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Check out Harmony Bloom!

Posted by (twitter: @_benjamming)
Tuesday, December 15th, 2015 5:06 pm

I only really consider a Ludum Dare game done once I’ve done a web build – which can be a pain in Gamemaker. But it’s done!  Here’s Harmony Bloom, a tranquil musical puzzle game about growing melodies and soothing the world back to life.






Here’s a taste of what the puzzles look like:


Rate and play our little game! <3

Post-compo version may happen in a week or two :D.

Makin’ quiet, silent progress

Posted by (twitter: @_benjamming)
Sunday, December 13th, 2015 9:57 am

Making a musical puzzle game means your game isn’t always that gifable… but we’re making good progress! :)

Here’s an ideal screenshot of the game (made by Sean Goncalves):

Melody Garden

Each of the trees plays different notes, and their size is about the length of the note. Together, each puzzle makes a little melody, with (hopefully) all the puzzles in an area combining to make one song :).

Post-Jam version of Quiver of Claws making progress!

Posted by (twitter: @_benjamming)
Saturday, April 25th, 2015 6:45 pm

We want to get all the content we missed into the game, quite soon!

Here we are trying to get more uses for our unconventional arrows, by making a puzzle that can only completed by you standing on one pressure pad and using a Rhino arrow on the other.


Rhino pad1


For now , you can play the jam version here!

Quiver of Claws Post-Mortem!

Posted by (twitter: @_benjamming)
Saturday, April 25th, 2015 10:13 am

Wow! What a great LD 32 it was for us! As usual we didn’t get everything in we wanted, but we ended up with a finished feeling project!

We made Quiver of Claws, which you can play here!

Quiver of Claws Rhino

Read our post-mortem after the jump!


Quiver of Claws now with Web Build!

Posted by (twitter: @_benjamming)
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 3:56 pm


Yay! Got a web build in Html5 for Quiver of Claws working!

Bad news: it means no particles! So rather use the Windows build if you can!

Get at it here!

Now to finish the unconventional part!

Posted by (twitter: @_benjamming)
Monday, April 20th, 2015 5:53 am




Tileset Progress!

Posted by (twitter: @_benjamming)
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 12:36 pm

Artist Luc has finished up our tilesets – so we’re making progress! 😀


Raptor Polo Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @_benjamming)
Sunday, December 14th, 2014 8:18 am

Hey there!

Ludum Dare 31 was the first time our team has been able to sit down and be fully focused in a game jam, since our first Ludum Dare, which was Ludum Dare 25.

We’ve both grown in ability a lot since then, so we were keen to jam!

What we ended up making was Raptor Polo, a 2 or 4 player local-multiplayer game where the decadent Ork elite ride their raptors in the timeless sport of human-ball polo



What went wrong:

  • Colors used in the game are too saturated
  • Players/Ball difficult to read on background
  • Gameplay is jarring: stopping and picking up/throwing the ball slows the game down too much. Should rather have something that allows game to flow more.
  • Focus on playable build was marred, took to long to get something playable. Focused on too much art implementation, too early
  • Needing gamepad and multiple player support limits your playability a little. Although having some hacked together keyboard controls and a one player mode seem to help this.
RaptorPolo 2014-12-09 01-38-54-15
What Went Right
  • Art came together well, and holistically suits the audio and gameplay.
  • Gameplay is fun and juicy
  • Final product is pretty polished
  • Plentiful feedback and playtesting during the development helped shape a better game
  • Great sound and music brings the game alive
  • Good prototype of a core set of mechanics/ideas.


Raptor Polo is a polished and pretty, but slightly flawed game. We’re really happy with how effective the prototype is, though. It shows a lot of promise and we’re keen to work on the game further. Thanks for all your feedback!

Raptor Polo is done!

Posted by (twitter: @_benjamming)
Monday, December 8th, 2014 8:31 pm

We set out to make a game that captured the craziness of 80’s hyper fantasy, and I think that was pretty effectively captured by the idea of Orcs riding Raptors, chasing after a snivelling human that is being used as a ball. Oh, and it’s set in Aztec architecture with a neon color palette. It’s got pretty weird PC controls because it works best with Xbox controllers, but give it a shot!




RaptorPolo 2014-12-09 01-38-54-15


We finished! (The sequel to ‘another obvious post title’)

Posted by (twitter: @_benjamming)
Monday, August 26th, 2013 6:28 pm

So we finished, ‘Fire, Fire, Burning, Bright’ – it’s a really stripped down survival game with kind of keep-your-pet-alive elements… except you’re a fire, and your pets are humans -_-.




Moving on… we produced this in about half a day – we’d loved to have more time to work on it :'(. We were planning to have predators to stave off and carnivorous plants –maybe in the future!

Give it a play and let us know if you see any potential/have any ideas for it!

Play it here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=17953

Some Progress

Posted by (twitter: @_benjamming)
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 9:19 am

Here’s just an ideal screenshot to give an idea of our game:

ideal screenie


Most of the art is working in game already! We’ll post some more screenshots as we can – we’re quite pressed for time in the remaining day and a bit, though :(.

Basic idea is a survival game with 10 second day cycles – it’s really intense :P.

Well, back to work!

The Write Way Update

Posted by (twitter: @_benjamming)
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 5:32 am

We managed to be very unproductive yesterday :/. We’ve essentially had to rewrite all our code and redo all our art. However, we’re making progress and we know what we’re aiming for.

Here’s a mockup of the art style we’re going for:


We may even have some gameplay soon!

Johannesburg, South Africa. Real World Gathering

Posted by (twitter: @_benjamming)
Monday, April 22nd, 2013 5:14 am

Hey all,

I’m happy to announce that we’ll be hosting a Ludum Dare Gathering at the University of the Witwatersrand Digital Arts building.

There is parking and it is safe to leave your belongings at the venue overnight. Due to it being a university venue we can only keep the building open from 9AM till roughly 12PM on both Saturday and Sunday. Staying over is not supported, but we will keep the venue open for those who want to work till early/late. If you’re entering the competition we will keep the venue open till you upload at Monday 4AM Joburg time (the competition deadline).

Unfortunately, we cannot use the venue on the Monday due to university classes, so jammers will have to work remotely till the Tuesday 4AM cut off time.

For more info and a forum full of fellow South African game developers click here: http://makegamessa.com/discussion/558

Otherwise, email me:    ben.myres@hotmail.com

Hope to see you there!

Yup we ‘fonted it up’ big time, but more on that later.

This was the first Ludum Dare my artist, Luc Wolthers, and I, Ben Myres, participated in and we absolutely loved it! The feed of people working on their games was so inspiring, plus the structure of the voting is a little addicting, I must admit :/. We will definitely engage more in the updating during development side, next time around.

Now to the game.

Managing Mordor is a stripped down strategy game where you play as Sauron (your cursor is his eye) and manage your orc production. Diseases strike your human farms –that you need to feed your orcs; you feed your humans steroids and research orc technology upgrades such as ‘Prozork’. All of this takes place in an environment where Lord of the Rings is constantly satirised. You can check out our page here:




What went wrong:


  • Slight Game maker art optimisation issues. Mostly to do with views squashing the art.
  • Slightly different image sizes for variants of the same sprite. This often made changing sprites of objects a bit frustrating.
  • Players need option to zoom out to feel less claustrophobic in some cases.
  • Room layouts and ground textures are a bit boring and unattractive.
  • Here’s a big one: illegible fonts. We used a Lord of the rings-esque font for much of the critical feedback and UI   elements and it proved too difficult to read for players – as you can see from many of our page comments. We knew it would be a risk, but we still decided to use that font. Lesson learned. The title of this post refers to this to how we ‘fonted up’ the game ;).



  • Very basic and stripped down management game that perhaps requires more options.
  • Quite repetitive.
  • Too much focus and time spent in farm area.
  • Not enough upgrade/building options with the spawn pits.
  • Not enough feedback on research and other time-based game elements.
  • Game should be entirely mouse driven. Requiring enter to close dialog boxes is jarring to the rest of the game requiring only a mouse.


  • Bad communication.
  • Very little sketching/visualisation during pre-production – this feeds into communication.
  • More feedback from non-coding members would be great. Requires earlier playable build for them to try out.


What went right:


  • Consistent and effective colour palette really captured the Mordor feel (albeit it is perhaps a little boring).
  • Pretty and expressive UI elements.
  • Art assets that conveyed the parody and humour of the game.
  • UI + eye/beam was effective in conveying the feeling of Sauron always watching.
  • Art in general was superb (this is based on comments, not out own arrogance :P).


  • We designed the game to be simple, yet have a frantic feel. This was definitely achieved.
  • Humorous gameplay options (steroids for your humans, Prozork, etc.)


  • Great music helped add to the mood.
  • Sound affects added to the humour and acted as effective gameplay feedback.


  • Code, gameplay, art and music came together cohesively right at the end of development.
  • Collective vision was achieved, even though the bad communication was a result over differing opinions on the process required.



Managing Mordor is a fun, little strategy game with great art, music and sound effects. It is a little repetitive, but the humour and satire makes up for this. The only large detracting factor is the illegible fonts. The changing of the fonts is likely the only thing we’ll alter with this game.

“Managing Morder: The ground is always blacker on the other side”

Posted by (twitter: @_benjamming)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 3:28 pm

So my artist, Luc Wolthers, and I have come up with our concept and begun work in not so sunny South Africa. Our plan is to build a parody management game around Sauron and Mordor. You must keep your Orcs happy in order to reach your Orc spawning targets.

Sometimes you need to fed them extra food from the human farms, other times a new Orc Relations (OR) building is required. Depending on how quickly we implement the gameplay, we might add some other humorous and stylised elements.


Managing Mordor

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