About NiallM (twitter: @NiallEM)


NiallM's Trophies

Archive for the ‘LD #17 – Islands – 2010’ Category

The Lost Hebrides bug fixes

Posted by (twitter: @NiallEM)
Thursday, April 29th, 2010 2:10 am

I’ve fixed some bugs with my entry.  So far it seems people only noticed the clicking bug (caused by the code I use to start the game in fullscreen at your native resolution, with black bars if your monitor’s not 16:10 – it was working before the compo, then I stupidly broke it during).  Other bugs fixed include the text rendering as black boxes on OSX, and it crashing straight away on my intel graphics netbook.

I consider these game breaking, and have updated my entry’s links accordingly.  If you want to see the original versions, here they are:

WindowsOSXLinux/source code

Also, thanks for the comments guys :)  I pretty much agree – visually it’s my strongest LD entry to date, but gameplay-wise it’s just too random, with no real opportunity for the player to turn it to their advantage.

Timelapse, Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @NiallEM)
Monday, April 26th, 2010 6:07 am

Doing this now, because the longer I leave it, the less chance I’ll ever write it up.

I’ve uploaded OSX and Linux/source code versions.  These ones have the stupid bug where you could click on buoys before you’d found them fixed (thanks TFernando :) ), but I left the Windows version as it is, since that’s how I submitted it, and it’s not a huge bug.

Timelapse is here.  I’m afraid it’s missing the music making though, since I did that on a different computer and forgot to record a corresponding timelapse.  Post mortem after the jump:



Posted by (twitter: @NiallEM)
Sunday, April 25th, 2010 11:50 am

I did some last minute tinkering with the difficulty, and added some basic tutorial hints (displayed on your first play).  Getting the difficulty right was hard, and I suspect I may have gone too far towards the hard end of the scale.  But then these kind of games tend to rely on frequent deaths as part of their replayability.  I’m interested in what kind of comments I’ll get.

There are 5 endings by the way; 3 bad, 1 good, and 1 very good but rare.

LD entry link.

After the jump, a final food photo:


Cut scene update

Posted by (twitter: @NiallEM)
Sunday, April 25th, 2010 9:23 am

Changed my mind, decided the cut-scenes needed colour:


Still not entirely happy with them, but it’s too late to do anything now.  Just the tutorial hints and the decision on whether to randomise the islanders’ colours left to go.

Cut scene

Posted by (twitter: @NiallEM)
Sunday, April 25th, 2010 7:32 am


The first cut scene of the game.  It’s not amazing, but I think it’ll do.

Back from lunch

Posted by (twitter: @NiallEM)
Sunday, April 25th, 2010 5:55 am

The music’s done.  It’s not quite what I was aiming for (I was going for a slightly eerie feel, but it’s more cheery than eerie), but it works fairly well.  I’ve also done a quick watercolour wash for the background to the cut-scenes (waiting for it to dry before I can scan it).  Lunch was pretty much the same as yesterday; Irn Bru, beans on toast, and ice cream:


Now I’ve got some cut-scenes to draw…

Extra UI elements

Posted by (twitter: @NiallEM)
Sunday, April 25th, 2010 3:04 am


So I’ve added the extra UI elements I talked about in the previous post.  Islanders who *you know* know the way to the enchanted isles have a yellow glow, and there’s a ‘divine’ button to point you to such islanders (at the cost of some of your time).  I think it’s a more interesting game now, though I suspect there’s still not a huge amount of replay value.  Barring the tutorial hints, I actually got all the coding done which I had planned to get done, so I’m going to start on the music now.

Day 2

Posted by (twitter: @NiallEM)
Sunday, April 25th, 2010 12:16 am

I’m awake.  I’m pretty happy with yesterday’s progress, but there’s still a lot to be done.  Here’s my todo list:

  • Clicking an islander shows you how long it will take to get there, gives you an embark button.
  • Music.
  • Rough paper background for cut-scenes (maybe a watercolour wash?).
  • Cut-scene pictures.
  • Randomised pickups.
  • Days should tick by faster (the game’s too easy as it is).
  • Tutorial hints.
  • Button to tell you which islanders know the way to the enchanted isles, at the cost of some of your time.

I just realised I haven’t really explained the game yet.  The aim is to find your way to the enchanted isles (i.e. the lost Hebrides of the title) in the West within 7 days.  To do that you have to find 3 islanders who know the way, but travelling to the islanders takes up time, so you have to try and judge your journey.

I’m going to start with the coding tasks today, as they should go fastest, and the game kind of needs them since it isn’t much fun at the moment.  I plan on getting them done by 11am, then taking about 1 1/2 hours to make the music, followed by lunch.  That’ll leave me the rest of the day to get the cut-scene pictures done, which are the part I’m least confident about.

The end of day 1

Posted by (twitter: @NiallEM)
Saturday, April 24th, 2010 2:18 pm

I think I’m probably going to call it a night.  Here’s what I have so far:


Note the authentic hebridean clothing of brightly coloured pointy hats 😉

The basic gameplay is there, and you can win (or lose) the game, but the cut-scenes don’t have any pictures, and the gameplay feels a bit lacking.  I think I need to add randomised pickups that help you out (a faster boat, hints about which islanders know the way the enchanted isles).  I’ve still got to do the music too, though that hopefully won’t be too hard.  The whole game’s inspired by rockettothesky’s Medea (e.g.), so I’m going to try for a similar feel.

Pizza Final

Posted by (twitter: @NiallEM)
Saturday, April 24th, 2010 12:04 pm

Ooh, Dr. Who was good.  I was worried since the previous episode was terrible, and I really couldn’t see the point in bringing back the angels, but that was up there with the first two episodes of the season.

Anyway, here’s how the pizza turned out:


The dough didn’t turn out as airy as I was hoping, but it was still pretty good.  Another picture and some more details after the cut (I realise no-one’s interested in the intricacies of my pizza recipe but, well, I’m proud of it).


Pizza Progress

Posted by (twitter: @NiallEM)
Saturday, April 24th, 2010 10:47 am


So, here’s the dough having risen (and then fallen a bit when I removed the bowl’s cover:


Pizza Dough

Posted by (twitter: @NiallEM)
Saturday, April 24th, 2010 9:48 am

I don’t have a whole lot to show game-wise, so the next few posts are going to be about my dinner!

After years of making pizzas and never being entirely happy with the results, I finally perfected my recipe a couple of months ago.  It starts with dough:


That’s ~100g plain flour*, half a sachet of yeast, and some lukewarm water.  This is after I’ve kneaded it for ~20mins, and it’s currently sitting on top of my radiator, hopefully rising.  I’ll come back to it in an hour or so, once I’ve done yesterday’s dishes and started the sauce going.



Posted by (twitter: @NiallEM)
Saturday, April 24th, 2010 6:21 am


Fiddled with my particle generator to get some clouds that more or less work the way I want them to.  I should probably start making the actual game part of the game now.  I seem to have spent most of the time so far getting the title screen right…

Titlescreen and lunch

Posted by (twitter: @NiallEM)
Saturday, April 24th, 2010 4:52 am


I’ve got a title screen now.  I’m not entirely happy with how the watercolour turned out, but it’ll have to do.  There’s going to be clouds obscuring part of it, which will hopefully make things look a bit more interesting.

Lunch below the cut:


Ink + watercolour test

Posted by (twitter: @NiallEM)
Saturday, April 24th, 2010 2:18 am

So I’ve inked the map and scanned it in:


…and I think I’m going to try and use watercolours to colour it.  I’ve not used watercolours in ages, so this may turn out to be a bad idea (test colours after the cut).


Map 1st Attempt

Posted by (twitter: @NiallEM)
Saturday, April 24th, 2010 1:13 am

I’ve pencilled in the map.  If there’s anyone from the Hebrides reading this, you have my deepest apologies…


This is what it’s meant to look like.

Next step: ink!

[cache: storing page]