Ludum Dare 24
Ludum Dare 20
Ludum Dare 19
Ludum Dare 17
Ludum Dare 16
Ludum Dare 15
Just dropping by to say hi. I don’t *really* have time to enter the LD this time around, not with a serious entry, but I have an interesting idea for a small entry (possibly jam rather than competition) that has a text-based interface (console, or web if I have time) that I think I could code up in maybe five to seven hours.
Hope everyone is having fun, looking forward to seeing the entries people are working on!
My game, Princess Mystery Dungeon, is now available in savory Windows and sweet OS X flavors! A big thanks to Spooner for packing up the Windows build for me.
If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go!
(One warning: There is a very occasional crash during the initial dungeon creation that I haven’t fixed yet. If the game crashes on launch, try running it again, it should work most times).
(There are may be other crashes, too. Probably there are! If you run into any, let me know, and I’ll try and get them fixed.)
It’s done! It’s not [i]done[/i] done, but it’s done.
I hope to continue improving this in the coming weeks (though I guess I’ll be to busy judging, for a while!).
Anyway, congratulations to everyone who finished, and to those who are doing the Jam, go baby go!
I just wanted to let people know that, depending on the theme chosen, I may use a substantial portion of the code written for my LD19 entry as basecode. Specifically, I’m thinking of the map handling, player movement and collision detection code. Obviously, all the art assets will be done from scratch, as will the game text and the map designs and such.
I had originally intended to go in a very different direction with LD20, but if It Is Dangerous To Go Alone, Take This wins, there’s no way I’m not doing another zelda parody.
So, I’m more or less finished with my LD0 catch-up entry: Dog.
I’m too tired to package it up as a proper download right now, but if you want to check it out via source, it’s available here. You’ll need Ruby, Gosu, Chingu and Texplay, too.
I’m also too tired to write proper instructions. The truly adventurous can attempt to figure out how to play by pressing random keystrokes until something happens. Otherwise, I’ll add a Readme tomorrow.
In any case, I will say that I had a lot of fun working on this, and I’m looking forward to LD1: Guardian! Though, I’ll have to take a different tack on it, since I won’t have adequate contiguous time anytime soon.
Okay, status update for my LD0 catch-up, since I have to take a break to run some important errands. So far, the game looks like this:
You can move your dude around, and instruct the dog to move towards you or stop. The blue walls, only the dude can cross, the green walls, only the dog can cross. The weird red is supposed to be a door that only opens when both the dude and the dog are standing on the pink area at the same time, but I haven’t coded it yet.
Not 100% sure how I’m going to implement the fetch command, or make it necessary for that matter, but we’ll see. As for ‘speak’, well, I need monsters to scare away. So there’s still quite a bit of work left.
Okay! It’s time for me to make my LD0 (Indirect interaction) game. I will spend as much time as I can muster today doing this.
My idea is a game involving the player and their dog. The only actions the player can take are the move around the map, and issue instructions to their dog (like, come here, sit, fetch, or speak). They have no agency to act on the world, and must overcome all obstacles through the agency of the dog, thus, indirect interaction. Also, the dog isn’t very smart and can’t navigate mazes themselves.
Given the time constraints, I forsee having very simple graphics, probably no sound at all, and only a few levels. I do hope to implement the four commands I noted above at the very least, and come up maps such that each command must be used at least once to complete the game. Other than that, everything is icing.
PS: Ruby, Gosu, Chingu, Pixen, and some basecode stolen from my other projects, same as always.
Once again I’ll be hopping in on this one. Hope to be able to dedicate a fair amount of time to this one.
As usual, resources will be:
- Language: Ruby
- Libraries: Gosu, Chingu
- SFX: SFXR (or some variant thereon)
- Music: Autotracker-C (or none at all)
- Graphics: Pixen, Photoshop
What I do will depend on the theme, but I’m strongly leaning towards doing a platformer of some kind. I’ve never done one before, as I tend to do top-down action/puzzle games. I actually have a neat idea, but it’s too early to say whether it’d fit the theme or not.
On another note, Uhfgood and Mikhail Rudoy have inspired me, and I’m going to (attempt to) do a Ludum Dare catch-up series. I’ve got Monday off, and though I have some errands to run, I think I can fit in an LD0 (Indirect Interaction) game. LD0 was only 24 hours rather than 48, so fitting it into my schedule is reasonably easy. More thoughts on Monday.
Missed out on LD18, but now I’m back! Some good themes so far, though nothing that’s screamed inspiration at me. In any case, tools and libraries include:
Code: Ruby + Gosu + Chingu (probably!)
Graphics: Pixen (probably!) or maybe just colored squares like in LD16 (if I’m lazy!)
Audio: Some form of SFXR
This time around, I aim to focus more on fun gameplay than doing something weird like last time. Capsize was fun to write, but it wasn’t any fun to play. Depending on the theme, I’m aiming for some top-down original-zelda-esque gameplay, but who knows?
So, with the weekend over and some of my voting out of the way, I figured I should write a bit about how thing went. I had really been rooting for Flood, as I had this neat idea for a puzzle-platformer in which you must raise and lower the water level in order to reach new places and manipulate objects of varying buoyancy. Such an idea probably wouldn’t have panned out in 48 hours, but it didn’t end up mattering, since the theme was islands.
I didn’t actually have any idea for the theme, and was considering skipping this LD until my girlfriend suggested I parody the recent comments of Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) concerning the island of Guam, specifically the danger that it would “tip over and capsize”. I thought this was a brilliant idea and set to work.
Things that went well:
- I got to use my buoyancy ideas that I had been thinking about for the Flood theme.
- I was able to write a primitive importer to transform an SVG shape into a Chipmunk shape.
- I produced much better programmer art than I ever had for previous games.
- I had sound for the first time.
- I learned a lot.
- I figured out how to successfully package some very awkward dependencies into a distributable ruby application (specifically, getting FFI packaged up correctly was gratifying).
Things that didn’t go so well:
- I had very few ideas for actual gameplay until it was way too late.
- I wasn’t as familiar with my libraries as I thought I was, and introduced lots of subtle bugs that were hard for me to track down.
- I didn’t manage as much programmer art as I would have liked.
- I wasted a lot of time trying to wrangle garageband, which I had never used before, and ultimately had to give up on it.
- There are some very basic bugs that, had I spent time testing at the end, I could easily have fixed.
- Packaging was difficult.
Some more on that last one; I had some problems getting everything packed up, for both windows and mac, but my biggest problem came from a weird issue with bitbucket. They use Amazon S3 as their storage for downloads, and apparently there was some issue there, because when I uploaded new versions with fixes, they didn’t end up distributed correctly (or so I surmise), because some people clicking the download link got the new version, and other people the old one. That’s all fixed now, so if anyone tried earlier and was unable to get the game to run, you might have more success now.
Now to respond to Hempuli’s comment:
F-Secure blocked it as a “suspicious program”. Probably a false positive, but could you ensure this?
This is almost certainly because the windows version is run using allinoneruby.exe, which is a complete ruby distribution packaged into a self-extracting archive. When you run allinoneruby.exe <scriptfile.rb> (which is what Capsize!.bat does), allinoneruby.exe extracts an entire ruby distribution into a temporary folder, uses that to execute the script, and then cleans itself up. It’s almost certainly this behavior that’s triggering warnings. Harmless though this particular program is, a lot of malware makes use of similar mechanisms. It’s not the most elegant distribution method, but it’s simple to set up, reliable, and fast.
You don’t have to take my word for the binary’s safety, though. If you’re concerned, you can download your own copy of the program and replace mine with it. Or, if you have ruby installed on your system (and know how to use it), you can just use that. The code itself (the stuff that I wrote, for the game) is all there is plain text, if you want it.
Anyway, I hope people who try Capsize are at least amused by it, even if it didn’t turn out a terribly good game. I’m looking forward to LD18 already.
Just a note to let people know that I’ve linked packaged, double-click-it versions for Mac OS X and Windows on my entry page. The combination of libraries I used, and the limitations of my development environment, made this game somewhat difficult to package, so I’d appreciate some feedback letting me know whether or not the packaged versions work, particularly on different os/arch combos (like 32 vs 64 bit, Intel vs powerpc mac, etc).
(A note, for those of you who downloaded entires via bit-torrent, Capsize! didn’t make it into the torrent since the windows build wasn’t ready at the time).
I’d love to participate in LD17, but I’ve got a somewhat ambiguous schedule this weekend so the amount of time I can spend on it may be limited. Still, I participated last time on a small-scale basis, and that’s probably what I’ll do this time. I like keeping my hand in, even if my games haven’t really been smashing successes so far.
If I do participate, I’ll be using same as last time, Ruby+Gosu for code, with Pixen for graphics (assuming I get past the ‘draw everything with primitives and fill in the pictures later’ stage this time) and sfxr for audio. If I need physics, I’ll be turning to Chipmunk.
All right, so, I’ve managed to work out how to participate without a) unboxing and setting up my computer just for the compo, in the middle of a move, or b) leaving little software dev turds all over someone else’s computer, the solution being, use entirely portable (as in USB-stick portable) software for development. In this case, allinoneruby.exe, notepad++, mercurial (the command-line part only), pidgin (for irc), and whatever graphics software is already on this computer (such as MS paint, probably). This is made even more delightfully awkward by the fact that I normally do my work on a Mac desktop, and now I’m on a PC laptop. Should be awesome.
I should also add, in addition to my previously announced use of Ruby and Gosu, I may make use of chipmunk for physics, and I may steal some code out of an earlier project of mine, Operation Lambda. I anticipate using application-level code like menus, user preferences and resource management, not any gameplay code.
All that being said, this is still a busy weekend; nothing like 48 hours will be spent on this project.
I was hoping to be able to participate in LD16, and I’ll still try to get something in. Since I’m in the middle of a move, though, it’ll probably be something fairly small. That might be a good thing in any case, though, since my LD15 entry was too ambitious by far and suffered badly for it.
In any case, if I am able to participate, tools will be the same as in LD15; ruby, gosu, pixen, mercurial, and (hopefully) sfxr.
At the moment my computer is in a box, however, so prospects are somewhat dim; I don’t plan to set up a development environment on my girlfriend’s laptop (where I’m typing this), that would be rude.
So I’m finally getting around to writing a post-mortem for Mole Cave Tactics. I know it’s better to do it fresh off development, but I needed a break.
Since it seems to work pretty well for a lot of other people, I’ll go with the time-honored format of
- The concept: I had my concept in mind for this theme (and the many related themes on the list) since well before the theme voting wrapped up. In fact, I had been bouncing ideas for some sort of tactical rpg around in my head for quite some time prior to the compo.
- I finished: The game didn’t have nearly as much content as I had included in the concept, but it was pretty obvious that that would be the case from the beginning, anyway. Given that this is my first LD, I’m pretty happy I managed to upload a game which runs, has things for the player to do, and has defined ways to win and lose.
- The graphics: Ok, so it could be reasonably argued that my sprites would be better classified as ‘bad’ or ‘ugly’, but, I’ve never done any graphics from scratch by myself before, and I actually rather like how the moles turned out. They need some tweaking, but I think they’re pretty good. The terrain I’m less happy with.
- Mismanaged time: I kinda knew from the start that this was going to be too ambitious for a first time LD entrant, but above and beyond that I did a poor job prioritizing different aspects of the game. In particular, I spent way, way too much time on AI. I didn’t really appreciate just how difficult a problem doing AI for this kind of game is, I went for way too much sophistication, and as a result I didn’t pull it off at all. I should have known immediately I was doing something wrong when I started writing code to have the AI units look ahead multiple turns in planning their movement. Random walk may not have been very satisfying, but it would have been more than compensated for by the extra stuff I could code in the time I saved.
- No readme: I didn’t ever get around to writing a readme or even specifying a license, so the player is kinda left on their own to figure out what to do.
- Only one map: This game could *really* have used multiple maps, or a random map generator. This is one of those important things that didn’t get done because I was tinkering with the AI.
- The interface: Oh, God, is the interface bad. I should have taken it more seriously when I started adding undocumented keyboard shortcuts for nearly every mouse action in the game. I didn’t think the interface through very well at all during the competition. Having thought it through after reading the complaints, I think that if I want a mouse-driven interface, a radial menu centered on the unit under consideration (think NWN) would be best. Alternatively, just ditch the mouse and switch to all keyboard.
- The Windows port: for some reason, the Windows port was incredibly painful to make this time. For a long time I actually somehow managed to have a build posted which wouldn’t even run on the machine I built it on. I love Ruby, but packaging Ruby applications is a terrible, ridiculous mess. Next time, I’m going to look into Crate.
All that said, I had a huge amount of fun doing this compo, and I definitely intend to enter again. I also plan to rework and expand Mole Cave Tactics into a full-fledged game, when I have some time to sit-down and code again. Don’t expect a release soon, though: my other game, Operation Lambda (shameless plug) took half a year to complete; it’ll take a few more LDs before I’m able to crank out games of any appreciable quality in a short time period.
So I’ve tried again, and this time I think I’ve finally managed to wrestle a working Windows build into place: download it here. For some reason I had a much easier time packaging my last (non-LD) game. Suffice it to say, it is probably best for everyone involved if you don’t ask why it’s necessary to distribute SDL_mixer.dll with a game that has no sound.
Ok, end of the day for me. I’m going to sleep. If I wake up around 8 or 9, I’ll have 11-12 hours left to work.
I’m probably not going to finish what I originally intended, but I’m having fun anyways. I’ll definitely continue this project after the compo is over.
As for the game, I’ve got movement down and am nearly finished with digging. Plus, I’ve got a terrible menu system. I’ve never done a mouse-based interface in a game before, and I’m not very good at it. Anyway, after digging, I think I need to start adding more units, so that I can add attacking. That, plus bughunting and packaging, may be all I can get done, though if I have time I’d love a random/procedural level generator. The enemy AI, assuming I even get that far, is going to be *very* primitive.
Dinner tonight was a roast, with a baked potato, a roll, and a bottle of Martinelli’s, prepared for my by my sweetheart of a girlfriend. Afterwards, we played some Animal Crossing, and now, back to work for a few hours before bed.
Got a unit in, can draw him along with the squares he can move to. Need to add an actual interactive UI, so that the player can actually select a square to move to. Gonna go with mouse driven, rather than keyboard like I did in Operation Lambda.
Lunch was leftover pizza, kool-aid, and Loaded Potato Skin flavored chips. Yum!