Ludum Dare 23

 

Intro: 

Just finished up my second Ludum Dare, and my first time in the jam version of the competition. Myself and two other darer’s ( adhesion, and emarcotte ) joined forces to take on LD23′s theme: Tiny World. Pretty much all of the first day was spent coming up with ideas. After 4 hours of tossing ideas around we boiled it down to “Escape from MiniMars”.

Direct Link: http://adhesion.mu/games/ld23-sub/

Ludum Dare page: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-23/?action=preview&uid=7860

Art Timelapse:

 

You are a robot that finds himself on the surface of mars (well, minimars… but its the same damned thing :P ) and must escape. For all intents and purposes it is a mario style platformer. We loved the idea however, that there would be tons of tiny people in this tiny world that love the shit out of robots. They chase after you and jump on so they can hug you! Killing them was to be incredibly easy as youre… a goddamn giant robot. The difficulty is such that the people can never really kill you (except in maybe one or 2 areas) so its more of a way to kinda color the world and just make you chuckle a little bit whist mowing all these tiny dudes down with supercharged eye-lazers.

Now since this was a JAM entry, we had a team. Emarcotte adhesion and I all programmed it up.  (although they did most of the work, I just tweaked jump arcs and stuff like that XD ) While Adhesion rocked his chiptune magic and I was free to spend pretty much the entire weekend making art assets.

 

Tools: 

For the art and level design I used a combination of Photoshop, Graphics Gale (http://www.humanbalance.net/gale/us/), and Tiled ( http://www.mapeditor.org/). The game was programmed using MelonJS (http://www.melonjs.org/) (a html5 canvas game engine).

 

I really can’t say enough about Tiled. It’s a map editor thats incredibly easy to use and can export data in a buncha different formats, one of them being XML.

All you do is import your tileset, and start to paint. You can have multiple layers of map tiles, setup entities within the level, as well as setup your collision maps. Flash’s Flixel and MelonJS both have native support for this guy. It’s a must in my opinion.

 

Graphics Gale is a pretty nice freeware pixel animation app. The interface is a bit clunky, and the Layer stuff can be a bit annoying, but It works really well for animation.

 

Photoshop is an obvious choice, but it pretty much blows for animation. XD If Graphics Gale’s UI was better id never close it~

 

MelonJS is pretty easy to work with.  You can make a platformer basically out of the box. The engine is pretty high level though, I found that you have to hack in even the most basic of additional features.  I also have some pretty large complaints about html/js games and javascript in general, but that is a rant that will go on and on and on forever. :/

 

JAM vs COMPO :

Last LD I did the compo and I must say, it was brutal. I didn’t get to put as much time as i wanted into either programming, art or.. cough cough sound. (if you saw my last game, the music was actually playing a randomized selection of notes. ) With the jam, you get more time, and more manpower. I really do like both, but I think the jam comes out a little bit ahead in my book. I got to work on art to my heart’s content (and drawing arm’s discontent) and got what i feel to be quite a bit of stuff done. I think i will do the compo for my next LD competition, but the JAM was damned fun.

 

 

 

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