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Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 25 Warmup
Ludum Dare 23
Archive for the ‘LD #23’ Category
- My first competition ever
- This is the furthest I have gotten in developing a game, ever
- I had planned to use Java(LWJGL + Slick2D + MarteEngine) for webstart capabilities but the my dev environment didn’t survive my meddling with version updates on Friday. I ended up switching to GameMaker:HTML5 2 hours before the start of the competition
- I had less than 10 hours of experience with GameMaker spread over 6 years prior to the start of LD23; ~6 hours 6 years ago, and 2 hours the last two hours before the start of the competition
- I just started using Inkscape 1 week prior
- I’ve been on the fringe of gamedev for many years, but have never really done much more than quick prototyping/PoCs
- The increasing popularity of time-lapses of game-jams are what drew me to participate in LD23.
- Surprising, switching engines 2 hours before the compo started was the best thing I could have done.
- I was able to pick up and get comfortable with GameMaker quickly. What I didn’t know was easily googleable(word?) with only a few rare exceptions
- I loved the work-flow of GameMaker. Being able to put concepts together in the project tree and to visually build game logic was a nice way to prototype idea. The transition from taking those drag and drop items and moving them into local and global game scripts worked very well for me.
- Inkscape is a fantastic tool, even with it’s bugs.
- s/bfxr SORT of worked, although it getting newer generation sounds was a bit tough. It’s still a fantastic tool and great for 8/16bit sounds.
- WolframTunes (even though this isn’t really composition and moreso luck).
- Using the game environment for scrore feedback (lights on the flag bases) rather than puting in GUI overlays.
- Using OneNote-type tools to track concepts and helpful web links with notes (I used Evernote for this, but OneNote via skydrive is nice too).
- Staying social during the competition (I kept on top of twitter, IM, the LD site, my own site, and Reddit; all with focus on GameDev and LD23).
- Letting the theme drive the project. I did no brainstorming at all before the competition and allowed concept drive my creativity once it was released.
- Music without vocals. I listened to a lot of Clint Mansell, General Fuzz, and John Williams(classical guitarist) throughout the competition. I didn’t try to stay awake beyond reason; had I done so, I would have been listening to Infected Mushroom really late.
- Submitting the game in a buggy/incomplete state. The feedback on even broken games will make you a better dev.
- Drawing tablet. Even if it’s a cheap tiny pad, your developer art will be faster and look better than mouse art.
- Lots of PGTips Tea; ~20 cups.
- Having a very supportive and understanding significant other
- Finding bugs/nuances in GameMaker, but not knowing the engine enough to know it was a bug.
- Breaking my AI in the last few hours of development.
- Not being able to have the whole basic concept working in time for submission
- Not realizing I had another hour of development available because I thought the game had to be submitted by the end of the 48 hours and not just that development had to stop.
- Being so fatigued by the end that I had stopped saving my GameMaker project about 3-4 hours before the end; so I do not have a saved state of the project for the final game.
- Not having time to put in GUI’s
- Make sure your dev environment is ready before competion and LEAVE IT ALONE
- Know your engine/language so well that you can have a fully functioning basic game in the first 24 hours of the competition so that you can spend the 2nd half on art, polish, and
- Have enough discipline to see a problem through, but not so much that you spend TOO much time on it.
- Take regular breaks and stretch
I find myself routinely “playing” with my game when I’m working on other problems. I decided to see how many AI I can drop on my world and maintain 30FPS. It seems that magic number is ~2500. I suspect that number may go down one my AI learns perform actions other than wondering the globe.
My original plan was to use Java(LWJGL+Slick2D+MarteEngine) for the compo. I made it through all last week getting my environment all set up and getting ready to go. Less than 6 hours before the start of Ludum Dare 23 I decided to update Eclipse and move to Java 1.7. In the process I completely botched my environment and could not get it put back together again in time to be dependable (and who wants to spend the entirety of a compo troubleshooting non-game issues?).
So about 2 hours before the start of LD#23, I decided to go see what other things were in my toolbox that I could pick up quickly. I first went to my various Torque engine licenses. I’m quite comortable in the Torque engines, but one problem; no real web deployment options. And since my Java environment wasnt’ stable enough for me to depend on Webstart, I decided to keep looking. I had once tried a demo of GameMaker 5+ years ago and decided to go see how far along it has come. And wouldnt’ you know it, they have an HTML5 friendly version now. So I whipped out the credit card and decided to give it a shot.
I spent a good chunk of last night and this morning just getting used to the product. By mid-day today I felt comfortable enough to start giving my game a solid go.
For now I have a controllable character; some basic physics; and my artwork started. I’ll keep banging away today until I finish the character logic and get started on the baddies. That should leave tomorrow for sound and polish (and time permitting: music).
The only pre-compo works that will be in my submission is just setting up my environment and creating a shell for the game. This includes the splash screen, menu screen, level screen, and end/credit screen. They have no content in them; they are just empty shells to begin the competition with.
If this will be problem, just say so and I’ll start from scratch.
Source for the empty screen classes can be found Here.
UDPATE: Screw java webstart; I’m also having all sorts of last minute issues with my engine choice; gonna play it safe for my first LD48…
Java (LWJGL + Slick2D + marteengine) GameMaker HTML5
Eclipse GameMaker IDE
Graphics: Inkscape + Gimp
Audio: Ardour + sfxr