Ludum Dare 36
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Posts Tagged ‘technical’

Ludum Dare pro tips: polish up your Unity builds

Posted by (twitter: @rjhelms)
Friday, April 22nd, 2016 12:31 pm

We see a lot of Unity games every Ludum Dare. In the past, I’ve heard some griping about this, but let’s face it: Unity is perfect for game jams. It has its quirks and limitations, but when time is of the essence, you can’t beat a platform that’s easy to work in and lets you forget about the basics, and jump right in to seeing your idea in action.

However, this can be a bit of a mixed blessing: because Unity handles so much for you behind the scenes, there’s a few steps that are easy to forget about when it comes time to package up your game and submit it, but which go a long way to polishing up the impression your game makes on people rating it. Unity’s gotten a lot better at handling these things in a sane manner, especially with version 5.3, but it still benefits your game to give things a once-over.

If you’re not using Unity, feel free to ignore this post, but if you are – read on! I’m mostly going to be focusing on standalone builds, but it’s a good habit to get in the practice of thinking of these things even when you’re intending on making a web game.

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Xtreme Crop Duster Simulator ’82 – The Two-Camera Setup

Posted by (twitter: @rjhelms)
Monday, December 21st, 2015 11:58 am

After writing up my post-mortem for Xtreme Crop Duster Simulator ’82, I had a comment from pkenney asking about how the two-camera setup I created in Unity worked, and how I used Unity’s built-in shaders to achieve the graphical style of the game. A lot of the positive feedback I’ve received about the game makes reference to the graphical style, so I was already mulling the idea of a post about exactly that – the comment spurred me to actually write it up.

Lots of text and graphics to follow, which likely isn’t be applicable outside of Unity and may only be of interest to people keen on this sort of graphical style, so the real meat of the article follows the break. But as a teaser:

Before and after

Before and after

The challenge, which I had run into in previous Ludum Dares, is that square pixels are a relatively recent innovation. The Commodore 64’s multicolor low-resolution mode which I emulated in this game had a resolution of 160×200, displayed on a 4:3 television. This means that the pixels, once rendered, are 1.6 times as wide as they are tall – not a nice ratio to deal with. In my LD32 entry, Red Threat, I handwaved the problem away by drawing the sprites with 2:1 pixels, and scaling the whole thing up 2x to 640×400. It worked, but the effect was graphics that were noticeably stretched if you’re familiar with the real hardware.

This time around, I wanted to do better.

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Begin the compo

Posted by
Saturday, August 29th, 2009 1:52 am

First of, this theme is awesome and I hope for justas awesome entries. 😀

Game Design

For my entry, I’m going for a (RT)Strategy game. Here is some concept art:game_concept

In the game you will control a subterranian civilization, which evolved eyes, that can only see a single color on the spectrum. You will have the basic RTS objects: towers to expand your teritory ( emmit the light you can see), units, which will emmit a dim light, when out of the towers range, building that will function only inside the range of the towers, some for traning troops, some for housing, some for gaining monochrome energy. Every object you see distincly in your color.

You will battle other civilization such as yourself, who are able to detect a different color. All of your enemies will appear black or very dim and will not be distingushable from one another. So if you are a yellow civilization, and have green and red opponents, you can tell them appart.

The basic goal will be to destoy your enemies/neighbours by destroing their main tower. I was also thinking of doing something with the entrance of the cavern, maybe a goal or bonus for the team that has control of it. One  idea was to have the you gain the color of the opponent you conquer, till you eventually see all the colors and can go outside in the light world.

The game seem to be carying some racial message with it or at least it has potential for it.

Technical stuff

platform: Linux for development, Windows build after the compo, this time maybe even OSX

programming language: c++

libraries: SDL for graphics, input and sound. Do i need anything else? O_o

drawing: GIMP

recording sounds: Audacity

sound and music: Hohner BBassV with Digitech BP50 multi affect and 60watt Vision AMP . I hope my music skills don’t let me down.

TODO list for first day:

So how much can I actually get done in the first day? I think this should be a realistic goal:

* resource manager: sound, graphics,…

* tile engine for the map

* create the cave

* implement ligh sources

*create the towers

* mouse input and HUD

*some background music

I think that would be about half. I hope I am not underestimating any part I left for day two (AI or troop control maybe?). If my goal are realistic, I think I can actually make a good game this time round. 😀

Well good luck to you all.

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