Let me tell you a story about making of Ghoul Rush. It might not be the most enticing story in the world, but I need to write it, and hopefully some people would find it useful.
Everything started with #GamesJamMicrosoft here in Moscow. It’s a local competition, organized by Microsoft, that was specifically timed to coinside with Ludum Dare. Contrary to LD, this event was offline, with everybody working in one place; it also had a number of prizes. The moment we heard of it, we decided to try taking part. Where “we” are Chaos Cult games – a group of like-minded people all working in gamedev, and goofing around with indie development.
This is my third or fourth Ludum Dare I’m in. For this jam I decided to test my idea of terrain destruction to be done in Unity because I wanted to use it to port my old game I’ve been making with other guys for Global Game Jam 2012. It was the first time when I heard of game Liero and we used similar targeting and ninja rope from it. I never quite got time to port the game (we wanted to publish it on mobiles) so my idea to create destructible terrain was quietly developing in my brain :).
For this Ludum Dare I decided to make 2-4 player deathmatch game on single screen inspired by Super Mario Smash Bros I played recently, use destructible terrain with a lot of shooting because everyone loves shooting action, right? :). Also I thought that this shouldn’t be rocket science to do because I didn’t have whole 48 hours to spare (I got comics workshop in that time, trainings etc. etc.)
What went right
Terrain generation, destruction and reconstruction! For my idea I used Unity built in 3D Terrains but viewed them top down with a crossed plane in the middle:
Terrain was generated with Perlin Noise function also available in Unity and collision detection with terrain was already there too. For terrain destruction I wrote my function to update terrain heights so that destroyed terrain would lower itself below plane in the middle. It was tricky to do it because I imagined the game screen and terrain should be looped so It wasn’t very optimized in Compo version. Result of terrain destruction and deconstruction from falling debris:
I wanted also to include ninja rope to climb but I ended with simple jetpack because it was easier to implement and because jumping wasn’t working so good (Physics for platforming doesn’t always work very well), jetpack replaced need for jumping :).
Finally I’ve added shooting with bazooka and machine gun and second player which resulted in compo version.
What went bad
I haven’t got enough time to make proper player avatars so there were only spheres in compo version. I haven’t got time to implement all sounds I wanted and add more weapons, weapons switching etc.
Compo version is not very optimized because terrain destruction modifies whole terrain. Collisions are not very good so when player avatars are close to each other they don’t hit themselves.
And most important thing – I haven’t got time to make any title screen :).
I liked the idea of terrain destruction and oldschool hot seat fun multiplayer shooting so much I decided to make more proper post-compo version.
First thing I started with was creating avatar for players. Again I got crazy idea that I wanted to realize, use plasticine to make model in T-pose, scan it to computer and then animate it! My girlfriend Paulina made fun plasticine model of a soldier with jetpack, then I used Android mobile app Autodesk 1-2-3DCatch to make series of photos of this model, this was sent to the cloud by app and in a couple of minutes I got nearly complete 3D model. You can see some photos and model on Autodesk page here: click click
I downloaded .obj files with textures and using Blender I removed all background stuff, stitched all gaps, made some other errors (never use “Remove doubles” on model with defined texture UVs! – use Decimate modifier!), fixed T-pose, rigged model and started to make walking animation.
After that Paulina made plasticine models for weapons, they were tiny so I modeled them myself in Blender. Only used photo as reference:
Next I made model animations with character moving hands+head up and down and simultaneously weapon rotation animations so they could be blended with character walking animation. At first it didn’t work because animations were on a single action timeline and Unity wasn’t blending them. I needed to separate them to different action and then put them again on a single NLA Strip o_O. After that and some coding for animation blending it started to work:
Then I fixed bullets origin on the end of weapon, added extra weapons to already implemented uzi and bazooka: shotgun, pistol and grenade launcher. Next I added blood particles:
I played a little bit with Unity ragdolls to test if they would work with my model and … it worked great as you can see from this test:
Paulina made me really great logo for game’s title screen and finally I got permission to use two music tracks for title and in-game from DADi ( soundcloud , Facebook page ) – once again BIG thanks! They fit nicely to the game I think.
You can watch results here:
Post compo version is available for all of you to play and have fun with it. If there will be interest I will be more than happy to develop it further. Among many things game needs some more optimizations, computer opponents and maybe online modes.
So I haven’t posted much about my LDJAM entry, but it’s been getting some votes so I figured it would be a good idea to post about it here. Simply put, my game is a poor Super Crate Box clone.
Sadly, the game didn’t get balanced, or even really finished. The menus were slapped together in a hurry and a bunch of artwork didn’t get completed. Me and my artist were not really well prepared to enter the jam, which is why I didn’t make a post announcing that we were going to enter. We weren’t sure if we could get anything done in the time allotted.
We had opposite sleeping schedules. He’s from South Africa, and I’m in the United States. Working with different timezones probably hurt us more than anything. While I was waiting on HUD, he ended up making more weapons. When I needed enemy artwork, he was busy with sleep, or rolling blackouts – as South Africa has some kind of power issues at the moment.
So needless to say, this game isn’t complete. But it’s still sorta fun, and the graphics look pretty sweet if I do say so myself. (Thanks Unity Pro Trial!)
So check it out if you want. I enjoy feedback – but believe me, I already know the game isn’t great.
Hey everyone! We enjoyed developing Disco Kitty Nightmare so much over the past few days during the comp that we want to further expand on the game. Fix everything that was wrong with it that we didn’t have time to fix and continue learning from our mistakes. If anyone is kind enough, try out our game and leave feedback, positive or negative! I don’t care, I just want to know everything that you guys hate/love about the game or if you just want to listen to some groovy music. Check us out at
Restrictions are good – and why this theme was pretty awesome for me.
I set out with a few learning goals, and this is how I applied them.
Things to keep in mind to get more people to play your game.
Linking to my post so as to not over-spam the LD feed with wall of text, but I think it’s really worth a read, because I learned a fair bit and I think these are good things for everyone to think about as jammers!
My Ludum Dare game, “Perfect Squad” is now up. I really wanted to do an FPS so I came up with the idea that you’d control each squad mate individually and then the game replays all the recorded actions of all 4 squad mates simultaneously. You can redo each of your squad mates actions individually till it’s perfect. The overview screen (entire game on this screen) shows a replay of all 4 members of your squad. Sort of a turn-based FPS.
You control all 4 squad mates
Due to time constraints, I wasn’t able to complete everything I wanted to do but the recording and playback of each squad members actions is there. Check it out!