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Re: Ectocomp

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:28 pm
by David Whyld
To be honest, if someone spent three hours writing their game then a week testing it, would anyone know?

Re: Ectocomp

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:39 pm
by Duncan_B
I think that really depends on the game. It's possible. The entire limit is enforced only by the honor system, but this is in order to encourage spontaneity and production in general. I think if there was a consensus that a particular game was not in the spirit of the competition, it might be disqualified.

Still, call me naive, but I don't expect anyone will cheat in a minicomp with an action figure and a $10 gift certificate prize. We're all friends here.

Reminder, btw, we're still accepting prize donations.

Re: Ectocomp

PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:08 pm
by Duncan_B
Whew! 45 minutes left to work on my Ectocomp entry...

Re: Ectocomp

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:42 pm
by MikeDesert
Duncan_B wrote:Announcement: MikeDesert has withdrawn his game citing unplayability, but we do have a third entry now, Po. Prune's "The House." Huzzah!
Mike, if you do want to try re-coding your game from scratch within another 3 hour time frame you could just call your first one a practice run.


I might actually do that. I was dumb and didn't write anything out before diving in which could have saved me time. I did some testing along the way, but it was the wild cards at the end that I did wrong and the runner crashing any time the player would do something to raise their score +45 points... I felt like I had plenty of time after 2 hours, but the last bit killed me!

my advice is to stop at 2 1/2 hours and play your game through start to finish and not do that AFTER it's submitted like me! :x

Re: Ectocomp

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:34 pm
by DCBSupafly
Last year I counted the three hours as follows:

Brainstorming (I laid out three ideas for games, basic plot and PC tasks/interactions) and ran them by a couple friends. This was to choose which game(s) I would make. I didn't count this.
Planning 0-0:15 - This is where I diagrammed Pete's Punkin Junkinator. The map, a list of characters and objects, and a list of requirements for completion (winning).
Execution 0:15-2:15 - I pumped it out.
Testing and corrections 2:15-3:00 Part of this time was originally slotted for Spiral Cheese Horizon's music composition, but it was scrapped for many reasons. I played through a few times and added to the game AS I WENT. The debugger is your best friend in this speed testing because you can simulate your corrections in game without having to restart it. Make sure to test at the end!

I don't remember if I wrote a walkthrough, if so, it wasn't made in the three hours. I know in the last few minutes I stopped adding details and just made sure the game's win-condition tasks were all completable - which included removing one or two of the originally planned completion tasks. It was missing a lot of features: hints about task completion, a good scoring system, conversation topics, etc. Some things I learned for using the three hour limit:

While my scoring system might have been frustrating for high-score hunters (the max was unreachable), the fact that you only needed to complete 4 tasks out of a set of 7 or so meant that when the clock was close to finished, I could freely decided which to scrap and which to finish. Originally, the design had about 10 win tasks, but since the game didn't care which 4 you did, if one became too hard/time-consuming to make, I scrapped it.

The format for the plot development is one I've used before (in Give Me Your Lunch Money) Cutscene intro, cutscene ending, with filler in between. This format seems to occur naturally in my head but it's really useful for a short timeframe because you can build the skeleton of the game and fill in the meat after. How much meat? How much do you have time for?

If you work with a set of optional tasks rather than an exacting time/plot-line, you can also estimate the amount of time it will take to do by extrapolating the one task, and if you're lucky, you can even copy and paste assets.

It's specific to my game, which was made easier by being as gimmicky as the rest of mine, but there was a lot of talk about how to make the game in 3 hours and I found it to be an inspiring and freeing limitation. Perhaps if someone forced me to use no more than 3 hours fixing it, I'd re-release Mangiasaur!

PS I will be submitting a game for Ectocomp, tonight or tomorrow.

PPS @ Mike - I'm afraid to use ADRIFT 5 because I don't KNOW it yet. If I have to study it for a couple hours before working on the game I will, but I wouldn't count that towards 3 hours. You mentioned a walk cycle you were having trouble with. My advice is play around with another file first or save it for another project. The best way to know how long it will take you to make is to already know exactly how to implement it. If you can't code it into PC interactions but need it in the game, maybe you can make it into a cut-scene!

Re: Ectocomp

PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:23 pm
by Lumin
Argh, this is so frustrating. I don't know what to say guys, the few ideas I actually like take too long to write out, and everything that's actually doable just seems lame or boring once I start it. It's like I'm just not feeling the Halloween spirit this year. :(

Re: Ectocomp

PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:31 pm
by adriftste
It's like I'm just not feeling the Halloween spirit this year.

Pop round to my house then, my wife loves Halloween, every wall is covered with bats, spiders, witches, pumpkins and ghosts. I think we've purchased every item of halloween stuff from ASDA this year.

Re: Ectocomp

PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:42 pm
by DCBSupafly
I have struggled to make good use of my time with the new (awesome, but unfamiliar) interface! I will be finishing up tonight though! I would also like to donate a Humble Indie Bundle license into the prize pool. There isn't one for sale right now, but redeemable whenever the next bundle comes out.

Re: Ectocomp

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:36 am
by MikeDesert
I gotta catch the 9:00 screening of Zombie tonight, and I forgot to bring my PC to my side job today to work on it, so I had to install windows xp and virtualbox on my macbook pro....so basically, I'm sending it tonight, but maybe at 2 a.m. if it's disqualified that's totally fine since I wasn't going for a win with this one, but if possible I'd love to still have it included. but maybe I can finish in the next 30 minutes before I leave. I actually have over an hour left on my time since this is my second go at the same game.

Re: Ectocomp

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:16 am
by MikeDesert
finished but some bugs. Sending later

Re: Ectocomp

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:01 am
by Campbell
Unfortunately I have missed the deadline. Was hoping to enter this comp, but my game turned out to be more complex than I expected, plus it highlighted a few bugs with Developer (surely not!), so I have had to fix those.

Looking forward to seeing the entrants tho.

Re: Ectocomp

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:29 pm
by Lumin
Yeah, I missed it too. :( Was going to get up early yesterday and give it one last go before the deadline but then I got called in to work because somebody was 'sick'. (sheah right, more like hung over! :mad: )

On the bright side, I will definitely be going back to one of my abandoned attempts and finishing it now that the time limit isn't an issue. And I'll look forward to playing the games of anyone who did enter. :)

Re: Ectocomp

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:22 pm
by BlueMaxima
Missed. FFFFFFFFF. So little time, so little motivation.

I plan on trying to get my head around making a Halloween themed...thing though. I need to get acquainted with ADRIFT 5.

Re: Ectocomp

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:03 pm
by DCBSupafly
Lols. I too ran out of time, but submitted nonetheless!

I ended up scrapping a lot of the interactive stuff in favor of cutscenes to save time and didn't get to playtest as much as it called for. At this point I'm just hoping that the plot is coherent!
I did, however, learn enough of ADRIFT 5 that I'm excited to work with it now, and that's been a long time coming. I'm especially thrilled with the Dark Locations and the ability to edit properties with task actions! This makes one of my long-running ADRIFT 4 projects a lot more feasible. Now to see about converting it.

Can't wait to play your entries!

Re: Ectocomp

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:12 pm
by Campbell
Perhaps we should have a comp for all the entries that missed the deadline! :-P