Posts Tagged ‘suggestions’

Glow Drop – The people have spoken!

Posted by (twitter: @gamepopper)
Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 2:19 pm

Glow Drop TitleSo first of all, thank you for the huge amount of positive feedback and ratings on Glow Drop so far! I don’t think I have gotten this much rating and appraisal before in a Ludum Dare event! So I’ve been taking in your feedback and lots of people want to see a mobile version, so I am giving into your demands and will release Glow Drop onto Android and Windows Phone 8!

(Sorry iOS users, but I cannot afford to develop and release a game onto the App Store at this time)

However, I think it’s fair in saying that this shouldn’t be a simple release. I feel as though this game could do with a little bit more work to feel more worthy for people to download. So I’ve been taking in some of the feedback from both the Ludum Dare page and so I have a list of things that can be done to polish up the game a bit more:

  • Visual Identifiers – Mostly stuff like how the drops react when they are destroyed or what happens when they start overflowing the screen.
  • More Special White Drops – The current game has three, and there is plenty of opportunity to expand the possibilities of these drops.
  • Improve/Extend Music – I am extremely happy and surprised with the amount of people that liked the soundtrack. I didn’t have much time to properly flesh out the music so I feel I can use some time to either extend it to a longer loop, make it feel less repetitive and/or remix the existing music to a new genre (I was thinking progressive trance but feel free to tell me otherwise).
  • Global Leaderboard – While it’s nice enough to keep a saved highscore, it’s much better to also compare it with people around the world. I’m not sure what’s the best option to implement this for me, but it’s worth looking into. I know GameJolt has a leaderboard system in its API but for mobile it’s gonna be different for each platform unless I try a platform-free tool to handle it.

Are there any other things you can suggest? Let me know, also Play and Rate Glow Drop!

Site Suggestion: Spoiler Tags

Sunday, December 7th, 2014 8:03 pm

I’m not sure if it’s already possible but, being able to add formatting to the game page’s description would be awesome, I’d like to put hints on how to beat the game for those who get stuck without spoiling it for  those who want to explore. Anyone know if there is a way now?

Give my game a name…

Posted by (twitter: @gamepopper)
Sunday, December 7th, 2014 11:15 am

So I’ve been working on this physics puzzle game for the Compo/Jam but I’m stuck on giving this one a name. Suggest a name of the game and I’ll use it!

LD31-1a LD31-3a

How to not fuck it up

Posted by (twitter: @fullmontis)
Monday, December 1st, 2014 4:25 pm

The theme for LD30 was Connected Worlds. I loved that theme. It was spcific, but at the same time left a lot of space for a personal touch.

And, somehow, I managed to fuck it up.

I remember having at least a couple ideas I could implement that I really liked. I worked hard for most of the two days to complete at least one idea.

But all I ended up with was nothing. Zero.

I was so frustrated with myself, I promised myself to not make the same mistake again (although it’s been 5 LDs now that I say this).

So, here is a quick run up of what I fucked up last time, to use as a reminder to not do it again this time.

Wasting time

First reason I want to punch myself in my right testicle is

This is a big one. Time waste comes in a lot of fashions. From the simple “watching youtube instead of working ont he game”, to something more design oriented.

48 hours is a microscopic amount of time to develop a game in, not wasting time, should be the n°1 priority.

The most important thing is, are you working on your game? If you aren’t, you should. Every hour is precious and should be dedicated to your game. You can watch fail vines on youtube when time isn’t such a critical factor. As in, not during the compo.

But where the biggest time waste lies to me is in game design decisions. So, if I can promise myself to focus on the game, we should move onto…

Bad idea

So when I get the mental strength to work on the game, I pick up an idea that I really liked. But it was as easy to implement as it is to teach a rock to swim.

It was just impossible to do in the timeframe I had, and that was because of some bad basic choices.

Basically, the game was a sort of  point and click game where you find an abandoned phone on the street and have to discover what happened to his owner by digging through it.

The concept was really cool. I still want to implement it in a game, sooner or later, just not in a jam. I wanted to have a full smartphone experience, where you can watch videos, read texts and make phone calls. Overambitious much?

The problem with such a design is that it requires multiple states, meaning that I had to program each state in a different way according to how the user could interact with it. Usually, the lower the amount of states, the easier the game is to program, because it cuts out a lot of  bugs that could happen at runtime.

I didn’t know that at the time, and jumped right in the development, finding myself in the mud up to my neck by the first 24 hours.

In the past LDs, I had to restart an idea almost every time because of a bad choice and overshooting. Throw it in the trash and start from zero with 8 hours already on the times. Man that sucked. Just choosing the right idea can save a LOT of time.

So yeah, it is really, really important to find an idea that can be developed efficiently, and even more so to adapt the idea during development to optimize the time for development.

So, we get it. Be smart. But unfortunately, the biggest problems come from another part of the game, which is…

The Aesthetics Pit

This is the biggest mutilator of LD games right after the two above. I lost at least a couple compos over this.

Graphics, music, story… We can all agree that they are what makes or breaks a game. And it is fine to work on the art of your game to make it look pretty and cute.

But this comes only AFTER the core gameplay is done.

I finally understood, probably a little late, that if you start working on your final aesthetic touches without having a playable core gameplay in place, you are driving all out into a pitfall (unless you REALLY know what you are doing).

Programming is a difficult and long process, and chances are that a lot of stuff will go wrong. If that is the case, it is better to sacrifice the time you would have given to graphics or music to fix the core mechanics.

Remember that you can submit a game with programmer’s art (and get good scores for it too), but you can’t submit a bunch of sprites without a game. This ain’t DeviantArt.

—————–

And that’s all folks. This isn’t exaustive, but I’m sure that if I can avoid this Holy Trinity of bullshit, I will weep out at least 90% of time wastes during the compo.

Hope this was useful for you, it certainly was for me.

If you want you can check out my past LD entries and postmortems here for more useful tips.

See you this weekend. And good luck!

A suggestion for the Competition Tips

Posted by
Sunday, January 12th, 2014 5:04 am

The amount of games with only WASD keys to move is too damn high ! ^^

I suggest to add this in the competition tips : “Some persons have QWERTY keyboard and others have AZERTY keyboard. So let the player choose his own keys to move or just set W AND Z to move forward, A AND Q to move to the left, S to move back, D to move to the right. Or, use the directional keys.”

Some suggestions to my future self…

Posted by (twitter: @fullmontis)
Thursday, April 25th, 2013 7:28 pm

Since I know myself enough, I also know that I will start panicking about three to four hours in and willing to throw everything in the bin and go play some Deus Ex. So, I though that a list of some anti panic suggestions maybe will help me (and hopefully inspire others) to get my game done before the 48h limit.

  1. Start with a small idea, something I’m pretty confident I can do in two days, then halve that. This way I’ll get a tiny idea: my objective is doing something even tinier. As everything in life, starting is easy, but ending is EVERYTHING. A simple finished game is always better of a half finished prototype of an amazing idea.  Why? Because the first one is a game, the second one is not. The first one can be sold and distributed, the second one can’t. And the fastest and easiest way to finish a project is: start small. 
  2. Focus on what you can do best and do it. Get the rest done as quickly as possible. There are a lot of categories your game will be competing into: it is best to focus on those you will do well in instead of trying the best game overall (unless of course you are a ninja that can make a masterpiece in a weekend, you know who you are!).
    For me, this translates as f
    ocus on MOOD.
    As i wrote in my first post, I’ll be using Ren’py for making a point and click game. My engine and genre choice won’t allow much innovation on the mechanics so the selling point of my game will be what I can focus the most on: music, graphics and writing. Setting the right mood is both what I can expect to do right and what I’m willing to do well, so it’s a good compromise.
  3. Details are EVIL. While this is my first attempt at making a game, I’ve worked on enough other projects to know that perfectionism is my number 1 reason of giving up. In the specific, focusing on non-fundamental details too soon is the worst disease to ever plague a project. As said in point 1, finishing is everything: this means that the fundamental stuff should be THE priority over any other tiny detail. No one will care if the tiles of the floor look like crap if they can’t even finish the first level because of a game breaking bug. Get your priorities in the right order first! Make a list of the game you will need, and cross out everything you know won’t be fundamental to the game. This is the list of stuff you’ll need to implement in the next two days. Now sit down and get your work done!

Ok, hopefully these reminders will prevent myself from bonking my head on the wall in regret too much. Rev up those fingers cause the time is near!

EDIT: thanks to Osgeld for pointing out some confusion about this post.

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