Posts Tagged ‘ugly’
Finished I guess. The minions didn’t make it in. They are so close to being ready but oh well It’s already late. I had a unicorn with a horn-stab move all ready too. ah well.
What it needs is gamepad input. And some scrolling, and the minions!
Ludum Dare 8 was my second ‘short term’ game programming contest, and my first solo. The theme was ‘swarms.’ I was bound and determined to do an RTS game this time, since my partners in team compos always want to do something actiony. I think I actually wanted robots or magnets or something like that.
I thought it would be nifty if instead of directly building units, you had to attract units with various buildings. So you start with a base and 1 swarm. There are resource buildings (Apple, Flower, and Metal) that you can hover over that will give you various resources. You also have a base. You can build either Apple or Nectar huts in your base. These increase your attraction rates for food or nectar. (It was originally going to be food and sex, if you read the code. I guess bees have sex with flowers or something.) Once bugs are attracted to your base, you can add them to existing swarms, or break them off into new swarms. You can also build Radar to increase your attraction range, or buildings to increase the power or speed of your bugs.
Initially this was going to be swarm vs. swarm warfare, but I ran out of time pretty quickly. (I’ll go into my mistakes below.) So instead the computer just sent a specified number of waves with a specified strength at you at regular periods, and you needed to have swarms built up and ready to fight when they came.
Obviously one of my largest problems was art. As you can tell from my screenshot, It’s ugly. Really really ugly. All the art in the game was ‘placeholder’ art that I was going to go back and fix. That never happened. Secondly, I panicked at about 30 hours. I barely had an engine, and the deadline was closing in. I actually ‘gave up.’ I came back to it, and finished up later. Thirdly I didn’t have a good plan. I know I wanted an RTS, but I didn’t have a good execution plan. I also bit off WAY more then I could chew back then.
My tips for beginners are:
- Make a plan – Seriously, take that first hour, and may out some code to get rid of the urge. THen take the next hour or two, and make a task list. What code does your idea need? Divide it up into tasks. As you go along, check things off that you’ve put in.
- Take breaks – This is always a newbie mistake too, but, make sure you take regular breaks. 48 hours, even with a couple of sleep periods, is plenty of time to get something done.
- Start Small – It’s much easier to add to a simple game then it is to try and cram in everything a more complex game needs.