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Rome’s Little Step Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @homembarata)
Monday, December 8th, 2014 3:59 pm

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I usually don’t write stuff like that but I think the development of this specific Ludum Dare entry was interesting enough for other people to read. So, why not?

At first I decided to make an action-RPG roguelike with a map entirely on the screen, the catch here was that you could zoom in, so while the whole game would fit the screen, you could zoom at the room you where at the moment. Kinda cheating the theme a little but I was thinking of ways to force the player to use the zoom out function a lot and look at the whole map to kill some specific kind of enemies or solve a puzzle.

Anyway, I was going with Actionscript 3 and Flixel, drew a simple character, loaded it up, made it move and went to program the map generating part. The map would need to be quite big so it wouldn’t loose quality on the zoom, so the zoomed in quality would have to be the default one. I tried to create a big map and got an error message, turns out that Flixel couldn’t support a map at the size that I needed. Of course I could divide it in small pieces, try some compression, use trees or something but it’s Ludum Dare, I had only 48 hours! So, I decided to stop using Flixel and just use “pure” Actionscript, with vector graphics, like Macromedia intended back in the day. And since I was using vectors, why not go retro and try to make something like a Vectrex game? Initially I was using a lot of circles, when I decided to go “full Vectrex” and make everything square looking, it became much better. I even used the same aspect ratio as the console.

Some people liked the art style and it’s interesting to think that it’s like that because of a technical reason.

But it was still going to be an action-RPG at that point. I started thinking about ways to make procedural rooms using vectors and decided it would be best to have a fixed dungeon, “It’s going to be a 2D vector-based Dark Souls” I thought, and started making the design for my dungeon. That way, the puzzles and monsters that require the zoom mechanic would also be easier to design.

Then I decided to try to program some combat.

I spent most of my Saturday working on enemy AI and trying to make defending and swing the sword feel good. I really liked doing that part and at around 16 hours to the deadline I threw away the dungeon and decided to make a game focused on combat. I thought “roman gladiators” where a nice excuse for it and decided to go with that, also made some weapons and “hats” because at that moment the characters were just dull circles with nothing on then. It was hard to know where your character was looking at, just drawing something on the top of them made it much easier.

I spent the last 16 hours making the menus, sounds, music and thinking about how to improve the combat, so I went to watch some people play Dark Souls, which was my original inspiration anyway. I liked that hitting an enemy shield on DS stuns you for a brief moment and decided to copy that. It worked and made the combat more interesting but also too hard. Which I didn’t notice at the time because what was bothering me the most was that the game was way too easy (take some time to test and balance your games people). I spent the last 2 hours tweaking the AI, it was working well with one enemy, but when you put more of them, they don’t play nice with each other. In the end, the best I could do at the last hour was to put some randomness on it when they are likely to get stuck. I also had to remove the collision from the background because the player was getting stuck on it a lot.

In the end I had a lot of fun making this, learned a lot about AI, testing, drawing vectors and adapting your game idea. After 3 Ludum Dares, it was also the first time I made the music for my game and really liked the result.

By the way, here’s my entry:

http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-31/?action=preview&uid=11195

It’s not as good as I wanted it to be but hope you guys like it. :)

PS: The name is a joke and a reference to a brazilian song, decided it 10 minutes before sending the game and couldn’t think of nothing better.

 

Let’s go!

Posted by (twitter: @homembarata)
Friday, December 5th, 2014 5:21 pm

Fourth time participating!

Using Flixel and Flashdevelop, Gimp and Audacity… maybe my Guitar for the music, depends on the game, who knows?

 

Good luck to everyone!

In for the 3rd time

Posted by (twitter: @homembarata)
Friday, August 23rd, 2013 7:27 pm

Already have an idea, hope it works! :)

Using FlashDevelop, FlashPunk and Gimp.

It’s time to make games and chew bubblegum

Posted by (twitter: @homembarata)
Friday, April 26th, 2013 6:14 pm

And I’m all out of gum

 

Using Flashpunk for the code, Graphics Gale and maybe Inkscape for the art.

And probably Modplug and SFXR for the sounds.

 

Let’s do this!

Let’s do this!

Posted by (twitter: @homembarata)
Friday, April 20th, 2012 4:42 pm

First time participating!

Another one using FlashPunk with Flashdevelop for coding. Graphics Gale and Gimp for the graphics and probably sfxr and Modplug for sound and music.

And a lot of coffee!

 

Good luck to everyone!

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