Ludum Dare and more things!

Hey!

This week was pretty exciting.

It started off with a cool email I got from PlayJam, the company that made the GameStick android micro console thing, apparently they want my “Space :D” game on their console!

They’re even sending me my very own GameStick DevKit for free! That’s AMAZING! With that devkit I can make a lot more games for their platform, which means I have another platform to put all my games out on! Yay!

The main reason I really like the GameStick is because they have their own leaderboard and achievement system, something the Ouya sadly lacks as of me writing this blogpost.

Almost all of my games so far have been highscore based and that requires a leaderboard to be interesting, otherwise you’re just fighting your own score, which is fun but not as fun as beating other people online.

“Space :D” on Ouya has its own leaderboard system built in which I made through following some weird tutorial on the internet, it’s a MySQL based leaderboard with no real account stuff meaning you can submit the same name multiple times and can’t update your previous scores. This is really annoying and just feels weird to the players.

The reason I still like Ouya a tiny bit better is because they should technically have a stronger chip in their console, making me able to do more stuff with it although still pretty limiting because the Tegra3 hasn’t really aged well as a chipset. I haven’t gotten my GameStick DevKit yet though so I can’t performance test just yet, the GameStick has a pretty potent GPU though so it might be more capable than the ouya, who knows. I don’t. Yet.

Aside from all that, I participated in the Ludum Dare Game Jam this weekend, I created a small game based around a publicly voted and decided on theme within 72 hours.

Here’s a short gif:

This gif was mainly made to show off the 2D sprite powered particle system, I had to build my own particle system from scratch because unity’s default particle system doesn’t support unity’s own 2D sprite functionality… This makes using it in a sprite-based game very inefficient as it’d need a whole different material and thus cost more drawcalls, so I built my own sprite-powered particle system!

It was actually quite fun to do as I had full control over what features the particles needed, like rotating towards their velocity, scaling according to velocity and more! All for less drawcalls and higher performance than the default system would have!

You can play the game I built here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-29/?action=preview&uid=15287

This was the first time I made a proper-ish 2D game in unity, and I’m amazingly surprised at how little performance it all costs due to the fact that I only used a tiny texture and a few pixels. Even the Ouya can run this game at 1080p without lagging like crazy, which it rarely does in 3D games, usually have to limit it to 720p resolution because the Tegra3 just sucks at 1080p due to its age. I think this game might be great for the GameStick too.

As for the School project I did very little this past week, but I’ll be sure to finish it off as quickly as I can this week as the whole presentation thing of it is next week Tuesday.

That’s about all for this week, thanks for reading!

 

-ShadowBrain

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