Posts Tagged ‘max’
So let’s talk about the evolving mutant laser boxcat and her civilization-destroying offspring.
What went AWESOMELY
Fuck yeah people love the music. If I knew I’d be able to make such a well-received track I would’ve put more time into it than 1 hour right before the deadline
The response to the music-track has been hugely positive, being described as “oddly fitting” and “catchy” and *moves head to rhythm*. After hearing it repeatedly I feel I should’ve switched the Cello for another instrument
I didn’t really have humor in mind per se, just a bunch of interesting/irrelevant stuff to collect for your home, which I presented in a matter-of-fact deadpan way. Apparently it worked
Because everyone loves kittens. In the end I got up to 8 cats in total, missing the goal of “1000 Kittens” just short of 9992 cats.
Works well. Note how the game starts immediately, there is no in-game intro. The title is maybe 2-3 seconds long, and changes with the music. After some exploring and learning the rules of the game-world you slowly evolve and learn how to undo said rules, culminating in the ability to blow up the environment, and ultimate wreak havoc on the human race.
The other general consensus is “it’s cute”. Sweet. I didn’t expect this at all.
This one went really well. The lasers look good, feel right, and the explosions have a good amount of WHOMPH to them. Note how the just says “You now have laser-eyes”, and the players naturally figured out how to blow up cars, and then the barrels. I was a bit afraid the latter wouldn’t be readable, but it worked perfectly.
One plan for the game was to have an evolving home/base, where you would periodically return to during the game (think the Normandy, or the Bastion). The “nest” is the result of this, changing each time after the player has found something. The items are displayed, and the kittens-effects change from “Feed us!/We’re hungry!” to “NOM”.
Sadly, players naturally didn’t return that often during gameplay. Still, it feels good
What went SLIGHTLY LESS AWESOMELY, perhaps just adequately
The level lacks the usual long-time-polish and testing I put my level-design-through. It’s a bit too big, the hotspots are spaced too far away from each other in an order that isn’t occurring to the player naturally. The second half is also horribly laid out, with most players going straight for the other cat, and skipping the melon (which barely anyone found) (yes there’s a melon in this game. Can you find it?)
One common complain was that the cat-speed was too slow. This is a common fallacy in feedback. The cat-speed was actually pretty well, if it would be faster the game would feel worse. It is the level AROUND the cat that is wrongly adapted to the speed, requiring the said bit of tightening.
The “pickup-effect” is awesome. I feel I should’ve added a sound/fanfare.
Decided to set the picture-intervals to a shorter time, resulting in a rather long video. Go see my post on creating timelapses for a detailed breakdown.
For some reason I thought “Boxy the Boxcat” was too short, and I wanted to an evolution-referencing subtitle. “Evolution Escapades” was my take on creating something akin to “Hooky Hijinks”, but in retrospect I feel it doesn’t fir at all the rather sombre game (before it admittedly goes off the rails).
So how does it fare? Pretty well. Good score, currently 2nd most-played-game this LD, which is quite frankly amazing. I’ll need your help to reach the top!
I also had a great time playing 435 other games so far. Go check out my picks for some nuggets.
Also, I have an actual chance of ranking in the Kongregate-contest. I’d appreciate any quick 4-5 star votes, if you could spare them /puppyeyes/
So I created My Little Planetoid in 48 hours. Read on to find out what I thought afterwards (a post-mortem, if you will).
What went right
This is both a science-fiction and city-builder game. The combination itself is rather rare.
It just feels awesome. And I love the “Build now on moon”-gag, which I think is quite good game-design.
According to people this video is “intense”. It might be due to the orchestral music, but probably because my facial expressions during Ludum Dare varies between “frown” and “manic laughter”.
I composed this over the course of the 24 hours. The first idea of the music I had immediately after I decided on the idea, and it grew from there. It has been quite well received, with many people saying they like it and find it relaxing.
Also, the idea of a space-banjo is just awesome.
Having empty space as background meant I was able to concentrate more on the 3d-models in the foreground. And while they could be improved a lot, you’ll notice there’s a lot of detail to be found.
The combination of the somber soundtrack and the space-y visuals worked quite well, which people also remarked positively.
What went alright
This time I actually prepared. I made a list of ideas for every possible theme. Tiny World was the one where I didn’t have anything brilliant ready, so threw in an idea I already had before. After the announcement I developed more of them, but threw them out when I saw others made them first.
Scope in fiction
My Little Planetoid has a somewhat weird range of buildings. You start out with houses and farms, which could position this game anywhere in the past or future. Then you quickly advance to Science-Laboratories and advanced-space-stations. So while it is a progression through technology, I feel it could’ve been more focused.
Scope in design
In design-terms My Little Planetoid is huge. It has more unique features/elements than any of my previous games. It has multiple complex 3d-models. It has a somewhat extensive GUI. And, most importantly, a huge web of each other influencing resources and variables.
I was even glad when something emergent happened, but there was lot of potential for bugs and unforeseen combinations. Which led to…
Balancing & bug-testing
I literally coded in something 10 minutes before the deadline. There was no time left for dedicated balancing and bug-hunting, only what I noticed during test-plays myself. The resource-balancing now kinda works, but it does feel off sometimes.
In the end the basic resources become abundant, so you aren’t really thinking about them any longer.
I used a basic pixelated diffuse-map on all things. Sadly there was no time to take care of UV-maps, but it doesn’t really show unless you really look.
What went wrong
Failure to realize how bloody huge this project is
This led to a (frankly mental) development-speed in the last hours, and the incomplete balancing.
All in all
This was an awesome and fun gamejam. My Little Planetoid is right now one of the most-played games, and people really enjoy it. The general consensus is that this could be huge if further developed. And so I will
So I’m in. duh
My tools of choice are once again Unity and my trusty guitar. I won’t be using WolframTones again, as it’s results proved too similar too others.
*Frantic Announcer-Voice* How will this Ludum-Dare go? Will Boxy the Space-Cat survive it?! Or will unspeakable things happen to her?!
Tune in next week to find out.
(here’s the game with Boxy, btw)
Horror, that is. Creating a feeling of suspense, dread and perhaps unpleasantness.
In my game you have to find 3 artefacts to open the door to the outside. You move in darkness, carrying a small lamp. Lanterns light up when you reach them and are save havens, where you cannot be attacked by the monsters, which chase you once you come to close to them.
I like the idea of the light-element, which not only helps you see, but also repells the monsters. Unfortunately, this game needs way to much polishing to be in an acceptable state.
I still learned some interesting things though :-), and will put this in the “prototype”-folder.
I’m looking forward to playing the other games, and seeing their takes on the genre.
Now that the euphoria of not sleeping and game-developing has settled down, let’s take a look at what went right and what went wrong during the development of Metal Sphere Solid.
Well actually, everything went pretty alright. There isn’t much that went “completely wrong”. Ah well, I’ll talk about it anyway.
What went (somewhat) wrong
The theme – Because “escape” is such a non-theme. You can put virtually everything in it. In that regard it is even worse than “it’s dangerous to go alone.”
The color-scheme – The main charater needs to contrast with the environment he’s in too create tension. If the main character just blends in, he’s not in jeopardy, he’s at home. So I was a little miffed when I figured out with 12 hours to go that the environment was mostly blue, and I didn’t want to create a red ball again.
I went for a glowy green (which I nailed this time), which nicely contrast with the level. The color-combination is still a bit weird.
What went right
Tile-based level – Having everything in clean tiles made putting this together much easier. This further creates a nice little gag when you leave the tile-set at the end.
Timelapse – I love timelapses. Everything seems ultra-efficient.
The Story – This is the largest amount of story I ever put in a game. Until now I’ve worked under the premise that good games-design has to be the basis, while story is optional. That still holds true, but now I see how an engaging story can pull you into the game.
The end – I love it. Too bad I couldn’t extend it a bit. First you see your friends, an assortment of balls similar to you, but with different colors, core-structures and sizes. You free them, they say a random, possibly funny line, and roll to freedom. You join them, and while joining them leave the rigid, tile-based confines of the main level and enter a free terrain.
I need to expand upon the “friendly ball”-theme more. It’s fun.
The ball-design – Compared to one of my previous games, Unstoppaball, the ball-design is much better. The glowing core is warmer, the outging light shows the strength of the character, and the brightness contrasts nicely witht he relatively dark surrounding.
The Soundtrack – I experimented with my guitar until I found something that was both interesting and fitting to the gameplay. So far it is only good, but nothing special. Also, the loop is off by half-a-second. Need to remember that next time.
What I would have liked to add/improve
Better character-fragments – So far the “remains” of the hero or the enemies are just four to five relatively uniform fragments. With more time I could have created something more complex and organic.
Better score – The score that is now measured is the time you spend being seen. The highscore-list is reversed, which means that people with the least amounts go on top places. This is far from optimal, as there is a “finite” highscore, and after attaining it doesn’t create an incentive to keep playing.
More complex enemies – The original plan of having patrolling enemies fell through due to time-contraints, but I still managed to make something interesting with only stationary guards.
Well, pretty much every aspect came out positive – The game is emotionally engaging, throwing enemies in spikes is fun, the sneaking mechanic is relatively rare, so far I’ve gotten a pretty good amount of votes, critiques are positive, and a good number of people have played it.
Also, I got a review. Which is always nice.
I call this a success. Now let’s see how you will judge this :-).
So as I have been saying for the last 4 months, I’m in
I’ll be using
- 3DS Max for modelling
- Photoshop for everything graphical
- My trusty guitar and Guitar Pro for music
- Coffee. This time I’ll make sure I have enough of a stockpile.
This will be fun. I already heard from some interesting people to join, and I hope we will get a theme worthy of interesting designs (go Nihilism!)
So I had to make this game for game-design-school instead.
You control a virtual-reality-submarine in several missions. Also, torpedoes.
While it is fun, it needs a few weeks of polish I couldn’t add due to time-contraints. Anyway, have fun.
Now this is over I can once again concentrate on the next challenge.
In the next 72 hours I shall create “The Digger” (Working title).
Dig a hole to the center of the earth, while gathering valuables and avoiding HOT MOLTEN LAVA. Behold, the fake screenshot.
Yeah. I’m not really a fan of producing “how it’s supposed to look”-stuff. I’d rather spend the time more productively, like actually working on my game.
“Finished” game shall include
- automated level-generation
- several valuabales and hazards
So it’s time to look back at my 48 hours of game-making, like many are doing. Let’s see what happened during the development of A Steampunk Axebot Supply Run.
The Theme - “It’s dangerous to go alone” was the one on the bottom of my list. Why would anyone vote for it, I thought, when there are so many interesting alternatives, like nihilism, or climbing? Why, indeed. I had nothing prepared whatsoever for this theme, and spent the first 2 hours panicking over what to do.
The Level – It occured to me only later that I could have made this in 2D, or using tile-based movement, either of which would have made creating this stuff considerably easier. Oh well.
Textures – As in “I don’t have any”. Adapting UVs is a grueling and time-consuming task,which I would rather avoid, and spend the time otherwise. Using the toon-shader for all 3d-objects was a great choice, but it would have been prettier with added textures. The terrain clashed with this. I couldn’t use the toon-shader on it (so far I know), and creating extra textures for it alone was not efficient.
Preparation – Slept too little the first day. Woke up at start-time (4am), but forgot to check the theme. Felt unmotivated and guilty for first 36 hours, bevofre I finally kicked into non-stop game-making mode.
What went right/not-so-wrong
Timelapse – It felt weird, at first, knowing that my every move was being recorded. But the video makes everything seem ultra-efficient
Music – this one actually surprised me. I never really composed anything bigger, and I just aimed for something unobstrusive. I ended up with a sweet theme which fits the game awseomely, complements it, and people actually like.
The Title – No matter how good or bad this was going to turn out, “Steampunk Axebots” sounds awesome.
The Scoring system – Your profit is determined by several systems, which are based on enemies killed, health of the robots, extra fuel left, and over-healing. Each robot has an own pattern and unity set of enemies at different times, so it is quite challenging to figure out the best combination. I still haven’t.
The fuel gauge – The rockets can travel only for a limited time, before they crash. I intented this to stop players from hovering over the playing field or leaving it, but the time-constraint added another tactical layer. The rocket takes some time to reach its target, but once it passed a certain point, reaching the other targets would be impossible. It was however possible, that the robot you tried to heal died while you were on your way, meaning you had to carefully decide where to shoot. But since all robots converge on a central point later in the game, it became at that point possible to switch targets should something happen.
3D-models – My first though was a little knight, which I would have need to animate. Unfortunately, there was no time to either animate one or learn how to include animations in Unity (note to self: learn how to include animations in unity).
Biff-Particles – They are quite a good substitute for fighting-animations.
Healing-Particles – They look much better than I planned.
What I would have liked to add
A menu – Which I already had around, but no time, and no good reason (with only one level) to implement
No introduction screen – I’ve always hated these. Dammit, I want to play the game, not read a novel! There are ways to start the game at once, and teach the player on the fly.
Destroyed robots and rockets – Which I would have added were it not for a game-stopping bug I encountered with only 40 minutes to spare
Having the title of the game appear somewhere in the first level – Like I did in Unstoppaball. I love that gag.