Posts

GIFS! 2

bradur 2 years ago on 1st Kajam

So I started off with this (Friday)

(click the gif for better quality)

And continued with this (Sunday)

(click the gif for better quality)

And here I am now (Wednesday / Thursday night)

(click the gif for better quality)

"Rat Park": Design notes 5

Wan 2 years ago on 1st Kajam entry Rat Park

For my Kajam entry, I have decided to go with a top-down, twin-stick shooter. That should give me plenty of opportunities for finetuning the game feel and juicing up the action!

For my last MiniLD entry I tried the exercise of making a whole game design document before coding the game. Even if the actual game was quite small, it was fun writing the doc, and I think it helped keep the development focused and the end result consistent.

I won't do a full GDD this time but still, here's my notes on the upcoming entry:

Design notes

Theme/Art style

  • Game set in a strange, futuristic place that feels like a maze made out of hundreds of similar rooms arranged as a grid, with straight corridors in-between them.
  • Top-down view with either a pixel-art style (like Hotline Miami except simpler), or a smoother look with simplistic art like Prison Architect. In both cases it will be simple and in full 2D.
  • Setting & atmosphere largely inspired by the Cube movie

Gameplay loop

  1. Enter a room.
  2. The room locks up and something happens randomly: you get loot, or robot enemies appear. Maybe both. Maybe nothing.
  3. Kill the enemies until there is none.
  4. The room unlocks.
  5. (Optional) You see a clue about where the exit of the maze is.
  6. You pick one of the 4 directions, enter a corridor to the next room.
  7. Repeat.

The goal is to survive while finding the exit. I have a cool idea in mind for the ending, but I don't know if I'll have the time to implement it… If not I'll just make the difficulty ramp up until the player dies :)

Loot

  • 1st room after the one you spawn in will always let you find a weapon dropped by a dead robot
  • Health
  • Maybe ammo (if so I should give the player a way to attack if out of ammo, e.g. by throwing his weapon)
  • Maybe a 2nd weapon to have one in each hand
  • Maybe maybe, some bonuses to improve the weapon

Rating the rating system 9

HuvaaKoodia 2 years ago on 1st Kajam

The problem

The jam was good, but the rating system left me cold. I have a total of three issues with it; let's see if you can spot them.

10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1

It is obvious right? Ok, I'll give you the first one for free: there are no descriptive words to go with the numbers. Let's fix that.

10 The best ever
9 Amazing
8 Great
7 Good
6 Above average
5 Below average
4 Bad
3 Terrible
2 Abysmal
1 The worst ever

Better. Now everyone has similar expectations of each grade, more so than before. Do keep in mind this is just an example, there are other fitting descriptions and they could even change based on each category.

Second problem? There is no average! In a big jam there are a whole lot of average entries, so-so stuff. With this rating system I'll have to score them slightly better or slightly worse every time. How annoying.

The last problem is more personal than the prior two. In my opinion a scale of 10 has too much granularity. What is the difference between Amazing and Great? How about Terrible and Abysmal? It is not clear and as such we can expect different people to use these grades in fuzzy ways, which muddles the results. In the best case scenario the grade should reflect the (hopefully written) opinions of each reviewer exactly, not close enough.

Suggestions

In light of the prior explanations some propositions are in order. The first one is obvious, simply introduce descriptive words and an average grade to the current system. I'd be fine with that. Next, two more ideas.

7-grade, zero centered model

+3 Amazing
+2 Good
+1 Above average
0 Average
-1 Below average
-2 Bad
-3 Terrible

The old 5-grade model

5 Amazing
4 Good
3 Average
2 Bad
1 Terrible

Conclusions

I rate the rating system 2 out of 5, bad.

Cheers

Working Out Pixel Art Style 1

DaFluffyPotato 2 years ago on 1st Kajam

I'm working out the pixel art style for my entry right now. I have a pretty basic tileset already. ^-^

I don't want to flood the front page, so I'll just keep editing this post for now. I managed to get some free time to finish up the tileset. It looks a bit sloppy, but the level design should make it look a bit cleaner.

À la Kajam 2

bradur 2 years ago on 1st Kajam

I have only ever done jams and compos that last for 48 - 72 hours. But I'm really loving the way Alakajam is coming along, so I figure I shoud give this month-long jam thing a try.

Usually I'm coding like crazy during a jam to make the game as feature-packed as possible. Unfortunately that often results in a buggy mess. So this time I'm trying to focus on delivering a polished experience.


This is how shiny my puzzle will be

The game won't be super innovative or complex but the menus will make you weep for joy! So, without further ado, here's my plan for the 1st Kajam:

Plan

I'm going to make a puzzle game because it's what I'm most comfortable with.

First week

  • Make it playable
  • Create at least five levels

Second Week

  • Force a friend to play-test
  • Implement suggestions / features from their feedback

Third week

  • Create more levels
  • Write music
  • Create sound effects

Fourth week

  • Polish the UI / user experience like crazy
  • Create more levels if there's time

Fifth week

  • Test rigorously and fix bugs
  • Polish the music & sfx
  • Create more levels if there's time