Ludum Dare 31
Theme:
Entire Game on One Screen

Judging ends in:
It’s time to Play and Rate Games!

PlayRate80Star

Posts Tagged ‘motivation’

000+ will be a thing!

Posted by (twitter: @theotheralvaro)
Friday, December 19th, 2014 10:28 am

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!

If you have sometime, check out the Steam Concepts page. The IndieDB page is this way.

To play the LD31 entry, click here.

Duck, Jump, Die (Post Mortem + Timelapse!)

Posted by (twitter: @DivitosGD)
Sunday, December 14th, 2014 4:11 pm

First off, the timelapse.

Post Mortem

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!

The Good

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.

The Bad

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!

http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-31/?action=preview&uid=9732

 

Screeny

A childhood dream become reality

Posted by (twitter: @theotheralvaro)
Thursday, December 11th, 2014 8:10 am

When I was a kid, I absolutely loved Newgrounds. To me, it was the best thing ever on the Internet. Today, I found my game on the main page. For some of you, it may not be a big deal, but let me tell you : the kid in me is soooo happy.

Thanks LD!

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 1.57.32 AM

0000 : PRESS Z post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @theotheralvaro)
Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 10:41 pm

Screenshot 2014-12-11 at 00.20.26 Screenshot 2014-12-11 at 00.20.52 Screenshot 2014-12-11 at 00.21.15

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!

 

Brainstorming and writing ideas for levels on paper

The good

AKA what my last 3 LDs taught me

  • Level design has been a big challenge for me since I started game development over a year ago. With limited sprites and simple mechanics, I succeeded at combining them to create interesting gameplay and difficult, yet rewarding levels.
  • The game style seems to be a big hit with people. I also love it, even though it’s simple as can be. I went with I am capable of doing, and it seems to have worked out.
  • The game feels good. Adding particles here and there and a lot of feedback to the player’s actions really payed off.

 

The bad  

AKA What I didn’t learn yet

  • The movement seems to be a big issue for players. I thought it was on point, but it seems like it might need some more work (more on that later)
  • I didn’t manage to teach the player about the double jump mechanic early enough. Most people seem to discover it by mistake.
  • The sound, while fonctional, is not very expressive and could be improved a lot. Maybe a soundtrack, even, could make the action feel even more frantic. If I had any music skills, I would have added music.
  • The random teleportation, even though it’s the core mechanic to my game, seems to be confusing players. That leaves me with a game design question : Should I give all the answers right out, or let the player figure out the game as he loops through levels? Tough call.

 

What I learned

AKA things I think I understood but maybe not

  • Making the most with very little can be very rewarding and push your creativity.
  • Planning (just enough) is essential. It took me two hours of planning before I even started making the game. I figured out what game I wanted and went with it. It could have failed horribly, but I got lucky this time.
  • Juice matters. Details matter. If you’re making a game that feels fun to you, you’re doing something right.
  • The LD community is a GREAT resource for feedback. You have doubts about your game? I’m pretty sure someone on IRC will be down to talk it out with you.

 

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.

 

Check out 0000 PRESS Z

Moar progress!

Posted by (twitter: @qrchack)
Sunday, December 7th, 2014 1:56 pm

First gameplay video, with maps being loaded at runtime from lua files. A hand-built map editor soon to be made.

I Gave Up

Posted by (twitter: @@nidpez)
Saturday, December 6th, 2014 6:47 pm

So…

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.

Jam on!

So you think the theme is awful?

Posted by (twitter: @tolicious)
Saturday, December 6th, 2014 6:46 am
Do you feel like doing this?

Do you feel like doing this?

Is it not even a real theme to you, just a technical restriction? Does it not inspire you even one tiny bit?

That’s fine.

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.

  • Artificial Life
  • After the End
  • Death is Useful
  • One Rule
  • Generation
  • Avoid the Light
  • Deep Space
  • You Are Not Supposed To Be Here
  • Everything Falls Apart
  • End Where You Started
  • Isolation
  • Machines
  • You Can’t Stop
  • Color is Everything
  • Playing Both Sides
  • Borders
  • Chaos
  • Deja vu

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!

I’m in?

Posted by
Friday, December 5th, 2014 6:15 pm

Hi, this will be my first time in Ludum Dare, I’m not sure if I will finish my game within a prescribed time because in next week I have exams, but I will try.

My tools:

  • Engine: Unity 3D (ver. 4.6)
  • Language: C#
  • Graphics: MS Paint ^^
  • Sounds: Audacity with some samples, and SFXR
  • Libs: (may be, not sure yet) iTween

Good luck to everyone!

Regards

Lollygag

How to not fuck it up

Posted by (twitter: @fullmontis)
Monday, December 1st, 2014 4:25 pm

The theme for LD30 was Connected Worlds. I loved that theme. It was spcific, but at the same time left a lot of space for a personal touch.

And, somehow, I managed to fuck it up.

I remember having at least a couple ideas I could implement that I really liked. I worked hard for most of the two days to complete at least one idea.

But all I ended up with was nothing. Zero.

I was so frustrated with myself, I promised myself to not make the same mistake again (although it’s been 5 LDs now that I say this).

So, here is a quick run up of what I fucked up last time, to use as a reminder to not do it again this time.

Wasting time

First reason I want to punch myself in my right testicle is

This is a big one. Time waste comes in a lot of fashions. From the simple “watching youtube instead of working ont he game”, to something more design oriented.

48 hours is a microscopic amount of time to develop a game in, not wasting time, should be the n°1 priority.

The most important thing is, are you working on your game? If you aren’t, you should. Every hour is precious and should be dedicated to your game. You can watch fail vines on youtube when time isn’t such a critical factor. As in, not during the compo.

But where the biggest time waste lies to me is in game design decisions. So, if I can promise myself to focus on the game, we should move onto…

Bad idea

So when I get the mental strength to work on the game, I pick up an idea that I really liked. But it was as easy to implement as it is to teach a rock to swim.

It was just impossible to do in the timeframe I had, and that was because of some bad basic choices.

Basically, the game was a sort of  point and click game where you find an abandoned phone on the street and have to discover what happened to his owner by digging through it.

The concept was really cool. I still want to implement it in a game, sooner or later, just not in a jam. I wanted to have a full smartphone experience, where you can watch videos, read texts and make phone calls. Overambitious much?

The problem with such a design is that it requires multiple states, meaning that I had to program each state in a different way according to how the user could interact with it. Usually, the lower the amount of states, the easier the game is to program, because it cuts out a lot of  bugs that could happen at runtime.

I didn’t know that at the time, and jumped right in the development, finding myself in the mud up to my neck by the first 24 hours.

In the past LDs, I had to restart an idea almost every time because of a bad choice and overshooting. Throw it in the trash and start from zero with 8 hours already on the times. Man that sucked. Just choosing the right idea can save a LOT of time.

So yeah, it is really, really important to find an idea that can be developed efficiently, and even more so to adapt the idea during development to optimize the time for development.

So, we get it. Be smart. But unfortunately, the biggest problems come from another part of the game, which is…

The Aesthetics Pit

This is the biggest mutilator of LD games right after the two above. I lost at least a couple compos over this.

Graphics, music, story… We can all agree that they are what makes or breaks a game. And it is fine to work on the art of your game to make it look pretty and cute.

But this comes only AFTER the core gameplay is done.

I finally understood, probably a little late, that if you start working on your final aesthetic touches without having a playable core gameplay in place, you are driving all out into a pitfall (unless you REALLY know what you are doing).

Programming is a difficult and long process, and chances are that a lot of stuff will go wrong. If that is the case, it is better to sacrifice the time you would have given to graphics or music to fix the core mechanics.

Remember that you can submit a game with programmer’s art (and get good scores for it too), but you can’t submit a bunch of sprites without a game. This ain’t DeviantArt.

—————–

And that’s all folks. This isn’t exaustive, but I’m sure that if I can avoid this Holy Trinity of bullshit, I will weep out at least 90% of time wastes during the compo.

Hope this was useful for you, it certainly was for me.

If you want you can check out my past LD entries and postmortems here for more useful tips.

See you this weekend. And good luck!

I refuse to give up (just yet)

Posted by (twitter: @agilejoshua)
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 10:40 am

Progress has been slow to say the least! I am less than halfway to where I should be now according to my original plan… I am still having issue with getting things rolling the way they should both with the Windows 8 version of the game (which annoys the hell out of me but I can drop that pretty easily) and with my Virtual Machine for Windows development. If the virtual environment doesn’t work then I will not be able to complete this.

I am not giving up yet, but I may have to rethink what I try to get into the final game. I only have working 5-6 hours left, perhaps I can squeeze a couple more hours out of tomorrow but if I manage to complete it’s going to be tight…

Let’s do this!

Posted by
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 4:05 am

Alright! Connected Worlds it is! This is my second time participating in the Ludum Dare and I have been counting down the days! I have slept very well and I am well rested with 38 hours to go. Not too excited about the theme (I had some really good ideas for the other themes, so I will have to improvise!) but it will be fun nonetheless!

My tools are going to be

  • Engine: Unity
  • Graphiocs: Adobe Photoshop + Tablet
  • Audio: Adobe Audition + Zoom H4n
  • Streaming: XSplit

I am going to be live on http://twitch.tv/WeaselZone and I usually interact with the chat, answer questions and/or explain what I am currently doing. So feel free to join the fun :) Because that is what #LD48 is (at least for me) about: Having tons of fun and participate in an awesome event!

Good luck to everyone

Goat kicking other goat
LET’S DO THIS!

Connected Worlds… Not Planets

Posted by (twitter: @jorjongames)
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 8:59 pm


For the creative stage of my LD48 game, I researched the topic of Connected Worlds, but found myself picking up planets references. So I decided to break up the Connected Worldsconcept into two categories.

Connected Planets it’s the common concept one can think of. The planets represent a different space but same time / reality.

Connected Dimensions it’s the more dark subject. It represents a world in a different dimension / reality, and probably different space. If it’s the same space but different dimension, the topic becomes darker.

The word connected means that the worlds are connected by something.

I have picked up movie references for these two categories, that you can see in my blog post.

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