Posts Tagged ‘evolution’
Rusty Moyher here. I’ve participated before in Ludum Dare, but Super Clew Land is my first experience entering the Jam or working with Shaun Inman and Matt Grimm. After this roller coaster weekend, I know I’ll be doing both again.
A week before Ludum Dare, I asked Shaun if he wanted to make a Jam game. He was interested, but concerned how we’d break up responsibilities. Shaun and I are do-it-all guys, so we didn’t know of a good way to split the work. We decided to sleep on it. (Which actually meant not making a decision until the last minute.)
We met up on Skype an hour before the jam to finalize plans and workflow. Before splitting responsibilities we’d wait to hear the theme. Shaun had worked with Matt before and we sent him a Twitter DM in hopes he’d join us.
At 9pm EST we received the theme: Evolution. We came up with a dozen bizarre ideas including a colored vine puzzle game that the player would grow through to proceed. After four hours of brainstorming both of us were wearing thin. We almost slept on it (again), but finally chose the idea we’d spent the most time fleshing out: an evolving Metroidvanian puzzle double-game.
Imagine a split-screen or Nintendo DS double view. Players would encounter a platforming world above and unlock new abilities in a top-down gene sorting game below. Even as we shrunk the gene sorting into a HUD minigame, the idea seemed ambitious for 72 hours.
To make the creation manageable, we made a last minute framework switch. Shaun and I were both eager to try out Futile, a new 2D Unity framework. But the scope of our idea required tile map support. Rather than trying to roll our own for Futile, we chose a framework more familiar: Flixel.
We also (finally) decided on the responsibility split. Shaun would design and I would develop, but we’d switch things up as needed. We heard back from Matt too. He would do music and sound. 8-bit Voltron was formed.
I woke up to find over a dozen animations in our shared Dropbox folder.
Hizzah! Clew was real.
I started building the “Protein Puck” minigame as Shaun drew food and enemies. Shaun and I communicated almost entirely through FaceTime on our iPads. (He found it useful during a previous collaboration.) This made it easy to bounce new ideas around while working. By using our iPads as dedicated video devices, we never had to manage a floating iChat window. It was so helpful we left the stream open throughout the entire jam.
By the end of the day we had most of the character animations done, a pretty-much-working minigame and an fun retro soundtrack from Matt.
All three of us live in different timeszones, but by the second day this seemed like a plus:
Working with a dev in another timezone is awesome. Go to bed with an idea, wake up to a working implementation. Could get used to this.
As Shaun finished up animations and wrote the Flixel animation timing, I started implementing the player, food and enemies. Halfway through the day Shaun switched to code and implemented autotiling to make world building faster. About this time I started adding Matt’s sound effects.
When the autotiling was ready, Shaun started building the world in Tiled. The pieces were coming together, but a mountain of polish remained. As the day grew long we came to an unspoken understanding: there would be no sleep tonight.
Day 3 (I think)
While the sun rose, I squeezed in a few good playtest sessions. Shaun programmed the enemy pathing behavior and then kicked level design into high gear. Matt had to leave for his day job, but was able to write a few final sound effects in his off hours.
Nearing the end of the Jam, we we’re all exhausted. At some point I took a shower to try to clear my head. Picking the game’s name took near an hour, but this was mainly due to our exhaustion. In the last thirty minutes we added a title, an ending, and Matt’s final piece of music. And….submit!
Working with Shaun and Matt was a blast. Each Ludum Dare I’ve participated in has been more rewarding than the last. I’m not sure I can stop now.
We’re all pretty happy with what we pulled off in three days. If you haven’t checked out Super Clew Land yet, what are you waiting for? Go play it now!
What I did in 16h
I made my game for Ludum Dare #24 in less than a day. It caught me by surprise, I read the news that the contest had begun the second day and sat at my computer and started drawing textures for models, Run the Game Engine Shiva3D and then I composed a simple scenario and I remember that I was very clear about what I wanted to do, a kind of evolution of planets, something dark with a touch of Mario Galaxy
What went right
I built up the scene, get some free sounds modified and a simple music (atmosphere) and wrote the AI’s, behaviours and HUD scripts in the speed of light, but something bothered me and totally stucked me , a common math problem with free rotations in 3d axis.
What went wrong
The final hour arrived and I had to post the game with 2 bugs: camera and control, users started to test the game and all they said was good things but complied about the bugs, so I kept working on the game until I got a version with less bugs, without the gimbal lock in the control and a better camera, still to be improved…
What a lovely community
I was very surprised with so many comments, when I started to rate the games, I found there was lot of fun games, mine is more like a weird experience said some guy ,I love the touch of humor the users distillate here in the Ludum Dare, I was so used to getting bad reviews of my games in other networks, that this experience of have opinions of people with such passion and professionalism really left me overwhelmed and makes me think all this has a really good purpose to work and deploy a good game for the people, and I love to create new experiences, emotions and travels to other world, those kind of stuff, thank you !
The game evolves too
After reading and talking with other users I found that my game need a whole new point of view, so, one of them said me that it needed another player, I liked the idea and I turned the game into a multiplayer conquer for evolve experience in Space, dark matter is waiting!
You need to socially evolve to get the girl you want. To have money, a car, popularity, etc. That’s what I tried to tell in my last game.
Warning: This is intented to be a parody game, so please don’t take any advice in the game into the real life
In this post-mortem, I’ll try to explain what things of the development process made me mad, what made me sad, and what made me glad.
It’s not a fun game!
At least for the last 30 minutes, the game wasn’t fun. That was driving me nuts through all the development process. I was thinking “I need to make this game fun, but how?”. Finally at the last moment I decided to make the “power-ups” come from the right side on a random basis. Before that, they were static.
This wasn’t my original idea
Indeed it wasn’t. I wanted to make a more strategic game, in which you had to train yourself to get more girls, and eventually you could get Lucy, the girl you always wanted. Of course, that was out of the scope because of the short time.
I only had 24 hours
I woke up at around 8pm (yeah, I know), looked up the theme, and tried to think something cool. Obviously, nothing cool came about, or only ideas related to genetic algorithms, which I didn’t have the time to implement. At the end, I could have made a better and more balanced game with those extra 24 hours.
I’m (still) not good at pixel art
Not a bit. I lost too much time drawing and redrawing the characters and the background, and even though didn’t come with something cool. This is definitely something I need to improve for the next projects.
I couldn’t use my framework
My framework was on process on refactor when I learned that LD was the next day. So for obvious reasons, I couldn’t use it, and had to stick with plain Actionscript.
The Resource Maker saved lot of time
Indeed it did! If you haven’t checked out, my Resource Maker can process a folder and generate a Resources.as file which contains embeds for the assets found in that folder. I made a simple *.bat with a call to Resource Maker, hooked it on the pre-compile process, and I didn’t have to write a single embed line
I was well organized
There is something I’m more and more aware of: TODO list are a win. After I had some idea of what I wanted to do, I wrote a TODO list on a text file with what I needed to make in order to complete the game. Next, I had to stick to the plan, adding and removing things as necessary. After 12 hours, I was already implementing sounds and music, since the core game was already finished (although it was still boring).
I wasn’t interrupted at all (except for going to sleep, going to the toilet and sleeping). That was a good thing since I was fully concentrated on the development.
Good prior sleep
Since I woke up at 8pm Saturday, I already had a full sleep. So all I needed was sleep only 4 hours during the development.
Good post-render effects
I followed this tutorial to make my fancy post-render effect. It took me around 3 hours to implement it, and it was well worth it
Easy music maker
Since I’m not a musician, this tool helped me a lot for the music. What I needed to do was to generate good sounding music, and put them together in a sound file.
Jana created a gameplay video of our entry “kernel exception“, for all you people who can’t or don’t want to play the game!
So, I made a game called Revolvolution for this Ludum Dare. (Unfortunately I’ve now learned that ReVOLVOlution was the name of a marketing campaign by Volvo, so a google search shows nothing D:)
24 was my first proper Ludum, and I’m very happy with how my game turned out. You can play it right over here. Feel free to drop a comment, I’m definitely doing a post-compo version and I’d like to know what I need to fix.
So, back to the topic at hand, Revolvolution postmortem. Here we go!
- I made a game in less than 48 hours, and people seemed to like it.
- Some people (Two that I’ve heard, Ditto and Bluefoxgs) even liked it enough to bother finishing it. That’s a good 10 minutes work, at a guess. I’m surprised they gave it 1 minute, never mind 10.
- The art style of the game. Kind of old-school, so fairly pixel-y, it didn’t take long to do and turned out great. I tried to keep it fairly persistent throughout the game, and don’t think I did too badly! The carpet in levels 1 and 2, what many people seemed to like, was the very first asset made (it might have even been made before the code) and is modelled on the one in my grandmother’s sitting room. Keeping it in the family
- I enjoyed myself! Definitely going to try and do the next LD.
- I had a fairly unique take on the theme, imho , after vowing not to do an inevitable petri-dish shooty-thing, or some variant.
- The game is fine for both QWERTY and AZERTY, and anyone else can use the arrow keys. It’s suitable for leftys who use their mouse backwards too, because both the left and right mouse buttons work. It’s also okay for colourblind people, but you might not get to admire the lovely carpet in the background.
The Negatives D:
- Really big thing: the Processing version that I’ve been using for the past few months (2.0a6, in the hopes of getting Processing for Android working) decided to stop working the day before the LD. So I went and downloaded the newest build, 2.0a8. I gave it a quick run-through, it all seemed fine and dandy, and off I went to bed. I had a heart attack the next day when I tried to export though: the newest alpha doesn’t yet support exporting to applet. So no web version, or JAR, or webstart. Just native applications. (It’s okay, I’ve fixed my problems!). But that panic wasn’t great. Felt I should’ve been better prepared.
- No music, or sounds. The way you add that in Processing is through the Minim library. But I’ve had troubles with Minim in the past, so I decided to leave that as an extra thing to add if I had time at the end. I had Autotracker create a few tunes, listened to them, but hadn’t time for anything more. (Hope I’ll have sounds in the post-compo version).
- The FOV. I had a gradient pasted over the playfield centred on the player. Although some people (including me!) liked it, it had a bit of an impact on the framerate (made it up to 10fps slower in some cases) and some felt it was too limiting. I agree now that was a bit restrictive, so I’m rethinking it for the next time.
- Uploading. Mediafire denied all but the Linux version of the game. Twice. Then Dropbox uploaded an early build of the Windows version fine, but took too long doing the others later on, so I had to give up and try somewhere else. After some quick searching I found CX.com, which seemed to do fine. But the Mac version is on Mediafire, because why not. I wouldn’t have had to negotiate all of this if my program had been a Jar, as I’ve never had a problem with StaticVoidGames‘ uploading…
- I didn’t have time to make any posts or interact with the community during the compo D:
So, that’s my story.
Our comp entry is here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-24/?action=preview&uid=5234 Also embarrassingly, apparently Aqualution is a soap brand name so that’s probably not going to stick.
Evolution is actually one of my favorite game mechanics, but I was completely at a loss for what could be implemented in only a few days. That was the biggest hurdle.
A lot of game mechanics fell by the wayside and the idea of evolving powers turned into just growing into a bigger newt and surviving a hostile environment. I got most of the art done that I wanted to, but Alex of AvibeGames didn’t have enough time to code everything in and make it functional so we worked with what we have ready in the framework. Jack did the music and got it to us very quickly for the few songs we needed for gentle ambiance. It was a pleasure to work with my team and friends, I learned a lot about how to make pixelart and it’s likely this project will roll into a bigger post-Dare game or another one.
Things we succeeded at:
- Making a nice atmospheric sidescrolling game
- Simple and varied enemies
- A health and EXP system
- Smooth water floating and dashing physics
Other things that got the chopping block:
- Key/Door unlock mechanic
- Longer bosses and levels
- Moray eel and giant octopus
I always look forward to Ludum Dare, succeed or fail, as motivation and a learning experience every time. Even if you don’t finish, I think it’s important to post your work—you’ll get valuable feedback for later from your peers.
The secret to my success this time was remembering to take breaks, but not too many. Sleeping, cranking the music up full blast and getting shit done. And sometimes I didn’t, so I’d rush to make up for it, but I’m proud of what we have to show already.
And now that I am back from the dreamworld, I can properly announce that we finished our Jam entry, Aqualution
Evolver is a game where the point is to explore the randomly generated world. Exploring the world will allow you to pick up ability points which can then be used to evolve or upgrade your character and make him better at exploring the world.
Here is a link to the game
You may notice the instructions panel is blank, one of more than a few things that didn’t make it off of the list and into the game.
Camera : Mouse (lmb/rmb change how it moves around)
Movement : WASD
Esc/Return : Bring up menus
Special Powers : double press W for dash, Q for Ecolocation
There’s a whole lot more that can be done, but figure it out on your own.
How’s it going everyone! This is my first time entering Ludum Dare!
I have had so much fun programming hardcore(staying up until 4am) for the past couple of days!
Now that I have finished programming this game, I feel like a programming genius!
Thank you all for being there with me through this hard grind!
Special thanks to the Snakey Team: Ryan, Jason, and Zach for tons of support crunching this game!
For my past blog post and updates, please navigate to these links:
Here is all I could do within a two days time, folks. I’m satisfied of what I’ve done with the colorful graphics, but I’m afraid there’s nothing much interesting to play here, just a couple of unicellular organisms fighting in free waters. All packed in a cute html5 game.
My original idea was to let the player evolve through classes represented by genes : you choose two starter genes, and after each level you have two more genes to choose from based on your previous choice, each gene adding capabilities to the player from speed to gravity based moves. You start as a mere bacteria to slowly evolve into an animal, the finality of the game being to evolve into homo sapiens… then what may come after. But of course, I couldn’t do anything in 48 theorical hours (wich include at least 10 hours of sleep) and the game oncly features the two first genes, a short multiple-screens level (with a 1000 kittens secret) and some kind of end level boss that you must slay in order to end the game by finding its weakness. Oh, and I even added an intro + title screen and an ending sequence…
Anyway, I had a fun time working on this, let me know what you think about it