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Ludum Dare 30 — August 22nd-25th 2014 — Theme: Connected Worlds
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    Posts Tagged ‘timelapse’

    Ludum Dare Virgin – Retrospective

    Posted by
    Thursday, August 28th, 2014 11:02 am

    As the title says, this was my first LD, and I’m proud to say that I actually “finished” a game.
    I was streaming for almost 30 hours, here’s a 5 minute timelapse video of the weekend:

    The game I created, HexConquest, is a turn based strategy game, made with Unity.
    Here it is

    When I woke up on saturday, the competition was already 7 hours in, and I tried to come up with an idea as fast as possible. The first idea was a strange tower defense game, but I tossed it pretty fast. I could reuse the tile generation code I created for the tower defense game for my second project. The second idea was to create a playing field controlled by different fractions, and the player should use his units to conquest the enemies’ zone to connect his main world to others. As you see in the list below, I didn’t get to actually implement the “zone”-thingy, that’s why the theme may not appear obvious…

    I didn’t make a plan (one of the things I want to do different next time), so it was pretty chaotic. I spent a lot of time with the pathfinding, so I had to do the A.I. (a topic on which I don’t have any experience with at all) and game objective in a rush and couldn’t even start creating sound/music anymore.

    Saturday:

    • Grid
    • Units
    • Action Menu
    • Textures
    • Move
    • Particle Effects

    Sunday:

    • Pathfinding
    • Planets & Conquest
    • Build/Repair-Actions
    • Round Manager
    • A.I.
    • HUD

    The game has some serious usability problems, few bugs and calls for an overhaul. Until the next LD, I will spend time to improve everything and implement all the features I wanted in the beginning.

    As I’m only a hobbyist developer, I learned more over a single weekend than I learned in all the months I was using Unity before, most likely because I never finished a game and never had to deal with every subject of development.
    This was the first, but definitely not the last LD for me!

    PS: Thanks for all the feedback on my game, it helps a lot.

    Saturday Night Symbiosis Timelapse

    Posted by (twitter: @oujevipo)
    Thursday, August 28th, 2014 10:21 am

    I just uploaded a timelapse for my game Saturday Night Symbiosis.
    If you haven’t played the game yet, you still can find it here : http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=1874

     

    DON’T. BREAK. MIRRORS. | Post Mortem

    Posted by
    Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 10:23 am

    I worked a lot harder on this Ludom Dare then the last one. Did it pay off? Well, I think it did… I mean, my game is kind of amusing, and longer than my last entry. But there are still some things I would like to have worked on more, or added.

    The Good

    I kept on schedule through this LD. Everything I did took as much time as I thought it would. Friday, I started the project. I came up the concept for my game, and once I got back from dinner with my family, I made a few sprites, and a background. I also started music. I finished the fight scene on the Saturday, and even made some extra sounds and graphics for Sunday. On Sunday, I finished the intro and handed in the game!

    I came in luck with the music. I can’t make good music, no matter how hard I try. I tried fake music generator, but it wasn’t generating the type of music I needed. And I could make what I wanted on Otomata, (which is a really cool music device btw), so I went to Abundant Music. It generated a super slow song, that had potential. I sped the song up (a lot), on Audacity, and boom! Nice background music, (well I think it’s nice)!

    I figured out how to check if the player is walking on ground in Unity2D, for the first time. I also made it so he has to jump over a gap, which was pretty good.

    I learned the difference between OnTriggerEnter2D, and OnCollisionEnter2d, which is great because I always seem to have trouble with collision detection in Unity2D, and that probably was part of the reason!

    Graphics were pretty good. I’m not very good at making them, but thanks to the powers of Gimp, they didn’t look to shabby!

    Screenshot 2014-08-27 09.09.02

    Screenshot!

    The Bad

    Difficulty. The game was way to easy. For some reason Unity had this glitch where, some of the mirror beams would travel faster than I coded them to when I ran the game, (thank God it doesn’t happen in the build)! This made it harder for me to win when I was testing, so I thought the game was harder.

    The intro was too long, and the game was to short. I should have made the intro more faster, and more interactive. And the game longer, and harder.  I find it sad that my game didn’t have a lot of gameplay, because that was what I was trying to focus on this competition!

    I should have made it so you are able to skip the cutscenes. They really get annoying after a while.

    Controls were a bit funky. You have to press the down arrow to go duck, and the down arrow to get up again. I used to have it so you press the up arrow to get up, and up arrow to jump once standing. But I found that made it harder to jump over the mirror beams , (especially with Unity making them super fast). So I made it so you can press the up arrow to jump when ducking, and the down arrow to stand when ducking. It’s kind of confusing to press the down arrow to get up though. It’s actually ironic in a way…

    Animation wasn’t the greatest, but I do suck at graphics, so how good could it have been?

    I had to make a lot of sprites. One for each deformation of Alex, in jump pose, duck pose, and stand pose. What I should have done was make four different versions of his head, each with a different deformation, and moved them whether he was jumping, ducking or standing. But oh well, what can you do?

    In the scene where Alex’s mirror breaks, I should have made the text “My reflection.”,  fade out faster. And I should have made the scene after fade in, because it all of a sudden just appears!

    My Overall Feelings

    Overall I think this was a pretty good LD. I learned some things, and found some cool new tools that I might use in the future. Though my game is short, and there wasn’t that much game play, it’s crazy, and funny, and I had fun making it!

    Timelaspe

    And finally if you want to play my game, you can find it here.

    LD #30 post mortem: I am dead

    Posted by (twitter: @JangoBrick)
    Monday, August 25th, 2014 6:18 pm
    I wanted to devote a few minutes to thinking about the last few days – the preparation for Ludum Dare, and eventually taking part in it.
    (First of all: the pun in the title is not intended! I just noticed it. Fun times!)
    This is the aftermath of this Ludum Dare - my desk is full of all kinds of stuff. And it's already cleaned up a little - looked even worse before!

    This is the aftermath of this Ludum Dare – my desk is full of all kinds of stuff. And it’s already cleaned up a little – looked even worse before!

    The Preparation

    I did two things in preparation for this Ludum Dare.
    I improved my game engine a lot in the recent days, so that I had something good to work with. That went nicely, I added a whole lot of things that I actually made use of in the compo.
    I also did something I didn’t do for the last Ludum Dare, I thought about the themes a lot. I looked at the 20 “finalists”, sat back, and wrote one or two sentences about all of them. Well, almost all of them – I didn’t have any ideas for some… unfortunately, the winner, “Connected Worlds”, was one of those.
    Still, this was a good exercise; I got to use my fantasy and be creative (which is fun!). Also, it wasn’t too bad that I didn’t write down an idea for Connected Worlds – a very basic part started to grow soon after the theme was announced.

    The Compo Itself

    I will split this into different parts, so that it’s easier to read and also easier to write ;-)

    The theme is announced: getting a fundamental idea

    This was a critical part. As I said it earlier, I got the base idea pretty fast – that is, two worlds in a splitscreen window, where you have to do things in both screen parts (worlds) to win the level.
    But there was a problem arising: I had no plan how to push that further. Well, somehow I got to some jumping things, then I decided to make them slimes, and then they started to move to the right by themselves.
    There was the game idea: move them in an intelligent way, so that they don’t get stuck. When one goes out-of-screen, the player has lost.
    Still, this was a very slow process. It could have been faster. A LOT faster. You can’t really develop a game when you have no idea what you want to do, can you?

    The first playable build, advancing from there

    It took a lot of time until I had something playable. That was mainly caused by the missing ideas, I guess.
    But after I had that, things were a lot quicker. I added more tiles, made the worlds’ backgrounds, and implemented power-ups (which I removed from the game later on, they were unnecessary).
    Also, since I was livestreaming the whole thing (will talk about that later), I was able to gather a few useful ideas from my viewers. The most remarkable one is the eponymous rubber band between the slimes. This also added to the “connection” part of the theme. I am happy this was mentioned!

    Graphics

    I absolutely loved making the graphics for this game! Especially the lowres ones, for example the slimes. This was also quite a quick process, with a nice outcome.

    Sounds and music (first music I ever made!)

    Making the sounds was also relatively simple with the help of Bfxr. The rubber band sound comes from an actual rubber band, though.
    Creating a piece of music was fun! It also was the first time I ever made any music in my whole life. Considering that, I think I can be proud of the soundtrack.

    Level design & testing

    Level design is a completely different topic. That went horrible! I’m never going to make a game similar to this in any game jam – simply because of this one experience.
    It really was a pain to do: paint some pixels on the level sheet, start the game, play the level, find out it’s impossible to do, change a few pixels, need 7 tries to get to the specific location, works, screw up on the next part, another 15 tries, make it easier, back to the game, …
    I think you got the point by now. This, by the way, went on for probably more than 6 hours without a break.
    Nope, not doing that again. NEVER.

    Eating and sleeping

    I slept way too little, nobody can prove me wrong. That resulted in my being completely dead when the compo ended. It likely lowered my enthusiasm, too. Although, if I had slept more, then I wouldn’t have made it in time I suppose.
    Opposed to my expectations, I ate and drank enough. Heck, I drank even more than I normally do! But that really was necessary, otherwise I would’ve gotten a bad headache.

    Some thoughts about livestreaming

    Livestreaming is a great thing in Ludum Dare, it is both fun for the viewers and support for the streamers. So, it is a win-win thing, isn’t it?
    Yes, it is – for the popular streamers at least. For people like me, who are not popular and also maybe new to the overall streaming thing, this doesn’t apply unfortunately. I got 5 viewers at one or two occasions, but that was it. I wish there had been a bit more people coming to the smaller channels as well. I mean, it’s about watching people make games, isn’t it unimportant who the streamer is?

    After submitting

    After submitting my game, I still had about three hours left. I used these to watch a few livestreams. The people there have come up with absolutely nice ideas, I have to say! Well, then the compo was over, and the only thing I could think was “SLEEP!”.
    Here I am now, after having slept way longer than I usually do. I am editing my timelapse footage and writing this ‘post mortem’, which literally feels like after death.
    I am waiting for things to normalize again… it is a bit of a strange feeling now.
    But more importantly, the overall experience during the compo, all that excitement and fun (I had a lot of fun! This post is just more focused on stuff I could improve, that’s why it sounds rather negative.) lead to the wish of repeating this.

    I can’t wait for the next Ludum Dare! #LD31!

    Building Bridges Post Mortem + Timelapse

    Posted by
    Monday, August 25th, 2014 12:35 pm

    I can’t believe how tired I am today. I went out of coffee this weekend and I was too tired to buy some more today – thats how tired I am :)

    Anyways. I made a game, using Unreal Engine 4 this weekend. Not everything went as planned for my first LD entry, but I am happy with it.

    The Game

    Title

    You control a UFO with lunar lander type of controls, only one engine to apply thrust upwards and you have to cancel each movement out with a counter thrust, so you basically fly like a helicopter.

    The goal is to grab a bit of building material and deliver it into the building zone of the bridge until it is finished. So far so good, I had the theme down.

     

    link: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=40589

     

    The World

    The world consists of many small to medium sized floating islands. I planned to populate them with a species that struggled to visit their friends and families that lived on another island. But I had to cut the population for time reasons (only indicators are the hot air balloons).

     

    The Good Things

    • I like how challenging it is, I love challenging games in general, gives you a bit of satisfaction beating them.
    • I made something that looked good, for me as a software engineer, art is always the hardest part.
    • I MADE A GAME AND RELEASED IT

    The Bad Things

    • you guys don’t seem to like the controls or how challenging it is
    • I had no time to build up a proper communication with the player. I can not tell you why or how you are supposed to build a bridge. With the knowledge I have about Usability and User Experience, I am not happy with the result.
    • I had to cut a lot of cool gameplay mechanics due to time reasons :P
    • The building material makes no sense at all, you basically grab rocks and throw them at a bridge to build it :P

    Conclusion

    For my next LD, I will probably do something smaller, probably 2D to implement a bit more stuff. But actually I am really happy with the outcome of this one, even though it has it’s flaws.

     

    Timelapse

    I recorded pretty much every second (minus the hour my internet crapped out) and I made a little timelapse. 30 hours of work compressed to 18min.

    I couldn’t make is shorter, it is already way too fast to not get headache watching it :P

     

     

    LD30 Compo – Post Mortem

    Posted by
    Monday, August 25th, 2014 10:25 am

    I appear to be afraid of making games.

    My LD26 submission was an immersive world with graphics and audio, interactions and special effects, challenge and progress.  It was clunky, confusing, cheesy, and short, but it was a game.

     

    When LD27 rolled around, I looked through my feedback  and made a plan.  Graphics and interface were the biggest complaints I received, so I focused on a clean interface and smooth graphics.  In that, I succeeded… but at the loss of a complex goal, and immersive interaction.  The comments indicated such, but I didn’t get the hint.

     

    LD28 added back some of that interaction, and gave the player a means to manipulate the ways they interacted with the game.  It added back a challenge and goal, but lost the graphical and auditory polish, and it required content to really shine.  Most of my time was spent on the upgrade interface, which was lauded, but the game suffered for it.

     

    I didn’t feel too bad about my LD30 submission.  I mean, it was missing 90% of my desired features, the graphics got skipped again, and I didn’t have enough time to playtest it well, so it’s statistically unlikely you’ll complete even a single objective…  but that’s Ludum Dare right?  600 lines of code later, the inventory system works, the random goal and automatic goal-checking works, the random resource generation and base-color modification works, and the entire backend ties together in a bug-free manner.  There are simple particle effects, some moody ambient audio, and a few hurried attempts at humor…  It’s still a moderately successful submission.

     

    The comment that really kicked me in the gut was, “Nice GUI Demo”.  I know they didn’t mean it maliciously, but really?  The worst part is, I can’t argue with it.  I watched my timelapse, and I spent almost the entirety of the Compo mucking with the GUI.  You don’t interact with the planets (yes, those were supposed to be planets), you push buttons. Everything is a button.  You don’t live in this world at all.  It worked for Adventure Games, but I guess we grew out of those in the late 90′s.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqaDeRtaiUY

     

    Immersion is hard.  And evidently important.

    Amidst the complaints Elder Scrolls Online receives (yes, random neuron firing here), one is how they focused on a nearly GUI-free experience.  I’m beginning to understand their decision.

    My goal for Ludum Dare 30 was to make a game that didn’t disappoint me.  Instead, I think I discovered one of the issues holding me back.  Just as good, I’d say.

    Timelapse of my development process

    Posted by
    Sunday, August 24th, 2014 3:24 pm

    I’ve made a timelapse of my development process for my game “Danger Zones”.
    Please also check out the game itself, thank you!

    My game

    LD#30 (Almost killed me, but I did it :)

    Posted by
    Sunday, August 24th, 2014 1:32 pm

    I will post a more detailed account of what went right, what didn’t, etc. AFTER I get some sleep. But my game has been submitted.

    I have also uploaded a TimeLapse Video, which I will also document better later. But if you want to take a peek it’s HERE. And should be viewable in a browser when Google is done processing it.

    Congratulations to everybody that has submitted, and have a great day.

     

    LD#30 Game

    LD48 #30 entry – Mushroom Connects

    Posted by (twitter: @imsofoof)
    Sunday, August 24th, 2014 12:36 pm

    Finally, I had time! This is my first entry for actual LD48 compo.

    mushroomconnects

    Mushroom Connects (between worlds) – an RPG (boring as hell, nothing interesting happens there) where you have to find a magical leaf to save all worlds. Yes, this mushroom was inspired by psylocybin. And the so called “weird” world was also inspired by psychedelics (that flashing walkable tile has codename LSD, check XCFs ;p).

    So little time as for an RPG, so I used single layer (because I had no time for map editor, everything done by hand). 40 sprites, one map, 3 sounds, 3 midis, even more images and a lot of code ;x. Also I had no time (and energy) to make all the corners and edges of the map. But still if I had 2-3 days more, I would make it an actual game engine.

    A short timelapse here: http://foofland.tumblr.com/post/95663338953/a-little-timelapse-footage-from-the-beginning-of

    Entry here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=28932

    Not going well!

    Posted by
    Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 6:10 pm

    So the first night I had the idea of an unreachable area in levels that would have another person (controlled by AI).  You could see them through glass, and maybe communicate via hand signals.  I was thinking of puzzles like levers controlling doors on the other side and such.OopsStripey

    After sleeping I thought it was a silly/bad idea and maybe take too long to get going.  So I thought maybe the connected worlds could be the real world and a game world.  So the player could be a gold farmer.  You’d sit and play World of Borecraft and sell items for real world money.

    With the money you could buy better food or new stuff to make yourself more healthy or better at the game.FarmerRoom

    After a while the idea grew sour, and I started thinking about spaceships hauling wormhole construction components between planets, science/magic levels with lots of teleporter puzzles between them, or a cosmic toy breaking sim where you smash planets together for fun.

    I’ve thrown em all out, and still trying to think of something but less than a day left.  Here’s a timelapse of my so-far failure:

    Closing for tonight

    Posted by (twitter: @agilejoshua)
    Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 5:59 pm

    I realise that I will not be completing my entry in time for participating in the compo. I have let myself be sidetracked by technical issues which was what I set out to not allow.

    I will come back to the game – maybe complete it as a “One Game A Month”. Anyway my last timelapse is here, as you can see at the end I got the sprites moving the way I wanted on OSX, Win32 and iOS – so in that sense it was a success…

    http://youtu.be/g0iKADBBo1M

    Failure is always an option!

    Posted by (twitter: @agilejoshua)
    Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 2:06 pm

    Still not going as I had hoped… I underestimated the learning curve for switching to CocosSharp with the nuget deployed version of MonoGame compared to using the GitHub master versions of Cocos2d-XNA and MonoGame which is what I have used previously. Mostly everything works but when I get stuck I can’t just leave things unresolved, which is good for learning but bad for a 48 hour challenge! So I get dragged down into trying to figure out how to resolve issues instead of pushing the game challenge forwards. Sigh…

    This is what I have been doing plus there has been some time in-between time boxes for research and also additional time outside in the real world.

    Time box 10

    Fixing the Windows 8 rendering issues – worst case scenario drop windows 8 full screen for now.  There was a break in the middle of this one for some real world issues (food and wine).

    Time box 11

    Gaah!!! All the stuff that was broken (and took me hours looking at) is back up and working now without me doing anything other than eating and having a glass of wine… Setting up content asset project to get some visible stuff in there. Made massive invisible progress!

    Time box 12

    Trying to get a sprite on every device. Still issues with design time resolution. Seems almost fixed now but still no sprites on devices and more performance issues with the virtual machine that makes it impossible to work. :( Checked out some of the other games instead…

    Time box 13

    Setting up application resolution settings and researching how to handle multiple resolutions using CocosSharp. I think I understand how this is all supposed to work now (finally).

    http://youtu.be/u8AAgVipzg8

    Very little visible progress :(

    Posted by (twitter: @agilejoshua)
    Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 8:28 am

    Very little visible progress has been made. I now have a framework in place – CocosSharp & MonoGame and entry points for running the game on Windows 8, iOS, OSX and generic Win32. Unfortunately I have an offset issue with rendering on Windows 8 so most of the time nothing is visible on the screen.

    Time box 07

    Ran out of space on a virtual disk and needed to spend some time cleaning up stuff… Setting up basic application frameworks in Xamarin Studio.

    Time box 08

    Setting up projects to enable basic compile with CocosSharp. Finished cleanup of virtual disk to enable work in multiple environments.

    Time box 09

    Got Framework in place for CocosSharop and Xamarin with MonoGame for iOS, OSX, Win8 and win32 (more or less). Cant get stuff to render properly in Windows 8!

    Timelapse for these three timeboxes and the previous three:

    Summary of first three time boxes

    Posted by (twitter: @agilejoshua)
    Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 1:59 am

    This is my raw summary of what I have done in the first three time boxes, almost completely unedited…

    TB01 Log

    Looking for inspiration and ideas using http://orteil.dashnet.org/gamegen, flickr and google image search.

    The top game ideas that I have so far are not very good and not specific enough to start any kind of programming, art or audio…

    Connected Worlds primary idea: A browser game where you interrogate forests with nuclear warfare.

    After finding some great pictures on flickr with trees and plants connecting that is something that I think will go into the game design. Nature connecting with itself or with other things…

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/nuddaladden/12129738594

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicholas_t/7174698629

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/joceykinghorn/9887207575

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/tabor-roeder/4546391944

    TB02 Log

    Spend most if this time thinking about how the game idea could become a cohesive game… Not easy! Something with plants growing and blocking your way and then using nukes to clear a path. Not entirely politically correct… Timed game so you loose if the timer runs out but you can gain additional time by picking up stuff along the way. The timer is probably just that the trees grow and take up all the space that is available and then you get blocked by them…

    Gaah!!! time ran out on my two initial game design time boxes, will need to add one more and shift the rest of my plan forwards.

    TB03 Log

    Got the game idea more fleshed out – feeling quite good about it. Started on some rough placeholder art but nothing too complete or complicated yet. Already behind by at least one time box – so that is an issue with regards to the limited amount of time that is available for me over the weekend. Taking a break now to focus on getting a time-lapse setup, blogging reading about what others have done and then moving into my work room to continue with something that can run on a device/computer.

    Summary

    I’m a little (or a lot) behind but still feeling good about being able to get something completed – this is probably due to me only working on ideas and placeholders so far and avoid all the really difficult stuff… In addition to this I haven’t included time in my plan for editing timelapse video and posting updates. Below is the placeholder art that has been finished and a timelapse of the initial work.

    SupernovaVerse01 StandardVerse01 ChaosVerse01 BlackholeVerse01


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