Ludum Dare 31
Theme:
Entire Game on One Screen

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

PlayRate80Star

Posts Tagged ‘post-mortem’

Post-Mortem! (From August, though)

Posted by
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 1:01 pm

I participated in LD30 in August and wasn’t able to do the one just gone. I had never really showed my game I made that weekend and seen people play it first hand. I got a lot of good comments about it (from the competition and real people, including strangers) and people have said that I should Greenlight it and attempt to get it on Steam.

So that’s what I’m doing!

It’ll take me a couple of weeks to fix up the last bugs, add some more levels and make it more efficient and also to create trailers and logos for it, so if I don’t get too distracted then it should be on the Greenlight page in early January next year!

Here is the original submission, so give it a try. After looking through the project files I have realised that levels 6-9 are broken (The spawnpoint is in the wrong place, you spawn very close to the exit xD) which is a result of finishing the game up after 20 hours without sleeping. I’m sure you all know the struggle.

If people are interested, I will post periodic updates on here (or maybe make a blog for it) on how things are getting on and we’ll see where this goes!

B.Y.E. post mortem

Posted by
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 12:49 pm

Intro

This is my third or fourth Ludum Dare I’m in. For this jam I decided to test my idea of terrain destruction to be done in Unity because I wanted to use it to port my old game I’ve been making with other guys for Global Game Jam 2012. It was the first time when I heard of game Liero and we used similar targeting and ninja rope from it. I never quite got time to port the game (we wanted to publish it on mobiles) so my idea to create destructible terrain was quietly developing in my brain :).
For this Ludum Dare I decided to make 2-4 player deathmatch game on single screen inspired by Super Mario Smash Bros I played recently, use destructible terrain with a lot of shooting because everyone loves shooting action, right? :). Also I thought that this shouldn’t be rocket science to do because I didn’t have whole 48 hours to spare :( (I got comics workshop in that time, trainings etc. etc.)

What went right

Terrain generation, destruction and reconstruction! For my idea I used Unity built in 3D Terrains but viewed them top down with a crossed plane in the middle:

ok8sxd

Terrain was generated with Perlin Noise function also available in Unity and collision detection with terrain was already there too. For terrain destruction I wrote my function to update terrain heights so that destroyed terrain would lower itself below plane in the middle. It was tricky to do it because I imagined the game screen and terrain should be looped so It wasn’t very optimized in Compo version. Result of terrain destruction and deconstruction from falling debris:

Terrain destruction

I wanted also to include ninja rope to climb but I ended with simple jetpack because it was easier to implement and because jumping wasn’t working so good (Physics for platforming doesn’t always work very well), jetpack replaced need for jumping :).
Finally I’ve added shooting with bazooka and machine gun and second player which resulted in compo version.

What went bad

I haven’t got enough time to make proper player avatars so there were only spheres in compo version. I haven’t got time to implement all sounds I wanted and add more weapons, weapons switching etc.
Compo version is not very optimized because terrain destruction modifies whole terrain. Collisions are not very good so when player avatars are close to each other they don’t hit themselves.
And most important thing – I haven’t got time to make any title screen :).

Now?

I liked the idea of terrain destruction and oldschool hot seat fun multiplayer shooting so much I decided to make more proper post-compo version.
First thing I started with was creating avatar for players. Again I got crazy idea that I wanted to realize, use plasticine to make model in T-pose, scan it to computer and then animate it! My girlfriend Paulina made fun plasticine model of a soldier with jetpack, then I used Android mobile app Autodesk 1-2-3DCatch to make series of photos of this model, this was sent to the cloud by app and in a couple of minutes I got nearly complete 3D model. You can see some photos and model on Autodesk page here: click click

Plasticine model

I downloaded .obj files with textures and using Blender I removed all background stuff, stitched all gaps, made some other errors (never use “Remove doubles” on model with defined texture UVs! – use Decimate modifier!), fixed T-pose, rigged model and started to make walking animation.

Rigged walking model

After that Paulina made plasticine models for weapons, they were tiny so I modeled them myself in Blender. Only used photo as reference:

bronie

Next I made model animations with character moving hands+head up and down and simultaneously weapon rotation animations so they could be blended with character walking animation. At first it didn’t work because animations were on a single action timeline and Unity wasn’t blending them. I needed to separate them to different action and then put them again on a single NLA Strip o_O. After that and some coding for animation blending it started to work:

Walking and shooting blended!

Then I fixed bullets origin on the end of weapon, added extra weapons to already implemented uzi and bazooka: shotgun, pistol and grenade launcher. Next I added blood particles:

Blood particles

I played a little bit with Unity ragdolls to test if they would work with my model and … it worked great as you can see from this test:

Ragdoll test

Paulina made me really great logo for game’s title screen and finally I got permission to use two music tracks for title and in-game from DADi ( soundcloud , Facebook page ) – once again BIG thanks! They fit nicely to the game I think.

You can watch results here:

Future!

Post compo version is available for all of you to play and have fun with it. If there will be interest I will be more than happy to develop it further. Among many things game needs some more optimizations, computer opponents and maybe online modes.

I’m waiting for all suggestions, comments etc.

Game entry page
Post compo downloadable version (free or small fee if you like)
Browser version

Thank you all and I’m back to playing all those fantastic games you all created :)

Late’s better than never!

Posted by (twitter: @Trent_Sterling)
Monday, December 15th, 2014 7:12 am

So I haven’t posted much about my LDJAM entry, but it’s been getting some votes so I figured it would be a good idea to post about it here. Simply put, my game is a poor Super Crate Box clone.

2014-12-08_14-13-31

Sadly, the game didn’t get balanced, or even really finished. The menus were slapped together in a hurry and a bunch of artwork didn’t get completed. Me and my artist were not really well prepared to enter the jam, which is why I didn’t make a post announcing that we were going to enter. We weren’t sure if we could get anything done in the time allotted.

We had opposite sleeping schedules. He’s from South Africa, and I’m in the United States. Working with different timezones probably hurt us more than anything. While I was waiting on HUD, he ended up making more weapons. When I needed enemy artwork, he was busy with sleep, or rolling blackouts – as South Africa has some kind of power issues at the moment.

So needless to say, this game isn’t complete. But it’s still sorta fun, and the graphics look pretty sweet if I do say so myself. (Thanks Unity Pro Trial!)

2014-12-08_14-16-21

So check it out if you want. I enjoy feedback – but believe me, I already know the game isn’t great.

http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-31/?action=preview&uid=20238

I also made a video about the development of this game. Sort of a timelapse/summary.

I also streamed about 7 hours of development on twitch, so if you wan’t to watch me do stuff in the past, check it out!

http://www.twitch.tv/trent_sterling/profile

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

Lull Post-Mortem

Sunday, December 14th, 2014 3:07 pm

Play Lull HERE! The centuries-spanning magical realist visual novel that the critics are calling “interesting!”

“Interesting” —stvr

“Interesting” —JFern

“Interesting”  —Sweenist

“Interesting” —Kuality Games

“Very interesting” —Rose

“Very interesting” —Crushenator

Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 4.38.03 PM

My name’s Luke, and I was the head writer on Lull. I’m with Watercress Studios, which is a team of 30-odd coders, writers, artists, and composers working on… something else. Don’t worry about that.

A bunch of people thought it’d be fun to take a break from the Other Thing to do Ludum Dare. “Don’t worry,” I told my SO, “I’m not getting involved, I’m just going to hang around on TeamSpeak for a bit to see what they’re up to. I’ll come watch Legend of Korra in half an hour.” We did not end up watching Legend of Korra that weekend.

I’m going to talk about our process, so spoilers ahoy! Shadow64 said that “There were a lot of twists and turns in there that I didn’t expect,” and if you can’t trust Shadow64, who can you trust? Go ahead and play Lull before reading on. I’ll wait.

Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 4.42.15 PM

We faced two challenges right out of the gate. Challenge #1 was the theme. We knew we wanted to make a visual novel, but most of those involve people moving around to different places (and therefore different screens). The easy option was to set the entire story in one location, but instead of zooming in we decided to zoom out.

What if, we decided, instead of the screen showing where our characters are as individuals, it showed where they are as a society? You check in with Deadwood Falls, Oregon every ten years as buildings grow, change, are burnt down in riots against your neo-feudal dystopia, and are rebuilt.

Challenge #2 was art. Watercress’s normal art team wasn’t available, instead opting to spend the weekend sharpening pencils or analyzing Degas or whatever it is artists do when normals aren’t looking. So all the weight of the art fell to the fearless OptionalSauce, who’s usually one of our writers. While Optional more than delivered with his playful, expressive pixel art, he’s only one man, which put a tight limit on the quantity of art available to us.

This ended up shaping the story in ways we couldn’t have predicted. Since each character required different spites as they aged, we needed to keep the number of characters low. So we needed a small handful of characters to make the important decisions in Deadwood Falls. And hey, we should have their descendants take over after them, so we can reuse most of their sprites! Enter the aforementioned neo-feudal dystopia.

Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 4.38.34 PM

WHAT WENT WRONG:

- Limited amount of art. Characters don’t have different spites for different emotions, so you get Cornelius Thatcher grinning like a goon while trying to convince two of his oldest friends not to slaughter each other’s families. Too soon, Cornelius. Too soon.

- Limited plot divergence. I don’t have to tell you how little sleep I got, because you understand. Let’s just say this postmortem would have come out sooner if I’d been awake at any point during the last week. I had to find ways to honor player choice while keeping a lid on just how much extra writing that would require.

Other than specific flags (who’s alive, who you’re friends with), the culture of your town is largely determined by two hidden variables: Unity, representing how divisive and dysfunctional your town’s politics are, and Openness, representing your town’s willingness to flow with the tides of social change. These affect whether certain actions will succeed or fail, and can result in some interesting changes— a town with low Openness might see Temperance Goodwin getting written out of the history books, for example. But you won’t get completely different scenes where everyone’s living in harmony or anything.

- Everything wraps up a little more quickly than intended, also because of the limited amount of time we had for writing. We ended up cutting scenes off the ends of both acts, which I think actually made Act I more aerodynamic but clipped Act II’s arc a bit early.

WHAT WENT RIGHT:

- The music. I can’t even tell you that much about the process, because I don’t understand it either. Every now and then the composers would pop by and ask something about themes and tonality and then disappear, like some sort of benevolent opposite-day monkey’s paw trying to interpret our poorly-worded wishes in the way that would most benefit us.

- The pixel art turned out well, and the backgrounds deliver several effective gut-punches independent of the writing– during the rioting and the endings in particular.

- Instead of using our large writing team to deliver a greater quantity of writing, we used them to deliver intensely polished writing. Every scene saw multiple drafts, and I went back through everyone else’s scenes when they were done to ensure tonal and thematic consistency. I mean, you’re hearing from the head writer now, so feel free to take my opinion with a grain of salt, but I was really happy with how the writing turned out.


So, if you’d like to try a game that lets you resolve blood feuds, learn sign language, crush insurgencies, debate land reform, and woo 19th century Quaker schoolmarms, and for some reason you haven’t played Lull yet, go here and give it a try! And if you’d like to follow Watercress Studios in our other endeavors, go here. Thanks for reading!

Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 4.43.34 PM

Snowman vs. Chesspieces – post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @weldA)
Sunday, December 14th, 2014 3:57 am

Soo. Snowman vs. Chesspieces is my third LD entry and I think the most complex thing I’ve written in 48 hours (or about 19 hours if you can trust github).

Snowman vs. Chesspieces is a mixture of games like Binding of Isaac and games like Fluxx. Every round you have to pick some cards, which will define how the round will look like: Enemies, obstacles, weapon modifiers, etc. Most important: Goals are also cards – which means that your goal also can change every round.

Play it here.

Snowman vs Chesspieces

What went right

  • Fun: I  had so much fun developing this time. I rushed down lines and lines of code, and everything I wanted to do worked like I imagined it.
  • My Idea: I had this idea flying around in my head, and I’m happy that I was able to finish it somehow – at least as a concept. It’s playable and winnable.
  • Audio: I managed to create some music for my game this time, and I’m so happy about it. Some other article mentioned that games without any audio are boring – and yes – they are.
    Even the simplest sound effects from sfxr are sufficient. And for the music I guess you can keep it simple and use many loops.

What went wrong

  • Balancing/Play testing: Ugh. I hate that part of game design. And since this game is based on randomness, balancing stuff doesn’t get easier.
    Also I’m not the best gamer in the world, so I often don’t know whether I’m just an idiot playing my own game, or if it’s genuinely too hard ;)
    I didn’t have enough time to balance everything, but I think the result is kind of okay..
  • Graphics: The graphics are mostly just from some UTF-8 font and lack animations. Unfortunately I’m not a good graphics designer, and therefore my graphics are usually basic.
  • Finished Game?: As it is now, it’s more like a concept than a finished game.. Which is okay for the time I spent on it, I guess. But for the next LD I think I’m going for a finished, polished game (even if the idea/size of the game gets smaller)
  • (Edit) Oh my god, the title. For one second I thought it was funny, but now I think it’s just “I tried too hard to be funny”. “Snowman vs. Chess pieces” is definitely enough.

What to change next time

I think it’s time to say goodbye to LÖVE2D :( … And switch to something like Unity.
I spent much time on implementing stuff that should be in a standard library .. stuff like GUIs (the GUI-class in my game is the biggest one…), distance/vector methods, collision detection, etc.And Unity has this cool component system.
So I hope I have time  to get myself into Unity(2D) before the next LD.

Avoid Rage – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @jackrugile)
Sunday, December 14th, 2014 3:32 am

avoidrage4

Avoid Rage is a minimal reflex game where you must avoid enemies coming at you from opposing tracks. Control with arrow keys or WASD. M to mute.

Play Game

 


 

This was my first submitting to Ludum Dare. I tried and failed on two previous occasions. It felt so good just to complete something and make the deadline. That was my main goal when going into things, so I consider this a success.

I stuck to my original goal of keeping things simple and I didn’t stray from my initial idea the whole weekend. I wanted to explore so many different variations and routes, but I knew that would put me at risk for missing the deadline.

The Good

  • Simple Premise – The game only required two lines of instructions: The goal, and the controls. You can jump right in and play.
  • Rendering – I used HTML/CSS as the main renderer for this game, with all game logic written in JavaScript. I typically use canvas, but had experimented recently with animating via CSS properties for mini games. This worked out well because the animation was performant, I was able to code in a familiar setting (I am a front end developer full time), and I was able to make use of custom fonts without any headaches.

(more…)

Snowman’s Quest Post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @dekart1234)
Sunday, December 14th, 2014 3:05 am

LD31 was my fifth jam and it went in some ways better than previous jams, but I also experienced new issues I never hit before.

Snowman’s Quest is a top-down survival shooting game with a little twist – in order to win you have also to collect carrots to beautify a Christmas tree. While doing so you have to protect the tree from lumberjacks trying to hit it.

Play Snowman's Quest

Click to try the game

What went right

Idea

As soon as the first 4 rounds of the voting were finished I started thinking over an idea of a  snowman game. When the final theme was announced I found that my game idea fits it so I didn’t have to change anything.

(more…)

Houston: Expedition diary Part 2

Posted by
Saturday, December 13th, 2014 9:09 am

The expedition diary.

Day 2 additional decryption:

We fall asleep only after first successful launch of expedition ship to planet Pandorum – «Hooray!»
It was exciting – finally, all the parts we made during the day now works together as one game – with logic and results.
But cruel clocks show 5:00 at that moment.

sleep

At 10:30 the team was already at work again.

We realised, that we have no time for much of functionality we planned to do =(
So we failed to implement in particular:
– Any tutorial
– Visualisation of expedition events (how astronauts install modules, produce food, fight with predators)
– “Houston, We’ve Got a Problem” feature – when we may tell them, how to solve critical issues.
And other things.

But – the game works and we still have something to show on presentation of Jam.
And we showed it.

presentation

Other expedition diary data under decryption now.
And you may support our expedition if you rate our game =)
Jam Entry: Houston, We’ve Got a Problem
Please, check the first screenshot before play – there are tutorial stuff.

Previous parts of expedition diary:
Expedition diary part 1
Information bulletin for new astronauts

Reindeers On Strike

So I was late to the party and only decided to start on my Ludum Dare game on Sunday evening, I had been busy all weekend. I knew I didn’t have much time so I went for the Jam even though I was by myself and would’ve qualified for the Compo. Because of the time constraints my game has loads of bugs and aspects which I have clearly cut corners. But despite this I am happy with the outcome. I have managed to get a small buggy game working.

I chose to make a 2D shooter because I have done it before and it would save time. Christmas is just around the corner so it was a favourite in terms of game ideas, and who doesn’t love a violent santa?

The game itself has got pretty good overall reviews and considering the time put in to it I am very happy with the result. The game functions which is a miracle in itself. On top of that with (good) music, (good) art it really looks like a game.

I am quite proud of it and to answer the question, yes it is possible to make a game in 8 hours. Whether or not it is good, thats for you to decide.

Link to game page

Houston: Expedition diary

Posted by
Friday, December 12th, 2014 3:58 am

Expedition diary.

Day 1 additional decryption:

After landing at GamesJam Microsoft we built safety base first, using two coaches and chairs as perimeter fencing.

safety base

We had enough food rations, including soda, pizza, chocolate bars and tea.

same base

All needed modules was installed quickly: two high tables and one low, power filter, computers and other tools we needed for our mission.

Research and development plan was made and posted up to window.

plan

Other expedition diary data under decryption now.
And you may support our expedition if you rate our game =)
Jam Entry: Houston, We’ve Got a Problem

Previous part of expedition diary:
Expedition diary: information bulletin for new astronauts

Cell #327 – Timelapse and Post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @AurelDev)
Thursday, December 11th, 2014 3:01 pm

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