Friday, August 31, 2012

My Ludum Dare 24 Entry

This is about the game I recently made in 48 hours for the competition, LD24.

I spent my whole first day (15 hours maybe totally) making the game except the sounds and music. I came to Istanbul and spent my time with friends, I only spent 3 hours on quick music making (my first time using the music making-recording-producing program Nuendo) and weird sounds all with my mouth. I hoped it to be a funny game and it made some people laugh, so I'm happy with the result.

The resolution of the game is 80x60. It was a lot of fun to make a game of that resolution. The text barely fit the screen, and it was a lot of fun to draw very pixel-based sprites.

It also got some attention with the mechanic of the game, which allows you to make your enemies your allies. You remember that guy from Age of Empires 2 who yells WOLOLOO and makes the enemy soldiers ours? Well, why don't you just play the game here:

Saturday, August 11, 2012

"An Ode To Pixel Days" Devlog Entry #2

I came back with some screenshots and other un-useful information! A lot has happened since the last entry and I didn't write anything since then because I was too busy or too lazy or both.

Last entry ended with saying that the next entry will be about the code I’ve written. But that just seemed too boring. Yes, even for a video game development blog. I’m actually having fun with object-oriented programming, creating objects and instances and their relationships in the game. When I started on Flash, I wrote some code on the timeline of Flash Professional. That was ugly. When I was just about to write actual classes and real code on Flash Professional, I started using FlashDevelop. I think programs like FlashBuilder and FlashDevelop actually work a lot better if you are a programmer. My genious coder brother was saying that it’s awesome when you connect Flash Professional with Flash Builder. Apparently you can do that.

As you may know, there were 6 different worlds with different resolutions in my game. I made the decision of reducing it to 5. The idea of every person being a single pixel was that everyone would look just the same, and the ugly/attractive scale of the world would be over. And guess what? It was over when everyone was two pixels too! I didn't need to scale down one more time. And more importantly, I think the game will have a better flow this way. In a project like this, one of the most important things is the game’s flow. And I’m working hard on making the game flow, and at the same time, making it challenging at some moments. Because what is a game without challenge? An interactive movie! I played some 2D exploration platform games like “Coma”. I dig them pretty much, but I have some issues with playing a game without a real challenge. “Theory of Fun” by Raph Koster talks all about why a game’s most important element is challenge. Because games should be learning experiences, whether it teaches an important or unimportant skill is not very relevant to game’s attractiveness.

So my game at its core is an exploration game. But player has to deal with monsters and puzzles and timing and other stuff as well. I have some trouble actually connecting some puzzles with the narration, but so far I haven’t got many negative comments about that just yet.

Look at those platforms! I've tried my best to steal that look from the game QUBE.

I have 22 levels coded. 5 different worlds with a lot of narrating. I’m having a hard time making people actually read the narrator lines. People think it’s just boring. Actaully I think it’s boring, too. If I’m going to actually read stuff in a game, it must be an artistic statement. And I’m trying to make that happen. I hope some people will actually connect with what is being told in the game.

These days, I’m working on the levels where Hans is walking and running with the cheerleader. When cheerleader is happy, she’s jumping around, spreading the positive energy. It looks funny and I got some positive feedback on it. I'm pretty happy with it. The player has to solve some puzzles concerning the cheerleader not being a good jumper like Hans. She is bitching when Hans leaves her behind too.

Yesterday I worked on a level that is more of a cinematic than actual gameplay. The time slows when the cheerleader is feeling bad and thinks about the relationship. And it gets faster when she thinks more about a break-up. And a break-up is a simple “run the hell away from your partner” in my game. I’ll work on some color transformations and cool music changes and I think it’ll be a tasty level for the art-seekers.

I think I’ll add an alternative ending through the middle of the game. That’ll be fun. I won’t tell you where it is. It mustn’t be too hard to find though.

My friend Cem Evin made a tool to create levels. It’s simple yet effective. You just place tiles and delete them with another click. I didn’t want to go in DAME and the other level editors. I think Cem’s tool is just enough. As far as I know, he’s making a greater level editor for Flixel. I don’t know if that’ll be for general use or specified only for his game though. But I know that he’s pretty talented when it comes to software.

I want to make a save system to add an extra thing to my game. When the player is done with the game, I’ll let the player to play any level once again, but with the tool that I use to create levels. Placing and deleting tiles is fun, you can actually trap the cheerleader and stuff. Player will be able to go anywhere in the whole game. Just create a giant hole on the ground and go to the door! I'll watch people destroy my own game. It will be fun! It's just an idea though. We'll see how it goes.

Another thing I did to create a better flow was the HP of player issue. I think the game was too hard with only one health, and I didn’t want to put a health bar or something since I want it to be an art game. What I did was similar to the health system in Call of Duty and most of the modern games. I don’t know what it’s called. When the player gets hit, the screen goes red, meaning that the player should be careful and not get hit again. If he doesn’t get another hit in the meantime, the screen goes normal and the player now has 2 HP points again. I don’t know if some of the players will get confused, hopefully it’s a clear issue for the majority of players.

When you don’t have people around you, it’s much easier to lose concentration and motivation. I become depressed pretty easily. Luckily, I have wonderful people around, like my lover, Nazire. She’s always there for me and I thank her for her priceless support.

It’s important to build a small commune for creativity and motivation. I hope I’ll be relaxed and motivated enough to finish the game in its best conditions. Nazire has a nice little game of hers, too. Wish us luck! We don’t work with deadlines though. So I don’t know when any of the games will be finished. I finished a game in almost 3 years and I’m still happy how it turned out. Some stuff just needs time. If you’re not so lazy, or won’t starve in a couple of months, it’s better to work in a relaxed environment.

I think the game will look much better when I draw some background tiles and some more graphics. But for now, this is how the game looks like. Let me know if you want to test the game for yourself, I’d be happy to send you a stable build. Just connect with me on here, Facebook or even Twitter. Or send an e-mail to . What ever you like. I’m a friendly person when it comes to game development. I’d love to share information and comment on games.

And by the way, if you like psychedelic music, and you haven’t heard the LP of Arzachel from 1969, check that out. It’s f’ing amazing. See you on the next entry.