Ludum Dare 23
Hi! My name is Daniel.
I'm Brazilian and currently I'm a Master student in Taiwan.
Archive for the ‘LD #23’ Category
Planning and Time management
Since time is a scarce resource in a project, planning and time management are very important. This is a very extensive topic and the is much material about it already, so I will only talk about a few things. See the graphs below.
On the upper graph what I mean is that depending on your skill, you can achieve different levels of quality given the time you spend. Therefore, if you have a good knowledge of your own skills and how far you can push them, you can aim for a certain acceptable quality level and maximize the number of tasks you can complete.
The bottom graph is a bit more controversial, so maybe you will disagree with me. What I mean is that if you try to make the best possible choices, you won’t make many choices. That means that the so called “perfectionism” doesn’t take anyone anywhere close to perfection. IMHO, a good compromise is to aim for the “good” and “acceptable”, not the “perfect” or “excellent”.
The genre I chose was Platforming, that means walking around, jumping, fighting enemies, etc.
I added a experimental concept here. The main character can use a weapon, but he can’t actually kill the enemies. The support NPC is the one that has the lethal weapon. The effect was quite interesting in my opinion, since it changes the focus of the action and puts a lot of responsibility on the NPC.
My engine of choice was Unity3D. I have to say that it is not specially good for making 2D games, but it is very easy to use and has a very powerful physics engine.
For my art style, frame-by-frame animation can be very time consuming. So I opted for the puppet style animation. I cut the character in 5 pieces and animated them like a paper doll. It looks a bit goofy, but it is acceptable.
Ideally it should be parted in more sections, and additional textures should be added (e.g. front, back, side views). But of course this would take a lot of time.
Unity has a nice feature called Animation Blending. It can switch between animations in a very smooth way.
First for the main character, I drew, animated, and implemented the controls. For the support character, I changed the sprite and reused everything else.
For the level design, I opted for crystal formations. Loosely inspired in the things you see in electron microscope images.
By repeating this pattern over and over, it’s possible to quickly create levels that have some nice mood.
I like playing video games since I was a small kid. But unfortunately my experience with game design is very limited. I am an Automation Engineer and currently I’m working with R&D of Robot Behavior for Human Interaction.
Working with robots can be very fun and it requires lots of programming, AI/behaviors, physics simulations, Kinematics&Dynamics, etc. Interestingly, these skills intersect pretty well with what it takes to make a game.
A few years ago “doing a game by yourself from scratch in 48hrs” would sound insane to me. But after being an Engineering Master student in Taiwan, I have to say that I’m no stranger to crazy hard assignments with stupidly short deadlines, and of course unreasonably high quality standards (welcome to Asia!).
My interpretation of the “Tiny World” theme is that the game happens in the microscopic world, in the scale of bacteria and protozoa. I saw that many people interpreted the theme more literally, as an actual small planet.
The story goes like this: a time travel experiment goes wrong and then the protagonists are miniaturized and have to survive the tiny world.
Recently I’ve been watching Steins;Gate, it’s an anime series about paradoxes and time travel. So on this competition I wanted to do something time travel related. Unfortunately, the “Tiny World” theme doesn’t match so well with time travel. Anyway, I somehow stubbornly included it to the story.
To tell the truth, I have little experience with storytelling and character development, so I decided not to put much time on that.
In this competition the choice of the game genre is of course the most fundamental. For this game I chose the Platformer genre.
I live in a paradox. I’m half artist, half engineer. Usually these halfs conflict each other, but in game design they add up pretty well. I can write programs in a reasonably high speed, but I have to say that I’m no tiger-paw programmer. With this in mind and considering the theme, I chose the platformer game style.In this kind of game, the programming part is not very demanding and you cam make direct and easy use of the Engine’s physics simulation. Moreover, it’s easy to integrate drawings and paintings to the game. Not to mention that the art stands out a lot in this kind of game.
Protagonist – He is a male scientist that was caught up in this miniaturizement situation and tries to find a way out of it.
Support character – Platforming games are usually a little lonely in my opinion. So I decided to add an NPC to play along with the main character.
Other characters – There are two other characters that make a brief appearance in the game intro. I didn’t want to waste time on them, so I simply based them on the original two characters.
These are a few games that really got my attention.
My Little Planetoid: cool small planet simulation.
Newest build: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7631292/webplayer/WebPlayer.html
I’m off to sleep now. Tomorrow I give it a sprint
First build (requires Unity webplayer): http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7631292/webplayer/WebPlayer.html
Arrows to move. Click to shot.
haha I’m way behind schedule. Spent too much time in the art work and basic engine.
I’m going to take a rest now.
Just had a good night of sleep and a good breakfast.
Luckily here in Eastern Asia, Ludum Dare starts at 9AM, no need to mess up sleeping cycles.
I have an idea in my mind and I’m ready to start.