Posts Tagged ‘ld48’
A promise is a promise,
Here is english version of the trailer for my October Challenge game Nevado!
What are your thoughts about it?
Here you go!
Let’s the promo phase begin. I’m working on an english version but this should give you a hint. Don’t miss the game on Halloween!!
We’re pleased to announce that Ludum Dare is coming to London once again – hosted at Google’s Campus!
We’re really excited to bring you this event, and best of all it’s totally free. There are even Android Cardboards up for grabs for the first twenty people to request them.
If you’re thinking of attending, please sign up using the Eventbrite link: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ludum-dare-31-london-tickets-13154865557 (we need a rough idea of numbers for the catering!) and please share this link amongst your friends so we can get the best number of people possible – we will release more tickets if there is demand for it.
Results are out for my compo game Two Must Become One. This game is my first LD ever, and I have to say, didn’t expect this AT ALL:
Holy bananas! 130th place on the first try!? Yay! Thanks a lot to everyone who voted and commented! I got a lot of very helpful feedback too, and I’ll try to better myself and future LD entries.
What’s interesting is that people’s impression of my game was apparently good enough to make them rate it +3 stars (in other words, most could have felt bad if they gave me 1-2 stars for it). Audio got the highest rating, despite the fact I added some music literally in the last minute. The song itself I composed ages ago too, but it fit this game perfectly. I am pretty sure my game has gotten much better ratings than it would otherwise have because of the audio.
What also fascinates me is that most ratings are between 3 and 4 stars, and additionally are pretty close together (3.32 Graphics, 3.35 Fun and so on). I guess it made a solid first impression.
The fact that theme only got a 3 star rating is not surprising at all. I was not able to add all features I wanted to add, which could have made a connection to the theme more obvious. This also means I need to tune down on game scale next time, because this game here as is, is pretty in-depth for being made in only 48 hours. Looking back, I’m wondering how the fridge I got it done in time in the first place. But well, I did it! Weee!
The coolness rating came out pretty bad. I admit I didn’t play too many other games this time because I was happy just to be done with it and to have my first LD entry finished. “Winning” or “getting ratings” wasn’t exactly my aim here. This will change next LD competition, though!
Overall, taking part in this competition was a very positive experience, and the only thing I would improve next time was decreasing the scale of the LD entries. And maybe stop recreating things that already exist! I need better ideaass!
Need some help? Sure you do! I’ve made a walkthrough for my game to give you assistance on finishing the game — but try to use it at the last resort because it’s more funner that way! For your convenience, I’ve added the walkthrough as a screenshot to the game’s description page so you don’t have to find this post for it.
Haven’t tried or rated “Parallel Worlds?” Now’s your chance!
Thank you very much for your support!
I’m really, really happy with my Ludum Dare game this time, so I thought I’d share it some more!
I took a post-modern approach to connected worlds – people live in different worlds based on their perceptions, but are connected by ‘reality’, whatever that is.
What went right
I brainstormed a whole bunch of potential mechanics for the concept of different perspectives. I actually thought of 4 different characters, and quite a few more ideas. I then implemented the mechanics one at a time.
With around 10 hours left, I decided to stop designing levels, and not add any new mechanics but instead focus on polish, and pretty particles. I could have included more mechanics, but I think the polish was much more important.
I also programmed it all from scratch! No game libraries (not that game libraries aren’t great too)
I plan on uploading a timelapse, and a post-compo version with a few more levels in the next few days (depending on how busy I am)
If you haven’t already, give “Parallel Worlds” a try! Feedback is welcomed!
Now’s my turn to announce my postmortem on my edition of “Parallel Worlds!”
Map system: Although I spent most of my Saturday on the map system, I’m happy to get that working and designed. I came up with three worlds, each with it’s own map, style, and song. The portals are working as they should: to take you to the next world in sequence.
Mechanics: Having just a labyrinth where you move eight directions overhead is not so innovated in my opinion. Therefore, I decided to add a gravitated side-scroller in one of the worlds. My initial thought is to add different mechanics to most worlds; although, I only came up of two. Likewise, I’m glad to get two different mechanics in the game to show my idea.
Graphics: I wanted to design an game reminiscent to an ATARI 2600 game but with a background/overlay reminiscent to Magnavox Odyssey. The map is full of big blocks while the background is a detailed, pixelated environment.
Audio: This is my first ever LD entry that featured audio! I’ve done both sound and music with OpenMPT. The sounds didn’t take me too much time to complete as I only have one. The music was a challenge for me to create in such a few hours. I’m not an avid musician, but I do enjoy making chip-tunes. I was amazed to come up with 3 songs in under 2 hours time.
Smooth play: This is my second game made in Flash, but I used Flixel this time. My previous Flash game was nicely done, but it suffered from laggy performance; but I manged to get that resolved later on. This time, however, this game ran smoothly during development and remained that way by its release. Flixel has helped make game development easier and efficiently in little code.
Feature creep: My initial thought was to add enemies to add a more arcade-style game rather than a standard labyrinth with portals. You will notice some rooms have particular designs. Those were designated for enemies — which, unfortunately, is what I didn’t have enough time on. Therefore, the game ended up as a maze with no combat, which is not what I planned initially.
Not enough experience with Flixel: I’m still rather new to Flixel, still learning what it has to offer and learning how to handle its objects. Most of my time was spent on experimenting and trial and error — which could be the blame for the time it took to get the map system working well. Game programming is nothing new to me and game programming in Flash is certainly not a new thing to me, but Flixel is still something I need to learn more of. Eventually, I’ll come up with tricks to take advantage of Flixel’s objects and come up with something in shorter time.
Portal system: The portal system works as intended, but not to what I planned. Sure, the portals will take you to the next world or to the first world when you’ve reached the maximum world, but I wanted an option to choose a specific world to teleport to. While that idea is already achieved in the game when you keep entering the portal, that idea leaves a better way to use the yellow keys. Currently, yellow keys allow you to access the portal in a world. My initial idea is to have each world contain keys to unlock every world (other than the world they are currently in). Any collected keys would actually not be carried on to other worlds. For example, I you are at world 2 and you wanted to go to world 1 or world 3, you will need to find keys to world 1 and world 3 somewhere in world 2. Those collected keys would only remain in world 2. This is the best as I can describe about my initial idea.
Sprite Details: Most objects in game are designed to make them obvious to what they represent — e.g. key. My only issue is the green block representing you — the player. I didn’t have much time to come up with a design and I couldn’t think of a design that would fit the style since there isn’t a story. So, an ordinary block (a la Odyssey) is what I thought best fits the game, and I made it green so it stands out better in every world.
I do see this game having a future. The different mechanics definitely add variation, so I would certainly develop more interesting rules. I like to hang on to the Atari 2600 + Magnavox Odyssey presentation, but with more details. A story would add meaning and thought once I come up something compelling. I really want to add enemies, even bosses, to make this game an action game with a point and life system. With enemies, you can punch and kick them and destroy them accordingly. I have an interesting idea for how the enemies are eliminated, but it’s too complicated to describe. It might be easier to explain once I post the game footage or a prototype.
So, I would definitely like to continue working on “Parallel Worlds” — under a different name. I’ll post details on Twitter, so check out my Twitter account for the latest! (@jprogman)
See you all next time!
When the theme of current Ludum Dare was announced, and I read it in the morning, I was kinda puzzled. Even though I voted for it in the final round, I couldn’t come up with any ideas that felt original and were possible to realize in such limited time span. Which worlds can be connected? The world of living and the world of the dead? The world of rich and the world of poor? The world of dreams and the real world? It also turned out, that I didn’t have almost any time to work on Saturday, and hope for finishing a game for the compo was lost. So I was a bit discouraged by lack of time and ideas, and was not even sure if I should participate at all.
But I’ve missed previous LD and was eagerly awaiting for this one, so I pulled myself together and started making the freaking game. I decided to stop wandering between ideas in fruitless search for the perfect one and settled with the idea of connection between real and imaginary worlds in child’s vivid imagination. (more…)
This was my first Ludum Dare and actually first game ever. I had a blast developing and playing my game, so I thought I’d contribute a small write-up of how things went.
What I used:
- Code: Haxe (language, targeted Flash), HaxeFlixel (library), Flashdevelop (IDE)
- Art: Paint.NET
- Sounds: bfxr
- Music: Autotracker-Bu
What went right:
- Theme/idea — I loved the theme and was inspired to draw from Italian author Italo Calvino’s short story “The Distance of the Moon” (from Cosmicomics) for my game. The premise is that the moon comes extremely close to the surface of the Earth, and all you need to climb onto it is a boat and a ladder. If you aren’t familiar with it, then you may recognize La Luna, a Pixar short that was based on Calvino’s work.
- Central mechanic — I wanted something arcade-y, so skill-based and fast. Something fun. While brainstorming, I remembered an old DOS game called Night Raid (maybe Night Raid 2?), where you shoot bullets from a little bunker to stop parachuting dudes from landing and invading. This fit brilliantly with my initial idea: instead of shooting bullets, you launch dudes (hence the game’s name) from the ladder, who have to jump the gulf of space and use gravity to land on the moon)
- Programming — I’ve been working on a hobby game in HaxeFlixel (nowhere near done), and I know programming already, so this was not too challenging for me. No bugs were found, as far as I can tell.
- Music, sounds — the content generation tools recommended by the Ludum Dare community are amazing! They create assets almost instantaneously, which helped my game feel way more polished. Autotracker-Bu is next to magic, and I actually plan to sit down and peruse its source thoroughly.
- Art — I am not a pixel artist. I decided to embrace my programmer art, and use a simple style (again, reminiscent of Night Raid). I stayed consistent in my style, so I think I pulled it off — the best part is of course the dudes themselves.
- Juice — though I could use more juice, all the extra little things worked well. The pretentiousness of juxtaposing a Calvino quote on a Flash game works well on two levels: it heightens the silliness of “Dude Launch” and serves to set up the setting and theme of the game. Other little things include the particle emitters (explosions), level transitions, and the multiple game modes.
What (almost) went wrong:
- Controls? — I say with a question because the whole point of the game is the wonky QWOP-like controls. If the ladder was rigid and the boat had pixel-perfect movement, what would be the challenge? Still, some people complained about it, though many more “got it” and loved it. Another person requested key-remapping, which I think is also a little much given this is a Flash game (can you remap QWOP keys?) and a game made in 48 hours.
- UI / feedback — no one commented on this, but I feel it was a failure. If I had more time and skills at designing UI, I would’ve presented feedback to the user differently than just have “debug”-type info splashed in the upper screen. I think a bar at the bottom tracking dudes left would’ve been better. Also, dudes could’ve changed color to reflect their velocity, so players could better understand why they died or not.
- Time – simply put, I went up until the last hour working on polishing my game, removing comments from the code, packing it all up, hosting it. Putting things like music (!) in at the last minute was risky but I am so glad I powered through and kept working. Next time I’ll have better pacing.
- Scope — originally, the idea was to have dudes walk around on the moon then attempt a return. After the first couple hours of day 1, I knew there was no way I could get that to work. Thankfully, having dudes explode when they hit the moon or sea was fun enough by itself, so I had a better-scoped game than I realized! The lesson here is: pare your game down to the lowest level of workable gameplay and make it really good.
Overall, I’d say my game was successful. I set out to make a simple, weird, funny game that people found both amusing and fun. Most of “what went wrong” didn’t really go wrong — it almost did. In fact, it came out way more polished and bug free than I would’ve anticipated. But most important of all: the players. The feedback from players has been positive and most have embraced the ridiculousness of the game and controls. It’s really satisfying putting a game out there and seeing others enjoy it.
Thanks to all players and your input!
Thanks for being a really great community. Looking forward to more Ludum Dare compos/jams in the future!
P.S. – my favorite comment on the game: “Very creative and intuitive control scheme. This could be expanded into a full game with a bit more story, obstacles etc. It’s really fun as it is and there’s something strangely beautiful about seeing a host of little naked dudes caught up between the moon and the sea – Calvino would have approved. “
I made a game called Glass Heart Empire. It’s a roguelike where you leave corpses after dying, which are lootable by other players in their worlds.
Normally I don’t try to think about the themes during the theme voting that much, because I think getting and elaborating on an idea should be like bugfixing part of the 48 hour time frame. But then, voting on a theme without thinking about its approachability is somehow hard.
It was pretty clear that Connected Worlds will win (given the votes) and together with that nice, new board game I played days ago (called Robinson Crusoe), I somehow wanted to do something with exploring and surviving in the wilderness.
As Ludum Dare starts here in Germany at 03:00 AM, I went to sleep after looking up the theme. I played with the wilderness survival idea but it was somehow difficult to pin it down to something manageable in 48 hours. Finally, a new and better idea came during sleep. As a Dark Souls fan I always loved the idea of connected player worlds. If you are not familiar with Dark Souls: players fight solo through their game world, but messages written on the floor appear from other players’ worlds, players can invade the world, you see ghosts and puddles of blood from other players and so on.
In the end, I settled with such a shared world idea, because I’m confident with basic “internet things”. I set the genre to roguelike, because in contrast to a common action RPG, roguelikes may be easier to implement in terms of proper collision detection, movement and especially animation.
What Went Wrong
- Scope: I reduced the scope as much as possible, but I wasn’t able to finish the game: I had not enough time to test/balance it as well as making any sounds or music. Why? I had to program the roguelike basics and, yeah, it took more time as expected (surprise surprise!).
- Game Design: While I’m really happy how the game plays, I wished a had done a more reduced approach where I can polish and test more. Why? I think that’s just the never ending battle of ambition and experience.
- Sleep: I slept not that much and I think this resulted in some efficiency issues. Why? I just can’t sleep if I have stuff to do! With a deadline! A 48 hour deadline!
What Went Right
- Fun: While it was a lot of stress, I really enjoyed the making of.
- Online-Feature: I got the online feature as fast as I hoped, without any time-consuming bugs or problems.
- Graphics: I settled with a style fast and just worked through the different tiles and monsters. Some time ago, I always had to fight until I got a visual style to work with.
If someone is interested in how I made the corpse-saving and -loading: it’s quite simple if you are familiar with PHP. I know, it’s the dumbest solution, but it just works. Not recommended for “proper” games!
There is a getter-PHP-script which reads the corpse data (player’s name, x-coordinate on map, y-coordinate on map, amount of lootable experience) and echoes them as plain text, with “;” as a separator within a corpse-data-entry and “|” between corpses. Example: “Unknown;5;12;3|OtherCorpse;2;12;5|…”.
A setter-PHP-script takes data with a similar format and adds it to the database (don’t forget security in terms of SQL-injection etc.).
Within the game’s code (I work in C# with XNA), I have a getter and setter class which mirror the functionality of the PHP-script on my webspace. If a player dies, the game registers a record in the setter-class. At the start of a game, the getter-class downloads the corpse data with a http-request.
If you want more details, you can checkout the source code.
If you want to add some corpses to the 3419 corpses stored in my database, your are welcome!
Play Glass Heart Empire
Check out the game here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=32989
I almost didn’t make it this time, but in the end everything went well. My first participation in Ludum Dare was in the previous edition. I remember that time I was scared because it was a new experience. I had little time developing. My skills as a fast developer hadn’t yet been tested. My last game had taken six months to get ready, so thinking about creating something moderately decent at 48 hours was a real challenge. However, I survived that experience and I was very happy with the result.
This time, things were a little different. The date of Ludum Dare 30 coincided with my vacation, so there was some family activities planned that I shouldn’t or wanted to avoid. That made it nearly imposible to enter the Compo and had me settle with the Jam, even following all the rules of the frenetic 48 hours edition. But my first Ludum Dare had been so rewarding in terms of fun and learning, that I was determined to enter again. When the complex and interesting theme Connected World was announced, it was clear that I would not let it escape.
In my time zone, the theme is announced at 8 pm on Friday, so from that moment I began to think of an idea. Nothing occurred to me, the theme seems terribly difficult so I went to my sisters for aid. We were brain storming for a while until the idea of a frantic RPG where worlds were constantly changing and you have to switch weapon even faster to stay alive came and we found it great. It had that mixture of madness with an air of “it might work”.
When it comes to themes for Ludum Dare I like to stay with the first complete idea that comes to mind. I know that if I think too much I begin to look for detail and I’ll end up finding enough cons to not choose it. So I prefer to begin work immediately on the idea, with a competition like this there is no time to be too insecure with your ideas. Take one and go forward. It is the only way to do it in time.
What went right?
Though it seemed crazy at first, the idea began to take shape as it went. Unlike last time, I decided to start with the mechanics and leave the graphics for last. That way I could feel that I had a game ready before making it pretty. The goal was to have the main mechanic ready at the end of day one (Saturday). I was going to the beach on Sunday so I could not participate. I will be back on Monday to tacke tha art and hopefully finish before delivering time at 8 pm. This was fulfilled so well it’s scary. At 6 pm on Monday, I had the game ready and it was time to play test. Watching my sisters getting angry and hitting the retry button again and again with a smile was gratifying. It was proof that the game was just what I wanted: hard and addictive. Happy with the result, but without being able to believe it was done so fast I used the last few hours to create assets, prepare gamejolt page and take some screenshots. I managed to finish everything on time and by 7:50 I was sumitting the game.
What went wrong?
Although I was happy with the result, as the comments started to appear it was clear that the game was too difficult. I’ve always had a soft spot for hard games, I am a fan of Super Meat Boy (and Edmund McMillen, actually, as you can tell by the similarities of “I Think I Broke Something” with The Binding of Isaac) I also enjoyed the simple difficulty of the infamous Dong Nguyen bird, before all the cloning chaos ruined the experience. I wanted “I Think I Broke Something” to have that: Play, die, be upset and play again thing. I think in a way I did it, but also think I overdid it, many players have said that the difficulty doesn’t let them appreciate other aspects of the game like art and sounds. And that’s something I’d like to correct
Because of this, I thought of creating a post compo version with some adjustments, but when I started thinking about it I realized I had enough material for something else. Something more elaborate, more complex and more fun. So, I decided to take the next step and make “I think I broke something” a fully fleshed out game. You have no idea all the thing I want to add to it and that wasn’t possible with the limited time. So you can be sure that the final version will have enough material to keep you glued for a while. I want to keep the simplicity of design while adding additional content, along with all the feed back I have received from the community, I’m sure I have enough to enhance the experience. First I will finish my current project Taita: Rise of the Half-breed, and them, thanks to Ludum Dare, and have a worthy successor.
Ludum Dare 30 was as frantic as before, but even more satisfying. The community response has been overwhelming, beside the weak points, “I think I broke something” has received many positive comments and that’s rewarding. I’m glad I participated, for sure this new edition was as rewarding as the first. I feel that with every Ludum Dare I become a better developer and although I’m still a long way from the top, there is no doubt that the Jam is the right place to having fun and to learn.
Stay tuned for more progress and expect great things from “I think I broke something” in the near future. Meanwhile enjoy the current version, and remember Play, die, be upset and play again!
As the title says, this was my first LD, and I’m proud to say that I actually “finished” a game.
I was streaming for almost 30 hours, here’s a 5 minute timelapse video of the weekend:
The game I created, HexConquest, is a turn based strategy game, made with Unity.
Here it is
When I woke up on saturday, the competition was already 7 hours in, and I tried to come up with an idea as fast as possible. The first idea was a strange tower defense game, but I tossed it pretty fast. I could reuse the tile generation code I created for the tower defense game for my second project. The second idea was to create a playing field controlled by different fractions, and the player should use his units to conquest the enemies’ zone to connect his main world to others. As you see in the list below, I didn’t get to actually implement the “zone”-thingy, that’s why the theme may not appear obvious…
I didn’t make a plan (one of the things I want to do different next time), so it was pretty chaotic. I spent a lot of time with the pathfinding, so I had to do the A.I. (a topic on which I don’t have any experience with at all) and game objective in a rush and couldn’t even start creating sound/music anymore.
- Action Menu
- Particle Effects
- Planets & Conquest
- Round Manager
The game has some serious usability problems, few bugs and calls for an overhaul. Until the next LD, I will spend time to improve everything and implement all the features I wanted in the beginning.
As I’m only a hobbyist developer, I learned more over a single weekend than I learned in all the months I was using Unity before, most likely because I never finished a game and never had to deal with every subject of development.
This was the first, but definitely not the last LD for me!
PS: Thanks for all the feedback on my game, it helps a lot.