Ludum Dare 28
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 25 Warmup
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 23 Warmup
Ludum Dare 22
Ludum Dare 22 Warmup
Today, lonebot.net is officially turning one year old!
I wanted to post this here because without Ludum Dare, there wouldn’t be Lonebot. So thanks a lot everybody! I think we’ve come a very long way since we launched our website
Here’s a cool video Mati made about our games:
So what does the future hold? Hopefully, not potatoes.
Thanks so much for everything, Ludum Dare!
I want to use this post to thank everyone behind the Ludum Dare website.
Ludum Dare has inspired me to step it up and start making games that people can play.
Ludum Dare has helped me realize who I am as a game developer, what I am capable of, and how to work on a game with a team.
Ludum Dare is what inspired me and my friends to start Lonebot. If it wasn’t for Ludum Dare, Lonebot wouldn’t exist.
Every Ludum Dare poses refreshing challenges and risks, that often result in creative submissions with innovation involved.
The best part about Ludum Dare (in my opinion) – the “no prize” ideology. The prize you get is the game you made, the lessons you learnt, the fun you had. Everyone who participates in Ludum Dare is a wonderful person.
So thank you, Ludum Dare!
As a bonus, here’s the music from Cottonhead Turbo!
Our game, PUSH, won 5 in fun and 7 overall! This is huge for us, considering the ratings we used to have before.
I made a graph based on our overall/total entries ratio, you can see how much we improved!
Thanks to everyone who voted and commented on our game. We’ll do even better next time!
Hi! In this post, I will try to discuss the process behind developing our entry for this Ludum Dare, PUSH.
Unlike most of my postmortems, I will not break this one into days because there isn’t much to write about this game.
Originally, we didn’t even plan on joining this Ludum Dare, because we all had a lot of tests and didn’t think we’d have the time. We originally thought of the idea when we first saw the theme, but that was it – it was just an idea.
Mati & Itamar began drawing some doodles, just in case we would actually make something, and lo and behold; we did. I took a look at the graphics and realized this wouldn’t require too much work on my side (I’m the coder), as the engine would be really simple. Here are some Alpha graphics:
The general idea is set in an Indiana Jones universe, where our adventurer can only push one item per level. How would this concept play the main mechanic in a puzzle game though was what kept us busy for most of the Dare. We weren’t sure how levels would be designed, what would impose a challenge, what new elements we could introduce or how difficult the game would turn out to be.
I coded the engine and we had a soundless game with the adventurer who would teleport 16 pixels every time we pressed an arrow key. Rocks would also teleport (or get pushed) once per level. It was ugly, but it was set in stone.
Also, yes, that’s the Spelunky idol! We originally wanted the game to be an homage to Spelunky, but we later dropped the idea when we realized this could make people angry.
If you play PUSH, you’ll notice that the level design panders to utilizing that one push to piece a level together, e.g pushing a rock into a hole so that we may later tread on it. Designing the puzzles was the hardest part of working on the game. I designed most of the puzzles myself throughout the third day, while Mati and Itamar designed the first ones and the last puzzle (which is also the hardest).
We also had to change the order of some puzzles to make the game become increasingly difficult as you play. When we let our playtesters play, they told us some of the earlier levels were harder than the later ones, which is what triggered the level shift.
As we continued to work, we wanted to achieve the polish most of our games have. We think ‘eye candy’ and pacing are two of the more important things a game in a jam should have. I added some math algorithms so that items wouldn’t teleport but instead slide to their new positions (it’s really just x += (targetX – x)/2), a bouncing effect and animation to the player for when he moves, dust particles (which I think almost all of our games have) and sound effects. We also had Suezo make us some amazing music which you’ll hear looping throughout the game (the reason it’s called YOPO on Newgrounds is because the game was originally titled “You Only Push Once”).
We started going over the levels to see if we could make anything better. We added random rocks and pits, for cosmetic purposes, and also a main menu. Itamar suggested that the menu should actually be in-game, meaning it’s actually another level:
We also wanted to include some dialog, but we decided that a silent protagonist is classier. I regret not adding names to levels though. (“Humble Beginnings”, “Firebrand”, I had plenty of them!)
What went right?
- Polish – Something that is very important to us.
- Easy to learn – The game itself is easy to understand and play, but that doesn’t make it as forgiving you’d expect!
- Music – Once again, the lovely Jason Lord.
- NO BUGS - Ok, this might sound a little dumb, but I *HATE* having bugs in my games, and I usually have them when I make a game for a jam. Fortunately, because the engine is so simple in this one, there weren’t any. Yay!
- Double player feature – One of the features I’m more fond of. I thought of the concept of controlling two adventurers while designing levels. It required me to completely rewrite most of the engine, but I’m sure people appreciate it.
- Gradual Difficulty - The game introduces new mechanics and gets progressively harder the more the player plays, which is something nice for a puzzler.
What went wrong?
- A little too hard - Especially on the last two levels.
- No easter egg – We love hiding the Lonebot logo in our games, but we didn’t know where to put it this time.
- Workplace – Because we didn’t plan on joining this Ludum Dare, we didn’t work at the same space which made development slower. Makes me wonder what the game would’ve been if we had worked at the same place!
- Stress – Because I barely had time to work on the game, everything felt a bit rushed, so appreciating the final result was kinda hard for me.
So that’s it! I would really appreciate if you play and rate our game! ♥
Here is a bonus of gif of level 19 being solved:
Thanks for the read. Until next time!
PS gifcam is awesome. You should check it out.
We made it! We are the best pushers.
It was very hard working on this one, considering how little time we had and how much life interfered, but we still managed!
Introducing PUSH, a game about pushing!
Am I too late?
We finally got around to making the Post-Jam version of our Ludum Dare #26 game, Cottonhead.
We made this for the Charity Game Jam, so check them out!
Here’s a trailer for Cottonhead if you don’t know what that is:
Unfortunately, Lonebot will not be able to join Ludum Dare 27!
Our programmer (me!) is on a trip to Alaska and will only be back on the second day of the competition – and will probably suffer from severe jet-lag (10 hour difference!).
However, I’d like to use this opportunity to wish all of the participants the best of luck and I’m hoping to play some great games when I get back!!
I’d also like to wish our artist, Mati, a happy birthday!
- with much ♥, the Lonebot team
Hi! Welcome to the post-mortem for Cottonhead.
Here’s the trailer.
Remember Bottled Worlds? Once again, I came over to Itamar and Mati’s house with a laptop. We spent the night playing Rhythm Heaven and watching some weird and loud videos.
We woke up early, saw the theme, and instead of breaking our heads over it like in all previous Ludum Dares, we went out and got ourselves some… Burekas!
We sat down in some nearby garden and started coming up with ideas. We had plenty of ideas, one including a story where the world is being kept minimal by an evil machine. Another idea is that you’re something who wants to fly. How is that minimal? That’s it. That’s the story. You’re something that wants to fly. We weren’t sure where to take it from here but it seemed like a good idea at the time.
We sat there with a pile of papers and Burekas and began drawing drawing some ideas.
Unfortunately, our brain storming session was interrupted by a birthday party, but we still had plenty of ideas we wanted to put to test.
We already had the basic concept art for the main character finished. We wanted a blob with a big nose.
We headed back home and started working! After a short dilemma, we decided that, yet again, we’re making a platformer, woo! (we love platformers)
We decided to not think about the gameplay and keep that for the end, so we polish the game properly and make it pretty. This is the first time we were doing this ‘experiment’ and I think we’re very pleased with how it came out, I’ll touch on that later in the pros-cons.
So after a few hours we created a basic engine with concept art for the main character.
We also had a basic idea of how we wanted NPCs to work in the game; we didn’t want anything violent or action-oriented, we wanted some minimal batter between them and the player that will only add to the mood of the game.
Itamar drew some NPCs:
And after many hours of work we had a basic level created!
(also notice the feathers on the bottom left!)
I went home, but we weren’t finished yet! I put up a post on lonebot.net for a recap of our first day, then headed to bed.
OH MY GOD, I came to their house again (with a laptop).
We dedicated the second day to completely finishing everything except for the level design. We decided to leave that for the final day. The reason we did this is because we wanted the map to be balanced in terms of content – to have everything ready to be placed within the final map while making it, without having to change things around.
So first of all we finished the NPCs! Here’s a collection of all of some them for reference:
We started adding the main quest: collecting feathers. We didn’t hide feathers around the world yet (we were saving that for tomorrow).
This day was tons of fun because it mainly consisted of making pretty particles, finding music and adding awesome effects.
We also made Magina the Wizard!
Itamar drew a new tileset:
And they both drew some houses:
We added more sounds and an ending, and that was the end of day 2!
Sadly, for some reason, lonebot.net got hacked!!!!!! So we couldn’t post a day 2 recap!!!
Final day! I came over to Mati and Itamar’s house…. again!! Without a laptop this time. This day was pretty short-lived because all we did was build a level and playtest our game.
also an intro:
And thus, Cottonhead was finished.
And unlike any other Ludum Dare, we finished it BEFORE the deadline without any stress!!!
What went right?
- Extremely polished. We decided we want this game to serve more as ‘eye candy’ and we think it worked out well!
- Workplace. Unlike any Ludum Dare before, we all worked in the same physical workspace which made things MUCH more interesting and easier for us. It made the workflow much easier and smoother and everything was fun.
- Nice world. I think the world map in this game came out very nicely. We gave it a lush colorful feeling which helped us shape up the world.
- Minimal story. There is barely any story behind the game, we let the player shape it in their head to what they think makes sense!
- Awesome music. Thanks to Suezo from Newgrounds.
- Almost no bugs!! Woo
What went wrong?
- Too hard. Some feathers (2) were a little too hard for our playtesters, and we should’ve fixed that when we could. One feather requires an extremely accurate jump and the other is just barely visible. In one of the playthroughs we saw for our game a player thought that he had to something before getting the accurate-jump feather.
- Too short. This is criticism we got plenty of times… We’re not sure if it’s also a compliment but we’ll work on it next time
- Lonebot hacked.
- No mac/linux client.
All in all, making this game was very, very fun for all of us. This was probably our best Ludum Dare, because everything just went in our way so easily.
Also, our biggest achievement: this is the first game we’re releasing under the name ‘Lonebot’!!!! Please check out our new website at lonebot.net
We are hoping to make a really big game soon, and this is all thanks to Ludum Dare! <3
So, that’s it. That’s how Cottonhead was made. Now go play Dota or Rhythm Heaven.
Thanks for the read <3
Sorry for no updates today, we were very busy and forgot!
This was our best Ludum Dare so far. We didn’t finish late and we worked in the same place – making everything much easier.
Good luck everyone!