Alex Larioza is a game designer, programmer, and an artist. He is also the owner of Pixel Squid Games; a indie game studio dedicated to making fun and original games. More at http://pixelsquidgames.net.
About alexlarioza (twitter: @alexlarioza)
Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 21
Ludum Dare 20
Ludum Dare 19
As long as this weekend goes as planned, I should have time to participate in Ludum Dare this time around!
As usual, I will be using:
I previously thought I would not be able to participate in LD25 because I wanted to spend time with my girlfriend before she flew off for the holidays. However, I now have found some extra time and realized that there are still 19 hours left in the compo. Yay!
I’m going to attempt to learn and make a game with Quest, which is an interactive fiction engine. See you guys at the finish line!
We’ll be entering the jam for this Ludum Dare! However, we all have limited this weekend, so our game will be fairly short and simple.
We’re entering in the 72 jam, so we still have about another day left. =D However, we’ve just about got everything wrapped up although a few features were cut do to the time constraints such as persistent worlds. Yet, all of us are quite pleased with what we hav eso far and hopefully everyone who plays tomorrow will be too. Here are some screen shots from today:
Day two was full of silly bugs, programming AI, monster animations, and map generation. Here’s a screen shot demoing the fruits of our labor:
Hopefully we’ll have all this world stuff wrapped up tomorrow so that we can get some of the fun stuff in like shooting and downloading data!
p.s. there will be stargates
So we’ve been working away fro about 6 hours now and here’s what we have to show for ourselves:
- Randomly generated “planets” (which still needs terrain features and shape refinement)
- The start of our tileset
- An awesome protagonist
Normally I enter into the compo alone, but this time around I’ll be entering into the jam with a three other guys! I’ve had the honor of working with these guys in the past, so I doubt we’ll have any problems working together. We’re all looking forward to losing sleep and making a great game. ;]
This will be my fourth Ludum Dare! Just as always I’m looking forward to a weekend of no sleep and lot’s fun. ;]
Weapons of Choice
Language: Flash ActionScript3
Additional Library: Polygonal Data Structures
Additional Software: Chronolapse
Workspace: ASUS i3 4gb laptop with Hanspree 22″ LCD monitor for an extended desktop
(Yes, that is a paper Creeper)
It still amazes me what someone can accomplish in 48 hours, especially when it comes to making video games. There is so much that goes into make a game – artwork, sounds, game design, programming, etc – that I am surprised what comes out of Ludum Dare is even playable. Nonetheless, most of the games I’ve looked at so far are awesome! I’m going to try and not touch any more though until the ratings open up. Anyway, this is supposed to be a post mortem.
When I was first presented with the theme, I immediately thought of rouge-likes. Mostly because in such games, you are always put in situations where your two options are fight or flee (escape). Not to mention, once you get to the bottom you have to escape all the way back to the surface with your prize. This how the ascending from the depths mechanic came about.
Of course Minecraft and Terarria had some influence here, but just because I wanted some sort of destructible terrain. There really isn’t any sandbox elements present unless you like channeling water and lava away from you. Either way, going in this direction allowed me to explore tile maps in Flashpunk/AS3. I have used them before in a couple of my past games, but not to this extent. Prior to Caved In, I only used tile maps for platformers or any games with some sort of pre-defined level. In this case, I am procedurally generating entire levels that the player can interact with – every single block is manipulable.
In my first LD game, Voyage of Discovery, every tile was an individual entity which caused some pretty bad frame rate issues but since it was turn-based, it wasn’t too much of a problem. Obviously the same technique wouldn’t have done too well in Caved In as there are 875 blocks per level, but the tile map technique does wonders! Yet, as expected, the code is VERY messy since I was sprinting through the whole thing. I always want to add more than what I can comfortably do in 48 hours.
The rest of the game was the usual, nothing new. I will be revisiting this someday as I want to make a graphical, simplistic, and user friendly game similar to dwarf fortress. Until then…
I love tilemaps; you can throw so many on the screen with hardly any dip in FPS. =] Anyway, I spent most of yesterday tweaking with the level generating code as well as the liquids. Then I went to bed early because I was really lacking the rest from the night before. So today, I’ll need to add most of the polish, menus, and a game-win/game-over condition. I’m very pleased how far the game has come! The goal is to reach the surface (depth 0) by finding the ladders in each of the randomly generated levels. You have to dig around in the dark to find it though. ;] You can also mine out some gold and fetch the princes on each level to score some extra points. Lava, water, and cave-ins (screen shakes and destroys a few walls and add indestructible rubble blocks) block your way.
Good morning! Having a breakfast sandwich for breakfast along with another Rockstar (one was from last night). I’m sure I’ll be in the kitchen a few more times today though. ;] Things are coming along nicely:
The game is sort of a Minecraft/Dwarf Fortress-like where the player must dig their way to the ladder and escape from [undetermined number] of randomly generated levels. Currently the only obstacle is lava which floods player mines. Stones will be used to create bricks to block lava flow and also water when it is added. I’m also planning on adding cave-in events which cause dirt walls to be destroyed and non-mine-able rubble blocks to be created. So far I’m really happy with how the game is going! =]
I can’t remember if I worked on my drawing board last time, but I know for sure that it was indeed my laptop. Anyway, I have plenty of paper stacked up on the left for pre-game brainstorming as well as notepads on the right for game-time note taking. I also usually have a notepad doc in the game’s folder that I use for to-dos but sometimes paper has it’s advantages. There will be some Rockstar cans hanging around soon also. ;]
Hello everyone, this will be my third Ludum Dare. I will be sticking with the same tools I used last time, but hopefully the resulting game won’t be as difficult as Torch was. Good luck everyone!
Weapons of Choice:
FlashDevelop - code editor
FlashPunk - general library
Paint.Net – graphics
bfxr - sound effects
Ogmo - if the project calls for it
Although we are allowed to start now, I won’t actually start till that Friday. Mainly because this is the end of a semester for me so I have finals to take and papers to write. I will be using Inform7 to write an IF game. I have never used Inform before, although I have toyed with it in the past. Hopefully I’ll have a complete (probably short) game by the deadline. Either way, I am using this opportunity to learn how to work a fantastic IF creator.
As the title says, the post-compo version of my entry, Torch, is now live on Kongregate. I’ve addressed most of the bugs I found, added sounds and music, some more detail to the tile set, and other miscellaneous things.
Instead of copying and pasting my post from my own blog, I will write one just for LD!
The most important fact, as with any Ludum Dare, is that I was able to finish! I originally thought I wouldn’t have enough time to get it done, so I threw in the towel roughly 8 hours before. I had second thoughts a few hours later and quickly rushed back into coding. Thankfully I had just enough time to finish it!
Even though this was my first time making a platformer, I’m feel that it isn’t just another run of the mill platform game. I wanted the torch to be part of the player so those moments are more intense when you aren’t holding the torch. I think this worked quite well, but sound effects and a sound track really would have helped the atmosphere.
I usually use 8bit graphics, but I wanted to simplify them further so I wouldn’t be hung on graphics during the competition. I wanted to be spending more time with the actual level design. So I opted for 8×8 sprites scaled to 4x times their size. While it gave the game a cutesy feel, it made text feel awkward as it looks huge on screen. The furthest I’m going to go next time is 2x or I will scale the graphics in my image editor instead of doing it through code.
As I said before, this was my first time making a platformer and I was worried about it being too easy. From the feedback I’ve been given so far, I’ve found that it’s far from easy. There was also an issue near the end of the level where players thought they need to make a blind jump, when in reality they had missed the hidden passage. I’ll make it more obvious in the post-compo version. ;]
Speaking of post-compo, I’ve already added/fixed a bunch of things. Notably I’ve fixed the physics for both the torch and the player so things should be much smoother. I also added much needed particle effects to the torch. I should be releasing it sometime in the next few weeks!
Until then…don’t drop your torch.
I had a very frustrating beginning as this was the first time I made a platformer with flash. I almost quit a few times the first day, but I held in there. Then Sunday (today) I went out for a bit and realized I probably didn’t have enough time to finish the game. When I got home I decided to see how much I could get done before the deadline. Guess what? I finished it! It’s missing sounds/music and a proper ending though, but it is fulling playable. I am very proud. =]
Will post timelapse later.
Since I’ve been working like a dog this past week on another project, my LD entry will hopefully be short and simple! I want to make a simple platformer but it really depends on what the theme is. I hope its something exciting! =] I have a new project set up in FlashDevelop with the FlashPunk library ready to go! I will be doing a time-lapse again, but without the webcam.
FOUR HOURS TO GO!
This will be my second Ludum Dare! Last LD, I used GameMaker to create a fairly simple rouge-like that was pretty bug ridden. Since then, I’ve moved on to flash development! Yay! I’ve learned quite a bit and I’m excited to put all of it into LD20
I will be programming in AS3 using FlashDevelop. I will also be using a modified version of Chevvy Ray’s fantastic FlashPunk library, BFXR for sounds, and (if I can do it/have time to do it) pxtone for the sound track.
Good luck to all! =]
 Here’s the source code for my modified version of FlashPunk: http://www.mediafire.com/?8kss9bippwbgbei
…my original plans for this weekend did indeed get in the way of finishing my entry. There is way too much to do with my game before the deadline so I am withdrawing from this miniLD. This was not a waste though; I learned quite a few things about Java and Eclipse while working on my game. So hopefully next LD I will be using Java also to create a game with sprites instead of text! Though I am quite proud my my little text adventure engine. =]
Until next time,