Monthly Archives: December 2007

Beginning Work on a New Sudoku Game

The post title says it all. Lately I’ve become addicted to samurai sudoku which is basically 5 interconnecting sudoku puzzles. After I seeing how few of them I can find in print I’ve decided to make my own computer version so that it can take its place next to minesweeper and solitaire in my games folder, beckoning me to play it when I should be working. Anyways, enough posting and more coding.

LD10: A Postmortem

So, this is my third or fourth ludumdare, however its been 3 years since I last participated in one. Anyways I’ll start by giving a bit of background about the tools I used. The language of choice this time was once again c++. I’ve used python and c# for games in the past but c++ is still my language of choice. This year I ended up using HGE for all of my graphics. It is a 3d accelerated 2d game engine with font support and a particle engine and it takes care of input handling. This really sped things up compared to previous competitions where my tools were lacking. I considered going with opengl and I don’t think that would have been a problem with the exception of fonts which I would have had learn. I also used fmod for sound just like previous years. On the music side I used ableton live 6 and audacity to create all of my music and sound effects. Finally, I used an online color scheme picker to help choose the colors for my game and I think this is a move that ultimately paid off in the end. Good looking colors, less work for me.

What went right:

I kept it simple. In retrospect my biggest mistake in previous competitions was that I over extended myself. This time around I tried to focus on a few gameplay elements and once those were in I stopped adding new things and spent the remainder of my time tweaking the ones that were already there. Better planning allowed me to choose which gameplay elements I would need and which ones were superfluous. At one point I even considered having variable movement speed throughout the game but the way I envisioned it would have slowed down the early game and would have definitely detracted from the overall feel. The other thing that I am very happy with is the music and sound. What I originally envisioned for the music was for something like rez or everyday shooter. Due to time constraints I wasn’t able to make the music nearly as polished as I would have liked but I was pleased that I got it to dynamically react to the gameplay.

What went wrong:

I didn’t have any huge problems this time. Most of the major problems were with the actual distribution of my game. When I went to submit my final build I accidentally included a debug dll in my release version. This ended up causing me a ton of problems but with the help of some very generous people I was able to track down the issue. The other problem I had is that my game does not contain any instructions. While this isn’t a huge deal since most people figure out how to play after a few attempts I do think that people are missing some of the functionality of the game such as the space bar.

Tools:

  • Visual Studio 2005
  • Ableton Live 6
  • Audacity

Final Notes:

This has been by far my best ludumdare entry yet and I can’t wait until the next competition. Hopefully I will have an updated version of my game with online high scores and widescreen support soon.