Posts Tagged ‘process’

Super Snack Time! Post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @stellardoordev)
Saturday, August 29th, 2015 1:04 pm

Play the game here!

We were a team of four people this time, though one person had to leave after the first night, and I was busy Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Since we were especially limited on time and resources we really needed a simple idea. Besides, I like simple ideas because it’s easier to focus on making one concept polished and fun. Of course all of our initial ideas were very complicated, until…
The player-plant

Once we had the idea, and we knew it was going to be a parody, then the issue was how to do the art in a way that paid tribute to the source without copying it. I do a lot of traditional/fine-art (My work: and I’d been thinking for a while that it would be interesting to do a game in a very painterly style. I did some quick sketches of mario in ArtRage and then used Aseprite animate them and export a tilesheet. It looked pretty good so we decided to go with it:
Painted Spritesheet for the


Even though we wanted a more organic look to the game, I decided to use Tiled to create the level, because that would make it easy to experiment with different layouts, and the excellent Tiled2Unity tool would generate the collision meshes for me. Once I had the level laid out in a way that worked well with the bouncing marios, I used Tiled’s “export to image” feature, and Ian used that as a reference to paint the lovely background that you see in the game.
Painted Background

Probably anyone who’s used Unity for 2D has made the mistake of leaving the “fixed rotation” option off on your sprite’s rigidbody and then watching your character spin and flop around unexpectedly. For this game I wanted mario to have a silly, clumsy quality, so I left it off intentionally. The challenge then was getting a reasonable amount of these clumsy marios to the end of the level. I used several invisible triggers to tell mario when to jump. Each trigger had a percent change of triggering, so we would end up with marios taking random paths through the level.

Marios moving through level
While Jesse made a mario spawner and worked on the plants, I painted the title screen as quickly as possible. I’m sure I didn’t spend more than 20 minutes on it. My plan was to hand paint the title text as well but that just would have taken too much time.
Quickly painted title screen

At the end of Saturday we were at the testing stage, and while it was already making us laugh (a good sign!), we had a lot of ideas for how to make it better. I assumed I wouldn’t have time for any of them. But Monday morning I was determined to add them. I added the “withering” plants feature and the heart counter as ways to add challenge and excitement to the game, and Brian added a score counter and cleverly tied the rate that marios spawned to your score, which leads to a hilarious avalanche of marios if you get far enough. At this point I think it went from being a silly game to one that was actually fun to play.
Many marios

Of course I always forget how stressful the submission process is, especially when you’re already exhausted from lack of sleep. But in the end I’m very happy with what we made. There’s only a couple of minor things I would have done differently. Much gratitude to my team, and to everyone who has left feedback!

Play the game here!

Creating Brood’s Art: Environments and Interfaces

Posted by (twitter: @seconddimension)
Saturday, August 29th, 2015 6:35 am

Brood Title Screen

Brood screenshot

Written by Adam D., a team member in Second Dimension Games. We created the game Brood for Ludum Dare 33. I’d like to apologise for the length of the article, but I wanted to be thorough and hopefully some people will find it helpful and informative.

I’m very pleased with our entry into this LD (play it HERE), it was a close call but I managed to come back for another competition. We all worked together on the game concept, but my specific role was to create the environment artwork, the UI, main menu (and help screen) and the large monster. I also got the chance to do some animation, specifically the tentacle animation, which made for an enjoyable change. I thought I’d write up my working process for designing the screens and environments of Brood for anyone that was interested.


How Do You Rate?

Posted by (twitter: @DarkAcreJack)
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 2:03 pm

Cross-posted from the Dark Acre blog
How Do You Rate?

The only thing more important than finishing & shipping—yes, those are one thing—a Ludum Dare 48 compo entry is then rating the hard work of all the other clinically insane brave competitors. Well aside from eating, drinking, & sleeping but that should go without saying. Shouldn’t it?

In the earlier days of LD48 this was a relatively easy task to accomplish, even for the competitor with a day job. A couple hundred entries could be leisurely played over the course of the allotted two weeks.

Then somewhere along the line LD48 became more mainstream—this said without a hint of hip irony, I mean come on, it’s the truth—attracting larger numbers of participants each time.

The most recent event saw some 2,347 (supposedly) playable video & analog games submitted for peer evaluation.

Competitors are given 3 full weeks to play then rate each entry, & leave a comment if they’re feeling egotistical/snarky/fancy. I tend to leave a lot of fancy, ego-driven snark. It shows I care.

So 3 weeks. That’s 30,240 minutes. Assuming you do nothing but play & rate entries that allows just under 12 minutes for each one.

The key question then becomes how much time should you allot for playing vs. offering stars & design advice? It takes me about 8 minutes to complete my own entry, & I know exactly how to complete it. I imagine it could take some folks upwards of 30 minutes to finish. If their goal is to be completely, magnanimously fair with the ratings process they wouldn’t even have time to finish & would be forced to offer a rating based on an experience not wholly experienced! Not that there’s anything wrong with that, game journalists & forum commenters do it all the time but that’s beside the point.

A person is then forced to make certain compromises if they want to go sifting through the entries for the gems. There are gems in there, trust me, but unless you just want to sit back & wait for others to find them, not bother rating—which ends up reflecting poorly on your own entry—, & shun the process entirely you need some form of filter.

This was my 8th Ludum Dare 48 in a row. I’ve gone from rating all of them to not giving a damn & then realizing I have to give a damn if I’m to get rated myself, so I’ve run the gamut.

I’ve crafted a handy spreadsheet of my evaluation process, suitable for framing.

It’s a “do unto others” sort of framework, & I’m horribly selfishly biased because I’m capable of producing web builds. But I’ve stomped my way down that route only because I kinda wanna get as many people as possible to play my game. If I was only in it to show off I’d just pull a SOS.

Rate early, rate often. Rate with purpose.

It’s only time that you’re wasting. Too bad it’s the only thing that you’ve really got.


Posted by (twitter: @darwinscoat)
Friday, August 19th, 2011 9:08 pm

So we settled on a story and gameplay style. I can say robots and aliens are involved.  here’s a silhouette of our cast!

Hopefully you will find them as amusing as we do. :)

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