About Crowbeak (twitter: @crowbeak)

Entries

 
Ludum Dare 35
 
Ludum Dare 34
 
Ludum Dare 33
 
Ludum Dare 32
 
Ludum Dare 32 Warmup
 
Ludum Dare 31
 
Ludum Dare 30
 
Ludum Dare 29
 
Ludum Dare 28
 
Ludum Dare 27
 
Ludum Dare 26
 
Ludum Dare 25

Crowbeak's Trophies

You were there *Award* #LD30
Awarded by alvivar
on September 2, 2014

Crowbeak's Archive

Make Tetrominoes! Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @crowbeak)
Monday, December 23rd, 2013 6:05 am

Make Tetrominoes! screenshot

This was my fourth LD (in a row!), and I’m really quite satisfied with how things went, overall. My game, Make Tetrominoes!, doesn’t fit the theme all that well, it really needs some balancing, and due to other areas of my life being busy I was unable to get away from the JavaScript library/engine I used last time, which doesn’t play well with Firefox and necessitates a soundless version. However, the game has been well received, it’s colorblind-friendly, it’s playable in a mobile browser (which wasn’t true of the last game I made with enchant.js), it’s pretty easy to figure out without reading anything even though I didn’t get a tutorial in like I wanted to, and since I’m a better coder now, I can easily extend the game — it will be easy to balance what I have and I believe it won’t take an inordinate amount of work to make the game playable by blind people.

In general, it’s clear to me that my coding skills have improved since last time. 😀 So now for a breakdown, bullet list style.

(more…)

Let the paper sketching begin :3

Posted by (twitter: @crowbeak)
Friday, December 13th, 2013 8:27 pm

Crowbeak's LD28 sketching

Final round voting :3

Posted by (twitter: @crowbeak)
Thursday, December 12th, 2013 3:19 am

I decided to come down hard on round five, refusing to give anything a neutral vote. I gave a few the +1, but I really want You Only Get One to win.

ld28-vote5-crowbeak

Three rounds of voting

Posted by (twitter: @crowbeak)
Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 11:26 pm

I’ve been doing a terrible job of keeping up with my voting posts this time around. Here are my votes for 2, 3, and 4. Yes, I am proud of upvoting downvote me.

Crowbeak's round 2 and 3 votes

 

Crowbeak's round 4 votes

LD28 Voting 1

Posted by (twitter: @crowbeak)
Sunday, December 8th, 2013 4:58 pm

Crowbeak Vote 28-1

In for No. 28

Posted by (twitter: @crowbeak)
Sunday, December 8th, 2013 12:18 am

I have no clue what tools I’ll be using. I had planned to use warmup weekend to dive into Unity, but that didn’t happen. So… :S

Worst Gnome at the Factory: Post-Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @crowbeak)
Monday, September 9th, 2013 6:56 pm
The final look of the game. Can you tell which panel affects which dials? Most people can't.

The final look of the game. Can you tell which panel affects which dials? Most people can’t.

One of the things I said I thought I did well in my postmortem was the user interface. After that, though N0_Named_Guy did a video review for me and then feedback started coming in on the entry page itself on top of that and told me I was wrong. It wasn’t terrible, and it was certainly better by the end than by the beginning, but it wasn’t good enough.

The real problem, I think, was that I didn’t get enough testers. I should have pulled in new testers when I thought I was done, people who hadn’t seen the game at all yet. Without realizing it, I had the same people play the new version, and their praise about how much better it was lulled me into a false sense of security. >_> Oops.

The original placeholder graphics.

The original placeholder graphics.

If you want to try it for yourself, go here. I recommend you actually read the wall of text at the beginning, even though that, too, was apparently a bad idea. I read other people’s walls of text, so it didn’t occur to me that most people wouldn’t.

I’m really happy with the idea and am working to flesh the game out. Once my code refactoring is complete and the bug is fixed, I’m going to start implementing the feedback I’ve been getting. Aside from improved understandability, balancing the game better, and adding more levels, I want to make it playable on touch devices.

N0_Named_Guy Reviewed Worst Gnome at the Factory

Posted by (twitter: @crowbeak)
Thursday, August 29th, 2013 3:58 am

wrong_gnome_01

 

N0_Named_Guy has been doing live reviews of games for people on his Twitch channel. He did one of mine, which was awesome. If you want to see it, it’s right here. My game wasn’t as understandable as I thought. Not terrible, but could definitely have been better.

Worst Gnome at the Factory Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @crowbeak)
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 10:03 pm

wrong_gnome_01

I’ve been fiddling around with HTML5 and JavaScript with enchant.js as a way of making games since LD26. I have two other HTML5/JS projects in the works, one of which was created purely for learning what I am doing and the other of which I intend to be a free-to-play educational game for learners of English as a second language. I spent most of last week reading into the gritty inner details of JavaScript and learning about design patterns in preparation for this week, and in some ways I leaned pretty heavily on those other two projects to figure out what I was doing, at least to get things started.

In spite of looking at my previous code to remember how the library worked, I feel like I started from a more knowledgable standpoint this time than I did either of the other two times I participated. The first time, I couldn’t do graphics and had to make my simulation game using nothing but text; the second time, I was using the pyglet library for the first time and then had trouble compiling with it.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with how the game turned out, even though I didn’t get to implement everything I wanted. And it’s got a bit of a bug. I feel like I hit on a good game idea, like I did during LD25, but had decent graphics and entertaining sound, like I did for LD26. ^_^

What Went Right

My only screenshot from when my game was going to be something very different.

My only screenshot from when my game was going to be something very different.

  • Not streaming while coming up with ideas. The pressure to share my random game-planning thoughts made LD26 harder, and I’m glad I axed it this time.
  • My first idea was going to be a boring game, so I canned it and started over a few hours in.
  • Studying JavaScript’s innermost workings and design patterns last week paid off, though I still managed to make messy code.
  • I planned my time well enough that I had my game in a good-enough state before bed on Sunday night — living in UTC +9 and working on Monday made that pretty important. I only had enough time this morning to throw in a couple of things that I didn’t get around to before because I knew I could implement them quickly. Namely, a way to restart the game from the game over screen and an on-screen display of how long the player had survived.
  • Placeholder graphics FTW! For a long time, the gauges were ugly fuschia boxes that just had number values in them and the warning triangles with exclamation points were just plain triangles. At that point, it was hard to tell what was going on if you weren’t me (and most of my playtesters were not). When I got the real graphics into place the game instantly became easier to understand and the players instantly started having more fun.
  • On a related note: I’m rather happy with my user interface. I feel like all the important details are pretty well conveyed, though if I’d had more time I would have added a flashing red background to the warning triangles. My few playtesters who played both early and late versions really appreciated the changes from placeholder to actual graphics.

What Went Wrong

Placeholder graphics! It's so much prettier now. ^_^

Placeholder graphics! It’s so much prettier now. ^_^

  • Messy, messy code. I used the design patterns that I knew, but I wasn’t careful enough about encapsulation and by the end all the little things I’d been lazy with were coming back to bite me in the backside.
  • I have a game which is a survive-as-long-as-you-can game, but which has a bug such that if you survive long enough, you can’t lose. I know what’s happening to cause it, but since I only learned that the methods I’m using to pull it off exist just yesterday, I don’t know how to fix the problem. :(
  • Browser compatibility issues. Even with them, I think I am still reaching more people than with my Mac OSX Python games, but… still. :( I’m working on ironing out bugs relating to playing in different browsers.

Conclusion

Not bad. Not bad at all.

I’m going to make my next LD game in HTML5 as well, I think, so learning more about enchant.js is to be my goal. It’s an open source project, so I’m planning to contribute — the team creating it is Japanese, and so all the documentation is in Japanese and only half of that has been translated. It’s good that I can read Japanese, but if I help them translate the documentation then I will learn more about the library and it won’t take me as long to look things up next time. 😀 Laziness FTW.

My Coding Brain Says No

Posted by (twitter: @crowbeak)
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 7:15 am

My game is a working thing with a beginning, a middle, and an end. It needs balance and a score display and a way to reset when you lose. It will have at least two of these things by submission time. :/ But right now? Right now, I am following my coding brain into that great purple abyss we call dreaming.

Screen Shot 2013-08-25 at 11.11.59 PM

 

P.S. — Oh, #!@&… What am I naming it?!

This Ludum Dare is the 1-Score and 7th, and My Final Votes are In

Posted by (twitter: @crowbeak)
Friday, August 23rd, 2013 1:08 am

I’m not one of those people who chooses one theme to rule them all and downvotes the rest. I don’t think doing so is a bad idea necessarily, but that’s not my way. I have cast my votes, though, and here they are. Now I go to eat, drink, and be merry, hoping that tomorrow will not leave me wishing I’d been a bit lighter on the drinking.

Screen Shot 2013-08-23 at 5.04.30 PM

Addendum to Being In

Posted by (twitter: @crowbeak)
Wednesday, August 21st, 2013 5:52 pm

I said before that I am in and will only have 36 hours and am using JavaScript/HTML5 with enchant.js, plus a few content creation tools.

These things are all still true, but I would like to add the caveat that since I live in the future and can’t just call in sick on Monday (and the dates were announced too late for me to request it off), I reserve the right to turn in my game for the jam instead of the compo if I decide that it’s not done enough by the time the compo ends.

That is all. Carry on.

LD27 Round 4 of 5… ALREADY? D: ZOMG

Posted by (twitter: @crowbeak)
Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 6:11 pm

Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 10.09.50 AM

LD27 Voting Round 3 or How the Camel Got Its Hump

Posted by (twitter: @crowbeak)
Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 4:41 pm

Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 8.39.52 AM

LD27 and the Round 2 Voting

Posted by (twitter: @crowbeak)
Monday, August 19th, 2013 8:03 am

Clearly I liked the themes in round 1 better than round 2.

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 12.02.05 AM

LD27 Round 1 Votery

Posted by (twitter: @crowbeak)
Sunday, August 18th, 2013 5:21 pm

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 9.16.54 AM

 

Voted Temperature down because hot and cold are contrasting and so could theoretically be included in Contrast, which I think is a far better theme, in general.

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