Hi. I'm johnfn. Reach me on gmail (same username).
About johnfn (twitter: @thedayturns)
Ludum Dare 27
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 24
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 21
Ludum Dare 19
I think I shall go with the time honored separation of Good Stuff and Bad Stuff.
- Choosing to do the Jam (solo): I wasn’t feeling particularly well this weekend, and doing the Dare, with its ridiculous and demanding pace, probably would have killed me. Doing the Jam was great because it allowed me to slow down a bit, meaning I could put a little more effort into my art and music.
- The Tiled map editor: Tiled is incredible – it works so well that it seems like it can read my mind at times. If you’re still editing maps with MS Paint, or God forbid using a home brewed map editor (like I was at one point), please do yourself a favor and check out tiled. It will save you so much time.
- Writing music: I’ve really honed my ability to write music quickly – I busted out the main theme in 2.5 hours and I think it rocks, and I even had time to write two other themes too! This is all thanks to One Hour Compos, which, over the last year, helped me get better at writing music faster than anything else I can possibly think of.
- HaxeFlixel: It gets the job done and it gets out of the way. Back in the day I used to have a lot of people complaining about clumsy controls and awkward interactions – all that’s gone now. This is wonderful because it means I can focus on the important stuff
- Clever concept: I loved the theme, and came up with 2 brilliant ideas almost instantly. I really loved the idea I eventually stuck with, though I felt like it had a LOT more potential than what I managed to get in-game.
- Art: I think this is certainly a step up from LD26.
- I failed to get a beta tester… again: Actually not 100% true – my beta tester just happened to live in Sweden (I’m on the west coast of the USA), so our interactions were unfortunately super brief. Near the end of the jam he shot a ton of brilliant ideas at me, and I wish I had more time to implement them. But then again, isn’t that how all Ludum Dare game work?
- Forces outside of my control: I was feeling less than spectacular pretty much the entire Ludum Dare, and I had a lot of other crap happening during the first day (I had to move from 1 apartment to another). Can’t do anything about stuff like this, of course, but I’ll always wonder how much better the game could have been if this wasn’t the case.
- I didn’t really know HaxeFlixel: Know your libraries. Know your libraries. Know your libraries. I had used HaxeFlixel for maybe 5 total hours before LD27, and it definitely showed. Especially at the beginning, I was running into dumb bugs that were taking MUCH longer to resolve than they should have been. By the end I was starting to gain more proficiency, but with more expertise with my library I could have done a LOT more.
- No polish: I had a lot of great ideas for polish that failed to make it into the game – particle effects, gradual darkening of the background as the world was coming to an end, etc. I pretty much failed to get any of them in game. This is because…
- Poor planning: The first two days I spent programming a lot of features. Then when I finally designed some levels, I didn’t use them. Like, I had this whole complicated setup of lasers that required some raycasting and stuff, but I never ended up using them. So dumb! So I’ve learned a valuable lesson to apply next time: Build levels as you build features. Whenever I do this, I have a nice and playable game by the end (LD24 and LD19 come to mind). Whenever I don’t, either my game is too short (like this one) or too buggy and hard (like LD26 and LD23).
- Humor: I feel like my game had 2 or 3 genuinely funny bits, but honestly my LD24 entry was much funnier. Seems like the funniest bits came when two (or more) characters were talking with each other, so I’ll have to remember to make excuses to do that in the future. I came up with most of the funny stuff when I was taking a break from the code, so I should remember to do that more often, too.
- Art: I’ve practiced doing background tiles a fair bit since the last Dare, but I’ve never really practiced doing 1) sprite animations, 2) animations of any kind, 3) dialog pictures, or 4) detailed backgrounds of any sort. So when I had to do any of those during the Jam, I procrastinated, or took forever, and so some of my art looks great, and some of it doesn’t look good at all. This should teach me to practice ALL things equally, not just one thing!
Things I’ve learned:
- Build levels throughout Ludum Dare, not just on the last day. This is seriously the most important thing. It’s important so that I can…
- Stop being such a misanthropist and ask people to test my game! I’m positive that this would have helped more than anything else. I need to idle on the Ludum Dare IRC more And of course, I need to also…
- Know my libraries.
If you read through that, I’m massively impressed! If you just read the bold stuff, well, that’s pretty good too. Play my game and let me know if there was anything I missed, and I’ll hit you back with a review.
I got started on this list about an hour ago (except the music, which took about 4-5 hours before that). Here’s how it looks so far:
- Write all music. - Make lasers move. - Level transition bug - Ladders - Pause
- - Add a level.
- - And another.
- - And another.
- - And another.
- - Add silly ending.
- - Try again with more time?
- - Improve HUD.
- - Nice background.
- - Sfx
- - More levels.
- - And another.
- - And another.
- - Player graphics.
- - Profile pics in dialog box
- - Properly balance amount of time left.
- - Blurry when you slow down time
- - FlxBloom on laser
- - Laser particle fx
- - waterfalls and water.
Hoping to get at least to SFX, and the further I get the better. The end is in sight, but the battle is not over yet!
I spent the last 3 hours on this thing, having way more fun than I should have been having. I think it’s pretty cool! It includes a lot of grooves, a bass solo, and a trance breakdown.
Alright gotta go finish the game now D: D: D:
I spent the last hour writing two of the songs for my game. I’ve uploaded them onto a Bandcamp album, so feel free to check ‘em out if you want:
If it seems like they cut off abruptly, that’s because they’re supposed to loop.
I am also debuting the title of the game: Trouble in Platformville or How I Accidentally Caused The World To Nearly Explode In Ten Seconds And Subsequently Reverted The Damage Thanks To Technology I Don’t Understand
I have a headache and I’m tired. Off to bed!
It’s looking decent so far, but there’s a lot more art left to be worked on! I also want to spruce up what’s there a tad, add some more variation on the grass tiles, blabla.
I have to say though, I’m really enjoying my decision to enter the Jam instead of the compo. Not only do I get to work at a slightly relaxed pace and not kill myself, but I get to spend some actual time putting together art that doesn’t look like a total disaster. Nice.
I only slept for 30 minutes but I feel MUCH better.
LETS DO THIS!!!!!!!!!
I’m thinking of getting around to the graphics later today.
Concept is that you only have 10 seconds to save the world…! However you have been granted a time dilation vest that allows you to slow the passage of time by either 10 or (by using the extra energy reserves) 100x.
I got a pretty bad start – had to move out of my friends apartment 8AM this morning and into another apartment, so I’m sleepy and disorientated. Thinking about doing the jam instead of the compo to make up for it. I love the concept for the game though, so I’m hoping to have a lot of fun with it.
This will be my 7th entry to Ludum Dare, and my 5th in a row. Woo!
- Haxe + HaxeFlixel – Haxe is great, and AS3 compilation means that everyone can easily play my game. It’s a tough choice between HaxePunk and HaxeFlixel, but HaxeFlixel seems more fully-featured.
- Sublime Text 3 – My favorite text editor turned 3 this year! She’s growing up so fast… :’(
- Pixen – For dat super-sexy pixel art! Honestly I’ve been flirting with switching over to Photoshop because Pixen is not so great, but then again, Photoshop is so bulky…
- Ableton Live – For dat beautiful orchestrated music! With bongos! Everyone loves bongos. Gosh, I would love to be able to write more than a single theme this time.
- Git + Github – If you don’t know what version control is, you should learn! It’s so helpful when you accidentally delete some code you really need back. My code will be living here. Feel free to watch it – I’ll watch you back!
- Coffee – The most important tool of all?
Things I need to remember:
- Get a beta tester!!! This was on my last “things I need to remember” list and I still forgot to do it, because I always finish my games right at the deadline. So with that in mind…
- Finish early. So that I can actually ask the beta tester to beta test stuff.
- Make a few features, and make them real good. Don’t make a ton of features that are all crappy.
Seems like all those themes sorta go hand in hand, heh.
I’ve been practicing art so I could do better than my previous dismal attempts. Here’s the latest thing I doodled:
I’ve come a long way, don’t you think?
- Lines of code written: 2,153
- Number of classes: 27
- Image files made: 24
- Unique sprites: 51 (or so)
- Songs written: 1
- Screens: 17
- Coffee consumed: 2 (cups)
- Tiredness: A LOT
Congrats to everyone who finished, and good luck to all those in the jam!
And post your stats too, if you want! I’d love to see them.
Sounds a little like a game too. Here’s the tune I wrote.(Again – what can I say, I’m self-aggrandizing.)
Doesn’t really play like a game though.
Just got up.
Still got a lot of work to do.
Course this is nothing new. In fact pretty much every LD has gone this way…
I did write a song for the game though! http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/533161 I think it’s pretty groovy
Obviously from the state of the graphics, the game has a long way to go. Also, if you were able to test it, you’d deduce from the gameplay that it has a long way to go too. Also it’s possible to deduce this from the music. Which leaves the question,
WHAT EXACTLY HAVE I BEEN DOING FOR THE LAST 24 HOURS???
Here’s my plan for the day
- Go running
- Grab breakfast
- Stake out coffeeshop
- Write 10,000 lines of code
Q: Isn’t that going to be hard?
A: Yeah I might have a little problem with staking out a coffeeshop, coffee is pretty popular around these parts.