Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mini Ludum Dare #37

As M.A.D. is a very simple game, I figure that instead of looking at how it was made I would instead discuss the upcoming Ludum Dare mini event that I hope to participate in this weekend. The mini-events are far-less strict than the regular events and are for fun. While judging gives you feedback on your game (something I really don't get enough of) I have been entering game-jams for the fun of creating games. As I am starting to focus on much larger-scaled games, game-jam releases will probably become a much more regular feature on BlazingGames as that will allow me to continue to have regular content on the site yet still be able to put the time necessary to create larger games.

The theme for the game was announced early so I have had a few days to think about what I will do. This is a mixed blessing. On one hand I am able to plan out the game in my mind. On the other hand I am anxious to get started.  The theme for this challenge is not a game. An alternative theme is real-time. After sleeping on it, I came up with a game idea that fits both themes and also focuses on my two biggest weaknesses. My interpretation of the themes might be a bit different than other peoples, but that is part of the fun.

The no-game game makes me think about sandboxes. There are a number of games where the player is given tools to build things. There is no goals or win condition but instead the player has fun creating things.

The real-time game to me has two different meanings. The first is that time passes in real time so what takes a minute in the real world takes a minute in the game world. This is where my idea fits the theme. A more interesting meaning of the theme is to tie the date and time to to the game. I have seen a number of games that do this and if done well adds to the game. This can detract from a game as well as some players may only be able to play a game at a certain time and as a result be limited with what they can do.

The focus on my weaknesses is the best way of improving my skills. More to the point, I am hoping that by the end of the challenge I will have the start of a tool that will allow me to better overcome my weakness in future projects.

While I do want to shift to HTML development, the game will initially be written in Flash as despite the similarities between JavaScript and ActionScript the later is still faster to develop in. For me, Flash professional CS6 and Flash Builder 4.6 are the tools to use for Flash development with Flash pro also being adequate for my art needs. While I don't absolutely need the starling framework, it will be used. Audacity will be used for sound editing.

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