Hi, I'm James. I'm a programmer in the games industry.
Ludum Dare 24
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 20
Ludum Dare 18
It’s quite possible that, come Saturday, I shall find myself in.
If I do, I’ll probably be using the following tech:
This would be my 5th LD. In the first I did a simple 2D game with monsters chasing the player around a maze. For the next two I took part in, I went multiplayer and HTML5 (but still 2D) – which was interesting. Last time I did a 3D game in Unity.
LD27 is unlikely to be multiplayer, and it’s too early to tell yet whether it will be 2D or 3D… It will have a number of Ds between 2 and 3 inclusive.
As always during LD, I will be enjoying lots of sleep, and large breakfasts. This time, however, I will also attempt to release early to get some early feedback.
Have fun everyone
I want to do this upcoming LD and I’ve never done a Mini before, so this is my warmup!
I have an idea for a theme, and some of the mechanics for an RTS/sim game that I’ve been thinking about for years now, but have so many conflicting ideas and real doubt over whether the game can ever be made to work, or be fun.
So for this 7dRTS I’ve decided to just throw a few of the ideas into an RTS/Sim/Tower Defense/Zelda mash-up and see what sticks.
With any luck I might even have a few hours to spend on it this week
Unnatural selection (my LD24 entry) was originally only a Unity webplayer game, but now has Windows and Mac standalone builds available – which may or may not mean that Linux users can get it to run under emulation.
Looking at comments left on a lot of the games I’ve been rating, I’m a little bit perplexed by the number of Linux users who post on games that don’t profess to support Linux, just to say that they can’t run the game under emulation on Linux – because it’s running on a framework/engine that is known not to work on Linux.
Well what did they expect?
Did they expect a solo indie dev in 48 hours to not only have written a complete game but also figured out how to overcome the limitations of XNA or the Unity web plugin? Or do Linux users just have a chip on their shoulders when it comes to games?
Well overall I was more pleased with this one than I have been with any LD previously. I started with this design document:
The original idea was that you had been sent to an infant world, which was under threat from space baddies – intent on removing every trace of life from the planet.
As part of the galactic wildlife conservation society you feel this just isn’t fair on the potentially intelligent species that is currently evolving on the planet. So you set down to give nature a helping hand.
The original idea was that you had to find primordial ooze and drop it onto the creatures to mutate them, then get them to breed. They would become more powerful and intelligent until, by invasion time, they would able to defend themselves.
Well the final game turned out a bit (but not a lot) different You’ll have to play to see what I mean!
My biggest mistake was doing my own terrain system for this game. I ended up with terrain that has visible seams. I should have just used Unity’s terrain. (please don’t fly off the edge of the world!) Hopefully somebody will appreciate the fact that I tried to roll my own
The screenshot above, illustrates this – but it also shows the system I’m most pleased with. The floating billboards around your ship show in which direction to find the nearest creatures.
I left in a silly bug that stopped the invasion mechanics from working, most of the time. Most people who played never got to see this situation:
I’ve since uploaded a bugfixed version, please do check that out if you decide to play the game. thanks to everyone who has played and commented so far. I probably won’t do a full post-compo version but will probably do one more LD with the same base code – as I did with the HTML5 MMO games I made for the last two.
Once again, bit off a little too much and had to redesign a few systems as I went but overall less of a rush at the end than previous dares, and a lot of things made easier by using Unity – 3D not being one of them! I should have used a ton of unity systems I didn’t use because I haven’t had much experience with them, including terrain and physics.
Anyway, it’s called Unnatural Selection, it looks like this:
And the entry page is here:
Well this is the first time I’ve ever submitted a progress report before the end! Last time I didn’t even submit a post mortem.
My game doesn’t really have a name yet, but it’s about giving evolution a helping hand, not much you can do in it yet except beam up/down the very unevolved (so far) local lifeforms in your inter-galactic wildlife conservationist flying saucer.
The terrain is my own generator/renderer and as such it sucks a bit. Especially at the seams. That will hopefully improve. the main focus for tomorrow will be on nailing the evolution and mating processes and putting in the bad guys. Feels like a lot of the hard work is done but there’s so much to go!
Some great looking entries shaping up so far.
play my WIP at http://www.goffmog.com/ld24/
And mercifully my entry will contain neither pixel art, nor puns!
This time I’m determined to use Unity and do something 3D – notepad++ and possibly blender and/or sculptris if I absolutely cannot make all my 3D assets procedurally
Let the games begin!
Edit: Oh, I meant to say paint.net, not notepad++ perhaps I would be better off doing my graphics in a text editor …
I have to do something to improve on the community scores I’ve been getting in previous dares, so I’m pulling out all the stops and posting a picture of my actual real life desk on the blog! Inspired, I know.
eat my toy buffalo (EDIT: went for Mexican instead – just as well as he’s not really mine).
My codebase for this LD will probably be extracted from the last entry I did (about 3 dares ago), the code is all here:
However, I’m going to spend some time tonight looking at three.js and other canvas libraries for the rendering, as I’m fairly sure it’ll be better than my own.
Same tech as last time which means:
and one lucky winner out of mongodb and mysql will be chosen as the database, if necessary.
Oh alright, I’m in then. There. Happy?
Mine will be HTML5 flavoured with a twist of multiplayer. Paint .NET for the graphics, of course.
As promised I have posted pretty much every scrap of reusable (and plenty that isn’t reusable) web game code I’ve ever written, on my brand spanking new wordpress site. Assuming I do end up making a game for LD20 that’s web based and has a server component, then some of this base code will be used. Other than that, everything will be written from scratch. The other libraries involved being node.js, socket.io, jQuery and JSON. Sorry for not getting this blog post together sooner
I’ve thrown this together very quickly so if I’ve accidentally left server or database passwords in there then I guess that’s a bonus for anyone who is interested enough to read it
now for some sleep
Good Luck everyone!
If all goes according to plan, I will compete again this time.
I’d really like to use HTML5/canvas on top of node.js and mongodb to do something web based with persistent content and/or multiplayer. So I will be doing a blog post on the subject of using those things together to make games.
However, if the theme doesn’t suit that set-up, or I have a 3D idea that’s feasible in the timeframe I’ll probably default to OpenGL/Java.
Last time I entered, I used .NET with the SlimDX DirectX wrapper. But that alienated too many people who otherwise might have given it a try. I think I’ve learned my lesson that unless my screenshot looks awesome, people are not going to bother with a download. I probably downloaded only 10% of windows games last time, and played nearly all the web ones.
Well, that was interesting
My first Ludum Dare but surely not my last. It’s been more fun, more rewarding and a lot tougher than I expected. I have awesome amounts of respect for anyone else who completed their entry, particularly if they got everything in it that they intended.
I’ve also ended up making a completely different game from what I had in mind on completely different tech. I had been planning to use jMonkeyEngine with Blender for 3D but none of the 3D game ideas I had really fitted the theme.
Unfortunately, the game has no sound I simply ran out of time. If I had worked ridiculous hours, I might have got sound in, but I might not have finished the gameplay or got all the bugs out of it.
Ok, no messing about, this time I’m competing… Or changing my name for next time!
I’ll most likely be using jMonkeyEngine…
or Windows Forms????
How many hours do I have again?….
At least I know I’ll be using:
Blender for any 3D graphics
Paint.NET for 2D “art”
sxfr & audacity for sound.