Programmer, developer, architect. With a healthy interest in a good challenge. Bring it on! :)
About pbackx (twitter: @pbackx)
Ludum Dare 23
Archive for the ‘LD #23’ Category
While every one was preparing and working on their LD #24 entry, I’ve cleaned up the entry I submitted for the last LD #23. It’s now available on Kongregate.
I’ve mostly shaved of the raw edges:
- Added a bunch of free sprites instead of my own “artwork”
- swapped the sound effects for something halfway descent (still no music though)
- it now has 30 levels, there is some progression in difficulty, but since I didn’t add any gameplay, it does get a little boring in the second half
Given the fairly positive comments, I’ve used the weekend to draw up some new ideas to make the gameplay a little more interesting. I’m either going to add more settings or add extra options, I’m currently thinking of some tower defense inspired units. It’s still unclear, but I am excited with this progress
The entry doesn’t contain any music. I started Modplug tracker, but immediately ran into trouble when I had no idea how and where to get good samples. Creating samples and composing music was going to take another few hours, so I decided to skip it and work some more on the sprites. I like the more “happy” feel a lot better than my previous “doom-and-gloom” vibe.
There’s a lot of extensions and additions I can think of to this game, so if the feedback is mildly positive, I’m probably going to work some more on it. I really enjoyed the process.
Things are going according to the plan. I’ve revamped the interface a little so the HUD is easier to read. I’ve also started adding introductory levels (just one for now). The sprites and images now also have been replaced by something home-built. They are ugly as sin, but at least I now have something I can submit without breaking any rules.
Oh and I’ve added blur effects!
Next up: putting in a few more levels.
After yesterday’s slow start and change of plans, I now have the gameplay to where it’s enjoyable. It’s not perfect, but it is a good foundation.
Today, I have about 7 hours to spent, I’m planning the following:
- 1 hour: improving the current interface (health + resource display currently is far too small)
- 1 hour: adding a few introductory levels to explain the gameplay
- 2.5 hours: improving sprites (I won’t be able to add any kind of animation, sadly)
- 2.5 hours: adding sound and maybe music (unlikely)
So lets get started …
So my previous game idea turned out to be a major dud. It was not fun at all and I didn’t see any way to change it. So I changed the concept:
This tiny town tries to harness the power of a volcano. It’s a dangerous balancing act of protecting the town and obtaining the energy.
Right now it’s pretty unbalanced (and stupid artwork), but it’s playable. With a little hand-holding, some finetuning and a major dose of graphics, I think I can make this into a fairly enjoyable game.
The ant’s tiny world is under attack by rock and stone throwing fiends.Protect the ant queen by blocking of the attackers. You can build mud and sand walls, but watch out, those won’t last forever.
Well, that’s the concept. I had 100s of other ideas, but this is the only thing that was remotely original and that feels like I can finish it in time.
I have used my warmup code for my technical feasibility study. Technically speaking, I’ve got most of what I want in there (drawing walls, damage, bouncing attackers ). Visually it reuses some of old sprites I had lying around. Those will be replaced later on.
Next step is to make an actual game out of this. Adding some kind of enemy (I’m not sure about that yet), the ant queen and scoring / level progress.
If I manage to get an interesting game running today, tomorrow is going to be dedicated to level creation, images and sound. I got about 3 hours left, so it will be a close call.
So after getting used to Flixel and Box2D, I started looking into tools to more easily create levels and add sound and music.
The end result now contains 3 levels, has a background tilemap with sprites and contains exactly 1 sound effect Cool stuff, check it out.
Although it’s messy and has a few bugs, I’m going to use this code as the basis for my entry. Feel free to do the same, as there are a few interesting classes in there (but they need some clean up)
The graphics and music tools I’ll be using:
- Ogmo Editor It takes a little searching and configuring to get it set up correctly, but once everything is set, this is a real productivity monster. This will be excellent for quickly building levels.
- PyxelEdit. I hate that it doesn’t remember the directory in which I’m working. But otherwise a very handy tilemap and pixel editor.
- Paint.NET for all other graphics editing needs
- Bfxr. I’m not too confident in this one because I really can’t figure out how to get the sounds I want. I’m going to look for another sound generator later today, but I’m not sure if I’ll find a better one.
- MODPlug tracker, because I used to do a little Fast Tracker 2 composing about 20 years ago. So I still know how this type of tracker works. I’m not sure if I’ll get to music anyway.
- Audacity to convert everything into MP3 (WAV’s are too large and I can’t find a reliable MOD/XM playback library)
That’s about it. I’m ready!
So after yesterdays initial foray into Box2D and physics, today, I wanted to start structuring my code a little. So now we have levels (yes, 2 complete levels! ), a win condition and a restart button. The end result is a domino game that’s really starting to feel like an actual game.
Tomorrow, I’m probably going to try and figure out how a developer like me can create decent graphics and sound within 48 hours.
My goal is to create a 2D physics based game. I love puzzle games like the Incredible Machine, but since I’ve never really used Box2D before, I started a little easier.
And here is the most messy code you’ve ever seen. I may clean it up and reuse it for the compo or maybe I’ll just start over.
(BTW I nicked some images from the web, obviously I’ll create my own for the compo)
Yes, I too will be joining this Ludum Dare. I’ve been able to keep the weekend free of any major distractions. I am warming up this week with using the following tools:
- ActionScript 3
Depending on how things go, I might also create (and announce, per the rules) a helper library by Friday.
My most important goal of the weekend: figuring out if game programming is something I want to do more of.
If any one lives in or around Ghent, Belgium and is interested in a gathering, please let me know.