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Ludum Dare 30 — August 22nd-25th 2014 — Theme: ??? (Suggest a Theme)
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    About MurrayL (twitter: @GameDevIdeas)

    I'm a UK-based game developer. You'll mostly find me working by myself or in a (very) small team.

    My favourite elements of game design:
    * Humour (the good stuff)
    * Sci-Fi
    * Co-operative Play
    * 'I'm totally screwed but it's hilarious' moments
    * Local Multiplayer
    * Strong narrative (as opposed to 'hurr durrr I've got to save the world!')

    Check out my Twitter feed (@GameDevIdeas, linked above) for more inane ramblings!

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    Archive for the ‘LD #23’ Category

    Things I’d Like to Fix in subAtomic

    Posted by (twitter: @GameDevIdeas)
    Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 6:09 pm

    Note: If you haven’t already played our kooky adventure game subAtomic, please go here and check it out! We think it’s brill.

    subAtomic Screenshot

    But I NEED to go through - that's where the game is!

    At the time of writing, subAtomic has received 43 ratings, which is way more than I expected (I barely got over 10 with my last entry). If the ratings are as good as the comments people have left, I’m pretty confident we might actually be able to show up somewhere notable on the final results! Not that Ludum Dare is really about that.* Incidentally, thanks muchly to everyone who has expressed their joy at having played the game. It’s good to know that the jokes don’t just sound funny while they’re bouncing around inside my head, and I’ll definitely be doing more adventure game stuff in the future.

    Shameless plug: If you want to keep up-to-date with what I’m doing, make sure to follow me on Twitter (@GameDevIdeas).

    But how would I change subAtomic, given the chance? I’m sure my dev-buddy Dave has his own ideas for improving the character animations, but here’s my two-pence:

    • Full voice-acting
      Yeah, for every character, in a separate (optional) voice pack file. I’m not 100% sure about adding this, as I’m a bit worried that the voices I record could never be as amusing as the ones people come up with in their heads. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter!
    • More variety in music
      I didn’t really take much time over the music; I just wanted something in there other than deathly silence. As a first attempt, I just sort of whacked my face onto the keyboard a few times in FL Studio and saved what came out. I like that the tracks all sort of feel like they fit together (thanks to using the same instruments), but I do wish they were a bit longer/more varied. I hate hearing loops.
    • Saving/Loading
      So AGS has save/load features built in. They’re right there, in the game. Right now. You just can’t use ‘em. I’d like to turn them back on and shoehorn a GUI on top.
    • A GUI
      Yeah, it was meant to have one but we just didn’t have time. You didn’t seriously think we were sadistic enough to deliberately on-purpose no-kidding release a game that has no GUI, did you?
      The game needs a simple help screen and a button to click if you want to quit, at the very least.
    • Some major code re-writing
      If you could see the AGS script for the last few scenes of the game, your brain would probably scream for mercy, do a backflip and die outright. By the time I wrote it, I was tired, hungry and smelly. I’d like to re-write it so it doesn’t make my vision go fuzzy when I try to understand it.
    • Re-make the title screen
      This was totally my fault. I forgot that it’s pretty difficult to get AGS to rotate a sprite (without delving too deeply into the more complex graphical scripting capabilities), and as a result really regretted putting a FRIGGIN’ CURVED HILL on the title screen of the game. If seeing the car make its way over it made you cringe, don’t worry. You are not alone.
    • Add an extra warning before you stand there and get nuked
      SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT
      I’d say 50% of new players choose the option to just stand there and get nuked, expecting it not to work. It works. They do a sadface. Now I’m all for player choice, but I’d like to at least give them one extra chance to say ‘oh, crap. This is actually going to let me do this.’
    • Misc. rewriting
      This is scraping the bottom of the ideas-barrel somewhat, but there are a few bits of dialogue that I’m not properly happy with. I’d like a chance to go and smooth over the rough spots with 400-grit sandpaper of love. Lovepaper, if you will.

    “Okay Murray,” I hear you saying cynically, “it’s all very well posting a wishlist, but what are you actually going to DO about it?” Well. Provided I have the time to spare (I will) and reception of the game has been good (it has), I’m hoping to release a… SPECIAL EDITION!

    That’s right, folks, for just an extra £0.00 you could find yourself the proud owner of a brand-spanking new copy of subAtomic, replete with gobsmackingly awesome new content and features! Now wouldn’t that be something?

    * Okay, it is a bit about that. No-one really enters Ludum Dare without at least a little bit of them going ‘WOOO! YEAH! LET’S GET ONTO THOSE MOTHERFLIPPING SCOREBOARDS!’. Unless that is just me. Which would be worrying.

    Special Guest Stars

    Posted by (twitter: @GameDevIdeas)
    Monday, April 23rd, 2012 11:33 am

    I’m proud to announce that Carl Sagan and Albert Einstein will be appearing in super-awesome completely-unofficial guest starring roles!

    Now that’s some real science-cred.

    More Than My Job’s Worth

    Posted by (twitter: @GameDevIdeas)
    Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 3:44 pm

    I’ve finally finished the storyline for the game, and I’m fairly confident it’ll be done by tomorrow. Smashing.

    We’ll see how many cheeky pop-culture references you rascals manage to spot when the game comes out.

    Scientific Progress Goes ‘Boink’

    Posted by (twitter: @GameDevIdeas)
    Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 12:40 pm

    Work is progressing steadily over at Team… er… well, we don’t have a team name, but work is progressing steadily.

    I’m not sure there’s anything in the world as fun as writing adventure game scripts.

    Not for Kids

    Posted by (twitter: @GameDevIdeas)
    Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 7:35 am

    Okay, so there’s some swears in the game. I’m a fan of grown-up humour, so sue me.

    And if you think swearing doesn’t count as grown-up humour, you suck balls.

    We’re Going on a Holiday!

    Posted by (twitter: @GameDevIdeas)
    Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 5:34 am

    Okay, so it’s been radio-silence so far, but not deliberately. For LD48 23 I’m working on a Jam entry with one of my buddies.

    We’re building a quirky adventure game using AGS, and we’re pretty happy with how it’s going so far!

    It’s a cautionary tale of science-gone-awry in the future. Failing that, a convincing argument against family holidays.


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