About DPbrad (twitter: @DPbrad)
Ludum Dare 21
Im throwing in the towel!
I simply have not had enough time (yet again) to get something done. I had a rather unexpected busy day yesterday where I was out of the house from around 8am until early hours this morning. I thought today would be a free 24-hours, however again, I simply have been far too busy to sit down and get some programming done. I spent about an hour this morning trying to make a little game where you have a horde of zombies who you have to evolve so that the entire population of the earth becomes infected, but the scope of the game is too large to get done, especially as the main compo ends in just under 5 hours. I will see if I can maybe enter it as a Jam entry, but im a bit bummed out that for about the 3rd time now, Ludum Dare has landed on a weekend which ends up being the busiest weekend of the month. RAGE!
- Language : AS3 with FlashDevelop as IDE
- Libraries : Slime (More info below) and TweenMax.
- Graphics : Photoshop
- Level Design : Ogmo Editor (maybe)
- Audio : sfxr and maybe pxtone
As for Slime, it is a personal mini-framework I have put together a few weeks ago. It isnt quite as large or forceful such as Flixel or FlashPunk, which kind of “force” you to do things their way. Mine still requires pure AS3 development, however it contains a lot of different classes such as a Console where you can define commands for debugging during development, similar to the Source engine style. Also has a Save file system which is really easy to use. Also includes a Control class where key & mouse events are handled, similar to FlashPunks system. Some other stuff too, however its not really finished yet and ill probably just be adding stuff as I think of it.
It will be uploaded with the source at the end of the event if I submit something, that is.
Happy LD everyone!
Ultimately, I did not end up submitting my game to Ludum Dare, despite it having being mostly finished by the first day. Despite real-life getting in the way (I had some boring things I had to take care of on the second day), I also suffered a few technical problems with my external debugger freaking out on me after I accidentally typed some keyboard shortcut which took me a long time to sort out.
I have competed in Ludum Dare before, I think 19 (or 20?) and 21, and have also entered some other game jams, but this had to be the most frustrating one I have ever entered before. My game was a simple concept, a stripped down platformer where each finish point lead to a new level which got bigger and bigger in relation to the last, in a similar vein to Fracuum (Which is GREAT!). I had finished much of the idea and level designs after 2 or 3 hours, and as it was like 5am at this point, I went to sleep and woke up about 10am (ish) and got to work on setting up an Ogmo Editor project and designing all the levels. Rather than creating my tiles and using those, I just used the grid tool and then wrote a basic script which placed the correct tiles in the correct places, so tiles with grass on top would go where you could walk, and dirt tiles would go at least 1 block under a grassy tile. I had this finished by noon, and then started getting my player sorted out. I had a bit of a problem as I have been using a different programming language to AS3 for a few months, so couldn’t remember the syntax for some grid detection code, but after a few (frustrating) hours, I had the entire physics of the player down. At this point, I decided to take a break, and came back to the project at around 5pm. By now, much of the core elements were there, I quickly whipped together a basic menu which consisted of pretty much nothing more than a handful of level buttons, and a little options menu where you could turn of the sound and music, which I had not even added yet.
Once the menu had been finished, I noticed a bug in the players movement, where if you landed in between 2 grid blocks with enough downward velocity, you would get jammed in between them. This was easily fixed by changing a few things around and I had it solved in 15 minutes. This is now the point where everything went belly-up. I was typing some code, and accidentally pressed some keyboard combination which activated some little remote debugger. I just closed it off and tried compiling my project, only to be presented with a million debugger errors and the game just freezing when it launched. I tried reloading FlashDevelop, to no avail as the same message simply appeared again. I tried making a new project and simply copying all code & assets over, but it seems I did something to FlashDevelop itself, as the same thing happened. By now, I was just losing track of time and before I knew it, the time was 11pm and I was tired and frustrated. I eventually just decided to re-install FlashDevelop, which solved the problem, but I decided to call it a day and go to sleep.
The following day was “disrupted” by real-life getting in the way, I was busy all morning and much of the afternoon, and was only able to get back to work on the game by about 5:30 pm. By now, I only decided I would add a few sound effects, some music and a dynamic background picture, rather than just a boring black background. I had this finished, but then when I actually tested my game for the final time, I realised that it wasn’t quite as fun as I wanted it to be. The 8 levels I had made were all quite easy even though I had tried to make some of them tough, so I decided to get back into Ogmo Editor and whip up some tough bad-ass levels. After a few hours, I had made another 11 levels, all of which I thought would be quite hard. I loaded them into my project and added them into the game and tested them, and after 20 minutes of testing them, I realised that without more components in the game, i.e. traps, buttons, LASERS, switches, portals, collectibles, keys, etc. , that all levels would be limited to nothing more than timing your jumps and keeping momentum going into jumps. It was less a nitty-gritty Super Meat Boy type platformer, and more of a crappy free-running game where after you got the hang of the controls, every level was pretty easy to complete.
By now, I was pretty demoralised, and without enough time to properly add all the things mentioned above, and on top of that not enough time to actually make good levels with all those things utilised in a smart way, I decided to just….well….give up.
Since then, I have added some of those features, but have taken a hiatus until June as I have Uni exams starting from tomorrow until the 29th, so I should probably, I don’t know, revise a bit?
Best preperation for Ludum Dare? Stuffing my face with Pizza!
Following on from my last blog post, I thought id just quickly include my own personal library. It is very minimalist as most of the libraries you would need already exist, but here it is anyway.
Feel free to do whatever with it, I really don’t mind! Just contains some basic SiteLock code, a bit of Keyboard Codes and a basic SpriteSheet system.
So, I realise that for the last 4 Ludum Dare’s, although I entered all of them, I never really put any blog posts up, that changes TODAY!
I have decided against using some of my experimental new Monkey classes, and gone back to what I know best which is good old ActionScript 3 and Flash. Hope everyone is ready and pumped up, because I know I am! The only bad thing is that this Ludum Dare is more like 24 hours for me, because I will probably be away almost all Saturday night and Sunday morning, boohoo! Ill still give it a good crack though, and hopefully improve on my Ludum Dare best of 91st place (LD21 I think?)
- Programming Language: ActionScript 3
- Libraries: TweenLite & My own library (Contains Keyboard, Security, Math & SpriteSheet classes)
- IDE: FlashDevelop
- Sound: Bfxr
- Graphics: Photoshop
As for music, I will maybe try remember how to use FruityLoops seeing as I have soon prehistoric version sitting around on my PC.
Also, I will probably be screen-recording and throw up a timelapse of my progress once we are done. I did one for LD21 and quite a few people watched it so why not do it again? I will just be using ChronoLapse again for that, seeing as it worked nicely before. I will not be doing a live stream or anything though, seeing as my internet speed is horrible. Good day all!
GOOD LUCK & HAVE FUN EVERYONE!
PS: I will include my own libraries in the source code package at the end, some people may find them useful.
So I finally solved the problem I was having in my point-and-click game, and can now finally start getting everything pieced together.
Looks like I won’t be finished by the Compo entry, but I should still be good for the Jam entry!
Language: AS3 (Flash)
IDE: FlashDevelop 4.0
Graphics: Photoshop, Flash CS5
Sound: bfxr, Audacity