About Winterblood (twitter: @Winterblood_Dev)

I make games for a living. But usually other people's games.
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Ludum Dare 31
 
Ludum Dare 27
 
Ludum Dare 26
 
Ludum Dare 25
 
Ludum Dare 22
 
Ludum Dare 21
 
MiniLD #27
 
Ludum Dare 20

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Winterblood's Archive

LD26 Day 1 summary

Posted by (twitter: @Winterblood_Dev)
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 7:18 pm

Calling it a night. I have a temp sphere moving around a procedural island, with a few trees to bring to life. Doesn’t sound much, but because the focus of the game is simple movement around the environment, I wrote the character mover and chase camera from scratch as well as the terrain generator. Unfortunately while they worked fine in my flat testbed, a couple of issues have cropped up with slopes – so no playable build yet.

screenshot_wip1

I’m a bit behind where I hoped to be, as I’ve spent a lot of this evening bug-fixing. Tomorrow: nailing the player and camera movement, wrapping the whole thing in a game loop, balancing and polishing…

I was born for this…

Posted by (twitter: @Winterblood_Dev)
Friday, April 19th, 2013 3:35 pm

Very ready. I have been playing a lot of Journey this week (white robe GET) hoping I can manage to create something with a hint of that awesomeness…in a weekend. I’m nothing if not ambitious 😀

Usual tools: Unity, Blender, Mixtikl, Paint.NET, Audacity, coffee.

Pros represent!

Posted by (twitter: @Winterblood_Dev)
Tuesday, December 18th, 2012 6:41 am

When I’m not LudumDaring, I work for Traveller’s Tales. A bunch of my colleagues also entered LD25 and I thought I’d round ’em up here. We’re all professional programmers, but that doesn’t make LD much easier ‘cos we still struggle on the art…and sound…and design…and even the code if I’m honest…

“Earth Beast”

“Escape from Prison Planet”

“Infidel”

“Blue Idiot” (last-minute one-day jam entry)

Any other industry types participating? Yes, I know about Notch :)

Unity Web plugin weirdness

Posted by (twitter: @Winterblood_Dev)
Monday, December 17th, 2012 5:33 pm

Some of the Unity entries are prompting me to install the Unity plugin, even though others work fine. Even after installing, they continue to prompt me. Never experienced this on previous LDs – anyone else having the same issue or just me? My own Unity 4 entry ran fine on the old plugin. Could it be an issue with Chrome, perhaps?

Day One Progress

Posted by (twitter: @Winterblood_Dev)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 9:38 pm

Drew a bit of a blank on the theme, so decided to write a fairly traditional stealth-’em-up. This time I have mostly resisted the urge to make it pretty, and have got the core mechanics working instead!

You can turn the torches on and off, collect loot, and I have a sinister capsule patrolling a series of waypoints, coming after you if he spots you, and returning to patrol if he loses you again. Title and pause screen are working.

Day 1 progress

Day 1 progress

Day 2 is all about making gameplay from those core mechanics, and tarting it up – although one important thing I haven’t yet done is factor shadows into the visiblity code. But I know how that will work, just haven’t done it yet. Just done a last-minute stress test to see how many dynamic lights I can get away with, and the answer is “not many”. I may burn a lot of tomorrow optimising…

Nothing in the world can stop me now!

Posted by (twitter: @Winterblood_Dev)
Sunday, December 9th, 2012 2:11 pm

So, LD23 was a washout for me due to crunching on LEGO Batman 2. And LD24 I couldn’t commit to because of LEGO Lord of the Rings. But this time…no excuses. I’ve been waiting all year for a chance to get creative.

Tools: Unity, Blender, Paint.Net, MixTikl, Audacity. Have a hankering to use WorldMachine too, but it depends on the theme.

Finally, a quick shot of my current bijou workspace, including the whiteboard I was so proud of last time but never got to use…

World's Smallest Workspace

I’m in…armed with essential new equipment

Posted by (twitter: @Winterblood_Dev)
Saturday, August 18th, 2012 4:13 pm

Same old tools – Unity, Blender, Paint.NET, Audacity, Mixtikl.
But this time I have a WHITEBOARD. With pro resources like that, what can possibly go wrong?

Excuses, Excuses

Posted by (twitter: @Winterblood_Dev)
Friday, April 20th, 2012 12:52 pm

I’m in! But I won’t have much time, because I’m crunching on a much bigger game :(
However, that does leave me with an awesome excuse. My LD48 entry will be rubbish because…

…BATMAN NEEDS ME.

Nevertheless: I’ll be using Unity3D, Paint.NET, Audacity and Mixtikl.

What Would Molydeux?

Posted by (twitter: @Winterblood_Dev)
Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 6:03 am

Just a reminder for anyone who HASN’T heard already…

There is an upcoming jam themed around the game design tweets of spoof Twitter account @PeterMolydeux. Looks like fun, and would make a great warmup for LD23.

www.whatwouldmolydeux.com

MolyJam!

There’s lots of local meets but nothing set up for remote participation…yet.

Lonely Island – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @Winterblood_Dev)
Friday, December 30th, 2011 6:36 am

Well, regardless of how the voting goes, I consider my effort a failure. I’ll explain why after breaking down the issues…

What went right

  • Theme – I drew a blank on interesting game mechanics for “Alone”, so decided to go for a mood piece with fairly conventional mechanics (especially since we had a new category just for that). I was happy with the general mood of the game.
  • Mechanics – I created a handful of simple scripts that I could re-use to quickly add objects and interactions. This really helped in the final few hours, even though I lost a lot of that work.
  • Art style – I was initially going for a desaturated, pastel look rather than completely grayscale. I abandoned this on day two because it was taking far too much time twiddling the colours to try to get the look I wanted. Grayscale was much simpler to implement and I felt it turned out more dramatic too.
  • What went wrong

  • Too much art – I spent the vast majority of my time building and lighting the environment. It’s pretty, I guess, but when I look at what other entries did using much simpler art, I feel that was wasted time.
  • Art first – I build most of the environment on Saturday, tweaked and polished on Sunday morning, and only started adding simple puzzles on Sunday afternoon. This was exceedingly stupid.
  • Not enough to do – the flip side of overdoing the art. There’s only three simple fetch puzzles to do, and no proper ending, which is pathetic. Because I wanted to make a story-driven experience and had already designed much of the enivronment, I struggled to come up with logical puzzles. At the last minute I realised that they could be emotional blocks rather than physical barriers to leaving, but didn’t have time to properly evoke that.
  • No backups – during submission hour, Unity crashed and corrupted the terrain data I’d spent the bulk of day 1 sculpting. I had to revert to a test build I’d done an hour earlier. Sadly, in that hour I’d added a lot of additional text and a proper ending. Next time I’ll make backups and bank test builds at regular intervals.
  • In this shot you can also see the debug plane – a quad with a mist texture on it that slices through the landscape (most obvious above the doorway) showing where the player can move. I used this to help sculpt the terrain and place objects on it, and intended to delete it before submission. It’s a minor niggle, but it annoys me!
    Lonely Island screenshot

    Self-analysis

    The main reason I consider Lonely Island a failure is that I made ALL THE SAME MISTAKES as in LD21. Read the post-mortem for that one here.

    You’d think because I’m a programmer by trade, I’d be able to knock up working game mechanics in a few hours. And I can, if I try. But that’s exactly what I do at work day-in, day-out. During Ludum Dare, I’d far rather play around with the art – it’s more fun, I learn new tricks and I get a pretty result a lot faster than with programming. And I guess that’s fine, if that’s what I wanted to do.

    But what I really want out of Ludum Dare is to prove to myself that I can design and build my own games – not just implement highly-polished cogs that go into the big machine. And I’m failing at that because I’m doing the fun stuff instead of the important stuff.

    So as far as I’m concerned, the theme of the next LD is “Self-Discipline”!

    Play (Unity) | Ratings Page

    Lonely Island…salvaged from wreckage

    Posted by (twitter: @Winterblood_Dev)
    Sunday, December 18th, 2011 9:13 pm

    Damned Unity first bluescreened my laptop, and then hung while trying to make last-minute text tweaks. After the second reboot, I found that the hand-sculpted terrain data had vanished. I am NOT BEST PLEASED.

    Luckily, I had a test submission build, which is functional…but missing the majority of the flavour text and a proper ending. I’ll upload the source assets (sans terrain) in the morning when the rage has subsided.

    Lonely Island screenshot

    Lonely Island

    Day 1: Island screenshot

    Posted by (twitter: @Winterblood_Dev)
    Saturday, December 17th, 2011 7:29 pm

    Quick update…I’m succumbing to the temptation to spend the weekend tarting up a non-game. Need gameplay, stat!

    That said, I have prepared a handful of tools to help me get gameplay content in faster tomorrow, and I’m WAY ahead compared to my LD21 effort, “Fireflies”.

    LD22 Work in progress

    LD22 Work in progress


    You may notice the character looks a bit like the one in Fireflies. That’s because blobby cartoon figures are really quick to model. He’s a bit more egg-shaped than the last one though.

    Warmup Weekend Away!

    Posted by (twitter: @Winterblood_Dev)
    Saturday, December 10th, 2011 3:03 pm

    3-year-old daughter off to bed – the evening is mine, all mine!

    My warm-up is going to be to finish my sorely neglected xmas challenge game. So far I’ve done a lot of tweaking the landscape generation code, but no gameplay at all. Older readers may find this looks suspiciously familiar, if a bit murky…

    This weekend’s task is to get the gameplay mechanics and main game loop working. I might have time to improve the landscape and presentation a bit, if things go well. It certainly needs it…

    Mixtikl – great music generator

    Posted by (twitter: @Winterblood_Dev)
    Thursday, December 8th, 2011 6:06 am

    http://intermorphic.com/tools/mixtikl/index.html

    Check it out. There is an iPhone app version as well as the desktop builds. I think it should be on the Tools page!

    LD22…I am in.

    Posted by (twitter: @Winterblood_Dev)
    Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 5:56 am

    Ludum time again! We’ll see if the third time is a charm. Plan to apply my experience of the last couple and keep it super-simple…although currently fighting an overwhelming urge to attempt a micro-Skyrim :O #optimisticindie

    Tools: Unity3D, Paint.NET, Audacity, Blender.

    Fireflies – Post Mortem

    Posted by (twitter: @Winterblood_Dev)
    Monday, August 22nd, 2011 1:21 pm

    Well, that was manic. I had family stuff to do this weekend, but I didn’t wanna miss LD, so I’ve cobbled together what turned out to be pretty much the tutorial level of what I originally had in mind…

    So here’s what I learned:

  • Don’t try to Ludum Dare on a weekend when you have other commitments :)
  • Importing a rigged & animated character into Unity with ONE anim is not a sufficient test case for importing a rigged and animated character with SEVERAL anims. This cost me hours of trawling the internet and experimentation. FWIW…the problem was that either Blender didn’t export (or Unity didn’t import) the entire timeline – only the active preview range.
  • Rigging for forward kinematics is a doddle (if you’re not too concerned about balancing the vertex weights). Setting up the armature for IK makes my head hurt, and there seem to be as many variants as there are riggers.
  • I have noticed a pattern in my LD projects already. All three are heavy on polish and embarassingly light on content. This, I think, is the habit of over a decade of AAA development where the level designs are handed to me and I need to focus on getting the implementation just right. For the next miniLD I must deliberately make an ugly game that is fully featured and balanced.
  • That said, I did go into this one deliberately intending to kickstart my character modelling/rigging/animating skills. I’m quite pleased with the results. I had to force myself to stop at the minimum set of anims, otherwise I could have blown the entire weekend doing anims for every situation. Also, I made no effort to make the feet match the floor on the walk, and I know the recoil is abysmal. But I’ve seen worse in retail games, so nyer.
  • The actual mechanics I intended to implement were much more elaborate – with three colours of firefly, three colours of flower that they like to hang out near, and dark levels that you can only traverse when carrying a firefly – so you would have to do elaborate back and forth puzzles to get all the fireflies back to the jar. I’ll knock a couple up this week and see if it turns out as fun as I’d hoped…
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