Ludum Dare 29
Ludum Dare 28
Ludum Dare 27
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 26 Warmup
Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 23 Warmup
Ludum Dare 22
Speaking of Hypcard stacks.. I forgot about this project I never quite finished a while ago…
It’s a bit.. random.. I’m not sure it accurately represents the quality of my work.
I usually get in the top #100 in at least one category, but I still don’t know what the “it” factor is or whether I really want to figure “it” out anymore.
Perhaps next time, if there is a next time, I will rate my game periodically during development just to double-check if what I’m doing is good enough yet.
Over-all I’m finding what I value is not what the Ludum Dare community – not what the majority of people – value. Trying to understand audiences that are so unlike myself is becoming a trying experience that I’m not sure I enjoy any more.
I have to contemplate deeply what I am doing with my creative lifestyle. I notice more and more how universal it is that virtually all success is based on popularity and social trendiness, rather than talent or hard work.
Take the story of Ken Silverman and his Voxel dream. Ken released a voxel engine absolutely superior to that of Minecraft that ran in -software mode- in 2003. He had the idea since before he made Build (Duke Nukem 3D engine). At the time John Carmack was working on the Quake 2 polygon engine, press and the community at large were drumming it up as a war between “Voxels” and “Polygons”, where polygons were winning out the gate based on no more than a popularity contest. 10 years later, voxels are becoming the ‘next big thing’, when really our buddy Ken already told us that a freaking DECADE AGO, but we punished him for that. We collectively told him his work was the loser and he should just up and quit.
If Ken just had the right social skills, we’d be seeing indy games that use polygons as a ‘kinda different and hokey-looking thing my GPU doesn’t do very well’.
Since Ken lacks those social skills, his punishment is obscurity. Since he wasn’t en vogue with all the trendiest ideas the masses were regurgitating at the time, Ken was punished with doubt and failure.
It’s akin to judging a woman politician by what she wears and not by her contribution to her elected field.
I do believe a certain type of genius is being trampled by the positivist, popular idea-driven attitude of the community. “Hey, he wore those cool pants everyone is talking about! 5 stars!!!” It’s to a point where people don’t even notice they are living inside a bubble of social trends, absolute petrified of the sea-changes needed to start celebrating outstanding work that truly innovates. We see the same thing in film, comics, everything.
People believe so much in the trends as convention that they actually mistakenly label ‘most trendy’ as ‘innovative’ or ‘better’. While the most innovative and though-provoking things just get a simple “I don’t get it, *click* next”.
I sure hope I don’t have to bring up the story of Nikola Tesla here, I think that would be too dramatic – albeit on point.
Call it a systemic social problem I suppose. I think it’s important because technology and creativity are so interconnected. The ideas I apply in my Ludum Dare entry go on to influence the ideas people apply while changing the world in meaningful ways.
Anyhow, I’m not sure where I’m going with this other than that Ludum Dare results make me depressed because it demonstrates that ugly, ignorant, idiotic trend-spewing, attention deficit, positivist “everyone’s a winner”, side of human nature I just can’t seem to get into.. so I guess this rant is over.
You don’t need the best tools or skills to make an impact. I think that is the moral of the story for my entry this Ludum Dare.
I learned it takes heart, perseverance, guts, and a deep personal connection to the work that people want to care about.
Take my entry for example:
I used an audio program I’ve never seen before that was donated to me 10 minutes before the competition started:
I used a $15 CAD head-set microphone to record vocals and mix. No $1,000 designer high frequency ultra-high resolution response stuff here. Just $15.
I used a free, $0 Samsung smart phone to record the video.
I had never used Windows Movie Maker before, which also happens to be $0.
And I still managed to make something that sent a powerful message.
Did I mention I did all this with a brutal sleeping disorder that eats at my sanity and caused me to sleep over 20 hours, hallucinate, and feel immense discomfort over the coarse of the 48 hours competition.
If I can do it then there’s nothing holding you back.
Doing everything wrong
- I didn’t warm up.
- I installed the Studio One music software 10 minutes before the competition began and learnt it on the fly. I had NEVER used this program in my life, but it’s awesome.
- I have never made a music video before.
- I didn’t know if my lip syncing would sync up with the video.
- I had never used Windows Movie Maker or edited a video.
- I made something that is nothing like anything I’ve ever done before.
- I had no clue if I could do it or not.
- I haven’t sang in months.
- I’ve been smoking and drinking diet coke. Not good for the voice!
- I have never recorded myself singing.
- I didn’t manage sleep properly at all
Did I do ANYTHING right?
- I didn’t fret about singing off-key. I just got it done. Yeah it was a bit off, but over-all it still had the impact I was looking for.
- I sat down and got it done. I didn’t dilly-dally wondering how I was going to accomplish the next task, or worrying about how it would come out. I had one vision, that vision changed as the project took shape, but the atmosphere of the entry was only enhanced by that lack of polish. It made it edgy, like the 90′s.
- I took a big fat risk and it paid off. You don’t win by playing safe, you win by expanding your skill set. I needed to take this risk.
- I interpreted the theme personally. I though “what does it mean to me’. I think people really appreciated the genuine nature of that.
Awesome Flukes & Happy Accidents
- During the solo I decided to start spinning to play with the shadow cast from the light. What wound up happening was this beautifully timed lense flare that wasn’t on purpose but was just beautiful. Watch for it next time you play.
- Micro-expressions, small changes in facial expressions really helped set the mood by accident. I was actually trying to smile the whole time, but I don’t always smile so easily because I am tired (due to my disability). That wound up being quite alright and I feel somewhat liberated by having shared a some of the reason behind my cryptic facial expressions.
- Double-vocal tracks sounded great. I kept them in.
- The last two lines of the song were actually recorded -after- the video was shot. So I had wound up lip-syncing the real words over a track with different words. They synced up just fine in the end.
Skills I gained
- Lip syncing.
- Making videos with my smart phone
- Movie Maker.
- Presonus Studio One
- Singing on a recording and getting the right monitor mix.
- How to sync a simulation with a video in as3.
- How to get a really realistic guitar sound from a synth.
Don’t forget to check out my entry, “Surface of the skin”:
Web version added.
Try to keep focused by hovering over the text areas.
Suffer alone if you don’t.
I see you lazy-rating games like it’s a race or something.
Take 10 minutes to play each title you schmuck.
People poured their heart into these.
How would you like it if people passed over your game in 10 seconds?
PRETTY CRAPPY RIGHT?
So JUST DO IT.
Take 10 minutes to play each title.
Give everyone a chance.
An interactive music video.
A very personal interpretation of the theme.
It’s very nerve-wracking putting something so personal out there.
Here you go.
720p available for download.
180p web version coming soon…
An update of what I’ve been doing since last Ludum Dare.
I moved to Victoria, B.C. and now am much closer to the ‘dev scene’, which is cool. This week I got my computer back and started poking around at HTML 5 Web API stuff.
My First HTML 5 Game
It uses the Web Socket interface for networking and Web GL via Three.js for graphics. For networking I made a very simple system that transmits JSON messages over the network; Just a quick, dirty solution that covers a lot of bases with little overhead. I can always optimize it later. For graphics I made a sort of height-map/voxel based geometry generator. It took a lot of tries to get rid of geometry and texture seaming problems, but once I did it really started to look quite beautiful.
Another perk is that levels are super easy to draw and import into the game.
I learned a lot of things from how to manipulate geometry, load meshes, preload textures, texture arrays, creating geometry, how shaders work, optimizing the GPU pipeline, and of coarse how to implement the Web Socket protocol.
What really blows my mind is how easy it is to put HTML over-top of GPU-rendered canvas. Good job web browsers. Good job. This HTML 5 Web Api thing is really coming along after all these years.
What is done so far.
- Preloader for models, textures, text files, json files, and sound files.
- Networking / communication
- Nice smooth collision detection
- Geometry from level data generator (voxel generator)
- Geometry art.
- Tank models
- Title screen and server/client flow.
What is left.
- Dead reckoning.
- Anti-cheat system.
- Chat & admin features.
- Shooting & exploding.
- Capture the flag
- Sign up
- Track stats
What inspired this?
I’ve been playing Tag-pro and it reminded me of fun e-sport experiences from days past such as BZFlag, ARC, Subspace, and Uniball to name a few. There’s a simplicity to these games that is zen-like. You don’t program the tactics, you program the basic mechanics and the tactics and team play that emerge are always quite brilliant and in-depth.
This game is a lot like BZ Flag with some elements from tag-pro and ARC in there.
Making a pro-gamer game.
I’ve never been into the pro-gaming scene, so I thought I’d try to meet the challenge of making a game that can really satisfy the needs of a pro action gamer.
Simplicity is key. There are so many demands beyond simple mechanics in pro games like stats and records; ranked tournaments; administration; forums; clans/guilds; and events.
How can I help
#1 Beta testing: If you would like to help me do some beta testing, find me on #LudumDare on Afternet.org
#2 If you have any other tips, hints, strategies or suggestion you think I might find useful, please reply to this post.
Non-game with unskippable dialog #27 over-all
My -game-, judged extremely harshly for unskippable dialog: #222 over-all
Does the rating system not seem completely flawed to everyone else yet?
Don’t give me that all-inclusive “everyone’s a winner if they try” rainbows and hippie crap. Inclusiveness is for the Jam, COMPETITION is for the COMPETITION. Am I right or am I right?
There’s a problem. Let’s get it fixed… seriously.
I got my 100th rating for my game “One Cigarette” today.
If you want to see what the stink is about check it out:
Ludum Dare, as always was fun.
I made this game by myself in 48 hours…
I get to add that to my list:
http://danmckinnon.net/games.html <– My portfolio
I’m surprised I got all of these onto on 800 x 600 image.
Click here for MP3s (4 x MP3s)
You are a patriotic communist Russian waiting in line for cigarettes. You get to the front of the line to find they will only give you ONE cigarette.
The mission from there is obvious to any Smoker.. get more cigarettes at ANY cost. beg plead, or even take down the whole damn iron curtain if you have to!
It’s quite playable and quite fun, though there are a few bugs that really grind my gears and I didn’t get to implement all the features I wanted to. Oh well, better luck next time
Cognitive brick wall!!
My sleep cycles have been only 3.5 hours the last two days with white noise in my room. My cog can’t get -any- worse than it is right now, so might as well bite bullet and hope I get 6.5 glorious hours when I wake up.