I wasn’t too bothered by the theme this time. I didn’t get the paralysis of the last two themes and sort of puzzled out what I wanted to do:
- In a crafty mood, want to do something involving making stuff. No guns, no shooting this time if possible (last 2 entries were fps).
- Since it is evolution, you could craft to improve yourself.
- I wanted to use the cellshading I had been playing with, maybe I could make it look like the inside of a computer, and you could recompile bits to make yourself better?
- I’ll just take standard dwarf-fort materials and rename them to programmy stuff.
So I took off and finished right at the deadline with zero time for any polish or niceties. It was a very close thing. Here’s what went wrong:
BSP Level builders suck. I’ve used them for the past two entries as well, but between now and then I’ve gotten really fast at max, and if you notice in the timelapse, the stuff I do in max is a blink of an eye compared to the time I spend in Quark. If I want to use these libs again, I need to figure out a way to compile geometry from max.
A power blink knocked out all my machines and my kukuklok alarm, so I overslept several hours sunday morning. Also despite being open for days, all the custom stuff I had set up in quark was gone, and quark was completely unusable. I am guessing some file was autosaving and got corrupted when the power went out. I had to uninstall and reinstall it.
I lost an hourish to a nasty level leak, totally forgetting that Quark has a really nice leak finder built in.
Rebuilding an entire level just to change some data in the entities is really bad. I need a way to update just the entities (most of the other bsp engines have this).
My UI system works pretty good, but one thing that consistently costs me time is that I forget what I name the controls. That means relaunching the tool, jotting the names down in a text file somewhere, then relaunching the game. Each relaunch causes a full rebuild of the assets due to the messed up way visual studio handles shared content projects.
At some point I realized the names I was using for my crafting stations made no sense. I had a compiler and a plugin builder. I decided I’d rename them to compiler and linker, and did it where I thought the names came up. Then later half asleep I changed one of them to assembler. After awhile I was completely confused as to what did which, and what the name was. I don’t even think they are named the same in code as they are in game.
I messed up my libraries and didn’t realize it till about a day in, when it was probably too late to switch. I think I ended up using the libs from the last ludum dare. I’ve made a ton of bugfixes and enhancements since then and just had to live without them.
What went well? It is a much smaller list:
I used EZMuze for music again, this time a peer review early build of the new version coming out. Got some good comments on it.
The cellshading with solid colors turned out ok, but I did get a comment about eye strain. It is sort of a way to have lower detail and have the mind fill in the gaps sort of how pixel art works. In the past I’ve built the geometry up then saved the textures for later, then I never had time to make textures, so my levels were just greyscale.
I’m fairly confident this will be my lowest rated entry yet. Mainly because of the terribly confusing nature of it, but also because I had no time to normalize the audio and the mining sound is incredibly annoying.
I also had no time to play through the game without just cheating myself a ton of material (and I very nearly left the cheat in), so I didn’t realize how incredibly tedious it is to mine for 20ish minutes for the materials needed to win. I think Eniko is the only one that had the determination to beat it (thanks Eniko!)
I didn’t have time to test the ending either, but thankfully it just worked.
If I had more time, I wanted to eventually have enemies that dropped materials and recipes. There are actually 30-something recipes in the game, but most of what you can make isn’t useful.
I was thinking I’d have a boss as a sort of mmo style gear check, but instead of gear you’d need to have evolved yourself to the toughness and strength required to win.