Posts Tagged ‘timelapse’
Wayyy overdue, but we’ve both been super busy over the holidays and with work, so we haven’t been able to make any updates since then. But before the clock ticks down and LD is over, come on over and rate our game, “Darkest Friday“! It’s a snarky typing game Zeik and I made for this LD. I also have a timelapse you guys might enjoy?
Check out our game here!
One Gunman is my third official Ludum Dare entry, and it was my eleventh game developed for this site (including mini-LDs and warm-ups) since I registered in April 2013. I feel like I’ve learned a lot during that time, and these projects have definitely made me a better Unity developer. For this Ludum Dare, I knew I wanted to do something different.
After hearing the theme announced at our local Knoxville Game Design meetup, I knew I wanted to make the number “one” a central part of the game. Going with that approach, I decided to make the number “one” humanoid, since I knew how to quickly make meshes from text in Blender. I added eyes, arms, and legs, but the character was still sort of boring. I thought about some of the characters in my latest XBox Live Indie game TTY GFX ADVNTR, and remembered the character “Needles”, which is a humanoid cactus wearing a cowboy hat. Then I remembered playing the classic game GunSmoke at one of those 20-in-1 arcade machines not too long ago. There really haven’t been too many western themed games lately. Therefore, I gave my humanoid one a cowboy hat, boots, and a gun to shoot. I also went ahead and modeled a cactus in Blender as well as a background prop.
Another classic western game was Wild Gunman. I liked the Gunman name, so I decided to call this game “One Gunman”. The name is also sort of a play on the term “Lone Gunman”, which differs my game’s title name by just the leading “L”.
After creating the models, I got the main character imported into Blender and moving around. I also created some enemy boxes that moved around. Next, I implemented shooting projectiles. However, I quickly found that trying to aim on the X-Z plane with no lock-on could be quite difficult. Therefore, I limited the character to just being able to move left and right, and he is only able to shoot forward. This makes the game similar to other classic arcade shooters, except this game uses a third person view instead of a top-down birds eye view. Shooting enemies was fine, but it still seemed really boring.
One Gunman Time-lapse
Then I had the idea that One Gunman would shoot number sequences as the targets. For each enemy, I assigned a random digit value in the range of 2 through 9. First I decided to use evens and odds as the requirements. Once I got those working, I added a countdown so that the requirement would change periodically. I was really inspired by a game called Pig and Bullet, which makes the player switch between collecting red and blue bullets every few seconds. The problem with that game was that you never knew when the objective would change, so I added a visible countdown in my game. New objectives were added, such as Fibonaccis (2 3 5 8), Squares (4 9), and Perfects (6). I didn’t include 1 in the sequences, because that would mean that One Gunman would be wanted as well causing unneeded confusion. Each sequence also has a set reward associated with it, where the more complex sequences have higher reward values. For the lose condition, I made it so that the player lost a life if they run into a number or shoot an incorrect number. Finally, I rendered 3D numbers in Blender, which replaced the box enemy meshes in my game. I included statistics such as number of shots and accuracy percentage on the game over screen, which was inspired by other classic arcade shooters.
Since I had the core engine finished on the first day, I worked on polishing the game on the second day. A “WANTED” poster was added which displays the current objective in the lower right portion of the screen. The objective change countdown was converted into to a bar which shrinks as it nears zero. Like my previous entries, I used Garage Band on my laptop to make the music for the game. The piano and guitar sounds were primarily used to give the game a more western feel. Bxfr was used again for making the gunshot and other sound effects. Using my computer microphone, I recorded myself saying “Shoot X”, where X is the current objective. Then, the vocal recordings were modified a bit in Audacity to give it a better sound. The voice seems to really enhance gameplay, since it keeps the user’s attention on shooting the numbers, instead of looking at the Wanted poster. Finally, particle effects were added using a star texture that I made in Gimp. I tried changing the particle system color over time, but for some reason it just wasn’t working for me.
I learned a few lessons from this game. The first lesson is that people don’t like shooting at a perspective. I thought the controls were intuitive, but some people definitely found it difficult to shoot. The best I can explain the shooting controls is that it is similar to rolling a bowling ball on a bowling lane. The game could have included some additional visual cues to help line up the shots down range. I could have also used a top-down view, but then the player would not be able to see the details of the model that I had created. Using an orthographic projection may have helped as well, which would have kept the numbers and bullets traveling vertically on the monitor screen. Another option would be to highlight the number that the player is currently targeting, but I thought that may make the game too easy.
There was also some difficulty with getting the model moving correctly. When I assigned the armature, I used the default “with automatic weights” that I always use in Blender. However, since the arms and legs were so skinny, it didn’t properly weight paint all of the vertices. I’ve done manual weight painting before, but this model had some difficult to reach vertices. After some trail and error, I discovered that it is possible to pose the model while weight painting it. This made reaching some of the difficult to reach vertices much easier, and you can see the vertices snap into place while weight painting it.
Overall, I am satisfied with the game that I have created. I would have liked to made the other numbers humanoid as well, and I really needed to add more props to the environment. Things like buildings, dust, and tumbleweed could have really added to the environment. If I get the time to work on this game some more, I definitely think it could be turned into a great game.
Here is one of our programmers timelapse.
And our designer timelapses
Plus a little retrospect on how things went(Postmortem comes little bit later)
On day one, we gathered up on Saturday and spend first I think 4 hours writing ideas in to a Google Doc, and then going over them discussing.
We had plenty of funny ideas on a level of a story. But none were exactly that good in terms of game play idea.
We decided, why not to use all of them and make a quest game And so we did. Or at least started.
Idea was that you have only one day of life left, and at the end of it you die and go to hell or haven(or may be even other options).
Idea was to have linear quests, aka go there fetch that, with characters and other interactive items and some funny stories that effect where you end up in the end.
Then second day of compo came. By that time it was clear we are behind the scheduled so we did first pivot.
We decided that we will have kinda 4 story lines and which you play is random. First random element was on who you are. If you are atheist, satanist or some other not exactly haven material guy you actually want to go to hell(to hang around with atheists and other cool people). Or you do want to go to haven(such a cliche these days :D).
Anyways, second random element is which quest we give you, which determines if you win or loose. Soo, you may want to go to haven, you get a quest to help a child, but trough quest end up ruining his childhood and go to hell in the end
Then 3rd day came. We have day jobs so we gathered at 6pm to finis it up. And we worked till 5:30am considering some had a job to go to at 9am -_-
By now we decided to do another pivot. It would not change much, just make more use of content we had. Ida was to use Giant Turnip fairy tail as example
Basically ideas is that instead of “go there fetch that” all characters run with you. It saves time and leads to some funny combinations. All we needed was to add reactions of characters and achievements based combinations you got.
And we do have some such achievements there, like stopped zombie apocalypse, ruined childhood or stolen Christmas
That’s I think it, we would be thankful if you went and rated our game And may be have idea how to improve it too?
Hey there! Adhesion from team RADMARS here with our tri-annual Ludum Dare battle report. This time we did a fast-paced music-based melt-face cube-smashing WebGL game called VELOCITRON which you can play here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=18627
First up we got a timelapse and the long-awaited soundtrack to VELOCITRON:
First postmortem we got is Brendo‘s:
For Ludum Dare 28 I created a game titled The Collector. The goal was to collect score pips, while avoiding green platforms. At the end you would fire a bomb that would turn the green platforms into additional score.
What Went Wrong:
- Going into this Ludum Dare I had some very specific goals in mind for my game. It needed to have a score systems, because I wanted to have an online High-Score table. I had other ideas based on the theme, but none that would have had a score. So I went with this and about half way through just lost interest in it.
- While its a minor thing, I wanted to have a slider for sound and music levels, but I’ve never set the volume level in Construct 2 so I wasn’t sure how to go about it, as two global settings.
- Scaling and the positioning of objects. I spent quite a few hours messing with it, but never got it how I wanted. I wanted it to fill the browser area, but when I set it to do this it became a lot trickier to position the objects. In the end I set it to letterbox scale, so when its not in fullscreen (16:9 ratio) there is a black bar to the left and right.
What Went Right:
- The User Interface is much better than past attempts, as well as the way high scores are loaded and displayed. After giving up on the game part of the game I decided to focus in on the UI and the High Score table.
- The effect of the background changing. Depending on the difficulty you select the background changes from black to red as time goes on. But the color also indicates the number of platforms left. You start with 255 black platforms, and as they change into green platforms the background turns to red.
- The Highscore table worked the way I intended. The top 10 high scores for each difficulty are shown, additional scores will be shown on a webpage. Before the Ludum Dare my web-hosting was being really slow, but luckily it was all resolved before hand. I was a little worried about having it load the highscore each time you changes selected difficulty. given more time I would have loaded them into variables to display later. But so far I haven’t noticed it taking to long to load.
- Performance this time the game performs much better than my LD27 entry, the FPS seems to be a lot higher. Grant it there are a lot fewer objects being drawn.
- The sound effect for hitting a green platform is so satisfying sounding. It makes me want to collect them all.
What Is Next:
- I don’t plan to continue with this game, I think of it more as a testing and proving ground than a game. I learned a number of things about Construct 2 from doing this, and explored the limits of the software.
- The possible exception is if I decide to create a new website for my Ludum Dare games (and others) some sort of arcade website. Then I would probably spend some additional time on this game and the others just to polish it up some more. In particular I would like to use a different color for the four different difficulties. Also not sure that green is the best color for it.
- There have been some comments on how my use of color is backwards, and that green should be good and red bad. The argument is that the colors on a stop sign are green for go and red for stop. My counter argument is that in Legend of Zelda (and most games) Red represents health, whereas green represent poison.
In good LD tradition I recorded a time lapse which one could view here:
Also I created a little .gif with some gameplay, so all of you can enjoy my beautiful and attractive artwork:
I hope to also create a Post Mortem sometime, but until then you can still play and rate my game here
(Posted to my blog as well)
This past weekend was another Ludum Dare game competition, and the second one I’ve taken part in (this first you can read about here). I also organized a local meetup with the Knox Game Design group and we had five games in total submitted by the deadline. So without further adieu, here is my wrap up of what went right, and what went wrong!
Theme “You Only Get One”
For my game, YoGo Burger, I used the theme in a few ways. The setup is, due to some budget cuts, you can only put one topping on a burger. The customer will either be okay with it, or hate it and this will affect the amount of tip you get. To make matters worse, if a single customer complains to management you’ll be fired. To keep this from happening you use your tip money for bribes.
In practice the game is like playing multiple games of Mastermind at the same time. Customers will get back in line and order a second burger and if you remember what they liked before you can use that to get it right the second (and third, forth, etc) time. To make it interesting I reset the customer preferences each day, added more customers, and I also upped the value weights behind what they like and don’t. The effect is you’ll probably be deep in debt and fired by the end.
The design was very emergent. The initial idea was a Burger Time / Tapper / Diner Dash clone with one ingredient. It’s fair to say I didn’t really have a strong direction at the start, but as I added mechanics it began to take shape. I’m very happy with where I wound up and think that this kind of creative exercise is what the Ludum Dare excels at (even if the game isn’t fun for very long).
Programming in Unity
Just like the last time, I used the competition as an excuse to learn new technology. You might say this is the wrong time to learn something new, but twice now I’ve done it and shipped a game so we’ll have to agree to disagree. The new tech this round was Unity 4.3’s new 2D support.
Having working in Unity before, and having read up on the new features, this wasn’t so bad. Prior to the competition I had started porting my XTiled library to Unity, so I wasn’t completely green for this project. I had to google an issue here and there, but for the most part things went smooth. For the most part. Let’s talk animation…
Unity revamped their animation system for the 4.x release, and it’s now called “Mecanim”. It’s a very complex, yet powerful setup allowing you to define animations then link them with a state engine and create smooth transitions procedurally. That’s all good, but I need to move a sprite a few steps to the right and this seemed impossible. I’m sure spending more time with the system is what’s needed, but I have reservations about any system that cannot handle a simple, common use case well. If you cannot do the simple well, how am I to trust you won’t make the complex a nightmare?
In the end I wrote a few lines of code to handle all animations. I’m a programmer, it’s what I do.
Nothing good to report here.
I am no longer satisfied making excuses that “I’m a developer” or hearing “not bad for developer art” or worse “it’s so bad it’s good – you nailed the MS Paint ironic art style!”. See, I’m not trying for that. I don’t expect to be amazing, but I think it’s perfectly fine to expect decent. I commonly tell people I’m not “talented” I’ve just spent a lot of time writing code and anyone can reach where I’m at. I believe this to be true of anything, and it’s time I took my own advice.
So next year I’ll be reading up on art 101 and spending quality time with Gimp, Inkscape, and even Blender. Check back with me after 10,000 hours.
I needed exactly one sound effect for my game, so why is this even a section? Because it was my favorite part of the whole competition!
I wanted a cash register sound when a customer paid for their order, but because of the rules I cannot use anything I didn’t make during the competition and this include sound effects. Normally I’d use the amazing bfxr app to generate game sounds, but it wasn’t really suited for this task. I grabbed a portable microphone and headed out to hunt samples Foley style!
In the end I used a bell from my daughter’s bicycle and the opening and slamming shut a wooden drawer full of screws, bolts, and nuts. I then edited and combined those samples in Audacity, speeding up the playback by about 150%. The end result was a very convincing cash register ca-ching!
While I’m a horrible graphic artist, I am “decent” at music. This time I wanted to use my own guitar playing (as Dylan and Levi have done), however I’ve never actually hooked up a live instrument to FL Studio with my current audio gear. This led to a frustrating session of attempted guitar recordings before I decided there wasn’t enough time left to keep fooling with it and went with all synths – something I’m pretty comfortable with. (Yesterday I tried again, and it turns out I made a very simple mixer error).
The music inspiration came from the depressing, you-can’t-win-gameplay and reminded me of Papers Please. To get in the mood I loaded up some depressing Russian folk songs and waltzes until I had the right state of mind. Not going to win a Grammy, but I think it fit the game well.
And finally, as it tradition, here is a time-lapse of me making the whole thing – 17 hours compressed into 3 minutes!
Actually, I recorded all 48 hours, but coding parts were kind of boring, so I cut them out and made a video with game graphics evolution. It’s funny to watch at my super chaotic pixelart technique in action :D. Video is a bit long, but it demonstrates how changed my feeling of the game and stuff, so please enjoy.
Also, play and rate my entry :3
You Only Get One Colour is a minimalistic puzzle-platformer that tells you one story. The story of a boy who’s born with the inability to see more than one colour at a time. If you hadn’t played it yet (shame on you) you can find it following this link:
PLAY: You Only Get One COLOUR
What went right?
I think I’ve improved since my last (and first) solo Ludum Dare in some aspects. For starters I’ve slept 4/8/8 hours between Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That may sound like a waste of time and definitely something to talk about in what went wrong, but it’s not. Sleeping is important for two reasons:
- If you’re tired you think BAD.
- If you go to sleep thinking in a problem, you may catch a creativity spark that lights the path to success.
I had my idea while I was trying to get some sleep in the whole excitement of Ludum Dare. This is something I heard seasoned LDers advise, but could believe it. Now I know it’s something good.
I performed very well at planning. Although I got a bit distracted (see next section) I had a plan from the very beginning to finish the game on time. I kept a list of things to do with priorities using Trello. Sure, I spent some time creating the tasks and sorting them from higher to lower priority, but the thing paid off. I got stuck some times, but the plan persisted and pointed me always in the right direction.
Finally, I think I made a good workflow. I’ve heard the word workflow many time, but it was just recently that I understood what it actually meant. For me, workflow is the process between someone creating an asset (music piece or texture) and your game using it. You want to make that process as fast and agile as possible. You don’t want to manually add all your textures into a texture map. You don’t want to manually encode your WAV files into MP3s or OGGs. You don’t want to manually pack all the files required to publish the game.
Since a while back, I keep creating my texture maps using ImageMagick. I even wrote a post about it. I also use Bash in Windows to make some scripts for the encoding of the audio assets from WAV to its appropriate format (usually OGG). That allows me focusing on creating the assets, not preparing them for production. Ah! And the levels are created using GIMP. I can visualise the level while creating it. This helped me minimise the level errors (although the difficulty still sucks).
What went wrong?
The game suffers from some terrible diseases. The most important one I think it’s that I didn’t think of the audience, especially when I was playtesting. I was unaware of how a good player I was becoming, so I kept making levels that were a challenge to me. I was so worried about making levels too easy that I didn’t realise I was loosing my audience. I was making a game for me. That’s fine if that’s what you want, but it wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted people to enjoy the game. Instead I can almost certainly say that no one, besides me, has seen the end of the game (:<)
Next time I NEED time to polish level design.
Another thing that I did wrong was distractions. It’s not that I was doing other things apart from Ludum Dare, but I was spending time in the wrong tasks. I tried to learn how to use tile maps in FlashPunk and I ended up creating my own lite version of tile maps from scratch… Not recommended if you’re participating in a tight schedule competition. I also spent lots of time doing things that ended up in the trash bin. For example, those special brushes that were a pain to create and code.
Next time I NEED to focus on the game and avoid risky routes.
Finally, I think besides good intentions one needs skill to do something cool. I’m terrible at graphics and audio. I’m a poor artists. That’s something that I can improve practising. I can train doing graphic and audio challenges before the competition gets started. After all, you must train all you can before Ludum Dare!
Things to keep doing:
- Sleep well! You need your brain at 100%.
- Prioritise and focus on the most important task. Keep track of things to do and update that list often.
- Optimise your workflow so everything is made automagickally.
Things to do next time:
- Think of your audience and drive your decisions based on them!
- Avoid risks focusing on your plan.
- Train all year your skills. You don’t want to spend time thinking how to make a 1px brush with Gimp.
As with all advices, take mine with caution. I don’t know the ultimate truth about competitions and I’m ALWAYS learning. I do hope that you enjoyed the reading and the game
Bonus track: You can see my pain in this (time+face)lapse!
Hi! I finally had some time to made some pretty video from screenshots of me creating the One Rogue. Because I didn’t have time to show anything during the compo here is “multi-screenshot” from the game:
It’s almost traditional roguelike rpg.. almost.. You wouldn’t find any items in the level! But what’s the point then? You have to kill at least N enemies to open the gate, where N is equal “how many times you went through the gate” + 1. Then you will receive three random items but you can pick only one. You enter the gate.. And again!
I’m planning to made post-compo version with more balanced game-play, better controls and few more locations and items during the upcoming weekend. I will also try to make version for Android..
Enjoy the time-lapse!
Day zero was the night of the theme announcement. Eight of us sat around and bounced ideas off of each other, trying to identify what people would immediately think of (“one shot,” “one life”) and then move on from there. While wondering about objects that were inherently unique, I thought of the Olympic torch, and rapidly got to a concept where you are a primitive tribesman trying to carry a precious gift of fire through a raining jungle fraught with danger. In fairly little time, I had a 3D capsule moving around terrain tiles in Unity, with fire reflecting off normal maps generated with Crazy Bump. It was a promising start, with the potential for procedurally generated levels.
But something didn’t feel right. At one AM, six hours after the competition had started, I was moving around my world and realized it wasn’t fun. It worked, and it would be challenging once more gameplay was in, but it felt claustrophobic and tense. I think there’s a time and place for that, but if you aim at that target, you have to crush it. Falling short would just result in a comical failure that undercuts itself at every turn.
What broke my momentum completely was the realization that dynamic shadows are a no-go in Unity if using an Orthographic camera. Shadows were critical to the mood, and while I’m capable of creating 3D assets in a weekend, it would soak up far more time than a friendlier sprite-based solution. Tired and emotionally drained, I shut down the computer and left.
On the drive home, I thought about how people would be going through these games like popcorn, and how the games I enjoyed playing were light-hearted and fun. So why the hell was I making a game about a frightened Mayan warrior pounding through the Yucatan in the middle of a night storm?
I had to have an orthographic camera to keep art costs in line, and I wanted a sense of speed and motion. A knowing smile crossed my lips as I realized I would be following one of our medium’s ancient and accepted forms: the platformer.
After four hours of sleep, I returned to the lab, created a new project in Unity, and got to work. By midnight, I had a game with:
- A platforming hero run by physics
- A torch that burns down a stick for fuel (providing a handy in-game meter)
- A realistic fire that dims and eventually dies
- An ability to “blow” on the fire and see it blaze back to life
- Rain that stopped you from blowing on the fire unless you were under shelter
- Terrain that was low friction if a) stone and b) under rain
- Procedurally generated levels that had inputs like total length, number of platforms, gap min/max, height change min/max, enemy placement, rain shelter, big blocks, etc.
- Two enemies
- Game progression (start, level 1, level 2, etc. end)
Here’s a timelapse of all that being put into play. Tomorrow I’ll post the art portion. Thanks for reading!
BONUS FRESH PRINCE DANCING GIF (if you enjoyed the ones in the video)
My second LD experience and it was just as awesome as the first. This time around remote deving and using Git/BitBucket source control and it worked out awesomely for our workflow.
I really like how we planned our design out, because it had 3 distinct phases planned. If any 1 of the phases were complete there would be an experience there. Whilst we only managed to finish the first phase – which is quite a shallow experience – I’m pleased with how much content I managed to create. I don’t consider myself to be an artist that can work very fast but I find LD to be the perfect event to try increase my work speed. I phaff way too much and LD’s time restriction really helps you call “Done” faster, mostly because I think of Done as Done, for now. I’ll come back and clean you up if we got time, and we did.
The first iteration of the character animation was a two solid graphic states with wobble animations that lasted 10 frames or so, I then revisited the character to make a cut out animation with multiple graphic swaps for different body parts and I think it turned out awesomely. It’s the first time I’ve animated properly in the new unity animated editor, it’s far better than before, but still lacking BASIC functionality that all other 3d animation editors have.
That’s really the number one lesson I learned this time round: Make art fast and dirty that covers the extent of what you planned, then revisit and clean up the really bad stuff.
Iteration is King and spend your time where you’ll “see” it the most. Because of whatever reasons your games scope isn’t as big as you first planned, the asteroids you painted didn’t get put in because of X. When you only spend 10 mins on it it’s not going to be so bad that it got cut, you also need to reassess every half day or so to find out what assets you should be making or not, figure out if you still in good standing to complete the scope you have planned.
We planned out a ship phase in the first 20 mins of the dev which didn’t happen. Because of our reassessment on day 2 (at which point I had mostly completed what we needed for the suit phase) meant that I had the time that I would have been spent working the ship on improving the quality on what we already had going.I’m by no means the guru of time management, but I do believe I did a really good job this time round with where I spent my time.
Play Wrecked here
Watch my timelapse of the art for Wrecked dev here:
It’s barely a game, but it is one. End movie is gobbledygook, I just wanted to check if I could do a cinematic scene.
The tiles aren’t that awful, and there’s some potential in the silhouette sprite.
Had a last minute crash bug, and some trouble getting the composite creature’s body parts to co-operate. I intend to do a postmortem later on, since there were some interesting things…
I’m quite happy with the amount of interop I could get out of Tiled. I guess I could go up to, say, having objects contain a “script” parameter, and then write logic in there, even.
Biggest problem? I didn’t start jammin’ until about 4 hours before the deadline, and it’s a bit questionable if I even made it. I was just exhausted.