Posts Tagged ‘puzzle game’
Hey everyone ! Here is the post mortem of my game Linked Colours.
As always, you can click here to play and rate it.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Idea and development
As last time, I had the idea pretty quickly and stick to it. Thankfully I didn’t encountered big design issues and if I doubted that I would be able to create many levels, random generation came to my rescue, so I didn’t even needed to create levels manually other than the two tutorials.
In addition to Daneel, the framework for CraftStudio I created and which is the base of all of my projects, I was able to borrow quite some code from other projects of mine, so that I could focus on gameplay instead of reinventing the wheel once again. Having so much code already ready is what made me enter the Jam and not the Compo as the previous times in the first place.
But having an extra day prove very useful as even with a simple idea and lots of ready-code I hadn’t much at the end of the second day in term of gameplay (but visuals where almost final).
Let’s say it with some pomposity: linked colours is the best-looking game I have ever created in my entire life, so far ! Look at this beauty ! I am not even an artist, or am I now !?
Well, not quite, but it’s what I am most happy about, the game looks really great, especially compared to my previous games (improvements, yeah !).
At the end of the first day, I wanted to add a level editor so that anyone could have created levels. I have one almost working for another game but I ditched the idea even before beginning the second day, where I worked mostly on visuals. Instead I spend some time working on random generation, and it did go surprisingly well.
The generation is pretty simple : on a 5 by 5 grid, it picks a square, then picks a color, then finds another square nearby and sets a color the previous one can connect to. It repeats that until there is no more colorless squares on the grid. Then it picks the squares that are not connected to any one and change their color so that they can connect to a nearby square. Then it finds squares with 3 or more connections (3 is rare, 4 in really unlikely to happen, 5 or more never happens) and sets them as squares with a required number of connections.
And that’s it, and it produce pretty nice levels, with actual mixed difficulty. I just wished I had time to tweak it a little and have some variations in the grid.
- 9:30 to 10:15 am (45min): background V1 and splash screen.
- 10:30 to 11 am (30min): title scene.
- 11:05 to 11:35 am (30min): work on UI (icons).
- 12:05 to 12:40 (35min): ?
- 5 to 6 pm (1h): end level screen.
- 6:30 to 7:50 pm (1h20): color gradients.
- 9:10 to 10:10 pm (1h): color gradient, background V2
- 10:40 to 12 pm (1h20): various.
Total time: 7h (9h yesterday)
So, today the visuals have been vastly improved and the gameplay has been refined a little, but I still don’t have more content.
That will be for tomorrow, I hope I will be able to have a random level generation.
I planned a level editor but I ditched the idea even before starting the day, maybe for another time…
Play the game in Chrome and tell me what you think !
Bon courage to those who rush to submit in the coming hours, and all others !
So that’s the beginning of the second day for me, here is what I did yesterday :
- 7 to 9 am : wake up, think
- 9 to 12 am (2 h 15 min): basic gameplay
- 1:30 to 6 pm (3 h 30 min): more gameplay, level selection
- 7:30 to 12 pm (3 h 10 min): first two tutorials, web player build
I took the not-very-original route again and set out to create a puzzle game where you have to connect all the coloured dots together.
Complication comes when you can’t create connections as easily as you would want.
So far, you can play to the first two tutorials in your browser (use Chrome, CraftStudio’s webplayer loads slowly in Firefox) here : https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/51314747/CraftStudio/Ludum%20Dare%2030/index.html
I said on the game’s page that I planned to work on a level editor today but I will work on every thing else instead !
- Title screen
- Better UI and graphics
- Last tutorial
- Level !
- Sounds ?
See you tomorow morning ! Bon courage everyone !
First Ludum Dare Jam.
We still got a few more hours left in the jam. That we’re going to use to add more JUICE!
A simple puzzle game where you’re an alien trying to change the brain structure of a human by changing their neuro path ways to TAKE OVER THE WORLD
Coming soon to a web browser near you.
I wish good luck to all of those who are working hard to ship their probably-more-ambitious-than-mine game on time.
Update: here is the link to my timelapse
Well, this was my first Ludum Dare, my first game here and here’s my first post-mortem.
I didn’t start early. I saw the theme and went to bed, then let it boil for half a day after I woke up. Had a few ideas in my head, wrote a couple of them down and in the end I decided on an asteroids-based puzzle game where you only have one shot to destroy all the asteroids. Puzzles are designed with screen wrapping in mind and require you to think differently about your environment. Since I was set to hold an introductory game development class a week after Ludum Dare, I decided to try out Scirra’s Construct.
What went well
- Finished on time - I stared late, some 12 hours after the theme was announced and I also had some obligations that took half of my Sunday. Still, I kept my scope small, managed my time well and successfully submited the game on time for compo.
- Slept well - Even though I had lack of time dedicated to Ludum Dare, I decided to have my 8-hour sleep and be productive rather than crunch mindlessly. I’d say this helped me keep my mind clear and finish.
- Got friends into Ludum Dare - When theme voting began, I was pinging my game dev friends to come vote and join LD, even before the jam started. When I got to work, I kept talking about my progress for Ludum Dare and I guess I managed to motivate two of my friends to join in the fun. Knowing that they are also part of LD made this a pretty grand experience. They both managed to finish, more or less, and you can try their games here and here.
What went wrong(ish)
- Used a tool for the first time - Construct is a pretty straightforward to use, through, but it still wasn’t the smartest idea to use it during a game jam for the first time. Took me a few hours to get accustomed to the UI, the way the Event Sheet works and the limitations of the Free version. The latter got me stumped a few times and had me using workarounds (thus the pre-rendered glow, instead of a realtime effect). Construct also started causing problem an hour before the deadline when I tried to import audio. It could have ended tragically…
- I almost lost my project - I made audio with as3fxr and one of the audio files didn’t bode well with Construct, so it hung on import. I waited it out for a while, realized it’s not going anywhere and decided to “End Task”. It asks me to save, I save it to a new file just in case, then it asks me to save again, ok, I saved again. Open up the new project file and what do I see? A construct demo project that I used as a reference when starting out. Fortunately, I was considerate enough to save as a new file, otherwise dissaster would have struck.
Later I uploaded the project, full of joy that I have done so before the submission hour, and shared the game to my friends. Some time later I’m getting feedback “Hey, mate, this is nice. Would have been great if you had a game over screen, though”. “But I do have a game over screen”, says I to myself. I check the uploaded version and it turns out it’s not the latest one. I assume Dropbox is caching files, try fiddling around, but nothing. Then I get back into Construct to export the project again, only to realize that at one point during the fiasco above it decided to change the export directory to my desktop. There’s still time, so I upload the game and go back to my joyful self.
- Would have liked more time for audio - I only had about one hour for audio, and Construct started bailing on me then. I wish I could have tried out more sounds and perhaps put in some more fitting audio. As it is, it’s a bit rushed and missing a preloader.
Altogether, I really enjoyed doing this and am very satisfied with how my game turned out. And if you still haven’t played it, please try it here
Since Ludum Dare 25 (December 2012), I’ve been chipping away at making the 48hour version of Terra Forma into an actual game. I’ve improved the graphics and user interface, added 60+ levels, more block types, an online editor, and online community levels. The PC version of the game was released in early August followed by the Android version just before September. The iOS version has been submitted to the Apple store and is currently awaiting approval. Many thanks to the Unity engine for making multi-platform deployment much less painful, and to Ludum Dare for birthing new game ideas through the competition. Check out more info about Terra Forma along with a playable web demo here.
A bit late, but here’s the postmortem of our 3rd jam game together: Erase
Sorry for the bad English, we are French.
Design vs Code :
The major problem with our team is that nobody has high knowledge in coding, the game designer has had to take on the programming task. In addition to making something in accordance with the subject, we had two limiting objectives.
The first one was to do something you can do. Obviously, the topic was an open door to an abstract gameplay. The problem is that even though we have the ability to imagine it, it was impossible to code it. We have chosen a simple base (a platform game) as the foundation of our game / topic interpretation. The platform game advantage is also that it’s known by all of us, and allows a rapid progression in the subject.
The second challenge was to make a game really Gamee. We don’t like things auto-claimed Indie in which players are completely inactive. We love indie games, but we love the game over all, and it’s important for us to produce something with a challenge to both brain and skill.
If the game is only a reflexive object, we don’t need to do it in video game (a card or board game is the same) which is why the address aspect is important for us, it’s a unique component of digital game. Conversely, if the game is just a skills game, it no longer carries the whole topic.
Among the list of potential topics, Minimalist was the one we liked the least (more relevant to the compo than for the jam we think). A priori, minimalism is a trend to remove all of the work that isn’t necessary to the core idea in avoiding unnecessary emotional or sensitive element.
Quickly, we’re start on the idea of staging the iterative removal of unnecessary elements of the game. The idea was to realize a platform game composed of a series of little level /puzzle with several features and decorative elements that the players have to destroy in order to solve the riddle. However, it was easier to find the idea than to done it, and the concept of clean-up the asset at maximum curlicue was actually very difficult to achieve.
In addition, the theme interpretation makes sense when the game is done as a whole and when you arrive to the final level without assets, with few sounds and a character without features.
The first night served to the basis codec implementation (the character and features, feature deletion, camera, collisions etc.). As we used Construct 2, this implementation was pretty fast. Meanwhile Mathilde and Alexandre were able to reflect the visual and audio aspect of the game.
Unfortunately, the game design work couldn’t be done quickly (efforts was concentrated on the code) and thus clear explanation of the game principle documents was missing, and therefore until the second day, the creation been difficult. Therefore the following days were more devoted to the creation of assets, levels and integration.
From a graphic design point of view, for a long time the results weren’t enough satisfactory and concepts were thrown away or converted without success. It was difficult to find a graphic charter in agreement with the theme, graphic and minimalist, which has evolved through the levels to represent the character life cycle and depending on the level design. For reasons of time constraint we had to start to make assets without being satisfied with the result and the guideline was found while the levels integration had already begun.
In the initial audio concept, was to form melodies which are decomposed over the levels outcome; however it was rather difficult to achieve an atmosphere both pleasant and minimalist. Communication between the sound aspect and the rest of the game for more than half the Ludum dare was almost nonexistent, which gave us a too late visibility of the total project, due to poor organization. Thus, inspired by Steve Reich on “Music for 18 musicians”, the audio is a music track that mix evolves through the levels. The sound integration hasty made at the Ludum Dare end, which didn’t allow us to do something up to our ambitions (a number of songs weren’t included).
From the game design point of view, there were a lot of things to balance without having the time to do it (notably find a compelling collision box for the triangle character). It was paramount for us that Character is pleasant to manipulate (as Easy-fun sense). It was important to gain momentum (especially the jump), and Dash feature inspired by Rockman X or Sonic in which the feature isn’t fundamental for finish the level but brings dynamism in control, the goal is to push the player to use the exhilarating but dangerous non-core features (the dash is required just in Level 4). But the fundamental interests of the number of features comes with the Erasing and self-Erasing feature. As a first step the player clears level elements to solve the riddle, but from level 5, player has to self-destruct its own features (Jump, Dash or Shoot) to finish the level which requiring a strategic choice in the level course.
Where we failed to use the self-destruct feature is because we don’t have enough levels to a slow difficulty progression and establish levels in which the destruction choice is a real dilemma. In other words the time devoted to the level design was too short and therefore the level is far below the potential that allows the erasing and self-erasing features combined with the three features.
This is the 3rd jam that we did with the same team and we met some difficulties we had never encountered before such strangely more stress and lack of sleep than in GGJ for example. Nevertheless we are happy to have finished on time a version of our game, a game that far from being perfect, who despite the lack of polish, shows anyway few good ideas and quality realization.
What went right?
1. Mechanics coding: construct is a powerful tool for jam.
2. Graphics: Because lot of people congratulated Mathilde’s graphic design.
3. Game is realized in time (but with few bugs), and it looks nice.
4. The erasing and self-erasing mechanics could be used through lot of level, the idea could be developed with better (and harder) level design.
What went wrong ?
1. The theme was pretty hard for a team with a graphic designer and without a real coder.
2. Coordination on the theme interpretation
3. Resource integration time.
4. Graphic research, it was difficult to realize different assets for the different levels, keep a graphic style and represent the life evolution of the character with abstract shape.
5. Time devolved to Level design.
6. Not enough time to test.
So today I posted my first entry into a Ludum Dare competition ever. How fun! The result is Euphoria. The first thing that jumped into my mind when I heard minimalism was visuals, clean and crisp. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to try make a good looking game.
So let me talk about the game before you get too bored by all this visuals talk. It is a short story about a child that gets hit be a car. While the child’s soul is trying to come to peace, you gain memories as to their final moments. Many memories of which have parallels with what the child is experiencing.
For any decent gamer who gets annoyed at the symbolism do not worry, there are puzzles. Once collected an orb, the player can “phase shift” switching between two realities in the spirit world making for a few interesting puzzles.
I couldn’t have been happier with the final product and hope to get some feed back from some of the best indie developers out there. Good luck to the rest of you!
Ok, minimalism…. I googled it and the first image it returned was a art piece by Piet Mondrian:
And my initial reaction was to create a casual puzzle/touch game so to break my pattern of platformergames and since I missed the “F this game jam” and I hate casual puzzle games I’m going to make a casual puzzle game.
Hopefully I can achieve something as I basically have no time at all this weekend.
Hello fellow game developers,
I wanted to make a plug for a game I’ve just submitted to Steam Greenlight. The game is called Camera Obscura, and it’s being developed by a small group of college students from UC Irvine. We started it in a game jam almost two years ago, and we liked the idea so much that we’ve continued to develop it into a full-length game.
Camera Obscura is a puzzle-platformer that revolves around a unique mechanic that allows the player to activate a camera flash so bright that it creates “afterimages” of all visible platforms. These platforms are solid enough to walk on, and they can be moved around for a short time, mimicking the player’s movements. This ability allows players to cross wide chasms, reach high platforms, and otherwise alter the shape of the environment to accomplish the ultimate goal – reaching the top of the mysterious Tower. You can see some gameplay footage here to get a better idea.
The Greenlight page is right here. We’d really love your support and your feedback!
Steam Greenlight | Camera Obscura
The game also has a full, custom soundtrack by the amazing Trenton Ng, and we’ve shared a few of the tracks here:
Thanks for your time,
Some of you played my game “Lab Lights,” the game I created for the miniLD #36.
Well if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a difficult puzzle game where you push around batteries, crates, TNT, and magnets with a main goal of lighting up all the lights in each of the 23 levels in order to get to the last room and turn on the generator!
You may play it on my site here:
Here’s the link to the miniLD entry:
So here’s what my feedback was like:
When I put it on Newgrounds, it got daily 3rd best flash submission and later front-paged for a few days! A rush of reviews and comments appeared. Many people loved the difficulty of the puzzles. A few people mentioned how rare it is these days to find good puzzle games this hard. A few people compared it with “Chips Challenge” and “Shove It.” MDeathM (on Newgrounds) says, “All in all, a phenomenally challenging and engaging puzzle game. Thank you for this creation.” These words are very nice and I can only thank Ludum Dare for challenging me to make it.
To my surprise, Ryry67dude (on Newgrounds) made an hour long let’s play of it (and rage-quit at level 17) the day after the release! Here’s his video:
Unfortunately though, not everyone enjoyed the difficulty level of it. Many people got stuck on level 2 or 7. Some players mentioned I fried their brains, heehee!
Since I recognize how hard these puzzles are (I describe it as brutal), I made a full walkthrough of all 23 levels. Here’s the video:
(You should subscribe to me as well )
Lastly, some people said I should make a sequel. I was thinking about it lately, and I think it would be a good idea. I have some new gameplay elements that would be cool to add (Lasers and mirrors, differently sized boxes, teleporters, and boulders). If you have any ideas, I’ll be happy to hear them
Thanks for listening to my rambling, and thank you Ludum Dare for another fun experience! If you want, you can rate and review the game in the comments on this post.