Ludum Dare 25
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Archive for the ‘LD #24’ Category
Okay, before I start with my post-mortem, some advertisements.
If you’re interested in playing the original Meow for MUTATION! and rating the game, visit the entry page. There’s also the updated, post-compo version there, but I recommend trying it after rating the original. If you’re interested in timelapse, check it out here. Thanks!
This game contains kittens. In fact, mutated ones!
- Game design document. It’s very good to write what you want to do – even if just for future reference.
- Using a genetic algorithm. Generally it’s good to use stuff that you know best – and I did use such algorithms a lot some time ago. It’s a very simple implementation, but it took me very little time to code. It works neat, too.
- Graphics. Wow, 5 mins of searching in google “how to draw a cat” and I had a general idea of how I want my mutating cats to look like. Modular graphics were a great idea (although a little complicated in implementation), and honestly, I’m still impressed by my mad skillz. First drawings were made with real pencil on a real paper and that was also quite a good idea (later I used a tablet).
- Forums, community, overall help one can find on the web. FlashPunk forums especially.
- Employing event tracking in google analytics. This was quite easy, actually. Now I’m able to track how many people play my game, what’s their average score, and many other things. I will try to post some statistics later.
- Reading “Game Coding Complete” and thinking (too much) about structuring my code just right (just stick to your framework!). I blame the authors.
- Not testing. This seems more important with every LD I take part in. My game is completely untested – and again, unbalanced and too hard (too few means of controlling the population; the easiest way to fix it is allowing the player to select specimens for reproduction, not deletion – this is done in the post-compo version). I keep forgetting that games need to be fun and playable, not concept-accurate.
- Trying to make something in FL studio for the first time without creating anything before (I managed to record myself saying “meow”, modify this sound into beats and stuff, create some simple, annoying loop, but it was just too much work) – I generated something with GreaseMonkey’s autotracker. It’s an awesome piece of code.
- Thinking too big for the compo. Wow, I was bold enough to think that I could also do a tower-defense part to the game. Like, on top of the general GA idea. I decided to cut the tower-defense idea after the first day.
- My mood, when I figured my idea might bee too much for me. Just in the middle of the compo, I was pretty sure I won’t make it. I even wanted to resign already, but kept coding anyway, just for the sake of it. After some substantial cuts to the idea, I was able to complete something playable.
The Ugly (truth)
- It’s a 48 hour competition: don’t waste time on semantics. Know what to do with your code structure and how you’re supposed to do it.
- In fact, try to not waste time at all: the simpler the idea or the more you’ve had experience with something similar before, the better the result. It’s great to learn new things during the compo, but this can reflect badly on overall quality of your game.
- Get some utils ready before the compo. Some basic stuff, some helper structures, etc. For example, I wasted too much time on coding Entities able to contain child Entities in FP, just to create some screens with messages. I wasted a great amount of time on reading the code of punk.ui and had to hack&slash it to make it work in my environment.
- If you don’t code games everyday, or you plan to use a language you don’t use very often, warm up before the compo!
Overall, this was a great weekend and I look forward to the next Ludum Dare!
Here’s the timelapse of my entry, Meow for MUTATION! Also, having no time to test it during the compo, I managed to finish a post-compo version today, with a quite different mechanic – I think it makes the game a little more playable. If you want to rate it, be sure to take into consideration only the original, though!
Wow, I still cannot believe I actually finished something! I was sure I won’t make it on time! Anyway, here it is:
An intelligent race of feline-like creatures has just learned about the upcoming attack of ALIENS. Having no choice, they must defend by all means possible. The problem is, until now, they had no use for weapons and war machines, being the peace-loving folk they are. So they figured they will use Crossover Accelerating Technology (C.A.T.!) to speed up their evolution – that’s the only chance for them to survive!
Yeah, it’s not really finished. I can actually prove there was more to it when I started, because I made a Game Design Document (a very simple one). Feel free to grab it. Well, at least GA I packed inside works (this was actually the easy part).
Timelapse and postmortem posts are on the way!
I freaking LOVE flashpunk, in the sense that I can easily dive into its bowels and do things just as I please. I might have said before that its code structure is kinda messy, but I must also add that it’s very, very versatile. This piece of art, combined with TweenMax, is a freaking awesome doomsday machine, especially when it comes to creating smaller games.
I worked all day – that’s why I didn’t even have time to make a foodphoto post, but I feel it pays off: the game DOES look better and I MIGHT even finish something playable before the deadline!
So yeah, I will strive to submit it as a compo entry, but no sounds yet. Any. Also, the general concept I had before had to be cut in a lot of ways, so the game will be really, really simple (and probably a little boring).
There are still some bugs I must get rid of, so audio is not a priority right now.
More than 7 hours left, people! Good luck!
I have a great idea, really – but there’s so much to do, I probably won’t be able to finish on time. My only hope might be the jam (though I will work alone anyway). For now, I can say that there will be felines and that I will be using this (that’s why all of this WILL take some time).
I wasted a horrible amount of time on designing (that’s good!) and even more on thinking about how to structure my code (that’s bad!). It’s the first time I’ve actually made some design document, but I should probably just start working on it already. The only thing I really managed to finish right now is my breakfast:
I can already see what is my main issue here: I completely forgot how to code in AS3/FP. I get stuck on many stupid things, and after reading “Game Coding Complete” (damn you, McShaffry!) the code structure kinda bothers me (because now I would do a lot of things in a different way, but there’s no time to write this, and sticking to FP architecture is better right now).
Wish me luck.
Okay, so I’m not really sure I will pull this one off, but I will try!
Things I will use:
- Language & libs: AS3/Flashpunk, TweenMax
- IDE: FlashDevelop
- Graphics: GraphicsGale, maybe Pyxel, Paint.NET
- Sounds: bfxr, Audacity
- Level design: (if any) Tiled
- Music: don’t know yet, but I WILL try to get some
- Timelapse: chronolapse
No base code, just project generated by FlashDevelop & base directory structure.
- put “1000 Kittens” inside somehow (I know it won’t win:P)
- learn and use Google Analytics event statistics on the fly! (something simple though)
- use component-based game model and anything to make code more readable