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Status Update #3

Posted by (twitter: @torokokill)
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 2:22 pm

Number three if you include the Ugh post I made last night.

Work is going well on my interactive collection of pixels and art. I’m glad I’m sticking this through. I may not have a fun, challenging, or uninspired game but it will be a game!

Speaking of a game, I’ve got the gameplay and the first ten levels done. With a little over four hours left, I’m going to take an hour to hour and half break to walk the dog, grab a really unhealthy partially caffeinated sugar drink and come back swinging to get this ready for release.

Ugh

Posted by (twitter: @torokokill)
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 10:45 pm

I think it’s about time for a status update to round off the evening.

Today did not go as well as I had hoped. I spent most of the day distracted, frustrated or busy dealing with non-LD things. My development time just isn’t going well; I’ve made very little progress in the last twelve hours. After debating about throwing in the towel, I’ve decided against it. I will get this done, one way or another. I don’t expect anything spectacular or fun, but it will be minimal and it will be a game. Time to sleep to prepare for the obnoxious crunch tomorrow.

Status Update #1

Posted by (twitter: @torokokill)
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 1:31 pm

I almost put my head through a wall yesterday trying to brainstorm an idea for a game that fits the theme  and sounded interesting as a final product. I woke up this morning and spent another hour or so remaining frustrated. This whole ordeal is a good reminder that I’m currently a much better programmer than I am a designer. However, I’ve finally stumbled upon an idea that will be easy to implement, fun, and minimal. Horray!

Dammit Jim. I'm a programmer, not a designer!

Dammit Jim. I’m a programmer, not a designer!

I’ve wussed out decided that my time would be better spent on ActionScript as opposed to my work-in-progress C++ engine. However, I plan to return next LD will a fully featured C++ 3D engine, and being better well versed with the content tools.

Believe it or not, I hammered out the gameplay mechanics for my first ever puzzle game, then did a Google search for light bending game. Imagine my surprise when I discovered a game quite similar to what I had written down in my notepad, Auditorium. I hope that I can make my game unique enough that I won’t bomb the originality litmus test.

What I’ve got so far: A working prototype. Next milestone includes allowing minor modifications of the gates that modify the direction of the flow, a rough art pass, and the ability to load in levels.

ld26-1

Prototyping-programmer art.

 

Depending on how I feel, I may bring my twitch stream up later.

I’m in

Posted by (twitter: @torokokill)
Friday, April 26th, 2013 10:43 am

A little late, as I couldn’t decide between playing it safe with another Actionscript game or taking a rather huge risk and trying a C++/DirectX game. Working is going well on my base C++ code, I’m going to take the risk and try for a complete C++ entry. In the event that the theme is better suited for a 2D game, I’ll go with Actionscript instead.

C++ Specs/Tools:

  • Code: C++, Microsoft Visual Studio 2012
  • Graphics: DirectX 11, Sculptris, Pixexix, Paint.Net
  • Sound: fmod, Audacity, bfxr

Actionscript Specs/Tools:

  • Code: Actionscript 3, FlashDevelop
  • Base Code: Flashpunk
  • Graphics: Paint.Net
  • Sound: bfxr, Audacity

Get Your Goat Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @torokokill)
Saturday, December 22nd, 2012 2:07 pm

Get Your Goat – Game

I entered into this compo very nearly at the last minute. I lucked out with five days remaining before the event and was able to get the time off of work. As I missed LD#22 due to life, #23 due to work, and dropped out of #24 due to a six hour power outage on Saturday, I was extremely excited to be able to participate in this one.

My goal of this jam was simple: Improve upon my LD#21 entry. For LD#21, I started with zero base code, used Flash CS4 as an IDE, did not have any sprite or sound tools set up or had any knowledge on how to use them prior to the jam. I was not well prepared, but still managed to finish. My entry was very unpolished and was not really play tested. Thus, the goal of my LD#25 entry was create a more polished and fine tuned game that I considered better than my first.

Unfortunately, I do not believe I fully succeeded in my goal. Time-wise, I was ahead of where my previous entry was and some parts of the game were better polished. However, I still ended up performing the 3 hour-remaining crunch to knock out all my art and sound assets. This game uses about two to three times the amount of art and sound over my LD#21 entry. As a result, my art assets were half-done, sound is half-done and one major bug and game balance issues were present in my submission.

This Ludum Dare was a great learning experience, even better than my previous one. I now know exactly what skills I need to improve on in between jams and what I need to focus more on while jamming.

 

What went right

  • My pipeline– Much improved over LD#21. I was able to produce more assets at a much quicker rate.
  • Adaptation– Midway through the compo, I discovered that my path finding had a non-trivial bug on top of generating paths too slowly. I was faced with the choice: Stop all development to fix the bug and optimize the code, or redesign the game so I would never encounter the bug or have to generate more than one path. I chose the latter. I feel that if I had tried to debug and optimize, I may not have finished the compo on time.
  • Fixed some things from my first jam– Trying to not be too hard on myself, I did end up fixing some of the problems and issues I encountered in my first jam.

 

What went wrong

  • Scope– Once again, scope popped up to bite me in the butt. This time it wasn’t gameplay related but it was simply that I shouldn’t have attempted a rts style game. Although, I now have some code I can clean up and port to the next Ludum Dare for another rts game.
  • Dealing with distractions– On Saturday, I had some work distractions pop up. I wasn’t able to concentrate fully for a few hours and lost some of my most productive time.
  • I’m awful at making sprites– Put simply, I am incredibly bad at making quality sprites in a decent amount of time. This is something I will need to practice between now and the next Ludum Dare if I hope to produce a better quality game. I sort of know what I want things to look like in a general sense. For the life of me, I cannot translate that onto a sprite.

Next time I’m doing a platformer!

Posted by (twitter: @torokokill)
Sunday, December 16th, 2012 3:08 pm

With four hours remaining, the base game is complete. I’m heading into my art and sound polish phase.

I’ve spent a lot of time working on an interface handler for Flashpunk, probably more than I should have. It’s quite robust and looks real purdy, but it isn’t strictly game related development. I suppose I now have some nice interface code I can port to my other Flashpunk projects now.

Update screenshot — Also evil goats(as indicated by their red eyes) goat

ld25-2 ld25-2

KISS in action

Posted by (twitter: @torokokill)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 11:31 pm

As my day is winding down, it is time for the update post:

Keeping It Simple (Stupid) has paid dividends. Rather than rewrite a major part of my buggy and slow pathfinding, I’ve decided to rework the game so the buggy conditions won’t be met and the path only needs to be generated one time, multiple times. I don’t know what I was thinking when I thought that I could hammer out a decent Dungeon Keeper game in 48 hours. I might have been able to do it without needing to generate decent art and sounds. Not to mention work created some significant distractions for a few hours that I was not anticipating.

My goal for this Ludum Dare has been set: I want to have a tighter and more polished game than my last completed LD#21 entry. It won’t go winning any awards, but I’ll certainly feel better about presenting it to other people.

Obligatory work-in-progress screenshot:

Delicious programmer art

 

Now, it ain’t pretty to look at, but the game is more or less there(minus a few features I’ve currently triaged out just in case).

Finally I need to learn how to draw pixel art. I feel as if everyone is putting me to shame!

Slogging on through

Posted by (twitter: @torokokill)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 3:02 pm

Just a small status update. I’ve got the basics of my game almost complete. Optimization of my pathfinding implementation is a serious concern at this point. I keep running into stupid bugs, combined with a distracting work-related communication issue are sapping the life out of me. I think it may be time to take an hour long break to recharge and take another stab at this.

Villains, eh?

Posted by (twitter: @torokokill)
Friday, December 14th, 2012 11:12 pm

The plan is to take it fairly easy this weekend. Sticking as close as I can to the Keep It Simple, Stupid principle, I plan to either make a Tower Defense game, or a simple Dungeon Keeper based game. Fortunately, all the leg work I’ve done tonight will allow me to either or at this point. I’ll sleep on it and decide what I really want to do tomorrow morning.

I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @torokokill)
Tuesday, December 11th, 2012 9:53 pm

Okay.

I have the time off of work. I have a backup laptop with all my dev tools installed in case I lose power for six hours again. I am all prepped. NOTHING WILL STOP ME FROM FINISHING THIS LD! I hope.

What I will be using:

Code

  • Actionscript 3
  • FlashDevelop
  • Flashpunk
  • Some base code I’ve collected throughout some of my Actionscript games, including an implementation of A*

Art

  • Paint.net
  • Pickle
  • Ogmo

Audio

  • Bfxr
  • Audacity
  • iNudge

Good Morning!

Posted by (twitter: @torokokill)
Saturday, April 21st, 2012 7:15 am

After a small amount of work getting player movement, side scrolling camera and all that fun jazz set up I hit the sack.

I’m feeling particularly uninspired by this jam’s theme. My big idea was to copy the basic gameplay from another game and add in my own twist, as it worked well on a basic level with my previous Ludum Dare entries. Unfortunately, I seem to be having problems coming up with a significant twist for this one.

However, I won’t let that deter me. At the bare minimum, I want to be able to submit something that I’m proud of (on some level).

I’m including an obligatory screenshot of my progress, which really doesn’t look like much at this point.

First red brick screenshot

It ain't pretty, but it's a start

I’m in for LD23

Posted by (twitter: @torokokill)
Sunday, April 15th, 2012 5:14 pm

Unlike the last compo, I’ve got the time off work this time! I am ready to rock.

  • Language: Actionscript 3 — FlashDevelop IDE
  • Engine: FlashPunk
  • Level Editor: ogmo
  • Audio: bfxr and sfxr
  • Music: musagi and possibly Audiotracker-c
  • Art: Paint.Net

I will be bringing in a library of my own, somewhat functional, somewhat optimized code pulled from previous compos. 😉 Among other things, it includes an A* implementation.

I also plan on doing a time lapse, but I make no promises.

Alone, eh?

Posted by (twitter: @torokokill)
Friday, December 16th, 2011 9:02 pm

Not my first choice of themes, but I can work with it.

I’m going to attempt a very simple, but extensible game due to the fact that I’m have other obligations that I need to obligate this weekend. Time to start prototyping!

I’m in! LD #22

Posted by (twitter: @torokokill)
Friday, December 9th, 2011 2:26 pm

I’m all set for entry into Ludum Dare #22.

This time around I’m planning on using base code, which should hopefully remove some of the more wasteful time spent coding up not-really-game-related stuff. I’ll be using FlashPunk as a starting point. Nothing fancy, but good time saving code nonetheless. I’m also switching my IDE from Flash CS4 to FlashDevelop. This should also net me some more time, as I get to spend less time struggling with a poor IDE. I’ll also be attempting a timelapse this go around. I’m already excited to see how it will turn out.

I should note that this is all pending a new job I may or may not have in a few days. I’m not sure if I’ll have the time off to be able to do Ludum Dare. We shall see!

  • Language: Flash/Actionscript
  • Existing Code: FlashPunk
  • Sound: musagi, inudge, bfxr, sfxr
  • Graphics: Paint.NET, Adobe Flash CS4

 

October Challenge: Accepted!

Posted by (twitter: @torokokill)
Monday, October 3rd, 2011 3:53 pm

I’ve started work on the October Challenge. I will be using my game from LD21 entitled Viral. My goal will be to release my Flash game on portal sites and earn my $1 through ad revenue.

Unfortunately, I’ve got a massive amount of work to do to have the game ready for a proper release. More than I originally had thought I had needed to do.

A quick todo list off the top of my head:

  • Refactor huge chunks of the original code, replace hacks with real code, fix the huge bugs in my LD21 release
  • Replace the poor art in the LD21 version with polished art
  • Compose a song that is longer than 2 bars
  • Add more gameplay in terms of miniature objectives to do while avoiding the monsters chasing you.
  • Add in a winning condition for a level
  • Add more levels
  • Polish the game!
  • Tie portal specific API to increase re-playability and allow easy access to persistent stats.

The art will be a bit of a challenge; I’m not the greatest artist in the world. I have dabbled in pixel art in the past, but not to the level that I’ll be working on. The music will take a significantly non-trivial amount of time as well.

Polish Time

Posted by (twitter: @torokokill)
Friday, August 26th, 2011 9:42 am

This weekend I shall start polishing my compo entry, Viral. I’ve been closely watching the comments/suggestions on my entry page and my post-mortem and add in most of the suggested items from that list.

The List

  • Moving from Flash CS4 to FlashDevelop IDE – As suggested in my post-mortem
  • Massive code clean – Way under commented, over copy-pasted, too much last-minute-hacking-please-let-me-make-the-deadline
  • Bug fixes from my known bugs list on the entry page
  • Art pass – Make everything look less programmer-art and more spiffy
  • Sound pass – The music works, but a two bar loop is just silly
  • A win condition – Not entirely sure what this will end up being quite yet
  • More levels – Possibly a random level generator
  • One more ability for the player
  • Balance pass – Make the abilities that don’t work well, work better

I think that is it. I estimate this will take more than a weekend to complete, unless I want to put myself under the strain of another compo again so soon.

 

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