Posts Tagged ‘rhythm’

The Rock the Paper and the Scissors – Postmortem

Posted by
Wednesday, April 29th, 2015 4:28 pm

Hi everyone! The jam is over, and we’d like to share some of our experiences making our entry: “The Rock the Paper and the Scissors”.

screenie_post_jam_0

Who are we?

Bogdan, Igor, Zi, and Megan. With our powers combined, we are BIZM!

This is the first Ludum Dare for Bogdan, Igor and Megan. Zi participated in LD31, and came in 2nd place in the jam with Escape Character.

 

What went right?

Brainstorming

We invested quite a bit of time (3 hours) to brainstorming, and we think it was well worth it. When the theme was announced, we separately thought up our own ideas. We then presented every idea, chose our favourites, and started analyzing and elaborating those. For each idea, we asked questions like:

  • Is it a clever use of the theme?
  • Is this fun?
  • Does this idea rely on presentation and polish? Or does it rely on quantity of content or replayability? Which of these things is our team able to accomplish within 3 days?

If an idea did not meet certain criteria, we tried to modify it to do so. By the end of the first 3 hours, we had an idea that we all believed had great potential — a Western-themed rock-paper-scissors dueling game on top of a moving train.

Animation

rps_action_2

The characters were quite challenging to create. Each enemy has two hands, each of which could be facing in any of three different directions, and could be held in any of three configurations (rock, paper, or scissors). This meant a total of 18 different hand sprites for the enemies.

RPS Post Mortem Sprite Hands

Each hand is programmatically controlled, and is attached to an arm that is also programmatically controlled to be in one of three poses. The arms are attached to a torso which bounces up and down on the legs, and the character itself is standing on a train that also bounces up and down. To make this complicated animation system work, we had to embed special “anchor pixels” inside of the sprites.

RPS Post Mortem Sprite Bandit

Music

Bogdan was delegated to music instead of programming. This decision was made on the assumption that our game would greatly benefit from an original Western-y soundtrack, and we were right! Having the music ready early actually informed the decision to turn our game into a rhythm game. This was lucky, since the rhythm dueling mechanic became one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game. You can listen to our music on SoundCloud.

Adaptation

Sometimes, we realized that a particular feature we originally wanted was probably not going to happen (due to time constraints). We turned losses into gains by accepting what we cannot do, and figuring out how to make what we can do even better in the remaining time.

For example, when we realized that it was not feasible to create complex A.I.-driven behaviours for each enemy, we changed the game into a rhythm game where the A.I. uses repeating hand patterns that follow the rhythm of the music. This decision was actually made in the last day of the jam!

Sleep & Food

We were, for the most part, well-fed and well-rested. We were never burned out during development, and this was definitely a good thing!

 

What went wrong?

Time Management

We were not as aware of the big picture as we could have been. Ideally, we should predict inevitable changes well in advance, and reprioritize accordingly. It’s very difficult to completely avoid cutting features due to time constraints. However, with better time management, we can make these cuts earlier. That way, we would have more time to adapt, instead of realizing on the last day that our game will be half as big as it was originally intended.

 

What now?

We are planning to expand our game into a full commercial product. We hope to expand on the mechanics, and add lots more content!

In the meantime, we’ve uploaded a post-jam version of the game to itch.io with some fixes and slight improvements over the original.

Download post-jam version on itch.io

This has been a very fun jam for us. We learned a lot, and consider it a success, especially given that this is our first time working as a team.

If you haven’t yet, please consider playing and rating our game. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! 😀

Day 2 Update!

Posted by (twitter: @curtissivess)
Sunday, December 16th, 2012 6:35 am

So, part way through the second day and I’m feeling pretty solid. The gameplay works, I have three solid levels (I may add more if I can think of any good ideas for another level), and the sound doesn’t click annoyingly any more. Just a bit of polish and I think I’ll be ready to submit.

For those of you interested, I’m making a rhythm-stealth game about queue barging. Here’s a screenshot of the third level (yes, there are some v-sync issues):

screen3

Of all the parts of the game, I found the sound the hardest. The game relies on it (telling if the matrons at the front of the queue at looking at you is difficult to parse just through visuals), and in the end I use three piano notes (the first three from God Save the Queen, as it happens) to indicate where everyone is, recorded from an old keyboard by my phone. I also decided I wanted ambient rain on the main menu. The problem, of course, was that despite being in the middle of the English winter, it hadn’t rained all weekend. I had apparently given away my rain stick at some point, so I made an impromptu one out of Turtle Beans and an old poster tube

rain

 

The effect is muffled and quite quiet in-game, so if you don’t know how it was made it’s actually pretty convincing. Jayne Cobb would be proud.

The only other sound in the game is the sound of the people behind you tutting when you cut into the queue, which was easily gained by simply recording my own highly refined tutting and looping it. It may not be the best sound design in the world, but at least the game’s going to sound different.

 

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