Posts Tagged ‘Explore’


Hello, everyone! I’m Shaquille Stoutamire (Defacid/Acid) and I had a lot of fun with Ludum Dare this year! I’m really excited that, even though I still had a lot going on, I managed to finish my entry! It’s not as fleshed out as I wanted it to be, but I submitted it in time… with a whole minute to spare!


– Randomly generated worlds with terrain and plantlife variations

– Pretty decent gravity and rocket physics (there are definitely bugs, but it’s relatively solid)

– Basis to a leveling system


– Fleshing out the level system to actually DO something

– Adding outposts and environmental interactions like gathering resources and using them to survive

– Spending too much time on the planet generation: I had already build a similar system before, funnily enough for a previous Ludum Dare, but I ran into an error didn’t want to look at it or use that code base – when I do a game jam, I like to work from scratch in the engine/IDE that I’m using. Next time, even if I’m not going to copy and paste, I’ll at least look. ūüėõ

– Actually fleshing out the morality element. Right now, the player themselves has to ask the question of “Why am I killing these little guys?” when experience doesn’t change anything about the gameplay. But I wanted to actually add something of value to the mix like planets losing color saturation when you kill enemies, but you get something in return so you have to weigh whether or not it’s worth it to kill these defenseless little guys.

– Clearing my schedule for the event. It was unavoidable (school, watching my son, my car broke down haha) but it still definitely hurt my game. I lost AT LEAST 24 hours due to obligations and 8 to sleeping. So I ended up with about 12 or so game dev hours at the maximum. :(

I’m going to port my game to HTML5 within the next day so that more people will play it! But within the next 20 days, I’m going to play as many other compo entries as possible! I will make sure to play and rate every game of every person who rates and comments on my game.

Time Frame – 10 seconds in the span of 10 minutes

Posted by (twitter: @tylerowen)
Wednesday, September 11th, 2013 3:43 pm


So, I made a game in 72 hours. Well, the competition entry is not entirely what I had envisioned for the concept, but I accomplished quite a bit in the time I had so I’m pretty proud of it.¬†Time Frame¬†is a game about exploring a strange world that moves in slow motion. The game takes place over the span of only 10 seconds, which you experience over 10 minutes. With a theme like 10 seconds and I really wanted to make something that wasn’t fast-paced and frantic like I knew 99% of the other entries would be. The idea was to have a vast area that you would never actually be able to completely explore within the time limit. I succeeded with that, but I wasn’t able to fill that area with as many sights and sounds as I had hoped. I wanted to have all kinds of things happening in slow motion to emphasize the time dilation, but I ran out of time. In the end there are really only a couple things that give you a frame of reference for how slow time is moving. The first is a fountain at the entrance of an abandoned city that has water falling in slow motion. The second is an event that happens towards the end of the game that reveals why the game ends at all, so I won’t spoil it for you (though I have updated the game since the competition deadline and added more stuff… read below).

The art style was something that I chose to make asset creation faster. Everything has a very simple, yet high-def look that emphasizes triangles. I actually made all the textures using a really neat application called¬†Hexels. It’s an awesome tool that lets you paint using shapes other than just pixels. I used the trixel shape mode and was able to really quickly develop a unique style.¬†Hexels¬†has a free version that I would recommend everyone check out.

Soon after the close of the competition I added in support for the Oculus Rift as well. I have had the Rift dev kit for about a month now and have been wanting to do something with it for a while. It was a great way to get familiar with the setup so that we can use it while developing Lacuna Passage as well.

I’ve had most of my time wrapped up in developing Lacuna Passage, but I have been working on Time Frame on the weekends and I managed to update the game with a bunch more stuff to explore and discover. You can play the updated version or the original version via web player, Windows download, or Windows Rift versions¬†from our competition page.

Time Frame was created using Unity. Music by Clark Aboud (also our composer for Lacuna Passage). Programming, art, and design by myself, and additional art by Alex Senechal.

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.
Instructions :
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.


Post-mortem: SEEK*TOR

Posted by
Monday, December 14th, 2009 7:12 pm

So this was my first Ludum Dare. I did the Global Game Jam back in February, so I had some idea of what to expect, although the GGJ was teams rather than solo. One thing I do regret is not interacting more with the community–IRC, Twitter, etc. I could have used more feedback than I got, instead of relying almost entirely on my husband’s comments.

Friday night I spent brainstorming ideas and thinking over mechanics. Saturday morning I started coding. By late afternoon / early evening, I had the major mechanics implemented, but it wasn’t fun. At that point the turrets were just yellow diamonds (and they were warp portals which your cyan circle teleported between), and the hint circle always disappeared before you could fire again.

Screenshot of older version of SEEK*TOR

Screenshot of older version of SEEK*TOR

The best thing that happened for the game occurred when I sent my Saturday prototype to a friend for feedback. He told me two very important things:

  1. He had the most fun figuring out where the hint circles intersected
  2. He wanted to know why you had to aim and fire to reveal the map instead of just placing light bulbs around the “platforms” (yellow diamonds)

So I made the hints persist but fade over time. That means you can see the hint circle intersections, but the screen doesn’t become overly-cluttered with old hint circles. It also means the aiming mechanic is important, since if you take too long, the previous hint will have faded away. I also changed the theming of the game so that the portals became turrets and you selected a turret to fire from, rather than teleporting between them.

Sunday was mostly a day of polish. The big feature changes were implementing multiple levels, scoring, and flare limits. I also added the start, game over, and between-level screens, made the graphics, (such as they are–hooray for GlowFilter!) composed a background track, and created the sound effects.

In the end, I was successful in terms of having a pretty-much finished game at the end. On the other hand, seeing some of the other entries, I kind of wish I’d done something a little more ambitious…

Things that worked out:

  1. Using abstract glow-y vector graphics instead of trying to draw. (I spent about 20 minutes attempting to draw a single turret before deciding my time was better spent elsewhere.)
  2. The game selects from 4 (hand-crafted) turret layouts and randomizes the enemy and player locations. That turned out to be enough randomization that I didn’t need to make a turret layout generator. In fact, I only just realized that I left the game in debug mode where it always chooses the same turret layout.

Things that didn’t work out:

  1. When I started, I implemented everything in one file just to see if the core mechanic would work. I made such a mess of my code that I spent hours late Saturday night moving code around so I could add levels. Spending hours working on code without actually adding new functionality–even regressing at times–was very hard on my morale.
  2. I spent too long trying to make my git history tidy. I’d keep forgetting to add a file to the commit or not commit for a while and wind up with a gigantic commit that involved 3 features and all the source files. Then I’d try to figure out how to break up or revise the commits. (And how to use vim, since that’s the default git editor…) Given that I never had to revert to a previous version, it was kind of silly of me.

Tools and Libraries Used:

  1. FlashDevelop
  2. TweenLite
  3. git
  4. ACID Music Studio
  5. Free VSTi soft synths: Crystal, LazySnake, and ErsDrums
  6. Audacity
  7. sfxr

Finished my first Ludum Dare!

Posted by
Sunday, December 13th, 2009 7:28 pm

Sweet, I managed to complete my first Ludum Dare! I was thinking of learning Push Button Engine for it, but after going through a couple of tutorials I decided I’d go for straight-up Actionscript instead. PBE has some neat features, but I need more time to get my head around its component-based programming model.

Anyway, SEEK*TOR is a game where you’re trying to locate the enemy by firing search flares from turrets. You have limited flares, and turrets have a limited range, so you need to carefully choose where you aim. It’s in Flash.

SEEK*TOR Voting page

Incidentally, I’m annoyed with Audacity because it added an initial silence to all the mp3 files I encoded with it. So all the sounds come in late. :( Also, I just realized that I forgot to have the background music loop…

LoneStranger’s Explore Incomplete

Posted by of LoneStranger Designs (twitter: @lnstrngr)
Sunday, December 13th, 2009 7:18 pm

I uploaded my entry, even though it isn’t near complete.¬† I figured it’s worth getting feedback on what I have for future reference.

I’ll probably write a post-mortem in a day or so, but I know the number one thing that I did wrong was that I didn’t organize properly at the beginning.¬† I didn’t know where I was going to end up, exactly, so I didn’t know how to get there.

Here’s the screenshot.

LoneStranger's Explore

The compass isn’t linked to anything in this version, since navigation wasn’t completely implemented. The arrow keys aren’t supposed to move the ship.¬† The plan was to let the user select a direction, and then sail that way for a few spaces.¬† How far they traveled would depend on which direction the wind was blowing, and whether or not any events happened, like finding land, meeting pirates or running into hazards. Unfortunately, I never got the planned movement implemented and so the compass sit

Head on over to the entry page to check it out.

JayIsGames, Cavern+Exploration, Progress

Posted by
Saturday, August 29th, 2009 8:29 am

Well I remembered that JayIsGames is running another casual game desing competition with theme Explore. It is only for browser-based platforms so it may not be of interest to everyone but to some it will.

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