Posts Tagged ‘LD #35 PostMortem’

Learned lot of things!

Posted by
Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 7:22 am

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That was a weird Jam, I participated in the compo for the first time and made a game that doesn’t fit in the range of games that I like. I learned a lot and got out of my confort zone which is nice.

Here are my ratings and my thoughts :)


 

#100    Mood             3.65

  • I love this, didn’t thought it would rate this high!

#209    Humor          2.94

  • It was a scene of charlie the unicorn, so it was comdemned to be fun, although not a lot of people got it.

#247    Innovation    3.49

  • It was innovative for me at least, but this score is great!

#518    Overall           3.16

  • I think the overall went down because the lack of audio and graphics.

#591    Audio             2.13

  • There was no audio, i’ll take note for the next jam!

#684    Fun                2.81

  • I don’t have any problem with this score, I personally don’t like this type of games, but at least it was fun making it!

#747    Theme           2.88

  • I think that a lot of people didn’t see the shapeshifting map.

#754    Graphics       2.47

  • Like in the audio, there where no graphics, let’s pray for more time in the next Ludumdare!

 

 

We got the rates :D

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 6:26 am

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We have the results! These are ours. We are happy about them, though we are a bit surprised with Graphics rating, but they are good overall so it is nice for us. More to the point, we have learned a lot this jam. Thanks to all the people who tried and voted! Specially thanks to those that left feedback!

#253 Fun(Jam) 3.46
#444 Overall(Jam) 3.34
#542 Humor(Jam) 2.44
#549 Innovation(Jam) 3.05
#555 Theme(Jam) 3.34
#584 Graphics(Jam) 3.25
#638 Mood(Jam) 2.98

I came to stay

Posted by (twitter: @josemwarrior)
Thursday, April 28th, 2016 11:27 pm

 

This is what I thought on Monday, right after I finished my first Ludumdare and completed an old task. You can read this post in spanish here.

I’ve finished my first game and I’ve named it “Booba Loomba“. It is a name that I already had in mind for previous game which also had small “balls” but finally I decided to use it for this game. It is true that it was a stressful (really stressful) weekend. There were moments when I didn’t know if I was going to be able to finish it or at least to submit something. I had to figure out the whole game in just one morning – Saturday morning. I’ll explain it below in further details. This is my game:

Click in the following link to play the game.

 

PLAY IT HERE

 

 


This is a gameplay by Marta Jones

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Another gameplay by Alice “Buttons”, it starts at 1:02:05

 

Booba Loomba
Booba Loomba

 

 
 

THEME.

 
Let’s get started, the theme of the competition that was announced on Friday at 03:00 a.m. (Spain) was “shapeshifting“. At first, I did not like the theme because of the complexity of shifting something’s shape (even though you can do many things including shape shifting, changing something visually is the first thing that comes to your mind). I stayed awake until 03:00 a.m. to see what was it about and then going to sleep in order to be ready for the following day but I couldn’t do it. I was thinking about games that included changing shapes. After thinking about them, I got stuck with two:
 

  • World of goo (PC): You have to make a structure with the characters to reach a certain point of the map. Sometimes you have to switch your shape to reach the goal.

 
world-of-goo-40
 

     

  • Locoroco (PSP): You have to rotate the screen to move your character and absorb “friends” to reach the goal with them. When you absorb any friend, you will grow physically and sometimes you have to split yourself to get through different parts of the stage.

 
maxresdefault
 
 

I really liked Locoroco as a source of inspiration! Now that I finally sorted out some things, I went to sleep. I organized my timeline as it follows:

SQUEME1

 

CONCEPT.

 
All right, as planned, on Satudary morning I invented the game’s mechanics:

  • “You are a ball and to move yourself through the stage you have to rotate the screen and play with gravity. You do not move the character neither the stage; you can only control gravity.

afdadfa

  • “To clear every level, you have to reach the goal

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  • “To achieve it you have to find all your “friends”. There are two kinds of friends, fruit (they can’t move) and other balls (they can move). Any time you roll over a fruit it turns into a friend, to catch friends you have to press the A button.

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  • “You have to reach the goal as big as you can. To achieve it you have to divide yourself to go through narrow spaces and then absorb your friends again. To split yourself you have to press the spacebar.

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  • “You cannot lose in the game. There is no “game over”. The only thing you can lose is time.”

 

DEVELOPMENT.

 
I chose Game Maker because it is really fast to start a game with it. However, it was a long time since I last used Game Maker, return to global variables, the style of working with arrays, it seemed a little complicated because I had been working with Libgdx months ago. But don’t misunderstand me, I highly recommend Game Maker to make games.
 
I started with the default collide system of the software.
 
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It worked, kind of, but it was not what I was looking for. I observed how the ball got stuck sometimes and did not drop as I wanted.
Then I discovered that Game Maker uses a physics engine based on Box2d and “Liquid Fun open source” that I had never worked with.

 

ballz

 

I hadn’t time enough to learn how to use it but it gave me pretty neat results.

 

afdafdasd

 

Then I prepared the script that made the ball join other balls and split itself.

 

asdfasdf
 

The next thing was to include the items, “fruit” and the “goal”.

 
afdadfasfasf

 

The “Friends” parameter was named greatness before. I thought that it was a good idea since “You are greater with more friends”. I finished the prototype on Saturday night but…

 

It isn’t a bug, it is a feature.

 
… Nothing turned out as I expected. Game maker gave me more than one problem. On Sunday morning I discovered a bug that made me waste all the day trying to solve it. Because of this, I had to upload my game to the jam (72 hours) instead of to the compo (48 hours). This was the bug:

 

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If you grew in narrow spaces you got yourself stuck. I stayed all Sunday trying to find an efficient way of pre-calculating if the space was enough before growing and if it wasn’t enough it won’t let you do it.

 
need more space to grow
 

I was trying a lot of possibilities but when I thought I had found it, it completely broke the game (especially in the HTML5 version 😀 ). Sometimes I thought that I couldn’t solve it because this bug had destroyed the gameplay. Later on Sunday, I thought about the same thing applied to an imaginary machine. If it had more gears, it is easier to break it, so I got stuck with the KISS principle and to the “it is not a bug, it is a feature” principle. To solve it I showed a message telling the player that “It is impossible to continue, you have to split yourself.”:

 
YOU NEED SPLIT
 

This lead to some changes in my timeline, that resulted into this:

 
SQUEME 2
 

FINAL STAGE.

 
This is what Ludumdare is about. It makes you change and remove things to the maximum; it makes you release a game that in other way you wouldn’t.
On the third day, I made the level design, graphics and music without any major problem. I work hard on the tutorial. I wanted it to explain the game itself and to get the player hooked to the game from the very first moment. People told me that those things were perfect so I felt relieved. The third day was the toughest because I was holding enough stress and I was really tired.
 
I am very thankful to Erik Sanchez G., who translate this awesome post into English.
 
Now I would actually like you to play the game and give me an honest opinion 😀
 
 

PLAY IT HERE IF YOU DIDN’T

 
 

SHAPE☆SHIFT: What I learned from Ludum Dare 35 is…

Posted by (twitter: @KaiClavier)
Thursday, April 28th, 2016 4:52 pm

Play SHAPE☆SHIFT here!

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 8.07.12 PM

Ludum Dare 35 was a huge learning experience for me, so I thought I’d write up a postmortem or whatever!

 

1. Making a puzzle-platformer for a game jam, and you

The first thing I did was write down a bunch of ideas that came to mind with the theme, and settled on this one. I immediately came up with a few good ideas for puzzles I could do with the gimmick, but I wish I came up with more as the last puzzle in the game is embarrassingly easy! I had this big puzzle involving moving from the one side of the screen to the other planned out, but ran out of time and submitted it as-is.

Using polymorphism for the blocks saved me a TON of time. The player and the blocks all inherit from the same class, and the “floaty thing” object has a variable for which one it’s currently controlling. I’m very glad I happened to brush up on this before the jam.

By the last day of the jam, I more or less had everything implemented coding-wise, and ran into a level design panic. Many things that I wrote down on paper didn’t get put in the game, despite the code being there. One puzzle desperately needed a ceiling, another needed a door that closes behind you, a conveyer belt needed to be just a bit longer, a certain flagpole didn’t have to be there. The “unpossessable” enemies also needed some kind of indicator on the overworld that they couldn’t be possessed, besides not having a “core” when you try to take control. All of these things I actually had written down, but just never got around to doing them!

At first I thought that the solution to this would be coming up with 100% of the game within the first 8 hours and spending the rest of the jam making that game. I soon realized that this would make the game just feel… stale, and drew connections between this and the lesson on keyframing in “The Animator’s Survival Kit”. What I just described is similar to the “pose-to-pose” method of animating, drawing out each keyframe, and then adding inbetweens until it’s smooth enough. This gets an animation done on time, but where’s the fun in it? Another method of animating is the “straight-ahead” method, which is the way that you would animate in a flipbook. The problem with this animation method is that it might not stay consistent throughout, so you might not end up with something nice at the end. Finally, the “combination of pose-to-pose and straight ahead” method is usually the best way to animate. You draw out your keyframes, then animate straight-ahead between them. You know what needs to go between these keyframes, but have the freedom to do them however you want.

The same lesson can be applied to making jam games, just replace “keyframes” with “game systems”! That said, any method is fine for doing a game jam, just know what you’re getting into with each one. I mostly planned out my systems, but just wasn’t very good at coming up with additional puzzles under pressure, tbh.

 

2. Take 5 minutes to give yourself cheat codes

Honestly I must have lost hours to this. Every time I wanted to test out a later puzzle, I’d have to manually drag the player character there, collecting the “floaty thing” along the way. It would have taken me 5 minutes to write code that disables collision, lets me fly, and increases my speed by 10. So… do this, especially if you’re making a puzzle game where everything is in one scene!

On this note, I soon after found a plugin for unity that keeps objects locked to the grid, without holding down command. This would have saved me a lot of time if I had it. Editor cheat codes!

 

3. Polish is important, but playability is more important.

Some polish can be needed to make a game playable, as I cover below when I talk about floaty controls. What I’m talking about here is that if you’re running out of time and you still need levels designed and tested, mayyybe you shouldn’t spend 2 hours trying to get particles working?

I desperately wanted the player to have dust particles when they walked and landed, but ran into some problems with shuriken, Unity’s particle system, that I’ve never had before. I’m not sure what caused it, but hopefully I can get that working in a post-jam version.

This was my first time using Unity’s surface effectors, and they’re really weird! I lost an hour or two trying to get those conveyor belts feeling good, and discovered it’s /kinda/ impossible.

 

4. What makes controls, “floaty”?

This was something I spent a lot of time after the jam thinking about, and asked some friends for their opinions on this. (Thanks, Managore!) It’s sort of a weird topic, since even in the post-jam build I’m working on right now, I /still/ haven’t gotten the player feeling exactly like I want, but the problem seems to be more about horizontal movement, rather than vertical.

Increasing the gravity actually didn’t do too much, just shortened the amount of time the player stays in the air. Having a jump last from 0.3s to 1s seems to be a good range, but in my game, the jump already lasted 0.8s!

Faster acceleration and higher max speed so far seem to be the biggest contribution factor to removing that “floaty” feeling. Acceleration especially helped, making the player come to a quick stop after walking made it feel much snappier. That said, I think giving the player /less/ control of their velocity midair might also help! In Super Mario Bros, if you make a jump at full speed, then try to reverse that mid-air, it’s possible but takes a lot to do it! In my game you could just glide wherever, and it feels bad.

Another big contributor are things that one might consider polish, but turned out to be essential for making a jump be more satisfying:

Jump cancelling. At first, I had this implemented, but removed it due to a bug with the “jump on enemy multiple times” puzzle. After the jam, I was able to fix this in about 10 minutes, and it made the jumping feel much snappier.

Dust upon landing. As I mentioned above, I just couldn’t get shuriken working in time for the jam. But adding a small effect like this to a jump can make it feel way better! You want it to feel like the player slammed into the ground, not like they decided to stop falling for some reason.

Audio! Adding walking sounds would have made the character feel more like they were really there, and absolutely not gliding. The player also had a jump sound, but no landing sound. This stacks with what I said with dust upon landing.

Different jump sprite for going up & coming down. This could have been as little as moving the character’s pupils, but it would have “sold” the jump more if the player looked up while jumping up, and looked down only when falling.

Toss in some cheap sprite scaling. I could go on even more about animation, but pretty much just look up “squash & stretch” and “anticipation”. (Those are just the first two principles of animation, but brushing up on all of them will be helpful!) You can mess around with sprite scaling during jump animations, which can usually get the job done in selling a jump.

 

5. Be nice to your artists

Without Rev, my game wouldn’t look anything like it currently does, and I would have surely ran out of time. My main character was still just a hexagon at the start of day 3! I’d like to take this time to promo him:

https://twitter.com/IMPLODINGORACLE

https://twitter.com/IMPLODINGORACLE

https://twitter.com/IMPLODINGORACLE

When you’re getting assets from an artist, come up with a list of exactly what you need to be done, and what kind of feeling you’re going for. And let them know early! And be nice to them!! Jeez!!! Also, the conveyor belt graphic in the game was still my temp-art, and we ran out of time to swap it out with something better.

 

Conclusion

Making games is cool, you learn a lot!! Make sure to write down what you learn, so you can… learn from it.

The game needed more ways to explore the main mechanic, and better ways to introduce it to the player.

I’ll probably post an updated version of the game after judging. I’ve already done some control tweaks, mechanics tweaks, fixed problems with puzzles, and worked on fixing the floatiness mentioned above. Updating that right now wouldn’t be fair, so I’ll be waiting til after to consider posting that.

Thanks for reading!

 

Play SHAPE☆SHIFT here!

Devil’s Hand – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @kuupudev)
Sunday, April 24th, 2016 3:51 pm

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I’m gonna list here the same categories as in the Ludum Dare rating system.

0 – Overall
It was my first attempt at going solo on a jam (and first post-mortem as well).
First of all, I didn’t go for what I had planned.
I intended to submit it at the jam category, so I made everything on my own, including music which is something I never tried before.

But due to complications with performance and level design I decided to spend one more day (actually half of a day) to solve some of its issues.

On this extra time I remade the logo, made a end game screen, solved some performance issues (split the 3 levels in 5 to reduce the amount of objects in the scene and attached some wall and floor pieces) and redone some of the level design, fortunately I think the best parts of the levels were done in this extra time.

logo   Old Logo

devillogo  Rework

 

for a while I was willing to make a fast paced FPS/ Doom like game, my idea was something with a Quake or Hexen graphics, something about demons/devils/aliens/sci-fi, really fast, focused on shooting and dodging.
Some time ago I discovered Devil’s Dagger and I thought: “well, this kind of graphics and pace still works nowadays” :)

A few days before the jam I asked Kaol (who usually participate on ludum dare with me) and she said she had a lot of work to do and could not participate this time, so I decided to make this little game I was willing to make, but I didn’t had any idea of what to do next.

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This game was made using:

  • Unity 3D (C#)
    • The enemies move around using NavMesh
    • Shuriken for particles
    • Custom FPS controller (Made during the jam)
    • Character collision with CharacterController
  • Aseprite
    • For 3D model textures and for enemy sprites
  • Blender
    • All the models and animations
    • The “shatter” effect of the enemy’s death is actually a mesh made in blender
  • AudioSauna
    • It was the best audio web application I found and it’s free for now

1 – Innovation
Well, while brainstorming for the game none of my ideas included innovation. It’s not like I don’t think it’s a necessary or important thing in games, just this was not the case, not with this game.
Here I really tried to “emulate” an old experience, some kind of nostalgic trip.

I think the only “innovation” was in the matter of HUD, I condensed everything around the hand, which in the end was kind of bad, I saw a lot of people only noticing the health and ammo bars at level 3 (of 5), even though this information appeared in the instruction Screen.

Capture   Instruction Screen

destto´p   In-game HUD

2 – Fun

Even fun being a subjective matter, I believe I get the half of the way of delivering a really fun experience.

The reason are mainly the level design and enemy AI.
– Fror the level design’s perspective the levels did not explore all the possibilities that it should. Considering weapons, movement and enemies.

-Now for the AI, even though there are 4 types of enemies(with distinct behaviours), in the end they all looked the same(probably due to a Level Design + AI flaw): the enemies almost always ended up trapped in a corridor type area forming a queue. Not cool.

ENIS1   Enemies

3 – Theme
Gosh…
the Idea I get in the brainstorm was, “this person will have a demon hand and it’ll change its shape accordingly with the kind of shots”, something like Resident Evil Birk kind of thing…
It turned out I could not animate a convincing transition between the hands and ended adding the “rune” kind of weapon indicator :(
I don’t think that this was the best way to approach a theme and there are a thousand ways to include shapeshifting as an actual gameplay feature. I should have spent more time on this matter.

re2-g3

4 – Graphic

  • Enemies
    I’m really happy with the enemies graphics, they look just in the way I intended, kind of gross, alien and demon. It was a really fast and straightforward process, I had the behaviours and I drew a sprite for each of them.
  • Level
    Some stuff worked well, some did not.
    I took too long to achieve something nice for the wall, but in the end it’s awfully repetitive.
    Even without much time left to spend on more level assets I still managed to make the “green tubes”, If it wasn’t for it the level would have been even blander.
    tube
  • Light
    on my first attempt each wall piece had 2 independent lights, the lights could be powered, blinking or off. Of course it screwed the performance ‘-‘
    I made the ambient base light a little brighter and distributed some random light points along the levels.
    I’m not happy with the results and with more time I would bake a carefully planned set of lights.
  • The Hand
    As it is the main feature of the game, I spent something around 3 hours testing around the hand, size, shape, colors.
    Some of the inspirations for the hand came from Hellboy and Devil May Cry.
    I’m happy with the results except for 2 issues.

    • 1 – I wanted it to look more gross almost disgusting and a little more slender.
    • 2 – I spent a lot of time making the “veins” to fit to the symbol on the palm and it’s not even visible in the game.

1 2 3 4

5 – Audio

I’m really proud of it, not because I think it’s good, but because it was my first attempt at making music.
Some people hated it, some people think it’s repetitive, but I really liked and I saw a guy on youtube really getting into the beat, so I’m happy :)

I just would add a little darker tone to the main phrase if I had more time.

GameJolt

I had the luck to be featured by GameJolt, in 3 days the game jumped from 20 to 2.2k plays.

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A lot of people is giving very useful feedbacks there and some people are making youtube videos of the game, it’s awesome because I can find exactly where each person is getting stuck, how many time it took to discover the game mechanics, which room is overpowered, etc.

For this reason I recommend everyone to put your games on GameJolt :)

g3

 

 

 

Thanks everyone for the support, I hope this will help in any way and if you want to know or want to suggest ANYTHING, just say it :)

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PLAY AND RATE HERE!

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