Cold Remembrance – Ludum Dare 31

Click to go to the entry's page

Click to go to the entry’s page

As I said last post, two weeks ago there was another Ludum Dare. This time, the theme was “Entire Game on One Screen”. First of all, here’s the timelapse:

At first, I didn’t like this theme at all. For me, it meant no scrolling, no menus, no other states… What you see when the game starts is everything that will be there at the end. At first, I said “screw this” and decided to have a arena shooter that had falling craters making the arena smaller. You would be able to destroy those craters to gain some more space and time, until more crates fell again. I gave up quickly because I didn’t like the idea so much (and thought it wouldn’t be as simple as I thought).

Then, I started to draw a “iron ball attached by chains to the mouse (I’ll call it simply ‘chain-ball’)”. I didn’t have any ideas for gameplay, perhaps I’d have it attached to a ship and you would have to destroy incoming ships while avoiding death… Notice, that I had already gave up my interpretation on the theme. So long as the game was inside a single screen it would be OK for me.

The only I had at the beginning

The only I had at the beginning

So, for stupids reason that I don’t remember, I didn’t bother to thinking about how the physics of the chain-ball should work… I simply tried to code it to behave like I expected. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t work at all as I had expected. So I blamed the theme, gave up that idea and started to draw a snowman.

It all started with this sprite...

It all started with this sprite…

If you weren’t into the theme voting, on Round 4, one of the themes were “☃”… Yeah, an ASCII (or unicode, whatever) for a snowman. It won that round by a large margin and seemed like a favorite to be the theme this time. Even though I also didn’t like this theme at first, this was the first that came to my mind, and thus the drawing. It was also a sub-theme for many others participants.

After drawing it I finally had the idea of making the story of a [SPOILERS] snowman reminiscing about the time between when it was built and when it melted, and how it “tried to survive the passing of seasons by staying where was winter currently”.[/SPOILERS] I was aware that this didn’t made a lot of sense, but I gave it a try, anyway. It was also almost 12 hours in, so I didn’t have much choice.

I drew everything before starting to code or to think about the actual story.It was quite fun to draw all the seasons but Autumn. I couldn’t see it as anything other than a mess of orange and yellow, which wasn’t coming out nice in as few as 20×8 pixels. I didn’t gave it much thought at the moment because the assets were still temporary by then.

All that time, I slacked off a lot. You can see me on twitter and on the LD’s site for quite a while on the timelapse. Also, I spent quite some time away from the computer (though I took it off of the timelapse, as the screen would stay blank for a while). In the mean time, I finally added the assets into the game.

I wouldn’t have too much free time on the following day, so I tried my best to have a functional game by the end of Saturday.

This is how the game looked by the end of Saturday

This is pretty much how the game looked by the end of Saturday (I think I this pic is only missing particles…)

Somehow, I was able to do it. I still had to redo all the assets, fix a few bugs and… something else that I’ve already forgotten.

Other than only having 8 hours to work on the game Sunday, nothing remarkable happened. I redid all the graphics, added sound effects and finally got to packaged the game. I only got to make an Android version the next day, as I had only slept around 3 hours from Saturday to Sunday and really needed to rest.

I’m really happy with the outcome. This should come as no surprise, since I even added it to this blog’s header. But looking back at the game, and at some comments I’ve received… It’s quite a simple and stupid game, right? You simply hold a button and watch a story, there’s no real gameplay…

So, I’ve been working on a post-compo version. One thing that I want to “fix” is to make its native resolution to be 320×240. This is the smallest that I like to work with (except when trying to do crazy stuff… I’ll have to post about it, someday). I’ve already made a border for the game, so I can keep the “game screen” smaller, which I think is fitting for this game. But I’ve yet to start drawing the actual game…

gfm_ld31-pc_mockup

Well, that’s it for now… I’ll post soon with a selection of games from this LD.

Until then!

LD#31, prelude

Two weeks ago was Ludum Dare, and I just noticed that there are a few games I’ve yet to talk about here… I’d better take that off of the to-do list before talking about this last LD…

True Sight – Global Game Jam 2014

though I don't advise you to do so...

Click to play…

It’s been just a little while since I’ve made this game… mere 11 months ago (back in January/2014)… And I’ve yet to say a single thing about it…

Well, I took part of this year GGJ with two friends, but stuff happened and they gave up on the evening of the first day, when we had as few as only a vague idea and, background I had started drawing before and a character facing right. I refused to give up and finished the game as I understood it, during the second day. Since I didn’t have a lot of time and didn’t understand the idea completely, the game became a complete mess… also, it’s pretty unplayable (as in, it makes no sense and you’ll lose really quickly).

Also, I’ve made a timelapse for this game:

On the plus side, I started drawing some big sprites during this jam… It also has some cute/funny graphics and I like the color I used for the background (though, yeah… I’m not sure if using warm colors for the BG is a good idea…). On the other hand, it’s a terrible game.

Once upon a castle… –  Campjam 2014

Click to download (windows only)

Click to download (windows only)

Then, I took part of a local game jam with @pinkmonkeyhead. It was fun working in a team, for once. We took quite a while to get an idea we where happy with, and we had to deal with lots of bugs during the jam… The basic idea is: villagers are coming to the castle to save the princess, and you must help them, adding stairs, weapon shops (with cute animal hats… XD), and other stuff. You command when they should use any of those facilities, but some have a cost per person to be used and all have some cost to be built.

It was something like that... I had to merge the sprites, because there's no single assets with a char actually wearing a hat (it was done in-game, only)

We tried to develop it further, but the code was so messy that trying to fix it was worse than simply restarting from scratch. After a while, we gave up and never talked about it again…

we never got to a agreement about the colors... I wanted it like this, but he kept changing it to gray...

My new version of the skeleton…

(I think...)

with @pinkmonkeyhead’s colors

This was the first time I actually tried to make a game in Unity and also the first time I didn’t work with pixel art. It was fun…

The Nether – Ludum Dare 30

Click to go to its page on Ludum Dare

Click to go to its page on Ludum Dare

Another Ludum Dare came and I made another game a 2D pathfinder. I spent around 10 hours getting that feature to work, and my only options were to actually finish it or start from scratch (that game wouldn’t work without it…). It makes only sense that after so much time spent on a stupid feature, I didn’t have too long to work on the actual game… So both graphics and gameplay are really lacking, here… Also, since I hard coded somethings to the pathfinder, like every character speed, both the player and the enemies moves at the same speed (which is the same as the bullet’s…).

Here’s its timelapse:

I want to someday further develop that pathfinder. It would be really useful to make something like this: Nodal Movement (by squidi). That would be great to developing a platformer for mobile…

By the way, I intent this to be my last game in Flash. I want to port a few of my current games to C (and maybe release it to Android…)

Bug Squasher

This gif really sums up what the game is about

Click to go to its homepage

I wanted to make a separate post for this game, but seems like it’ll never be made… After those games and LD#30, I finished a game I had started last year. Originally, I had made it in Flash, but while I developed my own game framework, I decided to remake it. Since I had actually designed it to have touch controls, and I wanted to support at least Android with that Framework, I later released it on the Play Store. 🙂

I’ll someday make it into a proper game… but not anywhere soon.

“Two Options…” – My LD#28 game + timelapse + postmortem

This is going to be a long post… XD

First, I’ve finally added a header image. The only problem is that it sucks! I’ll come back to it at a later time, but it’ll do for now… I want an image with even levels from games I’ve made… but for now it’s only a bunch of sprites thrown together. Also, the search, RSS and blog title are kind of getting in the way… I’ll think about it later…

Now, on to the main topic. It’s December and, although for some this mean vacations and for others Christmas, it means that it’s time for another Ludum Dare! Well, the jam itself is already gone, it’s almost the second week of voting. The theme this time was “You only get one”. And here is the game I’ve made for it:

Click here for the submission page (then on 'Web [flash]' to play!

Click here for the submission page (then on ‘Web [flash]’ to play!

I’ve once again made a platform, but it’s quite good this time! Ok, people still have some trouble… but I think it’s on an expected level. The game is about a guy exploring a temple who heard a call for help. Now he’s going after it, but what is expecting him there…

As usual, this time I’ve also made a timelapse during the development of the game. Here it is:

Click on read more for the post-mortem (there are a few spoilers…)

Continue reading

The beginning of a new project: Color Runner 2

I’ve already made a few updates to the original Color Runner: particles were added, the main player’s sprite was modified, fixed (or not) a few bugs, made a intro… but I still haven’t added new stages. I’ve meant to do that for a while, but I couldn’t find the motivation to do so since I find the game somewhat boring. I find both the controls and the objectives lacking. I find the idea of getting coins to retrieve colors nice, but only that can’t make a good game (well, if you are a great level designer, who knows… but I definitely can’t). Instead of modifying the original game, I’ve been thinking about making a new game with that idea and I want to write about the development process here (instead of only saying “Hey, it’s done!”, like I always do).

Recently I started to think that it’s better writing here about my ideas than on a paper (as I usually do). That’s because I’m rarely organized and just scribble my ideas, while writing here require me to think things over and make them understandable to others. I’m usually really lazy, so I don’t end up posting that much… but I want to change that! It’s nice to be able to look back at the development of a game.

Well, about the game. I’m currently calling it “Color Runner 2”, but that just a way to addressing it. The game’s title will hardly be anything similar to that. The story will probably be the same: someone stole something from the color factory and the world became black and white. Now you must change it back to it’s original state. I’ll try to express this better and add lines… or at least some way to understand what is actually happening. Another thing I’ll do this time is to focus more on the protagonist. I usually leave it as “it’s the main player… that’s all there is to it”, but I’ll have to give him a reason to go and a name. I’m thinking about calling him C.r. That could be “Color runner”… but it actually has to do with the periodic table and the Greek word for color. It’s pretty straight forward, really…

Something that I’ve focused on until now is making a “Flash-like game”, i.e. game that could do well on flash portals. Of course, I’ve failed at that when I tried to only make disconnected levels, but with a (theoretical) difficult curve, and “infinite games”. I’ve overlooked how hard it is to make those stuff right. So, this time I’ll go completely against it! Since I really like the 16-bit generation – I played the Sega Genesis a lot (and some SNES… but mostly after my childhood) -, I want to make a “game that could be played in that era”. I’m not talking about technical constraints, but about how games were. I’m thinking about something like Super Mario World and the Sega Genesis Tiny Toons Adventures, a world with many stages, but each stage progressing to the other and not only random stages thrown there because of their difficulty. I’m also thinking about doing 5 areas. Oh, and definitely a platformer! though I’m still not sure if it’ll be a fast paced game or one requiring precise platforming.

One thing that I’m already sure is that  if I try to tackle this in one go I’ll fail. I’ll surely fail! Making (at least) one animation per area, plus interesting enemies, stages, areas, songs… it would be too much… in one go. I was already thinking about making a demo in Flash and then make the full game in C++, but maybe I’ll make each area as a separated game in Flash and then make a full version in C++ with more stages and stuff… I’m still not sure…

Well, the next thing I should be posting here will be a draft of the overworld. Since I want you to traverse through the world, it doesn’t make sense trying to make anything before I have any ideas about the world. I’d planned doing it today, but stuff happened (I procrastinated a lot xD), it’s already 2 A.M. and I’ve got classes tomorrow (er… today…) morning.

Double Release: Loneliness+ & Space Rift

I’ve finally finished modifying my LD#27 entry. It took way longer than I expected, but most of the time I wasn’t working on it… Here it is:

How to be lazy: just use a screen shot from the game!

Click here to play!

I think the original version was really polished for a Ludum Dare game, but there were some things that still required more polishing, so that was my focus for this update. Now the menus are fully animated and much better separated. The graphics, though mostly the same, now uses a single palette (except for the background). With this I was able to control light and shadows better and make the graphics less dull. Some weapons where added and the special was removed. There’s also a boss song, though really short, and a new ship.

Now, about the other game…

For some time now I’ve been meaning to write my own C++ game framework. Well, it’s still far from complete, but I fell it’s not completely broken… In my computer and in another one I tested the game run nicely, but that was about all the testing I’ve done.

Instead of designing the “best” framework I could and only afterward written a game with it, as I’ve already tried some times, this time I wrote it while the port was made. And which game was best for a first port than my first (“released”) game? (Well, perhaps Color Runner would have been a better choice, but that game deserve more than a bad port! I’ll definitely remake it)

Here’s the port of my first game:

lonelienss+_logo

Click here to download it!

It’s Windows only, though the Linux port should be working already (I can’t actually test it… but it compiled!). You will need a video card compatible with OpenGL 3.X or greater. Except for that, any computer should be able to run it. My computer has only a single-core 1.6GHz CPU and can run it without problems. Any bugs, crashes, weird stuff, please report! Try to describe it the best you can (what you were doing, how long you had been playing, etc), take a screen shot (if possible) and send me both stderr and stdout logs (found in the game folder), if they were created.

For now, I won’t release the engine. It still isn’t really in a publishable state and I’ll probably make many changes to it. There’s also some problems with exporting a shared library (a .dll) for it. But I’ll release it some day…

You should know when to stop

I’m kind of taking part of the One Game A Month year-long game jam. Its not a game jam in the usual sense… but that was the best I could tackle in a setence. It’s a challenge to create a new game every month. So far, things haven’t been much of a success, I’m still not quite finished with my january entry. But I just found new motivation to finish it as soon as possible!

First, a brief introduction to this game. I’m making a game using some concepts from my first game “Loneliness“… Since there’s only one concept in that game it should be pretty obvious that I’m messing again with colors. But, this time, there’s solid gameplay, a nice score system and user created content. But that’s what I’m willing to say about it.

I intented to make it in a month and post here the complete result afterward. I should had known better than to belive that… That’s why I’ve yet to make a single post about it. Still, the game itself (logic-wise and pretty much graphic wise) is finished. I’ve still got to tweak some things and there’s a TODO-list haunting me on the table… I also want to expand the game and make some more levels.

Well, that’s it for the updates… now, on to the main topic!

I know how important polish is. That’s why I’ve halted expanding the game in order to finish it. There are many details I still have to do and I wanted to keep it all simple. But, in doing do so I got a boring “You failed” screen. It indeed send the message, but there was something amiss… Normally I would leave things as is and move on. But then I had an interesting idea and tried to implement it. Five minutes later the screen was much better. It still tell the player that they failed, but in a nicer way (somewhat… this it is never a nice thing to say… xD)

Still, there is no meaning in wasting days trying to compose a main menu song (which already took me 3 days to get to nowhere) while there are many more tangible problems in my current reach. Also I shouldn’t worry about how I’ll make the user created levels shareable. I’ll just leave everything else ready, then I think about it.

I fell that I lost the point in my mind while I wrote the first half of the post… I really should stop surfing the internet while writing a post… Well, what I meant is: Instead of trying to do something that you don’t want at all, find an easy and simple feature to be added and work on it! Afterward, you should get a motivation boost. (unfortunatelly, those doesn’t last long… see, I’m writing a post when I could be making a game… so much for motivation…. xD)