Archive for the ‘LD #07 – Growth – 2005’ Category
I have to be honest, I mostly didn’t participate in the last LD because I wasn’t a huge fan of the theme. I know, I suck, but it’s the past now…
….. But now, to make up for my laziness, I am bringing the past back!
Starting this Friday, I’m having a Quarter Quell (#HungerGamesReference). For a week, I will make a game based on one of the 25 first topics, and it would be cool if you guys joined me in this effort! If not, it’s cool lol.
You can pick any topic (or topics) from the random list below. I went to www.random.org/sequences/ and randomly selected 10 out of the 25 numbers:
So the topics are:
Advancing Wall of Doom
Build the level you play
Preparation — Set it up, let it go
It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this!
Growth … <– “Grow”, also this May’s optional theme for One Game A Month
I think standard LD rules should apply, minus the week to do it. I plan to do this alone, but you can be in a team if you so desire. If you want to participate, post in the comments of this post your intent to do so… and share your finish products when you’re done!
If any of you decide to participate with me, let’s see what awesomeness we can create!
My third LD48 entry, and so far my best. This just about manages to include all the stuff I missed in the previous ones – nice graphics, fun gameplay and the difficulty curve is about right (well, except for the insane spike right at the last level).
Also, I think the way the plants grow is rather cool. Lots of seat-of-the-pants platforming to keep you on your toes.
Probably my least-finished LD entry (not counting ones I didn’t even start), Termites is the adventuresome tale of a small band of termites on a very small screen. All you can do is wander around and chew up grass, making termite babies with which to devour the couple of buildings onscreen.
It’s kind of entertaining to enjoy the simulation a bit. This ‘game’ cannot currently be downloaded anywhere in particular.
The People was written for the Growth theme, and in many ways it resembles my first two LD games—there’s the tiled world, and you can build things on it. Only in this case it looks more fancy due to some clever tile rendering. Like my two first LD games, it’s a puzzle game.
There’s seven levels of varying difficulty, with goals such as ‘reach a population of X’ or ‘get Y huts’, a sandbox mode, and a tutorial mode. While you build stuff, a simulation is going on where new people appear and so on. A good description of what you actually do is, as someone put it, playing a planetary engineer.
My ‘post mortem’ for the game was pretty much the following:
So how did the game turn out? Good, and bad. My first idea was a kind of God game where you created land and such and people appeared. And there was supposed to be a kind of currency, that I called belief. So I coded the tile system and the simulation first, then I started to try to get it into a game. Well, it didn’t work, or at least it didn’t work without very much job, so I dropped it (the game idea, not the simulation and that). So I figured out another game: You have a limited supply of different kinds of land, and you have objectives to complete. Then there’s supposed to be interesting levels that are fun and challenging. I fixed up a tutorial mode, and a sandbox mode. These are pretty cool. Then there was the levels. I managed to come up with a few OK ones, but then it went downhill. So I ended with 7 levels, of which some are OK. Most are pretty easy, you just have to wait a while. I’m not very happy about them. But on the whole, the game’s pretty OK.
If you’re to believe the unofficial results from my own vote counter, The People did indeed turn out OK, and placed first in ‘fun’ and second in ‘innovation’ and ‘production’.
This was my entry for Ludum Dare #7, which was the first LD I entered. The theme (growth) eventually gave me the idea of growing a maze.
So, you create the maze as you walk around inside it. When the game begins, the maze is just a set of disconnected squares. Each of these squares can be linked with a set number of its neighbours (how many depends on the square, from none to four), and you create new links by walking from one square to another where there’s no previous link. Once a link is created it can be walked on as much as you want, but a link can’t be removed once created, so you have to be careful when creating your maze so you don’t get stuck.
Once I had that working the deadline was looming close, so I threw in some keys and locks and made the objective to clear all locks of each level, to make the thing resemble an actual game. In the end there was four levels, a random level generator, and also a level editor.
I wrote in the original README that I’d continue to work on the game, something I haven’t done. I still like the general idea behind the game, but it has this tendency to degenerate into just staring at numbers, which isn’t very fun at all, and on top of that it’s easy to get stuck, having to restart the level if you don’t pay attention. Perhaps some of the extra elements I didn’t have time to put in the game for the compo — more tile types, powerups, bombs, enemies — would have made it better (more varied if nothing else), but I think the interface is the main problem. It should be more obvious what tiles can connect, how many exits are left, etc, so there’s less guesswork, no number tracing, just puzzle solving. Since the levels are so “dynamic” getting that to work would be tricky, though.
I tried thinking out of the box and failed miserably.
The theme was growth, I thought of the idea of crystal growth and pretty much made an incomprehensible game with crystals in it. Hardly anyone figured out how to play the sodding thing. The final insult was that I ran out of time so you could build yourself an army but had no-one to fight.
The bright side was I was quite pleased with the overall look and User interface. It’s a basic RTS engine with minimap and group selection, resource collection etc.
Some of the development was stalled due to me not knowing how to debug. I wrote the game In Blitz max, having downloaded the demo version on the thursday before the compo. I didn’t figure out how the debugger worked (or even that it had one) until sunday.
Theme Growth. I did get a review on this game, here it is:Not just reliant on a funny intro song, The Farmer is a pretty good game coded by drZool for the Ludum Dare competition. Part Harvest Moon with some Mario-stomping element, you play the role of a farmer who has to achieve certain level objectives shown before the start of each stage. This would usually be a certain number of coins, seed, flowers or fertilizers. You start off with a few seeds that can be used to generate the four items mentioned, depending on when you decide to harvest them by pressing space. Some planning is required as the game will end if you run out of seeds. You will get more seeds if you pick the flowers as soon as the petals fall off. Exchange flowers picked when in full bloom for coins from the shack on the right. Decomposed flowers can be collected as fertilizers, while roaches can be eliminated by jumping on them. The rules may seem a little complicated at first but players should be able to grasp the concept after a few plays.
My first LD entry, for the #7 compo in December 2005.
Story, according to readme.txt:
You’re kidding right? Uhm… Control
Jackie as she tries to escape from her
sugar-induced nightmare by climbing an
ever-growing flower. Flying pigs are
attacking and she needs to feed them
candy until they burst.
Collect delicious pig eggs for score,
and keep a look-out for hearts to boost
your health should you need it.
What more is there to say? You jump around, throw candy, collect eggs and try not to fall into the water as platforms appear and disappear from the randomly growing flower. The flower itself was the most advanced piece of code in this one, and the first thing I started working on. Generally I seem to go about LD compos that way – think of some cool technical concept, then implement it and try to turn it into a retro platformer somehow…
Download, WIN32 binary+src: jackiebs.zip (1.24 MB)
Just starting out, no platforms have grown out yet.
Flower has grown a fair bit and there are tons of platforms.
White pig has eaten too much candy, burst is imminent.
Hydra was my entry to LD7. The theme was “growth”. It’s a top-down shooter, where you play a growing hydra.
At the start, the hydra is merely a small worm – and even a single knight who has set out to kill you is a dangerous foe.
Some levels later and after eating lots of knights, the Hydra has reached quite some size. But, there’s now also more knights, and they also got bigger and stronger.
The final form when you win the game – I doubt anyone ever has encountered this without using cheat codes.
Download: original LD7 submission (no idea if it still works on modern systems)
The Hairy Chestival is really symbol of what the Ludum Dare competition is all about. Chest hair. This game was challenging because I wanted it to be a game .. as it turned out, it was really only a simulation of shaving chest hair with a lawn mower. I think the thing that gave this game its edge was the introduction, which I shot the images for only several hours before the end of the competition.
Interesting factoids: the man in the intro sequence is a friend of mine named Dan. The chest that you shave in the game is mine.