Beam Me Up, Scotty

Hey guys, its Nemo. Hope you guys are awesome as always and healthy both physically and mentally. Can you believe it! It’s already the 3rd month of 2016, 9 more and its happy new years all over again. Okay enough, let us not dwell on the future. Let us focus on the present, the current, the now.

Quick brief up on what’s been happening

  • Re-organised my weekly schedule
  • Re-design my blog site
  • Re-designed my website layout (itsdaum.com)
  • Re-designed my resume (Finishing uni this year )
  • Explored Blue Mountains and places around Sydney
  • Got back into running and staying fit
  • Finally Cleaned Car (for those who don’t know my car was quite messed up from road trips)
  • Photography (Timelapse of Sydney night life)
  • Started being part of social media – Tig Source and Twitter.
  • That’s about all I can think of.
  • Wait also new project – Beam Me – mobile game.

So let’s being todays topic. What is “Beam Me”? Well first we need to look into the most recent failures of 2015.

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Knob&Stud – This was a solo attempt game for ludum dare about a farmer called Knob and a pig named Stud. The game was a puzzle game in which Knob and Stud had their own individual set of rules such as Knob couldn’t swim whereas Stud could swim, Knob could chuck Stud, etc. You controlled Knob and Stud to solve puzzles which involved using each other’s pros and cons to over come obstacles. The best part was being able to chuck the pig. I had a ton of enjoyment chucking Stud. But the verdict was the game never finished due to a few reasons.

  • Since this was a game for ludum dare, I had to work with a few constraints. The theme was two button system. I originally had it focused on using the left and right mouse button to do everything, from chucking/ jumping/ walking. The game had to many mechanics/gimmicks for two buttons.
  • Hardware/Software constraints. I had a few hiccups at the start of this particular jam, unfortunately my main computer decided to catch a virus which took up all of the ram. I couldn’t use any software. So I was stuck to using my Surface, which wasn’t bad at first. But I soon ran into problems of having to draw art on Gimp. I could not stand drawing with a mouse, especially a heavy wireless one.
  • Time constraint – Tutorial and Gameplay. The game jam was 48 hrs long. Art was coming out at a slow rate, so I made it real simple. The programming side was smooth without many hiccups. The main problem was getting content into the game. Teaching the players each mechanics wasn’t too hard but when it came to building harder levels I came to brick wall. I couldn’t make complex puzzles because that required more mechanics, which meant more tutorials, which meant more art. I did not have time for it.

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The game ended up being simple tutorials of the mechanics of Knob and Stud which wasn’t too fun. I decided not to upload it to the competition as I wasn’t confident with the game.

I learned a valuable lesson from making this game

  • Don’t catch a computer virus just before a competition.
  • Get a better wireless mouse.
  • Design to the theme. I should have known that with 2 buttons I couldn’t do a game which involved a lot of game mechanics. I over complicated the game. I should have focused on what was fun and ditch the part which wasn’t necessary. Should have focused the game around chucking the pig.
  • Spend more time on designing/ quick prototypes.

I took these lessons and applied it to my new project “Beam Me”. Beam Me is a reflection of all the failures that happened in 2015.

I re-attempted at a game using the theme – two button system.

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Beam me is a mobile arcade game. The control scheme utilizes two buttons. The goal of Beam me is to control an alien spaceship which revolves around a planet while beaming up fallen alien soldiers and avoiding contact with any incoming hazards. The game has different planets to explore, each planet having their own unique objectives, hazards, and challenges.

I started this project at the start of this year to get myself familiar with the processes required to get a game onto the mobile market. I thought a simple game like Beam Me would help me achieve that. The game is relatively small scoped but with possibilities to build upon if needed. The current build is just a prototype and I still have a few more features ahead of me.

For more about Beam Me I started a tigsource blog for more awareness.

Next post will be about how Delirium influenced in designing Beam Me. Till then Ciao and Stay Awesome. Nemo Out!

 

 

Ludum Dare Post Mortem

Hey guys Nemo here, so here is my post mortem after finishing Ludum Dare 30. LD30 was my first game jam, aswell as my friend who attended with me. It was truly an insightful experience for both of us. For this post mortem I’ll be focusing on what went well, what didn’t go as well and what I can do better next time I attend Ludum Dare or any other game Jams.  Okay so lets begin the break down!

What Went Right?

1. Project Management/Communication

Asana and Skype saved us! Project Management and Communication determines whether the project is going to fail or not. As many of you may not know I live in Australia whereas my friend lives all the way in Singapore. We had a 2 hour time difference, which would have caused a lot of issues. However we able to over come this by having video skype calls whenever we were working on the game. We were also able to split the tasks required for this game and assign it to each other if we weren’t able to complete it.

2. Core Mechanics

Fortunately we were able to come up with a fun core mechanic within the first 2 hours of the game jam. Before the game jam had started we had initially planned to take up around 4-5 hours on just design of the game.

3. First prototype within first 6 hours

After all the design phase of the game we put a milestone to finish a playable prototype within the first 6 hours. We were able to achieve that milestone. Once we got a prototype working we could then properly see how the mechanics of the game could be enhanced or additional features to create more depth into the game.

4. Sound in a game

I always found implementing sound to be a hard one. We were able to find some nice musics by Kevin Mcleod and generated some interesting sounds from bfxr.net.  Sound was something that I didn’t really found that important until now. After including sound into the game it changed the whole atmosphere and feel of the game.

What Went Wrong?

1. Deciding on scope of the game

Whilst working on the game we kept thinking of new features to add into the game. We had atleast 10 different types of different blocks that we wanted to implement and also a rotating feature (which we managed to implement however didn’t really serve a purpose in the gameplay and was taken out) and a level system. We took away those unnecessary features in the end and only built on the core mechanics of the game.

2. Merge conflict

We encountered some issues with Bitbucket and Source Tree. We had some encounters with version control, some files had conflicted with others and we had to learn to resolve those issues. One time we lost a chunk of code that we spent for and 1hour which was disappointing. However I was able to learn on how to handle these sort of situations if it were to occur in the future.

3. Sleep

Sleep. Oh my god. For all those future ludum dare competitors make sure you get a good rest in between each day (except the last day go hard out :D). I realised how important sleep is during this ludum dare. On the second day of ludum dare I was up late trying to figure out a simple math problem which took more time than it should have. If I had taken the time to sleep earlier and work on the problem during the morning with a active brain I would of been able to save time.

What I can do better next time?

1. Set proper milestones

So yeah, I learnt to make proper milestones during any Ludum dare and game jams. Make sure you know how much time you have and be able to estimate how long it is going to take the following feature you require. If you don’t know how long it is going to estimate then break down the task into smaller tasks that you can estimate the time it will take. You should also make sure that feature is going to be worth to the total project.

It’s always good to plan ahead but don’t end up spending all of time planning, sometimes you have to just get into prototyping the game.

2. More sleep

Sleep. 72 hours seems like a short time but really it isn’t. Get atleast 6-7 hours of sleep each day and wake up early so you have an active day to be able solve problems that may arise throughout the day.

I also learnt you shouldn’t just fix your sleeping pattern for ludum dares and game jams but life in general. It really helps you to become a better version of yourself, because remember your body is your mind. Keeping a good healthy body will keep your mind focused. So yeah. Go get some sleep and I’ll talk to you guys next time! That’s all for today. Nemo signing off~!

Ludum Dare 30!- Connected Worlds – Day 1 complete

Hey guys Nemo here, its been a while since i last posted. On the flip side I am currently attending ludum dare 30 with another friend woo, as I promised you guys and myself :). So a little background of the event, Day 1 has been complete. The theme for this ludum dare was “Connected Worlds”. At first glance my friend and I were stumbled on where to start, the theme seemed hard to approach, but after 3 hours of discussion we managed to pick out an interesting game that we both wanted to create. For this project we both shared the programming task and art task, and we were able to get our first playable and fun prototype up within the first 6 hours which was quite an achievement. I’ll explain the game once the game is more complete as I am currently running out of ludum time!ludumdare30pic

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I’ll keep our progression updated so be sure to click that refresh button! For all you other ludum dare competitors Good Luck and I hope to see your awesome games in 2 days time!

Let’s Talk Ludum Dare!

Hello, I have BIG news to everyone who is interested in game development. Two words “Ludum Dare”.

Whats so big about Ludum Dare you ask? Well. It’s an online game jam. Anyone in the world can participant in this event. Each event run for 48 hours during the weekends, and are judged by the community. Ludum Dare events are held out only three times a year(April, August and December) with all new themes. Themes can range from anything vague such as infection, random, to more specific themes such as 10 seconds.  Games must contain the theme and are required to be explained through a documentation by the game developers.

Ludum Dare is an awesome way for you to show your off your passion for game development and not only that its a great community experience. It only happens three times so might as well join in. Don’t worry if you can’t make awesome fancy games! No judgment from the growing community, the community is awesome/friendly and they are people like you game developers! Thats the beauty of Ludum Dare. Make Games. Share Them! Have Fun! ;]

Ahhh I can’t believe I just found out about LUDUM DARE! missed out on so many events sighh, there have been already 29 events. The theme for the April 2014 was beneath the surface. Can’t wait to see the games that have been created!

I am going to prepare myself for the August 2014 Event! And I hope to see all of you guys there! I truly recommend you guys to get on aboard the LUDUM DARE August 2014!!

Like this Post and Share it with your fellow game developer friends! Also checkout my other blogs 🙂

http://www.ludumdare.com/

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/