About zapaman (twitter: @zapakitul)
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 24
Ludum Dare 22
Ludum Dare 22 Warmup
Minimal Interaction Warfare
When I first started MIW the goal was simple: A 2D war fighting game in which the player placed his troops, issued orders and sat back to follow the outcome. I guess I can say I succeeded as my entry featured all the above. The down falls? No sound, over powered player units and little-to-no-polish. That’s why I decided to release a second, post-jam, version with a simple Main Menu, more maps and balanced gameplay. The game still has no sound effects and music because, well… um, I have little-to-no talent in that area and I wanted to keep things in the spirit of Ludumdare where all the assets are created by me. Maybe in another version, when things settle down (I still have to release another Pimps vs Vampires version this week, and I also have some freelancing work to attend).
The first thing a player must do, when the game starts, is to deploy his units. He has 1300 points which he can exchange for Soldiers and Tanks. Both unit types can be placed on the lower part of the screen (2 rows). After deploying all of his units the player can assign orders to each one (move to position X and defend or move to position and engage/attack). He can also skip this phase and start the simulation (in the post-ludumdare version orders can also be issued by pausing the game mid-play). Player and enemy units clash somewhere in the middle of the map. The game can be won by either defeating all the enemy units or by successfully sending 3 units on the opponent’s starting rows.
I’m happy with the way I handled the creation of assets. I decided to go with 16×16 (that I upscaled to 32×32 in the game), each sprite having no more then 4 colors. They all turned out well enough, units were distinguishable and you could tell what each tile on the map represented. For the post-jam version I created 2 more versions of the map tiles for Autumn and Winter maps. All in all, I handled this part well (by my standards)
I decided to stick with LUA for this Jam but I changed just about all the tools that I used in previous jams. The framework I used was MOAI SDK (for which I wrote a basic wrapper) and my IDE was Sublime 2. Coding started out well but halfway through I started hacking things together, which as always, turned everything into a mess. I have more nested if statements in game.lua then your average pop singer amount of twitter followers.
If I were to summarize everything in “Good” and “Bad” things would look like this:
- I finished what I set up to create
- Good choice of language and tools
- No sound effects and music
- Didn’t get to add a navigation menu
- Underpowered AI and units
- My code.
That’s about it. I look forward to the next edition of Ludumdare and other gamejams that might be thrown my way. You can download the post-jam version of MIW here or, alternatively, you can check out the version made in 48 hours. If you took part in the jam then feel free to also rate it
P.s. I’m Open Sourcing the code under CC-3.0 for non-commercial use. The assets are available under CC-3.0 SA and the .pdn (Paint dotNet) file can be downloaded from OpenGameArt. Feel free to fork the project on github and alter it. Going to try and work on MIW during my spare time, to add new units, fix bugs and improve code readability.
[ Re-posted from my personal blog ]
Less then 12 hours left and a lot is left to do. The gameplay mechanics are in and working as they should (most of them). Gonna spend the following 5-6 hours playing around with FamiTracker.
The objective is to eliminate all the enemy troops before their reach the bottom layer. Each enemy that exits the grid will take 1 life away from the player. 0 lifes left and, well, you know the drill:
At the start of the game the player has a certain number of points (still tuning the number) which he can exchange for troops: Soldiers and Tanks (maybe two more if I have the time). Soldiers have a smaller range and health than tanks but their fire rate is bigger. After units are deploy the player may set a path for them to follow (send them towards certain positions so they can flank the enemy, have them move between two points, etc). Once the game starts, the AI takes over and the player will watch if his strategy pays off.
The invading units (Red guys) have the same stats as the player units. They advance towards the lower part of the screen and change position on the X axis, sometimes backtracking to avoid the player. Once the enemy units pass the middle of the gamefield their attack increases by 2 for each tile from the first row. So camping on the last layer isn’t quite a good option. Their position and unit types are randomized in the beginning.
Now it’s time to experiment with Fami Tracker and add sounds and (hopefully) a soundtrack. If times allows me I will try to “juice” the game a bit with some animations and maybe a few more units. But, this is what you should expect in the final version.
P.s. Will package the game to run on Windows and Android (MOAI). After the deadline, I’ll build MOAI for Linux and Mac and get it working on those platforms.
Soo, what do you guys think?
Well, I was really not wishing for minimalistic to be voted as a theme for this Ludumdare but, well, C’est la vie. The way I see it, I can take one of the following routes:
- Minimal Graphics: Monochrome or simple geometric figures
- Minimal Gameplay: small set of goals and interaction options
- Have a character named “Malistic, Mini Malistic”
I decided to go with option number two and design a small “strategy game” with little to no interaction during game play. The basic idea is this: The player has a certain number of points at his disposal. By spending those points he can buy and deploy troops on the battlefield at the start of the game: Infantry, Rocketers, Tanks and Anti-infantry Vehicles. He must assess the situation and, based on the amount of points as his disposal, choose the best possible line-up. After he places his units and clicks start they will proceed to search for the enemy on the map. At this point, the player will only be able to mark certain locations as important (and thus, a few units nearby will go towards that location) or drop Health Packs (to aid his units). Here’s a screenshot featuring the current progress:
That’s about it for now. I’m actually curious to where I can take this game.
Because I’m about to Jam.
And just like any printer, I have prepared my ink cartridges ( props go to @ThomasNoppers for the color palette), got a fresh new batch of dark, sublimely beautiful, paper, a brand new USBase-code and my driver is powered by MOAI SDK. Most of my ink will be consumed by drawings made in Paint.NET.
So yeah, cheers to a new Ludumdare and to all you guys.
Went to bed last night after the theme was announced. I was hoping for “end of the world” and already had an idea in mind that I could hack right away. Once I noticed that “You are the villain” has won I decided to take a nap and try and approach the theme later. Well, taking the nap was a great idea, as I woke up with a plan.
I drew a quick mockup of the game as soon as I finished breakfast, and some character sprites. Drawing allows me to think about possible scenarios the characters could find themselves in and visualize some game mechanics. Here’s what I came up with:
The basic idea? The player controls a group of cute-yet-deadly monsters. Each of them are in different parts of the world. The goal? Get them all safe to the rendezvous point and open the gates of hell. Each monster has his own path towards the end goal. For example, SMUC-Bunny (above mockup) was picking up skulls in the lushes garden when he got called. He must fight his way through Cops, Militia and Swat Teams (and maybe kill a few squirrels on the way).
As far as mechanics, the player must slash through the enemies and dodge their projectiles. WASD for movement and Space to attack. There will be a maximum of 6?-7? enemies on screen. By killing enemies the character get’s a speed boost (nitro-blood? ) allowing him to reach the goal much, much faster.
Here’s a lineup of the current drawn monsters(and foes):
Gonna spend a few more hours polishing the design aspects of the game.
From withing the darkness,
I raise my weary keys,
And as I press the buttons,
A voice whispers to me.
“Ludumdare you should join,
and take part in thee,
but you should make games, not poetry.”
So for 48 hours I will sweat and code,
And with a bit of luck, I will strike gold.
Hope the poem turned out alright. Anyway, I’m in for my 3rd Ludumdare. Probably going to use Lua + love2D + LDT (lua development tools), Paint.NET for graphics and Audacity to record sounds. Best of luck to all.
So, here’s my progress report for the game, as it is right now! Decided to call it Genetics-Pop, because you spend most of the time making a row of 3 cells of the same type, in order to mutate the organism! Each successful mutation awards the player a few extra seconds and points, which can be spent on bombs (bombs mutate a 3×3 square).
Each level requires a certain number of cells to be “mutated” in order to be completed! After each level, the organism, at the bottom of the screen “acquires” a new limb/feature. The game is lost when the timer reaches 0, or when there are too many (not sure how many now) active cells on the screen.
That’s it for now!
Quit my job, moved into my parrents basement (till I find a new suitable apartment), looking forward to go indie, full time. This being said, I have no excuse to not be in this round. Missed LD23 due to the crunch time brought by the need to release NOVA3, and I felt bad! With any bit of luck I can use the LD24 game as my first, crappy-ish , debut game. Good luck everyone, and may thy pixels and voxels, vertexes and computer specs turn out to be just as awesome as you want them to be!
Going to use the following tools:
- Lua Development Tools
- GIMP (+_ paint.NET)
- Ubuntu 12.04 and a virtualized Windows 7 (for paint.NET)
P.s. had no idea how to name the post, so I went with “that”!
I’m a little saddened that I cannot join the main compo for the 23rd edition LD, hence the deadline for the current project at work is on the 20th. I’ll try to join the jam and see if I can find enough strength left in me to finish something for it. In order to ease things up, I’m looking to join up with someone who wants to enter the jam and needs a coder.
This is my second participation in LD, the first one being LD22. I really loved the last compo, and I know I’d never forget myself if I miss this one (the prototype I made for the LD22 was used as a starting base for a much bigger, personal, project). I’m a decent C++ coder and thanks to AGK (library) I can get a 2D game up and running for iOS, Android and PC in a couple of hours.
So if anyone is looking to join the jam, drop me a message on twitter (@zapakitul), or leave a comment here.
Previous post here.
My entry for LD22 has been completed and uploaded. Tomorrow I’ll make a full Post Mortem containing a Game Design Document, and my thoughts on what went right, wrong and what could have been done to improve it further. For now, all I can say is the following:
- I’m proud of my entry. During the past 48 hours the game has gone through allot of design changes. What first started as an FPS, soon became a morph between a Top-down shooter with a capture the flag (briefcase) mode, with American Football elements (such as Touchdown). Only during my second day did I realize that the game was by no mean fun when chased down by an entire team. Writing AI for the team mates was a no-no due to the short amount of time left, so I scraped the basic mechanics and came up with a new one.
- I’m happy with the current gameplay mechanic. Using a defensive weapon for offense is something not many games tackled, or at least no any that I know off. In this prototype I tackled two ways of using the shield, one in which the player acts a bulldozer, pushing his enemies into pits, and another where the shield is used to deflect bullets towards his attackers.
- I’m not much of an artist but I feel that the current art style is decent.
- I’m happy with the amount of features this game contains (although not all are used now). In just 48 hours I managed to integrate a TDS camera (with an alternate FPS version, currently locked), collision, AI (when the prototype was meant as a Capture the Flag game, I implemented two types of behaviour for the enemies: Attackers and defenders. The Attackers charged towards the player if he was near them, while defenders rushed to the touch down zone, forming a human/robot shield) and basic physics.
As I said before, a Post Mortem will arrive soon, in which I will explain how I have arrived to this current gameplay mechanics, what I had to scrap and why. Till then, I’ll leave you guys with today’s Timelapse, and a bunch of screenshoots.
Download Cyber Shield.
Previous post here.
Ok, all basic mechanics are in place. I’ve decided to remove a few stuff in the end, but it’s for the better. The shield mechanic is now in place and it is the main attraction as o now. Dashing and Shielding are now separated (Shift – Dash, Space – Shield) from one another for better control over the character. The Main Menu is in place, although it lacks a Background. I’ve also finished the 1st level (easy), with 8 pits that warmly wait for the enemies to fall into them.
Death cam and Victory cam have been added (camera zooms in on the player, and rotates). Gonna add a special kind of mood to both cams (dark/grey for death, something else for victory).
I’m going to spend the next 4 hours adding more visual goodies (blur for dash, slow-mo camera when enemies fall into pit, a damage overlay for the player). After that I will try my best with sound and music. Time to get back to work, hence not much time is left, and more is needed to be done.
Here’s a Screenshot of the Main Menu:
And here’s the shield animation:
Previous post here.
Thinks are starting to tie up together, now that I also finished adding the Shield Mechanic for the player. Now, besides being able to dash for a limited amount of time, our little lonely-protagonist can spawn a shield that protects him from evil bullets, and also tosses baddies aside!
The AI has also been improved, Attackers now have a FieldOfView distance. They only engage the player if they spot him, so good bye having a huge swarm of enemies behind the player. This also allows better tactics in the game, as enemies are now evenly spread through the field.
Here’s a small video showcasing the shield:
Previous post here.
Ok, 20 hours have passed like a breeze. I’ve kept myself busy, coding and doing my best to create 3D models that can be identified with ease! Got most of the Core Mechanics working quite well. I now need to polish them and focus on Level Design and media (textures, models, music). This is a full list of features that have been added today:
- Player and Camera controls (1st person, 3rd person, top-down – although top-down is what I am going to use)
- Bullet handling for the Enemies
- Enemy AI. There are two types of enemies, Attackers and Defenders. The Attackers will engage the Player gun-first, while defenders will rush towards the TouchDown zone, in order to defend it.
- Switching between levels.
- HUD (Health Bar, Special Bar/Stamina Bar)
I’m happy with my progress today, managed to do most of the things that I had planed. Gonna take a quick nap (2-3h maximum) and then I’m back to adding the rest of the features, and polishing the game.
As a bonus, here’s my Timelapse video. Hope you guys like it.
Previous post here.
I’m back with a new post. 16 hours have passed since I started working on the game, and things are looking bright (hope it’s not cause I have industrial quantities of coffee in me right now). I managed to implement a basic AI system for the baddies, and I’m building upon it. Since my last progress reported the following changes have been made:
- In order to focus more on the scoring mechanics and gameplay, the player can no longer shoot at the enemies. Instead he must dodge, run, jump and avoid the entire swarm of baddies that charge gun-first towards him.
- Enemies now feature two AI mode: Idle and Hostile! If the player hasn’t pick up the Briefcase, the baddies will run around the arena, acting cute and minding their own business. When the player steals the briefcase and heads towards the Touchdown Area, the enemies enter the Hostile mode, which has them engage the player. Right now I’m working on splitting the enemies in two groups: Attackers and Defenders. Attackers are the baddies that charge towards the player, while Defenders maintain their position near the Touchdown Area firing at the player, defending that position.
- Got the HUD to work, both the HealthBar and the “Special” bar.
- Collision detection between the baddies! Now they bump into each other, turn around and mind their own business. (Only in Idle mode).
- I suck at 3D modeling and graphics, but I’m doing what I can. Right now I’ve added the Player and Baddies models (who are subject to change if I will have enough time left), which look like a low-poly cell-shaded version of R2D2 from Star Wars.
Here are a couple of new screen shots, and a video showcasing the Idle-ing robots.
It seems that 12 hours have passed since the compo started. It’s time to look back on what I have accomplished in this 12 hours.
I’m going to start with a small description of what is going on in the game:
The game takes place in a vritual environment (tron-like grids). Both the player and his enemies are virtual bots, living in cyber space. The player’s goal is to collect the “Intelligence” briefcase, and send it to the drop off zone. You win points by scoring touchdowns (dropping the Intelligence in the designated area), you loose points if you get killed.
The enemies (baddies as I like to call them) are not hostile towards you at first, but become so when you steal their precious briefcase. In order to reach the drop zone, the player must push (while carrying the briefcase) through the enemy lines. Once the touchdown occurs, the briefcase is reset to it’s original position.
Think of it as a Top-Down Shooter meets Team Fortress 2 and American Football. Up till know I have the following things working:
- Player controls
- Collision and Gravity
- Enemy spawning and a shitty AI that starts to follow you when you pick up the briefcase
- Dropping and picking up the briefcase
- Player bullets (enemy bullets to be added soon)
Here’s a rough concept of the playing field:
Here’s a Screenshot:
What do you guys think?
I’m also going to be livestreaming the entire process (this includes me sleeping on my keyboard and eating waffles). So if you want to give feedback, troll or just hang around with a couple of other peeps there right now, be sure to join.
Live stream: Zapaman on Livestream.com
Hourly screenshoots on twitter, using #ScreenshootSaturday!
I wanted to post (declare) my base code for Ludum Dare. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, it contains a base Object class that does the following:
- Handles new objects;
- Stores the objects position and outputs them;
- Handles deletion of objects;
- Enables collision setup for the objects.
It requires DarkGDK and Sparky’s Collision library to work though.
Here‘s the VS2008 solution.
Less then 15 hours are left to go,
People are anxious but the theme is unknown,
And I swear to the powers that be,
That if Kittens are chosen, as our main quest,
I shall make a game featuring billions of kittens beaten to death!
Now that I took that off my shoulders, it’s time for the actual post. So, I said a few good 6 pages back that I’m in, and this is my first Ludum Dare. Got everything set up, both my pc’s and got me enough food to last for this 48 hours. My dev environment looks like this:
(Do not look at the milk and biscuits bowl hiding behind the laptop!!!)
And I’m going to be eating and drinking this pile of so-not-healthy-but-tasty-and-yummy garbage (5 pizza’s, 5 can’s of black coffee, 2 bottles of milk, allot of instant soup and 10 X 3-in-1 packs of coffee + sweets).
Also bought like 6 packs of cigars, because hey, less oxygen = more inspiration, right?
Anyway, I’m going to stream everything (including me sleeping like a wittle pwincess with my wittle hamster) on Livestream, so tune in if you wanna give feedback or plan on screwing around with my mind. I’ve also taken the liberty of sending my room mate and his fiance out of town for the weekend, for peace and quiet. Screenshoots are going to be uploaded hourly on my dropbox account, and spammed on twitter (I’m sure gonna loose allot of followers).
That’s about it. Can’t wait for the compo to start!
Hi from @Zapakitul, Romania.
This is the first time I enter a Ludum Dare challenge, and boy am I anxious. I earn my living working as a Game Designer for Gameloft (been doing so for a year), but since I got my job, I haven’t been able to finish any personal projects/games. Ludum Dare represents, a great opportunity to boost my moral, as well as a personal challenge, so I’ll be looking forward to it.
As for the tools I will be using, guess I’ll stick to what I know best:
Language: C++ with the aid of DarkGDK.
Audio library of choice: Irrklang.
3D Graphics: Milkshape3D
2D Graphics: Paint.NET.
Level editor: Mapscape.
My work station contains a Desktop Computer (development), and an old Acer Aspire 5050 laptop for debugging, and keeping in touch with everyone on IRC/Twitter. Honestly, all I want out of this challenge is to finish something in this short period of time, and as a newcomer to it, I’m a little worried. I’m happy to meet and “compete” with all of you.