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POSTMORTEM: I May Have Misunderstood: RPG

Posted by (twitter: @wooltech)
Saturday, September 5th, 2015 9:12 am

I May Have Misunderstood: RPGClick To Play

I’m in the UK, so I waited for the theme to be announced and then promptly went to bed. By morning I had my idea – the theme didn’t say “The Player Is The Monster”. It addressed me directly, “You, Wooltech, Are The Monster.”

So how would I make a game where the developer is the bad guy?

My main problem is always artwork. As in I can’t do it, so my first Ludum Dare used pixel-sized characters, the next was text only. This time, my workaround could be photos. Of me.

One thing led to another, and soon I was at work making the old school style RPG you see in the screenshots.

There are four main elements to the game itself:

MOVEMENTpost_map

Movement was going to be actual movement through a 3-D maze, but I ditched that pretty early on. Again, it took quite a while before I settled on the unlockable, clickable buttons that replaced it. Not ideal, but I hope it retained the sense of exploration.

HEROESSS2

Orginally the three buttons under the Heros were ‘Attack’, ‘Skill’, ‘Item’. There were going to be player levels, unlockable skills and spells, collectable items to loot, buy and sell, equipable weapons and armour, consumable food and potions. The works. Oh, there were going to be multiple classes to pick from too.

Obviously – too ambitious. Especially as real-life took away more of the 48 hours than I expected.

Late Sunday I finally cut all that and came up with a more streamlined version of three skills per hero, and each encounter directly increasing stats rather than using XP. I think it works.

ENEMIESpost_enc

The enemies worked out pretty much as intended. They have almost the same stats behind the scenes as the heros have. At the last minute I decided to gave them unique abilities too – a simple hardcoded check for which enemy type was attacking, and a percentage chance for it to do something interesting instead of just roll to hit the Hero. Eg. Ratkin may flee, White Mage may heal a random enemy, and so on.

And, yes, they are all me in various LARP costumes. As one commenter put it “you’re not very shy are you? ha”

DIALOGUEpost_dialogue

I put together a fairly simple but robust system for branching dialogue, with me as the evil developer talking directly to the player. Another last minute addition was an option to reward stats after each dialogue choice.

It was disappointing to realise I’d spent too long on other parts of the game and didn’t have time to develop the full story I had in mind.

Originally it was going to be a lot more fourth-wall breaking and really play with the idea of the developed-as-enemy. Things like healing bad guys, switching buttons around, popping up a debug menu to fully heal the enemies mid-fight (with a heal-player button that you could hit if you were fast enough), fake logging into the player’s facebook account to post stuff, and more.

I’m happy with what I ended up with, but it could have been better. Isn’t that always the way?

TOOLS

I made this using C# in Unity 5 as I wanted a reason to figure out the new UI stuff. I also intended to use 3D for the maze exploration element, and to suddenly twist away the flat UI and reveal a matrix-like thing behind it and…well, other stuff that was again way too ambitious for the time limit.

It was literally uploaded with 5 mins to spare, so there are not even any beeps and clicks as you use the buttons. Next time I’ll remember to get audio together early on as the game feels pretty empty without it.

It was fun to make, and one day I’ll polish it up and add all the crazy ideas I had to cut out.

For now, I’m spending my time playing other people’s entries – as always it’s amazing what everyone has achieved over a single weekend.

You can play “I May Have Misunderstood: RPG” by clicking here.

Twine submission help request

Posted by (twitter: @wooltech)
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 7:41 pm

Hi,

I’ve been very last minute here, and have hastily (and a little drunkenly) been making a game using Twine 2, but have no idea how best to publish or enter it. I don’t have any web hosting of my own.

Any suggestions?

Glitter Pixel Saves The World – my first Ludum Dare – an epilogue

Posted by (twitter: @wooltech)
Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 5:16 pm

I moved house recently and had a pile of things to do, so spending 48 hours making a game for Ludum Dare would have been really irresponsible.

Anyway. Here’s the game I made for Ludum Dare:

kong_Screenshot_update

 

“A big adventure for a tiny hero – you are, literally, a single pixel. It’s the only way a game this big will fit on a single screen! “

I’m in the UK, so the theme was announced at 2am, which is a mixed blessing.  Took a while to get up and running, but I could stay up on the Sunday to get things finished. Well, as finished as they could be. I foolishly left the actual level design to last, so the map itself is a little rushed – positioning is all good, but I’d have liked to spend more time polishing the graphics.

It was quite a while before I settled on a game idea. I’d wanted to make something more quirky and out-there than a platform exploration adventure, but I got hooked on playing as a single pixel for the theme – instead of making a game that was small, make a big game shrunk down.

Most of the gameplay was planned before I started but the fog-of-war was a last minute addition which I think it adds a lot to the feel of exploration in the game. And they say feature creep is a bad thing! That said, I coded pushable rocks that I was planning puzzles for but didn’t get time to fully include on the map. They still provide barriers and the like, but none of the Boulderdash-style tunneling I’ve envisioned. I have a page or two of scribbled notes for things like proximity mines, different enemy behaviours, and various other plans and schemes that fell by the wayside.

 I plan to work on this game some more in the next week or two and make a full version with more bells and whistles, probably picking up some of the above ideas. If anyone has other suggestions for improvement in a ‘full’ version I’d love the hear.

This was built from scratch using Flash, Audacity, MS Paint and a few too many cans of Red Bull. I use C# in my day job, so it was nice to delve into ActionScript 3 again, even if it does mean I keep hitting the wrong shortcuts in the office. I didn’t use any existing libraries or old code bases or anything, as I wanted to do it all from a blank page onwards. I used Gimp a little for some graphics, but mainly Paint as it just really like the zoomed in view with a grid and thumbnail for drawing pixelly things.

I probably spent too long trying out silly voices for the game when I should have been coding, but I wanted to give some character to the little glittery hero and, to be honest, I was having fun and that’s what games are all about! I used Audacity was for recording my voice and adjusting the pitch – I’ve been told Glitter Pixel is cute, so I’ll be working on notching my voice up a few octaves in real life to see if it works for me too.

Now I’m playing through other people’s games and some great things have been made this weekend, whether highly polished or rough around the edges but imaginative and quirky.  It’s all good and I’m glad I was part of it and will definitely be doing this again.

Finally, in hindsight, trying the learn the Ukulele so I could play some backing music may not have been the best idea of time management…

Anyway: Play / Rate Glitter Pixel here

 

 

Glitter Pixel Will Save The World

Posted by (twitter: @wooltech)
Sunday, December 7th, 2014 8:57 pm

Well. That went right down to the wire!

I unsure what to do with the theme, but finally settled on a platform exploration/adventure/collection game and the best way to fit an entire game onto one screen was to make the hero a single pixel.

Probably not great timing, deciding to do this when I’m in the middle of moving into a house, but it was fun.  Nice to do something with Flash again, as I usually work with Unity.

Also very tired now – can’t find out how to add a screenshot to this post! No matter, I’ll try again tomorrow. For now…bed…

 

 

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