About Yoman (twitter: @Yoman987)

Loves pixel art. Uses Game Maker 8.1 and GM HTML5. Retro, old school, 8bit.

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A Manor of Speaking – Playthrough

Posted by (twitter: @Yoman987)
Friday, December 23rd, 2011 5:51 am

I was finally able to make a video of some gameplay!

Here’s my voting link again:
http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-22/?action=rate&uid=7360

A Manor of Speaking – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @Yoman987)
Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 10:58 pm

First up, here’s the voting link:
http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-22/?action=rate&uid=7360

Here’s the Game Maker sandbox link, if you prefer:
http://sandbox.yoyogames.com/games/191280-a-manor-of-speaking

I don’t have a video because none of my machines are capable of recording and playing with a good framerate at the same time. If someone could make one for me I would be forever grateful. Apologies.

The first thing you see of the main character.

Post Mortem

First, the theme, ‘Alone’. It sucked. There, I said it. When I saw it I thought “Great, there’s something that half of the games out there have.” I didn’t really think much of it at that point. So without much inspiration I decided to make a game that had side-scrolling. Maybe a platformer. But everyone makes platformers, so I can’t do that. alright, how about a fighting-slash-exploration game from a side-on perspective? Yeah, let’s roll with that.

So I started with a brainstorm. I went from ‘Alone’ to ‘Escape’ to ‘Horror’ to ‘Death’  and then realised I didn’t want a Horror. Scrap that. ‘Alone’ to ‘Seperated’ to ‘Lost’ to ‘Unknown Place’ seemed to work better, and I then started to think “Well, where’s this Unknown Place?” A few things ran through my mind but I liked the idea of a mansion. Then I thought of Castlevania and Alone In The Dark. Castlevania seemed like my inspiration for the enemies (or maybe Luigi’s Mansion :P) and Alone In The Dark for the gameplay.

I liked the idea of a night-time setting. Most Horror things happen at or near night-time. Then I thought of Knights. Then I thought of a name for two characters: Knite and Dae. Then I remembered the film ‘Knight and Day’ and scrapped it.

Sprites. The first thing I went for was something small – that’s my specialty. Small sprites, no bigger than 16×16 or thereabouts. So I went for something bigger: 48×20-something. I liked the Knight idea, so I went with a Templar (Assassin’s Creed had a part in that choice). I drew a Templar Knight; you can see him at the end of the game.

Then I realised that I had to animate him. Nope. It had taken me an hour to draw this guy well and wasn’t going to waste more time animating him. Back to the drawing board – rather, my Pictures/Pixelart/ folder. I liked the little blue caveman alien guy I had drawn and decided to copy him. I couldn’t use him since that was against the rules.

So I drew a little blue man. That was my character. How strange. Anyway, now I had something to make a platformer with (didn’t I NOT want to make a platformer? Oh well) Movement/Jumping engine came easily since I had already written many of them, trying out slightly different methods of execution in code. So now I had a great Platformer engine with collisions and such.

Next Stop: Enemies. What do you find in a scary mansion? Ghosts. What else? Possessed Suits of Armour. Oh, hey! I can use my Templar design for the armours! So I drew a suit of armour with a red cross on it. I liked it. Then I drew a ghost, which was easy. My ghost was a mix of a Boo and a Pacman Ghost. I liked it.

Then, still in MSPaint, I decided to draw a chest. I did. It looked good. Then I realised that there are enemies called Mimics that commonly take the shape of a chest and eat unwary dungeon explorers. So I copy-modified the chest to have teeth. I was starting to like my characters at this point. All except the blue man. He needed to be a normal man. A few skintoned-pixels later he was a little boy, not unlike the one from Up (Pixar film).

Then I got stuck into coding. Hours pass and I’m still trying to think of a good story. I love my stories, see, and didn’t want to have something like an arcade game. It would be harder, sure, but I just made the choice without thinking. I then remembered that I had to go to work, so I scrambled into my clothes and left. Worked. Came home, went straight to be since it was already midnight. End Day 1. Hours used: 5

Next day I got up with a page of notes I had jotted down during the night. I had fresh ideas and was raring to go. It was about 9am when I started and I had to get a LOT done in ~24 hours. I got straight to work coding all the bits and pieces that needed doing. Fixing up my platforming collisions, making enemies walk/float properly, keys, doors, levers, pressure plates. were all done before dinner. I had regular breaks too, since I knew what had to be done and didn’t think it would take until tomorrow morning to do them.

Code was mostly done. Sprites too. Then I realised I had gameplay, mechanics, enemies and loot, but no story or tutorial. Oh bugger. The tutorial code took a while to get right but only had to be written once. No bugs. Excellent.

The story, however, was half-assed. I didn’t have an ending or any levels except for my two or three debugging/test rooms. And I needed environments as well.

This was when I realised that I would be up most of the night and into the morning.

I made a post on here and then got to work drawing. I drew a table, chairs, banners, pictures, a bookcase, windows, everything I could think of that belonged in a mansion. Then I switched to level design. It got boring real quick, and I managed to make a single wallpaper tile I had drawn earlier fit into each room as I didn’t have time to make anything else.

Then I discovered I had forgotten the ending, again. I needed something quickly and it had to be half-assed but not look it. Items. I could make the whole thing into a quest for items. But what item? Next to me on my desk was a candy cane. Perfect! A knight that likes candy canes. Corny, strange, different and it would work. So that went in quickly with a slight change to the chest code.

So my sprites and tiles were done, my enemies and gameplay was done, my story worked (barely) and I had everything ready for a test run. I did one, found some bugs, squished them and THEN made a post about audio. A google search later revealed a beat-mixer by Aviary and I went with that. Ooh, a randomise function! Low piano notes, slow beat, randomise times a million. Hey! This one sounds good, and it loops well. Download.

Now to SFXR. Lot’s of randomising in there too. Now I have everything. Time for a test run – about 1 or 2am at this point. I’m going to get it in time!

Heh, nope. Computer decided to take FOR EVER to compile the code with this new-fangled audio thing. I left it and went and got a drink and cleared my work area.

3 am. Computer doesn’t like the audio and the game together but they work separately. OK, that’s all right. I can work this. I added one-liners to each thing that needed a sound effect then commented them all out. Fixed a few little things, removed the audio from my assets list and saved. Test game!

Nope. I’mma crash on you!

Computer restarts. Oh god. Well at least I saved, right? …

Back up and running, I load the game and all is well. Phew. Test game, reveal bugs, fix bugs. Add audio, compile, wait an hour. I had a kinda daze-like nap here, because the game seemed to be suddenly making music. Oh good.

It’s 4am by this point. The sun is rising. Good god, I haven’t stayed up this late in a while. Okay, testing. All is well in the first half of the game, must be OK in the rest. Take some pictures, zip up the game and the source and upload it.

Submission time. I felt proud that I had finished with about 5 hours to spare. Time for bed. I turned off the PC and did so.

Three hours later, my Dad comes and wakes me up:
“What time did you go to bed?”
“Uh, around 5 um, thirty?”
“So you’ve had three hours sleep.”
I look at the clock. 9:30.
“Yeah…”

I got up, checked the site and was able to catch the end of the 48 hours. Woooooo!!! I made it!
“We’ve extended the submission time to 2 hours. :D”
Well, ok I suppose.

[THIS POST IS GETTING QUITE LONG, SO I’LL CUT TO THE CHASE]

Found out too late that my game was broken: one of the levels that had a candy cane in it (a quest item) didn’t link back to a room properly. A one-way street basically. So I set to work documenting how to get the candy cane and get back, since I had an extra key in the game. But no, it didn’t work. Now it’s well after the submission time, and the game is still broken. I check LudumDare’s twitter, send a message about after-submission bugfixes and then end up submitting the fixed game for the Jam instead. It still fits under the Compo’s rules, except for the time limit.

So all in all, I’m happy about my game, ecstatic that this is my first go and I did it, but sad that it couldn’t be submitted for the Compo. :(

Thanks for reading this massive wall of text. Have a good one.

… and here’s those links again:
http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-22/?action=rate&uid=7360

http://sandbox.yoyogames.com/games/191280-a-manor-of-speaking

I’m sorry :(

Posted by (twitter: @Yoman987)
Sunday, December 18th, 2011 11:06 pm

Don’t you hate it when a major bug, not a game-ending one, turns up and stops you from making any more progress? Well, that’s happened to me. So I apologise for my broken game. You can still play it up to a certain point but can’t go further due to a pressure-pad bug.

So I’ll fix the bug and upload the fixed game (with a kitten :3 ) under a slightly different name for the Jam.

A Manor of Speaking – Submitted!

Posted by (twitter: @Yoman987)
Sunday, December 18th, 2011 2:58 pm

Woooooooooo! Ludum Dare 22, first attempt, conquered! Congrats to me and everyone else who is/was/will be able to complete the challenge. For me, I just stayed up 20 hours straight doing this thing, and now I’m off to an early 6am bedtime.

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-22/?action=preview&uid=7360

There’s my submission. There’s an exe for the Windows folk and an in-browser HTML5 version for the more daring. Just be aware that the HTML5 version isn’t fully tested and can’t be put into fullscreen. You need a keyboard; arrow keys and ctrl key specifically, and a mouse. Backspace to skip the intro cutscene.

Thanks for the comp, well worth my time! Good luck to you all!

Oh balls.

Posted by (twitter: @Yoman987)
Sunday, December 18th, 2011 12:45 pm

My audio sounds great, but unfortunately my poor old computer can’t handle compiling it every time I test, so I haven’t even heard it myself yet. Otherwise, all the little things are getting done and/or fixed. Things are going so well I could almost go to sleep now, get up in five hours, compile the game and submit it.

Woot.

 

Seeing everyone else’s games makes me sad that mine isn’t as good, but it’s my game and I love it and I will submit it with pride. 😀

Almost there!

Posted by (twitter: @Yoman987)
Sunday, December 18th, 2011 10:09 am

Well I’ve finished the platforming engine, enemies are done, goals are relatively obvious, mechanics are all working, most of the levels are done and I’ve just got sound to do!

Doing a test run now to make sure everything works, probably will find and fix a few things (or add things I’ve forgotten) and then onto the audio!

My second Ludum Dare, (first I forgot about until the second day) and I think I’ve done spectacularly well.

Progress

Posted by (twitter: @Yoman987)
Saturday, December 17th, 2011 11:17 pm

I like to do a little spriting, then massive amounts of coding, then some more spriting (mainly the environment at this point) then the sounds and music, then finish up the little coding bits left. I’m at step 2, so no environments yet.

Screenshot of my game

These are all the objects I have so far.

Time to knuckle down

Posted by (twitter: @Yoman987)
Saturday, December 17th, 2011 5:58 pm

Alright, had a short work shift last night and slept in too much, but I’ve got nothing else to do for the rest of the 24 hours. Didn’t like the theme; it was quite hard for me to get something out of it, but I had a subconscious breakthrough about midnight and wrote down everything I could think of; mechanics, story, feature, the works. I’m all set now!

Attempt #2

Posted by (twitter: @Yoman987)
Thursday, December 8th, 2011 6:27 pm

Yoman from West Australia here. First proper LD, unofficially tried to make a game for LD21 but failed. THis time I’m better prepared. Expect cool pixel art, retro sounds and hopefully some neat features.

GM8.1/GMHTML5, sfxr, MSPaint.

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