Posts Tagged ‘grow’

Swarm Hunter Post-Jam Progress – Graphics, Part 2

Posted by
Wednesday, December 30th, 2015 7:46 pm

Implemented a mesh generation script for the flower stem. Have a look:

GIF

It’s much smoother than the capsule hack I rigged up in the jam. Better performance is a nice bonus.

I won’t be releasing anything before I’ve finished the gameplay improvements as well. That shouldn’t take too long.

Meanwhile, try learning to fly.

Post-Mortem : Eda

Posted by (twitter: @alpha_rats)
Friday, December 18th, 2015 9:16 pm

First of all, I fixed the bugs present in the game, it should normally run well now!

>> Eda: link to the entry (fixed) <<

 

Eda-alpha_rats-ludumdare34_gamedev-banner

What went well :

  • For a second try with the Unity engine after using a graphical programming tool (Construct2), I think it went pretty well and much better than my preceding entry for the LD62.
  • I’m happy with the music and sound effects created by Mathis! Thanks to him a lot.
  • I had to choose a very simple visual style because of the time I planned to spend on the programming (the amount of tutorial reading in the timelapse can attest of my experience in the matter), and it worked out pretty well in the end, with a visual style I’m pretty satisfied with.
  • I managed to set the scope of the game better, and to achieved a more polished game than with my preceding tries.
  • Overall, the working process and time management went pretty smoothly.
  • I did my first timelapse! Which is nice not only for the resulting video, but I realised that all these process screenshots were ideal to document my work and to analyse my workflow to make it better. I was also happy to have a vision of how the tree algorithm evolved with time, when working on it I was too busy with coding to screenshot every iteration!

What went wrong :

  • Due to my incompetence, I ended up with some bugs in the game which caused it to crash for some players, or to freeze. These are corrected now, but for next time, I’ll plan some time at the end of the jam to fix my mistakes! I lost some opportunities to get some feedback this way, and some interested poeple have been deceived, only because of me overlooking this issue when submitting the game.
  • I  spent way more time looking for tutorials/information instead of actually coding, but this is a normal effect of my lack of experience with Unity.

 

Evolution of the tree generation algorithm:

eda_treeAlgoEvolution4 eda_treeAlgoEvolution5 eda_treeAlgoEvolution7 eda_treeAlgoEvolution9 eda_treeAlgoEvolution11

For example, by looking at the screenshots here, made thanks to the timelapse, I can realise that the bigger trunks visible in one of the middle stages were quite interesting looking. For my next iteration of the program, I should allow to have a bigger size difference between branches and their children, to allow trees with this kind of style to grow.

 

The music created by Mathis for the game :

Process Timelapse :

Plant B

Posted by (twitter: @royive)
Monday, December 14th, 2015 5:50 pm

Well, it didn’t get done but we learned a lot! Even got some sounds in.

Plant B Screenshot

Try it! (WebGL HTML5)

I used Unity, Pyxel Edit for the tiles, my gf did all other graphics in Photoshop, bfxr for sound effects.

Why we failed

Well, it was my fault. I had no real experience with Unity, and basically had to learn as I went along. Thus what should have taken 2 hours ended up taking 2 days. But I have learned a lot about Unity, and my gf learned a lot about pixel graphics, so we’re both happy. :)

Growing Skyward LD#34

Posted by
Monday, December 14th, 2015 5:19 pm

SS4

SolitoGif2

http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-34/?action=preview&uid=41949

 After 48 hours I’ve completed my second Ludum Dare project, and my first Compo submission. I had a few ideas for this theme, and didn’t even intend on making the one I did, but I’m very glad I did. The game was made in Unity 5 and I created the assets it Maya.

Here are some of my thoughts about my entry:

Gameplay and Aesthetics
Just in case it has to be spelled out, Solito signifies “Little Sun”. In Solito you play as plant growing upwards. In order to continue growing you need to collect Solitos. If you fall over or run out of Solitos you will shrivel and fall apart. The art style is all super low poly because I absolutely love low poly. I’d never really gotten the chance to make a low poly game, so I wanted to jump on that. I’m really quite pleased with the overall aesthetic. With the addition of tilt shift, deliberate shadow placement, background environment, and blue fog, the game feels more atmospheric. I’m glad to have been able to incorporate a bunch of little background items. I think there are still some gameplay mechanics to tweak to ensure that a good player can continue to improve rather than hit the same ceiling every time.

I got a lot of inspiration for the background visual and style from Battlefield Heroes (RIP) and other low poly scenes I’ve come across.

Development Issues
I ran into a few development issues along the way, most of them having to deal with Unity. Here’s what they were and how I overcame them.

1) Skewed Segments: Plant segments were becoming exceedingly skewed (One hundred times wider than tall) after about 30 additions or after the stalk fell past a certain level. This is a known issue with Unity and has to do with non-uniform scaling. There were likely other small issues that compounded to create this defect. To resolve it I had to use my actual model asset instead of Unity primitives (this was alright as I was almost finished with prototyping). In addition I reworked the way physics had an effect on the game.

SS2

2) Snowball Falling: The point of the game is to climb higher without tipping over. With Unity’s default physics engine, however, the player would have experienced a snowball effect. If you noticed you were falling over you’d naturally start building on the opposite side to counterbalance. However, since you could only build so quickly, everything you built would tend to join the rest of your stalk as it fell. The more you built to regain balance, the more segments would end up getting pulled over and therefore imbalance your stalk even further. To solve this I wrote my own balance functionality that counted the amount of segments on either side of your base segment. Depending on how tall you were, the net balance would affect the entire stalk. In order to actual prevent the snowballing, however, I had the balance system only consider the top ten segments. This means that you only need to balance the stalk in the short term. Doing otherwise is difficult and not very fun.

Music
I listened exclusively to Phish for the duration of the development. It’s always interesting to know what people were listening to when they worked on their jam entry.

Theme
My take on the theme is somewhat generic, but I’m happy with how it turned out. I imagine there could be many other games similar to mine, so I wanted to make mine visually distinct and appealing. My compo version is complete, and I think I’ll continue to work on this project. Soon I’ll create an Android build so I can play it on my phone as well. I spent way less time on this entry and worked much quicker than I did last time (LD#30) and I was able to submit this for my first Compo.

For future versions I’d like to include some of the following
– High score saving and high score notifications
– Powerups
– Sounds Effects / Music
– More atmospheric effects (Falling leaves and floating dirt)
– Point bonus for completing a circle (It could grow a tomato for example)
– Weather effects
– Arrow Keys for controls instead of just the mouse
– Moving Clouds / Trains / Planes / Hot Air Balloons / Etc. in the background
– Enemy Solitos
– Moving Solitos
– More background items

Final Notes
I’m really quite pleased with my entry. I feel like I was able to include everything I planned on, and I didn’t damage my sanity doing so. I hope people like it and want to see more. I’d love to continue development and work on a mobile build.

My biggest suggestion for anyone working on a Ludum Dare project is to be reasonable. This is something most developers can relate to. It’s easy to get swept away into what you could add or what would make the game better. A solid and polished small game beats a poorly made large one any day.

Hairy core mechanics in place~

Posted by (twitter: @avaskoog)
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 4:48 pm

So we decided to use growing hair as our take on the growth theme, and what better role model than Rapunzel herself?

Marte did do some work on personalising the classic character a bit nonetheless.

Meanwhile, I spent the day programming some swinging action. Will connect hair to head properly and so on eventually.

Animated Griffin Attack

Posted by
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 3:27 pm

Here is the animation for the Friend Creature’s attack. I’ll have gameplay footage up soon. Enjoy!

Griffin Colored Attack

Grow – Postjam version is complete!

Posted by (twitter: @fullmontis)
Sunday, August 30th, 2015 3:12 pm

grow postjam version 1

So I was able for once to stick to a game for more than just a weekend. The post jam version of Grow is now out! More than enough to celebrate!

The new version has a few things going for it. First, graphics are improved and sound and music is added. The game is very atmospheric now, even more than before. I am really pleased with how it came out.

The gameplay has been balanced a bit. Now your health decreases in bigger amounts the more you survive, meaning there is an added challenge. I hope that helps with the repetitiveness with the game a little. Now you see the time you have survived too!

There are a few minor bugs fixed, and the game is now stable.

grow postjam version 2

So I hope you like the game. If you have already played and voted, thank you! You may want to check the postjam version to see if you like it more. If you haven’t played it yet, try it! It is a fast load and fast play. It is a bite sized game. You can find it here: http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-33/?action=preview&uid=21736

Thank you all again for making this Ludum Dare possible. I really really love this competition.

Andrea

Grow – LD #33 Afterthoughts

Posted by (twitter: @fullmontis)
Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 1:58 pm

So yeah, another Ludum Dare has come, another one is gone. It was a fun weekend, and very instructive. This is why I love Ludum Dare: no matter how much the theme sucks, you can always have tons of fun!

Despite this being my 8th time in this compo (8 times? holy shit), I was still unable to complete the game in time for the compo. So here is another Jam entry.  I am biting my tongue as I say this, cause I could have entered the compo if I didn’t do the same mistakes over and over. I am talking about mistakes that I did the first time around. Oh well, I still was able to finish the game (barely…), and now let’s see what happened.

The Theme

The weekend starts pretty badly with a theme that I could not have expected. There were so many good themes, and the one that got picked was one of those I hated the most. Also, wasn’t there a theme like this?

Oh well. No time to cry, need to brainstorm something. I wasn’t too blocked from the theme that I didn’t like, so thumbs up for me.

The Tools

Alright, so I have a small concept and I get my hands dirty. I thought about doing an interactive fiction game, but with a twist. So I load up Twine, and start writing to my heart’s content.

Uh, oh. Little problem here. I have never programmed in Twine, and didn’t do the warmup weekend. Will I be able to do what I want to do?

Psh, it is an interactive fiction. How much work it may ever require.

So I start writing, and I am deep into the first afternoon when I decide that the story is going out okay and need to implement the mechanics. And here things go grim. I realize that what I wanted to do required a rewrite of parts of the Twine engine. I could not do that in a week, let alone a week end. So I run head first into a dead end, and it hurts.

Here I made two big mistakes. The first one is choosing a platform without knowing its limits and powers. This way, I didn’t know that I could not do what I wanted to do until the end of the first day.

The second one, and perhaps the most important, is that I did not do my warmup weekend. I didn’t know how to use its macros, and wasted a ton of times trying to make it do what I wanted it to do.

So yeah, it is the end of the first day, 18+ hours into the compo and I have to start again from scratch. Stupid, stupid, stupid. This has happened too many times in the compos I have been in, I guess it is one of my sticking points.

Anyway, time runs, so we can’t stop and cry. Let’s keep moving.

Brainstorming

I realized another important problem about the game I was trying to create. I was doing it because I thought other would appreciate it, not because I wanted to see it made. This made working on it unneccessarily difficult because I was not doing something that I liked. So I knew I had to find a new idea.

I study the theme for half an hour, reflecting on the implications of it and how it could develop. This is when I found out about an idea I really liked. A monster that lives by eating its progenie. How that idea came into my mind is lost into the abyss of oblivion, but I knew right away that it was THE idea I wanted to work on for the rest of the weekend.

And so I did.

Picking the tools I know

I dusted off my old engien that I have been using for the last few ludum dares. It is a simple, quick’n’dirty engine that gets the job done without getting in the way. I was in doubt if I should use this engine or something else, like GameMaker or something like that. I ended up sticking with this, and it was a good idea. I know JavaScript very well and can program very fast with it. Also, having created the engine myself over time, I knew it inside out. Also, after struggling with spaghetti code for so many Ludum Dares, I start to understand the patterns behind programming, meaning that I can create code that won’t choke me when I turn my back.

This powerful combination let me flow the code without interruptions. I don’t remember being stuck for more than 5 minutes on a bug.  The code base is quite robust, with global variables used only for constants and bigger, general purpose classes, and everything else passed by value. This takes a little longer to program, but the peace of mind I get is out of this world.

Making the simplest game possible

Another choice that made this weekend doable is the fact that the game I wanted to make was super simple (you can see it with your eyes). No multiple screens, very little moving sprites, super simple game mechanics.

This allowed me two things. First, I could explore a little, testing stuff out. There were so little things about this game that adding and removing feature was quite fast. Second, I could spend a little time into polishing the gameplay, testing it out and changing and tweaking things. This is something that I have never done in a LD game (jam or compo) because I always ended up submitting minutes before the deadline, or when I simply could not stay awake anymore.

This means that the game is actually playable (even if it quite obscure, I realize), and not a sewn together mess that I could barely look at.

Focusing on core gameplay first

Another stupid thing I avoided is focusing on details too much, too soon. I usually pass the weekend doing graphics and soinds, and end up panicking in the last few hours with programming and fighting last minute bugs.

This time around, I did all the programming first. I did the bare bones graphics just to understand what is going on, and then never touched them again until the gameplay was done. Not almost finished, done. This was HUGE. I cannot understate how important it is. When I realized how important is to do all the programming first, I thought I had found the Nirvana of programming. Coding is a complex matter, and requires memory, skill and precision. It is not something one can do under pressure, and this means that focusing on it first allowed me to get the best out of it.

Procrastination and Distractions

Reading the above, it may seem strange that I was unable to finish the game for the compo.

The fact is, I have been a little naughty. I only showed the good so far, but didn’t tell about my worst problem…

Procrastination.

Even though I loved the concept, even though I liked programming it, even though I really wanted to enter the compo, I still ended up getting distracted by other stuff. I watched crap on reddit for a couple of hours on Saturday, and watched videos on youtube for two hours on Sunday. While this may not seem like a lot, you have to consider that I had other things to do other than the Ludum Dare. All in all considered, I think that I wasted at least one third of the time I actually spent doing the game on distractions and stuff like that.

When you are in a compo where time is an important resource, procrastinating is a deadly sin. This is a big problem of mine, and I need to address it better cause it is very annoying and precuded me from entering a lot of compos in the past years.

Conclusions

But all in all, it was an amazing weekend. And best of all, I was able to finish the game! Horray! It is always good to send something in for the Ludum Dare, even if it sucks or it is severly lacking. It makes me feel like I have accomplished something.

This is all for now, I guess. If you want to check out my game, Grow, you can play it here. That said, thank you everyone that made this possibile and so much fun everytime!

Tutorial Page for Grow

Posted by (twitter: @fullmontis)
Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 4:26 am

Since my game, Grow, seems to be quite obscure, I made a simple image tutorial so that you can understand how to play it.

Grow Tutorial Page

You can check out the game here.

Grow is done – Play it now!

Posted by (twitter: @fullmontis)
Monday, August 24th, 2015 7:24 pm

I like how it looks though

I am glad to say that I can go to sleep now.

I didn’t make it for the compo, but was still able to fit into the jam. Horray! I would have never guessed I could make it.

You can play my game, Grow, here. I think it is not nearly as good and fun as I hoped it to be, but you can give it a try anyway, and leave some feedback. Thank you guys, it was an amazing weekend and had so much fun, time to get some rest!

Play Grow

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