Ludum Dare 27
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 25 Warmup
Ludum Dare 24
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 22
Ludum Dare 21
New Best Friend Award!
Awarded by zakchaos on October 3, 2013
just so you know
the GOTY is here
When I begun my journey to the center of my mind, all I knew was that I wanted to make a more polished entry than usual, and that it should be fast-paced. Well I got more than I bargained for, it’s hectic and flashy and reveals some core concepts of the universe.
We all remember the highlights of the development with fond memories. There were ups…
-repaying old bills
-being a bread the entire time
*flashback harp jingle with sine distortion*
i take sleeping pills
…But I finished again. I’m glad I took the extra day for the jam, the compo version turned out to have some bugs after all and lacked audio and the title/help screens.
Yeah you heard right, I actually had some in-game help this time. How ’bout we give ol’ Jiggawatt here a nice big round of applause, take a day off from work, maybe drink some coffee liqueur on the porch, mixed with a nice glass of cold milk, while swinging in one of those wooden swinging chairs you see in old folks’ homes, but not too fast because we’d get all dizzy and fly off, plus the coffee liqueur might spill on top of the work and we’d have to go back there, that is my vision for the future of this country and please vote for me in the presidential elections.
The gameplay is unique and went through several revisions to get to perfection. I had some wilder ideas for functions but they’d not have made much sense. The goal of neutralizing everything came to me through playtesting and dicking around.
GUD GRAFIX what else do I have to say about them
My entries have gotten good scores in Audio, and I kept my bar up again. The sound effects are juicy, and I think I went overboard on the music. Once the game was playable, I had this concept of a track that sounds whimsical and slightly cheesy but confidently so. The chorus melody came to me pretty fast, but I had to wait for inspiration for the rest of the track until the last day, probably because you all were stealing it for your nonsense. The result is fitting for the game if just a bit rushed because I ended up working on the music until the last minutes (in linear time). So there’s some unfinished-sounding bits and the occasional stray note. No time for proper mixing or instrument tweaking either… it deserves a proper remix.
After some practice I can clear the game like 20% of the time, so now I’m thinking of ways to make it harder. My idea of a hyperspace bonus level where you have to capture neutralized bullets never fully materialized, and I don’t think anyone else would’ve even gotten that far anyway.
Simply put, this is a great game on all fronts. If I were to rate it objectively:
Overall: 5/5 it’s like I’m really in a lambda spaceship
Innovation: 5/5 will render conventional video games obsolete
Fun: 5/5 you’re not missing out on anything by ignoring the other 2212 entries
Theme: 5/5 actually used it to spice up the game instead of making a shitty 10-second game and then whining about the theme
Graphics: 5/5 blocks and epilepsy
Audio: 5/5 makes you one with the game
Humor: 5/5 laughed all the way to the bank
Mood: 5/5 quite ecstatic thanks for asking
As you can see, the worst part of the game is the players. You’re all bumbling idiots with no sense of game design and I feel violated for having to release my masterpieces to a community that treats them like monkeys seeing a mirror for the first time. I mean, some of you couldn’t even pass the title screen, and I don’t think anyone of you actually completed the game. Two people lied that they did but their games were so shitty it’s obvious they were not worthy.
Clearly the game is too hard, so I’m working on a much harder post-LD version with extra challenges because that’ll show you. Well it could have a tutorial mode too but only if you kneel and plead.
Now I still have to play and rate your painfully bad attempts at game-making just so I can promote my game. LOOK WHAT YOU’VE MADE ME DO
GET OUT OF HERE
just so you know
the flashback never ended
Yeah. I thought I’d take that extra jam day to really juice up my game before submitting. I’m really satisfied with how trippy and Jiggawatt-y it’s turned out so far, and that’s exactly why it deserves all the extra content and polish it can get. I’m certainly not going to submit it without proper audio and some tweaks I missed, not to mention in-game help. The game is playable, damn fun and just about feature-complete, the only apparent bug being the wonky player sprite that disregards the laws of trigonometry and atan2.
Oh and you can disregard the scoring. As well as the rules. I ain’t gotta explain shit (yet). It’s actually beatable though! You simply have to turn everything into silhouettes.
Yup, I think that just about explains the game.
The holy scripture that is my todo list still consists of a few things that should be quick but are sure to take more than I thought, even if I take into account Hofstadter’s law.
For example, right now you get too many collected enemies. But there’s a pretty no-brainer solution of spawning more enemies. ERM I MEANT LESS ENEMIES OF COURSE. It’s hectic to begin with, but the way I implemented 10-second powerups makes it almost impossible.
The game mechanics clearly foreshadow a higher goal than just surviving. Since you can selectively restrict bullets and enemies based on your collectibles (note the blacked out enemies), I discovered that with certain optimal builds you can become an immortal lambda monster roaming the
space forever. I think that might be a fitting way to
complete the game END THE TUTORIAL AND START A MUCH HARDER WAVE.
Work has also begun on music and sound effects. The main track sounds like Mario Kart or something, but it’s too catchy for me to trash it. Well I’ll probably score pretty high in Audio as usual even if I just bang my keyboard, since most of you fools don’t seem to understand the power of music.
I’d like to take you in my lap and gently whisper to your ear “don’t worry, those aren’t the final graphics”, but you know how it always turns out.
“What’s that? Jiggawatt’s not making a game that’s just a static tile grid?”
I have a good feeling about this one. It’s fast and arcade-y but still has those peculiar touches I love. You can think of the captured enemies at the bottom as lambda functions – once a new one is added, it uses the selected one as a parameter and weird things happen.
Erm, that’s probably not obvious since there’s no visual indication for the effects yet, but you can become immune to certain shot types, or make enemies immune to them, and what have you. Still needs more effects though. It’s going to be a beautiful chaos.
And don’t worry, this time I’ll actually add some helpful visuals instead of making you read my mind. My goal is to only get less than 5 “this is confusing” comments this time.
I totally plan to keep up that version numbering.
It’s a hectic shooting game of some kind where the enemies you shoot become converted into status effects that reference each other, and they help you extend the time limit once you gain enough effects. I figure the status effects will eventually grow into a Turing-complete language.
I can’t be arsed to explain it. Just stare at the cute rotating background. Or alternatively at my stream.
For 6 consecutive LDs, the whole world has been holding its collective breath over “how does Jiggawatt make them LD games”. It was the top Google search of 2012, and the enigma sparked the Great South-Asian Wars between two Vietnamese villages that fought over whether I achieved them using my exceptional natural creativity or divine inspiration.
(Spoiler for those who don’t read the news)
Well, things happened, UN meetings were summoned, and turns out this time I’m legally bound to stream the whole damn thing at twitch.tv/121jigs. Expect my usual surreal interjections, behind-the-scenes explanations of plans and practices, and non-stop good music.
A dozen hours to go, my body is ready.
And I have something to show for it.
☑ Leaves room for the player to experiment
☑ Funky colors
☑ Crying bushes
☑ Minecraft clone, LSD Dream Emulator clone, aaht gaym
☑ “Trial version?” Really now?
☑ Bound to get comments like “this is too confusing!!”
☑ Shipping with bugs and don’tgiveafuck
I ended up jamming, and don’t regret the decision. Best to get something done after all, and it might even be kind of an interesting experiment. You have to connect a bunch of floating platforms by tending to supernatural plants. Keep them watered and collect more water from their droppings.
It’s quite zen but still puzzly. Not in the sort of obviously designed way as my puzzle games usually are, but in the way that you’ll naturally come across problems with your resources, and have to plan ahead. You’re just given the game board and some simple rules, which you’ll have to get the most out of.
A water pulse going through a plant. Not pictured: me haunted by ugly race condition bugs again.
(I’ll change that plant texture, don’t you worry.)
The Ludum Dare middle age crisis has arrived again, and as I see it, I’m at a crossroads:
1) I could try finishing the game in Unity despite not knowing what the hell I’m doing most of the time.
2) There’s still time to recreate what I have in Flashpunk, with hand-crafted 2D environments and puzzles, hopefully with at least the same degree of ambience as with crude lo-fi 3D terrain.
3) If I go for option 1 and don’t make it, I think I’ll have to do the unthinkable and take the extra 24 hours to jam.
4) Failing all that, I think I’ll just write these blog posts for the rest of the LD, making snarky but borderline abusive and intrusively personal comments about you people.
5) I can use the packet sauce.
I can use the packet sauce.
I can use the packet sauce.
Made content and screwed around with Unity in some kind of an improvisational haze. Might be a busy tomorrow.
Most importantly, I’ve managed to combine the two main ideas I had into some kind of a gardening game with environmental puzzles. I bet there’s demand for that niche somewhere. It’s a way to interpret the minimalism theme as both “zen gameplay” and “minimal actions producing complex results”. So I think I’ll roll with that one.
“Are you tree?”
“No I, am mountain”
“There is longway to enlightenment”
The 6th time, the arrival of Ludum Dare came from the behind. But it seems it’s really that time again.
Last LD, I created a perfect game, and it would’ve revolutionized arcade gaming if it wasn’t for you meddling kids. Now that there’s nothing left for me to conquer on that horizon, I feel like making something more abstract this time, like an interactive toy/simulation/”art game”. I suppose my code structure and such will reflect this too (I wouldn’t want to write the same pseudo-engine for the nth time).
Either way, now I want to do something different and just get into that improvisational creative outburst mode, because that’s the best way to get something out of LD.
(I secretly hate making games and only do it for these blog posts)
I’ve posted a post-compo version of Hunter to Hunted on Kongregate. This article focuses on said event, making it a post-”post-compo post” post. The new version fixes the bugs you never encountered, includes online high scores that you can only watch from the sidelines while drooling (most likely out of retardation rather than admiration), and adds a help menu to wrap your pathetic minds around those colorful funny things moving on the screen. Radical changes weren’t needed because one can’t improve on perfection.
Not that you’d deserve to pick the fruits of my efforts. Not that I’d expect you to understand the revolutionary nature of the gameplay after you’ve rated my entry #461 in Fun. I’m no mathematician, but it seems to imply you implied there were 460 more fun games in LD25, and that ain’t right.
I also wrote 25 pages of witty remarks, but they’d be wasted on a bunch of illiterate rednecks, so I’ll cut this short.
Now go to hell, and take my game with you. So you can try it out.
Taking one’s own previous LD entries, converting them to a portable framework and making them more like complete games, then packaging them as a “Ludum Arcade”.
It’s not like I’m foreshadowing or anything.
I’ve seen the infamous Ludum Dare come to an end for the fifth time! Once again I submitted a game I was satisfied with, but there were many who did not survive.
Ludum Dare is never the same thing twice, and nothing can fully prepare you for it. But unusually many things were different this time. The most glaring thing was my new framework, FlashPunk, which I learned thinking of game jams specifically. And by “new”, I mean I went from knowing Hello World to finishing my most addictive LD entry in 4 days.
This was a self-imposed challenge, and I conquered it. That’s what LD is all about.
But it wasn’t a case of going from point A to point B. The main theme in my development turned out to be redesigning and piecing things together.
In the beginning, it seemed deceptively easy. I had some routines from previous LDs, and FlashPunk felt convenient for getting things done fast, so I was already working on the presentation on the first day.
Little did I know I was riding a train to the wrong direction!
A ONE-WAY TRAIN!
In the last quarter of the compo, I reached the point I’d previously named the “Ludum Dare middle-age crisis”. I thought of all the possible games I could have made instead of wasting time on something so lackluster.
The final 10 hours was where the magic happened. I stopped beating around the bush and admitted to myself I didn’t like the gameplay; it didn’t have enough action, it didn’t have enough control, it didn’t have enough strategy. It wasn’t a game I’d wanted to play if it came up while rating entries. I decided I wasn’t going to take the easy way out and submit a mediocre, unfinished game. I wouldn’t be happy unless I improved somehow from the last time.
Finally, I made an effort to consider something fundamental.
Namely, the feel of the game. Something that can’t be communicated. The thing that separates gaming from other mediums. Being able to concentrate on it was why I’d chosen a small scope to begin with.
I had to remind myself, what do I want the game to feel like? What do I do to get there? Game design starts with the spark of motivation, a flash of what the finished product will feel like. You know, “wouldn’t it be awesome to have a game where…”. I had strayed too far from this initial impression and didn’t trust my intuition. It was time for me to stop and look back for once.
I had been racing for one stroke of insight, without realizing I’d already run past several. I just couldn’t feel them because the gameplay didn’t reflect them properly. I had been adding more and more unconnected ideas, taking the thing apart and rebuilding it over and over. The source code was a mashup of unfinished games with incompatible gameplay.
So I reviewed what was important to me – resource management, strategic preparation, micromanagement, emergent puzzles – and only left the features that I felt supported these.
Suddenly, it was fun to play. Success isn’t a linear path, often it’s failing and failing until there are so many failures that they block the exits and one of the balls is bound to go in.
Anyway, after the intense last stretch, I managed to submit in time, even with a couple of minutes to spare. Everything came together after all.
A quick recap would be in order:
What went right
- I learned something new about game design and Flash development.
- The music rocks, the graphics are crispy.
- The game is pretty simplistic while having lots of depth. Basically, I did the game I wanted to play.
What went wrong
- The code’s somewhat messy and rushed, leading to a bug that places two blocks in the same tile, and even a gamebreaking bug if you get far enough while playing it conservatively (in terms of enemy placement). I seem to encounter the latter annoyingly often nowadays…
- People are saying it’s confusing. Learning the mechanics through trial and error was something I was aiming for, but maybe more visual cues should be used to improve the process.
Based on those points, I’m pleased to announce I will be making a post-compo version of my entry! I’m going to at least clean up the code, squish the bugs, and add the “ignorable tutorial” I brainstormed in the comment section. I’d love to make upgraded versions of all my Ludum Dare entries some day, but I feel this one urgently deserves it, and it can be done feasibly. Hell, maybe I’ll even submit it to Kongregate with a high score feature.
Wow, I think I’m actually going to make it. Not that I’d doubted I’d finish, but the fun aspect of my game was a bit lackluster until the very last hours. Still has some minor collision bugs and lacks a real counter for scores, but it’s about as much game as you’re gonna get. And I must say it’s quite a gem as it is.