Former designer / writer / script programmer in Pterodon, Illusion Softworks, 2k Czech, currently freelancer
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 22
Ludum Dare 21
Archive for the ‘LD #22’ Category
I spent a lot of time during last week going through the entries, playing them, rating and dropping some occasional praising/scalding/(maybe)helpful or just random comments. Since I’ve hit 25 percent coolness and I no longer have time to do rating (I originally thought I’ll be already on traditional new year lan party, but I got delayed for a few days before finally declining challenge of Unity Flash to Flash compo) I’ve decided to post a list of few games that IMO deserves your attention.
It’s (in no particular order) a list of some games I’ve rated high enough (4-5) for whatever reason stroke my insane fancy at the moment. I might have missed some from those I’ve rated (and I’m pretty sure I’ve missed some interesting entries in 75% unrated remainder) – so… sorry for those of you who were left out
Arzea – arkeus – one of the nicest platfomers I’ve encountered, with RPG stats, nice art and music, quite playable and with a lot of content.
Final trip soccer – Benjamin – one of the biggest surprises… at first I thought what the hell, soccer sim? For the idea alone this would deserve some high rates
Super Smash Lander Suicide Party, Bro? – Black Ships Fill the Sky – no link to theme at all… but very funny and crazy game I enjoyed playing for a while.
There Can Only Be Static – cards – very nice “programmers” action / puzzle-ish game with minimalist art:) I probably wouldn’t put it here (even if it has nice gameplay), but using breaks and speed++ and other stuff appealed to my inside programmers mentality.
Last breath – deepnight – platformer puzzle story of lonely dog and his shadow. Interesting gameplay and great visuals.
alone I art – Make A Game very funny looking “stealth” type game. It gets boring later on, but I enjoyed it a lot.
Farrokh – Doktor Ace – gameplay of this running kitten on the moon simulator is pretty simple, but I was awed with the resulting retro – lowres – voxel visuals somehow made in Unity.
ASSAULT THE DARK FORTRESS – FrankieSmileShow – probably contender for the best LD entry in terms of sheer gameplay, this Zelda clone is one of the games I made copy on my netbook so I can finish it later when bored.
Space Ghost – madmaw – At first I looked disbelievingly at the description… Matlab-esque shooter… WOT? And after clicking on the link I found out one of the most innovative game I’ve seen in this LD. Yeah, it’s definitely for everyone, target public is pretty small, so if you hate math / don’t know what sin(x) is / you don’t want to flex your math/coding skills (or you don’t have any), you probably won’t like it as much as I did.
Insanely Awesome Physics Saga – Merrik – platformer which tries (quite successfully) to innovate the gameplay using physics.
Abandoned – Noel – I guess enough was said about this innovative puzzle game, but I would feel bad if I wouldn’t list it here.
Warrior cursed by Loneliness – Spotlightor I really liked this FPS combat simulator… probably because I wanted to try it exactly this way for some time
/follow – 01101101 – One of the best pixel art in compo, great music, simple but enjoyable gameplay (with several types of it), nice fitting story… Enough said.
The Invention of Colour – bach This is one of them entries “not a game, buddy”, which is really shame, because visuals/audio/mood is one of the best. Worth looking at.
The Chosen – Balooga03 Almost same as above… not much of a gameplay, but wandering around in a strange land was very… meditative? From the aesthetic point of view this is definitely best looking 3d game in compo I’ve seen.
And then, alone at Epsilon-1 – eld Very good little scifi adventure. It’s short and hacking puzzles could have been better, but it’s one of the few games in compo which feel mostly finished and polished.
Midas – Wanderlands another “highprofile” game I noticed in the feed, but it’s really deserving your attention.
Well… that’s it. See you at next LD.
(PS: Can I has ratez too?)
I can haz savez and loadz!
I never originally intended to have a possibility to save and load (other then maybe level start in case there were more levels) since it takes time to do this in unity. It took less then I expected (but only because I made it in a very ugly way), but still required few hours and rewriting some pieces. Now you can save and load (only one position). I also added a bunch of small bugfixes and some balancing. And PC Windows build.
So time for post-mortem is here…
This time I’ve managed to create fullscale and mostly playable game (probably best I’ve done in 4 competions I’ve attended in last two years) which is even quite fun to play, so I’m pretty happy with myself, even if I had to move to the jam and use another 12 or so hours to finish it.
It’s an oldschool style FPV dungeon crawler with a goal to find your zombie kittens and be finally alone with them (and a big bag of brains), but rotten undead pirates ninja looted your kittens and you have to take them back. I even had time to do some leveling with three skills (ninja, pirate and undead) and tune up the game (not completely happy with it, it tends to be too easy later on, but since playthrough takes about half of hour I just had no time to do more testing.)
What went well:
Using Unity (well mostly) instead of coding everything from scratch… after several months of using Unity fulltime I’m quite skilled with it and this time most of the things I hate about Unity wasn’t issue, since I was doing PC / Web build. And web build is one of the things I like on unity (even if there’s no linux player). (BTW web version of TDMR is just about 700 kbytes, while pc has 20 megs :/)
Drawing 2D “art” : I’ve spent just maybe two hours drawing all textures and sprites and skins for characters using tablet, Paint.Net and not giving a damn about how hurtful it will be for eyes of some more sensitive people I could have done something much better if I wanted… but it would took me at least day. And this way I can boast about having “style”
Decision to use pirate/ninja/undead – not exactly sure how I came to this connection (I think it’s from some picture I’ve once seen, who’s the bigger boss, pirate, ninja or zombie?), but i’ve mixed it together and in the end I have a lot of enemy types… easily made by combining three (well, four if you count ghost) base types- and I used it as a base for RPG system too.
Adding sounds: with about hour to spare for submission I took my mike and audacity and made some sounds and “voiceovers”, quickly patched it to the code and I’m quite happy with the result. Just too bad I hadn’t time to sing some songs as background music (brains brains brains brains braaaaains, brains brains brains!)
Keeping number of game elements in check I made most of the things I wanted to have in the game with the exception of brain-o-matics for buying brains.
What went mostly ok:
Most of the coding in unity, although I’ve spent some time trying to debug few stupid bugs I made (and debugging is sadly one of the beefs I have with Unity – it works much better on WIN editor, but I’m so used to total instability on MAC and “printf” debugging that instead of firing up monodev debugger and hoping for best I’ve spent a lot of time by putting numerous Debug.Logs everywhere. Resulting code isn’t even that ugly as usually is in my speed hacks… although I still hardcoded a lot of things without using some better design – if I ever try to use TDMR as a base for some more serious dungeon, I’ll have to refactor at least half of it.
Level design Originally I wanted to have few more levels (but smaller), but in the end it’s just one and I’m quite happy with it, it reminds me good old times with Beholder and Dungeon master, so it’s definitely ok from my point of view I’ve originally considered doing rogue like randomly generated levels, but it’s probably good I hadn’t even attempted it.
Playtesting and tuning up RPG system – At one point I realized that I’m playing for fun, not for testing, which really gave my morale big push. Also my GF used as playtester liked it (she’s as crazy about old RPG’s as I am), so although it could use some more tuning with difficulty and some parameters, it’s ok.
Sleeping enough I’m getting too old for non stop crushes and since I’ve ended one of the worst periods in my 10 year carrier as gamedev just before the start of the LD, I decided to take it easy. But in the end I had to move to Jam and use another 12 or so hours to finish it. I think I’ve spent about 30-40 hours total working on the TDMR.
What went bad:
Theme I was really unhappy with the theme (once again)… I’ve spent some time racking my brains for ideas about using alone for something original AND fun to play, or something interesting to flex my code skills on… then I gave up. Since I’ve always wanted to make some oldschool FPS RPG (and never found enough time), I’ve decided to make it and force it somehow on the Alone theme… (from what I’ve seen from other submbissions, I wasn’t the only one using this approach – some entries don’t even try to use alone in any way).
Idea about using animated chars instead static sprites – near the end of the day one I had a stupid idea – why use simple static sprites if I’m using Unity? So I ventured to recreate my first characted (pirate ninja skeleton), put it on simple 2d mesh… then skin it and rig it to the bones. I’ve wasted a LOT of time on this, result is ugly (kinda hard with the texture I’ve started to do good mesh and skin it so it can move without serious distortion taking place), but I should have expected that – I have all the theoretical knowledge about this stuff, I wrote it from programmers point of view, but… using 3ds max for anything else then checking on some artists work, creating super simple meshes and importing/exporting here and there, is something I just don’t have much experiences… Well, I now have some, but it took me too much time, especially considering results. But at least I’ve learned / practiced something new.
So… I’m mostly happy with my entry (and hope someone will play it , about the only thing I’m sad is that I hadn’t time to implement save and load… never wanted to do it, other then maybe checkpoints on the level start, but since I had just one… Problem is that doing serialization in Unity for proper save / load is not that easy and it takes some time to do properly… time I knew I won’t have.
Anyway, I’m glad I had time to participate in LD and looking forward for another one (and Global Game Jam next month). Although it can be brutal… it’s fun (especially when compared to “normal” crunches on commercial stuff).
PS: going to rate some games before I start working on another game (I have three months to finish one commercial design), so if you’ve made something else then platformer (I seriously hate those), drop me a link
Transdimensional Moon Rift is now finished! Thanks to the decision (well, had no choice anyway) to put it in the jam and use about twelve more hours to finish and polish I’m quite satisfied with the result.
Will you try to save your zombie kittens, ninja looted by rotten pirates?
Made in Unity (about one meg file)
Sigh, this time I’m probably in the worst shape in any game compo I’ve attended. Yeah, I got working old school dungeon, with monsters, doors, buttons, crates and teleports… but I kinda don’t have time to do any levels (also sound is completely missing)…
I’ll probably finish it tomorrow and put it as a jam entry, there’s probably no point uploading it as it is :/
Starring: Ninja, Pirate, Skeleton, Ninja Pirate, Skeleton pirate, Ninja skeleton, pirate ninja skeleton and also some ghosts… (sorry, no kittens)
So… enemies are finished, they can die and hunt me in the levels… Now just inventory, some doors and crates a and create few fullsized levels and I’m done. Maybe even in time, if not, I’ll put it as a jam entry.
Pirate ninja skeletons strikes again in Transdimensional Moon Rift!
Although it was really stupid idea trying to use animated characters… I’ve done it. Animation’s ugly, character can’t be moved that much without serious distortion taking place, but since it’s my first attempt to make animated “3d” character with skins and stuff, I consider it success.
So now I have map editor, some “textures”, few enemies, basics of step by step oldschool dungeon… I have to improve combat system, put together some more stuff (like doors and crates and loot, maybe even some extremely simple RPG system), either create few levels, or write generator, and I’m done. Probably not…
Going sleep anyway, I’m getting too old for this kind of nonstop stuff…
This time it was decision to try to make characters animated… without having ANY real experiences with bones, rigs and especially skinning (only theoretical, I’m programmer, not artist)… Just killed few hours trying to make my skeleton move, sigh…
and everything has become
So I’ve overslept a bit and now I’m raking my brain with enough coffee and doing wild brainstorms with myself… Alone’s quite generic theme, but it fits the idea of step by step dungeon I was thinking about making. I’ll try to make a list of few ideas and then it’s coding time, unless better idea forces inside my brain, dungeon master-ish game it’s going to be…
Looking at the vote results I even managed to put together something resembling story Here it is, best my sleepy brain could put together.
You’re all alone, fighting spawns of randomly generated evolution brought from parallel dimensions.
You have to move through the forgotten places, abandoned long time ago, when desperate gamble shattered falling Moon to smaller pieces, but tunnels of old science base still remain and they’re full of the dire consequences of decayed technological dreams.
To navigate underground you have to use nanotech-based time travel, teleportation and even self replication as these are only methods how to clean enough territory and fix enough machines to defeat the plans of surealistic antihero – mirrored reflection of shape shifting kitten.
And this time I’ll really try to stick with something small and doable in 48 hours (and this time I really mean it! )