Lazy coder and occasional hobbyist game developer. ;p
About Codexus (twitter: @codexus)
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Archive for the ‘LD #18 – Enemies as Weapons – 2010’ Category
Time for a post-mortem. Even though they are apparently totally useless: after 8 years of Ludum Dare I still make the exact same mistakes every time.
I thought the theme was really nice at first but then when trying to actually think of something original it wasn’t so great after all. In fact, there seems to be lots of games with a similar concept to mine.
1st mistake: My first idea is always something unrealistic and it’s never clearly defined. I can never think of something clear and simple at first.
2nd mistake: As a result, I either start working randomly on things that I don’t use in my final game or procrastinate. (or both… v__v) I only got really started on my final idea at 11pm on Saturday when the compo started at 4am local time. Almost a full day wasted.
3rd mistake: Trying to make a puzzle game and ending up with an “action-platformish” game. This happens almost every time. Seriously my ideas are often based on solving puzzles but somewhere along the way I have to change it when it doesn’t work as intended. For example, I spent some time extracting code from the enemy class to allow the player to move in the same tile by tile way as the robots… and had to change that back to my initial platformer controls…
4th mistake: Making the playable levels at the last minute leaving no time to test and adjust the gameplay. Another classic, I don’t have all the gameplay elements so I leave the levels for the end and I have to try to think of ideas for levels using the only gameplay mechanism that was actually implemented. This time it was particularly bad as I realized that the robots not firing at the same time made it almost impossible for them to destroy each others on some levels. When I tried to fix that it was worse, it broke all the other levels and I had to improvise a solution that would work with both types of levels.
5th mistake: Lack of polish. I haven’t made a game with a title screen since LD #5. I never have the time to do that kind of things. This time the deadline came as I had just opened Reason to try to make some kind of pseudo-music. Too late :/
On the positive side, this time I was able to make an animated main character. That wouldn’t have been possible if I had not tested how to create and export animations from C4D to Unity during the RPGDX compo the week before so at least I wasn’t completely unprepared this time.
Anyway, I still had a lot of fun making my game and I’m looking forward to repeating all those mistakes next time.
I managed to finish a playable game! I’m quite surprised as things weren’t looking bright when I wasted most of my first day doing nothing and the gameplay seemed to be going nowhere and I had only cube placeholders as graphics. But in the end I’m really glad I finished it and in fact I’m even having fun playing it which I wasn’t really expecting. It’s the magic of Ludum Dare: if you don’t give up, in the end it’s totally worth it!
Not a lot to show for the first day, but I only got started on this idea 5-6 hours ago. Most of the first day was lost due to a lack of energy. So the goal of the game will be to destroy the robots by dodging their attacks and arranging a situation where they’ll shoot each others.
I kind of had an idea since the beginning but I felt the whole day like I didn’t fully wake up this morning so I’ve done almost nothing so far. It didn’t help that I used my bicycle earlier as it drained the little energy I had left for the evening (those things really run on creativity )
Anyway, I’m scrapping the earlier idea as it’s too undefined and complex and starting something new. So now the character will be able to do nothing but run around and jump (that makes things easier for me) and you have to get the enemy robots to destroy themselves or each other by friendly fire while dodging. I think it will be more interesting (even though it’s also complex and undefined).
I’m also having a Dragon Ball Z marathon on the second monitor (yay! 48 hours of non-stop DBZ!) but I swear this has nothing to do with my lack of productivity
I’m slowly recovering my strength so I’ll get started now! ^__^
So Enemies as Weapons is a nice theme and I think I’ve got an idea for it: enemies break into smaller version of themselves when they die. You then use your vacuum cleaner to get the small ones. Using the vacuum on reverse allows you to shoot the little monsters that have different powers according to their type. You have to use that to solve each level’s puzzle and get to the exit.
Now if only I could get started that would be great. I’m tired and the caffeine isn’t doing much yet…
It’s mandatory. (seriously, post yours too)
“No battle plan ever survives the first contact with the enemy” – Helmuth von Moltke the Elder
(actually he said “No plan of operations extends with certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy’s main strength” but in German and that doesn’t sound as cool and nobody cares what a 19th century German general said anyway)
- Decide what kind of game I’ll be making before the compo starts, then adapt as needed for the theme. (I must avoid repeating what I did last LD when I still didn’t know if I was making a racing game or a platformer 7-8 hours before the end)
- Focus on implementing gameplay first. Get the game to a point where it’s fun before anything else.
- Don’t waste time on micro-details. Just move on, it’s OK if it’s not perfect.
- Add sound and music early. I usually wait until the very last hour to get started on those. That’s not a good idea!
- And obviously “Keep It Simple, Stupid!”, last time I wasted time thinking about a full adventure game I couldn’t do in 3 months.
OK, this is my totally unnecessary and needlessly detailed declaration of war!
Leader of the Great Army of One: His Laziness General Codexus
- Engine: Unity Pro 2.6
- 3D: Modo 302 / Cinema 4D R10 / ZBrush 4 / Vue 8.5 Infinite
- 2D: Photoshop CS5 Extended / Filter Forge 2
- Sound: Reason 4 / Record 1.5 / Audition 1.5 / SFXR
- PC: i5 750 / 4GB / GeForce 8800 GTS
- OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
- Misc Gadgets: Wacom Intuos 3 tablet, Roland ED PC-300 midi keyboard, Xbox 360 gamepad
- Food: probably some chips and pizza
I’m wondering if I should choose the jam option for this LD. Both jam and compo have their pros and cons:
- Extra-day! (I can fully use it since I’m not working on Monday, but can I really accomplish more in three days? best case scenario is probably only 20-30% more productivity as I won’t be able to sustain the usual 48 hour rhythm for 3 days.)
- No need to create everything from scratch
- No disappointment when the vote results are in
- But it feels like I’m not really participating in the “true” LD48
- I also have that irrational fear some jam entries are going to be awesome AAA games made by large teams using a huge library of existing content and that mine is going to be just a regular LD48 compo entry that will be ridiculous in comparison
- Are people really going to play and comment the jam games when they already have to vote for 200 regular compo entries?
- It’s the real LD48
- There is a very tiny chance that I could one day win this thing