An Indie games developer who has used BlitzMax, Flash and currently useses Unity to make 'great' games!
Ludum Dare 30
Ludum Dare 30 Warmup
Ludum Dare 28
Ludum Dare 27
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 24
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 23 Warmup
Ludum Dare 22
October Challenge 2011
Ludum Dare 21
Ludum Dare 20
Self Replicating Trophy
Awarded by noonat
on April 24, 2009
OK LD is great for people who can spend most of their weekend working intensely on a game but what about people who have time constraints.
So could LD do a slower version of the Jam/Challenge aimed at people who can work on a game in their lunch break or an hour after work?
Slow jam entrants could have 48 hours but spread over a month.
I think it would be an interesting experiment to see if people working less hours over a longer time period can produce better games than people working in a crunch time style 48 hours.
What do you think, would you enter a LD Slow Jam?
Xeewolf my humble homage to the classic Zeewolf try it on Kongregate
I was cutting it fine last night, correction early this morning (deadline was 2am UK time).
Quick Post Mortem…
I had great fun modelling the world, well back garden of Snowballs Chance. Using a simple turn based game mechanic with a “grid” where the player and enemy pieces start on a point on the grid and can only move up/down/left/right a fixed distance each move. This allowed the simple addition of a Raycast to detect if the move is blocked so I could drop scenery anywhere on the garden and as long as it had a collider the players and enemy would not be able to move through it.
So this none grid based grid system worked!
Setting the garden under snow, priceless, no texturing, or grass decals, just a nice flat white canvas.
Changing the camera view to a diagonal orthographic angle, hat of to Blizzard it just looks way better than a square viewing angle.
The darn theme: You Only Get One, What?
Life/World/Bullet all ideas that would be used by lots of people and quickly comes to mind.
So my original plan was you only get one Life and so as an adventurer, you can either go on the adventures and probably die or recruit adventurers and send them out to explore for you. You would become the tavern/map keeper/ quest giver. But that would need procedural lands to explore/caverns/jungles ect. Too big.
What about Paradroid, one robot but you can hack into and take over other robots. Lots of models and ship to build model and setup.
The hacking mechanic, you have to hack into enemy drones invading your spaceship, to defeat each wave. The hacking process gets more complex with each wave, while your ships defences are crumbling around you. Nope too abstract needs lots of setup for the player to understand what they are doing.
1HP, you only get one hit point, and it’s a family survival game (just watched a family survival movie), scale problems again. Family of gnomes, big garden in winter! TADA!
I started out with basic cones for the gnomes, getting the control interface to work and move them around. Setting up the camera to move around the scene. Then changing the camera after realising that the view in the editor looked way better than the square, think right angled, orthographic view I was using in game. Unfortunately this better view worked a bit too well as it had me trying to edit the game via the game view not the Scene view.
Leaving the core combat mechanics until the second day, due to me getting carried away with modelling and setting up the UI then just side tracked on lots of fiddly bits.
To turn or not to turn, that is the question. Got completely stumped when my enemies we’re teleporting from their start to end points, admittedly this was late on in the first day but that’s the trouble with Unity and it’s fancy physics engine and Update() per frame methods they put you into a real time mindset, way of doing things that can trip you up in a turn based game.
Lots of features didn’t make it, sound, music (although I still have not managed to learn how to make music for my games yet), see the cutting room floor for things that were on my todo list or in my head for this game.
I went for specular lighting with shadows, it makes my simple coloured, untextured models look good. But probably will cause issues for people on lower end graphics cards. Still I’m hoping that even low end modern GPU’s can easily manage this as it’s turn based.
My time management didn’t go too well, the first day was mainly setting up the control interface and dealing with a lot of quick hacks as opposed to a thought out design. But this is Ludum Dare do you really have time to design, use fancy design patterns and make life easier for yourself. Hell No, that would be the clever thing to do! DOH!
Lots of fiddly bit’s you remember the none grid, grid system, well Unity has this handy feature called layers and layer masks that let raycasts pass through certain layers but get stopped on others. Now this should be simple but if you also use the Sphere collider as a radar then having the radar on it’s own layer and using the physics system to limit the things it detects is a handy tip. Also things like 3D UI elements you want on separate layers but the players and enemies pieces ignore this layer. Anyway as you can imagine this can get fiddly and raise some interesting bugs.
Cutting Room Floor
Pushing Snow Blocks, crushing enemies!
Not managing to get weapons into the game, a spade, axe, pickaxe, shovel, chainsaw and dynamite (have you tried fishing on a frozen pond).
A frozen Pond, could have been a lot of fun, walk onto it and slide, or fall through the ice and freeze (did I mention chainsaw and dynamite).
To allow the Mush (the gnomes pet Mushroom of course) and his clones (hey were talking garden gnomes that come alive here) to become spring loaded launch pads. Think of the possibilities launching enemies at enemies, cloned mushrooms at enemies, gnomes at enemies, snow blocks, snowballs (multiple) ect. Hey if angry birds can do it why can’t I.
After naming the characters in the game I found myself thinking up dialogue for them. I should have started typing it up and setting up speech bubbles as this would have added so much more to the game.
Irene “Bert darling did you see that?”
Bert throwing snowball at son “What dear?”
Irene “Nothing dear, just thought I saw something moving behind that bush. Don’t throw so hard Bert you know how fragile we are in this cold”
Jake “I’m fine mum, dad can’t throw for toffee anyway. Take that!” throws snowball at this Dad.
Then could have tied the banter into getting the player started as a tutorial.
Then some other ideas that just could not have made it into the LD version due to my limited time and current skills.
Well I hope you also had fun in the current Ludum Dare and let me know what you think about “Snowballs Chance”.
Warning Spoilers Ahead, please play the game first http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=680
Well once I had the idea of a lifeform that only lives for 10 seconds the concept was good, to go.
But I was less sure of the world this Decimoid would live in, on ideally it would be a set of worlds with interconnected branches like neurons in the brain.
Thankfully this massive multi-planet world collapsed to a single planetoid, maybe not quite as adventurous but a lot easier to work with in the time available.
The Good – Things went well I had the basics in my head so set of to make a simple but cute critter. Inspired by the work of Pixar the Decimoid is a cross between Eve and well a heart shape.
So I’m doing all the modelling up front, none of the prototype the gameplay and then add in the models later, which is wrong but it kind of worked.
The bits fell together quite will the requirement for an egg just popped up as a way to prevent the Decimoid’s from dying in a single generation.
They needed a way to show their age so, went for a colour cycle and with Unity’s gradient component it was a breeze to add a nice colour cycle, green – yellow – orange – red – blue – white.
Threw together a skeleton, and skull for the RIP Decimoids, an egg that hatched and then started working on the full life cycle in game.
Got some trees in there, one dropping heart fruit and the other spikey fruit. Giving your decimoid the options for love or war.
Added a predator, modelled and scripted to hopefully surprise the player.
That ended day one, still lots of interaction bits, sound effects and tweaking to work on.
Day 2 had me throwing together a main menu, then off to do the sound effects and sort out the egg laying next generation cycle needed for the games core mechanic.
Things appeared to be going really well and falling together as I pushed past the complexity curve due to the sheer simplicity of the game.
Even had a go making some music but that is an area I really need to work on.
Spent some more time getting the main menu to show you the decimoid’s life cycle and re-jigging the design to look nice.
The game was working so put it up early well with about 3-4 hours to go.
The Bad - Not a lot really, thankfully hit a road block on the interconnected planetoids as the game world, as this could have caused issues with pathfinding and navigation issues.
Should have really worked on the NPC AI code more so they would forage/fight and
f mate with each other in a more intelligent matter.
Given the game more QA time, as a couple of things needed tweaking and fixing but made it into the release. The Camera does not correctly orientate on the next players egg and it is way to easy for the player to shoot off into outer space and waste precious time.
Not really a bad thing but the emergence of the self-mating feature, where you can shoot a heart and then jump in front of it to lay an egg.
This can cascade into egg powered interstella flight, which is another
bug feature, albeit a fun one.
The Ugly - Not a lot went bad with this. I kept things simple, maybe too simple but the released game is a silly bit of manic fun. I had fun making it and hope you enjoy giving it a spin.
Thanks again Ludum Dare!
So day 2 starts and I’ve got a little bod character that hatches from an egg and a countdown timer as he only lives for 10 seconds.
Got basic movement and some basic environmental bits working but need to add mating, sfx, music, menu, scoreboard and will need some gameplay balancing.
The aim of the game is to see how many generations you can survive and maybe even thrive.
Well best get back to it!
What would be a better name for a lifeform that only lives for ten seconds?
And a bit of modelling and some texturing and Bod is born!
His egg came first, I wanted to get the scale of him right so he could fit into the egg!
So my Ludum Dare plan has hatched! ;0)
He might need some code but at least he’s in Unity now!
Minor updates and tweaks but more “Dark Tribbles”.
The storyline I’ve made up is you have to pilot a remote clearance drone throught the airducts and clear out the “Dark Tribbles”.
Got a basic, ehm minimalist game working already, yay Minimalism and Unity. Please give it a quick go here and any and all feedback welcome!
Still lots to do and running out of time!
Updated build but ‘playable version’ online here – LAUNCH
Well I’m in I need to finish and polish my in Beta Game…
It’s a Tower Defence style game developed in Unity, currently has 100 levels and a level editor but still needs some more work polishing and finishing.
It has also been put forward for Steams Greenlight http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=93351427
And has a facebook page here http://www.facebook.com/GnomesInBlack
Good Luck to all the October Challengers!