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I’m in (again)

Posted by (twitter: @visibleatom)
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 11:51 pm

Will be using the remnants of my unfinished warmup game as a base, probably. Forked it into a public repository for any who wants to see: https://bitbucket.org/visibleatom/ld27

Using Unity, Gimp, and whatever sounds can be auto-generated by free tools on the web because I’ve given up on trying to make things sound good :(

 

 

First LD [Wait for it… NOW!], finished.

Posted by (twitter: @visibleatom)
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 8:08 pm

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/?action=preview&uid=20588

First Ludum Dare game, ever, finished. Impressions follow.

The original concept was for a 1-button game. You are a circle in a spot on the screen. There’s a square on the screen. Lines are coming. Press a button, teleport to the square. Avoid getting hit by the lines. Lines would be different shapes, etc. That quickly evolved into making it look like a Mondrian painting (one of the first Google image hits for ‘minimalism’).

scrawled drawing of first idea

First idea. Well, that and the Mondrian idea that came after, all together.

I had big plans for this (most of which went down the toilet as time progressed). I was going to have smooth edge transitions, zones fading in and out of existence, constraints to always keep it aesthetically pleasing, etc. I was going to have the levels progress, so that we were basically traveling down a Mondrian painting. Once you progressed far enough, you would be surrounded by other circles that didn’t match their zones, no enemies to be found.

This gave me the idea of having other characters just like you, but without your teleportation abilities, and your goal would be to draw the sweeping lines away from them by purposefully making yourself visible. I still think this is a good concept and I just need some more time to figure out the execution.

Anyway, with friendlies, the gameplay sucked. It was hard as hell to keep track of everything that was going on, I didn’t have a good way to represent the friendly characters, and frankly it was ridiculously hard to draw away the sweepers long enough for the friendlies to escape. I just didn’t have time to flesh that out even further. Anyway, friends were conceived/checked in at Sunday at 2AM, and were officially removed at 2PM, so that’s a good 12 hours on the final day that I wasted on a mechanic I didn’t use.

Those friends look like lock holes, or 5 1/4″ floppy disks.

By the way, during this time I witnessed the agony of someone at #ludumdare crashing and losing 4 hours of work, since they didn’t use source control. I love my source control. Allows me to do a writeup so easily.

Well, I posted a video showing the progression of the game over 48 hours. It might not mean much to you, but it does to me :)

Wait for it… NOW! Progress
Things that went well:

  • The look ended up almost exactly how I envisioned it.
  • Game was actually done on time
  • Learned Unity
  • You know, the game is actually fun when the various elements all co-operate
  • Got colorblind mode in
  • Made use of bitbucket’s wiki to keep track of issues.
  • Didn’t drop dead
  • Had fun with competition; will do it again

Things that went badly:

  • First time using Unity. Things didn’t quite start gelling as far as how GameObjects can easily interact with each other until Sunday
  • I was expecting to do a platformer so I tried to learn Orthello for this, ended up not using it at all. Cluttered my project and I was afraid to remove it
  • I didn’t have a focused vision for the mechanics. Wasted a lot of time on features that got cut
  • I wanted more creative edges, and more shifting (as in in/out) zones
  • The UI was terrible
  • No music
  • No intro
  • No title screen
  • Preview window wasn’t same size as build window, still not sure what I can do to fix that.
  • Chronolapse caused my computer to be massively unstable. Need better time lapse software
  • MonoDevelop is a seriously buggy piece of software. Is it my version? At least it doesn’t take down my entire computer, but it kept being unable to debug Unity, causing me to restart both.
  • Compared to other games, mine feels really bad, and I feel bad about how little I wrote. All told, 2365 lines of code.
  • Title is crap

For next time:

  • Use other competitions for “Learn this framework” and use whatever I know BEST for LD
  • Diagram. Diagram diagram diagram. Every time I was stuck, a diagram made my life a hell of a lot easier. I should just diagram the entire game before starting
  • Don’t be too ambitious.
  • Be more ambitious.
  • Probably do something character-based
Use the plus sign to add boxes

Game, with cheats

 

Character Library

Posted by (twitter: @visibleatom)
Thursday, April 18th, 2013 8:52 pm

I’ve started a little library of characters for game prototyping. Since it’s mostly for my personal use the only exported files right now are 32×32 pixels tall, but I am planning on including all the original source so that anyone with Spine  can re-export it and do whatever they want with the higher resolution (but not, frankly, better-looking) images. I only have one guy in there so far, but I plan on creating other generic-looking characters/props in the weeks to come.

 

Image Atlas for a small guy in a black suit and red gloves, going through a number of common game animations.

Black Suit, Red Gloves.

I don’t know what the proper protocol is for things like this. I’ve got it hosted on bitbucket, in case anyone’s interested, or they can get it directly with

git clone https://bitbucket.org/visibleatom/characterlibrary.git

I’m in, science willing

Posted by (twitter: @visibleatom)
Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 5:44 pm

First LD. I’ll consider it a success if I manage to rub two sprites together without crashing.

Engine/Language: Unity, C#

Utilities: Spine, TexturePacker

Graphics: Inkscape, Gimp

Audio: Audacity? Ugh, always forget audio

 

 

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