Archive for the ‘LD #16 – Exploration – 2009’ Category
So after just over two years of development, a beta of my continued expansion of one of my LD entries from nearly three years ago was finally released for sale (buy now, get it cheaper and updates and a copy when it’s done) It’s been such a long time! Here’s a few screenshots from the game:
And some video:
It’s been a long process, with a bunch of stuff detailed in my blog (http://magicbane.tumblr.com/) and I’ll be happy when the game is completed and I have all the experiences associated with developing and releasing my own game
That, and the fact TWL has been in development since the first October Challenge, I guess third time really is the charm
If you want to purchase the preview, you can get it via my Sellbox link!
[stextbox id="download" caption="Buy from here!"]http://sellboxhq.com/l/AB7N/The-Wizard-s-Lair[/stextbox]
Robot Wants Kitty was my entry for LD16 – Exploration, a simple Metroidvania game shrunk down to LD proportions. I made it in Flixel (Flash library), so just as an experiment, I thought I’d put it up on FGL and see if I could get any sponsors. I first spent about a week enhancing it a bit (the big upgrade was music by DrPetter!). Then the sponsor search exceeded my wildest expectations! I got a decent deal, and a lot of interest, and (foolishly) signed up to do 2 sequels with the same sponsor. With such a popular game, I could’ve done much better putting the sequels out for bidding individually. I just didn’t have that faith in my game! Remember kids, believe in yourself! And knowing is half the battle!
You can play the post-LD version on Kongregate among many other places (like Hamumu!). This all led inexorably to a pile more Flash games which made me a lot more money than I had been making in downloadables, so it was like a complete renaissance in the way I do business. Everything’s different now!
Then eventually during my heady flash-making days, Raptisoft approached me about porting Robot Wants Kitty to the iPhone. I was happy with that, but what I totally didn’t expect was that he was going to massively expand the game, as you see in the screenshot. I expected a straight port, but what we’ve got is obviously totally upgraded visually, has six levels instead of one, and has a built-in level editor, with user level sharing to come soon. It’s done awesome on iTunes in the week it’s been out, hitting New & Noteworthy in the Adventure category (not overall… yet), and so far garnering 21 five-star reviews, one 4-star, and three 1-star (people who couldn’t get it to run for whatever reason). Go pick it up, the best $0.99 you’ll spend today! I didn’t have much to do with creating it, other than making four of the levels and obviously the original concept. Raptisoft really made something great out of it.
Are there any file hoarders about? I’m looking for the download of the timelapse video I had available in this post (I foolishly removed it from my webspace some 6 months ago thinking I wouldn’t need it)
Now PoV is building this new database of timelapses, I’d love to be able to hand a nice high-rez version of it over
If you know what i’m talking about, and have the file – please either leave a comment (and a link), or contact me by email (david AT wizardslair DOT co DOT uk)
Thanks for reading, and I hope you can help,
David/Devlin @ The Wizard’s Lair.
Frame of my game is pretty much done. Basically you have a “gun” or whatever, which shoots colors. red, green and blue. There are enemies of the same colors, and you have to match the color to kill them. but wait, that’s the easy part. There are also magenta, cyan and yellow enemies, and you for instance have to shoot your light blue light through a green (or green through blue) to finish the cyan ones. In addition there are also orange, crimson, violet, cobalt, turquoise, lime and white enemies, and you’ll have to combine your beam with more enemies to get rid of them!
the next part of the game is making a simple AI chaser, and a level “director” along with something to protect in the middle of the map. I’m pretty happy with the color system, though, when you combine the “3rd” set (orange, violet etc) of colors you always get gray, which is the only loose end.
If things goes well I might even make an entertaining game, who knows I’m hoping to add slower but tougher (maybe they have two colors or something) enemies. but can’t say if there will be time for that.
I’m off to watch the outsides now though. been working 12 hours straight. weird part: I’m in a great mood! go ludum dare!
Some air did me great. my plan for the rest of the day (putting it here so that i wont be able to lie to myself or procrastinate!):
- eat + coffee
- concept “art” (using the term loosely) and modeling. hopefully i will get a nice butt ugly city
- code the chaser AI and the level/AI director.
- Sleep (This is important!)
What was supposed to be a quick appstore-cash-in port, kind of dragged on for a couple months. But I’m finally done. I had a serious case of feature creep.
There’s tons of new stuff. Mainly shooting, seeing as how that was the only fun part of the original Oregon Trail. Also, in a cruel twist, you now have to carry the gold from El Dorado back home.
The game’s site is: solongoregon.captain-games.com
Couldn’t have done it without the ridiculous forced brain-explosion that is LD. So if anyone here would like a promo code, shoot me a message.
Mike “Hamumu” Hommel‘s recent Ludum Dare game “Robot Wants Kitty” is rocking the charts at Kongregate. This post-compo version features music by DrPetter, and numerous enhancements to the original game.
As of right now he’s #2 on the monthly top games, with well over 350,000 plays! Wow!
Show your support! Go to Kongregate, play it, and give him 5 stars because you love Kitty. You do love Kitty, right?
Blackduck says …
Fun game, kind of laggy because of all the flags at the start. Gets quite repetitive eventually.
I’m glad you thought it was fun at first (and that I fixed the superlag bug). It does get repetitive, I admit, but you’ve gotta keep Exploring!
AtkinsSJ says …
It seems like a good start, but never really feels ‘gamey’, unless I’ve missed something. And yeah, the paths around the middle make it really laggy – perhaps it would work better if hills only drew paths to nearby hills.
Yeah, it’s more of a tech demo than a true game. And I fixed the bug, thankfully.
C418 says …
The game is now pretty much completely… uh… flagged up.
At first I thought the brown stuff was a weird kind of background, but after seeing this screenshots, I realized that it’s actually paths. As there are lot of flags now, I presume the game is a bit popular?
Heh… “completely” was a side effect of the terrible lag thing and the center bias. If you managed to move out, it was pure empty. The idea is you have to just keep going. And it was popular at first, hence the “oh crud I released my game an hour ago and it’s already asploded”
TenjouUtena says …
Every time someone needs to try a MMO, right? Obviously ambitious, but relatively unfinished. You need some sort of scrolling background to indicate that you should walk outside of the paths.
Ambitious and unfinished – that about sums it up. I’ll remember some better UI and polish if I ever revive Asploreheim.
philomory says …
This is such an awesome idea, I wished it had actually worked for me.
The registration and login went ok, and I loaded the game world and heard the music and could walk around, but as soon as I walked onto an unclaimed hill, asploreheim.exe spiked my CPU and never went down. I had to force quit. When I tried to log in again afterwards, the game immediately crashed on login. Alas.
After some testing, the infinite loop on hill get seemed to be a side effect of the client not being able to handle all the server’s data. Oh well
SonnyBone says …
This thing killed my internet connection, I think. I logged in and then 3 minutes later my router went down. lol
All joking aside… this is a neat idea, it just doesn’t work as well as you’d like.
Routers are silly that way :p
And that seems to be the overall consensus… cool but broken.
Covenant says …
It crashes everytime I move the cursor on top of the button to register and/or login…
Clicking if the “too much data” thing occurs, but just moving the cursor over it? I haven’t a clue why that happens.
NiallM says …
I found it very buggy. Most times it would crash as soon as I hit the login button. As others have said, it could use some kind of background to indicate that you’re moving, and it really needs some kind of goal beyond the basic ‘flag as many hills as you can’ goal. Maybe the ability to build your own castle once you’ve flagged enough hills?
Very buggy indeed. Castles are something to remember should I revive the project.
Wiering says …
If I try to register, it says Server not found.
That… is a problem? Did you register from in-game or out? I know I completely forgot to implement the in-game button.
pythong says …
nice idea with the multiplayer
Hempuli says …
Interesting, though shortlived.
True, true indeed.
ippa says …
I want to play without registering, create a test / test account! Or make use of facebook connect ..ppl hate another reg
I don’t have Facebook myself, but a test account would have been a good idea…
hazman says …
That’s it, essentially – clever but nowhere near complete.
sirGustav says …
unable to register and cursor blinked too fast
Unable to register in-game I bet… button did nothing. Cursor blinking fast? I don’t know of “too fast” but I didn’t framerate-inhibit on the main screen.
In conclusion, Asploreheim was a great idea, but I did a horrible job at it. I forgot to implement in-game register, allowed the data to grow to unhandleable sizes, and generally it was hard to play. Mega-congrats to Moltanem however who got 81 hills!
This has come up in the ‘Should Game Maker (etc. al.) count’ thread, but I thought I would split it off here, so that we can keep the conversations topical, and because I’m interested in what other people think. Also, I do agree with a few other people in that thread, that coming to an agreement about what LD is about will assist any rules or voting changes that may or may not take place.
What I’m going to write here is a lot my opinion, but is also collected and paraphrased from what I have heard other people said.
Several of the top winners of the competition used a game development tool such as Game Maker or Multimedia Fusion 2.
What brought these games over the top seemingly is a scope and size that is difficult to match with just frameworks and APIs.
Cat Planet I think has something like 100 levels. With a level designer built into Game Maker, the programmer can be developing levels within a few hours of the competition. I remember when building the level editor was part of the challenge. It is just really difficult to compete with a fully integrated set of tools that make it easy to create a game in a couple hours.
Apocalypse Adventure is absolutely enormous and doesn’t seem like a 48 hour game at all. To build something like this, you almost have to be building the world from the first moment of the competition, which evidently is possible in Multimedia Fusion 2.
I think it’s clear these all in one tools with sprite editors, animators, level designers, and event based drag and drop development environments, etc, give a big advantage to those who use them in these competitions.
I’m just wondering for fairness sake, and to continue to promote a diversity of languages, frameworks, and more interesting types of games than these tools usually allow being built, should we consider banning such all-in-one game development tools?
The list of which I would consider: Game Maker, Multimedia Fusion 2, Construct, Unity, and perhaps the UDK.
I’m not connected with Ludum Dare in any way other than that I enjoy entering the contests, but I just was wondering what everyone’s opinion on this was, as I’ve noticed a big difference in the scope and size of games developed with tools such as Game Maker and those that are not.
And I’m definitely not saying I’d like to go back to a “all from scratch” contest either, hehe.
The game I submitted to the contest (http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-16/?action=preview&uid=28) wasn’t a game in the sense that you could like.. do anything. Objectives? nah. Plot? nah. What I did was essentially a tech demo- flash space exploration mmo. except more than a couple people turned my crappy vps into a flaming heap, but theoretically it was an mmo . Well, anyone that likes the idea of a cross between Elite and Eve Online, I’m continuing work on it and just finished a large rewrite of the backend:
I am currently aiming at getting something more playable in for TIGSource’s Assemblee contest by the 10th (all the art/music I’m using is generated earlier from their users). I just finished a full rewrite so that everything runs of Python/Django on Google AppEngine . Added bonus- game accounts can attach to google authentication
Currently the appengine framework is pretty much complete with datastore models for players,stars,planets,civilizations and npcs. I’m still tweaking the galaxy generation process but will be moving on to solar systems soon, along with multiplayer chat and pilot profiles, and some more ui options .
The game plan is to make it into kind of a multiplayer Elite – civilizations are generated along with the galaxies including homeworlds, npc ships and npc space stations you can interact with. You represent whatever civilization you choose and can later switch civs based on a reputation system. War against other civs and plunder, go freelance pirate, or do missions they give. There will be a limited resource you can use to claim new planets in the name of your civilization and either set up defenses or mining bases.
Each sector will be generated when a neighboring sector is first discovered.. ie a player enters sector 10,10 – the 3 neighboring sectors that haven’t been generated would then be created. There will be randomly placed wormholes or warp gates as well to connect to either other solar systems in the same sector or other sectors, to make exploring less linear.
Eventually I want to make planets explorable as well. They will be procedurally generated with a unique seed combined with the physical traits described by the ACRETE algorithm when generating them. I was looking at Away3D for making planet exploration a separate flash app
Congratulations to everyone who entered LD, there were some great and amusing entries
After an extended holiday, Ludum Dare 16 voting has finally ended.
It was the top 10 last time, but we get so many entries now it should really be more. So hit this link for the easy answer, “who won LD16″?
Winners are decided by the Overall category. To see the complete list, hit the “Show All Entries” link at the bottom.
Categorical Top 5′s
Here at Ludum Dare, being the best game isn’t the only way to win. Games are rated in 7 additional categories, with a special “Coolness” category highlighting people that went above and beyond to be sure you got a vote.
*NOTE*: You can click on the titles of the categories for Top 20 style lists per category.
Ludum Dare 16 as Screen Shots
And since it looks cool, you can see screenshots for the full list of 121 entries here:
And that was 2009
What an incredible year for Ludum Dare. 123 entries in April, 144 in August, and 121 in December to close out our biggest year yet. That’s 388 entries, and that’s not even counting all the MiniLD’s!
I’m working on a little write up that’s hopefully ready soon, a retrospective or postmortem for Ludum Dare in 2009. Stay tuned for that.
Our next major competition (Ludum Dare 17) will be in April. The exact date we’ll know as the month approaches. To keep informed of the latest news, you can sign up for our mailing list here:
You can also follow us on Twitter:
Or alternatively, you can watch user news’s RSS feed.
Can’t get enough? Then stop by next month for MiniLD #15 hosted by DestroySound. Stop by the channel DS, we’d love to hear from you.
Catch Mike and Phil at GDC in March
Phil and I seem to be permanent members of the GDC crowd now, so keep an eye out for us at the show.
Also, check in before the show here at LudumDare.com. There’s talk of an LD meetup and other fun things. We’ll know more as the date approaches.
Phil will be giving a talk at the iPhone Games Summit on multiplayer and Galcon. Feel free to stop by and give him your support.
Either that, or park yourself in a not so comfy chair for the Indie Games Summit. If you happen to be in San Fran, you don’t want to miss this!
If you have any suggestions for the compo, we continue to collect them in the comments here:
Thanks everyone for coming out and making Ludum Dare in 2009 such an incredible success.
- Mike Kasprzak (PoV)
Thanks again for all your comments. Here is my response to them.
SonnyBone says …
THIS GAME IS SO HARD!
I like the concept, but it could stand to be more forgiving. Falling from the very top is a saddening experience.
If I ever get around to making my post compo I will be adding a feature to take you to checkpoints.
philomory says …
The game is pretty fun in it’s way, but the controls feel extremely awkward. I did love the music, though.
Thanks, I find that most people liked the music in the game. Of the 5 hours I spent making the game I only spent 20 minutes on it making music. I was surprised by this.
Covenant says …
Couldn’t run it, got a “Unexpected error running game.”
I apologize. As to why it didn’t load I don’t know.
TenjouUtena says …
Audio is kickin’ here. Everything else is kind of meh. It’s a good complete game. The music is awesome, though.
I like the idea of ‘non’ platforms, but I had too hard of a time progressing!
Thanks. I was going to add a sparkily sound effect for bouncing on stars but did not find the time.
Hempuli says …
It was addicting! I enjoyed the first level totally.
My original plan was was to only have 1 level and have it go about 3 times higher into the skies. with checkpoints. having a easy medium and hard mode difficulty based on how many checkpoints you would get. However, Once my player got so high on the screen, gravity reversed! Since I never fixed this bug, instead I made 3 small levels 2 of which were done at last minute. The first one was the start of my original course.
Zecks says …
the game’s so quirky it owns
My personality is quirky so it figures that bleed through my game. Thanks Zecks, you made me smile when I read that.
localcoder says …
Wow, too hard for me. The first row of blue stars is tough, and it just gets tougher. I got up to the orange sky.
It’s nice to stand on stars instead of collecting them for a change.
I’m glad you liked standing on stars, or bouncing on them in this case.
ippa says …
slightly too hard.. I think you suck gamers in better if it’s easy in the beginning and they can feel skilled :P. Cool concept, of all the ratings the highest went to Innovation.
I agree with you completely here. First level is much tougher than the 2 following it. This was a bad move on my part. Next time I enter I will keep this in mind. I don’t feel too bad though, this being my first ludum dare.
sirGustav says …
that is one irritating tune
I felt bad because I didn’t add an option to turn off the music. Next time I enter there will be a off/on switch for music for those who don’t enjoy the quirky music I do.
So when Christmas came around I got my usual cool Gifts, but one particularly stuck out. Mainly because it matched my entry for Ludum Dare. I got a blanket that had moons and stars flooded all across it which is much like my game shoot for the stars.
Alas, Coincidences like this are my life and I love them.
Now that I think about it, I actually messed around with the source after the compo – the aliens were commented out in preparation for improvements to the strategy side of the gameplay. It shouldn’t be too hard to uncomment the relevant lines.
My compo page with the download link
dertom says …
Hehe,…nice nice! I really was a big fan of the old c64-textadventure of “The Hobbit”. Would be cool, if you had this effects were the pictures are drawn “realtime” and “real slow” But the graphics brought me back to that time…
I’m glad the game had some nostalgic value for you! The graphics were more of a last-minute thing, so I didn’t develop them that much.
SonnyBone says …
Was that a Joker reference in a text adventure game?
I THINK IT WAS!
I enjoyed the twists and turns here, but some of the text was hard to follow as it jumped up the page after a command.
I expirimented with different ways to pop the text up, and this way seemed best, though it does have its imperfections. During the 48 hours I wanted to make a game with an impressive gameplay, so I lost focus on making the text presentable.
C418 says …
Hm, I think it’s okay. I’m not a real sucker for text adventures. I don’t think I’ll rate it as I didn’t play far.
‘Okay’ is still a good thing to hear!
Cosr says …
That was very amusingly written. Takes maybe a few to many tries to find everything when searching.
Yea, I probably should’ve made necessary items come up more frequently.
Hamumu says …
I couldn’t get past the priest… I even went all the way back to see if the servant would give me what he needed, but either no, or I couldn’t word it right (actually yes, but it doesn’t count). I have to say that even once I understood the concept of how it would make you press enter and that the yellow line indicated it was actually command time, I still CONSTANTLY was typing ignored commands to my endless frustration. Some text adventure conventions would’ve been very nice, like the prompt meaning you can type things, and I for inventory, and the NESW movement. Nice artwork behind the text!
Yea, I might have fixed that had I adequate time to give some thought to this. It annoyed me too, but I was so concentrated on bugfinding that it slipped my mind to fix that. As for the priest, if you got the dagger and the King fell out the window, you can find the necessary item by searching in the loud room.
Hempuli says …
I can guess that it’s hard to make a proper parser-based text adventure in 48 hours!
You bet it was
ippa says …
first about your comment: the area you got stuck in was about the only red herring I had in the game, it’s not very hard to jump out of though. Give it another shot, go to the right in the beginning and find the way out from there, it will take 3 minutes of your life and I’ll promise to put a smile on your face in the end :).
Onto your game: I liked the pixely gfx, the whole setup reminded me of early kings quest but without the animated character. I haven’t played many text-based games, and that might be the reason I didn’t get very far. I tried asking the servant for various things, a key and crown being the first ones :).. but he didn’t seem to understand anything I said. I would love some tips there, is it “give me the key”, “get key” or just “key” or any other combination.. nothing seemed to work. While the gfx was nice I got really hard to read on certain backgrounds, maybe putting it in a black box at the bottom would have helped with that. Or even better, in a full-length black box at the right side.
I really wished I could have gotten further on this one since it seemed like you put some serious work into it.
The servant is actually there just for kicks, sort of meant to be a little bonus. No, you can’t actually get anything from her except some backstory. (Ask her about dragons, the king, the queen, who you are, etc.) In order to find items to progress with the game, you’ll need to search for them in a couple of places. Hint: the copper key can be found in the loud room.
I got a lot of positive feedback on this game! Thanks for the comments guys, and I hope you enjoyed playing it as much as I did making it
Phew. Voting is a lot of work :). Downloading everything, unpack them into folders that include the author name (makes things easier afterwords), fixing broken entries, maybe even installing extra stuff, playing the game, thinking up fair votes and commenting.
Playing the game
I feel you have to give the game a chance. Even if it looks really boring in the beginning. Sometimes it turns out to be really boring, but I feel more often it stuff can grow on you if you open your mind, try to ignore any irritating bits and concentrate on the mood the developer try to create. I found myself really trying to finish several games (and succeeding) and steering a little grey dot over a paintbrush map for at least 10 minutes (and enjoying it) :).
Voting is hard. You want to be fair (naturally). After I’ve played about 5+ entries I get a feel for what I consider a music 3.. or a humor 4. I can only decide on ratings by comparing the games. Is this how everyone does it?
Getting positive feedback and comments is probably the most fun, and could be a big part of the motivation to make a game for LD. Since I enjoy it so much I feel I should write something (sometimes more, sometimes less) to 99% of the entries I try. I doesn’t need to be much work commenting, just say what’s on your mind and focus on what’s good in the game, or how something could be made even better. If you “force” yourself to comment on every game you get good at it after a while
Hello fellow survivors (or survivors-so-far, where applicable) of various holidays, yule-tide celebrations, mid-winter feasts, and zombie infestations.
Since LD16 I have done some additional work on my entry, “Ruins”. (And thanks to everyone who’s commented on the entry!) A lot of what I’ve done has been technical and a bit behind-the-scenes, but I wanted to share a very short (3 room) demo I’ve put together of both a new mechanic for the player and several smaller features of the engine.
If you’d like to give it a try, you can find it here:
(This is more of a tech demo than a “game” — you can “win” by completing all three rooms, but there aren’t any gems to collect or any leaderboards to deal with.)
And here’s a couple of quick screenshots:
From a gameplay point of view, the interesting change in this demo is the addition of a brief (about 6 seconds) period of time after dying during which you can exist as a spirit. During this spirit existence you can still interact with objects like levers and switches, but you are immune to damage and cannot attack. If you’ve created a “Patch of Life” before dying, and you reach it as a spirit before your 6 second time limit expires, you will be restored to life.