Why Hello there.
About danlthemanl (twitter: @allhaildaniel)
Ludum Dare 25
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Wow, 48 hours to make a game. I can’t believe I did it, let alone finish and actually be happy with the result! Super Shotgun Showdown was the easiest, most enjoyable and smoothest game development experience I’ve ever had. So lets talk about how it was made.
The first night
After the theme was announced I struggled for almost two hours to find a good idea. I just finally decided to not think about the theme and think about a fun idea. I’ve always enjoyed playing games like Legend of Zelda roguelikes, and top down shooters, and figured they’re pretty simple to make, so I decided to start there. The game was made in Java/Slick2D I’m very comfortable with java and the api, so I didn’t struggle with learning anything. First, I worked on the world rendering. I chose the window resolution of 240×160 scaled 4x. Huge pixels! Huge pixels are fun and easy to work with, and is easy get something looking pretty decent in a short amount of time. I used a technique notch used for his Prelude of the Chambered a few LD’s back, using pixels in a image as map data, each color would represent a specific tile or entity. After about 6 hours working non-stop, I had smooth movement, collision collision, a basic shooting mechanic and some simple AI for enemies.
The 2nd day
Earth day! I had plans to do other things, so I spent about 4-5 hours away from the computer. I think this is what helped me the most to finish the game. Once I got back into the development, I added doors, keys, a way to die, away to win, breakable walls, the mini-boss. It was the most fun part of the whole dev-cycle. I could have added things here for days, and the game would be more awesome and jam packed with stuff, but with the time limit putting pressure on me, I stopped and had to get the game 100% functional before Sunday.
Dawn of the final day
Aaah! Less than 24 hours remaining! I didn’t freak out, even know it was my Dad’s birthday, and I had to stop being on the computer sooner rather than later. The pressure was getting to me. I just wanted it to be done! By the lunch time the game’s code, functionality and content was complete, all that was left was art, music and sound effects. I used as3sfxr, a super handy utility for game-jams to get great sounding effects in a small amount of time. I made the music with a touch screen synthesizer and with a little polish and particle effects I was done! A huge sigh of relief I could shut off my computer and praise my victory.
What I learned
I learned so much this weekend. The biggest of which is that I can now call myself a Game Developer because I actually finished a game, a struggle I’ve been trying to break for a while now, and another thing I learned was how much java is a pain in the arse. Distributing games in java is a horrible experience for a user, so for any of my future projects, I plan on learning another language uses less code and easily packageable and distributable.
You can also watch a timelapse of the entire 48 hours here.
Check it out here!
I worked on the game up until 2 hours before the deadline. It’s pretty fun. I hope you check it out.
I started a little bit late due to eating food and stuff. But I’ve made some progress! The idea is a top-down shotgun rpg. What does that mean? An dungeon crawler type thing, only you have a shotgun… I have tiles up, player moving/collision.
And I’m streaming on Justin.tv! http://justin.tv/danlthemanl
http://justin.tv/danlthemanl is where it’s at. I wont be on 100% of the time, I’ll have other matters to attend to, but I’ll be off and on throughout the weekend.
Ludum dare time again! I’m excited to join, although I have many other plans this weekend, I’ll try to do it the best I can. The past two attempts at Ludum Dare, I failed. This time will be different, I’m sure of it. I’m much more skilled as a game developer, I’m currently working on a platformer I hope to finish by the end of the month. Just have to keep it simple, stupid!
- Java – I’m most familiar with it, and can crank out stuff pretty fast.
- Slick2D – This framework helps me so much, gives me access to the 2D benefits OpenGL without it’s complicated stuff.
- Photoshop CS5.5 – There’s free programs for doing pixel art, but I’m really comfortable with Photoshop, and plus I already own it.
I’ll be doing a time-lapse for what time I do work on it. No live-stream, that just distracts me.
So I guess I’M IN!