Ludum Dare

I finished the initial version of BLT for the SNES. The title screen is placeholder. I plan to polish this up over the coming week.

BLT final Ludum Dare Jam version

This has a good part of what I was hoping to achieve this weekend. There isn’t much game play to speak of. Both A and B buttons will fire. Every other shot is a slow one (I will probably change this to cancel the slow shot if shots are altered between each side).

The bacon evolves after a certain number of bugs are shot (25 right now). The Sizzle Meter™, in the lower right, indicates the progress towards evolution.

The game seems to slow down at certain points. I haven’t verified this. I will probably have to optimize the code to fix this; shouldn’t be a big deal though.

I’ve spent a significant amount of time chasing down a collision bug. Again, I assumed it was an issue with the compiler. It turned out that when generating a random position, i was generating positions based on 64 and not 32 (a ‘<< 6’ instead of a ‘<< 5’). Normally, that would shift some sprites offscreen, on the SNES they just wrap around. But, collision detection doesn’t use the wrapped coordinates. D’oh.

So, the plan is to polish up the release for either a Jam release, or release it at a later point in time.

Here’s the 2nd playable demo, including enemies, collision detection, and score and life tracking.

BLT 2nd playable demo.

The game can now be played, although there are no enemies or goals.

BLT Demo #1

I implemented a sprite system and input handling. The background automatically scrolls, and bullets can be fired and are moved and removed automatically.

The biggest problems I’ve experienced has been how sprite indexes are used. I assumed that sprite 2 was 1, but sprite 2 is actually 4. Some of the behaviors look like compiler issues; which was also an issue when I was developing Frog Feast. I just don’t completely trust a 65816 C compiler.

I started creating the game engine several hours ago, here’s the first in-game shot:

This shows a foreground non-scrolling scorebar, a scrolling background, and a single sprite.

I’m amazed at how easy PVSnesLib has been to use. I’m so used to having to write everything.

The next step is to organize the code and start working on game play; the enemies are after that.

Being that it’s been 9 years since my first Ludum Dare (this is my third), I figured I would compare the experiences.

Social experiences are big on the internet, but it still has a ways to go. The first Ludum Dare, I used Rhapsody as a music service. For this Ludum Dare, I have Spotify. I tried out the Ludum Dare Sound Drop music list. It’s interesting, but listening to a shared music list with a bunch of strangers isn’t the ‘killer app’ of social.

The first Ludum Dare, I used IRC to communication with the group. I got into IRC more during my second Ludum Dare. It’s pretty much the same for this one, except twitter provides short summaries of what’s going on.

Coding wise, I was using Visual Studio 6 and DirectDraw for my first one, and for this one I’m using a C compiler for the SNES. If I was targeting Windows, I would most likely use SDL and Hekkus Sound System with Visual Studio 2010. The available platforms has greatly increased, and many of the platforms are more accessible. Cross platform tools have also exploded. Tools like HaXE/NME, AGK, and Unity allow a single program to be deployed across various platforms with almost no concern for the platform being targeted. Anyone wanting to develop a game only has to invest a little time into learning the tools.

Graphically, I’m still using Photoshop 6. I’ve gained a few additional tools, and developed support tools for a few of the tools that I used to have. My selection of tools would be different if I wasn’t targeting the graphically limited SNES.

I decided to attempt Ludum Dare this time around; it’s been 8.5 to 9 years since I did the last one. I’m working on a game for the SNES using PVSnesLib. The theme is evolution. I chose to base my games on the evolution of a BLT sandwich; and develop a vertical scrolling shooter where you attempt to evolve from bacon strips to a full BLT sandwich utilizing power ups.

I’ve got a decent start on some tiles and the main character sprite (Scaled 2x):