Posts Tagged ‘stencyl’

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 Stencyl jam

Hey everyone,

It’s Stencyl Jam time again!

Game jolt link to the jam http://jams.gamejolt.io/stencylJam

Theme Spooky!

This year we are going for a 10 day Jam that will be hosted on Gamejolt. There will also be a theme which will be announced the day before the jam starts. Ill give more details on how to submit your game closer to the start of the jam.

Prizes will be,

1st Place $300 + Stencyl Studio license
2nd Place $150 + Stencyl Studio license
3rd Place $50 + Stencyl Studio license

Winners picked by a Jury.

FAQ  –> http://community.stencyl.com/index.php/topic,49248.0.html

Persistence Pays Off – A Dial “M” for Monster Retrospective

Posted by (twitter: @aaghgames)
Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 9:48 am

Heya everyone. I’m Budaniel, the artist and programmer for AAGH Games, and this is a retrospective for our LD33 entry, Dial “M” for Monster. This was both the most challenging and the most rewarding Ludum Dare of the four we have entered thus far, so I’m going to tell our tale of troubled development in this Dial “M” for Monster Retrospective.

This kind of going to be a long one, but hopefully it’s an interesting read.

Friday: The First Night (and the days leading up to it)

I was psyched to get this Ludum Dare under way for a few weeks, but as the days counted down I got more and more distracted, to the point where, on the evening the theme was to be announced, I was so far from prepared that I was worried if we would get anything done at all. I usually have all of my tools ready and tested by that point and our live streaming setup has been configured already. This time I was scrambling to get it all in place by 9 PM that Friday.

When the theme was finally announced, our live stream kicked off and we got to work brainstorming. I’m personally of the opinion that the theme itself is never a hurdle – if you can’t think of something interesting to go with a theme, you’re not trying hard enough. In the first 30 minutes we rattled off a list of concepts what constitutes a monster, things like older/younger siblings, politicians, aliens, dai-kaiju, and more. The concept we settled on was rather mundane (a monster lurking in the woods hunting survivors) but our ultimate goal was anything but – we wanted our survivors to collect tools and materials to build a shelter, all while trying to stay fed, hydrated, warm, and safe. This meant a working survivor AI, and that was something we – and I in particular as the programmer – had not done before.

Things went about as well as you would expect from someone making an AI like this from scratch for the first time ever on a 72 hour deadline – progress completely stalled. The first four or so hours were making the survivors run from the monster, approach the fire, and locate nearby any food. We started with just one survivor for simplicity’s sake, and even that presented so many challenges. We adjourned that night with little more than a monster that moved and caused survivors to flee, which was way less than we wanted.

Progress at the end of Friday

Progress at the End of Friday


 

Saturday: Long Days and Delirium

We picked back up late on Saturday because I overslept after the previous night’s debacle. I spent the first hour or so making the survivors seek food and then retreat to the heat and safety of the fire. We –and our viewers on the livestream – marveled at the sheer stupidity of our survivors AI, to the point that we were thinking of making that the selling point, thinking of names like “Dunces with Wolves” and “Darwin in Action,” with the plot being that you’re validated in hunting them because if they’re stupid enough to wander into the woods without being able to take care of themselves, then they deserve what’s coming to them.

At the time we were using basic letters to signify everything from the fire to the trees. We talked about the graphics we were planning to replace them with, such as what kind of monster we actually were, when one of our viewers insisted that we keep the text-based aesthetic. After some deliberation, we agreed to keep it, but only after I touched it up some.

Around midday I passed our project over to Floata, our musician/level designer to lay out the map while I took a break and distressed. When I got it back that evening the map was complete, which was good, but now it was time to resume work on the gameplay, which was less so. We again live streamed our work, to an apparent vacuum. It was actually probably a good thing we didn’t have a lot of viewers, because I was so tired that I was making dumb, sometimes crass jokes and Floata was mumble-grumping through most of it. We did manage to get the four planned survivors on the screen together at last, and we finally got them foraging for food and avoiding the monster. Unfortunately that was as far as we got this night before we had to call it until the next day.

Progress at the end of Saturday

Progress at the end of Saturday


 

Sunday: Where It All Breaks

This was the day where I was sure that we weren’t going to finish on time. We started early (skipping the live streaming since we were struggling so much) and the first thing we did was christen the game with a name. Since we were committed to the art style (and therefore the monster looking like the letter M), we decided to name it Dial “M” for Monster. Our original logo looked like this.

logo1

We got to work trying to make the AI protect itself from the monster. We originally had the survivors hunting tools to make a gun but like so many other pieces of the project, that didn’t make the cut due to time constraints, so they were all armed with knives and arrows instead. Way too much time was wasted getting the survivors to shoot at the monster (instead of every which way), but that was nothing compared to getting the survivors to explore more of the map. Originally there were just four survivors, and they were all grouped around the central fire, meaning that 90% of our huge map went largely unused. I decided to lay out a “breadcrumb” trail for them to follow in the form of (invisible) dots that would guide them from place to place. It was terribly finicky to work with, placing them just right so they were neither too close to each other/food/fires or too far away to be detected, but I eventually got it working somewhat. What I really didn’t want was for them to wander a randomly selected direction – I wanted them to follow the paths through the trees to more food or the next fire.

That took most of Sunday, but once that was done, we figured we were in the clear as far as basic mechanics. Sure, we had to cut the survivor item collection and base building, and yeah they weren’t as skilled as we would have liked, but we had the gist of our vision working. Or so we thought – it was at this point it all went to hell.

Whenever we tried to rapidly attack a survivor, the game would lock up the browser, forcing us to crash said browser to get it to close. We figured it had to do with hammering on the spacebar, so we tried various fixes. We tried delaying the monster’s attack speed to only accept attacks every 2 seconds. We tried changing the attack key to something other than spacebar. We tried removing the “slashed” hit animation on the survivors. We tried making the attacking happen on contact rather than via a button press. Nothing worked. Every time we aggressively attacked the survivors, the game froze. We didn’t find any sort of fix on Sunday, so the problem had to get rolled over to Monday. The only positives from Sunday were a redrawn logo (to the one currently in the game), a working GUI and updated visuals (even if they weren’t in the game yet). Here’s a comparison chart of the old graphics to the new/current ones, showing the progress that was made (click the picture for full size).

DMFM-visualevolution

Progress at the end of Sunday

Progress at the end of Sunday


 

Monday: I Love It when a Plan Comes Together

Monday was another early start, and with just over 11 hours before the deadline, we had to get this crashing ironed out. While we brainstormed on how to fix it, I made the end credits and instruction screens (if there’s one thing we’ve learned over our years of making games, it’s to never assume anything is obvious to the player, so explain as much of the game to them as possible), plus we finally got Floata’s music in the game, complete with a mute button (another lesson we have learned is that a lot of people would rather listen to their own music – or the TV, or a movie – so always give them the option to silence the game).

We fought the problem until after 4 PM, or five hours to the deadline, making no progress. I was getting frustrated and was just about to compile a playable copy for Floata and some other testers to try when I had an idea for one last test: remove the “panic state” from the survivors that caused them to turn and run from the monster. I made the change without taking time to test it, compiled a build and sent it for testing before going to eat dinner. When I get back from dinner, Floata and our primary tester had both gotten back to me with the following update: the game wasn’t freezing the browser anymore, but the survivors were now ruthless killers that stuck to the monster with a vengeance.

The problem had been found – it was the survivors’ panic state that caused them to try and flip 180 degrees and run. The issue was that as long as the monster was nearby – which it had to be to try and spam the attack command – the survivors were firing their panic state behavior every tick, and that was overloading the game in short order.

It took us probably an hour to fully replace the panic state with something that didn’t crash the game but didn’t have the survivors latch on the monster and murder it almost instantly, but now we had a working, non-crashing game. A last-minute decision was made to move from four, individually colored survivors to four packs of three single-colored survivor packs. We stuck them around different fires, colored the fires slightly to match their pack color, and took the game down to the deadline as I added one more small touch that I thought would look cool – the fires of each pack going out when you wiped out their entire group. This proved to be a challenge and I just finished it up with about 75 minutes left. Floata and I then played it through, beat it a few times, lost on purpose a few times, and agreed it was as done as it would get, so we sent it in and the rest is in the hands of all of you fine folks.

Progress at the end of Monday

Progress at the end of Monday


 

And thus ends the retrospective of Dial “M” for Monster. Give it a go, if you haven’t already. We didn’t quite reach our ambitious goals, but it turned out well and we’re quite happy with the result. Thanks for reading!

logo2nClick to play Dial “M” for Monster

Live Stream Timelapse of Making Driven Insane in Stencyl

Posted by (twitter: @aaghgames)
Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 2:34 am

Most folks don’t use Stencyl to make their games here. I enjoy it, though, for its ease of use and the way it can make something playable in next to no time. It’s surprisingly deep if you’re experienced with it, but for Ludum Dare I don’t really push it much – I’m more concerned with getting the game in on time.

One reason for this discussion is because I made a timelapse of our Ludum Dare 32 live stream, which was developed in Stencyl. Aside from the potentially annoying music I put to the video (I wasn’t feeling very creative when I made this) and the fact that I spent a fairly large portion of the video in Photo Impact making art instead of in Stencyl, this is a glimpse into both Stencyl and our game’s design process. We did a similar video for our Ludum Dare 30 game, which was also made in Stencyl (LD31’s stream didn’t make for a good timelapse).

Another reason I wanted to talk a little about Stencyl is because this may have been the last Ludum Dare where we use Stencyl. My team and I are looking to move to 3D games and Stencyl – for all its good bits – is of absolutely no use there. We’ve toyed with Unity 5 and Unreal Engine 4 so far (sometimes with unintentionally amusing results), but as for what we’ll be rocking in Ludum Dare 33, we’ll have to wait and see – Valve’s new Source engine is supposed to be out before then, so that may be an option as well.

Thanks to everyone who rated our game so far (if you haven’t, please do so – we would love to hear your input). The next time we enter (LD33 is scheduled for August some time, right?) we’ll probably be a completely different team, and we’re very excited about that. See ya there!

Less than 24 hours remain, and we finally have our Name

Posted by (twitter: @aaghgames)
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 8:25 pm

flash-10-win 2015-04-19 20-54-45-72

We’re working on polishing it up for the end of the jam tomorrow, but Driven Insane is coming along well!

First Pigs, Now Cows…. These Streets Just Aren’t safe

Posted by (twitter: @aaghgames)
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 12:07 am

flash-10-win 2015-04-19 00-50-50-06

Man just when I think I’m doing good, a cow drops in front of my car and throws everything out of alignment. Well actually, this is what I going for, so it’s all good. Progress is slow but steady on our as-of-yet unnamed entry. Floata is making our music and some of the sound effects while I polish off the visuals and controls. With less than two days to go I think we’re in decent shape.

When Pigs Fly

Posted by (twitter: @aaghgames)
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 1:18 am

One evening in to Ludum Dare 32 and my team has our game plan underway.  Instead of just unconventional weapons, we’re going for a twist on actually using weapons from the usual gaming norms. Here’s a single preview pic of some of the early graphics and placeholder UI from this evening. There is a long way to go, but we have our basic mechanics in and working now, and that’s our goal for the first evening. Saturday is the day to turn those mechanics into an actual game. We will be livestreaming on Twitch.tv again in the morning, so tune it and keep us company while we entertain you. Good luck, everyone!

It'll be ready when pigs fly.... oh. Ok then.

It’ll be ready when pigs fly… oh. Alright then.

First Game For LudumDare – Quatri

Posted by
Saturday, February 7th, 2015 10:34 am

I made not only a game, I made my very first game ever! And the MiniLD was the perfect opportunity for this. I don’t think anybody would’ve submitted their first game creation but yeah… here it is. Not perfect but I can work with it.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xcubtb239bned0g/Quatri.swf?dl=0

Icy’s Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @aaghgames)
Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 2:51 pm

So our Ludum Dare 31 entry is in, and Icy the No-Man’s Trivial Travails is up for rating. How did it go and what happened during development? Time for Icy’s Retrospective.

The first night:

Like so many others, my friend and I expected the snowman symbol to win, so after learning the actual theme, we had to take a step back and rethink our plans. We started with a concept map where we went through a list of genres before settling on a few that we felt we could adapt to one screen, ultimately settling on a board game, figuring that would be a fun, single-screen experience.

We continued to flesh out our concept map, and my friend (and game co-developer) Floata decided that a board game alone wasn’t going to be interesting enough, so he suggested that it become a trivia-based board game. Since I’m not great at trivia I left that part of the project in his hands while I began working on the mechanics. We didn’t want the snowman idea to die entirely, though, so wintery theme was chosen as the visual aesthetic.

Using a simple placeholder play board, I began to work in the player token movement. This took me about over an hour because I was really feeling my way around the concept – I had not made a tile-based game like this before, so I wasn’t sure exactly how to make the player march around the board, space-by-space. Once I got the tile moving, I redrew the play board, and then it was time to draw night one to a close.

Day One-Two:

Day two started with me implementing the trivia question panels while Will gathered the actual questions and answers. I struggled some making the answers selectable, waffling between using screen regions and clickable actors. I settled on the clickable actors and that turned out to be a good idea as it actually made the rest of the process easier. It enabled me to tie behaviors to the actors, effectively tying the answers to their buttons.

I was drawing a key for the board’s gates when it was suggested on our livestream chat that we should have color coded gates and keys. This struck Floata and I as a good idea, so I recolored my key into red, blue, green and yellow variants, doing the same with the gates. The addition of the entire color-based key part probably only added about an hour or two to the overall development process, which wasn’t bad.

I also drew a new player character, a snowman. This is Icy, and I wasn’t happy with him just standing around so I gave him a few idle animations, including waving to the viewer. Lastly I added a space to collect the aforementioned colored keys for points you earned answering questions.

That night I was up late implementing all of the trivia Floata had gathered into the game. Thanks to some sneaky text editing and Stencyl’s text file input capabilities, I got that done in no time. Some of the questions had to be rewritten/reworded since they didn’t fit onto the screen, but other than that it was smooth sailing with the trivia part.

Day Two-Three:

Early, early in the morning on Day Three I added a yeti to chase the player’s snowman around the board. I recorded some dialog for the Yeti to make him more menacing (my favorite being “I ate Mrs. No-Man”), and synced his mouth moving to the spoken words. It was here that I hit animation limits and had to pare back some of the lines so the animations would fit.

With the game just about done, we added some more music (Floata made all of our music) before beginning the big testing crunch. This is where everything went to heck in a hand basket.

Things seemed to be working just fine, but in playing the game over and over (or trying to), we found multiple issues. The yeti catching you caused a crash, passing a gate caused a crash, winning the game caused a crash, restarting the game caused a crash… it was a mess. That lead to about three or so hours to bug fixing before we got it all ironed out. Most of the issues stemmed from variables not being returned to their default states when the game board would get reset. In the end we fixed those issues (we’re pretty sure…) and submitted it. Thus ends Icy’s Retrospective.

What went Wrong:

I struggled with the coding of player movement for way too long

Not enough testing during development led to a last-day bug fixing crunch

What went Right:

We’re happy with the feel of it as a board game

The multiple key concept turned out really well

I personally like the yeti

You can play and rate Icy’s Trivial Travails here.

Icy’s Trivial Travails have come to an End

Posted by (twitter: @aaghgames)
Monday, December 8th, 2014 5:43 pm

We’re finally done, and our game, “Icy the No-Man’s Trivial Travails” is up for judgement. It is a trivia board game starring Icy the No-Man, where you parade around the board to collect colored answer points to unlock the various colored gates guarding the roads to  victory. After a number of turns, if you haven’t won yet, we have included some incentive in the form of a hungry Yeti.

nglogo3

Trivial Travails

You can play and rate it here.

The trivia is accurate to the best of our knowledge (and research), so we’re fairly confident in the answers.

Trivial Travails was made with Stencyl by my friend and I with various voice overs done by me.

Our Quiz and Board with Icy – Progress Report

Posted by (twitter: @aaghgames)
Sunday, December 7th, 2014 3:51 pm

Here’s the latest on our Jam entry, now entitled “Icy the No-Man’s Trivial Travails.” Here’s the current logo.

 

It’s a trivia board game with a soft time limit: if you (as Icy) don’t complete it fast enough, the Yeti shows up and starts circling the board to gobble you up. We also have color-coded keys and gates for you to deal with. Here’s a picture of the play board.

flash-10-win 2014-12-07 17-46-57-93

The screen is a little busy, but hey – entire game on one screen, right? We have music, humorous voice overs for the Yeti (yes, he talks), sound effects, and a score system. With just over a day to complete it, I think we’re in good shape as far as getting done on time.

Edit: Fixed logo typo.

Progress! It has been made!

Posted by (twitter: @aaghgames)
Friday, December 5th, 2014 10:15 pm

We’re off and running! My friend and I spent the first, oh 40 minutes or so debating ideas before settling on our basic concept – a board game with a twist (that I won’t reveal yet). With but one screen to give for our game, here’s a preview of it in its  current, bare bones state (complete with debug data still on screen).

 

Game ThingWe – or rather, I – spent about an hour making the ‘piece walks around the board’ mechanic which I probably made way harder on myself than I needed to, but whatever – it works now. Our livestream will start again tomorrow around 10:30 AM EST on Twitch and at AAGH Game Center. Be there to watch us, particularly if you have any interest in Stencyl, which is our tool of choice.

 

Melody’s Long Timelapse home

Posted by (twitter: @aaghgames)
Sunday, September 14th, 2014 8:58 pm

With less than a day left before judging ends, I figured I’d share the timelapse recap I made of the livestream of my friend and I making Melody’s Long Ladder Home using Stencyl. It’s just the entire 12-plus hour livestream (done over three days), condensed into less than 23 minutes.

If you still want to try our game, you can try it here.

Melody’s Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @aaghgames)
Monday, August 25th, 2014 1:14 pm

With our game, Melody’s Long Ladder Home (play it here!), complete, it’s time to look back a post mortem of our experience in Ludum Dare 30.

The Good:

  • We – my friend Will and I – learned allot. We learned how to best use our tools (especially Stencyl) in the future, and we learned about the awesome game dev community out there.
  • Our live stream was fun and fruitful. We got to interact with interesting people and had a blast doing it. We did over 12 hours of total streaming over three days (which is nothing compared to the 24 hour Extra Life marathon stream we do).
  • Our game turned out well. We really like the result, and actually impressed ourselves with it – we weren’t sure what we were going to come up with, but this turned out well.

mllh2

The Bad:

  • Turns out Stencyl has some technical limits, and we kinda pushed beyond them. Namely, we overloaded it and started getting 3-5 FPS while testing. Fortunately the game exported fine and runs smoothly outside of Stencyl.
  • Some idiot running our live stream’s video feeds (me) forgot to turn off the full screen webcam for several minutes on two separate occasions. Not really a big issue, but c’mon… that’s a rookie mistake.
  • I personally didn’t sleep worth a darn the entire competition, so I’m looking forward to a long night’s rest tonight.

Long story short, we had fun and hopefully everyone else participating had fun as well. See you guys next time!

Nearing the Finish Line with 24+ Hours to Go

Posted by (twitter: @aaghgames)
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 2:33 pm

Wow, time’s flying. My friend I finally named our game, entitling it “Melody’s Long Ladder Home.” Hooray!

Today we fought our first major issues (first serious frame rate drops and than later  items disappearing) and got through them both OK. We finished laying out the map and play pieces this morning and than spent a huge chunk of the rest of the day proving to ourselves that our game was beatable. It took us hours of play testing and countless revisions but we did it. Here’s a quick pic from the game to wrap this up.

Melody's Long Ladder HomeWe only have a few small things left to do, and considering that we’re doing the 72 hour jam, this leaves is almost 24 hours to polish, finalize, and touch up everything to a nice sheen.

Well, as nice as we can, anyway.

 

Making Hay on Day Two

Posted by (twitter: @aaghgames)
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 5:32 am

Heya everyone. My team’s game for the 72 hour jam is coming along very nicely. We have the map over half finished, the graphics mostly in place and the music is sounding good. Here’s a quick look into our project, as being developed in Stencyl.

Stencyl

Like I said last time, ladders are a prominent feature in our game. It’s also nice to see how far we’ve come since yesterday in the little details.

Changes

 

We’d love to get some play test opinions on our latest build. We’re also going to start live streaming again today at approximately 11:30 AM EST on http://www.twitch.tv/alphasim, so stop by and say heya sometime.

Game Update: John The Miner

Posted by
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 3:17 pm

Corel    

I’ve had a great experience so far I’ve been working on the  first game that i make 100% by myself.

This has been a new learning experience, and a chance for me to try new things.

My game ( work in progress) can be found here:—->>> http://www.stencyl.com/game/play/26055

Any feedback is welcome :) https://twitter.com/Theiceferret

I’ll update it as frequently as i can.

I am tired so i’ll work on it later.

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