Posts Tagged ‘SuccessStory’
Extreme Fishing is now released for Android on Google Play! This is my first game since I decided to go full indie in January. Extreme Fishing was originally created for Mini Ludum Dare #24 by me and João Zanini. This new version for Android has new content, better gameplay, improved controls for mobile and Google Play integration. Challenge your friends on the leaderboards and conquer the achievements! It’s also free, so download it right now for your Android smartphones!
Our Knoxville Game Design group is featured in the cover story of our local Knoxville entertainment paper, Metro Pulse. The seven page article gives our thoughts on the current Indie Game community, and describes our participation in the recent Ludum Dare 28 competition. The article features interviews with Knoxville Ludum Dare participants ViNull, DylanWolf, Insane66, and myself (GaTechGrad) along with Chaosoft Games.
This paper is available for free at numerous newsstands in East Tennessee.
PDF version (identical to the print version)
Online version (formatted for the web) – Please Like/Tweet the article so they will consider doing more game development articles in the future!
“Ermahgerd! 188th for Humor in #LD28.”
Thank you to everyone who took the time to try my game. I am humbled and glad to have taken part in LD #28.
Only scored low on innovation; which let’s be honest, is no surprise. My main goals were to complete a game and learn from the stats and feedback given, which you have given and I have done and will continue to do. Thank you, truly.
Again, thank you; thank you thank you thank you.
Here it is my post mortem about 0RBITALIS. For this game I got inspiration looking at other themes in the final round. It’s hard to make a game that is as vague as “You Only Get One”, but when you couple it with “Gravity” and “Chaos” it’s much clearer what you can actually do. I have always been interested in games which explore how simple rules (such as Netwon’s laws) can generate beautifully complex behaviours.
Most of the “features” of the game are actually consequences of the strong time constraints Ludum Dare imposed me. For instance, mi initial idea was to have a moving camera that could zoom in and out, but I didn’t have time to code it properly. And this automatically lead to a “stay in the system” mechanic. The vector fields that you can see in the background was a debug tool I used to test and calibrate planets’ masses, but when I realised that it was fitting nicely with the style, I decided to leave it there.
Since the very beginning of the voting period, 0RBITALIS got a lot of attention: so far, it’s both the most voted and commented entry in the 48 hours competition. I think part of its success is due to its aesthetic: it’s simple, yet effective. I spent lot of time polishing the game rather then designing more levels. This can really do the difference, especially when games are picked almost exclusively by how appealing their screenshots look like. 0RBITALIS has doing unexpectedly well. For this reason I am already working on a full-game version that will include both more levels and new mechanics. There will be probing missions, for instance, which require to scan a celestial body for a certain time. I am already working on landing missions as well, but I’d rather keep them mysterious for now!
Since I *hate* menus, 0RBITALIS won’t have one. I am working on a different system, however, that looks like a star chart. Player will be able to select levels and to change settings just touching and connecting stars. I also collected lot of statistics about levels but… I’ll keep them for another post!
If you liked the game, you’re more then welcomed to vote it or leave a comment on its LD48 entry page. If you want to follow 0RBITALIS news and further development, you can find me on Twitter as @AlanZucconi.
My LD28 game Pizza Delivery Hero is now available on Google Play for Free!
I spent all last week converting and improving my LD entry so that it would work on Android. I really like using Libgdx since they make it so easy to make a game both for desktop and mobile.
For this LD I wanted to focus on keeping my scope small, with the intention of making my game work on phones. I tried to design everything with this in mind. The controls had to be workable for both keyboard and taping/swiping.
After the LD I had to go back and change a lot of the base mechanics for the game. The LD version was way to hard, and not balanced very well. It couldn’t handle multiple screen sizes or touch controls. The very second I loaded the game onto my Android it crashed.
My LD version didn’t have enough levels. I spent a couple days going through and adding more levels.
I also felt like there wasn’t enough motivation to collect the coins or get high scores in the LD version. I went back and added a coin counter to the game to show how many of the coins you had got, and then added something to store the high scores so you could go back and look at them.
Here are a couple images I made for the Google Play store:
Fans of runner games will love the reflexive game play. Try to do as many tricks as possible to maximize your score while staying alive!
Final game looks like this:
It is an asymmetrical 2 player (one with a mouse and keyboard, the other with an Xbox 360 gamepad) 3D fire sim toy thing. You only get one match’s life (if you’re player 1). Water and fire interact in the usual way. Strike the match on the rough rock to start. Points are awarded for tree/ house voxels burnt to the ground. There’s no sound.
This was my second ever game jam and I learned lots from this project – obviously fire simulation, but also the particulars of Unity’s particle systems and I’m sure lots of other things I can’t remember now.
Obvious bugs include the match floating up at certain times, due to unity’s physics collider. The match probably shouldn’t float on the water either…
I started lots of things that didn’t go into the final game – independent voxel fire grids that could interact, procedural generation of terrain. I guess the maths was a bit too difficult after nearly 28 hours of programming for my brain! I really shouldn’t have eaten so much sugar. Maybe next game jam I’ll remember!
My game TTY GFX ADVNTR is now available on the XBox Live Indie Game (XBLIG) marketplace. This game started as my mini LD45 entry, which was written in C and SDL. After receiving positive feedback from other Indie developers, I decided to port it to C Sharp and XNA, so it would be available to a wider audience. The XBLIG version also has many new enemies, different weapons, and a skill system for crushing attacks.
Buy the game today for only $1 (USD) on the XBox Live Indie Game marketplace. From the XBox360 home screen, select Games tab > Browse Games > Indie tab > New Releases or buy it on the web at TTY GFX ADVNTR (only for XBox 360)
I’ve spent the past few weeks off and on porting it over from Flash to Unity and also improving the gameplay a bit, polishing the visuals, and adding things like Google Play Leaderboards and Achievements.
Squeezed Out! is a fast paced skill game that gets very challenging quickly! The goal is to earn the most points by surviving as long as you can.
To play you simply tap on the left and right sides of the screen to move left and right, but stay away from the falling blocks! The smaller the gap you pass through, the more points you are rewarded.
Here’s a super quick gameplay trailer:
Once I make sure it is working well, I’ll be pushing out an iOS build for iPhone and iPad.
If you happen to check it out and like it, I could always use ratings/reviews and I welcome all feedback in the comments below, thanks!
Since Ludum Dare 25 (December 2012), I’ve been chipping away at making the 48hour version of Terra Forma into an actual game. I’ve improved the graphics and user interface, added 60+ levels, more block types, an online editor, and online community levels. The PC version of the game was released in early August followed by the Android version just before September. The iOS version has been submitted to the Apple store and is currently awaiting approval. Many thanks to the Unity engine for making multi-platform deployment much less painful, and to Ludum Dare for birthing new game ideas through the competition. Check out more info about Terra Forma along with a playable web demo here.
This was my second Ludum Dare (last time was LD22) and probably my seventh or eighth time participating in a jam. I didn’t have a ton of time to make a game, so I focused on doing a small idea that could leverage existing tech.
I absolutely didn’t expect the awesome response that SMS Racing has received, though!
At the time of this writing, the game has been featured on sites like IndieGames.com, Kotaku, and MTV Multiplayer, but also a ton of broader news sites likes The Boston Globe and Popular Mechanics. Tonight, it made its TV debut on The Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet. The gameplay video I lazily cobbled together for YouTube has over 100,000 views, and the game has been downloaded over 10,000 times!
What a crazy couple of days it has been. Thanks so much for the kind comments and for sharing SMS Racing with your friends.
Ludum Dare 27 was my first ever game jam!I made a game hastily titled “Get Ready, Fight!”. It’s a single-screen, 2D competitive action platformer where players have 10 seconds to run around and collect powerups and modifiers for themselves, before fighting to the death using whatever equipment they managed to scrounge up. While I managed to finish the game, I didn’t quite bring my vision to life. I had hoped to focus more on the initial 10 second scramble, forcing players to make hasty decisions and then have to deal with the consequences. In the end, it seemed more fun just to have all the powerups have positive effects, so the 10 second scramble is just a race to grab as many powerups as possible without much thought.
Overall though, I had a great time with the jam. I came up with an idea that I think has some potential to be fleshed out and I managed to finish a game from scratch in under 48 hours to boot.
Here are some quick post-mortem-y thoughts about my experience while they’re still fresh in my mind:
What Went Well:
- Stopped making excuses and actually entered a jam.
- Could have said it was too close to PAX, but didn’t.
- Stuck with it, finished the jam. And it’s a real, honest-to-goodness game too, including menus, audio, and some reasonable polish.
- Did absolutely everything myself. Coding, art, sound effects, even music. No libraries outside of the XNA framework.
- Speaking of which, I also tried something totally new during the jam: making music! It’s bad, and there’s incredibly little of it (maybe 20 seconds), but I did it!
- Didn’t get too hung up on art, since the rate at which returns diminish for my time investment is substantial (read: I’m not a very good artist).
- Got a reasonable amount of sleep!
- Streamed development a few times at http://www.twitch.tv/benkane, totaling over 12 hours.
- Resisted the urge to just give up and play Spelunky instead.
What Didn’t Go So Well:
It’s easy to criticize your own games, and one that was made in <48 hrs has a lot to criticize. Still, here are a few things that stuck out:
- Pretty poor art.
- Music and sfx are pretty sparse, and what is there is pretty bad.
- The game drifted away from theme/my plan pretty quickly.
- The gameplay doesn’t have a lot of variety, even though I had a lot of ideas for this.
- I was hugely productive for some stretches, but others were quite poor. I should have taken a more distinct break at that point and walked away from the screen.
- I did not eat very well.
- My schedule was rougher than it needed to be. 48 hours is a lot of time if you keep your scope down, so there was no need to stay up until 5am on the first day.
- I wasn’t too interactive with my viewers on the stream (but a huge thanks to those that did hang out! You rock!). Next time I’ll use the mic.
What Went ???:
Why on earth did I decide to make a multiplayer-only game for a solo game jam? I’m not even sure 4-player mode works at all. And there’s certainly going to be balance problems that will be obvious once the game is played with other humans.
What I’d Change For Next Time:
- Spend more time on gameplay once I have a functioning game. I could have done a lot more with the concept I built.
- Make a single-player game! I basically came up with an untestable concept for a solo jam.
- Start thinking about music earlier. I like that I attempted to make the music myself, but I definitely had a “writer’s block” of sorts when it came time to compose the music (I use the term “compose” as loosely as humanly possible). Thinking about what style of audio earlier could have helped there.
- Create a timelapse of development. Streaming is awesome (and I’d do that again), but it would be nice to look back at the whole process over the span of a few minutes.
- Consider jamming in a group environment to keep myself motivated.
I haven’t missed a Ludum Dare in a few years. Of course I’m in. I will likely use this HTML5 basecode, but I promise NOT to make a platformer with it.
Good luck, everybody! HAVE FUN! Embrace your inner kung-fu master.
Here it is, the one I’ve been working on ages: ISSOS! All the trailers, screenshots, and info is there \/
Now I haven’t got much positive feedback so far, and the votes for Greenlight are way in the negative, but I’d ask you to consider voting yes because this was made by one person (me) in my free time. If it continues to do poorly then I’ll consider either doing an aesthetic overhaul or scrapping the project. If the game can’t be played by anyone then there’s not much point in developing it. :/
Anyways please consider voting and I’ll write more about this once more results come in!
Fog won a youth game design competition whilst in between LDs. We’re both super happy that we won, and we also found it hilarious that we submitted it last minute (the deadline was the Monday after LD 26) without any changes from the LD version.
About 6 months after coming 6th in Innovation in Ludum Dare 21 (web version of the game is here), I made a new version of Flatland as a team project, as a part of starting up our new studio. We made, marketed and released the game in 96 hours (over a 3 week period), fixed it up a bit, released it again, and then won an award for best writing in an Australian game. We also got a lovely write-up from Rock, Paper, Shotgun about the game.
In all that time, I didn’t post anything here, because, well, yeah. No real excuse. Suffice to say, none of this would have happened had it not been for Ludum Dare.
6 months after all of that, we’ve decided to release Fallen Angle for free! There’s a plethora of options for playing the game on our website (torrents, kongregate, and direct download), as well as a bunch of special extras we’ve put together for the occasion (including a 60-page e-book chronicling the entire development experience, a soundtrack and making of videos). Check it out, and please let us know what you think of the game!
Back in December, I made “Cruel Cruel Dastard” for Ludum Dare 25. Folks seemed to respond positively to the mechanic, so I’ve spent the past few months making an updated version. The new game, now called “Ragtime Ruffian” was just released today and is available for iPad/PC/Mac/Linux.
The new version includes completely re-done art, new mechanics, 50 designed levels, and the procedurally generated endless mode I originally wanted to implement during the compo. You can get it here if you’re interested.
Earlier in December 2012. I went all out in my first Ludum Dare, 25 themed “You are the villain” which sparked all kinds of ideas… especially sub-themed with a goat. I went for an overhead traffic game where you play as a goat working for a corrupt mechanic, dropping objects into traffic to create accidents to earn more money and unlock new items. It was an amazing experience! I almost panicked near the end of the compo, due to several physics bugs and strange Flash issues. Titled “Goat Mechanic”, it earned 15th place.
I have completely redone the entry, adding new items, levels, polish, and pushing it to the Apple App Store and Google Play! Tokens are earned over time and creating accidents eventually unlock more items and levels.
Waaay back in December 2010, I cobbled together a horrific ten hour entry for LD19 - http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2010/12/20/germies/
It was garish, had horrific sound, and played a bit like a mule. However, there was an idea in there… a nice little variant on the usual Gems formula popularised by Bejeweled and co.
So, in January 2013, I revisited it for One Game A Month - http://www.arcadebadgers.co.uk/projects/1gam/january
Several months later, and with Arcade Badgers now being incorporated and officially trading, I’ve released Germies! as a more commercial offering; albeit an ad-supported Mobile/Desktop Web version - http://germies.clay.io/
This time, we’ve got a leaderboard and some achievements added to the mix, as well as general clean-ups throughout.
We’ve only just released it as of yesterday, but it has been a chaotic journey to get here, and proof that if anything, Ludum Dare – and by extension One Game A Month – are incredibly useful for iterating over ideas!
Oh and yes, we will be taking part in the next Ludum Dare! Here’s hoping that anything interesting that we produce doesn’t take almost three years to come out again
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.
I considered calling this post a postmortem… but I believe my LD entry My Little Robo is pretty successful for a first timer so “postmortem” would sound too pessimistic. Hence “after action report” – sounds way more upbeat, doesn’t it? Later I will also prepare a sort of “pre compo checklist” based around my experiences.
What went wrong?
- No sounds or music – I really hoped I will have time to make some music and sounds for the game, but because of physics engine integration problem I did not have time to do that.
- Physics instability – getting real time physics simulations to be stable can be difficult, especially when using physics to create gameplay – again something I could have done better if I did not waste time setting up the engine.
- Submission – Screenshots? I need my own place to host the zip file? Oh shit. I’ve got a shared server but I couldn’t find an option to upload anything to it, dropbox for some reason couldn’t finish uploads because my bloody ISP was apparently doing some late night infrastructure repairs. After a while I remembered that my wordpress blog allows uploading a zip file and used that, but that was about 5 minutes before the deadline.
What went right?
- Picking an innovative and extendable game idea – I’ve spent about 2 hours considering various ideas before I settled on the minimalistic robot. Compared to other options it was a bit more ambitious and risky, but the risks totally payed off. Judging by the comments, LD crowd likes innovation even if it is not perfectly executed and being praised for an original idea feels awesome. Also LD judging can be considered a “free focus group”. And it showed me that, yes, my idea is worthy of a longer game. Which is exactly what I plan to do now – have I picked a simpler idea or made a demake expanding would be more problematic.
- Detailed running TODO list – this is a technique I’ve developed long time ago for dealing with having to code fast under a lot of stress and fatigue. I first write down the features, then break them down into essential implementation steps. If during development I get any idea of extra check that I should make, or another place in code where something should be changed – I add this to the list. It all works like a charm – frees up the short term memory, prevents forgetting important details and crossing out stuff that’s done is a great morale boost.
- Source control – a pretty obvious thing. More than once I was really grateful I took those few extra seconds to setup mercurial before starting coding. Also frequent checkins should be practiced – you never know when your tired brain will fsck something up.
- Precooking – cooking a lot of food before the compo that can be later reheated. It turned out to be a really good idea, eating a proper tasty lunch or dinner is a great morale and energy booster when you are programming for 8 hours straight. I should have secured stash of some healthy snacks too.
- Taking part – this was overall the best idea of all. Even though my submission was not as polished as I would like it to be, still many people enjoyed it and I very much needed such a confidence booster.