Results for tag "game-jam"

3 Articles

Postmortem: My Ludum Dare game SUPER LANDSHARK MISSILE ATTACK

This was my first Ludum Dare ever, and my 3rd real game jam in total ever (did one Indie Speed Run and one Global Game Jam, and by far my best jam ever – each jam builds on the previous one, and the LEVEL UP that one gets at game jams are just TOO MASSIVE TO PASS UP. I hugely encourage everyone to do game jams as often as they’re able to!

My LD48 game SUPER LANDSHARK MISSILE ATTACK turned out way beyond all my own expectations. I was never good with Unity! Please give it a look :)

One thing my experience has told me is that I always write postmortem part 1 of my jams and then never get to part 2. So screw that, I’m going to do this one quick and in reverse chronological order like Memento :)

Score attack!

Another thing I was sad to not have had time to put in was score tracking, so I’m making a competition! Send me screenshots of your high score and the highest scorer this week (ending Monday 5th May) will get to design a level for SUPER LANDSHARK MISSILE ATTACK with me 😀

landsharkscore_BANNER

Adding sound

I didn’t have time to add in sound and music, which disappointed me greatly, so I played the game over some rocking track and made a video of it :)

Finishing

Eventually I detailed things a bit more, added more levels (there are three in total right now) and colour and juice and stuff and rushed it out the door in the final 6 hours:

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Fleshing it out

I dropped in a bunch of objects, found some homing missile code, and went to town in a gameplay test. AND IT WAS AWESOME. So I pretty much didn’t change the gameplay from this kind of stuff:

landsharkpost_05_gameplayTest_web

And then amped it up in magnitude, and added score tracking and a timer, which made EVEN MORE AWESOME

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Physics

Then I spent more than half of day one trying to get the physics for landshark working. One of the things I really wanted was for him to swim up walls… And generally defy gravity. Eventually after a lot of maths and help from other people’s maths:

landsharkpost_03_physics_web

landsharkpost_04_physicstest_web

Planning

I actually don’t remember where the idea came from. All I remember was that initially I wanted LAZERS. But that was hard so I went missiles :) This was my “project manager” over the weekend:

landsharkpost_01_book

What went wrong:

  • Very little actually, I was REALLY surprised.
  • Lack understanding of Unity physics (or indeed any maths physics), of Quaternions, of Vectors, etc, made it really really tricky.
  • Didn’t budget time for sound and interface.
  • I wasn’t sure what the scope was from the beginning and built as I went
  • Spent a ton of time on swimming up the wall mechanic… But didn’t end up using it a lot. It was one of those REALLY out of the way mechanics that had all sorts of mad implications that I couldn’t have considered when I was making it. Like falling into the infinite sky 😛 But it’s not really so much “wrong” as “something I can explore more” :)

What went right:

  • Being surrounded by other jammers, we could all ask each other about things. It REALLY helped everyone 😀 Jam in a herd! If it works for zebras it works for jammers!
  • I let myself go – picked a theme, basic idea, and just explored how it played. The lack of a solid, defined, “dead” goal from the get-goal for me allowed for a refreshing exploratory approach to this jam.
  • Not having to justify every decision, thing to try, etc in a team made it really easy to rapidly try and discard ideas. Not that I don’t appreciate being in a team. I really missed being able to specialise and do what I do best and let everyone do what they did best. Good for time, less good for focus and attention to detail.
  • Google Sketchup. Seriously, it’s the only 3D program I know and without it I wouldn’t be able to make ANY 3D. Well, besides the cubes and spheres. Thanks for the fish shark!
  • Unity. I give it lots of hell, and it gives me lots of hell, but without it I would never ever have made something that looks so big in such a short of time. And this applies to EVERYONE. It’s a great big sandbox, all you have to do is to find how other people did what you want it to do… And remember syntax XD

It was truly fantastic! I’ll never ever miss another Ludum Dare EVER! 😀

Give SUPER LANDSHARK MISSILE ATTACK a go!

My Indie Speed Run

 

And finally our Indie Speed Run game is up! Please follow the link and have a go at our game! :)

Or, if you hate spoilers, like I do, please read ahead for the short story of how our baby came to the world :)

This post has come a bit late, but that’s cos I was generally burnt out after the jam, and that the game wasn’t publicly available until now due to competition constraints. So the Indie Speed Run was a 48 hour contest in which we had to create a game with given elements. It’s being judged by a panel of famous people as described in my previous post, and this is my super abridged story of our 48 hours of… Trials and Tribulations, would be the best way of describing it:

 

Hour 0: Anticipation

Before we started we had a plan. We booked out a weekend, we started fresh at 10am, we were kinda prepared, and we set out to hit that start button on indiespeedrun.com. I tell you, it was daunting.

So we hit that button

 

And got this:

Theme: Lost
Element: Ninja

Along with an ominously ticking clock. It may as well have been a bomb. As distracting as the countdown was, we got to it. The theme is what should inspire the game, and the element is something that must go into the game.

The brainstorm ensued.

 

Hour 1: LOST NINJA.

Seriously, we were stumped by the theme. It’s so DAMN CLICHED. It’s a ninja, and he’s lost. Or he’s lost his mind. Or he’s amnesiac. Or someone else in those situations. Fighting a ninja. Etc, etc. Platformer. Maybe stealth. So much of cliche.

So after a bit of backwards and forward we stumbled across something that wasn’t quite as cliched as the rest of the ideas. Lost was exactly how we were feeling, so we explored that.

 

Hour 2: Lost, but with direction. About being lost.

We explored the notion of expressing and conveying our sense of being lost in this overwhelming thing – this was both mine and my buddie Eduard’s very first real game jam. Oh wait, it wasn’t Ed’s, he’s done one before. So it was my very first one. Whether I should have gotten into a game jam with a strict down-to-the-second deadline for my very first experience, well, I hadn’t thought it through 😛

So we ended up locking down our concept to making a game about making a game in 48 seconds, which would convey just how we’re feeling about the whole thing now, and would allow people to try again and understand how it works better and better, eventually mastering the rush, and making things they want to make. Kinda like how game making is like in real life.

 

Hour 3: And we were off

 

 

So we started actually producing. Let me park this for now, next time I’ll tell you about how we expanded and tried to make a game out of that concept, the limitations, the sleeplessness, and some Netrunner :)

 

Honestly, the rest of the process was the most gruelling 48 hours I’ve ever had the pleasure of enduring. Very little sleep coupled with very noob skillz and very over-scoped hopes resulted in… Well, a lot of lessons learnt.

And a game! Play our game here :)

 

Imma doing a game jam: 2012 Indie Speed Run

What is a Game Jam?A group of people getting together to produce a game in a short amount of time. How short? Like 48 hours, usually, as we all have lives after Red Bull and Coffee. It’s hard enough to make a game, the time limit’s just the cherry on top of the sundae of difficulty. It’s an exercise in cleverness, creativity and pure unadulterated tenacity.

Indie Speed Run is a new concept in Game Jamming where you as an individual or a team is/are given exactly 48 hours to jam a game. Whereas most limited time jam comps are loosely timed with a single deadline, this one has a cool system that ensures that your game IS original AND completed within 48 hours. Usually jams are just for fun and experience (though many a famous game had their roots in game jams), but this one has a pot – a cool $2,500 for the winner. Also the opportunity to get your game/name in front of their panel of infamous judges (Creators of Monkey Island, Minecraft, Baldur’s Gate, Limbo, Journey, Zero Punctuation) is just awesome.

How it works (ingenious)

  • Go to the site, register yourself and your team
  • When you’re ready, hit the start button
  • The site gives you a few random elements that you MUST use in your game (to ensure it’s a jam game and not something from your closet)
  • A timer starts, you have 48 hours to submit your game.
  • GO!

Going with a plan

For this, I’m teaming up with another member of makegamesSA to do a speed run and make a game. 48 hours is not a lot of time to create something awesome, so we’ve got to go in with a plan:
  • Book out a weekend – so that we know we have 48 straight hours to concentrate on one thing.
  • Start the 48 hours fresh – we’ll wake up, hit the start button and go, instead of meeting up one evening and hitting the start button and immediately be tired already.
  • Don’t go into zombie mode – while it’s tempting to not sleep for 48 hours, being zombified simply isn’t productive. We’ll sleep  4 hours or so at a time, enough to get us going again.
  • Be prepared – I’m going to do a few other bits of preparation to make sure we get as much out of this jam as possible! Here is an article all about that, and I’m going to document my preparations in future posts too.

So if you’re interested check it out! Join us for a Jam! http://www.indiespeedrun.com/

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