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    Coin-Operated Afternoon PM : The bigger the better ?

    Posted by (twitter: @oujevipo)
    September 12th, 2012 10:41 am

    A game made of stop-motion animations ? That was a “risky” bet!

    So…there are only 5 days left to rate the game, maybe it’s time for us to write a small post-mortem [EDIT: not that small eventually] in order to explain how we made the BIGGEST GAME in Ludum Dare history! 1,14GigaBytes! Shi*! That’s more than Minecraft!

    Size does matter

    By the way, you can play and rate the game here!

    Post-mortem below! (because it’s big too)

    WHAT WENT RIGHT

    Pooling talents (and extra constraint)

    Before this LD, I was used to make games, but didn’t know anything about stop-motion animation.

    On the other end, Felix was used to make stop-motion animations but didn’t know anything about game making. So, naturally, we thought we should make a stop-motion animated game, whatever the theme, and that’s the main reason we worked together on this LD.

    I think that was a pretty good idea cause we both learned some new things, and because the more constraints you have, the more creative you get.

    Felix working on the “Agricola’ scene

    Getting prepared

    Since we had no idea how to make a stop-motion game, we took an afternoon before LD to experiment things and sharpen our tools. That way, we discovered some problems like files incompatibility, scaling, cut out and could avoid them during the competition. Unfortunately, one big problem managed to slip through…What was it ? Suspense! Read further.

    Hot Chocolate

    Hot Chocolate is part of my own LD ritual. Every Ludum Dare, I wake up at 8, I look at the theme, and then I go out to order a hot chocolate and croissants in my favourite café (in France, the theme is announced at 3-4am so…it seems wiser to have a good sleep and discover it on the morning). I think going out is a good way to find inspiration, even if I can’t scientifically explain it. It always worked for me, and this LD was no exception. Of course, this time, we ordered two hot chocolates.

    Fan

    Since it’s pretty hot in Marseille, and since we spent two days together in a small flat with the curtains closed and the lights on (for the shootings), buying a fan was a DAMN GOOD idea.

    It’s getting hot in here…

    Time management

    We didn’t use any time-management technique or whatever, but we managed to be extraordinary synchronized. While Felix was building his studio, I was coding the basics, while he was shooting an animation, I was writhing its dialogs. That way, we always could know precisely what was done, what was left and how much time we needed. Eventually, everything was made in time

    Funny breaks

    We didn’t take many breaks (except for eating and sleeping) but kept finding new ways to make the work funnier : drinking real rum for the Red November animation, inviting some friends fo the tarot animation, finding funny way to destroy the Monopoly…In the end, the game making was fun all along, and I can’t think of any better way to make games.

    Cheers!

    WHAT WENT WRONG

    The theme

    When the theme was announced, we were really happy. This theme was the one we were expecting. It was a big relief, and at this moment, we knew theme won’t be a problem for us! How ironic, here are some comments about Coin-Operated Afternoon :

    I don’t understand how it correlate with evolution theme

    I didn’t really get how it involved evolution

    I don’t see the relationship with the theme

    I have to say I don’t see the theme clearly either.

    And so on…

    So, obviously we failed!

    We wanted to make a game about evolution of game mechanics through boardgames and to show boardgames evolving through the animations, but it looks we had so much fun making this game that we forgot a bit our initial idee

    The flat was a bit messy

    Sounds and Music

    We never planed to have any sounds in our game, but we planed to have some music. Jay, the third man of the team, which is a great musician, was supposed to be in charge of this aspect. Unfortunately, during this week end Jay

    - wasn’t in the same city

    - was quite busy

    - had no internet connection

    - and didn’t even have a windows computer to play what we were making! ^^
    So, even if we thought it was still possible to make something with him, it obviously didn’t happen. This is a shame because Coin-Operated Afternoon REALLY NEEDS music, so I hope we’ll make a post-post-compo version to complete the game!

    HUGENESS (no shit ?)

    Ok, we were aware that making a game in stop-motion will lead to a big .exe file…but 1,14GB ? Seriously ?! Well…it looks like Adventure Game Studio wasn’t made to build stop-motion animated games. The good news is that it allowed us to break a new record! I really think we’re the first ones to reach the 1GB limit in Ludum Dare History ^^ (but I might be wrong)

    -Hey I got an idea! What if we turn the game in 8bit colors to lighten it ?
    Oops…bad idea

    And that’s it

    Yeah, that’s it. Except for these “little” problems , Coin-Operated Afternoon went RIGHT! We made the game we wanted to make, we had a very good time, and we’re very proud! So once again, thanks Ludum Dare for making people happy!

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