Posts Tagged ‘flashpunk’
8PM over here. Haven’t eaten anything since waking up, sheesh.
It’s great to be done. Yeah, would have been nice if I had the time to get one or two more features in…can think of a lot of things I would want to add, but it’s totally fine. Totally fine.
Anyways, here’s Minimalist MAYHEM:
Try it. It’s pretty awesome. And come on, how can you not try a game called Minimalist MAYHEM? Especially with a title screen like that???
Anyways, get some rest, everyone. We’ll wait until we recuperate (and until the LD servers recuperate) for now.
And of course, good luck to everyone who’s still toiling away in the jam. You can do it!
a short puzzle about escaping from a room full of trap
this is my first game this year, as I’m joined #onegameamonth
this is my 3rd game so far, and actually my first non-jam game because the other two are LD game
I created this with flashpunk+ogmo editor ex
when i’m creating this, i’m thinking about making some simple game with simple mechanic that i actually can do it and finish it. i’m choosing puzzle genre because i think for simple game, puzzle will be the best choice. well, i dunno how this turn out before i get some feedback, but i hope you will enjoy this game…
I’ve posted a post-compo version of Hunter to Hunted on Kongregate. This article focuses on said event, making it a post-”post-compo post” post. The new version fixes the bugs you never encountered, includes online high scores that you can only watch from the sidelines while drooling (most likely out of retardation rather than admiration), and adds a help menu to wrap your pathetic minds around those colorful funny things moving on the screen. Radical changes weren’t needed because one can’t improve on perfection.
Not that you’d deserve to pick the fruits of my efforts. Not that I’d expect you to understand the revolutionary nature of the gameplay after you’ve rated my entry #461 in Fun. I’m no mathematician, but it seems to imply you implied there were 460 more fun games in LD25, and that ain’t right.
I also wrote 25 pages of witty remarks, but they’d be wasted on a bunch of illiterate rednecks, so I’ll cut this short.
Now go to hell, and take my game with you. So you can try it out.
Happy New Year, folks!
I thought it’s time to write a postmortem too. For those who haven’t seen my game yet, you can find it by clicking on one of these conveniently placed handcrafted icons:
And now without further ado, here we go:
Some things went wrong
Yup, I’ll make that the first section. I think the game turned out pretty well all in all, so I’ll let the best come last!
Not everything went right though. First and foremost: It took me hours and hours to get motivated. Motivation is my biggest problem when I work alone. I’m not too good with game design, and often I don’t see if a game can be great before it becomes great – which seldom happens in the first few hours. There are many moments on the first day where I wanted to give up. What helped me was to remember that I’ve felt this way before with other projects and they turned out great! And now I have another one of those.
What didn’t help either is that I have no definitive base code library, I extracted my base code from another project and had to delete stuff that doesn’t fit. And then post it here. It takes time, and I don’t feel too good about it as it goes a bit against the Ludum Dare spirit. I’ll take care of that soon and will have one for the next LD!
Unsurprisingly, the clock wasn’t kind to me. Two of the levels were created in 10 minutes before the deadline. The first level is my “easy” test level, and the fourth level is my “hard” test level. I didn’t even have time to test the two in between. The third level works quite well, the second is awful but at least it’s beatable in about 1 1/2 minutes…
The music doesn’t sound stealthy at all. I am no musician, so this is no surprise. I’m not sure if I want to put enough energy in this to get better just for the LDs, so I guess I’ll just have to deal with that. I should have added an option to turn it off though.
Some things went right
Probably the most important thing: I wrote a to-do list before I started. This is so incredibly helpful and I hope all of you are doing it. For those who are not, here are the benefits of doing it:
- You think about the code design along the way. It’s not as exhausting, restricting and time intensive as doing a full-blown software design and it still gives you a general sense of what you need.
- You can always look how much you still have to do and how you’re doing progress-wise.
- Most importantly: It keeps you from digressing. At least that’s what it does for me – every time I feel like I’m lacking clear directions, I check my to-do list. Works without fail.
I had a level editor at hand. Mind you, it’s nothing fancy – it couldn’t be easier actually:
Yup, it’s just TextPad – with an XML file, shown with a slightly modified version of the Laser Systems font. It’s dead easy to parse. I’ll surly have something fancier in the future when I’m more established with games that actually need an editor, but for now its service was perfect.
It was 10 hours before the deadline. There was no time to be wasted. Yet I was idle browsing the FlashPunk forum without anything specific to look for. And guess what I found: TileLighting [1.0.1], made 6 days before the Ludum Dare. On an impulse, I spent 2 hours to integrate it. Here is the result:
Is there are lesson to be learned from that? I have no idea. All I know is that it made the game SO much better – it basically gave the game one of its major mechanics.
Speaking of major mechanics, I was 8 hours before the deadline and I had to decide which single feature on my huge to do list I wanted to implement – all others were to be discarded. I decided on lock-picking, and it turned out great. After the light became such an essential tool in the game, I decided to link the lock-picking to the lighting level – just how it would be the case in real life: The more light you have, the easier it is to do something hard. This feature received the most praise in the comments which makes me pretty happy!
Another important thing was that I focused on what I can do best: Gameplay. I could’ve spent more time on the graphics, but then it still wouldn’t look good and be much less fun. I think the abstract graphics are working well for the time being.
Another good thing was that I inserted sound effects and music. They might not sound as well as in other games where the developers actually know what they are doing, but it’s still a vast improvement to silence! I think I did both in 1 1/2 hours. With 48 hours in total, there is no excuse not to add them.
Here’s one more on gameplay: Enemies don’t have to be intelligent, they just have to work and be fun. I thought about implementing pathfinding, but took a far easier route in the end and I fare just as well:
- Enemies just patrol a straight line.
- When they hit a wall, they go left or right.
- When they scrape a wall and find an opening, sometimes they enter it.
- An enemy that spots a player goes to where he saw him last, then follows the player’s trail a few seconds:
And yup, that’s it. Just going straight for a point, then following a trail the player leaves. It’s was rather easy to make and is a lot of fun to play against!
I have no idea how much impact the fact that I made a gameplay video had, but I think it was a pretty good idea. It can give people a sense of the game if they don’t have enough time or incentive to play it and it can provide basic instructions for those who don’t like to read and can’t figure it out by just playing. It’s not hard to make, it doesn’t take much time and you can do it after the deadline: You should definitely make one too!
Some things were learned
A few lessons learned/tips:
- Don’t like the theme? Neither did I. Deal with it! You can still make a fun game. It’s not like you have to design your whole game around it. Sure, that would be cool – but having a game that will get 1/5 in the Theme rating is still better than having no game at all because you gave up before you even started.
- Keep calm and carry on: Never give up while there is still time! Maybe the game isn’t great now and you don’t have any idea how to improve it, but if you carry on, inspiration will hit.
- A to-do list helps to keep you on track. It also helps with the design. And tells you were you stand progress-wise. Write one before you start developing.
- Focus on what you do best. For me that’s gameplay, and that’s why my game isn’t as pretty to look at as other games, but it’s a lot of fun.
- Add sound effects and music. Even if you’re not good at it, I guarantee that your game will feel FAR better with them, and with good tools, it won’t take you long to make and insert it either. (In case of doubt, just add an option to turn off the music.)
- Sleep. Yeah, 48 hours isn’t much time, but if you’re fresh you work better. And who knows what kind of ideas you get when you’ll get your subconscious some time to rest?
- Music for Programming is pretty cool. Especially when you’re having a hard time concentrating.
Some features were discarded
Are you interested in what I wanted to implement, but ran out of time to do? Here is a quick breakdown:
- Level / Gameplay
- Treasure makes you slower
- Treasure: Weight (can only carry certain amount)
- Step-on mines
- Alarm Level
- Enemies shoot
- Vanishing / Hidden after time
I don’t want to elaborate on these, just give a quick impression, but it’s such a pity that some of them are missing! I wanted to have lasers as obstacles, maybe switching on and off, traps to force you to have a higher light level (and maybe a trap disarming mini game), an alarm level slowly escalating difficulty when you’re seen, enemies shooting at you, and my favourite: Dynamite to break walls, but alerting every guard even if they can’t see you.
But well, you can only do so much in 48 hours. All in all, I’m pretty happy with the result. It’s a very good feeling I did that all on my own, and I am glad I participated!
Some thanks are offered
Thanks to the Ludum Dare organizers and to the great, great community! You guys have made a wonderful thing here and are doing all of this in your free time and it is so much appreciated! I cannot believe how many games were made, and how many kind comments I got on my game – I’ve seldom experienced such a friendly community. I had a great time and I will definitely participate again!
Do you have any questions I didn’t elaborate on? I’ll happily answer them in the comments! And you could leave a little comment if you enjoyed reading this or what you rather wanted to read.
Apropos, one last thing: Thanks a lot for reading this postmortem! It hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it. (And it’s probably pretty obvious, but maybe you want to follow this other conveniently placed link and rate my game? Your feedback means a lot to me!)
LD #25 was significant for me. Not only did I submit my first entry to the compo, it is the first time that I have created a game and put it up for anyone in the world to play. The feedback in the comments has been fantastic, and I’m kicking myself for not having participated sooner.
Take a minute and try Goombah! here.
The first thing that came to mind when I saw the theme announcement was to focus on a grand villain – Darth Vader, Genghis Khan, Kane, etc. The second thing I thought of was stupid and funny. I went with that.
It’s hard out there for a goomba. He sits on a little platform, waiting patiently for the plumber to show up, at which time mr. goomba either gets stepped on or walks off a ledge. I didn’t want to make the game quite that boring, so I took out the ledges and provided an endless stream of jumping men to avoid. The goomba’s chances of survival are still slim, but at least it is interesting!
What went well
- Kept it simple – I had a simple design that was not too difficult to implement in a few hours. I considered adding game play features, but focused instead on making everything look nice and by the time I could have come back to changing game play it was time to submit.
- Flashpunk – The only exposure I had to flash development before the compo was running through the flashpunk tutorial. For me it was a great place to start, and that engine is a snap to use!
- Draw first – I am not what you would call an artistically gifted man. I spent the first hour or two in GIMP drawing out the sprites for the game, so that I knew they were done and did not have to worry about the art while I was working on the code. If I had done it the other way around, I’m not sure my placeholder art (colored squares) would have ever been replaced.
- Submit early – I submitted the game early on Sunday because I had other obligations, and at that time only a few dozen games total had been submitted. I know they don’t count for scoring, but almost 50 people had played my game before the end of the day. That’s just cool.
What could be better
- Levels – One thing I would have liked would be to add some variety to the game by having different platform configurations to mix up the game play. The game works, but does get boring pretty quickly.
- Interface – An actual menu, instructions screen, and game over screen would be nice to have in there. The text elements up top were a last minute addition, and while I think they do the job it could be better.
- Frame based motion – I would much rather have implemented motion based on actual elapsed time, but started the game by implementing motion based on number of frames passed. Around hour 5 I realized that this could be an issue, but never managed to go back and rework it. Next time, I’ll start the right way.
Having actually made a game in a weekend, and then having so many people play and comment on that game has been a great experience. And to everyone who has played and commented on my entry, thank you!
I’ve seen the infamous Ludum Dare come to an end for the fifth time! Once again I submitted a game I was satisfied with, but there were many who did not survive.
Ludum Dare is never the same thing twice, and nothing can fully prepare you for it. But unusually many things were different this time. The most glaring thing was my new framework, FlashPunk, which I learned thinking of game jams specifically. And by “new”, I mean I went from knowing Hello World to finishing my most addictive LD entry in 4 days.
This was a self-imposed challenge, and I conquered it. That’s what LD is all about.
But it wasn’t a case of going from point A to point B. The main theme in my development turned out to be redesigning and piecing things together.
In the beginning, it seemed deceptively easy. I had some routines from previous LDs, and FlashPunk felt convenient for getting things done fast, so I was already working on the presentation on the first day.
Little did I know I was riding a train to the wrong direction!
A ONE-WAY TRAIN!
In the last quarter of the compo, I reached the point I’d previously named the “Ludum Dare middle-age crisis”. I thought of all the possible games I could have made instead of wasting time on something so lackluster.
The final 10 hours was where the magic happened. I stopped beating around the bush and admitted to myself I didn’t like the gameplay; it didn’t have enough action, it didn’t have enough control, it didn’t have enough strategy. It wasn’t a game I’d wanted to play if it came up while rating entries. I decided I wasn’t going to take the easy way out and submit a mediocre, unfinished game. I wouldn’t be happy unless I improved somehow from the last time.
Finally, I made an effort to consider something fundamental.
Namely, the feel of the game. Something that can’t be communicated. The thing that separates gaming from other mediums. Being able to concentrate on it was why I’d chosen a small scope to begin with.
I had to remind myself, what do I want the game to feel like? What do I do to get there? Game design starts with the spark of motivation, a flash of what the finished product will feel like. You know, “wouldn’t it be awesome to have a game where…”. I had strayed too far from this initial impression and didn’t trust my intuition. It was time for me to stop and look back for once.
I had been racing for one stroke of insight, without realizing I’d already run past several. I just couldn’t feel them because the gameplay didn’t reflect them properly. I had been adding more and more unconnected ideas, taking the thing apart and rebuilding it over and over. The source code was a mashup of unfinished games with incompatible gameplay.
So I reviewed what was important to me – resource management, strategic preparation, micromanagement, emergent puzzles – and only left the features that I felt supported these.
Suddenly, it was fun to play. Success isn’t a linear path, often it’s failing and failing until there are so many failures that they block the exits and one of the balls is bound to go in.
Anyway, after the intense last stretch, I managed to submit in time, even with a couple of minutes to spare. Everything came together after all.
A quick recap would be in order:
What went right
- I learned something new about game design and Flash development.
- The music rocks, the graphics are crispy.
- The game is pretty simplistic while having lots of depth. Basically, I did the game I wanted to play.
What went wrong
- The code’s somewhat messy and rushed, leading to a bug that places two blocks in the same tile, and even a gamebreaking bug if you get far enough while playing it conservatively (in terms of enemy placement). I seem to encounter the latter annoyingly often nowadays…
- People are saying it’s confusing. Learning the mechanics through trial and error was something I was aiming for, but maybe more visual cues should be used to improve the process.
Based on those points, I’m pleased to announce I will be making a post-compo version of my entry! I’m going to at least clean up the code, squish the bugs, and add the “ignorable tutorial” I brainstormed in the comment section. I’d love to make upgraded versions of all my Ludum Dare entries some day, but I feel this one urgently deserves it, and it can be done feasibly. Hell, maybe I’ll even submit it to Kongregate with a high score feature.
I finished my Ludum Dare entry, I didn’t make a post yesterday because I was too tired.
Come play it if you want some rpg goodness. Click here!
Also, here’s a timelapse.
Burglary, an action/stealth game about stealing from the rich and giving to those needing it: Yourself.
And here we go, a blog-post about my entry!
Explore the premises. Evade the guards. Pick locks.
Steal the treasures! And the escape with them.
Burglary, an action/stealth game about stealing from
the rich and giving to those needing it: Yourself.
View a gameplay video on YouTube:
Steps taken so far:
- Hear what the theme is
- Do some brainstorming
- Decide to do something with Unity
- Get a good nights sleep
- Decide not to go with Unity after all and do AS3/Flashpunk instead
- Finally upload the base code*
- FINALLY start coding away!
Good luck everybody!
*) I know it’s bad style to upload it so late – I’m sorry. I don’t have base code per se, I salvage other projects, so I had to get the idea first to decide on which set of base code to use. Next time I’ll do it properly!
edit: Damn, I forgot some level loading code. Updated.
this post is a direct mirror from my blog, I’ll be doing this a lot so as to not waste too much time (yours and mine)
Hoo Wow, This One’s Tricky!
I’m still brainstorming 2.5hrs after the theme announcement. This is a tough one!
I have a nine page bullet list of ideas, but choosing is a little harder than it was last time because:
- My favourite ideas are likely the favourites of many other people
- My least favourite ideas mostly fall under the following categories:
- nice concept, but where’s the game?
- how does that differ from the hero version?
- nice game, but where’s the concept
Normally at this point I’d start work on coding up the basic framework and getting the generic skeleton going, but since I’m not sure which game I’m going with I still don’t know whether AS3/FlashPunk or Java/LibGDX are going to be more appropriate.
I’m leaning toward FlashPunk again simply because more is covered by the library, but that would instantly limit my chances of doing anything simulation-based as the VM (as far as I know) is not as well suited. Distribution is significantly easier though.
Another caveat if I choose Java/LibGDX is that less people will play the game unless it’s embeddable in the browser – outside of Processing I’ve never attempted this, which could either be deceptively simple or a waste of a few good hours.
More coffee, and standing in the sun before I choose.
I give myself one hour to choose, and a further hour to get whichever dev environment I go for setup and ready to go. If the setup is not yet done by that point I shall switch to a simpler environment.
Hey guys, 3 guys in for the jam.
Code: Flash Develop + Flashpunk
Graphics: Paint.Net, GraphicsGale, Pyxeledit
Sound: LMMS or Musagi, BFXR
I wish everyone good luck!
You are the villain!
I’m going to give it a shot. The bad news is that I lose 7 hours tomorrow but i think I should be able to recover. Worst case scenario is that I submit it to the Jam.
Sound Effects: *Shrug*