Been making games for a while - I do programming for a living and I've been doing quite a bit of tabletop development. Hoping LD will get me back into digital development!
About robbiehunt (twitter: @robbiehunt)
Alright, I’m in for my second LD – it’s been too long since my last one.
I’m thinking Game Maker: Studio for this, but I may decide to do Flixel …
In any case I’ll also use:
- Maybe a scanner and some pen/paper
I made Flea Circus! There’s not a lot to it, but I’m really proud of it, and this was my first LD. I just wanted to write a little bit about my what went right and wrong to clear my head and process the experience. Before you read this Post-Mortem, please check out the game by clicking here. If you don’t want to read it, please at least go rate my game: click here.
What went right
I did a really good job of taking each idea that came out of brainstorming and running it through a Feasability Filter® before risking taking the idea further in my head and becoming attached to it. I stripped out the idea of levels, and character creation and character selection that’s typical of extreme sports games and just focused on the fun of jumping around and doing tricks.
This first images in my head when the theme was announced were of Super Mario Galaxy type planets with big oversized objects on them. So – I knew I didn’t want to go with something like that because I wanted something fresh and different from the rest of the competition.
Truthfully, though, there is one other flea circus meets extreme sport game in the competition. Weird.
Getting all the timing and the combos working was a really satisfying experience from a coding point of view – but I’m also proud that it works, and works as expected. Granted, you can say the game’s a little easy, but that’s aside from the fact that it’s very satisfying to make the little flea do his tricks!
Think of fighting games : Yeah, you can beat me by button mashing – but can you beat me and know what you’re doing?
What went wrong
Believe it or not I have a background in Graphic Design! But small pixel art … man, I don’t know what I’m doing. Those curtains look pretty good, right? And so does the wood of the stage. But those judges and the flea … could be better to say the least. I need to get good and I need to get fast. I wanted to have poofs of smoke and blood splatters and animate the fire in the hoop.
I may have gotten a little too obsessed with wanting to use the same dimensions as the gameboy advance. I should have just made a game with the style that it needed and not with a style I wanted to try.
Also, yeah, that flea needed more contrast, I don’t know what I was thinking.
It’s easy. It’s an easy game. In playtesting half said it was too hard and half said too easy – no one said ‘just right’ but me. So I went towards making it easier for those who said it was too hard and I think I made it too easy.
This is was my first LD and it was an eye opening experience:
- I need to work on my graphics abilities and I need to figure out my graphical style.
- I discovered the kind of game I like making though. My last game ‘Run Along, Now’ had some similar elements with ‘Flea Circus’. Perhaps I excel at creating fast-paced action games?
- I’m really pumped about game design again. I was really down in the dumps about my abilities and whether or not I had any talent. You may disagree, but I think this ‘hobby’ of mine is worth pursuing more than ever now.
Thanks for reading, I had a lot of fun at my first LD!
Whew! Glad that’s done! This won’t be a post mordem, just a post announcing that I’ve finished.
So, the game’s called Flea Circus and it’s much better than what I was expecting out of my first Ludum Dare! In general terms, it’s an action game. A better description is a frenetic, simplified extreme sports game. If you test it out, I recommend trying the tutorial first, there’s good stuff in there.
What I would like to use this time for though is just a quick comment about how great the community is! The book, the keynote, the chat room, the reddit – all of it is fantastic! Game design is my creative outlet and it is such a joyous feeling knowing that there are so many others as passionate about it as I am.
Thanks to all of you guys in the chatroom for the company and the laughs and the bug testing! I’ll definitely be doing this again
Well, I’m in! First ever LD, I think it’ll be fun!
I’ll be using the modified flixel classes I wrote before the 0 Hour Game Jam. It’s not much, just basic title screen and character movement, and health bar. I’ve shared these elsewhere, but I’ll post the github link here too:
So, for tools, I’m thinking:
- Flixel (+ 0hr classes)
But, I’ve been really into prototyping physical games lately, so if the theme is right … those tools will likely go right out the window. Aside from Photoshop.