About Sestren (twitter: @JshCrrgn)
Ludum Dare 28 Warmup
Ludum Dare 27
Ludum Dare 27 Warmup
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 26 Warmup
Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 25 Warmup
October Challenge 2012 Unfinished
Ludum Dare 24
Ludum Dare 24 Warmup
Ludum Dare 23
I can’t believe it’s been four months already. Time for another Ludum Dare!
- Code: Actionscript
- IDE: Flash Builder
- Graphics: Photoshop
- Music: Sunvox (If I budget my time wisely enough.)
- SFX: BFXR
These past few weeks have been busier than normal, so I’ve only now managed to get around to rating 100 entries. I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite underplayed (under 50 ratings) entries while there’s still time left. Here they are, in no particular order (click the titles or images to go to the entry page) …
This will be my fifth Ludum Dare (the start of my Year Two, if you will), and as usual, my tools of choice will be Flixel, Photoshop, and SFXR (and maybe SunVox if I have time for music; I usually don’t).
I’ve been spending the last month or so learning how to implement a raycaster engine in Flixel to experiment with 3D, and while I have no idea if I’ll actually make a game with 3D elements, I figure it can’t hurt to share what I’ve worked on in case I wind up having to rely on some portion of it in the jam. So, while it’s incomplete, and slapped together rather shabbily, here is the source code for my Warmup Entry for LD27. I apologize for the messiness, as I have not had the time to properly comment or refactor it. On the off chance I decide to implement some 3D effects in my Jam entry this weekend, I’ll probably use some portion of this code to do it, unless I feel like starting from scratch instead. Everyone else is, of course, free to learn from this as they wish, although I must give credit where credit is due for certain portions in particular:
I owe a lot to the various tutorials and sources that have helped me to understand the basics of rendering bitmapped triangles to the screen, as well as the fundamentals of raycasting and even simple things like finding the intersection of two lines. Without these amazing resources, any progress I’ve been able to make with 3D rendering in AS3 would have been all but impossible to achieve.
I’ve finally rated 100 of the entries, so I wanted to take a moment to highlight a few of the games I feel are underplayed (have under 50 ratings). Here they are, in no particular order (click the titles or images to go to the entry page) …
Take care of an adorable critter with a mind of its own.
I can’t very well pass up an opportunity to participate in another Ludum Dare; I look forward to these immensely!
- Code: Actionscript
- IDE: Flash Builder
- Graphics: Photoshop
- Music: Sunvox (if I can learn the basics in time)
- SFX: BFXR
I’ve finally rated 100 of the entries. I was quite impressed with many of them, and as with LD24, I wanted to take a moment to draw your attention to some of my favorites that I feel are underplayed (have under 50 ratings). Here they are, in no particular order (click the titles or images to go to the entry page) …
Trolling – permanente1600 – 48 Hour Compo Entry
A nasty troll does its best to stomp over the flowers planted by a unicorn.
the BRINK – radmars - Jam Entry
Top-notch visual style and audio; feels like a complete game.
Another Castle – RosyPenguin - Jam Entry
Break into each castle and run away with the princess!
Sound: bfxr/sfxr, Audacity
November wasn’t quite the “prepare for Ludum Dare 25″ month I planned it to be, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. This time, I actually have a whole weekend free for once.
I’ve been silent this entire month during the October Challenge because I wasn’t sure what to say. Now, at the very least, I can claim I’ve officially participated. My LD24 Warmup game, Chip Away, has been upgraded and submitted to Newgrounds (http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/605147). Learning their API and incorporating things like Scoreboards and Medals into my game has been a lot of fun and a great learning experience.
While I’d be ecstatic if I made my first $1 as a gamedev, I feel I’ve made the October Challenge already in a way, because this was the month I landed my first full-time job as a programmer. I feel I owe a great debt of gratitude to Ludum Dare and everyone that’s a part of this community for giving me the motivation to jump back into programming and really challenge myself. Without it, I’d still be delivering pizzas, no doubt. Thank you to everyone and I’m looking forward to LD25 in December!
Now that I’ve rated over 100 entries, I wanted to compile a list of some of my favorite underplayed (under 50 ratings) games from that list. Here they are, in no particular order (click the titles or images to go to the entry page) …
A flu virus tries to take over an office building, and must contend with managers, doctors .. and the dreaded janitor.
Brother amoebas fight for control of their inheritance, an eggplant farm.
A thoroughly appealing game both visually and aurally.
A game I wish I was much better at so I could experience the later parts. See if you can get farther than me (you probably can).
It may have little to do with the theme, but it’s fun to play and has a great title.
A robot befriends a flower and has to protect it from danger.
A mental patient has to keep his sanity up in order to escape.
The Wright Brothers take on aliens as they perfect their aerial technology.
That’s all for now; I hope you enjoy playing these games as much as I did!
I had a great time participating in the last LD, and I’ve been looking forward to the next one ever since. Work and family life on that particular weekend may leave me with little in the way of programming hours (it’s up in the air at the moment, still), but I fully intend to participate and complete whatever I can with the time that I have. Good luck to everyone else, and I can’t wait to see the amazing games that you make.
Update: Now that I have my work schedule, I’m fairly certain I will have, at most, about 12 hours to devote to Ludum Dare that weekend. The challenge now will be for me to try to come up with something playable in that short amount of time. Here goes nothing!
As promised, I’ve finally finished the Post Competition version of my LD23 entry, Spitoon. It seems I can no longer edit my entry page to include a direct link to the this version, so consider this the official link, I suppose.
To cut to the chase, it’s been an amazing past month since the end of the competition. I don’t typically like to wax personal in a public forum, but I feel compelled to mention that my first son was born nearly two weeks ago, a bit past the due date. He’s amazing, and everything I have done in my life for the past several years has been for my lovely wife and our beautiful family. I have never made much money by American standards, but thanks to them, I have always felt both rich and blessed.
I promise not to drag this out, so suffice it to say that my supportive family has helped rekindle my passion for programming as well as life in general, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of this year has in store.
P.S. If anyone knows of a way in which I can add the link to the post-compo version to my main entry page, please let me know.
Spitoon was my first ever Ludum Dare submission. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had watched Notch’s live feed of his entry for LD 22 and was inspired to participate in the next one. Here is how I think it went.
What went right
- I managed to make a mostly-playable game with (AFAIK) a somewhat unique mechanic.
- My graphics, though simple, got the job done. I was pleased with how they turned out, mostly.
- I learned that I can perform under a very tight deadline and for very long periods of time.
- I made my first Timelapse as well as my first ever upload to YouTube!
- I had a lot of fun!
What went wrong
This is always the more interesting part, I imagine:
- Many bugs made it into the posted version. Among them are the spitballs appearing at full size for a split-second before being resized (this one bothers me a lot, as it messes with the visual style and happens repeatedly), and spitballs sometimes stopping dead in their tracks when they aren’t supposed to.
- The game uses up way more memory than it should, particularly by the later levels. This was a problem I had spent a good portion of time trying to fix, but, alas, I just don’t know enough yet about proper and efficient garbage collection. This is where my relative lack of experience with ActionScript, Flixel, and programming in general really shows through. It is something I’m slowly working on, however.
- No sound! I had even practiced a bit with generating sounds with SFXR before the competition, but in the end, I spent too much time fixing bugs and designing levels (both of which took up more time than I had originally planned on) to get to this stage of development at all. A game like this really deserves some nice spitting sound effects to round it out, but I had to prioritize, and sound I deemed was less important than the other stuff.
- Too short! I realize that the bar isn’t necessarily very high as far as length of gameplay with this sort of competition, but I really wanted to shoot for a minimum of 10 well-thought-out levels at minimum (20 if I could help it). That said, I had to settle for 7 levels, with 2 of them being pretty bare in terms of “puzzleyness.” I also wanted to have an actual menu and a way to restart the current level, but I just didn’t get to implementing it.
- I misspelled the name of my game! :O I don’t know whether to chalk this up to being tired or what, but yes, it’s spelled ‘Spittoon,’ not ‘Spitoon.’ I didn’t name my game til right toward the end, and although I’m usually a pretty decent speller most of the time, this time I got it wrong. A 5-second Google check could have shown me I had it wrong, but it just didn’t occur to me until the next day to do so. At this point, I can either fix the spelling for the post-compo version, or leave it as is and just call it my own. Does anyone have any preference on this? Should I leave it “Spitoon” or should I fix it and call it “Spittoon” from now on?
For the Future
Shortfalls aside, I really did have a blast participating, and I absolutely plan on being in future competitions for Ludum Dare. Feedback has been wonderful and it’s so encouraging to hear people’s thoughts about the game. I’m also planning on releasing a “post-competition” version of the game with all the bug fixes, sound effects, and additional levels I wanted to include in the original version. Hopefully, work schedule and family life permitting, I’ll be able to put that out sometime in the next 2 or 3 weeks. Thank you for reading and thanks to everyone for making this a great experience! I’ve already played quite a few of the other entries, and I’m terribly impressed; I can’t wait to play even more!
EDIT: The post-compo version was released about a week ago, and here’s the download link:
I’m a big fan of Instacalc, and for my first LD entry I’m planning on using Chronolapse to record a timelapse of my efforts. So naturally, I threw together this handy calculator for determining what time (in seconds) to set my screen capture rate at and a rough estimate of what the resulting folder size will be (in GB) in the end. If you happen to find this calculator handy, feel free to adjust the parameters to suit your needs.
I am truly excited and looking forward to my first entry in the LD competition. I discovered Ludum Dare after hearing about it from Notch and watching several hours of his Minicraft submission for LD22. I was truly impressed by his entry and even more impressed by all the other entries.
It inspired me to dust off my old programming skills and rediscover a passion I had forgotten I once had. I immediately became hooked and have been programming ever since. Thanks to a friend of mine, I discovered Flixel, and have spent the last three months trying to learn it inside and out. I feel like I am prepared enough for next weekend to at least finish something, even if it isn’t great. I’ll consider it a success if I can make anything that’s halfway playable.
As seems to be the custom, here’s what’s in my utility belt:
Coding: Adobe Flash Builder 4.6
Graphics: Adobe Photoshop
I wish everyone good luck, and thank you so much!