Into the unknown - Post-mortem

Well, had some time to think over what I did right and wrong for my first participation in LD, or any game making sprint for that matter.
The good :
  • I ended up with something playable. Sure, it lacks a lot of stuff, but considering I had to pretty much give up on more than half of the 48 hours thanks to "life", it's still a good thing.
  • I managed to learn pyGame. I had sort of glanced over the docs before, but getting down to programming with it really is the best way to truly learn how to use it.
  • I didn't spend a single second fixing 'code' problems. That's thanks to Python, but anyway the only bugs I had were logical ones, and not some weird case of the code behaving in strange ways. That was refreshing.
  • I had loads of fun, which I see as an important point, that means I'd do it again.
The bad :
  • I tackled problems in the wrong order. I spent a huge amount of time trying to fix my lighting system, and still didn't get it right on time for the submission deadline. As I was making a platformer, I should have concentrated on getting a platformer first, and then add the light stuff.
  • In relation to the previous point, I spent way too much time on a single problem. And by not changing and working on something else, I kept trying to push in the wrong direction. Case in point : on monday, I fixed my lighting problems in about 20 minutes, because my mind was clear and I could see the solution I'd missed (hint : I was trying to determine what areas were lit, I ended up computing the shaded parts instead...).
  • I didn't allocate time for packaging. I figured that Python and pyGame being cross-platform, it would work out, but I should have spent some time to properly package for MacOSX users and Windows users. I'm going to fix that as soon as I have some time, though.
So there you go, all in all I'm proud of myself, and I'll be sure to continue working on the game. I think it has some potential, even if it's very crude and barebones at the moment.

Thanks to those who provided feedback, it's really helpful! And stay tuned for proper exe and app executables in the next few days (busy packing as I'm going to Canada on friday, but I'll find some time...).


Version 0.2 already

Don't want to read ? Here's a link :

Of course, after having slept a bit, the solution to all my light-related problems appeared to me, clear and simple...

So I couldn't resist and implemented it, look how beautiful it is ! (Ahem, getting a bit ahead of myself...)

Anyway, enjoy "Into the unknown v.0.2". Next update will probably be about some kind of new feature. Like a start screen, or maybe some kind of story-related stuff. But it'll happen when it happens.
And it'll surely improve the controls, which are a bit hard to grasp at the moment...


And that's a wrap !

Thought I was never going to finish in time, but here I am, my 'game' uploaded before the deadline... It looks somehow like this :

But honestly, when it moves it's much nicer :)

So if you're feeling brave, install python and pygame, and enjoy ! Many things I planned to put in there were left out, and I'll probably do a proper post-mortem of my experience at a later time.

It was both very fun and a very good challenge, anyway. I'll probably come back to that project to properly finish it, I think it has some kind of potential.

Anyway, links !

Ludum Dare entry page
Actual file (source code, you need python and pygame to play...)

Of course, I'm very interested in any kind of feedback you could have... Comment away !


Hum, not much time left...

...and my lights still aren't properly working... *sigh*

That being said, I'm now designing levels, got 17 down, still need around 23, but describing them all by hand is quite time consuming. And with all that, there's still no music, no sound, no story, ...

I hope to have at least a basic "explore the labyrinth to find the exit" type of thing for the deadline, but a complete version will probably have to wait for after the end of the competition. Ah well, at least I'm having fun :p


And, ladies and gentlemen, let there be light !

Well, ok, it's not impressive as of yet, but my proof-of-concept jusing a bitmask works like a charm (just tested it in five minutes...). So I'm confident I'll have the kind of lights I want tomorrow...

This is looking very good this far...

And here's a screenshot (also, some kind of background :D)

Now, I need to compute the boundary of a weird polygon... Then maybe, soft shadows ?

Yay ! Levels can now be loaded !

I now have a pretty good grasp on the game I want to make (obviously, it'll be some kind of platformer...), and the code is coming along nicely.

This is what I've got right now :

This starts looking like a game, right ?

I will now start thinking about the biggest challenge : a dynamic lighting system. Got some ideas, but it won't be easy. Wish me luck !


Physical setup complete !

Ok, took me a bit longer than expected, but my room is ready !

Vignetting effect courtesy of my wide-angle lens.

Guitars are there, music is playing, I have fruits handy, desk is tidy, and the fridge is full of stuff... Now to the software part...


Ludum Dare #19

So, this weekend will be pretty busy. Between the Japanese class, the family reunion on saturday night, and some last-minute present shopping, I'm going to try and take part in Ludum Dare #19.

I mentionned Ludum Dare previously, but to recap, it's a competition where the goal is to make a game based on a yet-to-be-revealed theme in 48 hours, starting from scratch.

It's going to be tough, but I really want to try and get together something playable during the weekend. In my timezone, the contest will start at 3am on saturday, and end at the same time monday, so I'll still have a reasonable amount of time.

I'll (try to) blog and tweet regularly during the process, so expect things here during the weekend. For the curious, you can check what I'll be using there.


How to feel good about yourself today.

Who doesn't like feeling like a good person once in a while ? And who doesn't like getting something for it to boot ?

Well, guess what, for a little more than 6 days still, that's exactly what you can do !

Here's the deal : you buy 5 great games for any price you want, then decide who gets the money. Sounds good? Head over to the Humble Indie Bundle #2 page.

Still not convinced ? Then please take a couple of minutes to read about some specifics after the break...


Besoin d'un avis, les geeks...

[Note : Sorry for the post in French...]

J'ai besoin de votre avis à propos d'un projet en train de germer...
A savoir, une compétition de création de jeux vidéos.

L'idée est de proposer de créer, seul ou à deux, un jeu vidéo complet en 48 heures (pendant un week-end, d'un vendredi 19h au dimanche 19h, pour pouvoir quand même dormir avant la semaine :) ).

Après le week-end de création, les participants auraient l'occasion de jouer aux créations de leurs concurrents, et de voter dans différentes catégories (gameplay, graphismes, originalité, ...). Ensuite, le vainqueur dans chaque catégorie serait annoncé.

L'idée en est pour l'instant là, donc pas encore de dates, de règlement complet ou autre. Simplement, une envie de pousser les gens à concevoir des jeux, et à le faire "sous la pression" afin que quelque chose en sorte. Mais ce genre d'évènement ne pouvant se concrétiser que si des gens sont désireux d'y participer, je commence par voir si, autour de moi, certains seraient potentiellement intéressés.

Si ça vous tente "dans l'absolu", faites-le moi savoir (via un commentaire, par exemple, ou un mail), que j'aie une petite idée de l'intérêt que l'idée génère... Faites aussi passer l'idée autour de vous, avec mon adresse mail ( ou un lien vers ce poste si vous avez des amis, ou des amis d'amis, qui pourraient avoir envie de participer...

Merci d'avance à ceux qui prendront le temps de répondre !

Enfin, pour ceux qui connaissent, le concept est très visiblement inspiré de la compétition Ludum Dare (