Here’s come Ludum Dare 31!
Level A Week: same idea for level designers, some folks on the Facebook group for Washington, DC Area Unity Users Group are doing it.
Constraints: Match your “A Week” with a gamejam theme using CompoHub
Inspiration clone a classic:
Idea: Strategy game about screening army/infantry movements using Calvary (like Napoleon did.)
What went right: Nothing really.
What went wrong: 1) Day light savings, always, always causes me to have some serious insomnia. I’ve probably spent at least 20 hours trying to fall asleep this week. 2) Lack of Time, a lot of important things came up and I wasn’t able to put much time into the idea.
What I learned: I spent some time messing with my drag and drop code, but probably should have just banged out a hacky version and moved on. I too easily slip into, “What IS the right way to do this,” instead of just banging something out and learning from that.
Feelings: Meh, Life Happens (I don’t know how you say that in feeling words.)
Play (Warning is is completely unplayable!)
Adriel Wallick’s wonderful post-mortem about her Game A Week experiment inspired me to try it out.
Idea: How many games of pong can a human play at once.
What went right: 1) Unity, I got it up and running fairly fast with very little code. 2) You can play it.
What went wrong: 1) Work got busy and I had to put in some overtime. This reduced the energy and time I could put into the game. 2) I also ran into troubles with Unity’s 2D physics and spent a fair amount of time fiddling with it.
What I learned: I need to either match the idea I pick with Unity features I already understand, or accommodate “research” time when considering the viability an idea if it needs a feature or area of Unity I haven’t used before.
Feelings: Anger, Hate, Frustration, Disappointment, Helplessness, Guilty, Embarrassed, Let down
The DC chapter of IGDA is doing a Text Adventure gamejam this weekend at the Westwood college:http://sjklevine.com/igda_dc/textjam/
I no longer live in DC, but I thought I’d jam along with them! If you want to join me, I setup a Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/611843362194465/
Recommendations for tools:
(dev wiki) http://choicescriptdev.wikia.com/wiki/ChoiceScript_Wiki
(dev tutorial) http://www.choiceofgames.com/make-your-own-games/choicescript-intro/
(gamasutra article) http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/DanCox/20130304/187702/Learning_Inform_7_Part_1.php
An alternative for those who think text games might be too boring, and want a meatier game experience while still fitting the theme of the jam, would be to try an “Idle” game:
(candy box) http://candies.aniwey.net/
(a firelit room) http://adarkroom.doublespeakgames.com/
Here are my brainstorming notes (on right) and pitch (on left):
Essentially I wanted to make a QWOP style game about moving blood through the heart to the brain. I was thinking that if you didn’t do it well enough the brain would loose oxygen and then the letters you need to press would change. Sadly, no one wanted to join my team.
Instead I joined the Heart Trampoline team.
Play Heart Trampoline. Be sure to check out the credits, one of our talented artist did portraits of all the team members.
Also, Heart Trampoline is my January entry in the One Game A Month Jam/Challenge.
What is Ludum Dare?: You have 48 hours to make a game from scratch meeting a theme announced at the start of the contest. Learn more about Ludum Dare here.
When: August 24th-27th 2012
Dev Log: MrPhil at Ludum Dare
I’ve just finished Ludum Dare 23. The theme was Tiny World, so I made a game about Seed warfare. It came out pretty good. You can play Seeds of Destruction: here.
I didn’t finish. I just didn’t have my weekend clear. You really need a clear weekend to finish Ludum Dare. The tech change in the middle didn’t help.
My main take away: Unity slowed me down. I’m too much of a programmer. When a game engine gets in the way, I can see all the different ways I would code myself out of the problem, but I can’t see any solutions in the engine’s context. Code is a powerful too, and I’m good at using it. Game engine’s are alien worlds with bizarre rules and un-explainable behavior.
So, I’m going to stop using game engines (or frameworks etc.) I’ll use non-game libraries and leave all the game programming to myself. Specifically, something like SDL, SFML or even XNA are good for me, but not stuff like Torque 2D or Unity. I think XNA is “library” enough not to be considered a game engine. It’s more like a toolbox. Oh, I think the caveat here is I want to make 2D games, not 3D.
I think there is a bigger principal at work here: KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid Game Engine’s are complicated systems built by lots of programmers. They have multitudes of audiences with different needs. This all makes them hard to understand with lots of bells and whistles. In order to accommodate all these different requirements, some feature are overly complex with lots of assumptions. Those assumptions require rigidness to keep you out of the weeds that aren’t handle so well because of those assumptions. So at the end of a Ludum Dare weekend, you look back and see all the time lost figuring the game engine’s nuances and gotrchas. Then you pine for a chance to go back in time and just pounded out the code you needed.
The XNA version of my game now surpasses the Unity version. What’s working:
- Player display
- Player movement
- Player collision with items
- Background Board (no wall collision yet)
- Door key displays
- Player can pickup keys
- Wall collision
- Door display (Locked and Open)
- Level transition
- Enemy display
- Enemy following
- Enemy killing you
- More Levels