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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fragments: a Ludum Dare Jam Game

A few weeks ago, I worked with my friend Aaron Vonderhaar on a bold experiment: to develop a single-page html game framework and then build a game in it for Ludum Dare.

The result is Fragments [Ludum Dare Page] [Source Code]. It's a put-together puzzle in isometric 3d, telling a somewhat fragmented story of mangled memories.

I'm not entirely happy with how the game came out, but as my first Ludum Dare Jam (as opposed to compo) experience, it was a decent one. It was fun working with Aaron on a project, and I think we did some interesting things in the game framework -- though it wasn't nearly complete enough going into the competition.

Two interesting points of trivia about Fragments:

  • There is no lighting in the game. Everything is baked to vertex colors in Blender during export. This is a trick I also used in Rainbow for the landscape.
  • For some reason, 30% of the CPU time in the game is used by 4x4 matrix multiplies. We probably should have been looking at profiling data earlier. It appears that the construction of Mat4's is very expensive.