Ludum Dare 33
The Theme is:
You are the Monster

PlayRate80Star

Judging Ends in
3 weeks of Playing and Rating games!

What I learnt from my first Ludum Dare (a game dev story/guide).

Posted by
10 hours ago | August 30th, 2015 2:55 pm

drackgif^click the image to play the gif as ludum dare hates me^

This a “short” little post for my LD33 entry – Drack’s Mansion or more accurately what I learned about the competition by making it. I did do a post-mortem about it but I felt the need to make this type of post as well, not only for myself but also for others that maybe thinking of entering the jam in the future. I am quite happy with how the game turned out and feedback has been very positive but the self-critic in me will simply not let the flaws with it slide without analyzing them. So without further a due, let’s begin.

The number one thing I learned about Ludum Dare is: Freaking plan like crazy.

It may sound simple enough but trust me, not following this rule is the main reason for the my game’s flaws. I simply did not brainstorm nearly enough which lead to a failed idea I scrapped down the road. Let me elaborate so you’re not kept in the dark. When I heard the theme I started brainstorming as you would do. I quite quickly came up with the idea of being a scary monster in a randomly generated cabin where new tourists came along every week and you had to kill them. You had to use cool abilities to accomplish this and all of them were powered by your fear bar. You used some of it every time you did something cool or killed someone. To recharge it you did typical horror type stuff like banging doors, making stuff levitate, shutting off lights etc. If you lost all your fear bar, the game was over. It was a simple stealth game idea that had an ok horror spin to it. It seemed fine in my mind at the time so I did no further brainstorming and jumped straight into making it. It was around the end of the compo’s first day that I realized I had not put nearly enough thought into how things worked. I had the game mechanics down in my head, as in what I wanted to do, but I did not have any clue about how exactly I wanted to do it. This simple mistake and rushing straight into making a game rather than knowing what I wanted to make cost me pretty much most of my first day and made the game much worse than it could have been (eg. no music, some unpolished areas). So to recap: Until you have every main mechanic for your game figured out 100%, DO NOT stop brainstorming. Main mechanics are the ones that make a game functional and playable. Secondary ones are the polish (eg. Mario’s running around in levels and jumping on bad guys are main mechanics. The different enemies and level obstacles are secondary). Speaking on mechanics…

screen 2

Second lesson I learnt mostly through playing other entries is: The simplest entries are usually the most fun and well made.

Often these games have one or two mechanics at most. But they are taken as far as they can go without getting stale. What I mean is, the game is essentially just one or two mechanics, but the player is presented with variations on them that function similarly to one another but are different enough to be interesting. Most great Ludum Dare entries follow this principal and I wished I did as well. Games that do this (or similar things) that I have seen are: Bunny Inferno, Grave, Takodemon and Super Chop. Now in terms of how those mechanics are made, we move to the next point…

Think about the depth of your mechanics first, and not their presentation.

With well-made mechanics even the most mundane things (such as chopping a tree, getting bunnies across a pit etc.) can be made fun. So focus mostly on making good mechanics fist, and presenting them later. That does not mean: Don’t think of a clever idea or take on the theme as soon as possible. It simply means, think about cool gameplay concepts first before adding polish. You might have noticed I mentioned depth. Basically, the more of the aforementioned in the above paragraph variations your mechanic can have, the deeper it is. So don’t only think of how your mechanic stands on its own while making it but also how you can expand it later. And also, think outside of the box as much as possible. It makes for more memorable games that are better in people’s eyes even if they are not as polished.

That said, hopefully my little ramble was useful to y’all and to me for my next jam as well. If you feel the need to see my entry and get some more context about the personal stuff I tackled here, you can always give it a go over here. Happy deving!

Music and sounds added!

Posted by (twitter: @RobinerdMusic)
10 hours ago | August 30th, 2015 2:46 pm

The post-compo version of Undetected is now updated with sound effects, a brand new soundtrack and several new levels. Still need to tweak some of the levels but overall things are coming together.

Unity WebGL Entries?

Posted by (twitter: @mattvassilakos)
11 hours ago | August 30th, 2015 2:04 pm

webgl-logo

I’m curious to see how far people have been able to push unity WebGL export and what limitations they’ve hit.

Why do we still see so many plugin entries when there’s the export to HTML5 option?

What is holding people back?

Does anyone have a list of Unity WebGL exported entries?

Did you make a unity WebGL game?  Let me know!  Post it here or tweet @MattVassilakos!

UPDATE: I modified Will Edwards scraper and found every single unity webgl game (there are only 115!):

Read the rest of this entry »

GROWL confusion – Various fixes

Posted by
14 hours ago | August 30th, 2015 11:31 am

So, a lot of people have been complaining about my entry, GROWL.

GROWLSCREEN

 

The main drawback of my game is that people can’t seem to understand the gameplay mechanics. To me, it just summarises as “inverted Hexagon”.

There’s been a very annoying bug in GROWL for the past few days : the green path to the next note was not displayed properly. I think this has confused many players, so I just fixed it.

I also added a fullscreen mode -which you can enable/disable by pressing the “F” key-, and lowered the difficulty as a (very) few amount of people survived longer than 15 seconds.

 

I hope this little yet efficient update will let you, players, enjoy GROWL more.

New UI is building~~

Posted by
14 hours ago | August 30th, 2015 11:14 am

a middle ages UI with stylize is difficult for me …

my working conditions? may be a little bit dark...?

my working conditions?
may be a little bit dark…?

~~

so I need to explore some new way with other method….

Scheme 2

Scheme 2

Scheme 1

Scheme 1

the old UI(final show panel) was use from our team’s last game work~~

which named< Double Cross>  ,a cyber-punk survival game…

 

a cyber-punk style game ,player use lazer to hit thes enemies and striving to live long enough~~

a cyber-punk style game ,player use lazer to hit thes enemies and striving to live long enough~~

DownLoad-Link is  here…. :http://pan.baidu.com/s/1bnlXUnd

[evening]..

bugs still alives…..woym and Mr.Hitman   have been working hard to fix them recently~~

huge crowds of angry enemies

 

Alien Rush post-mortem

Posted by
14 hours ago | August 30th, 2015 11:10 am

Alien Rush is mine 6th LD entry and mine 5th Compo entry. You can play it here.

SCR2

 

What I’m happy about:

  • Gameplay – Most people commenting my game (my friends or other LD participants) says that my game is good, addictive and based around good idea. Personally I also like it :)
  • Game genre – All my former games are platformers or top-down shooters. I didn’t want to make another same game, so I decided to make something different, and the final result is mash-up between platformer, real-time strategy and tower defense.
  • Graphics – In my former games graphics were awful. I think Alien Rush graphics are acceptable, which is already big improvement (and some people even likes graphics!). During warmup, I had a bit of practice with pixel art. Also, I learned how to make animations. I think they adds life to my game.
  • Level design – Most players and I think that levels are nice and fun to play.

What I have mixed feelings about:

  • Theme – Amount of ways LD participants could use it was pretty small, in the other hand,  there were a lot worse themes during votes, or former LDs.
  • My engine – I really like Unity3D and its workflow. But there was one bug in engine that caused me a lot of pain. It caused that some Rigidbodies2D automatically translated into (0,0,0). Everytime it happened I had to restart Editor.
  • Sound – Sound in my game is just SFXR-generated sound effects. I cannot make any music (I’m willing to learn it someday). Besides that, I feel that sound – similar to animations – makes my game alive
  • Splash screen tutorial and learning curve – it translates rules of the game, but now I think that in-game tutorial would be better, ever if I had to sleep one hour less :) Also, learning curve is too steep IMO. I should add easy level 1, which also would serve as tutorial.

What I don’t like:

  • Balance – I hate balancing units and I can’t do it, no matter how hard I would try. As a result, cannons are practically useless, and game feels overall unbalanced.
  • Way I made this game – Shortly after I got idea of game, I sat down and started making it, without any thinking how I will do it. As a result, code is a mess and it leads to last issuse
  • Glitches and annoying things – I fixed all major bugs, but some things are a result of implementation design (e. g. houses blocking units). I couldn’t fix it without remaking almost whole game.

What I hate:

  • I hate that I didn’t make any screens during development or timelapse :(

Anyway, I’m very happy with result. You can play my game here.

Other things about my game:

  • Major inspirations were Lemmings (gameplay, way of commanding units), StarCraft (plot, units) and Plants vs Zombies (HUD, overall design).
  • I’m still thinking about making post-compo version, but I don’t know if I will have sufficient time (school begins soon). In post-compo version, I would rewrite game, eliminating all glitches and annoying things. I’d also like to rebalance game and add in-game tutorial, more levels, more complex A.I. and music).
  • I were going to add menu which would serve as invasion plan, but I ran out of time.
  • If you want to ask me anything about my game or post-compo version, feel free to do it under this post.

 

 

It’s not dead yet it just smells funny

Posted by
15 hours ago | August 30th, 2015 10:26 am

A bit of a post-mortem thing for the LD33 game. A few of you seemed to be actually interested in it, so I guess I’ll say something about why I didn’t submit.

gif2sun

Yeah, that one. With the whole social experiment of having all levels be user-created and sorted by how many deaths they’ve caused.

By 3 AM Tuesday, the online features were mostly working. The gameplay part itself had some glitches related to the player’s growing/shrinking powers, and was missing things like thrusters for tiles (which seemed like too big of a gameplay element to leave out). No audio, no in-game help.

All in all, it was enough incompleteness to drop out for. Not worth the inevitable sea of “it’s confusing” “how’s this related to the theme” sort of comments and 500-something rankings.

It ain’t easy doing a multiplayer game, but now I have the know-how. I started too late on a couple of things, but had a pretty chill weekend designing it, and the framework is still there.

So I’ll still be working on this one and spamming about it here. It’s the sort of project where I’ll want to tweak with different tilesets and musical pieces and all sorta cool transition animations, instead of having to rush things. It’s my little bonsai garden from now on.

Some webGL improvements for “Sunset Monster”

Posted by
15 hours ago | August 30th, 2015 10:07 am

Hi everyone!

I have modified the web version so it now fits the screen space and can be correctly played directly on the game page here.

That has been my very first game jam, and I appreciate so much all your comments.

Thank you all again, and have a nice play!!

0004

My First 48 Hours Experience with Ludum Dare

Posted by
15 hours ago | August 30th, 2015 10:00 am

It is my first Ludum Dare (not my first game jam though). I made my game Birdy Bridge. I could never imagine I finished a game with such completeness in 48 hours. Graphical and musical effects are out of my expectation. It is a game with new ideas for the gameplay and fairy-tale-style art.

This game is inspired by Chinese folktale The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd, but the ending is totally different because you are the monster. Acturally it doesn’t matter if you have no idea about the story itself.

Now here is what I’ve done in 48 hours (originally written in Chinese). I hope my English is good enough to express.

Theme

I am mostly a front-end developer, so I was prepared with HTML5/JavaScript with CreateJS. CreateJS is a good framework for prototyping games, though not perfect. I have used it before. It could decrease my coding time and solve some browser compatibility issues for me.

I voted for all candidate themes and gave -1 for you are the monster. I do not like this theme at all. I do not want players to act as monsters, and I’ve never drawn monsters before :(

But I had to make it. I was considering a game “finally find that I am the monster”, something like “princess finally find the prince and eat him”. Later, the folktale came into my mind (because Qixi Festival in China just passed two day before). Then I designed a game “prevent lovers from reunion”.

Originally in the final level, players should act as the boss. However, I gave up this idea for I thought it bad for overall gameplay, so it was somewhat away from the theme. Sorry.

Graphics

40 minutes passed when I finished thinking about the theme. I thought I should hurry up. I had to do the following myself: graphics, programming, level design, texts, music, and final fixes.

I started from graphics. Here I made an important decision: using vector graphics. Vector graphics would meet the folktale, and could save me lots of time! I did not wasted much time in graphics, and improved overall quality and completeness.

In the next 1 hour, I drew a girl in pink and a bird that not moving. Both of them are replaced by better sprite sheets later. Then I spent another hour to structure basic code. Before lunch (LD started at 9 a.m. for me), I could see a girl stand on a bird.

Programming and Level Design

Coding went well for me. I met a bug about path detection and fixed it soon. Some gameplay details were decided while coding. Stars were drawn. Before dinner, 3 levels and a simple game cover were done.

Then it took me a whole night to design levels, play, and fix bugs. Code were always changing. After the first day, I could see

  • Seven playable levels, including boss fight (though it differed from the final version).
  • Whole story with prologue and epilogue.
  • Birds, the girl, stars, but no background images.
  • Game cover with title, level selection, text descriptions, and my logo (game progress could be saved).

I had to do on next day

  • Draw background images, a.k.a. the sky with moon and stars.
  • Create music.
  • Final fixes.

I did some graphical fixes and slept late. In the morning of second day, I had the background image embeded into the game.

Music

Music is important to my game. I preserved a whole afternoon to create music. I planned to make two sound tracks, but finally I made 3 sound tracks in 6 hours. Crazy?

The first sound track are used in title page. It is the most important one and took most of the time. It was a combination of imagination, sorrow, and bravery. The second were created for difficult levels, and the third were used in boss fight.

Later I decided to add sound effects. It differs when jumping onto birds with different heights.

Final Fixes

The final fixes include

  • Replace the girl with a better sprite sheet.
  • Checked the texts.
  • Added some small features like back to title.
  • Fixed known bugs.
  • Changed title image.
  • Submitted, and fixed bugs in iframe.

I finished these late in the night.

After then…

Next day, I discovered some bugs and fixed them.

Some players suggest that the game is difficult, so I released an “easy mode” several days later.

Overall, it is a great experience in Ludum Dare. I feel greate to make this game. Hope you enjoy!

0

Stealth Yeti Postmortem

Posted by
16 hours ago | August 30th, 2015 9:37 am

I never got around to making a post that I had finished my LD game, so here it is!

Good stuff:

  • Lighting! Figured out how to program lighting effects as game mechanics, and got a basic way to increase the performance of semi-dynamic shadows.
  • Art! Worked with dainryoo on the art; thus, all the cute sprites and cohesive colors!
  • Actual game mechanics! A big problem of my last LD game was that it lacked any semblance of gameplay, so I tried to make gameplay the primary goal of the development.

Bad stuff:

  • Level design and difficulty – I didn’t have much time to make many levels, and I heard that the game was quite difficult at times. A bit of extra communication to the player probably would have helped.
  • Lack of music – Just not very good at music making, though the silence does sort of fit in with the stealth mechanics.

Overall, I really liked making this one. Thanks to all who’ve been commenting so far, I love the feedback!

Space Invadees – Post Mortem

Posted by
16 hours ago | August 30th, 2015 9:35 am

Invadees3

Play and rate

tl;dr

What went right
Graphics – I love the brain!
Cut scenes – I think they’re funny!
Gameplay – Controls and such work and feel pretty much how I wanted them

What went wrong
Levels – Too many levels for 48 hours!
Music – Not my forte.
Bugs – I had too much content that I was generating too fast.

Lessons learned
Don’t nest too many actions in C#
I can build a fully featured and relatively large game in 48 hours
I suck at music

Invadees1

Well, my first Ludum Dare is done, and it was awesome! I’ve done game jams in the past but LD is a whole other ball of wax. This time out I decided to be ambitious, insanely, stupidly ambitious!

The theme came as a surprise to me. I had planned for lots of them but “You are the monster” slipped through the cracks. Fortunately, a few months ago I had come up with the idea of a “space invaders in reverse” game. The only problem was, my concept was for a full scale game with cutscenes, hand crafted levels, and full 3d! Way too ambitious for me to do all by myself in 48 hours!

Invadees4

Well, never let it be said I lacked for ambition! It turned out to not be that tough. I started with the 3D modeling. I used Qubicle, (the 3d designer that cross road used), I wanted to use a limited Atari style palette so I used 8 total colors. I’ve been using Qubicle for a while and like it. My approach was to draw a “sprite” first in 2D. Then extrude into 3D and then carve out details. I’m super happy with how my models came out, especially Emperor Brain. He is my favorite character I have ever designed!

I also needed 3d text. I used Cheetah3D which is kind of a leaner, cheaper, Maya. I like it better than Blender because Blender has a UI designed for people from some planet that has more arms and fingers than Humans do! Anyway, creating 3D text in Cheetah was really easy.

Invadees2

Finally, I could move onto code. I’m genuinely happy with all the code I wrote on Saturday. I built all my classes as state machines. My idea was that if I took the extra time to structure everything correctly at the start then I would be able to greatly simplify the “crisis code” I knew I would be writing on Sunday. That was the best decision I made during the jam!

So, in addition to all this I also needed to script and voice cut scenes. I know I’m insane! The scripting was really easy. I’ll be the first to admit it could be tightened up. But for something that was more or less a stream of consciousness, not too bad. The script itself took me about an hour. Recording dialog took another hour. I used Audacity because it is the only recording software I have a clue about! For the actual recording I used the Blue Yeti microphone. I’m pretty sure I used the wrong settings on the mic and I forgot to use the spit guard (my wife knows about recording audio, not me, so I was SOL). If I had set myself up like I normally would for recording it would have sounded a lot better!

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 10.29.28 AM

One thing I wanted to do was edit the audio files to make the whole thing tighter, but I didn’t have nearly enough time for that! I also didn’t have time to rerecord for anything other than serious issues and flubbed lines.

Another thing I needed more time on was level design. For some reason I decided I needed 9 levels. There was no way for me to make 9 hand crafted exquisite levels. This was a huge mistake. I wish I had focused on making 4 perfect levels rather than 9 decent ones. Live and learn!

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 10.32.05 AM

One really interesting thing I learned about Mono is that if you have too many nested actions it will freak out, use 100% of the CPU and hang. I’m not sure why this happens. But it didn’t make for a fun Sunday surprise! I ended up needing to remove the ability to skip individual lines of dialog. This little surprise took a couple of hours to fix. It was the only major technical hiccough.

Generally though, I’m super happy with how everything came out I definitely plan on being back for LD34!

No really, play and rate

P.S. I screen caped all the cut scenes in case anyone is interested in the entire ludicrous story!

Dropbox is down

16 hours ago | August 30th, 2015 9:10 am

So, I was trying to play some entries but can’t download them because dropbox is giving error 500, it seems that the whole service is down. Anyone else having the same trouble?

New enemy types, and boats come from both sides now!

Posted by
16 hours ago | August 30th, 2015 9:09 am

After ld33 we all have some social businesses need to deal with, but now we come back and manage to improve and polish the game by following many constructive feedbacks’ guide.Boats come from both sides at the monment!

Lets show some new features by a gif:

新功能预览

NEW FEATURE:

  1. Fixed the ui render bugs when the screen is not 1280 X 720;
  2. Now the boats come from both sides;
  3. New enmey types, now 19 types;
  4. Now you can attack the flying enmeys by your tentacles;
  5. Reorder the skills tree, now you can learn the active skill earlier;
  6. Now the game is much harder, tweak the exp formula and the spawn speed of the enemys.

If you want to try and rate it please click here:

http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-33/?action=preview&uid=54824

Getting GIFs working here

Posted by
17 hours ago | August 30th, 2015 8:27 am

For those who are having trouble getting the GIFs to run (for example, past me), follow this advice: when adding, click edit and select full size, otherwise WordPress will remove all the frames.
If the GIFs end up too big and become compressed, go to the HTML view of the post (top right corner, switch from Visual to Text), look for these lines where the picture is embedded:

width=”432″ height=”243″

And set them to be approporiately sized (no wider than 500 px is a good guideline). Also, do not forget to keep the width/height ratio the same or the GIF may still end up looking as if an elephant sat on it (or pushed it sideways).

So, here’s some from our game!

Very sinister!

Very sinister!

Gameplay

Gameplay

Link to the fixed Post-Mortem post here.

Play the game by clicking here!

Are you the really Kaijumancer?

Posted by (twitter: @NoWandStudios)
18 hours ago | August 30th, 2015 7:34 am

You have tried to destroy world today? PLAY OUR GAME and try it.

Road To Hell On Game Jolt + Power Up

Posted by
18 hours ago | August 30th, 2015 7:18 am

Hello guys, after a long week receiving feedback for our game, we finally posted it on Game Jolt

Here is the link of the Road To Hell In Game Jolt: Road To Hell On Game Jolt

Also here is Brazil we have an event called Power Up, in this event a lot of professionals from the local industry come to make lectures and  so we can show then our games from Ludum Dare, so being able to receive their feedback is awesome, not only this, but this event is great for making networking, so thank you Ludum Dare for all of this!

Also here is the link for my game in Ludum Dare, if you want come by and leave a comment: Road To Hell On Ludum Dare

RoadToHell

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