Posts Tagged ‘LD27’

Game bundle sale!

Posted by (twitter: @GameGrapeStudio)
Tuesday, December 30th, 2014 5:36 pm

High Flyer BackgroundGameGrape Studios Robotz Background

Hello and welcome to the  Holiday Sale! In this years sale you can get both High Flyer and Robotz for 80% OFF!

Regular Price: $10.00 USD

Sale Price: $1.99 USD

High Flyer is a game where you fly through many different levels while shooting down torrents and taking down anything that gets in your way!

Robotz is a game where you move around the map while taking down waves of robots and collecting coins and ammo! Survive as long as you can!

So what are you waiting for? Get High Flyer and/or Robotz today!

Both High Flyer and Robotz were Ludum Dare games.

Sale:  http://itch.io/s/1091/holiday-sale

High Flyer: http://gamegrape-studios.itch.io/high-flyer

Robotz: http://gamegrape-studios.itch.io/robotz

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Ludum Dare Results Comparison

Posted by (twitter: @gamepopper)
Tuesday, December 30th, 2014 6:29 am

So the results are in! So awesome to see the final scores and see what games got in overall, and see where everyone else’s results are on the rankings. Since this is my third successful Ludum Dare, I thought I’d try a little comparing to see how much I did better (or worse) at this point. Then for future Ludum Dare entries I can then add in those results and probably build a chart to see my progress.

The Results

Ludum Dare 27 (Ten Seconds) – 10 Second Paper Flight

Ludum Dare 29 (Beneath the Surface) – Under Maintenance

Ludum Dare 31 (Entire Game on One Screen) – Glow Drop

My Comments

So while the ranking don’t appear to have changed, the average score for most categories has improved. The only category to have gone down considerably over the three LDs was Humor, although in fairness since my game wasn’t intended to have humour so I could’ve omitted the category. I’m also one of the people that got 100% coolness which is an awesome surprise, it means I’m (technically) listed on the results page. At the moment I’m balancing University work and turning Glow Drop into an Android and Windows Phone release as Glow Drop DX. So hopefully you might see more from me in the future?

Thanks for Ludum Dare!

Jackton Factory: The Movie

Posted by (twitter: @Pitzik4)
Thursday, July 31st, 2014 1:46 am

Here’s a poster I made for a movie adaptation of my Ludum Dare 27 game, Jackton Factory. Of course, I have no plans to actually make this movie, but making the poster was pretty fun. I plan to include it in Spanner in the Works.

Jackton Factory: The Movie

How did they stretch 10 seconds into a feature-length film? Were there 700 characters?

On the subject of SitW, development is going pretty well. I ran into coder’s block for a couple of weeks, but I am very much back in action now. I’m currently working on making a level editor, which will be useful for me (Tiled is definitely not ideal for this game’s purposes!) and allow me to add Steam Workshop support. Eventually. Only time will tell if I’ll continue to run into inspiration problems for such long periods of time throughout the development process – I sure hope not.

In Vivo hits the market!

Posted by (twitter: @empyrealhell)
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 7:39 pm

After slaving away for months on the post-competition version of my Ludum Dare #27 entry, it’s finally here. A fair bit has changed since that 48-hour demonstration, and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. The core of the gameplay is the same. You still run around an alien UFO trying to figure out how to escape, alternating between a memory exploration and a frantic dash to achieve your goals in a very limited time window. The time limit changed for the sake of playability, 10 seconds just wasn’t enough time to get any meaningful play out of. There are a couple of new upgrades, and the aliens are all over the ship just waiting to gun you down if they catch sight of you.

Head to my website to download the demo or buy the full version

 

The long road I spent a lot of time working on this game to take it from a concept to a game I would be happy to release. When I compare the difference between the two versions it’s kind of amazing. The depth of gameplay that I wanted to present in the initial entry was far too much for 48 hours, and fortunately I realized that pretty fast. The version that I released last week has every feature that I originally planned to put into the competition entry, and between that and the improved graphics, it looks like I missed the mark on my time estimate by about 500 hours, give or take. Without further ado, here’s a rundown of what you can expect in the full version.

  • Less punishingly difficult. The time limit was increased from 10 seconds to 30, puzzles were made much more flexible so you can solve them in any way that makes sense, and the collision system now has rounded corners so you don’t get stuck on the terrain.
  • Drastically improved graphics. The resolution on all graphics was increased by a factor of four, there’s a lot more diversity in the environment and the aliens, and some shaders were implemented to add pretty effects like the clouds in memory mode.
  • Better music and sound. No more computer-generated sound effects that grate the ear, a full score of actual music in the background, and more sound effects for things that happen in game. It’s an even better improvement than the graphics.
  • A bigger, better map. The map is roughly four times the size of the one used in the competition entry, it features more dynamic objects to interact with, and has better segmentation to help you understand and navigate the space.
  • More upgrades! While the first upgrade was taken away and given to you as a default ability, the remaining four upgrades are still there, along with seven other upgrades ranging from teleportation to the ability to use drugs for status effects.

If you want the full details on everything that has happened since then, you can check out the development blog at my website. Thank you all for making my first ludum dare experience a great one, and giving me the kick I needed to finally take get past the prototype stage and release a game.

Spark: De Sacrificio is finished!

Posted by (twitter: @fullmontis)
Monday, January 6th, 2014 4:47 pm

“… And why should I care?”

Good question. Let me tell you a short story to give it to you.

 

Screenshot from Spark: De Sacrificio

 

Spark: De Sacrificio is a little project that stemmed from an old ludum dare entry I created for LD27. I was very excited with it back then, and had it all planned in my mind: a puzzle/platformer with exploration components. It felt like a cool thing to play, so I did a smallish implementation for the compo. I wanted to develop a complete game from the small prototype I created back then, but because of a few personal problems and my inability to focus on one thing for more than 48 hours, I dropped it.

It would have been the end of it if I didn’t get a hold of a copy of GameMaker back in November. I was curious to test this platform, and decided to brush some dust off Spark to recreate it in this bright new engine. I was really excited, and got a lot of work done in a short time. It started to look really amazing for what I was expecting. The game felt just as I wanted and it was interesting to play and explore.

But for some reason I felt reluctant to wrap the game up and send it on its journey through the Internet.

 

Screenshot from Spark: De Sacrificio

 

It took me a couple of weeks to pin down what was this dark feeling I was having towards releasing this small game. In the meanwhile, development got very slow. Staring at the game, replaying the same parts over and over started to feel painful. I caressed the possibility of leaving it in a drawer and forgetting about it more than once. The reason wasn’t that I didn’t like the project, but that I loved it way too much.

I was scared of what people would say about it. I’m not new about getting feedback on stuff, and I have a thick skin for hrash comments. But the reality is that I had put a lot more of myself in this game than I would have ever expected. It’s no use to have a thick skin if you have your most vulnerable parts of yourself out in the open. Spark isn’t just a game for me but more of a piece of myself I digitalized and put in a form that others can experience and live. As someone who is extremely reserved, this is terrifying: it’s like living an open door on my soul.

I knew that I had to push though it. On December the 30th, Spark: De Sacrificio was finished. I knew it wasn’t perfect, but it didn’t matter: I knew I had to close this loop and go on. So, here it is. Spark.

 

Screenshot from Spark: De Sacrificio

 

So, going back to the original question: why should you care about Spark: De Sacrificio?

Because it’s sincere.

I put all my passion and knowledge in this game. It’s not a great game, I know it. But I know it is unique, in its own weird way. As I said, even if you won’t notice, there is a lot of me in it.

Oh, and it’s free. But that was a given. See it as a present to other developers who really love this medium as much as I do.

If you are in for something different, challenging and (hopefully) touching, you may want to download it here. If you check it out, feel free to pour some feedback on my blog or my twitter account.

Thanks for reading these ramblings.

We’re in again~

Posted by (twitter: @ddrkirbyisq)
Thursday, December 12th, 2013 12:12 pm

DDRKirby(ISQ) and xellaya here; we’ll be joining Ludum Dare again this weekend!  This will be my 6th time doing LD (wow!) and the 2nd time that I’m pairing up with xellaya.

Last time we came out with Hyper Furball, which was pretty awesome (4th place overall, 1st in audio!), so I’m excited to see what happens this time around!

Goals for this time:

– Make awesome chiptune music (of course!).
– Do something different than the other 5 entries I’ve worked on.
– Work to both of our strengths again.
– Smaller scale, less stress, work less hard.  I know I say this every single time, but I keep on trying to overachieve anyways, ugh.  At least Hyper Furball involved very little level design and such, so that was a step in the right direction.  Still, I’d like to finish this comfortably in time.  Aim small, aim small, aim small!

I’ve rated 140 games. Time for a Best Of! (Part 3)

Posted by (twitter: @tolicious)
Sunday, September 15th, 2013 6:35 pm

I’ve previously done two “Best of” lists of the games I enjoyed the most so far – you can find them here and here. I always planned to do this third part, but then life happened – and now at last, with one day of judging left, I present to you this final part!

So one last time, in no particular order, here are some more entries that I think nobody should miss out on:

 

pleading-rainPleading Rain by Brassawiking
You aren’t really sure what happened, but standing in the rain with a gun to your head and two people shouting at you, it’s quite clear that you probably fucked up. This is a dialogue game, fast-paced and intense: You try to figure out how to get out of this situation, and until you do, you’ll have to stall without spilling any unwanted proverbial beans. It has no less then 9 different endings and some of the best writing I’ve seen this LD. (Two tips: You can click on parts of the images when you “Think”, and sometimes you need to click on more than one part until a new dialogue option pops up.)

 

flooded-dungeons
Flooded Dungeons by ripatti
A super-polished dungeon crawler where your primary concern are not the many monsters or the riches, but the impending watery death flooding the higher levels. Fly, you fool! Oh, but maybe grab some of the riches while you’re at it. This game feels so finished, I stand by my suspicion that ripatti secretly made a time machine for this LD. Or cloned himself. (Then again, I guess this level of dedication would make up for the cheating.)

 

10013-milliseconds10013 milliseconds by mortus
This is a short adventure game with a Myst-like vibe: You are a technician, and not a happy one, because an explosion in the bunker you are in destroyed some pretty important equipment and locked down all the doors. Your only hope: A distress signal. The computer hasn’t got much power left though. Oh, how I love this game: The super clean graphics, the sound effects, the music. The mood they create together so dense, I feel like I can touch it. (And if you still aren’t sold: It also features a fox!)

 

ecostarEcoStar vs Aeronox – DreamTeam
EcoStar vs Aeronox is the best side-scrolling shooter I’ve seen at this LD. The seasons have been greatly sped up and invaders attack – luckily you’re up for the defence! The enemies are element-coded according to the seasons with strength and weaknesses, and you can get an element shield and charge an elemental attack additionally to your normal one. Great music, wonderful graphics and a lot of R-type-like fun!

 

antidoteAntidote by Antidote
You’ve come to get the golden idol, but you’ve been poisoned – quick, make your way out! And while you’re at it, grab a lot of riches to make it worth your while. Another super-polished game – this time in the jam section, being a perfect example of what you can achieve with a team of dedicated people. Everything fits together, and shooting, blasting and running through the dungeon while picking up shiny jewels feels great.

 

tai10 Second Tai by Teejay5
A short game about oversleeping, flying with jetpacks and fighting sharks (oops, spoilers). While it’s really rather on the short side and it’s missing music, for me it was pretty hilarious. There should be more ridiculous physics-based games. And I can’t get over the faces Tai makes! They are just so well done, haha.

 

clocked-inClocked In by rylgh
An avoider-type game with some pretty neat design choices. It just feels extremely smooth, everything about it – even when you lose a heart, it just feels like is factored into the normal flow of play. It also features a flawless and clean visual presentation, a nice minimalistic soundtrack and great level design.

 

 

Did you like my recommendations? If so, maybe you could rate and comment on my game too. I’d be really happy about that!
 
Lost-in-the-DarknessLost in the Darkness by TobiasW
Your three friends are scattered in this nightmarish world, turned into creatures of darkness – and you’re their only hope. Follow the music and save them! It won’t be easy though: The world is in constant change. Be ready. And don’t stay in the darkness for too long…

 

Pinokio and Juliet 2113: post mortem

Posted by
Sunday, September 15th, 2013 1:31 pm

so, LD27 is about to End (with capital “E”), and I think it is a right time for a post mortem. so…

worm-txt

the team:

ibis_ibis – art lead

caryoscelus – art, music, additional programming

lonely – art

kibertoad – lead programming

spirulence –  additional programming

pencil – game design, project lead

we speculated about the theme of LD27 the night before the jam. “10 seconds” was far ahead of all over themes, so we discussed, what we can do with it. first of all, we discarded all concepts, where you have to collect/shoot-up as many as possible in 10 seconds. with that the idea of “you pick something, you get additional 10 seconds” was discarded as well. I came up with this fight situation, where you sort of get “bullet-time” to analyze the enemy and plan your moves. in my head it should have been both intuitive and tactical and keep the player under the pressure – like a real fight. and when the jam started and the theme was “10 seconds” we were prepared. kinda…

2

 

UPs and DOWNs:

UPs:

+ art. I think our incredibly awesome artists made a pretty nice job. unfortunately some of it did not make it into the game.

+ music and voiceover.  eternal gratitude to ibis_ibis for her angel’s voice ^_^

+ gameplay. it seems to me that we almost accomplished what we intended: tactics+intuition. despite the fact, that we argued about 500 hours about how the game should look like and be played. more of gameplay in DOWNs.

+ story. in my opinion, it is nice even for a short/simple game to have a story. our story has two endings! 😉 (not counting “you die” ending)

DOWNS:

– gameplay (yet again)… let’s take it step by step:

– overwhelming variety of actions. we simply did not have enough time to make it right: leveling/unlockable moves, so we just threw everything in right from the start.

– perks. post-jam version has them, jam – does not. yet again – the dreaded Time (with capital “T”).

– no detailed tutorial or in-game help. see the “T’ cause >_<

– to sum up: it happens to be intuition > tactics, but it is not that bad. or is it..?

hit locations

 

all in all, it was my first time as a lead and I naively hope, that I did not terribly fail *_*

enjoy the game, feedback of any kind is always highly appreciated, thanks for reading.

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=7122

Cf! :E

Unseen: Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @NeoBlue)
Thursday, September 12th, 2013 5:56 am

Unseen Title Screen

(http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=24994)

Work on our game has been finished for a couple of weeks now, but I wanted to go back and take a little bit of time to review the ups and downs of the project.

 

What Went Right

 Top Ideas

  • Brainstorming Session  I think our brainstorming session on the first night of Ludum Dare really helped us to get off to a great start. Once we knew what the theme was going to be we set one rule: “no ideas can be rejected during brainstorming.” This led to some really fun discussions about ideas we might have initially dismissed. This was key to our success with the project because our ultimate idea “counting to 10 perfectly using your internal clock” was one that we were about to pass on were it not for the brainstorming rule!
  • Project Scope Management  When we were in the process of narrowing down our concept list we made it a point to factor in the estimated work required to reach the core vision for each idea up for review. This helped us to eliminate a few ideas that the team was really excited about, but didn’t feel we could fully execute in the game jam’s time span. This actually caused us to pass over one of our top game concepts involving a Street Fighter parody where the player needed to avoid an opponent that they had a life lead over for the last 10 seconds of a match. (Maybe we’ll revisit this one later!)
  • Visual & Sound Design  We knew that our basic gameplay concept was really simple and we’d have to work hard to sell the game’s atmosphere with our visual and audio design. I feel that we were ultimately able to succeed at this. In a game where the player character spends most of the game’s duration with their eyes closed, a lot of the experience has to be carried by the audio. Holly did a fantastic job on this with an ultra-creepy sound design accentuated with 3D audio positioning. This, combined with the creepy introduction laid out by our artist Mieko’s artwork created the nice “ghost story” atmosphere that helped to sell our really simplistic gameplay mechanic.

 

What Went Wrong

Language set to anything other than Japanese or English? NO INSTRUCTIONS FOR YOU!

Language set to anything other than Japanese or English?
NO INSTRUCTIONS FOR YOU!

  • No Time for QA!  In our final push to wrap the project up before the deadline, we did essentially no QA on the game. As a result, the very first build that we uploaded still had a bunch of debug features turned on and included a pretty nasty bug that prevented the game’s text from showing up properly for anyone whose system language was set to anything other than English or Japanese. Not only that, but anyone that was savvy enough to mess with the WSAD keys in our first build would’ve found that they could simply turn around around run out of the haunted house!
  • No Time For Cool Stuff!  Running short on time led to us having to cut some of the ideas that we had from the original concept. While we were able to get a core set of six endings in, we had to dump several other planned outcomes for the game. Since the core gameplay is so simple and success likely requires several re-attempts, we were planning to have a large number of different endings to keep the player entertained while they retried the game. Some of these even included fun joke endings for when you hit very specific finish times. Ultimately, all of these variants were dropped from the project and failing to get these in was probably the biggest letdown for the team.

 

This was the first ever game jam for our entire team and the whole experience was pretty amazing. We’re all really proud of what we were able to create together. There’s nothing quite like taking a crazy pile of ideas and actually bringing something to life. Thanks again to everyone who stopped by to check out our game and congratulations to everyone who participated in Ludum Dare 27!

Ludum-Dare-27-Complete

FSCK Audio: A Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @@darfnagel)
Saturday, September 7th, 2013 9:33 am

So I’m not a regular poster here, but I’ve decided to throw my hat in the game to give an insight as to how my process worked and the good things, and the things to learn from that happen throughout the weekend. I never did a post-mortem for my first Jam so I’ll probably reference the first game I worked on, Traffic Jam.

So here we go!

*———————————————————————————————————————————*

The Good Things/Retrospective Things to Learn From

1. Limiting the gear you bring:

I’m a musician outside of doing audio work with iiechapman and so I’ve collected alot of gear to make the music I do. In our first Jam, I pulled out all the stops thinking that I’d be able to make these huge masterpieces or at the very least use my guitar, my bass, all my effects pedals, my keyboard, my e-kit, my djembe, and so on and so forth. Turns out when you’re in a tiny office and only have 72 hours, you don’t get around to using it all, and it makes for a smaller place to work. With FSCK, I cut down my rig. I brought one bass and one guitar. Simple and effective, but by using the onboard amps and effects, Drummer, and other audio software, I was able to cut my production time down without the hassle of trying to use so much equipment.

2. Knowing your software:

This one sounds like it goes without saying, but with Traffic Jam I went above and beyond what my at the time knowledge of my software was (Logic) and had to revert back to a more basic application (Garageband). At the end of the day I pushed out a working audio track that fit the game, but I wasn’t proud of it. Going into working on FSCK I had worked with a very good friend of mine to learn more about  Logic and how to navigate through the application, and I think the quality of my work shows.

3. Not going in with a plan/Going in with a plan:

I know what you’re thinking. “This doesn’t make any sense”, but the beauty lies within the counter-intuituveness. We were kinda blindsided by the LD 26 theme (Minimalism) and we had this whole plan going into the weekend of what the game and the music was going to be like. That left alot of scrambling to come up with fresh ideas and to figure out what to do with the music, if we were going to have any! LD 27 rolls up, and I go into the weekend with a clear and open head, and as soon as we sit down to figure out what our strategy was, I have so many ideas just pouring out of my head. Now whether this was to my planning method this time around or the theme, who knows. I’m just going to say it was all on purpose.

The Things to Learn From

1. Running out of things to do:

No I won’t say I just sat there and watched the rest of my team plug away hard at work at certain points in the weekend (Although, I did manage to find time to watch all 11 episodes of The Bravest Warriors and the first two of Bee and Puppy Cat).

That being said, this happens from time to time:

IMG_0218

Being the audio guy and either calling dibs on making all the sound or being varied enough in your skills to help either with programming or art will cut down on your down time. Going into LD28, I plan on learning some more design software to allow me to help out with the art and not find myself trying to do impersonations of Catbug.

2. Make sure the gear you bring is good:

So I’m packing up my gear, getting ready to head to iiechapmans office for the weekend, I’m pumped! I have my bass, my guitar, my computer, my interface, what am I missing?

My patch cables are at my drummers house…..

So I head up to the loft and rifle through my old touring box of gear hoping to find a cable at least 3 feet long. As luck would have it I find one and all is well! But as many of us know, Luck is a bitch and no one really likes her for very long. I get to recording some quick tunes and I realize that the cable I have is old and the wiring is most likely starting to fray on the inside, and so I have to be very careful not to let my heart beat within 20 feet of it or it will cut out. Could I have asked iiechapman to borrow one? Could I have run to guitar center and bought a new one? Sure! Did I? Nah. “It’s not that bad” I said “I’ll make it through the weekend” I thought. And I did! It did mean being careful and having to re-record a few things though, and ultimately, I should have kicked aside my pride and done the more humble thing.

And finally

Things To Remember

This weekend is about having fun and being creative. So be goofy, laugh and have fun! With Traffic Jam, we brought a friend in to help with sound effects among other things, but for about an hour we were just yelling the most random lines into a microphone until iiechapman was in tears and had to stop coding because he couldn’t see the screen. With FSCK we spent the same amount of time just making random noises trying to figure out the walking sound for Bit, our main character, and again, proceeded to crack up at our own expense. And I’m sure anyone watching the feed thought we had gone mad.

Having the support of two of my greatest friends is the best I could ask for during a competition like this. You sit there and either look at your code all day, or listen to this song you wrote, or this character you’ve drawn up, and you start to miss little things that could be tweaked or fixed. Having someone there to be a fresh set of eyes and ears makes you see  those flaws and ultimately makes everything so much better. And if you do something completely outside of the box, they can help reel you in and give you some perspective on why “We probably don’t need that harpsichord solo in a game about computers…”

Plus, you get to laugh and have fun with the people you enjoy spending time with.

After LD27 and all the hard work we put into FSCK, I’m excited for the next and can’t wait to see what we come up with.

Take a listen to the sounds from FSCK and other songs here:

Distance the Earth has Traveled

Bit needs your help! Play FSCK: A Hard Drive Story here:

FSCK

And check out iiechapmans Post-Mortem on his side of the game here:

Second Dare Down, FSCK!!!

Reload Postmortem

Posted by
Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 10:53 am

It’s been more than one week since the end of the last LD and we haven’t made a postmortem or a post about our game yet. Here it is!

This was our first Ludum Dare (and finished game) but we are really proud of what we made in 72 hours. It was a great experience, very fun, and we are thinking about making a new version of the game with more content.

Our game

reload level

One of Reload levels

Reload is about a crazy scientist who creates a robot to conquer the world. However, this robot is only a few centimeters tall and has 10 seconds of battery. Through a puzzle/platform level design where speed is as important as reflexion, the player must reach a teleporter without dying.

We implemented several elements the last day, such as turrets and fans. Our artist did a really good job by animating all the possible states of the robot. About three hours before the end, we decided to add an intro and a boss. We did not have time to make a boss, but we have an introduction scene featuring a crazy scientist!

Reaload intro

The introduction scene of the game

What went right:

  • We had loads of ideas about the theme. We were 3 but we decided on the theme in the first few minutes, and we were immediately ready to work.
  • Our team (a developer + an artist + a game designer and audio creator) worked very well.
  • The first hours were very productive. In less than 8 hours, we already had a playable game.
  • There wasn’t any big bug that took me hours to fix. They were a some bugs, but they got fixed really easily.
  • My sister cooked waffles for us. You need energy to create a video game.
  • We had a lot of fun :)

What went wrong:

  • I did not have a computer with windows so I had to ask for help to make a windows version of the game. Happily, the LD community is the best and someone created a windows executable within an hour.
  • I thing that we didn’t work very much the second day, but we really needed to rest.
  • Our second developer would have been useful, but he could not be here in time :(

Can’t wait for the next LD!

 

 

 

ReTurtle post-mortem

Posted by
Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013 7:29 am

I had a run at a few LDs before, but every time something came up that didn’t leave me the space to flesh out my concepts (which also happened to be quite ambitious most of the time). Between the last LD and this one I gave in and picked up Unity. For a while the proprietary/closed nature of it and the scene/gui-centric design scared me (as did the reporting of information about my machine during installation). Unity itself clicked with me quite quickly after I started doing things with it, and it is just what I needed for prototyping. I start (way too) many small experiments, so I want something that allows me to easily setup lightweight projects. In regards to that I only wish Unity would let me setup an empty project with metafiles and text-based assets from command line.

Also “error CS1061: Type `int’ does not contain a definition for `f’ and no extension method `f’ of type `int’ could be found (are you missing a using directive or an assembly reference?)” some day will make me break something.

Visionary

I designed ReTurtle) as some kind of puzzle-shooter. You would have 10 seconds to beat a boss, so you need to find out how to do enough damage to him in the time. To make things interesting you would record 10 8 6 5 characters, one after another, where the coordination would give the game some depth.

At first I was worried that coordination would be trivial. To fix this, friendly fire would make the player have to actually adapt the path for each incarnation to keep them out of each other’s aim. That doesn’t necessarily make for non-trivial coordination. Every character could still have his own small space he would stay in and just move a little now or then to avoid attacks. So it became the enemy’s job to make them move. I designed a set of attacks to get this done:

  • Motion: He would move everywhere once, and cover some space with bullets, so the whole group would be pushed around the stage, having to avoid bumping into each other.
  • The Grid: Having attacks that separate the playfield into cells would force the player to pick different safe spots for his individual characters if he wants to keep shooting at the boss.
  • Grenade: The grenade aims for the current position of every player. This way you have to consider where your previous incarnations will move to, while picking your path, which adds another aspect to the puzzle. The second use of it is that it avoids any completely safe spots.

Now having an idea of the base concept, I wanted to add a bit of depth, so I added two mechanics.
pm_tutorial

  • Gun Charge: Friendly fire is already there to keep the player’s finger off the trigger, but I didn’t want to make him feel bad about it, so I added a small challenge. While not firing, the gun charges for one second. Firing once the gun has fully charged does quite a bit more damage but getting the most damage out of it requires focus. This creates space to improve.
  • Shield: You would have a shield that reflects attacks (by either player or enemy), making them more powerful in the process. To make things more interesting the shield is not able to reflect projectiles right back (which would leave some space for abuse). A frontal deflect would just destroy the projectile, while bouncing it around at 90° would maximize damage.

The numbers were designed so you can do 25% damage with one character through rapid fire. This means you need four of your five incarnations to beat the boss that way. Using all perfectly timed charged shots lets you raise that to 34%, which is just enough to win with three characters, but requires to not waste time between the shots (and of course every shot to hit). An optimal reflect doubles the projectile’s power, so reflecting a charged shot adds the equivalent of another on top of it (without needing charge). This way the first character can replace the third, if all shots are perfectly reflected by the second. So every mechanic was designed to cut one character by perfect use (note: due to projectile flight-time it probably doesn’t, but gets close).

Back to earth

For the first day I planned to make all core mechanics work and do all the visuals. That’s quite risky, since I couldn’t tell whether the parts would work together at all. So after day one I had incarnations being able to get recorded, shoot and reflect shots. The boss just sat there and fired a shot straight down now and then. Modeling the boss took me longer than it should have and he didn’t look much like my sketch (I suck at blender). To make up the time the player built from a few 2D-Layers without any animation. The stage suffered the same fate. Planned were multiple layers of tech-y plates and a stripe in the center with numbers running through it to show you the remaining time. But to close out day one, I made what is in the game now instead.

Schedule for day two was boss-actions, menu and intuitivation (that’s a word now), sound was pushed to what would be left. After attaching a hitbox to the boss and making him move through the stage, I could finally test some of the feel. To my surprise coordinating characters already was more interesting than I expected at that point. One of the challenges I didn’t think of is that under pressure one tends to react to an attack the same way every time. This makes the act of creating different paths for all characters challenging by itself, since any time you have to rely on reactions you end up in the line of fire for another incarnation.

Fireballs were already there from day one, so I only had to implement lasers and grenades, which went smooth. Unfortunately not everything went this well. With most gameplay in place, shield just didn’t work out. I boosted its value by making the scaling multiply. That doesn’t help if you can’t set it up though. It’s still too powerful due to a bug, but quite useless for proper gameplay.

pm_easy

What threw my schedule off was the upgrade for player-visuals that got pushed over from day one. I wanted only the ‘head’ to move and the game also needed something to point at the currently controlled character. Some information on the charge-state and something to show the number of an incarnation was critical too. With all of this done I was already closing in on the deadline.

I still had to add a menu, and link everything together. So I threw together the atrocity that is the main menu, added some hit-detection for clicking, and moved handling of the game-progress to the new scene. That left me just enough time to set up a dropbox-account until the submission-hour started. What fell off was sound and any kind of ingame-instructions, including any hints on what you have to do on the main menu.

Conclusion

I’m mostly ok with how the game turned out, I got to play with a few mechanics and they didn’t rip each other apart. It is desperately in need of instructions, some tuning for the core and an overhaul in regards to presentation. I gave myself a week to tweak everything, before I let the game go and focus on other prototypes. The time is up and I’ve added the post-compo-version you might want to try after playing the compo-version. You could also try to beat these informal challenge-times in the post-compo-version: under 6 seconds as a ‘silver’-mark and under 5.5 seconds as ‘gold’-mark. I’ll follow up with an overview of the changes soon, this post is long enough already.

6 games you should try… if it’s not already done.

Posted by
Monday, September 2nd, 2013 1:59 am

I played and rated exactly 100 games. Here’s are six games you should try. I played a lot of others great games but I would like to present you games who haven’t yet a lot of ratings.

Hyper Furball

 

It’s a really fun action game where you can increase caracteristics of the main character. All the arts, audio and scenario are awesome.

Way of the gun

You’re a sort of cow-boy who have to get revenge for his brother in killing enemies during duels. These ones are really full of tension. And the first part of the game before duels is really interesting too.

Too many bullets

This arcade game has really good mechanics and can become very addictive.

Stoppage Time

It’s a good reflection game even if you are not a football fan. I spend a lot of time on it. Too bad there’s only four scenarios.

The Lost Fleet

I love the gameplay here, where you have to delay some of the ships at precise moments to avoid bullets

Highway Hero

It’s a good strategy game but a bit difficult. It’s really interesting though.

 

It was my 6 favourite games. You can try my entry too if you wish : The Curse of Chronos.

I’ve rated 100 games. Time for a Best Of! (Part 2)

Posted by (twitter: @tolicious)
Sunday, September 1st, 2013 2:36 pm

Like I wrote in my previous post, I’ve rated 100 games now. There were a lot awesome games in there – and a few that I think nobody should miss out on.

So again, in no particular order, here are some more entries that I think everyone should’ve played:

 

probe-teamPROBE TEAM by Andrew Shouldice
If you play only one game from my list, take this one. You are playing a swarm of drones, one by one, tasked with exploring and repairing. Even if your current drone fails, you’ll likely have explored the perimeter. And that’s where the game really shines: Exploration. You want to know what’s around the next corner, what the probes discover next! Together with the shiny visuals, the soundscape and the small bits of plots, this game manages to create an incredible atmosphere. It’s my favourite from the whole LD27 so far and I wouldn’t be surprised if it wins!

 

royal-defenestratorRoyal Defenestrator by BasmanovDaniil
You are the Royal Defenestrator, tasked with… I am not sure what you are actually tasked with. But it seems that the queen isn’t very happy, and if she isn’t happy with something, there’s really only one choice what to do with it! There also only one word to describe this game: “hilarious”. Combine a few pretty fine jokes, a lot of emergent humor, a simple clean style and perfectly fitting music and you get this game!

 

the-only-oneThe only one by JaJ
Ah, The only one. I don’t want to spoil anything, I think you’ve got to play this one for yourself. The writing is excellent and compelling. I felt sad and touched after I played it, and it’s been a while since a game did that to me, especially one so short and created in only 48 hours! The 2 color look works well (which is pretty hard to pull off in my opinion), and even if that’s not your thing: This game is really worth playing.

 

the-duellistsThe Duellists by jay griffin
This game in one word: “Polish”. Oh, and also “gorgous pixel art”, although I suppose that’s three words. Contrary to “Way of the Gun” from my Best Of (Part 1), the core gameplay here is actually about duelling. The mechanic is simple and fun and everything works smoothly. I just wish he would’ve added music – but then again, he already announced a post-compo version.

 

detective-awesomepantsDetective Awesomepants by xel
I’ll let xel do this one himself: “Experience the epic adventure of Detective Awesomepants as he tackles difficult cases assigned to him by the world police! Travel to exotic locations. Meet unique characters. Put bad guys in jail! All in a days work for the greatest detective around.”
So – it’s basically murder mystery in 10 seconds with super quirky characters. Short, sweet, extremely fun!

 

legend-of-epikourosLegend of Epikouros by Erhune
It seldom happens, but sometimes there’s a game that’s not that much fun to play, but I’m super excited about nonetheless. This is one of those. The concept is as simple as it is brilliant: It’s an adventure RPG with a long play time – but each player session only lasts 10 seconds. When you start, a lot will have already happened to our hero Epikourous, dictated by other players, and you’ll watch his story until it’s finally your turn to play him. What will you do with your 10 seconds? I really hope this one gets a post-compo version!

 

 

Did you like my recommendations? If so, maybe you could rate and comment on my game too. I’d be really happy about that!
 
Lost-in-the-DarknessLost in the Darkness by TobiasW
Your three friends are scattered in this nightmarish world, turned into creatures of darkness – and you’re their only hope. Follow the music and save them! It won’t be easy though: The world is in constant change. Be ready. And don’t stay in the darkness for too long…

 

PS: I rate/comment everybody who rates/comments my game – so if you’d like one of those, that would be a better way than to ask for it in the comments here 😉

Choice Matters Postmortem

Posted by
Sunday, September 1st, 2013 4:29 am

Once again, decided to enter Ludum Dare just few days before the competition started.
To get ready, wrote one basic idea for each of the selected themes.
Unlike the previous LD26, this time i couldn’t spend all of my time working on the game due to some family meetings, so i had to change my initial plans slightly to make the game like a point & click, instead of a classic adventure game. My LD26 game was really longer, but im more happy with this LD game :)

gamepics1
Play and rate Choice Matters

Stuff that went Right:
Point&click change (Did the game interesting)
Code organization (Could add new rooms and objects easily)
Music and sound speed (Got music and sounds done in less than 2 hours)
Graphics style (At first wanted to do it realistic, but due to the tight timeframe and the social breaks, decided to do a shadowed boxy and colorful style)

Stuff to improve on the next LD:
Graphics took too long to do (After the shadow matted renders, had too much shadows info around and had to manually clean each rendered object)
Had to think all the possible interactions before (Half of the code about objects is really dirty because i didn’t think about many interactions before)
Timelapse sucks (Gotta take more pics of the process)
It’s Simple, We Kill The Batman (Gotta try to write full story before to add more references during the game)

timelapse

Hope you enjoyed my game :)

What a competition…

Saturday, August 31st, 2013 5:50 pm

This is my second time at ludum dare. It was funny, it was challenging, it was exhausting. Perfect weekend!

I’ve seen a lot of very good games in the field. Some of the games are so good that I hope the developers will do some more finishing to their games… Here are some games you definitely should have played this LD 😀

Love ya and hope you will and rate my (modest) game too ♥ ♥ ♥

 

 

Proletarian Ninja X

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=2982

 

Dinosaur Jr. vs the 1960’s

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=22858

 

Time Annex

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=6762 (Best puzzle game ever)

 

Clockwork Cat

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=14266 (so cute)

 

Flooded Dungeons

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=15853 (well this is a fantastic dungeon crawler)

 

Detective Awesomepants (Very cool title)

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=12874 (This is one of the best games at this LD)

 

Graviten – cool puzzle platformer

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=16151

 

Hello Dr. Steiner (COOL NAME)

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=7971

 

Duke Dashington (most polished game this ld)

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=11391

 

ROBOT PLANET (Cool art, nice gameplay)

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=8631

 

The strangest game I’ve played this ld:  

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=27818 (because this idea is matchless) THX… so cool Idea!

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