Posts Tagged ‘MiniLD’
Hey guys, just wanted to take the opportunity to write a bit more about World’s Aftermath, and the process behind it.
One thing we strived for when we were planning this project was that we really didn’t want to use any content that wasn’t our own. So, from day one, Nicolas set out drawing pixel art, laying down guitar tracks, and doing voice overs for the character deaths. He kept a steady stream of content coming in, and I plugged away endlessly programming it all together. Every day when I returned home from work Nick told me he’d been up till 6am drawing dozens of animations. One night he stayed up all night animating 30 strips of animations and laying down the entire soundtrack. By the end of it all, we had 300+ frames of graphics, 6 original songs, 50+ original sounds, and half a dozen levels.
All of the source code is original too. I’ve been working on a 2D game engine since 2007 that I’ve been using for all my other projects. The night before the competition I gutted out one of my projects of all it’s content so I could start with a blank canvas. I used my custom World Builder (level editor) to design the levels. The engine is written in Java, and uses the Java2D graphics library for rendering (which I’ve optimized immensely). The most important thing, I realized, was that I would need to be able to create units for the game as quickly as possible, and that I wanted hundreds of units and hundreds of bullets on the screen at once. The game was going to be visceral and gratuitous and I think we hit the mark.
Every single variable, animation, sound, and unit/bullet type is defined in the INI files in the /gamedat/ folder (which leaves rooms for mods). By the time we were finished, units, bullets, sounds, levels, etc. could all be added without a single line of programming. To make sure the units could pile up without slowdown I wrote a spatial partitioning algorithm that sweeps over all the units at the beginning of every frame. Each unit is put in a different “bin” for every 100 pixels. This way, unit vs unit or bullet vs unit comparisons are made only on those units in the surrounding area by getting only those “bins” in range.
We really looked to Command and Conquer as a source of inspiration for this bad-boy. We wanted to capture the vibe of the original Command and Conquer, but we also wanted to make a game that could be played by anyone, without ever having played an RTS. So, we simplified the control scheme and mechanics quite a bit from a traditional RTS. This is where we feel we’ve innovated. Without direct control of unit placement, we were able to reduce the gameplay down to three actions (purchase, attack, defend), but made sure we left room for emergent gameplay and strategy. This created a very casual gameplay experience but also leaves room for a great amount of depth.
From the start, we realized the importance of making sure it was completely clear how to play without any sort of tutorial. So, we designed an intuitive and simplified control scheme that is ultimately compatible with touch screens. In this fashion, the entire game is playable with only a mouse, only a keyboard, or only a touch screen. Unfortunately, we had to ditch the tower defense and defend actions for this version, but adding them in our final release will give that additional layer of control that will really bring the gameplay together as a complete package. Forcing the player to commit to an attack makes each decision of what units to send, how many, and how often, that much more important; and the immediate urgency to capture towers right from the start sets the pace from the start of a match. Finally, the need to unlock tiers of units, as well as the importance of purchasing and defending your harvesters ends up making each purchase critical.
Finally, I’d like to mention that a design decision was made very early on to use object oriented code design to cleanly separate each aspect of the game. In this fashion units are separated from teams, and teams from players. We will be able to add in network support fairly easily for the full release, as the code is designed in a way to make networked control of a player trivial. Something we wanted to do from the very beginning was to play versus each other, so the full release will certainly have online multiplayer.
We’ve both always been huge fans of the earlier games in the Command and Conquer franchise. And even though Nick won’t play me anymore because I dominate him every time, we wanted to draw from these games for inspiration. We intentionally left out a unit cap, and made sure the game could facilitate as many units as a player could afford. The music and sound design were crucial, also, in creating an homage to these games. We laid down some guitar tracks ala Frank Klepacki (see below), and did our best imitations of the Wilhelm scream that Command and Conquer used so charmingly for it’s infantry death sounds. Getting the artistic direction of the two factions and the mood of the game just right was critical–since graphic design makes or breaks a first impression–so we worked hard to capture a dystopian “Red Alert Vs Tiberian Sun” feel. We decided the more conventional “Rebel Scum” vs the domineering and futuristic “Allied Collective” would be a good representation of this. There isn’t a story explicitly stated in-game, but we feel we hit the mark with our “show don’t tell” approach that we meticulously crafted through the subtle use of our art direction and the limited wording/naming we sprinkled throughout the game.
Looking back, we feel very satisfied by what we’ve accomplished here. In 7 days we’ve completed a game from start to finish with all the technical aspects of game development accounted for (sound, music, graphics, level design, victory conditions, menus, AI), and a strong core set of game mechanics. We’re geared up to now create a proper release of the game, having proven our prototype, and in the coming weeks we’ll polish the game with all the love in the world and release a free version of the game with all the bells and whistles.
Download/view our entry here:
Good new everyone
EGGZ is a real-time strategy game with eggz in it…
I was really happy to hear that there’s a 7 Day RTS, because I really love RTS game – it’s a pity more indies don’t make them!
Anyhow, we held this friendly multiplayer oriented game jam called the “Funky Future” last weekend, so I decided to make a single-screen competitive RTS controlled with the keyboard (or a gamepad) and with no elimination. The game was basically finished last weekend, but I’ve been tweaking it and doing bugfixes since then.
I wasn’t sure at first if I was going to have time to participate in the MiniLD, but then I saw the theme and how could I pass it up?
Here’s an obligatory deskphoto:
After mild success in LD26 I wanted to brush up my skills before coming back (and learn to make a proper applet… LWJGL doesn’t like applets I learned), but there’s no time for that so I’m going to make a Java download only game, inspired by the work of Douglas Adams, one of my personal heroes.
My goals are to finish (close to) on time, make an interesting (hopefully funny) game, and produce a time-lapse of me working (I’m thinking about a text based game though, so it might be a bit boring). Here we go!
I’ve been waiting for it sooooo loooong and it has finally happend! We’ve just released Ghostly Me – post-compo version of my MiniLD #36 game which was originally called Eruption. It’s free as I promised, and you can play it on Newgrounds. I’ll be happy to get your comments, thanks!
Also, cupquake made a lets-play video for the game and she’s really cute, I had a lot of fun watching it.
But close enough!
Certainly didnt get around to a few major features that Id really hoped for (like being able to steal a car – kinda important in a game that references Grand Theft Auto)
But I’m certainly happy with what I did get done over the weekend. ‘Super Theft Auto’ is a good start for an interesting little mini game.
You can play the current version of the game at the following link after installing the plugin (links/instructions are on the page- the only major OS not supported is OSX):
[LINK] (youll also find it on the CharityGameJam games submission screen of course)
Theres also a link on the page to a .blend download of the setup for the computer VideoTexture scene, youll need Blender 2.64a if you want to mess around with it.
- A game within a game – You start in a 3D world with a 3D computer, the (kinda) NES style game plays on the screen of the Funkytron computer (press space to zoom in and focus on the screen to actually see what youre doing)
- Large city area to explore (sadly only on foot at this stage)
- Pedestrians wander around the city (they make good target practice)
- Cars driving around (rare and very basic implementation)
- Gun ammunition to pick up
- Basic scoring system (you can score points for killing people)
got this game done just at the deadline, and overlooked a very simple error that caused me to stress for the last 5 hours lol, figured it out, and have the game submitted! enjoy, and I look forward to checking out everyones games!
*Wanted to use gamepad, but unfortunately my usb gamepad wouldn;t work with chrome
I have version 0.5c of ‘Super Theft Auto’ now available for public testing/playing/things.
The game is my take on having a game like GTA2 on the NES (or at least a 3D Funkytron console) I havent really kept as close to the NES specs as I would have liked, but I think its turning out ok so far, its been a lot of fun to work on if anything.
Theres not much to the gameplay. I still need to add some major features in. But theres some initial pedestrians now, a title screen, various other much needed improvements – I can see this actually being a game sometime in the near future. I really need to add the car system in though, the map is quite large (spent too much time working on that tonight). Its too much to explore fully on foot.
You can find the game embedded in this page – [LINK]
Youll need to install the ‘Burster’ web plugin to use it (unfortunately Mac is not supported), but Linix and Windows (64&32bit) will both run it fine. The plugin is a ~26mb download, and is easy to install. Theres instructions & links to download it on the page I made for the game.
Feedback would be great, I know theres not much of a game, but Ill take any crits or suggestions. Also knowing if the Burster plugin install is a smooth process for you would be great as well. I hate having to install a plugin to play a game as much as the next person, but Ive tried to make the page as helpful as possible.
Anyway, its past 2am where I live, and Ive been running on 2-3 hours sleep all day (was a bit night saturday night). Im starting to see random flickers/objects in my vision, so a good indicator to get sleep I believe! Plus programming in this state is so slow and frustrating Id be better off sleeping.
Im not sure how much Ill be able to get done in the final hours tomorrow, but I hope to at least implement a few more crucial features (like death and a points systems) – We will see!
Missed posting at the 24 hour mark! ~19 hours to go, close enough.
Making some more progress, but the past few hours have been slow and problematic. I ran into one large problem, which was a kind of ‘grey’ area cause by modules/functions Ive never used in combination before (not sure if anyone has tbh). The main problem came down to the default use of ‘mipmaps’ in the BGE and Blender itself. Basically, mipmapping doesnt work well with sprites. It ‘blends’ the pixels of textures and the results are blurry, ugly sprites for super low-resolution stuff, ie the image below shows the effect:
This is fine in Blender itself, you can simply globally disable mipmapping, problem solved. But the issue existed when I then tried to run the game in the Burster plugin (for web-browser play), mipmapping was on by default – and theres NO way to turn it off. So the all-important browser version of the game was completely fuzzy.
My initial idea was to completely redesign the ‘architecture’ of the game. Splitting the Scene into two independent scenes, one for the 3D computer area, one for the mini-game area being projected onto the screen. I wasnt even sure if the VideoTexture module would work between scenes (which is the only reason why I didnt setup the game like this initially), but after a bit of hair-pulling coding I managed to get it sorted. I then applied a pixelated shader, which was applied to the mini-game scene so it would be pixelated, even though mipmapping was permanently enabled.
The new problem: The shader was applied to the scene, but the VideoTexture plugin wasnt ‘seeing’ the now pixelated version of the level, so the screen was still blurry even though almost everything was running exactly as Id planned.
After some more hair-pulling moments, another much simpler solution came to mind, all I had to do was increase the texture size to sharpen the pixel edges (compromising with slightly larger file-sizes). Major derp moment. This solution took 5 minutes to implement (thankful this is still early on and I dont have hundreds of textures to edit) whereas the previous failed method took almost 2 hours. Gah! At least the scenes are better organised now, the ‘architecture’ of the game is much more solid so its not a complete loss…
Either way, I just need to sort out a sprite animation issue and I’ll have a playable demo up and running for people to try out.
Heres a look at the shader too, it worked pretty well and I’ll probably use it in future projects. You can see it in the background scene, a kind of ‘distant city’ view which is the current WIP city for the game. I wont be using anything like this in final game now (happened completely by accident) but I thought it looked a bit interesting.
Im about done for today’s work on the game. Made some progress, theres a player sprite which runs around, and a basic environment (road with buildings either side and an intersection) along with some cars that randomly spawn and can drive into you (blood splatter included), now I have other things to tend to
A friend of mine might be getting involved with the game while I’m away for the next 10-20 hours, so progress might be made (hes been working on music for it today). Then tomorrow will be time to sit down and start finishing things! Ive purposefully aimed pretty low with this game, I’ll just get as much done as possible and enjoy it.
Either way, the game Ive been wanting to make for this is effectively ’GrandTheftAuto re-imagined for the NES’. I hope to have at least 1 gun, cars to drive/steal, blood to splatter and sidewalks to drive down, maybe even some simple kinds of missions. We’ll see!
Might also mention, I 3D’ized the gamepad texture recently released as well, so now theres 2 controllers in the scene (which adds to it nicely I think!)
Was into the idea of this Charity Jam right from the moment I first heard of it. Maybe its the awesome theme, maybe its the fact that its for charity (which already doubled the initial funding goal) – Just noticed McFunkypants has increased the funding goal because of this, good move
Either way, I’ve gone ahead and started my day by donating, every bit helps, so I suggest anyone who is able to donate.. To donate!
Now for the game jam side of things. I like the idea of the template, but wanted to use the BGE (Blenders Game Engine) for this LD (as I do for most Ludum Dares), so yesterday I thought Id come up with my own 3D template, you can see the end result below.
*Edit* Removed gif, was unoptimized and bugging out my browser, click the pic above to see it^
This version was more of a ‘proof of concept’ for myself, as I wasnt sure how well the screen projection would work (if at all). So yes, that game you see on the screen you *can play*. Its effectively a 3D game, looking like a 2D game, projected onto the flat 2D screen of a 3D Funkytron in a 3D game world <- this is the kind of thing I think up when I say to myself “lets keep this miniLD nice and simple!” -_-’
Everything worked as I wanted though, VideoTexture (the BGE module responsible for projecting that realtime display onto the Funkytron screen) works wonders. Then, to further complicate everything, I decided it would be a good idea to use the Burster plugin with this game. For those who dont know BGE too well, or havent heard of Burster, its effectively a web plugin which lets you use run your BGE games in-browser. It complicates things because Burster has a bunch of restrictions, mainly on what python functions/modules you can use. A bunch of them are blocked for security reasons.
Thankfully, it works, so you can play this template version right now! Controls for the game, along with instructions and links to download burster are all on this page - http://www.delta-edge.com.au/GameTest/game_test.html
Feedback on if this works for you would be great! Also just basic feedback on how annoying/easy it is to download/install Burster and get the plugin running would also be handy. Thinking of using this plugin for future Ludum Dares depending on how it goes for this one.
The only downside to Burster is no Mac support, but 32/64bit Linux & Windows are both supported.
Also, as with any Ludum Dare, I’ll be providing the source code/files for the project, starting with the template (would be great to see others using this!)
Template download: http://www.mediafire.com/?qkfr3ijlfoqwkqz (Youll need Blender 2.64a to open the .blend file and edit the game) – This game is using the Blender Game Engine (BGE)
So thats all for now. The LD starts in <1min, so I have a game to make! I’ve got a friends going-away party happening tonight, so Ill really only have the next few hours and the final 24 hours to work on a game, most of today Ill be afk. And Ill post about what type of game Im planning later as well!
I finally uploaded my entry for the Mini Ludum Dare #37 – it’s a 3D model viewer with a game-y museum atmosphere. I reused the music my brother made for “The Sun Is Deadly”, and the texture are all created with images from cgtextures.com.
The Modeleum is pretty empty right now, I only uploaded three characters I made some time ago. They are in the “Characters” section. You can submit your own 3D models (OBJ format, if there are textures they must be JPG or PNG ).
It’s a not-game about the future of videogames, and the core of what videogames are, and such. Play it. Think about it. The meaning is up to you.
I ended up spending way too much time on it than I wanted, especially as I have serious exams coming up, but I’m pretty happy with the result. Especially graphics. Check out that dithering, man. Dithering. Woah.
Thanks again Olav for the awesome dare minild!
As every Jam i’ve done, and often heard said: I didn’t get to finish it as much as I had wanted, but I learned alot.
Spent 6-8 hours over the course of two days, puttin things here and there, had a blast with designing something as simple as possible, with self imposed dares.
I DARED to :
-Compose a simple platformer where you only run and jump
-Use a very minmal pallete of 4-5 colors.
-used only 2 different platform objects.
-implement a secret cheat code. (“SREBMUN”)
-disregard deadlines, and make the game a day late, and
release it two days late.
-Collaborate with good friend @KhyleDean
-Use Music I didn’t make myself for a change.
Had a Blast with it, and learned lots of new stuff, and more importantly, got an idea of what I need to learn, and what I want to learn.
Thanks again for runnin the comp,and thanks for all the people participating,
always lookin to the next one.
It’s done!! You can now blast away at monsters with an infinite number of randomly generated guns to your heart’s content. (The guns can do some pretty interesting things, if I say so myself).
Can you beat my highscore?
So here it is… “Saving his code” 2d mini platform game. I managed to cut my ideas and move on. I had a lot of gameplay features, but it would take a lot of time, that i don’t have right now.
MiniLD #27 is officially a go!
The SECRET PHRASE is:
“I think we can work something out…”
All games that include this phrase will be awarded a golden Ludum Dare achievement trophy that will appear on their profile page. Good luck and have fun!
Happy summer vacation, everyone! Are you ready for June’s Ludum Dare miniLD game jam? This month’s mini will be held on the weekend of the 25th. I think you will love the theme. It is sure to get people talking… due to popular request I’m releasing the theme early so people on vacation can dive right in and get started early.
The theme is: ALL TALK - conversation trees and dialogue choices.
On Friday June 24 at 4pm PST (midnight GMT) a secret phrase will be announced. Your entry must contain this phrase in the dialogue!
This month’s MiniLD #27 is designed to be fun, low-stress, and relaxed. Perfect for vacationers. The rules this time are going to be very chill: you can use any game engine you like, premade art, and people are welcome to form teams. Instead of crunch-time cramming, you are allowed to start now and work up to midnight on Sunday June 26th. There will be no disqualifications whatsoever. The only rule is that there are no rules. Take your time – use whatever tools you like – just have fun!
June’s “all talk” theme is perfect for plot-heavy, deep philosophical discussions between the player and a cast of NPCs.
If you are using Flashpunk, I recommend using Draknek’s upgrade which has an amazing text engine.
I’ll be creating my own HTML engine for this, using pre-rendered 3d avatars. Since we don’t have to care about tech or rendering performance, HTML5 is the perfect choice since it is great for low-power mobile devices. Heck, you could write your game using youtube, regular html4 or even hypercard.
Think NPCs, CYOA, multiple choice, text, plot, voiceovers, speech synthesis, prose, humour, conflict, debate, love.
Make a murder mystery or a political scandal. A dating simulator or a talk show. A news report or a bedtime story. A love story or a heart-wrenching breakup. Beat poetry or freestyle hip-hop. Whispers or screams. Secret school flirtations or code-words between spies. Hardcore RPG, Ren-py visual novel or pure text IF (interactive fiction), the choice is yours.
No matter what the genre – from AAA rpgs and shooters to puzzle games and everything in between, virtually every videogame ever made uses dialogue to progress the plot. Repetitive battles and grinding are sometimes seen as mere filler between the NPC dialogue and missions. Which is more exciting? Killing your thousandth giant rat or encountering the next major NPC who gives you a quest?
This low-stress, relaxed rules MiniLD is a fun way to get away from worrying about framerate, animation or incredible 3d graphics and instead focus on the plot. The characters. The story. The soul.
Perhaps you will invent an epic storyline and a cast of interesting characters that are so cool they make it into your next action title! For now, just remember: focus on dialogue and characterization. On personal conflict, emotions and tough decisions.
Will this be a fun breather between more intense programming projects? Will your game be easier to program than something more graphics-heavy? Will it be deeper than your last brainless shooter? More artistic? Less work? More original? Discuss.
Ok, I’ve gotten things done! Feels good.
The character now moves correctly and can shoot laser beams. (Thanks to HyrdroKirby in #pygame and cafesofie in #ludumdare)
I’ve also given the clouds a thicker border to make them look *nicer*
Here’s what it looks like:
Too bad it only gets a terrible 16-26FPS.
I’ll have to optimize it somehow. The code is extremely rubbish at the moment.
Next up: citizens and tanks.
A long time ago in a not so far away land called MiniLD#20 I attempted to make a game. It was called Conquer The Planet and it completely failed. This time, hopefully, it won’t. The theme was greed, which I’m still going for, but I’m screwing the “only one of an object rule” because that’ll add a whole ‘nother level of complexity I don’t want to deal with.
Here’s the original concept idea if you’re interested: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2010/07/16/my-brilliant-idea/
As for the game code, I’m too embarrassed to show anything from that.
Wish me luck! (and follow my progress and give me inspiration and motivation and stuff!)
You can play this game in your browser (warning: sounds will play)
It’s time for your final exam to graduate from your UFO school. Only problem is you were a complete slacker. You have no idea how to fly your ship. You have 3 minutes to impress your commander by destroying as many humans, cars, helicopters, tanks and jets as you can–or suffer the consequences!
All you can remember is to use the keys 1,2,3,4 and 7,8,9,0
* Coded in ActionScript 3.0 using the Flash CS4 IDE and using my mouth and microphone and Audacity to process the sound effects. I composed the music loop in Reason.