Posts Tagged ‘ld23’
Hello everyone !
So this is my post-mortem for Tinysasters, my LD# 23 48h entry made in Flash.
As I said before this was my very first participation. I hadn’t planned to enter the event until about one week ago, and I didn’t prepare. But I work on flash games every day, so this must count as some kind of preparation
I was a little anxious, because I had never developped a game in such a short amount of time, and I didn’t know if I could do it. But everything went very smoothly.
Tinysasters is a puzzle/simulation/gestion game. You play on a 8*8 randomly generated tile map and have to build workplaces, shrines and cities in order to collect ressources. The goal is to build a level 4 shrine. Natural disasters happen every now and then. They reconfigure the ground and make your life harder !
Build the level 4 shrine to heal the ground and spare the world from disasters like earthquake !
The idea was to make something between the boardgames Settlers of Catan and Labyrinth ; basically a Settlers of Catan where the tiles move and change of nature.
At first, I was absolutely not happy with the theme. I rated it -1. I liked “Artificial Life” and “Castles in the Sky” a lot better, but I don’t know if I could have made something good out of them. The theme doesn’t matter a lot actually.
As for the nature of the game, to be honest, when it comes to play, my heart usually goes to platformers and adventure games with a good story. But programming is my strongest point, so I thought I should rely on it a lot for my entry.
What went right
- (almost) no time wasted on debugging ! That was a good surprise. I’m used to spending a lot of my time fixing problems that seem to come out from nowhere and make absolutely no sense although they usually end up being all my fault after all. That’s one tremendous benefit of working on a very small project : I just had to see a bug to know where it came from because the entire code of the game was so fresh in my mind.
- I was a little scared at first when I started programming the tile animating sequence that happens when there’s an earthquake or the player generates a land. But it went smoothly and the TweenLite library was very handy.
- I hate building / coding menus and interfaces with so many buttons, and so many textfields, and tabs, and they all have to update, show the right information, show a red color when there aren’t enough ressources, etc., and it’s so overwhelming… It was very tedious but it went ok. There are a lot of ugly duplicates in my code but I guess I can live with that.
One of the many possible states of this interface box…
- About 40 minutes before the deadline, there still were no sounds, and the tiles were still rough colored cubes. I rushed on as3sfxr to generate some sound effects (very useful tool), made a quick music arrangement, added an underground effect to the tiles, some texture and some decorations.
Despite the fatigue (it was about 2 AM and I had worked all day), I found myself inspired so everything went quickly and I finished on time.
- I’m very happy with the result. I enjoy just watching the game playing disasters and reconfigure the map into wild deserts, forests and lakes. The mountains always prevail, eventually.
Invasion of the mountains !
What went wrong
- The firsts hours of coding were the hard part. Sometimes I’d finish coding a new fonctionnality, like the map generation, and had some kind of a mental blockage : I just couldn’t figure out what to do next. What I had in front of me was so far from being a game… it was a little overwhelming.
a depressing early stage of the game
- Like I said, I only had 40 minutes to polish the sounds and graphics. I had great expectations for the animations, I wanted to use beautiful particles effects… I wanted the tiles to explode in a thousand of pixels when they reach the borders of the map instead of those mere alpha fade outs… I wanted the volcanic eruptions to set the map on fire… I wanted the flooded tiles covered with shiny swinging blue water drops… I wanted a little flying god inpersonating the player’s actions react to the disasters and constructions…
Nothing of that was done. I am so sad. Maybe in the enhanced version
Also, more types of disasters were initially planned. Disasters that only affect the constructions : plague, civil war, etc.
- 7 hours before the end I was like “Great, 7 hours left, I have PLENTY of time to do everything I want !”. But 7 hours in the end are not like 7 hours in the beginning, especially with the timezone I’m in. I was so tired I was like a zombie and sometimes found myself spending half my time just starring at the disasters do their thing. It’s a good thing the game was already well-advanced at this point.
What went terribly wrong
- But the biggest problem I encountered came from the nature of the game itself.
“Do the game mechanics even work ?”
I couldn’t answer this somewhat significant question before the game was ready to be tested. The disasters had to be coded, same goes for the ressources, the buildings, the upgrades and all the time-consuming interfaces that come with it.
The game was ready to be tested 2 hours before the end.
I had my fiancé test the game. He told me he was troubled by the game even though he knew what he had to do.
At first, I didn’t listen to what he said and continued to blindly code what I could. Coding more interfaces wouldn’t have bothered me that much at this point.
Then, I had to face the reality : the game mechanics didn’t work as they were.
I had to balance the costs and gains of ressources, add difficulty settings to avoid overwhelming the new player or boring the experienced one, write a “how to play”… For that, I had to test the game a lot which takes some time… And the game navigation (title screen, restart…) wasn’t done yet, nor the graphics and sounds, not to mention the fancy particle effects I still hadn’t given up on !
The last minute how to play screen
Damage control was done, but the game ended up being less challenging than I would have wanted. Hopefully a future enhanced version will correct that !
I’m very glad I participated !
Thank you for reading and don’t forget to rate Tinysasters
I hope you’ll enjoy the game, I enjoyed making it a lot !
Well the theme for Ludum Dare 23 was Tiny World and for some reason, early Saturday morning the best I could come up with whilst trying to limit the scope was something based on the the Disney boat ride “It’s a small world“. Now in retrospect this was probably not the best idea I’ve had for a game.
If you have been on the ride you will know its a musical ride with a very catchy and incredibly annoying theme song. The concept was that being driven mad by the song, you have to attack the characters from the ride floating in your mind to reduce the songs volume and return to sanity. See sounds great at 3:00 am
Have a listen to see what the song sounds like if you have not had chance to experience it.
I also planned to use a mix of images inspired by Mary Blare who actually helped design the rides look. The “player” would be based on the Lost Souls from Doom. No idea why I thought this would be good mix.
No idea of how to win really, I guess I just hoped that it would fun to an extent, but was pinning my hopes of the visuals being interesting enough to hold the attention of the player.
Well I have very limited time to write code, so have to make use of the night shift when the kids are asleep. To prevent all hell the next day I force my self to sleep rather than stay up all night with a target of at least 4 hours. Its just not fair to inflict my grumpyness on the rest of the world for a bad game. So this gives a very limited amount of time to code in over the weekend.
This coupled with taking on the challenge of Silverlight as a delivery medium resulted in very slow progress with the majority of my time spent fighting my lack of experience with XAML and not creating. I do like Silverlight as a medium and may use it in future projects.
The audio, which I never actually got to record was to be myself singing/humming the theme tune. Thankfully for all, I never recorded anything.
I’m not sure I can really call it a game, but due to my lack of momentum and poor concept I threw in the towel early Sunday evening, for both the Compo and the Jam. If you are still interested you can play/run what I have by clicking the image below:
So what I have I learnt?
- With limited time, stick with a technology that you know. 6-7 hours is not the time to take on something new.
- If the concept is not working, drop it quickly and try something else.
If you want the code, you can find it here: http://blog.codheadz.com/index.php/ludum-dare-23-tiny-world/
Its been 17, almost 18 hours since I have submitted my game for judging. I must say Its been a whirlwind weekend, staring at the same room for 48 hours, listening to the same songs over and over again. All while try to create a game based on a theme that I downvoted twice! And to make matters worse I ran out of BACON! But I did it, I complete my game within the 48 time limit. I will try to recall the past 48 hours in as much detail as I can rememeber.
Friday – April 20th, 2012 – 5:30pm
I arrive home from work, feeling really good about doing the Ludum Dare tonight.
Friday – April 20th, 2012 – between 6 – 6:30pm
After changing out of my work clothes into something comfortable and milling around the house, I sit infront of my PC at play Legends of Grimrock, while waiting for my TV shows to
Friday – April 20th, 2012 – 8pm
I stop playing and go watch some tv, while watching the IRC chat on my phone. Yes I have an app for that…
Friday – April 20th, 2012 – 9pm
The theme is announced! Tiny World! Tiny World? What the heck and I going to create with that theme?
Friday – April 20th, 2012 – 9pm – 11pm
Finish watching my last TV show and start thinking about a game to create with this Theme. After some thought, I come up with what I believe to be a good game concept. Let me give you the premise.
I decided to do a vertical shooter, with enemies that shoot back at you, huge bosses, power-ups and rockin’ music. Hey we can all dream right But we’ll get into that in a few minutes
Friday – April 20th, 2012 – 11pm – 1/1:30am
With my idea fleshed out on the whiteboard I begin with the art. Once it is compeleted I head to bed to begin coding early Saturday Morning
Saturday – Sunday night around 8ish pm
This is mostly a blur of coding, failures, rethinking, more coding, successes, more coding, tweaking, optimizing, some sleeping and finally a complete game!
So that was my weekend, how was yours
Now we come to the part of the Post Mortem where I tell you what went right, what went wrong, what I learned and what I’ll do better next time. So without further ado, play that funky music white boy!
What went right:
1. thought up what I believe to be a great idea for a game based on the theme. At first I didn’t like the theme, but this was a snap judgement. Once I really sat down and thought about it, I thought of all sorts of great ideas. I do have to say I found thinking up a theme for this LD was a lot easier than the last one (LD22).
2. Since I had a really good idea of the direction I wanted to go, the Art flowed much easier. Usually I have a hard time with the art as I’m not artistically inclined.
3. With only a few setback (to be explained below) coding was pretty much a breeze. Hey when in doubt, make a boolean
What went wrong:
1. Remember when I said this “I decided to do a vertical shooter, with enemies that shoot back at you, huge bosses, power-ups and rockin’ music.” Umm… yeah this didn’t happen. I had issues with collisions while the map was scrolling. Issues getting the enemies to shoot, issues getting the bosses to shoot, no power up and sub par (at least for me) music.
2. Hmm, I guess those are all the problems I had. Oh yeah, one more thing… I ran out of Bacon.
What I learned:
1. I’ve used Flixel for a little over a year now, but I have to say I’ve never created anything so indepth as the game I created this weekend. I learned a ton about this framework and about FlxGroups in general that I never knew before.
2. I learned I need a refresher in math. Might have to hit up Khan Academy in the future.
3. I learned a lot about game design, about how adding small effects can really bring your game up a notch or two graphically.
What I’ll do better next time:
1. I’m thinking about creating a bunch of functions for things I may want to do in future games.
2. I need to gain some more knowledge in game design
3. I’d like to get better at pixel art, like pick up some tips or tricks to make my art stand out.
Well that’s it. Another stress-filled, fun-tastic, 48hr coding jamboree completed. Can’t wait for LD24! Before I close this Post Mortem, I want to give a big round of applause to all the people who coded a game this weekend for the Compo and to those people who coded/are still coding a game for the Jam! These games didn’t exist 48 hours ago and for no more than bragging right, we all decided it would be fun to create a game based on a theme chosen by the community this weekend! Simply WOW!
Here’s a time lapse from last weekend’s coding/graphics/sfx/music binge, also known as Ludum Dare! The soundtrack in the video is the music I created for the game. You can check out the game here!
I’ve never participated in LD before, and I wasn’t planning on it this time, either. Then suddenly, with only 10 hours until midnight, and with the knowledge that I wouldn’t have time to work on the game on Sunday, I decided, “What the heck? I’ll go for it!”
So I toiled away for about 11 hours (timelapse here) and made a game.
Then when I went to submit the game to LD48 I realized that my game didn’t qualify because I didn’t follow the rules. Oops! I didn’t realize I couldn’t use middleware and pre-made assets for the Dare. But it appeared that the Game Jam was more relaxed about things like that, so I decided I’d submit it as a Jam entry. Also, the extra 24 hours would give me some more time to work on it.
After about three and a half hours of sleep on Sunday night, I suddenly woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. It seemed like as good of a time as any to work on my entry some more. So I spent the next few hours (timelapse part 2 here) adding a main menu, some GUI screens, Playtomic statistic logging, and displaying some of those statistics to you when you lose the game.
I’m a noob to game jams and I feel like a noob to Unity. A lot of the things I did on Saturday are things I’d never attempted before in Unity. It was a great learning experience and I really enjoyed it.
I’m glad I could be a part of the historic 10 year anniversary Ludum Dare 23 in which over 1,000 new games were created. Congratulations to everyone who succeeded!
And with that, I present to you:
So here is my finished entry for LD #23.
I managed to do most of the stuff what I initially planned. I didn’t code all the gameplay elements that I wanted but in the end I figure out that 48 hours is not a lot of time for a game with big scope, especially if you make a voxel engine for the best part of the first day!
Here is a video showing off my game playing:
I will be doing a post mortem post soon and trying to capture a lot of the stuff that is still fresh in my mind.
Overall I had a great time and will definitely be entering future Ludum Dare compos.
Well, that weekend was a crazy 48 hours. A lot of it is a blur (Im going to enjoy watching my own timelapse since I cant remember 75% of everything I went though)
The best thing though – Success!!
This was my 3rd Ludum Dare to date, yet the first where Ive actually finished an entry. I was cutting it close too, last night I got to sleep around 4am, and at that stage it was T-8 hours, and I still didnt have a proper level or any puzzels to solve. So after sleeping 3 hours I had a very compressed burst of productive work to get the final level design and features down (I was still finishing off a pretty important feature at T-10mins) O_o
Either way, it was an enjoyable experience and I was very glad to get something finished which I could call a ‘game’. I might venture away from a 3D game for the next LD however… So-much-work…
Im keeping this post quick, cause Im actually struggling to stay awake at this point.
You can check out the entry with the link below (Windows 32 & 64bit versions only atm) Ill have a linux one up soon hopefully, and mac potentially soon as well. And a timelapse soon too!
And now for voting! Good luck to everyone, I look forward to playing a bunch of games
And w00t! – For LD getting 1000+ games on its 10th birthday
I have now built a game in 48 hours! And you can play it here! (I think I may be a little excited. And I didn’t even lose that much sleep.)
Built in Unity, with sound effects in Bxfr and some levels in Photoshop (really!).
Stuff that didn’t get in (in order): fluid simulation (spent 3 hours researching first day, didn’t really need it), pathfinding (spent 4 hours researching second day, replaced with vector steering), procedural terrain generation (turns out that the textures I had already thrown together were varied enough, you probably won’t notice it’s missing).
Features that are in:
- Terrain editing!
- A tiny world that’s sinking
- Level progression
- Sheepdogs to herd sheep
- Wolves (that eat sheep)
- Alligators (that also eat sheep)
- Sound effects!
- Horrifically messy source code provided!
- And more!
Hello there, I’m proud to announce that I made it ! If you read my previous post, you know that I wasn’t home, and was there only for the last 6 hours, but it’s a special 10th year anniversary, you got to do something, right ?! Not the whole thing I had in mind but something is there, and.. well, I’ll see in the morning if I were not too tired to try this, but I made it in approximately 6 hours, submitted it 16 minutes before the end, and there’s even a title screen and an end ! Here’s the screenshot of the beginning, and the link to my entry. I hope you will enjoy the few moments you’re in it, I now I enjoyed to send the message that’s in it.
Almost 48 hours after the beginning of the Ludum Dare, we have found a name for our game :
Super Tiny Adventure
Here is a screenshot of our Game :
We still have a lot of things to do :
- Create a definitive level.
- Write the dialogs of the last quests.
- We need to implement the interactions with the world.
- Remake some Graphics.
- Implement the dialogs and the variables related to the quests.
But we have a lot of thing done :
- Found a name.
- Coded the dialogs.
- Wrote the most part of the dialogs
- Drawn the sprites of the NPCs
- Voted in the french elections.
We want to show your new tiny friend Phobius!
He hates little spaces, he has some strange claustrophobic panic attacks!
Here is a little demo…
(doesn’t have preload yet, wait a few seconds to load)
Woohoo, my second Ludum Dare game (and pretty much the second game I’ve ever programmed) is done! With the help of some cuba libres, I managed to complete the last few missing pieces: the player sprite, the music and a little sprinkling of gameplay balancing. Composing the music was pretty painless and it took only less than two hours. It’s a pretty simple tune but a simple tune suits the simple game, I would say. It’s probably a little too downtempo regarding the pace of the game but regardless of that I think that the deep dub atmosphere suits the game well.
Anyways, check out the entry here. It’s Flash so no need to jump through any extra hoops to get playing.
It’s a good thing I’m working with a partner because the I don’t think I’d make the time limit for the regular competition, having until later on Monday might just save this project. I wasn’t able to devote a ton of time to my game so far but here’s what we have…
We were trying to think of a good setting for a “Tiny World” and thought maybe something like a little Sea Monkey society might fit good. We were thinking of just caring for it sort of like a Tamagotchi for the gameplay but now I think we’re hoping for something a bit more fun than that. Right now though we’ve just got a fish tank with some little critters in it that swim around randomly and if you click a spot inside their tank they’ll swim to it… We’ve got a couple ideas as to how we can make it more of a game but nothing implemented yet, though we still have until Monday evening for the jam so we’ll see…
Well, it was going fine until I went down ill last night. That’s sort of happened before but it hasn’t also taken my drive and stamina away with it. That, and I wasn’t really feeling my idea at all this time. I’m not blaming the theme, just my idea was far too huge in scope and I can’t cut anything down any further without having no game left.
Next time shall be different! For August, I intend to go for the jam, if I can get a free Monday. It will let me come up with slightly more ambitious designs AND use some of my pre-existing assets and such, as well as get some help from outside.
Still, three out of four compos since I entered isn’t too bad, I guess.