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After having some issues with clones of my Ludum Dare Game Ballkeeper (#9 Fun, #12 Overall) I’m now very happy to announce that it’s now available for iPad, iPod and iPod touch. Check out the Trailer:

Download it for free on the App Store.

If you like it follow @playballkeeper on Twitter, tell your friends and share the hell out of it! More game modes to come …

iPad-DefaultiPad-DistortiPad-Rainbow

Ballkeeper Ripoff: Now available for Android and iOS!

Posted by
Thursday, June 5th, 2014 3:18 am

UPDATE: The developers apologized and took it down, so Happy End for me!

I was quite happy with my Ludum Dare 28 entry Ballkeeper, scoring #12 Overall and #9 Fun. It was even featured as a Chrome Experiment which gave it a larger exposure. Many of you commented, that it would make a great mobile game and I’m currently working on a mobile version which I planned to release the next weeks.

Ballkeeper Ripoff

But guess what: It already got shamelessly ripped of by some guys from Brasil and they even had the guts to publish it under the same name, both for Android and iOS and even registered a domain. Game clones are a pretty common thing, especially with games that are easy to implement. They’re a nasty thing but it’s part of the biz. But publishing it under the same name, not giving credit to the original anywhere: That’s just pathetic.

Even more pathetic, take a look at their App Store text:

Just a game that you have only one ball, so don’t lose it. When you destroy a ring a new ring will apear, helping you to keep alive in the game.

And my Ludum Dare text:

You only get one ball, so better don’t lose it. […] If you finish a ring a new ring will appear, helping you to keep your ball even longer.

… nuff’ said! I would be interessted to hear your opinions on this, especially if you have experience with such kind of things. And if you’re planning to port your Ludum Dare game to a mobile platform: Do it quick 😉

100 down. These are cool:

Posted by
Sunday, January 5th, 2014 3:37 am

So, I managed to rate 100 games and I wanted to share four games which stood out for me not by mechanics or gameplay but by the unique experience I had with them. They weren’t even much fun most of the time but great in their own ways. So, let’s go!

Doubt by rxi
doubt
One of these “mood” games, but it does so much right: Awesome pixel graphics, awesome (and tasteful) post-processing, awesome audio design and … it has a cat.

 

Drain by  adnzzzzZ
drain
Minimalistic but very dynamic (!!! this makes a huge difference) graphic design, dense audio and a very clear tutorial made this stand out for me.

 

superfrozenkittengetsonlyonesecretbottleforyou by evilindiegames
lsd-cats
The game is kind of bad. But wtf the graphics, especially that warped perspective. Not a game I want to win LD but surely one I can’t forget.

 

Data Stains by Evilion
data-stains
I have a confession to make: I don’t like most of the 3D Ludum Dare games, simply because it’s too hard to create a pleasing conventional 3D environment in that time. I loved this game, because it took stuff that’s technically very easy to do in 3D and created something unique and aesthetically pleasing.

 

This was my very personal pick of the 100 games I rated. If you haven’t played it yet you can also try out my game Ballkeeper.

Ballkeeper Post Mortem

Posted by
Thursday, December 19th, 2013 5:29 am

In good old Ludum Dare fashion, here’s my Ballkeeper Post Mortem. In general everything went pretty smooth and I’m also quite happy with the result, even though I also see much room for improvements which were out of scope for the 48h compo.

Ballkeeper

The good:

  • No Feature creep! I stayed focus on my core idea and didn’t bother adding much more extras. In the end a slick and elegant design often works better than piling up features.
  • It’s a fun toy turned into a game.
  • I was pretty confident that I can finish it the whole time, so it was a very relaxed Ludum Dare for me.
  • Dart + WebGL + WebAudio is an awesome platform for game development. I also made use of the PointerLock API which worked great for me and is also great for other type of games.
  • Simple but stylish geometrical graphics instead of pixel art. I only used one graphic asset, which is a blurry white dot, everything else is WebGL wizardry. Let’s face it, I’m very bad at painting. I hope I sometimes will get better but until then I stick to what I’m best at.
  • Don’t develop in isolation. I was very lucky to share the room by 4 other Ludum Dare participants the whole time, so there was never a lack of testers and you could always bounce of an idea to a peer. I made some very important changes which I probably wouldn’t have done without their feedback. Big shout out to headchant, jeremias, vrld and fysx. Play their games!
  • SuperCollider is awesome for sounds. You can look in my source file to see how all the sounds were created with source code. (sounds.scd)

The bad:

  • I was pretty hung over from a party the first day and I didn’t get as much done as I wanted. On the other hand it might have been helpful for the game design itself, to loosen up. Who knows?
  • Unfinished base code. The first half of the first day I still had to finish WebGL base code I wanted to have finished by the start. So the first hours were used to implement low level WebGL stuff, which you probably don’t want to do in a game jam.
  • I had enough time to implement more features, but I didn’t. Instead I played the game a lot. I  don’t know if this is a good or bad thing.
  • I should have invested more time in the collision model, as it’s very important for the game and has its flaws in the current state.
  • Dart is great to write structured web apps. In the end I started to adopt bad coding habits, my code could have been cleaner. But well, it’s Ludum Dare, isn’t it?
  • Due to a issue in Dart it doesn’t work in Firefox. I already filed a bug report, so hopefully this won’t happen again in the future.

So, if you haven’t played Ballkeeper yet do it now! There’s also a gameplay video.

Ballkeeper

Posted by
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 7:25 am

Because … you only got one ball. And you have to keep it, in this Breakout inspired HTML5 game. 11 hours to go, still lots to do!

Ballkeeper

Are we an item? Girl, quit playin’

Posted by
Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 12:56 pm

After scoring an excellent #30 in Innovation with my last entry Time Rolls On – despite the fact that I did did it in just 2 hours, because all other plans didn’t work out – I’m back for Ludum Dare.

This time I’ll try to build an HTML5 game with Dart, because it’s kind of cool and a Ludum Dare is a good opportunity for me to dive deeper into it. I don’t know yet which Dart libs/frameworks I’m gonna use, but I’ll update this post if I know.

  • Programming: Dart, Dart Editor, (Sublime Text 2?)
  • Graphics: Photoshop
  • Audio/Music: Audacity, SuperCollider, Logic Pro

We’re gonna have a nice meet up of a total of 5 game devs in our apartment, so it’s gonna be a fun weekend :). Let’s do this!

Yup, I’m in.

Posted by
Wednesday, August 21st, 2013 3:18 am

After skipping last LD I’m back. Had some pleasant experiences with my last entries (Wormelution: Overall #43, Dr. Spackolo: Humor #5) so I’m looking forward to the weekend :)

This time I’ll try to do an audio-only game, maybe with some written story. So here are my weapons of choice:

  • JavaScript, Chrome, WebAudio API
  • Maybe I’ll use some code from my HTML5 Game Jam Boilerplate
  • Audacity, Logic Pro, SuperCollider
  • Maybe some Adobe CS6 for title graphics.
  • I think I’ll code in Sublime Text

As I won’t have time to work on it on Saturday Night i might extend to 72h Jam, but I’ll see how it will go.

Looking forward to lots of 1-Stars for graphics :)

SuperCollider for Game Jams Tutorial?

Posted by
Thursday, December 20th, 2012 6:02 am

Hi guys, I’m thinking of doing a “SuperCollier for Game Jams” tutorial, which would be an introduction to the open source SuperCollider programming language focused on the creation of sounds for games. It’s a very powerful system and well suited for game jams, as you can create a lot of sound effects very quickly. SuperCollider is open source and available for Mac, Linux and Windows.

SuperCollider

 

For some examples of SuperCollider, the music for my LD24 game Wormelution was done with SuperCollider (Video) and you might also enjoy this chip tunesy live coding improvisation I did a while ago.

Leave a comment if you’re interested!

Dr. Spackolo Post-Mortem

Posted by
Tuesday, December 18th, 2012 10:21 am

This LD was a little bit of a failure for me! I had no idea what to do with the theme. After some thinking I went with a dating simulator, which was a bad choice. A good dating sim need two things: Good writing and cute artwork. As I’m not a native english speaker (and my english in general isn’t that brilliant) writing is really hard for me. I also can’t draw. Period.

I’m usually very motivated while coding, but most code was done in a couple of hours. This was actually good, because I could focus on content now, which I didn’t enjoy that much and after the end of the first day I realized that I couldn’t finish it in time with decent content. After some frustration and a couple of hours of non-LD related work I went back to at least finish it with the help of a greek twist.

7575-shot0

What went right:

  • I never wrote much for a game and it was an interesting experience.
  • HTML5 canvas & JavaScript is very usable for game jams.
  • It turned out to be quite meta.

What went wrong:

  • I did not like my own game, which is kind of frustrating.
  • Horrible gameplay. It’s basically a bad interactive joke.
  • I had trouble creating music for it (Now it’s very basic, I trashed a lot of other attempts).
  • I need to get more practice in pixel art (or general in creating graphic assets).

So, next time I’ll do a project that involves more coding, which should keep me motivated throughout the weekend. If you’re still interested and like bad humor give Dr. Spackolo a try.

Meanwhile …

Posted by
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 11:02 am

Bildschirmfoto 2012-12-15 um 18.59.56

Here it goes again!

Posted by
Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 5:56 am

I’m in! This will be my third LD48 and after my second try Wormelution was surprisingly successful (#46 Overall, #13 Theme) and a prototype for the LD October Challenge was featured on Rock Paper Shotgun I’m excited what will happen this time :-D.

So, here are my tools:

At the moment I’m undecided which platform I will choose it if I know what game I’m going to create.

I hope I get something done, It’s quite cold in Germany at the Moment and meteorosensitive as hell. But I will meet with some fellow Ludum Dare game jammers from my city which will be a lot of fun!

Let’s get it on!

See you again in December!

Posted by
Friday, October 19th, 2012 1:53 am

k, I’m out of October Challenge. Change of interests and a still broken GPU diverted my plans. I did some experiments with Web Audio though and started working on a library which I will probably use in future projects. I’m also going to continue creating new Web Audio experiments which I will post on this site:

http://www.cappel-nord.de/webaudio/

By the way: My Adsense earnings on this site is > 1€, so in the end I achieved the October Challenge goal without even a finished product 😉

Prototype Time!

Posted by
Monday, October 8th, 2012 9:50 am

So, here is a first prototype of my audiovisual web thingy. It only runs in Chrome or Safari 6 but then again it doesn’t need Flash ;-). I also added some AdSense to see how well it performs.

The main idea is to pimp up the visuals with WebGL (I had to use Canvas for the prototype) and create stages with 2-3 mini games like these. The “Jam” mode is also a good idea, because you can easily create 2 experiences for the development price of 1.3.

Prototype Play.

Browsers: Make some noise!

Posted by
Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 9:10 am

So, I’m working on the web based game which should combine generated visuals, generated music and gameplay. I worked on the music part for some days now, creating a framework that allows me to compose, manipulate and generate music in the browser (actually just in Chrome, using the Web Audio API). I borrowed a lot of concepts from the SuperCollider language but left more possibilities open, which I will need when I integrate the music into the gameplay. Still a lot to fix and refine though …

The Kick and Snare drums are samples, everything else is synthesized. I hope my GPU gets fixed soon so I can dive into WebGL.

October Challenge Go!

Posted by
Friday, September 28th, 2012 5:06 am

Allright, I’m really pumped for this. I got a basic idea, some mechanics and a monetization concept. One problem is, that my graphic card is currently quite broken, so I hope this gets fixed soon so that I can get into overdrive.

Basic idea: Audiovisual game with emerging Web technologies (Web Audio API and WebGL). I know, it somehow limits the audience to Chrome Users but on the other side it might attract peoples/blogs to look at the tech and what’s possible.

Basically there are multiple stages (at the beginning maybe just two), each in a distinct musical style (probably the first two will be Chip Tunes and Acid Techno) and a distinct visual style. On each stage there will be some mini-games (each about 2 minutes) which will have it’s own musical patterns/melodies. Visually it will be a blend of club visuals and gameplay. Think along the lines of Bit Trip Beat. Both visuals and music react to the gameplay in different ways, so each time you play the game the song will be different (I’m thinking about an export option, to export the audio of a replay as mp3). Achievements will keep you playing but off course you need to sigh up with Facebook first.

Monetization: Google AdSense first, later (and if it really works) In-App purchases for additional content. I also got some other ideas but I will first concentrate on get the game running and attract enough folk to earn some $ with AdSense (already got my account running and producing some $ on YouTube, so at least this is not a problem).

So, these are the basic ideas. If nothing works at least I’ve tried out these two techs that I wanted to try out for a long time :-D. So, let the games begin.

Wormelution – Post Mortem

Posted by
Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 2:02 am

Alright, time to do a little blog thingy about things that worked well and things that worked bad.

Play the Game

Good

  • Love2D is awesome. Lua too. And all the libraries by vrld are the awesomest! (I couldn’t have made it without Hump and HardonCollider). It’s also awesome to know that the game will run on Windows too (I’m on a Mac and can’t check it)
  • PixelEffects in Love 0.8 work well and have a very good interface. I’m not sure if I like the special GLSL sauce, but it may be good for starters.
  • I had a good tool chain with a make script and very solid tools. My boilerplate project served me well!
  • I spend a lot of time polishing things up which gives the game a very finished look/feel. First I hated the music but now I kind of like it because it’s different than most other music I heard so far here.
  • I had hardly any graphic assets and build most of the visuals with shaders or creative blending. I hate making assets.
  • Less caffeine then last time, which results in less brain terror.

Bad

  • Next time I need to focus more on the game side. I’m more into exploring systems than creating games that are actually fun to play.
  • Study some math. I had one problem with trigonometry which almost had driven me crazy. I also think that the  DNA merging would have been better if I had more understanding of maths.
  • Last time I missed to build a level editor and spend a lot of time “trying things out”. This time I would have needed a testbed for the DNA stuff. At the end the version I shipped kinda breaks really fast (gets unbalanced).
  • Code Quality. This one is really a mess and at the end (when it was too late to refactor) I had to duplicate a lot of code which made my life hard.

I didn’t make a timelapse or something but I recorded 4 videos:

So yeah, over all it was super fun and I can’t wait for #25. I also might join the October Challenge and do something wit JavaScript. We’ll see!

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