About Sandcrawler (twitter: @Ythmevge)
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Archive for the ‘LD #21’ Category
I recently finished and released a Post-Compo version of Untitled from Ludum Dare #21. In Untitled you are stuck inside an Abstract painting, and need to reach the bottom to escape. There are Abilities and Traits that you gain for selecting a color, as well as score pickups to be had.
Hello, I have released a post-Compo Beta 1 version of my Ludum Dare #21 Entry Untitled.
You can download it from the IndieDB page:
The changes include:
- New controls, that make the game faster to play, and more immerse.
- New configuration file, that has options of the sounds, music, level generation, and language settings.
- Multiple Language support, there are detailed instructions for translating the game in the ReadMe file.
This is a screenshot of the game generating 9000 pickups, as set in the configuration file.
My Entry into Ludum Dare #21 was Untitled, a Abstract (non-Objective) platformer game.
Before I go into what went Wrong and Right, I just wanted to mention my workflow, and how many hours I had to work. My college classes started up the week prior to Ludum Dare #21, so I knew going in that I didn’t want to pull any All Nighters. I think that the only thing All Nighters do anyways is make your decisions bad ones. So Friday night I waited around for the theme to be announced, then once it was I just about dropped out, Escape was not a theme I wanted, and not one that an idea came to me right away for. Before I dropped out though I decided to write down a few ideas, and see if any inspired me, and what do you know, one did. I got started that night, and knocked out the player controls, as well as level generation (for the most part) before going to bed. Over the next two days I refined what I had, and added to it. I had to force myself to not over complicate the game, else it wouldn’t be finished. In any case, it was finished, and I am happy with the way it came out. I view Ludum Dare as a chance to prototype a game, that I may not otherwise make. So rather than trying to make a finish game in 48 hours, I aim to make a decent prototype of a game I’d like to make.
What went wrong (because I’m a Pessimist):
> Music, I really can’t find a way to like, or even work with LMMS. Its outside of my range of talent. I have found a few tools from reading others Postmortem Posts that I can work with, and that I will be using next time. But for LD21 I decided to leave out the earplug inducing garbage I made in LMMS.
> Some (many?) people didn’t understand where the theme came in, to quote a reply I wrote to one commenter: ” The “escape” theme is more conceptual, and I don’t expect it to click for everyone. Basically I took the though of playing a Abstract Painting, and the fact that Abstract paintings are designed in a way that continually draw you back in, and meshed the two together. There are many different times and experiences when I have seen people stare at an abstract piece, attempting to come to a conclusion, when the piece more than likely has no logical conclusion, abstract art just is. So maybe they were playing some kind of game instead?”
> The Controls, I don’t know why I went with push button controls for changing your color, it was a bad decision. Many people have brought up the controls being an issue, and that they would have liked to have a visual representation of the keys used. While I’ll agree that is one solution that would work, I knew from the start that I didn’t want to have a GUI mucking up the visuals. That’s the reason the scoreboard was at the bottom, and your time isn’t shown.
> I felt that the scoreboard was very effective, it fit in with the game I was trying to make, and I’m not aware of anyone not understanding what was the score, and what was filler text.
> The GIMP once again worked out great for me. I have never had a problem using GIMP, and have been using it on a daily basis for five years now (processing digital photography). I think I’m just used to were stuff is and how to work in GIMP now. I actually prefer GIMP over Photoshop now, from when I have had to use Photoshop for a class it has been painful and I find myself constantly hitting the wrong keys.
> Construct Classic since Ludum Dare #20 (the first LD I participated in) I have worked to farther my understanding of Construct. In LD#20 I wasn’t really happy with Construct, I failed to understand how certain functions worked, and thus had bugs and problems with my entry. This time Construct worked really great, I really like that I can drop in the resources and have a game quickly. I also like that I still have almost full control of how objects behave, and what functions I need or don’t need.
> sfxr worked great as always, I was able to generate some fitting sound effects for my game quickly.
> Overall game play and look I though worked really well, sure it needs refinement in some areas, such as the scoring, and the controls. But I believe it is fun to play.
Whats coming next:
I really like the idea of the game, and what it could be. So I am going to continue working on the game, adding and revising features.
> The controls were first on my list, I have changed the controls to use the Mouse, you Left click on the colored object you want to pass through, and right click to unselect colors (makes them all solid). The new controls are tons better, and have made playing the game faster and in my opinion more fun.
> Scoring, I liked the idea of the scoring in the game, but it fail short in a few places. The first was the difference between scores, there was a really small difference (100 to 200). I have since revised the scoring to add in a Multiplier, collection 5 of colored pickup with give you a bonus. I then added additional bonus multiplied that you could get, such as getting to the bottom of the map within 20 seconds, or changing colors less than five times. Overall the scoring is working alot better now, you can score anywhere from 400 to 5000 points. Best of all there is somewhat of a balance between pickup hunting, and racing to the bottom.
> Music, I have actually been working on music most of today. I used Otomata to create a number of songs that are different but all fitting for the music that I wanted. I wanted a kind of ambient music that was just there. Ototmata allowed me to generate music that fit my needs.
> I’m adding more modes/difficulties/colors that will be configurable, as well as changing the look a bit.
> Online High scores table, I’ll be adding a rather robust Online Highscore board, that you will be able to sort by name, score, date, time, pickups collected, clicks (color changes), and a few other details.
> More help, for the Ludum Dare entry I kept the How to Play information in game really general, and it wasn’t particularly helpful. Now when you first load into the level the game starts paused, and shows more information that goes into a bit more detail.
I’m not sure when I will have a download out for the new version, it will be when I’m happy with it, and I have the features I want in. I have setup a page on Indie DB that I will be posting additional development details on.
I added a link to the Gameplay video to the Submission page.
You can download, play, and rate the game:
You can watch the video here:
Its always fun participating in Ludum Dare, my goal was to make a nice game demo, and not necessarily a full game. I accomplished what I wanted to in 48 hours, and have started refining areas of the game now.
The first thing I did was ditch the old controls that are present in the Compo version, in the compo version you moved with A and D but to change colors you used 1-4 and to deselect you used Q. Not very intuitive or easy, when I first watch the gameplay video was when it really hit me how slow it was to hit the number. I knew adding a GUI would be one solution, it was an idea when I first started, but I don’t care for GUI’s because they are either starkly obvious, or they blend in really well with the background. My solution then was to change the controls over to use the mouse, You now have to point and click on the color you want to make transparent, right clicking clears your selects (makes them all solid) you still move the same way. So far it has proven to be a much faster way to play the game.
The next thing that I have started on is the score, I want to make your chooses effect score more, and reflect a bigger difference. I plan to add an online highscore table, but for now I’m tweaking the scoring system a bit.
I’m not sure when I will have a post-compo version out, but it is coming. This weekend I will write up a Post Mortem, that will go more into what went right and wrong for me.
I decided that a good title for my game would be Untitled, and it has been submitted.
In Untitled you are in control of a pellet that can change colors and thus pass through the brush strokes. You goal, escape from the bottom of the painting, with the highest score possible. Grab pickups for a score boost along the way.
I’m working on a video that I will share later on, that shows off the game. I’m happy with the game, it simple and low stress like I wanted.
This is a screenshot from yesterday, that I was going to post. Anyways my game is coming along good, I have all the gameplay elements I wanted in place, scoring is working, and I came up with a clever way of presenting the score.
Since this screenshot was created I have created a new character sprite, with a animation. I also added pickups to the game, that give a small boost to your score. All that is remaining is to add a few sound effects, make a video, then submit it.
I wasn’t to thrilled about the theme at first, I didn’t have an idea that was at least 1/16th unique…So I spent the first two hours or so attempting to come up with an idea that didn’t involve escaping from a compound. My winning idea was: Escape from an Abstract Painting.
I wanted to have the “painting” generate itself at random, with a number of different lines and squiggles in a variety of colors that would indicate the difficulty level. I have four different colors right now, I may add more as I develop the gameplay tomorrow.
The Gameplay will be simple, the intention is that this would be an easy to play Zen like game. So…no fly mouse and keyboards while playing