About BenW


Ludum Dare 30
Ludum Dare 29
Ludum Dare 27
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 25 Warmup
Ludum Dare 24
Ludum Dare 23

BenW's Trophies

Awarded by Norgg
on May 11, 2013
Dangerous Pixel Award
Awarded by noonat
on December 18, 2007
The Zlad Award For Electronic Music Excellence
Awarded by Papper
on December 17, 2007
9 Pixel Points
Awarded by DrPetter
on December 16, 2007

BenW's Archive

Day 1 wrap up and day 2 kick off

Posted by
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 6:18 am

So St0ven and I have decided to make a game about exploring a desolate arctic planet in an attempt to repair you spaceship and escape armed only with a metal detector, a shovel, and a gun. So far we’ve got a character, enemies, shooting, and a world to run around in as well as some early concept art. Live builds of the game are always available at the following url http://www.garagecoder.com/live/LD29/ also I’ll be streaming our progress all day at http://www.twitch.tv/garagecoder

Here’s how the game looks now

and hopefully this is how it should look in the future.


Tile concept

People – Audio Postmortem

Posted by
Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 1:36 pm

I love to read ludumdare postmortems but I feel like they cover a lot of the same ground so I thought I would focus on a single aspect of my most recent ludumdare entry People. I’m a big fan of dynamic audio in games since I feel like it’s one of the better uses of the medium and the ability to tailor what the player is hearing to whats happening in game can really heighten the experience. So without further ado here’s how I created the three major components of my games soundscape.

The music:

The music in my game is divided into three different layers. Rather than worry about looping issues I ended just playing three very long tracks in sync and when it was time to introduce a new instrument all I had to do was increase it’s volume. This came at the cost of a greatly increased file size but for a jam game I think it’s a reasonable compromise. The most complex part of the music was making sure that the melody didn’t start or end mid phrase. To do this my melody was created with roughly two bars of silence between phrases. Since the melody loop is playing in sync with the other files I keep track of when the silence occurs and only adjust the volume of the melody at that time.

Ambient background noises:

One of the things that I really wanted to do with the ambient noise was to let it provide the sense of space rather than the graphics. I wanted to convey the sound of a large transportation building like a grand central station with extremely high ceilings and lots of reverb. I ended up recording several conversations from various positions in my office. Those were then layered together with slightly different reverbs applied to them. I ended up making three sets of ambient noise that I transitioned between as the crowd thinned out, the first having a large number of voices and the last being a single conversation. Since it’s hard to distinguish any sort of actual dialog I ended up just cross fading between the different conversation sound effects and let the music mask any transitions. By the time the player reaches the end of the game the ambient noise has died down to a single conversation that really reinforces the feeling of emptiness. On more than one occasion while watching live streams I’ve seen players pause after matching everyone else up and then, upon listening, go to seek out the last person. It’s a subtle way to deliver the information that there is one final person to seek out.

Sound effects:

For all the sound effects I used modified version of my own voice. When couples in the game meet up there is a “Yay!” sound effect that consists of several layered recordings of me saying the word “yay”. This sound was then pitch shifted, put through a phaser, and a slight reverb was applied. The “hmms” and other noises that the people make when joining your group were just normal recordings of my voice with a touch of reverb. The footstep noises were created by hitting different pairs of shoes against each other until I found a good match. There were also several squeaks and ambient sound effects that we foleyed that did not make it into the final game.

Together all of these elements help to provide a sense of space and set the tone for the game far more than anything I did graphically. Thanks for reading and if you haven’t played it yet you can find my game here http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/?action=preview&uid=128

And remember to work together… as a Jamteam!

Posted by
Thursday, April 11th, 2013 12:35 pm

After seeing a post asking for tips on participating in Ludumdare as a team I was inspired to write this. I’ve successfully participated in three global game jams with in person teams, the Boston Festival of Indie Games, and Ludumdare(with St0ven), so I have a bit of experience with jamming as part of a team. There are plenty of other posts that cover the basics of participating in a game jam on your own and many of those suggestions still apply. Here are a few examples:


I’ve tried to keep my tips specific to a team environment, so without further ado, here they are.

If possible, form your team ahead of time
This way you know who’s doing what and what style they’re most comfortable with and what they are capable of. There’s nothing worse than trying to find another artist or programmer at the last minute and finding out that the tools they are familiar with or the style they use is completely incompatible with the game you are making. This also helps prevent the problem of too many chefs in the kitchen. If you form your team ahead of time and realize that you have four programmers and no artist then you still have time to split into two or more teams.

Minimize overlapping responsibilities
If you have multiple programmers you should try and break things up so that you aren’t working on the same code. You want to spend your time creating, not merging and bugfixing. If you do want to have multiple programmers working on the main gameplay components then have someone define interfaces early on. This way it’s really easy to drop in new code or change existing behaviour. For artists this may mean having one person do all character art and another do environments or UI.

Reduce bottlenecks and get rid of interruptions
Ideally create a way for artists to add content to the game without having to go through a programmer. Create placeholder assets(empty sounds, blank sprites) that can be easily swapped out without programmer intervention. This allows you to focus on making the game work while they can focus on content and aesthetics. Spend a little more time on making it easy to load in lots of content(It will pay off in a team environment). This also saves you or somebody else from interruptions where someone is asking what they can work on or to add their new content to the game. Make sure that each person has multiple things that they can focus on so that if they can’t progress on one they can switch over to the other. There are always going to be scheduling issues, you may have artists working on stuff while your programmer is asleep or vice versa and you don’t want that to slow down progress. Finally, if you need an uninterrupted block of time to work on something then be clear about it. Make sure that any questions or requests are written down for later or sent via email. I go so far as to sign off of IM/IRC and not check my email if I’m cranking away on something.

Someone should be calling the shots
This doesn’t mean that you need to be a ruthless dictator or that other people can’t make creative contributions but at the end of the day somebody should have an idea in mind for what the final game is going to look like and they should help guide people in that direction. Whoever takes on this role should be capable of understanding what is feasible. As a programmer I find that I am not great at estimating artist workloads and I have to assume that the reverse is true too. Also keep in mind that it’s a 48-72 hour game jam, it’s not the time or place to demand perfection. I always try and encourage people to do their best work and I find that I’m constantly surpirsed and inspired by what they create. If you find yourself in this role make sure you get estimates from the people who are actually doing the work and always be conservative with your estimates. If somebody else is organizing the game then don’t be afraid to say no to them, in the end everyone will be happier with a finished game than an unfinished game that was a really cool idea.

Source Control
Use source control. If everyone is at the same physical location or on some sort of instant messenger then drop box or a network folder can work, but it’s not ideal. You want to spend your time working on your game not mucking around with version control so stick to what you know and keep it simple. Make sure that it’s something that you are familiar with. If you don’t know how to use git or svn then now is not the time to learn it, you’ll just end up frustrated when you try and do anything more complicated than simple commits. If you don’t know a source control system I would recommend using drop box with a backup folder in it for old revisions. If your artists don’t know your source control system but your programmers do then consider using some sort of hybrid where your code is in source control but your art assets are uploaded to dropbox. Recent builds should always be available to everyone on the team. Source control is what allows you to add potentially game breaking tweaks at the last minute without fear or to spend an hour refactoring things to add a new gameplay feature that may or may not work.

Pick an idea early and run with it
This isn’t nessecarily team related but it’s exacerbated in a team environment. It’s easy to waste time trying to come up with the perfect idea. Pick something early on and keep the scope small.

Plan for people to drop out or have other commitments
Focus on the most important parts of your game first so that when somebody can’t continue to participate you can still salvage a game out of what you’ve got. Animation and polish and menus are nice to have but leave it all for the final day. Unexpected things will come up, in fact I don’t think there’s been a single jam that I’ve participated in where everyone has been available for the entire time. If something comes up and you have to take a break or drop out then you should let everyone else on your team know that you can’t participate and if you’ll be back later.

Have fun making games,

Matrix Avoider – My LD25 warmup game.

Posted by
Saturday, December 8th, 2012 8:13 pm

LD warmup

Hey guys I just wanted to show off my LD25 warmup game. It’s a standard mouse avoider with bullet time.

You can play it at the following places:

Super Evolver Boy: Turbo SD Timelapse

Posted by
Monday, August 27th, 2012 6:26 am

So after finally catching up on sleep I compiled my timelapse this morning. The first 2 hours or so are missing because I forgot to start recording on the first night.

You can check out the game here:

LD24 base code.

Posted by
Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 6:56 pm

In the spirit of following the rules here is a link to some base code I’ll be using. It’s just a few classes that use flixel that set up a preloader, playtomic and mochi integration, and a few classes for things like jrpg style typed out text and rolling numbers.


LD-23 In The Beginning – Timelapse

Posted by
Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 12:22 pm

Timelapse of my LD-23 entry. I think I got somewhere in the range of 25-27 hours worth of actual work in and most of that is recorded here. I’ll post a postmortem soon with more details on my games development.

Game page here:

Don’t have time to participate, but here’s what I started.

Posted by
Sunday, December 13th, 2009 11:37 am

Like the title says I don’t have time to participate in this compo but I did make a nice mockup and started work on a game. I’ll probably finish it up sometime after the competition is over.





Retro Roads

Posted by
Sunday, January 11th, 2009 1:50 pm

I’m posting this a bit late because I’ve been out most of the day, but you can consider this my partial entry into minild6.

I didn’t finish any of the gameplay and its missing half the art and all the sound and music I made. I was trying to stick to the limitations of the original gameboy since it went well with the monochrome theme. All you can do right now is walk around with the arrow keys and make a road using the spacebar. I’m pretty sure if you try and make a road offscreen it will crash, but I haven’t tried it. Anyways, let me know what you think and I’ll try and finish it up some time.


LD10 Postmortem

Posted by
Monday, February 4th, 2008 2:06 pm

I’ve written a postmortem for my LD10 entry you can see it on my website here. I’d repost the whole thing here, but I’m lazy.

Fixed my final entry

Posted by
Wednesday, December 19th, 2007 12:09 pm

If you were having trouble running my final entry please download it again. I accidentally linked to a debug dll in the release version of my game. I have since fixed the problem and it should run on most peoples machines. I have also tested it under parallels with dx support and it runs fine. Finally I have not received any reports of it working under wine. If you manage to get it running under wine please let me know.


BenW’s 30 min drawing competition entry

Posted by
Tuesday, December 18th, 2007 5:22 pm


High Scores

Posted by
Monday, December 17th, 2007 3:59 pm

Making a high score list for my game.


High Scores:

1. Hello_Kitty – 2:36

2. lexaloffle – 2:31

3. BenW – 2:08

4. Samiljan – 2:05

5. Endurion – 1:59

6. Deepflame – 1:58

7. SteelGolem – 1:46

8. DrPetter – 1:44

9. sirmalloc – 1:43

10. midwinter – 1:32

BenW’s Guide To Lerc’s Game

Posted by
Monday, December 17th, 2007 1:53 pm

X-Out and I were playing lerc’s game and he was having a problem solving one of the levels so I started to post a screenshot of the solution. He solved it before I could post but since I had already started I finished off solutions for all six puzzles.

Solutions are after the jump.


Finally Finished

Posted by
Sunday, December 16th, 2007 6:57 pm


It’s done and you can get it here. It may not work if you don’t have visual studio 2005 installed. If thats the case I’ll try and upload a working one asap.

Oh Teh NOES! Game Over

Posted by
Sunday, December 16th, 2007 12:44 am

Here’s my game over screen. Once again, it looks the same as every other screenshot I’ve made.

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