Posts Tagged ‘haXe’

Post-mortem: Flappy Monster

Posted by
Friday, August 28th, 2015 1:55 pm

Flappy Monster is a nod to helicopter-in-a-cave style flight games, and turns them sideways. More popularly known as “Flappy Bird” games, the thrust/gravity/navigation mechanic has been around for a while. In my twist, I gave the monster ineffectual wings. Flapping makes him angry (because he can’t fly) so he runs, runs faster, through buildings and forts of humans civilization who desperately lay down sharp pikes to stop him.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Idea waffling

I start each game jam by walking the dog and talking to myself like a weirdo. I run through the possible interpretations of the theme, what I think others might do, and how I might distinguish myself. When I get back, I have a drink (this time it was Remy cognac), sit on the porch, smoke a cigar and brainstorm. Normally by the end of the evening I have several ideas fleshed out and I’ve at least picked one, with the core mechanics designed. But this time, I was flustered, and was waffling between two ideas until 4AM.

The first idea was an homage to The Thing where you were accused of being the monster (but not actually). It was somewhat a logic game, where you knew little facts about the other people that clued you into who was the monster. Anyone left alone with the monster could become infected, and then you had two monsters. You assigned characters to do tasks which revealed more clues about who’s the monster. Characters would have trust levels with each other, making this task harder, and ultimately putting suspicion upon you, perhaps leading you to becoming infected yourself. I loved the idea, but I spent hours researching logic puzzle design and failed to nail down precise core mechanics.

The other idea was a chasing game. People thought you were a monster and chased you, and you responded nonviolently. If they grabbed you, they held you in place until you shrugged them off. If you stayed held long enough (perhaps because several people grabbed you), your health would begin to drop. The twist was when your health reached a lower threshold, you’d explode with rage, killing everyone on the map. So ultimately you are the monster (albeit provoked), and your goal is to survive long enough. I eventually settled on this idea, but I was still analyzing mechanics in the morning, trying to figure out how to make the chase exciting. Ultimately when it got to noon, I acknowledged that this design had too many issues and no time to work on them.

I came up with the Flappy Monster idea as an alternative, as something I thought I could build with the time remaining.

Poor prep

I generally code Haxe using the Sublime 3 text editor. It’s not an IDE. It has support for templates but I don’t use them. It has support for completion, code style, and shortcuts using the Clemos Haxe Bundle but I had trouble getting it working properly and stopped using it a while ago.

Under the hood, Flaxen uses Ash-Haxe as an entity-component system. The benefits of this system are only realized if you actually use systems and components to address states and behaviors in your game. These things require some boilerplate code. Not a lot, but when I’m coding under the gun, the extra minute it takes to set up this boilerplate and locate the file in the appropriate location seems like forever.

So instead I start hacking. The code base gets ugly, cluttered, and hard to extend very quickly, and by the end of the 48 hours I’m fighting kode krud in my desperate attempt to cram in one more feature. Next time I’ll put together some templates and macros to make this process quicker, and keep me leveraging the ECS.

Also, I had little practice with Spriter. While I love the ability to do custom animations in it, it’s a buggy and very quirky app. Between Spriter and TexturePacker, I was trying to discover an efficient art pipeline that wouldn’t drive me nuts. In the end, I barely escaped a Lovecraftian descent into insanity. Seriously Spriter, I have to enter my custom rect every time? You can’t save that shit in the scml file? Jerk.

Ran out of time

This “what went wrong” is always on my post-mortem list. And every time it’s my fault. Because I know I have 48 hours and only 48 hours to make a game, yet I “blow the time budget” at various points. I have to be more ruthless in my time management. Unknowns are a killer and a time sink, so prepare as much as possible, and if the design is not coming together quickly – ditch it!

As one gets to the end of the deadline, things stop dropping off your to-do list in favor of more critical priorities. In my case music and more special effects never happened. And the game would have benefited immensely from another hour of playtesting and tweaking. But that’s alway the case!

Users complained that the pikes were hard to see, the difficulty was brutal, the RNG was unfair, and the monster took too long to slow down. All true, my friends, all true.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Knowing when to scrap a bad plan

I’m glad I switched ideas.

The chase game was still stuck in design, and I’ve been bitten before jumping into development without thoroughly understood gameplay. The idea I came up with was a twist on Flappy Bird, placing it on its side. Instead of flapping for height, you flapped for running speed. Instead of the “height” of a hurdle to get over, buildings of different sizes required a minimum speed to run through (or you get knocked back and your game ends). And to simulate a “roof” to duck under, I added pikes in the ground that you could only tiptoe through; if you ran too fast, you’d trip and get impaled.

It’s a decent twist. It doesn’t quite provide the same depth of experience as a flying game. For example, when flying you may have to fall half way down the screen, but in Flappy Monster (where the running speed correlates to flying height) there are no pikes that require a max of “half” speed. All pikes require you to go pretty slowly, so as a result pikes right before buildings can be quite punishing.

Completed!

Out of 9 Ludum Dares, I’ve completed 6. That’s a terrible stat that shows I have persistent issues with time management. In some cases I’ve hit the deadline very close to a playable game, which I consider a minimum requirement for submitting. (Some people don’t.) Despite my fumbles, I (eventually) leveraged my ability to recognize when plans needed to change, I identified and shifted priorities, and most importantly, I placed utmost priority and focus on the goal completion. Without that, no game!

Working on a Post-Compo version

When the compo ended, the game had only JUST become truly playable, and I was entering a groove where adding features and juice was eminently satisfying. So why stop there? I branched my code and kept working on a post-compo version, albeit at a more-relaxed pace. I added scrolling grass, shaded the monster, cleaned up and animated the pikes, added a demolition rumble effect, smoothed monster movement, tweaked the RNG to be less cruel, and gave the monster an increasing deceleration for faster and more dramatic slow downs. It’s more playable. And I’m still adding things to it. It gives interested players a change to look at something closer to “what I was going for,” and rewards them with a better experience as appreciation for looking. And I get to put in those missing elements that make me happy. :)

Blupp the Gruesome is real

Posted by
Monday, August 24th, 2015 8:32 pm

10Up: Blupp the Gruesome is our newers addition to the astonishing game jam series 10Up. Some people worked hard day and night, they still found time to sleep somehow, to present you:

10Up: Blupp the Gruesome – A turn-based realtime detective thriller for two players in hotseat mode, powerd by Kha!

One player is Blupp the Gruesome, the tragic victim of experiments. At night he is searching for a way home to his water world (see 10Up: Interdimensional Liquids). To achive this goal he must find all parts of the dimension-portal-cannon.

The other player is Mr. S. In his youth he was victim of experiments himself (see 10Up: Mountain Brew). But he still became a valuable part of the 10Up special forces (see 10Up).
After he became aware of the newest experiments of the professor (see 10Up: Unity), he is focused on freeing the others from their fate.

 

NOTE: It’s important, that the Player of Mr. S does not look at the screen while Blupp the Grousome is playing.

I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @RobotMeal)
Thursday, August 20th, 2015 2:27 pm

I’m in!

Haxe / HaxeFlixel
BFXR
Aseprite
FlashDevelop

That’s a quote from the most excellent Muppet movie Muppets: Most Wanted, and it has nothing to do with this compo entry announcement. I just can get the songs out of my head.

Editor: Sublime Text
Language: Haxe 3
API/FrameworksFlaxen (HaxePunkAsh-HaxeOpenFL)
GitHub Version Control: Base Code and Game Source
Visuals: Photoshop, FilterForge, possible Pixen
Audio: Audacity, Bfxr, Renoise w/VST plugins
Animal: Bad frog! Bad frog!
Fräulein: Evilen froggen! Evilen froggen!

Thank you, Kermit, no more questions.

I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @Sam_Twidale)
Tuesday, August 11th, 2015 10:32 am

Hi, I’m Sam and this is my first real Ludum Dare compo/jam. I have tried and failed a couple of times past whilst lurking, but this time I’m writing some base code to have a shot at finishing with a playable game.

I’ll be using Haxe with three.js externs to make a Javascript/WebGL game. I’m a programmer, not an artist, but theme permitting am going to try for a mood like Beneath the Cave, which was my favorite Ludum Dare 29 entry.

Base code, dev log and info about the libraries I chose, ideas I pilfered etc are going up here: https://github.com/Tw1ddle/Ludum-Dare-33

Good luck everyone.

Verbal – conversation tool

Posted by (twitter: @jarnik)
Sunday, August 9th, 2015 1:36 pm

Hey, fellow jammers!

Please allow me to introduce Verbal – a little tool for in-game conversations.
I could not find a conversation tool that would be simple, flexible and open, so I made one myself.

itchio_cover

(more…)

Time for plan B

Posted by
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 7:49 pm

As usual, I spend the first few hours of Ludum Dare coming up with several game ideas and evaluating them, choosing the one that has the best balance of interesting and completable. This time I made some major gaffs, picking ideas that were required major design work, replacing a good premise with goofy abstract puzzle mechanic that does the original inspiration no justice, failing to focus properly on a day one prototype, and getting distracted with third-party and not so third-party bugs. As such, although it’s almost time for submission, it’s still not actually playable. So, out of eight LDs, about I’m about to fail my third.

It kind of surprises me, falling into the same old traps, but that’s what it is. I had fun doing some pixel art, learning a bit from Derek’s great Make Games Tutorial.

specialist-red bookresearch-green

 

 

 

I’m mulling over the possibility of continuing to work tomorrow and entering whatever I get working into the Jam, but right now I’m tired. Good luck everyone!

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 8.29.44 PM

Finally, better FPS! :3

Posted by (twitter: @go_go_goto)
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 7:57 pm

Finally, FPS on native windows port is good enough (recording doesn’t show, though :<)! Gotta do some basic AI and graphics today if I don’t sleep. 😉

I think this game will have only one survival stage. Will do what I can to make it refined. First LD sounds more exciting now that things are going well. 😀

About the game, I still need to finish a few things, but what can I say is:

  • Is, somehow, I think, really, a family-friendly” zombie “arena” shooter where you don’t have control of the bullet direction;
  • The more ammo you have, the less you bleed;
  • The less ammo you have, the more you bleed (genius, yeah, I know :P) and health keeps decreasing;
  • Ammo and Health recover automatically when not shooting;
  • It’s about fruits!

I hope the end result will be fun and playable. :)

BOOMBOX: update2

Posted by (twitter: @zielakpl)
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 3:28 pm

People need your music to live!

TODO:

  • Levels – count time, points and dead people
  • Music/sounds
  • Entry and Game over screen
  • Background, maybe a shiny 80’s style dancefloor… hmmm
  • Probably some levels with walls/holes

“Geneva” – a game about conventions

Posted by (twitter: @wilbefast)
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 3:02 pm

Hi there ladies and gentlemen :)

Probably a bit of a no-brainer but yeah – I’m doing a game about weapons that are not allowed by the Geneva Convention, specifically chemical weapons, specifically Chlorine Gas.

(more…)

BOOMBOX

Posted by (twitter: @zielakpl)
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 11:25 am

Got some gifs, not time for writing!

You goal is to MOVE everyone to DANCE with your boombox and soundwaves.

I’m in! Santa’s delivering presents to Area 51 in the middle of April

Posted by (twitter: @tccoxon)
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 7:37 am

I wasn’t planning to join in this year because I’ve been super busy, but I changed my mind at the last minute!

My idea is about Santa (and potentially the Easter Bunny, depending on time) breaking into Area 51 to deliver a present to a child there. Santa picks up an MK Ultra mind-control gun along the way…

santa

It’s quite an ambitious project for 48 hours, so I dunno if it’ll make it into the compo. Maybe the jam though?

Here’s my toolkit!

  1. HaxeFlixel
  2. VIM
  3. Tiled
  4. GIMP
  5. Linux

Screenshot from 2015-04-18 13:35:56

 

I’ll be releasing the source code on github later!

FINALLY GOT AN IDEA!!!

Posted by (twitter: @go_go_goto)
Friday, April 17th, 2015 10:07 pm

YEAH! First LD, First Idea in the first few hours!

I wanted to have an idea ready as early as possible so I could tamper with programming and make it happen!

And, from what I see, I can execute this! 😀 Will try to do it as fast as I can, so I can submit to the compo but if not, will refine it enough for the jam!

It will feature:

  • Zombie fruits! (puuuuuuuuuuulp…o_O);
  • It will be a 1 stage survival-shooter (easiest thing I could think);
  • A fruit character;
  • A pun;
  • And an unconventional weapon!

Will build it in Haxe, using OpenFl! If not possible, will switch to Stencyl on GameMaker, but I feel like I can do it! And if I can do it, it will be my first “finished” game!

Good Luck for Everyone! /o/

 

Final preparations for the compo/jam?

Posted by (twitter: @go_go_goto)
Friday, April 17th, 2015 12:08 pm

Just updated my LD32 repo at github (https://github.com/yuigoto/LD-32) with a blank game project (Haxe/OpenFL project for FlashDevelop).

I also put some code for a FPS/Resource monitor and the code I use to draw my company logo.

Is it ok to use this for the compo?

Also…gotta clean up my desk and get some snacks! I’m shivering >_<

It’s today, it’s coming, I’m scared as hell, but going for it!

Posted by (twitter: @go_go_goto)
Friday, April 17th, 2015 4:07 am

Setting up some repos for LD32 and some code I use while studying (mostly tutorial and math stuff) on my github. This stuff is easily found on the web, but I’m sharing my versions/tweaks to stay in a safe zone in case I get to finish my project in time for the compo. Also, it could be useful (not certain) for starters (as I am) and lead to some discussions on improving this stuff. :)

For those who adventure in these repos (mostly “haxe-dump”), they’re pretty unrefined stuff (gotta do some cleanup later) and part of the comments are in portuguese (brazilian). But I made sure they are really basic and easy to understand stuff (so comments are irrelevant, I guess :P).

Gotta sleep a little bit before work and LD, but I’m anxious…>_<…

Also gotta prepare some snacks and drinks…

‘Tis gonna be a long day today, oh boy…=_=

I’m In!

Posted by (twitter: @ddrkirbyisq)
Thursday, April 16th, 2015 2:22 pm

Hey there, DDRKirby(ISQ) here!  You might remember me from my entry from LD29, Ripple Runner.  This will be my *9th* time doing LD!

Last time I ended up with Labyrinth, a short 2D puzzle platformer with pixel graphics.  It ended up taking 7th place overall!  (Despite it being one of my weaker entries)

For Labyrinth, my goals were:

Make something with a simple and clean art style – I failed on this front and ended up just using pixel art again.  I still have yet to make a game using basic shapes and a clean/minimalistic aesthetic.  For Labyrinth, pixel art was the right choice though, so it wasn’t really a mistake.  Just, hopefully I get to do this at some point.

Don’t stress out about results – Yeah, I did this.  I didn’t even expect that much because I ran out of time and felt really rushed at the end due to having a false start.

Feedback and critical thought earlier in the design process – Yes, I did this too.  In fact I had an initial idea of a dungeon that would change in shape and have this narrative where you start out with a friend and then you lose them and then the story gets wrapped up somehow blahblahblah….but then I ended up trashing that idea completely after I figured out that it wasn’t really working.

For this time, let’s try to:

Make something simple, dammit – Should always be a goal…even if I don’t end up with something simple in the end, it’s always best to start off small and add fancy stuff later.  Just, more fun that way!

Don’t stress TOO much about the initial idea – Last time I think I actually ended up tried to overthink things and that’s what led to something forced and unnatural; I think I still need to spend a good chunk of time thinking about a fun idea that will work but once I have that I can just try to run with it and see what happens.

Code with extensibility for multiple resolutions and input types – I’ll be working with haxepunk this time, so there’s the possibility of cross-platform builds!  If I want to support mobile devices and such, I need to code in a way such that I don’t lock myself 100% to a particular resolution/input type, so I’ll at least make *some* effort to do that.  I know a lot of people were requesting Ripple Runner be a mobile release, for example.

Tools/frameworks I’m using this time around:

– Haxe with Haxepunk, deving in FlashDevelop.  This’ll be my first LD using haxe!
– FL Studio for music/audio
– Labchirp for additional sfx
– GIMP for graphics/art
– No map editor, even if I do end up with some sort of game that wants a map editor, trying to integrate one with haxe is just tooooo risky.  I’d rather roll my own ascii text solution or something.
– Paint tool SAI if I decide to be experimentalllll and actually draw things (but I probably won’t).

Protip for any people who are attempting to use haxepunk: I’ve found that the following combination of library versions will make things happy:

HaxePunk: [2.5.3]
hxcpp: [3.2.37]
lime-tools: [1.5.7]
lime: [2.1.3]
openfl: [2.2.8]

AFAIK the latest version of HaxePunk is not yet compatible with the latest releases of lime/openfl.  This took me a while to figure out but I’m glad I have it all squared away before the compo starts.  As an aside, I also tried to find a good IDE for haxe+haxepunk in OSX but everything I tried didn’t really pass the test…which is fine since windows is my primary platform anyways.  Flashdevelop will have you covered.

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