Game Designer, Programmer (Unity3D/C#, AS3 and other), sometimes Graphics Artist (mainly primitive 3D models)
About ratking (twitter: @RatKingsLair)
Ludum Dare 27
Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 24
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 22
Ludum Dare 21
Ludum Dare 20
Archive for the ‘LD #20 – It’s Dangerous to go Alone! Take This!’ Category
Some of you may remember “TRI“, the game I made for Ludum Dare #20 with Unity. The theme was “It’s dangerous to go alone, take this!”, which was good luck, as it fitted the idea I had the night before. It also was my first real Ludum Dare back then.
The original TRI
The game was about triangles; you created them by shooting three little spheres onto gray surfaces. These triangles could then be used as platforms and reflectors. That’s about it. TRI didn’t feature any story, but some texts on walls here and there, for hints and to somewhat simulate the voice from some god-like entity, like GlaDOS. Overall it worked pretty well and there were some people who liked the game although the controls were pretty flawed.
A year later, we (my partner and me) decided to make TRI into a full commercial game. Only the idea of the triangles was adopted, so the setting, the “tri gun”, the maincharacter, the story and the everything changed, or are due to change. (We still use Unity, though.) This basically means the new TRI isn’t a sequel to the LD game.
The new TRI – WIP
We added some gameplay elements, most prominently the wall walking. Yes, the triangles can now not only be used as platforms to walk on, they also temporarily change the personal gravity of the player. This way, she or he is even able to jump into a hole in the ceiling – this needs a little bit of exercise though.
Walking on walls
Also, instead of deadly lasers only there are also non-fatal light rays now, with which you activate crystals in order to open doors and do other things. And then there are those little flying ghosts (the Kami), which lead the way and later can be reflected, too. They will be more important later in the game.
Reflecting light rays
The new TRI is still named TRI, as most of the names we came up with were just too silly or too complicated (Some examples: “Trinsane”, “Trizarre” (thanks Cell), “Tri and Error”, “The Third Eye”, “Connect the dots”, “Konstrukt”, “Trigonomancer”, “Trimancy”, “Triception”, “Triplex”, “The Right Angle”, “180 degrees”, “From Point To Point”, “neuTrino”, …).
TRI can now be pre-ordered for $5, which guarantees access to the pre-alpha. The current build has one big level (with three sub-levels) which basically serves as a tutorial. There’s also a demo, showcasing the first sub-level. Oh, and here’s a trailer:
The final version hopefully will come out end of the year, and have a price tag of $10. There are far more informations on the official website, tri-game.com, so you might want to give it a look.
Thanks for reading!
Yesterday, shortly before the deadline and when I uploaded my game, I had no problems to classify “Tri” as a Compo entry. But after sleeping for some hours, regaining my sanity, I asked philhassey to move my entry to the Jam. It makes me sad, but using a script for the gameplay (to be exact, it’s the character controller) which is written not by me is just against the rules.
Well, okay. What did I learn from this? Think smaller! Although I still like my game it seems like it was too much (for me). Next time I will do something which doesn’t need a sophisticated first-person character controller.
What else went wrong?
The time I needed to make a level was just too long. I thought I’d be faster than two to three hours per level (including modeling, texturing, writing “story”, and of course testing), especially when they are so short. But it just happened that I am more motivated when writing the scripts, not when I have to think hard of puzzles and interesting layouts. So, next time I perhaps will make something with procedural content, something I really have to look into. Even though I don’t like Minecraft that much.
Other than that I hoped I could implement some kind of NPCs (because I like them much more than the all-knowing narrator). But they didn’t even make much sense with my concept so they were cut out pretty soon in the process.
What went right?
I really like how my concept turned out to be actual fun! At least that’s what most of the people say who played it. Over the whole time I had “Optimize Gameplay By Restricting The Gun!” as a TODO on my list, but it wasn’t really needed. Okay, you can now place hundreds of triangles (instead of, like, only three or so) – but so what? My learning here is: FUN COMES BEFORE RESTRICTIONS. If it’s just cool to let the player do “too much”, I think time spent on finding the right numbers is not time spent right. Portal showed how to do it right by adding the Challenges as alternative ways to play some levels. (Of course, that rule doesn’t always apply. Not every game is meant to be sandbox.)
The other thing what went definitely right is the fact that I even had time to add some sounds. Some will think I even made some music but I really just used iNudge, clicking randomly on some buttons, hehe.
Joining and working for the Ludum Dare is rewarding in itself, and I will definitely participate again (perhaps not #21, though). Even though some of you had problems with the theme, it just proved to be the least common denominator – over 300 entries? Just wow!
For me, it really was cool that this theme got the most votes – I had the basic idea for my game in the night the LD started (4:00 am – I slept), and the next morning I found out it fit perfectly!
Thanks for reading! Here is a bonus screenshot from my game, Tri (talking about too much force field triangles):
Nonetheless, I uploaded my game in the last minute possible, probably in the minute after that minute. Look at the entry here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-20/?uid=3663
… if I can finish it. I need much longer for a level than I thought, and that’s really bad for motivation. Initially I wanted to have more than five levels, and now I wonder if I even get to this number.
Gameplay was cut down, too, and several bugs are still there. Worst part is the FPS character controller (inbuilt Unity) which has a severe bug that destroys my gameplay (it allows to slide up(!) a slope if you jump on it). Meh. Of course, scripting my own controller is out of question. I once wrote a character controller as part of my diploma game project – it needed two weeks alone and still doesn’t work perfectly.
Well, at least I can provide you with a screenshot. Take this, it’s dangerous to go without one!
First, a cryptic screenshot:
As I said, I am going into the “Portal” direction. Without portals, of course, but ego perspective and environmental puzzles will be in it. (Which means that I will have to make some levels, ugh.) The gameplay is finished now, at circa 80% (hopefully the Pareto principle won’t hit me here).
I will go to bed soon and tomorrow work on minimalistic graphics, levels, story, and perhaps sound and music (even though I’ve never done that, but maybe there will be time for it).
You probably noticed that I didn’t tell anything about the game’s gameplay. There is not much to tell, you get a device which looks like a gun, and have to overcome obstacles to reach the exit of every level. At least that’s the plan for now. I don’t want to do the obligatory robotic voice which tells you what to do, maybe I add some NPCs.
I think I’m going for a Portal-like game, at least that’s the rough idea for now. The “this” in “Take this!” is the -Whatever- Gun it will provide you with.
Just saying. Only 1 day 19 hours 50 minutes left? Argh! Still have to buy snacks and so on …
Yes, the Ratking will also be part of the Ludum Dare #20, at least if His other plans will be successful and He will have the time for it.
He then will use Unity3D Pro, because He created His Mini Ludum Dare #23 entry with it and was very pleased with the result. Other tools are not decided yet, but there will probably be no sound. It will be a game for deaf people! Ahem.
Good luck to you all!
Edit: Other than Unity3D I will probably use iTween, Photoshop Elements 9, 3dsmax 2012 (Trial Version).