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Ludum Dare 30 — August 22nd-25th 2014 — Theme: ??? (VOTE NOW!)
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    In for the compo!

    Posted by
    Thursday, April 25th, 2013 9:20 am

    Looks like I’ve got time this weekend, so I’m going to try to make a thing for this.  Hopefully it goes better than my last LudumDare.

    Flashdevelop for coding and flashpunk as my framework.

    Graphicsgale for pixels, and maybe Photoshop or Paint.net.

    MilkyTracker, Renoise, Audacity, and Bfxr for audio.

    Probably using OGMO editor for something.

    Here’s my Basecode.  It’s pretty much the same basecode I use for everything.

    Good luck everybody!

    Ludum Dare Number FIVE

    Posted by
    Thursday, December 13th, 2012 7:11 pm

    Looks like I’ll have time for Ludum Dare this weekend.  Gonna do a Flash game.

    • Flashdevelop for code.
    • For libraries… Flashpunk, Flod, Bfxr, and maybe some other stuff.
    • Graphics Gale and Paint.net for graphics.
    • I’ll probably use OGMO Editor for level editing.
    • MilkyTracker for music, and probably for some sound effects too.
    • Paper and pencils.
    • Rice, fish, and whatever vegetables I have in my fridge for food.
    • A bed for sleep.
    • A toilet and a shower, because I am a civilized person.
    • Probably won’t Timelapse or Livecast or Foodblog or anything like that, but I’ll try to post screenshots.

    Here is the basecode I’ll be using.  It’s flashpunk, an OGMO level loader, a preloader, an XM music player (through FLOD), a BFXR sound player and cacher, a bitmap font renderer, and some other stuff to tie it all together.  THere are a bunch of bitmap fonts and a song I made in there too.

    Good luck to everybody, and I hope the theme isn’t lame.

    ANtopia Postmortem

    Posted by
    Friday, April 27th, 2012 8:46 am

    I guess I should do one of these, huh?  If you haven’t played ANtopia yet, you can check it out here.
    I was pretty excited about doing this LD, not only because it’s Ludum Dare’s 10th birthday, but because It’s my 4th Ludum Dare.  And 4 is, like, a really importatnt number.  I was pretty happy with how my games turned out in previous LDs (17, 20, and 21), but my last attempt, in December (22), was a dud.  I just didn’t have enough time to do anything worthwhile.  For LD23, I knew I’d have most of my weekend open.

    Preparation

    For all my previous LDs, I used Game Maker.  This time around I decided I wanted to make a Flash game.  I felt I was finally comfortable enough with AS3 and the mess of libraries I use that I could work through any potential problems on my own.  We all know Flashpunk is pretty great.  That’s what I would use to handle all my gameplay and graphics.  I also decided to use Christian Corti’s Flod library to play music.  Since I could play .xm files I could keep the file size low, and wouldn’t have to worry about looping MP3s.  For sound effects, I chose to add the Bfxr synth directly into my game… Just copy the parameters into your code and it makes noise.  I think I only used 2 MP3 files in the whole game.  Of course, I made sure all of this was tied up neatly and working before the weekend started.  Shit, did I just write a whole paragraph about code?

    Tiny World

    So I waited and the theme went live and.. I liked it.  Tiny Worlds is a good theme.  It’s evocative, but not too specific.  It could be about limited space or resources, seeing familiar things from a new perspective, or about isolation.  I decided to make a game about insects.  I thought about how an ant colony is like a tiny city.  My original brain-vomit of the game was pretty ambitious, actually.  I imagined this huge city to explore, maybe the ants go to war with other insects.  I thought of giant earthworms digging tunnels.  None of that stuff made it into the game, of course.

    So I pared things down to a game with just one goal:  “The queen is sick. Save her.”


    What Went Right

    I think keeping it simple was a good idea.  I used game mechanics I was familiar with, so there were really no surprises coming up as I was coding.  THe story was… paper thin.  I actually think that was good, becaue nobody playing a Ludum Dare game wants to sit through long cutscenes full of exposition and world-building, right?  I like to leave more to the imagination.
    Graphics worked out well too.  The tiles are pretty sloppy, but I think they work.  I also used a limited palette– 9 colors that I’d picked out before the competition.  That helped to keep everything consistent.  Music and sound effects were easy– I think they’re my favorite part of game design– and FLOD and BFXR worked great for playing everything in-game.

    What Didn’t Go Right

    Surprisingly, not much!  I had a few minutes of frustration setting hitboxes, but that’s because I didn’t understand how they worked in Flashpunk.  I also had some trouble with OGMO Editor not saving room properties and entity values, but I just added them to the XML in Flashdevelop.

    I was also kind of disappointed I didn’t really do anything new gameplay-wise.  It’s pretty straightforward Zelda-style gameplay: Find a sword, kill some monsters, find a key, open doors.  I started edperimenting with doors opening in domino-style patterns to unlock enemies and stuff, but I didn’t have time to really explore that mechanic.

    Oh, I guess I drank too much beer.

    What Now?

    I don’t really feel like expanding on the game right now, but I could definitely do more with it.  Different enemies, more characters, more rooms to explore.  I just finished working on a bigger project, though, so I think for now I’d rather focus on doing more small games.  Maybe enter some more game jams.

    And… done.

    Posted by
    Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 1:54 pm

    It’s done, mostly.  I left out a few things I wanted to do, but they would have been too complicated anyway.  Just a short Zelda-like.  Nothing new gameplay-wise, but hopefully it will be fun for a few minutes.

    Check it out HERE.

    hey here’s something

    Posted by
    Saturday, April 21st, 2012 11:46 am

    I don’t know what I’m doing, but it’s starting to look like a game.

    one hour….

    Posted by
    Friday, April 20th, 2012 7:18 pm

    One hour in, I’ve got 40 seconds of music, a half-animated player sprite, and I just spilled beer on myself.

    Pretty good start.

    Ok, I’m in for real.

    Posted by
    Monday, April 16th, 2012 1:05 pm

    Looks like my weekend is mostly free! That means I should have plenty of time for Ludum-Daring. Here’s what I’m using:

    • FlashDevelop for code… with Flashpunk for game stuff, Flod for playing music, and bfxr for sounds.
    • Graphics Gale, and maybe Gimp for pixels.
    • OGMO editor for levels, probably.
    • Milky Tracker for music.

    Oh, and here’s my basecode.  Most if it is stuff that’s already open-source (Flashpunk, Flod, bfxr), or snippets of code that you could find or forums (Draknek’s preloader, a bitmap font class, an OGMO level loader), but I figure I should post it anyway just to be safe:

    Download

    I’m in! Probably?

    Posted by
    Monday, April 2nd, 2012 6:06 pm

    I was just looking at the files for my unfinished LD22 game, and I found a schedule that I’d written up for that weekend:

    Friday night 11-1:
    Brainstorm, sketch, maybe start basic code.

    SET ALARM FOR 6
    SLEEP

    Saturday morning 7-9:
    Make graphics

    SHOWER AT 9
    LEAVE FOR WORK at 9:40

    Saturday night 8-1:
    code everything, design levels.

    SET ALARM FOR 6
    SLEEP

    Sunday morning 7-12:
    Hide a kitten in the game.
    Playtest, polish, upload by 12:00

    LEAVE FOR WORK BY 1

    How did I not finish a game? :(

    So yeah, hopefully I’ll have more time this LD. I’m super stoked! Good luck everybody and I’ll see you in… 17 days? really?

    Giving up

    Posted by
    Sunday, December 18th, 2011 11:36 am

    Around 9pm last night I found myself working on a moody platformer with droning chiptune music and gray squares for graphics, and decided I should sit this one out.

    Good luck everyone!

    I’m in for 8 hours.

    Posted by
    Thursday, December 15th, 2011 6:11 am

    So it turns out I’ll have to work this weekend. I’ve figured out if I subtract work, sleep, driving, eating, and the inevitable stress-diarrhea, I have about 8 hours to make a game. That should be enough time, right?

    Oh, and since I already went to the trouble to make this:

    See you in 1 day, 12 hours, 48 minutes, and 53 seconds!

    Hotel Escape — Finished!

    Posted by
    Sunday, August 21st, 2011 5:29 pm

    I didn’t have much time this weekend, so I decided to go for a short, simple game. Run around and avoid the spikes, that kind of thing. You can download it here.

    wait… it’s started?

    Posted by
    Friday, August 19th, 2011 9:19 pm

    I had an idea for “escape” before I even knew the theme. Now that I’ve started on some graphics, I’m not sure they will work with my idea, but whatever.

    Also started on music. Nothing much yet.

    wtf am I doing?

    Posted by
    Friday, August 19th, 2011 1:11 pm

    I may be short on time this weekend, but I’ve had my heart set on entering LD21 for like… six days now. There’s no turning back!

    I’ll be using Game Maker 8, Graphics Gale (maybe a little photoshop), MilkyTracker for music, and sfxr/bfxr for sounds.

    Here’s my basecode. It’s not much, just sets up some surface scaling and GMBassmod, which I’ll use to play music. Also has some constants for the colors I’ll be using. Oh yeah, I think I’ll be doing all my graphics with this color palette:

    …just because.

    Good luck everybody :D

    Don’t Go Alone – Postmortem

    Posted by
    Thursday, May 5th, 2011 2:19 pm

    Everybody else is doing one of these. I want to do one too. There may be spoilers here, so if you haven’t played Don’t Go Alone, why not check it out?.

    “It’s dangerous to go alone, take this:”

    I wasn’t thrilled with the theme when I first saw it. I thought, “Great… old video game reference in a video game competition. THAT WILL INSPIRE NEW AND ORIGINAL IDEAS!”

    Of course, it’s silly to be disappointed in the theme. Part of the fun of these things is that they provide boundaries for you to creatively hack away at. People who complain that a theme is too limiting.. probably just aren’t that creative.

    It was Friday night for me when the theme was announced. My first thought was, “if it’s dangerous to go alone, why not have somebody escort you?” From there I though, “who would escort you through a dangerous forest?” Maybe a creepy stranger. Maybe this stranger could start out being helpful, but become malicious along the way.

    I did not open up Game Maker right away… I don’t really see the point. Instead I opened up MilkyTracker and started composing a gloomy tune. As I was working on/listening to that, I opened up Graphics Gale and started doodling. And then I went to bed.

    What Went Wrong:

    My main problem was a lack of time. I had to work Saturday afternoon, so that cut a few hours. Also, Saturday was like the nicest day of the year, which made it kind of depressing to sit in front of a computer making a gloomy game.

    So I did most of my work on Sunday. Which is fine, although it’s also when I came up with my best ideas. Hence, as the clock is ticking I have to resist the urge to make this game more ambitious. I added a second path through the game, and made the stranger react if you got too far away from him. Then, 30 minutes before the deadline, I realized I hadn’t created any ending to the game. I made a quick still image with some fade effects for the “normal” ending. And for the ending “bad” ending, if you make the stranger angry? I used the same graphics and added a stupid caption. Art!

    Graphics were kind of a mess. For my two main characters, I had ZERO animation. Yet for a single enemy (the big wolf-gorilla gate that shoots lasers), I made a big death animation. Also, the tiles are as ugly as can be. I left out a lot of details in order to get the game done on time. For future LD games I might just throw in some auto-tiling scripts.

    What Went Right:
    In spite of my time crunch issues and my half-assing of things, a lot of things went well. On the technical side, I learned that GameMaker’s built in pathfinding stuff actually is pretty cool if you know how to use it. It certainly saved me a lot of time. Music and sound were easy, and probably the most enjoyable part of this whole thing. Sfxr definitely made things easy, and I know it well enough that I can petty much get it to do what I want. I’ve been using MilkyTracker for years (and Fast Tracker II for years before that), so I can churn out some decent music in half an hour.

    Now What?

    I like the basic idea of this game. I think I’ll focus on polishing the graphics… Work on the tiling and give the characters some real animations. After that… who knows? Once I finish something I’m usually sick of looking at it, so I don’t see myself expanding on this idea anytime soon. But I do think it has potential.

    If you still haven’t played Don’t Go Alone, please check it out here and tell me what you think.


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