Some prior arrangements will see me off the computer for part of the weekend, but I’ll try to whip up a game nevertheless, especially as the theme suits a restricted time input.
- Generated art (trying to skip any time spent on actually drawing stuff).
- Possibly some other open source libraries.
No basecode, as I didn’t get around to make this post before the competition start.
Will likely use Java with LibGDX, to target the desktop and Android both.
- IntelliJ IDEA (it rocks)
- Artemis entity framework (seems to keep things better organized when the game grows)
- Gimp 2.8 (yay, single window interface)
- bfxr and such for sound.
- java.lang.Random for content
gl & hf!
In Troll Spirit you are the god of a tribe of trolls. Nurture and evolve them, and help them vanquish all other trolls in the world!
If you have an Android device with a QR code scanner you can install the Android APK for Troll Spirit by scanning the image on the right. Be warned though, the Android version may require a relatively fast device to play smoothly (we should probably have cut down a bit on the effects and troll count on Android).
End of day 2 status for our Jam entry:
The game is almost feature complete, and has had some tuning.
Still remains to be seen how playable it actually turns out to be, but at least it’s pretty fun to tinker with.
Works on Android as well, except there’s some investigating needed into getting smooth update speed (it’s faster and jumpier for some reason on the phone than on a desktop).
Here’s some ideas if you are struggling with the the theme.
Definition of evolution
Evolution happens when:
- You have some kind of things
- That succeed to some varying degree in an environment
- Successful things create inexact copies of themselves with some changes, where the changes may affect their success.
This can be a biological process, but it can also be used for more abstract things, like mathematical functions, algorithms, images, shapes and so on. It can also be applied to culture (ideas get repeated with some changes, and interesting ideas get repeated more).
The success can be determined by some fitness function, that looks at how the thing looks or behaves, and gives it a score, or can be based on how the thing manages in an environment, e.g. finding enough food particles so it can reproduce.
What to evolve?
- Shapes or appearance
- Articulated shapes simulated with 2D or 3D physics.
- Use a physics engine to simulate evolving shapes with some evolved functions for how to move their joints.
- Inspiration: Karl Sims’ block creatures
- The environment
- The game itself?
Role of the player
- Should the player be controlling the process, that is, breeding things?
- Or survive with / against / in evolved things
Genre and setting
The theme leaves the genre and setting quite open, selecting one of them first and then thinking about how to fit evolution into it can be quite inspirational as well. Genre could be e.g. platformer, labyrinthic dungeon crawler, real time strategy game, management game, and so on. And how would you add evolution to a setting of zombie apocalypse, ancient Egypt, space, jungle, fantasy, Chineese electronics fabrication, or Cthulhu? The possibilities are endless.
Good luck with your design!
Off to work with our own design –>
Shiera and I will be participating in the Jam again.
We’ve spent today familiarizing ourselves with LibGDX, writing some basecode, and a small warmup game:
Here’s a desktop version of the warmup game for Windows/Linux/Mac, just download, right click and open with Java (preferably Sun Java, OpenJDK may or may not work). You may need to mark the jar as being executable.
You can also download the warmup game to your android device by scanning the following QR code (Using e.g. barcode scanner or Google Goggles), or downloading the apk file directly. Tested on a Motorola Droid 1 phone.
- LibGDX Particle editor
- Possibly Tiled if needed
- Whatever we’ll find for music
Good luck and have fun everyone!
Edit: Added link to desktop version of the warmup game.
Shooting and destruction of ships now work, although it took too much time to implement, had to refactor my basecode a bit. But I eventually got it to work nicely (sprite groups are an useful abstraction).
Still on the need to have list are enemy waves, level cleared & game over screens, healthbars, and sound effects. Challening, but maybe doable, as we are participating in the Jam.
Participating in the Jam again with a friend.
This time we’ll use plain Java 2D graphics with some Java and Scala, and I even coded up a small Scala based game library / basecode in advance.
Good luck everyone!
What went well
- We created a lot of art assets that we really like
- We came up with a cute game idea (vampire boy searching for teddybears in scary vampire castle), despite the challenging theme
- We even created some sound effects, although they are not in the game yet
What did not go so well
- Map creation and tile engine – we initially used Tiled for map editing, but had problems with implementing game physics on the loaded map data (some of our tiles are large (256*256), while others are smaller, which caused headaches). Eventually we wrote a tile engine and game physics from scratch, with some map generation code, but by then there was not enough time to finish the game.
- Not enough time to actually get to implementing the game logic..
What we will do differently next time
- Use an existing tile engine, or write basecode for one before the competition starts. There is enough work in game-specific code, no point in re-writing tile engines for each competition.
- Map creation in Tiled was straightforward, but time-consuming. We are trying out programmatic map generation from python now.
- Get a simple playable game asap, afterwards add more features and graphics.
Finally, a part of a room in the big scary vampire castle:
The theme was not so easy, but we came up with a plan for a platform / puzzle game where a young vampire picks up teddybears (and bugs) while traveling through the vampire castle to a vampire princess. :3
First obstacle: laptop with a few hours worth of graphics on it had the charger plug break loose, and promptly proceeded to shutdown before we could upload the pictures, as the battery is pretty dead.
What do? Well, out with the soldering iron:
And fixed (for now).
Next up some food, after that we’ll try to get things moving on screen, and do a bit more graphics like the main character and doors.
It was a sunny afternoon, and Alice was having a picnic on a grassy hillock, when suddenly the ground gave in under her..
The game will feature twisty passages that don’t quite follow euclidean geometry. In the darkness lurks cave-spirits, silently stalking the player as she tries to make it out of the dirty tunnels.
- Portal based non-euclidean passageways
- Moving translucent cave ghosts, that send the player character running in panic away from them if she gets too close
- At least two different levels / cave styles
- Intro and ending
Loosely based on the Dirt and Descent themes.
The Ludum Dares are such nice productivity boosters that I’ll be participating in the upcoming Mini LD too.
I’ll probably try to finish something using the 3D basecode developed based on my entry in the recent Ludum Dare 20, and that I’ve been playing with recently. Although, going for 3D may not be a good recipe for getting things done on time in general..
Just barely made it into the compo with a playable version!
The gameplay is nothing much – just jump from platform to platform in search of the portal platform that takes you to the next level. I didn’t have time to implement enemies, more complex level layouts, or any kind of storyline to bind the game to the theme.
Regardless, I’m really happy with what I got done over the weekend – a lovely multipurpose 3D mesh generator, a very powerful game editing framework, and the bones of a nice game. I even came up with a passable plot that matches the theme, even if I didn’t have time to implement it.
Now to catch a few hours of sleep. Thanks to everyone for a nice Ludum Dare!