Posts Tagged ‘LD28’

Going OVERBOARD with post-jam version of My Champion

Posted by (twitter: @jacklehamster)
Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 12:24 am

After getting some positive feedback on My Champion, I decided to make a post-jam version. My first thought when doing the post-jam was that I shouldn’t go overboard. It’s just a  jam game after all… My next thought was: Screw it, let’s just go overboard!

So here are the additions to the post-jam of My Champion, and this time, I really went OVERBOARD!

* Tweaks to the gameplay: I tweaked the gameplay to make it more playable. Notably, you no longer go faster when running diagonally. The hit box against the gorillas are a bit smaller.
* Half-time: To respect the rules of soccer (or at least some of them), you get a half time at 45 min and get to switch sides.
* Translation to French and Korean: Yep, the game is entirely localized in French and Korean. I translated every words to French, and a friend help me translate to Korea. You can change the language dynamically during the game by pressing ‘L’. This took a lot of work!
* Extra options: You can mute the game. You also have the option to toggle auto-kick. I just added auto-kick to be able to play the game with one hand while holding a beer, but you do play much better by using the space bar.
* Dobuki Logo: The game now looks more professional with my logo ;-D
* Animations: I added the Kick animation for the cat. I also added the gorilla’s walk and kick animation.
* Head-turning: Oliver now sometimes turns his head slightly towards the ball. It’s a bit useful when you need to find the ball offscreen.
* Sound effects: You can hear the ball getting kicked!
* Illustrations: The text is now paired with a nice illustration that describes the story. You can now see how I originally designed coach Tapo (he’s a rabbit!). Also the cat has a name: Oliver!
* Practice mode: You can practice at controlling the ball on an empty field before the real match.
* Referee: Yes! There is now an in-game referee. Though it might just look like a smaller cat, it’s actually a hamster. He doesn’t affect the gameplay, but you can push him around to calm your nerves.
* Goal-keeper: I love this addition, because it’s a big reference to an anime I used to watch in France. I hope those of you who also watched it will recognize who I’m referring to. Note that in theory, this makes the game much harder, but hopefully the adjustment to gameplay compensated for that.
* Multi-player coop mode: That’s right! Multiplayer! I implemented a mode that lets you play with a friend on the same screen. Ok, it’s no longer “You only get one”, but it’s ok. We’re in post-jam ;-P. The second player use the keys ASDW or QSDZ for AZERTY keyboard 😉 and SHIFT. Both players have to remain on screen, so if one player falls behind, he’ll get dragged on by the stage’s boundaries. Note that the 2 player mode is unlocked only once you win a match, so I hope you guys can actually beat the game.
* Vicky: Not only you get a second player, but it’s a feline chick! Here name’s Vicky. She’s pink, she’s faster than Oliver, she can push him around, but she’s weaker at kicking the ball.
* 2 additional endings: Since there’s a new coop mode, I had to add two more endings. One for team victory, and one for draw/defeat. There’s also a nice little storyline to explain the inclusion of Vicky.
* Medals and score table: There are now 8 medals and a highscore table. Some medals are a bit tricky (can you find Waldhino?)

What I didn’t add:
* Crowd: I was going to add the crowd, but to get to it you would have to go pretty far past the game’s boundaries. Meh… I think I’ll go without it.
* Music for title screen: That’s actually the last thing I want to add before releasing the game on Newgrounds. I’m contacting some composer to help me come up with a nice theme song.

Meanwhile, enjoy the post-jam version, and if you haven’t yet, feel free to try and rate the Jam entry. Have a happy new year!

thomas prince

Thomas Prince

 

Screenshot 2013-12-30 20.22.44

Screenshot 2013-12-30 22.26.25Screenshot 2013-12-30 22.27.06

0RBITALIS – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @AlanZucconi)
Monday, December 30th, 2013 1:08 pm

Here it is my post mortem about 0RBITALIS. For this game I got inspiration looking at other themes in the final round. It’s hard to make a game that is as vague as “You Only Get One”, but when you couple it with “Gravity” and “Chaos” it’s much clearer what you can actually do. I have always been interested in games which explore how simple rules (such as Netwon’s laws) can generate beautifully complex behaviours.

 

Most of the “features” of the game are actually consequences of the strong time constraints Ludum Dare imposed me. For instance, mi initial idea was to have a moving camera that could zoom in and out, but I didn’t have time to code it properly. And this automatically lead to a “stay in the system” mechanic. The vector fields that you can see in the background was a debug tool I used to test and calibrate planets’ masses, but when I realised that it was fitting nicely with the style, I decided to leave it there. 

SW4bPqM zcQdNS2

Since the very beginning of the voting period, 0RBITALIS got a lot of attention: so far, it’s both the most voted and commented entry in the 48 hours competition. I think part of its success is due to its aesthetic: it’s simple, yet effective. I spent lot of time polishing the game rather then designing more levels. This can really do the difference, especially when games are picked almost exclusively by how appealing their screenshots look like. 0RBITALIS has doing unexpectedly well. For this reason I am already working on a full-game version that will include both more levels and new mechanics. There will be probing missions, for instance, which require to scan a celestial body for a certain time. I am already working on landing missions as well, but I’d rather keep them mysterious for now!

2WgVD17 q4SnfOn 

Since I *hate* menus, 0RBITALIS won’t have one. I am working on a different system, however, that looks like a star chart. Player will be able to select levels and to change settings just touching and connecting stars. I also collected lot of statistics about levels but… I’ll keep them for another post!

If you liked the game, you’re more then welcomed to vote it or leave a comment on its LD48 entry page. If you want to follow 0RBITALIS news and further development, you can find me on Twitter as @AlanZucconi.

Trial: Behind the Scenes & Post Mortem

Posted by
Sunday, December 29th, 2013 10:22 pm

Ludum Dare Afterisk Trial

Hi Everyone, our take on the theme was an action/arcade game based on a randomly generated grid that was filled with colors and mines. The player could select one color to reveal at a time, thus showing the safe cells. This game came out much harder than we expected since there was little skilled involved. We ended up creating special abilities to balance it out: such as armor, reveal, jump, etc. Also, we tied each ability/color to a positive character traits: courage, perseverance, resilience, and forgiveness. Here’s a run down of the good and the bad:

What went right:

  • Polish. The game had logo, sound, artwork, and there were no bugs.
  • Although difficult, the game was generally fun.
  • The visual design was minimalistic, colorful, and most importantly, something we produced within our skill and time limitations.
  • We experimented with a new creative process and the result was not too shabby. We plan to keep refining our approach.
  • Easily published for Web, Windows, and OSX using Unity. We wanted the game available to as many people as possible.

What went wrong:

  • The game was really challenging because we didn’t have enough gameplay elements to empower the player. We could have identified this sooner and planned accordingly.
  • It was more based on luck than skill. It didn’t feel like you can improve skill and overcome the challenge.
  • We aimed for 5 minute game session, it averaged 30-45 seconds.
  • The introduction story was conceptualized after the core mechanics. It was trying to provide purpose via a “spiritual elements” concept, which was too abstract for such a literal game.
  • There was no tutorial or instructions. We just tossed the player into deep waters without teaching them how to swim.

Even though our creation is essentially a “glorified minesweeper variant’, we are very happy with the game. We are continuing to work on it and making it the best it can be.

Trial Gameplay

Full Article with Behind the Scenes

Play our Ludum Dare submission: Trial!

You Are The One – Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @mystakin)
Sunday, December 29th, 2013 3:37 pm

With a little over a week left in the voting process, I figured I would put together a postmortem on my first ever Ludum Dare entry, You Are The One.

What went right?

  • Design: I have only taken part in one game jam previous to this Ludum Dare. In that project, I dreamed far too big and tried far too much. When designing You Are The One, I knew I had to keep it simple. The game would be 2D, use basic physics and cameras that I was already experienced with, and require as few assets as possible. It would also avoid complicated mechanics until it could be played start to finish. I didn’t mind cutting features from my initial design, but I was determined to at least implement the 5-level progression and celebration screen.

DesignDoc

  • Audio: Audio was a big concern of mine initially. I had no plan for music, and I wasn’t sure how well the sound effect generator I was using, sfxr, would fit into my project. Luckily, the sound effects were perfect and matched my retro/basic art style. While wondering about music, I came across a program called GXSCC that could translate a .midi file into a chiptune sounding .wav. I’ve played guitar for many years and use TabIt to store all my tabs which, turns out, supports exporting to .midi. With this knowledge, I put together 2 small loops for the game and they came out perfect.
  • Completeness: I think there’s something psychologically satisfying about finishing a game. My entry needed to be finish-able, and more than that, it needed to push the player to do more. That’s where the idea for level-specific collectibles came from. If you collect all the items, the ending congratulates you on your hard work. If you don’t, it still congratulates you but hints that there’s more to do. I wanted my entry to feel like a real, full game that just happens to be really short. I think I accomplished that to some degree.

Completeness

What went wrong?

  • Adherence to Theme: While there is an extensive use of “one” as a theme throughout the entry, adherence to “you only get one” is a bit flimsy. Each level has one color shade, one item to collect, and the player character is literally a “1” with feet and eyes. While clever, it would be a stretch to say these attach to the theme well. The real use of the “only getting one” comes from the player only getting one direction they may progress in. This is a bit different than just getting one direction of movement, because the player can move both left and right on some levels. While matching the theme, it’s a bit convoluted as an implementation. I wish I had spent more time riffing on “one” as a limitation instead of “one” as a concept in and of itself.

Adherence

  • Enemies: My initial design called for one enemy per level, and a progression of difficulty stemming from that. Level 1 enemies would be stationary obstacles, level 2 enemies would shoot at the player, level 3 enemies would move around, and level 4 enemies would both move and shoot. Finally, level 5 would combine all the previous enemies the same way it combines the previous level’s movement styles. Unfortunately, I did not find enough time to design or implement enemies and opted for pits and spikes as the primary hazards. To give you an idea of how little time I would have had for enemies, I only implemented the spikes in the last 2 hours of the competition.
  • Difficulty: I like to speedrun Mario platformers, specifically Super Mario World, as a hobby. As you may imagine, this colors my design philosophy when it comes to platformers. I tend to design levels to be rushed through at full speed, and completed through a series of expertly timed jumps. This can be problematic for people with different play-styles or less patience. My game is definitely too hard in its current form, but I hope the “skip level” button will enable all players to see the full game.

Difficulty

What did I learn?

  • Unity’s 2D tools are… okay: While starting the new project, I noticed Unity now asks if you want to use 2D or 3D defaults. Since I was new to working 2D, I got excited and went with 2D. While many of the defaults assisted my creation process big time, most of the 2D tools went unused. Without a 2D Character Controller, I would have to use a rigidbody2D in its stead… and I wasn’t really prepared for that. Additionally, I had some trouble with the standard Character Controller colliding with 2D colliders. I eventually settled on a mix of the two systems, using the standard 3D components while taking advantage of the 2D scene view and sprite importer.

Plan

  • A great game begins with a great plan: I accomplished almost everything I wanted with this project, and I chalk that up to a smart, flexible design. The project began basic, and added complexity, such as the items and spikes, only once the groundwork was in place.
  • Ludum Dare is tons of fun: Not much more to say than that. I had a total blast taking part in the competition, from brainstorming to wrap-up. I look forward to joining future Ludum Dares! Just need to figure out how to do those awesome time-lapse videos between now and then.

 

Post-Mortem: KERNEL

Posted by (twitter: @CatOnMarsLin)
Sunday, December 29th, 2013 2:56 am

The game

KERNEL is an action  game about left-hand right-hand coordination.

You can play and rate it Here.

How I made it

  • Idea Generation: “You only get one” is a rather general theme. It can fit into nearly every established genre. So, I decide not to care too much about the theme and just make a game that I want to play. I usually design games by asking “what if”s, “What will happen if you only get one player with a 2-player co-op game?” Will it be fun? I don’t know, so let’s prototype it quick and dirty, and see if its fun.
  • Tech: I use Unity 3D 4.3 because I want to try it’s new 2d features and learn more about Unity. I found it quite neat, but it has no tile-map support, and the default sprite shader did not support lighting.
  • Collision detection/response: IMO one of the most confusing part of Unity is its physic engine. In Unity, if you want your gameObject to be handled by physic engine, you must attach a rigid-body component to it, or the OnTriggerXXX() will not be triggered. But what if I just want to detect collisions, and I want my objects’s motion controlled by my own code instead of controlled by the physic engine? You still have to add a RigidBody component to your gameObject, and set gravity, drag…etc to zero. Enabling the “IsKinematic” will make your game object outside the physic pipeline, so those OnTriggerXXX() event callbacks will not trigger. It’s useless to me, so I decide to implement my own collision detection/response scheme using Unity’s built-in functions. Since I decide to make a rectangle-based, non-tile-mapped level, I should only implement rectangle to rectangle collision. I used the “Linecaster” in Unity to approximate the 4 edges of a rectangle. See pictures below:

          

The blue thin lines are where collision detection happens. To prevent double collision at one side, I made the lines shorter.

  • Level Editing:

Since I have no mood for opening photoshop and draw some thing, I decide to make the level solely by primitives in Unity.

And because of the collision detection, I must only use rectangles! So, everything in this world is consist of rectangles, including characters and texts.

The resulting level looks like this:

Somewhat like a snake, isn’t it?

  • Effect:

In order to make the graphics more pleasing, I use a bloom post-effects provide by FXLabs plugins (I have to use it since Unity Free does not support RenderToTexture.)

Here is a before-after picture showing the “neon-cubes”:

What went right?

  • The Gameplay:  The gameplay mechanics shows some potential and IMO it’s quite fun.

After the compo many new design ideas emerge in my head based on this double-control scheme. I will polish more and put them in a new version if I have time.

  • Graphic style:  The “neon-cube” style works quite well as I expected.
  • Level design: I think the length of the entire stage is quite suitable for this compo. It last about 3 minutes and a half if you did not die any once in this game. And personally I like how I  present  the title : )
  • Amazing feedbacks: People here are really awesome, they give constructive feedbacks! I really thanks anyone playing my game and commenting on it! For example, one person point out that this game is natively co-op, and if you play this game with your friend, it will be fun too! I like this comment very much : )

What went wrong?

  • Control: The control is a bit floaty, the friction is too low. It made this game very hard to do precise movement.
  • Difficulty: Because of the control, easy stages became really difficult.

Details: There are still many bugs and improvement I have no time to solve or polish in this compo session:

1.After death, the collision is not well handled because of state switching. This will make the players happens outside the wall.

2.The ending part is not complete, it will looping levels.

3.Visuals are not polished enough.

4.Did not complete the narrative part:

Initially there’s a story of this game. The main character is called “KERNEL”, on the contrary the level itself is called “SHELL”, it’s a huge spaceship. The gaming process is to control the kernel to reach the core part of the SHELL and injecting the control program to it’s core. In the end, the level will transform into a huge snake like spaceship and fly away into far galaxy…blah blah. Anyway, I did not complete that : (

  • Learning a Engine during compo session: Frankly speaking I did not use Unity very frequently and I think I still not familiar with it enough. Next time I must ensure that I know all the basics of Unity before participating in a game jam!

Conclusion

This is my first time writing such a long post in English. Thank you everyone for tolerating some grammar/spelling or collocation error in my post. During this LD I learned very much and I really enjoy this. See you next time : )

 

Post Mortem – The most beautiful day of her life [Jam LD28]

Posted by (twitter: @Kyatric)
Friday, December 27th, 2013 4:14 am

My entry: The most beautiful day of her life

Goals before the jam

As usual with a game jam, the main goal is to release a complete (playable) game in the time allowed.
For this peculiar Ludum Dare (#28) I was hoping to enter/release my game in time for the compo (48h) for the first time. At worst, I was OK to enter the jam (72h) the main goal being to release.
I was also aiming at having fun, as much as possible.
I was also considering entering @McFunkypants usual side challenge. This time #NoKill.
There shouldn’t be death in my game.

A bride has to slap and purse her way out of bimbos to get to the church

A bride has to slap and purse her way out of bimbos to get to the church

Theme revealed

And as usual (especialy for the LD) on the theme reveal, it’s the time to freak out, be at first angry with the votes results, cursing all the people and their voting ways and considering not being a part of this LD/not making a game.
“You only get one”.
As I twitted at some point, at least it wasn’t “Justin Bieber <3” which happened to be one of the possible themes and just shows, in my opinion, how broken the theming choice system is.
Then after a few reflection and discussion with my lady friend Nyx, I was able to have a global idea of the game I was going for.
A kind of beat them all around the theme “you only have one chance to save your wedding” where the player would control a woman that needs to slap her way out of bimbos to get to the man of her dreams.
From this theme, very cartoony and over-the-top stereotypical I was aiming to make a fun game that wouldn’t take itself seriously.

Jumping over cars, a healthy practice before getting married, isn't it ?

Jumping over cars, a healthy practice before getting married, isn’t it ?

 

Read the rest of the post-mortem

You can play the entry here

Static Room – Afterthoughts

Posted by
Thursday, December 26th, 2013 3:27 pm

The core idea was to have a map that changes as you play, and you only get one room that never moves from its place and can be used as reference.

Initially I was thinking about moving the rooms from place to place automatically when the player crosses some predefined doors. But after playing with that concept on Saturday I was not entirely convinced with the result, and was afraid players would not understand right away the logic behind what was going on, dismiss it as merely random map shuffling and walk away with a poor impression. So Saturday evening I added switches. I wish I could have made more levels and take more advantage of the mechanics,  but unfortunately I couldn’t get more done on Sunday.

The worst: graphics. I actually lost 2hrs on Saturday trying to draw some characters, but with terrible results. So in the end I realized that if I wanted to finish a game, I needed to stick to boring raw geometric figures.

All audio was generated: sound effects with as3sfxr and music with Otomata. I was happy with the result, considering the time it took, but some of the comments mention a couple of bugs I wasn’t expecting, like music not playing or stopping and restarting when the switch are activated. I need to improve the robustness in the future.

Anyway, I think in terms of playability it was a step forward from my previous LD, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement.

Thanks to everyone one who played so far and specially for the comments.

Cheers!

Link to my game

You Only Get One Limb post mortem

Posted by
Thursday, December 26th, 2013 2:21 pm

Directives

1) Keep it simple, no gravity, no physics.
2) Think of new patterns, learn more about engine.
2) Test content pipeline for full-HD graphics.
4) Have fun.

Limb

And i broke the first rule almost immediately after i started working.
At first i wasn’t quite sure if one limb mechanics is going to work, so i spent about 2 hours experimenting with physics model configuration, character mass and different approaches to moving the limb until i hit the fun combination. After that i started adding variants to basic grabbing and moving mechanics.

The pistol was the first thing i did (because GUNS):
GUN

But it didn’t get into the Jam-build, as i didn’t have enough time to make bullets and shooting mechanics. Controls in the game are hard to master, so i had to slowly introduce player to the motion and physics. First few level were going to be just “acrobatic”, and i only managed to make 3 levels.

Tech

I used the free Unity with the new Box2D physics, and my library of Unity classes with all kind of maths, utilities, and base objects (that’s why i’m doing jam, i can’t work without an extensive library of functions, mad props to everybody who can use bare minimum and do all the math from scratch in 2 days).

I have my own free-transform thingie:
FTF
I know, unity now has default 2d-transform, but this one works in 3d as well as in 2d, allows to transform all meshes and physics objects (not just 2d sprites in 2d), has shortcuts for depth and also does all the stuff that default transform does (including multiple object transforming). It saved me so much time on level editing. Also not using default 2d graphics.
I used my animation editor and playback system again:
anim2d
There’s not much animation in this game though.

And here’s a tip:
super window
If you are working with Unity, i suggest you to make an editor-window like this and put there all the frequently used functions. This one allows me to quickly lock background/foreground, add shapes/sprites/bodies to objects and bunch of other useful stuff.

I did a lot of drawing this time. There are total of 70 sprites:
all sprites
I spent a lot of time choosing color scheme, and then cutting all the platforms, but it was fun.

What went right

1) I spent most of the time working on mechanics, graphics and level design instead of code.
2) Engine didn’t break down, all the custom tools worked as planned, so i didn’t waste any time debugging tools.
3) All graphics were made to look crispy in resolutions up to FullHD.
4) It was fun XD

What went wrong

1) Didn’t manage to implement some of the mechanics i wanted, and didn’t make enough levels.
2) The game becomes too hard too soon, again, could be solved with more levels and more gentle difficulty slope.
3) No sounds, no music. I didn’t think about it, but i should have chosen some free music before the jam.

And the links:

Link to the game

Timelapse video

Thanks to everybody who participated, having a lot of fun playing your games!
yay

Asteroids:Omega – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @peacegiverman)
Tuesday, December 24th, 2013 7:16 pm

Asteroids:Omega Screenshot

Well, this was my first Ludum Dare, my first game here and here’s my first post-mortem.

I didn’t start early. I saw the theme and went to bed, then let it boil for half a day after I woke up. Had a few ideas in my head, wrote a couple of them down and in the end I decided on an asteroids-based puzzle game where you only have one shot to destroy all the asteroids. Puzzles are designed with screen wrapping in mind and require you to think differently about your environment. Since I was set to hold an introductory game development class a week after Ludum Dare, I decided to try out Scirra’s Construct.

What went well

  • Finished on time – I stared late, some 12 hours after the theme was announced and I also had some obligations that took half of my Sunday. Still, I kept my scope small, managed my time well and successfully submited the game on time for compo.
  • Slept well – Even though I had lack of time dedicated to Ludum Dare, I decided to have my 8-hour sleep and be productive rather than crunch mindlessly. I’d say this helped me keep my mind clear and finish.
  • Got friends into Ludum Dare – When theme voting began, I was pinging my game dev friends to come vote and join LD, even before the jam started. When I got to work, I kept talking about my progress for Ludum Dare and I guess I managed to motivate two of my friends to join in the fun. Knowing that they are also part of LD made this a pretty grand experience. They both managed to finish, more or less, and you can try their games here and here.

What went wrong(ish)

  • Used a tool for the first time – Construct is a pretty straightforward to use, through, but it still wasn’t the smartest idea to use it during a game jam for the first time. Took me a few hours to get accustomed to the UI, the way the Event Sheet works and the limitations of the Free version. The latter got me stumped a few times and had me using workarounds (thus the pre-rendered glow, instead of a realtime effect). Construct also started causing problem an hour before the deadline when I tried to import audio. It could have ended tragically…
  • I almost lost my project – I made audio with as3fxr and one of the audio files didn’t bode well with Construct, so it hung on import. I waited it out for a while, realized it’s not going anywhere and decided to “End Task”. It asks me to save, I save it to a new file just in case, then it asks me to save again, ok, I saved again. Open up the new project file and what do I see? A construct demo project that I used as a reference when starting out. Fortunately, I was considerate enough to save as a new file, otherwise dissaster would have struck.
    Later I uploaded the project, full of joy that I have done so before the submission hour, and shared the game to my friends. Some time later I’m getting feedback “Hey, mate, this is nice. Would have been great if you had a game over screen, though”. “But I do have a game over screen”, says I to myself. I check the uploaded version and it turns out it’s not the latest one. I assume Dropbox is caching files, try fiddling around, but nothing. Then I get back into Construct to export the project again, only to realize that at one point during the fiasco above it decided to change the export directory to my desktop. There’s still time, so I upload the game and go back to my joyful self.
  • Would have liked more time for audio – I only had about one hour for audio, and Construct started bailing on me then. I wish I could have tried out more sounds and perhaps put in some more fitting audio. As it is, it’s a bit rushed and missing a preloader.

Altogether, I really enjoyed doing this and am very satisfied with how my game turned out. And if you still haven’t played it, please try it here :)

My Old Kentucky Home: Post Mortem

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013 1:04 am

My Old Kentucky Home (MOKH) is a Twine based work of interactive fiction written during the compo. It’s my first completed work in Twine, though I’ve attempted work in the medium before, and my second Ludum Dare entry ever. Previously I’ve worked in HTML and in card games. The games soundtrack is also performed by me.

This is meant to be read after you’ve played the game, so it does have spoilers/etc in the contents. If you care about things like that, then you shouldn’t continue reading until after you’ve played. The playthrough’s I’ve watched take about ten to fifteen minutes. You can play the game here.

MOKH is a story about a fifteen year old girl named Emily who lives in rural Eastern Kentucky. Two years ago a massive calamity took place that she refers to as the Happening. It’s a class-A, post-apocalyptic event — think zombie invasion, Rapture, I am Legend. Whatever has happened has left her alone, living out of a coal mine in the woods above her empty town, and she is running low on supplies. The basic premise of the story is a take on the tale of Little Red Riding Hood.

What Went Right 

soul studioThe music went over shockingly well. I wrote almost the entirety of a game inside a defunct soul studio, so I had a feeling I was going to be including some music into it. I researched the type of songs that I wanted to include, as well as remembering what songs were actually performed at the Eastern Kentucky funerals that seem to have been staples of my childhood. All of the songs were recorded in a single take, and they have a shaky quality in them because I’m terrified of performing. Thankfully that lends itself well to the character.

I also feel like I managed to capture a cultural memory of Eastern Kentucky. A large portion of my family is from, and continues to reside in, the area around Pikeville. I attended funerals where family slept in the funeral home the last night of visiting, have sang Amazing Grace at several funeral homes, and have seen the function of coal as a life blood to an area. Some of the strongest women I know are from Eastern Kentucky, and it is that spirit that I wrote Emily. When I read the story aloud, I hear the timber of their accent in Emily’s voice. I say a cultural memory because most of the included details are either from childhood visits or stories told by my mother.
(more…)

The Dragon Journey statistics

Posted by (twitter: @strong99)
Saturday, December 21st, 2013 3:18 pm

I haven’t finished a proper post-mortem yet. I want it to add some more than I did last years. But I did collect the first wave of user statistics for my ‎Ludumdare‬ game. The previous times I ran out of bandwidth and this time I used my companies servers with a higher bandwidth.

Seeing the large amount of visitors revisiting the blog I must admit being very proud!

The ‎LD28‬ weekend was during the 14th and 15th of December and the game’s release for public on the 16th. Read a more detailed explanation here: http://bit.ly/1gNTgiT

superfrozenlinuxos/xwebandwindows!

Posted by
Friday, December 20th, 2013 7:19 pm

superfrozenkitten_game_port

Hi!

I uploaded Linux and OS/X versions of my game,
so you can now test Web or Windows or Linux or Mac OS versions of
superfrozenkittengetsonlyonesecretbottleforyou game:)

It’s ->  here!
(it’s 1:1 game jam version)

superfrozenkitten_game_port

“Loop Desert” Post mortem

Posted by (twitter: @johnnyaboh)
Friday, December 20th, 2013 3:04 am

The 28th Ludum Dare has been the first for me. I really wanted to attend this game jam and now I did and this is the first huge win for me. I built something in 48 hours, specifically a video game about choice, a hostile environment, and lack of resources.

Don’t forget to play and rate “Loop Desert”.

Loop Desert by Giovanni Cappellotto

What went right

  • I finished the game!
  • I loved to use the Crafty.js engine as the main tool to develop the game, I would thank for this @starwed and @kevinsimper two of the most productive Crafty.js contributors.
  • I was happy with the final concept and I conceived it quickly enough.

What went wrong

  • I used pixel art as I’m not an artist and it was the only way for me to get the job done in 48 hours.
  • I didn’t publish anything (posts, timelapse) during development because I can’t manage coding and sharing together.
  • I would have done more work on music and sound effects but I hadn’t enough time.

Note: I made this game at H-Farm, one of the official gatherings of the jam, the only one in Italy. I’d like to thank Hackatron for the organization of the event, great job guys.

Luminess Post-Mortem: Level Creation Work Flow

Posted by
Thursday, December 19th, 2013 7:22 am

      Our experience in previous jams has taught us that with the short time frame you need to streamline workflows and divide up tasks.  During the planning phase of Luminess we made it a goal of ours to create a way to make levels so that Evan did not have to hardcode them all.   This would allow him to focus on coding the game and allow Jason and me to design the levels.
 
Level 3
       So, how do you get sweet visuals like this and be able to make a bunch of levels? Evan’s code loads an image that Jason or I create and checks every pixel for specific colors. Those colors correspond to specific types of walls. Generic walls that do no damage are in RGB Grey=100,100,100. The red kill walls seen here at the right are RGB Red=100,0,0.
 
 
 
 
 
Level 2
 
       Besides walls, the code also scans for certain pixels and places, PlayerSpawn, FinishSpawn, ColorOrbs, and Enemies. Enemies are drawn into the current levels, their spawns will turn on in an upcoming version. To the left is the drawn image of the level above. The little ‘P’ is where the player spawns and the ‘E’ is to spawn the end portal.
 
 
 
 

Tiles
      The workflow for level creation is this. We made a template in Pyxel Edit with the precise colors. Solid block tiles for various walls and icons for the spawns. The level is designed and output 8x the size. Evans code currently requires each pixel to be 8-bit, so we open the PNG in Gimp and Image>Mode>Indexed>Convert the image.

 
      We will be making more levels, and adding enemies. I will make a guide on how you can make levels and maybe we will add them to the game! So check back often to play the newer version! Look forward to reading iiechapman’s post on the Pixel Scanning code with SDL_GetRGB(). Also, darfnagel’s posts on his experience with level design and music production.
 
       Check out Luminess!
 

“YoGo Burger” Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @vinull)
Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 6:13 pm

(Posted to my blog as well)

This past weekend was another Ludum Dare game competition, and the second one I’ve taken part in (this first you can read about here).  I also organized a local meetup with the Knox Game Design group and we had five games in total submitted by the deadline.  So without further adieu, here is my wrap up of what went right, and what went wrong!

Theme “You Only Get  One”

For my game, YoGo Burger, I used the theme in a few ways.  The setup is, due to some budget cuts, you can only put one topping on a burger.  The customer will either be okay with it, or hate it and this will affect the amount of tip you get.  To make matters worse, if a single customer complains to management you’ll be fired.  To keep this from happening you use your tip money for bribes.

In practice the game is like playing multiple games of Mastermind at the same time.  Customers will get back in line and order a second burger and if you remember what they liked before you can use that to get it right the second (and third, forth, etc) time.  To make it interesting I reset the customer preferences each day, added more customers, and I also upped the value weights behind what they like and don’t.  The effect is you’ll probably be deep in debt and fired by the end.

The design was very emergent.  The initial idea was a Burger Time / Tapper  / Diner Dash clone with one ingredient.  It’s fair to say I didn’t really have a strong direction at the start, but as I added mechanics it began to take shape.  I’m very happy with where I wound up and think that this kind of creative exercise is what the Ludum Dare excels at (even if the game isn’t fun for very long).

Programming in Unity

Just like the last time, I used the competition as an excuse to learn new technology.  You might say this is the wrong time to learn something new, but twice now I’ve done it and shipped a game so we’ll have to agree to disagree.  The new tech this round was Unity 4.3’s new 2D support.

Having working in Unity before, and having read up on the new features, this wasn’t so bad.  Prior to the competition I had started porting my XTiled library to Unity, so I wasn’t completely green for this project.  I had to google an issue here and there, but for the most part things went smooth.  For the most part.  Let’s talk animation…

Unity revamped their animation system for the 4.x release, and it’s now called “Mecanim”.  It’s a very complex, yet powerful setup allowing you to define animations then link them with a state engine and create smooth transitions procedurally.   That’s all good, but I need to move a sprite a few steps to the right and this seemed impossible.  I’m sure spending more time with the system is what’s needed, but I have reservations about any system that cannot handle a simple, common use case well.  If you cannot do the simple well, how am I to trust you won’t make the complex a nightmare?

In the end I wrote a few lines of code to handle all animations.  I’m a programmer, it’s what I do.

Graphics

Nothing good to report here.

I am no longer satisfied making excuses that “I’m a developer” or hearing “not bad for developer art” or worse “it’s so bad it’s good – you nailed the MS Paint ironic art style!”.  See, I’m not trying for that.  I don’t expect to be amazing, but I think it’s perfectly fine to expect decent.  I commonly tell people I’m not “talented” I’ve just spent a lot of time writing code and anyone can reach where I’m at.  I believe this to be true of anything, and it’s time I took my own advice.

So next year I’ll be reading up on art 101 and spending quality time with Gimp, Inkscape, and even Blender.  Check back with me after 10,000 hours.

Sound

I needed exactly one sound effect for my game, so why is this even a section? Because it was my favorite part of the whole competition!

I wanted a cash register sound when a customer paid for their order, but because of the rules I cannot use anything I didn’t make during the competition and this include sound effects.  Normally I’d use the amazing bfxr app to generate game sounds, but it wasn’t really suited for this task.  I grabbed a portable microphone and headed out to hunt samples Foley style!

In the end I used a bell from my daughter’s bicycle and the opening and slamming shut a wooden drawer full of screws, bolts, and nuts.  I then edited and combined those samples in Audacity, speeding up the playback by about 150%.  The end result was a very convincing cash register ca-ching!

Music

While I’m a horrible graphic artist, I am “decent” at music.  This time I wanted to use my own guitar playing (as Dylan and Levi have done), however I’ve never actually hooked up a live instrument to FL Studio with my current audio gear.  This led to a frustrating session of attempted guitar recordings before I decided there wasn’t enough time left to keep fooling with it and went with all synths – something I’m pretty comfortable with.  (Yesterday I tried again, and it turns out I made a very simple mixer error).

The music inspiration came from the depressing, you-can’t-win-gameplay and reminded me of Papers Please.  To get in the mood I loaded up some depressing Russian folk songs and waltzes until I had the right state of mind.  Not going to win a Grammy, but I think it fit the game well.

YoGo Burger Theme on Soundcloud

And finally, as it tradition, here is a time-lapse of me making the whole thing – 17 hours compressed into 3 minutes!

What I’ve Learned from not Finishing: A Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @gamepopper)
Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 4:44 pm

Hey all! I’ve been enjoying a lot of games from this Ludum Dare, and I hope you all have to. I participated myself in the jam, collaborating with another indie game dev known as Code_Assassin. However, through details I’ll explain below, we didn’t finish. While we did submit an entry, it wasn’t a finished game like we hoped, and after a day of thought, we requested the entry to be taken down, and the game removed from Newgrounds.

The idea

Our game originally started off with a premise of finding a mob boss out of a group of people, the levels and the clues would be random each time, but you only had one chance at killing the boss. We agreed on using Flixel as our framework due to its ease of use, my experience from using it in last year’s Ludum Dare and CA’s experience with Actionscript3, and that we could upload it to the web. We got a Git repository set up and we were hyped up and ready to go!

(more…)

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