Posts Tagged ‘Ludumdare’
It’s always pretty exciting to work on a game for ludumdare. I’ve participated alone and in team and it’s always such a great experience!
I’ve seen a few discussions popping up here and there about the judging/review process. There are several instances where it’s not THAT easy to know how to rate a game!
While I’m not a veteran, during the time I’ve been here I’ve seen people agree on “best practices” that I’ll try to outline below or at least start a healthy open discussion about them! (if I’m wrong in any of them please let me know!)
Take into account whether the game was submitted to the compo or the Jam!
This will let you rate the game better. I know bad graphics are bad graphics, but compo games can’t be judged with the same “harshness” you would use for Jam games because they were done in less time (48 hours instead of 72), by a single person (not a team) and -in theory- during the competition! (which is not necessarily true for Jam games, where using pre-existent assets is allowed). Same with music, or the level of polish. In fact, every aspect should be judged taking into account whether is a jam or a compo game!
Make sure you read the description!
The “description” is the first and main instance for developers to communicate with future players, so a lot of them will try to post information here that will help you play and rate their game.
I know sometimes there’s nothing relevant in the description, but you’ll find that in quite a lot of games reading the description first will definitely make a difference! Perhaps the developers didn’t have time for a tutorial and you’ll find the instructions there. Perhaps all the audio was taken from somewhere else and they are honest about it in the description (more on this later), perhaps you need to install something before playing the game. Perhaps the web version has annoying bugs and glitches the other versions don’t have. All of this is relevant and will probably help you judge their game better!
The game doesn’t run? Don’t rate it!
If the game you are trying to play is not working for you, don’t give it a low score!. The most sensible thing to do is leave a comment saying that it didn’t run on your system. If you can provide relevant information (Operating System, Processor, graphics card, Browser, A message that popped up before crashing, etc) all the better!
Remember that N/A means Not Applicable!
If the game lacks audio, for instance, the best thing to do is to NOT rate the game in that category. Same with humor, for instance. If it’s an emotional game about a serious topic there’s no reason to give it a 1-star rating in humor when it’s not trying to be funny.
The audio or graphics are not their own? (Open to discussion)
For jam games where assets made before the competition or freely available on the internet can be used this is a really hard topic!. A lot of developers will tell you in the description if there’s something in their game they didn’t make themselves, while others simply won’t, which makes this issue all the more complicatedl! Not really sure what the “recommended course of action” is, but when the audio for a game wasn’t made by the team I usually don’t give the game a score in that category.
If they used a mix between things they made during the jam and things they borrowed from public sources then I try to “judge” the assets they did for the game and how they “blend” with everything else. It’s a really complicated case (and hopefully uncommon) so I’d truly love to know what other people do when this happens!
Leave a comment!
Leaving a comment after you’ve rated a game is not only a way to let the developer know you played their entry but also a way of helping them improve their game! Bug reports, suggestions and feedback in general (e.g: “Loved your game!”) are always welcome by developers and will most likely help them continue working on the game beyond ludumdare. Plus, a lot of people (including myself) will return you the favor!
I think that’s all the advice I can give for rating games. If you know of other “best practices” please let me know and I’ll add them here!
Having said that, go and rate some games!
This time I have to put a bit more effort in music rather than graphics I learned my lesson.
This time I’ll be using InCourse® GameCreator again. A webbased game engine developed by Islandworks and dubbed ‘the GameCreator’. It’s a webbased game engine with an easy and no-coding editor. I’ll be using the Ludum Dare promo code for more statistics. I’m excited!
OS of choice: Windows 8.1
Game engine of choice: InCourse 3.2 – the Gamecreator
Graphics: Photoshop or Illustrator
Audio: Audicity & Anvil.
Hardware: Wacom cintiq (Pen tablet), Space Explorer (3d Mouse), M5 mouse, dual monitors etc.
I’ll post a “How did I do it” on the end as I did the last times.
And a lot more! Visit my live blog during the event!
Good luck fellow Ludum darers!
This will be my forth time entering Ludum Dare and the first time that I’ll be live streaming the entire time.
Weapons of Choice:
Game Engine – Unity3d.
Graphics – Photoshop, GIMP and Inkscape.
Music and SFX – FLStudio and FakeMusicGenerator.com.
Promgramming Language – C#.
So what I’m hoping for is a theme that will push my limits.
It hurts to see that most lovely game ideas and even complete games get ripped, copied and being sold. It makes it impossible for those who had the idea to improve it beyond “good”. So what would be the good kind of “protection” against this?
It’s never impossible to copy or even recreate if they want to. (re-engineering get’s easier by the day). The thing is, you shouldn’t rely on the product you create. You should rely on your ideas. Rely on the experience you design instead of the product itself. Keep developing, keep ahead of your competition and copycats. Everything gets copied from books, movies, games up to houses. Did you know they remodelled Paris and Venice in the USA and even bigger in China? It’s a small sized mini-Paris city. Things get already copied before they’re a day old. Don’t rely on your product, rely on your innovative ideas. Create your space, your slice of the world where people can sign up and enjoy your ideas (a brand so to say) instead of a single product at a time. That’s what Ludum Dare could be, beyond the compo, it’s own brand where people come to enjoy the fresh ideas of the community.
That said, always keep an eye out for copycats. If you can take them down from stores, go ahead, but don’t rely solely on your product that is always copyable.
I regularly compete in the Ludum Dare competition and develop games for companies. I like using these kinds of competitions to get in touch with creative minds and recruit them. If they stop competing it would be a great loss. I designed the online tool GameCreator to easily create and share games or interactive presentations to wherever and whoever you want. It doesn’t contain code in the old sense of the word. But the idea behind it is to easily mock up, extend, improve and share your ideas. Instead of developing a few weeks, mock it in a day, share, improve and share again. Since it’s an online cloud service it’s also a bit harder to directly copy it from the web to an appstore without ripping almost the entire service and its build in protection. Instead they could set up a link and embed in an app’s browser. Which you would always notice in the tool’s analytics. But the game’s source code would always be shareable for the competition.
It’s a couple of weeks after the contest, a few days before the results will be released. It feels about right to add a how-did-I-do-it? post.
Like last time I kept an extensive log on the subject and my progress. I used these tools:
- GameCreator (Online game editor)
Using my 3d mouse the 3d explorer and a wacom cintiq drawing board as main hardware input.
I started off with the writing down the concept on paper (or word for that matter). The game ended up as a point and click adventure through an underwater base which is near total destruction. I thought up an emotional story about a young girl, trapped beneath the surface of the ocean. As she’s the only person, deep underneath the surface, she feels trapped and alone as she tries to flee her confinement.
After finishing those I went on to create every scene in a story board. I drew my storyboard directly inside the GameCreators editor as it allowed me to quickly prototype it.
After I decided the prototype was correct I continued to improve the logic and update the graphics.
What went wrong?
Nothing really went bad, but I did end up with an issue related to the audio. I couldn’t match the mood with the audio, so I had to leave it out. Other thing is I probably used too much time on the scenery. I first thought to draw it all out in 2d. But after I finished all the mockup scenes I decided 3d modelling would allow me to easier set the mood I wanted.
What went right?
After I decided to go full 3d I only needed a few hours to work out the scenes in 3d. It looked good and was easy to import and fit inside the editor replacing the old art.
The thing that really succeeded with my chosen game type was the ease to create storyboards in the game editor I used and transform it to the final game.
To read more visit my LD29 blog.
To play the game visit the LD29 entry
I managed to get some time to add some upgrades to the game this weekend.
The difficulty was slightly balanced by adding a drill, to which the pipes need to be connected.
A level map was added.
Also after level 10 you unlock the police station which reduces the unrest by 25% with every policeman you buy.
Future updates will include
* Politician support which freezes all unrest for 30 seconds (unlockable from level 20).
* Small Bonus levels in between the planets that unlock equipment upgrades, better drills, less poluting pipes, wildcard pipes.
* Small graphic changes.
Please be sure to rate and also any feedback is greatly appreciated.
I haven’t finished a proper post-mortem yet. I want it to add some more than I did last years. But I did collect the first wave of user statistics for my Ludumdare game. The previous times I ran out of bandwidth and this time I used my companies servers with a higher bandwidth.
Seeing the large amount of visitors revisiting the blog I must admit being very proud!
The LD28 weekend was during the 14th and 15th of December and the game’s release for public on the 16th. Read a more detailed explanation here: http://bit.ly/1gNTgiT
I almost completely scrapped all the features and ended up with a very simplistic setup which I still should be able to complete before the deadline! I’m not used to 2D games Done too many 3D I think. Time for some sleep!
More on bit.ly/1bUxTdH
This year I’ll be using InCourse® GameCreator. It’s a webbased game engine developed by Islandworks and dubbed ‘GameCreator’. It’s made in HTML5 and such, it will be quite different from my previous entries which were made in C++ and the 3d graphics engine Irrlicht. It’s going to be a challenge to make a game using only 2d art
OS of choice: Windows 8
Game engine of choice: InCourse 2.0 – Gamecreator
Audio: Audicity & Anvil.
I’ll post a “How did I do it” on the end as I did the last times.
Have a great Ludum Dare everyone!
Hey it’s Jack again,
So for he upcoming ludum dare, it is my understanding that we can use game engines that were produced before the 48h period. Since I’m planning to use mine, I wanted to release the code. It’s now on an open source license, and you can shoot me an email if you want some help on how to use it.
The engine simply consists of saving Flash vector drawings into a bitmap at runtime, and reuse it later. It’s a common trick for boosting performance in Flash, and I’ve been using it lately.
The game is called “You, are a Shadow” and will use this post for updates
All time in IST zone:
April 29th, 2013
0753 hrs – LOL I just noticed that there was an hour of submission time too.. didn’t know that. Submitted before that.
I dont feel like booting up my machine again and adding that missing credits line… too tired, eyes shutting down and I know once I start editing something.. meticulous me is going to find more stuff to fix.. and the finally compression and host again on my server… dah No can do; sorry
0714 hrs – Trying to pull myself up from all the exhaustion.. and randomly look at some entries from other Indie devs posting on IRC.
I also remember that my over stressed brain forgot to add one last source of sound credits… Jamendo.com .. my bad.
Don’t think its a good idea to now edit the compo entry.. it’d probably make it invalid.. so I’m just mentioning here for good karma.
Also pic of my desk now, trying to clean up
0707 hrs – Damn 23 minutes left and I just made it in time.. Submitted the entry. Yippie Yahoooooo!!!
Here it is folks – http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/?action=rate&uid=21211
Meanwhile, updating log since last timestamp… I banged my head on a spiky wall to get the music right .. and its still not there to my taste.. a lot of sounds I couldn’t get them right.. so had to use “Coin” sound effect .. But hey! atleast it is complete.
I took a ton of time to find the right music that can set the mood and go well with the graphics.
Also decided to add a credits page at the last moment (not for self appreciation, but to credit the sound sources) .. oh well.. added my name too.
Hoping you guys have fun playing my game
Btw, facebook page is here for the Likes – https://www.facebook.com/YouAreAShadow
Hugs to everyone who participated.
0306 hrs – About 3+ hrs left.. I made a list of all sounds I need… it looks like I need about 16 tracks YIKES!
Streaming Live again – http://www.twitch.tv/toonheartgames .. watch me pull my hair creating game sounds. Will I be able to do it?
0204 hrs – Sorry guys, long pending update.
In the last couple of hours I fixed fonts issues,
a ton of math on ‘probabilities’,
reworking some backend calculation and level difficulties,
designed more graphic sprites,
added a tutorial :),
added the final score screens and that’s about it on the game.
I also took a little rest in between.
So, what’s pending? Sounds and music .. YIKES! .. I’m so noob at that… and just ~5hrs left for the compo to end… I gotta hurry.
Also, I am not sure if I will find time to do some animations
Let’s race for it.
Meanwhile, yet another teaser for you .. I hope I am keeping you guys interested
April 28th, 2013
1418 hrs – Title screen is done. Back to graphics. A game logo is done
Having trouble with CSS stylings using custom fonts.. Trying to fix it. Meanwhile, here’s another teaser to keep you interested
1218 hrs – Finished coding 13 levels… some seriously difficult decisions for the gamers to make in the game. I’d advise not playing the game in front of your girlfriend or boyfriend. Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any break-ups that might happen
0513 hrs – Taking a small nap. Unable to hold my head up. Will resume coding level generation after the nap.
0453 hrs – Decision algo has been moved from paper to Code. Here’s another sneak peek of how ‘You, are a shadow’ will play with your brain.
0319 hrs – Finished scribbling level brainfuck mapping for 13 Levels… that’s right.. 13 levels
Now to put them in code
Damn in last 41 hrs, I slept for 3.25 hrs. Too tired to work on
#LD48 … AND then someone reminds me of my superenergy music playlist .Hell Yeah!
Listening 2 music tracks of Naruto, DragonBallZ, TheSocialNetwork, Rocky, TopGun,
@battlefield3_ & supercharging myself.
#LD48 is still ON
0230 hrs – Put in graphics in the game. Wrote some nice effects. Took care of player movements and collisions.
Currently scribbling level challenges on paper.
Meanwhile, 3 energy drinks, 2 dark chocolates and 1 paya gulped down.
April 27th, 2013
2237 hrs – Almost all the graphics is done.. except tiny bits I guess.. which I will do later. Honestly, tired of drawing now.. since last 12hrs.
Let’s start off on the code now. Will fill in missing stuff later.
1858 hrs – Major part of the art is done.. except a couple of characters and items. Taking a small break as of now.. wrists paining.
Here’s another teaser for you guys
1140 hrs – Planned rough layout of game graphics on paper. Now live again at http://www.twitch.tv/toonheartgames doing game art on inkscape.
1020 hrs – Rough gameplay mechanics done on paper. Now to start art. Ok looks like I need my first energy drink of the day.
0910 hrs – I name the game “You’re a Shadow”
0900 hrs – Huaaaaaaaaa….. Just hit a super cool kick ass idea for the theme
0840 hrs – ok now, time to get serious. Lights off.. shirt off.. Seiza posture meditation.
0830 hrs – 1 hr gone. No solid ideas yet … arghh.
0800 hrs – Right of the bat
@ludumdare 26 theme is making me cry Who Dafaq voted for that theme