Stuff Under the Header

1/30/2011

Game Jamming Fun

Edit: (February 8, 2011) Yay, got my HD backed up.

Edit #2: (February 7, 2011) Nope, not the power supply, it's the mother board that died. It had a long nice life though. But everything is fine. It's dead, but I'm moving on to better machines.

Edit: (February 7, 2011) Development on the game may stop for about a week. My desktops power supply decided to die. Well... it has been dying, it finally decided today to refuse to let the PC to boot up completely. I would have gotten a new one today, but I know someone who has a bunch of extra computer parts just laying around so I just need to see if he has an extra power supply. I'm surprised it lasted this long, it's 6 years old. It gives 300 watts... I don't think they even make those anymore. If I can get the pro version of GM working on this laptop (whenever softwrap decides to get back with me) and if I can get the desktop to boot just one more time, I can get the recent build off of it. I was dumb and decided not to back up the most recent even though I knew the PSU could crap out completely at any time. May just slave it to another PC later.

Edit: (February 4, 2011) Almost forgot, the game I contributed to at the Global Game Jam is in the link below. My best time is 1:27. One of the other guys on the team has done it in 0:53, so that's the goal here. The concept is very simple, I don't even have to explain it, you'll see. If you use the [Website] link in the description (or the link I provided in this sentence), you can play it over the web, you'll only need to install the Unity web player on your browser. Not bad for a game done in less than 48 hours. :D
http://www.globalgamejam.org/2011/aliens-vs-bunnies

The 2011 Global Game Jam ended today. If you don't know what that is, more info can be found here. I had an amazing and fun time there. I'll link to the game we made a bit later. The game we made was done in Unity, which is a fantastic engine. I never really gave it a very good test run before this. Remember a post ago when I said I was studying up XNA... yeah, screw that. I don't do well with low level programming which XNA will inevitably require at some point. That and Unity is, in my eyes, a much better game development package. Not discrediting XNA, it's a nice tool, but Unity fits my uses much better. I was able to jump right into its C# code with very little trouble. The development pipeline is shorter and testing within Unity is efficient.

The team I was in consisted entirely of coders, and are much better programmers than I am, so I was primarily the artist. Quite a surprise and change from what I've been doing lately. I enjoyed it a lot and will definitely be doing this again next year. I also highly recommend those of you that love game design to participate next year as well. Don't feel like you won't be able to contribute or underestimate yourself, you will find a place for yourself among the groups that form. I felt really lucky to be in the team I was in. Everyone was nice and accepting. One of the guys worked on Rift (I believe he did work on the server side of things) roughly a year ago, definitely glad to have him. One thing that felt really great was that no one was indispensable, everyone had and did something significant to contribute. So to reiterate, I had an amazing time and highly recommend to everyone who is a designer to participate next year.

Also something I've been a part of for over half a decade is the International Game Developers Association. (IGDA, site found here) Sign up, and check if there are any chapters near you, be a part of this stuff. There's a membership fee, ($50/yr last I checked) but that isn't required to sign up on the forums or to attend events hosted by the IGDA. It's typicallyonly if you want to be on the board committee as well as attending closed events, which don't happen that often. Most are open to the public. (I haven't been a paid member in a few years, shh.)

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That's really it... or is it? I shall now announce what this secret/surprise is. This is going to invalidate a trope or two, but here we go.

Due to demand and partially a joke, I am making Distorted Travesty 2. Whoa, wait... WHAT!? I wasn't going to make a sequel though!! But I am. However it is a very very short game. It is planned to be completable in 30-60 minutes. It takes place right after DT and will contain spoilers. All cutscenes, no matter the length, can be skipped in it though. It features independent levels set up more like Mario games. There's a score and timer (counts up) for each level and little collectibles. (Which must be obtained in one playthrough of the level) There are target times and scores for little bonus things on each level. There are boss levels as well, all of which can be replayed at your leisure. (Bosses will only have a target time.) I may try to set up leaderboards for this at some point, but I am focusing on the game itself right now. Despite it being very short, about 10 levels, all of which can be completed in less than 2 minutes, I am not working on it too much. It's not going to take months or anything, but don't expect it next week. Here's a screenshot.












As you can see, you will be playing as a different character, named Claire, in the sequel. If you played through DT, you probably know who this is (she was never referred to by name), if not, you will when you play this. I am using the same engine as before, but tweaked a lot. Claire is a bit floaty and more mobile than Jerry. She can't use physical attacks or techs, but can cast spells much better than Jerry could. She has all the mobility options Jerry has, to add to it though, she can wall jump, which will renew her air dash, even if she hasn't touched the ground.

The spell system works a bit differently, elements are not swapped anymore, instead an element is accessed through its own key, each of these have some context sensitive commands like holding a specific direction. For example, if you're in the air and hold up while using Fire, you will create Jerry's Blast Off effect. Some of her spells mimic Jerry's but she will have a few of her own. The game, overall is (at least in my opinion) a bit easier than DT, but you should still be expecting DT style difficulty. The first 2 levels are very easy, but I ramp it up very fast from there. I recommend that you have played some of DT, at least to the point where you understood its air dashing mechanic, as this game doesn't give you very long (2 levels) to get used to its mechanics before the difficulty goes to roughly the Dusty Ruins level of difficulty.

Oh yeah, one other thing before I end this... the Navi sprite that you see. No, there are no Navi sounds in this except for one time in the opening cutscene. She works like Jeremy's identifier ability in DT, however, if you leave the mouse alone, she will fly around on her own. (The object just detaches from your mouse while it is inactive, no worries, I don't actually mess with your mouse cursor position.)

Anyway, long update is longer than other updates have been in a long time... ... ...long.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hooray for female characters! :D

This sounds interesting. Will we learn exactly what Jerry did and why Clair broke up with him?

DarkJoe said...

It won't be said directly, but more implied, so I'm leaving it slightly open for interpretation on what exactly happened between them.

I also believe I have definitely kept it the DT level of difficulty. I aimed for the levels not being too hard unless you're going for the time or score, but when you see the desert level... well I'll just say that even I was about ready to toss my computer out the window on the final build of that level.