About refreshcreations (twitter: @refreshcreation)
Ludum Dare 27
Ludum Dare 26 Warmup
Ludum Dare 25
October Challenge 2012 Unfinished
Ludum Dare 24
Ludum Dare 23
Gyahh, I’m not even 1/3rd of the way through making my game!
I always seem to take a lot more time over making games when I’m not doing a game jam, which is obvious but fairly frustrating.
I’m going for what is very much an arcade game that looks and feels like it could have been releasedin the early 80′s, with the pallette and sound limitations of the time very much in place. I’ve gone with Unity3D as it’s the only tool I can wield aside from a few older programs which isn’t the best for making a 2D game in but does have that all-important easy to port to anywhere factor.
How am I going to get that elusive $1 this time around though?
I’ve put a few games out with banners adverts already and this game isn’t going to be any different in that respect although I’m hoping to get in-app purchases, including consumable “extra credits” and extra ships to play with as part of the plan to monetise it. I’ve not played with IAPs before so I figure I’d best get some experience with this and the October Challenge seems to be the best place to start out with this.
Most of the main game is ready and working on Android but all those important features such as Achievements, Local and Global High Scores, Multiple Language Support (thanks Google Translate) and Freebies for sharing on Social Networks all need to be added and supported through promo videos and a website to point reviewers to. It’s going to be one crazy month, that’s for certain!
Realistically, I might finish completing the game by the end of October although what with expecting a new babby mid-way through the month it may well be wishful thinking!
Anyhoo, here’s a fairly recent screenie, including RAM / ROM check screen, it should feel authentic yup!
So, some backstory from last year first:
I entered the October Challenge last year with my first commercial game Super Grid Run and finished submitting the game to Google Play and Apple late January (late or what, huh?) It went down really well with the android marketplace and is still selling a copy or two every day. An updated version is coming out at the end of this month for the Gamestick console as a featured release title which is fantastic, I never thought this would have happened!
If you’re one of those people who are on the fence about entering the October Challenge, I reccommend you give it a go, even if you finish late like I most definitely did. Going through the publishing and marketing post-game making is quite an experience, submitting your game to review sites is always a bonus, just don’t, DON’T go for any of those dodgy “pay-for-review” ones.
There are loads of resources out there that can help you out with getting your game out there, a quick search for something along the lines of:
“Top [insert platform here] Review Sites” or “Youtubers who cover indie games” May well gain you some unexpected exposure!
Also. I’m in for this again this year, it’s a blast and I ‘m working on a retro shooter, targeting mobiles this time around, more details will be posted most nights on my twitter, http://twitter.com/refreshcreation/
Have fun making games everybody, you’re awesome!
What went well:
Yes, I successfully made a game, in 48 hours, with a menu screen, instructions on how to play, credits, the actual game, win / lose conditions and 2 different endings OH MY GOSH!
This went along fairly smoothly, I was mostly using tools I’m familiar with, I attempted making some music with Terry Cavanaghs lovely program Bosca Ceoil and finally found a tool that I can use to make music with, Terry, if perchance you’re reading this you’re awesomenesss rating just went over the 9000 barrier.
I did a little bit of greyboxing with the player character to help me get the basic mechanics in place early on in the first day which set me in good stead for the second day bugfixing and enhancing the circuit.
I didn’t want to make something simple that you could just cruise through on at max speed constantly, that would have really made the game more sedate so there are a couple of points on the circuit where, shockingly, you will need to ease off and even slow down.
Initially on the first day I wanted to add features such as:
- Waypoint based A.I.
- Multiple tracks
- A power-up system
These features were cut down to result in a simpler game to make and design, essentially making the game more obstacle course / time trails than racing anything other than your 10 second time-limit. Still it’s a racing game!
Keeping the palette fairly limited really helped to eek out a style within the game, so adding polish including the transitions, intro “dash!”, camera movements and Fov manipulation helped me to want to get more behind making this game as good as I could within the time frame, I enjoyed adding some fairly low-poly environment to the tracks surroundings just to make it a bit closer to a cartoony racing environment.
What went wrong:
I only have time to test game builds properly on 1 machine during the timelimit, which is a bad thing. There may be unforseen frame-rate issues which could have an effect on gameplay, compatibility woes hopefully shouldn’t be present, unity3d really is so handy for rapid game jams.
I can rarely get the difficulty settings just right (read as: this game is pretty tough for some). After the 48 hours are up I’ve probably gone through playing the game at least 100 times which really skews my perception of what’s going to be difficult for a player.
Difficulty is funny thing, it depends on the players previous experience, I did have ambitions of creating a Normal and Easy Mode Circuit for this game but doing so would have meant skimping on a lot of the polish which adds to the feel of the game.
All in all I absolutely loved making this game and the Ludum Dare atmosphere. I feel more confident with Unity3d after every game I make, even when I make a blooper, there’s still important experience to be had!
I’ve spent just over a year now getting into game jams and were it not for the astounding team behind Ludum Dare I doubt I would have got back into the game making saddle, Here’s to all of you! HUZZAH!
I’m now thinking about continuing on from the 48 hour game jam version on-towards making this into a fully-fledged racing game over the coming months.
Crikey, best put a link to so people can play the game now hadn’t I…
If you would like to keep up-to-date ith my progress on this and a couple of other games I’m making, check out my twitter account @refreshcreations
Yes! Freed up the weekend for the 48 hour jam and ready to get my coding on
Tools of choice will be the usual suspects:
A microphone and probably some crazy things smashed with a hammer for rudimentary foley!
Now, time for me to turn around and yabber on to everyone here at work about how excited I am about the weekend ‘n’ stuff all week long until I get buried under a lotta nerf gun fire!
Best of luck everybody and have fun making ‘n’ playing!
Made a simple little mole bashing game in Unity yesterday in 4hours, turned out quite well I think and had a lot of fun making it! Split the time into 2 hours making assets and 2 hours coding and below is the result.
Link me do to both webversion and android apk file –> http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26-warmup/?action=preview&uid=6823
I’ll probably add some more features onto it shortly after LD26, then get it out onto Google play, etc, etc
Yes, this will be my Ludum Dare 1 year anniversary!
I’ll using my standard tools of:
- Flash (for quick vectors if needed)
- Milkshape3D, yay, low-poly models!
- SFXR for tasty sound
- Audacity for other sound effects / crazy voices
Thanks once again to all the LD admin crew who organise the events and keep the website running, you’re awesome!
But, it’s February…I think I’m the last one across the finish line here, but the development journey was much more entertaining whilst taking the scenic route
So, yes Super Grid Run is the game and It officially got released on January the 31st, as the first entry to the onegameamonth.com challenge. It’s a fast paced avoider with fun retro graphics and I think I’ve reached the 1 dollar goal now, which is a great thing to achieve. It’s a very simple one-touch game and there is lots more details about it over at http://www.supergridrun.com/
The Ludum Dare Game Jams have been a great experience for me so far and I’m looking forward to the next one whenever it may be!
Best of luck to everyone who enters and has allready entered the one game a month challenge and I’ll be back next Ludum Dare.
Sneaky Promo Video and Google Play Links below:
Promo Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7rvnwjvjbo
The Most EVIL Breakfast post mortem.
Aww yeah! This was a really fun theme, I admittedly spent the first few hours after I woke up trying to figure out what to do, I’d had thoughts of making vertical shoot-em-ups where you place enemies strategically in-order to destroy the hero plane , some ideas based around towers and tower defense but in my crazy brain they seemed concepts which I thought a lot of people would do and I wanted to try and challenge myself with coming up with something different (at least different to what I’ve done before)
So, I wrote down a list of all the cool things that villains have / do, including:
- Make awesome evil laughs
- Sound like Skeletor
- Own Underground / Moon Bases
- Have hoardes of minions / robots / henchmen to do their bidding.
- Own pets (think the claw from inspector gadget)
Next I thought, what would be a suitably evil task for the villain to perform. Whilst there were the thoughts involving destroying/ taking over the world I wanted my villain to be somewhat more odd, so I thought, what would be really unpleasant and how could it be worked into a game?
Now, mincing up things is a pretty nasty process and kittens are so cute. What could be more evil then sending out robot henchmen to mince up kittens into breakfast? Not much, so I went with that as the idea.
Next I had to think up a look, by now I’d already decided that I wanted to create a 3d world, erring on the low polygon side of things as much as possible with a minimal amount of effort.
Having recently played around with shaders inside unity I chose a simple, colour scheme of red, white and black and let myself run though designing a simple robot, basically from a collection of spheres and then some appropriately scaled world objects.
I started playing with animation in unity and was looking into ranged attacks for the robot minion to perform but kept my eyes on the time left and decided to cut that out and reduce it down to a simple cat and mouse affair.
Keeping everything (with the exception of the robot) as low-poly as I could meant for much faster modelling and by the end of the first day I’d got my 3d models all set-up, the beginnings of the world, some movement, and some crazy voices.
But there was one problem which I had to fix and it was important.
What would a kitten sound like being minced up?
Thankfully I had a hand blender in the kitchen so that was an obvious choice for the blades whirring up but it didn’t feel err meaty enough?
Luckily I was snacking on some hula hoops later on and they’re pretty crunchy, so I tried crunching some up with my fingers on the desk, pointed the microphone, overlaid the sounds and eurghh, it really sounded like what I imagined would be kitten bones breaking. Fairly scary sounds!
A while later I found myself not satisfied with just the noise so added some bloody particle effects and a camera shake for extra effect. You don’t ever see what happens to the kittens just the err….end result.
By this time I was feeling like quite a monster for making something like this so it was the best time to do some more voices for the evil villain and give him some level of radio interaction with the menial robot.
After the final sound effects had been made and cut and testing the packaging for the web went fairly smoothly and I managed to spare time to add an android version with some pretty basic controls. I was worried that despite going low-polygon It wouldn’t run well but it seems to run fairly smoothly, even on mid-power devices which is a relief.
In summary. I had a lot more fun then I expected this time around. I’m a little scared it may have brought out an evil side to me but hey, I can live with that,ha!
I honestly love kittens, sadly the wife is allergic to them but that’s probably for the best otherwise the RSPCA /PETA may be on the phone at me, eep!
Oh yes, the entry is playable here–> http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-25/?action=preview&uid=6823
So I figured I’d best post a gameplay video of it in progress.
The last few percent of completing as game are really the longest aren’t they?
View the Video on Youtube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qz9C25nAyZk
I’m grateful for any feedback, there are a few more details on my blog post over at: http://refreshcreations.co.uk/games/2012/11/super-grid-run-gameplay-demo/ Hoping to release to Android and iOS ,paybe PC, Mac also on the 6th of December, just a little later than the..errr end of October…
Looks like I’m going to be a little late for the October challenge sadly. But this isn’t entirely a bad thing.
The event has got me psyched to make a game that I can sell for cash monies and whilst I could rush it out for release before the end of October I’m looking more at releasing shortly afterwards, family and work commitments have resulted in there being fewer and fewer hours in the day for me to crank some code out so things haven’t gone according to plan but that’s just the way it goes sometimes
I did an experiment with adverts on Gravity Force 3, my first Ludum Dare entry earlier this month which I was thinking of considering to achieve the $1 but really, after seeing the lack of revenue from it on the minor android markets I think I’ll focus on cheap, pay for apps, none of this freemium nonsense.
Although I’ll probably take the adverts in game option, recently been in touch with an awesome guy about use some of their music for a game I’ve just started making recently and free-to-play means I can use the music, giving credits to him, pay for means I should give him some monies, although I’ll probably do that anyway as it is awesome music.
I’ll stick to something simple and (hopefully) playable as opposed to over-complicating things, try to add sheen to it in order to have a small yet addictive game (It’ll be a runner, yup).
I’ll probably try to post updates on my blog over at: http://www.refreshcreations.co.uk/games/
Best of luck to everyone who’s entering, now onwards with pro style!
What Went Right:
- Made a game, a difficult but fairly fun game!
- Made a procedurally generated track.
- Boosted up my Unity3D Skills.
- Quick 3D Modelling in Milkshape 3D
- Ran 10k on sunday mid-dare in 1 hour 3 minutes, ohh rah!
- Made some design decisions on the fly and they held together well.
- The player always has something to do this time around, it’s a fairly intense game if you want to survive.
- The shooting triangles really seemed to make it for me personally, that was the moment it felt like a real game.
What Went Wrong:
- Lost a lot of time on Saturday due to an unforseen physics problem.
- Lost more time on Saturday due to a lack of naming scheme for my track tiles…silly me!
- A lot of the design was more on the fly than my past idea.
- There’s 2 bugs still inside the game. Read – Lack of testing.
- One of them involves the jumping machanic
the other Only appears on your second play through, forgot to re-initialize the animation.
- There’s no real ending, except for your own demise, hahaha!
- Didn’t get to add some of the features I’d planned on putting in there including:
- On-line high scores
- Improved Difficulty Tiering throughout the game
- An Actual Ending
- I forgot to put an exit button on the Windows / OSX Builds….Ha!
What I’ve learnt during this Ludum Dare.
- I can really push myself harder than normal when I’ve got the time free to dedicate to one project.
- Working like this is probably the best thing for me if I get the chance.
- Tripping up then nearly running into traffic downhill is not advisable.
- Some more things inside unity, mostly physics based, ha!
- Keep to a nomenclature with assets, I rushed then neglected this to my cost.
Will I carry on development of this game?
Probably in a couple of weeks time, just so I can take a breather, my next weekend is fully booked also!
Might look to porting to Android / iOS in the future when some more bits are fully implemented.
Oh yes, a linky, I nearly forgot –> Play Dash Dash Dash Now!
Current build (wasd and space controls) http://www.gravityforce3.com/ld24/
This jam has proven slightly tougher than the last due to my astouding number of typos. Think I might have strecthed the boat out a bit far this time round still got te following to do:
- Optimize level loading / streaming
- ending / win condition
- visible evolution on main char, not just in abilities
- menu src
- difficulty balancing / progression
- other standard gui stuff
8 things, 10 hours, maybe a couple more depending.
The Dr Pepper is chilling out in the fridge downstairs, aww yeahhh, smooth sailing
Did a quick tally this morning of how themes were positioned before final voting, feel free to use / ignore the data below:
Parallel Worlds +253
Creation and Destruction +233
Chain Reaction +146
End of the World +89
Don’t Go Outside +58
Break the Rules +48
Beginning of Time +35
Deep Space +27
Secret World +19
Time Travel -28
After the first great fun journey that was LD#23 ,made an actual game, soo happy!
It’s still got a bunch of stuff I want to do with it but just been busy with other stuffs, you can play it on yer putoid / android below:
I’ll be using the tools I know best for this again so that’ll be:
SFXR and Audacity and Zerius Vocoder, that was fun to play with last time.
Some sort of server interaction too, through PHP an MySQL would be nice, even if it’s just high scores, that would be cool to do.
Midway through Sunday I’ll be taking part in a 10k run also which will either save or destroy me.
Good luck to everyone out there, can’t wait to play your games!
Wow, Ludum Dare was an intense experience for me. My head is only just about recovered now. It was a lot of fun too chatting to people on irc and now there’s so many games to play and review if anyone gets through all 1100+ of them that is true dedication to reviewing as you’ll have played each game for under half an hour and probably not slept for 3 weeks. You insane person out there that actually manages to accomplish this I salute you. Because otherwise I fear you will do terrible, terrible things to me.
Anyhow. Made a game, that works okay, in Unity3D, called Gravity Force 3 – viewable here –> http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-23/?action=preview&uid=6823
Not the most amazing or unique take on the tiny world theme but it encompassed the lmitied knowledge of unity3d that I had gained before the weekend. some other ideas involved a penguin trying to defend it’s ever shrinking island from flaming hoodlums by kicking ice blocks at them and some other tomfoolery but those didn’t end up being my entry as I figured it was too far beyond the 48 hours of time available.
I think I balanced my time well. thought I’d finished at 11pm GMT on Sunday but noticed some final bugs and my final submission was at 1am. I’m currently adding some more featurse to Gravity Force 3 so it can be played nicely on mobile devices and hope to pubish it onto kongregate and indie city in the future.
Gotta say this Game Jam has been an amazing learning experience for me and I’ve been introduced to some new software for audio creation and I really hope I can enter again in August. Thank you once again to all the people involved in organising ludum Dare, it has re-kindled further my interest in making games which makes me feel great, yay!
Coolies, I’ve got Saturday free now for sure!
Looks like I’ll be keeping it simple and hopefully fairly polished (hopefully) as it’s my first time.
Guess the main thing is to complete a game in the time so I’ll have to rein in my over-ambitiousness! So I guess I’ll be using the following:
Pen & Paper
Sfxr, Audacity, possibly Musagi if I can figure it out.
Milkshape 3d for some low poly models.
You just never know what the next weekend will bring with an excitable toddler around.
But I think I’ve learnt enough in Unity now to get something or other working in unity next weekend.
I’ll be probably using the following:
Unity3d, Photoshop, sfxr, audacity, Milkshape 3d and textpad for one thing or another. might put some time-lapse software on the compy to see how it all goes!