Posts Tagged ‘devlog’

one rooms post mortem

Posted by (twitter: @AurelDev)
Sunday, December 25th, 2016 8:02 am

PLAY ONE ROOMS

(this is a mirror of the same post mortem on my website)

It was that time of the year again! For Ludum Dare 37, I made a 2.5D point ‘n click adventure in 72 hours – one rooms. I also skipped one night completely, opting to work for 40+ hours without any sleep whatsoever. Here’s how everything went down …

The preparations

The week before this LD was somewhat busy for me still, because university. Mostly because of that, I didn’t prepare as well. I didn’t make a super customised wallpaper with different text for every theme possible, I didn’t make 9 of them for each one of my virtual desktops, I didn’t test my libraries. I did make a super quick wallpaper that you might see in the timelapse. Basically, I was not planning to do something very experimental. It was going to be another game made in Haxe, compiled to flash. Oh well.

I was also looking forward to seeing the new Ludum Dare page. But then, a week before the actual event, I realised it’s just not going to happen with the current progress. So, surprise, surprise, everything was done on the old Ludum Dare page which has bugs and issues, obviously, but is still much more reliable than a system ‘finished’ and launched without any alpha testing. Oh well #2.

Unlike most previous LD’s, I did not have a definite favourite among the final round of themes. These were my votes:

While I know that the event is growing larger all the time, the duplicate themes are getting old. Chain reaction is the only one marked, but ‘Small world’ is pretty much the same as ‘Tiny world’ (LD 23), then ‘Simplicity’ / ‘Minimalism’ (LD 26), ‘Wait, are we the bad guys?’ / ‘You are the Villain’ (LD 25), etc. And of course, the theme that was finally chosen, ‘One room’, was very exactly the way I interpreted ‘Entire Game on One Screen’ (LD 31), so it wasn’t my favourite. Oh well #3.

The concept

I woke up on Saturday (after going to sleep one hour before the theme was announced, silly me) somewhat late, and saw the theme. One of the first things I thought of was a rogue-like exploration / role-playing game – you, the player, control a boat / spaceship / caravan which is the one room. But because it is also a vehicle, you can control your one room and go places. Explore the sea / space / desert. It is a simple concept which can be taken in various directions. The game would also be quite difficult to finish, but I was up to the challenge. I was already considering going for the jam, so the extra 24 hours would definitely help here.

(I didn’t choose this interpretation in the end, but there are some that have done so, for example: 13 Jellyfish by Four Quarters – pretty game)

So, as we were brainstorming with my girlfriend, don’t ask me how, I thought of approaching the theme a bit differently – to have a room that ends with -one room. Then she suggested a game where you try to think of various -one rooms. And then, feeling ambitious, I thought of a full story to go with that. I already knew it would be a lot of work to even have various rooms, without even thinking of an actual story.

Poor man’s 3D engine

And so the idea was born. Then it was time to think of how to make the game look. I already experimented with pixel art / 3D fusion in Cell #327, although it seems like an overly-complicated way to make little bits of the room move. I didn’t really use it to its fullest potential. So this time around, I opted for simpler graphics, with the 2.5D effect of the spinning room being the highlight. The graphics ‘engine’ involved some basic lingebra, z-buffering, pixel-by-pixel blitting, but I suppose that deserves an article of its own!

72 hours again, music, voice acting

I was quite happy with my progress. Creating new rooms took a lot of time, because creating a user-friendly editor to place walls and floors in 3D would take even longer. By the second day I knew I didn’t have that much ready content-wise, but I didn’t panic and decided to keep going and submit a jam entry instead.

I had no idea what music I would have, or how I would make it, and having a jam entry allowed me to ask somebody friendly on the LD IRC chat. The request was fulfilled by ibispi, who promptly made Earthbound-sounding chiptune music for all the rooms. That added a lot of personality to the game. I would have gone for darker-sounding music, but I reconsidered, seeing as my game was rather light-hearted, with lots of quote unquote humour in the writing.

I also thought of asking Elijah Lucian to give voice to my game, as he did for Cell #327. He wanted to help, but couldn’t make it before the jam deadline, unfortunately. Right after the jam, however, he was hosting a voice acting stream on twitch. It was quite fun watching people try to act out some of the more unusual parts of the script (the actual voice acting starts around 01:11:00). He also promised to have the game voice acted post-jam. And I want to polish it plenty before that, and add some content – more rooms, more puzzles, more fun.

Sleep deprivation

As I’ve already mentioned in the beginning, I’ve skipped the second night entirely. I worked till 3 in the morning, then thought I might as well try to pull an all nighter. Maybe it gets better when you get used to it, but sleep deprivation is kinda scary. Monday morning was especially challenging. I tried to keep working, but I would keep falling asleep mid-work. Writing simple lines of code would merge with my dreams. I would have my eyes open, but I can’t say I was awake. Trains of thought were derailing left and right. It actually got better in the afternoon, and I was insane enough to stay up till 3 in the morning again. Watching Elijah’s stream of course.

I guess if there is an advantage to skipping a night (apart from the obvious additional working time), it would have to be the, er … ‘creative’ ideas you get. So that’s how the singing skeleton quartriplet and the late shift arcade got in the game.

The menu

The menu in this game was heavily inspired by the GUI in Mass Ef– Just kidding! I meant the food:

Also some muffins, pistachios, you get the idea. Good food management is crucial for a successful LD entry.

A javascript port

You might notice there is a playable javascript version this time around. I ported the game because some people complained that it’s hard to get it running on linux, and that flash is a dying platform anyway. Which is true, I suppose. So, post-jam, I ported the game. It took me a day, but I was quite happy, because the majority of changes were made in my libraries (which were basically used as a wrapper around the flash API), not the game itself. Meaning I can make a javascript build of my games to come much faster. Yay.

Some mistakes

As always, there are some things I should have done differently. Obviously there should have been many more rooms, at least some lines of dialogue for them. Writing those would have taken minutes, so really there is no excuse.

The palette I chose was 20 colours. Most of it worked out pretty well, but for some reason I chose a colour very similar to another that I never managed to use in the game. If I had taken some time balancing the palette more, the resulting graphical style would probably end up different as well. Probably more moody, as my games tend to be.

The faux 3D, while looking pretty, is also not very nice on the CPU. The javascript version suffers from this much more, but even the flash version gets my (admittedly quite old) computer spinning up its fans. I could have optimised this in many ways still, and I hope I will get to that for the post-jam version. Technically it should be doable with a shader, but I didn’t feel brave enough to write my first shader during LD.

Conclusion

And that’s about it. I will write another article about the way the rooms are rendered, and hopefully another article when there’s a post-jam version. Overall, I am very happy with my game, and I hope you enjoy it too!

PLAY ONE ROOMS

Update: timelapse

Reworking my LD 34 entry Eda

Posted by (twitter: @alpha_rats)
Sunday, June 5th, 2016 7:12 am

I’m currently reworking my LD34 entry, a bonsai-growing game called Eda.

First  of all : thanks a lot to the Ludum Dare community for all the useful feedbacks on the first version of the game!
Many of these insights are now implemented, and contributed dramatically to improve the game and motivate me to push it further.

The LD vesion of the game

The original version (playable here) allowed the player to choose the branches he wished to grow. The player had overall limited agency over the tree’s evolution, and the game presented little variety outside of diverse planting pots.

tumblr_nzepnlW2r91tqwxxoo1_400

My LD 34 entry Eda

The current version of the game

In it’s current state, the game presents two different shaping tools : growing and pruning.

It also features now :

– different varieties of trees to choose from or to grow randomly
– different planters and little carpets to choose from or to randomize
– four seasons with different color schemes, depending on moon cycles
– an in-game screenshot mechanic
– a proper menu and decent UI
– improved graphics
– a more fluid and adaptative camera
– fully rewritten and optimized code

A lot of these ideas came firectly from the suggestions made here on the LD website, so once again: thanks everybody!

alpha_rats-Eda screenshot- main screen 04june

Eda, screenshot : June 2016

alpha_rats-eda-screenshot june20165png

Eda, screenshot : June 2016

alpha_rats-eda-screenshot june20163png

Eda, screenshot : June 2016

Where is it heading to?

The plan is to have a free demo by mid-june and to ship the finished project by September 2016, for desktop and Android.

The main remaining features yet to implement :
– make the tree evolve depending on season cycles (bloom, fall, growing fruits, etc…)
– add some weather elements (rain, snow, sunshine, etc…)
– add more tree shaping and tree care elements
– give more variety to the different kinds of trees, with more varied growing shapes
– have different kind of background scenery, eventually randomly generated

And finally : thanks to Mathis Bouron who did a great job with the soundtrack and sound effects, and continues to do so now for the new version of the game!

 

To Past Successes and Future Failures!

Posted by (twitter: @@ZakChaos)
Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 12:23 pm

It’s been a little over a year now since i’ve been making video games. Though, in one way or another, I’ve been makin em far back as I remember.(I can still remember some of the rule sets I had for my legos, and chess modifications. )

Last October, I read about the october challenge, and though not ready for it yet, I pored through all of the resources available to me sayin, one day, one day. that day came several months later, after I decided to work on a game for a month straight, and to put it
on a market shortly after. the result was a touch based android game where you kept your finger on the screen, dodging blades and collecting coins. I had a good 10 levels, and spent some time polishing it the best my beginner gimp skills allowed. I began by submitting it to the google play store, thinking i’d put it up for free, then if people liked it I could simply raise the price higher, I later learned that wasn’t the case, and learned a lesson there. “You cannot raise the price of a item on the google play store, only lower it.” But I didn’t stop there, I submitted to all the market places I could find, “amazon, opera,slide.me, and several others.” most of the markets, I learned, don’t give you the greatest exposure. It was then i read something about samsung’s 100% indie program and began the process of submitting with them.

I began my communication with 100% indie’s customer support, and they were very responsive and helpful with getting my game published. However, I was used to submitting my game and having it show up instantly in the market place, The submission process took a week,I got my app back rejected, with a report telling me that it wouldnt be supported by a list of tablets, I almost quit, but I didn’t. I loaded up the website to resubmit, and only submitted it for the devices it would support. I waited another week, I got my app back, rejected. this time the message was that the game was broken due to the fact that when a finger was removed from the screen the level quit. I almost quit, and shelved the game. But I didn’t. Due to this being a gameplay mechanic explained in the opening screen, I sent them an email explaining the confusion, and yanno what? A coupla days later, my app was approved, and copies were (by my standards) “Flying off the shelf.”
graph
I felt a feeling of success nothing in life had made me feel, though I didn’t quit my job quite yet,(that would come later.)
I felt like this could be something I wanted to do full time, though over the course of several months, sales plummeted
leaving my grand total around $40 …$40!!! I had set out to make one dollar, and I smashed the goal. But all too quickly,
It wasn’t enough.

The months rolled on, and eventually tensions mounted at my employer, I found myself quickly unemployed. No problem I thought to myself I can fund my family making games, (Can I?). several little jam games later(1 took 3rd place and won me 25$!), october rolled around, and I thought to myself, ok. Time to do something serious and commercial. Working with a little prototype I developed, I started putting together “Super Pixel Ball” A cross between Marble Madness, and 2d platformers, with slippery marble controls, you make your way thru levels while avoiding obstacles. I’ve got ten levels done so far, and as with my previous release I’m releasing it free/pay as you want. the plan is to keep it that way thru development, then when it’s finished I suppose I’ll survey the players to get a good price point. The first day I announced it I got a couple preorders, So I can say my october challenge this year has been completed, but that would be lazy, So I made 40$ on my first october challenge, I hope 100$ isn’t too high
of a bar to set, only time will tell!

I’m amazed how much I’ve learned in such a short time, and will continue to keep pressing on with my delusions of grandeur of being a full time self sufficient independent games developer. I’d like to share with you just a couple of imb portant things I’ve learned in the last year on being profitable.

1: Don’t Give up!  : No matter how many times i’ve felt like it in the last year this insatiable addiction to keep churning out games is unstoppable,It only stands to reason that if at any one of those times I had quit making games, then i would not be 70$ richer as I am today.

2:Ask for money. You will never make any money as a game developer if you don’t sell your games right? There are a great number of markets out there, go out there and submit!

3:Talk to people. There are SO many opportunities you can find by just gettin out of your head and talking to other like minded gamedev folks, also good friends are worth > $$!

I’ve been trying to make games commercially for goin on 5 months now, and more than anything in the world, I’d like a
paying job as a game developer, sometimes I ask myself, “Do I have a snowballs chance in hell?” . Well as most people tell me,
I probably don’t, but i’ll be damned if I ever stop tryin.

-ZakChaos

Thats bout all I got for now, please post any other tips for becoming a lucrative game developer in the comments :)

Dont get Cut! Free on Google Play:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zaxco.dntgtct&hl=en

Don’t Get Cut! 1$ on samsung app store:

http://apps.samsung.com/mars/topApps/topAppsDetail.as?productId=000000598954

Super Pixel Ball Free(web Version) on gamejolt.com:

http://gamejolt.com/games/arcade/super-pixel-ball/18059/

Super Pixel Ball Pay as you want :

http://zakchaos.itch.io/super-pixel-ball

Seagull RTS – Trojan’s Log #1

Monday, July 22nd, 2013 11:22 am

Day 1, part 1


The night before was intense. I could not sleep, especially knowing that my first major game – to be made within 5-6 days – would start tomorrow. I set the alarm clock to 5 AM, and started working on it an hour later.
For the most part, the game mechanics are done. Sharks, seagulls, sailors, so on and so forth. Multiplayer is pretty much done, though I still have to test it with a friend.

I guess you guys want specifics, so here they are!

*Started game
*Made the game controls for the seagull
*added mouse-only support
*removed mouse-only support
*added keyboard support
*”hey that’s pretty easy : D”
*Added sharks
*OH NOOOOOOOOO-
*Added ships
*So long, and have some fish!
*Added multiplayer
*Added base credits
*Added endless singleplayer
*Seagull doodoo everywhere

yeah I’d better stop there before I gross myself out

for the first 5 hours, not bad! The graphics leave much to be desired, though, so no info on that quite yet :/

Goals for now: Online Multiplayer, sound design, testing, outsourcing graphics to a talented artist named BeGamer who’s working with me!

The Well (Day 1 devlog)

Posted by (twitter: @locknic)
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 12:05 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTAPrg4CArM

I’ve decided to try to make my first video game this week, and I’ve given myself the restriction of five days to complete this project. The usual thing to do is to have 48 hours like the Ludum Dare, but since this is my first game I don’t want to rush or lose any sleep over it. The goal is to make a short 2d platformer about a boy who falls into a well, and has to try to find his way out. The reasoning behind the well is so that the game takes place in a cave setting, meaning less art will be needed. Due to my lack of creativity, the game is named “The Well”. The engine will be done in from scratch in Java, as that’s what I have the most experience with. I tried to learn to use some libraries like Slick2d, but it took too much time, so I’ve decided to just stick to what I know.

The Well - Demo Level
First day progress

Today, I’ve managed to get some of the foundation code set up. So far, the game loads a map and tilesheet (text files) and places a character for the player. So far, the player can move around, and collide with the walls of the level while the camera follows him around. I’ve decided to have three layers, a background layer, a collision layer, and a foreground layer. The reason there are three separate layers is to make the map editing more flexible, as there doesn’t need to be code for each type of tile possible. Another benefit of having separate layers is that each tile doesn’t have to be completely square. The collision layer and the foreground layer can have transparency without leaving holes in the level.

Demo level screenshot
Testing level

So far in terms of art, I am just using placeholder black and white tiles to show the background and the walls, but these will be replaced with proper tiles once I am done with them. I’ve also drawn a main character, but it is still a rough draft. For this project, the coding will probably be done first, with the art, music and level design done after all the main mechanics are in place.

The biggest challenge today was trying to structure my code. I spent so much time worrying about how object oriented the code is, and trying to make the engine really flexible. I realise now that it was premature optimisation that really isn’t needed for such a small project, so from now I am going to try to code quicker and just get as much content as I can done. Tomorrow I want to try to get done the coding for animations, some tight movement for the character, and a menu and options interface.

I’ll be making a blog post and video each day showing my progress and explaining a bit of my thought process behind my decisions. Overall, I think this project will be really helpful in terms of learning as I’ll have to use so many skills in such a condensed time frame. I am mainly a programmer, so naturally the coding is the most important part of the project to me, however making the entire game myself will force me to broaden my creativity. I’ll have to do all the drawing and music myself, and since I have very little experience in this I could really learn a lot from it. Another thing is that I am a terrible writer, I have always been terrible at English, so forcing myself to make these blog posts will hopefully help me work on that.

Check out my website for updates: http://custardgames.com/

Development Log

Posted by
Monday, September 3rd, 2012 5:25 am

Instead of a postmortem I wish to provide a journal of my thoughts and actions during this Ludum Dare. One of the things I like about Ludum Dare is watching other people’s creative process in action through their blog entries. Unfortunately I was too involved in my own creative process to blog about it during the event. So I am writing this after the fact, using my best recollection of the events. I felt I had a pretty successful Ludum Dare and want to share what I think made it successful.

Edit I just realized that this post takes up a huge ammount of screen space. Probably because it is an almost hour by hour account of my actions during this Ludum Dare. I have copied the main text to my webpage, here is a link:

http://www.monkeydev.com/unity/ld24/devlog.htm

Space Drugs: Isn’t Deep Space “High” Enough Already?

Posted by (twitter: @louroboros)
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 8:05 pm

(This is a cross-post from my post-compo devlog.)

“High”, as in altitude. Again, no apologies.


If you’re old enough to have been a highschooler before the average cell phone had an app store, then this probably looks familiar:

SELL! SELL! SELL!!!

That of course is a depiction of the ubiquitous TI-82/3+ game “Drug Wars”.

It was a simple and extremely … er … addictive game. Buy low, sell high, don’t get caught, and don’t get robbed on the way to the suburbs to drop your stash of cocaine.

Now, as it turns out, this was inspired by a DOS game from the early 80s. Of course, there have been many variations, but I’m willing to bet that the one for the TI-83 has been played by more highschoolers of my generation than any of the “modernized” versions (/me wrinkles his nose at ‘mafia wars’).

Frontier: Elite II, a game from 1993, introduced black market goods to the space-trading from the first game. Whether it was influenced by DOS Drugwars is a mystery to me, but I know it was at least as fun to be a dealer in space as it was to be when I should have been memorizing trig equations (okay, it was definitely more fun — lasers).


So, of course, I had to include black market goods in μniverse.

There is only one illegal good so far in the pre-alpha: generic narcotics. I may add other goods that have special properties, such as firearms, nuclear waste, non-compliant computer hardware, unidentified alien technology… it’s easy to come up with ideas. But for now, just droogs.

Currently, the only penalty for transporting illegal goods — as seen above — is for the goods to be “confiscated” by the ITG (Intergalactic Trade Guard).

I should note that so far, there are two kinds of space stations you can encounter: ITG stations (below, left) and what I’m calling “Pirate” stations (below, right), which are not “protected” by the ITG.

ITG StationPirate Station

(non-final artwork)

Every time you enter an ITG station, there’s a chance your ship will be searched. Pirate stations, however, are “safe”. Thus, it should go without saying that prices for illegal goods at ITG stations are significantly higher than they generally are at Pirate stations.

To make things more interesting, I intend to introduce a “Smuggler” crewmember, whose presence aboard your ship will reduce the likelyhood or rate of discovery of illegal goods and later, fugitive passengers — a topic I’ll be discussing in a future post.

HUD you guess?

Posted by (twitter: @louroboros)
Monday, April 30th, 2012 7:59 pm

(This is a cross-post from my post-compo devlog.)

Yes, there will be puns. I apologize for nothing.


The most recent addition to the game was the heads-up-display for your ship in flight mode. It’s a subtle addition but it’s the sort of thing that makes it feel like, yanno, a game. I’m happy to say that it doesn’t act as a big distraction or take away from any “immersiveness” that the game might (accidentally) already have.

Right now, the only info the player needs to see are their shield levels. The way I chose to display this was an unassuming, white vertical bar. When you take damage, the bar shrinks accordingly. The important bit is that it does so in an animated fashion — any time the bar is shrinking, the ‘S’ (label for ‘shields’) shakes proportional to the amount the bar is moving.

Once your shields are below a critical threshold, the bar turns red, and the ‘S’ continues to shake along with the bar until your shields are repaired. I usually hate UI-nags but I make an exception for imminent death.


What isn’t pictured is that the camera also shakes whenever you take damage. The reason for this is two-fold: 1) This helps indicate that you took damage, but it also 2) can disorient you, much like it would happen if you were at the controls and a burst of plasma breaches your hull.

Along the same line, I’m considering having your craft be propelled by the shots as well, but I’m afraid that might be too jarring for the average player. Maybe in a sort of “expert mode”. 😉

how do i devlogged?

Posted by (twitter: @louroboros)
Friday, April 27th, 2012 7:39 pm

(This is a cross-post from my devlog on tumblr.)

Ludum Dare 23 is over and my game has been submitted. It was a crazy 3 days of … crazy, and the most fun I’ve ever had making a game.

However, I wasn’t really done with my game. I had something playable, but I felt like I could actually make a feature-complete space-exploration game out of it.

So I decided to continue working on it.

Thus begins the devlog of the “final” version of μniverse.


If you’re here, I’ll assume you have already played the pre-alpha or Game-Jam version of the game and are familiar with what it is. If not, or if you want a refresher, check out the About the Game page to get a run-down of what μniverse is and will hopefully become.


Unfortunately, right now I’m in the process of cleaning up and organizing the codebase (one giant CoffeeScript file), so I won’t have much exciting stuff to report until I’m happy with that, but in the meantime, if you think this might be a game that catches your fancy, you should +follow me here on tumblr, or twitter, or github.

A few comment comments:

Posted by
Monday, April 26th, 2010 4:20 pm

I thought I’d spend a few minutes addressing three comments already made on my game, Hungry for Island.
(more…)

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