Posts Tagged ‘flashpunk’
My Last LD was kind of disappointing for me, although i managed to finish my games, but was not happy with it (it was a depressing game). This time i decided to do a fun game (my first LD after i moved into my own indie studio. Monster Brain Games ). After sketching some complicated strategy puzzle game where you connect the worlds and share its resources, but felt it was too complex and less fun.
Hence with the same kind of idea and a simpler gameplay, i decided to make a game about connected planets and dragging them to avoid the incoming asteroids. And just before finishing up, giving it a heavy name ( a cheap ref to recent marvel movie ?). Was happy with the results i’ve managed to achieve. The below GIF (a little jerky) explains a bit about gameplay. Hope you enjoy it. (Try the Easy mode if you like)
Play at http://t.co/OgcuEwPRpF
(Comments, suggestions, criticisms are most welcome & is greatly appreciated – Monster Brain Games)
I’m currently in hospital, had my OP yesterday.
But I just found some internet (5kb/s) which means I’m probably going to participate in LD30.
If the theme is going to be any good, and if I’m not too high on painkillers. ;D
Here is what I’m going to use:
- Language: AS3
- Libary: FlashPunk
- IDE: FlashDevelop
- GFX: GIMP
- SFX: Hm, Bfxr?
Don’t have anything for music. Maybe I’ll make some sounds with my voice.
I can’t promise much in terms of updates since I don’t know how long my thin connection to the world wide web is going to hold. Certainly no streams or videos from me…
Maybe I’ll be out of here before the deadline ends.
Shoutout to Ludum Dare Jam @ KHS Kassel. Wish I was with you guys XOXO T.T
Hey there! DDRKirby(ISQ) here with my post-mortem writeup for my chiptune rhythm game, Ripple Runner! Please check it out if you haven’t already done so!
This is already my 7th time entering Ludum Dare…I’m really getting to be an old veteran now! Last time around I teamed up with my artist friend xellaya and made a puzzle platformer called Match Girl for LD28. You can read the post-mortem for Match Girl here, if you want to see how that turned out.
This time I ended up working by myself and entered the 48hr division. I came up with an 8-bit styled (more like 9-bit, really) musical runner game, with a lot of similarities to Bit.Trip Runner. (Imagine what Canabalt would be like if it were a rhythm game) I’m really happy with the result, and it seems like other people are too! Here’s what the game looks like in action:
Without further ado, let’s dive right into what went well and what didn’t go so well.
What went well:
Workflow and Experience
I feel like I’ve been saying this ever since Hyper Furball, but the process of taking a game from start to finish has gotten really streamlined now, and now that I’ve got all of the basics down pat, I get to spend most of my work time on implementing the cool awesome things that are specific to the individual game, as opposed to writing lots of boilerplate code and worrying about menus, collision detection, how to recycle entities, particle emitters, screen flashes, etc. Ever since Hyper Furball, I’ve sort of had the same basic formula for the intro, title screen/menu, and jukebox as well, and I think that’s been working fantastically. Not only is it really easy to reuse the code from before and just adjust the menu slightly (as well as put in the appropriate background elements), but it also ties my works together aesthetically. Having the intro there (complete with shrot musical ditty) really gives it a sense of polish, and I’m really beginning to enjoy how I have it for each game I make.
The one downside for this is that since I’ve been copying code from my previous LD projects, all of it has a bunch of random hacks and terrible coding that I did in the 11th hour when all you care about is tweaking one thing or fixing one issue. So far this has been harmless, but if I continue to do it without cleaning any of it up, I’m bound to run into issues sooner or later. One example: I have a variable for a “blackImage” that I used for fading the screen in/out to black from Match Girl and Hyper Furball, but I decided that I wanted screenfades to white for Ripple Runner, so now my “blackImage” variable points to…a white image. Which, of course, is totally fine, because that image is only used in the title screen and it was much easier to just keep the variable name but switch the content rather than having to actually rename the variable and catch all of the places where it was used, etc etc. Anyways, sometime in the future it would be ideal if I could avoid copying over all the hacks from existing projects…
Concept and Brainstorming
This is my favorite idea that I’ve ever had for an LD game, and I was actually REALLY excited when it all started coming together and I could see that it was going to work out. Because of various factors (which I’ll talk more about later), I actually spent quite a lot of time brainstorming different ideas for the theme this time (“Beneath the Surface”) and coming up with a bunch of different ideas, including a FEZ-like game that focused on water reflections, an extreme fishing game, a rhythm-based digging game, and a sort of 2D platformer version of Minesweeper (think Mr. Driller meets Minesweeper). In the end I think I was inspired to create a rhythm game by stumbling upon Rhythm Doctor in the few days leading up to LD, as I was brainstorming what kinds of games I would want to make this time around. Seeing that someone else had successfully made a music game using flashpunk was actually really encouraging–I now knew that it was possible! If I hadn’t seen that, I probably would have shied away from the concept, as music games are notoriously hard to really get right (I know–I’ve worked on one in the past as well).
Because I had so much time to brainstorm, I actually had almost the entire gameplay visualized in my head (and on my scratch paper) before I even started working. I had it all thought out, including questions such as “do I want to make the tempo stay constant or speed up throughout a song?”, “how exactly do I want to handle syncing the gameplay to the audio?” (easy–I simply mapped the player’s x position to the current sound position and placed everything else accordingly), “what art style do i want?”, and “how exactly do I want the musical cues to be integrated?” I knew that the idea was fairly interesting, and relatively simple to implement assuming my few basic assumptions about the flashpunk audio engine would work out (they did). Here’s what an early development screenshot looked like:
As you can see, it’s actually not too far off from the final product! I even already knew I was going to do the watery displacement effect for the reflected half of the screen, so that was already in there at this point. I hadn’t yet thought of the spike concept, but even with just jumping and swapping it was already becoming apparent to me that the game was gonna be a success. It’s also good to note that this was probably my simplest LD idea yet in terms of execution complexity, which definitely helped out. (I finally hit my goal of not trying to bite off more than I should chew!)
I think the in-game tutorial was one of the best gameplay design decisions as well, and definitely beats all of my other games in terms of easing new players into the game mechanics.
At some point during my concepting, I decided that I was going to try out using a 4-color palette for the game. I knew I wanted something that would look good, yet also be relatively easy for me to do, since I’m pretty far from proficient in my art and pixeling skills. This turned out to be a great decision, as all of the graphics in the game were really simple for me to draw, yet the end result looked really great! Kudos to Plant Cat: First Blossom by flashygoodness and friends for getting me inspired to try this art style out. I also decided to go with a greenish hue, as a throwback to the good old days of the original Game Boy. This also made it easy for me do the hue-shifting effect that happens at certain checkpoints.
Dirt simple! All I had to do was draw a solid shape with some variations at the top edge and make sure that it wrapped around nicely, repeat it for another shade, and then draw some super simple pixel clouds. The parallax scrolling effect is very simple to do in Flashpunk as well, by just making each image into an automatically-wrapping Backdrop that scrolls at a different rate.
Then I just had to add a layer for the water, which only shows in the bottom half:
If you’re paying close attention during the game or at the title screen, you’ll notice that the white lines and dots on the surface of the water actually move, sort of imitating the bubbles and lighting that the surface of water makes in real life. I actually used two separate layers of white lines for this and made them scroll at different rates, so that it looks dynamic, as opposed to seeming like just a single image that’s scrolling.
I implemented the wavy water reflection effect by modifying the “Glitch” filter in punk.fx to be based on a sin function instead of shifting lines at random. It’s a simple displacement effect that just shifts each horizontal line of pixels by a different amount, but it works really well!
Finally, I used a hue shift effect for the different sections of music, also provided by punk.fx. Here’s another example of the final result:
I’m really pleased with how the running animation turned out for my little guy too, despite being not confident at all that I could get that right. I had no idea what I wanted to make my character look like at first, and I actually still don’t know quite what it is (some kind of squid-like aquatic being??), but it ended up working out perfectly.
I should note that even though I said I’m using a 4-color pallete, the final visual result of the game isn’t really constrained to that, because of the reflection effects and transparency and all that. Hence, the visual style of the game is very much “9-bit”, just like my music is–in other words, it’s derived from old 8-bit games, but doesn’t emulate them perfectly, and instead allows for some extra capabilities.
Music and Audio
Well, I don’t really know what I can say about this at this point, as making soundtracks like this is standard fare for me nowadays. This game in particular was REALLY fun for me to compose for, since I got to have fun involving the player in the song as well. I really enjoyed it, and it was helpful to write it as I was coding the game, keeping in mind the spaces where I wanted to have tutorials and checkpoints and whatnot. People are really digging the music already, it seems
Be sure to check out the soundtrack at my bandcamp site, too! http://ddrkirbyisq.bandcamp.com/album/ripple-runner-original-soundtrack
What didn’t go so well:
RL Stuff Eating into LD Time
This certainly isn’t the first time that I’ve had real life issues distract me or come into conflict with Ludum Dare, so it’s not like this was any surprise to me, but sheesh…just once I’d like to just do a Ludum Dare without getting sick or being mentally exhausted or having my timeslot screwed over in some way. This time around I left my Friday dance event early so that I could have a bit more time to focus on LD (I was too distracted to really think about anything else anyways), but as luck would have it I needed to go perform for something on Saturday at around noon, so that ate up the first half of my Saturday. I brought myself a pen and paper so that I could spend my downtime brainstorming ideas and concepts for the game, which actually ended up working out pretty nicely, but in the end I didn’t get to sit down at my computer and start working until 4:30PM on Saturday, which is over 20 hours into the 48 hour timeframe. Soooo yeah, I kind of got screwed over in terms of time. On the plus side, having all my ideas planned out as well as being all anxious from having lost out on a half-day of work made me blaze through the initial dev work and I had the basic game up and running very quickly (after a few hours of work), so it wasn’t the end of the world…but I’m pretty sure I would have been able to program more content and make more songs if it wasn’t for me having lost out on all of those potential work hours.
Here is a good time to note that I actually didn’t implement the spike mechanic until preeettty late into development (At t-minus 5 hours or something like that). After making the first two stages, I was thinking to myself that it would really be nice if I had a third mechanic, as only having jumping and swapping was fun but also not quite that interesting from a gameplay perspective. Three is kind of the magic number for having different things to concentrate on, as I know from playing Puzzlejuice, so I was looking for something different to do. In the end I came up with two different ideas–one was the spike/flip upside-down mechanic that I ended up implementing, and the other was that I was going to have the Jump button do an attack or kick of some sort if you pressed it in midair, so that you’d have to press jump twice in quick succession to get past certain obstacles (breakable walls or something). I wanted to implement both, but in the end didn’t have time, so I just went with only the spikes. I knew that that was the better of the two mechanics anyways, because holding a button down is a different feeling than the button presses for jump and ripple, both mentally and from a tactile sense too. The jump-kick idea would let me introduce more eighth-note rhythms into my songs, but I already kind of had that idea going with the jump-ripple combo, so it didn’t -really- introduce anything new.
Not Enough Content
Like I mentioned above, a direct corollary of having less time was only being able to make 3 songs for the game, even though I had definitely wanted to make more. Programming in the actual stages was actually quite time-consuming, as I had to make sure all of the platforms and obstacles were mapped to the appropriate times in the music, as well as placing special events such as checkpoints, hue shifts, changes in scrolling speed, and tutorials.
A Weird FlashDevelop Issue
Thankfully this wasn’t actually -too- bad, but every once in a while (typically when I went to import a source file from Match Girl or something and was trying to rip out all of the Match Girl-specific parts), FD would have problems with the compile process–it would either fail to detect changes, or just tell you that the compile succeeded and then try to run the resulting binary, when in actuality the compile was supposed to fail (because of a missing import or something). Again, this happened only once or twice, and I had some workarounds, but it was a bit of an annoyance when it did happen. Other than that, my development was actually really smooth this time around, with no real surprises anywhere. I remember having issues trying to get the ripple particle effects working properly, but I ended up figuring that out without too much pain.
Overall, Ripple Runner was a huge success, personally, and I’m really looking forward to what you all think of it as well. Again, please play and rate if you haven’t done so already!
I’m also definitely looking into working on a post-compo version of Ripple Runner, cleaning up a few things like adding the ability to pause the game, etc. Mostly, though, I just want to add more songs, because 3 just isn’t enough! I also want to give songs that have a wider difficulty range…the 3rd song isn’t nearly hard enough to give players a *real* challenge. Stay tuned for news on the post-compo version–I’m hoping to work on it over the next couple weeks!
Here’s my Ludum Dare entry.
I didn’t want to use a boring and common idea like “Beneath the surface of the Earth or water”, so it took awhile to come up with an idea I liked, and I think the game turned out pretty well.
First screenshot finally (forgot to post because of a busy weekend), we are working on graphics at the moment.
Will be posting a new screenshot soon without programmer art.
Still need to think of a cool name, bad at names.
Hello. I didn’t make a post about my LD game yet, so here it is.
I would have liked to put in more levels, music, blah blah, but overall I think it turned out pretty good. Give it a try.
Well I made it through my first LD with Monochrome as my entry!
It was tiring, and frustrating on occasion, but mainly it was pretty fun and I can’t wait to give it another try!
I just wish I had learned more before starting, because I lost a lot of time learning to do some stuff for the first time, and it made me waste time on silly mistakes and work slower overall. I couldn’t do as much as I wanted, but oh well, I definitely learned a lot (although I left my code real messy :x).
In Monochrome You Only Get One color at a time. The one-colored world you see is the world you are in, but periodically the channel changes and you have to deal with another one-colored world, so be sure to move in time to arrive at an adequate position in the following color (or you may even end up stuck in walls until the world changes)! I hope you enjoy this little platformer!
When I first saw that there’s some October Challenge on LD page, I thought I don’t have a time for this… But then I read the rules and realized that I am already working on a game that fits this challenge! It’s a flash game I started to make in July and I already have planned to publish it on Kongregate this month, and eventually earn a few bucks. I must say that participating in last two LD’s (#26 and #27) was a big motivation for me to keep working on my game (not to mention the experience I gained). The thing is that this game is already about 95% done – I just need to design last two worlds and do some final polish – but I hope it is still ok for the October Challenge.
Well, something about the game now. The title is
The Ancient Eye
and it is some kind of shooter/defense game. Basically you are the giant, ancient, magic eyeball and have to fight against hordes of different enemies that come in waves (there would be 10 worlds, 6 waves in each). After each wave you visit the shop and buy weapons – and that is the most important element of this game. Diffirent weapons have diffirent powers and strike areas, so you have to choose the most suitable weapons to deal with different enemies types and their configurations – and this is the key to victory. Sounds easy, but you usually you don’t have much time to think about strategy when you are surrounded by enemies. Enough of speaking, here are some screenshots:
Level selection screen
Some in-game screenshots
Statistics displayed after each world
and weapons book.
I think I will publish this game in about two weeks – so stay tuned!
If you haven’t already, please play and rate our game, Hyper Furball!
This is my 5th Ludum Dare entry, and my second time working together with my artist xellaya. Things came together really nicely, and I’m really proud at what we managed to do in the 72 hours. Here’s what the game looks like:
Let’s go over what went well and not as well this time around…
What went well:
Settling on a good concept
We threw quite a few ideas around before settling on our sidescrolling RPG with the “hyper mode” mechanic. Initially we were thinking about doing a Warioware style 10-second minigame collection (nothing new, but probably still fun), and were also seriously considering doing something along the lines of Off the Leash. The idea thee was that you keep running to the right and have various obstacles and powerups that slow you down and speed you up, and you have 10 seconds to reach each checkpoint. I was all set to start working on that when xellaya pointed out that there really wasn’t anything new about what we were making. I thought about it some more and I agreed that it probably…wasn’t that exciting. Friday night came and went and we still weren’t sure what we wanted to make, but eventually my train of thought went to “we should make the 10 seconds as intense and crazy as possible”, and from there I got the idea of a side-scroller where hyper mode basically involves you steamrolling a whole bunch of enemies and leveling up a bunch. It ended up working really well, and I think it uses the theme in a way that’s clear, functional, yet non-cliche. Awesome.
Liberal copy-pasting of code
There’s kind of a delicate balance when it comes to high-speed coding. You don’t want to be clean and neat with everything, because it just takes too much time, and you’re only working with your code for one weekend anyways (not to mention, I’m the only coder here)…but you don’t want to be -so- messy that you end up introducing bugs and making things hard for yourself. I ended up copying a lot of code from my LD26 entry Minimalist Mayhem, which I also did in Flashpunk, and that sped things up a lot, as I already had code for flashing the screen (with fadeout), and I didn’t have to think about the proper way to create/recycle objects in Flashpunk or anything like that. There was also just a lot of one-off code that ended up getting duplicated, like the code for the parallax backgrounds–after doing that once, I just copy-pasted it each time xellaya finished a new set of backgrounds and I didn’t even have to think about it. Yes, messy, but as long as you’re careful, it all works, and it’s fast.
So many, so many Ludum Dare games are lacking in polish, but it makes such a big difference. It’s what makes your game seem AWESOME. That’s why it’s so important to pick something that you can execute easily, because once you finish the main execution, you can spend all the rest of your time making you game look pretty and fancy and smooth. Screen transitions, sound effects, cleaning up your UI…all these nice little things really add up. I’m really proud of the intro and title screen, for example–first impressions really count! I was really excited when I put in xellaya’s graphics for the title and synced it all with the music…so proud! Did I have to implement a jukebox screen with scrolling backgrounds (that cycle through the 4 different levels!) and colored stars flying around? No…but it’s really neat and awesome, right?
We really worked together well this time…I’m an LD vet by now, so I know how things go and I basically didn’t run into any big hiccups at all, aside from a FlashDevelop “out of heap space” compilation error which disappeared every time I restarted Flashdevelop (phew!). I even hacked the Flashpunk Text class to get the outline effect on all my text! I’m comfortable with Flashpunk and I’ve gotten really really good at making game soundtracks in constrained time periods now–in total, I wrote all the music in around 7 hours’ worth of time! (all that training from One Hour Compo paying off!) xellaya was also much more set up for things this time and we didn’t run into any of the miscellaneous troubles that we had last time for Marriage Quest (pngs being exported without transparency, etc.). We used Dropbox to get artwork from her machine onto mine; don’t know why we didn’t do that last time. It’s important to play to your (or your team’s) strengths when you’re thinking up a game…xellaya likes drawing cute things, and I really excel with 9-bit chiptune music, so it was great that we ended up with something that allowed us to use our talents to their maximum potential.
We both had the whole weekend to work on our game, which was awesome. No other stuff to worry about, no imminent tests or projects, no getting sick, etc. Awesome.
What went not quite as well:
I did better than last time (Minimalist Mayhem just had a single huge screen with all the instructions on it)–I was especially proud of the “mash space” animation that shows up on screen the first time you enter hyper mode. But the level up screen isn’t really that intuitive…in fact, the checkboxes ended up making everyone assume that you can use your mouse to click on them. Which…still confuses me, to be honest, but maybe that’s just because I’m an oldschool console gamer and I think everyone else is weirdos in the way that they think. I don’t really know how this could have been better, but I didn’t spend that much effort really thinking about it. I guess I’m just not that great at UI design. xellaya didn’t really have the time to think about this either, though, so in the end we just did what we could, and I think it’s at least functional. It’s not great, but probably not -bad- either.
The gameplay for our game is…”decent”. I wasn’t entirely happy with the simple attack/block mechanic that I had going on for normal combat, but I knew that it would end up being okay in the end because that’s not really the focus of the game anyways–the focus of the game is having fun with ridiculous crazy hyper mode! Still, I wish I could have made normal combat at least a bit more interesting somehow, though I’m still not sure exactly how I would do that. I think in the end I didn’t have time to push for enemy attack variations or anything like that, and xellaya didn’t want to do a lot of animation…if we had spent more time on this, the polish level would have suffered. So this is not really a mistake, per se, but still wish it could have been better. This is probably the main point that might hurt our ratings.
Not Enough Playtesting
Yeah, yeah, super common problem. This always happens, really. It’s important to get feedback and have people play your game, but…when your heads-down trying to cram in the last few features (Breaktime mode!), it just ends up by the wayside sometimes. I think I really lucked out that the game isn’t horribly unbalanced (at least, in a way that makes it not fun), because I really didn’t have that much time to spend on that and tweaking the enemy strengths and the upgrade requirements. I did spend a -decent- amount of time on it, which is why leveling up takes about the right amount of time and everything, so I didn’t do too bad here. But I feel like this was a danger area that I managed to sneak by on.
All in all, we did a great job, and I’m really proud of how things turned out. Our game is quite fun, and I’ve been trying to see how fast I can complete it using no continues
Please leave your feedback and comments! Oh, and go check out the soundtrack download too!
Came in to work this morning to see that our LD27 game had 1000+ gameplays on Kongregate. Turns out it’s featured on the front page of the site in the “Trending” and “Hot New Games” sections!
We really want to tweak some things and add weapons, levels and music to the game for the post-jam version, so hopefully this is the start of something cool.
Thanks to everyone who played it!