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Things I learned since last time #4

Posted by (twitter: @crocojim18)
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 5:43 pm

I know LD #29 has already started, but I didn’t have time before it started to write my triannual “What I learned” post.

So, to recap, last LD I did not finish my game, Naught. This was very disappointing to me, and I’ve been good on my path so far this time to not replicate it.

  • Two dimensional arrays. And how tricky and paradoxically simple they are.
  • Make sure your idea is a good and doable idea before you start.
  • If where you’re going doesn’t lead anywhere, notice it quickly and start turning in the right direction.
  • Get all needed work done (homework, job work, etc.) BEFORE Ludum Dare starts.
  • But hey, if those are more important, it’s not the end of the world to miss out on a LD.
  • If you plan on making a three dimensional game with physics, make sure you know how basic physics work first.
  • Actually, if you want to make a 3D game, ask yourself why it has to be 3D. Only if that’s a good enough reason, continue.
  • Python is a great language, but it’s very bad at memory management.
  • Have a thorough understanding of your tools before you use them.
  • Fractals are cool and can be used to generate procedurally-generated landscapes and such. (In conjunction with 2D arrays, of course)
  • Make it fun first. Always think about what’s fun. Think about what you find fun and why you find it fun. I think I say this every time I write this post.


Posted by (twitter: @crocojim18)
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 3:52 pm

Now that Round 4 is released, these are the top twenty themes:


A better go this time.

Posted by (twitter: @crocojim18)
Sunday, April 20th, 2014 12:11 pm

So, this is my 5 attempt, and will hopefully be my fourth game submitted for LD!

Last time, I didn’t finish my game Naught in time (or ever), and that was a big blow to me. However, I’ll talk more about that in the other post that I do every LD, the “What I learned” post.

Regardless, my tools:

Code: As always, I could whip out the good old Python 2.7 and Pygame 1.9.1. However, I’ve felt somewhat awkward using Pygame lately, because I’ve learned that Python kind of sucks for games. However, I’m not completely casting it out of the realms of possibility. There is a higher chance that I’ll make a text-based Python game though, because I’ve been messing around for the last week, working on a text-based engine. That’ll be my warm-up game, once I feel good about it (and it’s stable).

Another big possibility is JavaScript. I’ve made JavaScript choose-your-own-adventure games before for LD, and I’ve refined the engine since then. It’s good. I’ll release that soon enough for all the fellow Ludum Darers to use. :)

Lastly, and probably most remotely, is Unity. I’ve been working in Unity (C# dialect) for several months for an internship, but I have an iffy relationship with it. Last LD I tried using it, and that didn’t work so successfully. If I do use it, it will not be a first-person game. I can tell you that much.

Graphics: Like always, I will probably be using Photoshop CS2 for my graphics.

Music: So many choices! I can use Audacity, Anvil Studio, Audiotool, FamiTracker, or just play instruments for music. It all depends on what the game calls for!

Fonts: I make fonts! I use a nice website called FontStruct that can help me. Otherwise, Dafont is a nice website as well.

Hoping to do better this time. I’m keeping my hopes up!


Posted by (twitter: @crocojim18)
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 4:37 am

Since everyone’s doing it, I figure everyone must know.

How do you make a GIF of your game?


Posted by (twitter: @crocojim18)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 6:06 pm

I haven’t been working near as diligently as I should be on this.

About an hour ago, I realized my idea really wasn’t going to go anywhere, and if I did end up finishing it, it wouldn’t be near as fun as I wanted.

I had decided that the title of my game was “Naught”. It was to be made in Unity 3D, and is somewhat a child of “Portal” and “Antichamber”, two very good games. I spent a lot of today constructing the rooms and coding things I would need, but it wasn’t FUN, and I didn’t know how to make it fun.

I didn’t want to fall into the same rut as last LD, when I changed “6:1” to “The Worst Meeting EVER”. That was a drastic  change, and this time, I didn’t want all of my work to go to waste.

So I’ve decided to end “Naught” with the Unity game as a conclusion to the JavaScript choose-your-own adventure beginning. Just like old times 😀

The start of a new beginning.

Things I’ve Learned #3

Posted by (twitter: @crocojim18)
Thursday, December 12th, 2013 6:16 pm

I suppose it’s a tradition by now that I write a short post of things that I’ve learned since the last Ludum Dare. This being my one year anniversary of LD, here are the other two.

  • Time management is essential. If something takes too long, cut it out or move on.
  • It’s always a good idea to have a back-up idea, as your first idea may not cut it.
  • People like it when things take a turn for the better.
  • “=” and “==” are NOT the same thing, and messing them up can KILL YOUR TIME.
  • If you run out of time in the Compo, there’s no shame in moving to the Jam.
  • Do not start making assets first. Make the early base first. Make it pretty later.
  • Take time to appreciate the LD community. I made fan-art for most of the games I played last time, and it went over spectacularly. I may or may not have even made a friend on here.
  • If you need help, ask! There are tons of people on here who read the posts (like me) who go around helping people that they can. It got me out of a pinch last time, and reaffirms that the people on here are seriously the best.
  • Secure a hosting spot beforehand, because if you can’t host things correctly, then it’s hard to submit.
  • You can make a totally ridiculous thing and still have it be super fun! (In fact, a lot of super ridiculous things are absolutely wonderful.)

Once again, good luck to all of you out there!

I’m in if it’s the last thing I do.

Posted by (twitter: @crocojim18)
Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 8:47 pm

These past few weeks have been particularly hard for me, so this is going to provide me with much needed relaxation.



Code: I actually have a lot of tricks up my sleeve for this one. Depending on the theme (and, therefore, my idea), I will be using either Python, JavaScript, or Unity. For example, last LD I was going to use Python and pygame to realize my first idea. But when I realized it was too large for the 48 hours, I whipped out JavaScript and made my specialty – choose-your-own-adventure games. Last time I couldn’t have made a sufficient game in Unity, but I’ve been working in it for the past two months, so I feel comfortable with it now. But yeah. It all depends on what type of game I want.

Music: FamiTracker; Audacity; ukulele and keyboard; Anvil Studio

Graphics: Photoshop CS2 or procedurally generated graphics. If I use Unity, I will use Blender for models.

Fonts: I like making my own fonts. I will either use FontStruct or use code to go through text I draw to make it look like it’s a font. That’s a possibility too.


Good luck to all of you guys out there. I’ll post my “Things I’ve learned since last time” likely tomorrow, and then do the fan-art thing like I did last time whenever game voting starts. That’s still totally a thing I will be doing.

A challenge

Posted by (twitter: @crocojim18)
Monday, August 26th, 2013 7:09 pm

I am considering a challenge:

for every game I play and rate, I will draw fan art. I’m not sure how this will pan out, but I think it’s a kind gesture, because all of you guys deserve it.

Like seriously. A game now exists that did not last Friday. And that’s all because of YOU. That’s a big accomplishment.


The Worst Meeting EVER is now live!

Posted by (twitter: @crocojim18)
Monday, August 26th, 2013 3:54 pm


Thank you to all that helped!


(Time to rest).

I need help

Posted by (twitter: @crocojim18)
Monday, August 26th, 2013 2:25 pm

So, I ran out of time last night, so I’m going to have to submit ‘The Worst Meeting EVER” as a jam game.

I have all of the pictures done, and all of the code written.

I think it’s pretty spiffy.

However, there’s a weird bug that doesn’t allow you to get past Scene 22 in the game, and I have no idea why.

I’m using JavaScript, and I seriously need help. If anyone is good with JavaScript, and you wouldn’t mind looking at the code around Scene 22, I would so greatly appreciate it. I don’t see anything wrong, and my teacher didn’t see anything wrong, so I’m not quite sure what’s going on.


I have identified that the button will simply not respond to pressing on and after Scene 22, unless it leads back to the title. I am just so clueless right now.


Anyway, if you would be so kind as to look at the code, you can download it here.

Changing things a bit…

Posted by (twitter: @crocojim18)
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 6:12 pm

I have executively decided that “6:1” is on the back burner.

I have concluded that it will take me a very very long time to figure out the time compression needed to have the game work properly. I figured that after 6 hours of not knowing where to go next, that by the time I DID figure it out, I wouldn’t have time to flesh out the game.

This is what happens when you think of a plot beforehand.

So I decided to lay down, and try and sort things out. I thought to myself, “Wow, I guess I can’t do Ludum Dare this time. And I was so excited too.” Then it came to me that I wasn’t thinking outside of the box enough. No, I WOULD do Ludum Dare, even if it killed me.

I jumped out of bed. I went to the computer. Opened up my web browser. Did a Google search for the definition of “second”.

I’m sorry for all those looking forward to “6:1”. I do hope to finish the game someday. However, for now, I must focus on my new game.

Prepare for: The Worst Meeting EVER


Progress is better than regress.

Posted by (twitter: @crocojim18)
Friday, August 23rd, 2013 8:08 pm

I have a basic idea of what I’m going to be doing for my game, but it needs some refining.

I also made the rookie mistake of thinking of a plot before I thought of the gameplay. But it was what I came up with concerning the theme. I really like the theme, and I do find it very challenging.

So far, my inspirations are Inception and the Chronicles of Narnia, as far as how time is represented. Right now, the working title for my game is “6:1”, and it concerns a worried sister, whose brother has gone missing in a mysterious dimension. Travel between the two dimensions is easy, but you need to find your brother quickly. For every second you spend in your home dimension, 6 seconds pass in your brother’s dimension. This comes to 10 seconds per minute.

[SPOILER ALERT: Your brother’s odd dimension is actually Earth.]

I already have some early graphics, as well as the song for your home dimension, called Tempor.



early graphics





The song can be found here.

Things I learned #2

Posted by (twitter: @crocojim18)
Wednesday, August 21st, 2013 8:59 am

Last Ludum Dare, right before I started, I wrote a list of things I’ve learned in the past 4 months, and I feel I should do it this time as well.

  • People like catchy and atmospheric music. There is a fine line between atmospheric and droning.
  • If you’re making puzzles, find a middle ground between too hard and too easy.
  • Because you’ve created the game, and know how to beat it, there will be many things you overlook. Try not to overlook those.
  • BETA
  • ARE
  • Try and use as little memory as possible, so it plays roughly the same on everyone’s computer, no matter how old.
  • Mood in video games is super important. You want to leave people feeling an emotion, and what emotion that is is super important.
  • Along those lines, there’s a difference between Super Meat Boy mad (where the player blames themselves) and regular mad (where the game is at fault).
  • Never punish a player for something out of their control.
  • Take pride in your work. Not many people can make a whole game in 48 hours!

I’m in (3x Combo)

Posted by (twitter: @crocojim18)
Wednesday, August 21st, 2013 8:58 am

This is my 3rd Ludum Dare, and I am very proud to announce that I won’t miss it!

I had a goal to learn SDL by this Ludum Dare (I failed, miserably; can you believe that no tutorial I try works?), so I’m going to have to resort to the old-school methods.


Either Python or JavaScript. I’m better with Python but I’ve been brushing up on JavaScript lately, so I feel confident about it this time. If I use Python, I will be using pygame for graphics and music. If I use JavaScript, I will be using HTML5 for music. There is also a slight chance I will use Unity (if I want a 3-d game), but that’s a bit unlikely because I have very little Unity experience (as much as I love it).


I will be using Photoshop, probably, in order to make graphics. I might also just draw stuff and scan them. Who knows? The last time I said I’d use Photoshop, I used procedural graphics, so that’s also a possibility.


As far as audio goes, I have many music options under my belt. I can use FamiTracker, Anvil Studio, or Audiotool. I can also use Audacity to manipulate stuff, as well as to record me playing ukulele or other instruments I have.

But yeah! I can’t wait. This is going to rock!

I am in once again

Posted by (twitter: @crocojim18)
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 5:51 pm

This is my second Ludum Dare, and yeah. Here I am.



Python 2.7 using the Pygame module (version 1.9.2, which is pretty much interchangeable with 1.9.1) I also might use Notepad++ to make a little JavaScript game. It’s more likely that I’ll use python, but hey. You never know.


Photoshop CS2


I have a lot of software in my music arsenal. I have FamiTracker, Audacity (and ukulele still), and Anvil Studio. I’ve been using Anvil Studio a lot more recently, and I think I might utilize it the most.


I will use Dafont to find fonts that will be used in my game. I could and have made my own fonts, but ain’t nobody got time for that.


Things I have learned since last time (so therefore improvements):

  • You can use the .pyw extension instead of .py to create a console-less window when executing python scripts.
  • Gameplay is far more important than a plot. Otherwise you tend to feel ashamed of your games (ok this may be exclusive to me)
  • Humor is still very important!
  • You can randomly generate things by keeping object references in a list.
  • Basically everything about lists actually
  • Don’t use system fonts because who knows what fonts people have on their computers
  • Also, don’t use copyrighted fonts. You might get in trouble.
  • Play lots of people’s games. Get to know your competition, and have fun too!
  • Get people to beta test your games
  • Be in it for the fun, the learning, and for the game!

Also, I am pro-potato.

Screenshot of The Adventures of Master Bad Guy

Posted by (twitter: @crocojim18)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 2:09 pm

The Adventures of Master Bad Guy


He’s jumping.

I’m going to add a lot of humor into this to make up for lack of graphics as well as game mechanics. But that’ll be ok, I think.

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