Ludum Dare came and went again this weekend and I’ve now increased my streak to 4 in a row. This time I promised myself that I wasn’t going to make another 2D puzzle game and I really wanted to try and do something in 3D. Well I succeeded in that goal at least, even if I didn’t manage to make a proper game. After spending most of the time while making it feeling quite down with the whole thing and not really buying into it, looking back at it I’m actually quite happy with it. It’s more of a little toy than a game, but I’m happy with the bit of modeling that I did and it was a really good way to relearn and put into practice a lot of the things I’d learnt about Blender over the last few months. It means that next time I should hopefully be able to create a bigger, more complete game experience in 3D if I wanted to. Also it turns out the random yellow I used as that floor made for a really nice color scheme!
Anyway give it a go here at the usual itch.io page.
Just a quick update as I realised I hadn’t linked to these on here! Yes Ludum Dare 38 was a few weeks ago and yes Ludum Dare 37 was many months ago but hey ho they’re here now. I’m pretty happy with how my art in game jams has been progressing and these are both great examples of that. Globetrotter didn’t turn out quite how I’d have liked, mainly due to a lack of content, but it’s certainly pretty playable, and has my first real character art. Feng Shui Master on the other hand is probably my most accomplished Ludum Dare yet in terms of producing a full game with complete assets. Again it’s a bit light on content but there’s at least a reasonable amount to play through. You can check out both of them on the usual itch.io page.
Ludum Dare 39 is only 10 days away now! This time I am determined not to make another 2D puzzle game…
Now that Ludum Dare has got me back into doing stuff at home I’ll try to post more regularly on here. This weekend I made a start on something new. It’s a take on one of my favourite games, Metal Gear Ac!d. MGA was a turn-based, card driven version of the Metal Gear games and it played like no other game I can think of. It has always surprised me that no-one has done a game like it since, so I thought I’d give it a go.
The gif above is just after a few hours work this weekend. The shell of the game, and a lot of the assets came from a rougelike tutorial on the Unity website, but that was mainly so I could get it up and running quickly. I’ve already butchered a lot of the mechanics from that project and I’ll be switching out the assets soon enough.
I’ve got the mechanics of using cards to perform movement up and running, and some basic cost mechanics that drive when each character takes their turn. Next I need to add other uses to the cards (probably just attacking to start with), an actual deck to draw from (currently cards are just spawned randomly), some basic AI (currently enemies just move towards the player on their turn) and set up some initial levels (it’s still using the random generation from that tutorial project at the moment). So it’s nowhere near a playable game yet but I’m pretty happy with how much progress I made in just a few hours.
Just another quick post as I took part in another Ludum Dare last weekend. I’d managed to miss the last few so I was happy to give it another ago and redeem myself after the last couple I took part in (I wasn’t too happy with Kana Konjurer and I didn’t even finish a game for LD33).
I’m pretty happy with how this went this time. Full art and sound (no music this time though) and a mostly compete game. I would have liked to have fit lots more into it as it currently wears thin pretty quickly and there’s only one real surprise where I would have liked there to be many, but the main ideas are all there.
Anyway after a few months of not really getting much done in my spare time, it’s kicked my creative side back into gear and I’m now getting back into working on stuff. The full version of Gridception still trundles along in the background, and I’m also working on a new smaller thing which I’ll post about in the future if it goes anywhere.
Just a quick post to say I took part in Ludum Dare this again this weekend. This time the theme was “An unconventional weapon” and I made a Japanese kana teaching tool in which you fight ghosts using the Japanese Kana. I’ll write up a longer retrospective about it later this week but for now you can play it (and rate it if you’re also taking part) here.
Hmmm so it’s been slightly longer than I thought since my last post. I was on holiday for a bit and then my regular job got a bit busy so I haven’t really had a whole lot of time to work on Gricdeption. But that’s not to say that progress hasn’t been made!
Since the last update I’ve added mobile controls, tested out audio, added level selection and have started work on an undo system. All of these things are in an intial, functional state, so I’m sure it sounds like more work than it is but I’m happy that I haven’t entirely ignored it. Still aiming to get something out by the end of the year.
Next weekend is Ludum Dare again, which will take up some time, but it has got my excitement for my project going again. I doubt I’m going to make something as well rounded as last time but that’s not really the point. This time I’m going to try and focus more on the audio and GFX side of things, as that’s what was missing from Gridception. Though obviously that could go out the window when the theme is announced and I actually get down to work!
I realise I haven’t been keeping the blog up to date, but that’s not because I haven’t been working on things. Quite the opposite in fact! Other than the checkpoint system, I now have all of the features of the prototype re-implemented in the new game. And in most cases in a better way. Grids and Grid Blocks can now be of variable size. inner grids now spawn recursively (which means you can see inner-inner grids) and the code is just generally a lot cleaner and hopefully more efficient.
The next thing I’m going to work on is selecting and loading specific levels or parts of levels from a menu. This will form part of the new checkpoint/save system. Then I’d like to fix up the zooming when moving between grids because that’s one thing that’s the same as the prototype and still looks a bit rubbish. And after that I’d like to get some first pass visuals in, but that will be a while away.
I’m going to be away on holiday next week meaning this blog definitely won’t be updated! So the next update will be in a couple of weeks.
Just a quick post to mention that I added a super small prototype game I made well over a year ago to my itch.io page. It’s called Parallel Processor, and it’s a pretty difficult, multi-tasking arcade game. I made it primarily as a way of learning Haxe, which is a cool language that compiles into almost anything else you want it to (including flash which is what this version of the game is exported as). I haven’t really done any Haxe stuff since then as I’ve been mostly focused on unity, but maybe I’ll go back and work on this game a bit more at some point. Anyway have a go and let me know what you think!
There look I told you I’d have something to show you! Yes it just looks like a pallet swapped version of the prototype (which mostly it is) but there are some new things going on. The main difference is that in the prototype, the grid was just one large sprite in the background. In the new version the grid background is now made of separate tiles (which is what those blue and pink ones are showing) which is useful in a few ways. Firstly I can have some more interesting looking grids because I can vary/randomise the background layout and also possibly animate the tiles separately. It also opens up new gameplay opportunities, as floor tiles could have their own properties or do things when players/blocks move onto them.
Another new thing is that the player now has smooth movement! It may not seem like a big thing but the fact that the player just teleported from space to space in the prototype really bugged me.
Anyway, as I was hinting at last week, it’s nice to actually get something working and moving around on screen, as it should help get the productivity up a bit. There’s still loads of the old code left to implement and refactor but it’s good just to have something to show for the work. By next week I want to have blocks and pushing and everything sorted. Then It’ll be moving onto the grid blocks which will require a substantial rework form their prototype version as they were one of the most hacky bits (other than the restart system which just makes me shudder…).
So as those who are following along (which is thankfully no-one at the moment) can see, I failed to stick to my “post a project update a week” thing. My excuse is that it was my weekdays have gotten quite full over the last few weeks, leaving little time in an evening to do project work. Also last weekend was my birthday which kindof took out the whole weekend (playing board games and drinking wine for 12 hours will do that). So this weekend has basically been my first chance to get back to work on stuff.
Progress is going slow. Today was basically more setup, and re-writing/formatting a lot of the original code from the prototype. This means there’s still not anything to show off. Not been feeling very motivated at the moment, mainly because I’m in this early, not very exciting stage of the work. It can end up as quite a vicious cycle, as there’s nothing really to see, which means my efforts don’t feel like they’re amounting to much, and this makes me less inclined to get on with the work, which makes the good stuff take even longer to get to. I find this is often why a lot of my projects get nowhere. If I can get through that first slow stage and get something working which I can iterate on, my productivity normal skyrockets and suddenly All I’m doing is working on the thing. Thankfully this time I do have that prototype as a very visible end goal (well i guess more of a starting goal…) so that’s helping to keep me going, because I know it’s going to be worth it. Just looking forward to the point when I can start messing round with the game again, rather than just writing setup scripts and interfaces.
Will hopefully have done more by next week so should have more to talk about (I promise!).