About deathray (twitter: @deathraygames)

Web developer by day, gamer by night


Ludum Dare 37
Ludum Dare 35
Ludum Dare 34
Ludum Dare 33
Ludum Dare 32
Ludum Dare 31
Ludum Dare 30
Ludum Dare 29
MiniLD 50
MiniLD 49
MiniLD 48
Ludum Dare 28
Ludum Dare 27
Ludum Dare 26
MiniLD #39
Ludum Dare 25

deathray's Trophies

deathray's Archive

LD30 – I’m in?

Posted by (twitter: @deathraygames)
Sunday, August 17th, 2014 9:22 am

I’m in… maybe…

I recently completed the GBJam (Major Hammer / Tumblr), so I’m a little burned out for this month. I also have a lot of plans this weekend, so I won’t be able to dedicate more than a few hours, so I’m going to see if I can make something ultra-small, ultra-fast. Maybe I’ll enter the jam if Monday evening will give me a little more time.

Major Hammer Game

My typical technology and tools:

  • Front-end Web stack — JavaScript/HTML/CSS
  • Notepad++ for typing
  • Chrome for testing
  • Pickle for pixel graphics
  • Bfxr for sounds

Libraries I will likely use:

Regardless, I look forward to seeing what everyone else comes up with!

Explore Extraterrestrial Ocean Planets … slowly, very slowly…

Posted by (twitter: @deathraygames)
Monday, April 28th, 2014 7:52 am

What users are saying…


  • Fun administration game!”
  • moving unbearably slowly”
  • simple and relaxing”
  • Amazing graphics, but painfully slow”
  • Very relaxing!”
  • Nice game!”
  • Good concept. A little too slow…”

So, if you’re not in a rush and you’d like something relaxing – maybe painfully relaxing – give Exo-Aquatic a try!

Play Exo-Aquatic – Ludum Dare Entry Page

Planning Complete LD#29

Posted by (twitter: @deathraygames)
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 7:00 am

The initial planning via sketchpad is basically done… Now time to actually write some code and make some assets!

I’m in – Power up the deathray!

Posted by (twitter: @deathraygames)
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 8:30 am

I’m in!

Same stack as always…

  • Web-based: HTML, Javascript, CSS
  • Maybe PHP if I’m foolish enough to add multiplayer
  • I might borrow some helper/non-game-logic code from my previous games; all code on GitHub
  • Artwork with Pickle and Photoshop
  • Sound in Bfxr (if there’s time)
  • Music in GarageBand on the iPad (if there’s time)
  • Code in Notepad++
  • Testing in Chrome
  • Hosting by HostGator
  • Time lapse with ChronoLapse and YouTube (maybe)
  • Live -blogging on Tumblr / Twitter
  • Musical accompaniment by Pandora

Best of luck to everyone! So Say We All!


Rule Clarification – Base Code

Posted by (twitter: @deathraygames)
Friday, April 11th, 2014 7:53 am

Each LD I’ve been starting with an entirely blank page, using only one library (jQuery). Part of that has been because all my games have been very different so far, but I’m thinking that if I want to do a game similar to an older one then I probably don’t want to start from scratch.



From the rules:

Base code and personal code libraries are allowed, but should be declared and shared with the community prior to beginning your entry. 

Are there any restrictions on base code / personal code libraries? Does this mean it’s legit to use most of the code of an old game, recreate the art assets, and create a sequel?

Leave a comment — How do you handle this; what base code do you start with?

The Primeval Codex: Skyray

Posted by (twitter: @deathraygames)
Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 7:47 am

It’s cold, where’s my hat?


Try out my latest Mini-LD creation: Skyray. It’s a Skyrim demake featuring a large map, lots of snow, and terribly difficult combat.


This is the extent of town?







Entry page: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/minild-50/?action=preview&uid=17861

Post-compo version: http://deathraygames.com/play-online/skyray/ (not much has been added yet)

If you like the game, please send me a tweet @deathraygames about what you would like added next. I have a plan for further development but will only bother with it if people are interested. I can even add you in as an NPC! :)

If you like Skyrim there are three others from the last dare: Old Books, Demake Scrolls, Skywhim.

Phantom Fortress Post-Compo

Posted by (twitter: @deathraygames)
Thursday, March 13th, 2014 8:44 am


Hi All! I’ve been working on the post-compo version of my last mini-LD game – Phantom Fortress – and could use a few more play-testers.

The (HTML, Javascript) Game: http://deathraygames.com/play-online/phantom-fortress/

Phantom Fortresshierophant_160_leftghoulbat_160_right


The basic premise: Build up, build down, customize your rooms to earn gold, souls, arcane knowledge, stone or ore… and do battle with the constant flow of invading humans by clearing corpses and building more goons!

Let me know what you like, don’t like, want to see more/less of. Just leave a comment on this post or on the original game page.

I have a development plan for the rest of the game, but want to get some input before I overdo it on certain aspects which players might not even want. Thanks! (for more info, follow my twitter or tumblr)


2013 Score Comparison

Posted by (twitter: @deathraygames)
Thursday, January 9th, 2014 11:02 pm



2013 is over and I figured it was time to look at how all four of my games did. Overall, I think the scores are a good reflection of each game’s strengths and weaknesses.
For more charts and analysis, check out my tumblr post … For all the raw numbers, you can view my google spreadsheet.

Two additional insights that may be useful to everyone else:

  • Audio and Mood seem to go hand-in-hand
  • If you’re not careful with controlling your scope, high Innovation may come at a price at lowering other scores

I’m looking forward to the next mini-LD!


All Done. Two Lessons…

Posted by (twitter: @deathraygames)
Monday, December 16th, 2013 1:16 am

Two immediate lessons from Ludum Dare 28…

  1. First Lesson: Multiplayer is hard! I originally set out to focus LD #28 on Fun, but instead I got bogged down in the technicalities of keeping a server database and a client-side program in sync. It was still educational, but I found it’s notably less exciting to code APIs and database queries than it is to create fun game features.
  2. Second Lesson: Focus on minimum viable game! I know this is a very common trap, but I thought I would be able to avoid taking on an unattainable scope. Unfortunately I had trouble getting inspired by the theme (I didn’t even start until Saturday at about noon), so I let myself get inspired by a very complex game idea. As I worked on it, and fell behind on my milestones, I found it hard to trim things away and re-focus on the gameplay.

Capitalis Original Sketch


The original idea was something like Tiny Tower meets Sim City Online. Lots of deep, interconnected commerce, an entertaining A.I., and meaningful competition between citystates. Obviously this is very complex and absurd for 48 hours.

I still think the game’s ideas have potential, but what I was able to do over the span of the compo didn’t really turn into a real “game”. It’s still playable, but a lot of the interesting code is “under the hood”, and not really visible to the user. The choice is yours to try it out or not, but if you do, please let me know what you think, and what you like, don’t like and what ideas you would like to see added! Thanks.

Play: CAPITALIS (latin for “Capital”)

I am in for Ludum Dare 28.

Posted by (twitter: @deathraygames)
Monday, December 9th, 2013 8:14 pm

It has been a year since my first Ludum Dare, and I’ve been able to compete in every once since.

  • LD 25 – Diabolical Genius – a game featuring an evil genius bent on world domination. Gameplay was fairly boring, involving just selecting an option and watching a progress meter. Fun was my lowest score, Theme was the highest.
  • LD 26 – Tundra King – a non-violent, and somewhat non-sensical, side-scroller where you convince other critters to be your friend through jibber-jabber. It was too easy, with no real decision points. Fun and Theme were my lowest scores; Graphics and Humor were the highest.
  • LD 27 – Picto-Tel – a multi-player game of ‘telephone’ and sketching. It was very unlike most games here, which gave it a higher Innovation score, but may have left it lacking in other ways. Theme was also a highly scored category, while Fun and Humor were low.

icon_eyeFor LD 28 I have the weekend set aside, and I think I will focus on some personal goals:

  • Fun! – especially in having something memorable and having high replay value
  • Theme! – I love trying to fit the game to the theme
  • Animation – none of my previous games have offered much animation, so I’ll try to add some more movement and animation
  • Learn a new library – either three.js, backbone.js, or learn more about about raphael

I will be using…

Languages: JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, PHP?

Libraries: jQuery, Raphael, Backbone?, Three.js?, Mustache.js?

Graphics Tools: Photoshop, Pickle

Sound Tools: Bfxr, Garage Band

Dev Tools: Notepad++, Chrome, FireFTP, HostGator

For more info on this Ludum Dare follow my tumblr with the LD28 tag – http://deathraygames.tumblr.com/tagged/LD28 – or my twitter – https://twitter.com/deathraygames

Good luck to everyone!

I’m (probably not) in

Posted by (twitter: @deathraygames)
Friday, August 9th, 2013 12:44 am

Sadly I have some real life things to take care of the weekend of LD27, so my chances of participating 100% are slim to none. That said, I will try to make something – even if it’s dinky and ultra-quick.

log_60If it happens, I will be making the game the same way as my last efforts: in JavaScript (including libraries for jQuery and Raphael), HTML, and CSS.

stone_axe Likely Tools: Notepad++, Chrome, Photoshop, Bfxr, and Pickle

Good luck to everyone! Let’s hope for a good theme!

The reviews are in!

Posted by (twitter: @deathraygames)
Friday, May 3rd, 2013 3:51 pm

The reviews of Tundra King are in!

  • “Wow, really really original game”
  • “Very original”
  • “Aww it’s so cute”
  • “A fun short game”
  • “Liked the art style and the music a lot”
  • “I wasn’t sure what to do…”
  • “…had no idea…”

Apparently it’s  a fun, original sandbox …AND terribly confusing! :)

Play and rate it

The making of Tundra King

I’m in … power-up the deathray!

Posted by (twitter: @deathraygames)
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 7:17 pm

I’m in for LD26! I’ve set aside the weekend, and have spent a few hours picking out new tools and preparing them (not enough but better than nothing). My head is completely empty of ideas, but let’s hope that’s a good thing.

My tools:

  • Notepad++ for editting HTML, CSS, JavaScript
  • Chome for testing / development tools
  • jQuery as my only library
  • Pickle and Photoshop for graphics
  • Bfxr and inudge and possibly GarageBand for sound
  • FireFTP for file transferring
  • HostGator for my web hosting
  • Tumblr for blogging

For more info, follow my tumblr: http://deathraygames.tumblr.com/tagged/LD26

Good luck to everyone!


impatiently awaiting the next dare

Posted by (twitter: @deathraygames)
Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 5:08 pm

Congrats to all the top scorers! It was a lot of fun playing all your games…

…but I’m also dying to make a new game!

When is the next mini-dare? and where can I get info on mini-dare rules and timing? Do they change each time?


Posted by (twitter: @deathraygames)
Monday, December 17th, 2012 4:13 pm

My post-mortem on #LD25 Diabolical Genius… ( Play it now or rate it! )

What Went Right:

  • Inspiration – I was extremely enthusiastic the entire time! I credit this mainly to the wonderful community around Ludum Dare. Although my energy was helped greatly by the fact that the time crunch kept me on my toes and that this was my first Dare.
  • Focus – I was able to set aside the entire weekend with no obligations, which was very helpful. My girlfriend was kind enough to keep me fed and provide a tiny bit of social interaction when my eyes left the monitor for a few minutes. :)
  • Time Management – I originally planned to spend 25% on design, 25% on core mechanics programming, 25% on other programming, and 25% on graphics, sound and other final polish. Although I did stick to this timing a bit, it was definitely not so organized or linear.
  • Game Design – luckily I already had the premise of the game in my pile of “game ideas I’d love to make someday”, and it fit the theme perfectly. I considered a few other ideas and variations once the “You are the Villain” theme was announced, but I think that the design I chose was the best of the bunch because it didn’t have a massive scope. I learned from reading LD posts that being overly ambitious is the worst mistake you can make.
  • HTML5/JavaScript/jQuery – no problems, but I did learn a few things (see below).
  • Sound – adding sound was almost an after-thought. It was definitely one of the features I had no experience with and was on the chopping block if time got tight. I was surprised with was how easy sound was to deal with in JavaScript (good article on HTML5 audio), and I was lucky to find a few nice free .WAV files on freesound.org.
  • Mobile-Friendly – I decided early on that I wanted my game to be mobile friendly, so I spent a lot of time trying to get this to work right. The function I ended up making (portalResize.js) wasn’t too difficult and worked very well at re-sizing the game area (the “portal”) for various 3:4 screen resolutions. Also luckily I knew of the viewport meta tag already, and I was able to quickly determine the best setup after some reading at MDN and this MSDN article, and testing on a phone, iPad and computer. I decided on using this: <meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, user-scalable=no, initial-scale=1.0, maximum-scale=1.0″ />
  • SketchBook Pro (iPad) – This was a god-send for the cartoon artwork. It was a last-minute decision to use it, but once I got re-acquainted with the controls, it was a joy to use. (I originally planned on using Gimp with a drawing tablet, but misplaced it at the last minute).
  • Notepad++ – worked great, although I spent precious time trying to get my global styles in order, something I should have had setup already.
  • Dropbox – absolutely essential for moving files quickly between iPad and computer!
  • FireFTP – works great and is super easy to use
  • Chrome / Developer Tools – essential and works great
What Went Wrong & Lessons:
  • Game Design – this was the biggest flaw of my game. I neglected to make the core gameplay fun from the beginning. A lot of the game is waiting; in part, this is intentional – based off of my love for Game Dev Story – but it ended up being too boring. I tried to add in some interaction (you need to mouse-over the random events as they pop up), but it was too little, too late. I should have put more effort into either thinking through the journey and game loops (things I learned from Amy Jo Kim), or by making a working prototype so I could try it out and refine it earlier on.
  • Mobile-Friendly – I spent far too much time trying to get things to re-size nicely within the game area. The main div sizes well, but the elements inside, were explicitly defined in pixels, so they ended up not always looking good. In the future I think I’ll either need to have a solution for this built into a framework, or just go with a fixed size.
  • Mustache.js – Early on I decided to try including Mustache.js, if only for the experience. Although it did leave my HTML looking like an organized template, it led to some big problems with dynamic updates. I had to create a function (called walrusRender in dg.js) so I could easily maintain the template’s original data while doing constant updating. Of course, because I was constantly updating data, I ended up overwriting some buttons and links that I had added important events to, leading to a lot of unnecessary bug chasing. Lastly, it seems to be slow. I’m not sure if it’s something else in my code, but the refresh rate is noticeable in a few areas. If you’re going to use Mustache.js, I’d recommend you only target granular elements, rather than updating a whole page or section. Of course, if you’re getting granular, you might just be better off with jQuery’s .html(), .text(), and .attr() anyway.
  • HTML5 Boilerplate – I decided at the last minute to copy a few things from the HTML5 boilerplate. I should have had an HTML template ready to go from the beginning.
  • Focus – my brain was coding and designing in my sleep, so I found it hard to get a good rest. Also I should have called it quits earlier in the evening on Saturday (sleep is important!)
  • Gimp – it works well enough I suppose, but having a Photoshop background and no experience with Gimp, this ended up being a handicap for me.
  • Sublime Text 2 – I attempted to try this at the beginning, but gave up quickly because of the ‘buy now’ pop-ups.
  • WinSCP – I started with this for FTP, a new program to me, but it had some stability issues and was very slow, so I went back to reliable FireFTP.
  • Windows 8 – I’m new to this version of the OS and have several complaints better left for another blog.

I’m not sure if I’ll continue to work on this game (I already have a lot more improvement ideas), but the experience was amazing! Follow me on twitter or tumblr for updates.

Art Style

Posted by (twitter: @deathraygames)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 4:10 pm

Anyone have a preference — old school pixels versus messy cartoon? I’m leaning towards the ‘toon, but it’s going to be hard to animate. I think basically your character is going to spend most of the time standing still unfortunately.Comparison

I’m really enjoying seeing everyone’s games so far. It’s distracting! :)


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