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6 games you should try… if it’s not already done.

Posted by
Monday, September 2nd, 2013 1:59 am

I played and rated exactly 100 games. Here’s are six games you should try. I played a lot of others great games but I would like to present you games who haven’t yet a lot of ratings.

Hyper Furball

 

It’s a really fun action game where you can increase caracteristics of the main character. All the arts, audio and scenario are awesome.

Way of the gun

You’re a sort of cow-boy who have to get revenge for his brother in killing enemies during duels. These ones are really full of tension. And the first part of the game before duels is really interesting too.

Too many bullets

This arcade game has really good mechanics and can become very addictive.

Stoppage Time

It’s a good reflection game even if you are not a football fan. I spend a lot of time on it. Too bad there’s only four scenarios.

The Lost Fleet

I love the gameplay here, where you have to delay some of the ships at precise moments to avoid bullets

Highway Hero

It’s a good strategy game but a bit difficult. It’s really interesting though.

 

It was my 6 favourite games. You can try my entry too if you wish : The Curse of Chronos.

The Curse of Chronos – Post Mortem

Posted by
Friday, August 30th, 2013 9:31 am

Several days after the end of the jam, it’s time to write a short (now that I finished to write it, it’s not short) post-mortem. People who tried my game seems rather satisfied and they have enjoyed the game. I’m globally pleased with the result of my work too even if all isn’t happened perfectly. You can try my game if you want understand what I’m talking about : The Curse of Chronos.

chronos7

What’s went wrong

Gameplay : I decided to spend my first two hours Saturday morning to find an idea and create a short game design document. My first idea was to create a game where you play a terrorist who trigger bombs and have ten seconds to back off before the bomb goes off. Another idea I had was a hero who has the power to see the future ten seconds in advance and can use it to change it. These ideas were ok but I wasn’t completely satisfied and I had still one hour of thinking.
I finally decided to create a rogue-like where the player has only ten seconds at the beginnning of the game. Each action like walking, talking to an npc or fighting costs time and there’s also objects which can increase hero’s amount of time.
I worked on this idea and Sunday evening, the engine was over. The hero could walk, pick-up objects, kill monsters. At this time, I noticed  the gameplay of my game was rather poor. The only thing the player could do was moving as fights where automatically resolved. At the end of day 2, my rogue-like was became a simple exploration game without I notice it.
The game is not bad but I’m a bit disappointed because I’m sure I could do more interesting things with this concept. And I don’t know why but I find definitely that the gameplay of my game is poor.
Chronos4
Time management : I was really well at the end of day 2 concerning the deadline. I had still a lot of things to do on day 3 but I had the time to do it. And one day later, I published my entry 3 minutes before the deadline after 3 hours full of stress and tension.
I was really pleased at the end of day 2. I had a good game with good graphics and music. I think I was a bit less focus during the third day. I spend one or two hours to do other things than working on my game, thinking that the biggest part of the job was done.
At midnight (3 hours before the deadline), I begin to be a bit worry because I had still a lot of work to do. I was forced to work fast and therefore not really well. I give up to create a second music track and I hadn’t the time to balanced really well the difficulty. That’s also the moment where I begin to detect some bugs I haven’t noticed before, still increasing the amount of work to do.
I had been forced to work hard until 3am after a really long day. It was not really good especially because I could avoid it if I had keep focus during the day 3.

 

What’s went right.

Keep healthy habits and sleep well : In France, the Ludum Dare begin at 3am Saturday morning. For my first Ludum Dare in April, I decided it was a good idea to go out Friday evening and go back home at 7am completely drunk. I began my game only at 5pm.
I manage to avoid it this time and I take a good sleep Friday evening to be ready and fully well-rested Saturday morning at 9am.
I also take 8 hours of sleep each night. I take the time to take a shower and prepare some good dishes for my meals. It seems obvious but it’s really easy to stay focus during seven or eight hours in a row and burn out before the end. It’s truer for the jam which goes on for three days. To my mind, these moments like take a shower and eat good meals are really important to take a break and keep your body and your mind healthy.

ratatouille

It took more time than drink sodas, coffee and redbull during 72 hours, but I think it’s better at the end. Furthermore, it’s often after this sort of break that your succeed to fix this damn bug which annoy you since one hour.

Audio : I use two hours to produce the only track of the game. It last just one minute. I thought it’s a bit short. I was afraid that players find a bit repetitive to listen the same music during all the game, that’s why I would like to add another track. After all, it’s enough long to avoid this problem and nobody seems complain about it.
There are several sounds in the game to accentuate some actions done by the hero like pick-up an object or kill a monster. They are ok and rather effective, I think.

Graphics : I’m really pleased of my tiles and sprites and players who tried my game seems too.

chronos5

Dialogs in English : Dialogs are really important in a game like this. I write the dialogs during the third day, so very fastly. It’s a bit difficult to write all these dialogs in a language which is not yours because you’re not always sure to use the correct word at the correct place. You also cannot always faithfully transpose what you would like to say. So I tried to keep the dialogs simple and used stereotypes and humor. Old men who are only obsessed by fishing, guards who are all cowards.
I’m satisfied about the result even if I could do better if I haven’t wasting time during day 3 as I said above.

Theme : I was pretty disappointed when I know what’s the theme was. I thought that the only sort of game you can do it with it was : you have ten seconds to do that, you have ten seconds to finised this level, you have ten seconds to…, and so on.
I tried 60 games until now and some of them follows this scheme. My two first game ideas was like this too (see above) but I manage to find something different and I think it’s the challenge when you have a theme : to see the theme in an original way. Among all the games I played, my favourites was those which were able to use the theme in an original way and don’t stop at the common solution which everybody will find.

chronos6

Scenario and quests : I find the scenario really early when I was still thinking about game mecanics during the first two hours. Chronos, the god of the time put a curse on the hero and left him only ten seconds to live. The goal of the hero is to lift this curse. It’s quite simple but it’s enough to make a good main quest. The challenge was to use cunningly the dialogs and the settings to guide the player without he noticed it too much. The common mistake in this sort of game in open-world is to completely direct the player and he has absolutely no freedom.
Except at the beginning, where the player is a bit directed for the tutorial, I think I succeed because the player can do absolutely what he want, in the order he want but he is not release in the world without any indications. He can even go directly to «final boss» even if he will have difficulty to defeat him. Side quests are optionals but help a lot to do the main quest.

Conclusion
I’m really happy of what I did and players who played my game seems enjoyed it. I will know continue to try games of the Ludum Dare. I’m doing my best to try games of all the people who left a comment about mine.

End of day 3 (with a bit of late)

Posted by
Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 2:36 am

It’s the last day for the jam. I have until 3am to publish my entry. I have still a lot of things to do but I think I will have the time. I have to do sounds, another music and created the map, quests and all the dialogs. As my game is open-world it’s very big and very important part.

10am : I created some extra sprites and add sounds. I manage to do one sound for the fight, one for the death of the hero and one when the hero pick an object. It’ not a lot of sounds but it’s ok for my game. I’m quite glad about their quality.

12pm : It’s lunch time. I haven’t yet the time to cook so it will be a ready-prepared dish.

1pm : It’s time to create the map. It’s not really big but for a 72h-game it’s ok. I begin by recover all the map by tiles and it’s a very long and very dull task.

3pm : Now, i put all the objects like buildings, trees, npcs.

4pm : I think about the plot and begin to write all the dialogs.

6pm : A quick dinner and it’s time to go to work until 11pm.

11pm : I’m tired and a bit hungry so I take little break.

Midnight : Still 3 hours. I plan to use two hours to finish the map and one to create an extra music. I finish to write all the dialogs and I add them in the game. I’m very glad about quests and dialogs. In only several hours, I think I manage to do something good.

1.30 : The map is finished and I have to test the game. The main problem is the difficulty and the balance of the game. It should be not too hard but not too easy and this sort of task take a lot time. You have to try the game, make some modifications, try the game again, etc… and there’s only 90 minutes left. The tension begins to increase.

2.30 : Do you know that feeling when there’s still only 30 minutes and you have just discovered a damn bug who can wreck your game if you don’t fix it ?

2.35 : I think I will throw my computer by the window in a minute…

2.45 : The bug is fixed. The map is finished. I have to publish the game.

2.50 : Oh, damn ! I need screenshots. I’m about to explode at this moment.

2.57 : Done. I published my entry !

3.01 : I have just remarked that I had still one hour to publish it…

It was a really long day. I will write a post mortem later. Here’s a last screenshot :

Chronos4

End of day 2

Posted by
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 3:12 pm

This morning, I made all the sprites. It took me more time that what I planned but the result is quite good. Graphics are almost over and shouldn’t change a lot until the end. Maybe I will add some sprites if I have the time tomorrow. The game has a better look than yesterday.

During, the afternoon, I spent one hour and an half to make a music. It last one minute. It’s a bit short but I think I will have the time to do another one tomorrow. I also made five monsters. I hope I could do more tomorrow.

During, the evening, I began to write some dialogs. The intro and the tutorial are over.

I have still a lot of things to do tomorrow. The game will be in open-world so I have to make this world entirely tomorrow. I have to write all dialogs, create some extra npcs and add sounds to the game. Good luck to all who will release for the compo ! Still three hours.

A screenshot to compare with the one of yesterday :

chronos 2

End of day 1

Posted by
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 3:23 pm

It’s the end of day 1 for me and before to go to bed, i will do a little report of this day.

9am : I’m doing the jam contest and it begins at 3am in France, in the middle of the night. I wake up  and, 6 hours after the beginning of the Ludum Dare, I discovered the only theme I would like to avoid : 10 seconds. Anyway, it’s also the theme on which I had the most thinking because it was the favourite before the final round. Ma first idea was to do a game where the player is a terrorist who put bombs and who have ten seconds to back off before it explodes.  It was not bad but I take the time to think more. And I found a better idea I think and more interesting to make.

My game will be a rogue-like where the hero hasn’t lifepoints neither lifebar. He has just a lifetime : 10 seconds. It’s result of a spell put on him by the god of the Time who like to have fun. I will polish the scenario tomorrow. To do an action, the hero has to spend time. To move on one square on the grid, it’s one second, to move on the water, it’s to second per square, to talk to a pnj, it’s one second, etc. The hero can recover time, in picking-up time vials which get back ten seconds each one.

Here’s the essential of the concept. I’m pretty glad after all. It could be a good game.

11am : I was ready to begin the game. I begin with the graphic part : a lot of colored squares for today. I will mainly take care of it tomorrow. At 1pm, the hero could move, fight monsters and pick-up time vials. Lunch time.

2pm : After the lunch, I add differents sort of field : the hero need more time to move on swamp and in the water than on a road or on the grass. I also add the hud which took me a lot of time. I begin to cook a ratatouille for the dinner and i add NPCs in the game and the dialog box. It’s not really easy to cook and code in the same time but I manage to do it.

6pm : Dinner time

7pm : I had to go to work.

11pm : I added the main menu, corrected some things and I prepared the programme for day 2 : sprites, musique and monsters.

Midnight : I begin to write this post. Here’s a little screenshot of the game : chronos1

Dinner Break

Posted by
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 9:59 am

Even with the Ludum Dare, I found the time to cook a good ratatouille :

ratatouille

I’m in. LD27 (Jam)

Posted by
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 2:46 am

Tools I will use for my second participation :

IDE : Game maker 8.1

Graphics : Game maker’s graphics editing tool.

Sounds : sfxr and free sounds found on the web.

Music : Cubase 5

I hope to make better than the last time.

My Top 5

Posted by
Friday, May 17th, 2013 3:04 am

My top 5 out of the 50 games I tried.

Four Scepters by Benjamin

A excellent Rogue-like.

The Call by fullmontis

A game with a very interesting story and a good job on the mood.

Road Rage by JimJam

A management simulation where you have to handle the traffic and be sure all cars will go back safely at home.

Y.A.H.G by EggDestroyer

Great job on the mood and the creepy voice.

True treasure of Kartoffelschloss by mortus

An excellent action-adventure game with a good use of the theme.

BatMinimalizer by me

A shooter for my first participation to the Ludum Dare. You can finished it in 20-30min.

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