Employed Game Programmer who, oddly enough, really hates programming games! Love my low level code, and bury myself deep in engine code when I can, but will sometimes come out of hiding to write game code for a competition. Love graphics and sound, but a bit more biased to sound programming.
Ludum Dare 26
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Ludum Dare 15
So, since some of you know I am actually waiting until tomorrow to start (Flight back to Aus, > 30 hours)…I thought I would post what I done today to help me in my quest to make a game in the air:
1) Bought dice. Lots of em.
2) Bought a deck holder thingy…for cards and stuff.
3) Drank beer with a bunch of friends. Lots of it.
4) Watched movies.
5) Thought about the theme.
Being in short time back over with friends I prioritised them (not seen em in years, so sue me). But as planned, the flight from the UK to Australia starts tomorrow, and I will be making my entry Hopefully get it playtested at Singapore Airport with some random people too
Due to some unfortunate circumstances, I had to fly back over to the UK from Australia last week. My flights back to Australia lie on the LD weekend.
Excuse to skip it?
NOT ON YOUR LIFE!
Solution to this situation?
BOARD GAME JAM!
Going back to basics, and gonna be crafting a board game whilst I travel! Should help the time pass on the flight, and keep me occupied
Due to the way the hours all lie for my flights and stop overs, I’ll be doing the 72-hour jam rather than the 48-hour compo. Really, I will be doing it in under 48 hours…much closer to 30 actually!
Before I start, I would like to know if anyone has done a board game for Ludum Dare before. I can’t think of any, but I may be wrong. I would like to check out ones others have done if there are any
Also Potatoes are amazing.
There have been quite a few people asking in #LudumDare about when it is, and I suppose it’s time now! This one is a bit earlier than usual so as not to conflict with Global Game Jam, and as an extra special treat to all the #1GAMers out there, this one will be running for TWO WEEKS. That’s right folks, running from today, 11th Jan until 25th Jan! Ending submission time will be the same as regular LD, so 03:00 UTC. Now on with the theme I suppose:
Ever finished a game, and after release you’ve thought to yourself “Damn, I really should have done this”, “Why didn’t I make that game instead of this one?”. This is your chance to change it all. Feel free to take the theme and use it as you wish, perhaps as part of the core game play mechanic, the story, whatever! Revisiting an old LD theme that you couldn’t take part in or didn’t complete is also fine. This is a jam, your game, and it’s about fun. Treat the rule as more of a suggestion to get the ideas flowing.
There are no rules for this jam, other than of course not using copyrighted material. Besides that feel free to make the game on a plane, with your name, whilst on a boat, eating oats, take an old game and make it bold. The doors are open!
One thing I will ask is for people to say what part of their game is the “Hindsight”. “I should have entered last LD”, “I should have made this game last LD”, “Control mechanic”, “Story”, etc. If you don’t feel comfortable giving where it is, don’t worry about it
Hey ho all, first time I’ll be doing the Ludum Dare Jam rather than the Compo, but this should be a good one. Going back to Sydney to meet up with my GGJ 2012 team, Team Ourbros, who made Expendable (http://globalgamejam.org/2012/expendable-0) We’re going to crank out a game in 72-hours over a fun packed long weekend! As usual, we will be using my engine “Psybrus” (https://github.com/neilogd/Psybrus).
If you’ve seen my twitter feed, you’ve probably seen my ideas. I’m going to go for a walk and think through mechanics for each of my 3 ideas, then begin prototyping! I’m pretty chilled about this, each idea should be relatively simple to do. Anyhow, this is the ideas board:
Idea 1: Nuclear Fusion. You are strong force and need to keep the sun burning.
Idea 2: You are a catalyst. You need to make chemicals in a test tube all react before the time runs out using +ve/-ve charges to attract the appropriate molecules.
Idea 3: You are Higgs Boson. Scientists are trying to find you, but of course you don’t want to be found.
It’s that time again, and only 4 months, 1 GGJ, 1 SOPAJam, and 3 MiniLDs later I am ready to celebrate Ludum Dare’s 10th Birthday! The framework and tool chain this time round for me will probably be some of this stuff:
* Engine: My own, Psybrus (https://github.com/neilogd/Psybrus).
* IDE: Visual Studio 2010.
* Text Editor: Sublime Text 2.
* Image Editor: GIMP.
* 3D: Blender & Pixexix.
* Sound & Music: Audacity & FL Studio 10.
* Timelapse: Chronolapse.
* Livestream: Xsplit (I will be located here: http://www.twitch.tv/neilogd).
The obligatory work station photo in the count down to the compo:
My entry is done! I threw together some AI tonight to compensate for lack of online play, it works pretty well surprisingly! LAN play is still supported, but it’s a bit ropey. Anyways, it can be found here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/minild-33/?action=preview&uid=1154
Well, I got a lot more than I expected done this weekend! Got the networking working, although I switched to ENet for the game logic. Still going to use IRC for the match making, but gotta look into NAT traversal in the coming day. Units work, control groups work, need to add some blocking objects to prevent rocks and arrows hitting you, and also differentiate between a “move” and “attack move” for a more micro heavy game. I might work on making the unit collision a bit nice, but that’s not important to me at the moment – it’s functional Big thanks to Cell for drawing me up the solider and archer sprites too! Here’s a picture of it in it’s current state:
The code is also available at GitHub in a branch of my engine: https://github.com/neilogd/Psybrus/tree/MiniLD33Game
The weekend is almost here, and I know I’ll be doing this a bit late, but MiniLD is flexible right? I had already budgeted the time for the weekend coming so screw it Anyways, my doodle:
I’m gonna make an RTS. May sound like a difficult task, but I’ve already got a few ideas to keep it simple. Only 3 or 4 unit types per side, no base building, no upgrade path. Purely controlling a set of units, full visibility, and 1 screen. However, I quickly need to decide something fast regarding it being 2 player:
1) Make it networked. This is actually pretty easy to do if I keep it LAN or direct IP connection. (I won’t have time to do NAT punchthrough unless Enet does it for me).
2) Make the opponent AI. I’ve never done this before for an RTS, so is probably more difficult than the previous.
3) Make it local multiplayer. Easiest option, but can it be done with an Xbox 360 controller? And well?
UPDATE: I’m rolling with online multiplayer. IRC should provide a stable enough way for game clients to talk. It isn’t a perfect solution, but it gives me the ability to use any old IRC server that’s there to find other players easily, and DCC for communication between clients. Basically, it ticks the boxes for such a short development time frame
What went right:
- The Food & Drink:
Prepared enough food for myself for the weekend, made sure the house was stocked up with enough to eat and drink in case I became bored of consuming that. Only drank 4 energy drinks over the weekend, and avoided coffee and alcohol.
- The Idea:
I came up with an idea pretty quickly, and stayed focused on it until I had a working game mechanic. This took a total of 9 hours with 1 good break in the middle.
- The Graphics:
Decided right away that I’d be hand drawing all my graphics. For this I used a graphics tablet, and was the best decision I made yet. Initially planned to make a 3D game, went ahead and made a 2D prototype, but had more than enough time to turn it into a 3D game during the second day and did!
- The Engine:
This is the 3rd LD I’ve used my own engine, I was going to be doing it in C# with a port of my engine initially, but decided against this as I’ve fixed a lot of bugs over the last year and it would be throwing away productivity if I didn’t take advantage of this.
What went wrong:
- The Sound & Music:
Completely uninspired musically and don’t have the greatest library of synths, and not totally familiar with the tools I chose to use. Sound wise I didn’t produce much. The sounds I created were quickly made with Audacity recording with a microphone and filtering.
- The Submission:
Thanks to a recent update I made to my engine to do multithreaded rendering, and only testing on single/dual core machines, I missed a critical bug in my job system which prevented it from working on a machine with more than 2 cores. It’s been fixed now, but it’s something I should have tested before hand.
- The Development “Hardware”:
To make sure the game worked for most others, I developed the game in Windows XP…inside Virtual Box…in OSX. This was a nightmare as the GL window will block Visual Studio when hitting a breakpoint, causing several headaches…not to mention that GL is slow inside a VM (could be considered an advantage performance wise since it’ll run smoothly on almost any machines). Next time I will be using a hard machine, hopefully with Windows 7 installed, and do compatibility testing inside a VM & on other machines.
- The Sleep & Night Before:
The day before LD it was my companies xmas party, which meant I drank a lot, and got very little sleep before LD. This turned out not to be so bad as the adrenaline of LD hit me hard! Saturday night (well…Sunday morning) I scraped 5 hours sleep before the second day. Didn’t sleep Sunday night and continued to work, but got there eventually. Monday was taken off work as a means of catching up on sleep, but sleeping through the Monday messed up the sleep that night, causing me to remain tired on the Tuesday. Could be worse, thought I managed it fine, but not so much as I would have liked.
Before next Ludum Dare:
- Ensure I’m familiar with all my tools.
- Test on several different machines.
- Improve my engine’s content pipeline.
My entry can be found here:
The timelapse video is here:
So here is a screenshot showing the latest. The bunnies are animated and positioned separately to the swarm behaviour, basically like they are being dragged along. This gives me the swarm-like behaviour, but also very nice hopping animation as they move around the world. The line shows what bot in the swarm is attached to each bunny.
I’m pretty happy with my progress for a change, looks like I will get a whole day to just focus on polish ^_^