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Post Mortem: Out of the Sea

Posted by
Sunday, September 2nd, 2012 3:37 pm
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Thanks for the banner, tidbit!

Creating our Jam entry, Out of the Sea, was a balanced melange of fun, frustration, and reward. Let’s take a look at where all our time went.

We have 4 days, because in our time zone, EST, the theme was announced at 9pm, and we consider the time between 9pm to 12pm to be the first day.

Day 1: Brainstorming. Plus the intro screen was created. By this point we know that it’s going to be a sidescroller, it’s going to be sea-themed, but not really much else. Also looked around for a few public domain resources. We couldn’t have done it without ReusableArt.com and FreeSound.org.

Day 2: Programming. We had a physics engine lying around, so why not build something with awesome physics? I found that a lot of LD entries have poor physical interactions and often suffer from a lot of glitches for this reason. At this point I’m quite glad I took the time to create a physics engine before hand. By the end of the day, we have a general visual style, the hand-drawn, misplaced vintage look, as well as a general gameplay style, the slightly out of control salmon that has some pretty strange evolution issues. This hasn’t been implemented fully yet by this point, though.

Day 3: More programming! But after the core parts were done, it’s time to add some better graphics to replace these placeholder images. Lots of graphics work done that day. Of course, some time was also spent integrating these into the game itself, so programming sessions were sprinkled around.

Day 4: Polish. End screens, control responsiveness, color coding, different obstacles, and physics tweaks. It actually somewhat resembles a game now! Time to write up the posts, take screenshots, compile the timelapse, etc. Finishing 6 hours before the deadline, we submitted it to catch bugs before we ran out of time. Good thing, too, I had a frustrating time locating and fixing a bug in the graphics libraries that just made a grey screen appear. Fixing is an understatement, really, I’m glad that part of the graphics library could be rewritten within the time limit. Everything’s good!

Afterwards: Time to play some other games! Wow, so much creativity! So much fun! A great way to unwind after a busy weekend. Of course, another issue would rear its head after release, but it turns out there’s a simple workaround. All’s good. After a game of Ace of Spades, it’s back to work. Post-competition, it’s time to release the game elsewhere! There’s a lot left to do, but it can wait for now.

Advice? I haven’t got any. This is just our first time. I think we did pretty well, though, so something must be going right.

Timelapse:

And of course, I’ve recorded the entire thing in a timelapse here. You might prefer this if reading a wall of text isn’t your cup of tea.

Done!

Posted by
Monday, August 27th, 2012 1:30 pm

Out of the Sea is a quirky, random game that makes somewhat less sense than it appears at first, if that’s possible. It might make you giggle uncontrollably. Or not. In any case we had a ton of fun making this and hope you all enjoy it!

Here’s the entry page!

And a gameplay video for good measure:

Gameplay – Out of the Sea

Have a look at the timelapses at the youtube channel!

Rewrote graphics library

Posted by
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 11:23 am

Thank goodness we’re doing the Jam; that extra day proved to be a perfect match for our (admittedly undertested) libraries.

So it didn’t support alpha in images. That’s OK, 4 hours later a large portion of the graphics library that handles bitmap loading/drawing has been rewritten to use GDI+ Bitmap::Bitmap objects rather than GDI bitmaps. What surprised me most was that it works at all now; to my tired eyes it looks like a jumble of alphabet soup I spilled on the screen.

If I learned one thing from this experience, it would be make sure your foundation is solid before building a house on top of it.

Now, back to adding content!

On the importance of testing

Posted by
Saturday, August 25th, 2012 11:59 am

One thing to be aware of: if you’re going to rush yourself and build an entire wrapper around the Windows Graphics subsystems in a week before Ludum Dare begins, you might run into a few issues.

I forgot to test transparent PNGs. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

 

Also didn’t get to finish the rigid body collision in that physics engine. Something to plan out better next time, I guess.

AutoHotkey + Ludum Dare

Posted by
Friday, August 24th, 2012 10:29 am

This is our first Ludum Dare, so we’re going to start off easy with the Jam event.

Look! Tools!

Programming Language: AutoHotkey (not everyone’s first choice of game programming language, but it works and I like it)

Physics Engine: Parasol2D (mass aggregate physics engine with currently broken rigid bodies)

Graphics: Canvas-AHK (high level graphics library), GIMP

Sound: pdsounds.org (public domain!)

I’ll probably clean up Parasol2D and Canvas-AHK sometime and release them. Oh well, no time to do that now.

You can find the code and any updates at the GitHub repository.

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