Ludum Dare 31
Theme:
Entire Game on One Screen

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

PlayRate80Star

Posts Tagged ‘RPG’

Ricochet Heroes Postmortem

Posted by
Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 4:24 am

It’s been two weeks now but have been meaning to write this while everything’s relatively fresh on my mind.
Finished the LD Jam (3rd of the year, though did a few other random game jams) and once again very happy with the way things turned out.

Here’s our game, “Ricochet Heroes”
http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-31/?action=preview&uid=35477

title screen

It’s a pinball/pachinko-RPG hybrid, with some obvious (as seen from the title art above) influences from final fantasy/16bit rpgs, and peggle. It worked out surprisingly well, managed to get in all the planned content. Did have to pull a heroic all-nighter sunday night/monday morning, but other than that got a decent amount of sleep.

A bit about the team, it was me, Josh (who drove up here to SF all the way from LA, what dedication!) and two others (Josi and Charles) who both had to drop out a day in. Didn’t take any selfies or anything, but here’s a photo of a desk at work in the Zynga HQ in SF (where we spent most of the contest):

unnamed

We spent an unusually long amount of time brainstorming (an hour and a half or more?). Here’s the general train of thought (sure wish I took a photo of the whiteboards/sketch papers here!)

1. We want to make an RPG!
2. RPG with the entire world map…ON ONE SCREEN
3. Maybe use a magnifiying glass to see individual parts of the world map?
4. Send out multiple heroes at once, or maybe one every 10 seconds?
5. Wait, how would gameplay for this work? Do you have god powers or something?
6. Specific god powers on cooldown, maybe lightning or swipe the enemies away
7. This doesn’t sound very fun at all think of something more action
8. Harvest moon + aliens/zombies, defend your land from the invaders IN ONE SCREEN
9. I still like the idea of watching people walk and fight, RTS-y.
10. World War 2 D-Day simulator where you control one person on the front lines and you die over and over again
11. That doesn’t sound very exciting either
12. This is going worse than expected
13. Go back to that rpg/heroes idea. What if you shoot out the heroes, and they bounce off the walls?

It took a bit of convincing that this idea even fit the theme of “entire game in one screen”, especially if we were gonna need to scroll the screen around. However, with idea in hand we were off to the races.

1

(About an hour and a half in)

2

(About 3 hours in)

One of our members had a hard time believing that this game was gonna be any fun. I agree, it probably didn’t look very fun at this stage. We had a lot of mechanics in mind (tilt, multi-ball, enemies, keys/gates), but how were they all going to be part of a cohesive experience together?

3

(Saturday morning)

I had some trouble figuring out how the game was gonna be fun too at this point. There were a couple of directions to go:
Was this game going to be more of a puzzle game,where you had to strategize how and where you were to shoot your balls?Or if not, how could we give it a more action-y feel?

It all came together around saturday night, where I was working a bit more on the “launch” mechanics. I wanted players not to just blindly spam clicks and shoot out balls, so that meant some sort of hold click to charge mechanic. At this point, the game didn’t have any sense of gravity do there wouldn’t have been any point to a “charge to shoot faster” mechanic. Once I added gravity, it all came together.

4

(Saturday night)

I made a pretty simple level resembling a simple pachinko machine, and the (imaginary) goal was to kill all the enemies in 3 balls or less. With the addition of gravity, hold to charge and tilting, this was actually a pretty challenging and fun level. With this, we knew where to go to get a fun game.

Spent all of sunday making all the mechanics (building entering, combat log, level transitions, enemy types) and the sunday-monday allnighter fixing bugs (which somehow this game had way more than usual) and designing the levels. To actually make the level layouts, I used the level editing tool from my recently released game SpeedyPups (http://speedypups.com/) to draw the mountains and place objects.

Capture d’écran 2014-12-16 à 02.59.43 AM

http://spotcos.com/gogodoggy/editor.html

I get a surprising amount of mileage out of this tool. If you’re reading this and interested in a simple vector graphics drawing level editor (that exports to JSON), send me a message and I’ll hook you up :)

Spent the last few hours adding sound effects and music (just like last time). Big credits to Josh who found the main world theme on newgrounds, I felt the music fit incredibly well and really improved the game. Wish I still had a link to the original on NG so that I could give credit, but it’s lost to time.

Submitted with about 20 minutes left to spare, and snuck in some physics bugfixes a few hours later.
We (both me and Josh) were considering doing an expanded version of the game possibly for mobile. There’s some obvious places where the whole “pinball RPG” could go…more RPG mechanics, upgrading character balls, quests, etc.

In the end, we decided to hold off on it for the time being. I’d really like to come back to this idea sometime in the future, but for now working on an “unnamed robot rpg”.

unnamed2

 

Get hyped?

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——

LD Recommendations:

I’ve played about 60 other games, and found 3 that I really liked.

“Lawbreaker” by deepnight
http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-31/?action=preview&uid=2982
2d GTA on one screen. As always, deepnight does the incredible in 48 hours (something that I’d probably have trouble doing in 72 with an artist). Lots of really great little details, like hijacking tanks and helicopters.

“Juoi” by teameagle
http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-31/?action=preview&uid=23493
One bossfight – the game. It’s one very pretty and well animated boss fight, with lots of action-y screenshake-y goodness.

“Snowball juggling Olympuio” by Benjamin
http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-31/?action=preview&uid=2952

Snowball juggling. My favorite out of all that I played, incredible amounts of detail (just look at the animation on that snowman). Really fun in a “flappy birds keep trying to beat the score” sort of way, also really does replicate the feeling of juggling.

The Dinorawr Tales – Progress 1

Posted by
Saturday, December 6th, 2014 8:42 pm

Hey guys, I’ve been working on a game for the team Jam with my friend James and it seems to be progressing quite nicely.

Logo

After are first day working hard. James and I have managed to get the game to a playable state with the kind of combat we’d like and I’ve been brainstorming how to make the best of only having so much screen space.

Art Assets WIP 1
I’ve mostly been creating the art assets and particle systems so it’s hard for me to comment on how scripting has been but the art has been going very well so far and all in game and working. I’ve been using Spriter to animate the characters and enemies which can been seen below :)

Unity animator has been used for the players melee attack, which is shown below by a GIF James created earlier. You can also see one of the smoke particle effects I’ve created along side a nice subtle red colour grading effect James decided to implement on hit.

Let me know what you guys think of art so far :) and thanks for reading,

-Andy

New Dawn — Postmortem

Posted by
Sunday, May 4th, 2014 2:58 pm

New Dawn was the first Ludum Dare entry for both members of our team, and the first game jam/compo of any sort that we’ve done. We went in with little preparation and an overdose of optimism, but overall it came out pretty well! We weren’t able to do as much as we’d hoped – that probably goes for everyone here – but we finished in 72 hours and still came up with a solid little game.

We had a general idea of what we wanted to make before LD started: some kind of mini-RPG or adventure game. We couldn’t help brainstorming as we were voting on themes, and we really liked the idea of setting the game in a dystopia. A few of the themes could’ve made that setting difficult, but luckily for us,“Beneath the Surface” fit really well. It led to an interesting post-apocalyptic setting where the action takes place underground because the surface is no longer habitable. Plus, a dystopian setting was perfect for adding layers of secrets and false pretenses, which meant we could interpret the theme both literally and figuratively. We didn’t get to do as much of the latter as we originally planned, but we think it still comes through pretty well.

Although we started with the idea of a “mini-RPG,” we knew we probably wouldn’t have time to add many RPG elements. As it turned out, we ended up just sticking to a point-and-click adventure game. In order to have time to code extra RPG features, like a combat system, we would’ve had to spend less time on art and the dialogue system. That would have led to a very different kind of game, not necessarily a bad one, but we felt New Dawn would be better served by focusing on the story and the atmosphere. Having a better dialogue system and more detailed art helped to strengthen the story and atmosphere, whereas RPG mechanics wouldn’t really add as much in that sense. That said, if we had more time, we would have liked to add those as well.

New Dawn

New Dawn — A subterranean dystopia

Individual Thoughts:

Stefan (Coding, Art, Concept/Gameplay Design): Going in I knew I was going to use Unity (and C#), along with 2D Toolkit. I had laid out a basic plan which was to try to implement all the features by the end of the first 24 hours, then all the art by the end of the second 24 hours, and leave the third day for testing, bugfixing, and polish. I did this because I know that games always take longer than you expect, so this gave us some room to work with and helped curb our ambitions and expectations. As it turned out, this was a great idea, because although I did finish all the crucial features in the first 24 hours, the art ended up taking much longer and wasn’t done until well into the third day (and I didn’t sleep at all Sunday night either!).

Ultimately I’m a programmer, not an artist, so I’m not very efficient at that stuff because I haven’t done it much. However another big reason it took so long is that while 2D Toolkit is very convenient, it has some very tedious interface problems that require manually doing repetitive actions over and over, which really should be automated. These actions can be automated by script, but at the time I wasn’t sure if the amount of time it would take to write those scripts would be less than the time it takes to do the stuff manually. In retrospect, I think for the amount of art we had it probably wouldn’t have saved us that much. However, if I could do it over again, I would have set up those automation extensions to 2D Toolkit before LD started, because that definitely would have saved a lot of time.

The art itself also took a lot of time because I chose to put a lot of detail into it, despite it being very low-res pixel art. The details are largely in the shading, which ate up a lot of time, especially for the tilesets which required many different versions of each wall tile in order for the shading to match up. This also meant more work for Olivia when placing the tiles to build out the levels. The shading, especially on the tiles, is a very subtle effect, which I don’t think most people would notice unless they’re familiar with how tilesets work and are specifically thinking about it (which you usually don’t do when you play a game even if you are familiar with how it works). However, I still think it was worth it to spend this extra time, because although most people won’t consciously recognize that the shading is there, when it isn’t there it really stands out and looks noticeably worse. In particular, I think the atmosphere of the game was really well served by the extra shading detail. After drawing the basic shape and applying the shading, I also applied a noise filter to all except the character sprites to give them a bit of extra grit which I think fits the setting well.

On the third day, once the art was finally completed, we only had a few hours left before the submission deadline. At this point I implemented a few extra features that I didn’t consider crucial, most notably the ability for NPCs to move. At this point it struck me that the ending we were planning was going to be very anticlimactic; so I decided to spend the rest of the time quickly building out an additional final level to provide a more climactic ending, while Olivia was finishing up the penultimate level. I think this was definitely a good decision in the end, however it was risky, because we ended up cutting it very close; if it wasn’t for the submission grace period we would have missed the deadline. But overall it definitely makes the game feel much more satisfying when you finish it, so I’m glad I made that choice.

Olivia (Writing, World/Level Design, Music): We knew the general kind of story we wanted to tell before LD started, so once the theme was announced I started hashing out the details. I spent most of the first day planning the overall plot, with input from Stefan, and writing descriptions/dialogue for generic NPCs and a few items. Though I didn’t implement them that day, all of those descriptions made it into the game, and really helped the world feel more inhabited. I also wrote text for an intro screen which eventually turned into our game page’s description.

Saturday and Sunday were mostly spent setting up levels: I’m pretty new to level design, and that turned into a huge, unexpected time sink. One of the original “exterior” areas I’d made was close to the size of a real city block – way more space than we had time to fill with interesting stuff! That time would’ve been much better spent populating the existing areas and doing additional writing, but…lesson learned. I said goodbye to my hopes of having all the levels finished by midday Sunday, and had to cut a plot branch and simplify the remaining ones to make sure I’d have time to finish the story.

Monday was mostly a rush to implement the last of the plot. Thankfully I’d planned it all and written some of it beforehand. The penultimate level, two crucial dialogue trees, and two optional but pretty significant NPCs didn’t exist in-game until late Monday afternoon. I also wrote the second (and shortest) part of our music that day, since I wanted at least a little variety. In our rush to submit, there wasn’t time to put the intro text on a starting screen, but that’s something I definitely plan to fix post-comp.

There were a few things I’d hoped to fit in, even with the deadline looming, that didn’t make it. The main one was a set of PA speaker announcements (in the form of text dialogue) which would’ve given more backstory and context to the world. I also wanted to implement sound effects – we’d made a bunch in bfxr – and additional music. My next priority would probably have been adding waypoints so generic NPCs can move and putting more decorations and ambient descriptions throughout the world. In spite of all those cuts, though, we still managed to tell a complete story in 72 hours, and I’m pretty happy with it.

What We Learned:

After we submitted the game, we got a lot of great feedback from commenters. Several people had problems with the click-to-move interface, and since we didn’t anticipate that we hadn’t put in any alternate control schemes (though our post-LD update lets you click and hold, which should alleviate much of the problem). We also made the main quest a little easier to figure out in some post-LD tweaks, since several people were getting stuck. Additionally, given the amount of content we had to cut due to the time limit, some of the areas ended up feeling a little empty. They probably should’ve been shrunk down. On the whole, though, the story and art that we had came together really well, and we ended up with a short but atmospheric adventure game.

LD was a great experience, and it really motivated us to make a game of our own from start to finish. We might do something totally different next time around, but we’ll definitely be there!

screenshot5 SCREENSHOT6 screenshot2

It’s called “The Heaving Depths” and it’s mainly about my fear of dark spots in the water when I go swimming. But cleverly disguised as an RPG and a love story between two girls.

You’ll see!
I barely got any sleep, my code started breaking apart at the seams after a while, but I kept at it.

If you play it, and feel the urge to tell me what you liked or disliked about it, please do, I’m all ears. I’m probably going to finish this if there’s enough interest, so it’d be cool if I made something you guys like to play.

PLAY IT HERE

Let me grab the opportunity to tell everyone how much I love, love LOVE LD, I never want to stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you everyone for making this, my 6th Ludum Dare a joy to participate. Thank you for making games, thank you for commenting on other peoples’ games, thank you thank you thank you!

Expect a postmortem and a timelapse soon.

God Hunter!

Posted by (twitter: @@iJohnF)
Monday, April 28th, 2014 5:20 pm
GodHunter-Title

God Hunter — Minimalist Dungeon Crawling.

Hey dev community!

Submitted my first Ludum Dare game today after churning it out wildly for the past 48 hours. Fans of minimalistic rogue-ikes will find this game amusing.

You’re a God Hunter doing what he does best, going into the darkest depths of a legendary mountain to hunt down Gods and other foul (or funny) creatures. Twerk Lords and Floating Shoes are all fair game. You have one life to get as deep as possible into the mountain.

It has hundreds of randomly generated events, monsters, and jokes, made for the casual gamer in mind.

Check it out, you can play it in your browser right now!

God Hunter: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-29/?action=preview&uid=37343

Thanks and hope you guys enjoy!

@iJohnF

god-hunter-v02

God Hunter – Gameplay

 

Our Little Mermaid

Posted by
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 9:09 pm

One of our main character. She’s a mermaid!

mermaid2

Right now, we’re in middle developing the mechanics while our artists creating sprites and characters’s design. Not much to tell for the first 24 hours.

We’re using RPGMaker XP in this LudumDare too. Lots of craziness will arise. There’s no common sense in our game!

Our breakfast was leftover from last night dinner and some fried rice. It wasn’t bad or good though.

See you in next 12 hours!

First Day is Hotpot!

Posted by
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 8:25 am

The 12-hours mark of our Jam has passed. Few first hours was strangely quite without a lot of activities for our group. However, we managed to start and now start to increase the pace. A lot of crazy ideas came and passed by and in the end, we chose an idea that maybe the craziest idea we’ve ever think of!

After doing some works, we decided to cook a hotpot for our dinner! It was full of ingredient ranging from meatballs, instant noodles, egg, sausage, onion, tofu…. Basically, we throw everything there! Then, half of the team went to concert. We’ll try to do a lot of works tonight. No promises though.

This is the first time that our group join LD with full team members. Not to mention, we also try using Scrum for our planning project. We still learn how to use it though. Really appreciated if you can give inputs of how using Scrum properly.

 

Ludum Dare…Tabletop Edition!

Posted by
Sunday, December 8th, 2013 10:05 am

This Ludum Dare, the odds are stacked against me. I have work until 6PM on Friday and work from 6AM to an unknown time on Sunday. This leads me to believe that I will not be able to construct a full-fledged video game for this month’s Ludum Dare. However…certainly I could do a tabletop RPG! Since board games have always been allowed, I’m pretty sure these are, too.

This warmup weekend will be spent doing more research into the standard elements of tabletop RPGs (since I have only played three different kinds of games before). This way I can have a template ready to fill out for next weekend! This template will be available for everyone to use, of course. The lore, classes, and technicalities of the game can only be decided once the theme is revealed, but I can at least make a checklist for the big day, as well as decide on an illustration style for the Player’s Handbook, GM Guide, and Bestiary. I don’t know how big or little this game will be, or if anyone would ever bother to play it once the rankings begin, but I feel this is the most fun and accessible way for me to participate in Ludum Dare. Here’s to hoping my rules aren’t too confusing!

Programs of choice will be Microsoft Word (of course), TXT Notepad, Photoshop, Paint Tool SAI, and my own two hands with some ink and colored pencils for the illustrations! The final game will be presented as a downloadable ZIP file containing PDFs of the game guides. I might also make an easily accessible HTML viewer, perhaps with a battle calculator if that gets too complicated. We’ll have to see!

TTY GFX ADVNTR now on XBox Live Indie Games!

Posted by (twitter: @GaTechGrad)
Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 1:55 pm

My game TTY GFX ADVNTR is now available on the XBox Live Indie Game (XBLIG) marketplace.  This game started as my mini LD45 entry, which was written in C and SDL.  After receiving positive feedback from other Indie developers, I decided to port it to C Sharp and XNA, so it would be available to a wider audience.  The XBLIG version also has many new enemies, different weapons, and a skill system for crushing attacks.

boxart  ttygfx_levidsmith

Buy the game today for only $1 (USD) on the XBox Live Indie Game marketplace.  From the XBox360 home screen, select  Games tab > Browse Games > Indie tab > New Releases or buy it on the web at TTY GFX ADVNTR (only for XBox 360)

Trailer:

Official Soundtrack:

Time Surge!

Posted by (twitter: @Dahold)
Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 3:23 pm

Project Link!

Made the Game Jam submission deadline with about 10 seconds to spare, then we all passed out. Post Mortem coming soon!


Credits:
Hitchh1k3r: Lead programmer
Naali: Director, assistant programmer, puzzle design
Solifuge: Art, game design, puzzle design
Tlynn: Writing, themeing, puzzle transcription
Willfor: Music

Special Thanks:
MysticStv, for puzzle transcription and snarky commentary
Mrs. Hik3r, for puzzle transcription and nap-enforcement
LWJGL, and Java in general. Thanks for being a thing!

Finally Finished..

Posted by
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 2:15 pm

this is my second time doing Ludum Dare, always a pleasure, just hope the end result was good.

 

3

 

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/616475

 

Atrakt 4096 – Progress update

Posted by (twitter: @FoumartGames)
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 10:00 am

Atrakt 4096 alpha – Progress update before the last run (~32h)
Significant additions to the gameplay, i’m getting more and more confident – my stuff is getting playable already. The game needs sounds, level complete screen, AI tweaking, pathfinding and score system. I’ll try to add at least sound and an additional level or two more in the remaining couple of hours. Check the progress here.

screenshot_20130428_gameplay

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