May 2015

This astronaut just wants a friend! A Ludum Dare Post-mortem

Another Ludum Dare came and went and I managed to (mostly) complete a little HTML5 minigame. I didn’t really hit crunch time until the last few hours of the jam, and wasted far too much time during the compo not programming.  I’ve gotten to the point that I’m pretty comfortable with Phaser.js, and am able to spend more time figuring out game mechanics.

In ‘With Kindness’, you play a lonely astronaut, stranded on a far away planet. All he wants is to make some new friends. There are many aliens on the planet, that constantly spit acid at you, but maybe, just maybe, if you give them a good hug they will become your friend!

With Kindness Screenshot

I was initially uninspired by the theme, ‘An Unconventional Weapon’, but managed to come up with a decent idea. Though, while rating other games during the judging phase I came across a few other games also using hugging as a weapon.

I’ve been wanting to play around with making some kind of a beat-em-up style game, and used this Ludum Dare to explore and learn some of the challenges I’d run into. Probably the most difficult involved splitting one sprite into multiple sprites in order to layer them, and provide better collision detection.

With Kindness Sprites
A small selection of sprites from With Kindness

I attempted to keep the astronaut and the alien sprites separate, so I’d be able to separate both their animation, but ultimately ended up having to attach the alien to the astronaut sprite when they’re hugging. Time is always the enemy during Ludum Dare and I spent most of the time creating the astronaut sprite frames and trying to figure out how to position and layer them correctly.

I used the gulp config to build a texture atlas I’ve written about previously, which saved a massive amount of time (at least it felt like it) compared to having to manually create and update the atlas.

I only wish I’d saved some time to add some sound effects and music.  I think a super happy pop melody would really complete the experience, but I don’t see much of a future beyond that for the game.

Check out the Ludum Dare entry or Play the game directly. Feel free to check out the With Kindness Source Code, but as is standard for a 48 hour game jam, things got a little sloppy towards the end.

And since I forgot in-game instructions:

WASD or Arrow keys to move around, F key to initiate hug, continue pressing F to hug even harder!

With Kindness Screenshot

With Kindness

Ludum Dare 32 came and went and I managed to throw together a little minigame.  I’m getting a little more efficient and my entire build process is starting to mature quite a bit for these jams.

The theme for this Ludum Dare was ‘Unconventional Weapon’, so what better than to hug aliens to death? I came across a few other games with similar mechanics, so while it wasn’t the most unique idea it was a fun little game to build in a weekend.

All the graphics and code are original and built during the compo. I used Phaser.js once again, that framework just gets better and better every day.

It’s missing audio and in-game instructions. I was pressed for time near the end (as just about everyone that ever participates in a game jam), so maybe someday I’ll return and polish a few things.

You can play the game here: With Kindness

Instructions: WASD or Arrow keys to move around, F key to initiate hug, continue pressing F to hug even harder!

Or check out the entry on Ludum Dare here: With Kindness Ludum Dare 32

Read the post mortem here:  This astronaut just wants a friend! A Ludum Dare Post-mortem