Posts Tagged ‘simulation’

Leaving Earth in style: Bye.

Posted by
Tuesday, December 13th, 2016 8:31 am

Bye. is a simulation game in which you hire workers, assign them tasks, research tech and try to finish your modular colony ship, Beware, accidents are common!


You can play it here

Wooh! I almost didn’t make it… but it was a ton of fun and very exciting! This was a really interesting second LD experience for me and one I started a bit late, since I was still playing MHO in the night (3AM for me) when LD37 started, delaying myself to about 9 hours before I got going.

My idea was simple at first. A genius scientist in his basement is sick of Earth and doesn’t give a damn about anybody. Climate change is breaking down the planet and he has 30 days to build a big spaceship to flee with the most competent people he can find. I wanted it to be very Rick & Morty-ish, but I didn’t actually have time to do anything in that direction.

How to even go about this genre?
Since I’ve never done a simulation game before and not many different genres in general I didn’t know how to start. That means I started with the 3D model. It had to be a colony ship, so I found inspiration from Star Citizen’s Endeavor and colony ships from Macross Frontier and adding my own tweaks. While doing that the idea sprung me to make the ship modular, so that the player can built it piece for piece.

The final colony ship in UE4

The final colony ship in UE4

After putting the model into UE4 and setting up the camera I didn’t actually touch it for most of the project. I started with the menus and background systems, mostly the NPCs. All my player does is store the Gold and Score as well as move the camera. Everything else is stored in different actors: Workers, Jobs, WorldEvents, some small stuff like spawning and moving Workers around in the scene (which got implemented an hour before I finished) and all the menus.

Over time... so many menus...

Over time… so many menus…

By saturday night/sunday morning I had already redesigned the main menus once and still hadn’t actual gameplay. You could get to the next day which would refresh the workers, hire them and let them be assigned to a task. The dropdown menu for assigning tasks had a bug that cost me 1 hour to find. Naturally the solution was in theory simple. For some reason I stored all workers in the “Workers” actor and hired workers in the player. Then I realized it would be much easier to manage if I just put them in “Workers” where all the stuff happens and set a boolean in their Struct if they’re currently hired. Changing that lead to an old reference to the player that I didn’t even think had something to do with it.

And then… there was feature creep…

Saturday. At 17:30 all I had was the 3D model of the ship, some basic basic setups for some mechanics and a couple concepts in my mind. At 23:00 I had the NPC logic finished and was working on finishing up the menus that I would change a couple hours later. This is where I lost one hour due to the aforementioned bug.

Sunday, 01:00 and no gameplay. At 14:30 I thought up the tech tree. thinking it would be a great idea to have the Tech Tree graphically shown.  Ship from the side, parts of the ship covered in black or not, depending on what your research status is, 30 minutes later I started actually building the menu inside of UE4. At 8:00 in the morning I slept for 30 minutes, then continued on till midday and slept two hours from 12:00 to 14:00, feeling extremely done. Luckily I was able to focus for the rest of the journey after that, finishing all gameplay critical tasks from here on.

A worker is born: From World Event to Global Bonus to Create Worker to the menu

A worker is born: Influecnes from World Event to Global Bonus to Create Worker to the menu

Then feature creep tho, and from 16:00 on I still had a big list to finish:

  • Planned:
  • Contracts (Get money by assigning workers and starting a project)
  • Being able to fire a worker
  • World Events (changes stats/cost of workers to hire) + Announcements
    • TV that shows World Events in a news show (didn’t make it)
  • Music
  • Make basement somewhat pretty (In the end surrounding cube, containers, gate)
  • Variation for worker avatars
  • Intro (reduced from story to splashscreen)
  • Hacking (didn’t make it)
    • Caused me more work by disabling or greying it out everywhere
  • Sounds (didn’t make it)
  • Outro (didn’t make it, would have been a cinematic of the ship flying away if you finished it)
  • Feature creep:
  • Workers can die or cause a project to fail
    • For failed projects I needed explosions
    • Announcements (Finished project parts, deaths, failed projects)
    • Come up with a way to determine failing (when a worker with too low stats works with workers too high the low worker gets a red stat and can fail) or dying (random chance to die, reduced by Speed stat)
  • A WiP state for ship parts (Ended up being blue material and sparks. Those and explosions use the same sockets in UE4 to save time)
  • Show expected daily output in the “Manage Workers” table
  • Tutorial (“Help” button with how to play and tips)
  • Calculate and show score at the end. I made a Score variable at the beginning, but never thought of using it.
  • Workers as 3D models in the scene that walk around and spawn when you hire workers/despawn when you fie workers or somebody dies
Workers in the scene came to life just about an hour before submission end

Workers in the scene came to life just about an hour before submission end

After all that, minus the “didn’t make it” parts, it was 02:45 on Monday morning. I just had problems with the music, VLC trying to crash my explorer multiple times after converting. I hacked the description for the submission in my keyboard and shot 4 screenshots very fast while uploading my files and was done at 02:57. Then I remembered… submission hour is 03:00 to 04:00. So I didn’t need to rush the way I did. But whatever. It was done.

The only thing I wish I could have done is taking a calm look over it, balancing stats/cost/money/RNG and fixing some obvious bugs that I would have noticed quickly (and have after upload). But I didn’t even had the time to play through the game once myself. A very exciting Ludum Dare… and I’m looking forward to the next one! Till then I’ll check out some games myself! I’ve already played some amazing ones.

Thanks for reading!

Posted by
Monday, December 12th, 2016 8:14 pm

Try out our first Ludum Dare Jam submission, Annoying Fly!


– Be in a role of a fly which is…well annoying!

– Have fun irritating people, but be careful, they can pack quite a punch!

– Don’t forget to rest a bit, flies are also living beings!


More cell things

Posted by
Sunday, April 17th, 2016 11:10 am



Some more ‘cells’


Anyone know how to allow the player to import an mp3 or something using a button in Unity?

I think I’ve created life itself in Unity

Posted by
Saturday, April 16th, 2016 2:34 pm


Progress (14 hours in) – Simulation up and running

Posted by
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 8:46 pm


I strapped a camera to one of the bees, it got beaten up pretty bad…

The simulation works about as it should now. I have the whole day tomorrow to implement interaction mechanics and audio, lucky me!

Monster Lab Post-Mortem

Posted by
Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 2:41 pm


I discovered so-called “incremental games” like CandyBox recently and was amazed by the amount of intrigue and interest such a simple mechanic could inspire. I wanted to explore the stripped-down style of those incremental games while tackling a simulation game. I wanted to answer the question – what does it take to make a text-heavy point-and-click simulation-style game fun? I think the answer I found was – more than I have here. I realized that half-way through but at that point it was too late to turn back.

Candy Box game

Candy Box game

Simulation games always make me think of Sid Meier’s description of games as “a series of interesting choices” – interesting being the key word. Every choice should matter. As I was trying to balance the game, I found that if I gave players too much money to start with, their choice of buying a cage or table wasn’t high-stakes enough to matter. Seems obvious in retrospect, of course, but this simple fact really sank in for me during the making of this game. A player’s choices must matter. And any choices that don’t matter should be removed.

I kept referring back to Oregon Trail, the 1990 PC game about trying to survive on the trail. I spent hours of my childhood totally immersed in Oregon Trail, and it was just a series of text choices and simple animation clips. The difference, though, is that it told a compelling story – you and your friends or family try to complete an arduous journey across a dangerous, rugged country, with many of your crew dying along the way. I think it was the built-in drama of such a story that kept us all hooked and clicking despite its simple graphics and gameplay.

oregon trail

Oregon Trail

I also re-learned how much the “little” things like sound effects and subtle animations bring a game to life. At this moment, MonsterLab is more like a playing a spreadsheet than playing a “real” game. 

So, what would I do differently in MonsterLab 2? First, don’t release it with bugs. 😉  Second, add sound and animations. Third, tune the existing mechanic – make all choices matter, and figure out how to balance the cost and timing of everything. And fourth, focus more on the storytelling and increase the volume of content available (different types of monsters, different experiments to run) and maybe a new mechanic where you have to actually chase or hunt the monster instead of just purchasing it. If only the weekend could have lasted forever, I might have ended up with a decent game. There’s always the next Ludum Dare, though.

Post-Mortem on a Game I Made

Posted by (twitter: @CGtheMort)
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 11:27 pm

I made a game, it’s called Ants. It’s a game where you ‘convince’ some ants to eat your friend’s sandwich.

Here’s a picture:

Pictured here: some ants

Pictured here: some ants

This game was born on Saturday evening when I happened upon a Twitch stream (Extra Credits Design Club Live to be precise) where the streamer was making a Ludum Dare game. I mentioned my idea for a game in chat, the streamer was like “go make it then” and POOF, there went my weekend.

So let’s talk about it.

What Worked:

– The core mechanic came together really fast. My first attempt at simulating ants (a rudimentary simulation at that) ended up working pretty well. So I never really had to change it.

– The sound effects somehow turned out okay. Sunday morning I sat on my porch and recorded two minutes of nature sounds on my Macbook Air’s internal microphone. I also recorded myself spraying a can of cooking oil, and overlaid that with myself going “PSSSHHHH”. Thank god for Audacity.

– Probably the main reason I could finish this in a day is that the concept needed zero real art. I’ll probably continue with that tradition in future LD jams.

What Didn’t Work So Well:

– I had this idea that the game would be self-explanatory, but a lot of feedback suggests that people got confused about what was going on.

– Similarly, some people are turned off by the apparent randomness, because they can’t see what’s going on under the hood. I think I could have done more with the level design to show the player the patterns the ants tend to follow.

This isn’t just my first LD jam, it’s also my first Post-Mortem! Thanks for reading!

Void Space – Conquest!

Posted by
Thursday, September 4th, 2014 2:25 pm

To battle! Glory awaits!
Not that you can take any part in it yet.

Gameplay is next on the list, you have my word on it.

And as promised, Time to Gif!


(I should probably remove the trippy background next time….)

For a more controllable/zoomable/immersable experience click here!

Quickly to heaven

Sunday, August 24th, 2014 8:58 am

Yup, the apocalypse, it’s a-coming!

Before god let’s his wrath down on earth, you can try and build a golden tower to heaven. I read somewhere about that before…? Well, you got 5 minutes, let’s see if you can make it 😉

“The Maker’s Hand” is almost done :)

Humble town

World JS: History Simulation

Posted by
Friday, February 14th, 2014 9:14 pm

My Javascript project to test memory leaking has gone too far. Now I believe it’s becoming a simulation game. The content is about history of humankind.

I think the code base is ready to be extended now. But the gameplay hasn’t had a clear direction yet. Text-based strategy or resource management or zero player simulation game or something else, I don’t know.

Please let me know what you guys think of it. It’s an open source project so everyone can join too.

World JS: History Simulation

My last minute game: One Duck

Posted by (twitter: @NostraDam0n)
Monday, December 16th, 2013 6:59 pm

I’m finally done with my entry for this Ludum Dare. The initial idea was completely different, but too ambitious for the short timespan I had. That’s why I made a BRDS (Bouncing Rubber Duck Simulator).

Please give it a try!




Emergency Landing Disaster FREE on Google Play

Posted by (twitter: @DMTSource)
Wednesday, November 6th, 2013 7:43 pm

Hey guys, check out my October Challenge submission page for Emergency Landing Disaster and download it free today on Google Play!

Mayday Mayday! Prepare for trouble in the turbulent skies of Emergency Landing Disaster. Featuring realistic flight simulation for mobile. Now with tilt and touch controls available!

Come rain or shine, these airliners are crashing. Hard. Can you land safely? No?! Well let’s see how many pieces you can get to the airport. I’m sure it will be fine!

Ok… So it wasn’t fine. But hey, with free missions and the biggest airplanes in the sky, who isn’t going to enjoy Emergency Landing Disaster? I would imagine the passengers. We forgot about them again.

* Flight simulator with realistic aerofoil and control surfaces. You wont believe the flight realism!
* Realistic flight models! A physics based flight simulator made by pilots for pilots.
* Both touch screen controls and tilt controls allow you to play the way you like.
* 4 free harrowing landing scenarios. More coming soon at NO COST!
* All content is FREE, no paid upgrades or in game purchases to slow you down.
* Intense 3D graphics and NVIDIA PhysX ready to put you into the skies! Powered by Unity Pro & UnityFS.


Emergency Landing Disaster

Inherity – a primitive strategy / simulation

Posted by (twitter: @FoumartGames)
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 5:29 am

More than 10 hours passed for only an idea, title and some script preparations..

Except the sketches in my notebook on screen I have only a 10 seconds counter lol !

Anyways I decided to go for a primitive strategy/simulation with 10 second battles. The gameplay will be tactical with crucial placement of army stacks (doh). During the battle time however player will have to wait and hope for his army to accomplish the goal. This will be my first time creating a strategy with lots of units and I’ll try to escape from the tower defence reeking around the idea.

Next comes the Engine…

Progress will be kept here:

October Challenge: Wolkenwelt

Posted by (twitter: @Stoney_FD)
Saturday, October 1st, 2011 3:35 pm

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the October Challenge this year. I wanted to join in on the fun last year, but I was way too busy back then. But I’m hoping nothing is getting in the way this year. Also, as of today I’m a full-time indie developer.

Before I get into what my game is all about, here is some back-story: I’ve grown up with strategy and simulation games like Sim City, Caesar or The Settlers and they have been and still are my favorite game genre. What I want to create is a peaceful strategy game which is not too complex for newbies, but not too simple for veterans. I had several prototypes in mind with different gameplay mechanics and what I settled on was a scenario in where the player has to build a settlement on sky islands.

Interestingly enough, I came up with the original sky island idea for LD #20 and after playing around with the idea for a bit, I decided to create a small prototype while I was at BIGJAM in Berlin. While I was not as productive as I hoped to be, I got the basics done and decided to stick with the prototype. All in all, I worked about three weeks on this game so far. If you want to know what happened so far development-wise, click here to be redirected to the development blog.

If you liked the screenshot, I uploaded a very short gameplay video to Youtube last month if are interested in how the game looks like in motion. I also want to mention that I’m not working alone on this: Christian Storcks is doing the music (a short preview of that is in the video I linked in the last sentence) and Jesse, a friend of mine, is helping me with some coding, in particular scripting and some backend stuff.

The game is going to be released for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. I am planning on starting pre-orders by October 21st and I hope someone will buy the game.

Participating in Humanity

Posted by (twitter: @@tman_BOSS)
Sunday, June 12th, 2011 5:02 am

Hello folks, I will be participating in this MiniLD! But since making dialogue in Game Maker is kind of tough, I’ll probably just have a story in my game, The Struggle for Humanity. In this game that I’m working on with qwezc, you are of an ancient alien race that has to introduce new technology and ideas to the early humans. I’ve never really done something like this before, so I’m excited to see how this turns out!


Here’s an early screenshot:

Republic The Revolution – redo

Posted by
Saturday, April 24th, 2010 2:43 am

oh god. I 100% want to make a rebirth of Republic … a political simulation. It will take place in vienna and i already extracted a smaller set of rules and am ready to go.

actions support idiologies web

Not sure how to strap islands onto that pig, though. We’ll see…

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