I'm a level designer in the games industry in the UK :)
About Catmoo (twitter: @Catmoo)
Ludum Dare 27
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 24
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 22
Ludum Dare 19
Ludum Dare 18
Ludum Dare 17
Ludum Dare 16
So another Ludum Dare has passed, also another Ludum Dare where I wasn’t a huge fan of the theme.
Either way it’s over and my game is complete thanks to it being a bank holiday weekend!
I present to you Warped, my take on the theme of 10 seconds. Warped was created in game maker and I also used sfxr and musagi for the sound and music.
Warped is the story of a guy who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, something seems to have malfunctioned, changing his surroundings, himself and many other things every 10 seconds.
For reference there are five environments (each with five or so environmental specific items), five enemy types, five players as well as 5 weapons types for yourself and the enemies. They’ve all been created as if they were from a set. I would have loved to have even more assets for the game to choose from but from spending a very large amount of time on the ones I created I believe I would still be working right now if I decided to make more.
At heart it’s an ever changing shooter (to a certain extent) and I had a lot of fun working on it…except for when I spent a few hours on trying to figure something out and getting nowhere. I did miss the compo entry which is what I was aiming for originally, but the game demanded more assets than I could create in the designated time -sleep and I decided not to cut any (what was I thinking!). I ended up using an extra 10 hours from the jam to get everything else sorted, although I probably could have done the work in 5 hours extra but I wanted to fix a few bugs here and there that took some head scratching. Either way I didn’t make the compo and that makes me angry, but I hope you like my game and I’ll try to get a post mortem done soon!
First meal that isn’t snacky or chilli!
The game is coming along, annoyingly I’m still doing a few script bits and bobs, hopefully they’ll be out of the way soon though. Was stressing out over a few problems to find out it was due to me being stupid and not putting an object in a room, as well as not paying attention to the order of actions. Haven’t really thought about the look yet either which will need to start being done soon as I need to start putting things in with only 14 hours left!
I’m not really sleepy, as I had a very nice 5 hours sleep on the sofa, but my brain isn’t really functioning at full capacity, which is usually why it’s best for me to just draw right now. Hopefully soon the stuff I’m working on will be complete .__.
More chilli! And of course a little update, after spending what felt like a few hours earlier trying to get some stuff working it really didn’t!
However after then changing the way I’d do it, I’ve now got it all working to a certain extent, at least the main portion of the game that ties it to the theme anyway which is great! Now just get it playing like it should tonight, and then tomorrow will be designated purely for art.
For now however you can revel in my placeholder sprites from my past LD games, it’s great to have a library of placeholder items so I can quickly pop stuff together.
Not the biggest fan of the theme, there were some on the list that I would have preferred more. Plus with the 10 second theme it felt very close to my game I made for LD26.
Either way I’ve come up with an idea, although slightly annoyed with myself as I ended up preferring a game based around a shooter the most, even though I made one for LD23, and would rather do something a bit different.
Chugging along though, got the base game there, now I just need to add the 10 second-ness and polish to the script as well a life and score system.
Also this LD I’ve finally got my TV hooked up to my pc (not visible in the photo as it’s to the right) which although it’s a bit far away, it’s nice to one again have more monitor space!
In the mean time here is some chilli (turkey based), it was my lunch, it will also be my dinner, and my next lunch as well as dinner again, and I presume food for the next few days on as there’s TONS of it
Also need to start thinking of what kind of visual style I want, art won’t really start until tomorrow but I suppose I should think of what it could look like.
Not that I wouldn’t be in
I’m always so thankful that the dates are given with lots of advance warning so I can make sure I have no conflicts, but then again the August LD generally takes place on the bank holiday weekend anyway so it’s very easy to tell when it happens.
As per usual I will be using GM to make the game.
Otherwise I’m trying to plan what on earth I’ll have for food for the LD weekend.
I’ve got my fingers crossed a good theme is chosen as although I kinda liked my game LD, I wasn’t a huge fan of the theme!
So I’ve decided on my idea, like many others from the looks of it I wasn’t too inspired with “Minimalist” but I’ve decided to try something that I would feel fits the theme, meaning it’s very simple but I’ll try and make it as varied and big as I can Images to come later.
For now, check out the breakfast I had a few hours ago
Who can say no to crumpets with peanut butter! Well people that don’t like crumpets or peanut butter I suppose
Sadly I did have a little detour off the game as I stupidly spilt some boiling water on my thumbs…of all places my flipping thumbs
I’d love to stay and chat…write a long post however it’s coming on 3am over here so I’ll make it short.
I finished my game in time! Which is great, annoyingly it takes a while to upload things and take screenshots so I cut it quite close to the submission deadline, but it all got uploaded in time!
Annoyingly I keep looking at my game and seeing so many things that I’d love to fix, even after looking at a screenshot I can see two things that I’d love to change. But it’s time for bed now so here’s the title screen of my game along with a link below. You can currently play it via the power of the internet or download an executable.
Good luck to all those taking part in the Jam!
With only six hours left I’ve just eaten up my dinner, which although samey to last night I changed it up a little by chopping up gherkins in the pulled pork while I heated it
The game is going well, just finished off all the art assets, now just re-aligning everything and fixing my remaining bugs, which hopefully I’ll smash all of them!
And to give an idea of my upcoming game here’s a little snippet
Only because it’s almost lunchtime of course! Although it’s just a late breakfast in my eyes. I wasn’t allowing myself to cook it until I at least did a couple of things this morning and crossed them off my list, and it took a while doing the two things I did, but now they’re ticked!
My big left over script thing is only really the highscore table as I’m having some issues with it, but otherwise I’ve only got polishing script and timing to balance, and then it’s all art to do.
So on with the art! Then I’ll show some screenshots/images later
My game is coming along pretty well I’ve only got a few small coding/scripting things to do and there’s still another 4 hours left of the day so I’m pretty happy as usually lots of scripting stuff bleeds into my second day. It may be because I’ve chosen a simpler game this time round, meaning I didn’t get to make inverse paperboy, but I’m still having fun with the game I’m making
Had a lovely dinner planned for today as I’d popped some of my previously cooked and then frozen pulled pork in the fridge to defrost and I’ve now eaten it on some lovely onion and poppy seed bagels.
I imagine over the next few hours I should have all the script ironed out and I may even get to start on the images and menus tonight
Just popped outside to get some brownies from the local market along with a variety of cheeses and orange juice.
However I’m now back on track, just made a delicious bacon sandwich and it’s back on to working on the game, it’s going a little slow, but getting the game in place should be fairly quick, allowing me a day for the art (hopefully)
So, I finally finished my game off yesterday after not finishing it in time for the compo. Meaning I had to fit it around Monday, although luckily in the UK it was a bank holiday so I just had to plan it around my usual Monday events as well as popping to Lidl.
What went right:
1. Art: I was fairly happy with the art assets I produced, although I didn’t manage to create the dressing assets that I wanted or all of the interactable environment pieces which made it all look a little empty.
2. Scripting: I came across many walls of things stopping working randomly and I’m happy to have fixed them. Plus I made the decision early on to not make it run in HTML5 due to problems it was having where I didn’t know the solution. This meant I could save time and use it on the actual game running in Windows.
What went wrong:
1. Too much sleep: I allowed myself to have normal sleep over the weekend, although it didn’t help that on the Saturday night I developed a horrible headache that was stopping me from working.
2. Falling asleep why coming up with my idea: As the theme is announced at 2am in the UK I fell asleep after about an hours’ worth of planning without realising it. Darn my sleepy self!
3. Too big an idea?: As of recent I haven’t managed to get my LD entries into the compo, previously it’s because of having work the next day so I end up having a couple of assets to draw the day after work. However with this LD falling on the bank holiday weekend that wasn’t an issue so I intended on pushing myself. However even doing so I still didn’t have enough time and spent a large portion of the Monday finishing off the game.
4. Making silly mistakes: Bugs that were a simple fix or a fault of my own, getting wound up on it and spending 3 hours was just wasteful. I need to stop myself from spending so long on a fix.
5. Limitations of my knowledge of Game Maker: I chose to do something that with how I script was very messy, variable heavy and object instance heavy. Potentially I may have been able to make it all tidier but I spent lots of time having to faff around with messy script.
6. No time for sounds: I actually didn’t have the time to record sounds this time round so it’s my first silent LD game which I’m very sad about, sfx brings a game to life.
7. Rushing all the art near the end of the duration of the Jam, I left art too late which meant I was unhappy with some of the assets.
What didn’t make it into the game
Luckily all my art assets made it in however I had extra evolutions that were scripted in but wanted more work when tacking them onto the player walk cycle, then causing me to scrap them. Here’s a list of bugs/features I didn’t manage to fix/finish.
- · Carnivore evolution stages
- · Sea, air and land dress assets
- · Stopping the player from racking up all the states
- · Making interaction only be known by pressing space on the object
- · Collision issues on changing the object_instance + my bodge fix for it
- · Enemies in the air and in the sea
- · A larger planned out environment with trees and other dress so it’s not just a plain colour
- · A thank you image (I usually get to do these)
- · The game working in a browser
- · Sound effects to hint at interactions
- · Other dinosaurs
- · Your previous state wondering off once you’re a baby (bug where they multiplied)
- · Keeping the babies within a range
I could go on for ages, but by not referencing my txt file back on my laptop at home these are a few I can think of.
What I could have done that could have made it better or worse
1. Made the evolutions silly so that when the dinosaur can swim he’d have armbands etc, or to fly he had a jet pack…although I wanted to keep it a little more serious.
Next time, I will try to organize my time like this:
1. Don’t feel sad about the theme and try and stay awake and don’t sleep till it’s all planned out, then sleep may be allowed.
2. Make sure to have a goal for the game straight away
3. Sleep less!
4. Don’t allow myself to do art on the sofa which can lead in accidental sleeping
5. Try harder to make it for the compo
Feel free to play my game here it’s lacking sound and perhaps doesn’t explain itself well enough but there’s an idea there and it has an end so at least I kinda finished what I set out to do. Thanks in advance to all who play my game!
Overall LD24 was the first Ludum Dare where I really felt like quitting. Mainly after loosing work on the Monday and feeling pretty down. I kept strong though and managed to come out with something a little less complete than I hoped, but I did do it
Perhaps I can sleep without stress tonight as I’m shattered, however I’m very tempted to work some more on it tonight and figure out why it won’t run in a browser. Here’s to a great LD25 in December!
So it may be my last Ludum Dare meal…or maybe not? It all depends on these last five hours. I’m busy working away on the art after having made a simple but tasty baked bean pie
Which may look a little sloppy but I can assure you its tasty, and I’ve still got two thirds of it left so I can guess what’ll be reheated for tomorrow!
Anwyho the game, I ironed out a lot of the code related issues I had, I still have about 4 code issues I need to work on, three bugs and a lot of art. In the meantime here’s a puddle for your enjoyment!
The chances of another update before the compo is ended is slim, however if I don’t get everything finished my work shall leak into the Jam to make sure I have something finished
And thanks to some bodge fixes they’re biting me in the bum as they’re causing other issues I still really need to start on my art for the game too! Plus I should start showing my game more as currently it’s all food, food, food.
At least my lunch is tasty, some of my homemade pulled pork accompanied by some beans from my soup and a crusty roll
Wasn’t needed but I wanted both so I won’t need to eat until late lunchtime
My game is going ok but at a bit of a slow pace, I had tooo much sleep last night as I got a headache in the evening and wanted to go sleep it off. Plus to top it off after getting up this morning I spent three hours trying to fix a bug that had a super simple fix Oh and my game only works as an exe not in html5 which is annoying.
I’m hoping soon all the scripting will be there so I can spend time on the art which I haven’t really touched yet except for making super quick placeholders. I’d really like it finished for the compo though and not the Jam
So while working away (not done any art yet so there isn’t really much I can show that looks nice) I had a spot of dinner which is a five bean soup that’s been bubbling away in the slow cooker since yesterday evening with a nice crusty bread roll.
Followed by a naughty massive London cheesecake and with that I’m about to explode while writing up lots of different variable combinations
I’ll probably be snacking on the soup for the rest of LD.
Well actually now it’s a bit late for lunch as it’s almost 2, but it was still my lunch as it’s a Saturday I thought I’d pop to the market in town and get some nice warm food from the thai food market stall and be a bit lazy I haven’t tried their big meals yet with noodles and rice but their spring rolls and satay chicken are yummy!
Plus I popped by the bread stall too and bought some naughty cakes, just look at the size of this one!
But I just can’t resist cakes with a custard filling, also got a london cheesecake and eccles cake for munching on at some other point over the weekend
Although now lunch is over and I’ve managed to eat nearly half the cake I’ll get back onto work
So I’ve been spending my time since the theme was announced sleeping a little on and off as it gets announced at 2am over here. While also trying to come up with an idea. I’m not a huge fan of the theme of evolution but I’ve got a few ideas I’m thinking about and wondering if they’ll be able to turn into something plausible for being created in 48 hours.
In the meantime here’s my desk, which if people have seen my desk shots before may notice it’s one monitor down ¬__¬ thanks to my partner who pinched my monitor after I came back from E3 and he still hasn’t given it back, meaning I have to try and do work with one monitor…I swear it’s impossible, especially as my monitor isn’t large at all, it only displays at 1280×1024
At least I’ve got my laptop to help me out.
I am intending on taking part again as usual It’ll be my 7th Ludum Dare I’ve taken part in and I hope to do something different I was looking forward to developing something on Gameboy however I don’t believe my coding is up to scratch. I’ll have a play around with it tomorrow before LD starts and see what happens, but it’d be nice to get something displaying on the screen
Otherwise due to my lack of pure coding skills I shall be using the usual…
Scripting – Game Maker
Art – Photoshop
Sound – Audacity.
I look forward to making some soup over the weekend to keep me going while also being tempted to pop a lamb shank in the slow cooker and see what happens with that. Along with some rice pudding that will last throughout the compo. Plus it’s a bank holiday on Monday in the UK so I can have as little sleep as possible without worrying about being sleepy at work! YAY!