Posts Tagged ‘lost sleep’

ZUNZANDA – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @Phantom_Green)
Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 10:53 am


This weekend was crazy. Ludum Dare 23, the 10th anniversary of the best dang game jam around, was number one on my list of priorities. I wanted to go all out for the 10th anniversary, and I did. I altered my sleep schedule so I could work during the night, which is my most productive time. I started working on the game after midnight on Friday… then I went to sleep sometime the next morning. I then stayed up ALL night on Saturday… and stayed up all the way until submission time.

Then … I crashed.

I crashed hard.

And on Monday… I was met with some terrible news. My aunt had just passed away.

Normally by this time, I’ve already played 15 – 20 LD games. But due to my sleep schedule, I couldn’t follow through. I was gonna start on Monday morning. Then I got the news about my aunt and things obviously changed. So here I am… on Tuesday morning… and I still haven’t played a single LD game. I spent some time adding a dedication to my aunt in ZUNZANDA’s credits, which I hope the judges are OK with. I then ironed out some bugs that I discovered while playtesting and getting feedback from others… but only game killing bugs. One glitch even caused the player input to stop completely, so I had to deal with that ASAP. Dropbox also borked my upload link… but I didn’t know because the site was so jammed up that I couldn’t even get to my own entry page. I said “SCREW IT!” and passed out.

But I did find a horrible bug. Well… less of a bug and more of an I’M AN IDIOT AND FORGOT TO ADD THIS VERY IMPORTANT FEATURE TO THE GAME issue. I won’t reveal what it is. Maybe you won’t notice. *cringe*

What the hell is Zunzanda?

Well… it’s a game about a tiny world. But the twist is that the world is getting smaller by the minute… and you gotta stop it! How?

With this totally rad terrain sculpting system, of course!

Well, that was going to be the primary focus of the game, but the dynamic tiles and terrain destruction features sort of fell out of the spotlight when I realized that what I had in my head would not be possible in 48 hours. I originally wanted the player character to have two forms… one that could attack but was forced to stand on solid ground, and a form that could not attack, but could float between platforms. The terrain was originally going to change drastically over the course of a ‘stage’, but now you’ll find that it’s much more gradual.

It took me a long time to get the dynamic tile system working, but it turned out MOSTLY alright. It’s kinda fugly and it’s not incredibly seamless, but it does what I wanted it to… and HEY… for 48 hours… it’s GREAT.

So what else can this game do?


The game is broken down into waves… with each wave throwing more enemies at you. Your goal is to kill those star jellies as quickly as you can before they eat your world. The only way to kill ’em is to collect those starshines that fall from they sky. Get enough of ’em and you’ll unleash a burst of light that fries ’em dead. Then you get a bit of a break so you can ‘cash in’ your dead jellies for new terrain tiles to rebuild your world. It’s a constant battle of dodging holes while racing for those precious starshines… and staying away from those jellies while they try to gobble up your land. It gets pretty intense… even if it did end up being a bit unforgiving with ‘deaths’.

If you wanna keep reading… follow me after the jump and we’ll keep it going.


Post compo wind-down

Posted by
Monday, December 8th, 2008 5:01 pm

So now the mad rush to finish is over and I’ve caught up on lost sleep, here’s all my progress shots that I didn’t have time to write journal entries for.

Project setup, and boring game init / display init:

A tile map and a hardcoded bulldozer sprite:

I added bulldozer controls here, plus rocks to dig for resources:

Placing roads via the bulldozer:

Adding code and graphics to properly make road curves and junctions:

Added hard-coded buildings and cars, plus a hud for better feedback. I should probably have had a screenshot in between this and the previous one but I was on a roll. :)

Adding in proper building placement, city growth and car spawning:

Compared to previous LD48s I didn’t get much journal writing done during the competition, probably because I only had a single day so was much more focused than usual. Also the game was largely based on logic code (like getting the building placement and car AI correct) rather than lots of visible gameplay elements, so at times where I would normally have taken a picture I skipped it since it looked identical to before.

I’ve decided to leave my post-mortem ’till after judging had finished / nearly finished, so I can see if my list of things to improve matches what other people think.

Also, project source and images are here. It won’t compile as-is because I took the LWJGL and Slick libraries out to cut down the size, but you can browse through my spaghetti code and see how hideous it all is. :)

[cache: storing page]