About daredevildave (twitter: @daredevildave)
Ludum Dare 28
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 22
It’s been about 2 years since I entered my first Ludum Dare and I did a WebGL round up then. Back then the entries were simple, often limited in scope, and the comments were often full of “this doesn’t work” type comments.
How things have changed! Loads of high quality 3D entries plus 2D. Browser support is pretty much sewn up. And even the great Notch has leapt onto the WebGL train.
So here is a round of a few of the best games I’ve found that are made using WebGL.
A lovely exploratory game where you have to find the Seven Eagle statues dotted around the environment. The Catch? The eagles are only visible in the light of the lantern and you have to leave the lantern on switches in order to access areas. Graphically lovely, and a nice gameplay mechanic.
A nice shader effect compliments the simplicity of this game. One touch, one control. Get as far as you can.
Simple and addictive. There’s elements of both Breakout and Super Hexagon in this game.
It always makes news when Notch publishes a LD game. But you know what, that’s because he creates good, solid, polished experiences. And he does it from scratch with no libraries. This game seems simple on the first playthrough then you realize it’s impossible without using the boosting mechanic from the tentacles.
Re-imagining a classic, but this time, your tail is trying to eat you from the back, just as you are trying to eat the food in the map.
Rez-like game with thumping techno. Simple mechanic, and a good, if short, challenge.
Finally, a plug for my own game. Going Around is a point and click adventure, solve the puzzles and get Ann out of the house. You only get one hour to complete it. I love the graphical style that Philippa came up with for this.
We managed to finish our mini Point and Click adventure called Going Around. It’s based on the life of one of the presenters of video game radio show One Life Left, who have talking about getting there own video game for a while. So we made one for them.
As is typical, it seems to be working perfectly for me, but as soon as I release it the technical issues become apparent. Firefox in particular seems to crash pretty often when running this game. I’m talking to Mozilla about that.
Also some people have reported a lot of slowness. I’ll be updating the post-submission version with any optimizations.
Still, I’m so pleased that we were able to make this game in just 2.5 days. It’s the most complete game I’ve made with any LD submission. Good old PlayCanvas.
A point and click adventure seemed like a good idea yesterday morning. Now I’m not sure sure. But we’ve made a ton of progress.
Our heroine Ann, is pretty much complete. The quests are in. Mostly we just need to prettify the environment.
Hoping to get it done before work tomorrow…
For the first time in ages, the entire PlayCanvas team is going to be getting involved with this Ludum Dare.
We’ve been submitting games on and off for the last two years, sometimes solo sometimes in the jam. You can see from the chart that we’ve had mixed success…
But still we’ve created some awesome stuff, and we’re definitely going to nail the top #100 again this time
Really enjoying using the in-game editor for Voxatron to build most of the assets for my game.
Unfortunately, I have to pull them into Blender first to get the normals sorted out before importing them into PlayCanvas. But still I’m being much more productive with assets, as I have little artistic talent.
Here are our heroes, you can play as either.
Just a few of the items that will be trying to destroy your minimalistic aesthetic in my tidying-up simulator. That is if I manage to get it finished in time…
Wow, that was closer than it should have been. Last minute fixes to the server, crazy audio explosion bugs on Windows, cross-browser compatibility. We did it all, and all in the last hour too.
But really, I’m just so happy with what we made, and a huge thanks to Philippa, Ben, John, Tom and Simon, who made the artwork and audio and helped with design. Having that talent has made such an enormous difference since our last entry.
Also, seriously, can you believe this is a browser game, it’s the future! PlayCanvas has come on so much since our last entry.
We’re down to a single artist from 3, and she’s is working flat out to get everything ready. We’ve lost one team member to noro virus. But our Jam Entry is shaping up to be a real treat, as you can see by the four horsemen here!
Entering the final stages, putting in the game transitions, hooking up the world server, as there is MMO element(!). Generally hoping that we don’t hit any major hurdles in the next few hours.
I’m looking forward to sharing this one with you.
Who else, but the ultimate villain.
It felt like slow going earlier on while I was fighting against physics code, but it’s working ok now. And it’s playable. Still loads of stuff to go in.
I’ve got a whole server to write!
Not long to go now before LD25. No doubt you are planning what tech to use and making sure that you are well-versed in your chosen tools so you can hit the ground running next weekend.
We want you to be able to use it to make your Ludum Dare games, so we’ve got 30 spots in the Closed Beta available for LDers who email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Ludum Dare” in the subject line.
PlayCanvas is a browser-based game development environment, so you can build 3D browser games, collaboratively and publish really quickly onto the web. Ideal for people who want to push HTML5 games that bit further but maybe don’t want to write the WebGL themselves. Will has done all the hard maths so we don’t have to
You can check out what was possible 6-12 months ago in our previous LD entries:
Tiny World – This one went pretty smoothly, we integrated Box2D and the extra day for the Jam gave us a chance to add a little extra polish. I spent the first day battling matrix maths though, which thanks to our new Entity library I (and you!) won’t have to this time.
Alone – Fittingly, I entered the solo contest for this one on my own. It was really early days with the Designer tool and pretty painful. Also, clearly, I’m no artist But still we learned a lot.
This time I hope to avoid all the “bit short” comments which both previous entries received.
So, if you are interested in making an HTML5 game, but you don’t want to do all the low-level stuff yourself, or you fancy having a functional 3D art pipeline for Blender, Maya or Max up and running in advance, or you want a level editor tool or you want the guy who wrote the library on email support over the weekend, or you just want to drop us an email and tell us what you think, get in touch!
Dave – PlayCanvas
So I’ve just played through all the games returned by a search for ‘webgl’ and most of the ones for ‘html5′ and I thought I’d share round-up of my favourites from the selection.
Muniverse is clearly inspired by the classic Elite, but uses an overhead view like the Ambrosia classic Escape Velocity. Adds the ability to scoop up floating debris and has a nice 8-bit style. I’d like to see more ships and content added to this one.
Fast-paced, unit-building, conquering type game. (Does this genre have name?) Polished and complete, another game that left me wanting more.
A stunning achievement for 72 hrs, build the dungeons as the warrior fights his way through collecting gold and XP. A ‘little’ forced on the theme, but still, well polished and I just had to finish it.
A single room puzzle game, find the objects combine them together and escape to victory. Great artwork, humour in the writing and the single room format lends itself well to object combination puzzles as you never get too frustrated.
Not as pretty as some of the other entries, but I played this over and over until I completed it. I love the teleport mechanic and it has a satisfyingly ‘sci-fi’ laser weapon.
Maybe not as complete, or not as deep, or just already popular. Here are a few honourable mentions.
Tiny Galaxy Build the world as you go along. Love the mechanic and the simple art, would love to see this expanded on.
Only Us Very pretty, sort of flash-game style, but implemented in HTML5, I didn’t quite ‘get’ it, but it was nice.
Tiny World of Life An expansion of Conway’s Game of Life in 3D on a sphere, using WebGL. Relaxing audio to sit and watch your lifeform, grow and die.
Cheekily, I’m going to stick our own entry on the end here, a WebGL puzzle game. Solve mazes and avoid the monsters on the tiny cube worlds.
All in all a pretty good show from the Open Web, I look forward to seeing where we go from here!
Finally figured out the last of my problems getting the world and camera rotating.
First playable is here: http://apps.playcanvas.com/dave/tiny_world/v2
Fortunately it’s a jam entry so I’ve got more time to actually make it into a game.
Here’s the actual game page.
What went well?
I spend the two weeks leading up to LD22 learning how to make simple models in Blender. I’ve never had much more than a passing knowledge of Maya or Max ( I could operate them, but not build anything ). Despite making games professionally for 10 years there had always been an air of mystery about how artists actually realised things in these packages. Turns out there is no mystery at all. It’s really straightforward, that’s not to say I’m a good artist now :-). Anyway, having that experience meant, I knew what I could build and how to build it. So there was very little learning in the 48hrs, I could just get on with it.
2. Knowing the engine
I’m very big on tooling for game development, and I think it’s critical to have great tools. The PlayCanvas tools did well despite being early in development. Having simple features like Undo/Redo is such a time-saver.
4. Rapid deployment
I could deploy my game in a couple of seconds and have it ready-to-play by anyone. If there had been an extended packing and publishing stage for me to complete I probably wouldn’t have got it out by the deadline.
What didn’t go well?
1. Physics and Collision Detection
Collision detection and physics is hard, not only is it hard to comprehend, but it takes long time to debug and get stable and working. Trying to do 3D collision detection and dynamics in a 48 game jam isn’t very sensible. Still I got it mostly working. I had to remove some bits where you could jump gaps with the ball because the physics wasn’t stable enough. Next time I’ll either do something without complicated physics, or hope that there is an existing stable implementation. If you’re interested I used verlet integration.
Tools are so important that when they have issues, it can really slow you up. Some features of the tools were slow, and it cost me a lot of time to make small changes when it should have been quick. But on the plus side, I now have a big list of bugs to fix.
No time, no skills, no audio. I really wanted to go out and record some grinding stone noises to add some flavour to the movement, but I just never had the time.
I wanted to record a timelapse, I did the first day, and them somehow failed to start recording on the second day, dammit!
This was my first Ludum Dare, though I followed the last one with interest. It was a fantastic experience, I’ll certainly be doing it again, and next time I’ll be even better. Sitting in on the irc channel was also really fun. This is a great community of people sharing, helping and really pushing forward games development.
Also this was the first real test of our HTML5 engine PlayCanvas, and I think it did pretty well. If you’re interested in trying it out I’d love to help you, drop me a mail email@example.com.
My first Ludum Dare. It’s going to be a struggle I can tell.
I’ll be trying out our new JS framework, PlayCanvas
For art and sound I’ll be using Blender and as3sfxr probably. Hopefully you won’t make me model a kitten.