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    Archive for the ‘MiniLD #21’ Category

    Mini Ludum Dare 21 Over

    Posted by (twitter: @S0phieH)
    Monday, October 4th, 2010 8:18 am

    Submissions are closed (and you can’t say I didn’t give you enough time!). mad props to all who entered :)

    > you can check out all the games by clicking this sentence here <

    we had a total of 9 games made, some of them by first-time LDers, and from what I’ve played so far they are all looking pretty good too, make sure to check them out!

    so, now that’s out of the way we can all get on with this october challenge business! :D

    The Persistence of Memory

    Posted by
    Saturday, October 2nd, 2010 12:59 pm
    The Persistence of Memory

    This is my first game and my first entry for a LD contest. Annoyingly I was ill last weekend but since the contest is still open I thought I’d sneak this in now :)

    Given the time restraints, I decided to focus on a very simple idea reasoning that I’d rather complete something small than fail to complete a more ambitious project. This turned out to be a good plan since the first version of the game was no fun at all and I was able to change it into something that I hope others might enjoy.

    The code is written in python and uses pygame. It was developed on Ubuntu and has been tested on Windows XP. It lacks finesse, the graphics suck (!) and it has a number of rough edges not least the lack of Quit/Restart controls (just press escape to abort). Nonetheless I’ve had fun playing it and I hope others do too. (NB the zip file contains a credits file listing the sources of the sound effects.)

    I suspect that part of the fun of playing it will be in deducing the best strategy so beware of potential spoilers in what follows. If you’re thinking of playing it please try it now then come back and read on when you’re ready.

    The Persistence of Memory

    One of my fears is that of losing my memory as I grow older.

    I decided to write a simple game/puzzle that would evoke the frustration of memory loss.

    I knocked together a very quick first version using some code built on top of the open sourced Memory Starter by John Eriksson.

    The first version was based on a nasty trick: it would swap neighbouring tiles after a fixed lapse of time, forcing the player to make mistakes and think that they had failed to recall the exact position of the tile. This, it turned out, was no fun at all. (Not really a surprise in retrospect.)

    Part of the problem was that even without the evil trickery behind the scenes, it was too hard to recall such a huge number of tiles but reducing the number of the tiles made it too obvious that the game was cheating you.

    In the next iteration, I decided to split the grid into levels, each slightly larger and therefore harder than the other, starting with an inner ring that was easy to complete so the player got sucked into the game.

    This played better but I no longer liked the trick of moving tiles and there was no real relationship between the levels. I didn’t like the fact that you could just forget about the ones you had already completed.

    Therefore I decided to get rid of the trickery but instead to punish players when they failed to match a tile when they’d already seen its partner by removing already completed pairs from inner levels.

    Obviously if it just removed one pair, then it would be trivial for the player to click the backs of the two turned cards and continue on so I decided to remove x pairs where x was the number of times the player had seen the matching card. This makes the game progressively harder the longer you play, with mistakes building on mistakes.

    Play testing this proved a far more satisfying game and introduced the idea that the game itself had a memory of your past mistakes, meaning that it becomes progressively harder to complete if you get off to a bad start.

    This could be said to be another fear: that we never get over our wrong beginnings in life.

    I find it challenging to complete in less than 200 card clicks.  Perhaps my memory is already beginning to go…

    I had to submit something.

    Posted by
    Monday, September 27th, 2010 12:30 am

    Admittedly it was so I could vote but also because I really felt I had to submit SOMETHING, so here’s one of those good ol’ “GreaseMonkey miraculously pulls something out of his arse” competition entries, featuring two tunes made in a minute each and two made in 30 seconds each (self-imposed limits). This may have had something to do with the fact that Vieko wanted some music for his entry. (I spent about an hour on that, which in tracked music terms is quite a lot.)

    In this game, your greatest fear is missing a compo.

    On a casual side note, there are zombies.

    And yes, the music is listenable, albeit a bit simplistic, although if you love guitar chugging then the sound track will be perfect for you.

    Check it out, it’s called “Missing a Compo” and for the screenshot I accidentally took a shot of nearly my whole primary screen.

    Adjusted my Idea – Actually Got Something Done

    Posted by (twitter: @henrythescot)
    Sunday, September 26th, 2010 2:58 pm

    Today started with me trying to install Sam HaXe (An asset packaging tool for Flash / haXe). After some fudging some things, I got it working, and it works great.

    Then, later on, I played this game. It inspired me.

    I’ve decided to change my concept somewhat and make an arena shooter with robots fighting.

    The player will have a choice between a handful of robots, each of which they can upgrade in a handful of attributes. (Speed, rate of fire, etc.) There will also be a number of levels, each with different terrain. The player must fight their way through 10-25 waves of baddies (Haven’t decided on the actual number) and a boss in each level.

    The game will be fairly fast-paced, but the difficulty settings will affect the speed that things move with. I will favor using more powerful baddies over massive hordes of them, as masses of “popcorn” baddies aren’t much fun after a while, I think.

    At the moment, I’ve got sprites for three different players (The look of the game will be very simple) and a flash applet that displays a player character that rotates to point at the mouse. I’ve got haXe working, Sam HaXe packages my images correctly, and things are looking good! :)

    Tomorrow, I’ll try to get some kind of player movement in.

    – Mr. Dude

    Progress report on GROUNDED

    Posted by
    Saturday, September 25th, 2010 11:48 pm

    In this game, lil’ boy need to avoid getting GROUNDED and escape the supermarket where he’s injustly blamed for some mischief, avoiding the guardians in a MetalGear (’87) – style sneaky way.


    14h spent so far, mainly on programming. I’m using Pygame (programming), Gimp (graphics), SFRX, Audacity (sfx), ZynAddSubFX (virtual keyboard).  The OS is GNU/Linux.

    Trying to get with something playable for the miniLD over the standard 48h week-end delay – but I couldn’t turn down an invitation on saturday night ;)

    So far I have a basic scale2x top-view with scrolling (fixed-rated logic&render), tiled background, moving sprites, turbo-mode (FPS*3), the very beginning of a built-in background editor, and code is still maintainable ;) Also there’s a psychedelic “drunk-mode” effect (drink to build-up courage, but lose your balance!).

    I had spent a few days on learning Blender recently but for now I’ll still have to make do with my limited Gimp skills.

    Capture-pygame window

    Oh, and I have some recorded screams for lil’ brothers from years ago. That breaks the “no prior art” rule but that complies with the “collaborate with a n00b” one :P


    Posted by (twitter: @marza91)
    Saturday, September 25th, 2010 4:58 pm

    First first. As in my first at least.

    Just googled, and found out that the greek word for “Fear of dogs” was Cynophobia, so that’s what I’m calling my FIRST game.
    First completed game at least.. (I hope)

    The story so far: I didn’t think I was going to participate in this thing yet because
    1. I had other plans today
    2. I hadn’t got any idea what kind of game I would make and
    3. I’ve never made a game before, and have just started learning java in school.
    But then
    1. plans got cancelled
    2. I thought I could make a game about my fear of dogs, and 3 is hardly an argument at all, right?

    So I started my little project earlier this evening in game maker by creating a little red circle known as obj_player and made him walk around in a room filled with instances of obj_wall. Next, I made a dog (a circle in different colours with a tail) and named him obj_dog. If I ever get a real dog, I will definitely call him obj_dog.

    So, I have a player and a dog (or dogs if I place more than one), what now? I found out that to add a little to the phobia-feel, I could make the dog(s) turn around to always look at the player. This prooved more difficult than I thought, and I sat maybe an hour calculating the players position relative to the dogs and some advanced sinus-to-degree-formulas that ended with the dogs never facing the right way and a divide-by-zero-error when the player and dog had same x-position. I was almost about to give up, but then I asked a good friend of mine who thaught me that I could just use a code called point_direction with the x and y values for each object and get the job done in two lines. So that’s where I am now, I can move around while a bunch of dogs are watching me as I go.
    For Collaboration I might ask my roommate to make some music, or I’ll ask a dog to be my voice actor :) Or maybe vice versa..

    I’m not sure where to go from here, but I think it will end up as either a puzzle game where you can’t go too near the dogs, or a “notgame” like the ones Jordan Magnuson are making, where I rant a bit about how scary and bad dogs are. Anyways, I’m learning lots of new stuff about the Game Maker Language! Screenshot-time (I may change some of the sprites later):


    Uh oh…


    My Mini-LD Game – Super Lancer

    Posted by (twitter: @henrythescot)
    Saturday, September 25th, 2010 1:39 pm

    It’s a little late into the Mini-LD proper, but I’ve decided to post this.

    After narrowing things down a bit, I’ve decided on a concept for my Mini-LD game.

    I’m going to make an arena shooter structured a bit like Geometry Wars. It will use a similar abstract vector style (Though things will look fairly different).

    Instead of leveling up and improving skills continuously, the player will play through a series of levels and buy weapons between them. Each weapon will be upgradeable, and the player will be able to equip a limited number of them at any given time. There will also be miscellaneous pieces of equipment that the player will be able to use.

    Levels will be procedurally generated, and baddies will come in waves. Each wave will be generated with a different kind of arrangement, such as a wave with alternating types of baddies along the edges, or a ring of one kind of baddie in the center.

    There will also be a boss at the end of each level. The boss will be chosen from a give set and given a handful of randomly-chosen weapons.

    I will be writing in haXe and using Sam HaXe to process SVG images. I will make my graphics in Inkscape, my sounds in sfxr, and music in LMMS.

    As I’ve said/bragged before, the time limit is out the window. Absolutely out the window.

    Mini LD 21 Entry: summit

    Posted by (twitter: @zillix)
    Saturday, September 25th, 2010 10:08 am


    Check the submission page here

    I have a huge fear of heights. As mundane as that is, it carries over into my gaming- if I run a character too close to an edge, especially in 3D, my stomach drops. My goal was to recreate that feeling for everybody else, as best as I could.

    I got my inspiration from a BBC Planet Earth episode, where I saw a mountain goat living its normal life on the sheer cliff of a mountain, and I thought about how frightening that would be for me.

    I actually made the game last weekend, but I took some time to have a friend who had shown some interest at my last LD to write some music for me.

    This was my second flixel game, so I was able to progress faster and spend more time on more interesting stuff, like gameplay and art.


    Quest for Meaning

    Posted by
    Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010 1:34 pm

    This writeup is cross posted on my blog at STRd6.com

    Quest for Meaning

    Sticking with the competition theme one of my biggest fears is a meaningless life. Not only that, but a meaningless eternity. Pictures for Sad Children has a very similar theme at times and it helped inspire parts of this game (though I couldn’t find a good way to work in “monster most vulnerable when heaving with sobs”). The game is written in JavaScript and uses HTML5 canvas, so you’ll need a modern browser to play it (FF, Chrome, Safari, IE9). Click the image or find it here: Quest for Meaning.

    This was my first 2 day competition and I’ve learned some things. First, two days is a long time. Second, having real tools would make me very, very happy. Third, I thought that doing all the art and all the programming for a game would be hard, but it seems to use different parts of the brain, so when working on art the programming part of my brain is relaxing and vice versa.

    This was the first moderately legit game that I’ve done all my own art on (title screen and chest graphics contributed by Lana). Also, my first game with a 4 color grayscale pallet. And additionally, my first major undertaking on the Pixie platform.

    Working with the Pixie platform had some serious trade-offs. JavaScript is a surprisingly productive language with it’s functional and dynamic nature, but it has a harsh and brutal syntax. The platform libraries helped a lot to smooth some things out, and as they become more complete it will get better and better. Another advantage was the tight art and code integration. It was trivial to create an image and have it appear in the game seconds later. The biggest drawback of Pixie right now is that the code “editor” is pretty much just a text area. There are no tabs, no integrated source navigation, no auto-save, no version control, and all kinds of other terrible issues. Also, there is no real tile editor, though Noel Berry pioneered the way by using the pixel editor as a tile editor before, and the surprising thing is that it’s actually not too bad.

    Using Pixie to make art is awesome, but the game “platform” is not fleshed out enough for me to recommend making an entire game in it to everyone yet.

    A special thanks to everyone who helped playtest and discuss various elements of the game throughout it’s stages: Boltz, McGrue, DavMo, Lan, MW… props.

    So check out the game and let me know what you think. By making heavy use of Pixie, especially in time limited competitions, I hope to really iron out the core usage scenarios and make it amazing.

    The future is bright and full of meaning.

    A Change of Plan – Shelving What I’ve Got and Why

    Posted by (twitter: @henrythescot)
    Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 11:48 am

    Flixel has displayed some really ugly sound latency that seems to be mostly performance-related. (Meaning that Flixel has too much overhead and sounds lag really badly)

    With that being said, I’m planning to learn base AS3. That will mean doing something much simpler than what I’m doing now.

    I’m not sure yet just what I’ll be making, but Foxen is shelved for now. I hope to get back to it at some point but for now it’s just not happening.

    I’ll still be making something, and I’m going to stick to it being for the Mini-LD. I’m thinking about perhaps doing a shmup.

    I’ll post when I have something. Probably when I’ve got a demo of some sort.

    — Mr. Dude

    Day 2 – Plans for Today

    Posted by (twitter: @henrythescot)
    Monday, September 20th, 2010 6:46 am

    Day 2, and I’m ready to get started.

    Today I want to have some kind of baddies implemented. I’m probably just going to have one or two types of baddie (Most likely just one), but I’d definitely like to have a variety of them ready.

    I’ll release another demo when I’ve got baddies done.

    Mini-LD – Foxen: First Day and a Demo

    Posted by (twitter: @henrythescot)
    Sunday, September 19th, 2010 11:38 pm

    It’s the end of day 1 in my work on Foxen (Well, day 1 probably ended a few hours ago: It’s 2:30 AM here in the Eastern US)

    I’ve got a player character who can walk, run, and jump as well as a test level that I made in a proper editor and have written a Python script to munge it (And eventually all of the levels) so that I can embed it in the SWF.

    Anyone who’d like to play it can do so here. (It’s a Flash game, so you just need Flash to play it)

    My first entry

    Posted by
    Sunday, September 19th, 2010 4:56 pm

    So here’s my first (mini) Ludum Dare submission. It’s a week early, but due to Sophie’s leniency on this month’s rules and the fact that I’m going to be busy the next weekend, I thought I’d best get it done now (plus my wife went to visit a friend so it was the perfect opportunity to do some hardcore coding!)

    The collaborator is my wife, and we discussed the theme “Greatest Fear”. She’s a bit of a hippy, so her greatest fear is environmental change, where loggers, evil corporations and cities have taken over the world and there are no more trees and greenery. We talked about a potential game idea, perhaps a 3D globe where you could save the world by strategically preventing loggers from clearing forests, planting trees and building sustainable energy centres. In the end though, we decided that the idea was turning into some sort of dry economic simulation, and although it was probably educational you have to ask yourself the question: Is this game going to be any fun?

    I returned to the idea a few days later and looked at it from a new perspective: gameplay. The environmental theme is still there but the game is much more focused now.

    The premise is that there are 2 sides, the Hippies and the Loggers, each fighting to own a piece of land. The Hippies want to plant trees and the Loggers want to cut them down and build cities. Each side gets a selection of units to send out into the field: you have Bulldozers, which are very slow but have immense pushing power, Hippy Vans which are fast and agile but not as powerful, and Hippies & Lumberjacks which are the generic ground troops and are cheap to produce. Units that reach the other side wins some land for your side but you will need to defend it from incoming units as well. The result is a fast paced twitchy game with subtle strategy using a tug of war mechanic. You’re constantly sending out your troops to push the other side back and hopefully get some of your units to the other side as well. I drew heavy inspiration from games such as Plants vs Zombies, and an old PC game called Gearheads. For 2 days solid effort I’m quite pleased with how it’s turned out.

    You can try the prototype here

    I created all the graphics and programming myself using Photoshop and Flex/Flash. Sound effects were created in sfxr and for the soundtrack I used royalty free music from soundtaxi.net. I got my wife to do a bit of voice acting too! As this is my first Ludum Dare I found the whole process to be a great learning experience. I’ve never written such bad quality code in a long time and yet this is also the first time I’ve managed to complete a game programming project. I think when you really let go of professional development values and ignore things like perfect design patterns and just embrace rapid prototyping, it becomes a whole lot easier to deliver something of a unique value.

    Aside from the usual polish and cosmetic details, there are a number of improvements I would like to make should I decide to take this game further. More unit types and more interesting unit behaviours would be good (eg. a police car might scare away hippy activists and make them change direction, or a giant ent might crush bulldozers but also be vulnerable to lumberjacks). The various unit variables need additional tweaking to balance out the gameplay (unit speed and pushing power for example). Finally, some kind of intelligent AI as right now all computer actions are completely random (gasp!)

    Hope you enjoy, it’s been an exhausting weekend but I will certainly look forward to the next event!

    Announcing my Mini-LD Game – Early, but What the Hell?

    Posted by (twitter: @henrythescot)
    Sunday, September 19th, 2010 1:47 pm

    I’ve just started on something that will take some time to complete, and even probably well into the Mini-LD. Therefore, I’m declaring it as my Mini-LD entry.

    The game is about as simple as it gets, and is designed primarily to be something that I can actually finish.

    It is a platformer about a fox trying to rescue her beloved soft toy from a gang of dogs. (This is a premise I’ve used on countless unfinished things, I may as well recycle it)

    I’ve currently got some sprites of the player, and also a bunch of sprites for terrain.

    Here’s a picture of the main character, for those interested:

    Isn't she cute?

    Isn't she cute?

    I’m thinking that I’ll call it a day. Tomorrow, I’ll finish up the terrain sprites and hopefully get some code together.

    I’m not hoping that I’ll finish it: I will finish it. No excuses, no whining, and no quitting. I won’t keep flaking out, and I won’t keep hating myself for doing so. There’s no excuse for my flakiness, and it won’t continue.

    All posts, images, and comments are owned by their creators.

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