we have been keeping you updated on new features for our game Of Carrots And Blood, which we started working on at LD31. Now PewDiePie played our game and we wrote a post on our blog about the impact on our emotions, downloads and sales.
‘BABY BORN’ – A POSTMORTEM FOR YOU CAN SHAVE THE BABY
A CHIKUN GAME BY JOSEF AND RYAN
‘You Can Shave The Baby’ is a minigame experience that harks to the time-honoured Warioware minigames with a special dash of bizarre tasks that require the user to suspend their disbelief – and their sanity. The inspiration of the game draws from a series of weird and wonderful in-jokes Josef and I developed, incorporating elements from previous games we have made (all of which are available on our chikun.net website).
If you haven’t played it yet – check it out! Find it here, or on our site at chikun.net.
THE DESIGN PROCESS FOR ‘YOU CAN SHAVE THE BABY’
‘I want to make a weird game’. So we made one. Originally going down the avenue of wanting a hybrid horror-adventure in the vein of Yume Nikki, the project immediately turned into something else at the start of the jam.
The basic coding for the minigame format was fairly simple and self-contained once it was complete. In the vein of making minigames via Warioware: DIY the logic behind the games was easy: it needed,
(1) a timer, countdown and increasing speed,
(2) a win and lose state,
(3) different modes of user input that triggered success in minigames, and
(4) a life and score system to add progress.
After that, development was smooth sailing and the major focus of the programming was to tailor elements (2) and (3) to the unique specifications of each minigame.
As Josef was doing this it was up to me to ascertain the creative direction we wanted to take to give the minigames their personality, whilst retaining the challenge of the game. We made up a list of potential minigames, incorporating a basic description, and the win/loss states of each minigame.
Despite the bizarre nature of the game, many of the concepts revolved around non-sequitur comments, running jokes or references to previous games:
CHALLENGES AND LIMITATIONS –
HOW DO WE IMPROVE THE BABY?
All in all the game came together relatively efficiently, unlike the tension of previous Dares. My only concern during development was that we would not create enough minigames to sustain the interest of players – using the base 30 minigames in a level of WarioWare, I think there was always room to expand.
We came up with few actual challenges during development, but one large roadblock manifested in the last few hours of the Jam – a major storm hit the coast of NSW, Australia, and caused power outages that ended up lasting for a week from that very night. Fortunately, when the power went out on the morning of the last day, most of the work was complete – it was only a matter of uploading the game via phone and praying for electricity.
So what did we learn from making the game? How could we improve the baby game?
(1) Develop more varied and innovative game mechanics
Due to time constraints, many of the minigames revolved around either using the arrow keys on the keyboard to steer the direction of an object, or hovering or clicking the cursor to highlight a change in a graphic. Making tattoos, shaving babies, and putting on makeup all rely on the same fundamental mechanic. With more time to develop ideas we could have certainly provided the player with a more engaging and challenging experience.
(2) Actually related to the theme
A common criticism of our game was that it had nothing to do with the theme. This is completely correct – Josef asked me, “Ryan, how does this relate to the theme?” I replied to the effect of who cares. At the end I think I implemented some tenuous intro theme about coming across a hacking weapon in the form of a floppy disk, but the plot was certainly a last minute ass-pull. We made the game for the abstract minigames, and that’s about it.
(3) More animation and graphics for seamless game experience
Though the simplicity of the minigames in WarioWare are simple, there’s a lot going on in the animation department. With more time we could have implemented fades and transitions between the opening cinematics, provided more animations to gague success and failure, and actually provided an ending to give an end goal and thus closure to players after the novelty of the minigames wears off.
Regardless, it’s clear from the feedback we got that people feel ‘You Can Shave The Baby’ was unique in style and memorable. That’s all we could ever ask for.
BABY SHAVERS WANTED
Looking for premium, experienced baby-shavers to shave the baby.
Casual hours, $16.95 p/h to shave the baby.
Perks include holding the baby, talking to the baby, and of course the joy of shaving the baby.
Call (02) 9815 4000. Ask for “Randy.”
A lot of response from people asking for music, made music for everyone! It was a lot of fun this Ludum Dare and I have practiced some composing along the way. Just finished making music for kill0u, he makes a game where during the day you play as your old mother who tries to visit all the places on the checklist (think market, church etc.), while avoiding annoying youngsters. It’s (almost?) impossible the first day (too many youngsters).
However, during the night you play as her son and you make a game for Ludum Dare and distribute it to these youngsters, so they will keep playing the game at home for the next day.
Fun gameplay design, it was just a breeze to make music for it! Decided to make it so the tempo stays the same and both themes are in the same key (for perfect transition between day and night). Eventually, it became that the night theme is sort of a adaptation of the day one. Anyway, have a listen!
MEDIA DUMP, because i got bored of programming and decided I was at a comfortable enough position to start doing art work 😀
CACTUS DECOR 😛
The Reprehensible and vengeful Dr.Picklespear
…and his pickle spear….
Levels are restricted based on how many blocks you have left to solve the puzzle, so a chest full of blocks can help your construction a great deal 😀
A western themed game needs a tumbleweed. So here’s a tumbleweed
OMAHGAHD, IT’S THE SPIKY SPEARY!!! The somehow infinitely replicating weapon of our heroine
DEFINITELY not last, our heroine! It’s CACTUS CHYPS!
Seriously, she looks awesome, don’t deny it.
You want to play this. Just admit it 😉
we most likely won’t be able to participate in Ludum Dare this time BUT we have been working on our last LD31 Jam entry Of Carrots And Blood and we just released it on itch.io for free for Windows and Mac. We have added powerups, different enemy types, a global highscore for the single player and we have also added a local Co-op mode (which is the most fun) with a big surprise in the end! So please check it out
And for those of you who already know the Jam version, it would be really cool, if you could compare the two versions and tell us here in the comments, if we applied your feedback for the better or worse 😉 More feedback much appreciated!
Thanks and have fun playing,
Chris and Sebastian
So, after my failed attempts at trying to Ludum Dare, I had a little break of it. But you’re too awesome, so I’m back here, though this time I’m organized and focused on the thing I’m best at: music and SFX. I’ve teamed up with Sigrath, he’s gonna do the actual game stuff and I’ll be doing just audio.
Now, onto the advice part: currently I’m trying to really get OOP and generally train myself how not to fail and actually make games. It’s a sort of weekends research project, though I aim to finish a game this way. I decided to use NetBeans for a couple of reasons:
My piece of advice I’ve learned while coding: make a test run, write a game a week or two before Ludum Dare actually starts using the setup you’ll be on. You can’t afford losing first 5 hours reinstalling MinGW, setting up your environment variables, changing compiler settings and adding include directories. Have your libraries installed, tested working, with a skeleton project ready to code in. Make it already include loading settings, main menu, renderer code, audio engine. You’ll have time to focus on the game, not the engine. More time spent on what your game is about = more fun coding and more fun playing.
Second advice: team up! You don’t have to make a formal team and code together. Have a friend (or a whole bunch of friends!) with you, so you have someone to talk and give ideas for your game. Plus, hopefully, you won’t lose sanity that fast.
I guess that’s pretty much it for now, can’t wait for Ludum Dare, good luck everyone and most importantly, have fun!
Hello and welcome to the Holiday Sale! In this years sale you can get both High Flyer and Robotz for 80% OFF!
Regular Price: $10.00 USD
Sale Price: $1.99 USD
High Flyer is a game where you fly through many different levels while shooting down torrents and taking down anything that gets in your way!
Robotz is a game where you move around the map while taking down waves of robots and collecting coins and ammo! Survive as long as you can!
So what are you waiting for? Get High Flyer and/or Robotz today!
Both High Flyer and Robotz were Ludum Dare games.
High Flyer: http://gamegrape-studios.itch.io/high-flyer
GameGrape Studios (C)’2014. All rights reserved.
Whoa, the third most exciting moment of every Ludum Dare has come! Lo and behold, the ratings! Let’s see how my humble game did this year.
Alright, this looks like a good ludum dare. My main focus on mood paid out, since I’ve finally broke the 4 star barrier in a category. This is enough to celebrate! Next time though I should focus more on fun cause it seems like a sticking point of mine.
Here is a little graph of my 2 year progress.
I’m really happy of the progress I made. It looks like there has been a steady improvement. My purpose for the next ludum dare is to break more into the 4 star section, and hopefully if I don’t waste my time stupidly like usual maybe I can too!
I want to thank everyone involved in this Ludum Dare, admins, creators and players. THANK YOU! This is getting better and better every time. Can’t wait for April!
Yesterday, I went back to my Ludum Dare entry and played it. Taking some distance from your projects is always a nice way to see what worked, what didn’t and if you actually find your own game fun.
In my case, I actually find it fun. It has some things that don’t work as well as I would like it to, but nothing I can’t fix. All this made me think that I want to take this project a bit further and make it into a full-game. The premise will remain the same, and it will stay a bite-sized experience, but I want to expand on it, tweak it and make it into a better game.
In order to do that, I added the game to Steam Concepts to gather some feedback and see if gamers are interested in it. I am not confident to the point where I’d put it on greenlight, but Concepts seems like a great way to asses if anyone is actually interested. I did the same for IndieDB and I’ll be trying to put the game on other sites (if you have any recommendations, let me know). Honestly, showing my projects around makes me cringe a little bit but friends have been telling me to take a leap and try to see if people like it. Either way, I’m going to expand on this so expect some more from that little pixelated guy!
First off, the timelapse.
We faced several problems right off the bat. My original intentions was to program it in Game Maker: Studio completely by myself and submit for the compo rather than the jam.
A friend of mine offered to team up with me about 5 hours before the jam. I wouldn’t be able to help with the programming due to the language he was using, but I agreed anyways. It was decided I’d work on audio on concepts.
Fast forward towards the beginning of the competition, and I was running off of 2 or 3 hours of sleep. I’d tried previously, but couldn’t get to sleep, so I just opted to stay awake until we at least had a concept done. ‘We’ included me, the friend from earlier, and one of his friends(an artist).
Then we get to the theme being announced. We all dabbled with some ideas for about 10 to 20 minutes before the programmer decided to opt out and leave me and the artist to our devices. I prepared to program while we continued to concept.
Our initial plan was a top down twitch reflex maze. The walls would be moving at you at an accelerated rate and you’d have to us WASD to navigate without hitting a wall or falling behind. We in a way kept this concept, but just changed it around to being an endless runner.
He began on the art, I began importing it. About an hour in, he went to sleep, and I followed shortly after. Luckily realizing I had forgotten to start the time lapse. I started it, and ended up getting some sleep.
A couple hours later, I woke up, and started on the main game. I faced quite a bit of problems. The floor was initially tiled, and I was hoping I could make it sync to the obstacles. I eventually gave up and just made the floor one seamless line and added in some obstacles. After that, I had my initial concept of how I was gonna do anything, and added in some more obstacles. A short bit later, Brad(the artist) woke up and I sent him a build. We ended up getting a bit addicted to it, and didn’t get much work done for about an hour.
From then on out, it was pretty much just him doing art, me hacking away at the programming, occasionally sending builds to him and some friends, occasionally us finding ourselfs in a skype call, and a lot of the time us joking around about things.
We ended up finishing about the time the regular compo was ending, and submitted for the jam(albeit with some undiscovered bugs) and the rest is history.
Fast forward to a week later, I just released a bug fixed version of it, and Brad and I have decided to carry on development from scratch on an entirely new version of Duck, Jump, Die for mobile!
We ended up with a final product! That broke a 6 competition long quitting streak for me, with my last completed Ludum Dare being LD25.
We ended up making a pretty fun game! Even after the horrors of the battlefield, I still find myself playing it when I get bored(on occasion).
We ended up meeting each other! We actually work out pretty well as a partnership, and if it hadn’t of been for this Ludum Dare, we never would’ve met.
We didn’t use the remaining time we had on polish and bug fixing, when it really could have used it.
The game is highly unoptimized, and tends to slow down for some people.
The music is incredibly loud, and ends up hurting peoples ears first time around.
Play The Game!
Obligatory Cross Promo!
A bit of context
This was my fourth Ludum Dare and the first time (ever, even outside LD) that I made a game that I actually like. When I say “a game that I actually like”, I mean a game that I would like to play if someone else had made it. Sure, in the past I made some games that I love, but I always had to go around their flaws, disregard game-breaking bugs and just close my eyes on my own mistakes to really enjoy them. In other words, they were my ugly childs.
With 0000, I can finally say that I managed to make a game that I’m proud of, even though it’s far from being perfect or even that great of a game. I think it’s fun (which is the most important part), pretty engaging and people seem to like it, which is a plus. It’s a small first step into actually making decent games.
I pretty much failed during LD30. Here’s what I wrote just before it started :
Pretty excited, once again. To me, Ludum Dare is a way to see and compare what I’ve learned and how much I’ve improved since the last time. I started pretty small, with a funny, but subpar game (Don One). Then, made another game, a lemming-like that was buggy as hell, but cute and people seemed to enjoy the art-style (Daisy’s dog is dead). I think I will stay true to myself : simple, primitive graphics + game mechanics that will allow me to grow and learn as a game developer. I have no other ambitions than having fun and learning, and Ludum Dare has been a great opportunity to do so the last two times I participated.
Hey, past self. This is still true. I mean, this Ludum Dare, I went in with the same mentality. Use my already acquired but limited skillset (in game design, art and sound) and try to make the best out of it. 0000 PRESS Z is what came out of that desire. And it was fun to make!
AKA what my last 3 LDs taught me
AKA What I didn’t learn yet
What I learned
AKA things I think I understood but maybe not
What’s to come and conclusion
With all the positive feedback and encouragement I’ve been getting from the community, I’m considering making an improved version of the game. Bug fixes, more levels, speedrun mode, highscores, new mechanics and all that good stuff are amongst the things that are going through my head at the moment(Did anyone say level editor?). It’s still just an idea, but it’s very tempting to make some more evil levels to get the best out of you guys.
In the end, this was a very interesting ludum dare. I learned a lot and gained confidence in myself in the process. I still have so much to learn, but to me, making a game that I actually like is a big milestone.
First gameplay video, with maps being loaded at runtime from lua files. A hand-built map editor soon to be made.
I chose to use UE4 and, having never built anything with it before, I got very frustrated with the whole thing and quit.
I knew from the start it was going to be difficult learning a new tool under the pressure conditions of Ludum Dare, but I didn’t really feel like using Unity again, so I ignored mt better judgment (I event tweeted about hubris before the compo started!)
But good news! The tantrum sleep I got has renewed my determination and, even though I still don’t know how to do what I want to do, I realize I still got two hole days to make whatever I manage to make and it doesn’t matter as long as I learn something and don’t quit again.
Is it not even a real theme to you, just a technical restriction? Does it not inspire you even one tiny bit?
Yeah, I just said that. It’s fine! Because I am sure there is another theme you really liked in the last voting round. No, don’t tell me, I want to be surprised later – just think of it really, really hard.
You’re thinking of it? Great! I hereby invite you to take this favourite theme of yours and brainstorm with THAT as the core instead of “Entire Game on One Screen”.
So, what about the actual theme, you might ask? Just use it as what it is: A technical restriction. You can be inspired by whatever theme you want to, as long as “Entire Game on One Screen” still applies.
Good luck with your new shiny theme!