Archive for the ‘LD – Misc’ Category
Sadly, our game ( the team’s ) wont be ready before the deadline, but this compo, making this my third failure, gave me an idea for something that I will make however. What I plan to create is a game framework for SDL, in which you can easily create 2D games for competitions like this, that way you won’t be caught up on making the basis for stuff (which is always the case for me, I seem to always have some trouble regarding animations). So good luck to the rest of you LD’ers who are still in the compo, may the force be with you.
Copulus is a 2D God Game in which you have to help your subjects populate their little world. In order to achieve this you need to balance their need for social interaction (and copulation) with the need to survive. I decided to try and stream line the “god game” mechanics and let the player focus on only a few tasks, as opposed to regular god games where you have to manage many different needs (housing, hunger, peril, happiness, loyalty, security, etc). In order for your population to survive and expand you only need to make sure they are feed, safe and can interact with each other. I even took this approach a bit further and merged survival/peril with hunger satisfaction. Before I go into the, regular, What went Right, What went Wrong topic I would like to present my approach for this entry:
Limitations breed creativity
Before the theme was announced I already established how far I can stretch things. I know from previous experiences how hard it is to stay on track of the initial design and how many features end up being thrown away in order to finish “something” before the time runs out. So for this edition of Ludumdare, I’d like to say I came prepared. Here are my, self-imposed, limitations:
- 256×384 resolution (upscaled to 512×768)
- must involve some kind of an AI
- must be tile based.
Three rules in total. Three rules that, once the theme was announced, helped me establish a clear goal. For example, the small resolution and tile-based approach helped me establish the art style, level and user interface design. Working on a 256×384 screen I could only fit 8 / 12 tiles (32×32) on the screen, or 16/24 tiles at 16×16 pixels each. The AI requirement weighted in favor of the strategy genre and, it’s subclass, the god game genre.
From here on, I went with the entire map being confined to a single screen (in order to have a good view of your population, and not have to hunt for them everywhere). This also affected my User Interface Design and Experience, since It had to take as little screen space as possible. Little screen space for UI implied having only a handful of buttons during game play which, combined with the god-game thematic, had me limit what tasks the player could focus on. A small amount of tasks for the player to perform required me to streamline the entire “god game” approach and make it as minimalistic as possible (the soul experience as I like to refer to it). You can see how things developed further on.
What went right
- Using a WIKI to plan ahead. Features, classes, how the AI should perform, etc [click here for a screenshot of the wiki].
- Not stretching further than I can and imposing strict limits.
- Making fake-screenshots(mockups) before beginning development so I can plan my interaction approach.
- Using tools and frameworks that I was familiar with.
- Selecting a limited color palette to work with.
- The UI only interaction means that I can also port the game to tablets.
- Using “procedural” generation to save time (from level design) and focus on other areas.
- Nailed the risk-reward motif due to Wolves acting as a source of food but also damage to the units.
What went wrong
- My innate lack of knowledge when it comes to composing and/or generating appropriate sound effects.
- Having to remove the “convergence” scene. After winning a level, the player was supposed to reach a new world with his highest level followers and watch them fight off the inhabitants. I regret removing because it would have had a better tie in with this jam’s theme. Further more, I had a system which allowed the player to revisit worlds that have been previously populated, to see how they are doing.
- The game’s balance is a bit off. Level progression of your followers vs level progression of the wolves is tipped in favor of your followers for the first few levels. A few wolf summons in and you can only take them on if you have a high level character that survived.
- Social interactions are only represented by heart animations on individuals, but it’s hard to tell who “copulated” with whom. More so, a death of a birth of an individual is represented by their respective sprite disappearing from the game.
- Health, hunger and level indicators are way to small and crammed into a unit’s sprite.
- The tutorial is just a image and does not convey all the information needed.
I feel that with each Ludumdare event I partake in I can quantify my progress as a Designer. My first entry required the player to quit the game in order to restart the level and featured only mechanics but no clear goal (also no Ui of any kind). In my last LD (7DRTS) attempt I finally had a entry with no missing UI options and a clear navigation path. You can see where I’m going with this. But all in all, I’m glad that with each submission I end up acquiring new knowledge. As far as limitations go I believe that it’s better to know what you should not do as opposed to not knowing what to do. Hopefully my next LD submission will blow this one out of the water.
You can play and rate the game here. Linux, Mac and, hopefully, Android coming tonight. I’ve also uploaded it to itch.io and, in the weekend, will release a post-compo version that has sound and the features that were cut off.
So, I had a bug today that I couldn’t skip. When I started my game, it filled up my PC’s memory completely in about a minute, breaking literally everything that was running. I had to fix it to continue.
8 hours of hacking at this problem.
I just fixed the bug. It was with Scene2d.ui’s function Table.drawDebug(). If you set debug, apparently it runs this blindingly expensive operation that constantly creates new objects. Yay.
I followed a tutorial telling me to do this. And who would guess that something that draws literally a few lines on a screen would break my whole computer lol
8 hours of not actual game developing haulted… due to a single line of code I would have eventually taken out anyways….. FFFFFFUUUUU–
Long story short, my LD time is done. But now the bug is fixed, I’m going to continue my game to see if the fun factor is there or not. I think I definitely came up with an idea at least worth exploring and finishing an alpha.
Here’s a final LD screenshot of the game. See you guys at the next LD!
My game is called On The Other Side. There are two worlds which are vertically connected. You can switch between them with the right mouse button, you can also jump with the left mouse button. It’s basically a more advanced version of those jump-over-spikes games. Every 30 seconds a disaster occurs, as of now there are only 3 disasters. Here’s a GIF of the gameplay so far! You might have to click the image to see the animation.
Here are the tools I have used to make this, or will use tomorrow:
Engine: None, coded from scratch in C++
Libraries: SDL2 (and its sister libraries, SDL2_image, SDL2_ttf and SDL2_mixer)
Oh, and by the way this is for the compo unless I can’t finish it by tomorrow, in which case it’s going to have to be for the jam
In the past few months I dabbled with iOS development, and absolutely loved the [UIView AnimationWithDuration: …] methods. These use parametric methods, and let you do very nice simple animations in code, and since it’s so nice, I decided to make a similar system for Unity3d.
So today I spent a few hours working on a parametric animation solution, you can get it here. It’s very easy to use, and I recommend it to anyone who’s using Unity for this LD, it allows for very nice detail animations on objects. If you find yourself interpolating objects between two points, consider using this instead.
Also, I wrote some replacements for the interpolation system which let you use values outside the [0, 1] range.
- The animation system: https://gist.github.com/porglezomp/14e5c49bd7a386fa79cb
- The interpolation: https://gist.github.com/porglezomp/6db9942643daceffdfba
Hey everyone. Do you use GameMaker Studio? Do you need a really good mini map add-on for your 2D game? One that can simulate a radar or sonar as well as a basic map?
My first Marketplace asset, mmap mini maps, is on sale for Ludum Dare 30 weekend. Regularly $4.99, now just $1.99. Sale price is good now through Sunday.
To see what it’s like, I have a live HTML5 demo which shows off some of its power and flexibility.
It’s beautifully coded, fully commented and documented, totally configurable, powerful, and flexible. Even if you don’t have a use for a mini map in your project, it’s worth buying just to have a look at the source code.
I’ve been reading up on sprites/animation and pixel art. Here are some links of websites with good content:
Hey everyone I created a wallpaper for Ludum Dare 30, feel free to use it however you like!
Download the size you need here:
Also for my fellow Louisvillians who will be jamming with us at GameDevLou, here are some Louisville-specific versions just for fun:
Let me know if there are any sizes you need and I might be able to whip another one up for you.
Peace, and happy jamming!
I will be entering Ludum Dare 30. This will be my first full Ludum Dare (I have only entered Mini-Ludum Dares until now). I will be using:
Libraries: Standard Java Libraries, and possibly LWJGL
Other Tools: The Sprite Sheet generator I created for MLD #51. (Available here).
I may also create a time lapse of my entry to post on YouTube. I would like to live stream it, but my internet is terrible. Hopefully my game will turn out alright, but I’m sure it will be fun however it is.
Mac OSX Mav.
Unity (C# via MonoDev)
I’m hoping for a good theme this time. I couldn’t really get behind the last couple. Don’t let me down, and VOTE!
I might stream this one too…
LD 30! I’m in for the 5th fun-filled time! As preparation (and for nostalgia sake) I went back through my past entries and looked at what I was happy/unhappy with: and I remembered the excitement and terror of my first ever Ludum Dare.
I decided to write up a few (like, three) tips for people who find themselves this week in that same position… good luck!
This will be my third Dare, and I’m excited to try to finally get it right. My first to entries were… Meh (Last entry, http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-29/?action=preview&uid=34993 ) I hope to finally make a great game and learn something new from it.
Audio: Fl 11
Art: Pencyl and Possibly Pixil Art Studio.
Motivation music: Gemini, Nero, Cell Dweller, And all dat good stuff.
Fuel: Mountain dew : Kickstart, and gummy worms!
Many submissions in the Mini LD #53 have links labeled as web, that are not web at all. This is quite annoying, as I like to know upfront if I’m going to have to actually download something, extract it, blah blah blah. There is a proper way of labeling your links, as I describe below. Doing this properly will help keep people in the community from being annoyed by a “web” game that prompts to download an exe file.
- Web – Can be played in the browser. For instance, you build your game in flash, html5 or unity webplayer, and the game is hosted on kongregate, newgrounds, your own site, google drive, etc. (I’m trying to be all inclusive, not stating any one of these is better than the other). These games will be played directly in the browser, without you downloading anything that you must do outside of the browser.
- Download – This cannot be played in your browser. A file must be downloaded, extracted, dependencies possibly installed, etc. The game is run outside of the browser and is a bit of a headache. With a lot of games, this takes more time than playing in the web, as the file must be extracted and so on. Examples below.
- Windows – This is anything that is an exe, or a zip or other archive that contains an exe meant to run only on Windows. If this describes your game, please don’t label it as a “Web” link. You can label it as “Windows” or something similar.
- Mac/OSX – This is a game built for Mac/OSX that is played only on Mac/OSX. This is not played in the browser. If this describes your game, please don’t label it as a “Web” link. You can label it as “Mac” or something similar.
- Jar – This is an executable jar file. This can run on any platform, as java is that versatile. Jar files can be run in the browser, but it’s still necessary to build the web page to do so. If you link ends with .jar, this is not a web build, so please don’t label it as a “Web” link. You can label it as “Java” or something similar.
I’m not trying to yell at anyone here, but some people haven’t learned the difference. It may seem trivial to some, but it is only common courtesy to let people know up front what to expect. If I click on your web link (because your game seemed so exciting I forgot to look to see where the link actually went before I clicked) and it didn’t take me to a page on the internet that allows me to play it in my browser without downloading anything manually (and extracting, and so on), I will not play your game. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that if you can’t tell the difference, your game is likely to suck and be a waste of my time extracting it, installing dependencies, running in compatibility mode, turning my monitor on it’s side, setting up a house of cards, painting a masterpiece, etc. just to get it to work.
HOWEVER, if you let me know up front by labeling your links correctly that all of that stuff is involved, if your game seems worth it based on the good and complete description that you wrote, I WILL do it.
Edit: If you weren’t planning to build your game for web, please consider doing so. Not everyone in the community is computer savvy enough to download a game and install dependencies, people like artists, people like my artist / wife. If it’s not a web game, my wife won’t play it unless it has a very compelling description that’s very appealing to her, in which case she bugs me until I cave in and download it and make sure it will run for her. Also, it’s possible to unintentionally include malicious code in a downloadable game, where security settings in most of the web players won’t allow such a thing. I’m sure it’s not hard to write your game in .NET and make a mistake (Because you haven’t slept in 30+ hours) that deletes the a user’s “some other folder” instead of just the save file your game makes like you intended. Not saying that this awesome community would do it, but someone could do something like that on purpose, especially someone that’s not part of the community and is just looking for some way to get their kicks. I’m sure most of us are playing these games on the same computer we develop on, the computer that is our livelihood, and just don’t want to take that risk.
Edit 2: Please read the note from artist/wife for a better written explanation, as she is much better with words than I am.