Play it here
Got the web player running afterall. It was somekind of a temporary problem somewhere, weird stuff.
Do try and rate the jam build as well will ya?
Got the web player running afterall. It was somekind of a temporary problem somewhere, weird stuff.
Do try and rate the jam build as well will ya?
I discovered so-called “incremental games” like CandyBox recently and was amazed by the amount of intrigue and interest such a simple mechanic could inspire. I wanted to explore the stripped-down style of those incremental games while tackling a simulation game. I wanted to answer the question – what does it take to make a text-heavy point-and-click simulation-style game fun? I think the answer I found was – more than I have here. I realized that half-way through but at that point it was too late to turn back.
Simulation games always make me think of Sid Meier’s description of games as “a series of interesting choices” – interesting being the key word. Every choice should matter. As I was trying to balance the game, I found that if I gave players too much money to start with, their choice of buying a cage or table wasn’t high-stakes enough to matter. Seems obvious in retrospect, of course, but this simple fact really sank in for me during the making of this game. A player’s choices must matter. And any choices that don’t matter should be removed.
I kept referring back to Oregon Trail, the 1990 PC game about trying to survive on the trail. I spent hours of my childhood totally immersed in Oregon Trail, and it was just a series of text choices and simple animation clips. The difference, though, is that it told a compelling story – you and your friends or family try to complete an arduous journey across a dangerous, rugged country, with many of your crew dying along the way. I think it was the built-in drama of such a story that kept us all hooked and clicking despite its simple graphics and gameplay.
I also re-learned how much the “little” things like sound effects and subtle animations bring a game to life. At this moment, MonsterLab is more like a playing a spreadsheet than playing a “real” game.
So, what would I do differently in MonsterLab 2? First, don’t release it with bugs. 😉 Second, add sound and animations. Third, tune the existing mechanic – make all choices matter, and figure out how to balance the cost and timing of everything. And fourth, focus more on the storytelling and increase the volume of content available (different types of monsters, different experiments to run) and maybe a new mechanic where you have to actually chase or hunt the monster instead of just purchasing it. If only the weekend could have lasted forever, I might have ended up with a decent game. There’s always the next Ludum Dare, though.
My 2nd Ludum Dare done, and first time entering the compo (Good Luck me!)
I decided to take the Virtual Pet genre, and strip it to its basics. This ended up reminding me of spinning multiple plates, and making sure none of them fall. Then I added a weird “win” state, because feature-creep I guess?
My only problem in development this time came at the end (figures…). When testing it in the editor, and even playing on the Web, or on Android, it runs fine. In Standalone .exe version however, the buttons don’t work properly. The area to click on is to the left of the buttons, in some cases more than others.
Nevertheless, I’ve uploaded every version (and hopefully have done the source code correctly). I’ll try to fix the Standalone version ASAP, but for now, I sleep.
Game available at: http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-33/?action=preview&uid=35501
Note: More info in the following hours (prototyping gifs, concept art, sketches and so!)
I want to talk freely for who wants to read some stuff about the last Ludum Dare jam (spoiler: it was amazing).
The Ludum Dare Jam is based on a theme voted the days before by the people. After the submission of your game, you should vote for other games made from other devs around the globe to get more visibility for your entry. The target audience for the game are actually developers! There is no any restriction of age to participate, so we had to rely on personal estimations. The feeling we had lurking on past editions was about 20–30 years old people, mostly male and of course all devs. That means that, for example, if you make a clone of Candy Crush Saga they will simply eat you publicly and threaten to burn your house. Just joking, of course (I would do the same, anyway :P). The topic of the 32nd edition was “An Unconventional Weapon”. The first goal was, then, find some great message or some great mechanic for them. Regarding session times, you will not have too much time to review each game: as I said, for each game you review you will gain more visibility. With more “coolness” factor you will receive more precious feedback and more votes. The second goal was that the game should have been fast to play and to understand in a 2 minutes session.
In our case, in Sentendo (a new game development reality we are trying to build here in Barcelona) we are three professionals. Each one of us has many responsibilities at the time, anyway we use to define some role (and responsibility) for internal organization: me the producer, Kostas the programmer and Jordi the artist. We all are game designers, the role is shared between the whole team since we all are good in this field (that means that each one of us sincerely thinks that the other 2 are great game designers, and for us that’s enough). For the Ludum Dare, Jordi was not with us due to a job he has with a client, so we were in two without any artist. The third decision was the roles definition: me as asset finder and adapter and Kostas as programmer. He quickly discovered phaser.io to develop the game in HTML5. This technology is great for a challenges like that, to improve the session time in our game. You don’t have to install anything to play it, just click and play.
Since there were no much time we opted to make something really neat and polished, something which people could enjoy easily and with a simple mechanic to implement. Again, you have only 72 hours to submit your game, and of course you cannot work straight all that time. We needed something with a simple and direct message, since we didn’t find a great mechanic to explore for the topic. The game was based on a book called “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”. One of the arguments of this book is about the high level strategy of some corporate: they buy off their competitors just to close their companies assuring more market share for them. We decided to create a clicker game with a skill factor: click on your competitors to “fire” them with your cash bullets, and click on the coins they throw at you. The market share is represented from a Growth Factor that you and your competitors will have. The score will be the Budget you can amass during your play session. Players will see little people come out from the crushed companies, but they are small compared with the buildings. Another metaphor about the human role in the real context of inspiration.
We wanted to make something simple, with a little deep on mechanics, but at the end we also made something difficult to balance on the fly. So the game is basically getting harder and harder and you will lose somehow. You can last more or less in the game, but you will lose. The competitors shot at you with their money to try and that will influence your growth factor. The attacks will be always more frequent and soon will become simply impossible to catch every coin coming at you. You will lose, you can try to achieve a better score, but you will lose sooner or later. That is a mistake for a skill-based game, in my opinion. The first change I would like to make to the game (and maybe I will do it) is to change the pacing to achieve the perfect balance between challenge and chance. You should last potentially forever if you are good.
First of all, that was tremendously funny. I worked with a real lightness in my head and spirit. The pressure is high and the time is few, but if you know what’s the real goal, the experience is only positive. And that is to have fun, simple as that. Prove that you can make a game, even with the few resources you have. You can make a game with pen and paper if you want. No matter that we didn’t have an artist, I opened my old graphic software on my old PC and start to search for a style to give to the game. That was awesome. Plus, I discovered great qualities in my colleague, Kostas. He has a great taste for animations, for example. Even if you design a game, if you paint some awesome sprite, there is some flavour that only a programmer can put. That is really an important spot for our future together.
Oh, I almost forgot, you can see the game we made here, if you want to give a peek.
***Experimental Folklore Agency (E.F.A.) Headquarters***
“We have developed the ultimate weapon to stop genocide throughout history.”
“Behold… The Penanggalan!”
“A floating head and entrails time travelling vampire summoned to eat baby monsters”.
Note: buy the original Atari cartridge. Accept no copies!
Hey everyone, just finished my first compo entry ever, I figured I’d make a post so my user page would be created.
I made a small interactive story, I’m not sure what to call it, but I’d like to play things like this more often.
It didn’t turn out the way I wanted too, but it’s OK for a first crack at this.
Thanks for reading!
PS: I should start earlier.
Hyper Soccer is now playable in the Browser, go try it now. It’s a frantic little local-multiplayer game with gamepad support, you can even play with as many players as you have gamepads. So grab some gamepads and some friends and get playing. (Although gamepads may not work in the Web-Version, and you probably need to download the Desktop-Version.)
Two teams with various unit’s consisting of four unit types, each with their own special ability, try to get the ball to their side of the field, to win a round of hyper soccer!
I had to jump through a few hoops, to get the HTML5-Build of my LibGDX game to run flawlessly on itch.io, because it gets embedded in an iframe. If you are having similar problems you may want to read the stuff below.
Click here to play and rate ! Thanks !
Many hated the theme, rating about it being only a technical limitation. But that’s kind of the point of a theme. And I think this one is not more or less limiting than “10 seconds” or “minimalism” for instance. It’s just that it really said (maybe more than the other theme) “Do whatever the heck you want, but maybe on one screen (please ?)”.
Anyway, this flexible theme gave me the perfect occasion to make a top-down shooter, which I never had the chance to do before. Plus, I had the idea pretty quickly and was able to stick to it, so that’s at least nice for that.
This is the first game for which I use model animations and fake shadows. It was actually fun to tweak the animations and the general look even if it’s still very much programmer’s art.
Overall, I think the game looks pretty nice to me. But yes I more and more really want to team up with an actual artist !
Except for a bug that was quickly fixed by CraftStudio’s creator, everything ran without a inch ! The webplayer was even improved these past weeks and run equally good in Chrome or in Firefox.
Annnnd release time !
That’s the end of this Ludum Dare for me, it’s 10:40 pm here and “real life” calls me back !
But I had a blast these past 72 hours while crafting a game I am pretty proud of :
It’s a simple top-down shooter (in one screen, obviously). Your goal is to “collect” crosses by killing the enemies and managing for them not to destroy the existing crosses with their explosions.
Play it right in the submission page :
Proper post-mortem tomorrow, probably.
Bon courage for those still working, and good luck for the other !
I am looking forward to play all your games !
For some value of ‘finished’ 😉
Had a good time learning how to make this work – wish I’d had some time to build AI so it’s not just an empty starfield in single player. Started hacking a day into the compo; next time I’ll go for it.
As planned yesterday, today has been mostly dedicated to art and (very quickly) sounds. And code, as always !
We now have a proper -yet simple- and almost fun top-down shooter.
And as you can see, I haven’t been idle (see yesterday’s screenshot) and had quite a lot of fun !
You can play the game here : http://florentpoujol.fr/content/craftstudio/ld31/index.html
But beware ! The red blobs explode if they come too close ! Controls : WASD / Hold Left Mouse Button.
For those interested, the sources are on GitHub : https://github.com/florentpoujol/HotMine-LD31
I am off to bed now, see you tomorrow for the submission and the post-mortem !
Good luck and have fun !
Hey everyone !
After a little over 10 hours, I have an embryo of a top-down shooter. Our most cubic miner Steve can shoot creepers in the face with a double barrelled shotgun !
And that’s pretty much it for now.
Still, you can play it over at florentpoujol.fr/content/craftstudio/ld31/index.html .
WASD / Left Mouse / Escape to spawn a creeper (they don’t explode properly due to a webplayer-specific bug but I am too tired to fix it now).
Tomorrow will mostly be dedicated to art and sound.
And I still haven’t decided how (and if) am I gonna respect the theme on this once.
Good luck to all and so see you tomorrow !
Be careful! Non-native english speaking person.
This is my fourth time participating, but still a newbie in game making. Since my second time I was not alone and with each edition, the team grew one member. We discussed after we finished, but this is my personal analysis
This time we made a game that looks like a beat ‘em up and shoot ‘em up crossover gameplay-wise with a simple message. The game is about a girl that fights her problems in her dreams and is called Dreamonaut (check it out and give us some feedback).
Graphics: for the first time we had someone with real talent to do the art. Well, it really paid off. I think the games looks real good. Although it’s the first time of Dyoni making art for games, he did a freaking awesome job. I can’t praise him enough.
Mood: last game we did for LD, we had one sound effect and one very short song loop. This time we spent a good portion of the time to find and record some effects and ended up using different ambient sounds and set of songs. I think we did a good job combining graphics, music and effects to create the right atmosphere for the game.
Planning: last time we planned, but didn’t discuss the game design too deeply at the start and we payed for it at the deadline. Too many rushed decisions. This edition, we planned almost all the game before starting and we keep taking notes and expanding every level and cutscene with dialogs and all. We write it down which sounds would sound cool and all. This helped so much when we needed to cut some things off. Best thing we did, for sure.
The bad [luck]
The spider: Saturday, evening. Fernando, one of the programmers, forgot his toothbrush and went to the nearest mall to buy one. When he got to the car, there was a spider inside, and it got away when he tried to kill it. Goosebumps.
The car crash: While leaving the garage, the door (which closes automatically very quick) scrapped his car roof.
The internet is down: the internet went down and we struggle to commit and download the code (we’re using Visual Studio Team Foundation for it). This also prevent us to check some Phaser and Typescript examples.
The Sick: I woke up very sick on Sunday. Freaking sinusitis. It really hit me. I had fever late at evening and needed to go home at 9PM. I didn’t even got to my everyday work on Monday.
The Dead Battery: Monday, 3 AM. The rest of the guys kept working late on Sunday until they decide that some of them could still work on through Monday. When Fernando went to his car, it didn’t started. The battery was dead. Yup, poor guy. They all slept over Filipe’s house and at 7AM, Fernando’s father came in and helped them out.
No knowledge: we didn’t even saw line of Typescript code before and just two of us played with Phaser before. This almost ruined us. We lost a huge amount of time finding how to do stuff in Typescript or how things worked in Phaser. Don’t get me wrong, the tools are awesome, but now we understand the value of the warm up weekend.
Gameplay: It is way too simple. We planned to do many things, but we got stuck with problems cited above and, of course, lack of talent/experience. We planned to do different attacks for the main character on each level, powerups to change the game even more, much more enemies with different set of skills, more boss epicness (like the last one would shoot “confusion bullets” that would invert the controls). But we needed to rush to finish it in time. It’s a shame.
PS. Till this day, the spider is nowhere to be found.
Telecaster is a game where you click Planets to Telecast to them in your Ship. Once abroad, various local effects occur that affect your mission. The goal is to acquire as many resources as possible in your exploration of all castable planets.
Written in ImpactJS using an old template (Hence why this is a Jam)
EDIT: (8-24-14 1:50pm PST) Way more to do, way more planets, better sprites, tons of kind-of-instructive text!
You take your crew on an epic voyage through the telecaster, embarking on strange new worlds and frequently being sought out by the local wildlife. You are are a voyage to get as many Crystals as possible, they are required by your civilization to survive. If your crew dies, your fuel runs out, or your hull gets destroyed: You and your people lose. Winning is simply a trade off between the long sought out Crystals and the precious (but expendable) lives of your crew. Post screenshots of your high score with a brief bio of your Captain for a chance to be included in the next round of new planets!
And also a reddit link!
Many submissions in the Mini LD #53 have links labeled as web, that are not web at all. This is quite annoying, as I like to know upfront if I’m going to have to actually download something, extract it, blah blah blah. There is a proper way of labeling your links, as I describe below. Doing this properly will help keep people in the community from being annoyed by a “web” game that prompts to download an exe file.
I’m not trying to yell at anyone here, but some people haven’t learned the difference. It may seem trivial to some, but it is only common courtesy to let people know up front what to expect. If I click on your web link (because your game seemed so exciting I forgot to look to see where the link actually went before I clicked) and it didn’t take me to a page on the internet that allows me to play it in my browser without downloading anything manually (and extracting, and so on), I will not play your game. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that if you can’t tell the difference, your game is likely to suck and be a waste of my time extracting it, installing dependencies, running in compatibility mode, turning my monitor on it’s side, setting up a house of cards, painting a masterpiece, etc. just to get it to work.
HOWEVER, if you let me know up front by labeling your links correctly that all of that stuff is involved, if your game seems worth it based on the good and complete description that you wrote, I WILL do it.
Edit: If you weren’t planning to build your game for web, please consider doing so. Not everyone in the community is computer savvy enough to download a game and install dependencies, people like artists, people like my artist / wife. If it’s not a web game, my wife won’t play it unless it has a very compelling description that’s very appealing to her, in which case she bugs me until I cave in and download it and make sure it will run for her. Also, it’s possible to unintentionally include malicious code in a downloadable game, where security settings in most of the web players won’t allow such a thing. I’m sure it’s not hard to write your game in .NET and make a mistake (Because you haven’t slept in 30+ hours) that deletes the a user’s “some other folder” instead of just the save file your game makes like you intended. Not saying that this awesome community would do it, but someone could do something like that on purpose, especially someone that’s not part of the community and is just looking for some way to get their kicks. I’m sure most of us are playing these games on the same computer we develop on, the computer that is our livelihood, and just don’t want to take that risk.
Edit 2: Please read the note from artist/wife for a better written explanation, as she is much better with words than I am.