Tag «Game Jam»

Mini Ludum Dare 37, a not-game jam (part 2)

This is the continuation of my homage to all the games made in the Mini Ludum Dare 37. I made (nearly) all of the screenshots myself! Missed the first part? Click here.

Featheriness Knight Simulator, by derevensky: Swing your sword and kill those skulls ... in SPACE!

Ideas, by bodseay: Hey guys, listen! Hey! Guys! Listen! Guys! I got ideas! I could build a hut! Or dig a hole! Or kill someone!

JoyBringer, by Patacorow: Jump around, collect colors and make people happy. Because 50 shades of grey are dull and colors aren't.

Little Stories, by Falkreon: Be some kind of God and use all your powers: changing the world's variables AND lighting the streetlamps!

Loss of Control, by Jeremias: You can't do anything in this one, but this you can do on a high level.

Mars Miner, by figman123456: Clicking on the Mars until there is no more Mars!

Model of the Solar System, by Phoenix_Incorporated: For this not-game I learned how to make a screenshot on a Mac. And that outer space is pretty big.

The Modeleum, by ratking: Yup, it's my entry. Walk around and have a blast.

Not Boardgame, by ratqueen: Jana's entry! It's some kind of advanced tic-tac-toe or rock-paper-scissors for two players.

Phlowers, by keppinakki: Hate flowers? This is the not-game for you. Be pollution and get rid of the little bastards!

Physics Rules, by Manoloko: A not-game for the physics engine enthusiast. Find out how a sphere with negative gravity and high elasticity behaves in a box!

Roloc, by bentoc: It may be an endless straight hallway, but still try to not get lost, okay?

Unfinished Work, by Rolph: Every life simulator where you can jump from the roof to end it is an accurate simulator. Even when it's not finished.

Waiting 2: Deterioration boogaloo, by limbster: Man, I really waited WEEKS until this game was submitted!

Wire, by Loyalty: Suddenly the world is a TRON-like wireframe. Hint: It's all blue lines.

Ludum Dare Client, by Jorjon: I got this to work with a little bit of help from amodo. The #ludumdare on AfterNET, accurately visualized with retro pixel graphics!

Instant Gratification, by Jezzamon: As long as the buffer doesn't overrun, don't walk to the left.

Jump!, by Sheep: For me, this isn't any different to almost any platformer I know.

Let nothing wear you down, by Ditto: Enchantingly suicidal.

MEMEME, by ThomasRyder: Much better and more memorable than anything the face generators from Oblivion or Skyrim can create.

I'm tired now, but the last part of the series is coming soon!

Mini Ludum Dare 37, a not-game jam (part 1)

Last month, which means 2012's September, it was up to me to host the "Mini Ludum Dare" - the 37th installment of this relaxed little game jam. As I love Ludum Dare and the community it surrounds I signed up as a MiniLD host at least a year in advance. And suddenly, it happened! I chose the theme "Not-Game" (as I also love irony) and wrote a lengthy announcement post, so people would know what not-games even are. The secondary theme "Real Real-Time" was meant as much as an alternative for those who hate not doing games, as it was also another kind of food for thought.

I'm proud to be able to report that a whopping number of 54 (not-)games were submitted, with only two of the entries not being related to the themes in any way, this one and that one. The entries are very diverse - some are sophisticated and clever, some are neat, and only a few are just jokes which mock the theme (which I don't mind).

My own entry is a 3D model viewer. To make it more enjoyable, the 3D models are presented in a very game-similar environment, but ultimately it's just a random-generated museum. I call it "The Modeleum", and you can submit your own OBJ models, if you want. In the beginning I wanted to create some kind of a "internet visualizer" which would present images and links of a website in a gallery-like 3D environment - unfortunately, getting the pictures from a site which is more than just a simple HTML document proved to be quite tricky (and not much fun to do).

Jana submitted a two-player board game named "The Bored Game", and I can honestly tell that it's fun to play despite (or because of) its obvious simplicity. All you need to play it are the rules and some colored cards (or a printer).

Now following is the first batch of games and not-games that were submitted. The order is random-ish, because this is not about quality or popularity!

A Bad Day On The Toilet, by Thurig: You sit on a toilet and all you want is to take a dump. But you have the totally funny Crohn's Disease and now it becomes a live-threatening adventure!

A New World, by plule: The daily work can be very relaxing, if all you have to do is staring at a screen staring at a screen starting at a screen staring at a screen staring at a screen staring at a screen

Adrift - A realtime castaway simulator, by Tyen: Don't get seasick! You stand on a boat and watch the sky. Doesn't really need more!

Alternet, by Jedi: Everyone can participate - a multiplayer sandbox with randomized Wikipedia textures. It's a big world to explore, and can get bigger!

Bus Stop, by Connors: You sit on a bench. You wait for the bus. Minutes later, the bus comes. You get on the bus. I don't know what happens if you don't enter it!

Conway's Game Of Life on Arduino - anachrocomputer: You need a Nokia display for this one - and an Arduino!

Cube Mark, by Arowx: A lot of cubes pop up, until your computer slows down. Then: a number appears!

Dot, by Gallefray: Can you hear it clickin'?

Escape!, by fr-automatik: Wait, this is the wrong Ludum Dare! But, oh well, it fits nicely. A man in a prison, and a lot of opportunities to get out.

Game Developer Life, by Jacic: This thing contains nothing but pure truth: everybody hates your games. (Okay, now and then your mom should appear and say that she loves it even though she doesn't know what it is.)

GTFTSTG - Go the Fuck to Sleep the (not) Game, by aquasheep:  This is a benchmark for how much you're qualified to be a parent.

Hello World, by timgarbos: Please leave a message after the *beep* ... - well, I created the one behind that thing! Search for it! A moving capsule in a cube world - usually the first thing you do in every Unity project, but this time it's actually pure enjoyment.

Math Pet, by dem0: I think I should feed it. But why the hell does it want me to calculate 123*456? I'm not the one sitting in a computer!

A Grid With Some Adventure In, by Norgg: Well, it is a grid, with some adventure in. (But only if you actually type in something adventurous.)

Chameleon, by Tempest: Quick, open your colored pencil box! A new way to use your good old webcam.

That's it for now! Rest comes later!

The Sun Is Deadly – Post Mortem


Don't worry. It's still TRI we're working on! But together with four other developers we did a jam in April to make games AND raise some money for our main projects.

It seems that all of our games are initially made for game jams. And so it happened with The Sun Is Deadly, too. The first version of our vampire stealth game was done in 48 hours, during the Indie Buskers Jam.

We did games after themes given by the audience. Our choice out of 1400 ideas was: "It might be cool to have a game where you control objects to block sunlight to create a path of darkness - so that a vampire can get to their intended victim."

One of our all-time most loved game is Thief: The Dark Project, where you play a thief trying to stay in the shadows to pass guards and empty houses from their sparkling materialistic burden.
Since the moment we first played this game we planned to integrate the element of hiding in the shadows in one of our own games, too. And then this idea appeared and we couldn't resist!

How super-optimistic and stupid we were! Too big ideas of whole sandbox cities, guards with changeable heads, male and female citizens appeared right before our eyes.
In the end we got a game where you had to find the one and only holy virgin to trick her to the cemetery with a jewel case. You need to walk in the shadows, because it is bright daytime and, you know, “The Sun Is Deadly”. On your way there are more victims to satisfy your hunger with. But they will also alarm the guards who protect the city of women.

Vampire Sketch

The jam started and we were very self-confident, because we are two experienced designers, especially in game jams. Anyway, our planning what exactly should happen in the game was a bit quirky, to stay flexible with our features.
The biggest concern about playing some shadowy creature was the shadow itself. Would we be able to rebuild the genius Thief component in 48 hours? We tried to downscale the game as much as possible to get time to surely implement the most important features. Right after the stealth stuff there was the other critical feature: physics. Everybody loves physics and the game idea wouldn't be fully translated if there was no crate to lift up.

WIP - Shadow and Building

The first step was to create a starting character controller and to recognize if there is shadow underneath the player or not. To detect the darkness Friedrich used a second camera, rendering to a 32x32 pixel texture, to find out if the sun should burn your flesh or the shadow will hide you.
Meanwhile, Jana modeled the town buildings. To give the game a certain atmosphere she chose bare stone, clay and wood to give the impression of a rough, dark, old century. Sometimes she googled "old London street" to get inspired. Maybe because of the Jack-the-Ripper killing women by night in this setting, too. Macabre, huh?
WIP - Enemy detection and female

WIP - Enemy and guard

The next day Friedrich implemented the enemies. It was decided that they should see you while you're not in shadow at a short distance. And when you touch them while walking in the shadow, too. Moreover you are hidden behind them and rearward of obstacles like crates.
The character A.I. is very simple: The guards follow you. The virgins run in the other direction. All of them shout for help, which means they alarm nearby guards.
In the meantime Jana prepared the female character - which ended up in a cliched Disney girly that she always wanted to be make. The guard also was inspired by Disney, this time by the police in the Mickey Mouse comics. Maybe the characters are too comedic, but through the forced minimalism the whole game is exactly this - a nice cliche with a slightly comedic approach to the whole dark genre.

Sun is Deadly - Citizens

We always think that first-person is the best perspective to play a game like this, so our vampire-player got a nice bloodless thin white arm. To make a good use of it we build our levels in the last step. All towns have in common that they have a simple ground plane encircled by high walls we both modeled in 3ds Max. In Unity we added the houses, crates, decoration and the characters with their optional walking path.

The Sun is Deadly - town

When the imaginary clock was ringing (i.e. the jam ended), the game was super-hard, had only three levels and no sound effects, and the tutorial was full of punishment instead of one reward after the other. (At least we got a nice music track from dasRaguu, who spent his spare time for creating it in record time.)
The shadow thing – we did a Plan B if it won’t work at all – performed very well from the beginning. The tricky thing about Thief though weren’t the shadows (who could have guessed!?), but the enemies in combination with physics.

BUT! We did it! This jam was an emotional roller coaster. Although this is the first jam rule we tell everyone about, we planned too much for the game. The idea was extremely complicated from the beginning. The sad thing with 3D, physics AND shadow is: They are very rare and we now know why. But in the end we fixed most shortcomings - bugs like boxes falling through the ground and virgins not following the shiny present, or the tutorial which explains what the ultimate goal of each level is.

The Sun Is Deadly - Final

Now that the game is finished, playable and available for those who missed the Buskers Jam, we hope to give you a good impression what The Sun Is Deadly is about. Hopefully you enjoy the game as much as we did making it. We are always open for your experience you had with the game. Tell us!

Official project page
More infos about the Indie Buskers Jam

The game is available at:

IndieCity Indievania