About badlydrawnrod (twitter: @badlydrawnrod)

By day I write anti-virus software. By night, when I'm not playing games, I'm often found writing them, or doing an online course to keep my brain active as I just love solving problems, and have done ever since getting my first computer in 1980.


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badlydrawnrod's Archive

This Cornflake Ninja needs his sleep

Posted by (twitter: @badlydrawnrod)
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 5:11 pm

I have just uploaded Cornflake Ninja. It works, and it’s playable, but it isn’t finished. I was hoping to have got a bit further, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. It didn’t help that my family thought it would be motivational to throw cereal at me while I was programming.

Besides, rather than going until the 2am deadline (local time) I am going to bed for a nice long sleep. And tomorrow, when I get up, I think I shall be having my cereal with coffee instead of milk.

Pentagon Plans Insect Cyber Army

Posted by (twitter: @badlydrawnrod)
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 3:18 am

I haven’t quite settled on an idea, but during my research I found this BBC news story from 2006 and just had to share it:

Pentagon Plans Insect Cyber Army.

And I thought my ideas for this theme were unconventional!

This old geezer is in

Posted by (twitter: @badlydrawnrod)
Friday, April 17th, 2015 2:21 pm

Of course I’m in. When am I not?


Looking forward to getting started and to playing everyone’s game. Unfortunately there will be no competition from my daughter this time as she has to revise for exams. And as I’m one of the 2.6% of participants who is officially an old geezer (>40) I will be taking the day off on Monday to recover. Not to mention that the competition closes at 2am local time, a mere three and a half hours before I usually get up.

Tools and base code

Posted by (twitter: @badlydrawnrod)
Friday, December 5th, 2014 5:08 am

I’m in. Again. My daughter won’t be taking part this time, as she has a trampolining competition. But on the plus side, perhaps I’ll get to use my main PC rather than the laptop.

This time I’ll be using:

  • Unity 4.6 – game engine
  • Visual Studio 2013 Community Edition – IDE
  • Paint.NET – for dodgy programmer art
  •  Audacity and bfxr – sound effects (stand by for recordings of the cat)
  • BeepBox – music (don’t expect Handel)
  • git – because you’d be daft not to

I would also like to declare some base code. It’s nothing more than a fusion of a hierarchical state machine with Unity 4.6’s new event system, but it means that I don’t have to start bolting a menu system onto the game once it’s done.


Final round voting

Posted by (twitter: @badlydrawnrod)
Friday, December 5th, 2014 4:11 am


It had to be done. Snowman. Actually, I’m fairly happy with all of the themes, except for deja vu as I think I’ve seen that already.



Ludum Dare 30 – Top 15 picks after 101 games

Posted by (twitter: @badlydrawnrod)
Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 12:05 pm

Out of the 101 games I played so far, 15 stand out. Click on the pictures to try the games.

1. Heart Star (AdventureIslands)

What it is: Retro, balanced, polished and complete with fantastic pixel graphics and short, compelling puzzles.

Why I like it: There is something nostalgic about it.

This is the one game I saw which could be sellable as is.

Heart Star (AdventureIslands)


2. Planetary Marriage Counseling (WeaselZone)

What it is: A hilarious game where you and your spouse are chained together and go on dates.   Works well as a two player co-op game.

Why I like it: It’s fun even when things are going wrong. Epic when things are going right.

It made me divorce my wife over and over again….for the fun of it.

Planetary Marriage Counseling (WeaselZone)


3. Dino Bolt (GeorgeBroussard)

What it is: An endless runner where dinosaurs are escaping a zoo helicopter.

Why I like it: It is fun and addictive. It shows you don’t need a complex idea to make a great game.

I lost time playing it.

Dino Bolt (GeorgeBroussard)


4. Mammoth Monkey Mole (ehtd)

What it is: A puzzler where different creatures have different abilities.

Why I like it: The sounds are hilarious and the puzzles have a good learning curve where you never feel it is too difficult.

You get to play a mammoth, a monkey and a mole. Need I say more.

Mammoth Monkey Mole (ehtd)


5. Hop Hop Planet (SnoutUp)

What it is: A 2-d take on Super Mario Galaxy.

Why I like it: It has great look, with lots of variety and a good replay factor.

All the things that can kill you look friendly, but looks can be deceiving.

Hop Hop Planet (SnoutUp)


6. Space Breakers (DJWizardCop)

What it is: Breakout with a Space Invader twist.

Why I like it: My wife will kill me if I don’t.

My wife wouldn’t give the keyboard back and she did the same when my daughter was rating it.   In fact she is probably still playing it now (I’m hungry – she hasn’t fed me this week).

Space Breakers (DJWizardCop)


7. Red Thread (NickZangus)

What it is: Two linked characters have to negotiate obstacles to reach each other.

Why I like it: The looks that the characters give each other when they die – it’s those little attentions to detail and some wicked, mean puzzles that make this game.

It’s cute and deadly.

Red Thread (NickZangus)


8. Galactic Bonding (alvarop)

What it is: You are a baby planet copying your dad planet’s facial expressions.

Why I like it: It’s short, hilarious and could be played by a toddler.

My daughter (not a toddler) keeps following me around trying to copy my facial expressions.

Galactic Bonding (alvarop)


9. Stanley Squeaks and the Emerald Burrito (Two Scoop Games)

What it is: A puzzle platformer where you play a hungry hamster.

Why I like it:  Cute as hell, and a great game mechanic.

I kept killing the hamster just to hear its death scream.

Stanley Squeaks and the Emerald Burrito (Two Scoop Games)


10. Lethal Reflection (Steve)

What it is: Geometry Wars.

Why I like it: Geometry Wars.

By the guy who wrote Geometry Wars. Need I say more.

Lethal Reflection (Steve)


11. Space Train (SupSuper)

What it is: Snake on a train…. in space.

Why I like it: Quirky and amusing.  It’s fun, but you really don’t care that it’s difficult.

I wore my train driver’s outfit while I played.

Space Train (SupSuper)


12. Burger Beat (TrickFishPie)

What it is: A running game where you bash the keyboard to operate your runner.

Why I like it: It is so bizarre that you have to admire the mind that created it.

Is it wrong that I find it hilariously funny when your man fails to jump a hurdle?

Burger Beat (TrickFishPie)


13. Orange (JaJ)

What it is: A moral tale in a Zelda-esque world.

Why I like it: The use of colour is good.  It does not feel worthy despite the subject matter.

A thoughtful idea, burdened by an overly long maze.

Orange (JaJ)


14. PRISM (rantt)

What it is: A puzzle platformer where they keep changing the rules.

Why I like it: There is a heavy emphasis on the puzzles themselves, not the packaging (which is not missed).

When I first saw it, I thought “not another of these…” but its strength lies in its puzzles.

PRISM (rantt)


15. Savior: Saver of Souls (John Drury)

What it is: Like Super Crate Box with rising lava.

Why I like it: Fast paced, short, and a classic example of the genre.

If only I was as good at this game as I was at killing time with it.

Savior: Saver of Souls (John Drury)



End of day 1 – Bacon Installer

Posted by (twitter: @badlydrawnrod)
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 2:55 pm

It’s pretty much the end of day 1. I’ve gone for a 4 colour theme, somewhat off the back of #gbjam which I never quite got around to entering. What do I have so far? A flying saucer with a tractor beam, lots of pigs, some crates and some parallax scrolling.

Intrigued? Wondering why it’s called “Bacon Installer”? Concerned that old age is finally catching up with me and that I’ve lost the plot? Tune in again tomorrow to find out.

End of Day 1




In again

Posted by (twitter: @badlydrawnrod)
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 11:53 am

I’m in for the 48 hour compo, as is my daughter. As ever, I can’t wait to see what she comes up with as she has far more imagination than I do.

Here are the tools that I plan to use:

  • Programming: JavaScript, Phaser
  • IDE: WebStorm
  • Graphics: paint.net
  • Sound: bfxr, Pulseboy, Abundant Music
  • Level Design: tiled (if necessary)

I am really looking forward to this, and I’m rather glad that it’s a public holiday on Monday otherwise I’d be getting up before 6am to go to work about 4 hours after the competition closes. I’m old and I need my sleep.

The Queen is older than sliced bread (oh, and I’m in)

Posted by (twitter: @badlydrawnrod)
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 3:14 pm


To cut a long story short, for this Ludum Dare I shall be using:

  • Unity
  • C#
  • Visual Studio Express 2013 for Desktop (it’s free, and works well with Unity)
  • Paint.NET
  • Audacity
  • bxfr
  • Abundant Music

Why Unity?

I’ve entered Ludum Dare a few times and have for the most part used Java and libgdx. I’m very fond of libgdx, as I’ve seen it grow from a small, well-designed Android toolkit into the cross-platform wonder that it is today. The reason that I like it is that it is a toolkit, not a game engine.

“But, Rod, if you like libgdx so much, why are you using Unity this time?” I can hear you asking. Here’s why…

For several years my wife has been patiently pointing out that there are a lot of Ludum Dare entries that start from a higher position because most people would rather make games in 48 hours rather than spending most of that time reinventing the wheel. And I’ve been equally patiently promising that one day I would develop a toolkit based on libgdx and use it for Ludum Dare.

But at some point after #ld28, when I was up to my eyeballs with a work project, my wife persuaded me to look for alternatives. This culminated in a strange weekend in which we sat down together and wrote a Flappy Bird clone using GameMaker Studio. We finished it, and it was eminently playable. I couldn’t deny that GameMaker Studio handled most of the boilerplate that I would have otherwise reinvented. In fact, I could definitely see the attraction and in a slightly more sleep-deprived moment considered the possibility of writing something similar on top of libgdx.

So, did I decide GameMaker Studio was the greatest thing since sliced bread? No, not quite. Even with such a small project, I found myself bumping up against annoyances, asking questions such as, “Why did they stop there? Why not expose that in an inspector like Unity does?” I hadn’t touched Unity for a few years, but I’d heard good things about the 2D in the latest version and decided to give it a try with the same Flappy Bird clone. The results more than surpassed my expectations, not least because I ended up with something that I could play on my phone. Besides, I got to write some C#, which I hadn’t done for a while.

And that’s why I will be using Unity.

The generation game

My daughter entered #ld28. She says she is entering #ld29 too, although she has to cope with the additional demands of homework and constraints imposed by evil parents who don’t let her stay up all night. I suspect that she’ll be using Scratch and will be taking over my main development PC while I’ll be relegated to a venerable laptop, a pair of headphones and Google Play Music to keep me sane.



LDTK – A Ludum Dare Toolkit for LibGDX

Posted by (twitter: @badlydrawnrod)
Thursday, December 12th, 2013 2:08 pm

I’m definitely in, and I’m declaring the library that I’m using with this tongue-in-cheek press release…


LDTK – a Ludum Dare Toolkit for LibGDX

LDTK is a toolkit that makes it easy to get your LibGDX game up and running for Ludum Dare.

LibGDX is a hugely powerful library and a great toolkit for building games and game frameworks. However, it takes time and thought to build a good framework, because there are so many ways of doing things, and time is the one luxury that you don’t have during a Ludum Dare weekend.

That’’s where LDTK comes in.

LDTK makes it even easier to use LibGDX, offering the following benefits:

  • Easy state management. You no longer need to worry about switching between screens. LDTK does this for you. For example, simply tell it that you want to change state from Playing to Menu and it will automate that process for you.
  • Convention-based asset management. Assets can be loaded automatically, or on demand, then later retrieved by name. Unused assets can be unloaded when they are no longer needed.
  • Simplified APIs. LibGDX has a hugely flexible API, offering a huge variety of options, but often all you want to do is display an image on the screen, centred on a particular coordinate. LDTK focuses on those common use cases, but it doesn’t get in your way if you want to drop down to something more complicated.
  • An adaptive viewport. LDTK automatically adjusts the camera to fit the window, scaling it and changing the aspect ratio to fit your requirements.
  • A kernel. All of LDTK’s functionality is driven by a simple, easily extended kernel.
  • A microframework not a wrapper. LDTK is a microframework that lets you use as much or as little of LibGDX as you’d like. It doesn’t attempt to hide LibGDX – it merely makes it easier to use.

“I wrote LDTK to let developers focus on their game,” said Rod Hyde of Badly Drawn Games. “I found that at least 50% of my time during Ludum Dare was spent reinventing the wheel when I should have been creating a game. I’m pleased to bring the benefits of LDTK to Ludum Dare.”

To get started, simply clone it now from github

“Until he wrote LDTK, Rod was unable to code a convincing game of Pong, but now his games are mind-blowingly good and he has started to seem quite attractive as a result,” said Jessica, his long suffering spouse. “Now he sits down at his keyboard making games that I would actually want to play.”

LDTK is available now. To learn more and get started with LDTK, clone it now on github.

RogueOut – web port and Android port

Posted by (twitter: @badlydrawnrod)
Friday, May 3rd, 2013 3:59 pm

Thanks to the awesome cross platform power of libgdx, my game RogueOut, the unholy offspring of Rogue and Breakout now has a web port and Android port.

The web port is here. It runs well on the latest versions of Firefox and Chrome.

The Android port is here. It’s a bit rough and ready, but it works.



RogueOut is done

Posted by (twitter: @badlydrawnrod)
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 2:56 pm

And there you have it. RogueOut is done, at least as much as it is going to be. I had hoped to give it more Rogue-like features, with your character levelling up, using their better weapons and skills to defeat harder monsters, but that’s probably a game for a week-long competition. But the game is certainly very playable and has a feeling of completeness about it. I think this is mostly because I took my wife’s advice and kept myself focused on the features that I’d written down on paper, rather than disappearing down rabbit holes of “wouldn’t it be cool if…”

Enjoy the minimalism of the ASCII graphics and hi-tech, sampled sound.




RogueOut – end of day one

Posted by (twitter: @badlydrawnrod)
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 3:34 pm

So, it’s the end of day one. RogueOut, an unholy combination of Rogue and Breakout, is progressing reasonably well. I’m rather pleased with the ASCII art. It took me ages to do – honest.

The basic game works, so now it’s a case of making it fun and interesting. But first, sleep.

RogueOut - end of day one

RogueOut – end of day one

End of day 1

Posted by (twitter: @badlydrawnrod)
Saturday, August 25th, 2012 6:57 pm

At the end of day one I really don’t have much evolution going on, but I do have a nice diffusion grid. Intrigued? See this paper for more details.

A diffusion grid.

Tiny Territories

Posted by (twitter: @badlydrawnrod)
Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 5:11 pm

Tiny Territories has been uploaded. It’s nowhere near done, but you can probably see where I’m going with it.

Now off to the tiny world of bed to get some much-needed, well-earned sleep.

Bullet hell

Posted by (twitter: @badlydrawnrod)
Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 1:49 pm

Did someone forget to clear up the bullets after a collision. Who knew that they’d act like a fluid.

Too Many Bullets

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