Posts Tagged ‘vs’

The Side Factor (Jam)

Posted by (twitter: @ericraue)
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 2:56 pm

The Side Factor is a local 2 player turn based strategy game. It explores the idea of creating a strategy game with a minimal number of unit types, in this case only 1. The core mechanic is shooting through things.

What went right

  1. Paper prototyping – We used a Chess board and some folded pieces of papeto iterate over the concept of shooting through things. Originally we played with a rule that you could capture enemy pieces by straddling it on both sides and shooting through it. That was abandoned in favour of gameplay where players never lost any pieces.
  2. Audio design – One of the reasons why I entered the jam instead of the compo was to work with a fantastic audio designer, Gordon McGladdery. I spent a lot of time implementing it and adjusting the animations so it felt right.
  3. Visual design & polish – Gameplay was completed on Sunday so I spent all of Monday polishing it. It’s one of the prettiest games I’ve made in a game jam. Below is a series of progress shots from the end of Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Progress

What went wrong

  1. The Theme – Minimalism is not a great theme when you assemble a team ahead of time to create a highly polished game. Instead of focusing on aesthetic minimalism we tried to explore it through gameplay. When I created the instructions on the website I realized even though there was one unit type the rules weren’t that compact.
  2. Playtesting – It’s really difficult to playtest a 2 player game by yourself and writing an AI was out of the question.
  3. Publishing on Android – One of my goals was to release this on the Google Play store. It runs surprisingly well on my Nexus S but still needs some optimizations, buttons need to be bigger, and support for different aspect ratios. It’s still in the cards but a post jam version with playtesting and tweaks instead.

 

Play Now (Unity web – Mac/Win/Linux binaries too!)

The side Factor

Vs.

Posted by
Monday, April 29th, 2013 4:47 pm

So I finally got my entry all sorted out and entered for the game jam, as it turns out I could have submitted it for the solo competition because I never got any help, wrote all the code from scratch and used tools that were publically available for the audio but I wanted the extra day to not rush and to just chill out with the game.

The game “‘vs.” still looks very much the same early on but I altered the start a bit so it was even more minimalist early on and slowly building up different gameplay, graphic and audio aspects.

Time to go play some of the other entrants.

Vs.

Posted by
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 2:36 pm

This is my first post for this competition so let us start of with the basic premise of the game. You are fighting against the evil minimalist regieme who have all but wiped everything out leaving a world with only the most basic graphics, colour and gameplay. As the commander of the rebel forces you must wage a war against this foe to bring back depth, colour, intricate gameplay, well … everything really back to to the game world.

shot1

The core gameplay in its simplest form: Three lanes, simple rock/paper/scissors combat system, three buttons to spawn units, a bar to show the current swing of the battle and a legend to help explain the combat system.

 

shot2

As you start to score victories against the evil minimalist regieme the game slowly changes, at first you start to develop backgrounds.

shot3

After that the game gain colours.

Future development will start seeing audio put in, evolving graphics and a more intricate combat system as you reach your goal of total “realism”.

So that’s it, the basic premise of Vs., hopefully it’ll be as much fun as I’ve had making it.

President vs Eevol: Music Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @SunShiranui)
Monday, January 7th, 2013 12:05 pm

Hello everybody! This is the fourth of a series of four postmortems for our LD25 game “President vs Eevol“. Every article will cover a different aspect and point of view on the game’s development. The following post-mortem is on the game’s music and is written by composer Matteo Gagliardi.

President vs Eevol

Postmortem #4 of 4: Music

Hello, I’m Matteo Gagliardi, the composer of the President vs Eevol soundtrack and one of the original founders of the OmniàRing Project.

 

1. The OmniàRing Project: An introduction

This post-mortem will be mainly focused on music, but Sun asked me to write something about OmniàRing itself so I will start with that.

In early 2006 I was a lot younger and I used to spend most of my free time playing and talking about videogames. I was involved as admin in a Nintendo fan community, we were quite small and I decided to create a webring of Nintendo communities to help us grow: Nintendoring was born.

Shortly thereafter all the communities of the webring merged and we realized that we were mostly more interested in our various artistic projects than talking about videogames: I was composing my first EP (called Tetraktys), Sun Shiranui was making his first videogame (a Zelda ALTTP clone as he recalled in his post-mortem) so at the end we changed our name to OmniàRing, from the latin word “Omnia” (Everything).

 

OR Logo

The OmniàRing Logo

 

2. Making music for flash games

I worked a lot of times with Sun Shiranui but we never made a complete game together.

When he gathered this incarnation of the OR Team for this Ludum Dare, initially I wasn’t supposed to join as a composer, since I was busy working on the final mix of my latest album. So what happened is that he wrote a song on his own, and when he sent it to me I started arranging it for fun. In the end, he asked me to join the team and the song became something completely different and new.

Since we were working on a flash game, I had two important goals in mind:

1) Make something easily loopable

2) Make something short and lightweight

 

loading bar

One of my main concerns were loading times

 

3. President vs Eevol: The main theme

The main theme is thirteen seconds long. I used some drones and a sparse beat to give a subtle rhythm.

I wanted this to be hypnotic and mesmerizing.

Usually, working on a soundtrack for a videogame I prefer it to be interactive and bounded to the action on-screen, but since the team was working very hard on the core of the game they coudn’t give a lot of feedback on my work, so I had to keep it simple.

 

President vs Eevol main track

The use of drones makes the track easily loopable

4. President vs Eevol: The boss theme

The boss theme was more of a problem because Sun suggested using electric guitars. I worked on it during the second day while nothing of the boss battle was ready, so I had no idea of the precise scene I was supposed to make music for.

So, using only the general description Sun gave me, which consisted in a room where you have to kill the president using your bombs while he runs around, I started working on the piece.

I’m a keyboardist, so I don’t have any real guitars. I tried some synths, but in my mind the sudden change of style from drone ambience to something like Doom’s OST wasn’t good at all.

So during the third day I decided to try something else.

The track is mainly based on some huge percussions played on a Korg Wavedrum, but I used also the same drone of the main track to have a feeling of coherence. It was finished way before the team even started working on the boss battle, so I was really clueless, but listening to it now I think I made the right decisions.

 

President vs Eevol - boss track

The drone loop is synched with the wavedrum

 

5. Last thoughts about developing the game

So, did I accomplish my goals?

In a way, yes, I did.

The team had some difficulties dealing with the looping of the tracks. They tried mp3 and they later found out that for some reason mp3s don’t loop well, so to make the loops work they had to use uncompressed wav, compressing it only later using the flash IDE.

The main track of the game is only 580 kb and the boss track + all the SFX is 380kb.

I wanted them to be even lighter, but time constraints forced the team to work on more important things.

I think it’s really important, working on a web game, to have really short loading times and it’s even more important on a Ludum Dare, where you can try thousand different games in a short period of time and maybe you can even drop one just because the loading time is too long.

At the end it was a really interesting and compelling experience and I want to thank all the people who enjoyed (or will enjoy) the soundtrack of President vs Eevol.

Thanks again for joining me in this review of the composing process.

My home studio (dec 2012)

My home studio at the time of President vs Eevol development

Thank you kindly for joining us during our series of four postmortems for our game President vs Eevol. You can read the other postmortems here: design, code, art. See you in the next Ludum Dare!

President vs Eevol: Art Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @SunShiranui)
Sunday, January 6th, 2013 9:16 am

Hello everybody! This is the third of a series of four postmortems for our LD25 game “President vs Eevol“. Every article will cover a different aspect and point of view on the game’s development. The following post-mortem is on the game’s art design and is written by animator Daniele Piscitello.

President vs Eevol
Postmortem #3 of 4: Art

Good day! I’m Daniele Piscitello, and I worked as the only artist for Team OmniaRing’s first game “President vs Eevol”. As the other members of our team are doing I’ll talk a bit about some aspects of how the art and the animation of “President vs Eevol” have been done.

The game’s main idea was to have a sort of evil british gentleman infiltrating in the President’s mansion. The player’s objective is to find the hidden key and take it to the door in order to reach the next level sneaking silently and fooling the president’s armed bodyguards. When we came up with the game’s design I understood that, in order to properly follow the theme, we needed to give our protagonist an high level of characterization. In a few hours the basic look of “Eevol the evil” was ready. Most of the first of the three days was spent only on making that exaggerated sneaky tiptoe animation that immediately gave life and an evilish look to Eevol.

I decided that our protagonist should have had a very peculiar and evilish walking animation.

I decided that our protagonist should have had a very peculiar and evilish walking animation.

After that I designed his signature bomb. I opted for a classical looking bomb immersed in a teacup. That was very funny to do and I hope that it made the players smile for a moment.

president vs eevol bomb

I tried to follow a priority list for the graphic and the animation, so, after completing all the main character’s animations I noticed that half of our time had already passed and I still had to make all the other graphics. After I completed all the tiles that compose the game’s levels I understood that I didn’t have enough time to make a proper walking animation for the enemies. At the beginning the idea for the enemy’s design was to make them human. I have to admit that I never liked the idea because I thought it was too common to have human guards and that something different could have make the game atmosphere funnier, so I decided to make some floating robot bodyguards, which were easier to animate due to their lack of legs.

You need to make some compromises if you develop something in 72 hours, andanimating a floating robot was easier than animating a human.

You need to make some compromises if you develop something in 72 hours, and
animating a floating robot was easier than animating a human.

I would have loved to make animations for the enemies in all the four directions, but the thing I regret the most is that the levels are too much empty for my taste. In my mind, the levels should have been full of furniture and little things, but I fortunately understood in time that such level of detail is almost impossible to achieve in only 3 days.I hope that with the help of all the experience I’ve earned through this Ludum Dare, by the time the next one comes I’ll be able to produce a lot more in a shorter amount of time, even though I realize that animation is always a looong process.

I’m an animation student, but I started my course just this October so they haven’t even started teaching to animate anything yet, and therefore everything that I made for this game was absolutely self-taught. This was also the first time I seriously animated something and I’m very happy of the result and of all the amazing feedbacks I received for my animations. Thank you all! It was very important for me. If you want to know more about me in the future be sure to check out my Twitter account!

You can reach Daniele Piscitello via Twitter at: https://twitter.com/danipiscitello

Next up is the last of our four postmortems for President vs Eevol: the music postmortem by composer Matteo Gagliardi.

President vs Eevol: Design Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @SunShiranui)
Friday, January 4th, 2013 6:32 pm

Hello everybody! This is the first of a series of four postmortems for our LD25 game “President vs Eevol“. Every article will cover a different aspect and point of view on the game’s development. The following post-mortem is on the game’s design and is written by team lead Sun Shiranui.

President vs Eevol
Postmortem #1 of 4: Design & Team Management

Hello fellow LD developers! I’m Sun Shiranui and I was the lead designer, team lead and one of the programmers working on “President vs Eevol”, a small stealth game that was our first entry in Ludum Dare. I’ll try to give you a little insight on the development process, our expectations, what went right and what went wrong.

1. The birth of Team OR

When I first decided to participate in Ludum Dare I didn’t think I would be joining the Jam in a team project, but that I would be participating in the 48H compo as a solo developer. This was because I didn’t know much about the Jam, and I thought that the Jam entries weren’t voted. Of course one of the reasons why I decided to participate was to obtain feedback on my work, so I was pretty much set on joining the compo based on a wrong assumption.
Luckily, the guy who later became our Art Director, Daniele Piscitello, convinced me on joining as a team and upon further inspection I finally realized that we could get feedback by joining the Jam.

At the start I thought that it was going to be just the two of us, since the only person I knew that could help us, whitesora (our second programmer), hadn’t made a game before. However, the day before the Jam I asked him to join us anyway and helped him understand how Flashpunk (our framework of choice) worked so that we could develop things without any major issue the following day.
And so Team OmniàRing was born… or so we thought. If you played the game, you probably noticed that there are four people in the dev team. That’s because our composer, Matteo Gagliardi, didn’t join until the second day of development!

The game features stealth mechanics.

The game features stealth mechanics.

2. Choosing an idea

The day Ludum Dare started we all met up on Skype to start our brainstorming session. If we had done this a year earlier we could’ve done met all in the same room, but since we now live in different cities all of our development communication was made via internet.
I thought the theme was going to be “End of the World”, but to my surprise “You are the Villain” was chosen. We then began discussing ideas… wait, let me go take a look at our notes… here they are. Many of the ideas that we thought up were eventually developed by other LDers, so that was nice! We thought about making games where you have steal stuff to help a sick loved one, evil god games, a village simulator where you have to scare people to raise your power, prison escape games… and a game based on the idea of “President Evil”, where you had to kill the president that was later revealed to be a goat.

Now, that idea was the one that eventually made it into the final game. After a bit of discussion we decided to go with the president idea, mixing that with some of the relevant other ideas.
So we decided that President vs Eevol was going to be a game about an evil man who wanted to kill the president to retrieve his precious goat. It was going to end with a crazy boss battle with some nice cutscenes and a short discussion on whether Good and Evil truly exist. The end result was a bit different, though. Let’s see why.

 

The protagonist needs to find the key to proceed.

The protagonist needs to find the key to proceed.

3. Our expectations

I’ve been messing around with game development for quite a while. I’ve had a passion for videogames since I was little, so when I was about 14 I was doing stuff like ALTTP clones on Game Maker. I’m 19 now, so even though I’m not that much older a lot has changed, and I’ve started trying to make better stuff. I studied a bit of Obj-C programming and published a couple of apps, and recently got into Flashpunk and started doing random stuff with it.

So what were our expectations given our previous experience with gamedev?
Pretty much this.

Luckily, we were wrong, and we managed to do what we find to be a pretty interesting game. We met most of our goals and only fell short on one thing: the boss battle.

4. Designing the game

Given that this wasn’t supposed to be a big game project, the design process was a bit simpler than usual. Our design document was basically a list of features, kept updated by Daniele, who also handled the task of taking notes of all the important matters we discussed. My job was also made easier by the fact that the idea we ultimately chose was mine, so I had a bit of an easier time figuring out how the game would work. I decided that the game was going to be a 2D top-down stealth game, and pretty much decided from the start that we were going to implement a dash mechanic, which allowed the player to quickly move from one place to another in a short period of time. This later revealed to be a very good decision.

Your only weapon is a teacup bomb.

Your only weapon is a teacup bomb.

This is how we decided the game would work: the protagonist was infiltrating the president’s mansion, and for that reason he had to run around sneakily trying to reach the next room, finding the keys necessary to open the door. I initally thought about having multiple weapons, so the player would’ve been able to find a pistol later on in the game. However, in the end the only weapon we decided to put in the game was a remotely controlled bomb, hidden in a tea cup. We thought about allowing the player to place more than one bomb, but settled on having just a single bomb that exploded when you pressed the bomb button a second time. These choices helped keep the game simple and at the same time created a really nice stealthy mechanic.
We were going to add some more elements to the game, such as breakable walls and some way to recharge your life, but we kept those to the list of things to do if we have any extra time.

5. The development process

So the development process went pretty smoothly for our first game. We were able to implement everything we wanted in terms of core mechanics, and everything worked pretty well. If we had more time we could’ve added some of the extra features and some more levels, but that wasn’t the case. The only thing we really didn’t managed to fit into our schedule was the boss battle. In the last hours of development, I worked on implementing a preloader, a title screen, some of the last animations and fixing some bugs. At the same time whitesora worked on the boss battle. Unfortunately we completed it just a few minutes before the deadline, so by the time I got my hands on it I could only fix some bugs (the boss didn’t really die at all) and nothing of what we planned for the boss battle was truly implemented. It’s a pretty buggy one and definitely our only regret.

For our first Ludum Dare project I think this went quite well. Our work definitely exceeded our expectations and I can’t wait to start working on a new project.
I hope you enjoyed this first in-depth look into the making of our little game. Make sure to play and rate President vs Eevol!

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