Davy Jones’ Freezer

Last weekend I participated in The Arbitrary Gamejam #5, with the theme “Damn the Torpedoes! Full Speed Ahead.” I came up with “Davy Jones Freezer,” where you’re an ice cream transport that needs to get through a minefield to deliver ice cream to an island.

Screen Shot 2013-12-08 at 11.32.50 PM

This wasn’t as tight a game as The Little Volcano, but I learned a lot of new things. Things that worked:

  • Having a tutorial class. I always loathe doing the tutorial and it was almost painless.
  • Figuring out exactly what to deploy. I deployed exactly three files: the index.html, the javascript, and the spritesheet. Previously, I’ve ended up throwing a ton of unnecessary crap up because I’m not sure if I need it or not.
  • Having a goal for the player. The judge for the last Arbitrary Gamejam pointed out that a goal would have been nice and he was right!

Things that didn’t:

  • The workflow of drawing something in ArtRage, exporting it to Gimp, magic-selecting the canvas away from the edges, resizing it, exporting it again… ugh. I’m sticking with pixel art from now on, the workflow feels a thousand times more efficient.
  • The ocean class kind of got away from me. Not only did it become one of those mutant classes that contain references to everything, but I spent a long time struggling to create an infinite board. I think I probably could have broken the problem down better with a few minutes of thought (and maybe a piece of paper).
  • Up through the end, the background was irritatingly flicker-y. Still not sure why, but I think I need to understand the LimeJs rendering code better.

Screen Shot 2013-12-08 at 11.33.10 PM

I wanted a font that said “Here there be dragons.” When Andrew saw it, his reaction was, “Would you like a Dove bar?” Now every time I see it, I think “Dove bar.” The theme of the game doesn’t help, I guess.

All in all, I’m glad I did it, I learned a lot, but I’m a bit disappointed in the final product. This weekend is Ludum Dare, so hopefully I can create something that I’m happier with.

  • Daniel Bauman

    Good luck with LD this weekend – I’m just starting working on mine

  • kristina1

    Thanks! I ended up giving up mid-Sunday–how’d you do?

  • Daniel Bauman

    I finished – sort of. http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=30571
    It, works and its a game. That’s… around all I can say for it :-P My main goal was just to finish something, no matter how dreadful it ended up being. I already know I need to get a better handle on sprite based animation for next time, and possibly map gen (though that’s a skillset somewhat specific to the genre I went with).

    What was your concept? (And what happened? Was it just not working out the way it did in your head?)

  • kristina1

    Nice game, I love it! (Really hard, though…)

    My game was coming out the way it did in my head, actually, maybe too nicely… I didn’t want to have to cut it down to get it finished, so I decided to making it a longer-term project. I’m still working on it.

    One of the troll sprites from my game below.

  • Daniel Bauman

    What type of game was/is it? (Aside from involving trolls, that is :-P) I found spriting to be a very challenging part of it (mostly due to my complete lack of art chops…)

    I felt really hampered by the theme – I had really good ideas for some of the other options, but I was dreading ‘you only get one’ because everything I could think of seemed either overly obvious or awful. (And I ended up going with overly obvious – mostly because I decided that finishing was more important)

  • kristina1

    Agreed on the theme! I feel like they shouldn’t choose theme purely on votes, because apparently people suck at choosing themes.

    My game was: you’re the evil spirit/god that the trolls worship and you tell them to take back the land from the humans. You and your band of trolls go from village to village, smooshing the humans and their huts. In each village, you choose one (only one!) troll to control/possess, the other ones just autopilot destroy.

    I thought your art was good!

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