Anyone up for Ludum Dare?

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  • Games - Yeah sure :) You can follow my twitter: I will try to keep it active throughout and post here once in a while.

    We have the team assembled on skype now sorting out our workflow - pretty exciting to have this many people at once!

  • We're finally up and running with SVN, when the jam starts we'll likely have a thread here for more substantial updates.

  • BluePhaze Check your PMs.

  • Yay, that sounds like a ton of fun! :D

    I wish I had enough skill to join the action.. One day i will <img src="smileys/smiley36.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

    Good luck, guys! Show them some Construct magic <img src="smileys/smiley32.gif" border="0" align="middle" /> *cheers*

  • I'm curious, how did this work out for you all?

  • zatyka it was a mix of extremely well and tremendously bad. For instance I haven't updated here because my motherboard fried about 8 hours before submission. There

    were many other technical issues, particularly massive bugs with svn. But! We still managed to get something out. The team work side though went very well even after ditching svn.

    You can search 'one way out' in LD to see what we did get done, but I will give you more details when I have a pc again ^^

  • Thought others might like to see this.

    Very cool. Good job guys! straight to the web play game.

    And this below takes you to the game listing page

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  • Thanks Games ! I have only just been able to see it myself now.

    zatyka and anyone else who is interested, here's what went on:

    First of all the SVN worked great, until it started lagging in a peculiar way. It meant the updates were becoming available to other members, although they would not update, say, the image files unless you waited mystery amount of time. So essentially they were updating only portions at a time which thoroughly destroys everything. So, either don't use one or try out a different program or have some kind of synch happening where each member only commits at their allotted time. It was very sad to see this, as I was a big advocate for it. It worked fine on small commits and tests, but the way it crumbled once real production began cost us many, many hours.

    Then there was the point of my PC frying with a good chunk of time remaining. Not only did I then miss out on this time, but several hours of my work was lost. I then had to skype call Lennaert from my phone to walk him through some of the final 'must be done' changes, which then also sapped his time. This was really bad as, not to speak down to the other guys, but Lennaert was one of the 3 major contributors. This meant that only really the artist got to put in a good effort (it really shows 'ey?), as he dodged SVN and this final issue.

    Then there were a few hiccups with Spriter, as the artist only just started using it for the competition. But they were soon figured out and it's easy to say that it's a totally amazing tool.

    Lastly, even with the SVN gone, merging work became quite simple. As long as everyone was working on a different part, things were structured so we could easily just port them across. The only downside of course, is it takes a while to get up-to-date copies out to everyone so they can all see the whole thing moving.

    So what did I learn from all this? You want more people. You always want more people. We could not have got the art the way it is, functioning game, and multiplayer in there as one person. Sure the last 2 need a lot of work, but they are there even after all the hassles. And since then, Lennaert has got multiplayer working with the appearance of no lag across several games, Lorne has learnt Spriter and I learnt how to deal with some serious problems and do some funky new mechanics I never had to try before (like climbing ledges which gave me a lot of grief and still needs some tweaks, but it works). So this was very worthwhile and I encourage everyone to try getting out there and forming some bigger teams!

  • I'll develop further more on my comment on your ludum dare page, as I'm aware it may sound a bit harsh.

    It pains me that "you shot yourself in the foot" with the idea of "one single life per browser".

    You set up a huge logistic (a team of people, SVN server, "multiplayer gameplay"), some nice graphics and animations that definitely build a sweet ambiance for your game and only allow the player to enjoy it for a few seconds.

    Instead, "forcing" the player to be a ghost for a limited amount of time before being able to restart the game could have been a good way to get your idea across and bring an enjoyable experience to your player.

    Permadeath in such a way and in a "platform" game full of traps is kind of teasing your players. "We've put much effort in building a gorgeous game but we don't want you to enjoy it".

    That's one of the biggest mistakes you've made on that project I think.

    I think you really were too ambitious (multiplayer game, when you don't already have a working framework for it is really a huge task in a week end. And it needs other players to be meaningful). I remember a few LDs ago, I and Yann tried to make a multiplayer game as well, building a "simple" HTML server at the time that C2 didn't even have WebSockets in. We built the server, had the logic working through AJAX requests, we made it work/had a proof of concept.

    But we weren't able to make the client/game in the end. It was still too ambitious, and still it wasn't our first game jam.

    But that's how you learn I guess.

    As you mention, the artist did not know how to use Spriter before starting the jam, it is another mistake. I concur that Spriter is a wonderful tool and quite quick to get the hang of, nevertheless, in most game jams, the keynotes/advices always state to know/be familiar with the tools you're going to use before.

    In the end you managed to release a playable game, so all kudos to the team.

    It made for a first take on jam and that's nice.

    But, imo, before thinking about getting more ppl on board, you should rather take out of this jam that you need to set for an idea, make sure the idea is fun for your players to play and then for you to make.

    Then make sure that all the features that are essential for the game, you can put in the game in set time.

    If you can't, rework the design and don't hesitate to cut useless features off.

    In this peculiar game for example, you could very well have done without Spriter and simply go for drawn frames.

    Considering the time the player actually gets to see/use the spriter animations and that the ghost is a single frame, it would have won you a great amount of time.

    Keeping it simple is always best.

    Once again, congratulations for making a game anyway, that's a great success in itself for a jam. But having more members would only have lead you to try to get more "non essential" stuff in whereas you should have focused in priority on what was required for the game to be fun for the player.

    After, that's what game jams are here for, test, experiment, make mistakes and learn.

    Also, one last note on a personal fight of mine : controls.

    WASD layout is fine on QWERTY keyboards. Unfortunately, the whole world does not use QWERTY keyboards, and the WASD layout on an AZERTY keyboard is just a pain to use.

    Always think about providing an alternative (arrow keys possibly, or allowing for an option for the player to chose between WASD and ZQSD, or ESDF which works the same for both keyboards and is only one key offset).

    Your game wasn't the worst on that aspect, but I'm putting it here in case other game makers are reading those words, so that they consider their international audience.

  • Kyatric yeah that's all very valid :) As a Ludum Dare competitor it falls way short. It's also a case for the failings of democracy - I'm on the record of being staunchly against the whole design of the thing :P But, not everyone can get what they want. This is another tip I would give people: assign your lead designer ahead of time. Get someone to make all the final calls, otherwise you get dragged in too many directions. (Although I do like the idea of perma-death, it just needs to be vastly better in its layout design)

    But that said, the primary goal was to see what we could do with a group of people in a short space of time, and it looks good! And for the scope of LD it can be hard to fit everyone in, but I want to try to expose the potential for bigger projects. LD was just a good chance to bring some people together. And the main thing gained is how much we all learnt in this process. Like now I understand better all the considerations to get smooth multiplayer that I can factor in from the start.

    And thanks for the keyboard advice, it never crossed my mind actually. And also controller should work on it too.

  • I still say we should have gone with a one legged viking with a dog whahahahaha

    Thanks for the comments :)

    I think the SVN and its relating issues swallowed up about half of our time. We could have done so much more ...

    The whole haunting concept (death) wasnt worked out sufficiently,the idea was that when you become a ghost you would be able to do a lot more.

    Effectively giving you another piece of game play.

    The whole alive state of the game was the concept you get only one life ... but you could haunt forever :)

    Idea were such as taunting or helping a living player as a ghost.

  • I must have missed the updates to this thread. But yeah, things could have gone smoother. I myself spent half the time fighting the music recording software rather than actually writing and recording music, but I think it worked well enough. I only got the music software (Presonus Studio One 2 Pro) a couple weeks before the comp, so I was still learning it. And then, of course, I found more things I needed to learn or solve when I started recording as well.

    It is unfortunate that we ran into problems along that way that slowed us down. I would have liked to see what we could do without "wasting" time, but it turned out alright.

    I was wary of SVN before we started. It just seemed so risky. I don't like the fact that work can be lost. I would rather everybody had worked on a separate file or something so at least we could keep our progress, but I don't know how that would have worked.

    With a large team, it is a bit tricky to get everybody to agree on something, especially when we must do our brainstorming at the last minute. There were times like I felt we weren't all on the same page or aware of what someone else was wanting. I never did figure out what happened to the other music guy. Of course, I was going to do everything we needed anyway. I think the music I did turned out fine, though I would have like to spend more time working on making the music better than troubleshooting sound issues.

    I think the end result turned out fine. It would have been better had we just kept it simple. I was assuming we would just make a hard-to-find exit with time running out for the torch. Then, there was talk of ghosts and all this other stuff, which is fine. I just think we didn't really have time to flesh it all out.

    Overall, I had fun, and I'm glad that people like the game even with a few bugs here and there.

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