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Ludum Dare 30 — August 22nd-25th 2014 — Theme: Connected Worlds
  • Judging Ends: in 17 days, 16 hours, 57 minutes, 17 seconds
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    What you Like, What you Don’t. Fast Feedback!

    Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
    August 23rd, 2014 8:50 am | 51 love | 292 Comments »

    Rules and Guide (Re-written for maximum clarity)

    Posted by
    April 25th, 2014 1:20 pm | 119 love | 115 Comments »

    John and the Arbitrary Gem Hunt – Post Mortem

    Posted by (twitter: @stevesalmond)
    August 29th, 2014 12:39 am

    final_screen_01

    Play the game here!

     

    Introduction

    Well, as usual there were a bunch of amazing entries. Congratulations to everyone who finished a game! I’ve been reviewing a bunch since then and can highly recommend the following:

    As for my own efforts, I’m pretty happy overall with how things went this time around. Read on for the good, the bad and the downright ugly!

    What went right

    Freeform gravity field

    I think some technical aspects of the game worked nicely, such as the gravity system. I came up with a technique to allow the player to feel attractive forces from arbitrarily shaped objects in the scene. Basically, the game fires out a bunch of rays from the player every frame, looking for nearby surfaces marked as ‘Ground’. It then averages out all the surface normals (weighted by distance) and comes up with an overall gravity direction. This means you can smoothly transition from running on a planet surface to climbing a beanstalk, and can jump off the end of a stalk and ‘freefall’ to a nearby planet. Neato! The key method looks like this:

    
    /** Return a gravity force vector, given a point in world space. */
    public Vector3 ForceAt(Vector3 point)
    {
      // Scatter rays out randomly, looking for solid ground.
      // When we hit it, accumulate the resulting surface normal.
      Vector3 gravity = Vector3.zero;
      for (int i = 0; i < Samples; i++)
      {
        Vector3 direction = Random.onUnitSphere;
        if (Physics.Raycast(point, direction, out hit, GroundMaxDistance, GroundLayers))
          gravity -= (hit.normal * 1 / (hit.distance * hit.distance));
      }
    
      // Return the overall gravity direction.
      return gravity.normalized * Strength;
    }
    
    

    I then use this gravity vector to apply force to and orient the player. You can check out the full source on GitHub.

    Beanstalk growth algorithm

    A pretty straightforward system, but injected some much needed life into the game. The beanstalk is created using a set of growth rules. At each stage, the plant figures out what possible rules it can apply given the current growth state, then performs a weighted random selection to pick one. The selected rule then produces some stalk or leaf pieces that are positioned in the correct location, and scaled up over time using coroutines. You can find the relevant code here.

     

    Go go gadget beanstalk!

    Go go gadget beanstalk!

    GarageBand

    In previous Ludum Dares I have either used procedural music or recorded myself playing some bad guitar/drums. Luckily, I stumbled upon GarageBand a few months ago. What a great piece of software! It’s really easy to lay down a few notes, fix the timing/emphasis and loop them, add the next layer, and so on. Before you know it you have something that sounds like music!

     

    What went wrong

    Vague initial concept

    When the starter gun fired, I quickly decided to make something involving orbiting planets (a sort of orrery puzzle), and jumped straight into coding up a system for free-form gravity. It became clear as Day 1 progressed that moving the planets in orbits was going to be a bit tricky. With a naive implementation, the player was bouncing off planets or being left stranded in space as they drifted away!

    I would have had to figure out a way to reset the physics system when the player touched down, so that the planet became the new ‘center of the universe’ – stationary and centered about the origin. I think that should be possible, but it seemed too big a challenge to my frazzled brain at the time.

    Without orbiting planets, I suddenly realized that I had no core gameplay mechanic to work with! I had some ‘bridges’ between the planets, but the whole thing seemed like it might turn out to be extremely boring. The beanstalk idea was a bit of a Hail Mary, born on Day 2 out of sheer desperation.

    Initial Concept

    Initial Concept

    Floaty controls

    I had a lot of trouble with getting the controls to feel good. In the end they turned out very ‘floaty’, like you’re skating on ice. I have a pretty good solution for that in the pipeline, which incidentally make the beanstalk climbing feel better too.

    Crazy camera

    A number of reviewers mentioned the camera going crazy as they climbed – I think the beanstalk leaves were causing that. I had inadvertently marked them as both solid and gravity-inducing, so you can get into all sorts of trouble if you bump into them. This one can easily be fixed by moving the leaves onto a different physics layer.

    Limited gameplay

    I ran out of time to implement enemies or other interesting gameplay elements. The plan was to have a hungry giant wandering around on each planet, giving you a definite incentive to jump from one to the next at the right time! The gems are a pretty but kinda cheap solution I shoehorned in at the eleventh hour (hence the name of the game).

    Future work

    I’ve been doing a bit of work towards a tidied-up post-compo version. A few of the improvements I’d like to get in:

    - Improved control feel.
    - Enemies (or at least other lifeforms – giants perhaps?)
    - Fix beanstalk leaves
    - Experiment with orbiting planets?

    Well, that about wraps it up for this one. Hope to see you at the next Ludum Dare!

    Play the game here!

    Output from the real world gathering in Stockholm

    Posted by
    August 28th, 2014 11:53 pm
    Men at work at the Isotop gathering

    Men at work at the Isotop gathering

    When we (me and tommislav) first started thinking about organizing a game jam at Isotop we never imagined that we’d get the response we actually got. During two days in August over 15 people gathered at the Isotop office in Stockholm to develop games for the Ludum Dare game jam, eat pizza and have an excellent good time!

    Fueled by candy, cola and self confidence the participants developed games in Unity, Twine, Haxe, Coffeescript, Javascript and C# and by the end of the day 9 games were submitted to the contest. We’d also like to send out a special thanks to Isotop for letting us use the office as well as providing the snackables. =)

    These are the entries submitted by the participants from our Real World Gathering

    Trapped Between Worlds
    by Tommislav
    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=2393

    Terrorist Hunter 2D
    by nilstastic
    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=2443

    Panspermia
    by Martin Vilcans
    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=10862

    Spejsbryggan
    by Lightsoda
    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=19698

    Connected words
    by Hypp
    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=14403

    Capsule
    by Paperblurt
    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=26530

    Antipole
    by Lantto
    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=31056

    The Two Sides of the Rio Grande
    by mfagerlund
    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=42065

    Rymdplasma
    by DalsGames
    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=8389

     

    Honorable mentions
    frozzare from Isotop tried out Haxe and Haxeflixel for the first time, and even though he created a fully playable game, he did not submit it to the compo. However you can give it a try here.

    Post-Jam update – added checkpoints

    Posted by (twitter: @snake5creator)
    August 28th, 2014 11:37 pm

    I’ve added one of the most requested features – checkpoints – to the post-jam version of my game.

    The process was described here. The full script source is, as always, included with the game, so you can see how it works.

    All LD30 Games in this Mosaic!

    Posted by
    August 28th, 2014 11:00 pm

    AFTER you’ve played and commented on my game, you can feast your eyes on this ↓

    In keeping with the theme and my drive to connect the real world and the Ludum Dare virtual world:

    30.connected_worlds_map1.timed.rotates

    ↑ Your game is in that map!  You just have to find it… happy hunting :D

    You may also like my interactive map of Ludum Dare participants

    Ludum Darers in Real World

    Its really really fun to watch your pins appear on the map when you play my game, and light up and reveal the ahem annotated map as you comment on other LD30 games!

    Please do comment on my game too so you light up my map when I play my game! That’d be the nicest compliment of all.

    I have made some small tweaks to my mosaic placement algorithm since I made the LD29 mosaic, to do consider longer swaps than just two.  The results are intriguing, and I can discuss my counter-intuitive results in a technical blog post sometime soon perhaps.

     

    My Game – InterGalactic Mailman!

    Posted by
    August 28th, 2014 9:56 pm

    Please play my game, InterGalactic Mailman HERE.

    Here’s some screenshots:

    thumbnail

    screenshot101

    screenshot108

     

    Generation Ship Post Mortem

    Posted by
    August 28th, 2014 9:40 pm

    IMG_25082014_111805Our game

     

    Our game started as one idea and changed many times through development. After some not-so-good entries on former LDs we strongly decided to use Unity this time. We’ve started to learn it some time before this LD especially for this one purpose. And everything worked out well, I suppose. Somehow this Ludum Dare wasn’t nearly as stressfull as former ones, even though we were struggling with ideas elaboration a lot.

    We’ve started with an idea to make a puzzle game about a giant abandoned fleet of starships, endlessly slow moving to there god-knows-what destination and one man, who tries to reach one special ship by managing different ships on his way. Core of the gameplay back than was all about docking ships together, connecting them and their tiny ecosystems in order to change this little worlds. It was a not-so-straight development of out theme, Connected Worlds. I thought it was one smooth idea, but then we discussed it and understood that it was pretty much too simple, it seemed more complex than it really was. So we ended up with a game about only one ship and all the living things aboard it.

    First time using Unity for such a complex thing terrified us, especially after our former entries, which ended up pretty undone and later on abandoned. So we tried to make our game a 2d side-scroller. In half a day we would say “Fuck everyhting, we want to make something big and cool”. So we moved to a 3D state.

    IMG_24082014_195532

    First glance on 3D version

    Some time ago we realised we are getting well, we have a solid gameplay, we have a good start platform thanks to Unity and were thinking on how to make our game better. And here goes AI. We were looking for a voice actress for a whole day, asking on LD IRC channel, asking our friends to participate. Anyone to participate in our project for free. And than we found Polina, the magnificent voice of our AI. We’ve written all the phrases in a short period of time and she made a voice-over and added filters. Our AI got her voice.

    That was truly a great experience after all, not only to take a part in that competition, which happened trice before, but to actually finish a game, to see how it growth even more than you hoped to see. Everything went perfect this time and we regret nothing.

    BOND. Connected and disconnected at the same time.

    Posted by
    August 28th, 2014 8:56 pm

    BOND

    Bond_Gif

    Hello dear Ludumdare(ians),

    I want to share with you the game shadow and I (ilovepixel)  made for this Ludum Dare 30.

    We joined the jam once again as ConflictiveLabs (sans elmismopancho, who couldn’t join us).

    This game is our interpretation of the theme “Connected Worlds”.

    Here I will quote shadow, the 1337 programmer, on his take of the game, even though he thinks it’s too artsy:

    To be honest, [while working on the game mechanics] I had some concepts in my mind of what it means to “be connected with someone” (It could be emotionally, intellectually, etc). Not necessarily experimenting the same as the other person but still being able to support the other when it’s needed. Being in sync but still retaining their own independence.

    I think this reflects what we wanted to imprint in BOND. Not only an interesting mechanic but also a nice feel to it.

    About our submission; We had some problems that didn’t allow us to upload the full version of the game before the jam ended. This is why the original game is not really a full game but just a level repeated 3 times which we use to test the mechanics and the art. We apologize about this. I encourage you to play the Post-Jam version (which was uploaded a few hours after the deadline, when we were able to work on the game again an add the levels), you won’t be disappointed.

    Here you can try our game!

    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=15810

    Cheers,

    ConflictiveLabs.

    Connecting worlds like a boss (Stellarlink Corp. gameplay)

    Posted by
    August 28th, 2014 6:53 pm

    Some gameplay from Stellarlink Corp.

    LD to do list:

    [x] Complete game in time

    [x] Shameless self promotion

    [ ] Write a post mortem

    [ ] Post compo version

    Calgary Ludum Dare 30 Meetup

    Posted by (twitter: @codeherdstudios)
    August 28th, 2014 5:47 pm

    So this last Ludum Dare I organized a meetup for Calgary Devs. We started at Waves Coffee house on the Friday, and then moved to a room at the University for the Saturday, and finally a Google+ meetup on the Sunday.

    All in all we had a great turn out with 11 people showing up, and around 8 games worked on. ( we had a few not end up finishing, but hey, no one every said this was easy :D)

    Here are some of the games to come out of our LD event.

    Symbiosis

    backgrounds

    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=35713

     

    Space Merchant
    backgrounds

    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=41934

     

    Alien Boogie Down
    backgrounds

    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=25660

     

    Connie’s World : There’s an APP for that?

    backgrounds
    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=41238

     

    And finally, my entry…

    A : Attack from Red Planet

    backgrounds

    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=15315

     

    Give them a try!

    Duke Dashington Trailer!

    Posted by (twitter: @@AdventIslands)
    August 28th, 2014 5:25 pm

    LD Banner Duke Dashington

     

    Hey folks, remember Duke Dashington? My entry for Ludum Dare 27 and Overall 5th ranker? it’s been a while, but I have been slowly developing the game since that Ludum Dare and the finished game is finally getting a full release on mobiles! The game will first come out on iOS, with Android version coming little after. Unlike the compo entry that had single temple and 11 rooms, the full game has 4 different temples to explore and over whopping 100 different rooms of fast-paced puzzling and dashing! The game will be out the 4th of September, in the meanwhile, check out the game’s trailer:

    Interstellar, Inc. — now with 25% More Lose!

    Posted by (twitter: @JavadocMD)
    August 28th, 2014 4:52 pm

    Good news, everyone! Interstellar, Inc. has been updated with a (small) bug fix that unsticks the AI and opens up the possibility of horrible, horrible defeat!

    glorious-defeat

    Now you can play and enjoy the game that reviewers are calling:

    • “interesting”,
    • “neat”,
    • and “game”

    Get trading!

    My timelapse video :D

    Posted by (twitter: @NiceAlexander)
    August 28th, 2014 4:33 pm

    My timelapse video of this Ludum Dare (#30). It has an awesome and chill Drum n Bass Song :3. Also i want to say that i made my first RTS (Real Time startegy) AI (Artificial Intelligence) Ever :DDD

    juxtapose

    Posted by (twitter: @zillix)
    August 28th, 2014 4:30 pm

    juxtapose
    is an interactive experience in a small world, divided in two.

    four travelers are stranded on two halves of the world.
    their lives are in danger.
    you can help them.
    you can explore.
    you can simply rest, and do nothing.

    all actions will eventually lead to an ending.
    their story can end in eight ways.

    discover them all.

    gameplay21

    Inkscape & Animations

    Posted by
    August 28th, 2014 4:09 pm

    Hi there o/

    I’m currently working on the post-compo version of my LD#30 game which did not receive any polish during the week-end..

    I wanted to start with animations, but was kinda disappointed by the current state of Synfig Studio. I use Inkscape and it is awesome.. until you want to animate your drawings. I took a quick look at other animation software, but they either are not free, not available on linux or lack Inkscape’s ergonomics.

    So I coded a small tool in Haxe to let me animate things easily in Inkscape: a preview of the current animation at the right framerate, updating itself instantly each time I save my svg file.

    Example usage


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