I’m mostly writing this as a (super) quick analysis as to why I am doing this 48 Game Jam / Competition. This will be my first Ludum Dare. I had heard about it before but had never investigated it closely. The reason for this investigation now is that for the past 9 months I have been working on a programming book. This was a long, drawn-out, and boring process; this difficulty was not something I was anticipating. It made me irritable and actually started making me lose faith in my abilities but more importantly my passion as a game developer. In conjunction with my current job, it was the perfect formula for stress, resentment, depression, and a bunch of other negative feelings. The book is done, so why Ludum Dare? One reason is it’s advertised as a primarily SOLO game jam. This is an area I think I thrive in actually — no long meetings, no compromising vision (which is different than cutting back on scope), no hurt feelings or politics. I mostly want to have fun, but I also want to see if I can rejuvenate the passion for making games — not technical text, not concepts, not ideas, but an actually game! I’ve done the Global Game Jam before, and themes in game jams have always sort of “burned” me; this has been mostly due to the fact that I had gone into game jams with an idea in mind and couldn’t think how to make the theme work with the idea that wasn’t utter bullsh*t. For this Ludum Dare, I’m trying to go in with no ideas other than the fact that the game will be in Unity3D (or GameMaker is I think that is a better fit). This isn’t the most exciting post, but I hope to write a few more during the course of Ludum Dare — but not too many as I have to actually focus on a game — and good luck to everyone participating!
Posts Tagged ‘motivation’
Since people started sharing wonderful resources on creativity, I thought I’d contribute too! For me, “An Invocation for Beginnings” by zefrank is super helpful when embarking on any creative endeavor.
It’s absolutely wonderful.
My favourite parts fitting Ludum Dare:
I’m scared. I’m scared that my abilities are gone, I’m scared that im gonna fuck this up and I’m scared of you. I don’t want to start, but I will.
Let me realize that my past failures at follow-through are no indication of my future performance. They are just healthy little fires that are gonna warm up my ass.
Perfectionism may look good in his shiny shoes, but he’s a little bit of an asshole and no one invites him to their pool parties.
Let me not think of my work only as a stepping stone to something else – and if it is, let me become fascinated with the shape of the stone. Let me take the idea that got me this far and put it to bed. What im about to do will not be that, but it will be something.
There’s no need to sharpen my pencils anymore: My pencils are sharp enough, even the dull ones will make a mark. Warts and all, lets start this shit up.
I’m in again. I just can’t help myself. Ludum Dare is fun. Truthfully I wish it were more frequent. I have no idea what style game I’d like to make this time. Well, not entirely true. I’d like to make a 1981/2 Williams style arcade shooting/blasting game, but have no idea on style or genre. Will see that the theme is.
On creativity…originated from a friend at Remedy (IIRC) made this little chart on the Creative Process. I find it very accurate and particularly suited to Ludum Dare.
Most everyone goes through the above on most any project from Ludum Dare to iOS to Steam to Assassin’s Creed or Call of Duty. The trick is to not get discouraged in steps 3 and 4. Fight through it. Don’t second guess everything. Don’t doubt everything. Don’t give up.
Also there’s this fantastic video from Ira Glass:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ResTHKVxf4 (hope it embeds, but it may not). Watch it.
Stay focused and lean and mean on the jam so you increase your chance of success. Don’t reach too far. Don’t scope too large. Better to do to little, and add, then get halfway into Saturday and realize it’s not gonna happen. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING is finishing – something, anything. A complete work. Good luck!
I pretty much feel obligated to do an “I’m in” post.
This weekend reeeally isn’t what I would call an ideal weekend for a LD, but let’s go!
Not much has changed on my toolset since last LD:
Platform: HTML5 (FTW)!
Browser: Chrome, obviously! I might test the game in other browsers before publishing, tho.
Os: Ubuntu 13.10
Engines/frameworks/libraries: I might use any of these frameworks/libraries, depending on the situation:
Gfx: Graphics? Whaaat are those?
Well, as I suck at any kind of visual art, I’ll probably make a game with squares, circles and triangles for graphics (probably circles tho, circle collision is way easier to solve). If I ever consider to any “real” art, I’ll probably use Gimp.
File hosting: Dropbox . I can’t live without Dropbox. Seriously, Dropbox. Need it!
Version control: WTF is this?
These are the configurations of my <sarcasm> super beefy computer </sarcasm>:
- 1.8 ghz Intel pentium dual core
- 1 GB of ram.
- Intel GMA integrated GPU (super mega old).
- 500 GB Samsung hard drive.
Sorry, not enough time to make a cool VGM playlist this time…
As a compensation, enjoy a picture of my workspace:
Is that you, each time you remember what the results of the past voting rounds were?
If so, here is a surprise for you: Your attitude is severely limiting your ability to come up with good ideas. It is much easier to have ideas when you are positive, motivated and actually give the theme a shot. If the theme is already hard for you and all you think about is “this is awful, people are stupid for voting on this” you sure aren’t making your life easier.
“But Tobias”, you say, “the theme is too limiting. Everyone will come up with the same game.” Yeah, and you probably said that everyone will do a WarioWare type of game for “10 seconds”. And how many of those did we have again? I played a hundred games and I only remember 2 of those – and a LOT of other really creative, fun and diverse games.
“But the theme is simply AWFUL. Nobody can come up with anything good for this!” Sure, except all the hundreds of people who didn’t chicken out when their favourite theme wasn’t chosen.
So maybe this time, instead of dropping out immediately or thinking half-heartedly about the theme for half an hour to prove to yourself that you can’t come up with anything – try to keep an open mind. Maybe it won’t help, but at least this time you actually tried. And who knows, maybe you’ll come up with your best game idea yet by leaving your comfort zone! Of one thing I am sure though: You’ll become a better game designer in the process.
P.S.: And please, stop making posts complaining that people are stupid for voting in a way you don’t like. You are not a victim, so stop behaving like one.
P.P.S.: Yeah, there are themes I don’t like either. Lots of them. And I am awful at coming up with ideas. But I am trying to improve. How about you?
Hey everyone, I am super psyched for LD29, and I’d like to share a wallpaper I made for posters for our local meetup:
you can get the 1920×1080 PNG here!
Feel free to use it however you’d like
So, I submitted a “not-actually-demake-but-tries-to-be-retro-style” game. Took me actually less than 48h.
Used: Eclipse with JDK7, GIMP, sfxr.
Why did I do this? When I heard about LD, I thought that only “pros” can do a game in 48h. I wanted to take part in December compo, but I had uni stuff to do. However, now I took part in MiniLD and… I’m fascinated. I created a game, simple, but playable (buggy ;d). Even with sounds (I forget about it too often). What’s more, now I have something worth to put into my portfolio (no matter which place I get) ;p. No matter what you create, you train both skills and creativity. (Still I think, I should practice more, by comparing myself to others [very bad].)
(Stuff in bold is about motivation for readers ;p).
What next? Maybe, I’ll port this to JavaME/Android.
The “motivation” imagery (already posted before):
I’ve made a game in 72 hours! Isn’t that awesome?
Oh boy! Now I feel SO motivated to make another game!
My game is called Round toe, and it’s basically tic-tac-toe, but you only get circles, forcing you to memorize where you placed stuff (you can play it here).
This was my third LD, and the first where I actually finished something.
Again, my main problem was getting confident on an idea. I switched ideas and started from scratch two or three times during this 72h period.
I’ve had a lot of trouble trying to have an idea of a game that would fit the theme, be fun to play, fit the theme and at the same time wouldn’t require many art skills.
When I had an idea I was confident about, I hadn’t much problem implementing it.
Based on my experiences in this LD, I’ve made a list of things to keep in mind on future LDs and other game jams:
- Think about the themes in the final round when it pops up, so you can have some idea of what you’re going to do.
- Participate on the warmup weekend, even if you’re writing everything from scratch. Helps to keep your inner programmer happy.
- Dedicate more time to music. Music really helps in the mood, which really helps in the overall rating.
- Working on teams can be more productive. Even if it isn’t, it’s way more fun, for sure.
- Next time, use TweenJS (or some other tween library). Tween movements looks cool, but they take a lot of time to implement, specially if you’re doing some DRY code.
- Next time, use PixiJS or Three.js. Even if you’re making a simple 2D game, they allow you to use shaders and materials, which make the game look way more interesting.
- Procedural level generation rules!
- Don’t be afraid of making a crappy game. Making a crappy on is way better than making no one.
- Rate other games soon as possible!
- Git can be kinda time expensive to setup, but it will save your life sometimes.
- Functional coding rules!
- Once you have an idea that sounds at least decent, stick to it! Even if it’s bad, it can almost look good if you still have time to polish it.
- Trig. Love it! Use it! Everywhere!
- Figure out what’s wrong with the way you’re getting mouse coordinates and why it doesn’t work on Firefox.
- Be more social. Post about progress in your game. Comment on people’s posts about their game’s progress.
- Have more fun!
I think that’s all! See ya in the next LD (or Mini LD, or whatever).
Yay! That was so much fun, though. Unlike LD25 with the team, I felt so little stress I thought I was dreaming!
I don’t currently intend to become the best game jam dev evar, hehe, I just had fun making something, even if I didn’t get all the way with it in the time limit, I will always have the ability to return to it and flesh it out. I love LD because of what people end up doing with the always loved-and-hated theme both during and after!
Postmortem and top-down, plot/world-focused game design heuristic (for those of us who ain’t so good at starting bottom-up from a gameplay mechanic) after the jump:
(EDIT: Note: It actually already started, but I wasn’t able to submit my post due to the site being offline :P)
Hey everybody! I just got a bunch of relaxing sleep (it’s about 3 AM) and now I’m motivated as hell. Let’s do this!
I actually wanted to do a live stream, but it seems that this won’t be possible without any issues, however I’ll try to do a timelapse instead.
And just because everyone else does it, I’ll show you my workstation:
A second screen would really be incredibly useful, but I dont have one :/ At least I have a second keyboard, because I don’t like programming on immovable and non-adjustable laptop keyboards. Oh, and that thing on the left doesn’t just look like an external HDD I fixed with duckt tape, It actually is.
Anyway, dood luck everybody!
I’ve done several Ludum Dares in the past, and the one thing that I’d recommend to anyone is to always remember, you’re doing this for fun.
- If something comes along that sounds more fun, or is more important, go do it.
- Take breaks. Go on a walk. Get away from the computer. Draw inspiration from the world, or let your subconscious tackle a tough problem while you enjoy yourself.
- Don’t get stuck. Use a tool like Stutter to force yourself to bounce from art to programming to design to playtesting. (Yes, this is a shameless plug.)
- Sleep (or, at the very least, powernap). A tired developer is a sub-optimal developer. Four hours of peak development is worth much more than 16 hours of mediocre development.
- Eat. Food is fuel, and fuel, like sleep, is required to perform at peak.
- If you want to dominate your Ludum Dare (or appear to), don’t learn your tools while you work. Decide upon your arsenal now, and learn as much as you can about them.
- Revision control is your best friend. Commit early, commit often. If you’re doing it right, you’ll be committing way more than you think you need to, and this is good. Reverting fifteen minutes worth of bug code is better than spending another fifteen debugging. (Don’t forget to master revision control before the compo!)
- Submit your shit. Does your game crash? Submit it. Does your game suck? Submit it. Is your game so awful it’s embarrassing? Submit it! Once you’ve submitted it, realize you’ve completed a Ludum Dare, how awesome that is, how many people wish they were you, how attractive you are, and how much better you’ll do next time!
- Have fun. Have I mentioned that you’re doing this for kicks? If you’re stressed, worried, bored, upset, or tired, you’re doing a bad games make job. Have fun, goddamnit.
After several failures and setbacks, I’m determinated to finish a game this time.
With a lot more experience under my belt and tons more motivation
I’m pretty sure I still doubt I can make it, but I have to try!
I still don’t know how much work time I’ll have, but I’m guessing I’ll have at least 24 hours, which is enough, I think.
IDE: Komodo Edit (I love komodo, but It’s so freaking slow!)
Platform: HTML5 FTW!
Browser: Chrome obviously! I might test the game in other browsers before publishing, tho.
Os: Ubuntu. I’m still using 12.04…
Engines/frameworks/libraries: I might use any of these frameworks/libraries, but I’ll probably write everything from scratch:
Gfx: Graphics? Whaaat are those?
Well, as I suck at any kind of visual art, I’ll probably make a game with squares, circles and triangles for graphics (probably circles tho, circle collision detection is freaking easy to do). If I ever consider to make pixel art, I’ll probably use Gimp.
File hosting: Dropbox . I can’t live without Dropbox. Seriously, Dropbox. I need it!
Version control: I might try to learn how to use Git until friday. Otherwise…
These are the configurations of my <sarcasm> super beefy computer </sarcasm>:
- 1.8 ghz Intel pentium dual core
- 1 GB of ram.
- Intel GMA integrated GPU (super mega old).
- 500 GB samsung hard drive.
Last, and most importantly, an overview of my SUPER ULTRA MEGA LD 28 VGM PLAYLIST!
- Castlevania Bloodlines soundtrack. Length: 32 min. Commentary: I love Castlevania music and I love FM synths. You can probably guess I love this soundtrack.
- Thunder force IV soundtrack. Length: 96 min. Commentary: I found about this game last week, and I’m loving the soundtrack. The FM drums are specially great! Why people used PCM drums on the Genesis so much? I don’t know, after all FM drums rock!
- Super C soundtrack. Length: 16 min. Commentary: This soundtrack is genius. Seriously! The way they use the DMC channel to play “orchestra hits” is also pretty clever!
- Gimmick! Soundtrack. Length: 28 min. Commentary: This is also a very clever soundtrack. It uses the DMC channel to play bass sound, à la Sunsoft.
- Tower of heaven soundtrack. Length: 16 min. Commentary: I love this soundtrack. It’s not real chiptune, but it really reassembles the limitations those soundchips had. Another thing I love about it is that every song is based on the same theme, so, you hear the same theme and melodies all over the soundtrack. That can be pretty annoying if you didn’t like the main theme, but that’s not my case.
- Castlevania (NES) soundtrack. Length: 16 min. Commentary: A classic. If you’ve not heard it, shame on you! Prog rock FTW!
- Castlevania Symphony of the Night soundtrack. Length: 68 min. Commentary: I LOVE this soundtrack. The two things that make this soundtrack special for me are the sound quality and variety. It goes from metal to punk, then it goes to emo, then t to prog, then to latin music, then to baroque… It’s NUTS!
- Castlevania (NES) full OST piano cover. Length: 19 min. Commentary: Listening to this soundtrack never is too much, specially when so cleverly arranged!
- Ninja Gaiden (NES) soundtrack. Length: 55 min. Commentary: I didn’t play much of this game or listen to the soundtrack, but, from what I heard, I can see it’s awesome.
- Sonic 3 & Knuckles soundtrack. Length: 87 min. Commentary: This had to be in my list. I think it’s already clear to the reader that I absolutely love FM synths. Now, to that FM synth love, add great compositions, clever use of the YM2612 chip, well over one hour of length and the nostalgia factor… I love it!
- Sonic 2 soundtrack (Genesis). Length: 39 min. Commentary: Sonic 2 isn’t one of my favorites, neither is it’s music, but it’s still freaking good.
- Sonic CD soundtrack (Japan). Length: 42 min. Commentary: I didn’t play much of this game or hear the soundtrack, but I know it’s awesome.
- Sonic CD soundtrack (US). Length: 51 min. Commentary: Awesome as the japanese version (stop arguing which one is the best you fanboy!)
- Silver surfer (NES) soundtrack. Length: 14 min. Commentary: This is the genius of the genius. Definetely on my top 5 NES soundtracks. I’m still being completely blown away every time I open the NSF on Famitracker! The Follin brothers used SO many tricks at the same time! They really mastered the art of chiptune.
- Time Trax (Genesis) soundtrack. Length: 27 min. Commentary: The only Genesis game to feature music by Tim Follin. Sadly, it has never been released. But the soundtrack is still awesome. What would you expect from the Follin bros?
- Castlevania Circle of the Moon soundtrack. Length: 23 min. Commentary: This soundtrack is also great. I really love how the GBA is basicaly a portable SNES but with much more horsepower.
- Castlevania Curse of Darkness soundtrack. Length: 145 min. Commentary: Never played the game. Or heard the soundtrack. But it’s Castlevania! C’mon, it can’t be bad!
- Mega man 2 soundtrack. Length: 24 min. Commentary: My favorite Mega man game. Also one of my favorite soundtracks! The songs are rather simple compared with it’s succesors, but I like that.
- Mega man 3 soundtrack. Length: 29 min. Commentary: A great game. I don’t like it that much, basicaly because I suck at it. The soundtrack shows a big technical quality jump compared to Mega man 2.
- Super Mario Bros 1-3 soundtrack. Length: 78 min. Commentary: I’ve never been a big Mario fan, but the soundtracks are great. They definetely have a different musical style. Very cheesy and chill.
- Super Castlevania IV and Super Turrican soundtracks. Length: 74 min. Commentary: Again, a game that I’ve not played much. I just know some songs from it, but the ones I know are awesome, so, I guess the whole soundtrack is great too. We shall see… This video also contains the Super Turrican soundtrack. Never heard about it.
- Mega man 6 soundtrack. Length: 28 min. Commentary: I’ve heard this soundtrack a couple times, I played the game a bit and I know Yamato man is awesome, but I’m still not familiarized with it. What better that listening to the soundtrack to get familiarized with it?
- Mega man 9 soundtrack. Length: 44 min. Commentary: I’ve heard this soundtrack a dozen times or so… It’s just gets better the more you listen to it!
- Super Meat boy soundtrack. Length: 165 min. Commentary: Hey, it’s time for some indies! I have only two things to say about this soundtrack. Firstly: If you’ve not heard it, what’s your problem? Secondly: Danny B is a freaking genius!
- Bastion Soundtrack. Length: 61 min. Commentary: Such a intriguing soundtrack. It has some pretty different instrumentations. I definetely recommend it. Bastion is also one of my favorite games of all time, and the first game that made me cry.
- Sword & Sworcery LP. Length: 62 min. Commentary: This soundtrack has a very different style from the others in this list. It’s indie rock-ish, I would say. I’ve heard it a dozen times or so, and it’s getting better every time I listen to it.
- Cave Story soundtrack. Length: 42 min. Commentary: My favorite game of all time. Also my favorite soundtrack of all time. It just has such a huge emotional load for me.
- PPPPPP. Length: 33 min. Commentary: SoulEye is a genius. This soundtrack is just too epic.
- The Legend of Zelda (NES) soundtrack. Length: 8 min. Commentary: You definetely know this one. It’s a classic. It’s great, despite its technical simplicity.
- The Binding of Isaac soundtrack. Length: 72. Commentary: Such a weird game and such a dark soundtrack. It evokes strange feelings in me.
- Scott Pilgrim vs The world: The game soundtrack. Length: 46 min. Commentary: I freaking love Anamanaguchi. That’s all.
Wow! That’s way over 20 hours of VGM! Great!
EDIT: Show me some love for writing such a long “I’m in” post, and give me your heart (not literally, please. I don’t have the equipment needed to preserve its functionality).