Join us on Twitter and IRC (#ludumdare on Afternet.org) for the Theme Announcement!
Thanks everyone for coming out! For the next 3 weeks, we’ll be Playing and Rating the games you created. You NEED ratings to get a score at the end. Play and Rate games to help others find your game. We’ll be announcing Ludum Dare 36’s August date alongside the results.
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Cutting Hedge was mentioned by Rock Paper Shotgun which is super exciting to me 😀
All it took was to tweet a convincing gif of my game directly to the wonderful @Brendy_C, so in case you want your game covered by press it probably is a good idea to directly address people.
Hey! I’m SonnyBone and I worked on Rude Bear Requiem last weekend. I was initially signed on to do the audio, but then our artist couldn’t participate as expected… so that kind of changed. I did all the music on Friday and Saturday, then I stayed up and did ALL of the art. It was less than ideal, and it resulted in a “unique” approach to art that I will cover in a more detailed post-mortem. By the end of the jam, I had been up for about 52 hours straight, resulting in hallucinations … which I think helped to turn this game into something truly memorable. We’re very proud of it, and we hope you like it!
Here’s one of the cute lil’ songs I made for the game.
If you dig what you hear, you can help me out and pre-order the extended OST here.
Rude Bear Requiem is an adventure/puzzle game about helping your forest friends by using magic to shapeshift into various useful forms. Rude Bear is normally Rude… but now he’s POLITE! So take advantage of this one time offer and dive into this totally cute, relaxing, non-threatening world!
Be sure to read the gameplay instructions on the entry page or in the ReadMe!
EXTRA HINTS: The title screen marks the beginning of the game, and the title drops down again at the end. You can still play around in the world at this point, but there are no more objectives. We can tell whether or not you played the full game based on your comments
Didn’t manage to get in a lot of stuff, namely individual unit control, victory/defeat UI and audio, but nonetheless a lot got done; I’m very happy with the end result.
Since my last update, I managed to implement leveling up for the units and health for the player / AI. Each side starts with 100 health and takes damage from enemy units reaching its end of the map. For every level a unit gains, it gets a small maximum health boost as well as an extra 2 points of damage to the enemy team if it reaches their side of the map.
Surprisingly enough, this has resulted in the simple ‘pick a random lane and throw stuff there’ AI actually being more easily lost to than I imagined. Not paying attention to a lane can cost you; if enough enemies build up in a small spot, it may not matter how many units you throw there, they may just level up repeatedly, causing you to kill almost none and empower the rest for when they finally get to the end. I’ve lost up to half my health at once to incidents like this.
Anyways, this has been a bunch of fun as usual, and I’m looking forwards to playing everyones games. The few I’ve already tried have been amazing as ever, and I cant wait to try more tomorrow!
I didn’t prepare much this time. No basic games to get back into the whole process, not many commits to my engine.
What was important though was that I made a list of ideas for the 20 final themes, which helped me a lot in getting creative and was quite a bit of fun, too.
The First Night
I forgot to commit final but crucial changes to my engine, which I consider would be cheating since then I would be the only one with access to that code. I noticed my mistake very late, and after documenting and committing everything there were only about two hours of sleep left.
When I woke up and started Eclipse as well as my timelapse software, I noticed the latter didn’t really work. Everything looked JPEG-ish, even though I had set it to PNG. I spent the last seven minutes before the theme announcement quickly building my own timelapse script, just to realize the original software did work correctly… Anyway.
I was not happy with “You Are The Monster”. Not at all. I mean, I knew that the chance for it was high, but still. I ended up making my biggest mistake, not sticking to the idea I had prepared beforehand. I wanted to do something atmospheric, something calm, like flying a bird. There was my idea – you play an eagle, which looks friendly at first glance, but for something like a mouse an eagle is quite the monster.
I built awesome flying mechanics (really, they deserve to be called “awesome”), made the textures, and put it all together into a lovely little eagle. It would even sit down when you flew it to the ground!
Unfortunately, after spending around six hours on that, I had no idea what to do with it.
After sleeping a little, 14 hours in, I gave up. Back to my original idea: playing as a virus that infects all of humanity.
Progress came fast, since I had mostly the whole thing in mind from the start. In just a few hours, the basics were already done, although it was still far from a game.
In the evening that day, I took a break from coding and started with:
I am bad at making music, there’s no doubt about it. Partly because of my missing experience, I guess – this was the second time I ever made something for real.
It isn’t what you’d expect when you think of the word “music”, it’s rather some disturbed synthesizer sounds with a heavy focus on drums. Those are the only two things I am not that bad at. It turned out OK.
After tuning the music to my satisfaction, I added the progress minimap, tweaked the gameplay and added the main opponent: vaccine production.
I also changed the background to a non-static one, with a pseudo perspective on the houses. Very proud of that!
I appear to be surprisingly good at voice acting. It was my first time to ever narrate anything, and I only did one single recording, but it turned out very well!
One hour of effects work to make it sound like some highly-disturbed walkie-talkie transmission, and suddenly my game got a lot better.
Testing & Fine Tuning
Obviously, when you have played such a simple game for a few hours, you get really good at it. That is a problem, because as the developer, you have had to play it over and over again, which means you don’t know how hard or easy it is for someone starting from the beginning. That is where I got other people involved, basically just playing the game and reporting back how it worked for them.
Then followed lots of fine tuning, since the game turned out a lot harder than I had thought.
After one of them managed to win, I called it a success and submitted my game.
My Overall Experience
This Ludum Dare was absolutely great. I had a bad start, but after that, everything went very smoothly and I am happy with the outcome.
The way I did it this time appears to be how I should always handle game jams in the future. Giving everything you have drains a lot of energy, and you lose more than you gain. If you do this in a more relaxed way, you are not exhausted and get to do more.
If you haven’t yet, you can view my entry here: Virus
The development is available on YouTube, sped up to just over 5 minutes: Timelapse
Alright, the bare functionality of what makes this game the game it is, is starting to be complete!
There’s enemies, which shuffle your blocks around if they manage to land, and you can combat against them by placing your blocks which will then shoot to all cardinal directions. This creates an interesting balancing act between trying to find the right place for the block to create neat rows and combating against the ever-increasing enemy menace. Btw, the math of speeding up the enemy spawn is still a little off making the difficulty ramp up very very suddenly at one point, causing the enemy onslaught to look like a stream of blood with these placeholder graphics 😀
Anyways, I’m about to get some sleep soon. Tomorrow it’s the time for graphics, sounds and gameplay polish! And voting too since we’re having an election day here in Finland – I won’t stop LD from performing my duties.
This is the fourth Ludum Dare that I’ve participated this far (I think), and in the tradition of using a different engine every time I participate (previously: LÖVE -> Flixel -> Unity), I’m using Unreal Engine 4 with blueprints this time. I have a faint glimmer of hope that I can export a HTML5 game but I’m not gonna hold my breath.
Anyways, the game idea I have is basically Tetris with guns. Except the guns are your tetris blocks that you shoot enemies with. How it works is that there’s enemies descending on your beautiful stack of tetris blocks and if they manage to land, they’ll do some harm like shuffle the blocks around or speed up the game. If you land a tetris block, it’ll shoot horizontally/vertically, hitting any blank spaces within direct LOS and destroying enemies on those paths which means that you’ll have to balance between playing tetris in a planned and sensible manner with trying to frantically stop enemies from landing… But we’ll have to wait and see how the (admittedly vague) idea will work in practice since this far I only have just the very basic tetris groundwork done, as you can see from the animated gif above.
To clear my head a little from all the blueprint spaghetti, I also started working on some music. I don’t think it’s gonna be entirely suitable for the game (sounds a little too aggressive IMO) but hey, at least it’s something. Here’s a very crude version of the music, with a 1 minute long synth solo that I don’t know if I hate it or not. It’ll most likely be dropped from the final track.
(Click to view 1008×717 GIF) Programmer graphics = !good
So I started working at 11am, 7 hours after compo start because time zones. I didn’t have an idea immeaditely but after I did, I’ve been making good progress. I think I’m gonna focus on the gameplay and code today and then add graphics and sound tomorrow. For the record, I’m using LÖVE/Love2d/Lua and am making a top-down shooter where the unconventional weapon is money. This is also the first time I am coding everything myself and not using Stencyl (a game maker, basically)
Is it not even a real theme to you, just a technical restriction? Does it not inspire you even one tiny bit?
Yeah, I just said that. It’s fine! Because I am sure there is another theme you really liked in the last voting round. No, don’t tell me, I want to be surprised later – just think of it really, really hard.
After the End
Death is Useful
Avoid the Light
You Are Not Supposed To Be Here
Everything Falls Apart
End Where You Started
You Can’t Stop
Color is Everything
Playing Both Sides
You’re thinking of it? Great! I hereby invite you to take this favourite theme of yours and brainstorm with THAT as the core instead of “Entire Game on One Screen”.
So, what about the actual theme, you might ask? Just use it as what it is: A technical restriction. You can be inspired by whatever theme you want to, as long as “Entire Game on One Screen” still applies.
…but seriously, the theme is making my head hurt with all its limiting vagueness. No switching scenes, sure. No scrolling allowed, I guess? What about zooming? Or is “one screen” about having a single camera perspective? Can elements come in from the side? Can elements appear at all? And uh, if they can appear and vanish to/from the sides, isn’t that like scrolling again?
PS: If you answer something like “It’s totally up for you to interpret”, just pretend the GIF above is about reading your comment.