Ludum Dare 31
December 5th-8th, 2014

Posts Tagged ‘Ludumdare’

Rating games: A Guide?

Posted by (twitter: @ezacariasv)
Friday, August 29th, 2014 4:47 pm

It’s always pretty exciting to work on a game for  ludumdare. I’ve participated alone and in team and it’s always such a great experience!

I’ve seen a few discussions popping up here and there about the judging/review process. There are several instances where it’s not THAT easy to know how to rate a game!

While I’m not a veteran, during the time I’ve been here I’ve seen people agree on “best practices” that I’ll try to outline below or at least start a healthy open discussion about them! (if I’m wrong in any of them please let me know!)

 

Take into account  whether the game was submitted to the compo or the Jam!

This will let you rate the game better. I know bad graphics are bad graphics, but compo games can’t be judged with the same “harshness” you would use for Jam games because they were done in less time (48 hours instead of 72), by a single person (not a team) and -in theory- during the competition! (which is not necessarily true for Jam games, where using pre-existent assets is allowed). Same with music, or the level of polish. In fact, every aspect should be judged taking into account whether is a jam or a compo game!

 

Make sure you read the description!

The “description” is the first and main instance for developers to communicate with future players, so a lot of them will try to post information here that will help you play and rate their game.

I know sometimes there’s nothing relevant in the description, but you’ll find that in quite a lot of games reading the description first will definitely make a difference! Perhaps the developers didn’t have time for a tutorial and you’ll find the instructions there. Perhaps all the audio was taken from somewhere else and they are honest about it in the description (more on this later), perhaps you need to install something before playing the game.  Perhaps the web version has annoying bugs and glitches the other versions don’t have. All of this is relevant and will probably help you judge their game better!

 

The game doesn’t run? Don’t rate it!

If the game you are trying to play is not working for you, don’t give it a low score!. The most sensible thing to do is leave a comment saying that it didn’t run on your system. If you can provide relevant information (Operating System,  Processor, graphics card, Browser, A message that popped up before crashing, etc) all the better!

 

Remember that N/A means Not Applicable!

If the game lacks audio, for instance, the best thing to do is to NOT rate the game in that category.  Same with humor, for instance. If it’s an emotional game about a serious topic there’s no reason to give it a 1-star rating in humor when it’s not trying to be funny.

 

The audio or graphics are not their own? (Open to discussion)

For jam games where assets made before the competition or freely available on the internet can be used this is a really hard topic!. A lot of developers will tell you in the description if there’s something in their game they didn’t make themselves, while others simply won’t, which makes this issue all the more complicatedl! Not really sure what the “recommended course of action” is, but when the audio for a game wasn’t made by the team I usually don’t give the game a score in that category.

If they used a mix between things they made during the jam and things they borrowed from public sources then I try to “judge” the assets they did for the game and how they “blend” with everything else.  It’s a really complicated case (and hopefully uncommon) so I’d truly love  to know what other people do when this happens!

 

Leave a comment!

Leaving a comment after you’ve rated a game is not only a way to let the developer know you played their entry but also a way of helping them improve their game!  Bug reports, suggestions and feedback in general (e.g: “Loved your game!”) are always welcome by developers and will most likely help them continue working on the game beyond ludumdare. Plus, a lot of people (including myself) will return you the favor!

 

 

I think that’s all the advice I can give for rating games. If you know of other “best practices” please let me know and I’ll add them here!
Having said that, go and rate some games!

 

Progress!

Posted by (twitter: @RobertWiggin)
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 11:45 am

I’m making tons of progress in my game!

What do you think, do you recognize this painting?

Now I need to finish the dialogues and polish some puzzles!

Screen2

Interaction Completed!

Posted by (twitter: @RobertWiggin)
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 9:59 am

Hell yeah!

Better late than never(I was lacking of inspiration)

I’ve finished the interaction system with the environment.

Here’s a little shrimp of my game :D

I hope that I can get the game done at time, since this is my first Jam.

RobertAguilar

In for Ludumdare 30!

Posted by (twitter: @strong99)
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 2:05 am

This will be my fourth year of Ludum Dare and the seventh time I compete. I’m going to write a live blog like I always did which can be found here.

This time I have to put a bit more effort in music rather than graphics ;) I learned my lesson.

This time I’ll be using InCourse® GameCreator again. A webbased game engine developed by Islandworks and dubbed ‘the GameCreator’. It’s a webbased game engine with an easy and no-coding editor. I’ll be using the Ludum Dare promo code for more statistics. I’m excited!

OS of choice: Windows 8.1

Game engine of choice: InCourse 3.2 – the Gamecreator

Graphics: Photoshop or Illustrator

Audio: Audicity & Anvil.

Hardware: Wacom cintiq (Pen tablet), Space Explorer (3d Mouse), M5 mouse, dual monitors etc.

I’ll post a “How did I do it” on the end as I did the last times.

Other year’s entries include but are not limited to: World AloneBe the Villain and The Dragon Journey.

Strong99's Ludumdare 22 entry - World alone Strong99's Ludumdare 25 entry

Strong99's Mini Ludumdare 49 entry Strong99's Ludumdare 28 entry

And a lot more! Visit my live blog during the event!

 

Good luck fellow Ludum darers!

4th Time – I’m In!

Posted by (twitter: @@moongateuk)
Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 6:12 am

This will be my forth time entering Ludum Dare and the first time that I’ll be live streaming the entire time.

Weapons of Choice:

Game Engine – Unity3d.

Graphics – Photoshop, GIMP and Inkscape.

Music and SFX – FLStudio and FakeMusicGenerator.com.

Promgramming Language – C#.

 

So what I’m hoping for is a theme that will push my limits.

 

Copycats and protecting against them

Posted by (twitter: @strong99)
Monday, June 16th, 2014 12:39 am

It hurts to see that most lovely game ideas and even complete games get ripped, copied and being sold. It makes it impossible for those who had the idea to improve it beyond “good”. So what would be the good kind of “protection” against this?

It’s never impossible to copy or even recreate if they want to. (re-engineering get’s easier by the day). The thing is, you shouldn’t rely on the product you create. You should rely on your ideas. Rely on the experience you design instead of the product itself. Keep developing, keep ahead of your competition and copycats. Everything gets copied from books, movies, games up to houses. Did you know they remodelled Paris and Venice in the USA and even bigger in China? It’s a small sized mini-Paris city. Things get already copied before they’re a day old. Don’t rely on your product, rely on your innovative ideas. Create your space, your slice of the world where people can sign up and enjoy your ideas (a brand so to say) instead of a single product at a time. That’s what Ludum Dare could be, beyond the compo, it’s own brand where people come to enjoy the fresh ideas of the community.

Image from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2384036/Inside-Chinas-mini-Paris-Town-built-look-just-like-French-capital-complete-Eiffel-Tower-Champs-Elys-es.html

Image source, daily motion, copy of Paris.

That said, always keep an eye out for copycats. If you can take them down from stores, go ahead, but don’t rely solely on your product that is always copyable.

I regularly compete in the Ludum Dare competition and develop games for companies. I like using these kinds of competitions to get in touch with creative minds and recruit them. If they stop competing it would be a great loss. I designed the online tool GameCreator to easily create and share games or interactive presentations to wherever and whoever you want. It doesn’t contain code in the old sense of the word. But the idea behind it is to easily mock up, extend, improve and share your ideas. Instead of developing a few weeks, mock it in a day, share, improve and share again. Since it’s an online cloud service it’s also a bit harder to directly copy it from the web to an appstore without ripping almost the entire service and its build in protection. Instead they could set up a link and embed in an app’s browser. Which you would always notice in the tool’s analytics. But the game’s source code would always be shareable for the competition.

Feel free to contact me through twitter, linkedin or otherwise.

Troubling times – How did I do it?

Posted by (twitter: @strong99)
Monday, May 12th, 2014 7:51 am

It’s a couple of weeks after the contest, a few days before the results will be released. It feels about right to add a how-did-I-do-it? post.

Like last time I kept an extensive log on the subject and my progress. I used these tools:

Using my 3d mouse the 3d explorer and a wacom cintiq drawing board as main hardware input.

I started off with the writing down the concept on paper (or word for that matter). The game ended up as a point and click adventure through an underwater base which is near total destruction. I thought up an emotional story about a young girl, trapped beneath the surface of the ocean. As she’s the only person, deep underneath the surface, she feels trapped and alone as she tries to flee her confinement.

Writing down the concept on (digital) paper

After finishing those I went on to create every scene in a story board. I drew my storyboard directly inside the GameCreators editor as it allowed me  to quickly prototype it.

Sketching and prototyping

After I decided the prototype was correct I continued to improve the logic and update the graphics.

The three stages I used to improve the scenery.

 

What went wrong?

Nothing really went bad, but I did end up with an issue related to the audio. I couldn’t match the mood with the audio, so I had to leave it out. Other thing is I probably used too much time on the scenery. I first thought to draw it all out in 2d. But after I finished all the mockup scenes I decided 3d modelling would allow me to easier set the mood I wanted.

What went right?

After I decided to go full 3d I only needed a few hours to work out the scenes in 3d. It looked good and was easy to import and fit inside the editor replacing the old art.

The thing that really succeeded with my chosen game type was the ease to create storyboards in the game editor I used and transform it to the final game.

 

To read more visit my LD29 blog.

To play the game visit the LD29 entry

 

Frack You, Weekend update

Posted by
Sunday, May 4th, 2014 8:53 pm

I managed to get some time to add some upgrades to the game this weekend.

The difficulty was slightly balanced by adding a drill, to which the pipes need to be connected.

screenshot5

 

A level map was added.

Also after level 10 you unlock the police station which reduces the unrest by 25% with every policeman you buy.

screenshot4

Future updates will include

* Politician support which freezes all unrest for 30 seconds (unlockable from level 20).
* Small Bonus levels in between the planets that unlock equipment upgrades, better drills, less poluting pipes, wildcard pipes.

* Sound

* Small graphic changes.

Please be sure to rate and also any feedback is greatly appreciated.

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-29/?action=preview&uid=34443

Thank you,

Adrian.

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

Quick update before bed

Posted by (twitter: @strong99)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 5:13 pm

I almost completely scrapped all the features and ended up with a very simplistic setup which I still should be able to complete before the deadline! I’m not used to 2D games :) Done too many 3D I think. Time for some sleep!

More on bit.ly/1bUxTdH

Ludumdare 28

Posted by (twitter: @strong99)
Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 4:44 am

This will be my third year of Ludum Dare and I’m going to keep a live blog which can be found here.

This year I’ll be using InCourse® GameCreator. It’s  a webbased game engine developed by Islandworks and dubbed ‘GameCreator’. It’s made in HTML5 and such, it will be quite different from my previous entries which were made in C++ and the 3d graphics engine Irrlicht. It’s going to be a challenge to make a game using only 2d art :)

OS of choice: Windows 8

Game engine of choice: InCourse 2.0 – Gamecreator

Graphics: Photoshop/Illustrator

Audio: Audicity & Anvil.

 

I’ll post a “How did I do it” on the end as I did the last times.

Other year’s entries were: World Alone and Be the Villain.

Worldalone - the lost bedroom The deathray

Have a great Ludum Dare everyone!

BitmapCaching engine for upcoming ludum dare

Posted by (twitter: @jacklehamster)
Thursday, November 28th, 2013 6:54 am

Hey it’s Jack again,

So for he upcoming ludum dare, it is my understanding that we can use game engines that were produced before the 48h period. Since I’m planning to use mine, I wanted to release the code. It’s now on an open source license, and you can shoot me an email if you want some help on how to use it.

https://github.com/jacklehamster/TurboGraph-master/

The engine simply consists of saving Flash vector drawings into a bitmap at runtime, and reuse it later. It’s a common trick for boosting performance in Flash, and I’ve been using it lately.

[cache: storing page]