ChromaGun was our entry to Ludum Dare #32. The concept’s inception came late at night after a few (ahem) beers. The theme was “an unconventional weapon”, and we decided to go with color. The player’s objective is to paint walls and enemies with the “ChromaGun”. Enemies are attracted to walls of the same color and float towards them. This core mechanic, paired with elements such as button-triggered doors, deadly electrified tiles and particle grids which only allow bullets to pass through, created some seriously entertaining gameplay, even in the early stages of development.
Posts Tagged ‘postmortem’
Its me de bad guy Sk3letor from #ludumdare channel, many might not know me well but today 6:43:17 I got banned by NeiloGD with words:
* You were kicked by NeiloGD (You will never learn, and it’s been brought to my attention that you’ve been told time and time again. Please find a community that will tolerate your crap.)
Seems I didint learn NOT to have opinion about diffrent things, so this is a lesson for rest of you guys:
– Dont ever NEVER disagree about anything or you get picked/bullied by other users.
– You are always WRONG, they are right.
– Your best weapon: Idle.
So this is the good bye, have nice rest of life.
After ban I feeled draw one last time art about “fair” man who guards the #ludumdare:
This post might be get removed by butthurted admin but no worry.. de art never cannot been removed.
Usually I am quite early with writing my post mortems, but between work, deadlines, and of course more game development, I didn’t really have the time to write one. Frankly, I don’t really have time either way, but writing these is always so much fun. So here we go! (more…)
[Cross-posted from Tech Valley Game Space]
For Ludum Dare 32, we hosted our second Ludum Dare Real-World Meeting here at the Tech Valley Game Space (TVGS) in Troy, NY, USA. Compared to our previous hosted event (LD 31) we had a greater number of attendees, including a healthy mix of newcomers and veteran jammers. How did it turn out? Get ready for the super-detailed TVGS post-mortem!
Why a real-world meeting?
So this one is an important question: why would we have a real-world meeting for a game jam that prides itself in being online? The short answer is that a real-world gathering provides a number of distinct advantages, both for jammers and Compo participants, that wouldn’t be possible if one were to work from their own home. To explain these advantages, however, let’s start by discussing some spiritual differences between Ludum Dare and Global Game Jam.
So, seems like the best (music-wise) Ludum Dare game I made music for scored #84 out of 1468 (in Jam). Not bad, glad I focused on just audio this time. Looking forward to beat the record next time!
This is the first time I have entered Ludum Dare competition. The game is a multiplayer missile battle on a small planet.
What went right
- Brainstorming: I took my time to collect inspiration and meditated a bit to refresh my mind before I came up with the idea to mix Scorched Earth with Missile Command and add planetary physics.
- Local LD gathering: I co-organized a LD gathering at my faculty. Having people around working towards a similar goal helped me a lot to keep focused on the task.
- Karimba sound effects and music: Among other stuff I could possibly use at the gathering, I brought a karimba. Marek Lisý (big thanks!) brought a microphone I used to record a short melody and sounds for the game. I think the combination of the sounds with the visuals and the theme is fresh and the sounds reduce the gloominess of the whole game.
- Art style: The movie War Games’ iconic symbolic depiction of global nuclear conflict matches my game’s setting, my personal taste and the constraints of LD compo. The short film Cannon Fodder from the collection Memories helped me decide the looks of the war instruments.
- Using the GameMaker tool: I had some prior experience with the tool. I was able to produce a prototype with the basic gameplay and visuals in about five hours, using especially the integrated physics engine (Box2D).
- Project management: Most of the time I managed to focus on features that were lacking the most. I think I managed to keep the game simple (perhaps too simple in the end) and to prepare a quite consistent version for the competition deadline.
What went wrong
- Insufficient playtesting: Working solo on a game in which tight interaction between several player controlled machines is crucial is lacking. I was able to improve the gameplay a lot after the competition in a couple of sessions with a friend.
- Game name: The projectiles in the game aren’t self-propelled but I decided to stick with the placeholder name “missls”. If I continue expanding the game (which I’d love to), I’ll try to change the name.
although we haven’t been able to participate in Ludum Dare this time we still would like to show you our last game, which would have been quite fitting for this theme…you are a bunny defending a giant carrot and killing mutants with, well, CARROTS! 😀 We have been working on our last LD31 Jam entry “Of Carrots And Blood” and we have released it on itch.io for free for Windows and Mac and it is also coming out on Desura soon. We have added powerups, different enemy types, a global highscore for the single player and we have also added a local 2 player Co-op mode (which is the most fun) with a big boss fight 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, have fun playing
Chris and Sebastian
Sorry for the alliteration!
My text adventure has had some great feedback but I would still love for more people to play it:
Anyway, thanks for everything, and PLAY MY GAME PLEASE!!
Originally posted on my blog at experilous.com.
Reviews of my Ludum Dare 32 game Deserializer are going well! Feedback has been very positive, but has also provided some useful critiques. I’m looking forward to the rankings being finalized and published Monday evening.
But I haven’t been sitting still. Although I’m proud of what I accomplished in three days, I know that the game is far from perfect. I believe that the core mechanic of a Frogger-style play field and movement plus pattern-matching is solid, but the specific type of pattern matching and its associated mechanics are definitely not ideal. So yesterday I spent some time away from the computer doing some paper prototyping. After a few iterations of conjuring up and tweaking new rules, I believe I’ve found a game objective that will work better. Allow me to describe a bit of the process I went through. (more…)
Hello there my fellow indie developers, today I want to announce that the game I’ve been working on for the past months has been released. This project started back in “Ludum Dare 30” (Connected Worlds). We saw potential on it so we decided to focus and develop a good game on that topic. Our entry BERTA was the starter point, then it went through many changes and almost 9 months later we finally finished!
(It’s not Berta but it is a ball).
This game is about a Spunky little ball that has the ability to switch between colors in order to interact with the environment of the level. Everything that matches the ball’s color becomes solid, therefore you have to choose wisely what color to use. For example, you’ll want to be the same color as the coins but not the same as the spikes! Or maybe you need that a certain platform matches your color in order to roll over it without falling.
So be prepared for a fun and innovative gameplay on your device… Also prepare to die a countless amount of times…
I hope you enjoy this game as much as I did when I created it! Also don’t forget to leave a review on the Store page if you actually had a great time playing it.
Our ludum dare 32 entry, Weathermage, was the rockiest submission I’ve ever done. It was incredibly ambitious, aiming to combine the gameplay of Divinity: Original Sin, one of my favorite turn-based RPGs, with a vast world inspired by The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. In short, we succeeded in this goal, but the journey was rocky and the final implementation clunky.
The theme was “An Unconventional Weapon,” and our idea was to use weather effects as a combat system. This means the player character has no “auto-attacks” – to damage enemies the player must use weather-based skills to trap enemies in hazardous situations. This means in addition to an outdoor environment, we needed a believable weather system.
You don’t create a massive, content-populated world in one weekend, at least not with existing tools. However, we’re getting closer to being able to do so: The level designer we brought on to start on during the warm-up weekend who would work for the entirety of the week up to the jam had been working on a procedural world creation system that could create AAA-quality worlds (with content!) in hours. For us, this jam was a chance to test out what he already had in place, and for him, this was an opportunity to put his system to the test and see how it might be improved moving forward.
We’re quite proud of the level he created, although he had to place a lot of the content manually anyway. I gave the designer a lot of artistic freedom in how the level should look. These were my basic requirements:
- 2 villages.
We ran into some issues with the atmosphere, but eventually settled on a wonderful sky and weather combination asset called Tenkoku. It was actually not released on the asset store in time for the jam, but we were so eager to test it based on previews that we purchased it directly from the creator. It fulfilled all of our needs, but had a few issues in practice that were mostly resolved over the weekend by notifying the developer.
Our team was composed of four people assigned to different roles:
- Myself, UI and content assembly
- Adam Goodrich, level design.
- Jose Contreras, gameplay programming.
- Adam Aagocs, minimap research and development.
This split of tasks was combined with split repositories in source control, meaning the level designer could work on the level without ever needing to do merges with what the programmers were doing. This was great because it allowed us to do a small number of combines instead of constantly merging in a single repo.
The majority of the gameplay was coded and tested in a small prototype scene nowhere on the same scale as our actual level. The minimap was tested with a mocked up terrain we created. Our theory was to integrate everything together within the last 24 hours and then make adjustments where necessary. This didn’t work out as we had hoped, and we learned a hard lesson in scale – what works for a small case may not work for something massive. Our major problems:
- Pathfinding bugs made finishing the game impossible. Our prototype scene was mostly flat except for a small hill. When we moved the game into the actual level, which featured hills, lots of obstacles such as large rocks, and sloped terrain, our pathfinding solution (A* Pathfinding Project) ran into both performance and navmesh grid generation problems. The lack of good local avoidance in A* Pathfinding Project meant that the player character would often have a valid path but not be able to get there due to colliding with an object along the way such as the side of a tree or a rock.
- The minimap only worked for a certain amount of detail. This is because the method we used to generate the minimap involved taking a high resolution image of the entire map and breaking it into chunks. However, I was unsatisfied with the quality of the chunks and requested a more detailed overall image, which led to my computer hitting its RAM limit and us concluding that the only way our method would work is if we had a supercomputer. We ended up scrapping the minimap entirely.
- Tedious enemy placement. I was originally going to manually place each enemy on the map, but when we realized how unbelievably small our enemy (and player character) was compared to the world, we realized it was going to take hours to place them all. Thankfully, our level designer (who also happens to be a very good coder – hire him!) mentioned he would need a dynamic spawn system for his procedural world creation system anyway, so he made one for us. It was a very impressive script that featured both in-editor generation and dynamic spawn, alongside a pooling system that would load enemies based on player proximity.
- Rain puddles looked terrible on actual terrain. Our prototype scene had ‘passable’ puddle formation on the Unity terrain primitive, but when we used it on an actual textured terrain, the effect looks really bad. We had to explore a different method in order to create more ‘natural’ puddles (imperfect circles) and have them use a different material so they would show up better.
The last three issues were not difficult to resolve, but the first one delayed our ‘actual’ submission by two weeks. I ended up submitting a placeholder during the deadline so we wouldn’t miss it entirely. I don’t consider it cheating because our game was playable by the deadline, but it was complete-able due to pathfinding bugs.
Unity Terrain and Pathfinding
There are a number of pathfinding solutions on the Unity Asset Store, but there seemed to be next to little discussion on the Unity forums about pathfinding over large terrains. This is because most Unity games that use pathfinding take place on either square grids (where movement is intentionally restricted by level design) or within special ‘battle’ areas, most of which have a grid layout or do not take place outside. It was only when I realized we might be breaking some new ground with Unity pathfinding on terrain did I realize we might have set the scope of our project too high due to the assumption that ‘pathfinding will just work’.
By the end of the first week after the deadline, we had exhausted the A* Pathfinding Project and started looking for other options. I was very worried at this stage because reimplementing pathfinding would involve setting up new grids and rewriting a lot of code, so it was important that we find a solution that would work so we did not completely miss the judging period. After reading many reviews, I settled on the combination of Apex Path (for pathfinding) and Apex Steer (for local avoidance). We spent a few days setting up the two in a test scene and were very impressed with the speed it calculated paths and local objects. We spent the rest of the second week getting it to work with our massive level, which involved a multiple-grid setup and moving characters from one pathfinding grid to another.
One Week of Ratings
This is the first time I submitted a complete-able entry within the last week. I quickly spend an entire day playing and rating other games so we would show up in the judging area. I rated somewhere around 107 games that day, and I was very exhausted by the end of it. However, I was able to accomplish my goal of getting Weathermage on the radar for those still rating games in the last week, and we got a mix of positive and critical feedback:
Nice, solid composition of the assets to maintain a cohesive style! It took quite a while to understand that the green thing in the top left was pointing me to an enemy, but it was fun exploring in the mean time. The actual battle seemed kind of buggy, it worked but some kind of tutorial or description of how it worked would have been nice since I didn’t get the turn-based-ness of it. But overall it’s a fantastic idea, and I love the idea of using weather as a weapon.
Some people mentioned they had issues running it, which made me realize this may be the first entry out of all ludum dare entries where system requirements should have been specified.
It was unplayable for me due to slow framerate, even on Fastest graphics.
This is a general indicator that our scope was probably too big for a weekend jam, but given my previous track record of ambitious submissions, we’ve always pushed the bounds of what we thought we could do in a single weekend and I didn’t intend to stop with this one.
We got a few comments that every game jam team wants to hear:
I would totally buy this if it were fleshed out and polished! Great work
Overall, I consider our entry a success even if it does not place high in the ratings due to the low amount of exposure.
We had two team members I had never worked before prior to this event, and both impressed me in their dedication to quality. Moving forward, I would love to work with them in the future, and I’m currently talking to members of the Zems project on how we might bring on the gameplay programmer. However, I would prefer not to ditch Weathermage entirely and to continue working on it (slowly) over time. Things I want to do include:
- Refactor codebase so it doesn’t look like a messy game jam project.
- Switch to a third person camera. Someone mentioned that the top-down camera made the terrain tiling obvious and that the vast beauty of the terrain could not fully be experienced in this perspective.
- Add a party system – multiple player characters in the style of the Dragon Age series.
- More enemy types.
- More weather-based skills, such as raining fire, blizzards, and more.
- Improving current weather effects with better particles. Our puddle formation system is currently ‘passable’ for ludum dare, but I’m still not very satisfied with it because players will notice a pattern over time. I want a more dynamic and random puddle formation/deformation method.
Multiple people have commented that this concept of worthy turning into its own game. I’m not ready to commit to that yet, but I think we have built a solid basis to be explored and iterated upon further.
Instead of a written post, I thought it would be a good idea if Alan and I recorded our thoughts on the jam, what went right, what went wrong, what we liked and what we’d improve for a podcast! The result is linked below. Enjoy!
Finally, Nightfall post-mortem After some problems, got the game submitted on time. First time on LudumDare!
What is the game about
You control Doctor Sheerin, a brilliant researcher who finds a new and amazing thing: The Darkness. But his new discover didn’t got the attention of the population the way he desire: they want to destroy it. People are afraid of The Darkness, since the planet they live is surrounded by light all the time at each single point of its surface. So Doc. Sheerin must protect the reactor, a huge machine that generate and nurture a practical gun that fire shots of darkness at things, reacting extremely weird at living beings.
How the hell you got this??
Since the theme was announced at 10 P.M. where I live (Brazil, hu3 hu3 I REPORT U), and I was at a friend’s birthday party, I decided to do a beerstorm there. So I did. Got some theme ideas, listed below, with a short description of each one (used Trello to list them):
Ideas and development tracking
- candy (*): something mixing Katamari with Pokémon, but you throw the candy, enemies with the same color got stuck on it. Then you keep the candy with you, like pokeballs, and use again against other enemies (of course could be a limit of enemies attached to it);
- beach: I dunno, was too drunk to think how it could be a good idea;
- street racing: using the cars as weapons, but each car kills just their driver;
- music notes: you fight your enemy doing the correct music sequence, realized there are plenty of games like it;
- birthday (hah!): pretty unconventional, celebrate the birthday of your enemies to the death!
- cat launcher: like a rocket launcher, but with cats, and you control the cat (based on my cat);
- change the enemy size: shrink or grow its size, could have been funny;
- darkness (***): use a darkness burble to surpass enemies on your path;
- beer hose: like the water hose from firemen, but with beer! Put down your enemies with this delicious beverage;
- worm launcher: like a rocket launcher, but with worms, and… eh, OK;
- control the enemy: control the enemy while inside the field of action;
- the weapon is your character, versus himself: cool idea, but how?
- object from space (**): annihilate living beings!
- religion: convert enemies into allies. But if gods decide to interfere?
- the level (*): use the level as weapon.
Hello all, I go by Boateye on the internet, but you can call me boateye, since we’re instant best friends!
This was my very first Ludum Dare, but second Game Jam (I did the most recent miniLD #58). And I learned quite a bit. As such, I’ll hold up game dev tradition and make my first ever Post-Mortem!
What went well:
- Making my own pixel art for the game was surprisingly fun!
- I was able to effectively reuse some of the sounds that I made for my Mini LD#58 entry, Combat Pong, which saved me a bunch of time.
- The game was actually fun to playtest! This is a first for the games I have made.
- This slightly ore abstract theme was much better and easier to implement than my original idea
- The shooting and flying feels really good. One of the main details that I ike to focus on is “Game Feel”, and I think that this is my best effort so far.
- The central mechanic of using different amounts of your own score to kill enemies was fun for people like me who want to get maximum value from every action in a game. Trump, and Lous Scott-Vaargas would be proud
- The upgrades were fun to implement.
- The enemies spawning and moving in the background of the title, ending and upgrade screen were an accident, but it ended up looking nicer than what I had planned. I love moments like these during game development!
- Itch.io is a really great website for hosting games online. I encourage anyone who has not tried them yet to host their next project on there.
- Feedback is very positive!
What went less than well
- There was a bug where the enemies weren’t awarding the right amount of points to the player
- The Smart bomb wasn’t working at the time of release. It was now adding the accurate amount of score based on enemies killed. That is now mostly fixed.
- I wasn’t able to implement mini-health bars for the regular enemies that require multiple hits to help the player find the most effecient way of killing enemies.
- I was not able to implement good tutorial levels to teach the player the main schtick of the game, outside of the game’s text description which no one reads :p
- Art is unremarkable, but functional.
- There aren’t as many levels as I would like. The game is very short.
Overall, I feel that Score Attack was a success for my first proper LD game. More things went well than wrong, and even the things that went wrong were easily fixable post-jam. I’m really proud of Score attack, and I encourage you to check it out if you like Shmups!
If you haven’t already you can now try Ultra Hat Dimension — the premier hat-based puzzle game — more easily than ever. I’ve updated the latest build to automatically work around two crash-on-startup issues the game had. I’ll explain the problems and the solutions in more detail below if you’re interested in learning from my mistakes.