Really looking forward to getting in on the action again, my last LD was ages ago…
I noticed the streaming widget is absent from the LD website (don’t know if PoV plans to bring that back), but just in case I made a simple streaming feed app as my LD warmup exercise.
Let me know if you find it useful, or it sucks, or whatever
Here it is: https://openfu.com/ld/live
Be sure to check out the Theatre Mode as well, it cycles through all the active streamers in order, and shows you 60 seconds of each stream (with the ability to pause and jump forward when you want). It’s designed to be left running in the background and give a good overview on what everybody’s working on.
Update: there’s also a Tampermonkey script now that you can use to show a stream preview on the regular Ludum Dare site: https://gist.github.com/Udo/c9f2187d0a97773cff16842ed37512a8 – or, if you want to embed it into your own iframe anywhere, use this code:
<iframe style="border: none" src="https://openfu.com/ld/live/?preview-widget" width="280" height="180"></iframe>
And this is what it looks like, using the Tampermonkey script:
Even though I participated in many LDs now, I never actually published a game. Last month, I was sitting together with a good friend of mine and we lamented our habit of working on these lengthy projects in private, only to discard them eventually and then start something else. We decided to change this, to start putting things out there!
So we came up with this: we’re making one game every month of 2016, and we’re publishing every one of these games, as we hopefully get better at this over time!
Our first game is out now: Commander Wallis and the Tentacled Menace
It’s a turn-based retro strategy game, available for free on itch.io, for Windows, OS X, and Linux.
In this game, you take on the role of Commander Wallis, a medieval watchman who must protect the shrines of the Holy Spheres from a sudden onslaught of tentacled beings of unknown origin. It is your job to prepare the defenses, place troops, and then coordinate the battles.
We focused a lot on strategy aspects and issues of balance. As you progress through the levels, you get access to more types of units and defensive measures, and we wanted to make sure every unit and item in the game has a unique purpose.
This is a personal moment for me. For a non-game programmer like me, Ludum Dare has over the years been a tremendous creative outlet, and it’s these LD experiences that ultimately prompted me to try game development in earnest. What we need most of all is feedback, doesn’t matter if it’s negative, but it has to lead us towards actionable items on our upcoming games.
If you want to give me some feedback, or talk about anything really related to game dev, you can shoot me a message to: email@example.com
I’m in once more! Really looking forward to it. I’ll probably do a browser-based game again, most likely without using an engine (Three.js and/or Pixi are always an option though).
My tool set looks like this:
IDE: simple text editor (Coda)
Platform: web browser
Graphics: Cinema 4D, Pixelmator
Audio: Logic Pro X, Audacity
Streaming: Maybe on twitch.tv/udnozor, but don’t know yet, I still haven’t solved the problem where streaming distracts totally me…
Past LDs, including the last one at which failed outright:
Ludum Dare 32
Ludum Dare 31
Ludum Dare 30
Ludum Dare 29
Ludum Dare 29 Warmup
Ludum Dare 28
Ludum Dare 27
I don’t like lengthy post mortems, but for the sake of documenting things, here we go!
I usually don’t think much about the possible theme until it’s announced. However, this one caught me a bit off guard. I mostly drew a blank. In the end I had several ideas: a game about WMDs where you destroy planets because it’s your job; or a game where your weapon is literally an old spoon and the catch is you’re playing a rat who’s having an adventure. Then I inexplicably decided to go with the most unworkable one: you’re a wizard using a cornucopia-thing that summons monsters. In WebGL, with which I have very little experience. In an artsy diorama style. Yeah.
I tried lots of new stuff, and I’m much better at WebGL now. Oh, also good: fun! As in most of my LD entries, I think the soundtrack came out pretty good – but then again I always say that and it ends up not rated very highly so I’m open to the notion that my taste in music might be unique! 😉
I streamed part of the development live, still learning not to be distracted by it… And I got my first real viewer who talked to me in the chat and everything. That never happened before and it was thrilling!
I didn’t switch ideas around for hours as I usually do, just to experiment with my creation process. Turns out though tinkering with completely different ideas for hours was probably a better process for me. I fought the need to start over with something different until the end, and delivered a much worse outcome because of it.
Development moved along at a glacial pace, and I felt more and more uninspired as time went on. The concept was one of those things that sounded great in my head, but lots of little details didn’t survive contact with reality. Still, the idea might still kinda have worked if I had had access to an art person or team.
It’s not a game. At best, this LD entry is an opening tutorial scene for what could have been a game. And even at that it feels unfinished. Sometimes after LDs I feel the urge to make a post Jam version, but I don’t think I’m going to this time. The game’s code is probably one of the worst things I have produced in a long time 😛
What I Learned
I’m not a game developer (LD is the only game dev activity I do), so learning from the experience is always the most important part here. My “old” methodology worked better, even if I sometimes produced uneven results. I clearly thrive on experimentation, which I heavily curtailed this time. Next time, I’ll be open to explore several game ideas again before I settle down. Or alternatively, I need a buddy whom to bounce ideas off. I would also like to produce either a story-telling or a simulation/building game next time, this shooting stuff doesn’t seem to work out for me.
This is going to be my 7th LD, wow! o.O
Ludum Dare 31
Ludum Dare 30
Ludum Dare 29
Ludum Dare 29 Warmup
Ludum Dare 28
Ludum Dare 27
Ludum Dare 26
This time everything will be different, yeah! This time, I’m going to make a game that rocks!
As always, I’ll be making a browser-based game, probably without a framework, from scratch, using these tools:
…soon coming to a browser near you! And this is my lair:
I wish everyone a happy and successful LD 32!
I think the score is the best aspect of my game, but people have been generally ignoring it. So I’m sharing it on Soundcloud to be extra obnoxious about it 😉
You know how sometimes while you’re doing something you realize it’s not going to work out but it’s too damn late to change course? This described LD31 for me. It was Sunday when I knew “Snowma’am” wasn’t going anywhere but I stayed around to see it through anyway.
In past LD’s, I typically pivoted 1 or 2 times until I settled on the final game – something I swore not to do again this time. This was a mistake, because clearly I do need to explore 😉
So I don’t want this to be a downer-type post, and there is probably some advice in here for y’all:
With that in mind, I actually fought with myself whether to submit the game at all. But I did want to vote on the other games, so I did. All in all, this was probably the right decision, even though I feel slightly bad for the people who had to try my game. On the other hand, judging by the server logs, none of them actually lost more than a minute on it so I’m probably OK karma-wise 😉
Anyway, I swear to do better next time! Snowma’am signing off.
So I was technically awake when the theme was announced (3 AM here), but too drained to do anything. Alright: entire game on one screen!
It’s probably going to be 2D again, I think I know what to do: a wargame/strategy thing… with everything… on one screen. Well.
Livestreaming at: http://www.twitch.tv/udnozor
Really pumped!!! This is where I LD, new setup!
I dedicate this LD to my cat, who always used to be by my side when I was coding:
If you’re not adverse to the command line on the Mac, you can use simple scripts to put together a timelapse of your LD – no special software needed.
I put together a repo of the scripts I use for this: https://github.com/Udo/timelapse-scripts
Soo looking forward to this LD, which is going to be my sixth…ish one! I have a big item on the agenda: self-improvement! In recent LDs, although it’s always been fun and I personally felt I learned a lot, ratings have been absolutely stagnant if not regressive.
This is also my first LD without my cat – she passed away not long ago and I miss her terribly.
As always, I’ll be making a game and all its assets from scratch, alone, and probably for the Jam because of horrible time management. My tools: text editor (Coda), Pixelmator, Audacity, Logic Pro X
And now, three public service announcements:
1) YOU CAN HAZ SOUND
Really, sound effects are not hard, and you can make them yourself if need be, you don’t even need a fancy generator website or anything. Just you and a microphone. Audacity is stupid simple to use. This will make your game literally 10x better! I made the background soundtrack and UI effects for Planet Improver with kitchen utensils and an old fan. It was a terrible game, but people thought it was atmospheric because of literally the shabbiest sound track imaginable.
2) SUPPORT MIKE (PoV) ON PATREON
Our benevolent dictator and site plumber is doing LD full time now, and he needs our help to do that. Give something back to the source for all the hours of fun, entertainment, learning, and camaraderie you experienced here. Go here and support: http://www.patreon.com/mikekasprzak
3) CONTRIBUTING FREE SOUNDTRACKS FOR YOUR JAMZ
Over the years I made quite a few tracks for Ludum Dare and other projects. I’m putting them online for anyone to use, so if you find anything you like: go ahead!
Here, have a timelapse of my desktop computer (the laptop one didn’t record for some reason):
As always, I had a lot of fun this Ludum Dare
Although I initially liked the theme, it was kinda difficult to choose what I wanted to do with it. At first, I wanted to make a Lukasarts-style adventure about a girl who visits other worlds, but that stalled when I realized I didn’t know the right graphics tools for the job (Blender would have been it, adding it to my to-do list now). Next, I thought I would make a strategy game where you manage a space port – kind of like Sim City, but with a space port theme. By then it was Sunday, and I had begun playing around with a third game. This was/is Killbot’s Last Adventure. Because I wanted to actually deliver a (somewhat) finished game, that of course meant going for the Jam, again.
Killbot is a recurring character in most of my LD entries, and once again I wanted to tell a story in adventure mode.
Did I mention it was fun? Besides that, a game got completed. More or less. I’m pleased with the graphics, especially on the early screens, when time pressure wasn’t as high.
I am relatively pleased with my music this time. Part of it is due to the fact that I recently switched from GarageBand to Logic Pro, which was quite the upgrade. The soundtrack of the game, while not always entirely appropriate to the scene at hand, came from an inspired place
I made most of the tracks before I even started programming, and then listened to them as I coded the game.
Almost no sleep, and almost no IRC or blog activity. During this LD I finally wanted to integrate with the community, but I found it too distracting. Bummer, I guess I’m remaining an outsider for a little while longer.
The game itself, well. It’s mostly a slide show, to be honest. I just didn’t have the time to put all the puzzles and animation elements in that I wanted. There was supposed to be an action mode where you could steer Killbot from above running through dungeons, killing things. But this, too, didn’t get finished and never became a part of the game.
Killbot’s final adventure is also too short, even from a story-telling perspective. The story could have been good, but sort of fails due to (the lack of) narrative timing. I wish I could have given Killbot a more worthy sendoff, but as endings go, I guess it’s not a bad one. Maybe I’m too critical 😉
Things to Do Differently
Next time, everything will be different! Next time, I’m going to challenge myself more by making a game that is outside of my comfort zone. No more half-hearted adventure and strategy games! I want to make a jump’n’run or something. Also, maybe pixel art, finally. Things I haven’t done before!
Also, not being a game developer by trade, I’ll have to seriously expand my tool knowledge. Just showing some images with CSS here and there isn’t going to cut it, and I know that.
Check it out: Killbot’s Last Adventure
Okay, I changed over to my third idea – and this time it feels right, so far I’ve been working about 3 hours on it, and the models are already better than anything I did before
This is Killbot’s Last Adventure: after finding the alien portal underneath the planet’s crust while slaving away for the tyrannical Planet Improver (in LD29), Killbot makes her escape and embarks on her final galactic journey.
Alright, going to bed now… I think it’s almost certain I’ll have to expand from the Compo to the Jam, as usual 😉