I just compiled all of the songs from my various Ludum Dare entries into a single soundtrack. You can download it for free HERE !
About SonnyBone (twitter: @Phantom_Green)
Rad as fuck since 1983
Archive for the ‘LD #23’ Category
Be an artist. Be unique. Be rad.
Don’t set out to reach the largest audience just because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do.
Set out to make something great, and those that CAN play it… WILL play it.
If making a cross-platform game is what you WANT to do, then do that.
If making a game that only 1 person can play is what you WANT to do, then do that.
The games industry would be much better off if the artists could focus more on what they wanted to do rather than what they were told to do or persuaded to do… and that includes trying to reach the largest audience possible.
Just a quick message to anyone that may feel pressured into making a browser game for the next Ludum Dare, even if you don’t really want to.
Make the game you want… the way you want to make it.
PLAY IT HERE
This weekend was crazy. Ludum Dare 23, the 10th anniversary of the best dang game jam around, was number one on my list of priorities. I wanted to go all out for the 10th anniversary, and I did. I altered my sleep schedule so I could work during the night, which is my most productive time. I started working on the game after midnight on Friday… then I went to sleep sometime the next morning. I then stayed up ALL night on Saturday… and stayed up all the way until submission time.
Then … I crashed.
I crashed hard.
And on Monday… I was met with some terrible news. My aunt had just passed away.
Normally by this time, I’ve already played 15 – 20 LD games. But due to my sleep schedule, I couldn’t follow through. I was gonna start on Monday morning. Then I got the news about my aunt and things obviously changed. So here I am… on Tuesday morning… and I still haven’t played a single LD game. I spent some time adding a dedication to my aunt in ZUNZANDA’s credits, which I hope the judges are OK with. I then ironed out some bugs that I discovered while playtesting and getting feedback from others… but only game killing bugs. One glitch even caused the player input to stop completely, so I had to deal with that ASAP. Dropbox also borked my upload link… but I didn’t know because the site was so jammed up that I couldn’t even get to my own entry page. I said “SCREW IT!” and passed out.
But I did find a horrible bug. Well… less of a bug and more of an I’M AN IDIOT AND FORGOT TO ADD THIS VERY IMPORTANT FEATURE TO THE GAME issue. I won’t reveal what it is. Maybe you won’t notice. *cringe*
What the hell is Zunzanda?
Well… it’s a game about a tiny world. But the twist is that the world is getting smaller by the minute… and you gotta stop it! How?
With this totally rad terrain sculpting system, of course!
Well, that was going to be the primary focus of the game, but the dynamic tiles and terrain destruction features sort of fell out of the spotlight when I realized that what I had in my head would not be possible in 48 hours. I originally wanted the player character to have two forms… one that could attack but was forced to stand on solid ground, and a form that could not attack, but could float between platforms. The terrain was originally going to change drastically over the course of a ‘stage’, but now you’ll find that it’s much more gradual.
It took me a long time to get the dynamic tile system working, but it turned out MOSTLY alright. It’s kinda fugly and it’s not incredibly seamless, but it does what I wanted it to… and HEY… for 48 hours… it’s GREAT.
So what else can this game do?
The game is broken down into waves… with each wave throwing more enemies at you. Your goal is to kill those star jellies as quickly as you can before they eat your world. The only way to kill ‘em is to collect those starshines that fall from they sky. Get enough of ‘em and you’ll unleash a burst of light that fries ‘em dead. Then you get a bit of a break so you can ‘cash in’ your dead jellies for new terrain tiles to rebuild your world. It’s a constant battle of dodging holes while racing for those precious starshines… and staying away from those jellies while they try to gobble up your land. It gets pretty intense… even if it did end up being a bit unforgiving with ‘deaths’.
If you wanna keep reading… follow me after the jump and we’ll keep it going.
This will be my last progress update, as I didn’t get any sleep last night and I need to finish this game SOON or I’m going to collapse. The game is pretty much done… just gotta add the sounds. Got the HUD working… the player can now be damaged by enemies… the ZUNZANDA effect is in full force… and waves flow like melted butter. It’s kinda fun but needs some tweaking. The randomness of the starshines can make some waves REALLY HARD. Gotta find the sweet spot. Probably won’t have time to tweak unless the music and SFX creation goes smoothly.
When it’s done, I’m gonna submit the game and then crash. I’ll do a post mortem or whatever some other day… lol
I’ve managed to add an energy pickup to the game. I had plans to do several versions and sizes, but time is short and this is all I can do. They are randomly generated somewhere in the sky and randomly find a home on the ground. If they fall into a hole or miss the terrain entirely, they’re lost forever!
CODING ERROR!!! SPAWN RATE TOO HIGH!
ABORT ABORT ABORT
Well, I spent a lot of time working on the core mechanic, and now I have to find a way to make it FUN. Right now, it just feels like a tech demo.
I added two enemy types… they will hunt down the player and occasionally pause to destruct the terrain.
They basically work the same, but one is faster than the other. I will add another of the same type that is even faster AND has a larger destruction radius.
So this is what I spent most of my time on… THE TERRAIN GRID SYSTEM of ZUNZANDA:
The white blocks represent negative space. If you step into these areas, you will fall into the unknown. The other tiles change dynamically based on the neighboring tiles. If a section of ground is destroyed, then the tiles surrounding the new negative space will change form.
The white areas will obviously be invisible in the final game, as seen in the first screen that I posted.
Now I just have to figure out how to handle game progression and make it fun… then add SFX and music. I think I’m gonna have to cut a lot of features out, as usual. I had so many rad ideas and the terrain system just took too long.
I ain’t goin to sleep, yet. I’ll be up for the next 10 hours or so… then I’ll get about 4 hours of sleep and finish it all up tomorrow afternoon/evening.
Here’s a comparison shot of an example of the terrain before and after destruction in ZUNZANDA.
LOTS OF WORK TO DO TODAY! Slept for waaaay too long and now I’m gonna be in a rush to finish this… although I’m still sorta torn on a few things. Not sure where to take it because I have 2 great ideas, but they both contain serious challenges. LUDUM DARE!!!
So… I fell asleep and woke up 2 hours after the theme was revealed. Whoops. Didn’t plan that.
I’ve been working on the game ever since, and now it’s 10 AM. Didn’t plan that, either.
So here’s what I have so far…
I spent most of my time developing the world tiles and the … un … way that the tiles ‘work’.
The environment is destructible, and the world will reform itself after tiles are destroyed.
The core gameplay will be focused around the destruction and regeneration of these tiles.
Basic character movement is working, and the main character has a walking animation for all 4 directions.
My next move is to create the special abilities of the main character, then I’ll work on the enemies and the overall structure and flow of the game that will lead to some sort of endgame.
Then… SFX and MUSIC.
See ya’ll suckaz when I wake up… ugh.