I participated in Ludum Dare 40 this weekend! The theme was “The more you have, the worse it is.”
I’ve spent a lot of my spare time in November learning Game Maker 2 by trying to build a Tower Defense game. So, when the theme was announced I immediately thought, that sounds like a Tower Defense game! So, that’s what I made. You play as a mage who’s been imprisoned in a maze built as a prison for criminals with magic abilities. There are monsters patrolling the halls and you can cast a spell that creates a Totem (tower) that can shoot fireballs. It’s pretty basic, but I think it works pretty well. I think it’ll be very hard to beat.
Game Maker preformed great! It was one of the most productive gamejams I’ve done. Game Maker did get on my nerves in a few places but overall I was impressed how quickly I could get ideas working. I can see using it more going forward. But, I must admit a part of me still wants to dump it and just write something from scratch, typical programmer.
The game itself is pretty interesting and I can see a lot of ways to make it better. It’s basically a Roguelike mashed with Tower Defense. So, making the maze procedurally generated is the clear next step. I’ll see how the reception goes, if is does a tiny bit okay, then I’ll probably make a post-compo version and expand on the ideas.
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