About Aurel Bílý (twitter: @AurelDev)

I am a self-taught developer based in Slovakia – I make games, websites, drawings, and generally enjoy a good challenge.
I make games in haxe (formely AS3.0), and am always on the lookout for expanding my knowledge and experience – if you need a programmer, or a graphic designer, let me know :)

Entries

 
Ludum Dare 37
 
Ludum Dare 36
 
Ludum Dare 35
 
Ludum Dare 34
 
Ludum Dare 33
 
Ludum Dare 31
 
Ludum Dare 30
 
Ludum Dare 27
 
Ludum Dare 19
 
MiniLD #22

Aurel Bílý's Trophies

Best Puzzle Game - LD 37 (Jam)
Awarded by LDA
on January 3, 2017
Camera Man
Awarded by N0_Named_Guy
on August 26, 2013

Aurel Bílý's Archive

one rooms post mortem

Posted by (twitter: @AurelDev)
Sunday, December 25th, 2016 8:02 am

PLAY ONE ROOMS

(this is a mirror of the same post mortem on my website)

It was that time of the year again! For Ludum Dare 37, I made a 2.5D point ‘n click adventure in 72 hours – one rooms. I also skipped one night completely, opting to work for 40+ hours without any sleep whatsoever. Here’s how everything went down …

The preparations

The week before this LD was somewhat busy for me still, because university. Mostly because of that, I didn’t prepare as well. I didn’t make a super customised wallpaper with different text for every theme possible, I didn’t make 9 of them for each one of my virtual desktops, I didn’t test my libraries. I did make a super quick wallpaper that you might see in the timelapse. Basically, I was not planning to do something very experimental. It was going to be another game made in Haxe, compiled to flash. Oh well.

I was also looking forward to seeing the new Ludum Dare page. But then, a week before the actual event, I realised it’s just not going to happen with the current progress. So, surprise, surprise, everything was done on the old Ludum Dare page which has bugs and issues, obviously, but is still much more reliable than a system ‘finished’ and launched without any alpha testing. Oh well #2.

Unlike most previous LD’s, I did not have a definite favourite among the final round of themes. These were my votes:

While I know that the event is growing larger all the time, the duplicate themes are getting old. Chain reaction is the only one marked, but ‘Small world’ is pretty much the same as ‘Tiny world’ (LD 23), then ‘Simplicity’ / ‘Minimalism’ (LD 26), ‘Wait, are we the bad guys?’ / ‘You are the Villain’ (LD 25), etc. And of course, the theme that was finally chosen, ‘One room’, was very exactly the way I interpreted ‘Entire Game on One Screen’ (LD 31), so it wasn’t my favourite. Oh well #3.

The concept

I woke up on Saturday (after going to sleep one hour before the theme was announced, silly me) somewhat late, and saw the theme. One of the first things I thought of was a rogue-like exploration / role-playing game – you, the player, control a boat / spaceship / caravan which is the one room. But because it is also a vehicle, you can control your one room and go places. Explore the sea / space / desert. It is a simple concept which can be taken in various directions. The game would also be quite difficult to finish, but I was up to the challenge. I was already considering going for the jam, so the extra 24 hours would definitely help here.

(I didn’t choose this interpretation in the end, but there are some that have done so, for example: 13 Jellyfish by Four Quarters – pretty game)

So, as we were brainstorming with my girlfriend, don’t ask me how, I thought of approaching the theme a bit differently – to have a room that ends with -one room. Then she suggested a game where you try to think of various -one rooms. And then, feeling ambitious, I thought of a full story to go with that. I already knew it would be a lot of work to even have various rooms, without even thinking of an actual story.

Poor man’s 3D engine

And so the idea was born. Then it was time to think of how to make the game look. I already experimented with pixel art / 3D fusion in Cell #327, although it seems like an overly-complicated way to make little bits of the room move. I didn’t really use it to its fullest potential. So this time around, I opted for simpler graphics, with the 2.5D effect of the spinning room being the highlight. The graphics ‘engine’ involved some basic lingebra, z-buffering, pixel-by-pixel blitting, but I suppose that deserves an article of its own!

72 hours again, music, voice acting

I was quite happy with my progress. Creating new rooms took a lot of time, because creating a user-friendly editor to place walls and floors in 3D would take even longer. By the second day I knew I didn’t have that much ready content-wise, but I didn’t panic and decided to keep going and submit a jam entry instead.

I had no idea what music I would have, or how I would make it, and having a jam entry allowed me to ask somebody friendly on the LD IRC chat. The request was fulfilled by ibispi, who promptly made Earthbound-sounding chiptune music for all the rooms. That added a lot of personality to the game. I would have gone for darker-sounding music, but I reconsidered, seeing as my game was rather light-hearted, with lots of quote unquote humour in the writing.

I also thought of asking Elijah Lucian to give voice to my game, as he did for Cell #327. He wanted to help, but couldn’t make it before the jam deadline, unfortunately. Right after the jam, however, he was hosting a voice acting stream on twitch. It was quite fun watching people try to act out some of the more unusual parts of the script (the actual voice acting starts around 01:11:00). He also promised to have the game voice acted post-jam. And I want to polish it plenty before that, and add some content – more rooms, more puzzles, more fun.

Sleep deprivation

As I’ve already mentioned in the beginning, I’ve skipped the second night entirely. I worked till 3 in the morning, then thought I might as well try to pull an all nighter. Maybe it gets better when you get used to it, but sleep deprivation is kinda scary. Monday morning was especially challenging. I tried to keep working, but I would keep falling asleep mid-work. Writing simple lines of code would merge with my dreams. I would have my eyes open, but I can’t say I was awake. Trains of thought were derailing left and right. It actually got better in the afternoon, and I was insane enough to stay up till 3 in the morning again. Watching Elijah’s stream of course.

I guess if there is an advantage to skipping a night (apart from the obvious additional working time), it would have to be the, er … ‘creative’ ideas you get. So that’s how the singing skeleton quartriplet and the late shift arcade got in the game.

The menu

The menu in this game was heavily inspired by the GUI in Mass Ef– Just kidding! I meant the food:

Also some muffins, pistachios, you get the idea. Good food management is crucial for a successful LD entry.

A javascript port

You might notice there is a playable javascript version this time around. I ported the game because some people complained that it’s hard to get it running on linux, and that flash is a dying platform anyway. Which is true, I suppose. So, post-jam, I ported the game. It took me a day, but I was quite happy, because the majority of changes were made in my libraries (which were basically used as a wrapper around the flash API), not the game itself. Meaning I can make a javascript build of my games to come much faster. Yay.

Some mistakes

As always, there are some things I should have done differently. Obviously there should have been many more rooms, at least some lines of dialogue for them. Writing those would have taken minutes, so really there is no excuse.

The palette I chose was 20 colours. Most of it worked out pretty well, but for some reason I chose a colour very similar to another that I never managed to use in the game. If I had taken some time balancing the palette more, the resulting graphical style would probably end up different as well. Probably more moody, as my games tend to be.

The faux 3D, while looking pretty, is also not very nice on the CPU. The javascript version suffers from this much more, but even the flash version gets my (admittedly quite old) computer spinning up its fans. I could have optimised this in many ways still, and I hope I will get to that for the post-jam version. Technically it should be doable with a shader, but I didn’t feel brave enough to write my first shader during LD.

Conclusion

And that’s about it. I will write another article about the way the rooms are rendered, and hopefully another article when there’s a post-jam version. Overall, I am very happy with my game, and I hope you enjoy it too!

PLAY ONE ROOMS

Update: timelapse

Timelapse (and source) for R. Lastey!

Posted by (twitter: @AurelDev)
Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 5:13 am

Finally got around to releasing the source and the timelapse for my game – with some nice music by DDRKirby(ISQ)! :)

And the source is available here! Or …

PLAY R. LASTEY

R. Lastey post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @AurelDev)
Monday, September 5th, 2016 3:20 pm

(mirror of article on my site)

This weekend I participated in yet another Ludum Dare. This one was exceptional, however, because there were no ratings. It was also exceptional for me, because it’s the first time I submitted a (mostly solo) Jam entry, meaning I had 72 hours for creating the game. The theme was Ancient Technology, a clear winner compared to the other themes.

Apart from Ludum Dare, there was another important event – moving to our flatshare in London (I’ll study here, woo) from our temporary hostel accommodation. The plan was to move in as soon as possible in the morning, but naturally, got there around 3 in the afternoon. Luckily I could get my hands on a computer for some two hours before that, in a café.

In a way it wasn’t so bad, because for the longest time I wasn’t really sure about what kind of game I was making.

The future idea

From the very first moments I was considering a bit of a twist of the theme – it is the far future, humans discover ‘ancient technology’ (something from our time), completely misunderstand it but are amazed nonetheless. Like discovering ‘windows’, then placing them in the middle of the rooms instead of in the walls, or discovering forks and knives, then using them like chopsticks. You get the gist.

In a way it’s similar to Asimov’s ‘The Feeling of Power’, although that wasn’t my intention!

The alien idea

(more…)

R. Lastey, the archaeologist, finished!

Posted by (twitter: @AurelDev)
Monday, August 29th, 2016 8:12 pm

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 02.14.41

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 02.15.35

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 19.03.50

(secret concept art)

What a journey. For the last couple of hours, I’ve been working on the music … Obviously, my tool of choice for composing it was Photoshop:

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 02.10.48

But, I’m pretty proud of the results! The music adds a lot to the game. Now I wish we had ratings :)

Play R. Lastey now!

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 02.13.28

Jamming on!

Posted by (twitter: @AurelDev)
Monday, August 29th, 2016 5:58 am

For the first time ever, … Going to do the jam! (solo, but still)

I did release the compo version … (here), but this morning I was woken up with a list of things to be implemented for the jam version, so … That’s settled! Fixed the wallpaper:

LD36 wp

Pictograms, anybody?

Posted by (twitter: @AurelDev)
Sunday, August 28th, 2016 5:14 am

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 11.12.25

London Dare!

Posted by (twitter: @AurelDev)
Friday, August 26th, 2016 3:16 pm

Obviously, I’m in.

Lots of things happened and will still be happening during this weekend … Notably, moved to London (ICL, woo) for my studies. Saturday afternoon is when we should check in at our new place, so hopefully I can get something done in a café with wi-fi nearby.

scaled

In other news, a new wallpaper.

And that link above now leads to my brand new server somewhere in the Netherlands. The domain is more appropriate now. :)

I’ve been trying to improve my workflow too, to spend less time on the repetitive tasks. Right now, I have all of these to make my life easier:

  • TotalSpaces – creates a grid of 3 x 3 desktops, 3rd party programme for this since OS X doesn’t allow it anymore
  • TotalTerminal – a terminal ‘visor’ that’s accessible from anywhere, anytime using a single keystroke
  • autobuild – a utility that I wrote that captures system-wide keystrokes and listens for a particular one (fn-a or fn-r) to build and run my code in the background; automatically activates the terminal and shows the correct tab if there’s an error; plays sound cues depending on the build result
  • TextMate – almost perfect for my coding needs

Whenever I update assets in-game, the process is currently:

  • Make the changes in Photoshop
  • Save, Save as … select PNG, select correct filename
  • Recompile game
  • Rerun game
  • Repeat if not satisfied

This is kinda slow … I’m considering writing a script that would detect changes to Photoshop .psd files and use ImageMagick to automatically create .png versions. And then, an Asset manager for my ever-expanding library (to be released, of course) which would update the assets in-game live? If I can make it in time.

Hopefully this LD is interesting enough for all of us even without the ratings. Good luck!

Nightshift – Timelapse + Let’s play submissions still open!

Posted by (twitter: @AurelDev)
Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 4:39 pm

Finally got around to editing the timelapse video for Nightshift :) Hope you enjoy!

Next up, I will edit the trainwreck of a first episode of let’s play your LD games. As many of you (five people that were there) know, everything that could possibly go wrong on a stream did go wrong, but it was fun nonetheless, so we’ll be trying on a slightly more powerful machine next time. But, submissions are still open, so:

ADD YOUR GAME TO OUR LET’S PLAY LIST

Nightshift – Post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @AurelDev)
Thursday, April 21st, 2016 1:04 pm

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 03.13.01

PLAY NIGHTSHIFT NOW

(this is a mirror of this blog post on thenet.sk)

As is tradition, I participated in another Ludum Dare, with the theme ‘Shapeshifting’. Though the game is rather simple and certainly not revolutionary, it might be one of my best LD entries to date.

For a change, the important life-changing exam week was not right after the LD, but just before. So I didn’t really have time to make sure all my libraries are ready, nor to make a wallpaper for this LD (I used the one from last LD, terrible, I know!) … But it felt like a relaxing weekend after the weeks of studying. For the second time, I was at my girlfriend’s, not at home. So, once again:

img00

img01

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And so on with the yumm.

The theme

I didn’t really go through the themes the day before, didn’t try to calculate the most likely one. Mostly because I wasn’t truly happy with any of the themes. So on Saturday morning, seeing the theme was ‘Shapeshifting’, and inspired by Elvie:

img04

And also this derp that goes by the name of Ninja:

img05

I thought, shapeshifting into a cat could work as the basic plotline. My initial idea was that the player was a werecat, turning into a cat every full moon. The intro could be somewhat fun, making the player think he was going to turn into a classic werewolf, and in the very end revealing the truth with a dramatic meow.

A roguelike approach

As far as the game itself goes, I first thought I’d make a simple topdown roguelike – the player / cat would go through ‘dungeons’ that would turn out to just be the rooms of the player’s house looking extremely exciting and dangerous to a cat. There could be some basic RPG levelling, gaining experience, etc. To go with the theme a bit more than just the intro, I wanted the player to learn new ‘shapes’ along the way, by scratching scratchposts.

img06

Each shape would have slightly different abilities, advantages and disadvantages. For example, most basic cat shapes would be ‘jumpy’ – automatically jumping / teleporting to nearby sources of noise, with a QTE overlay to scratch up whatever the source was, otherwise continuing in regular combat. The catloaf shape would reduce this radius of jumpiness, or completely eliminating it. The player would not be able to move as a catloaf, however, so it would be a purely defensive shape.

Another idea was the idea of some meta-game progression. Every night, the player would turn into a cat, but during the days, they would wonder what happened, clean up the mess, etc. Or maybe they have just moved in to a new place, so everything is packed in boxes, and every day the player can unbox the furniture of another room, thereby allowing the player to add elements into the nightly ‘dungeons’ one by one.

Shmup time

I was somewhat committed to this idea already, and yet, it didn’t feel extremely exciting. I realised that I was not really using the theme, that a roguelike game is quite a lot of work to make, that I wasn’t exactly sure how the game would play, I just knew the intro was okay. Luckily, it was still morning, and I changed my mind while talking about my ideas with my girlfriend. I thought a shmup, while not an uncommon or new genre, would be interesting to try out – I could focus more on proper polish of the game, instead of getting overwhelmed by implementing difficult game mechanics.

And the introductory shapeshift would just be slightly more goofy – as a werecat, you decide to put on your space helmet and fight the evil space mice (for no real reason).

I have decided to keep the idea of different cat ‘shapes’, however, as an analogue to weapon selection in classical shmups. Destroying scratchposts stations would produce a power-up for one of the player’s shapes.

img07

img08

Then it was quite easy to make progress. With the idea being a bit silly, I didn’t have to worry about consistency, or a horror mood like I did with my previous point ‘n click entries. So – space mice, guard dog, flies and bees, scratch stations, yarnball magnets. The graphics were old schoolesque and, as usual, I limited myself to a small palette – 11 colours in this case.

Music

At some point, I thought about a boss fight. A guard dog seemed appropriate, it could attack by barking, jumping, scratching, et cetera – a lot of room to make various boss attacks. Before I got to making any of that, I thought of the music for this boss fight. Surf rock seemed fitting at the time. Misirlou (covered by Dick Dale) is a good example of this genre:

So I attempted to make some music. Using my own music library, coding the notes like this:

img09

While the library certainly has some errors, it works. But writing down notes like this is most definitely not a good method of making music. I need to get around to making a GUI for it one day, enable MIDI input maybe – then release it for fellow Ludum Darians. So, the end result was that the music I made was not exactly stellar. It fills the silence, but it’s by no means good.

Accepting my defeat after about two hours or so of messing around with it, I just left it as it was and moved on.

Level design

Then it was high time to make actual content. I had some cat shapes, some enemies, some power-ups, but nothing to hold it all together. I thought no levels could be complete without walls! They worked somewhat … But as someone pointed out in the comments, they were mostly frustrating, with the hitbox being too large and the walls dealing too much damage.

img10

I made my job somewhat easier by typing up the levels as text, then using a PHP script to convert it into a Haxe array and paste the result directly into my source code.

My time was running out, however, and I decided that three levels + a boss should be the bare minimum. The result is that the levels I had were somewhat rushed and, unfortunately, they introduced a lot of artificial difficulty by swarming the player with lots of enemies or difficult mazes. Nonetheless, I was extremely happy to submit something resembling a finished game at 3 in the morning.

Post-jam

The reception was very positive, mostly complaining about the difficulty, which motivated me to make the casual easier version so that people may get to the boss and enjoy the full game.
In fact, this is the very first LD game I will remake and try to get greenlit on Steam, with the help of my friend for the music. Here’s a trailer:

The Deluxe version will include different areas, many more levels and bosses, additional shapes, good music, and so on. Here’s to hoping. :)

Nightshift Dx – Greenlight trailer

Posted by (twitter: @AurelDev)
Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 3:53 pm

*drumroll* …

That’s right, there’ll be a remake / full version of Nightshift coming to Steam soon. Stay tuned! :)

Let’s play your LD games! Video reviews + ratings

Posted by (twitter: @AurelDev)
Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 12:08 pm

 

ADD YOUR GAME

Once again, I thought I would try to record a couple of videos / let’s plays of your games, played and rated by me and my girlfriend, maybe some guests. I think it’s really enjoyable to get live feedback of what your game is like, so if you’d like to see that, add your game to my list. I will release videos on my YouTube channel (or possibly stream them on twitch) as soon as we record enough footage. Also, we will try our best to be objective with each game, giving it our best try, weighing its pros and cons before putting them in a comment for you. :)

(we failed last time due to busy life, but this time we’ll manage, I promise!)

hARBOuR Timelapse

Posted by (twitter: @AurelDev)
Wednesday, December 30th, 2015 6:23 pm

I always liked the timelapses. Even though I like this game less. 😀

PLAY NOW

hARBOuR – Post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @AurelDev)
Monday, December 14th, 2015 1:03 pm

(mirror of my blog)

harbour ss1

PLAY NOW

Another Ludum Dare over! Not very satisfied with my product, but I’m still glad I submitted something.

This LD was the first one I didn’t do from home. Spent the weekend with my girlfriend, which meant:

img-1449933763 img-1450114160 img-1450114186

Yum. But, even though I didn’t have to cook, I was still running out of time way too soon. First night I went past 2 am, then on the second day till deadline.

The plan

Very early I knew what I -wanted- to do: a platformer, where you are trying to save the last tree in the world by exploring caves and collecting stuff. I thought it would have been nice for it to be rogue-lite (different levels), and I wanted a special slow-motion power (that I might use in a different game now). Luckily, I scrapped the rogue-liteness immediately, cause that never really works out during LD.

So my goal was to have a simple enough platformer with the hub (where your tree is), and three+ levels. Each would be beatable in three ways – an offensive route, a defensive route, an exploratory route. All of these would then result in the player collecting different amounts of different tokens, which would then make the tree grow.

harbour plans

The reality

Quite quickly I was able to write a pixel-perfect 2D physics engine. But then came my new nemesis: slopes. It’s surprisingly difficult to make the player go up and down some stairs without clipping or glitching around. I barely fixed it for the finished game, I think.

Then I started spending more and more time on the first level, the ‘crystal grotto’. Pretty or not, I spent countless hours on drawing that level. A neat tileset with some decorations might have done the trick. I finished the background to it at 1 AM of the first night, which is when I realised I got into time trouble.

But, I didn’t want to give up. I made the hub and tree growth work, then started the second level. Once again, spending way too much time just drawing mushrooms. And before I knew it, it was over.

No time for music, (good) sounds, additional levels, polishing. With luck, I will get ratings on par with Elemental.

But still happy for the experience, and that I didn’t give up like LD 32. Hopefully my next entries will be more successful!

 

1st day progress report

Posted by (twitter: @AurelDev)
Sunday, December 13th, 2015 4:25 am

This is what I finished yesterday, another hand-drawn level. Now just have to add water physics, enemies, pick-ups, doors, timer, attacks, sounds, music . . . So, almost done :)

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 10.22.39

Progress report

Posted by (twitter: @AurelDev)
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 10:24 am

Powered by these: (courtesy of girlfriend, inc.)

img-1449933763

I made this:

harbour ss1

in

Posted by (twitter: @AurelDev)
Saturday, December 5th, 2015 12:57 pm

Here we go again.

16th time entering (21st including mini LDs), 7th time submitting (hopefully!) and it’s time for some changes once again. As much as I disliked the trend of Flash dying, I guess I’ll get over it – might try to go for HTML / JS this time, if I get my libraries running for JS. So:

  • language and compiler: haxe
  • IDE: a terminal and TextMate
  • graphics: Photoshop, a Wacom cintiq tablet
  • audio: custom libraries?
  • fuel: pistachios, sushi

And a wallpaper teaser:

1-2

So, good luck everyone!

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