Posts Tagged ‘DevSocYork’

I have arrived

Posted by
Friday, April 15th, 2016 5:58 pm

Hello, I’m yet another lifeless soul merging into the creative landslide that is the Ludum Dare. Whoever you are, you now have this knowledge; whether it benefits you or not is not my problem!

I’m In!

Posted by
Friday, April 15th, 2016 5:50 pm

I’m in! I’ll be entering the Jam with avinashd! I’ll be mostly handling the media this time round. Looking forward to it!


I’m in!

Posted by
Friday, April 15th, 2016 4:22 pm

This’ll be my second Ludum Dare and I’m hoping this time I’ll be far more prepared.

Good luck to everyone!


I’m in… ^^;

Posted by
Friday, April 15th, 2016 1:51 pm

So, I’ve done a few Ludum Dares before, but this is the first one that I’m planning to attempt solo. My usual skill sets lie in the design and narrative fields, so I’m pretty nervous about finishing both on time and with a cool game on my own. Planning on using GameMaker: Studio, Flash, Audacity and a few other bits and pieces as necessary.

Hope everyone has a great time!

(Wish me luck! ^^;)

S.I.L. Design Post-Mortem

Posted by
Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 10:54 pm

Hi everyone!

Well, Ludum Dare is over again and I felt like doing a quick design-side post-mortem for our game S.I.L. – Synthetic Intelligent Lifeform.

If you are interested in playing our game then you can do so here.

So, this is my second Ludum Dare and my first as the sole designer. My first LD was LD31 (link here) where I was the team artist, animator and composer. This time, I was largely the designer, as well as the writer and artist and, whilst I know that my last entry (Black Drop) was more fun to play and was much more polished upon release, I have to say that I am very pleased with the sheer scope of this entry (S.I.L.) and am happy with how much of it we got done in only three days.

That being said, of course, we aimed too high and ultimately paid the price for our hubris, but hey, what’s Ludum Dare for if not a bit of fun and an excellent learning experience?
As the designer, I do feel largely responsible for the overscoping and will endeavour to think much more carefully about it as a potential issue in future.
However, despite my failure to comprehend the true meaning of “three days”, my partner Michael made a beyond-valiant effort to program my design into existence and, ultimately, only fell short by a surprisingly small margin.

Somehow, S.I.L. was released on time (just) and we’ve spent the last two days bug-squashing (and will probably be spending even more time doing so in days to come). Despite this, S.I.L. isn’t quite what we had naively envisioned at the innocent beginning of Ludum Dare, but it is in a playable state, has a certain, strange fun-factor and is, thematically, rather slick (if I do say so myself). At the end of the day, what better could an overambitious pair of devs have possibly hoped for? :)

As my major role in the project, I feel like my design was, at its core, solid, although the execution was lacking. Whilst I am confident that S.I.L. held the premise of an interesting and enjoyable game, I know that I fell short at one particularly key hurdle: scope.
Other aspects could have been improved upon with a short amount of testing but because of the poor scoping, we did not have any time to refine the design and had to submit without any testing.

Were I given the opportunity to refine my design now, I would firstly drastically reduce the number of machines on one network. Whilst infecting a large network of unique machine was bizarrely fun in and of itself, the core gameplay suffered from the sheer dilution brought on by networks of 40+ machines. A smaller network of about 10-30 machines would, I believe, have significantly improved the gameplay.

Additionally, I would have reworked some of the Scripts mechanics to make them more useful, although that might not have been such a large issue on a smaller network. Either way, this issue would only have become apparent through testing which, unfortunately, is something that we did not end up with time to do!

So, it’s not all bad! Despite the overall overreach of the project, I am genuinely proud of S.I.L. for several reasons. As my first chance to lead the design of a game in a team (even a small one!), I felt that I did a good job of balancing the roles and stats of each of the powers in the game, even if a couple of them needed some tweaking that they sadly never received! In addition, I think that the mechanics and overall structure of the game work quite well and I am proud of that.

My favourite contribution to the game was probably the script, which I wrote during the first day and appears through the in-game console cutscenes. Although writing is my field of interest anyway, I was particularly happy with how the character of S.I.L. was portrayed through the unusual medium of console logs and how it, as a character, smoothly grew over the course of the short story.
As a subject of philosophy, I find morality in artificial intelligence particularly interesting and, through the story of S.I.L., I feel that I successfully explored several of my thoughts and feelings on the matter.

Finally, I was pleased with the UI that I designed in the style of old command-line interfaces, as well as the animations on the programs as they travel across the network.

From a player’s perspective (ultimately the most important one) I believe that my last LD entry was much more appealing. However, my last entry didn’t come close to the ambition of S.I.L. and I am proud–from a designer’s perspective–of what we have accomplished. In future projects, I will endeavour to build upon what I have learned from this experience to make my designs even better for the player, and not just the designer.

Of course, without my partner Michael, S.I.L. would just be a bunch of design notes, some art assets and a script, so I’m incredibly grateful for all of the hard work that he put into the project to make this Ludum Dare an enjoyable, educational and productive experience! (Although I think I’ll let him write his own port-mortem from the programmer’s perspective!)
Thank you for reading, I hope you had as good an LD as I did and, if you have a spare moment, please give S.I.L. a look! I hope you have fun!



Posted by
Monday, December 14th, 2015 1:54 pm

Whoo, I’ve finished the game! Here it is for people to (hopefully) enjoy:

I’m pleased with how the development of this game went compared to the previous one that I entered, LD32. I feel that its much more polished.

Day 2: S.I.L.

Posted by
Monday, December 14th, 2015 5:52 am

So, on the morning of Day 3, I’m just going to make a quick summary of Day 2 to get me back into the right mindset for more development!

After completing the dialogue script and the majority of the design work on Day 1, I spent most of Day 2 working on sprites and user interface, as well as some extra design that needed ironing out. My partner spent the day programming gameplay and implementing the UI that I had built.

Everything is starting to come together and the game is taking shape into, well… a game! I’m really hoping that we can get everything finished and polished for the deadline as the game is starting to show promise and–dare I say it–even a potential fun factor.

Master UI 3

Our working example of the UI without the network in the background. The network is now visible in the green-space, behind the Local Console, in the live version.

Due to the nature of the game (hacking sim meets strategy game meets tower defence) I decided to go with a very “quasi-traditional” interface that both harks back to good ol’ command line interfaces whilst still retaining some functionality of a more modern WIMP interface.

Today I will be working on the last of the sprites (some visual representations of programs that you can run across the network), sound (we’ve decided to go with a more ambient soundtrack rather than a musical score), story implementation and design polish whilst my partner finishes properly implementing the UI, squashes a bug which makes network nodes spawn on top of each other and implements the AI.

Wish us luck!

(Belated) Day 2 Update- More or Less Functional!

Posted by
Monday, December 14th, 2015 5:14 am

Forgot to make an update post last night before I went to bed, so I’m doing this now. I’ve progressed quite far since the first day, the game is now in a completely playable state, with endgame conditions, yay!

Day 2 Print Screen 4

I’ve implemented the different module types, and they all affect the numbers correctly (at least, so far…).

Day 2 Print Screen 3

I’ve also got a main menu and all that jazz.

Day 2 Print Screen 1

I also had time to add in sound effects for button interaction and a quick tune to play in the background! So today looks like it will be polishing the game, making transitions between different UI elements nice and smooth, and possibly implementing a few additional ideas into the game.

End of LD 34 Compo

Posted by
Sunday, December 13th, 2015 10:45 pm

My first ever game jam is over.

A lot of fun, and not a lot of sleep, but well worth it. I wrote small to-do lists throughout the jam and I’m now left with a mini-diary of what I did. Really cool to see how the idea evolved a developed as it went on.

Note to self for next time: Don’t start with the art and sound first, then build a game around that!

Screenshot of the “final” -ish product:



Looking forward to seeing what everyone else has come up with. Looking at the twitter and have already seen some amazing stuff. Night!

Day One: S.I.L.

Posted by
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 7:55 pm

With just coming up to 24 hours of development completed, I thought I’d take a break from the coding to make a post and show off our progress

Our game takes you on the story of an AI, accidentally unshackled and allowed to grow and explore, hidden away on the worldwide network of computers.

Technologically, the first day has been spent building a lot of the background data structures and the network generation algorithms. It’s been slow-ish going, as it’s one of those projects that doesn’t really have much to show until a lot of it has been done.


An early iteration of the debug view

My partner, doing everything-that’s-not-coding, has worked out all the bits in our design, meaning implementation should be fairly straightforward from here on out. He’s spent the second half of the afternoon working out a story and writing a script for the campaign-come-integrated-tutorial. He’s touched on some interesting points, so I really hope we can realise it all before the deadline.


A later iteration, with preliminary render ability and additional under-the-bonnet work.

Hopefully, by mid-way through tomorrow I’ll have the initial gameplay down. Then it’s just a matter of tying in the remaining features while keeping up with the steady stream of art and sound assets that my better half throws my way.

See you tomorrow folks!

Day 1 Over!

Posted by
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 7:25 pm

So, the first day is drawing to a close, and I’ve got a fair bit done. Under the working title of “Station Modular”:

Day 1 Print Screen

I’ve got the GUI elements designed (most are not functional yet XD). Spent a load of time hacking away at the code to instantiate the new modules onto the station, but I finally managed to sort it out! Now that the fundamentals are getting there, the next step is to begin implementing game logic (money in/out, different module type effects etc.).

I’m In!!!

Posted by
Friday, December 11th, 2015 6:41 pm

I’m in! This will be the second LD I’ve entered. Gonna enter the Jam this time, that should give me more time to work on stuff!!

I’m in!

Posted by
Friday, December 11th, 2015 2:25 pm

Super hyyyyyyyyyyyped !!!! Can’t wait to see what everyone else makes 😀

Good luck everyone!



I’m in

Posted by
Thursday, December 10th, 2015 8:23 pm

Will be helping run a real world LD meetup at my university and taking part in the Jam with my partner. He specialises in programming and development and I specialise in design, art, animation and composition. Hopefully we’ll be able to make something cool together over the weekend!

This is my third game jam and second LD so far, and I’m really looking forward to it! As for tools, I will probably be using Notepad for design work (lol), Paint.NET for art assets and my Roland AX-Synth (keytars are cool, I swear!) for composition along with Audacity (I prefer live recording over MIDI).

Have fun everyone! ^^

I’m In

Posted by (twitter: @fakefrogsonly)
Thursday, December 10th, 2015 5:31 pm

Read that apparently I don’t technically exist until I make a post, so here it goes…



Good luck to everyone! Let’s make something awesome 😀

I’m in (with my uni society)

Posted by
Thursday, December 10th, 2015 12:47 pm

(I thought I’d post my own ‘I’m in’ separate to the society one)

Along with running our own small real world meetup for Ludum Dare, I will be taking part in the Jam for the first time (previously only done compo). I’ll be working with my partner over the weekend and Monday, with the aim of his design and my development skills coming together in perfect harmony (that’s the dream anyway).

Having missed the summer one due to moving I’m really looking forward to this one! It looks set to be a fun weekend with friends from our uni society, even if I might have to cover the graveyard shift once or twice.

In terms of technology, it’s fairly standard fair for me…expect a Unity game.

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