My MiniLD #59 game was called Swaptroid, and I made a brief playthrough video with commentary. This was my first game created using Construct 2, so I go over some of the details of creating a game using the Construct 2 development environment.
Ludum Dare has been around a long time—13+ years! (That’s over three quarters of my life! Not that I’ve known about it all that time, but still.) And soon, thanks to PoV, we’re going to be saying goodbye to this old, clunky website that has served us through so many of them. That, along with MiniLD #60 being a nice round milestoney number, made this seem like the perfect time to look back on our long history and celebrate what Ludum Dare has meant to all of us.
Of course, if you’re new to LD, that shouldn’t stop you from participating. The rules here are simple enough: pick out a theme from any past Ludum Dare event. Whichever one you like! Lists of past themes are linked above. Then, over the last weekend of June, pretend you’re taking part in that past Ludum Dare. I think it would be fun if you stuck to the strict Ludum Dare rules if you pick a full LD’s theme, but hey, I’m not watching.
This presents some interesting opportunities for you. Did a theme give you a great idea during an LD once, but for some reason or another you were unable to participate? Now’s your chance! Did you intend to enter a certain LD, but fail to finish your entry in time? Now you can redeem yourself!
But wait, there’s more!
Challenge Theme: What has Ludum Dare meant to you?
This one’s for the people who’ve been around a little while. I can at least speak for myself when I say that Ludum Dare has really meant something to a lot of people over the years. Why not share with the community what it’s meant to you?
So, if you’d like, create a game that expresses what Ludum Dare has meant to you. It can be something big or small—there’s no right or wrong answer here. Alternatively, you can write a post about it, or even make something in one of those weird non-game mediums! Make anything you want—a thank you note, a story worth sharing, or even some sort of mega post-mortem. We’d love to hear it!
In addition, I’d like to ask a small favor of you. As most of us are aware, PoV has been working full time on the new LD website despite not receiving even half the donations he needs to support himself. If, in your games and posts, you could please link to Mike’s donation page, I would appreciate it.EDIT: Mike says he doesn’t feel right about “getting money for work by others,” so we’ve had this paragraph removed er, strikethroughed. He’s very humble. =)
For those of you who remembers Ludum Dare 28 (December 2013 – theme “You Only Get One”), I’ve just released an improved and extended version of my entry: The One Fork Restaurant DX.
This game takes place in a restaurant where many customers are coming to eat, but unfortunately the restaurant only has a single fork! So the customers have to share it to eat their meals, but they aren’t really patient…
During the compo, the game got ranked #4 in the “Theme” category, which, added to all the wonderful feedback I received, motivated me to spend some months to enhance the game. It now plays better, should be more fun, and more beautiful to watch and listen to. And, last but not least, it’s also available on Android!
In celebration of the announcement of Fallout 4 i’m hosting a jam on Gamejolt for Fallout inspired games. Make a game that is inspired by the Fallout series or takes place in a post-nuclear disaster world. It starts on June 15 and runs for 21 days. Anyone who wants to participate is welcome! Click Here for details and rules.
A long while ago I made a game idea generator which combines two games at random and gives you an elevator pitch. I recently came back to it and remembered it existed, and felt I should share it with everyone here!
Best of all, I’m looking for you to submit your games to this website, to better help those who are using it. If you’ve made any game projects, or know of some other indie games, feel free to submit those games to be included in the shuffling list.
Anyways, that’s all! Feel free to check it out here and share some of your favorite combinations!
For LD-32 I made a game called “Fun with Vacuums”. I entered the Jam with no expectations and I am satisfied with the game I was able to produce. This is what I submitted.
What went well
– Choosing an idea that I could reasonably program: The idea I chose for the game was easy to program. I am glad that I chose this idea over every other idea that I had because every other idea would have either taken too long to program, or was too complex, and involved me having to do research to learn how to implement some algorithm necessary for the game. I am glad that I was able to find an idea which I could complete, rather than a really complex idea which I wouldn’t have been able to finish in time.
– Audio: My highest score was in the audio category, which really surprised me because I had spent the least amount of time on the audio. I am really glad that I did add sounds into the game, because it makes the game feel so much more polished. In previous games I made, I never added any sound because I didn’t realize that audio improves the game. I thought that it was just a “nice to have” feature rather than a fundamental part of the game. After seeing how much of an effect audio had on improving my game, I definitely see the importance of it, and I will put extra focus on making it in future games that I make.
– Programming: I didn’t run into many technical challenges, and because I programmed the game in the language I had the most experience with (java), I didn’t have to waste much time looking at reference documentation (the only thing which I had to look up was how to play audio, but I didn’t waste too much time doing so). I had been considering programming the game using a language I had less experience with, but I decided against it because I had a feeling that I wouldn’t be able to finish the game in time if I did so.
What didn’t go well
– Thinking of an idea quickly: I spent an entire day deciding what I was going to make. By the time I figured out what to make, I only had 10 hours to program it. This was bad time management, I probably should have limited brainstorming to a maximum of 4 hours, which would have given me much more time to program the game.
– Testing outside of the IDE: I didn’t test my game outside of my IDE until just before the deadline. As a result, I accidentally omitted all the images from my game in the file I submitted, rendering my game unplayable. Next time I will allocate more time to test my game outside of the IDE I used to develop it, in order to avoid having problems like this happen again.
– Balancing and Bug Fixing: I didn’t spend much time balancing my game, and fixing bugs. As a result, the game contains many bugs, and is really hard.
Overall, creating the game was a great experience for me, and I appreciate all of the helpful comments that I got on my game. I definitely plan on creating entries for future LDs 😀
I went through and renamed all the sprite sheets in the archive to something my program was looking for, namely ‘randomImage0′ – ‘randomImage97′. There were 99 in total, but one had been resubmitted with transparency. I removed that one, and the transparency from two or three others that I thought they might have meant to. I hope no one minds. Here is a link to the new archive.
Good jam everyone. I really enjoyed it. It was my first finished jam. It took way too long, not ready for real LDs yet, but I am pleased with my game. Check out Keith Karnage in the Omega Zone: Chapter 1: The Holo-Defense Grid on itch.io or kongregate. I’ll get a new version with all the sprite sheets up later tonight!
Last weekend (May 29th – May 31st) I participated in Mini LD #59 with four of my acquaintances from reddit. This is the first time for me to participate in a MiniLD as I am usually a full LudumDare Compoplayer. MiniLD usually runs for more than two weeks, but since we all have time commitments to other things in life we all decided to jam it out on its last weekend.
All of us originally met on gamedev reddit and started a gamedev text chat on google hangout where we often talk about games, show our progress what we have been working on in our spare time, share and exchange ideas etc etc. Its a lot of fun to hangout with like minded people.
Everyone in our group appreciated the MiniLD #59 theme which is basically swapping your sprite sheet with someone else’s before submitting the game. The demo sprite sheet was released on the website, which introduces us to the dimensions and layout of the sprite sheet we needed to create. The impact of this is that you have no idea how your game is gonna actually look like until the end. For e.g; you might have created a sheep in your game and it may get replaced by a turtle or spikes or a blank tile or anything else that you cannot even imagine of. This makes the game design a little more challenging because the game should not be art driven. We cannot rely on a certain style or objects with specific representation and let it drive the gameplay. We have to make sure our game will be understandable and playable even after replacing the sprite sheet with a random one.
We started our 48h game jam around 9:30PM on Friday (May 29th). Everyone was equally motivated and determined to deliver a finished game by the end of 48 hours. We used google hangout as our primary communication tool since all of us reside in different towns and cities.
Like any other game jam we began with a brainstorming session that lasted for an hour or two. We discussed few game ideas within the limits of the sprite sheet layout as it was an obligatory to follow the standard. We also discussed our skill sets as it was our first time working with each other. To comply with the theme (Swap) we settled on a mechanic that that will allow the player to swap their position with any other object in the world provided the object is configured as swappable. We also had this notion that the player has somehow acquired a super power that allows them to slow down time and swap any two objects in the world provided the objects are configured as swappable. For e.g. if an AI unit is shooting towards the player, they can swap their position with another object in the world in order to dodge the incoming attack. Cool, right? Everybody liked the idea and the work began.
Whats the setting of the game? we don’t know.
Whats the purpose of the mechanic? we don’t know.
How the game will be played? we don’t know.
Whats the win or lose condition? we don’t know.
How the player will progress in the game? we don’t know.
Is it a puzzle or a brawler or obstacle avoidance? we don’t know.
We never bother to ponder long enough on these questions and left those unanswered and this is exactly what bit us hard in the end (IMO). Not having a clear vision about what the end product will look like kept us unproductive from time to time. We often question each other about the kind of game that we are trying to make.
Stephen was working primarily on the art assets and also learning how to make music using Reaper at the same time. He came up with this cool business man looking dude and other assets in the game. Here is our sprite sheet that we submitted. Hopefully someone is using it
Zach was our main sound guy. He started pumping out awesome loops within two hours using his big stack of musical instruments. Listening to those kinda makes me feel like making a game similar to Audiosurf. He was also involved with level creation and contributed to art as well.
John, Larry and I was mainly working on programming tasks.
John helped us in overcoming all of our git nightmares.
BTW, Larry loves drawing on people’s faces. See what he did to my face 😀
As we set sail into the development, we had some intermittent discussions about the overall look and feel of the game. The style of our game was completely dependent on the art direction so we had to stand by a little before we had some mockups. Once we had those we came up with the style that the player will play as an angry office worker. An angry office worker who somehow acquired a super power that allows them to swap positions of two objects in the game world. The player will then have to disrupt a normal working day and wreak havoc in the workplace that they hate completely.
By this time, we had a somewhat clear idea about the type of game we are working on but we were also a little ignorant about the way the game will be actually played. We continued working on these smaller game mechanics (while not paying attention to the overall bigger picture) that we hoped will come along nicely in the end. When most of those individual components were ready, I personally had a lot of trouble giving all those features a purpose that may or may not constitute a game. At this time I knew that we are quite behind in our deliverable. We stayed focussed and tried to push it through as much as we can but unfortunately it all fell apart in the end. Our first level was incomplete in many aspects and there weren’t enough art assets ready to populate the level. Clock kept ticking and only 4hours left to submit the game. It was then I proposed that we must call it off and accept failure :(.
Unity3d and source control don’t like each other, at least from my experience. Often times we were facing problems with merging each others changes and losing library references every time we try to pull new changes from the repository. The solution wasn’t straightforward and every time this happened we either have to search the entire scene for the missing references, fix them and push it back to the repository or stash our local changes, pull the latest commit from the repository and redo all the changes. This was getting annoying and it wasted a lot of our precious time.
This is the second time I failed in a game jam. At least we tried.
“Trying and failing is better than not trying at all”
It was a bit disappointing that we were unable to produce anything after spending 48h on it. But again:
“If you have never tried, you have never learned”
And we definitely learned a lot of new things in our quest to make a game in 48h. This learning is not only limited to the game development or third party unity plugins that we used in our game, we learned about each other, the dynamics with which we work, our interests and familiarity with variety of tools and tech and everyones thought process. This will definitely benefit us in our next undertaking.