Ludum Dare 23 – Oh dear

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Apr 232012

Well the theme for Ludum Dare 23 was Tiny World and for some reason, early Saturday morning the best I could come up with whilst trying to limit the scope was something based on the the Disney boat ride “It’s a small world“.  Now in retrospect this was probably not the best idea I’ve had for a game.

The concept

If you have been on the ride you will know its a musical ride with a very catchy and incredibly annoying theme song.  The concept was that being driven mad by the song, you have to attack the characters from the ride floating in your mind to reduce the songs volume and return to sanity.  See sounds great at 3:00 am 🙂

Have a listen to see what the song sounds like if you have not had chance to experience it.

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I also planned to use a mix of images inspired by Mary Blare who actually helped design the rides look.  The “player” would be based on the Lost Souls from Doom.  No idea why I thought this would be good mix.

No idea of how to win really, I guess I just hoped that it would fun to an extent, but was pinning my hopes of the visuals being interesting enough to hold the attention of the player.

The delivery 

 Well I have very limited time to write code, so have to make use of the night shift when the kids are asleep.  To prevent all hell the next day I force my self to sleep rather than stay up all night with a target of at least 4 hours.  Its just not fair to inflict my grumpyness on the rest of the world for a bad game.  So this gives a very limited amount of time to code in over the weekend. 

This coupled with taking on the challenge of Silverlight as a delivery medium resulted in very slow progress with the majority of my time spent fighting my lack of experience with XAML and not creating.  I do like Silverlight as a medium and may use it in future projects.

The audio, which I never actually got to record was to be myself singing/humming the theme tune.  Thankfully for all, I never recorded anything.

The game

I’m not sure I can really call it a game, but due to my lack of momentum and poor concept I threw in the towel early Sunday evening, for both the Compo and the Jam.  If you are still interested you can play/run what I have by clicking the image below:

So what I have I learnt?

  • With limited time, pick a technology that you know.  6-7 hours is not the time to take on something new.
  • If the concept is not working, drop it quickly and try something else.  If its not working after a couple hours, then 5 more are unlikely to improve it.


Mar 162012

Well in less than a week Ludum Dare 23 kicks off.  Its been a while since I was able enter and the last few I have either had family commitments, lack of motivation or never managed to hit the ground running with enough momentum to carry it through to completion.

My most complete attempts were Jungle Explorer – LD16 and Alien Super Mega Blaster – LD18 which went on to be published on the XBOX and WP7 for charity.

More recent attempts I seemed to fall flat short of insperation with the theme.

I’m planning to give it another go this time and see what I can come up with.  A number of my personal projects have recently stalled and hopefully this will be the kick I need to get some code down and complete something.

All my previous attempts have used XNA, whilst this is my prefered tool for writing games its some what of a barrier when it comes to getting people to play.  So this time I may try either Silverlight or HTML5.  This risk here is I spend my time fighting my knowledge of the platform and not creating.  I have a few days between now and kick off so may grab a little time for a warm up app.

You never know, I may try a timelapse again…..

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Sep 282011

Been a while since I’ve had time to code anything, but in the last couple weeks made a push on bringing Alien Super Mega Blaster from the XBox to Windows Phone 7.

Whilst the basic port from XBox to WP7 took less than an hour, making the game playable on a phone has taken a little longer.

My initial thoughts were to use the accelerometer to control the ship, but in practise the fine control required to miss shrapnel was just not possible with this approach. As such I switched to buttons on screen and move the game play up a little to give space. Seems to work OK.

Apart from that the only changes are related to navigation running on a phone.

Having a little trouble uploading screen shots tonight, so will have to hold on until this is fixed. But if you are keen to see what it looks like, check out the Facebook page that has a couple screen shots.!/pages/Codheadz-Games/141436812583685