Ludum Dare 28
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Archive for the ‘LD #23’ Category
I just want to remind everybody that while rating is nice and gives us our chart at the end with the “winners” what is really important is to help others grow as a designer, and the best way you can do that is leave a comment after you play a game. Explain what you liked about the game and what you didn’t like, and even add things that you would have thought would improve the game. I always try to include a comment to the games I rate and I make sure to list at least one positive thing along with my criticisms.
Also, try to include something the author isn’t already aware of or has heard a dozen times already. I’m upset that I didn’t think of this earlier, but read the other comments so you aren’t posting the 19th comment about how the colors look weird.
And, when you post a comment, there is a link to your game right there that the developer can click to play. I know my last twenty comments have come from people playing my game after I’ve commented on theirs.
I definitely appreciate all the feedback that I have gotten and it has led me to some great ideas for improving my game post-compo. I know everyone else would really appreciate a constructive comment whenever you play their game, so please try and take the time to leave one.
And…… Done! I got through 10% of the total games and I’m mighty impressed. I have been mostly just searching for web games and am pleased that there are soo many games that don’t require anything to download. Anyway, here are my favorites (as in they received a 4 or 5 in the overall category).
Atomsmash – By Dan C. It’s a C64 game, like for reals. If you bother to you could actually play it on a Commodore 64, and it would be awesome. If you don’t want to go through that, there is an emulator you can get to experience the awesome for yourself.
Aether – by Danik. It’s a planet defense game, with a bit of a twist. What happens to the planet on a large scale is experienced on the small scale. I love the concept, and the visuals for both large and small are stunning. Really a great game.
Deconstructorium – by GreyShock. Go into objects and steal their molecules, then use these molecules to destroy the world! Essentially a collection of minigames with a linking story of mad scientist. Really fun and very funny.
This Precious Land – by Ishisoft. A nice puzzle game where you create resources to try to grow a new land. Very relaxing and yet still engaging.
The Good Ship Higgs Boson – by Jezzamon. Its a platformer. No, hear me out, it’s a gravity manipulating platformer. Give it a chance, it is actually very polished and provides some good puzzles.
ANT SURF HERO: THE SURFENING – by Jigxor. This has been on everybody’s top N games list and if you haven’t played it by now, for shame. Anyway, very good, very pretty, very funny, play the game already!
My Little Planetoid – by matthias_zarzecki. You build up a planet and evolve to the point where you can travel through space. Very nicely done and relaxing to play. I would also like to thank Mathias Zarzecki for playing everyone’s game. Seriously, look at his coolness, he is really trying to play all of them and I salute you for your efforts.
Atom Planet – by NMcCoy. A little puzzle game that is a mix of minecraft and alchemy, with a cute little character and relaxing music.
Tiny World – by piterlouis. A planetary defense game with a bit of a twist. Defend your planet with your own orbiting moon. Very fun. Should have picked a better title, however.
Michael is Myopic – by Several. Another puzzle game where you eat to grow, and have to avoid growing too large too fast. Has a nice zoom out feature that just looks awesome.
Tiny World Cardgame – by SusanTheCat. A fantastic card game that I wish was real. I would play everybody in it. In fact, I’m going to print off the cards as soon as I’m done with this post.
Fracuum – by TylerGlaiel. A maze game where you zoom in to advance in the maze. Reach the center to win, but there will be enemies trying to impede your progress.
And there you go, my list of games you should play. It has been a long hard ride through some 140 odd games, but these gems made it all worth while. And, if you are feeling generous, also play my game, Path O’ Invasion. Not as good as those games, but it has squishy movement, and really that’s what Ludum Dare is all about.
So it has been a week and I’ve had time to think about it and now it is time to write up my thoughts in a nice solid post-mortem form. But first, play my game Path O’ Invasion!
What Went Right:
Tools – I laid out all my tools beforehand and had been practicing with them for the week before, so I knew what I was going to do and how I was going to do it. This really helps get things going as soon as the bell rings.
Starting Slow – I didn’t start on the game right away, I let the idea of Tiny World just sit there for a while whilst I did other things. This time apart from the contest ensured I didn’t make the same mistake I did last time, which was start a game I didn’t really want to make.
Time Management - I only spent about 25 hours actually working on the game. The rest of the time was spent sleeping, eating, hanging out with people, and generally being non-stressed. This time was good for me in that it prevented me from freaking out soo much, which is always a good step. Unfortunately it prevented me from adding some features that people have really missed *cough* Group select, AI balanace *cough* but I think it was for the best.
Keeping Assets Simple - Last time I created an asset heavy game, which was pretty terrible. I spent most of my time drawing very ugly backgrounds and generic level code and I didn’t get to program anything that really caught my attention. This time, for more than half the contest, I had one art asset and three class files. Keeping those things simple I was able to make a game I thought was fun, and then on the last day go around adding other assets to make it more diverse. I had a much better time this contest because of it.
Programmical Animation - Is that a word? I don’t think it is. Anyway, I’m not an artist, but I didn’t want my sprites to just slide around the screen. I came up with this little shrinking/expanding sprite movement (known in code as “squishy” movement) that I think looks so much better than anything I could have drawn.
Using Paper - There were a couple times when I was stuck on a problem and I kept trying to solve it in my head and turn that into code, and bugs just kept popping up. Finally I got out a sheet of paper and started writing out the problem, and it practically solved itself. Never underestimate the power of pen and paper.
What Went Wrong:
Programmical Animation - I spent way too much time trying to get this to look good. I’m very proud of the result, but that was all time that could have been making a decent AI. I had to stop and force myself to work on the rest of the game, which is why there are still obvious animation problems.
Scaling - While testing the game I had everything 4x bigger, to help me see animations and quickly move around. I thought that that wasn’t enough play area, so in the last few hours I shrunk it back down to 1x size. Because it was soo late, and I had been soo used to playing, I didn’t realize that this made seeing what is going on and selecting units very difficult to do. I probably should have left it ay 2x, or implemented some kind of zoom function.
Outside Testers - I meant to get on IRC and ask people to test my game before I finished, but I never got around to it. Because of that, there were never a fresh set of eyes on the game, and I think playability suffered from things not being too obvious.
I had a lot of fun and I think I did far better on my second showing than I did my first time. I would like to thank my girlfriend for coming up with the initial game idea, for making me food, for preventing me from freaking out, for dealing with me and my crazy ideas all weekend, and for making me go to sleep. Nothing would have been done without you.
If you have a moment, please play and rate the game.
After about a week dealing with Avidemux unsuccessfully I’ve decided just to release the rough timelapse as is. If anybody could help me with either a better video editor or explain why camstudio can’t import into Avidemux, I would greatly appreciate it.
Anyway, play the game here:
Post Mortem to come shortly.
I plan to participate in LD23. Had such a blast last time and was really pleased with what I came up with, even if it wasn’t that good. This time I will be trying to create a 2.5d game using a custom engine I’ve been designing. Never know how these things will work out until you put them in a game and see how they play. In case anyone is silly enough to try to learn an amatuer engine in one day and use it for the compo, here it is. Anyway, the tools:
Langauge: Java (so I can distribute the applet on the web, probably should just learn flash at some point)
Engine: Custom 2.5D engine (because I’m silly like that)
Graphics: Paint.NET (an old stand-by)
Sound: Audacity (I plan to make my own sound effects and then distort them to something hopefully cool)
Time Lapse: Chronolapse (though I can’t figure out how to get it to record just my second monitor. I may just have to write a script to trim all the images it creates so that it only shows the second monitor)
Good luck, everybody!