Posts Tagged ‘journal’
So its coming to the end of Sunday and I’ve “completed” my entry for mini #48 Fawkes Conspiracy.
Well, not sure how I feel. Coming in to this I knew I wouldn’t get much time, and I probably only got about 10 to 15 hours of total work when I started a little earlier on Friday afternoon. I feel like I’ve cobbled together something mildly fun for a minute or two, but felt like I could have done a lot better.
Anyway, we’ll see what people’s comments are over the next few hours and days!
Meddling Little Wizards – a game where you play a dark wizard lord trying to keep his conspiracies private from a school of little annoying wizard students – is coming along. Although not a quickly as I thought.
This is the first time I’m doing a timelapse video as well and the first benefit of that is I know exactly how much time I spent programming. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to program continuously so I started on Thursday (I hope this is OK even if I stretched the rules a bit there).
So far I’ve put in 12 hours, which is quite a lot more than I would have guessed. Time flies when you’re having fun
Also, I’m using GitHub this time: https://github.com/Udo/MiniLD48
My intended idea at the beginning of the jam proved too difficult to complete. Then I had pretty much no ideas for the remainder of the compo period. Finally, just when the compo period ended yesterday, I had an idea for playing a bossfight from the boss’s perspective. The connection to the theme is pretty weak. You only have one… eye? Room? Goal?
Regardless, even though the game only barely touches the theme, is buggy, has no sound, has very unfinished graphics, and has incomplete gameplay implementation, I’m just glad to have something, even a very rough prototype, to show for the Dare. I’d have felt worse if I simply hadn’t been able to come up with anything at all and had had to skip over this jam.
Whatever one can say about Cyclops, it was a good learning experience. After I’ve had a break to cool down from this jam stuff, I’d like to return to the prototype and polish it to completion, just for the experience of it.
Papaya is finished! Click the above link to Play!
This was my first entry into a Ludum Dare, And I had a lot of fun with it.
I felt at the start that “You only get one.” Was a bit of a limiting factor, but decided to hop into tile-creation and general artwork for the game. A few hours in I still had no idea what I was making, or rather what the main plot or mechanics would be.
I ended up deciding on my main character however; Batty, the Bat. But this was not enough, I needed motivation – And what better motivation is there than “Papaya!”. I swear the word carries no meaning for me anymore, I have uttered it so many times whilst creating my pixels and organizing my levels.
The game was created in Construct2 and Photoshop to run natively in most new browsers. Since this was my first game I decided that working with a framework would be beneficial. Adding to that I mostly have experience in tileset design, so if I was going to get anything working in before 48 hours, I needed to rely on my strenghts and leave the coding to a framework.
I hope you will play it, and I hope that you find it to be a mildly enjoying experience. It is a short game, it is a simple game. But I like to think it has atleast one decent joke in it.
Thank you for your time! And to those of you still crunching towards the time limit; Go go go!
The last two days have been crazy. It’s been a while since I’ve worked on a game, and I was nervous about jumping into a game jam while my skills aren’t up to par, but I am extremely proud of myself and what I built.
What did I build?
Well, I built a game called Tumbling Towers. I’ve come to call it a reverse Tetris/Jenga style game where you receive a random block and you must build up and try to not knock the tower down. The goal of the game is to build as high as you can and score as many points as you can.
Where the theme “You Only Have One” came into play is where you can only build with one of the three materials in the game, and you can only build in one direction (up); (yes, for some reason I instinctively ended my sentence with a semi colon there… the two days of heavy coding must’ve drilled that into my head much, much more.)
Sounds cool, where can I play it?
It wasn’t just me who worked on the game, I got some late assistance from a good friend of mine, who did some of the art last night. (Just the building blocks). Also, I used a friend’s music he made for the game.
I’m not really sure. I really want to continue the project and make it more clean, pretty, polished, etc. and maybe release it on iOS/Android. A few of my friends have been playing it pretty often and have been enjoying the builds I was sending them, and I think it can be a pretty fun game to play on tablets. It needs some optimization for them, but it can be done.
When I decide to jump into doing that has yet to be decided, but maybe early January once I’m done with my One Game a Month project for this month.
If anything, I might use this as a base for a Physics based puzzle game I had an idea for a few weeks ago. It could go hand in-hand with it.
What did I learn?
This is something I want to write down to allow myself to reflect on my skills and learn how to improve next time I work on a game.
Art - Art isn’t my strong suit. I should have found an artist at the beginning. The artist I worked with mid-way through only had enough time to do work for a small bit of the game.
Scope - I applied a rule I made for myself long ago, which was to keep it simple and not go out of scope. For once, I followed the idea of just creating a simple mechanic and working from there. For game jams, this works wonderfully well. Definitely something I’ll consider again next time.
Testers - This was the first time I actively put out builds during a game jam. Twitter friends as well as my personal friends were more than willing to test out the game in it’s early phases, which helped me discover a bug that wasn’t showing on any of my 3 computers. Test early, and test often!
Programming - Holy crap, I programmed this entire thing?! I still don’t believe it. I know C# and Unity, and have made things before, but never completed anything. I consider what I did a completed product, even though it has it’s obvious flaws. This has boosted my morale and while I know I can’t take on a super crazy, out of scope project just yet, I do know I can create simplistic games in Unity 3D.
Unity’s 2D is Really Easy - Oh yeah, Unity has a really easy 2D system. I thought it’d be a bit challenging, but it works extremely well and is easy to pick up. Definitely using Unity’s 2D development tools from now on.
Until next time…
Well, that’s all. Thank you Ludum Dare, and the Ludum Dare community. I made some good friends during this jam that I didn’t expect to make. It’s been fun chatting in the chat rooms, checking out everyone’s live stream, and tweeting with you all while I took breaks and relaxed. I can’t wait for the next one and am happy I finally have a completed project for the Ludum Dare/Jam.
Time for me to shameless plug myself:
If you’d like, please follow me on Twitter. My handel is @AngryFacing.
You can also check out my website, http://mudry.me, which I’ll be updating with game development blogs, and so forth. If you want, you can also check out some of my shipped games and other projects.
Thanks again everyone and see you all next jam!
Oh, I recorded myself doing a lot of the development. If I can pull the videos from my Twitch stream, I’ll post a time lapse.
So, my idea was a bust; I bit off more than I could chew. While my game concept was feasible within the compo period, I didn’t have enough knowledge to actually see it through in that time. I spent almost all day today just trying to get collision detection to work, and I have no clue about enemy pathfinding or a number of other critical parts.
I’ll be bringing the protototype to completion outside of the LD, just for the sake of the practice.
As for the LD, if I can come up with a decent game concept within the limited time left, I’ll try to race something out.
To those who know: what’s the difference between the compo and the jam?
I have used Unity before, but not for anything like what I’m trying to make for Ludum Dare this time.
At the end of day two, (2 am, guess I should sleep) I have a mostly working game. Scoring, a goal, enemies, etc. Most of tomorrow will be polishing, start screen, maybe additional levels.
All in all, like always, it’s been a blast so far. Look forward to seeing how much I can get done before 6 pm tomorrow.
And so I present the sample level from my game, “You only get one cookie”.
My game is the epic story of one child, parents who want him to go to bed and an endless pile of cookies. A No Kill stealth game of cookie thievery.
So couple hours into the jam the core gameplay works. The player can place, remove and edit grid trigger plates. The runner behaves accordingly with game-over and win states working. If you feel like giving it a try there is a webplayer here: http://www.the2ndsky.ch/LD28/
The goal is to build a path to the target block by using various trigger plates that change the path of the runner. Once you click play you have no more influence into the game, hence the theme “you only get one”. What do you guys think?
I’ll now work on camera function, two more trigger plates and then I’ll decide upon an art-style as well as a setting. Followed by modelling and finding the right sound effects. Watch it all go down in history: http://www.twitch.tv/polyganz
I’ve decided to release early; minimum viable product is the trendy phrase, but the truth is that I’ve been rather ill all week and I would rather release something than throw in the towel. #YOGO and #NOKILL were a great combination to get the creative ideas flowing; it has been a great experience!
Level one of my Bat-simulator is now playable at http://aardal.nu/Ludumdare/
So far the mechanics for movement are roughly figured out, and the first level is mostly done. Most of the dev time so far has been tilemaking and deciding what game mechanics I will need to meet the theme.
Our intrepid bat needs to enter the fort of the beaver-hipsters. But why?! – Well I need to make the rest of the levels for that.
So after spending an extensive amount of time in the shower and crying like a little boy over the theme “you only get one” I’ve finally come up with the following idea:
Grid runner is an isometric strategic puzzle game.
The goal is to get a runner into the target zone in one run by adjusting his path through various grid plates that can be placed in his way.
The player has a limited amount of grid plates available to solve each level.
So in a way its like a problem solving game where the player defines a set of actions that get executed in an order with the hope of a profitable result. In this case: of the runner getting into the target zone. What do you guys think?
I’ve yet to find a proper setting for this type of game so I’ll work on the functionality for now. I’ll mostly be using Unity3D pro, 3Ds Max and Photoshop. If you’re curious like George then you can also watch it all go down in flames (or not) on my stream that I intend to keep open for the whole LD: http://www.twitch.tv/polyganz
I really haven’t gotten much done in the 3-4 hours I’ve been working on things so far (not counting the couple of hours it took to settle on an idea).
I decided on a top-down Zelda-style adventure game that incorporates the “You Only Have One” theme with the player having only one weapon: a magical staff. In order to overcome obstacles or attack/defend against enemies that have various magical powers, the player will need to set the combination of elemental magic that their one tool–the staff–will be giving out. For instance, the common situation of encountering a fire enemy. The player may switch to water or ice magic to attack with, or switch the staff to fire magic and block with it, preventing the player from taking the elemental fire damage.
This will be a big learning experience for me, since I haven’t ever made an action game before, even one as simple as a Zelda-style adventure game. Presently, I only have the controls (which currently require a gamepad, like that of an Xbox 360) implemented to select the elemental magics, as well as a life/magic bar in the form of blue pips that circle the center. I’ll get into the meat of this project tomorrow.
I’m really happy with the theme choice, I have a great idea in mind for it and as a bonus I’ll be doing Mcfunkypants side quest of #NOKILL.
The biggest hurdles for me are making sure my art is up to scratch and balancing life with making the game on time!
I’ll be keeping everyone up to date via twitter over at: http://twitter.com/coblynau
This will be my first Ludum Dare attempt, the first game I’ve made in 2 years, and the first indie game I will have made.
Exited? You bet. I can’t wait to find out the theme!
I’ll be going for a 2D style whatever the theme, having decided to try my hand at pixel art.
Good luck to everyone!
Engine: GameMaker: Studio Pro.
Sound: sfxr and Audacity
I don’t have much artistic experience to speak of. Doing even pixel-art sprites are very difficult for me because I lack a history of drawing. My only sprite experience has been with extremely limited sprites on the Atari 2600, which are practically colored outlines more than full-on sprites.
Tonight, I’ve experimented with a style similar to Superbrothers: Sword ‘n Sworcery, which I absolutely adore. Since it’s very pixel-by-pixel, the level of detail and accuracy in sprites like Shovel Knight isn’t necessary, and I appreciate its use of implied detail and the focus on animation while letting the viewer use their imaginations to some degree. I’ll probably be shooting for a style similar to this for the upcoming Ludum Dare, unless my idea (whatever it is) just isn’t appropriate for it. I suppose I have to start somewhere.
If anyone knows of any good tutorials for newbies to learn drawing/pixel art, I’d love it if you’d share them!
Well, v0.1 is complete, anyway. Considering how much stuff I had in mind when I began this LD which didn’t come to fruition, I hesitate to call it a full-fledged 1.0, but it’s working, and (as far as I can tell) stable.
I’m pleased with the final result, overall. It could definitely use some polishing and expanding, but for two and a half days spent making what is essentially my first non-2600 game? It could certainly have been worse!
My only real disappointment is that I don’t know how to dynamically make the game fit across multiple mobile device screens. The linked version is sized for a Droid RAZR HD, since that’s the phone I’ve got. Once I figure out how to make a version that scales automatically for different phone resolutions, I’ll make sure to post it. Until then, give the Windows version a shot if you don’t have a RAZR. Controls are mouse clicks and drags, since it’s the same control scheme as the tapping/flicking gestures of the mobile version.
For those curious, you can play the original game, made for the 2013 Game Jam in Unity3D, here, and my remake for the Atari 2600 (included in a compilation ROM of other small games I made) here. The latter will need an emulator such as Stella.
This has been an excellent learning experience. I’m going to enjoy a little break, but then I hope to keep working on learning more to improve what I can do, whether with programming, art design, or sound design, since there is serious room for improvement in all of them.
First off, to anyone reading this–when exactly does today’s LD end? Is it at a specific time, or just midnight, relative to whomever is doing the dare?
Last day. I’m fortunate that my game happens to be significantly less complicated than everyone else’s, so I have the luxury of effectively being finished, then having an entire day to polish things up. The downside is that I’ve decently recreated everything that I’d intended, so I’m not quite sure on what direction to go with said polishing, aside from the inclusion of music and sound effects. I suppose that’s part of the learning experience.
- Sound Effects – 100%
I expect that I’ll just use the sound effects created for the Atari 2600 version, since they’ll be simple to acquire and appropriate for the retro-inspired style I had intended.
UPDATE: I’ve got some sound effects in, most of them simply recorded from the 2600 version of Heartbreak, though I generated a couple with DrPetter’s awesome SFXr, made for LudumDare participants, as it so happens. The sounds that I chose aren’t particularly great, but sound engineering is something I have zero experience in. May be a field worth learning more about for the future, particularly if I intend to keep participating in dares like this.
- Title Screen – 100%
This took the longest. I’ve been working on the title/credits screens for half the day. My desire to make things as “neat” as possible has resulted in an absolute mess of code all over the place as the entire game only uses three rooms, one that only initializes two variables before kicking the player to the title screen, and one that just scrolls credits on screen, since it seemed easier to use a unique room than to modify an existing room. The remaining room handles all levels and the title screen based on what global.level is set to. It’s both elegant, and an absolute mess.
- Music Integration – 100%
This went off fairly well, especially since the songs I’m using from incompetech.com list the BPMs of the songs, making it a lot easier to make them feel integrated. In hindsight, there is a song for the last three levels of the game that may be almost unfairly fast, which causes the heartbeat to be nearly too quick to get the color you want, so you have to anticipate it. Ah, well–I’m sure that anyone who can make it to that level will be able to handle it.
Pixel Grunge Style? Scanlines?
UPDATE: After some research, it seems that most of the effects like noise or scanlines are done using surfaces, which I know nothing about. I’ll definitely be looking into them in the future, but since I’m on a deadline with this LD, I think I’ll stick with the crisp, clean style that I’ve currently got. Besides, I have a couple other ideas on how I may polish things.
Time to get to it.
I’m very pleased with where things are right now. Considering that much of yesterday was spent with family after Thanksgiving, I got started late today, and I took frequent, long breaks, I couldn’t be happier that the core game is basically completed after about 12 hours or so of actual work. It’s good to know that the game could be made and work well within a Game Jam’s time period, no problem. Take that, guys who said that Heartbreak couldn’t be made in GameMaker!
I’ve been keeping an ongoing list of my progress throughout the day, and I feel that having the work in a checklist aided in my productivity and concentration. I’ll have to practice this sort of thing more in the future.
That leaves things like sound effects and music for tomorrow, but at least those should be fairly simple to do. There is an abundance of great music available on the ‘net, and I may simply record my sound effects from the Atari 2600 version of Heartbreak to use again, as they are perfectly serviceable and I would be looking for something similarly retro-synth-sounding, anyway.
I’d also like to experiment with different visual styles, such as a grungy pixel art look and/or some scanlines. Something so that the visuals are so overly smooth and clean. That said, I do like the pastel colors that I’ve settled on, and it all looks pretty slick on my phone. I’ll have to experiment tomorrow and see what I like.
In any case, I consider the mini-LD technically complete as of now, since the gameplay is implemented and fully functional. The only nagging point is a crashing bug that I experienced a few times that I’ve been unable to replicate and track down. Here’s hoping that it got smoothed out somewhere and doesn’t rear its ugly head. Or, if it does rear its ugly head, hopefully it rears it high enough that I can find the neck and give it a good chop.
That’s it for me tonight. Time to wind down!
P.S. Is it just me, or does the above screenshot have a bit of an optical illusion going on with the blue block on the far right? Try turning your head back and forth and looking at it out of the corner of your eye. To me, it’s like the blue block separates away from the rest of the circle.
After a relaxing night’s sleep, some Thanksgiving leftovers, and a couple YouTube videos to wake up with, I’m back to work! While checking the new posts for this mini-LD, I came across this particular post, which posted a video about motivation.
Now, I, personally, often have trouble keeping myself motivated. I tend to want to go do something else, like watching YouTube videos, playing a game, chatting on Skype, etc. and it’s been a bane to my productivity for many years. In the interest of giving the aforementioned video’s suggestions a try, I’m going to set out a clear list of things that I must get done today and organize them into “modules” so I can see the progress I’ve made. I’ll be editing this post to update my list as I work.
- Mobile Controls – 100%
Mostly complete, and much simpler than expected, thanks GM’s point_direction function. Still need to test it on a mobile device with someone to see how intuitive the controls are.
Update: Complete, with press-dragging to move the blocks and tapping to create balls or change ball colors, if a ball already exists on the playfield. It’s actually very intuitive on a mobile device, which is pleasing.
- Lives – 100%
This was one of the shorter, simpler tasks. The heart is resized based on a global lives variable and is destroyed when the lives are set to 0, which also serves to lock out any controls but a simple tap, which resets the stage.
- Ball Color Checking – 100%
I underestimated the work involved in “Bouncing Ball,” so I’ve split it into two categories, now. Collisions work, with balls correctly changing the colors of the blocks they hit, but I don’t have any bouncing code implemented as of yet. It may prove to be complicated, and I’m not exactly sure how I will implement it. I’ll ponder it while I take a break.
- Bouncing Ball – 100%
Finally managed to get this implemented. Not only did decent bouncing take a while (and it could use some work, but it’s serviceable), but I came across a number of other things that needed tweaking and fixing in the process. There’s still one bug that I can’t reliably replicate that strikes almost at random, seemingly only when a blue ball hits an orange block, but only on occasion. I hate loose ends.
- Level Progression – 100%
This task was fairly simple, and I took advantage of GM’s defaulting unspecified array values to 0 to my advantage to cut down a tad on how huge the level array will be, at least in code. Now to type out the levels, which should be fairly simple–it’s just a bunch of copy-pasta.
- Implement Levels – 100%
There are currently 22 levels implemented, with plenty of room for more. My level system is pretty flexible, allowing me to specify how many rings there are (I’ve set up the rings in a switch case statement so that they’re rendered in a certain order), which colors the heart progresses to (a necessary control for the earlier tutorial levels), and what the odds are of each of the eight possible colors spawning. It worked out quite well, and I could easily add more levels that have different color spawning odds, but I’ll probably leave it at 22.
- Score Implementation – 100%
The current score is rendered on-screen, just above the heart, as in the original Unity3D version of the game. I had to look up how to make it always display zeroes to the left of the score, but in hindsight, it’s something I should have figured out, myself.
Scanline Effect Sound Effects
Time to put on a game soundtrack and get to it. On a related note, while Hotline Miami has an awesome soundtrack in the game itself, it doesn’t make for good listening on its own. FTL and Super Meat Boy are great to just listen to, though. If you can think of some others, let me know.