Posts Tagged ‘LD27’

I’ve rated 100 games. Time for a Best Of! (Part 1)

Posted by (twitter: @tolicious)
Saturday, August 31st, 2013 4:02 pm

So yeah, I’ve rated 100 games now. I wish I could rate more, but I seem to have the tendency to write detailed feedback. It takes up so much time!

Anyway: I’m in awe of this community. So much creativity and talent! And there are some gems that I think nobody should miss. There are a lot of those, so I’ll split it in multiple parts. In no particular order:

 

10 Seconds Before the World Ends by Lustdante
You’re a scientist trying to save the world which ends in (you probably guessed it!) 10 seconds. Luckily you have a suit that doesn’t only stop time, but allows you to move around in the meantime! Use debris as platforms, promenade under deadly obstacles and activate time again in the right moments to let it create a passage for you. Everything about this game is awesome, and it feels strangely great walking in a frozen world.

 

Low-BatteryLow Battery by RHY3756547
Hunting for treasure as a robot felt never more franti- WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED. This game is hard as hell, but even while losing I had a lot of fun. Shiny graphics, totally over the top effects and a kick-ass soundtrack completes the set.

 

Rebound-ReconRebound Recon by TheHermit
Your drone stole the industry secrets you were looking for – now you just need to get away! There’ll be no room for mistakes: And that’s where your drones advanced predictive software comes into play. It allows you to plan your route before the drone executes it. This is the best puzzle game I’ve played this Ludum Dare! The controls feel a little sluggish until you get used to them – I recommend you deal with this, the game is definitely worth it.

 

Way of the Gun by vrld
Way of the Gun is a… dialogue/bantering game? Wait, what? I won’t tell you why, the intro can do that much better – what I can tell you though is that this game features pleasing graphics, great music, an interesting mood, superb dialogue, a lot of quirky humor and some funny surprises.

 

Clockwork-CatClockwork Cat by patrickgb
A cute cat with a big wrench and an even bigger clock – what more could you need to make a great game? Maybe an extremely smooth flow? Soothing music? Small clever puzzles? Well, if you agree, you’re in luck – this game features all of that. Its only downside is it’s shortness, but that’s hardly a reason to pass it up!

 

Insert-picture-hereCrappydoodle by superjoebob
No picture for this one? Yep – I really have no idea how to depict it pleasingly in 120×85 pixels. Which is a bit ironic, because Crappydoodle is a game about pictures. It’s basically Pictionary on speed with random strangers – what’s not to like? Don’t try it though, because it’s addicting. No really, please don’t click the link.

 

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, resist the darkness and save them!

Oxy Post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @hbocao)
Saturday, August 31st, 2013 11:53 am

Hey there,

I made a little game called Oxy (please give some feedback) and here it’s its postmortem.

The background

I like games and I play a lot of them. I got into programming because I wanted to make one, but never finished any worth showing project.

The Beginning

I wasn’t going to enter LD. I was only waiting for the theme announcement and I was just going to play around. I had no idea of what tools to use or how to make it. The theme was out around friday at 23h where I live and I stayed up until 2h in the morning trying to think of something to start. All I got was an “old” idea that could be adapted to the theme, but it didn’t feel right. So I went off to bed and started thinking about giving up.

The Concept

The basic idea of 2 divers in an underwater cave only hit Saturday morning. From this moment on I had a blast of ideas. Some of them were good and others, totally crap. Like the idea of moving the 2 characters at same time. I’m so glad I didn’t push it. It would ruin what become the best decision I took. Finally I got to the idea of having the 2 characters, but one of them would be unconscious and would be in need to be dragged around. Both would be in a underwater lab that would need 2 people in different positions at the same time to push the buttons to open doors. The only thing that I was certain about it, was [SPOILER-select to read] that Dave wouldn’t make to the end alive. My main goal was to make the player feel attached to Dave and then, well, kill him. [/SPOILER]

The bad

  • Instructions: I think I could have made a better job at explaining the game to the player. I made the “title”, “game over” and “win screen” in a heartbeat before the due time. I almost forgot to include the controls.
  • Planing: I hadn’t planned anything at all. Not even whether I was going to participate or not. That made difficult to polish some ideas. Next time, I hope to be more prepared.
  • Short: This is kinda good for the competition, but I wish I did more story-wise. I wanted to create a connection between Dave and the player, which some people got it, but I think I could have done a better job here. It feels a little forced how it all happens.
  • Difficulty: Well, of course I’m the master of my own game, but there’s other people in the world, with different skills and patience. Once you died, you had to go through all again. As some user stated, it felt like a chore (even if at the end it was a rewarding one). Some people suggested some sort of checkpoint but I think that would break the immersion. It just needed to be a little more easier.

The good

  • Finished: Hell yeah. I f****** did it! I finished something that I’m not afraid to show. \o/
  • Music and sound: Many users loved the music and so do I. I was very lucky to find the Circuli app. I spent a bunch of hours playing with many music generators (because I have no talent), but none of them felt right. I like how I made the sound effects (the 2 of them haha) fits with the music and ambient.
  • Mood: The music really sets it, but I think that the little narrative and dilemma makes it full circle, even with the short duration.
  • Controls: Even while I failed at explaining them, they were pretty easy to master and they felt right.
  • When Dave dies, the game continues: I think this was best design decision that I made. Because when it happens you think “it’s over!”, and then it’s not over, but you have to drag the dead body of your friend. Not everybody got a deeper thought about it in this “silly game with puzzles”, but that’s what I was aiming for, so I’m glad that some people noticed and thought about it.

If I had more time

  • Graphics: I really can’t draw as I stated in my entry post, but I know I could make, at least, the scenery look better and not THAT amateur and generic.
  • WASD: I completely forgot to include these keys. I planned to do it, but I just forgot.
  • Story: I think a better background story for both characters would make it easier to achieve my storytelling goals.
  • More and better puzzles: Well, that’s pretty much it. More and better puzzles. :)
  • Two endings: I wanted to make two endings: [SPOILER MAYBE-select to read] One if you crossed the final door with Dave and another if you didn’t.[/SPOILER MAYBE]

Future

I really liked my idea, but the execution was mediocre to good, I guess. So I intend to take this to another level. Make it a full game. I hope to do so.

Final thoughts

I had a wonderfull time. It was an intensive, scary, stressed and fun weekend. I finally finished something to be proud of. And people got it and liked it and this feels so good. This little experiment incentivated me to push more and harder now. I have met some incredible minds behind the games I rated so far and I’m excited to keep in touch.

Thanks for reading and please, pretty please give some feedback. :)

Hyper Furball!

Posted by (twitter: @ddrkirbyisq)
Friday, August 30th, 2013 1:05 pm

If you haven’t already, please play and rate our game, Hyper Furball!

Our title screen.  Cute, huh?

 

This is my 5th Ludum Dare entry, and my second time working together with my artist xellaya.  Things came together really nicely, and I’m really proud at what we managed to do in the 72 hours.  Here’s what the game looks like:

Scratch that mushroom!

 

Let’s go over what went well and not as well this time around…

 

 

What went well:

Settling on a good concept
We threw quite a few ideas around before settling on our sidescrolling RPG with the “hyper mode” mechanic.  Initially we were thinking about doing a Warioware style 10-second minigame collection (nothing new, but probably still fun), and were also seriously considering doing something along the lines of Off the Leash.  The idea thee was that you keep running to the right and have various obstacles and powerups that slow you down and speed you up, and you have 10 seconds to reach each checkpoint.  I was all set to start working on that when xellaya pointed out that there really wasn’t anything new about what we were making.  I thought about it some more and I agreed that it probably…wasn’t that exciting.  Friday night came and went and we still weren’t sure what we wanted to make, but eventually my train of thought went to “we should make the 10 seconds as intense and crazy as possible”, and from there I got the idea of a side-scroller where hyper mode basically involves you steamrolling a whole bunch of enemies and leveling up a bunch.  It ended up working really well, and I think it uses the theme in a way that’s clear, functional, yet non-cliche.  Awesome.

Liberal copy-pasting of code
There’s kind of a delicate balance when it comes to high-speed coding.  You don’t want to be clean and neat with everything, because it just takes too much time, and you’re only working with your code for one weekend anyways (not to mention, I’m the only coder here)…but you don’t want to be -so- messy that you end up introducing bugs and making things hard for yourself.  I ended up copying a lot of code from my LD26 entry Minimalist Mayhem, which I also did in Flashpunk, and that sped things up a lot, as I already had code for flashing the screen (with fadeout), and I didn’t have to think about the proper way to create/recycle objects in Flashpunk or anything like that.  There was also just a lot of one-off code that ended up getting duplicated, like the code for the parallax backgrounds–after doing that once, I just copy-pasted it each time xellaya finished a new set of backgrounds and I didn’t even have to think about it.  Yes, messy, but as long as you’re careful, it all works, and it’s fast.

Messy?  You bet.  But I didn't have to think about it.

Messy?  You bet.  But it meant not having to think about it at all.

Polish!
So many, so many Ludum Dare games are lacking in polish, but it makes such a big difference.  It’s what makes your game seem AWESOME.  That’s why it’s so important to pick something that you can execute easily, because once you finish the main execution, you can spend all the rest of your time making you game look pretty and fancy and smooth.  Screen transitions, sound effects, cleaning up your UI…all these nice little things really add up.  I’m really proud of the intro and title screen, for example–first impressions really count!  I was really excited when I put in xellaya’s graphics for the title and synced it all with the music…so proud!  Did I have to implement a jukebox screen with scrolling backgrounds (that cycle through the 4 different levels!) and colored stars flying around?  No…but it’s really neat and awesome, right?

The Jukebox screen, where you get to listen to my music!

 

Team Experience
We really worked together well this time…I’m an LD vet by now, so I know how things go and I basically didn’t run into any big hiccups at all, aside from a FlashDevelop “out of heap space” compilation error which disappeared every time I restarted Flashdevelop (phew!).  I even hacked the Flashpunk Text class to get the outline effect on all my text!  I’m comfortable with Flashpunk and I’ve gotten really really good at making game soundtracks in constrained time periods now–in total, I wrote all the music in around 7 hours’ worth of time! (all that training from One Hour Compo paying off!)  xellaya was also much more set up for things this time and we didn’t run into any of the miscellaneous troubles that we had last time for Marriage Quest (pngs being exported without transparency, etc.).  We used Dropbox to get artwork from her machine onto mine; don’t know why we didn’t do that last time.  It’s important to play to your (or your team’s) strengths when you’re thinking up a game…xellaya likes drawing cute things, and I really excel with 9-bit chiptune music, so it was great that we ended up with something that allowed us to use our talents to their maximum potential.

Scheduling
We both had the whole weekend to work on our game, which was awesome.  No other stuff to worry about, no imminent tests or projects, no getting sick, etc.  Awesome.

 

 

What went not quite as well:

The Level Up screen

UI Design
I did better than last time (Minimalist Mayhem just had a single huge screen with all the instructions on it)–I was especially proud of the “mash space” animation that shows up on screen the first time you enter hyper mode.  But the level up screen isn’t really that intuitive…in fact, the checkboxes ended up making everyone assume that you can use your mouse to click on them.  Which…still confuses me, to be honest, but maybe that’s just because I’m an oldschool console gamer and I think everyone else is weirdos in the way that they think.  I don’t really know how this could have been better, but I didn’t spend that much effort really thinking about it.  I guess I’m just not that great at UI design.  xellaya didn’t really have the time to think about this either, though, so in the end we just did what we could, and I think it’s at least functional.  It’s not great, but probably not -bad- either.

Gameplay Variation
The gameplay for our game is…”decent”.  I wasn’t entirely happy with the simple attack/block mechanic that I had going on for normal combat, but I knew that it would end up being okay in the end because that’s not really the focus of the game anyways–the focus of the game is having fun with ridiculous crazy hyper mode!  Still, I wish I could have made normal combat at least a bit more interesting somehow, though I’m still not sure exactly how I would do that.  I think in the end I didn’t have time to push for enemy attack variations or anything like that, and xellaya didn’t want to do a lot of animation…if we had spent more time on this, the polish level would have suffered.  So this is not really a mistake, per se, but still wish it could have been better.  This is probably the main point that might hurt our ratings.

Not Enough Playtesting
Yeah, yeah, super common problem.  This always happens, really.  It’s important to get feedback and have people play your game, but…when your heads-down trying to cram in the last few features (Breaktime mode!), it just ends up by the wayside sometimes.  I think I really lucked out that the game isn’t horribly unbalanced (at least, in a way that makes it not fun), because I really didn’t have that much time to spend on that and tweaking the enemy strengths and the upgrade requirements.  I did spend a -decent- amount of time on it, which is why leveling up takes about the right amount of time and everything, so I didn’t do too bad here.  But I feel like this was a danger area that I managed to sneak by on.

 

 

All in all, we did a great job, and I’m really proud of how things turned out.  Our game is quite fun, and I’ve been trying to see how fast I can complete it using no continues :)

My best so far:
Normal mode, no continues – 4:15
Hard mode, no continues – 4:40

Please leave your feedback and comments!  Oh, and go check out the soundtrack download too!

The Curse of Chronos – Post Mortem

Posted by
Friday, August 30th, 2013 9:31 am

Several days after the end of the jam, it’s time to write a short (now that I finished to write it, it’s not short) post-mortem. People who tried my game seems rather satisfied and they have enjoyed the game. I’m globally pleased with the result of my work too even if all isn’t happened perfectly. You can try my game if you want understand what I’m talking about : The Curse of Chronos.

chronos7

What’s went wrong

Gameplay : I decided to spend my first two hours Saturday morning to find an idea and create a short game design document. My first idea was to create a game where you play a terrorist who trigger bombs and have ten seconds to back off before the bomb goes off. Another idea I had was a hero who has the power to see the future ten seconds in advance and can use it to change it. These ideas were ok but I wasn’t completely satisfied and I had still one hour of thinking.
I finally decided to create a rogue-like where the player has only ten seconds at the beginnning of the game. Each action like walking, talking to an npc or fighting costs time and there’s also objects which can increase hero’s amount of time.
I worked on this idea and Sunday evening, the engine was over. The hero could walk, pick-up objects, kill monsters. At this time, I noticed  the gameplay of my game was rather poor. The only thing the player could do was moving as fights where automatically resolved. At the end of day 2, my rogue-like was became a simple exploration game without I notice it.
The game is not bad but I’m a bit disappointed because I’m sure I could do more interesting things with this concept. And I don’t know why but I find definitely that the gameplay of my game is poor.
Chronos4
Time management : I was really well at the end of day 2 concerning the deadline. I had still a lot of things to do on day 3 but I had the time to do it. And one day later, I published my entry 3 minutes before the deadline after 3 hours full of stress and tension.
I was really pleased at the end of day 2. I had a good game with good graphics and music. I think I was a bit less focus during the third day. I spend one or two hours to do other things than working on my game, thinking that the biggest part of the job was done.
At midnight (3 hours before the deadline), I begin to be a bit worry because I had still a lot of work to do. I was forced to work fast and therefore not really well. I give up to create a second music track and I hadn’t the time to balanced really well the difficulty. That’s also the moment where I begin to detect some bugs I haven’t noticed before, still increasing the amount of work to do.
I had been forced to work hard until 3am after a really long day. It was not really good especially because I could avoid it if I had keep focus during the day 3.

 

What’s went right.

Keep healthy habits and sleep well : In France, the Ludum Dare begin at 3am Saturday morning. For my first Ludum Dare in April, I decided it was a good idea to go out Friday evening and go back home at 7am completely drunk. I began my game only at 5pm.
I manage to avoid it this time and I take a good sleep Friday evening to be ready and fully well-rested Saturday morning at 9am.
I also take 8 hours of sleep each night. I take the time to take a shower and prepare some good dishes for my meals. It seems obvious but it’s really easy to stay focus during seven or eight hours in a row and burn out before the end. It’s truer for the jam which goes on for three days. To my mind, these moments like take a shower and eat good meals are really important to take a break and keep your body and your mind healthy.

ratatouille

It took more time than drink sodas, coffee and redbull during 72 hours, but I think it’s better at the end. Furthermore, it’s often after this sort of break that your succeed to fix this damn bug which annoy you since one hour.

Audio : I use two hours to produce the only track of the game. It last just one minute. I thought it’s a bit short. I was afraid that players find a bit repetitive to listen the same music during all the game, that’s why I would like to add another track. After all, it’s enough long to avoid this problem and nobody seems complain about it.
There are several sounds in the game to accentuate some actions done by the hero like pick-up an object or kill a monster. They are ok and rather effective, I think.

Graphics : I’m really pleased of my tiles and sprites and players who tried my game seems too.

chronos5

Dialogs in English : Dialogs are really important in a game like this. I write the dialogs during the third day, so very fastly. It’s a bit difficult to write all these dialogs in a language which is not yours because you’re not always sure to use the correct word at the correct place. You also cannot always faithfully transpose what you would like to say. So I tried to keep the dialogs simple and used stereotypes and humor. Old men who are only obsessed by fishing, guards who are all cowards.
I’m satisfied about the result even if I could do better if I haven’t wasting time during day 3 as I said above.

Theme : I was pretty disappointed when I know what’s the theme was. I thought that the only sort of game you can do it with it was : you have ten seconds to do that, you have ten seconds to finised this level, you have ten seconds to…, and so on.
I tried 60 games until now and some of them follows this scheme. My two first game ideas was like this too (see above) but I manage to find something different and I think it’s the challenge when you have a theme : to see the theme in an original way. Among all the games I played, my favourites was those which were able to use the theme in an original way and don’t stop at the common solution which everybody will find.

chronos6

Scenario and quests : I find the scenario really early when I was still thinking about game mecanics during the first two hours. Chronos, the god of the time put a curse on the hero and left him only ten seconds to live. The goal of the hero is to lift this curse. It’s quite simple but it’s enough to make a good main quest. The challenge was to use cunningly the dialogs and the settings to guide the player without he noticed it too much. The common mistake in this sort of game in open-world is to completely direct the player and he has absolutely no freedom.
Except at the beginning, where the player is a bit directed for the tutorial, I think I succeed because the player can do absolutely what he want, in the order he want but he is not release in the world without any indications. He can even go directly to «final boss» even if he will have difficulty to defeat him. Side quests are optionals but help a lot to do the main quest.

Conclusion
I’m really happy of what I did and players who played my game seems enjoyed it. I will know continue to try games of the Ludum Dare. I’m doing my best to try games of all the people who left a comment about mine.

Post Mortem: “The 10 (other) Seconds Journey”

Posted by (twitter: @paperblurt)
Friday, August 30th, 2013 3:00 am

 

paperblurt_img2
ENTRY-> HERE

So a few days has passed since deadline. I’m glad from all comments people have left me about my game. Got some great feedback and I thought I’d do like many others and write a short Post Mortem.

This was my first Ludum Dare and as I can’t draw or code Twine is the best engine out there for me as I can write atleast.

“The 10 (other) Seconds Journey” wasn’t my first Twine game but it’s one of the first.

INFO

The game was done in approx 5-6 hours.

Engine was Twine.

Used Google Web Fonts.

Graphics made by PaperBlurt.

The BAD

I feel I should’ve tied the 10 parts together in a better way as some people got confused, basically adding some kind of transition or similar. I also want to change the choices made during the Rock Hudson-part based on my girlfriend’s feedback. Finally maybe music would’ve been good and maybe use puns in another way. (The part with Rock Hudson is something I’ll change after the competition when I got an “OK” from Ludum Dare, but now it’ll be as it is).

Bild 2

 

The GOOD

I feel I got that quick pace and flow I sought to get. I also, somewhat like the design, as it feels just as it was: a game made in 5-6 hours. I believe I got some funny stuff in there too (Hitler, Baseballers and Titanic). I think one of the best stories is the countdown where I’ve implemented some parts from myself (you know the “dad part”) and the same go for the part regarding who you feel “second to”.

paperblurt_img5

 

Hope you like the game, and please get back to me with thoughts and comments and feel free to check out my other stuff at the link below!

More stuff from PaperBlurt (Julius Olofsson) -> HERE

On Twitter -> @PaperBlurt

Hijack Humans Hastily – Post mortem

Posted by (twitter: @zeh)
Thursday, August 29th, 2013 10:41 am

Hijack Humans Hastily was my compo entry for Ludum Dare #27 under the theme “10 seconds”. It was a game developed in pure ActionScript 3 (using Adobe AIR), with the OUYA as its main target but with a web version available (given the platform). Here’s a short gameplay video:

Here’s the mandatory post-mortem, with a few development snapshots scattered around the article.

First physics bodies

First physics bodies

What went right

Reusing stuff I already knew about

In my previous Ludum Dare entries, I’ve rarely re-used many systems. I like to build my own stuff. In fact, so far I’ve refused to use full-fledged engines, and while I’ve used Unity previously, it was mostly an excuse to force myself to get acquainted with it.

Particles for thrusters

Particles for thrusters

This time around, I had decided ahead of time that I would be using AS3 and a couple of frameworks for certain features (Nape for physics, Starling for GPU graphics). I had no engine, per se, but I complemented those by developing several additional libraries for game controller input, game looping, and physics level data loading (most of which are open-source and posted on my blog). I was certain I’d spend more time working on a game, rather than working on systems for a game (which, as fun as it is in itself, doesn’t make a good Ludum Dare entry).

Using image assets

Using image assets

The strategy worked pretty well. While I still had to use a pretty amount of time getting basic stuff working (due to my lack of knowledge of some Nape features, for example), I felt I was actually building a game earlier than on my previous entries.

More particles

More particles

Art was straightforward

I loved doing the art for the game, even though I hadn’t been drawing in a while. While a bit was dropped and unused (specially background art), I think the simple aesthetic I reached was pretty flawless even if it wasn’t brilliant.

Image assets being added

Image assets being added

What went wrong

The idea

Getting a game idea is always the hardest part for me, specially under pressure. I spent the whole first semi-day of the compo (Friday) doing nothing other than dicking around online, or reading, just because I couldn’t figure out an idea. The idea Saturday morning – of a flying UFO capturing humans – was a mechanic I’ve been thinking of for a while, but to be honest I didn’t have the gameplay challenge or the relation to theme figured out for a while.

Making the UFO landable

Making the UFO landable

Features were dropped (surprise)

While I tried having a smaller scope, some features were dropped out of the game. There’s only one level, for example, and while it’s randomized and it’s all based in easily configurable parameters (size, assets, etc), I never had the time to add actual level progression and assets for more levels. The current level used (city-ish) is a mix of my two initial levels ideas, park and city.

Adding human targets and background art

Adding human targets and background art

Worst of all, I couldn’t even begin to implement the enemy A.I. In the best Choplifter fashion, the second level of the games was supposed to game enemy tanks that would shoot at you. They would not do any damage, but their projectiles would throw you out of balance and make control a bit more difficult.

Making humans capturable

Making humans capturable

Not enough time for bug testing/QA

While I didn’t run into any huge problem, my entry still had some issues I had no time to test. Those include some bugs related to web playback (losing 3D context when switching between fullscreen, for example), and some OUYA pitfalls I wasn’t aware of (having the game suspended by the system puts it in an unplayable state when restored). Those are things that are likely easily fixable, but were noticed too late.

Adding building obstacles

Adding building obstacles

Conclusion

I think this was probably my most well-rounded Ludum Dare entry so far. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, and I spent plenty of time watching my own time-lapse video of the development process. It’s great seeing it slowly transform before your eyes.

Still, the relative smoothness of this Ludum Dare made me realize something. Ludum Dare is a lot more about the content, and I’m not sure I’m very happy with it.

Because of the limited time, it’s better to have a great idea, create a lot of content and gameplay, and test it out until you have something fun. Some of the compo and jam entries I’ve tested were really fun to play, more than just being an interesting concept that could become a game.

In my mind, I like to use Ludum Dares to explore new mechanics – mostly in the form of new code – and almost as an excuse for learning something. And to be sure, I’ve done a lot of that; all Ludum Dares have been a great experience, even the ones where I didn’t have anything very playable in the end. I learned a lot in a short period of time.

Still, having to be forced to spend more time with content and gameplay is something bums me out. Having to ignore bugs unless they’re showstopping, and having to get things to work fast (as opposed to right) is something that, over time, I’ve almost forgot how to do. Nowadays, I like to get a cool system to work as a stepping stone. In a way, it’s almost as if gameplay is secondary to that (in that it comes after that, not that it isn’t important).

Something else made me realize that. Over the past few months, I’ve been slowly developing a game prototype on my free time. It makes me really, really happy. I take my time to get some things right – be it gameplay, animation, or lower-level systems – and it’s very rewarding. I do one thing at a time. Putting a pause in developing that to do Ludum Dare #27 was good in technical terms – I ended up learning several features I plan on adding to my game, such as ray casting in Nape – but I also realized I wanted to get some things right rather than just getting them done. For example, my starling shape utility classes – to transform imported Flash Sprites and MovieClip into Starling textures – is a mess. It works, but there’s a lot of edge cases where it doesn’t work as intended, or where there’s a lot of redundant code. And I’ve used it in 3 projects already, with no actual time for refactoring them and making them elegant.

I know the usual solution for Ludum Dares it to use an engine. Some might say I should have used Flashpunk, Citrus, or any other engine. And they would be right. But the reality is that it wouldn’t have been as much fun for me. As weird as it sounds, to me, Ludum Dare is an excuse to write something from the ground up. Not just to get something done, but to appreciate the journey of development. And I’m sure that, for many people, seeing something done is what motivates them over everything else. It surely motivates me. But I’m starting to realize that I care too much about getting systems right. Maybe it’s an annoying developer thing. My own professional work is always done on tight deadlines, make no mistake, but over time I’ve learned to balance it all and use time well to get something that’s mostly right from the get go. It normally means a better, more stable project in the long run.

I’m very grateful for everything I’ve done and learned. Ludum Dare is an awesome idea. But I’m not sure what I’ll do with the next Ludum Dares. I might do them, but maybe as part of a team, or maybe without submitting anything. I may use it as an excuse to build a “demo” of a system – e.g. my game controller classes, which need a few additional features – rather than an actual game to be played. We’ll see.

Space Time- Postmortem

Posted by
Thursday, August 29th, 2013 9:11 am

Space-Time

PLAY THE GAME HERE (Thanks!)

Hey all,
this was our 6th Ludum Dare. We almost did not make it this time. Not because we run out of time but because we said that we would not enter this time around due to some other commitments from the team members. However I (Dals) could not stand that our stream would break for a silly thing so I decided to make a small but simple game. We last all Saturday because of this but we actually had time to put like 6-7 hours into a small game in the end. On the sunday I was joined by my friend who helped out with the programming and gameplay.

What went right:

We knew that we had lost a whole day and because of that we made sure that we aimed on a game with a scope so small that we would finish it relativly fast. We stuck to this and that was very important for the success for this project.

Another thing that went right was the use of tools. We were not able to get togheter this time around so Skype and git really saved a lot of problems for us. Git is super great when you learn to use it and this time we really knew how to. We also used Java as a programming language wich we are most comfortable in. The new thing for this Ludum Dare was that we used the awesome LibGDX framework as the backbone of our project. In the weeks before Ludum Dare I had explored GDX and made a small API for it called Simple. That made the development of this small game even faster and it was blazingly fun.

Basically we knew our tech and made clear and structured goals. We also did not have time to suffer from feature creep which was great in the sense that we finished it.

(more…)

Programmers mistake, or maybe it is just me

Posted by
Thursday, August 29th, 2013 8:34 am

When i went into this, my first LD, i wanted to learn some new tools (PIXI.js) and did not want to tie myself to a certain type of game, so i did not prepare myself at all, i just checked briefly what tools are out there, and that was it.

Big Mistake!

Even though i still think it is good to keep an open mind/options, boy was that a bad idea.

As i was starting from scratch, only with this one library which is more a canvas wrapper, i had to do everything myself during this 48h, the collision detection (hm, uh, how about using Box2d for js instead) the player movements in space (same there) game mechanics and logic (hm, why not using a Game Library or at least a Framework), sound, hm, yes, lets just reinvent a sound library too (didn’t happen, not enough time).

So when i tried to dig up my high-school geometry knowledge at 3 in the morning to calculate the movement of my objects and the rotation of the planet, i went crazy. Noooot a good idea to wing it at 3 in the morning after long hours of programming before.

So next time, i definately will use more tools and libraries, because, why reinvent the wheel when we are here to make games…

So if anybody reads this and thinks of participating for the first time in LD28, prepare yourselfs, it does not mean you don’t really make the game in 48h, it just means you know your tools.

Oh, and if you want to see what i ended up with, feel free to check my entry (barely) to LD27 :)

10 seconds are an eternity

10secondsAreAnEternity-screen1

10secondsAreAnEternity-screen4

 

Get out ! Let’s play by a fan on youtube !

Posted by
Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 1:00 pm

Check the let’s play of our LD48 entry on youtube made by a fan !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2dnB42mZBA

 

And make sure to try and vote for it here:

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=19103

 

Subject 18120 is trending!

Posted by
Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 9:41 am

Came in to work this morning to see that our LD27 game had 1000+ gameplays on Kongregate. Turns out it’s featured on the front page of the site in the “Trending” and “Hot New Games” sections!

Our LD27 game is on the front page of Kong!

Our LD27 game is on the front page of Kong!

We really want to tweak some things and add weapons, levels and music to the game for the post-jam version, so hopefully this is the start of something cool.
Thanks to everyone who played it!

Play it here!

Space Rift timelapse

Posted by (twitter: @SirGFM)
Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 8:24 pm

I was finally able to make the timelapse. It was kind of a slow process, as there are 22862 frames. At least, that resulted in a nice video with pretty much my desired speed (if I could, I’d probably like to take one screenshot each second… but that would way over the top xD).

Thanks to all who played my game. :)  A special thanks to all who commented, I really value each comment. 😀

Haven’t played it yet? Why not give it a try? It takes just a few minutes (less than five, really).

gfm_ld27_play

Chicken Snatch – The inside coop!

Posted by (twitter: @stalkjimmy)
Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 7:00 pm

hiduzHarZbT

PLAY  |  RATE  |  SOURCE

Chicken Snatch is my second LD entry. I made run run amoeba  last year, skipped a couple LDs and now a year later my LD rash was itching!

What was different this year? I was ready! I knew to dream big and focus little. I knew to  stock up on things like coffee, deodorant and granola bars. I knew that having no friction in a platform game kinda sucked.

What else was different? It seemed like the whole universe was trying to stop me or tell me to start a country music jam instead. My car’s engine blew immediately after 1300$ of repairs and my hardrive went on my main dev box!!

Lets get to the good stuff..

So I log into IRC and what happens as soon as I log in?

Screenshot from 2013-08-23 21:01:16

 

BAM theme in your face! 10 seconds?! why does space never win???

So I high tail it with my artist and Q.A. girlfriend to the coffee shop with the same notepad from last year.

We drink coffee/tea, we talk, we drink, we talk… it comes down to a traffic light administration simulator OR a fox and chicken platformer. hint: this post is not called traffic (game)jam – the inside coupe ~ I just made that up!

Our system is pretty good. I do all the sprite/tile/design/code and she does the fine art, concept art, story boards and QA testing as I update builds. We use trello  https://trello.com/b/mLVA6FOS/chicken-snatch to keep organized slightly and she reports bugs and updates stuff on there.

chickensnatchsized

We stay up until 4am and have a rough prototype we release to our friends online

Screenshot from 2013-08-24 09:30:34Screenshot from 2013-08-24 01:17:17

Sunday I wake up super early, finish the tilesets and add a dog.

Screenshot from 2013-08-25 03:34:30

We break, run some errands that are totally FAIL (more on that later) and then come back and finish the game up. I crank music and design the level and she finishes the congratulation artwork.

chknsn_short

So lets postmortem a little :)

What went well?

  • I used a framework and code base I’m real experienced in so there were not many bugs
  • The game controls felt good and the game play concept was really fun from the beginning
  • The Art created for the title and end level screens was beautiful
  • My friend in Florida hooked me up with music I requested on time
  • The game actually worked in IE9+
  • I was able to make the game freshly installing Linux mint wiping my entire system
  • people helped me. On twitter, on steam on irc and everything in between. suggestions, code problems, you name it. Community is good, ludum dare community is amazing. seriously go buy some coffee and pretend I did it thanking you.
  • using trello to work on things https://trello.com/b/mLVA6FOS/chicken-snatch

What did not go well..

  • So remember I dropped windows? well I needed visual studio to change the mime support on my hosts web.config for ogg support for html5 audio… I ended up switching my host to Linux which left the public site down for a few hours and I had no public QA from the friends
  • I didn’t implement the ending level screen until really late Sunday night and it introduced a bug… the player kept re-spawning and exploding AFTER you beat the game. BOOM dead fox BOOM dead fox BOOM dead fox BOOM dead fox BOOM dead fox BOOM dead fox. I had to work in a few hours and here is this omgAWEFUL bug staring me in the face..
  • I use impactjs and JavaScript which is cool because I’ve used impact for 2 years and I work full-time as a developer writing internal business apps (mostly in html5/js). HOWEVER I also used impact++ which really improves impactjs, but it also requires a learning curve. This was probably not the best decision but Collin Hover saved my game by tweeting back and forth with every issue I had. I really owe him some success because I would have lost a lot of functionality if he couldn’t help me and I had to drop impact++ from the game.
  • I added some lighting effects as seen above in the dog image.. they just did not work. I wanted the game to have a night feel but the lighting just made it look weird and took away the retro coin-op feel I was going for.
  • Sunday I left for 3 hours to go look at a truck I was going to buy at a dealership AND IT DIDN’T START… SERIOUSLY?!!? I called ahead and said I was coming a day in advance and the damn thing doesn’t start when I get there… WOW I could be working on my game instead of wasting my time in Chardon, OH with a truck I can’t even test drive… (I’m still mad about this).
  • Firefox hates audio. I don’t know why but I just am done messing with Firefox and it’s problem with my .ogg sounds.
  • Everyone is making awesome gifs on their blog posts and I can’t seem to find a way to do this without some dumb website stamp. (I don’t own photoshop CS)
  • If you do beat the game then it will ask you to press space to replay. this actually reloads the page because I was having a major issue removing the existing entities from the game. the chicken counter would double (based on how many chicken entities are in existent). and the player wouldn’t reload properly.
  • I ran out of time as usual so I didn’t……
  • tweak the jumping from a press once to a press and hold. This prevents players from using skilled jumps and releasing to have more control.
  • have time to make a fox cutout appear in when you enter the fox hole. This would have added more to the play and experience.
  • fix a bug that if you die jumping, you will respawn with the same velocity you die with. It’s kinda fun but will piss you off in a speed run.
  • get Firefox working.. but I didn’t have time to mess with the audio. stick with chrome or safari for optimal experience please.
  • make the fox drop the chicken on death instead of respawning with it in it’s mouth.
  • get the game on kongregate
  • get the game on newgrounds
  • get the game everywhere I could get the game

Stuff used

A Very Special Thanks to:

  • My first fan Matt Tippens @matt_tippins
  • @i8bugs one of my best friends far away
  • @collinhover I can’t thank you enough for what you do for the impact community and my games
  • @Orlai for never holding back
  • 507th Aristoi aka mochnant Good ideas are hard to find
  • @bryan_on_rails thanks for letting me spam you all weekend
  • John Zeller, Sorry I blue screened you, switch to linux :)

So anyway this was a blast and I did like 10 times better than last year!

PLAY  |  RATE  |  SOURCE

hiduzHarZbT

JellyCakes plays your LD 27 Games!

Posted by (twitter: @JellyCakesDev)
Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 4:06 pm

Streaming

 

So it’s been almost 24 hours since I finished both a Compo entry and took part in a Jam entry so now I’m ready for games!

Streaming at: www.twitch.tv/jellycakes1

Come in, suggest your game to the chat and get some feedback!

VIDEO GAAAAAAAAAAAAMES

Ludum Dare Relax Stream is on. Early start.

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 4:06 pm

Please join today on my stream now.

It’s time to play your LD games live or request to play other LD games.

Time Surge!

Posted by (twitter: @Dahold)
Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 3:23 pm

Project Link!

Made the Game Jam submission deadline with about 10 seconds to spare, then we all passed out. Post Mortem coming soon!


Credits:
Hitchh1k3r: Lead programmer
Naali: Director, assistant programmer, puzzle design
Solifuge: Art, game design, puzzle design
Tlynn: Writing, themeing, puzzle transcription
Willfor: Music

Special Thanks:
MysticStv, for puzzle transcription and snarky commentary
Mrs. Hik3r, for puzzle transcription and nap-enforcement
LWJGL, and Java in general. Thanks for being a thing!

Please join me today on my stream around 6 pm PST (-8 GMT) on 8/27/2013 (about seven hours from now).

I will play your Ludum Dare game or one requested, just as I did during previous relax streams.

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