About the31


Ludum Dare 35
Ludum Dare 34
Ludum Dare 33
MiniLD #58
Ludum Dare 31
Ludum Dare 27
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 24
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 22
Ludum Dare 21
MiniLD #27
MiniLD #26
Ludum Dare 20
MiniLD 25
MiniLD #23
Ludum Dare 19
MiniLD #20
Ludum Dare 17
MiniLD #16

the31's Trophies

Super IRC Detective Award of Maximum Awesomeness
Awarded by keeyai
on December 28, 2011
Game Sign of Game Hosting
Awarded by Diet Chugg
on April 30, 2010

the31's Archive

That’s a lot of people over a lot of time. Incredible.

(See it for yourself by clicking any “I’m in”-titled post and checking the url.)

This time around I’m probably going to use Monogame plus an entity system library I’ve had brewing for a while. Here it is: https://github.com/rel-ent/core.

It’s lacking in the usability department right now (you’d be right to say that it will make gamedev harder), so I might switch back to Unity between now and the LD. I haven’t tested Monogame yet on the platforms I want to hit, and that’s the main thing I’m looking for. Unity failed hard on its xplat builds last LD, though, so we’ll see.

Good luck everybody! And… me too: I’m in.

Orb Fetch: GOLD, behind the scenes (LD31 Compo)

Posted by
Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 12:36 am

For this LD I made Orb Fetch: GOLD, a game that looks like a newtonian “thrust one way, ship goes the other” game, but isn’t. At all. And it’s hard to get used to how much it isn’t. (I still end up trying to “thrust” in panic on the more dangerous levels.)


Here’s a peek at how I made the graphics: a trick I’ve been wanting to try with grid paper, a pencil, and a felt-tipped marker. Black and white filters easily get rid of the blue lines, leaving the lines to be filled (or not).

Usually graphics aren’t my strong suit, but I think it worked well! It was very easy to get some graphics that weren’t my usual lame programmer’s pixel art, and because it wasn’t pixel art, it wasn’t a pain to scale up for fullscreen mode.

Only downside is that now I have to apologize for my poor handwriting.

575 – Shortly-after-midpoint progress

Posted by
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 7:31 pm

Midway through LD
Have some interesting stuff
Do you want to see?

In #LudumDare
Someone mentioned that haiku
Could be a topic

Without planning for
The theme “10 seconds” to win
This game comes to be.

After a round of
My new game 575
I took a screenshot

Words are in a list
Random picked with no care for

Want to try it out?
Click on this to see it live.
Here for an archive.

LD25: A delayed retrospective

Posted by
Sunday, February 17th, 2013 10:41 am

For LD25, I tried using Unity for the first time. Well, that’s not quite true–I had tried using it a few times before, but never got anything done. As a programmer, the seemingly content-oriented interface threw me off, so before LD25 I read a lot of documentation to ensure I knew what Unity is all about.

Where's the code?

Where’s the code?


LD24: A tale of catastrophe and woe.

Posted by
Monday, August 27th, 2012 12:39 pm

To get this settled right off the bat: this LD was great fun, regardless of my troubles. I’m happy to say that I finished the (very much incomplete) game Beyond Our Sacred Sun.

The Beginning

I begin this chronicle with my initial plans. Shortly before the LD, I heard about Google App Engine. I had done a little javascript, css, python… so I thought I’d use it for the LD.

I did some coding, and frankly was amazed at the functionality GAE provided. I had to do some tinkering to set up a Lubuntu VM as a development server (I’m bad at configuring dependencies in Windows), but after that, I was able to continue on a decent pace for a while.


At about 36 hours in (and countless showstopping bugs) I had a decent framework to make my game in. Stars moved in a stellar map, and were synchronized by the server automatically. An event system was apparently functional. “12 hours left–I’ll have to cut down on features, but at least I’ll probably have some gameplay by then! With multiplayer in a persistent world, no less!” Of course, things soon tanked.

ld24 Game, at its highest point

My game, at its peak of development.

At around 36 hours, I hit my first solid, unbudging handicap. I exceeded a GAE server quota: database reads. My code wasn’t efficient (not surprising, it being my first web application) and I had committed some unmentionable sins during solar map generation. If the google servers couldn’t handle development debugging, there was no way they could handle LD traffic.

“…there can be no true despair without hope.”

At the realization that I couldn’t use GAE for my LD game, I frantically scoured the internet for another way to host it. When I found AppScale, I breathed a sigh of relief. But then I saw the downloads page. “Torrents? Well… ok, I guess.” I started it up, and to my dismay found that there weren’t any seeders–only 16 penniless peers. After more searching, I found something promising: a blog post from Wolfire on AppScale. Unfortunately that post was 3 years old.

My development process’ new theme: Abandoned

With that discovery, I took up another of the suggested LD themes and abandoned my project. With only 4 hours left, I decided to replicate some of the basic ideas of my game and make Beyond Our Sacred Sun.

And that, my friends, is how I ended up with a stripped-down Galcon clone.

LD 23? Hopefully.

Posted by
Friday, April 20th, 2012 7:18 am

I’m in. Although I may be out at a moment’s notice. Hopefully not. I don’t have major plans for this weekend, but I’m still in college so anything could pop up.

I’ll probably be using AS3 with Flashdevelop and my personal library of random junk. I might decide to use C++ (with SFML) if it’s more suitable to my idea, or even go the other way and use HTML5 + JS.

Can’t wait to see which theme wins!

MiniLD 33 “Doodle”, Minerbot 2

Posted by
Saturday, March 17th, 2012 10:02 pm

It’s spring break, so I’m in! The fact that it’s spring break will probably interfere with my work, but it’s worth a shot.

I started my doodle not really remembering what a doodle is, and made a mockup. I realized that it wasn’t a doodle about halfway through, but thought it might be a better use of time just to keep going.

My minild doodle--well, mockup sketch.

Behold, a sketch of some basics for codename Minerbot 2.

LD22: A dual-project dare

Posted by
Monday, December 19th, 2011 11:11 pm

This LD (like LD20) I decided to make an adventure sort of game. Not an arcade game like I usually make, but something that involves a big space to move around in.

Needless to say, I failed both times. The first time because I tried to write an efficient tile map renderer from scratch, and the second because I got caught up in making my chunked, randomly-generated map work while avoiding floating-point inaccuracies.

Randomly-generated House

A randomly-generated house. I spent way too long on this.

So, after a particularly nasty bug involving the doors and still not having collision, I decided to scrap that project about 6 hours before the deadline and make a different one.

This new project, Asteroids: Alone Edition is what happens when you take the theme too literally and apply it to an old game. Simply put, it’s asteroids minus the asteroids. Well, except the main menu, where the AI plays.

I finished it up in about four or five hours, and submitted early.

(Most of that time was spent tweaking the AI. Make sure not to ignore it when you play my game!)

Play my entry, Asteroids: Alone Edition.

Or play the original, unfinished project, Return to Solitude (Controls: WASD, hold shift to run.)

Final Round of Theme Voting

Posted by
Friday, December 16th, 2011 11:07 am

I was curious which theme would win based on the total votes they got in the previous rounds. So I put them in a google doc, sorted them, and guess which came out on top…


Wait a sec… the numbers… oh. I had it sorted in ascending order.

Unfortunately, it appears that random generation wins based on previous votes, but I hope this prediction turns out to be false.

I like making games that use random generation, but that’s exactly the point. My games already always have random generation, so this theme does nothing for me. If this theme wins, it’ll be a boring contest for me. Secondly, I bet that artists wouldn’t like it much, because random generation is something that you have to code/logicize/whatever. Although I’m sure a few things could be done with art style for random generation, it doesn’t really seem fair in that regard. There is a third reason that essentially disqualifies it, but I won’t mention that, because it’s kind of too late.

I got a message about this from a friend, in fact… maybe it will convince you.

“There are consequences for this evolution of theme voting… alone will randomly generated be the antihero of decay, for only in a parallel universe, in some forgotten place, will the mechanism of my dreams shape-shift into the territory where, upon reflection, the self-replicating fall towards a theme travels in time with me, to the tunnel of the conscious world. Then… then the teleporting moon-kittens strike, their underground movement taking force.”

He has a thing for bolding words. He’s weird.

LD21: Ceaseless — Comment Responses

Posted by
Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 10:50 pm

I always think it’s cool to respond to the comments I get, so here goes. If nothing else, it’s a fun way to talk about my game some without dedicating a ton of time to writing up stuff. I just entered college, so taking less time is a very good thing.

markengley says …
Aug 22, 2011 @ 11:50am
Really good idea. Looks like an optical illusion…

I forget why I originally designed it like this, but… well, it looked even more like an optical illusion before. (Go here and just click the play button. If you have ANY problems whatsoever with flashy lights, don’t do it.)


MiniLD #27: A Little Demo

Posted by
Saturday, June 25th, 2011 1:11 am

Well, over the past few weeks I’ve worked a little on an engine to use for this mini ld. There are still bugs, but I made a little example program with the thing to hopefully help motivate you to enter the mini ld.

Without further ado, here it is, a little sample of what my engine can do.

EDIT: Here’s an updated version!

Hope you enjoy it!

(I’m the31 in IRC, by the way.)

My MiniLD 26 Entry “Minerbot 2”: Success

Posted by
Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 6:31 am

For MiniLD 26, my entry was successfully planned and completed. Usually neither of these things happen.

So, just how finished was Minerbot 2? I’ll go through the checklist that drZool had us make.

  • Player ship able to move through the asteroid world. Certainly.
  • Collectors can be shot, and attach to walls. They aren’t exactly shot, more “placed”. Still a yes.
  • Collectors send beams through ore pockets, mining them. (Just like Minerbot’s collectors did it.) Yep.
  • Collectors have to recharge, and have a maximum capacity. Yes, you have to wait for collectors to recharge in your toolbar, but they don’t have maximum capacities. I felt at the time that it wasn’t a very good gameplay choice, so I didn’t implement it.
  • Upgrades have effects on their respective stats. They sure do.
  • Ore and gems are generated randomly, and when collected add to the commission received. Yep.
  • The flow works as shown, with the exception of contracts. Yep.
  • There is a way to end the “mining round” to upgrade and select new contracts (if possible). Yep. Although the way I do this will change with future versions.
  • Configurable controls for those with weird keyboards. Yeah. It’s in the options menu.

This MiniLD went great, and finally made me start the sequel to Minerbot. There’s still a lot to do before I release the full game, but at least now I have a place to start.

MiniLD 26: Minerbot 2

Posted by
Friday, May 27th, 2011 5:32 pm

Instead of taking the normal route of making a whole new, original game for this minild, I’m going to make the sequel to Minerbot.

Of course, I’ll be using AS3.

(A) Name of the game: Minerbot 2 (for now)

(B) Description (140 chars): Your job as an employee of AMEC is to mine asteroids. Use tools of the trade to get the job done quickly and after a little profit, upgrade.

(C) Mockup image: Well, I kind of did three, but it’s all in one image. This outlines the basic flow of the game.
The basic flow of Minerbot 2

(D) Definition of Done:

  • Player ship able to move through the asteroid world.
  • Collectors can be shot, and attach to walls.
  • Collectors send beams through ore pockets, mining them. (Just like Minerbot’s collectors did it.)
  • Collectors have to recharge, and have a maximum capacity.
  • Upgrades have effects on their respective stats.
  • Ore and gems are generated randomly, and when collected add to the commission received.
  • The flow works as shown, with the exception of contracts.
  • There is a way to end the “mining round” to upgrade and select new contracts (if possible).
  • Configurable controls for those with weird keyboards.

There’s more to do to make it a complete game, but if I get those things done by the end of the MiniLD I’ll be happy. Notably missing is anything about contracts–they would take a while to implement and give variety to. Also, the big red bar in the lower-left of the gameplay screen is unused, although it would be for health.

Hopefully my extensive mockup will help me get through the art more quickly. 😀

Finished! Well, finished enough.

Posted by
Sunday, May 1st, 2011 7:16 pm

I started by focusing on the “it’s dangerous to go alone” part of the theme. I thought it would be easier to make a game where you have to make a group than one about taking things. So, I did that. I decided to essentially make a pokemon clone, except more evil.

Then, with a little bit of trying-too-hard-to-be-serious storyline (Phantom Keeper? What?), I put in the “take this” part both ways.

This was a very difficult project to take in 48 hours, because the genre is basically fueled by content and I hadn’t made a game like it before.

In the beginning, I doubted I could finish the game. 48 hours (and 48,000 terrible hacks) later, I find that I was correct to doubt it. I barely got a lot of the core features packed in there, and the game is terribly unbalanced. If I ever find an artist who would want to do a game like this in the future I’ll think about it, but I think Phantom Keeper is done until then.

It was a fun LD, but I’ll be scaling back to a simpler game for the next minild.

Finally, a link to the “finished” game.

My idea and a script

Posted by
Friday, April 29th, 2011 9:35 pm

I got home from go-karting with my family to see the theme. Didn’t have any ideas beforehand for “It’s dangerous to go alone, take this!” but I think I have one now.

First thing I did was lose my script for creating AS3 files for all the png files, mp3 files, etc. in a directory. Second thing I did was rewrite it in Python (as opposed to the Ruby original). So… that was fun.

As for my idea, what’s important are the items the player is given.

Things to take.

Take These

Of course, those gloves aren’t ordinary. The rocks aren’t either. Net’s strange too. It’ll become clear in time.

My LD20 Workspace

Posted by
Friday, April 29th, 2011 11:05 am

31's LD20 Workspace

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