Posts Tagged ‘ld34’

Our game from LD 34, Zaba the frog is on Steam Greenlight now!

Posted by
Saturday, March 11th, 2017 10:09 am

Hello!

In December 2015, on Ludum dare 34, me and my brother made a game about one lazy frog.

There were two themes at this jam: two button controls and growing. We made a game in which player must rotate the world to move the main character – a frog, and get it to the end of the level, eating flies on the way.

After few months of additional work on this game, we finally finished it and put it on steam greenlight.

It would be a really big help if the community of Ludum Dare could help us put another LD game on Steam.

Here is a link to greenlight page. Thanks in advance.

VOTE ON US ON GREENLIGHT

 

Conga Master is on Steam!

Posted by (twitter: @BubsyPoochies)
Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 6:31 am

CONGA_MASTER_Illo_lo_res-1024x788

Hi!

Two Ludum Dares ago we did Conga Master and got great scores (thank you!!) #21 Overall, #5 Fun… ^^ so we decided to work on it a bit more.

9 months later… Conga Master has been released on Steam, GOG and Humble Store with more than 30 characters, 7 clubs, local multiplayer modes… ^__^ We hope you enjoy it as much as the Ludum Dare version!!

 

Reworking my LD 34 entry Eda

Posted by (twitter: @alpha_rats)
Sunday, June 5th, 2016 7:12 am

I’m currently reworking my LD34 entry, a bonsai-growing game called Eda.

First  of all : thanks a lot to the Ludum Dare community for all the useful feedbacks on the first version of the game!
Many of these insights are now implemented, and contributed dramatically to improve the game and motivate me to push it further.

The LD vesion of the game

The original version (playable here) allowed the player to choose the branches he wished to grow. The player had overall limited agency over the tree’s evolution, and the game presented little variety outside of diverse planting pots.

tumblr_nzepnlW2r91tqwxxoo1_400

My LD 34 entry Eda

The current version of the game

In it’s current state, the game presents two different shaping tools : growing and pruning.

It also features now :

– different varieties of trees to choose from or to grow randomly
– different planters and little carpets to choose from or to randomize
– four seasons with different color schemes, depending on moon cycles
– an in-game screenshot mechanic
– a proper menu and decent UI
– improved graphics
– a more fluid and adaptative camera
– fully rewritten and optimized code

A lot of these ideas came firectly from the suggestions made here on the LD website, so once again: thanks everybody!

alpha_rats-Eda screenshot- main screen 04june

Eda, screenshot : June 2016

alpha_rats-eda-screenshot june20165png

Eda, screenshot : June 2016

alpha_rats-eda-screenshot june20163png

Eda, screenshot : June 2016

Where is it heading to?

The plan is to have a free demo by mid-june and to ship the finished project by September 2016, for desktop and Android.

The main remaining features yet to implement :
– make the tree evolve depending on season cycles (bloom, fall, growing fruits, etc…)
– add some weather elements (rain, snow, sunshine, etc…)
– add more tree shaping and tree care elements
– give more variety to the different kinds of trees, with more varied growing shapes
– have different kind of background scenery, eventually randomly generated

And finally : thanks to Mathis Bouron who did a great job with the soundtrack and sound effects, and continues to do so now for the new version of the game!

 

Ludum Dare #35 Wallpaper 1280×720

Posted by
Friday, January 29th, 2016 10:25 am

Ludum Dare wallpaper

Grow Your Love Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @ddrkirbyisq)
Thursday, January 14th, 2016 2:00 am

It’s postmortem time!

Grow Your Love

If you haven’t yet played Grow Your Love, you can do so here:
http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-34/?action=preview&uid=7285

You can also download the official soundtrack here:
https://ddrkirbyisq.bandcamp.com/album/grow-your-love-original-soundtrack

This was my first time doing a jam entry with my trusty partner-in-crime Kat Jia since waayyy back in Ludum Dare 28 when we made Match Girl (and took 2nd place!).  That was two years ago, and since then, the number of jam entries has more than doubled, going from 780 to 1,638.  Wow!

This time around, we managed to take 3rd place in Audio, 13th place in Fun, and 13th place Overall.  Not bad at all! 😀

My personal goals going into the project were:

  • Don’t make another rhythm game
  • Work on pixel art together
  • Have fun!
  • (Maybe) treat iOS and Android porting as first-class

Humorously enough, I actually did very poorly on most of these. xD  While I didn’t REALLY make another rhythm game, one of our seven minigames was a simple dance game (haha).  Kat ended up doing 90% of the art as I had no time at all to work on any of the graphics…I drew the shooting stars and some of the UI elements like the arrows in the kniting minigame, but that was it =X.  And iOS and Android porting, pfffttt, come on, we both saw it coming from a mile away that that would get dropped.

Fortunately, the most important goal of having fun was a huge success; this game was definitely very enjoyable to make!

As always, let’s see what went well and what didn’t go so well.

Dancing

What went well

Concept, mood, feel, and overall vision

Probably the most common comment we got about our game was that it was really cute and adorable, which was great!  When we set out to decide what kind of game we were going to make, we weren’t trying to make something that was super innovative or challenging or anything — we really just wanted to make something fun and cute; something that would fit in with our Cocoa Moss label.  We had a really good and light-hearted energy bouncing ideas back and forth for the different parts of the game, and I think it reflects in the overall end product.  Kat did an especially great job with the dancing animations, and I tried to write out the Letter and Texting dialogue in a way to match the same style as well.  It all ended up coming together very well, and I think the game is much more about enjoying a cute story than about the actual scoring of the minigames itself, which is perfect!

 

Making smart code architecture decisions

Having SEVEN different minigames to make meant that code reuse was at a premium, and I found myself super-grateful to myself that I had enough foresight to plan well for it.  There was no way I would have finished all seven games in time if I had to create entirely separate logic for each of them.  Sharing most of the common logic for the tutorial demos, starting and ending the game, etc. saved me heaps of time and even though there were lots of hacks and messiness throughout the codebase (as always), it ended up working out really well.

 

Slamming out music faster than ever before

Holy crap.  I know I’m known in some circles for my speed-composing abilities, but I even outdid myself this time by writing the entire 10-song soundtrack in less than 5 hours total. O_O  FL Studio saves your project working times automatically; here was the breakdown of how long I spent on each track:

Lovers’ Rave: 32 minutes
Watch Carefully: 15 minutes
Hope You’re Not Asleep: 34 minutes
Stargazing: 20 minutes
Love Sprout: 3 minutes
Grow Your Love: 1 hour 6 minutes
Wiggly: 31 minutes
Our Love Has Grown: 46 minutes
From Me to You: 17 minutes
Rainbows of Yarn: 20 minutes

Total: 4 hours 44 minutes

Aside from the title theme I basically wrote each song in 20-30 minutes, which was kind of insane.  Of course, these were shorter songs, so it makes sense that I was able to churn them out at a faster pace, but I was surprised at how well I was able to work under pressure here while still remaining creative, especially given that some of the songs are not of my usual style.  I was under MASSIVE time pressure as I started doing the bulk of the soundtrack work, so I really had no choice but to do it quickly.  Ironically, this might have =helped= my creativity by giving me no choice but to go with my first gut instinct.  I’m especially happy with “Wiggly”, which was ridiculously fun to write.

You can read more of my comments on the individual songs in the in-game jukebox if you’d like — there are some interesting notes in there since a lot of the songs were repurposed from what they were originally intended for.  To be honest, neither me nor Kat were planning for the mood of the game to play out exactly how it did; it sort of evolved as things went.  I had to rethink how I was doing the music to reflect the shift in mood that ended up happening, but luckily I didn’t have any wasted work as a result.  I do have to say that the full hour I spent on the main Grow Your Love theme was well worth it; it’s now my favorite track of the entire soundtrack and I think it really gives a lovely first impression.  You’ll notice that I centered all of the songs around a shared motif — it’s a great technique I’ve used over and over again that really brings cohesion to a soundtrack. :)

Stargazing

What didn’t go so well

People not getting the menu controls

Sadness.  Perhaps I was going too deep with the “two button controls” theme, but I thought that in order to really be complete the menu of the game should use two button controls as well.  Of course, it’s hard to make menu controls using only two buttons, so I looked to DiveKick for how they did it and figured that I would do the same thing.  Apparently it wasn’t obvious to most people as they just gave the screen a blank stare and wondered why pressing left or right separately didn’t do anything, so in the post-compo version I made it painfully obvious by putting big flashing indicators on the screen and highlighting the text, press LEFT + RIGHT TOGETHER.  Sigh.  It’s always the little things that you assume that bite you in the foot later on…

 

Not testing on the release platform until later on

This one was a smaller point, but for most of development I was testing on Haxe’s Neko VM instead of actually testing the Flash compile.  This was fine, except halfway through development when I tried the flash build and ran into a crisis.  You see, most of the graphics in the game are upscaled by 4x, so I had set the camera zoom at 4.  But the text was way too big at 4x, so I had the text sized 50% smaller, so overall the text would be upscaled by 2x.  Setting the text scales to 50% worked fine in neko and everything was perfectly happy.  Well, as it turns out, in Flash with the buffer rendering flow, you actually can’t draw pixels with a size less than the current camera zoom, so instead of the text being nice and crispy at a 50% scale compared to everything else it was actually just unreadable.  Oops.  Luckily I was able to jury-rig a fix by hacking at the haxepunk code, so that was a major crisis averted.  The hack was pretty ugly — I set the camera zoom to 2 instead of 4 and then edited the image class so that every image in the game would be scaled up by 2, etc — but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.  Managed to dodge the bullet on that one, phew!

 

Balance and scoring

Ugh, this is probably my number one regret with the game.  The scoring formulas and balancing of the minigames is pretty terrible and I really didn’t test them very much.  In particular the dance game seems to get people a lot — like rhythm tengoku/rhythm heaven, it’s grading you not only on whether you memorize the sequence correctly, but how on-beat you are.  Of course, I had no time to make sure the lag calibration was spot-on, so it’s not perfect at all. =(  In the compo version, some players also misunderstood the goal of the Letter writing game (do it as fast as possible), and players also tried to figure out which word made grammatical sense in the Texting minigame, instead of realizing that you just needed to tap on the YELLOW highlighted word.  In the post-compo version I tried to be much more explicit with the directions for those games, and made the tutorial overlay display across the entire screen because people were probably skipping the text due to being distracted.  Some people also got confused with the Stargazing game in the compo version by pointing to where the star was going rather than which side the star was on.  In the post-compo version I solved this issue by getting rid of the stars that start on one side and travel towards the opposite side, to make it more obvious.  We also made some tweaks to the dance minigame during development to make it more clear.  Clarity in instruction is always super hard to get right, I guess…

Initially I had planned on rebalancing the game and even adding an “Expert Mode” where each minigame gets harder (e.g. harder rhythms for dancing, longer letter and text, more arrows for knitting), but in the end I realized that Grow Your Love really isn’t =about= the challenge and the scoring anyways, so it’s not that important to have Expert Mode or anything like that.

Not enough time (as always)

Some of the issues with balance and scoring were a direct result of me having almost zero time to properly test and play through the game, as I was still working on core features like the main menu.

Several things accounted for the time pressure:

  • Making seven separate minigames just takes a lot of work, period.
  • There was a nontrivial amount of work put into making a horizontally-scrolling menu workable; I couldn’t just copy the vertical menus that I usually put into all of my other games.
  • Certain aspects such as Free Play mode ended up not being that important to the overall experience but still took time to implement and get right.
  • Did I mention making seven different games?

Overall there was just a LOT of stuff to get done; not only did I have the 7 games to program, but there was the menu, jukebox, liner notes in the jukebox, free play mode, scoring algorithms, the intro scene, record saving, tutorials, tutorial skipping, and don’t forget the ending scene!  This was probably the most hours I ever worked for an LD, and I felt =exhausted= afterwards, jeez!  Even after submission, I was still finding stupid bugs that I needed to patch up (at this point I still  hadn’t ever had time to actually play through the entire game).  I don’t know if there was really anything that could have been done about this, aside from maybe not worrying about Free Play mode…perhaps we could have gone down to 5 minigames, but I really think 7 is a good number and that we like all of the ones that managed to make it in.  Honestly I think we just did the best that we could have! =P

 

All in all, Grow Your Love was great fun to make and I hope you guys enjoyed playing through it as well.  As always, we learned a lot, and in the future we probably won’t try doing a warioware-style collection of minigames again.  I know that it worked well this time around, but it was just too much work!  It also caused an issue in that it took a long while before we had a single one of the minigames completely finished, as we were sort of working towards a lot of them at the same time.  One of these days, I’d like to have a LD where I actually finish the work for the main game EARLY instead of scrambling at the last minute!  (Melody Muncher was sort of close…).

 

Thanks for playing and reading about our game! :)

Dizzy Dazzle – postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @tselmek)
Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 9:03 am

What time is it? It’s postmortem time!
Last LD I set myself the goal of focusing on more complex mechanics and level design, that might wait for LD35 :’D

= What went right =

  • Audio: Really proud of how the audio fit the style of the game. Again, credit goes to the great Ted Wennerström.
  • Programming: Programming went rather smoothly, I’m pretty happy of the way the game is built, it allowed a lot of changes in the same canvas.
  • Style: Regarding the style of the game, we stuck to the original idea and players seemed to like it (pairs with Audio)
  • Juiciness: The constant screen wobble was an experiment, but the feedbacks were pretty easy to make and pretty efficient

= What went (entirely or slightly) wrong =

  • Balance and Design: Oh did I screw up that part. A majority of players made me notice how the game should be more penalizing. I first thought of letting mistakes pass in case people were not good at this kind of game and the Accuracy rating was just a treaky way to reward the accurate player, but it runed out pretty bad. Secondly, the game was way too fast since the beginning but while playtesting got me used to the speed and I realised too late that indeed it was way too difficult.
  • Ideas: We knew in the very beginning what the style of the game would be but had no idea on the precise mechanics so we groped until we stuck to the arrow mechanics.
  • Theme: The tied themes were pretty confusing at first, moreover we started the design around Growing but ended up using the Two Button Controls because I couldn’t get the Growing mechanics to be fun to play.

The final ratings:
Look at 'em ratings

Kicking it with the Audio score. Did better with Theme than I thought. Fun and Mood were the main focus I guess, and I’m actually a little surprised about the Fun score considering the huge penalty flaw of the game.

Thanks everyone for playing Dizzy Dazzle, cheers!

Tselmek out!

Final Results and Post Compo!

Posted by (twitter: @PowerSparkGames)
Monday, January 4th, 2016 9:46 pm

Thanks again to all who played Edo Arena! Now I’ll include my results in this post!

Thumbnail

Edo Arena

Results

Edo Arena’s results

Reflecting on last Ludum Dare, I got better scores in Fun, Overall, and Humor. I’m proud of making a fun game for compo! I hope to break top 100 next time around, so close! Audio is definitely the weakest point, but it was my first attempt at music so I’m not surprised. Thanks to everyone who rated!


Post Compo: The post compo version of Edo Arena is now available, please take a look if you like! I hope it fixes what was wrong with the original.

There's dual weapons now

There’s dual weapons now

I hope you like your results! Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve all had an awesome Ludum Dare 34! ☺

Final Minutes

Posted by (twitter: @_benhumphries)
Monday, January 4th, 2016 9:09 pm

As we approach the results of our games I want to thank not only everyone who rated and played my game, but everyone in the community who helped others on their game-making journey. I hope that everyone realizes how much of an impact we are all having on each other. This being my first real Ludum Dare compo, I am ecstatic to find out how my game was received. I can’t wait to learn from my mistakes and make a better game next time for LD35!

Thanks, everyone!

Only 2 hours left

Posted by (twitter: @ZpeedTube)
Monday, January 4th, 2016 8:49 pm

You can still check out my first entry for Ludum Dare here ! :)

A 2D physics plathformer.

Shape Magnet

Final Shameless Plugin Post

Posted by (twitter: @xanjos)
Monday, January 4th, 2016 8:10 pm

There’s literally less than an hour left to play/rate entries and my game Rolla Grolla Arena could do with some more votes (it’s probably not possible given the short timeframe but I want to get 100 votes by the end of the judging period).

Click The Pic To Play!!

This was our first Ludum Dare competition entry.

Game took 5 hours from concept to submission.
Removed time for Dinner and watching Red Vs Blue :)

It is a pure gameplay focused game.

No animations to distract attention.
Used both themes: Two Button Control and Growing.

Lessons Learnt / Postmortem

The comments provided a lot of invaluable feedback.

The biggest theme to summarise this would be:

1) Do not stray too far from the standard of what is expected.

A common comment was that having no visual feedback through animation made it difficult to play.

Our internal thinking at the time:

  • We were just focusing on gameplay.
  • It was a 50 / 50 decision and as there were only two of us, TrollPiggy vetoed as he was the lead 😉 (Not pointing fingers, just saying it how it is)
  • We made it purely so that the player would try to psych each other out.
    • Think of how cycling sprints work in velodrome, they will follow each other slowly and then sprint when they think they can get the upper hand.
    • This is why there is very little on the actual screen itself.
    • There is like a meta game built in :)

It turns out that by doing this, it made it too hard to play.

A more standard design would have had animation and/or sound to provide additional sensory feedback.

3) Remembered how powerful Construct2 was as a tool

We first picked up Construct2 back in 2011. At the time, HTML5 was not that widespread, so game performance on different platforms was not very good. Trying to target mobile was quite difficult.
Since then, we have used both Unity and Unreal Engine 4.

Getting back into using Construct2 was just like riding a bike. After not having used it for a long time (years??) it was easy and felt natural to use.

Remembering how easy it was to use, allowed me to finish the One Game Per Month Challenge (#1GAM) after this Ludum Dare. I finished an additional 8 games before the end of 2015.

In Summary / TL;DR:

Keep expected parts standard and Construct2 is just like riding a bike. 😉

 

Sam and Mas Two Button Attack Game was TrollPiggy’s 2nd game, richardboegli’s 4th.

TrollPiggy:

1) RunGunSwordPunchKick: YouTube

richardboegli:

Game Title Link Engine
1 40in40book – Match Face Game Web Construct2
2 40in40book – Carrot Attack Web Construct2
3 40in40book – Carrot Attack 2 YouTube Unreal Engine 4
4 Sam and Mas Two Button Attack Game Web Construct2
5 40in40book – Sam Smile Infinite Auto Runner Web Construct2
6 40in40book – Sam Smile Pizza Drop Web Construct2
7 40in40book – Sam Smile Flying Dodge Web Construct2
8 40in40book – Sam Smile Tap To Fly Web Construct2
9 40in40book – Sam Smile Infinite Jumper Web Construct2
10 40in40book – Sam Smile & Mas Turret Defence Web Construct2
11 40in40book – Sam Smile Auto Carrot Launcher Web Construct2
12 The Beginning Is The End Racing (TBITER.com) YouTube Unreal Engine 4

Revolver Post-Mortem

Posted by
Monday, January 4th, 2016 3:55 pm

gameplay

With the final hours ticking down before scores are revealed, I thought I’d fill the time by doing a post-mortem for my LD48 compo entry. Revolver is an action puzzle game about growing plants by rotating the planet toward favorable weather conditions.  You can play it here!

What Went Right

A:\> Let’s build a time machine!

Time management. Unlike most other jams, the first time ever I felt in control of my time. I didn’t get in everything I wanted to, but I delivered the key elements I needed to. I chose an idea with core mechanic that was design-complete. The idea hit both theme targets. By the end of Saturday, the sandbox prototype was playable, which is a target I don’t always hit. I did a really good job of “layering” my needs, ensuring that every element of the game had a placeholder first, before several iterations of refinement. I don’t just mean art, I also mean text, sound, and code. In this way, as time became short, I could say “you know, that placeholder here is good enough” and polish where it is more needed.

Challenge. I tweaked the levels to be tough on the timer, particularly the last 3-4 levels. While this got some users cursing at me, most said it was on the good side of challenging.

B:\> I’m not looking for judgement, just a yes or no — can you assimilate a giraffe?

Unity. I entered previous compos using Flaxen, which is built on HaxePunk using Haxe. It’s great stuff, but I’ve been wanting to get more experience with a game engine that has 3D, a lighting model, and a proper scene graph.  (Hopefully, HaxePunk 3.0 will have these things.) I had a really good time using Unity. I’m not so much of a Microsoftie so was I  surprised to enjoy many of C#’s features. I mean I’m never going to love capitalized function names, and Unity/MonoDevelop makes it excruciating to use third party libraries (see how haxelib does it), but overall it was smooth.

In-editor configuration. As much as possible, I exposed all level data and configuration to the editor. Each level was a prefab that I dragged to the Level Manager array in the order I wanted them. This made it easy to tweak and change the levels and messages. Unity does have a really ugly built-in array management with no drag and drop reordering, but it’s passable, and you can customize the inspector view to some extent with a little more time. The configuration for the item types were also fully exposed.

C:\> Good job doing basically nothing

In-game tutorial. Not only did I fit several levels, I also worked in a couple tutorial levels to explain the controls and concepts. I was very pleased to fit this in.

Unfiltered sarcasm. Because I layered my time, I used placeholders everywhere first, and this included the level message texts. The requirement for a placeholder is BUILD IT FAST, so I did what comes to me naturally. That is, I was a sarcastic and obnoxious ass. As time wound down, other things took up my time, and I never went back to the level text. As it happened, however, my sarcasm turned out to be a popular aspect of the game. So yay me and my immaturity!

What Went Wrong

D:\> Please, sir? Can we have some more, please?

Moar levels. I put in just enough levels to introduce the three types of atmospherics (rain, snow and tornado) and three plants (smirkflower, smeggplant, and flurp trees).  Barely enough time to dip your toes in.

Less samey. I envisioned a more complex dynamic between the atmospherics and plants. Although I exposed a lot of the configuration to the editor, I didn’t tweak them much. In the end, each plant had an atmosphere it grew 4X as fast in, and an atmosphere that stunted it’s growth completely to 0X. These values could have been tweaked to be more interesting, but with as few levels as I had in there, it would be an underused subtlety.

Moar items. I also pictured two other atmospherics (flock of birds, swarm of bees) that could move around the planet – this would have looked cool! It would have also fed into new asexual and sexual plants which spread via seeds and/or pollen, and were endangered by birds.

Moar animations. My biggest regret on the art side was not making time for a better plant-growth effect. It just scales out along the length, which kind of looks like growth, and kind of looks like it’s rising from a deep bow. What I really wanted was a dynamic art that could support a tweakable growth pattern. If I did that, maybe I could have fit in more plants.

Moar UI. The level transitions were very minimalist. The font was hard to read on some levels if there was foul weather near the south pole.

Overall I had a great time this Ludum Dare. My feedback has been largely positive. Regardless of my scores, I’m still very pleased with the result.

Last Call to Bash Some Boxes

Posted by (twitter: @aaghgames)
Monday, January 4th, 2016 10:47 am

Box 'N Bash logo

If you haven’t tried our game, Box ‘N Bash, and would like to, time’s running out during Ludum Dare! Stack up boxes to fill your quota, but don’t smash the box goblins – and look out for the infamous boom boxes! Work fast and efficiently to get your teetering stack of crates to the tape, all while dealing with your antagonistic foreman.

Box 'N Bash screencap

Sound interesting? Give it a spin before time runs out on Ludum Dare 34.

GrowForce timelapse

Posted by
Monday, January 4th, 2016 10:30 am

Here’s a timelapse of my sixth Ludum Dare game named GrowForce.

Entry page

If embedded video doesn’t work here’s a link

Double Kick Heroes Post Ludum version!

Posted by (twitter: @blackmag_c)
Monday, January 4th, 2016 9:36 am

Hi Gamedevs!

The judging ends in almost twelve hours!
Why don’t you try the post ludum version of Double Kick Heroes waiting for it?
We put it on itch.io :
http://blackmag-c.itch.io/double-kick-heroes

banner_postludum

You can also listen to the original soundtrack :
Double Kick Heroes on bandcamp right now!

And don’t forget to watch the making of, 72h reduced to 4 min :
Timelapse of Double Kick Heroes

Thanks to you all!

The last chance to rate my first ludum dare game !

Posted by
Monday, January 4th, 2016 5:55 am

My first ludum dare game ended up becoming chaotic(in a good way), with awful sound but I’m quite happy with it, try the chaos yourself and tell me what you think !

Chaotic Potato(my game): http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-34/?action=preview&uid=64420

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