Ludum Dare 31 Favourites So Far!

So after rating 100 games for Ludum Dare, I thought I’d talk a bit about a few of my favourites from the jam. They may not be the best out of the competition, but these were the ones that I find have an aspect of good entries that each of these succeed at.

Tightrope Theatre

This is the entry done by brilliant flash game developer Jussi Simpanen, aka AdventureIslands. He always does games for jams big and small and his entries usually bring a quirky design and incredible polish to them, and this one is no exception. In Tightrope Theatre you must travel from A to B, all while riding a unicycle avoiding fire, spikes and the ground below. The entire game is 24 levels long, and feels very complete for a game done in two days, although you kind of wish there was more. Knowing that Jussi tends to add new stuff to his entries every now and then, maybe there will be more to this entry.

Jumping ‘n Jumping

This is an example of how you should achieve an innovative game in 48 hours, you use one mechanic with a unique spin and give it as much potential as you can. In this case, the mechanic of the game is jumping, and the unique spin is that your jumps are limited, but will increase depending on how you play. Eduardo uses the mechanic in a room where you have to jump to survive and you get this gem.

Screen Mover

Most game jams have a theme, and as a developer you are free to interpret that theme to whatever for your game: you can use a literal route (in LD31, that would mean literally running the entire game on one screen), the metaphorical route or the technical route. With Screen Mover, Sh1rogane decided to go beyond literal and technical with the theme to produce something that may look like a simple platform prototype, until you quickly realise you have to move the game window to progress. The only issue with this idea is that keyboard input it locked while the window moves, but the post jam version does fix this.

The Hyperbeam

Sometimes you don’t have to make a game that’s fun to make it a good entry, you can tell a story, show off some great music or in this case, make some really beautiful graphics. The puzzle game elements are clever, but this game is really good at showing off bloom and neon. It just makes it look wonderful, and the music is really soothing as well. As you may tell from my entry, I love neon glow, and this game does a great job at showing it off.

Swotch

If all else fails, just make a game that is fun to play, and make it addictive for an added bonus. This game’s style reminds me a lot of Terry Cavanagh’s Super Hexagon, and since the developer is planning an Android/iOS release, I recommend him get Chipzel to do music for the game.

Don’t forget to play my entry Glow Drop if you haven’t already.

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Ralph Baer & Ludum Dare 31

https://i1.wp.com/www.vintagecomputing.com/wp-content/images/interviews/baer_harrison_pong_3_large.jpgI would first like to start this post by talking about Ralph Baer, wildly known as the father of video games who passed away on December 6th. Since 1966 he always had the idea of games that can be displayed on television screens, and developed what he calls “the brown box” which had rotary controls and played a simple tennis game with two panels and a square ball. This patented idea eventually got picked up by TV manufacturer Magnavox and became the Odyssey, wildly considered the first video games console. Along with essentially founding computer and video games as we know it today, he also invented the classic electronic game Simon (and its sequel Super Simon) and carried on developing and tinkering with electronic prototypes, giving him 150 patents to his name.

He lived a full life and his work has lead to the creation of the largest entertainment history, and lot of gamers and game developers are where they are today because of his work.

So last weekend was Ludum Dare, the 31st bi-annual 48-hour games jam. The theme for this one was “Entire Game on One Screen”, a bit basic for a theme but it’s much better than the joke theme that got a lot hype in the voting stages (no snowmen please!).

You can play my entry right now, it’s called Glow Drop and it’s a physics based puzzle game, just click the image below to go to the Ludum Dare page!

I initially wanted to develop my entry using HaxeFlixel, but software issues struck and I was unable to use it, and since on the Saturday I spent most of my time developing on a train to London with no wi-fi, I decided to switch to using Construct2.

While I didn’t really feel motivated to using Construct2 again after spending over a year developing a certain award nominated stealth game using it, turns out for the game I ended up making it was worthwhile. Construct2 has one of the most easiest physics set up out of any engine I’ve used, and since the entire game has to be on a single screen, it’s much easier to manage a visual layout than a coded game state

Since I was out with friends and family for most of Saturday, I was hoping to release for the 72-hour jam. However, when I noticed that most of the game and the graphics were finished with four hours remaining, I felt like I could pull it off and upload for the compo, and I succeeded!

I’m already getting positive comments so far, so I might use a day or two from my Christmas break to polish the game more and release it as a mobile game! If you guys like the idea let me know if there is anything I could add/change to make it work!

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Secret of Escape Shortlisted for TIGA Games Industry Awards 2014

I’m proud to announce that Secret of Escape has been shortlisted for Best Student Game and Game of the Year at this years TIGA Games Industry Awards. The ceremony will celebrate a year of game releases from the UK Games Industry from all developers of all sizes, from indies to the AAA.

This is definitely a huge honour to see a well known organisation in the Games Industry as TIGA to recognise the hard work of those, including individuals and students. I’ve worked very hard during my placement year to bring Secret of Escape to the masses, seeing people praise the game and now for it to be shortlisted for a major award definitely makes the extra effort worthwhile.

If you haven’t already, you can now download Secret of Escape, the fast-paced stealth action game, from Desura, Itch.io and IndieGameStand.

Readers and members of the public can vote for Secret of Escape for Game of the Year here, voting opens until 20th October.

GBJam 3 Overview

Those who have been following me on Twitter have been aware for a while of GBJam, an online games jam, and of course, I’ve been working on a game for it. Therefore as today marks the end of the third GBJam, this article will be a part-summary, part-showcase and part-post mortem of the GBJam.

Play my entry, Galaticus, on GameJolt

Vote for it on GBJam

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GBJam Banner: Image from 2945 – Devblog

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London Gaming & Anime Con and New Demo

Over a week ago, I was at the LGAC 2014 at the Rocket Complex. Secret of Escape was shown amongside nine other amazing indie games, and it was a brilliant experience to see hundreds of gaming and anime fans come down to the indie zone to check us out!

The Animeleague staff were brilliant to work with, providing us tables and equipment if needed, we were invited to speak at the opening ceremoney and a Q&A on indie games development so we had plenty of opportunities to get involved with the attendees.

I also had a chance to play through some of the other indie games on show, including some watch worthy titles such as Kraden’s Crypt, Legena: Union Tides, Narcisistic and #Dungeon, as well as other titles with potential such as Bard to the Future, Playtanic and some current releases like Spelmy and Space Farmers.

Of course several people had a chance to try Secret of Escape, and were thrown back by the challenging gameplay. While there were some technical issues, it’s good to see a lot of people enjoy the difficulty and showed a lot of determination to finish the eight level demo, some of them even succeeding in the LGAC exclusive challenge of finding the hidden passage to win a random mystery Steam Game Key.

In fact, you can now download an updated version of the demo right here.

The original LGAC demo had a video and the hidden passage challenge which have been removed to provide a more closer experience to the released game.

Many thanks to Animeleague for arranging the Indie Zone, as well as the other indie developers, exhibitors, vendors and attendees for making the convention such an awesome experience, I hope to return next year.

London Gaming & Anime Convention and the Indie Zone Tomorrow

Just a quick reminder of what’s happening this weekend (5th-6th July). I will be showing off Secret of Escape in the Indie Zone along with 9 other awesome indie game developers and their awesome indie games! Alongside us indies, there will be Capcom, Ubisoft, Namco Bandai and GAME in the gaming area! There is also lots of anime, music, TV, film and web related events as well, so it’s a weekend worth going to!

Here’s the full list of indie games at the Indie Zone

More info on the London Gaming & Anime Convention

Secret of Escape – One Year On

Hello everyone! I figured it’d be the best time to announce that on this day, one year ago, I uploaded a game that I worked on for a week long game jam called the Midsummer Jam Week simply named, Secret of Escape. As such, this post is dedicated to showing how much I’ve progressed in a single year, and mention some of the significant changes made over time. A lot has changed from the day I decided to continue work on this game jam entry of mine.

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