Posts Tagged ‘Planning’

Late summary – One Fight

Posted by
Sunday, December 11th, 2016 7:11 am

We’ve been doing a lot of planning yesterday, but since I didn’t get that done in the night, here’s a short summary:

We’re using:
– Unreal Engine 4
– Sculptris and Blender
– Gimp
– Audacity (if we get to the sounds)


The game will practically only be about surviving in an arena, while enemies spawn. Optional would be things like dashing forward or jumping back to avoid getting hit, but we want to keep it simple for now :) We’ll be busy enough adding our own models and textures.

What’s done:
– Startscreen
– The base level
– Simple player controls
– part of the enemy ai
– base model of what you will see of the player

Still to do:
– combat system
– enemy spawning
– exactly one animation!
– finish the arm model
– textures
– maybe a hit and get hit sound

More sneak peak:


Brainstorm. Sketch. Analyze. Repeat.

Saturday, August 27th, 2016 10:34 am

Great Saturday, huh?

Planning first.

LD36 Planning

Sketching second.

LD36 Concept


Have you already played your games, guys?

Thoughts on Theme

Posted by (twitter: @kadybat)
Friday, December 5th, 2014 7:12 pm

This theme is definitely very weak because it’s far too open for interpretation. “One Screen” is an incredibly vague idea.

The thing that comes to my mind is “hey. this is a perfectly valid excuse to do a neat pacman clone just to say you’ve done that in javascript even if it’s not really unique.” I’m trying to think of ways I can innovate or do something neat with one screen, or if there are any cool game ideas that I have. My plan is thus: try cloning PacMan in JavaScript, see what you learn in that exercise, deconstruct it, and see what you can do with that knowledge. Do Space Invaders, do Pong, do basic things so that I can learn how to manipulate physical entities using code.

The most unique idea that’s occurring to me and the one I keep thinking about is an Odyssey simulator. Give the player an interface that looks like an old-timey TV and give them the various screen shades – football, tennis, etc. – and let them play all sorts of different kinds of games using that ‘one screen’ with all the screen shades. I think that might be cute??

#LD31 Announce and Thoughts

Posted by (twitter: @kadybat)
Friday, December 5th, 2014 9:31 am

So I guess I’m going for another Ludum Dare! Last time I made a small Twine game in the little time I had that weekend between shifts. This time, I’m going to be off all weekend!

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been working on my CodeAcademy tutorials without active awareness that there was a Ludum Dare coming. I actually finished the intro JavaScript course, now I’m just running through the project at the end. I might make my game in that? It’s an environment I’m surprisingly comfortable in for right now and it’s something that’ll run in the browser and be playable everywhere? I dunno.

I’m gonna play around with JavaScript during my break at work today and see if I can’t figure out how to potentially make um… interactive games? with it. My goal last time was to prove that I could make a finished, playable game with an ending in 2 days. This time, my goal is to make a “generic” but functional arcadey title with a score, graphics, a defined win/lose state. I want to prove to myself that I can do that thing if I so choose to, and hopefully it’ll go well for me.

In addition to JavaScript, I’m actively exploring the depth of resources available to us during #LD31. In particular, I’m very interested about CraftStudio, and plan to play around in it a bit today since we have it available for free use. I wanted to start learning Lua anyway, and it looks remarkably similar to Python, which is something I’m actively learning already. I’ll make another post about my decision and what I aim to do with my given platform or language.

I look forward to seeing what everyone has going. I’m sure this’ll be just as fun as last time! I’ll be livetweeting my efforts on Twitter in addition to posting here.

Some pictures from that Waffle House trip

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 8:13 pm

Waffles. Brain food. Food for thought.

Food’s finished; time to get to work. If you look to your right, Max is already on it.

What to do

Posted by (twitter: @piopiojuegos)
Friday, April 25th, 2014 2:40 am

Oh boy!  Ludum Dare is almost here!  What will I do? I should do some planning…

The compo starts at 2:00 a.m. (in Spain). That’s too late… or soon… don’t know… Let’s do things easy.

I’ll use Object Pascal and Allegro (Allegro.pas actually), of course.  To avoid the problems I had in the 2nd PGD Challenge (no one of the judges was able to play the game) I’ll use Allegro 4 instead of 5, even that first release is much more stable that the SVN one I used for Momen 3D. Problem evaded.

Artistically, I think I’ll do Old School, you know, pixelart and beep-boop sound efects. May be I’ll add some 3D (No OpenGL available, but Allegro’s 3D stuff is great actually) but not a lot. A simulated Mode 7 at most, and only if it’s really necessary.

I think this is a good plan, isn’t it?

The Plans So Far

Posted by (twitter: @Cirrial)
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 3:48 am

of which I dearly hope will change

You are some kind of bug alien queen thing. You need to make more bugs to protect you from a horde of… (rolls dice) snake aliens. Why this? Well, before I drew up any plans, I managed to make these my bonus objectives for this compo through various conversations with people (which I am sticking to with more gusto than the theme, apparently):

  • No blue colour anywhere
  • Use the colour red
  • Insert potato into game
  • Non-humanoid characters

Have some totally illegible scribbles (and angry rants) on graph paper! I’ll update everyone with more progress when it has been made.

a lot of illegible scribblingsthis is completely illegible


…I forgot to add potato. Well, I’m sure I’ll find a way to add potato down the line.

Thinking about Minimalism

Posted by (twitter: @caranha)
Friday, April 26th, 2013 7:23 pm

That is a hard theme… but using the good, old “think of 5 ideas, throw them away, and pick the 6th”, I think I got something.

I have this notion that “theme” is something your game should move around, not just the window dressing. Using “minimalist art and sound” is something that went out of the window right away.

So what can we do? Minimalistic gameplay… another quick idea is a “1 button game”. That might be fun, but I decided to think about things a little bit more.

How about a game where “minimalism” is the goal? A game where “less is more”? (Strip poker? Lol, kidding) – Hmmm, I work a lot with “minimization functions”. Not the same thing as minimalism, but close.

Most “puzzle” games are about putting pieces together to form a system. How about the opposite? A puzzle game where you have a very complex system, and you need to take as many pieces from it as possible, while still allowing it to work.

Now we got something! Of course, creating rules for such a different puzzle game might be a bit complicated. I will give myself one hour to think about it, and if it doesn’t work, I might just go with a 1-button action game anyway.


Thinking about the theme

Thinking about the theme

What is a villain?

Posted by
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 6:26 am

Had to out and do stuff instead of programing…  But that gave me time to think and plan my game. Due of my rather philosophical nature I started to think about what being a villain actually is. I really wanted to find an odd view to the subject so I could make something least partially unique.

Evil is something that we, people, don’t like to be done to us or others. It’s usually something that causes harm or loss of power and freedom. When a person is described as evil, we usually mean that he does not really care what others think and freely does these evil things, such as steals, kills, destroys and so on.

Villain is, in my opinion, somebody that can be described as evil, harmful to others. They usually do things that we consider bad to reach personal goals, witch are also usually “rather evil” (destroying the world, global domination, money…).

So, typical villain has an evil goal  (personal gain, satisfaction) and evil actions (generally ignoring will and rights of others).

And we can say that typical hero will have good goals (“common good”) and good actions (treats others as equals).

Both of earlier definitions are inaccurate, however. Usually heroes have to do “bad” things, such as killing, to reach their noble goal. And our villains might also be just misunderstood. Robin Hood was clearly a hero (or least shown as a hero), but why today’s pirates stealing for their families to eat aren’t?

Do actions make your goals evil? Do goals make your actions evil? Is a person with noble goal doing evil things to reach that goal a villain? Or is a good doing person with bad intentions evil?

These are the questions in my head right now. I will try to make a game with somehow odd way to view villains. I just hope I can start it soon, ‘cos time is running out…

So, to make sure that my main character is a villain, are evil actions or evil motives enough, or should he/she have both to be a true villain?


Thinking about the Theme

Posted by (twitter: @caranha)
Friday, December 14th, 2012 8:03 pm

“You are the enemy” is an amazing theme, but not necessarily one that is easy to do.

The simple way to do it is to simply create a game where your character is the bad guy. This sort of “theme as dressing” can work if you are very good at designing a theme and a feel to go around it. But if you aren’t, it will just look boring: Packman with a goth, furious pacman? Karateca with an bloody evil karateka?

A second way is to design your game around the concept of evilness. “Infectionator” of ludum dare fame, or “dungeon keeper” are two such examples. Your game becomes a bit more complex this way though.

A third and harder way is to take a common game, and change it so that you control the enemies, instead of controlling the hero. Space invaders, where you actually control the invaders, or pacman where you actually control the ghosts. This can be very interesting, but like all interesting things, can be hard. The big problem is that most games are designed so that the player has many choices, and has to rely on his skill and decision making, while the enemies often rely on numbers, so making the player control the enemies in an interesting way, and making the computer controlled hero behave in a challenging way can be quite difficult.

With all this in mind, the first thing that I thought for the theme was to make a “reverse-QIX”. In this reverse QIX, you control the QIX, and the computer controls the spaceship trying to fence you in. Since QIX has one enemy and one player, it makes sense to switch them around. However, making a competent AI for a QIX ship seems like a hard programming challenge.

The QIX game, if you can't remember it.

Since my initial idea for this LD was “a simple action game”, I have to think of a few more things. One thing that immediately springs to my head is a “You’re a shark and you have to eat people”. This is a great idea, but has already been done before.

Another idea would be a “reverse missile command”, where you can throw missiles at a city protected by turrets. This time, the challenge would be A) making the gameplay interesting to the player, and B) balancing the turret AI (it is very easy to make a super strong AI in this game).

Missile Command Game

I will go cut my hair, make a decision, and begin coding… so far I’m favoring the reverse QIX game.

Planning … Evolution, baby!

Posted by
Saturday, August 25th, 2012 12:59 am

Last 2 hours were pure paper-work to flesh out the idea and to create a schedule for creating this game.

Will be a thight schedule. Should be possible to finish in compo time.


Strengths and Weaknesses

Posted by
Thursday, July 5th, 2012 11:00 pm

My first step in planning out this Ludum Dare is to analyze what I can do right now. The goal is that in the next 50 days, I can spend time between exploiting my strengths and working on my… less than ideals.

Major Strength: Programming

My biggest strength, IMO, is my programming ability. I’m constantly on the lookout for ways to reduce complexity in how I write my code. I’m not going to claim that I’m anywhere near where I want to be (the ideas of functional programming is something I’m pretty interested in learning, even if it just means bringing some good ideas over to my imperative code), but I believe I have enough experience in other programming pursuits to tie back into game development.

One thing I’ve enjoyed doing is writing code that doesn’t necessarily work, but succinctly describes what I want the program to do. In game parlance, I’m developing code that should only care about the logic of the game. Anything about sprite rendering, entity storage, etc, should be handled by some outside, magical framework that reads my mind, bakes me cookies, and does all of that boilerplate stuff for me. Then, I build that magical framework. Minus the cookies and telepathy.

1942 Clone Screenshot

It’s not much to look at, but it will do as a test case.

You can view the results as I go on my bitbucket page. Right now, there are two “games” in early development (a 1942 clone, and a physics-based platformer). They both are supported by the same Python framework, ffld (“Framework for Ludum Dare”) that I write during development. I’ll go more into detail of the framework in later posts. For now though, I will say this: while the name of the framework might seem to insinuate otherwise, the goal is not to cut corners. Instead, the goal is to allow for the modularity of common code for game essentials (e.g., physics, collision, graphics rendering, asset loading, game entity tracking) , leaving only for the custom logic that will make my game unique. Of course, to keep the scope creep down, I am adding some constraints; it will only support 2D games, and be based around pygame. At some point later, perhaps I’ll look into expanding to OpenGL, but pygame works will for my needs currently.

Hopefully, my development will be a large asset to rely upon. As far as strategy goes, this means that when coming up with a game idea, I will be better off sticking to an idea more interesting from an interaction point of view, as I have no worries with being able to throw together the strange code needed to cause it all to work right.

Major Weakness: Graphics

Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure Screenshot

Not by me. Not in a million years.

As of today, I can’t build a grass texture to save my life. This is my biggest fear: that no matter how cool or unique of a game I can build from a game logic standpoint, the graphics will just look childish. I’m heartened by viewing some past Ludum Dare winners who eeked by on pretty cheesy graphics. I’m pretty sure one of the reasons that I never did more game development in the past was because it was so exhausting trying to find graphic assets. Sure, you could find a cool sprite sheet here and there, but not enough to make a full game. You want another sprite, similar to the one you found online, for the next level? Not with these two left hands abusing my gimp window (I guess one of my other weaknesses is taking the time to develop relationships with people who could help in this regard).

And so, one of my large goals that I have tasked myself with achieving over the next 50 days is to become better at making graphics. This does not mean that I plan on becoming a turtle-necker. My goal here is not Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure. Realistically, my hope is to get into a situation where I can develop graphics that pass as… well, whatever they are supposed to look like. Maybe just one step above “programmer art”? I feel that with some work, I could probably make some grass textures that are more than just surface.fill(GREEN) if need be.

The Other Attributes:


I don’t have much experience generating sound, but a quick look over the various toolkits shows that it doesn’t appear to be that difficult (some of it can be randomly generated very easily with tools such as bfxr and sfxr. In the coming weeks I hope to play some more with these tools. I doubt I would want to concentrate too much on this, but I realize that music and sound will contribute to the overall atmosphere of a game in a way that could be very time-effective. Even spending a single hour making a quick song, and another for adding sound effects, could be the difference between a hack and a game.

Planning and Research

Well, considering I have a gameplan of things to do 50 days before the event, I’d like to think that this is all pretty good. At some point I like to think that I’ll do a full mapping of my time during the LD weekend (When will I sleep? How long should I spend on design? How long can I develop the game? When do I call it done and spend the rest of the time polishing? How much liberty would I allow myself to deviate from such a schedule?) I also plan on reading some more post-mortems and other tips around the LD site. Of course, I could very well go into this thinking I’ll just let my first Ludum Dare hit me like a ton of bricks and learn for the next one. I feel, however, a certain pleasure in the humility of watching my best laid plans  get absolutely destroyed.


While I don’t have a lot of writing experience, I do like to think that if I take my time I can be a pretty decent writer. That being said, LD isn’t about taking your time. I don’t plan on using writing to much effect since it is pretty time-consuming, but that might change if I find myself with an idea that doesn’t need a lot of code to do. Perhaps in a future LD, when I feel a little more comfortable, I will try to make a story share the spotlight of one of my games.


Planning mostly finished!

Posted by (twitter: @Cirrial)
Saturday, December 17th, 2011 5:19 am

Unfortunately, it’s on paper and I don’t have a scanner, but…

This game is looking to perhaps be my shortest most unambitious project yet, which gives it a damn good chance of reaching polish levels far more quickly. It’s probably going to take five minutes to play, but that was true of Throwbots and it was still at least an entertaining five minutes (or so I heard, anyway).

It all dwells on being trapped in a facility and depending on a very, very finite resource with an unlimited amount of things that drain this resource.

Unfortunately, this resource is basically the player character’s lifeforce. And once it’s gone, that’s it. Game over.

It might work, it might not. Onto prototyping the mechanics!

My plan of attack

Posted by (twitter: @xMrPhil)
Friday, December 11th, 2009 7:41 pm

Primary: a well polished entry
Secondary: take time to plan things out
Tertiary: a fun game

Phase 1 – Ideas

  1. Brainstorm for an hour
  2. Select best idea
  3. Prototype core game-play (try to take less than 3 hours)
  4. Evaluate idea/prototype’s potential to meet Objectives
  5. Repeat until and idea is selected, or it is 5 pm EST on Sat. (select best idea in that case)

Phase 2 – Develop Game-play

  • – work until 10 am Sun
  • – focus on fun and presentation

Phase 3 – Polish

  1. Build a nice Load/Start screen until Noon on Sunday
  2. Create a sound track until 4pm
  3. Create a tutorial mode (or helper pop-ups)
  4. Use any remaining time to improve polish

Sleep as needed lol

Ludum Dare #11 – April 2008

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Monday, December 31st, 2007 3:36 am

Thanks everyone for coming out and making Ludum Dare 10 a great success. A fitting close the fifth year of of the compo.

If you haven’t seen it yet, the results can be found here. Final entries can be found here.

Now, as much as we’d love everyone to idle with us in #ludumdare until April, we understand this isn’t practical for everyone. So, in addition, we have a mailing list at

To subscribe, e-mail:

To unsubscribe, e-mail:

And when in doubt, hit up

– – –

Now, unlike prior years, we’ve tried to make it clear that the next compo will be in April. Anyone that’s stayed up with our shenanigans will know April is our magic month, the anniversary of the first Ludum Dare compo (the original 24 hour compo in 2002). If there’s one tradition we’ve kept over the years, it’s been holding a compo in April. Be it organized a month in advance, or pulled together last minute.

So the first order of business is to pick a weekend in April to hold the compo. I’m not looking for suggestions per se, but reasons to include or exclude a specific day. Our options include:

  • April 4th-6th Weekend
  • April 11th-13th Weekend
  • April 18th-20th Weekend
  • April 25th-27th Weekend

Ideally, we like to plan around such things as Game Industry events (GDC, E3, Game Connection, etc), Exam season (we love you students), national holidays, or any such event that either hinders or benefits the majorities chance to participate.

– – –

And in final, if you have any comments, suggestions or feedback for us, please do share them. Ludum Dare is and has always been about the community. Without you all, we’d just be an IRC channel. :)

Thanks again everyone, and have a great 2008.

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