About Beerman (twitter: @BeercaveGames)
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 25
October Challenge 2012
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 22
Ludum Dare 21
The "Runs Under WINE" Award
Awarded by Raptor85 on January 8, 2012
This is a slightly modified version of a post I originally made over on the Beercave Games blog : http://www.beercave.co.uk/2013/04/30/ludum-dare-26-1gam-april-gunboat
“Hey, weren’t you making some kind of OutRun-inspired racing game?”, you’re no doubt wondering. Well yes, that was indeed the plan – but as (according to the internets) every famous military leader in history* said, “No battle plan ever survived contact with the enemy.”
So yeah, that game’s not by any means dead yet, but with the end of the month approaching far too quickly it was becoming apparent that I wasn’t going to get it anywhere near done in time., Too much time spent twatting around trying to get the rendering perfectm not enough spent making it actually playable.
Fortunately, last weekend was Ludum Dare 26, which gave me an excuse to temporarily shelve the racer and get down to some Jammin’. The theme this time around was “minimalism”, and I conveniently had an idea lying around that I reckoned would more or less fit.
So where did this one come from? Well, weirdly enough I had a dream last week where I was playing a 3D boat-shooting game with nicely animated waves. Woke up around 4am and thought “thanks, subconscious – that’s a great idea”, and promptly emailed it to myself. This living in The Future thing comes in handy sometimes So early Saturday I got up, checked the theme and thought “yeah, I can use that”.
Visually, I wanted something fairly retro, with a call-out to the old UKResistance blue skies aesthetic, because far too many LD entries seem to go down the “must make art. must be depressing” route. So job number one was making a nice sunny day…
Next job was getting the sea in place. Basically each layer is just a row of blocks in a sine wave, with the amplitude and frequency scaled relative to the z distance so that they don’t all sync up.
After that, I needed some happy little boats sailing on the peaceful seas.
And a sod-off big gun, because hey, videogames. Sod-off big guns kind of go with the territory.
So, if we’re going to be shooting things they should probably explode. If only there was somewhere I could learn all about how to do explosions.
So with that lot done, Saturday was drawing to a close and I was feeling pretty confident about getting something finished. Clearly there was nothing else for it but to catch an early showing of Evil Dead on Sunday. Wow – they did not fuck around with that one…
OK, back to it and it’s Sunday evening, I’ve got most of a game, it just needs a little polish. Titles, level transitions, being able to lose. You know – the boring stuff So I stuck on my hacking hat**and just barely managed to bash something together before bedtime. There was just one thing missing…
So what are you waiting for – go play and rate GunBoat now!
* Seriously – I’ve seen that quote attributed to everyone from Patton to Napoleon to Sun-Tzu to, I dunno, some fucking Klingon dude. It gets around.
** OK, not literally. I’ve got a Viking hat and a cowboy hat but no hacking hat. Maybe I should get one…
And I’m done! I really didn’t think I was going to get this one in inside the deadline, but then everything just seemed to come together at the last minute.
Is it everything I was aiming for when I started out yesterday? Well, not quite but it’s pretty damn close. Considering yesterday was a total write off and I only started coding this morning, I’m really quite pleased with what I ended up with. If I’d had a whole weekend to play with, I think it could have been downright awesome.
So what’s missing? Well the original plan called for the local towns and cities to get annoyed with your predations and send armies back to your castle to try and stop your evil schemes. Having to worry about being attacked while your minions were away would have added a decent element of risk to the game that’s not there right now. It could also have done with a lot more time spending on balancing the combat mechanics.
That aside, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out – my pixel art skills have definitely levelled up from “bloody awful” to “basic” – and I’m definitely getting better at having something finished inside a tight deadline, which bodes well for #onegameamonth next year.
Right, back to work in the morning, guess I’d better get some sleep…
Oh wait – I should probably link to the game, shouldn’t I?
Here you go :
Well, it’s the end of day one and all I’ve got is a handful of graphics and a rough idea of what the code should look like. This is not ideal.
Not much I could do about it, although ditching family to make games would have been a great way to really get into the “you are the villain” theme…
Tomorrow is going to be pretty damn busy if I want to get this thing anywhere near done.
Not enough time this morning to do anything useful coding-wise, so I made a start with a few simple assets.
From left to right, my evil castle of evil, a farm and village, and a selection of minions: the Lurcher, Goatboy, Morticia and a Shuffler.
Shufflers are the basic issue minions, suitable for basic tasks around the castle and simple body-snatching, Morticia and Goatboy are more mid-level, and the Lurcher is the tank of the crew – an unstoppable stomping machine.
And then out of action.
And then back into action again! Dynamically!
So, big sigh of relief at the theme. I spent most of yesterday trying to come up decent ideas for End of the World, but everything was way too ambitious*. This one I think I can work with.
Current plan is some kind of evil overlord simulator (original, I know) – recruit minions, build monstrous abominations in your lab and turn them loose to terrorise the countryside. Working title is “Frankenstein Complex”. One of the monsters you can create in your lab will be Goatboy.
Unfortunately I’ve only got an hour or so this morning. My mum’s visiting from Spain so I couldn’t really put her off in order to make videogames. That gives me plenty of time to figure out the details before I sit down and put my coding hat on though.
*Although, my “all the apocalypses arrive at once” idea could have been fun. Cthulhu vs Gozer vs zombie plague vs Randall Flagg vs Angry Turbo Rapture Jesus all battling it out over who gets to end the world. Bit too big to make in a weekend though.
My previous LD entries have been in Unity, which I’m beginning to think is a poor choice of tool for me, at least for game jams; while it’s awesomely powerful it sometimes feels like I’ve entered a drag race with a Falcon 9 - most of the power’s aimed in the wrong direction and I’m not entirely sure how to steer.
Since I spent far too much of the time I did have swearing at three.js I’m thinking I might want to play with something a bit more 2d orientated this time around. Currently I’m leaning towards either melon.js or crafty.js (particularly crafty – I *love* component systems), which I’ll be checking out a bit more before the jam starts.
So, current plans for tools :
- Platform : HTML5 – probably crafty or melon
- GFX : Can’t go wrong with a bit of GIMP
- SFX : My weak spot. Probably bfxr, think I’ve got some old synth software knocking about somewhere which I might play with.
- Music : Audiosauna
- Soundtrack : Lots of metal, mainly Motörhead.
- Chemical inspiration : Near-lethal quantities of coffee and beer.
And just for a visual, here’s the new look Beercave.
* Android users : BUY LAGERTRON NOW!!!
The Beerman is in!
For my entry, I’m attempting an HTML5 NES-style demake of my October Challenge game, Lagertron.
Wish me luck!
In under the wire there, but I released my October Challenge game, Lagertron this morning and I’ve already made my first sale. At GBP £1.99 that’s more than a dollar and so I declare this entry a success.
“So, what’s this game of yours then?” you may ask. Well, basically it’s Robotron with added beer – the full sales pitch is as follows:
The evil aliens of planet Lagertron have invaded the pub. Their mission : drink all the beer!
Only one hero can stand against this menace : the Mighty Beerman!
Powered by his insatiable thirst, Earth’s drunkest warrior must repel this invasion before chucking-out time lest the world be lost to the horrors of sobriety.
This is videogaming at it’s finest.
This. Is. LAGERTRON : 1664
40 Levels of classic retro blasting. Get the beer, kill the baddies, save the world.
I missed the last LD due to being stuck in a field in Wales, but I’m definitely up for the challenge.
I attempted the first October Challenge back in 2010 and failed miserably, mainly due to not having a well enough defined idea which left me with no game to sell. This time around, I’ve already got a game ready to go, so I get to focus on the scary business stuff and deal with my terrible fear of actually executing anything…
So here’s what I’ll be polishing up for release – Lagertron : 1664. The basic concept could best be described as “Robotron goes to the pub”
The initial plan is to get the Android version out, with PC/Mac/Linux releases following if I have the time.
Well, this makes a change.
Usually at about this point I’m flailing around trying to come up with something that fits the theme, this time around I found myself with a flood of game ideas and having the problem of deciding which one I should go with.
I spent a little time during the last couple of days of theme voting looking at the most popular themes so I’d have a few ideas ready when the theme was announced, and for Tiny World I kept coming back to this image I found in Google image search.
Now that I had a visual, I just needed a game to attach to it . The first thought was a skirmish RTS with rival teams of miniature dudes defending their burgers. While I like it as an idea it feels like something that needs a bit more depth than I can fit inside of 48 hours. I also considered going with a platformer involving a lot of running around on various food items, but decided against it as it would need too much in the way of graphics (my one weakness!)
After thinking about it for a while, I’ve decided that I’m going to go with an arena shooter where you defend the burger from hordes of incoming fatties, maybe with some sort of tower defence mechanic added in if there’s time. So far I’ve just got the world set up – time to get the player moving around now.
As LD23 looms ever closer, I’ve been contemplating ways to improve my performance this time around.
My biggest issue last time around was losing about half a day to “oh god, I have no idea what to do with this theme”, so with that in mind I’m keeping a closer eye on the voting this time around and trying to make sure I’ve got at least one idea for the front runners in each day of voting – especially if it’s something I’m hoping doesn’t win!
Once I’ve done that, I can take a look at my pile of ideas and see if they hit any of my weaker areas, then focus on getting myself up to speed with those before the compo starts – with any luck I should be in a position to start building something right out of the gate rather than sitting around staring at the walls this time.
Might even make something good this time.
Undecided on tools so far. I’ve got a few concepts kicking around but ultimately it’ll depend on what works with the theme.
Since this is LD’s anniversary though, I’ll definitely try and fit in a cake somewhere
So many games, so little time. How to choose which ones to try?
Two things I thought would be useful are filtering by platform and who the ‘coolest’ people still with a low vote count are.
I’ve taken the data from http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-22/?action=misc_links and thrown it into a spreadsheet with a couple of additional columns to help with filtering. HasWeb, HasWindows and HasMac are pretty obvious, Karma is the ratio of votes received vs votes given.
Here it is in case anyone finds it useful.
To update with fresh data, just copy the table from the misc_links page above into the top left cell.
If this was useful for you, I’d appreciate it if you rate my game
I’ve done a short write-up/post mortem over on my website.
Short version :
- It definitely helps to be familiar with your toolset.
- It definitely doesn’t help to go out drinking mid-compo.
- Alone ‘meh, kittens awesome!
- Yay procedural content, more please
If you like my ramblings, I’d appreciate more rates for my game, even if you hate it.
6 hours to go (so allowing time for build, submission etc. I need to be done in about 4) and it’s starting to come together. Last time around I settled for just finishing, this time it might actually be quite good
- Map generator
- Player movement and camera system
- Enemies are in, working and can hurt you.
- Suitably atmospheric audio loop for background music.
- Sound effects when being attacked by killdroids.
- Kitten detects when you get close, ready to follow you home
What’s still to do:
- Kitten movement – needs to follow you back out of the city. At this point, that’s about the only hard bit left
- Player death when health is drained. Right now it just keeps on going down.
- Title screen
- Win/lose sequence
Bit of a late start to day 2, courtesy of an unexpected excursion to the pub last night.
So, this game thing then. Well, Alone was the theme I was _really_ hoping wouldn’t win, because I couldn’t think of a damn thing to do with it, but eventually I came up with something.
Borrowing somewhat heavily from Spectrum classic Ant Attack, you play a lonely robot whose only friend, an adorable kitten, has been lost in an ancient city populated by hostile killdroids.
So far I’ve got a fairly acceptable random map generator and a controllable player character wandering the empty ruins.
First order of business for today then is to put some game in there. Knock up a couple of evil looking killdroid models and a fluffy kitten and get them in there, then I can start looking at adding some general polish, like sound, music, title screen and win/lose sequences.
*Looks at clock* Crap! I’d better get busy!
Looks like I’m in again. Hopefully I should be able to improve on last time and make something that’s actually fun to play.
Tools : Unity/Blender/Reaper/Beer.