Belgian with a love for beer and videogames.
About My Milked Eek (twitter: @MyMilkedEek)
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 24
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 22
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I didn’t post any updates here during the compo, I didn’t feel like it. But you can check out my progress at my website. I’ll crosspost the post mortem.
Last Ludum Dare I had to drop out due to personal reasons. Thankfully nothing happened the past weekend. So that’s one of the things that went right.
Things that went right
- libgdx, if you’re a Java developer, check it out. I used Slick2D during my four entries before this one and I was satisfied with it. But libgdx is so much cooler. I tried a quick tutorial on Friday eve and jumped right in on Saturday. It worked out great.
- once again, I kept the scope of my game small: infinite runner with minimal input
- Android, this goes with libgdx, but deserves its own point. Porting it to Android is so easy and it takes no extra work at all.
- Making the jar/apk. When I used Slick2D I had to add the dependencies in myself as well as the resources. I don’t know if it could be done differently, I guess Maven could come into play here, but libgdx does all that for you. So once again, in case you didn’t get it: LIBGDX
Things that went okay
- my code. I tried maintaining an as clean as possible codebase. But I dropped that notion. BUT contrary to the previous entries, the code I had written during the “clean” phase of my Ludum entry has saved me from entirely changing up the code when I added different enemies. Adding new enemies now isn’t a hassle, while with previous entries I… well, let’s not talk about it…
Things that went wrong
- The theme. I don’t know why anyone thinks Minimalism is a good theme, because it isn’t. I was really rooting for anything related to Death/Afterlife because I had an awesome idea that I really wanted to use. But there’s always next time right?
- Ludum Dare isn’t really a challenge anymore. I can comfortably finish up the game by Saturday night/Sunday morning and use Sunday afternoon to nag about how I have to do art and use the Sunday evening to create bad-to-mediocre art. This is either because the game I made now is reasonably easy to implement or because of the theme. But, for the next Ludum Dare, I am going to try to make a more interesting concept, a bit more difficult, so that there will be this tension to make the deadline.
Ideas for next Ludum
- make it more difficult for myself. Ludum is a self-imposed challenge. It can’t hurt to make it harder on myself.
- perhaps enter the Jam with some friends or fellow Ludum participants. (might be a good thing for the art)
- practice art (an ever returning item)
I look forward to rating more of your games. If you want me to rate yours, drop me a message or tweet at @MyMilkedEek
My tool box:
- Java :
IntelliJ IDEA, I became an evangelist for this IDE, get it now, I believe it’s still on sale!
Slick2d + JBox2D OR libgdx, depends on how much practice I get with libgdx, music especially.
- Graphics :
Paint.NET again, I think.
- Music/SFX :
I’m going to try to improve my top score (pun intended) and go all out here. Been practicing a lot. Instruments at my disposal: Double bass, classical guitar, electric guitar, keyboard and some minor instruments (recorder, harmonica, etc…)
BFXR/SFXR, whichever one is the most complete of the two, I always seem to forget.
Good luck to all and see you soon!
Unfortunately I’m out. There was too much going in my family this week. I can’t focus on programming at all this weekend. I tried though.
Good luck to all!
I’m really excited for this one. I’ve been preparing a lot since the last time. At least, more than I usually would.
* Java ( slick2d, jbox2d ) in IntelliJ or Eclipse
* My instruments, I got a good rating on my soundtrack last LD, so I’m hoping to increase the score (pun intended) this time.
* BitBucket for my repositories
So, I finished my game. It’s not an instant classic. But here’s my post mortem;
What went right
- Groovy, groovy is awesome. Quick prototyping, quick feedback from the mechanics. After reading the theme and doing some quick brainstorming, I had tested 2-3 concepts within the hour. Why I took the less action-packed of them all is another bullet point.
- Coding. I laid out my mechanics Saturday morning. Listed what I wanted and implemented everything. That’s cool.
- Time management. I think I spent a whole lot less time than my other two entries. I made a loose schedule based on 3 parts (simple mechanics, advanced mechanics, art) and when I started a part I would make a tight schedule.
- Music. Even though there are some Linux issues with it, I like the music I recorded for my entry. If you have the time to spare and there wasn’t any music in my game on your platform. Open the sound files and listen to them. I tried to give it a nice summer vibe and I did ok, I think.
- Bugs. Bugs were rapidly found and exterminated.
What went ok
- Art. My crops look horrible, BUT compared to my level of arts, it’s bloody brilliant.
What went wrong
- The theme. I didn’t think evolution would get picked, so I didn’t think about some ideas before the compo started. I spent the first half hour staring at my wall trying to come up with a good angle. I didn’t, so I just went with what seemed most feasible and finished that.
- Linux. God. I thought Java was cross platform? Sound issues forced a -lame- workaround for Linux.
- I was going to do a mouse oriented game. The only mouse action in the game is closing it…
What went horribly wrong
- Sunday afternoon I made a jar to give to caranha to test out some stuff. I then realized it would not run. not even on my own machine. And the issue was with Groovy. So fuck that, I thought, I wasn’t going to spend hours trying to find the solution to this: I ported it to Java in record time. Who would’ve thought that the thing that was making me progress so fast would be the thing holding me back?
Groovy is good for prototyping, I’ll probably won’t use it in the next Ludum for the actual game code. Although I missed a lot of features while porting to Java. I just love Groovy.
Setting out reasonable goals concerning mechanics is really reassuring and made me enjoy the coding a lot more. Last Ludum I was frantically coding my game and leaving bugs everywhere. I haven’t looked at that codebase because it makes grown men cry.
Clean code is possible in Ludum. It’s not as clean as it could be, but it’s not confusing to read or quickfixes upon quickfixes upon bugs like my previous entry.
If you want to incorporate some features, I wanted a mouse oriented game, make sure you know how to before the compo starts. I didn’t bother looking it up, because I would lose precious time. In hindsight, I did have the time to look it up, but better safe than sorry. In other words: know your tools.
My cell phone has a decent microphone to record my music.
After a success and a semi-success (game didn’t run on other pc’s) I’m entering again. Slightly different setup this time.
- Music: …
Good luck to all.
Getting there. Getting there.
Most of the programming is out of the way. On the todo list:
- victory condition (depends on map)
- story (intro)
But first a small break.
http://milkedeek.wordpress.com/ for more pictures and stuff.
For me it’s about 2 hours in.
I decided on my idea of the thumb. Tiny Thumb is born. Got some basic stuff out of the way. Right now I got to run to do some administration (adult life sucks monkey balls) but after that I’ll be back.
And for the more curious people: https://code.google.com/p/mme-ludum-23/
Seriously Tiny world? I thought I woke up earlier and read the theme was Parallel universes, but apparently my sleepy brain tricked me into believing that. -sigh- Fast forward. Three hours into the competition I woke up and this is the theme. Well… First things first.
I have about 4-6 ideas on paper.
- A little kid on a train sticks his hand out of the window and you guessed it, his thumb gets cut off. The thumb, lying in the grass, is now on a quest to get reunited with its former place, or is he going to have an identity crisis and choose for independence?
Genre: RPG, Plattformer or Action/Adventure
- You are a PC. Or to put it better: the intent of the game would be to deliver input bits as fast as possible to the output. While doing so the bit (or bits) might have to be processed to acquire a desired output, such as going through the ALU to get a calculation on two input bits/bytes before going to the screen output.
Genre: Obviously a Puzzle game
- An ant is being chased by his love rival after he got caught smooching the queen. He’s now running for his life dodging rain drops, falling cigarette buts and gum.
Genre: Score Attack
Genre: RTS or TBS
Going to go away from keyboard for a bit and do some art and some basic concepts. Ahem… “art”.
Second time entrant. I finished my game the last time, but to be fair, it wasn’t a gem. The setup this time:
- Java, slick2d, but I picked IntelliJ over Eclipse this time.
- Paint.NET, solid choice last time, I doubt it would disappoint me this time round.
- Tiled, map editor, go check it out. Slick integrated this awesomely.
- sfxr for the basic sound effects.
- music is still up in the air, suggestions are always welcome, might go audacity, who knows
Basically the same setup as last time. BUT
This time I took some time to learn a bit more about the frameworks and tools I’m going to use and I’m really stoked. Gogogo.
I learned a lot throughout this Ludum Dare.
Preparation is key. And I don’t mean by programming the game before the compo starts, but by knowing your tools inside out. I spent a lot of Saturday messing around because I didn’t practice enough with Slick2D. That was noticeable by the peaks and lows my FPS had. It went from as high as 3000 to as “low” as 200 FPS because of a few changes. I’m pretty sure that I won’t do that much better the next Ludum Dare, but I’m confident that eventually I’ll master resource management.
Clean code is good code. Yeah, screw that. I tried maintaining the cleanest code possible throughout Saturday and spent more time “cleaning code” than writing code. I stopped writing clean code on Sunday. I’m not saying “screw clean code entirely” but in a Ludum Dare situation it can get hectic and it’s better to output code fast instead of clean. It’s not like I’m maintaining this game after today.
Make it playable as fast as possible. I read some developers preaching this and to be honest, it’s cool and fun when your game is running and changes you made are instantly testable. I switched from a platformer to a topdown view during the course of Saturday. I felt platforming wouldn’t have been as fun and as smooth as topdown would have been. Know your limits applies.
One thing I didn’t do was participate that much in the community. That was a choice I made when I started. I wanted to focus on game-making entirely. I think I wouldn’t have finished my game if I was reading around and trying everyone else’s game. Not to speak of internet distractions…
All in all, my game isn’t that much fun. It entertains you for a minute, or two if you’re a slow player, but I’m glad I made it.
Special thanks to caranha for assistance and lols.