So, two things to talk about today. Neither of which is Quick Quote, because I’ve not had much time to work on it this week.
As I previously mentioned, last weekend I created a game for Ludum Dare 31. It’s called Snowman Sumo, and is… a game about sumo-wrestling snowmen. My game names are nothing if not self-explanatory.
This is my most polished jam game to date, and I’m really happy with it. You roll around, picking up snow to increase your size, then knock the other player’s snowman into the water. I won’t know how well other people liked it until a couple of weeks’ time when the voting period ends, but there are a couple of things I thin k went particularly well.
Firstly, using my voice for sound effects and music was much quicker than doing it “properly”, and hopefully makes it funnier. Every LD, I make the mistake of jumping into a music program that I haven’t tried to use since the last jam, and inevitably get confused and waste time, before giving up. Going a cappella is much simpler for me, and next time I’d like to do something more interesting with the music.
Second, I used Inkscape to draw the game logo and other text. Usually I scrawl something in GIMP, which generally looks horrible. I’m not hugely comfortable with Inkscape, but it’s so much easier to get some text that looks nice, with a gradient and outline. Makes things look much smarter.
I cheated a little with the 3D models… I’ve tried to use Blender and Milkshape before, and failed miserably to get anything usable. So, I ended-up constructing the land, water and snowmen out of Unity’s prefabs, and texturing them with materials. This worked better than I’d expected, but I really need to spend some time learning to create models properly before I attempt something 3D again. I happened to get lucky with a game that didn’t need anything complicated.
Making such a simple game meant I had a lot of time for polish, and to explore Unity features I wasn’t familiar with. SS has particles, sound effects, physics, the input system, and even a shader for the water, none of which I’d tried before.
No More Games!
With regular game bundles and dramatic sales, it’s easy to build-up a backlog of games you’ll never play. I think this is even worse when you develop games, as you get exposed to a lot more of them. Mid-November I decided enough was enough, and it was silly to keep spending money on games I’ll never get around to, so I decided not to buy any more for the rest of the year, regardless of any sales. I’ve now decided to continue this for all of 2015. This is partly because I’m going to spend the money I would spend on games on a new graphics card to replace my ageing one, but I think it’s generally a good thing to try. It’ll force me to finally play some things I have been meaning to for years. Let me know if you’re going to try this yourself,I think it would be fun to all do so together!