25 – I have 20 hours and 35 minutes to make something else. 24 hours more if I submit to the 72 hour challenge instead, in which case I can also get help from people with graphics and sound.

I have a nice new concept, super simple arena platformer with some original game mechanic. Debating whether to try and make it a networked game, or local multiplayer.

Connected nodes

Posted by
Saturday, April 16th, 2016 12:16 am

Two hours is way too long to accomplish this, but I’m on 4 hours of sleep.


Can’t wait to start!

Posted by
Friday, April 15th, 2016 10:16 am


Posted by
Monday, December 7th, 2015 2:19 pm

I’m excited to join my first game jam.

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