My name is Philip Ludington, I'm a professional programmer by day and I dabble in game development on the side. I dream of one day making computer games full time, but it might take a while because I'm highly prone to procrastination.
MrPhil's Ludum Dare's
LD6 - Apr 2005 - Light and Darkness - DNF
LD11 - Apr 2008 - Minimalist - Battle Magic
LD12 - Aug 2008 - The Tower - Stacker
LD13 - Dec 2008 - Roads - Iron Roads
LD16 - Dec 2009 - Exploration - DNF
LD17 - Apr 2010 - Islands - Island Airline
LD18 - Aug 2010 - Enemies as Weapons - Unnamed
October Challenge 2010 - Stacker
LD19 - Dec 2010 - Discovery - UNSS Pasteur
LD21 - Aug 2011 - Escape - DNF
LD23 - Apr 2012 - Tiny World - Seeds of Destruction
LD24 - Aug 2012 - ??? - COMING SOON!
Sleep #2 – I doubt I truly fell asleep in 0 minutes.
Breakfast #2 – Mini-Wheats and Iced Tea.
I’ve hit the wall. I’ve got a bug I can’t figure out and too much to finish in order for the game to be playable. Not sure how to change course and finish something playable. It is very frustrating. I don’t want to quit but I also don’t want to waste my time.
I’ve discovered the new and wonderful Futile framework. Which will allow me to programmantically create a game in Unity3d without all the hassle. So, even though it breaks the rule “do not use unfamiliar tools,” I’m going to use it instead of my SFML engine I’ve been working on.
I took Chevy Ray‘s code that he released as part of his keynote for LD23 and put it up on github. It is written for his FlashPunk engine. I used it to make my LD23 entry Seeds of Destruction and it worked out really well for me.
PS Chevy if you happen to see this, I’ll happily transfer the repository to you.
Play Seeds of Destruction
If you haven’t played, I recommened you do. It’ll only takes a few moments to get the gist. It is a flash game, so you won’t waste anytime downloading/installing.
What Went Right?
1. Practice – I spent a good month practicing. I knew I wanted to use Flash and FlashPunk which I’ve never used before. So, I spent about a month before the event doing tutorials and then I worked on porting my Ludum Dare 17 – Islands entry to flash. Althought I didn’t finish the port, it was good to get my hands dirty with FlashPunk.
2. Chevy Ray’s Code – When the keynote was released and I discovered that Chevy Ray had given everyone a beautiful gift of awesome code, I immediately downloaded it and studied it. Then, during LD23, when brainstorming I threw out ones that could not be used with his starter code. It definitely shows that I did this, but I think it was worth the trade off.
What Went Wrong?
1. Bad Screen Switching Bug – in the last hours of the LD I ran into an impossible bug when switching between the different screens. I couldn’t unravel it because I didn’t understand Flash, FlashPunk and the Chevy Ray’s keynote code well enough. I spent too much time trying to “fancy fix” it. I should have switched to hack mode earlier. I ended up with a hack, that included restarting the game within the game. If you play it long enough I think it’ll run out of memory and crash. Doh!
2. Big Plans – I spent a lot of time on my animated cut scenes. It was planned to be more involved, but I noticed in time that I had to triage. I, luckily, was able to tell the bare bones story with what I had already created, but I stress how lucky I was here. I could have easily ended up with a lot of work being abandoned. I need to better judge how much I can get done in the time allotted.
3. Curse the Cursor – Several people complained about the green cursor being hard to see against the light blue sky. I hadn’t noticed this at all. I need to build in some “looking” time into my future plans. I was so busy with game play I didn’t consider the easy of use.
4. Distractions – I spent too much time surfing. If you watch the time lapse below I think you’ll agree. While surfing is a normal part of my routine, I feel it got out of hand. Typically I surf to give me and my subconsciousness time to organize and think about problems. Maybe I need to come up with a different way to take these thinking breaks. One that is less likely to degrade into just procrastination.
Tools I used Color Wheel:
I’ve had a few freinds play the Alpha test (here, comments welcome.) And! No bugs reported! Comments have been all positive too! My one fear is judges will think I just skinned the keynote’s code, but I guess that is one of the risks that comes with my strategy. Today is all about polish. My next task is to make a sort of intro cut scene that tells the story of how your seed landed.
Bacon, eggs and tomatoes again. And that’s ice tea I’m drinking, have been the whole Ludum Dare, home brewed even.
I have a few more items on my task list and then the game is “Play Complete.” That gives me all of tomorrow to polish, which was my goal! I’ve never been so far at this point. I think two critical factors have made this possible:
ChevyRay’s code that he gave away with the Keynote! Thanks ChevyRay!
I’ve spent the last month or so learning Flash and FlashPunk instead of waiting until the contest to learn!