Posts Tagged ‘SuccessStory’
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.
One Game A Month loves Ludum Dare. You see, #1GAM is not a game jam. It is the gamification of gamedev. You earn XP and achievements for doing what you love. We rely on game jams to motivate us. Like doing workouts, the goal is to become stronger, faster, better gamedevs by releasing many small games. We’d love to have you join us – 5000 strong and growing! Please SHARE YOUR LD48 GAME with us!
LD26 / Minimalism / Dehoarder Retrospective
It was very exciting participating in my first ever Ludum Dare. I had written a couple of games in the past using very few hours, but never had I tried to do it in 48 consecutive hours. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be successful or not. It turns out, as I write this, there are still 4 more hours in the compo, and my submission is already entered. Honestly, I thought I would be scrambling madly to get things done right now, not working on my retrospective.
What went well?
Pretty much the whole thing. But here are some specific highlights.
At first, I was concerned about the theme. I didn’t want to just make a game with minimalist artwork and gameplay. I wanted to actually use the theme within my game. I looked up minimalism through Google, and from there, came up with the meta-concepts “Elmininate all X” and “Do X using as few Y as possible”. I stared at the Google results some more, and was noticing that more were about minimalist lifestyles, i.e. living without junk, than about minimalist art. Bingo. My “Eliminate all X” meta-concept quickly became “Eliminate as much junk from your hoard as possible”. Theme ideation success.
By 4 hours into the compo, I had a working prototype where you could walk about a room, and zap newspapers with your mouse. Having an early working prototype was a huge win, as always. I could turn in for the night satisfied that I was well underway.
I was very glad that I had recently done some work in blender 3D. I always have so much trouble with that program, as I find it very not-user-friendly. Fortunately, I remembered how to do most of what I needed to do. At first I wished I could pull in models from prior projects, but then later in the weekend I realized that I had actually created several general-purpose models that I can use in all of my future projects (except future Ludum Dares). Another win.
Keeping scope limited is key to something like a Ludum Dare, and I managed to limit scope very well. I did not feel a need for any kind of supplemental game engine with this project. I didn’t even have to pull in my code generator, though it was all warmed up and ready to go. There was even one point where Unity forced me to reign in my scope – originally, I had planned to model a 2-bedroom house, have specific types of junk for specific rooms, etc. It was immediately apparent upon a proof-of-concept test on my prototype, though, that Unity would not support the number of physics rigidbodies necessary to populate an entire house with junk. There would be no time to write any sort of complex custom engine to augment Unity physics to make it possible. So I had to scale back to a single-room design.
Since the project continued to go well all weekend, I was able to ensure myself adequate rest, and even spend some time with my wife, which contributed to my productivity at the keyboard. At no time this weekend did I feel harried or stressed about getting the game done. I was able to work at a comfortable pace and explore some tangents that bore results, such as the generated background music. This is how knowledge work should be done.
Speaking of the generated background music: the music was at the very bottom of my priority list. I think music is very important to a video game experience. It is a very effective tool for setting a mood. However, with no access to my Creative Commons resources, I had doubts that I would be able to put together something listenable for the music. I did some research before the compo, but did not find a tool that worked for me, until near the end of my work when I found cgMusic. I was able to quickly put together a soothing, generated piano piece that to me, was somewhat reminiscent of some of the Minecraft background music.
Keeping a constant, prioritized list of what needed to be done next helped to keep focus on important tasks and prevent scope creep. Constant integration and testing made sure that the project never strayed too far off track.
Unity3D continues to be a solid game development engine. Without it, such rapid development of a 3D game would not be possible. Everything just worked, as it usually does.
What Could Have Went Better?
It’s hard to come up with much for this category. There were no epic fails, no cases where hours of work had to be thrown away, no stubborn bugs to chase deep into the night.
I struggled for quite some time with how to balance/utilize the money mechanic. In my testing, I had quickly concluded that the dominant strategy in early prototype builds was to completely ignore the selling and money mechanic and focus solely on trashing. I was worried that I was going to have to remove these interesting details in the name of minimalism when I figured out to use some of the special events (one of the last features implemented) to give the player some motivation to keep some money on hand.
Ludum Dare was a lot of fun, and I’m glad I did it. I now have another game under my belt, another portfolio piece to showcase, some art assets I can re-use elsewhere, and the confidence of knowing I can deliver a game based on a given theme inside of 48 hours. I would recommend this experience to any journeyman game developer.
If you haven’t already, check out (and vote when the time comes) on Dehoarder in the compo entries! Thanks!
I am proud to announce to the Ludum Dare community that I have finished my entry in the 2011 October Challenge.
The game is “Project: Wheatgrinder” and can be had for the unbelievable price of $2 here!
Zephyr, my game from LD 23 is now available on the iTunes App Store.
When I originally created the game a few people commented on how well it work with a touch screen, so I’m happy to finally have a version that runs on iPad and iPad mini.
I’m keeping the game free until after LD 26, so get it while it’s fresh if you want to try it out.
And by finally I mean… I started it in the ludum dare 23
Maybe some of you might remember it, so I’m posting the end result here:
it’s a very simple game but at least kind of addictive:
“The type of game you can play for 20 minutes without noticing” is the best review I got here, and that’s great because that’s what I was going for.
The web version is here: