About HeyChinaski (twitter: @HeyChinaski)
The 7-Way Tie Award
Awarded by JesterBLUE on January 9, 2013
I still need to have one or two final test playthroughs in case there’re any final little bugs but I’m pretty pleased with everything. I got most of what I wanted done and I think the game is pretty fun to play. It’s short enough to play through in 5-10 minutes and yet does get challenging towards the end. It’s possible I’ve made it too hard as I’m so well practised at it from testing. I often make that mistake.
There were a few things I didn’t get around too, although these really amount to polish. Animation of the ship when moving up and down and a few simple frames of animation per enemy would have made a huge difference to the feel of the game. Additionally parallax scrolling on the backgrounds, which I found way too tough due to the way I’d implemented the motion of the ship, would have been awesome as well. I split up the background tiles in anticipation of achieving parallax but it was too fiddly to get in in the last minute. It would also have been great to have something that aided the player (such as ground tanks) that could only fire when not affected by the Minimalisation.
You’ll need to have Java to play it
That is to say, I’ve definitely been productive but I’ve lost track of what’s been done. I’ve definitely added some more enemies, the ship is nicer to control now too. Oh yeah, and you can die now too!
I’ve overhauled the graphics and am fairly happy with the way the look right now. I also added a structured way of adding events so I can control when dialog/enemies/power ups occur, which is the kind of thing I usually leave to the last minute so it’s good to have it in early.
I still need to do:
- More enemies
- Better ship control (maybe)
- Power ups
Here’s the latest timelapse. It seems when I enter Ludum Dare I end up playing way too much of each game as soon as it’s halfway playable. I mean more playtime than you can justify as thorough testing, just procrastinating, I suppose that’s a good sign though?
I couldn’t get satisfactory car physics together. I was looking like I’d have to spend the rest of the weekend hacking on it or switch to using a physics library to do it (which would take most of the weekend to learn). I’ve decided to switch to something far less ambitious. A side scrolling shooter.
The bad guys that you have to shoot are “The minimalisers” and have turned part of the universe into a horrible, minimal line drawing. You have to push back this “minimalisation” by shooting them down.
It’s a shame that I couldn’t get the driving game working, I suppose I need to learn more about that stuff some other time if I ever want to use the techniques in a Ludum Dare. I’m happy that I’ll get something finished by the end of the weekend now though.
Man I hate it when people complain about the theme but I have to admit, out of the shortlist, this was my least favourite. I’ve decided to go with a top down driving sim with minimalist graphics. I’m having a terrible time getting satisfactory physics on the cars (I was aware that this is very tricky but I had no idea it would be this tough).
Here’s a timelapse of my progress so far:
Anyone know how to embed a Youtube video? I thought it could be done by just pasting the link …
I’m super keen to get started on LD 26, it’ll be my third entry. Not quite eager enough to stay up past 3am to discover the theme though. I guess I’ll find out when I wake up tomorrow and get straight to coding. I’ll be using Java to build the game and a small library I cobbled together from code in previous entries
The library consists of a handful of classes to support development of simple 2d games using Java2D with rudimentary collision management and playing of sound/music. Of course if I come up with a game idea that the library can’t support I’ll have to ditch it and code everything from scratch. I think it unlikely I’ll be quite so ambitious. I’ll be coding in eclipse (in Windows), probably using paint.net for graphics plus bfxr for sound and SunVox for music if I get around to it.
Finished! With a little under an hour to spare. I got most of what I wanted to get done. Sound effects, some more sprites (including a goat!) and even some music. I would have like to be able to add a little more visual polish, perhaps some more tiling around the edges of the platforms and some more levels but I don’t think I’d ever have had time for that. Because there are so few levels the learning curve seems a little steep (the last level is a toughie), it’s difficult to judge these things when you’ve been play-testing them over and over again though.
The music is pretty simple and appropriately dirgey for a game with a ghost protagonist. It was my first time making music for a video game as well as using FamiTracker. Despite it’s simplicity and irritating repetitiveness (you can toggle the music with ‘M’) I’m pretty happy with it.
I would have also liked to have more varied mechanics in the game, different types of tourists with differing behaviours. Perhaps some switches that open doors. Again this would have been quite ambitious for the time limit.
PS: Now with added goat (Check out the hunting trophy)
Screenshots! I forgot to turn on the screen capture this morning though so there’s no time lapse video this time I’m afraid.
I have a dark and a light mode now. The ghost (the player) can only scare the tourists when it’s dark so they have to find the light switch to turn off the lights.
There’s currently only one level but I have a mechanism for creating more. Not sure how many to make, I suppose as many as I have time for!
Better UI when you die and some signs explaining what’s going on.
I totally redid the graphics (when I should be working on the gameplay mechanics!) and I’m much happier with the way they look. I halved the resolution of the sprites, it seems you can create satisfactory looking graphics in less time and more easily with a lower resolution. I also got the key mechanism for dying coded. As I mentioned previously you’re a ghost in a haunted mansion and if a tourist manages to take a picture of you then it’s game over. You can avoid this by “hiding” and turning into background scenery (currently a clock, a pot plant or a coat stand) or by jumping over them.
Allow the ghost to turn the tables and chase the tourists out!
Create different levels
BUT FIRST: Sleep, it’s nearly 2am!
Here’s some more progress:
So far there’s a simple platformer mechanic and some very crude graphics. The player plays as a ghost and the aim will be for him to avoid the tourists that are roaming around the old mansion that he haunts.
I’ve managed to get a platformer engine cobbled together using Java2D and some code from my last entry (LD23). Here’s a timelapse of all I’ve done so far:
Whew. That went pretty close. My internet connection died too so I’m writing this post by tethering to my phone. I called the game “Astro Gardener”. I got a lot more done than I expected, (even sound!) but there are a few small things missing/wrong. The spaceman’s rocket doesn’t leave a trail, I wanted to add trees and power ups, the aliens are too aggressive and there are a few performance issues. Still I’m pretty happy with it. It was fun to build and I think it’s pretty fun to play too.
It will perform better if you download and run the jar file rather than play in the applet. Another reason to download is that the aliens are pretty mean so it plays better in full screen as you can see them coming earlier.
Use w,s,a and d to move around. Use the left mouse button to shoot and throw things. The red rock (follow the red arrow) is your seed rock. Throw other rocks at it to create your planet. You can get rocks by destroying meteors (follow the brown arrow). Be careful not to let any meteors hit your planet when it is small as it will break apart. Once a planet is finished you can start another one. A planet is finished by adding five clouds to it. Clouds are added by finding ice blocks (follow the blue arrows, they are only available once your planet is a certain size) and throwing them at your planet. Clouds will cause grass to grow which will earn you more points. The is no end game so the aim is just to get a high score.
That’s it for today. I have other commitments until tomorrow morning. Things are going pretty well, if a little slowly. You can see from the screenshots the idea is to build a “Tiny world” by collecting space rocks and throwing them together (you have to start with the red one in the middle). I’m not sure if I’ll get everything done that I want to tomorrow so I may have to scale back my ambitions a bit.
I have a concept and although I’ve not got as far through with the implementation as I’d hoped I thought I’d share my progress.
I have a dude whose flight through space you can control with the wsad keys. He also aims where your mouse cursor is (although doesn’t shoot yet). I need to work on adding the core feature of the game next; the part that actually meets the “tiny world” theme.
Demo here: http://heychinaski.com/ld23/game.html (click to focus the applet)
Code here: https://github.com/tom-martin/LudumDare23
This will by my first Ludum Dare. I’m in the UK and debating whether to wait up and find out the theme at 2AM or go to sleep now and be fresh, rested and ready to start tomorrow.
I’ll probably be using Scala or Java and Java2D as it’s what I’m most familiar with, despite perhaps not being the greatest toolset for making games. Either way I’m super excited to get started.