Results for category "Ludum Dare"

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BOOOST! A Retro Escape SHMUP for Ludum Dare #LD34

Ludum Dare 34 done! Always a fantastic game jam with the most awesome community.

The theme this time was two-way tie between Growing and Two Buttons, and to make a long story short, I tried at first to do both with an idea that was seriously too much for me for 48 hours, and abandoned it to start another game about 14 hours into the 48.

The result was BOOOST, a two-button game of escaping, shooting, but mostly escaping. While shooting. You’ll see!

The game was favourably reviewed, and was rated 72 overall in the solo compo, so that’s pretty rad! 🙂

Play BOOOST Enhanced version on itch.io!

 

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rAge 2015: No More Boxes!, Arduino & NagJam

Twoplus Games went to rAge 2015, and it was fantastic!

There were 14 local developers at the home_coded section at rAge this year, everyone showing off their awesome talent and games.

We took along three games: No More Boxes, Beat Attack and Invader Crush, because we couldn’t decide on one. We made a cool Arduino game selector gadget:

(The Arduino game setup. Thanks to IGN Africa for the photo)

 

Most of the time we spent playing No More Boxes!

 

rAge-nmb

 

We shared a space with Paul, creator of Clutchfighter:

(Steven Tu and Paul Campbell Potgieter, photo courtesy of IGN Africa)

 

NagJam

 

Just before rAge, NAG put out a challenge – create a game in 72 hours (with the theme “Don’t Touch That”), and show it off at rAge. We made a game for it – Royal Smash Royale, a four-player arena where players have a hammer and must smash a horde of pesky critters – but watch out – every once in a while King Roy declares one of the species protected, and you mustn’t touch them, or you’ll incur the ire of the Royal Turrets of Protection Policing!

The game was SO GOOD (but not too good) that it won 4th place where a 4th place wasn’t planned initially. NAG created a spot just for this game, and for that we are eternally grateful (and bemused)!

 

Coverage

 

Here are the bits of coverage that we’ve seen so far on our appearance at rAge, thanks to the press for playing our games with us 😀

 

In all, rAge 2015 was a fantastica experience. A great big thanks to NAG for organising, and for everyone in MakegamesSA for pulling together and making it happen as a collective!

Loved my Ludum Dare #33 – PokEscape

TL;DR: Had an amazing Ludum Dare, one week to go for rating LD33 games, so go play my game (available as web, windows, osx, linux):

Play PokEscape now!

 

PokEscape_04_combined

 

Interpretive Dance

 

Last Ludum Dare, I went in with pre-conceived notions of what I was going to make, and I felt it would have been better if I didn’t. This time, I went in with a blank canvas. Hell, I didn’t even look at the theme list to prepare myself.

The theme was You Are the Monster – a theme quite a few jammers bemoaned because it’s quite close to a theme a few LDs back – You Are the Villain. I wasn’t around back then (darn kids, right?), but I vaguely had the feeling it was done before. I didn’t care though, brainstorm commenced, there were a few decent ones, but when our chatter made me laugh out loud, I knew I had to do it;

You’re a monster. You’re a pocket monster (pokemon). You’re the lamest pokemon ever. You’re Magikarp. No, you’re so lame, you’re Magicrap. But you want to be the best you can be. Which is Gyrados. No, Gyradeuce. The crap puns flowed. I laughed, and off I went.

 

A stealth game where you have to eat your cover

 

That was the final destination of the core mechanic brainstorm, and that turned out to be super important. There were many interpretations of that core mechanic alone – Initially the game was not going to be on a grid, and physics-based, so you would dash around the place and slide and roll, etc. A turn-based version was also considered. But eventually a real-time, grid-based system was decided upon because it was actually the most predictable in terms of building and balancing.

 

Art priorities: 1. Fast, 2. Acceptable

 

The process was fairly straightforward, I made placeholder art because I didn’t want to spend too much time on art in the beginning, and just like the previous LD, I didn’t really get a chance to update them later. I think this is pretty much going to be the norm rather than the exception. Make okay placeholder art, but don’t waste time on them initially.

I’m privileged in this regard because I’m an artist/designer primarily. But don’t worry, what advantage I have on art I make up in shortcomings on my coding side.

 

Three dee two dee

 

The one interesting thing that I feel like is worth talking about technically and art wise is the 3D/2D effect that I have, where the sprites order correctly. Anyone who knows about z-sorting knows it’s a chore, and I didn’t feel like making the game constantly read y values and re-assigning them to different layers at runtime. So I tinkered and came up with this:

3d2d

By tilting all the sprites at an angle, they overlapped correctly without having to programmatically set each sprite’s layer at runtime. The camera is a perspective camera with a limited field of vision, so it looks 2D, but is set in 3D.

I really liked how the effect came out – there’s a little 3Dness to it but still has the 2D charm that I love. And I didn’t need to make polygons 😛

 

In action

 

Initial feedback on the game was super cool 🙂 It’s currently sitting on 110 ratings, which I think is the highest I’ve had (though I can’t confirm this, don’t know how to look up past rating counts).

There’s also been a bit of coverage by some really awesome people 😀

By Indiegames.com

By Jupi

By AmyNapkins

By LarryChupacabra

 

Thanks for reading! If you have a moment, try it out for yourself?

Play PokEscape

 

Postmortem: Mecha Cop 2875 – Ludum Dare #LD32

Never ever miss a Ludum Dare if you can help it. I missed #LD31, and I made damn sure I would make this one.

The theme: AN UNCONVENTIONAL WEAPON

Which is actually pretty fun. However – a confession – I went into this jam with a preconceived idea of what I wanted to make, and just kinda rolled with the theme. I wanted to make a mecha platformer, and mecha kinda fit “an unconventional weapon” (no not really, I know), so I just went with it and made:

(Easter egg: 2875 is a… visual pun on 2015. 8 looks like 0 and 7 looks like 1)

 

A visual post-portem

When I first got the riding in a mech mechanic going I was ecstatic:

mecha_cop_001

And then I got the plough-through-the-civilians-if-you-were-running-in-a-mech mechanic  :

mecha_cop_002

Then I got to set up a bit of a level with a base of operations:

mecha_cop_006_1

Slowly but surely, mission one, with mech destruction mechanics:

mecha_cop_006_3

Eventually and finally, after the Compo period was over, I got to doing some art. so late!

mecha_cop_008

mecha_cop_007

The mechs made of cubes were only ever meant to be programmer art to be replaced later. But then I ran out of time and just animated them instead of upgrading them. And surprisingly, they turned out alright. Mecanim may be unwieldy, but it’s very very useful for doing things on the fly.

mecha_cop_009

mecha_cop_010

mecha_cop_011

 

In retrospect, what went right:

  • Going in with an idea of what to make. Having a goal is actually a good thing.
  • Gameflow polish – I had a title screen, a completable game that had a start, a middle and an end, and a scoring system, and that’s quite valuable. Jam games without a feeling of progression are easily ignored.
  • Visual polish – the mechs were made of cubes and was originally intended as placeholders, but they actually turned out pretty well once animated.
  • Visual polish – a variety of particle effects made the game feel quite lively.
  • Making an accessible single-player game as opposed to a multiplayer one that’s difficult to playtest.
  • I’m getting better at Unity, so things went a lot quicker.
  • Using an existing and open-source platformer controller (some may see this as cheating, but I really don’t see the point of re-inventing the wheel each time in a jam, I already made a horrendously messy platformer controller last jam.)
  • I slept. About 3-4 hours each night, it made the waking hours that much more productive.

Annnnd what went wrong:

  • Going in with an idea of what to make – My goal (make a mech platformer game) completely stifled creativity and I ended up with a bit of a limp, lifeless game thematically. Comparing my goal this time to the goal I had set for myself for the previous LD, this one was a bad idea.
  • Overscoped. This is the number one killer of jam games. I fought this hard, but the fact remains I couldn’t make 48 hours and went into 72, and then STILL missed out on a lot of what needed to be in.
  • Too many interdependent systems – this was a cascading domino set that fell like this:
    I wanted mechs to be able to dash.
    I wanted the dash to carry a penalty.
    So, if you dash, you could accidentally stomp civilians and kill them.
    So I gotta make civilians.
    And of course criminals.
    Where would there be civilians and criminals? A fucking huge sprawling city.
    What do you do in a sprawling city?
    Missions, of course.
    What’s the point of getting into a mech if there’s only one?
    Let’s make three.
    What’s the point if they all do the same thing?
    Give them abilities.
    What’s the point of abilities?
    Give missions variety, mechs match mission parameters.
    Etc etc etc.
  • In the end, all those systems intertwined too much, building them took forever, and changing one meant changing a whole bunch of others.
  • No time to tweak and find the fun – this was a consequence of overscoping. Being too busy building interlocking systems.
  • Intended to do a 48 hours compo entry. Had to “upgrade” to a 72 hour jam entry.

 

In the end, I think this was the least successful of my three Ludum Dares, despite having experienced up and having made much more stuff in the time allotted than ever before. Sigh.

Although, it has seen pretty positive responses on the concept and its prettiness, which is encouraging. I’ve always wanted to make the mecha platformer, and it seems to be something people want. I just need to settle into the mecha seats and find the fun in the mechanics.

Give Mecha Cop 2875 a play!

 

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