Ludum Dare 32
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An Unconventional Weapon

Compo Ends in

Jam Ends in

Posts Tagged ‘journal’

Saman – Post Mortem

Posted by
Monday, August 25th, 2014 1:05 pm

It’s finally finished!

Saman is my entry to LD30.

Now that it’s over and done with, I’ll talk about what I think of the process and the finished product.

 

A Summary

The gameplay of Saman involves you controlling a rook (a creature made of rocks) who is defenseless by himself. He does, however, acquire gems from the depths and has learned by throwing them into the ceiling, he generates targeted earthquakes to save him from vile creatures that would do him harm. This aspect of the game involves you avoiding obstacles, (much like a classic arcade game) and feeding gems to the overworld.

On the overworld, a blue man is finding gems scattered outside of his home and invests them in things and buildings which will increase his fortune. This portion of the game is an incremental-style game where you spend the gems you collect on things which grow your fortune/score.

Both of these things happen simultaneously and if the rook dies, the game ends.

 

Theme

hated this theme. Before the competition started I brainstormed some concepts based on what the themes COULD be and I literally left this one blank, thinking this is one out of like 20 possible themes, how likely is it that it gets chosen. It ends up I was in the minority because it seemed A LOT of people picked this. I felt it was not quite as open to interpretation as others on the list, but whatever – I went with it.

After realizing the theme I took a few hours to think about concepts. I threw away things I thought would be over done (platformers with portals, space stuff, etc.) and started thinking about symbiotic relationships or alternate realities. The idea of a spirit world and something taking place in a graveyard appealed to me, but I couldn’t get a strong handle on the direction I wanted to go in. I had a sort of random muppets/fraggle rock inspiration and took that direction with the art style and concept where there are things who dwell underground and above ground, and their worlds interact somehow, but didn’t know much more. I was a fan of old arcade games like donky kong and frogger and somehow wanted to implement those ideas into the game. I also liked incremental games, and some of my other concepts had those as a primary mechanic, so had that in the back of my mind.

 

Time Management

This was my first LD48 so I knew I didn’t want to be TOO ambitious, but I also feel I work/iterate quickly so I wasn’t sure where to draw the line. I just started making SOMETHING and tweaked until it felt ok. The last day I woke up around 9AM I think and didn’t stop working until around 2 or 3PM, to finally get something to eat. My eyes were burning from staring at the screen non-stop and I just wanted to get the stupid thing finished – adding sounds and menus at the last minute. I was really burnt out in the end, despite me not really messing up my schedule too badly.

 

What I’m Proud Of

I don’t consider myself a good animator, but sometimes the animations turn out better than you expect, and some of them for this game fall into that category. I think aesthetically the game is pretty good and the core concept is sound. I’m also proud of the fact that I finished and released something I’m not 100% proud of. I will probably be my harshest critic, and I feel that’s ok and important for moving forward and releasing good content.

 

What I’m Not Proud Of

The sound and music was very much a last minute thing. I found a sound generator at tones.wolfram.com and was pleased after generating/tweaking some weird sounds. The music I’m ok with, despite it being pretty strange. The sound effects, however, are another story. I used bfxr for the sound effects and was in a rushed panic to get them in and didn’t have a plan to implement volume control. After putting them in and doing some final test runs, I found the sfx so annoying I put a mute button in place instead of replacing them (out of laziness and lack of time).

The concept I came up with was ok, I felt. There is a saying that goes something like ‘there is no such thing as a bad idea, only bad execution.’ I find that to be mostly true, and I’m not 100% convinced my execution was where I’d like it to be, even for 48 hours. I blame this partially on me having no real direction, and trying to add depth where it maybe didn’t belong. The end result is a game where you’re basically playing two games at once. this, thematically, is ok, but in practice is a bit weird. Partially I think this is because it’s not something I’ve seen done before, so there’s no real gauge on what it should look like. For example, there is no reason in the game world that the rook dying would cause the incremental portion of the game to stop – but mechanically there needs to be some incentive to work on that portion of the game and keep him alive. I also feel the two halves of the game should be expanded and have more depth, but 48 hours limits your ability to do this quite a bit.

 

The story and instructions are non-existent. I had art and a concept built out where the rook was taught by his mother that the gods absorb the power of the gems, and call down forces to stop their enemies. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to really make that part of the game. In addition, there are basically no instructions, other than the controls which you can access as you’re playing. This game has enough depth to where I feel even rudimentary instructions really are necessary, but it’s not something that often occurs to me, as you’re testing your game over and over (and obviously know how to play it). I opted to put some instructions on the itch.io page.

In the End

All in all, it was a fun test of my creativity, but this experience has left me feeling like I’ve released something unfinished, that I’m not entirely proud of – which is the nature of the beast for LD48 hours, I suppose.

Posted by
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 12:26 pm

More poetry, this time I made my title screen into a sonnet. I am seriously getting loopy here :)

CWTitle

Drempt – Progress #6 Music!

Posted by (twitter: @wetdesertrock)
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 11:17 am

Music is finished and added into the game.

 

Here is the current title screen for your enjoyment:

Drempt Title

 

Previous progress post

ROFL (*weep*)

Posted by
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 7:36 am

12h of diddling around and this is all i have:
ld30_screenshot
literally, i have no idea how to implement the theme.

Yesterday i did basically only the setup of phaser and loading of spritemaps + animations, hoping that today i’d have an idea what to do.

Then this morning i found out that the physics system i was using was not the right one for the job so i had to switch to another one with no idea how to do that.

Now i am exactly where i was yesterday (well, this morning at 3) and still no idea.

Guess i will just make some j&r proof of concept and just try to squeeze the theme in there :(

This sucks because for me doing something interesting with the theme is always high on the list, but this time…

nothing…

Oh shhh** I overslept!

Posted by
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 10:47 pm

Noooo… I set the alarm to 4am… aaaand it’s 7am. 3 hours lost! Now quick breakfast and let’s continue in development! Good luck everyone, with finishing your games!

Drempt – Progress #5 Audio and Video!

Posted by (twitter: @wetdesertrock)
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 9:33 pm

I have spent all of today getting over my aural creative block! This video is meant to show off the audio in my game. Tell me what you think about it, I’m not quite sold on the sound effects.

Also, try to see if you can start spotting which enemies are dreams and which aren’t! (Hint, some turn faster than others).

Previous Progress Post

End of first 24 hours

Posted by
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 7:44 pm

The first half of the comp ended a couple hours ago. I’ll probably work a little bit more before going to bed. I have music and some sound effects together. I have the space map pretty much fleshed out with a call for difficulty level. I have 24 routes with 5 difficulty levels. The combat system is coming together.

I still need to translate the difficulty setting into what appears on the screen. I would like to have more than 4 types of “enemies”. I need to figure out how to score things. I need to have some win and/or lose screen.

Hopefully I will get done in time.

CWstarmap3

Flight demo

Posted by
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 11:28 am

http://www.stencyl.com/game/play/27933

There’s a demo of the space flight. The 1 through = sign are the keys to fire sixteenth note bullets. No enemies or real gameplay yet :(

Update

Posted by
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 10:11 am

I’m slowly getting stuff together. I want to have so many levels but I probably won’t have time.

CWspace

CWStarmap

Progress after 15 hours – Game “Between”

Posted by
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 8:56 am

It’s going to be 15 hours from start, and I’m here with another bucket of screenshots and photos of developing the game “Between”.

2014-08-23_08-17-50-ew0l9wL 2014-08-23_17-44-34-lYYaPOh

Before (about 5h of dev) and now

WP_20140823_003 WP_20140823_004

Coffee!!! And a human fuel.

GUIscratch mockup

Working on GUI, scratch on the left and mockup on the other side.

I’m going for it

Posted by
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 7:08 am

After getting some sleep, I decided to go for it. I whipped up some songs in garageband this morning. Now I am trying to plan out some gameplay. I still have not decided exactly what I’m doing in terms of the theme, but it should come together into something in the end :)

Some progress sneakpeek

Posted by
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 11:37 pm

Between

My LD48 attempt in progress! I’m posting some sneakpeeks. View this article for more screens and photos :)

Prototyping
Prototyping

Eww code
Some “eww” code

ds
Deskshot

c
Concept (created at 4am, so it’s nothing special)

Stream of progress here: http://www.twitch.tv/majko15

Drempts: Progress #1

Posted by (twitter: @wetdesertrock)
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 9:27 pm

This is a game where you try to shoot down enemies, but only the ones that aren’t dreams.

Picture of you shooting your bullets: Drempts1

Theme Thoughts

Posted by
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 8:16 pm

Here are some ideas I am playing around with. I have no clue where to go with this, but maybe these thoughts can help someone else out.

1. Most obvious is parallel dimensions or space travel between planets

2. In a modern sense, it is talking about something like the internet connecting the world

3. In business it also refers to people and organizations being connected – via something like the internet

4. I’m also thinking about connecting so called “different worlds” together, for example genders or nations

5. Something abstract like connecting the world of books with the world of acrobatics (just an example)

Update on Beneath your House

Posted by
Thursday, May 8th, 2014 1:25 pm

I’m working on a new version of Beneath your House. I’ll use the same mechanics from my LD entry, but switching up the genre. The game will feature some minigames that happen when different events are triggered. I am journaling the progress on the Stencyl forum. You can check it out if you are interested:

http://community.stencyl.com/index.php/topic,31850.0.html

Chuck

Background on ceosol

Posted by
Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 8:32 am

Here’s a little background on ceosol.

Last years my contract expired and I got laid off. I knew it was coming up so I had started looking for a new job even in 2012. The holidays rolled around, still no job. Mid-January, after about two years of looking for jobs in my field, I gave up and decided to go in a different direction. Fourteen of my science career have vanished and I’ve been developing games since then. I know 4 months does not make a career in game development, but we all have to start somewhere :)

Back in high school I had a couple of semesters of Basic and C++, so I do know a little about computer logic. It has been a little rough trying to learn things fresh. Stencyl has been a huge help with syntax.

I am just entering whatever competitions I can get my hands on. Every thing I try to make helps me learn even more. If anybody is interested in collaborating, I would love the opportunity to work with you and learn more. I created a work email [email protected]

It was a fun compo. I wish everyone the bests.

Chuck

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