#LD48.. or building a game in a totally tough time constraint

So, its Saturday 2014-08-23,  and Ludum Dare has started a few hours ago.

What happend so far:

at 03:00 Ludum Dare started, the subject that was voted on is “connected worlds”.

at 06:00 i got up, and read about the theme. Not my favorite, actually i was hoping it wouldn’t be this one, but well – its still better than the theme of the last Global Game Jam.

at 07:40 i arrived at where i thought that the location was – at 08:00 the time it should start i got a bit nervous about no one having shown up yet, so i posted in the facebook group about where everyone is.. turns out Geelab has moved offices, thankfully not too far

at about 08:30 we had breakfast and started thinking about games we could make

its now about 11:00, i think basically everyone has an idea what he/she wants todo, and it seems (so far) as if all of us have decided to go solo.

a livestream is up at www.twitch.tv/geelab/

My game idea is basically a game where you play an information courier in a world where faster than light travel has been invented, but no FTL communications yet, so you are connecting worlds. I originally had planned on getting things started trying out loomsdk, as the tools provided should allow for a pretty rapid workflow, but since i run into a few troubles with installation (nothing that i’d see as a problem under normal circumstances, but something that i can’t take care off in this extremly short timebox), i’ve decidd to go with the same lib that i used the last few gamejams libgdx, for all its worth, i’ve at least a bit of experience with it.

I’ll try to update this Blogpost through the day as things happen.


EDIT: 14:00, i got the basic application, the splash screen, a logo, and a background for the menus so far.. feels like i’m way behind, while actually i couldn’t do much more in this time..


EDIT: 17:16, i got a bit further, but i’m still spending tons of time on details (like for example libgdx changed the way a stage is handled by using viewports – nice change, but reading up on how/what/when/why did cost me valuable time again. *sigh*, lets hope that from now on it gets better

EDIT: 19:51, it seems I’ve hit a brick wall about 40 minutes ago. Whenever i hide a dialoge, it also hides all stars.. and i can not figure out why, as the hide action of the libgdx framework dialog should only hide that dialog… i think this is the most frustrated I’ve ever felt on a gamejam, well, I’ll have a cigarette, and then see if I can work around it somehow.

EDIT: 20:55 I’ve been able to work around the problem – not happy with the solution but due to the time contraint it has to do. using two stages now, one for dialog, one for the actual scene.. works.

Last 20 minutes, and i guess 10 more for a break, to recover some energy. Also theres a Beer on my table, i feel that needs to be taken care off.

EDIT: 23:08 Alright, now while i feel more and more like I need some sleep soon, i actually managed to get a few things done. My soundmanager is in, so i can add sound now (already added some music), the worlds (planets) have their entities now, and are comming along, so my mood is a lot better now.

I still think I’ll call it a night soon, get a glas of Whisky, and proceed tomorrow.

EDIT: 23:18 and here a few screenshots of where I’m at from my Nexus 7.

Work in Progress
Work in Progress

more work in progress

EDIT: 08:19 so, i had some short 5 hours sleep and am back in action now – lets try to get something done while still waking up.

EDIT: 10:05 i’m getting things done \o/, i’ve added some basic information about the games state to the ui (fuel, wallet..) also i’ve finished an first iteration of the map-generator which creates random starfields that can be played in.

It seems everyone has survived the night – as all people have turned up (last one a few minutes ago).

Also: one more screenshot:

now with hud and generated stars
now with hud and generated stars


EDIT: 12:39 alright, finished name “generation” for the stars, also added an element that will display the name of the current star. will have a cigarette break now, and after that either start with the contract system OR build the highlight abbility for the current star.

Also, i just replaced the music with music by Chaot, who created a special tune for this (Thanks!)

EDIT: 16:08 so it turns out, scaling an actor didn’t work that well with the clicklistener, and it took me ages to find out.

On the Plus side: the game is now displaying adjacent systems that your jump drive permits you to go to in a green-ish color, and your current system is highlighted too. Also its finally possible to actually change system (within the limitations of the JD).

On the Negative: i doubt i will get the full game going today, i still have the contracts to do, the fuel consumption, adding some sounds, and then the random encounters that would make it interesting. Now this is not too bad, i figure i still can get a lot of it done today – well at least prototypes of it, but we will see.

Oh, before i forget, screenshot of the highlighted systems

system highlighting
system highlighting

i guess with the mouse some mouse-over-name-showing would be nice, but that won’t work for the touchscreen, so i guess i’ll have a click actually pop up an dialog, which will then allow to jump or close – opposed to at the moment where a click/touch = jump. I mean i’d rather keep it that way, but people need some way to determine what system they are jumping to.. don’t they?

EDIT: 19:34  I actually got forward a bit faster in the last 3 hours, it seems that i got over my tiredness. I was able to build the contract creator (well a rudimentary one), and the menus that you get when visiting worlds, including the contract table. I also decided to add a small feature that i found important enough for a small detour – when you select a contract it will highlight the destination star, making it easier for the player to understand where this contract is going.

Time for a food break.


omg! a blue star!
omg! a blue star!


EDIT: 21:45 so, over here most people are done, and the beers are out. I managed to get quite a bit done in the last few hours, but still.. there is a lot missing, and it wont be happening today anymore.

What i did get done: accepting contracts, showing conracts, delivering contracts (and getting the reward) and a credits screen

Whats missing:

  • fuel mechanics
  • random encounters
  • loss conditions
  • adding a lot more of the music / sounds that chaot made

I’m going to call it a day, and build a release now, and then relax a bit for the last few minutes of the weekend. The missing features will come soon(tm), as i want this feature complete.



EDIT: 22:54 getting all the stuff for the android store done took me a while – for some reason i can’t create the apk with idea anymore, but must use gradle… well ok, its working now, and somewhen in the next few hours the first version should show up on the google play store


EDIT: the day after

its available in the store now, i wouldn’t recommend any smaller device than a 7″ tablet though, also you can download a single jar file here which you can run if you have java installed  (java -jar ConnectedWorldsExpress-1.0.jar or on most systems a doubleclick)

EDIT: a few days later:

I just uploaded version 1.1.1 to the appstore, where i fixed icons, added a bit more sound feedback, and changed the settings so it will only be available for tablets (ui doesn’t really work well on smaller displays)

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eu.devedge.cwe.android

Desktop (Java):  https://devedge.eu/cwe_desktop-1.1.1.jar

EDIT: a week later, release of 1.2.0 – a few ui improvements and fuel usage done.

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eu.devedge.cwe.android

Desktop (Java):  https://devedge.eu/cwe_desktop-1.2.0.jar



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