Yet still people like it. Currently it’s the 5th most-played game this LD, which is awesome
What went wrong:
The style is boring. I feel putting a water-shader might’ve been a mistake, and the entire thing could be more comic-y. The buildings are ugly, the result of me being swamped with other stuff. The textures are boring too.
The World Is MINE! suffers from the same problems it’s spiritual predecessor My Little Planetoid (from the last LD) had. Namely, it is too easy. You can just wait until the resources pile up, and then do your thing.
On the other hand, city-building-games like Anno 2070 (or Anno 1404, etc) have the same “structure”. In those you can wait too until you have anough material. I’ll have to figure this one out.
The first draft also had Enemy Agents, who would undo your progress. The got cut in the stress.
Inefficient use of assets
The World is MINE! Has a lot of single-use-assets. The models are used for one purpose, and then never again. All the lines describing the buttons (the narrative, if you will) were time-intensive to write and make witty, and are only used once too. In the end this led to bad 3d-models.
Unclear Advanced rules
The simple rules – hire goons, take over cities – work just fine. The more advanced happenings, like control of missiles and assets are a bit more complicated, and only explained in a text-box.
The stupid text-bug
I wanted to have two things (among others) in this game: A text displaying the city-name, and a planet that isn’t a sphere.
After some deliberation after the event I realized that these exclude each other. To make the text not clip through the mountains I’d have to place it very high, but that would make it look worse. In the end there is no elegant solution to this. Or I just haven’t found it yet.
Somehow I recorded less images than in the last videos. To counteract this I slowed the framerate, resulting in this “slow” video. Yet somehow it works. Kind-of.
Meh, you decide
What went right!
Almost forgot this (as devs are wont to do). I composed the track in less than one hour 2 hours before the deadline. And it works. It’s pompous, and grand, and the march fits the “Evil Mastermind” perfectly.
I should do more music.
I am SO GLAD I re-named them “Goons”. “Henchmen” is so boring (and exluded women). The Goons are named procedurally, with every Goon receiving a unique name. The name shows up when you hire them, and again when you send them on a mission.
This game may have the biggest amount of “dialogue” I’ve put in a game (I usually try to avoid long texts). The text-button-descriptions are the dialogue of an unseen advisor, and I’m satisfied with the results (people agree). I also love the names of the Evil Vehicles you buy (Buttercup, Purplepants and DeathRigible).
The game starts slowly, and then picks up in complexity. A lot of buttons appear later, and buying the DeathRigible-Blimp allows you to see more cities, ramping up the challenge.
I am very proud that few people seem to quit the game prematurely (so far I can gather), which means they are eased in well (Nice work me! *show off*)
Till the very last second possible I thought whether to make it an Orbital Laser or a Lunar Laser. In the end I felt satellites would be too much like My Little Planetoid, so I opted for the moon-base (which, funnily, also appeared in My Little Planetoid). Reaction to the DeathLaser has been 100% positive, so it was a good decision
The world changing
At the beginning, the world is blue, and only your evil hideout (on super-secret Doom Island) belongs to you. But the more you advance, the more the world changes in color. Your submarines patrol the sea, and cities switch over to you, while auxilliary bases appear around the globe.
After the world has slowly changed to become yours, the games calls back to the beginning. I still laugh when I see the final screen.
As you may or may not know, the IndieSpeedRun-jam/competition is currently running, and will overlap with Ludum Dare.
The rules are somewhat similar, and after some inquiry the IndieSpeedRun-organizers have confirmed that games created in the 48hours of LD can be submitted. The vital part of the FAQ is
Q: Can I submit games created for other game jams?
A: Yes, with some major caveats. Firstly, your game will still need to meet our guidlines, meaning date of creation, adhering to our assigned theme and element, and including the Indie Speed Run creation slide. If you just so happen to time that with another game jam simultaneously, it would be an interesting feat, and techincally compliant with our rules except for one: not allowing your game to be published prior to our Free Play window. That being said, “dual game jamming” (which we define as creating one Indie Speed Run game that’s used for Indie Speed Run AND another game jam) is the single exception. If another game jam would require your game to be published ahead of our window, then as long as it meets all other ISR requirements, we will allow it. We cannot, however, speak for any other game jam and their thoughts on the matter, so please check with them before trying to create a game jamception.
Fuck yeah people love the music. If I knew I’d be able to make such a well-received track I would’ve put more time into it than 1 hour right before the deadline
The response to the music-track has been hugely positive, being described as “oddly fitting” and “catchy” and *moves head to rhythm*. After hearing it repeatedly I feel I should’ve switched the Cello for another instrument
I didn’t really have humor in mind per se, just a bunch of interesting/irrelevant stuff to collect for your home, which I presented in a matter-of-fact deadpan way. Apparently it worked
Because everyone loves kittens. In the end I got up to 8 cats in total, missing the goal of “1000 Kittens” just short of 9992 cats.
Works well. Note how the game starts immediately, there is no in-game intro. The title is maybe 2-3 seconds long, and changes with the music. After some exploring and learning the rules of the game-world you slowly evolve and learn how to undo said rules, culminating in the ability to blow up the environment, and ultimate wreak havoc on the human race.
The other general consensus is “it’s cute”. Sweet. I didn’t expect this at all.
Holy hell this is going well. As of writing Boxy the Boxcat is the 2nd most-played-game this LD, it got a rather big piece on IndieGameMag, and lot of Let’s Plays. Here’s a fun one.
This one went really well. The lasers look good, feel right, and the explosions have a good amount of WHOMPH to them. Note how the just says “You now have laser-eyes”, and the players naturally figured out how to blow up cars, and then the barrels. I was a bit afraid the latter wouldn’t be readable, but it worked perfectly.
One plan for the game was to have an evolving home/base, where you would periodically return to during the game (think the Normandy, or the Bastion). The “nest” is the result of this, changing each time after the player has found something. The items are displayed, and the kittens-effects change from “Feed us!/We’re hungry!” to “NOM”.
Sadly, players naturally didn’t return that often during gameplay. Still, it feels good
These seem to become my trademark, it’s the third time they appear in a game (the others being Badass Locomotive and the spiritual predecessor Let’s Protest!)
What went SLIGHTLY LESS AWESOMELY, perhaps just adequately
The level lacks the usual long-time-polish and testing I put my level-design-through. It’s a bit too big, the hotspots are spaced too far away from each other in an order that isn’t occurring to the player naturally. The second half is also horribly laid out, with most players going straight for the other cat, and skipping the melon (which barely anyone found) (yes there’s a melon in this game. Can you find it?)
One common complain was that the cat-speed was too slow. This is a common fallacy in feedback. The cat-speed was actually pretty well, if it would be faster the game would feel worse. It is the level AROUND the cat that is wrongly adapted to the speed, requiring the said bit of tightening.
The “pickup-effect” is awesome. I feel I should’ve added a sound/fanfare.
Decided to set the picture-intervals to a shorter time, resulting in a rather long video. Go see my post on creating timelapses for a detailed breakdown.
For some reason I thought “Boxy the Boxcat” was too short, and I wanted to an evolution-referencing subtitle. “Evolution Escapades” was my take on creating something akin to “Hooky Hijinks”, but in retrospect I feel it doesn’t fir at all the rather sombre game (before it admittedly goes off the rails).
So how does it fare? Pretty well. Good score, currently 2nd most-played-game this LD, which is quite frankly amazing. I’ll need your help to reach the top!
I also had a great time playing 435 other games so far. Go check out my picks for some nuggets.
Also, I have an actual chance of ranking in the Kongregate-contest. I’d appreciate any quick 4-5 star votes, if you could spare them /puppyeyes/
So I just played 401 of the 1406 games this LD (How? I’m a wizard). Here are some that stood out in one or more categories / are particularly interesting / are horribly underrated and deserve more plays.
(links to the LD-entries are in the headers/titles)
A timelapse is a short video that shows your progress over several days, compressed into a 3-5 minute video. Here’s a good one of my last LD-game My Little Planetoid
How do you make one?
You need a timelapse-tool, which will automatically create screenshots, save them and compile then into a video. Chronolapse has proven excellent. If you have a webcam, you can also set it to capture pictures from it.
How do I make a good timelapse?
Edit your pictures!
There is no need to see you absent from the screen for 2+ hours. There is no shame cutting material or only selectively turning on the capture-program.
Put as much info in as possible
If you have 2 monitors, capture both. If you have a webcam, use it.
Keep it short + compressed
Long timelapses aren’t that interesting. Try to keep the total length under ~3 minutes. The capture-interval is vital for this too. An interval between 30 and 60 seconds works well, <30 seconds will probably result in too many pictures, and a too long video.
Preferably something that is either fun, entertaining, and/or cool.
Everything looks super efficient!
You can give people an idea what it’s like to create a game in 48 hours, especially non-designers.
A timelapse makes it possible for fans (and you) to compare their workflows.
You can see a game evolve from simple blocks to effect-laden masterpieces of joy.
Making notes on the screen
Some devs have a text/image-editor open, on which they write what they are doing. While it can be entertaining, I prefer to condense the material and let the pictures speak for themselves.
Streaming and timelapsing goes hand in hand. If you feel you can do a succesful stream, do it!
With this information in mind, let’s study my current timelapse of Boxy The Boxcat. What works, what doesn’t?
Note how the video is tad too long. 2 minutes is good, 5 minutes borders on unwatchable. The song wasn’t even long enough, so I had to add a piece after 2/3 of the video.
There is a bit at the end where the game is essentially done, but the recording keeps going, showing the submission-process. I should’ve cut it.
Unlike my other timelapses, in this one I actually smile for a few frames. Yay positivity!
Now prepare your own for the next jam, and go play & rate Boxy the Boxcat while you’re at it
So I saw the all the stats-posts and wanted to be cool too.
Here are the ratings of my games during the last 4 LDs, including some general stats.
What’s interesting to see is that the number of games has skyrocketed. 1 year ago there were only 352 games, now it’s 4 times that much.
As a result of this I believe a percentage-score becomes important. Ranking, say, 50th out of 300 is different to ranking 50th out of 1400.
Aside from that I can tell that I have significantly improved after my first LD. Audio has increased steadily and Theme hung around the top ~25 spots. The rest did improve generally, dut did fluctuate.
My worst grades were in Humor, yet even then they were in the top 40%. Cool.
I learn from this that POLISH MATTERS. I always made sure the game is as “complete” as possible, even getting my roommate to play it a few hours before the end to implement the input. The more “stable” and “complete” a game is, the less you may frustrate the player, which will result in a better mood towards your game and thus better ratings.
(Yes I know the coolness-rating has been calculated differently each time, I didn’t take that into account. But I did take extra care to look beyond the coolness-numbers and I did actually come out 1st every time. Does this make me eligible for a lifetime-coolness-award? )
So I created My Little Planetoid in 48 hours. Read on to find out what I thought afterwards (a post-mortem, if you will).
What went right
This is both a science-fiction and city-builder game. The combination itself is rather rare.
It just feels awesome. And I love the “Build now on moon”-gag, which I think is quite good game-design.
According to people this video is “intense”. It might be due to the orchestral music, but probably because my facial expressions during Ludum Dare varies between “frown” and “manic laughter”.
I composed this over the course of the 24 hours. The first idea of the music I had immediately after I decided on the idea, and it grew from there. It has been quite well received, with many people saying they like it and find it relaxing.
Also, the idea of a space-banjo is just awesome.
Having empty space as background meant I was able to concentrate more on the 3d-models in the foreground. And while they could be improved a lot, you’ll notice there’s a lot of detail to be found.
The combination of the somber soundtrack and the space-y visuals worked quite well, which people also remarked positively.
What went alright
This time I actually prepared. I made a list of ideas for every possible theme. Tiny World was the one where I didn’t have anything brilliant ready, so threw in an idea I already had before. After the announcement I developed more of them, but threw them out when I saw others made them first.
Scope in fiction
My Little Planetoid has a somewhat weird range of buildings. You start out with houses and farms, which could position this game anywhere in the past or future. Then you quickly advance to Science-Laboratories and advanced-space-stations. So while it is a progression through technology, I feel it could’ve been more focused.
Scope in design
In design-terms My Little Planetoid is huge. It has more unique features/elements than any of my previous games. It has multiple complex 3d-models. It has a somewhat extensive GUI. And, most importantly, a huge web of each other influencing resources and variables.
I was even glad when something emergent happened, but there was lot of potential for bugs and unforeseen combinations. Which led to…
Balancing & bug-testing
I literally coded in something 10 minutes before the deadline. There was no time left for dedicated balancing and bug-hunting, only what I noticed during test-plays myself. The resource-balancing now kinda works, but it does feel off sometimes.
In the end the basic resources become abundant, so you aren’t really thinking about them any longer.
I used a basic pixelated diffuse-map on all things. Sadly there was no time to take care of UV-maps, but it doesn’t really show unless you really look.
What went wrong
Failure to realize how bloody huge this project is
This led to a (frankly mental) development-speed in the last hours, and the incomplete balancing.
All in all
This was an awesome and fun gamejam. My Little Planetoid is right now one of the most-played games, and people really enjoy it. The general consensus is that this could be huge if further developed. And so I will