Posts Tagged ‘exploration’
So, I made a game in 72 hours. Well, the competition entry is not entirely what I had envisioned for the concept, but I accomplished quite a bit in the time I had so I’m pretty proud of it. Time Frame is a game about exploring a strange world that moves in slow motion. The game takes place over the span of only 10 seconds, which you experience over 10 minutes. With a theme like 10 seconds and I really wanted to make something that wasn’t fast-paced and frantic like I knew 99% of the other entries would be. The idea was to have a vast area that you would never actually be able to completely explore within the time limit. I succeeded with that, but I wasn’t able to fill that area with as many sights and sounds as I had hoped. I wanted to have all kinds of things happening in slow motion to emphasize the time dilation, but I ran out of time. In the end there are really only a couple things that give you a frame of reference for how slow time is moving. The first is a fountain at the entrance of an abandoned city that has water falling in slow motion. The second is an event that happens towards the end of the game that reveals why the game ends at all, so I won’t spoil it for you (though I have updated the game since the competition deadline and added more stuff… read below).
The art style was something that I chose to make asset creation faster. Everything has a very simple, yet high-def look that emphasizes triangles. I actually made all the textures using a really neat application called Hexels. It’s an awesome tool that lets you paint using shapes other than just pixels. I used the trixel shape mode and was able to really quickly develop a unique style. Hexels has a free version that I would recommend everyone check out.
Soon after the close of the competition I added in support for the Oculus Rift as well. I have had the Rift dev kit for about a month now and have been wanting to do something with it for a while. It was a great way to get familiar with the setup so that we can use it while developing Lacuna Passage as well.
I’ve had most of my time wrapped up in developing Lacuna Passage, but I have been working on Time Frame on the weekends and I managed to update the game with a bunch more stuff to explore and discover. You can play the updated version or the original version via web player, Windows download, or Windows Rift versions from our competition page.
What went right:
- Making a non-violent, exploration-based game.
- Creating textures, sounds and the map in time (72 hours).
- Keeping the games mechanics understandable.
- Providing stunning graphics, but still having a relatively small size (16,6 megs .zip with all executables) and good performance.
- Recording (few) suiting sounds.
- Approaching the theme in an non-obvious way.
- Making a few cents trough GameJolts ad-share.
What went wrong:
- Implementing a cutscene reflecting on the players discoveries.
- Creating the terrain in less time, using the heightmap function right from the beginning.
- Making the journal appealing for most players.
- Providing executables for Linux 64bit and Windows initially – ports are avaible now.
I really enjoyed working on the game and I’m planning to sell an extended version in Summer.
If you haven’t explored the iceberg yet, start your discovery here.
I didn’t really want to post a blog on my game until it was ready, because it’s very difficult to communicate what it is just through screenshots. I thought it best to wait until people could actually play it.
Obscure is a minimalist horror exploration game. You are trapped in a pitch black complex, and must find your way out with what little light you have available. A monster is stalking you, and the only way to escape him is to close your eyes and run. Sanctuary is available to the south east, but getting there through the labyrinth will be difficult. You can find its page here.
The graphics are only represented by what your light is blocked by, but each area should be uniquely designed enough that you don’t lose track of where you are or turn around with realising it. This is the first time I’ve made a horror game, and I think it came out really well. It was also the first time I’ve tried a lot of things.
I never actually realised until I was making this game how easy generating collision maps was in Love2d. You can import an image and do a pretty simple loop to build up a 2d array with all the collision data you need. However, using this meant that load times became an issue. With the size of the game I wanted, importing and looping through an image that was the same size as the level (1 pixel = 1 pixel) would take minutes, which is way too long.
I managed to save a bit of time by making the collision map a two colour gif rather than a png, and also made the image much smaller (I then scaled up the array rather than the image), and halved the size of the level (in retrospect, that level was twice as big as it needed to be anyway). This brought it down to about a 10 second loading time on my rubbish old laptop, which seems reasonable to me, and anyone with a slightly more modern machine probably won’t even notice the load.
Because the graphics are so minimal, a lot is represented by the sound (the most important of which is the location of the monster). This is also somewhat new territory for me, but I managed to build up some sounds from the infinite source of foley that is my house to create what I think are pretty convincing effects.
I’ll probably have more reflections on the game when I’m a bit less buzzed from completing it, but I feel very happy with what I managed to create. If nothing else, it’s atmospheric.
Although I don’t have the time to work on the game for the whole 48 hours, I decided to join LD this time again.
I decided to go with a very minimalist space game, which is very focused in the things you can do (fly and collect stuff), but still has a feeling of vastness, as the space in the game is huge (200000 x 200000 pixels).
You are an astronaut searching for your partner, which flew into space and left you behind. You decided to go after your partner to bring him back and thus the adventure begins…
Here’s a first screenshot showing a very small planet near a blue sun. There are speakers on some planets giving you missions or information.
I hope I will be able to integrate the story I came up with. Right now I only have the physics up and running and some graphics.
Best luck to every developer joining Ludum Dare!
Evolver is a game where the point is to explore the randomly generated world. Exploring the world will allow you to pick up ability points which can then be used to evolve or upgrade your character and make him better at exploring the world.
Here is a link to the game
You may notice the instructions panel is blank, one of more than a few things that didn’t make it off of the list and into the game.
Camera : Mouse (lmb/rmb change how it moves around)
Movement : WASD
Esc/Return : Bring up menus
Special Powers : double press W for dash, Q for Ecolocation
There’s a whole lot more that can be done, but figure it out on your own.
Finally got my timelapse uploaded. I used chronolapse.
Now I’m going to start chipping away at playing all these great entries
I finished and submitted Little Worlds 4k perhaps three hours ago, but forgot to write a post here, so now I’m doing just that. The finished game is here. It’s not quite what I had in mind, but it will have to do for this contest. I’m hoping to polish the game and turn it into something worth-while for the Java4k contest.
Hmmm – “Exploration” – what a theme.
It sounded really interesting at first and I’m pretty sure I voted it up, but now I’m having a bit of brain-fail trying to come up with a feasible idea. I’m tempted to try my hand at some procedural generation, but that’s gone badly for me in the past…
I’ve got an idea for Exploration that I’ve had for awhile and wanted to do as a project. The theme gives me a great opportunity to do it.
The idea is that you are an explorer sent to sail the world and to bring back riches and claim land in the name of the mother country.
I don’t have much at all yet. I struggled with how I wanted to represent the world data and scrapped a few ideas before settling on a bitmap and accompanying data file. As of now, I have it able to load up the bitmap and extra info into a class, but nothing is done with them yet. I’m falling asleep at my desk, so I think I should get some sleep and continue fresh in the morning.
This was my very first LD entry ever!
It was written with python + pygame. I don’t have my original compo submission version handy, these screenshots are from the slightly polished version of the game that I have available on my website. Since “Anti-Text” was one of the themes, there wasn’t a title on the title screen, nor was there the status bar on the bottom of the screen when playing the game. The final version has the same original 3 levels as the compo submission though.
All in all, I’m quite happy with the result. It’s a nice simple game that allowed me to show off some of my ‘graphics-making’ abilities. I spent the majority of my game development time doing the graphics. The first level in particular took a very long time because I digitally painted it using my wacom tablet (see the second screenshot above). Phew!
You can download the game (both win32 and python source available) and find a bit more information here:
My entry for Ludum Dare 8.5. LD 8.5 wasn’t a 48 hour compo, we only got 24 hours to make the game in, but the start time was flexible so you could choose the 24 hours of the weekend the compo was held that was best for you. I managed to use exactly 24 hours on my entry =)
Themes were Moon (actually “But even if you doubt their overwhelming findings, the Moon will never be the same to you again. Never will you raise your eyes to look at her without wondering: IS IT OR ISN’T IT AN ALIEN SPACESHIP WORLD?”, but everyone interpreted it as just “Moon”) and Anti-Textmode, no text at all in the game.
The story, which you have to guess at since there’s no text (and the readme is rather sparse), goes: You’re a rabbit, minding your own business on the moon, when one day a butterfly comes flying from somewhere. It flies straight into a crater, which happens to lead to a huge system of caves beneath the surface. Curious rabbit as you are, you follow it, and so the game begins.
When I started making this I actually intended to make one of those bullet hell shooter games, but for some reason the game evolved into this cave-flying exploration game in stead. Or, well, calling it an exploration game might be a bit of a stretch since there’s only 5 rooms in the game, not counting the exit room (which is a very quick drawing of what’s supposed to be me in my bed, getting a good night’s sleep after 24 hours straight spent coding and drawing), but it would have been if I had spent less time fooling around with the code. For such an art-heavy game you’d think most of the time was spent drawing things (all the rooms are just bitmaps, there’s no tiles), but I actually spent most of the time on code. So, the art didn’t take much time, which kinda surprised me, though of course everything being lores greyscale had something to do with that, and I did rush it a bit too. Anyway, doing the art was a lot of fun.
So anyway, you fly around in this cave system, collecting flashing ring things to open gates while avoiding monsters and projectiles and such. It’s a shame the game is so extremely short, because I really like it and think it could be a good game with some more work. Maybe I’ll get back to it sometime =)
Random Dungeon Exploration is the result of trying to push the Random theme as far as possible. It got random levels, random enemies, random quests (well, a little bit random!), random items, random player names, and random events. I guess it could have been even more random, but time was a limiting factor.
As for the actual gameplay, it’s fairly simple step based dungeon crawling. And a ‘town’ screen where you can shop and select dungeons. It felt pretty solid, but there were a lot of balancing issues that you’d notice once you reached some higher levels.
The game was well received, placing second in the ‘Fun’ and ‘Production’ categories, and also getting the ‘Best In Show’ UBER prize.