That was surpisingly chaotic.. I almost didnt have a clue what was going on until the ball accidentally came down!
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I sat for a while trying to figure this one out, and there's quite a bit to this.
I did have to scroll up and down a fair bit to figure out what did what, but then at 64x64 there's not a huge amount of space to try and explain within the game itself!
My main annoyance was I think that the cursors should rotate the robot first, and then move in that direction if it's facing it. I kept having to backtrack a bit as I pressed left to "turn left" and ended up "turning left and moving one left"
I managed to get some factories working but I didn't manage to get the door open.. think I'll come back to it later and have another go when I've a bit more time to sit and think!
That was a lovely little game!
Did take me a while to realise they weren't actually going to come onto the ice and to pelt them at the sides, but got through a dozen levels once I figured it out.
Reminded me a lot of Alien Breed and it's many clones, and really enjoyed it.
I couldn't find myself on the maps when I activated them, good to know I wasn't the only one judging from the comments and I wasn't going mad!
My heart sank when I saw this pop up! Thankfully it seems we both went in different paths; this one being more simulation-like, with mine being somewhat arcadey, so there's room for both of them!
I did enjoy this, and the different take on the sword-fighting mini-game was nice as well. The graphics are absolutely lovely too.
So I played it thinking it was quite constrained at 64x64.
Then I read the comments and realised you could scroll the map, tried again, and had a better time with it. Though to be fair, I'm not sure how you could show that the map can be scrolled within the confines of the game without explicitly pointing it out in a tutorial pop-up or something.
Either way, enjoyed the game!
The jumping to fullscreen on desktop is quite annoying, but after switching to a mobile it certainly worked a lot better - which feels like it's target platform; taking your phone out to check on little Timmy while at the bus stop!
I wasn't particularly cut out for keeping the little ones alive either, sadly.. enjoyed it none the less!
I liked the interesting take on pipedream here. It's funny that even at 64x64 it feels like there's a huge amount of pipes to try and connect up - almost overwhelming considering the first level helps you out, and the second level just throws you in at the deep end!
I'd again echo the tutorials or easier levels where there's perhaps not as many pipes to switch around to ease the player in?
Still, lovely little puzzle game!
Fantastic :) Was hoping it was just something simple like focus! Hadn't tested it much until after submitting it - which is slightly backwards, I know - so was worried it was some really obscure bug!
I am hoping to try and get back to this and add in some of the bits I missed out, but we'll see. Finding time can be a tricky thing to do.
Thanks for playing!
That's interesting... tried clicking a few times in the game window in case it's a focus issue?
Beyond that, which browser? I exclusively tested in Chrome, though I've just checked IE11 and it worked fine after clicking the game window a couple of times.
Failing that, which O/S? It was made in GameMaker Studio 2 so I could export a native Windows or Linux build easily enough. Mac would be a bit more painful, but doable too.
So.. that was fun!
Let's do a quick post mortem on Pixel Beard, while it's all still fresh in the mind.
Two weeks is probably about the minimum for a jam I can do these days just due to time constraints.. I didn't even bother with Ludum Dare this time round, as I just cannot dedicate an entire weekend to something. As it turns out, I'm not all that great at finding time over two weeks either...
I effectively had about 2-3 hours a day; an hour before work, my lunch hour, and an hour after work. I was able to quickly build the various mini game stubs together, and was quietly confident that they'd all slot in to the overworld nicely towards the end. In actual fact, they did; as they were written as entirely separate modules, and store and tear down their own state - following a simple init, step, draw, end framework. I also started to add a few things to the general game state that sadly didn't quite make it; factions for instance. There is basic faction code in there - to the degree that there's four types of pirate running around, but they don't really do anything. There was a Stats screen created that showed your relation to them, and you'd be able to do a bit more in the Town to see their relations with each other, but I had to take it out - it needed more work, and there was no time. Additionally, there's Quest code in there, as Towns would give you Quests to go and capture something, and the Treasure Maps would actually give you a minimap cut-out to go find it yourself, rather than just increasing the chance of a treasure chest.
On the plus side, the overworld did get infinite procedural generation of maps. If you swim or sail off the end of one, a new one is generated. You can go back to a previous one as well. The entire world state is renewed each time you spawn, so for what it's worth, you should have infinite maps to play on! There's also a day-night cycle, with nasty sea monsters appearing at night. There was meant to be more ( there's code for sharks and wolves ) but they didn't quite make it.
Unfortunately, when the weekend came, most free time just disappeared as kids started back school and things had to be done for that...
The entirety of week two gave me 8 hours. Four of these were on Thursday night, stripping things back and finishing things off as frantically as I could to get something playable for submission.
As said, kids started back school.. and I lost the hour in the mornings so only really had lunch times. I had also thought we had Friday as well, after misreading the time as ending Friday 12am to mean the end of the day, not the start of it. As such, there is no sound. At all. I also managed to mess up the scaling ( which is now fixed so those with 4k monitors can have fist-sized pixels if you like ) and that "title" splash was done in five minutes on my laptop track pad just before submitting - and it shows. Given the same amount of time as the previous week, I fully believe I'd have been able to get everything else in, but oh well.
It was fun though. I think there's actually a fair amount in here for a change. You can die in a few ways - some fairer than others. And while there's a few minor gameplay bugs, as I basically have only tested it properly today, it's relatively playable and a nice foundation for further work.
Now to find some time to rate the other entries... this "life" thing needs a pause button!
Thank you for the comments!
We have a few ideas we'd like to do when we get back round to Froak ( and some bugs to squash! ) and regenerating lilypads is on the list.
They were in, but we needed to play with it a bit more to get it right, so that there would still be times when your frog has to go for a splash!
Woo thank you!
I had forgot I left the debug "AI" mode in where you can just hit Start and let the CPU bounce about - apologies for that!
And that annoying grid bug that any time I try and debug it, it never occurs... ( the blue frog that got stuck at the bottom thinks it's at the top )
Oh well, sounds like some fun was had at least :) Thanks!
Took me a few lives to figure out what one earth was going on, but once I settled into the frantic clicking it was quite enjoyable! Nicely polished too!
That thing creates some quite insane looking guns too!
The palette switching on the stage change was really nice, I thought.. refreshes the look a bit!
I was going to play some other entries this lunch time, but being a sucker for puzzle games, this just ate up the rest of my break.. oops.
The non-square movement ended up being both a blessing and a curse.
It gives a bit more definition to the lily pads ( with the subtle wobble when a frog lands on them ) but they take up quite a bit of room, so my original ideas for puzzle levels disappeared as I didn't have enough space to make them interesting I thought. Or I'd have needed to spend more time sorting out a camera system and all that entails.
I (Steven) did the graphics this time. Usually it's Claire, but this was more of a break from our current major project, so I threw it together where I had time. Didn't turn out too bad, I think!
Audio was actually a bit of a pest as I've been doing a more crunchy chiptune style for Snake-A-Roid recently.. ended up spending a day listening to ZX Spectrum tunes to get that bouncy happy sound in my head.
The AI does have a bit of an endearing quality to it with the animations!
But yes, I ran out of time, so decided that a multiplayer "battler" seemed like the best bet to salvage what I had.
The 60 second rounds seem to be about the perfect length as well, especially with the lily pads sinking.
Very nice base to extend upon!
Reminds me a lot of tile-placement board games, particularly in how you're restricted in where you can place things, giving a good bit of strategy to just planting things all over the place.
Took me a bit to figure out why I was smacking into the corners... I was letting go of the accelerate to go round, and of course, activating the boost at the same time in this instance!
Once I figured that out, it was plain sailing :)
Definitely one of the most polished entries I've played so far.
I also vouch for the keyboard control to restart.. cursing and mashing return before realising I had to use the mouse was slightly embarrassing!
Linux version is just moaning that it can't find a game at the path.. but played the Windows version anyway.
Couple of bugs, as have been mentioned, but I'm one to talk! :D Enjoyed it nonetheless, well done :)
Perhaps a bit late to start a devlog after the competition, so take this as a post-mortem instead!
So, Froak! was a bit of fun to unwind a bit from crunching on our main project - Snake-A-Roid 2.0. We'd just come back from the 4TG Game Con in Aberdeen that weekend, we were knackered, and it being the end of the Summer holidays, the kids were extra hyper about going back to school... so a perfect jam environment!
Froak's initial design was scribbled out on a small notepad the day the competition started during lunch.
It was actually going to be quite different from how it turned out.
Originally, the plan was to test out ideas for dual-stick controls... left stick to bounce about the lily pads, and right stick to flick out the tongue in eight directions to catch a fly. I threw together a quick arena of lily pads, calculated a grid, gave all of them a fly, and made a frog to jump about.
Then life got in the way until the weekend.
At this point, I hadn't looked at using the right stick yet, and was spending my time trying to get the jumping between lily pads sorted, and just collecting the flies as you went past. It seemed nice enough, and thinking it was too easy, added a lily pad sinking mechanic so that while there was a frog sitting on them, they'd slowly sink. ( Though at this point, they resurfaced rather than disappearing completely like the submitted version. )
The weekend came and went.
Over the next couple of lunch times, I added some more elements - the logs and crocs - and tested a few level layouts.
At the half way point, I stopped to have a look at everything and realised that the 4x8 grid layout I had given myself wasn't going to lend itself to interesting puzzle levels. I'd either need to make a bigger play area with a scrolling camera, or have a rethink. I'd already coloured four different frogs, so thought of changing it into a multiplayer "battle" thing instead. Be the greediest frog, eat all the flies, jump on the heads of the other frogs to steal theirs. Simple!
The next weekend appeared quicker than I expected, and I only then managed to sit down and write a little bit of "AI"
They ain't smart.
What they're supposed to do, is look at the (usually) 8 squares around them and jam all the cells with flies in a list. Then randomly pick one and go after it. If there's nothing in the immediate cells, look another set out. Repeat a few times to make sure the reach goes from top to bottom and failing that, pick another frog to go after until flies respawn. Pretty straight forward stuff.
What they actually tend to do, is pick the top left fly and go after that, then get confused when something else eats it and jump in the opposite direction.
Emergent Froak behaviour... honest!
There is a bug in here though.. in that I lock on to the fly's position, rather than the cell position.. and as the flies buzz around a bit, the frogs can get confused and think they're further behind/infront than they are, and jump about a bit more erratically than they should. Another bug, is that when they sink, their state can sometimes get mixed up and they go into limbo.. I didn't find this one until after submissions had closed, sadly.
I also got multiple pads working in both browser and Windows, so upto four players could play, and had the keyboard work as a separate interface from pad one... so if you only had one pad and the keyboard, two players could still play.
So, Monday rolled round and it was still pretty quiet... so I tried throwing some music together.
It was surprisingly harder than I expected, just due to having been working on Snake-A-Roid; an Arcade Arena shooter with a crunchy chiptune soundtrack with a much darker style than Froak. I needed something bouncy and happy. So nothing worked out. Spent most of Tuesday at work listening to Spectrum chiptunes to get those happy bouncy squarewave arps in my head! Not sure if my headphones leak or not, so that must've been fun for anyone walking past.
Tuesday night, I rattled out a title tune, and did two ingame tracks and a podium win on Wednesday plus sound effects.
Turned out alright, I think!
Wednesday lunch time; added some menu states in and the game loop, so you went through: splash -> controllers -> game -> win -> controllers etc... and threw together a few more arenas that are randomly picked. There's five in total.
Wednesday night; finished tidying things up a bit - such as the lily pads not resurfacing - and finished the music.. did some quick tests in the browser to make sure it all behaved, then just threw it onto itch.io about half an hour before deadline.
And that's that, really!
Nice and simple little game.. a couple of bugs lurking, sadly, but fun enough to hopefully continue later. Might stick up the GMS2 project later, if anyone's interested.
Now to go rate some games!