About kato9 (twitter: @mattdivito)
Ludum Dare 25
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Archive for the ‘LD #23’ Category
Alright, now that the dust has cleared on this LD, it’s time for a post-mortem. This was my third LD, so I was feeling a little confident and ready to go BIG with this entry – of course the theme ended up going small, but that I could deal with. The first idea I had was a fast paced arcade game where you played a little viral warrior who jumps from sneeze to sneeze killing germs in mid air. This idea, while fun, was a bit silly and I wanted to go for something a little darker and more atmospheric, as this tends to be my strong suit. So, with the a vague remembrance of the plot to ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids’ in my mind, I got to work.
I wanted to create an exploration platformer as this is a genre that is near and dear to my heart, but one that I haven’t tried yet for an LD. My initial thought was to create a more open world design, but I was worried about potential technical issues as well as time constraints so I opted for something more linear. After playing FEZ last week, I liked the idea of a game with no combat, just puzzle solving and exploration. I also knew that I could potentially use the silhouetted art style to my advantages, so I decided hidden passages would be a big part of the game. Finally, to keep things interesting, I decided to add one very lethal element to game – acid!
I spent a decent amount of time working on the visual style for the game. You can see above the initial vector art and how much it was stylized for the actual game. My goal for the visuals was to create a sense of macro scale by emulating a shallow depth of field effect – which is why the background is super blurry. I also wanted to a have a ‘filmic’ vibe to it, like this was something from a 1970′s sci-fi movie, so I added some embellishments like the old film border and a grain/texture overlay.
The music was one of the first things I did, since I knew that if I waited on it I might run out of time like I did last LD. Besides intending to creating a sort of desperate, melancholic mood, I included some subtle sound effect elements so that the audio track would also serve as the ambient noise of the environment.
Finally, I decided to make the narrative a big focus of the game, having a bunch of NPC’s which you encounter over the course of the game. I was worried that some players might find this annoying so most of these conversations are optional, but I do think the dialogue in the game adds a lot to the atmosphere as well.
- Time – This game was intended to be a main compo entry, but on Sunday night the game was only about half done and I knew I would be unhappy submitting such an incomplete feeling game so I decided to switch to the jam. Even with the extra day I still wasn’t able to do everything I wanted and I had to upload the game with a few obvious problems.
- Programming issues – Wasted a lot of time due to using inefficient programming methods. I’ve been using ActionScript 2.0 because, to be honest, it’s the only language I really know, but I can tell it’s also holding me back and forcing me to rely on bad habits. My goal for the next LD is to finally get my act together with AS3, or try something else besides Flash for once.
- Unhealthy perfectionism – Spent a lot of time on little details some of which are so small I don’t they’re even noticeable – for example the characters that you meet are actually animated so it looks like they’re breathing, but they are so small that it barely registers. In retrospect, my time could have been much better spent on more important stuff.
Overall, I’m happy with this game – in a lot of ways it feels like a culmination of all the things I’ve been working on over the past year or so, whether that be programming, art, or music. Despite whatever progress I’ve made though, it’s obvious to me that if I want to take my games to the next level, I need to get serious about expanding my programming knowledge. This experience was also a reminder that if I want to make BIG games I need to put more time into game development outside of Ludum Dares!
Anyway, thanks to anyone who has played or rated my game, I appreciate it! And if you haven’t played it yet, here’s the link:
Well, it took me 24 hours longer than I expected, but my game ONLY DUST is done (ish). Play it here:
Now, time for sleep. Stay tuned for some kind of post-mortem-thingy.
So far I have basic movement working (jetpack anyone?) and collision detection with the walls/floor. I also have music! And graphics! But I don’t really have a game!
But I’m done for the night – tomorrow will be all about adding content. Oh and maybe making a sprite for the player character.
Yes, I am back for my 3rd LD and very excited. As usual, my focus will probably be on the visual side of things, but I have been brushing up on my programming ‘skills’, so hopefully there will be a decent game in there too.
My last LD game, ZERO2, received a fairly positive response but almost everyone who played it commented on the unfortunate lack of sound. So, for this LD I’m making audio a priority – after I come up with a concept for whatever theme gets chosen, I’m going to compose the music and THEN start working on the game. Hopefully this will yield some interesting results.
I’ll be doing the game in Flash, using some combination of Photoshop, After Effects and Cinema 4d for the graphics. For music, I’m going to record in Pro Tools with my trusty MicroKORG synth.
Looking forward to playing a bunch of sweet games, good luck everyone!