About Surrealix (twitter: @philipbuchanan)
Ludum Dare 27
Ludum Dare 21
Ludum Dare 18
Chased a Dragon (Late Entry)
Awarded by gritfish on June 6, 2012
Employs uber-cheap construction workers
Awarded by sgstair on April 20, 2008
It’s done! I’m finished. And I’m very proud to present to you all my LD27 entry …
The Duel is a game of quick actions and even quicker reflexes. I suggest you read the training manual before you begin – without it I guarantee you won’t last 10 seconds.
The game is short, but difficult to master. I’d very much appreciate your feedback!
Controls : Left/Right/Up Arrow Keys
Uses WebGL, I recommend Google Chrome.
Aside from being incomprehensible to the beginner, the gameplay is coming together quite nicely for my game The Duel. You can attack, defend, and see how many of your precious 10 seconds are left. I realise I forgot a couple of critical animations, so those are next on the list, followed perhaps by a background. Or maybe a win/lose screen.
Bonus points to anyone who can figure out how to play just from watching this video!
The Duel now has working gameplay, to some degree. The beginning works, and the middle works. There’s no end per se, but you can play the same 10 seconds over and over if you want.
The problem is that it’s 2am and it will probably take another 6 hours to finish the game to a reasonable standard. I could submit to LD as-is, but it’s barely playable. I’ve only spent 10 – 12 hours working on the game due to other commitments and being in an awkward time zone. So I’m going to polish it up tomorrow and submit it to the catch-all that seems to be the jam. I think I’ll feel happier releasing a more finished product. Although it’s a shame to delay it, because it’ll be compared to games by larger teams and games with much more work put into them. Maybe one year I’ll manage to do LD without interruption.
Anyway, progress pictures:
My game idea is becoming more solid, but unfortunately time is slipping away faster than I’m going to be able to finish. I’m still clinging onto hope though and pushing onwards! At the moment I’m hoping to get the swordfighting mini-game running, and hopefully that’ll suffice for LD. Here’s a sneak preview of the first attack/dodge animation. I probably should have chosen tools I was more familiar with.
I’m still tossing around ideas as to how the 10 second combat will work in my mini RPG. Behind the scenes things have been very slow going, but on the up side I now have animated and textured models importing correctly into the game. I don’t really have much else, but it’s a start. The next step I think is to get basic movement working for the main character and some enemies.
Speaking of enemies, I don’t think this is going to be one. But it might be.
Time for some more planning perhaps.
So this is a classic case of biting off more than you can chew. My take on the ten second theme is that each RPG mission takes no longer than 10 seconds to complete – enemies will be fought with snap-decision QTEs and obviously there can’t be many of them. I’m not quite sure how the details will work, but that’s what’s exciting about LD.
I’ve never made an RPG before.
Nor have I used 3D much, or in fact any of the technologies I’m going to use.
On the other hand, I have a main character and he’s warming up ready to go!
I really liked the idea behind the 8 hour Mini-Ld that was run last weekend, being much easier to set aside time in a busy schedule. Having read the post an hour after the official start I even started frantically programming my own concept. However even 8 hours proved too tempting for real life which gleefully jumped in my way halfway through. Combined with my use of photos that I’d taken earlier, my entry didn’t fall under the LD rules any more and I didn’t bother posting up anything.
But the idea lingered in my mind all week, and I had some time today to finish things up. I spent another 4 hours working on the project, and upon discovering it didn’t work on any computer except my own, another hour fixing that. I’m pretty happy with the result, and I think I’ll take the project further if there’s enough interest in this sort of thing.
So without further ado, I’m proud to present The 8 Hour Dragon!
Unfortunately it only works in Web-kit browsers. On the other hand I made a timelapse while developing it, so when I next get a chance I might upload that too.
If you do play it, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
My screenshot capture program decided to scramble 90% of the images it took, so my timelapse is rather jumpy and fairly short. Just like my game.
I started mid-afternoon, and stopped only briefly for dinner. Even though I was badly stretched for time, you can see how much I wasted by playing other peoples entries and reading blog posts when the site wasn’t down.
After 10 hours, 53 minutes and 20 seconds of frantic coding due to a very late start, the Sky Fell.
The servers also fell, and while I got my entry in successfully last night, I left this final post for today. My entry this time around is the most playable and complete game I’ve developed for LudumDare. I’m very pleased with how it turned out – especially seeing I started very late and didn’t put much time into it. The game looks lovely in motion, and unfortunately the grey screenshots don’t do it justice. Saying that, here’s a grey screenshot :
I’m not entirely satisfied with the game. I had to manually program all of the particle effects, something that my previous games never needed because I had tool-set already developed for that. The graphics turned out OK due to an amazing fluke. I bought a new camera, and played with it all the way to work and back on Saturday. When I started my LudumDare entry, I had a huge stash of photos taken during the competition period – just sitting waiting to be used. With a bit of colour correction they turned out ok, but trying to modify anything made me miss my old Wacom Tablet. Hopefully next LD I’ll be back up and running as an artist.
The game takes some practice, but it is possible to win! Good luck in your Escape …
Sitting in a quiet room, with the rain pattering outside and a clock ticking loudly in the corner, it’s hard to feel the type of catastrophe that my game is trying to convey. Likewise, when my character – pieced together from the photos I took earlier in the day – looks sanguine, it’s not ideal.
However, it’s a character, and it’s animated, and it will suffice.
Next, I’m adding some effects – hopefully no longer than half an hour. Then I’ll try and get a start and an end. And tweak the camera, and think of a name, and submit before the server crashes.
I’m tired, hungry, and satisfied that my game is now actually a game. There’s still no beginning, and no end, but you can jump between platforms and avoid flying pieces of debris. My To:Do list gets ever longer, and time gets ever shorter. I’ve now got less than 5 hours remaining.
Although the player is now blue, it’s not a huge improvement over red. I want to get a player graphic into the game as quickly as possible. I also need to fix the camera following the player, add some effects to give the player some impetus to get moving, and probably a lot of other details too.
A start. And an end. And a name. And sound effects and music.
Got to run. Got to escape!
Five hours into my LudumDare entry, with less than 8 hours until the end, I finally have something playable. There’s still no beginning, not much middle, and no end. But the red square you see in the image below is a fully interactive character.
Oh, and there’s a background image. Yay.
My next step is to start spawning platforms as you run along, and add some obstacles to be avoided. Also some code re-factoring so that I can change the parallax of the background and get things looking a bit less flat.
Also I’m going out to a concert for 3 hours, so I’m going to be happy if manage to have more than 10 seconds of gameplay!
In the last – frantic – 3 hours, I started Ludum Dare, wrestled with my screenshot program, wrote a level editor, went for a walk and took photos with my new camera, and did absolutely no programming on the actual gameplay.
However, I’m very pleased with my progress. I now have my game loading pieces of “level” from the level editor, which includes some basic physics that lets the pieces float around in the screen. I chopped some of the photos up and now have rudimentary graphics, which look something like this:
It’s very tempting to keep adding graphics and making things look prettier, however I really need to get some gameplay in there. The next step is to add a character who’s trying to escape the end of the world by running across the pieces.
And of course I need to give the game a proper name. I welcome any suggestions.
11 hours and counting! Time for dinner.
Wait … what?
Due to an overwhelming dose of real life, my LD entry became a little delayed. However, I’m escaping real life for the next 13 hours to write one quarter of an LD game. (in one quarter of the usual time). I’m hoping I can write the correct quarter – so that I come out with a playable game at the end.
I’ll be using my own framework on top of SDL, which – if you’d like to join me in this quarter-LD madness – can be downloaded here. As usual, it’s buggy and incomplete, but hopefully will save me time in the end. Despite being based on SDL I use a bunch of windows stuff, so it’s Windows Only.
I’m also recording my adventure using my screenshot capture program from LD18. You can download it from here (Windows only). It’ll ask for a path (which needs to end in a slash – ie: C:\Screenshots\”); a count (files are saved as 0001, 0002 etc, so this is the first number); and the time between screenshots in seconds. Due to the wonderful hack I used to write it, it wipes the clipboard every time it takes an image. Beware!
Onto the game …
With time racing past, I need to write something very (very) simple. So I’m aiming for a physics-based puzzle adventure platform game with RPG elements. Without the RPG stuff, or the adventure stuff, or the puzzle stuff.
Onwards and upwards! (Or sideways to the next platform).
Sixteen hours and twelve minutes.
Compressed into a timelapse video for your viewing pleasure. Because I wrote a physics engine, procedurally generated characters, and then ran out of time for graphics, it’s not edge-of-the-seat thrilling to watch. But it’s amazing how much time I spend typing code, I’m surprised my fingers haven’t fallen off.
The game isn’t.
But it’s as complete as I’m going to get it. Sadly, I didn’t get time to put any graphics into the game, nor any scoring, nor a win condition (or a loose condition). You’ll require a bit of imagination to play it, but surprisingly, it’s fun. Download Zombies as Weapons and give it a go.
Because it has Zombies. And ragdoll physics. And you can pick the zombies up and throw them at each other.
The game’s a 213KB zip file, and currently only works on Windows:
Good luck, good night, and good zombie hunting.
My entry finally has something in common with the theme. It’s not much, and it’s only fun for about 12 seconds, but you can now use enemies as weapons against each other.
To celebrate, I tried to capture a video to show. It bought my computer to its knees, and then crashed it. So I wrote a function that saved frames to disk (the framerate varied depending upon disk write speed), encoded them (an hour learning about directshow filters), and then figured out how to put it into an HTML5 video canvas. It probably wasn’t worth the time, but at this point I’m not going to finish my entry anyway.
So in the spirit of actually getting some gameplay into the game, I made a player class, and dropped it into the game. It’s a horrid colour, but it moves when you press the arrow keys, and jumps on command. It also doesn’t fall through the ground.
Note the blue box, which bounces down the hill, reacting and colliding realistically. I’m not sure what gameplay purpose it can serve, but now I’ve got the ability to use it, I probably should.
I need some enemies in the game too, so I recolored the player to green, made enemies red, and gave them a body (the blue stick figure). I also added a simple uppercut type attack where you knock the enemy out and send them flying.
Here’s a sequence of shots showing the attack, because it’s too much effort to record and upload video.
Now, well and truly time to get some sleep. Good night and happy coding!