Ludum Dare 22
Next week will be traveling,
Staying up entire weekend would be pretty taxing for it… And as GW2 Headstart is also on the same weekend….
Next Time I will definetly to try to come back. Everyone else have fun.
I’m unable to attend this months Ludum Dare due to having to worry about a thesis and recently getting a job.
The timing wouldnt have been worse for my thesis and job to get in the way of my attendance to the 10th year anniversary of Ludum Dare
Perhaps I’ll be able to attend the next.
Or Maybe, If id try VERY hard to get my thesis done this comming week :O i possibly could make it
*phew* Finally back on Solid ground after flying half across the world from Europe to Asia…
So, I made a very very rough game, or more of a game mechanic prototype and it shows:
But it also is my first game. Regardless of the downfalls of not reaching my -too high aspirations- I learned a lot from this little challenge, had fun and I am definetly looking forward for the next Ludum Dare event.
The first thing I confirmed to my self was the fact that, 3D asset creation is a bitch when it comes to UV mapping. That perhaps took way too much of my time, simply trying to create UV surfaces to which I could map tilable textures, on the assets I created for the game. I also seemed to fidget too much on this part, when In fact I should have first done the layout of the map using primitive shapes, and place all the objects onto the scene before working on the assets them selves. Perhaps the worst part was: I was completely aware this would take time from my experience with working with 3D models from before, but ignored my own instincts and warning sas I was working on the game.
Another thing that probably was also a big downfall and a big sink of time, that caused me nearly to reach madness was getting the doors to animate properly: At first I used Unity3Ds transform function in the scripting to try to make a smooth rotation, but I quickly found out that it simply adds to the rotation, instead of making an implicity turn.
After battling with it for over 8 hours straight (I nearly gave up and was going to call quits try to make a function that toggles it open and close), I found a very, very simple solution: That was simply to make an animation and command it to be executed it. Even with this it took a while to figure out why the door wasnt staying open, and constantly looping the animation, before I figured out that there is the Clamp-Forever. After I completed this, I did do the correct thing, and started to work on the game mechanic: But once I did complete the basic inventory system, and the interaction system, 38 hours in, I started my biggest mistake with fidgeting with the UV mapping and trying to work in textures, instead of working on the Map it self, when I had all the systems in I could work with.
I might have as well used blocks placed everywhere to make very simple puzzle.
So in summary, my mistakes were the following:
- I was not completely familiar with Unity 3D… Well it wasnt really a mistake, but I could have done my warmup with a bit more seriousness, and atleast check out how to make stuff interaction, Sure I found out how to make a flickering light within 15 minutes, but the fact that I had to bruteforce my way in with trying to make a door, thats something Basic I probably should have investigate on first.
- Take “alone” as an inspiration for an artistic puzzle game, instead of thinking up something much more simple
- Fidget too much on assets creation instead of the map, trying to get some textures aligned, and trying to do my UV mapping within 48 hours. Perhaps Next time I should just do simple minecraft style textures instead.
- Try to optimize my models, which probably caused lots of problems with the shaders in unity 3D (not sure if this was a mistake, but I saw alot of odd shader issues that are present in the final prototype release)
- My timelapse software could have been researched on more. my default webcam software and fraps simply couldnt do the job: Fraps apparently stopped 5 hours in to the timelapse, while my webcam software only kept a buffer of the previous 30 seconds… Any suggestions what I could use in the next LD?
- Perhaps make something more usual instead of trying something new: My first idea was an creepy abandoned house: Which could have been easier to make, instead of a abandoned gas station in the middle of nowhere, I had to then remove the abandoned, because after doing further research I found out I had shot my self in the foot: This was that you had to find a screwdriver, near a vandalized phonebox to open a Barricade infront of the gas stations door, and then try to do stuff in theree.
- Didnt get to work in the nemesis which would have been a planar 2D black shape with red eyes in the darkness: this would have been athing that would be getting closer and closer, unless the player got indoors and hid them selves.
Now so what went right:
- Game Mechanics: I am rather suprised I managed to get this far: I figured this out rather well and created scripts that would make the creation of puzzles relatively simple and easy to implement
- Gettings the Lighting, and Environment set up: I learned how to create a very nice looking cubemap without much issue, as well as flickering lights
- Sleep: I got enough of it, 4 hours a night is actually a fairly good timeframe, along with a few hours of naps here and there: I was never excessively tired, until the very end.
- I actually got the idea for the game down within 1 hour of the competition starting, regardless of its complexitivity,
Anyway, I am looking forward for the next LD, When I have time later this week, Ill probably check out the works done by everyone else in the compo
I am Defeated:
I will still submit a game, but I doupt it will have anything I intended to have, As much as it pains me to leave it so unfinished atleast as I planned for my original plan. I was mainly aiming for the mood part, But I can see that trying to achive that in Unity would take a whole bunch of polish.
I am too tired right now to try focus properly on further assets creation. I am going to polish up the existing assets and add more Textures to the scene, but I seriously cannot make more assets within the amount of time remaining….
Here is a list of assets I would still have to create:
- Random Family Car *
- Truck of Pet food *
- Lockbox *
- Phonebox *
- Vandalized Phonebox *
- Diner interior
- Counter with a workable Cashmachine (with pressable buttons, drawer) ** (just counter now)
- A Couple of Notecards *
- Closed Cardboard box full of “Kittens”
- Monster of the Shadow *
* Are cut out from the submitted version
I definitely wrote my self into a corner: I would have create a couple of large scale assets still – before being even able to begin doing map it self, But I will not have enough time to create the following objects, and then design some sound effects. Should have definetly done a smaller scene.
I will put more details during the post-competition.
Probably the biggest fault I ran into was simply the fact that I was not completely familiar with Unity 3D, and cross object communication/identification, as well as fiddling around trying to do object animations through script, instead of simply making animations for the objects.
Fortunately, I came to this competition with the goal of learning, and So I did: A whole bunch actually especially when it comes to user-object interaction and the sort..
I’m thinking of giving up and dropping to Jam, but I wont give up just yet. I just have to really really focus on creating stuff, Unfortunately, This means I have to drop Fiddling with UV maps, thus I will have to simply “stand” alignment issues…
Anyway, Back to work.
Feel free to Demo Available Also trying to figure out where and when to do the Whole lockCursor event.
Its getting closer and closer to prime time! I finally got the basic core mechanics of the game into a working order: Now to create the assets and the maps them selves.
- Rudimentary Inventory System
- Interactive Objects
- Required Object to Interact with something.
Anyway, feel free to play around with the dev Unity 3D version is available here.
Ofcourse this style of game is probably done to death, but why not try for the first time
anyway, Now to do some speed Modeling.
Time is running out.
I decided to not even try doing texture until I have all of my Gameplay done: continueing from previous: I finally got that door simplified, and then worked on a point and click mechanic for the game it self, Al thought in my humble opinion the missing audio and visual aspects may simply degrade mood of loneliness. Oh well.
So far, all seems to be good: Althought the door it self seems to bug up with its physics, if the player happens to be next to it when opening it. (it will remain closed until the player goes out of the “Range” at which it opened at. But that is a minor bug, and Probably wont be fixed in the final compo submission.
So for now , I’m working on the interaction mechanics: So far everything is identified in the HUD and gets removed from the world when interacted with. There is a minor bug, which mainly related probably to where the “Ray” is coming from in vs where the camera is, but that’s pretty straight forward to fix.
All that useless work and debugging only to figure out that there is a more efficient and very very simple way to do something that would have only taken 5 minutes. FFFFf.
Atleast its progress, and I’m learning something!
Apparently, Fraps had failed during its recording run, and stopped recording 2 hours into the compo, as well as the default webcam screwing up and only recording the last “30 or so seconds”
Oh well Next time Ill use something better for recording the timelapse next time.
I am off to bed now for the next 4-5 hours.
Will have to think of a better way to implement the event system and the sort: currently sorta stuck on that. Atleast the door is done… >:O I think…
I came to the conclusion that trying to do stuff in Unity 3D might most of the time end up being unnecessary complex making it, at least in my opinion unsuitable for LD Compo atleast when doing it the first time around. (If id have time, I would do the jam, however I’m on a schedule my self, going on a flight a few hours after the compo is over)
So far heres a list of things I’ve done:
- Made a cliche horror plot
- Made a scene in Unity 3D
- Added a seamless, custom Skybox to the scene,
- Adjusted rendering settings
- Created two scripts: Light Flickering, and Door opening/closing relative animation through script
- Created two materials: Dirt and Asphalt
- Created, Designed, Modeled, Unwrapped and Optimized a Gas Station base build
- Created Glass panels and doors for the Gas Station
As a side analysis: Most of my time was spent on figuring out how exactly does the GameObjects communicate with each other, and with working on frame-based updates instead of timer based updates, or with crunching some, really annoying bugs.
Good night, and see you all in a few hours.
So, I finally started working on the gameplay, even thought I was supposed to do that instead of fiddling around heavily on perfecting my UV maps and working on textures. But immediately starting to work on it,I hit the door instead of the wall, figuratively and quite literally:
I just couldn’t get a smooth closing scenario for the script to work, It kept either A. going round and round and round, or B. only opening and never closing. So after, possibly a FEW HOURS spent on a bloody door trying to figure out alternate method perhaps, I finally got it to work. Anyway, lets see how well I can do this “player->object” interaction part.
Anyway, the timelapse is probably gonna be funny seeing me fiddle around with a door for a minute or so..
Apparently the way How I’ve written my requirements, appears to be making me have some limited design issues:
The original game idea goes as follows and is laden with typical cliches, except that the ending is a twist
Perhaps the most annoying part currently is the fact that Unity is unable to automatically convert models I create in blender,
from its blend files into fbx when I would place the .blend files in the assets, Instead It keeps complaining that it cannot convert, and claims my blender is older than 2.49 (I am using 2.61). For now I’ll do this manually, but it slows down the process slightly. Anyway heres a screenie of the current progress:
I fixed issues with the skybox and made it much darker once I added a ground texture (will add more lighting soon). I then proceeded to create the only major structure that will be in the game, the gas station.
Still investigating into making the first person point-and-click mechanic to work . If anyone has any tutorials I could check out, feel free to leave a comment
I’ve been sorta battling with creating a good skybox with photoshop. Took a while to figure out how to actually work with Cube maps, but the result is going to pretty interesting directions. Perhaps the most problematic thing that I might encounter is the sound world, as it would be a critical component in setting up the world around the player as they are alone in the middle of ‘nowhere’ as they are looking to alleviate their loneliness. I will possibly have to look through my existing sound libraries I have to have the best effect.
The only issue that I see right about now is the fact the resolution might have been too small, 256 making the sky box look at bit too low res. I will be increasing the size of it as time goes on an fixing the proportions of the sun correctly, but for now I’m focusing on the other aspects of the environment.
As of the moment I’m using the First person package in unity, however I will possibly end up rewriting that code, as soon as I can get my self more fully familiarized with it.
On the after setting up the sky box, I’ve been working on the some of the lights that will be in the scene: mainly the flickering light bulb that would. Shadows and lights will play an important role in my game in guiding the player to their destination.Unfortunately , I only have the basic free version of unity 3D, thus shadows will have to be crafted by hand into the scene, with various trickery which I will be experimenting with..
Being still -very- fresh to unity 3D, only having a week of practice on my belt, and its JS-like context (more of unityscript, some of these are completely unique to Unity) I’m possibly going to spend a bit too much time still learning the ropes, but lets see.
Alone is a very interesting theme>
I spent an hour and a half figuring this out, along with then a very quick research into the assets required.
For now, my game’s name is ’Alone Nowhere’
The progress so far has been just been in conceptualizing. However I’m off to a slightly bad start since I didn’t sleep during the night, so ended up sleeping 4 hours of my time away.
- Concept creation and along with the plot - 1.5 hours complete in allocated time,
- List of stuff to Model, References research: done before 0.5 hours, 10 minutes spent.
- Slept 4 hours.
Anyway, no screenshots yet, will update on the next 10th step, for now, I’ve been planning,
Hmm after a week of practice with Unity, trying to do the warmup LD (however not being very successful on the time side, as got some final exams still on this weeks , but that happens, atleast I’m learning alot of things, and been taking lots and lots of notes. ),
I’ve come to the conclusion that I should seriously concentrate work on game play instead of graphics for the LD first. Especially since I will be dealing with 3D space instead (and not pixel graphics).
Its gonna slightly annoying to deal with this especially with minor OCD over 3D models and textures. Perhaps I should have focused AS3 and Flixel/FlashPunk instead of this, but with the latest moves of Adobe to stop mobile flash, I think this actually may be the better choice, although Android or HTML5 may also have been good choices as well.
I used the SoS Generator, and got a topic of “Strategy”
My Goals with the warmup:
>> No set time limit – Just keep practising until the actual LD:
>> Unity 3D – Blender – Genetica – Soundbooth.
- Familiarize with the Unity 3D Workflow
- Practice Blendering – Especially Rapid rigging and Animation (as those will take the longest to refine otherwise)
- Practice texture generation, This would save a whole bunch of my time
- Practice Audio development out of libraries
>> Try out a live streaming service to stream / record my self: probably will check out twitchTV or livestream – (will check this out later on)
On #ludumdare last night someone (Sorry didn’t catch the name it was late in the night ) gave me an idea of making a platformer / turn-based strategy game after I mentioned that my warmup theme was strategy.
So a platformer it is: It will also be interesting to look at how exactly to make a turn based game in Unity 3D.
Current game play inspiration from tron disk battles, battleship, worms, and Minecraft’s spleefing.
Progress reports will come in after a bit: now its simply getting all the software setup and ready.
I’ve finally been able to follow Ludum Dare site enough to actually get the dates for the next compo:
Since the beginning of this year, I constantly thought of joining in to the fray and practice some game creation, but due to a busy lifestyle, I have always ended up finding out about the compo too late or many days after It happened.
This will be my first time participating in the Ludum Dare (it appears there are a lot of new people coming in every compo). I nearly missed the compo this year, but it managed to squish into my timeframe just and just: After the 48 hour of coding I’m off to an airplane and will be flying on a 15 hour trip from Europe to Asia.
Abit of background:
I am a last year Media Engineering student, studying the myriad fields of digital and analog media. I mainly come from a technical background, but I have practiced all sorts of visual design, and dabbled abit in audio field. This all is thanks to fooling around with content creation in a Virtual World platform known as Second Life.
A Gamer at heart, I’ve always liked playing games – So, I’m making this as my chance to jump start and try my hand at game development, which is an area I would like to be professionally in.
- Audio: Adobe Soundbooth, various sound libraries for sound effect composition (if allowed, its not really clear in the rules “Created by your self”: but how about composite sound effects from libraries? ), a Samson C01 Condenser Microphone.
- Visual 2D: Adobe Photoshop
- Concept Doodling: Alchemy
- Texture Base Generation: Genetica
- 3D Framework: Unity 3D *
- 3D Suite: Blender
* Will be used on this round as that’s something I’ve been looking into using for a while now.
I know its going to be bit rough to design,code,create everything within 48 hours, especially as I as an individual nitpick on even the smallest of details, but I will try to adhere to the KISS rule. Sure I’ve done 48 hours rapid coding before, but usually focused with programming side instead of doing anything with visuals or the sort.
The main issue is that I have no prior knowledge of Unity 3D – Sure I have lots of experience with OOP and Visual Design using Objects, thanks to my experience in Second Life, creating mini-games (such as bomb defusion) this would be the first time I theoretically create an actual game.
So for this round I will be using Unity 3D which I have been studying the past week.
Will see if I can at least give the warm up a shot, But I’ll possibly be fooling around with Unity 3D this weekend
Anyway Good luck to everyone