About emilng (twitter: @maztik8r)
Ludum Dare 23
It’s been a couple of weeks since I worked on and finished Aedicula, my Tiny World themed game for the 48 hour compo. I figure enough time has passed that I can talk more objectively about it and my future plans for it.
The concept came together pretty quickly on the first night. The second day was mostly spent watching Ogmo Editor tutorials and reading documentation while figuring out how to get basic levels to import properly into Flashpunk. The majority of the game came together on the last day. The 4 levels and final polish necessary for it to be considered a finished game were done in the last 4 hours.
The last hour was spent making the title, adding menu and restart buttons to the level, and adding instructional text. These don’t seem like a big deal, but I’m really glad I put them in. They’re the difference between a tech demo and knowing that someone coming into the game without any knowledge of it beforehand would be able to play it from start to finish.
I ran out of time to add a pushing mechanic to anything but the keys. The original goal was to also have blocks that could only be pushed when you’re large. Large blocks would have passages that could only be passed through when you’re small. I’m going to keep working on the game and switch the top down view to an orthographic view. I’m also going to rename the game to Minor Deity. The name is more accessible and better describes the gameplay in the title.
Most of the hard stuff is done I think. The biggest time sink was getting familiar with the level editor and dealing with its output format.
The Alice in Wonderland shrinking/enlarging mechanic is working.
You can only pick up keys when you’re large. When you’re small you just push them.
I just have to add large pushable blocks and that should be enough for me to start creating levels.
I’ve been pushing my code to github: https://github.com/emilng/Aedicula
The player is the large red block. The square with the big/little person changes your size when you go into it.
The gate (little circles on the right) will open (disappear) when you get all the keys in the level.
The end of first day was more productive than the end of the first day of my previous ludum dare. \o/
I came up with a title and concept for the game. The title is Aedicula which is a small shrine within another building. See I actually learned something in architecture
The premise is you’re trapped within a temple containing a demon shrine and you have to find a way out.
It’s going to be a puzzle game with Alice in Wonderland shrinking/enlarging mechanics. So when you’re large you can move obstacles or climb over obstacles that you would be unable to when you’re small. When you’re small you can fit through spaces that your large self can’t fit through.
This will be my second ludum dare.
I didn’t finish last time but I learned a great deal so hopefully I’ll do better this time.
I’m skipping Diablo 3 open beta to do this =)
Flash Pro, Flash Builder, FlashPunk game engine, Ogmo level editor, Reason for sound/music, Photoshop for graphics.
During the course of the evening extending to this morning I went from only knowing that L-Systems can be used to generate plants and fractals to getting the gist of how I’m going to go about tearing apart a standard implementation to give it the flexibility and control that I need. This pretty much means that it will take at least until the end of the compo to finish implementing it. In other words I’m not going to be able to submit a game this time. I think what I have is strong enough that I’ll keep working on it and see where I can push it though.
Good luck to everybody else who’s still working on finishing by the deadline! =)
It’s 6:30 am here which means I should probably get some rest =P
I’m about to take a dinner break, but figured I’d post my progress.
When I started this competition I didn’t want to use any game frameworks because I didn’t want to be limited in the types of games that I would be able to create. The good thing about that is that I’ll have a game that doesn’t have to have the specific look and feel imposed by a framework. The bad thing about that is that I’m probably not going to finish implementing what I want within 48 hours =P
Standard game convention is to show status with progress bars and number readouts. I was going to showing the player aging by having an abstract face that gets older as you play, but that still falls within the realm of a readout. Another thought was having the character move across a timeline which again is another type of progress bar. I settled on using the idea of seasons as a metaphor for aging. This allows the background to change in a meaningful way which integrates into the play experience instead of just being a backdrop.
Another progress problem is how to show the status of health, relationships and career. I was going to have a tree on the back of each card that was going to change as result of the player’s actions. I started hand drawing the tree growth from a sprout when I realized that it would be way too much work to create all the different possible scenarios. So I’m learning how to implement an L-System for tree generation.
Here’s a mockup of the visuals so far:
The theme is “alone” so I my initial thought was solitaire. Other concepts that I’ve been working with are “playing with the cards that you’re dealt” and “we all die alone.”
My current direction is to have a turn-based game where each turn represents a span of years and covers the changes that happen during that time. Life changes will affect aspects of your life such as health, career and relationships. The game ends when your life ends and the choices you make determine whether you’ve lived a life of meaning. I would rather not force a meaning on life by using a score as a replacement for meaning, but that’s something I’ll work out.
So far I’ve mostly been working on figuring out game mechanics. The only programming I’ve done so far is to set up the project in Flash Builder. I also started figuring out the visual style in Photoshop.
It’s 4:15 am and I’m off to bed now -_-
I’m a fulltime Flash developer, but never had the time/motivation to create a completed game. My wife is going back home for the holidays and I have nothing better to do than to finally participate in Ludum Dare after all these years.
I just participated in the first round of voting and need to do some warm-up this week.
Flash Builder for code.
Flash Authoring Tool + Photoshop /w Wacom for graphics and animation.
Reason for sound.