Posts Tagged ‘MiniLD56’

MiniLD #56 – Catch! A Fishing RPG

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 6:24 pm

This is one of my only games so far and my first publicly released game ever. The theme I chose, of course, was fishing. My challenges were to use only 4 colors and to make a game that uses only 2 keyboard keys (“A” and “D” in this case). If my game makes anyone laugh (there are some awful puns here and there), feel hungry, or go “Awwwww :(“, I consider that a plus.

I also had a personal goal on the side, which was to make a game about a character who clearly has a disability, but not make the game specifically about that disability. Since the protagonist spends much of the game sitting in a rowboat and not jumping around or anything like that, I thought “Why not make this angler a wheelchair user?” The story arc, in the end, is (spoiler alert) more about hunting down a sea monster and avenging the loss of the character’s parents, while disability is incidental.

I guess it can also sort of be about learning to live on one’s own and a more general separation from one’s parents. Moving out is often considered a major part of adulthood. I’m not currently a wheelchair user, but I am disabled and have mobility issues, and the idea of living by myself really intimidates me. There are people with disabilities who can and do live on their own, but personally, I think I’d have a rough time. One of my biggest fears is losing my family and ending up alone.

But I don’t want to seem like I’m trying to be too deep about a silly Game Maker pixel game that involves smacking things around with an oar in Pokemon-style battles. It is very much that.

What I used:

  • Game Maker Studio Standard
  • FireAlpaca (and a bit of Paint Tool Sai, but mostly FireAlpaca)
  • Bfxr
  • LMMS

What went well:

  • I’m happy with the color palette I used. It might not be for everyone, but I like purples and sunset-y colors.
  • I got a, more or less, finished game submitted my first time participating in a MiniLD jam.

What didn’t go so well:

  • There was stuff I still really needed to fix after first release (stuff that didn’t exactly impair gameplay, but it’s a little weird to see, for instance, a door floating in front of a text box).
  • I rushed the music over the course of a couple days. Apart from sight-reading and transcribing a shanty for the ghost pirate battle music, I basically threw stuff together in LMMS and hoped it wasn’t too grating on the ears.
  • I had to do the battle system twice over and each time took about a day.
  • I could have done better on the end screen. I saved that for just about last, when I was really rushing to get the game done.
  • The equipment could have used more variety.
  • The sea screens also could have used more variety.

What I learned:

  • Parent objects are pretty convenient if you have multiple things that function similarly. Like text boxes. I should have realized this earlier on.
  • Either having a single object handle a bunch of menu functions is a bad idea, or I’m just bad at doing that. I could ramble about how the shop and battle systems used to work and how they work now, but I don’t want to stretch this post out too much.
  • I need better sleep habits. I was really excited about MiniLD and I’d keep on trying to code even while I was sleep-deprived, but that led to more slip-ups and subsequently having to debug.

‘Any Key’ my first Jam

Posted by
Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 3:29 pm

I’ve played various Ludum Dare games in the past. So felt it was about time I put something back into the community; and a mini LD seemed like a great entry point.

Oh, and here’s a link to the submission.

 

The Concept:

The core concept was literally born in my head within a few minutes of reading the Mini LD announcement post; and thanks to Unity, I had a working prototype up very quickly.

 

Fun Fact: The first level in the game now is actually exactly as it was in that first prototype.

 

As levels started to get more complex, I added turning the player around when they hit a vertical wall; as the fact the player could only move right left alot of wasted level space.

Cutting the ‘It get’s harder mechanic’:

For a time there was a system where death caused the current level to morph and become harder. This was to apply to the ‘Rage quit’ Goal, but this ended up feeling really out of place.

I think probably because the game relies heavily on player trial and error to solve the puzzle elements; and its difficult to learn when the level keeps changing.

So I figured it wasn’t worth including simply to hit that goal.

 

Level Design:

I started by designing and implementing various self-contained objects that could be placed in various levels, each doing different things (such as the: ‘Spring’).

Then combining these in various interesting ways inside the Unity editor I could throw together levels quickly, and experiment to find the most fun combinations of the mechanics.

 

Unity is great for rapid prototyping; so I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that I fell into it.

 

It just felt natural to add tutorialisation levels for each of these mechanics afterwards.

My level design skills are hardly great; so to save any aggro I added the skip level button to the pause menu. Although looking back now, I think it would have made more sense to have this option appear upon death to ensure nobody missed it.

Art:

I went for the minimalist art really as a place-holder at first; but I’m also terrible at drawing so I ended up leaving it as is.

Audio:

I actually spent quite a bit of time trying to make music using MilkyTracker; sadly I didn’t end up with anything in that regard. Which is a shame as even a simple track can add alot to a game.

Sfx were made in BFXR and MilkyTracker; and I did learn how to remove noise and crackle that can come out of BFXR (Low/High pass filters are awesome).

 

All in all. I’m quite happy with the result.

Being the first game I’ve ever released publicly, it feels great simply to know people have played it; hoping to release more free games in the future, be it for LD or something else :D.

Thanks for reading.

MiniLD 56 – My first time. ;3.

Posted by
Monday, February 9th, 2015 12:24 pm

Hi guys, not only is this my very first post but it’s about my very first game (prototype) which I entered as my very first Ludum Dare (well mini LD) game entry!
My aim was to create a never-ending game that used only four colours and would somewhat make the player rage quit.
I sought inspiration from past LD entries however all of the ides I came up with were far to similar to their inspirations so I just kept on brainstorming and came up of the idea of the player creating platforms for the main character to jump on. At first the user would be able to create a maximum of 3 platforms and every new one created would remove the previous one, but I thought that it would be too easy and settled with the idea that there would only be one platform.

What Went Well:

Planning the game mechanics whenever I got the chance in school definitely sped up the prototyping process by quite a bit.
It meant that when I sat down in front of sublime text, I didn’t have to think of everything on the spot.
I could just look at my pseudocode-y notes and drawings and translate them into working code for the game.

What Went Bad:

Keeping motivated.
It was just bad luck that this was a week riddled with homework, a physics mock, and team trials for a mini marathon (Which I have tomorrow. ;-;.).
It was hard staying focused and I spent about 2-3 nights not programming or making any developments on the game.
I will be sure to plan my time better on my next game.

What I’ve Learned:

This MiniLD gave me the chance to do something I’ve never done before, create a sprite sheet. Albeit, a very simple sprite sheet with 3 frames of animation for the main character and text, but however, a sprite sheet nonetheless.
Thanks to this I feel more at home with gimp and its’ capabilities to create art assets for games and I’ll be sure to practice and get better with it in games to come.

Conclusion:

This is the first time I’ve ever thought out an idea for a game, planned it, programmed it and finished with a working game prototype. In fact even better, for all intents and purposes it’s a finished game it’s just that I’m getting more ideas of things to implement. So for that I am proud.
Overall, it was a reasonably stressful experience but the feeling of joy I felt once I was finished was great and I definitely want to do it a game.
MiniLD 56 inspired me to make games for past Ludum Dares and One Game A Month and I want to thank Sophie Houlden for that.

In conclusion thanks if you read any of that and please do try out my game prototype!
Comment too, I’d like to hear what you think. ;3.

 

 

 

 

Tretris

Posted by
Sunday, February 8th, 2015 5:51 pm

screen3

I started out this MiniLD #56 with the goal of making a retro pixelated renderer (shader) which I have wanted to do for  a long time. The most difficult part though turned out to be coming up with a game that would suit the art style. After some time experimenting with a 3D platformer I decided to go for a 3D Tetris: because 3D and Tetris are two of the coolest things!

It took some time, but I really wanted to get something nice and polished in this retro style (although it’s maybe not used to its full potential in this game). I must say that the work payed off, let’s hope some of you’ll enjoy the game as well!

Play Tretris here: http://ludumdare.com/compo/minild-56/?action=preview&uid=47137

First Game For LudumDare – Quatri

Posted by
Saturday, February 7th, 2015 10:34 am

I made not only a game, I made my very first game ever! And the MiniLD was the perfect opportunity for this. I don’t think anybody would’ve submitted their first game creation but yeah… here it is. Not perfect but I can work with it.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xcubtb239bned0g/Quatri.swf?dl=0

Mini LD #56 – Keyboard Cook Mini-Retrospective

Posted by
Friday, February 6th, 2015 5:22 pm

First of all, you can play Keyboard Cook here! I’ve entered a couple of Ludum Dares but this is my first retrospective.

retromenu

What Went Well:

Aiming for Minimal Viable Product

The prototypes may belie this somewhat, but I was pretty decent at pushing back or cutting down superfluous features. The original game idea had little characters reacting to you, but the time investment wouldn’t have been worth it. Instead, the game was surprisingly functional early in development.

Design First

Probably obvious, but having the game mostly fleshed out in terms of design before writing a line of code really helped. Little code waste and it was easier to focus on coding.

Programming on Paper

Something I learned back in uni was to sit down with pencil and paper and hack something out. It’s faster to redesign and refactor since you’re not really worrying about syntax or language specifics. It’s also less investment than sitting down in front of an IDE, so it’s easier to face up to…

retro2

Areas For Improvement:

Pacing

I split the initial work across evenings after work but I nearly burnt myself out spending the weekend on it. Learning when to call it quits for the day might almost be as important as pushing myself to start in the first place. I didn’t touch an IDE outside of work for weeks after the last full Ludum Dare!

Collaboration?

The system could support any number of recipes, the only thing that kept me back from more variety was producing the art for each ingredient myself. I could have outsourced this! Secondly, the pool of playtesters was very small. I really should have started getting feedback earlier.

retro

I’m very happy with the result and I’m excited for the next jam! Thanks for reading.

All Submitted: Time to Sleep

Posted by
Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 3:51 am

Finally finished, submitted, screenshots up and everything.

Didn’t get as much time as I’d like over the weekend, but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

Pudding

Go play it here and I hope you all enjoy it.

(And I dare you to beat my times.)

MiniLD #56, Roundabout (Goal:Dizzy), Day2, Alpha Build 2

Posted by
Sunday, February 1st, 2015 8:33 pm

It’s 7pm here (Fri) and we are at Alpha Build 2.
Today was fantastic; we made a huge number of changes that completely changed the gameplay from random unfairness into challenging awesomeness I’d pay quarters for :)

Highlights:
– Shots now cause pushback
– Gravity / Thrust adjusted
– Vortex grows by a larger amount when consuming ships
– Vortex shrinks back to normal (and all enemies go inside it) on player death
– Added rotational speed boost to player when very near vortex (providing a fling mechanic to catch up with enemies)
– Added thrust and particle explosions

One super-useful thing we did today was set up my home-brew MAME machine to access the development files over DropBox. We mapped a couple buttons to the browser refresh keys (CTRL and R), and made a full screen chrome shortcut for the main game file (index.html) in dropbox. That allowed us to playtest new builds immediately on the arcade machine by walking over and hitting the two refresh buttons. Having the game on the arcade machine meant that everyone else in the house could wander through and playtest the incremental builds throughout the day, which gave us a lot of great feedback.

Alpha Build 2 has been posted to:
http://www.lemoncrab.com/roundabout/index.html

Home Stretch:
We’d like to add at least one new alien type (planning on a shielded enemy you have to bonk from above) and I’d like to implement the (currently neutered) pacing logic. The arcade machine is a bit slower than our laptops and we like the pacing there better. Once I implement pacing properly I can unify the speed on all machines and dial it down to match the arcade machine pace, which we love.

9FAD02E6-EB38-407E-A990-FD8151B4D6C7

IMG_7662

MiniLD #56, Roundabout (Goal:Dizzy), Day1, Alpha Build 1

Posted by
Sunday, February 1st, 2015 12:54 am
This is a rotating space shooter based on the MLD56 goal theme of “Make the player Dizzy”.  Challenge accepted!

After about 10 hours of coding we’ve got an alpha in place that will let us play with the central game mechanic and flesh out something interesting/fun.

This is (currently) a two button game (thrust and fire).  Gravity pulls all ships toward the vortex; the player can thrust away from it. Angular speed increases as all objects approach the center, so to gain on enemy ships you need to drop altitude.  Stars falling into the vortex provide a reference to indicate the rotational speed at different altitudes.

This current version (Alpha Build 1) has only one “level” and no difficulty progression.

We’re using the howler.js library for sound, and we’ve found that on some computer/browser combinations the engine thrust sound doesn’t loop cleanly.

Game Framework: Max Whilborg’s Asteroids vector framework
Sound Framework: Howler.js

The playable build is posted at: http://www.lemoncrab.com/roundabout/index.html

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