krangGAMES is an indie game development company. Since Flash games rock and are a great way to dive into game design, we make Flash games. In the future, we’ll probably make mobile games, or downloadable releases. Whatever is the most fun – that’s what we’ll be doing.
About krangGAMES (twitter: @kranggames)
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 24
Ludum Dare 22
Ludum Dare 21
Ludum Dare 20
Ludum Dare 19
Archive for the ‘LD #19 – Discovery – 2010’ Category
Also, check out the PRIOR Post Mortem to see how the development of this thingamadoodle.
My entry for Ludum Dare 19 – PRIOR – has gotten some love post-compo, both in development and in release. After another 100+ hours of work (updates, tweaks… BUG FIXES! >_< ) I released it on FlashGameLicense and was sponsored by Armor Games. Since then, the game has received a ton of plays on portals all over teh interwebz, and I’ve been blown away by the community’s reception to it.
PRIOR also got nominated for the Canadian Videogame Awards – I didn’t see that coming, but it was a huge honor. Of course, this was after a few hundred hours worth of post-Compo updates, but this was mostly bugfixing and gameplay tuning. The game overall was largely still the same as at the end of the LD48
Overall, I think Ludum Dare 19 was the most productive 48 hours of my life – it’s certainly paid off! Thanks again to the Ludum Dare folks for setting up an excellent Compo
And feel free to discuss the storyline. As the developer, my absolute favorite part of this game is watching people figure out what the hell is going on!
Also, check out the Post-Compo review of PRIOR to see where the game has gone since LD19 <3
You know nothing
This was my first Ludum Dare, and to be honest, it really kicked my ass. I’ve done a 48-hour game challenge before but not solo and nothing on the scale that I worked towards in LD 19. That being said, it was an awesome experience and I am truly proud of the product that I ended up creating.
PRIOR is a 2D platformer built in Adobe Flash, in which you find out the answers to all the questions in your head – who am I, where am I, why am I here, what’s going on – etc. Throughout the game you must piece together the history of what happened by reading scraps of paper, and learning from certain events. There are three endings to it, and about 15-30 minutes of gameplay per ending.
Now, on review of PRIOR’s final build and the development thereof…
KNOW YOUR SCOPE. I would like to clarify what I mean by that. Obviously it’s important to keep your project’s scope manageable, but note I did not say “keep a small scope”. I knew that my scope was very large and ambitious, especially for only 48 short hours. However, it was clearly defined, and I had an excellent workflow established early on, which helped me deliver.
KNOW YOUR SKILLS. I am not an artist, by any means. I have a basic understanding of how to create visual assets using Flash, and a ‘very’ basic understanding of Photoshop. Knowing these limitations, I decided on a stylized and abstract visual theme, rather than beautiful and proficient art. I could achieve this. Also, I knew my core skills were in level design and programming, which is what I focused on. Honestly, almost all the art was done after 4:30 PM on the final day.
I could go on about all the little things that helped make this game, but those were easily the two most important things I kept in mind. I didn’t worry about character art or animation – the player is just a little block and animation is limited to his eye and a slight stretching as he falls. I didn’t even really focus on the story – that came out of sheer dumb luck. I had vague ideas of what I wanted the story of this game to be, and from the beginning I knew “The player will know nothing off-hand, and will have to DISCOVER everything that’s going on.” But the story as it is just grew as I developed, and happened to grow into a self-contained, full story that not only spans between several different lives, years, and nations in the game world, but fits together perfectly.
(Yes, there IS a zero-sum, written-out & perfectly explainable story to this game. However, you must figure it out for yourself in-game!)
WHAT NEEDED WORK
KNOW WHAT YOU NEED. I made the mistake of trying to implement features that were both non-mandatory to the game as a whole, but I didn’t even know properly how to program. For example, my game had a CONTINUE option, which let you continue from the last room you were in. It would’ve been very useful, but wasn’t necessary for my project given the time constraint. I nearly went over-time trying to implement that feature, then eventually just removed it. (Really: my last submission was at 5:59.)
PLAN OUT YOUR STYLE/ATMOSPHERE. PRIOR was always supposed to be a creepy, mysterious game, and it is. However, if I had planned out what exactly I wanted to ultimately deliver, I wouldn’t have lost 45 precious minutes trying to find and implement sound effects. And it could’ve been much worse – I have a pretty big sound library available, and finding the sounds was no problem. I could’ve lost upwards of 2 hours if I had to search for those sounds online. In the end I decided to have just music, and the game seems much better for it. I wish I’d realized that sooner!
In the end, most of this seems like it could’ve been avoided with more planning, and pre-production time is not very abundant in a Ludum Dare. That said, I’ll keep these things in mind on my next project, and maybe you will too
Finshed the compo! My head is pounding and all the lights are blurring together, but it was worth it. Ludum Dare was tough, but awesome! I produced a full product in under two days, something I wouldn’t have thought I was able to do beforehand! I’m quite satisfied with the work I managed to do, if you want to give it a look, here it is:
You know nothing.
Anyway, that’s that. As for the theme, my initial idea was along the lines of “exploration and discovering new worlds!” but I felt like doing something a little more off-beat. So I ended up creating PRIOR, as it is now.
When the game starts “you know nothing”, and it’s up to you to figure out what the hell’s going on – hence the theme of discovery!
There is a set storyline to this game and a history to all the notes and events that occur in the game, but mostly you have to piece it together for yourself and build your own interpretation of what’s up.
As far as gameplay is concerned, it’s more or less a simple 2D platformer, where you move with WASD. Eventually you gain new abilities to help traverse the world, including a fairly unique “zero-gee” mechanic.
There are three different endings, each of which contribute in their own way to the overall story. You can’t figure out what’s happened without seeing all three endings, and even then it’s up to you to piece the puzzle together
If any of you are interested, I’d love to hear your interpretations of the story! If you can take the time to write up a short synopsis of what you think PRIOR is all about, please email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading this – now I’m going to view a couple submissions, then go pass out for a little while.
Here’s the toolset that I’m using for the LD 19 Compo contest. This is my first LD, so I’m not 100% on how everything works – if I’ve done something wrong, please let me know!
Adobe Flash CS5
Adobe Flash, Adobe Photoshop, MS Paint
Sony ACID Music Studio 8.0, Audacity
No external scripts or libraries, building the code 100% original on my own. I’m developing the game solo over the weekend, and going to submit it for judging in the compo. Good luck to all!
EDIT: Ludum Dare is now completed. Ultimately, I only used Adobe Flash, ActionScript 3.0, and Sony ACID Music Studio 8.0 for audio. 100% original code, all visuals created in Flash. View the project here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-19/?action=rate&uid=2994
Also, feel free to download the source code or soundtrack, links provided on the page.