Ludum Dare 32
Theme:
An Unconventional Weapon

Judging Ends in
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Post-Mortem Links

Posted by (twitter: @GaTechGrad)
1 day ago | April 25th, 2015 5:39 pm

The post-mortem write-ups can get lost in the shuffle with so many posts on the Ludum Dare site.  Here are the links that will allow you to view all posts tagged as post-mortems.  Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a standard of “with” or “without” the hypen in the tag name.

http://ludumdare.com/compo/tag/post-mortem/

http://ludumdare.com/compo/tag/postmortem/

In the past, a link to the post-mortems were available off of the main page, but they no longer appear in the latest site redesign.

Tech Valley Game Space live stream is happening in an hour!

Posted by (twitter: @OmiyaGames)
1 day ago | April 25th, 2015 5:06 pm

Tech Valley Game Space (TVGS) will be live streaming in about an hour!

We’ll also be streaming during the weekdays and Saturdays from 7:00 PM to 12:00 AM EST (except every Wednesdays). We’ll also do our best to post the games we’ve played onto Youtube as well.

Our Twitch.tv channel is at:
http://www.twitch.tv/techvalleygamespace

Want to submit your game? Fill out the form below!
http://goo.gl/forms/gDU933T27R

All the responses are listed below:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RbvfWHMb-vWmYBagjjnfVAMKugG1vgQ41QFQ_Wa4YjE/edit?usp=sharing


For those interested, the following games were made at TVGS:

Savior Postmortem

1 day ago | April 25th, 2015 4:44 pm

I was pretty happy with my entry for LD32, so I figured I’d write up a more formal postmortem this time; partially because it might be interesting, and partially because I’ve learned a ton from this compo and want to get my thoughts down. So, without further ado, here’s what worked and didn’t work in Savior: On the Advantages of Unconventional Weaponry in Combating the Zombie Apocalypse.

TitleScreen

How It Started

I’m not the best programmer and am somewhere between average and solid when it comes to art, so for jams like this one I like to try to come up with a kind of clever gameplay idea that can be interwoven with story (in fact, I just finished my senior thesis on this very subject at university). I think games can be very effective when story and play go hand in hand, informing each other, and I like to play around with that on a small scale for Ludum Dare.

I’ve been sitting on an idea for a game where you play as a scientist curing zombies for quite some time, but never figured out the mechanics of how it would work. With this theme, “an unconventional weapon,” I first wanted to make a sniper-style game where you take pictures instead of shoot people, but I realized I wasn’t familiar enough with the coding I would need to do to make it work. I decided a few hours in to give the idea of saving zombies a go, using a zombie curing serum as a “weapon” that actually helps the zombies. It quickly became a stealth action platformer, and then I was off to the races.

screenshot1

Level 0

 

How It Changed

My original idea was to do a somber, gritty zombie story. I was going to rotoscope animations in Flash so that my characters would look realistic and the animations would be fully fleshed out. As soon as I finished my first walk cycle it became clear that this wouldn’t be feasible within the time frame; I can animate fast, but not THAT fast, and I’m new to Unity’s animation system anyways. So I took a long break and struggled to come up with a new art style.

The result was this guy: a sort of bean like thing who I grew attached to over to course of the compo.

sprites1

Some animations in sprite-sheet form for the Player Character

 

The thing is, this guy looks silly. You can’t tell a gritty zombie story with a bean as your protagonist. So the goals mutated. I started playing up the humor, adding the bloody messages and dopey signs to the backgrounds of levels and trying to entertain myself as I drew. If I could make myself chuckle, maybe I could make other people. I took a lot of inspiration from games like Portal and tried not to take anything I did too seriously. The result, from feedback, seems to have been pretty good!

screenshot4

Stuck with a blank white wall in your level? Write a dumb joke! In blood!

 

The End

(spoilers after the break — play it now if you don’t want the shocking ending ruined!)

Read the rest of this entry »

Crump Rush Postmortem – Ludum Dare Lessons

Posted by
1 day ago | April 25th, 2015 4:27 pm

I made a game about speed running and using your weapon for mobility. You can play it here!

I’m not a jam veteran but I have a decent number under my belt and there are a few lessons I’ve learned the hard way. These aren’t cold hard facts, just things that have worked for me.  This is for people trying to make a complete game. If you are just looking to explore and experiment then the list doesn’t necessarily apply.

  • Don’t save title screens and menus for last:  This is probably the least exciting part of your game development process which is why it’s so important to get it out of the way. It’s the first impression players get of your game. If you rush at the last minute you’ll be so uninterested that you’ll probably just throw something together. Also menus you can add some extra value to your game.

levelselect

 

With Crump Rush I took advantage of menus to display your best time along side my best time for each level. It’s a small detail but it added replayability and gave your score some meaning.

 

  • Add polish early: A lot of people are going to disagree with me on this one. The common procedure is program your mechanics in with programmer art and then add the polish at the end. There’s a problem with this. A lot of times you’re not really sure how fun a game is until you’ve added those extra touches. Especially the visual and audio feedback for the actions you want to encourage or discourage.  For the people that think the graphics and audio have nothing to do with making a game fun watch this. If you want to know more about game feel I highly recommend this book.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Latvian Milk Post-Mortem

Posted by
1 day ago | April 25th, 2015 4:03 pm

The Latvian Milk team here with our game’s post-mortem. Hope you enjoy!

title

WHAT WENT WRONG

Theming. So, this time around we were tasked with making a game based on the theme of ‘an unconventional weapon’. And, well… Our weapons weren’t particularly unconventional, truth be told. This was more a problem of time constraints that it was a lack of unconventional ideas. We had plans to add a plethora of weird and wonderful weapons, such as a handheld battery-powered rotary fan, a toothbrush, an orbiting familiar that would shock the enemies near it, and a pistol that fired boomeranging shurikens (called the shurigun, naturally). We began by adding in the more basic guns: a pistol, an uzi, a laser carbine, a gatling gun and the like. Fortunately we did manage to fit in one unconventional weapon in the form of a pistol with a tentacle on it that fired eggs. These did substantial damage when connecting with an enemy, but if you missed they would hatch a new enemy, making for an exciting risk/reward dynamic.

Progression. A sense of progression is an important part of any game, or they can often begin to feel a little futile. A kill count or a counter that showed the wave of enemies you were on would have suited this purpose well in Latvian Milk, and was one of the most common downsides mentioned in feedback. Also, more content as the player progressed through the game would’ve been ideal, such as more enemy types or maybe a boss, but we were hard pushed just to get finished what we did and, as is all too often the case, there wasn’t time to add these in.

cheapdeath

Cheap death. If you’ve yet to play Latvian Milk, the main mechanic is that every 12 seconds or so, your gun randomly changes into another brand new weapon, keeping the game unpredictable. Unfortunately, the transition between weapons was in need of a tweak at the point of release, in that it forced the player to stall for a short moment, leaving them vulnerable for that time. Getting hit in this period was pretty much unavoidable and felt cheap and dissatisfying. Another small point about taking hits is that it could have done with being a little more clear when this happened.

Menus. There weren’t any, and that made the game feel a little less polished than it otherwise could have. Menus were actually very nearly in the release build, but less than an hour before the deadline our final release build crashed catastrophically. We didn’t fix it in time and reverted to uploading our most recently compiled build from an hour or so previous. This build also has some secret developer debug controls, though fortunately nobody seems to have yet stumbled across them. On a small side note, the death screen was a little too abrupt and a little too easy to skip past.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Audio. 8-bit sound effects are something we’ve really not had experience in making, and we’re very happy with how they turned out. We found all the various gun firing sounds to be really satisfying and often quite visceral, and the super-saiyan scream and zombie sounds were suitably humerous. We also powered through some 8-bit music on the second day, something we know a little more about, and wrote a piece of quite substantial length that we loved the sound of. Audio was always going to be an important aspect of Latvian Milk, and it really serves it’s purpose.

lights

Game feel. We have a blend of 3D lighting in a 2D top-down in Latvian Milk. It was a little bit of a risk, and it’s one that we think certainly paid off. We also included plenty of screen shake and recoil on the heavier weapons, which along with nicely cohesive art and audio made the game feel generally really gratifying.

- Huge guns. Seriously, they’re enormous. The Slim Reaper is more than three times the height of our main man Juice. This kind of happened by accident to begin with, because making a good looking gun at the same resolution of the character (16×16) was near impossible, especially for a rookie pixel artist like myself. And we love how absurd they turned out. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Work flow. We were probably overly ambitious for a first game, and yet looking back, I think we managed to get a lot more than I would now have expected to with more objective hindsight. We achieved pretty much what we set out to achieve having worked damn fast to do so. For two of us, this is our first game release, and only the second game for our third member, so we’re especially happy with what we accomplished.

Bugs. There pretty much aren’t any, and that’s fantastic for how little testing we have time to do. There was one very rare bug where you could clip into a wall when running backwards into a wall firing the Slim Reaper, and that’s about it.

WHAT WE’VE DONE SINCE

start

You better believe we’re carrying on with Latvian Milk. And we’ve already made some real headway since our submission just a week ago. We’ve added in some bullet spread to the uzi and minigun so they no longer fire in perfect straight lines, a wave counter and menus with awesome music, a minor bug fix here and there, some cool shadows, the beginnings of transition to 3D walls, a couple of new weapons and an improvement to the pistol so it fires faster and semi-automatically. And we aren’t stopping any time soon.

Click here to play Latvian Milk!

 

Post-Jam Glorch is Under Way

Posted by (twitter: @wg_phancock)
1 day ago | April 25th, 2015 3:42 pm

We have started work on a post-jam version of Glorch’s Great Escape: Walking is for Chumps, possibly for a greenlight release. Lots of new levels, new puzzles and mechanics, and some new art for higher-res. WIP:

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 1.37.03 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 12.36.50 PM

 

Based on the great feedback from all of you at Ludum Dare, we are adding a checkpoint system, some more visual feedback for grenade throwing and enemy effects, and of course lots of new levels to help smooth out the difficulty curve.

>> You can play the jam version here <<

What’s next

1 day ago | April 25th, 2015 3:39 pm

Game prototype is finished. Thanks to LD32. After I fixed a few bugs (and  found another!)  now it’s time to complete mechanics and changing graphics.

I would like to move objects from a Cartesian coordinates on a flat surface to the sphere (the surface of the planet). To do that I need to add to the xna.js library support of 3d models.

For now, the mobile version of the screen for the giants.

img

Which game engine or framework did you use?

Posted by
1 day ago | April 25th, 2015 3:11 pm

Lets see which is the most popular game engine or framework for LD32. Just answer these 2 questions and I will post the results in a day or 2.

Link to google form

 

Mighty Magnetic Force – Post mortem & timelapse video

Posted by (twitter: @pvwradtke)
1 day ago | April 25th, 2015 2:28 pm

Hello everybody, pretty busy week, so I’m getting to do my post mortem only today. This time my entry is Mighty Magnetic Force, an action/puzzle game where the players control a magnetic sphere that can attract/repel objects to destroy enemies. Below is my desktop timelapse for those crazy 48 hours to develop a game.

This is my 4th Ludum Dare game, though it’s the one I consider to be the best polished so far. To develop it, I’ve used:

  • C/C++ (though no C++ 11 this time)
  • SDL2
  • Chien2D v3.0 alpha (an educational game programming library I’m updating to SDL2 now)
  • gcc and friends
  • Code::Blocks
  • SFXR for sound effects
  • Punk-O-Matic for the music
  • Gimp
  • Inkscape
  • Audacity
  • Tiled
  • mingW32 to make the Windows binary

As usual, the game was developed on Linux (Mint this time) and cross-compiled to Windows. Surprisingly, the game was ready in time and I could do more or less everything that was planned. So, let’s see how this happened.

What Worked

  • I could decide an idea pretty much early, after playing around with a few concepts.
  • Working the mechanics first, so I was able to move around the character in the scenery and shoot objects fast. This way I could focus on fixing small issues.
  • Use place holder graphics, but decide the actual level data structure early. While I was working with a static, hard-coded level, it was using the level final data structure. When I did the level loader, I just had to fill in the memory with data.
  • Use a tool to design levels and configuration files to load them. I used Tiled to build the levels, which made it easy to do it visually.
  • Scale back some ideas, the original enemy was supposed to follow the player in what would be a level laid out as a simple maze. However, this became impossible to do in time, and replacing them for something easier to code was the right choice.
  • Develop standard code for multi-platform development (ANSI C/C++). Compiling it for Windows was just a matter of changing a Makefile to use the mingW32 gcc, instead of the regular system tool.
  • Get people to play it early to spot issues. Some levels were simply too difficult, and I couldn’t see it in the editor. My kids spent about 30 minutes playing it, and it was enough to chase away most level design issues.

What Will Work Better the Next Time

  • I was doing the compo and refactoring Chien2D, a game programming library that I used to teach games programming, back when I was in academia. The original library used SDL1.2+ OpenGL, and my goal was to have it fully refactored and uptaded for SDL2.0 by the time of LD32. I knew that the compo was the best place to force myself and make improvements to portions of the code that weren’t great yet. But it actually gave me some headaches.
  • I had some issues with the SDL2 documentation. It was not so clear, at first, what was a rendering context, which seemed at first to be a backbuffer to draw. However, I quickly discovered it was only there to provide a way to draw to a window using the SDL2 accelerated video API (when there was texture artifacts in my tiles). Once I realized I had to actually draw to a texture, everything went back in place.
  • As part of my refactoring, I didn’t had a good collision code, so I had to improvise. the original version was large, clunky and didn’t work well. It took me a while to write a good version, which was 15% of the code used in the buggy version. Well, less is more, so they say.
  • I was going to be late, when I decided to scale back. and drop the “smart enemies” that could follow across a maze like place. If I had pursued this path, I don’t think the game would be done.

And That’s It!

So that’s my little story about making Mighty Magnetic Force for LD32. Hope you guys enjoy playing the game as much as I enjoyed making it. I’m pretty happy with the positive comments so far. Yes, there’s room for improvement and some ideas are really great to improve the game (thanks everyone!). I’m looking forward to the next compo in August and, until then, please stay with the official Mighty Magnetic Force gameplay video :).

My favourites so far

Posted by
1 day ago | April 25th, 2015 2:03 pm

Some LD32 Picks

Posted by (twitter: @TheBrenor)
1 day ago | April 25th, 2015 1:57 pm

Game are listed in no particular order:

Fathom by Joe Williamson

1fathon

Ex-Sword-Stential Crisis by Team Ex-Sword-Stential

53184-shot0-1429588539.jpg-eq-900-500

Flail Rider by jushii

40591-shot3-1429561289.png-eq-900-500

Badass Inc by deepnight

2982-shot1-1429618716

Genemon by Pietro Ferrantelli

2

Also please check out our game: ForgeCraft
Untitled 5

Ludum Dare 32 timelapse

Posted by (twitter: @@JacquesYon)
1 day ago | April 25th, 2015 1:51 pm

Well, I made a game using slick2D this jam. I had to edit my submission several times because the jar wasn’t working. Fixed it now, so I might as well post my timelapse. Play the game here.

MORE SHEEPS, MUCH MORE SCARY

Posted by
1 day ago | April 25th, 2015 1:40 pm

Hi guys!

We have some news from Scaresheep!

A new updated version was uploaded. Many bugs were fixed, but there is still a lot of work to do!

We have also new sprites for new cool animations!

player2Throw-02

player1Throw-02

And how beatiful are those evil sheeps? :)

sheep-01

We’ll release new updates very soon. Stay tooned!

 

You can play the last version of Scaresheep from here:
 http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-32/?action=preview&uid=50936

 

And there is a battle between me and another programmer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdfR0NZCLsM&feature=youtu.be

 

screen1

Let’s play with a friend and have fun! See ya!

Ooooooouuuuu Sheeeeeeeepp!! :)

 

SoulWeapon changes

Posted by
1 day ago | April 25th, 2015 1:39 pm

Hi all,

Soul Weapon got some little changes.

-bullets are bigger
-enemies respawn are a little slower

Enjoy

Play it here!!!!

Image__0001_Layer-5

Frenzy Inc Postmortem

Posted by
1 day ago | April 25th, 2015 1:39 pm

Finished02_about-right

I’m actually very proud of Frenzy Inc, the game my team and I made for this jam. It was my first time entering with a team, and my other team members first game jam. I’ve been working with them on games for a while, but the time-limited nature of a jam was new to them. We made a game that we’re all proud of, and thats really the most important thing about the jam. We have also got some excellent comments and useful feedback on our games page, which give us a warm fuzzy feeling and help to make the game better.

 

What went right

  • Time and resource management. I was the only one on the team able to dedicate a whole 72 hours to this game. But we were able to plan and work around this to use the team members whenever they were available. And I still managed to get a total of 18 hours of sleep over the weekend, so overall a win.
  • Visual Style. I’m a programmer, but I ended up doing all the 3d modelling on this one since I was the only one on the team with any experience doing it. I’m happy with how the game looks, even if it is very simplistic.
  • AI. This was really my first time writing a proper AI for the player to work against. I learned a lot from the process, but I think the key part the the AI for Frenzy Inc is how they behave when not in combat. You can actually just stand around and watch the AI for a while and see how they behave, and I spent a fair amount of dev time doing just that.
  • Small level. When you limit time, you have to limit some aspect of your game. We decided (reluctantly) that the best thing to cut back on here is size of the level. Having a smaller level enabled us to do a much higher level of detail on the level we did have, and devote more time to other features.

What went wrong

  • Lack of warm-up. My team is largely used to working within pre-existing frameworks, so we spent a fair amount of the first 12 hours spinning our wheels trying to get back into working in plain Unity. We got there, but if we had spent that time before the jam less time would have been wasted.
  • Lack of gameplay testing. Because we were all working remotely, putting together all the pieces to make our game feel complete didn’t really happen until the last few hours. This meant we really didn’t know how the game would be played to fix a few things, such as a few strategies which are far too effective, which really isn’t good for a high-score based game.

 

We’re working on fixing the problems with the game and adding a few features we wished we could have added for the jam for a post-compo version, so if you liked our game stay tuned for that.

You can play Frenzy Inc here: http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-32/?action=preview&uid=22124

Eugene, Oregon reped hard this LD!

1 day ago | April 25th, 2015 1:25 pm

We had 10 entries for our little town this Ludem Dare. Some really great stuff came out of our up and coming Game Dev community, so we decided get together a list of all of the Eugene entries. Most of our entries were made at the co-working space, MindWorks at an event organized by BitForest.

http://bitforest.co/

http://eugenemindworks.com/

Keep an eye out for Eugene, big things are happening in this little town

Pics to come!

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