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Aaaaaand overscoped.

Posted by (twitter: @npaavo)
Sunday, January 12th, 2014 10:33 pm

Whoops.

I would like to take a moment to talk about my MiniLD #28 project and what went wrong though.

screenshot1

Bakery: Make $ome Dough is “lemonade stand” on steroids. Your bakery is a front for a secret drug operation, and the goal is to make $1,000,000 as fast as possible without getting caught.

screenshot2

Each day the player determines how many of each baked good they produce, as well as the number of narcotics. The baked goods sell automatically, and their sale keeps your disguise level high while also providing small profits. The real excitement and core gameplay revolves around drug sales.

screenshot3

The player must sell the narcotics as subtlety as possible without blowing their cover. Asking a few innocent questions is key to separating buyers from normal customers or undercover detectives. Too much questioning, however, and you end up looking suspicious or losing valuable customers.

screenshot4

So that’s the gist of the game. Why didn’t it get finished?

First and foremost, Unity is simultaneously awesome and the absolute worst sometimes. I encountered a bug with the development environment itself that cost me roughly 4 hours of time on the first day. Given this amount of time I could have made the game functioning on a basic level, however that isn’t the primary reason I held off on submitting. The problem was the game in its current state is not all that compelling.

Most of the gameplay revolves around picking up on subtle clues in the customer dialogue and offering the right item as well as monitoring sales to keep the bakery stocked. That’s alright, but it gets really boring after about a day or two. The dialog system isn’t robust enough to support even 10 minutes of interesting gameplay, and this is simply something that needs a lot of timing and writing.

Secondly, the intensity of the game is currently static. There are many planned features, such as a popularity rating that increases the flow of customers (and consequently makes deals that much riskier!) that would have created interesting challenges and intense moments. I spent way too long wrestling with Unity’s GUI system getting it to function properly to implement these features in a satisfying capacity, and there are dozens of other wishlist features that I knew were totally outside the scope but am nonetheless disappointed to lack.

And finally, it is incredibly poorly organized. The script files right now are a mess of nested functions and switches and variables that piled up due to poor planning. The main script file is an absolute nightmare to read at over 1200 lines and counting. Admittedly this is one of my weak spots as a developer and something I will improve on.

What went right then?

I still believe the core concept is very cool and has a lot of potential to be an intense experience. The graphics aren’t all that bad considering the time that went into them, and I learned a lot more about developing in Unity. It is technically playable in its current state, and there are entertaining moments where the dynamic dialogue system generates some interesting scenarios. I will continue to work on the game in my free time, and hopefully one day I can bring it to everyone in proper form.

Thanks for reading.

I’m Touched- Really.

Posted by (twitter: @npaavo)
Thursday, January 9th, 2014 3:05 am

touchlogo

So, uh… wow.

I wasn’t expecting such a warm and powerful response to my first game jam creation. The comments I received provided downright excessive amounts of warm-and-fuzzies, and I want to sincerely thank every single person who checked out my game. I did my best to try to keep up and rate as many games as I could, but I left on a holiday vacation the Tuesday after the submission deadline and arrived back at my battlestation just after the results were announced.

And boy howdy, was I floored.

Audio 4.36
#4 Mood 4.47
#10 Overall 4.12
#30 Innovation 3.98
#99 Graphics 3.88

I am legitimately awestruck. I can only think to say “thank you” over and over for the much-needed confidence boost that this has instilled in me, and do my part to make Touch the best it can be. As it happens, the first step of the later is ready!

You can Click Here to check out the latest post-compo version of Touch!

Also a reminder that the background music for the game is available free on my soundcloud.

There would be a fancy embedded player here if I understood how to do so. Help please :[

If you haven’t played the game yet, I’d recommend doing that before reading on, because I’m going to discuss some of the changes I made that may or may not contain spoilers.

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Five Amazing LD#28 Games You Totally Need to Check Out

Posted by (twitter: @npaavo)
Saturday, December 21st, 2013 12:18 am

Looking for some awesome games to play and rate? Here’s a collection of a few hidden gems I’ve run into that are absolutely brilliant!

1:   You can become only one!!1 – by multikorv

Link: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=8028

In addition to being an absolutely brilliant concept, this is a shining example of how edutainment/learning games can be fun. If expanded upon, this has the potential to be a fantastic way to teach problem solving and math skills. I would totally drop money on a full version with a level editor/sharable custom levels. The game has a brilliantly paced tutorial and punchy, crisp controls. The way the player accelerates through gates feels so well polished, and the background beat keeps you in the action!

2. Wraith – by AgentParsec

Link: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=12468

The atmosphere this game creates is simply unreal, and chilling. I was on the edge of my seat while playing the entire time. The textures are a bit on the simplistic side, but do not detract from the distilled, raw feelings the maze elicits. It grips you, and doesn’t let go. It also supports the Oculus Rift, if you have nerves of fricking steel, which is another fantastic touch.

3. Solid Heart – by Dustedge

Link: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=15151

The game is built upon a very solid mechanic and presents an interesting twist on the action-puzzler genre. There’s a lot of subtle visual polish as well as some challenging level design, which explores the variety of dimensions the “bouncing core” mechanic has to offer. My only complaint would be the slightly slippery physics. There is a lot of potential here for an awesome title with a bit more visual and audio polish. Overall, a solid prototype!

4. John Power – by Anoarith

Link: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=24843

A well-executed, refreshing take on the “you can only have one power”-style entries. Where John Power succeeds is, in a word, diversity. There are a large variety of powers in the game, but you must choose from a pool of three at the beginning of a level. I finished the game, and immediately wanted more. The finale is beyond words, and plays with the mechanics established in the previous levels in a clever way. Expertly designed.

5. Collector’s Quest – by Crigs

Link: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=30740

Collector’s Quest has a neat, unique mechanic that is explained wonderfully through level design. There’s also a lot of nice touches that give the player character some charm and personality. Another example of a game that I wouldn’t mind seeing more levels from!

Got some more cool games that are totally rad? Link them below, or post your own list! Let’s highlight the awesome work put out by the thousands of devs that made this jam magical!

Touch (Afterthoughts)

Posted by (twitter: @npaavo)
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 3:55 pm

TouchBanner

 

Finished with my first Ludum Dare game! I had so much fun doing this, and want to thank my friend Chris for suggesting I participate. So, without further ado, Touch.

Touch is a minimalist exploration game that is designed to only be played once. I highly recommended experiencing this game with sound.

Link: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=31841

Continue reading after playing for my thoughts on development, early ideas, and more.

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