About royvanrijn (twitter: @royvanrijn)
Ludum Dare 23
Last Ludum Dare (#23) was my very first LD, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Ever since LD#23 I’ve been collecting ideas, about game types, lighting, different platforms, tooling… all waiting until the next Ludum Dare. I’ve learned about coding for Android (which was going to be my platform of choice this time), and I’ve even pre-written a small library to take care of some scaling aspects for me.
Checking my agenda it looks like I can’t compete this time… But I’ve got something else planned that weekend which is going to be awesome as well. Maybe you guys are familiar with Discovery Channel’s “Scrapheap Challenge” and/or the US version “Junkyard Wars”? It turns out here in the Netherlands there is a company which does team building activities with the same idea! In the morning you are divided into groups and get a challenge (something they have done before or we suggest our own challenge). They have a scrapheap with a lot of old bicycles and other scrap and a huge shed with welding equipment etc. During the day the professionals will assist you (crash course in welding for example) in the build! In the end there will be a race and a big BBQ. The teams can even take their creation home.
This has got to be the best team building activity imaginable and it isn’t the worst reason to skip this LD!
I absolutely loved my first Ludum Dare. It is a good exercise is planning, scaling, hacking, imagining and just plain having fun! Until two days ago I’d only build large enterprise software systems, and never really a game before. But I really enjoyed it, and recommend everybody to join LD24 four months from now.
For this game I decided to stick with plain Java. It is the language I know and are familiar with. Also I decided not to use any framework whatsoever. To make it playable for as many people as possible I decided to make an applet. It could easily be made into a standalone application, or maybe an Android app…! I loved the old point-and-click games when I was younger, from Dirty Larry to The Day of the Tentacle, from Monkey Island to Gobli(iiii)ns. So that was settled, it’s going to be a point-and-click adventure!
The big pro:
Not a lot of physics and/or complicated game code.
The big con:
I’d have to brush off my paint skills because point-and-click adventures are filled with graphics and animation! I’ve fallen in love with my little animated robot (see above).
One big factor in games is music, and for this contest I took some MIDI control code I made years ago. This was turned into a procedurally generated music generator. Every time you play my game you’ll hear something new. Also, the music is constantly evolving and will never play the same thing twice. But, to make it easy on the ears, some chords do repeat and all changes are slow.
I’ve also added three types of chords, happy-chords, sad-chords and scary-chords. During the game the emotion of the character will change, and so will the music. It can also speed up and slow down.
I had a volleyball game on saterday, and visitors coming on sunday, and I had to watch the F1 and Luik-Bastenaken-Luik. So it was already a busy weekend. But I managed to squeeze in some hours. I think the game turned out pretty well. You really have to search to find all the items and get further in the game. A friend who test-played the game said he had the same good feeling the moment he found something new, making progress in the game, that he had playing games like The Day of the Tentacle. Which was a huge compliment.
Here is my result, have fun playing the game: Itty-bitty botty!
p.s. Any comments (and ratings) are appreciated! Perhaps someday I’ll create a full blown game, I’d love to do…
I’ve decided to call it a day. The game is fully playable and has (kind of) an ending to it.
This afternoon I’ve been adding more and more polish, because adding to the story would have a major impact.
Here is my (for now) ‘final’ entry, time to catch some sleep:
After a night without a lot of sleep (Europe…) this is my current result for LD23, my first LD:
There is just one room in this point-and-click adventure right now, but hopefully I can make some more room! Although time is very limited sadly…
All comments are welcome, now that I have the time to change stuff
Dreams? I’ve got a lot of dreams…
Plans? I’ve got plans too!
Time? Well, not a lot, but I’ll give it a try anyway!
A friend of mine has competed in LD competitions before, and after asking me for the 100th time to join his jam, I’ve decided to join on my own instead. It is just much more fun!
What are my plans?
- Java (applet) game
- Point-and-click adventure (Ouch! A lot of drawing!)
- No frameworks, just plain Java
- Music? Yes, MIDI, procedurally computer generated!
(I’ve got some Java MIDI code from an earlier project)
- Sound effects? Probably, not idea yet how. Bytebeat sounds maybe?
- Animations/drawings, GIMP and maybe some edited photographs to speed things up
Last but not least, I’ve got an extra handicap/excuse for not finishing: A two week old baby to take care of…