About erko (twitter: @EricOlsn)
I’m in. I’ll probably get 5-10 hours of programming so I can spend time with the family, and get ready for Christmas, but I’ll at least make something.
Tools: Linux, Python – probably something simple for the web using Flask and HTML5 Canvas. If that fails I’ll try a standalone app with pygame.
Graphics: simple programmatic, and probably gimp, imagemagick, or inkscape.
Sound: None or BXFR + Audacity or Ardour to record something.
Notice everything is supposed to stay simple If I can stick to that I should be able to finish.
It’s a busy weekend with family activities, but I might get 3 or 4 hours to try something.
If I don’t get the time, no big deal, I’ll just follow along and check out other people’s progress.
For tools, I’d use pygame and linux or html5 and possibly django. (Everybody loves web games).
Sound would be bxfr or a guitar recording. Can I do everything in a few hours? No not really I’ll just keep telling myself, simple games are the best games!
I might only spend a few hours a day, but I’ll see what I can get done.
I’m going to use pygame, box2d, inkscape, gimp, and bxfr.
I’ll also use my own framework, which isn’t polished yet. This is mainly why I’m doing the Jam instead of the main compo. If possible, I’ll improve my framework before the next LD so it’ll be usable by others.
This was my first real LD, after having done miniLD 28.
Like a few others I’ve read about, I knew I was going to be a little short on time — getting about 12 hours of coding in since we were driving for much of the weekend. Future LDs might also be cut short, but I’m encouraged by the people who finished something in 3 hours, or did full games in 10 hours.
I had a few ideas before the compo. Once I saw the escape theme, I thought about possibilities while watching a kids movie with my daughter. Before going to sleep I mostly settled on a smash tv like idea. I always liked that game in the arcade, and the basics seemed simple enough that I should be able get something working.
- I finished something that was playable.
- Even if it was only for a few minutes, I actually got to the point where I was creating stages of attacking enemies. I quickly typed in a couple of arrays and didn’t get to tweak them, but it was somehow thrilling to at least get to that point. My miniLD 28 entry had no ending nor obvious objectives, so this was an improvement.
- From reading about everyone else’s LDs, I’m learning that if I can be ready for tweaking and level editing after the first day, I should be in pretty good shape to finish well next time.
Things that could have been better:
- I spent the first couple hours with framework/learning box2d problems — lining up and scaling graphics to match the physics. Before the compo I didn’t realize my simple framework needed more work, but at least it should be better for the next miniLD.
- Control bugs
It turns out that having working controls is really important!
I didn’t test the game in native Windows with the mouse, just with the keyboard. This made it unplayable for many people until I fixed the bug. Personally, I like using the keyboard for both aiming and moving, but that’s a problem for some keyboards where simultaneous key presses interfere with each other.
- Controls were not clear
On-screen directions would have helped. I’ll try to add this next time if I have non-standard controls. Actually, maybe I’ll just use more obvious controls for one game
After a few minutes, the game eventually becomes unbeatable. There are just too many enemies appearing for the firing rate. There other things that could have been added, but fixing this would have been an quick big improvement.
- Graphics and sound
I need to make the characters more complex next time, but for this LD, I was just happy gameplay worked at all. I’m going to try some sprites for the next miniLD. I’d also like to get sounds and music in, but let’s not get too crazy.
Since I was conserving laptop battery for a part of the compo, I started a timelapse for a couple hours, but I didn’t get to continue it. Even for that short time, watching your own timelapse is pretty fun! — and it was mostly just lines of code appearing on the screen :).
After submitting, I wished I had gotten more done and felt a little burnt out. My expectations were a little too high at the beginning.
The feedback is very helpful. Also, it’s helpful for me to play the other games and read about their development. I didn’t get to rate as many games as I did in the miniLD, but I’ve learned quite a bit from playing the other games. While trying to finish up my miniLD 28 entry this weekend (hopefully I’ll post about it later), I’m realizing that it’s a lot easier for me to see which things need to be improved.
I haven’t decided if I’ll finish my LD21 entry yet. It’s third on my list of mini games to finish, so if I think of a good story + graphics (that can be made by this programmer) I will spend some more time to finish it up. Here is the compo entry: Escape Run, but no pressure to review, I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback already.
Hmm, this post mortem feels a little long-winded. Like my ld21 entry, my next one will also get better.
In the interests of full disclosure, I created a (very) minimal framework to make sure I can use pybox2d, since I haven’t used it in a long time.
It’s basically the pybox2d example + a couple helper functions for creating objects.
It’s not organized or easily usable yet, but I plan on improving it during this ludum dare and making it more reusable for future ludum dares.
As much as I can be, anyway. We’ll be driving for 20 of the 48 hours, but I should still have a few hours to program and lots of time to think about it (and a few hours of laptop battery if I’m not driving the whole time).
It’s my first real LD after starting with miniLD 28. I’ll try to use the corona sdk like last time so it can go on the android market. Also, since my game has to be so simple, I’ll try to port to pygame/pybox2d. Hmm, seems a little like feature creep, and I haven’t even started the competition. Actually, maybe I’ll start in python and port to the sdk since python is so awesomely awesome.
I’ll probably reuse my simple lua 2D vector class from the last miniLD which mostly comes from my python 2D vector class.
I make no guarantees about performance or correctness but here they are:
I’ll post a pybox2d main loop before the competition if I get a chance to make one (I’m also trying to finish up my miniLD 28 entry).
If anyone has any extra suggestions besides just using py2exe for sharing a python/pygame app, please let me know. (I usually use linux and haven’t shared programs on windows much. )
Here’s to hoping to avoid disaster and making a game a little more playable than my miniLD 28 entry.
The sun is up here and I submitted a little while ago just before the extended deadline ended. I also updated the submission to add a source link and fix typos a few minutes after the deadline. I had to take breaks to do other things, but still was able to spend plenty of time on this.
It went ok, but some things took longer than I thought. I thought I limited the scope enough, but still had difficulty finishing enough features to make the game feel entirely complete in such a short time. Also, bug fixing is much slower when tired — note to self : always stand up and take a break for a a minute when stuck on a stubborn problem. I wasted too much time on a couple bugs that were clear once I wasn’t looking at the code.
I intended to add a few more dynamic things to show multiple sides of a conflict and allow more gameplay options, but ran out of time. For example, I was thinking of doing more things with the positive and negative scores. Also, war games generally seem to need lots of details, so I had to take a simpler approach and create whatever simple objects I could make fastest.
I did learn an inkscape trick or two — I hadn’t really used tiled clones before, and they were helpful for repeating shapes in a circle.
The backgrounds are created with the gimp lava filter. I only changed the color.
If I can think of a few more gameplay features, I may end up adding them — it probably depends on what I think of this game once I look back at it after having slept. :)
I’ve been following LD off and on for a while, and finally decided to enter one.
I started yesterday and hopefully will finish something by the end of the day.
I’m trying for an android app. I prefer pygame, but will be using the corona sdk for this since I haven’t tried pygame for android lately.
Also, I’m using inkscape, gimp, and a little bit of imagemagick.
Here’s screenshot so far: