Posts Tagged ‘goats’

Ex-Sword-Stential Crisis — Day One Development

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Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 12:23 am

So by the time Saturday afternoon rolled around, we were all patiently waiting for Daniel to finish up his work on “Rocket Fist” so he could submit it to the contest and we could finally start putting together our game for Ludum Dare. In the meantime, I had already passed the concept art on to Rachel, who started on the base goat model. I’d already started on Rusty and was already thinking about how I was going to put together clumps of grass to be effectively cut.

rusty_swordModeling Rusty was honestly the easiest part of the whole process. 😀

Admittedly, grass is not one of my favorite things to do in 3D. I knew it was going to take me a couple of tries to get the grass exactly how I wanted it. Having grass in a game that has volume and substance to it is not only really rare to see in large quantities (as putting a lot of polygons on grass is super-hella-wasteful in terms of resources), it’s also something that’s generally reserved for large plants, because that’s how the grass generally ends up looking when done in this style.

The overall challenge for creating the grass was to:

  1. Make the clumps of grass visually appealing for the player.
  2. Make the grass look like grass, and not large-leaved plants or bushes.
  3. Have it take up as few polygons as possible. but still have volume.
  4. Create more than one “variation”, including cut versions of the grass.
grass_stuffHere are my 3 finished grasses (cut/whole), the finished bases for the grass (far left) and the scraggly rejects in the front.

It took me a few attempts. I moved up from bunching together separate strands of grass, to forming a clump of thin grass and attempting to deform it, and then moving up to creating a large-leaf plant on purpose, where I then positioned and sized down the leaves to create sensible blades of grass.  I used the soft-selection tool to shape the grass into different forms. I then removed the tops half of the grass to give it a trimmed look.

Daniel then implemented an awesome physics explosion/animation for the cut grass pieces so they’d burst and fall and splay all around when you destroyed a grass clump. It was a fantastic touch, as the sight of all the cut grass on the ground really gives a sense of accomplishment and adds some texture to the otherwise flat-colored ground once the grass stalks disappear.

At this point, Rachel had finished the base goat mesh and passed it off to me to get it ready for rigging. To prevent unwarranted deformations in a mesh when being animated, you absolutely must model your meshes to facilitate movement. You can do this by creating cuts around joints, giving more polygons to places that squash and stretch (knees, shoulders, elbows), and giving fewer polygons to the inside bend of those joints.

goatFinished goat model. You can see where the cuts were made to facilitate squash/stretch around certain joints.

Since we wanted to have two types of creatures instead of just one (to give some visual variety to the environment), a sheep model would also have to be constructed. As I planned to make a new sheep model out of the goat model, we went right to work as Daniel (begrudgingly) started rigging and animating the goat. I deleted some of the body, sized up the existing mesh to form a bulky wool coat, and Rachel reformed the horns to be twisty and twirly.

goat and sheepSheep and goat models side-by-side.

This, by far, is the most effective way to create diversity in your models — like the three R’s: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle. The more you can cut back, stylize and re-purpose already existing assets, the easier time you’re going to have completing something a bit more complex. Since Daniel had already rigged the goat (which has the exact same major joint groups in the same spots as the sheep), all he had to do was copy the weights from one model to another and — tada! Two rigged and animated animals, ready for slaught  — er, I mean, observing! :)

And the goat was promptly imported into Unity and given ragdoll physics! The. End.

In my next post, I will talk about making simple textures that look great, creating the overall level/environment and the most interesting job in game development, ever: the chaotic task of placing foliage.

Ex-Sword-Stential Crisis — Day Zero Development

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Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 6:54 am

When the theme was announced on Friday evening, Team Infection’s Daniel Snd and Thiago Adamo (PXLDJ) hurriedly sat down with Rachel Rios and I (Taunia Sabanski) and we immediately had troubles coming up with a simplistic concept that people likely would not have thought of yet. After ditching an overly-ambitious idea about WW2 and bird poop, we ultimately resorted back to one of the first concepts that were pitched: “You are the weapon.”

At this point, I expressed extreme frustration at how most people seemed to be falling into the trap of handling the concept of “An Unconventional Weapon”. With this sort of theme, most people were focusing on what their weapon was going to be, rather than how the weapon would function in terms of play and fun-factor. Instead of going from game play concept to weapon, people were going from weapon to game play — I wanted to be extremely adamant about not falling into that trap. Game play and fun-factor would always come first — the weapon design would then follow.

As we began pondering exactly how to implement the sort of game play we wanted, Daniel started messing around with Unity. It was then that he made a simple sword shape, enabled movement on the sword shape, and began laughing.

He then sent us this.

The collective shouting of “THIS IS PERFECT!!”, “OH MY GOD YES!” and “LET’S DO THIS.” could likely be heard from orbit.

The concept of the game simply fell into place after this. Naturally, it was decided that the sword should cut grass. Now, not wanting this to be “Lawn Maintenance Simulator 2015”, we decided that this would be an unconventional sword — an enchanted sword, with a face, a name and a personality. A pacifist sword, that disliked killing things.

Our sword was then named Rusty, and given real googly eyes.

Why googly eyes? Because we could.

At this point, we were pretty pleased with ourselves, but we couldn’t start work on the game yet. Unbeknownst to most, there was another game that needed to be finished and submitted to another contest (Daniel Snd’s “Rocket Fist”) on Saturday evening that was monopolizing Daniel’s (and Thiago’s) time. I helped where I could, but our Ludum Dare development was tied up until the submission deadline for “Rocket Fist” wooshed past.

In the meantime, I worked on some concept art, as I knew Rachel Rios needed solid references to assist in creating 3D models. I also decided this would be the best way to solidify our color palette, stylize the graphics and map out exactly what we needed in terms of “loose” assets.

Here’s Rusty.

I had initially wanted to give Rusty hand-drawn/animated eyes, a mouth and eyebrows. I’d also wanted to position them on the blade of the sword. I realize now that you likely would not have been able to see the eyes. I wanted the hilt to look like the collar of a shirt, and be representative of his body, but with how the googly eyes got placed, the hilt still looks like the collar of a shirt — but the blue jewel and blade look like a giant tie. So, you end up cutting grass with his tie. Which is awesome.


Here is the concept art/3D reference and color palette for the animals.

As you can see, we also planned on having chickens, but simply ran out of time. The method behind the madness of having goats and sheep is that we could use one rig and one set of animations for both, as well as use a modified goat mesh for a sheep mesh. With minimal alteration, we could have two animal types meandering around instead of just one. I’m fairly sure that if we had chickens, they’d also ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO lay eggs. There is simply no working around that.


Environment concept art/3D reference and color palette.

As you can see, the trees also didn’t make it past the cut. Simply not enough time. Also, we had planned to have a “sword in the stone”-esque platform to act as a “start and/or end level” — this also didn’t make the cut, though it was simply superfluous to have it in the first place. We wanted everything realistically destructible to be destructible. We wanted sign posts to become chopped up, and trees to leave stumps when hit multiple times. We had also planned destructible fences. Again, all superfluous.

I’m starting to really realize that all my years experience scaling down and scaling down and scaling down projects has really been worth its weight in time and effort. It really is something you need to learn to do — simply, how to strip projects down, realize what you don’t need, get rid of it as quick as you can and implement what you do have to its utmost potential. Figure out what can be re-used, reconfigured or most easily created, and prioritize accordingly.

More on that in my next post. :)



Posted by
Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 11:31 am

Namcap — Timelapse, Scores and PostMortem

Posted by (twitter: @caranha)
Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 6:05 am

Voting is over, Results are out, and it is time for some introspection. LD25 was a really, really good LD for me, so take a sit and let me tell you all about it… whether you want it or not! Mwahah!

Play Namcap!


After two pretty terrible LDs I knew, when I put the keyboard down, that this time it had been different. I had a pretty decent idea from the get go. And even if I had troubles with parts of the execution, I was able to sneak in a lot more polish than in previous LDs. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here are the scores (LD22 positions are multiplied from 891 to 1400 entries).

Category LD22* LD23 LD24 LD25
Overall #344 (2.95) #524 (2.81) #504 (2.73) #142 (3.42)
Theme #765 (2.25) #231 (3.41) #209 (3.32) #24 (4.13)
Fun #285 (2.78) #674 (2.36) #553 (2.45) #200 (3.19)
Innovation #329 (2.80) #451 (2.89) #253 (3.14) #220 (3.17)
Graphics #482 (2.73) #563 (2.64) #677 (2.05) #263 (3.19)
Audio #490 (2.31) #246 (2.94) N/A #194 (2.94)
Humor #395 (2.10) #307 (2.49) #142 (2.89) #161 (3.14)
Mood #738 (1.95) #492 (2.60) #562 (2.25) #205 (3.09)

I’m pretty happy about theme. This high score means that I was able to pass the image of my game to the players. There were quite a few “reverse-x” games in this LD — but the thing about reverse-games is that, for you to feel like the villain of the original game, the reverse game must be as close to the original as possible. This was one of my design guidelines – score, gameplay, graphics, whenever I was able, I tried to mimic the original Pacman.

Graphics and Audio are as expected. Not super high, but higher than my previous entries. I feel more confident with my toolchain, and I’m happy with the result. It is worth noting that although Audio was my lowest score, it was not my lowest placement. This shows how audio making is one of the largest barriers in this competition.

I was expecting Fun to be a bit lower, since many people complained about the controls, and the AI frankly sucked. But I guess when people “like” the game, all the scores go a bit higher together. That also goes for humor – I have no idea why I got a 3.14 score, since I did not include anything humorous in my game.

I would love if anyone who voted in my game could comment on the “mood” score. I usually rate mood based on the “consistent feel” of the game (which mine wasn’t quite there), and the “not done by my nephew” factor (does not feel TOO amateurish – decent opening, transitions, desktop behavior, etc).

Post Mortem


LD23 and LD24 were two failures for me. In both cases I had quite pretentious ideas that didn’t live to their full potential. So even before the theme was decided I decided that I would go with a simple action game, probably a shooter. As the LD approached, the idea of making a QiX game was growing in me.

When the theme was announced, I quickly decided to make a “reverse-classical-game”, and sat down to think which classical games would be a)realistic to make and b)fun to play. Pacman and QiX were at the top of my shortlist. In the end, I decided to go with Pacman because since QiX is a really old game, I was afraid many people wouldn’t “get” it.

Sorry pal, maybe next time.

Making the game

This is the fourth time that I make a game using the JAVA + SLICK2D combo. Even though I hadn’t programmed in a while, I was still familiar enough with the basic API, which helped. I’m starting to feel some limitations on the SLICK2D library though. If I did this for a living, I would probably start to look for a new library about now, but I want to get a bit better at short game jams before worrying about that. I would probably get more bang for my book by learning how to properly compose simple songs, or getting a more consistent graphics style.

Development was pretty straight. I managed to add some bells and whistles such as transitions, pauses, high scores, etc. I wasted a LOT of time on the Pacman AI. My BASIC idea about how the Pacman AI should work was wrong, and instead of realizing that I should redo it from scratch, I tried many different small adjustments to it. All in all I lost a lot of time here that could have been spent on other things.

Another thing that was bad in the development is that I couldn’t get people to playtest my entry. Playtest is SUPER important. Many of the comments from the reviewers mentioned that it was hard keeping track of which ghost was selected with which number. Many simple solutions were suggested. This is the kind of stuff that a little play testing by someone other than me would have caught quite quickly.

Positives and Negatives

The good:

  • I was familiar with Slick2d, and that made a lot of stuff faster. Even if I didn’t know how to do something, I knew where to look.
  • I started using Inkscape a lot, which is good for non-pixel drawing (such as the game board).
  • “If it is not moving on the screen, it can be drawn on the background”
  • I started to get used to mixing sound effects in BFXR, for some cooler results than using single samples.
  • Simple fade-out transition: draw a blank square on the screen and mess with transparency
  • The simpler your game idea is, the more time you have to refine it!

The bad:

  • I should have written cleaner code. My code was so messy that it was hard to add simple things such as a difficulty progression based on changing pacman’s speed/power length.
  • I’m starting to get tired of autotracker’s music. People who have never heard it like it, but it gets old really fast.
  • Using Angelfont in a Linux environment is really hard – I will have to find some other library to use/package fonts in my game.
  • It seems that java applets are unreliable in Ubuntu. I can’t even play my old java applet entries anymore in any of my ubuntu boxes :-(.
  • Not getting anyone to playtest my game was REALLY bad.
  • I lost a lot of time banging my head against pacman’s AI, when I should have done something simpler (Greedy search?).


This time I added the title music of my game to the time lapse! It is so much better than a silent timelapse!

Namcap Timelapse!

Curse of Goats

Finally, a little bit of a rant. I think the goat thing went overboard this LD. I saw too many games where goats were pushed in, without thought. I think this is because the optional theme was put in the announcements this time (unlike kittens in LD22, which was mostly a thing spread through word of blogpost). Since it shared the same space as the official theme, many people might have thought it was also obligatory or something. While I love silliness a lot more than the average people, forced jokes get bad real quick. I suggest that the joke theme is not supported officially in LD26.

Anyway, see you all in LD23!

Woot: 8 hour ludum dare!

Posted by (twitter: @jezzamonn)
Sunday, December 16th, 2012 11:51 pm

Due to being away and stuff I was highly limited in my actual working time. I only found out the theme 7 hours after it had been annouced, and didn’t have time to work on it. BUT I STILL MADE AN AWESOME GAME!!


Click to play!

It has goats!

My only regret is not including enough exclamation marks in the title.

The basic premise is to rebound lasers from other ships in order to get massive combos

Cool things about this game:

  • I used as3sfxr and generated the sound in-game for the first time.
  • I used box2d for the reflection angles, making this the first game I’ve used box2d in.
  • This is the first game I’ve used a restricted colour palette for, and the graphics went well.
  • Didn’t use any silly flash engines like flash punk because I’m cool like that.

Done! Submitted! Bridges!

Posted by (twitter: @LPGhatguy)
Sunday, December 16th, 2012 4:00 pm

I’ve submitted my game!
It’s a game about throwing people off bridges for your own personal reasons.
I’ll be back later to upload a scan of a list of villains I considered, I’m heading off to demo the game to some more friends now.

There are also goats in the game, or cats, or babies, or whatever. Officially we’ll just call them “nondescript animals.”

You can play it here:


Posted by
Sunday, December 16th, 2012 12:29 am

Well, ive added goats(which, naturally, are indestructible), and fixed bugs, and other stuff. Heres some pics:


Levels are being renovated. Have another sandbox level: HERE

Right click to select buttons

Left click/hold to place

People die from burning and drowning.



The other block kin the screen isn’t actually placeable, i was just showing it off.

Cuzco’s Goat Bloat Game

Posted by (twitter: @philhassey)
Monday, November 26th, 2007 9:06 am

Cuzco’s Goat Bloat Game was my first LD entry. I was pretty amazed that I was able to make a whole game in 48 hours. This game got me hooked on game compos for life :) My fiddling skills were pretty weak at the time, so I had to speed up the music in Audacity so it wouldn’t sound like a dirge. I had fun with the goat AI – it’s pretty realistic. (Goats don’t like water, they climb on rocks, and when you chase them they run everywhere!) Since it was my first compo entry, my “fun” rating was rather low – I didn’t take enough time to balance the levels. Also, the coloring of the goats makes them look like bees, oops!



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