About Jeremias (twitter: @StevenColling)
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 24
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 22
I know, a lot of people propose to start with a playable prototype and set up proper gameplay as fast as possible, but I noticed something during the last jams…
Framework: XNA (perhaps MonoGame for potating) and my own little framework on which I progress from Ludum Dare to Ludum Dare: GB2D
IDE: Visual Studio 2012
Graphics: Gimp 2.8 and SpriteFont 2 for… fonts
Path to Death is a turn-based strategy game where you upgrade different locations you hold to defend your last location (the throne) from the enemy forces.
Every location has an attacking value (sword), a defending value (shield) and lives (hearths) for you (pictured at the top of a location) and for the attackers (pictured at the bottom of a location).
The attacking value is the probability to hit, whereas the defending value gives the chance to cancel the attacker’s hit.
The enemies move to the first location, fight against your forces in this place and then move forward to the next location and so on.
Every location has a skilltree where you can invest the skillpoints you get after each round. They increase the attack values, enable special abilities and more.
My intention was to check out the “skilltree as a game mechanic”, providing a complex or deep game while balancing the mathematics of such systems with a narrative. Now then to my personal evaluation of the game:
What went right
I’m happy that people understand my attempt to propose a dynamic narration given with the skills in the skilltree. I got positive feedback about that, so this went right.
I’m also happy with the visual style of my game. Surely there is a lot of improvable things, but drawing the little icons was fun and satisfying.
What went wrong
I missed (again) to have enough time to test, bugfix and balance the game. There are so many bugs in Path to Death and it’s way too easy. Perhaps it’s a harder challenge to lose…
During the jam I hung around with friends who participated too. This was really fun. But not eating much and not sleeping was (again!) not that good at all. After the weeks passed, I think it was not jamming, but rather physical destruction : D
My resolution for the next time
Sleep more and make a more accessible game which you can start and just play without getting into abstract background systems.
I’m XNA developer and student from Germany. This will be my fourth 48 hour Ludum Dare competition in a row. What I use:
- IDE: Visual Studio 2010 Express C#
- Framework: .NET/XNA and my own (GB2D) which I improve from competition to competition
- Graphics: Gimp and my graphic tablet
- Sounds/Music: sfxr and iNudge
- Favorite ╥: Goats!
I hope I can keep it small this time. During the last competitions I always had problems with the project scope.
This is my game Loss of Control made for the MiniLD (theme “Not-Game”). It is less a not-game, more not a game – just a trial to make my art skills better and implementing it with XNA (checking out a particle system etc.).
What happens on the screen isn’t previously rendered. There is a background-image for the room. The lamp has an own graphic which is moved as well as the light on the floor. The two guys have own images too (if I had the time, I would animate them…). Even the clock’s hand is done by rotating a small line instead of animating the clock (it makes absolutely no sense to implement it on this way : D). Additionally, yellow particles are applied.
The background-music is done via iNudge, graphics with Gimp and programming with XNA (Visual Studio Express C#). I used a personal library (GB2D) which I progress on from Ludum Dare competition to competition.
You can play… ehm… watch the game here.
If you think they are cute… play my game! There a some other dinosaurs… in green! Yellow! And purple!
Here a gameplay-video (sorry for the noise and the bad recording -.-”)
What went right
I slept 3 or 4 hours before Ludum Dare started at 3 am. and I think it was right. I was so excited and it didn’t affect me on a negative way. As I got tired, I slept 2 hours and from Saturday on Sunday 7 hours. During the LD23 I slept at the start and it made me nervous the whole remaining time of the competition.
What went wrong
My target was to scale down my game so I can finish programming the gameplay mechanics within the first day. This time it was better than during the LD23, but I didn’t finish the gameplay prototype in time.
In my opinion it is better to make simple games which don’t need instructions like my game has. People don’t like to invest a lot of time in rating a game. Additional, if you make a game with deeper gameplay, there will be more issues with the balancing.
My lesson this time is, to make a nice but simple gameplay. A small competition game should be an awesome experience with easy controls and rules. Deeper game mechanics can follow in a post-compo-version.
Thank you for reading!
Play The Darwinizer
(If you play my game, please leave a comment so I can rate your game and give you feedback!)
long time ago I made a little tutorial respective publishing a XNA game to Ludum Dare which covers stupid mistakes I made: You can find it here.
If you use things like RenderTarget or other HiDef-specifics, you can skip the part with the built profile… Visual Studio will let you know it. Here you find more information.
I’m from Germany (near Karlsruhe), I study computer science and this is my 3rd Ludum Dare. The game I made during the last competition:
What I’m going to use:
Framework: own written (and very basic…) framework GB2D on top of XNA. It includes a “sample project” where I am starting from with basic code and making references to the GB2D-framework. It is a bit difficult to draw a line between “game code which should be made in the 48 hours” and “preparing and developing an own framework”… but I have absolutely no idea which game I will develop, if that counts ^^
IDE: Visual Studio 2010 Express
Graphics: Gimp, Inkscape
Audio: Sfxr, iNudge
Nom Noms: Coke, hot dogs (omg!), fruit gums, bananas, peaches, chocolate and even more…
Other tools: CamStudio for recording a gameplay video, SpriteFont to setup font maps for XNA, DPSF (a particle system for XNA)
If you are using XNA and looking for an email-buddy to hang out together during the Ludum Dare, just drop me a line (firstname.lastname@example.org).
48 hours, here we go!
Is someone interested in a mailinglist for XNA-users for asking questions and solving problems, especially for the preparation time until Ludum Dare starts?
I know there is a Ludum Dare chat and a lot of forums to ask questions about XNA-coding, but hey, it would be a sort of Ludum Dare community XNA thing and there is not always a XNA-guy in the chatroom. And I’m interested in prototypes written in XNA to see what people do and how they did it.
If you think a mailinglist makes sense (no matter what you think how skilled you are), just write a comment. I can create one.
Edit: Send subscribe xna-stevencolling-de to Majordomo@stevencolling.de
I’m from Germany, so Ludum Dare started 3:00. I got just 2 hours to sleep and waked up at 3:00… I heared many people say, that sleeping first is better – I would get up again at 3: You are totally excited and in these 48 hours there will be some sleep (I had 6 or 7 hours after 24 hours Ludum Dare elapsed).
I finished my game NO SPACE. Here is a gameplay video:
What went right?
What went wrong?
I’m in! Second time, using:
- Language/Framework: C# with XNA and an own library called GB2D presented in this post
- IDE: Visual Studio 2010 C# Express
- Graphics: GIMP, Inkscape
- Sound and music: Sfxr, Autotracker (perlscript to generate random music), perhaps trying Otamata or Aviary (presented here)
Why do I program an own library for 2D games? There are a lot of things I could use, like FlatRedBall. But… programming primitive components makes fun and I learn a lot – that’s all.
This was my first Ludum Dare I participated…
I tried to make a story based, sidescrolling rpg-adventure in 48 hours with XNA – and this idea was totally crap. It was fascinating how fast time can run. I started with the game “Soulaffector”.
In Soulaffector the player goes into a cursed forest (still without trees… : D) which kills and enslave the humans near it. You pass the forest as a shaman-like warlock and fight the forest by fighting the enslaved skeletons. You got the power of affection (rage (red), fear (violet) and compassion (turquoise)) to manipulate the skeletons. On the picture (top-left) you see, that the player has lot of rage and little fear and compassion. As a shaman he can pass his emotions through the lost souls to manipulate their behavior.
You can click on a skeleton and then on one of the three emotion bubbles. After that, the skeleton’s rage value increases, yours decreases. The skeleton gets a small red light to indicate his added rage point.
In the built there are the following behaviors for the skeletons:
- full of rage: dies
- full of fear: dies
- fear greater than the other emotions: stay / stop moving
- compassion greater than the other emotions: attack another skeleton (the compassion cools down so the attacking suffices to kill one skeleton
- rage greater zero and >= the other emotions: the skeleton attacks the player
This behavior works with some small bugs (poorly written code to manage the compassion… sometimes the skeleton ran to a dead skeleton to hit him or just attacks the player).
If the skeletons attack the player, he can’t move (but affect the skeletons) and the screen gets deeper and deeper (until it is black and you lost the game), but your rage increases too, so you can fight back.
Another possibility to gain new emotions is to talk with others. There are some textboxes implemented with a possibility to answer and every answer increases another emotion – but there are no actors than skeletons. There is no plot too. It is difficult to fight the skeletons without another way to increase fear and compassion, so there should be other ways to increase them too. It is interesting to handle the fight by fearing, enslaving and raging different skeleton enemies.
I needed a lot of time to create the graphics and emotions. I aimed to make lagging animations like in these old films – you know: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yYeZMx1Y7U (1:50, watch it!). I like this style, it is so incredible horrifying : D
For creating it, I drew the skeleton-bodyparts on paper, scanned it and placed the bones in GIMP. Here I need a better toolchain or a simplifying framework part for bone-based animation, easy to initialize.
I kicked some ideas early because I realized that this game is too much work, e.g. to create a camp to rest or a skill system (not to make the player better, just weaken the enemies).
5 or 6 hours left… a new game?
5 or 6 hours before the 48 hours contest ends I was totally frustrated by my game: no trees and if there, an endless repetitive background, buggy fight system (and if it works, I thought, I gets boring), no story or plot, no aim, no well-polished graphics and animations and more…
I wanted to give up and did a pause. After a shower I decided: hey, this was hard work and it is painful to drop it all, but I wanted to submit “something” and so I wanted to create a little game in the remaining time. Crazy but possible.
And yeah, I kicked some * and made a game in fucking 4 or 5 hours. I’m proud that I managed it and submit something, but it is so completely idiotic:
“I submit a game in a 48 hour competition”
“How many hours did you invested?”
“4 or 5”
“Ehm… are you stupid?”
My tutorial for a 5 hour game (or what to do if you fail with time management)
First step: Fast game design: alone => christmas alone => empty room => what to do => shit idea => head meets table => head up => good idea => make a game with an angry guy who wants to break things in his room with his head => great success… or something like that.
Second step: Fast painting: pixelart with gimp – just draw and draw and draw… room => wall-graphic for the bottom screen to show later on top of the playable field (transparency) => main character animation => test-item graphic in an undamaged and a damaged variant.
Third step: Program with C#/XNA and so fast as you can => invite your two best friends “Mr. Copy” and “Mrs. Paste” => it works. I did the interface, the simple logic, ending screen and this stuff, I thought this was the most work.
Fourth step: More and more items drawn and added.
Half hour before Ludum Dare ends I implemented the randomly generation of new levels by putting the items on random positions.
In the game you can run and strike (normal and strong strike, both with sound and a little white blinking). Both strikes have different damage values, range and power cost. Items have health and if the health is away, the item gets destroyed and the destroyed-variant of the item will be drawn on the screen. Left-top you got a red power bar which regenerate. After the timer expires, your score (accumulated damage) is displayed on an ending screen and you can restart the game. A feature here is, that big items like a table have collision, small things like a paper not. They have all an own health value, so you can destroy a letter by one hit and for a table you need some more. To get a high score, you must manage normal and strong strikes, e.g. strong strikes because of low range and high damage on heavy things and the normal strike with his high range for the weak items… some tactics possible like to run through the map to destroy all weak items by the normal strike… my best score was (I thought) 1700 or 1800.
Try to solve the “you are alone while christmas” with your head…
… like I did: solved submission deadline issue with my head : D
What went right:
- not slept too little or too much
- eat/drink okay
- highly motivated
- had a lot of fun
- I finished a game
- managing a very bad situation (5 hours left and no solid game)
What went wrong:
- poor time management
- no explicit plan
- tried to make a storybased game (even if you have the time, you will probably not have the concentration after the first session)
- to much time for graphics and animation
- my starting project was good (collision checking, simplified drawing etc.), but there is a couple of work needed to make it stable and with solid functionality = better preparation
My first ludum dare, hi everybody
What I use:
- IDE/Language: Visual Studio C# Express 2010 / XNA Game Studio 4.0, Softdrinks
- Framework: XNA and personal code (solution/project file) which I wrote this week to simplify agent modeling, drawing/animation, collision, softdrinks, moving, font-/sound-usage, input- and screen-handling; also a personal intro screen
- Sound: sfxr/bfxr/softdrinks
- Graphic: GIMP, Inkscape, a scanner and a pen
- Additional: Softdrinks
ludum dare starts 03:00 am here… yeah