About Michelle Sleeper (twitter: @msleeperdotcom)
Ludum Dare 22
Michelle Sleeper's Trophies
Archive for the ‘LD #22’ Category
I added a Windows standalone release to my game, The Sheep & The Peach, since I was informed that Linux users should be able to run it under Wine. Let me know if there’s any issues with it, I don’t have a Linux desktop available anymore to test on myself.
It’s the day after, I am extremely well rested – slept for 11 hours after coding for over 25 hours straight! – and my game is getting some plays. I can’t wait to dig into the other contest entries, there is a ton of them and I hope everyone gets a fair chance despite the participation of certain gaming celebrities and their ravenous, crazy fanbase. But I digress – good job to all of you LD’ers! I had an insane amount of fun and I can’t wait to do it again in April.
Here’s my little post mortem of my entry, The Sheep & The Peach.
What Went Right
I released. I’m amazed and proud of the fact that I was actually able to make and release a game in about 39 awake hours. I don’t really care how well my game does, if nothing else I’m happy that I released.
My intention of creating a depressing little 10 minutes seems to have worked, players care about the characters and the correct emotions are conveyed. It’s hard to make games like that! This is by far my most “artsy” game I’ve ever made, so I wasn’t sure if it would have the intended effect.
I had a plan and I stuck to it. There was very little feature creep, and I cut out planned content early enough that it didn’t cause me problems. I also had to cut out very little as well, and the level I cut out I knew was going to be the most difficult one since it required a lot more 3D art to it.
While I keep saying time and time again that I’m no artist, I’m pretty happy with how the art style actually did turn out. A big shout-out to Halfquake: Amen for a lot of the art inspiration. Not to mention that the mouse-drawn freehand flower I made is probably the best piece of 2D art I’ll ever make in my life.
I playtested as much as I could with as wide an audience as possible. Thanks to the people in IRC who played my game when I had playable versions. I’m also thankful I had an IRL friend test for me, and even better since she’s not at all a “gamer”. She found some obvious design flaws that would cause problems for a non-gamer, that I would never have found or thought of being a gamer myself. Thanks to her I drastically cut down the explorable region to not get players totally lost, and added more refined clipping areas. But on that note…
What Went Wrong
Everyone hates invisible walls, and I unfortunately had to surround my entire game in them. If I had more time and skills I would have used physical barriers, but that just sadly was not possible. For a 48 hour game, I hope too many people don’t find it offensive. On a slightly related note, I had to drastically shrink one area of my game because it was just far larger than needed and players kept getting lost. I planned on it being a lot bigger because…
I added a big section to the game – the “explore” section – with only about 6 hours to spare. Again, my lack of artistic skills made me have to cut it down, making it far less interesting than I had hoped. My plan was to have many points of interest for the player to look at, instead of the 3 plot-specific items that made the final cut.
On Friday night / Saturday morning, I overslept by about 3 hours. I meant to wake up at 10am and didn’t get up until almost 1pm. Granted, I had work on Friday and was already running on about 20 hours being awake. But toward the end I couldn’t help but wish I had those 3 extra hours.
On that note, being at work on Friday and not being able to start until 2 hours in kind of sucked too.
I spent too much time modeling my one and only object. About 45 minutes to create and texture the house, which is literally 2 cubes and 1 extruded face. I’m no artist, but I should have spent more time in the week leading up getting more familiar with Blender. I attempted to but kept having other things get in my way.
I could have playtested it more with more people, and I could have tested things a bit thoroughly towards the end. After release I found a couple of weird, non-critical bugs. Things like objects not being the correct size and the camera snapping to a weird location during a specific condition. Nothing too terribly awful, nothing show-stopping, but still annoying to have in a release.
Once again, I had a blast, and I’m incredibly proud of being able to release. Won’t you give my game a try?
Could use all the extra eyes on it I can get!
So the game is 99.99% done, all that’s left is to tweak some things like visuals and player borders. There’s plenty of time left so I’m thinking about adding another level before submitting.
Until then, here is the basically complete version of the game. Again, feedback or bug reports would be most appreciated!
Updated my game with some tweaks and art additions. The world feels slightly less barren now. And also including the most amazing flower I’ll probably every draw in my life.
At this point the game is “done” in that it plays and there’s a beginning, middle, and end to the story. I’m going to see how much I can expand that with the remaining 8 hours or so. There’s 1 or 2 big things I’d like to get to, if I have the chance!
Just under 12 hours left and I’ve got what I’m going to call an alpha version for my entry, The Sheep & The Peach. I went way down on the depressing side of “alone” and (attempted to) explore the abandonment aspect of that. There’s still plenty of time to flesh out features, gameplay and story to hopefully make my entry shine.
And abridged to-do list of bugs and possible content:
- Fix camera controls not locking while title card is up
- Add global boundaries so player can’t walk off the edge of the world
- Add a 3rd “game”
- More art assets to make the hide-and-seek game a bit more interesting
- Increase the ending and expand on the story a bit more
Please report any bugs you might find here, and don’t be afraid to leave any criticism!
Suddenly, my game is a game! There’s things you can do, goals you can accomplish, there’s a clear beginning, middle, and end, and… well it’s not quite there yet. There’s a beginning and a middle, the end is maybe a few hours away. So, what does LD say? Want one more version updated before the “alpha”?
Ideally I’d like to expand the gameplay, right now there’s only 2 “games” and my original plan was 4. I can probably get 3 in there, the last game I had planned might take a bit more work than I’ll have time for. It’s a good feeling that I’m at a point where I’m concerned about expanding the game than just finishing it.
Hope I’m not speaking too early, though…
In true career-programmer fashion, I wasted about an hour modeling and skinng a house made up of little more than 2 cubes. Now I seem stuck on the next part of my entry; there’s still a lot left to do gameplay wise and I’m not sure what to tackle next now that I’ve done the groundwork for the remaining stuff.
So 24 hours in, I’ve got the core game down and at this point I just need to build levels and create any art I might need. This is my first LD – should I be further along at 24 hours?
The game is definitely going to be very story-centric. One of those games you kind of hesitate to call a “game”. Playable version here with one first complete “mission”.
Set the alarm for 10am. Turns out my brain didn’t want to care until 1pm. Whoops!
Gonna eat some food real fast, make some coffee and get back to this thing! I might start attempting artwork, seeing a lot of people having art is discouraging me pretty bad.
Be back in a few hours!
I got my player moving around in an acceptable manner, I got the NPC following the player in an equally acceptable manner. I have them “talking” to each other and about the world. No screenshot this time, nothing visually really changed. Next to work on room transitions, then I’ll start trying to figure out my art style. Boy I sure do wish I had a wacom pad. Or the ability to use one.
Hey does anyone know if you can use an Acer Iconia (Windows version) as a drawing tablet?
Also, anyone with Unity experience who can point me in the right direction on how to properly use Character Controllers and movement, I’d be much obliged! I burned too much time trying unsuccessfully to get that to work.
As I said in my previous post, I struggled to come up with an original idea around the “alone” theme. I thought and mulled over it and brainstormed a few things. Then got to prototyping some movement and controls, and voila: my first screenshot for LD22:
It’s going to be a top down point-and-click “adventure” with fixed cameras. I’ve never made a point-and-click adventure before, hell I can’t even think of the last one that I played. The theme is really evocative of stories and that’s hard to really hammer out in 48 hours. I’m not expecting it to be too terribly long, but I’m hoping I can get core gameplay down fast so I can produce what little art my inferior skills can produce.
So the theme for Ludum Dare #22 is out: Alone
Unfortunately, the ideas that immediately jump to mind I either have nowhere near the artistic ability to make them, or they’re completely derivative of Every Day The Same Dream, One Chance, or Halfquake: Amen.
I’d like to stay away from horror, since it seems both too simple and far too complex to really pull off. And again, really overdone with games like Amnesia and Limbo.
The countdown is almost over, and I’m still looking for artisty types wanting to Jam. I’m a Unity C# programmer, I’ve tried to crash course myself in modeling the past few days but I’m still just as bad as ever at it. And don’t even get me started on textures and 2D art.
I’m on IRC if you wanna bug me there, or comment here if you’re interested! I’d like to do the Dare but I know that whatever the theme is, I’ll wind up with Attack of the Killer Kubes.
I’m still undecided if I’ll be participating this weekend; if I can get plans cleared and make sure I have as much time as I can. There’s also the slight issue of being completely terrible at any kind of art, 3D or 2D or any other kind of D’s.
Depending on things, I might decide to opt in for the Jam instead of the Dare. So with that said – any Unity3D people looking for a C# programmer?
I’m msleeper and I’m an independent game developer / programmer from Atlanta, GA. My weapon of choice as of this post is Unity3D, an amazing free 3D engine. I am tentantively planning on participating in LD 22, mostly depending on what the theme is going to be and if no other obligations crop up between now and then.
You can play a (very old) game demo I made in Unity here. You can read more about myself and my past projects on my website, I’ve recently been putting up some videos of old work of mine. Looking forward to the weekend!