About eXpl0it3r (twitter: @DarkCisum)

I'm a 25-years-old computer science student, who likes C++ (game) development and is part of of SFML Team (Simple and Fast Multimedia Library).

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Ludum Dare 37
 
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One Room is finished (for now)!

Posted by (twitter: @DarkCisum)
Monday, December 12th, 2016 7:14 pm

I actually wanted to write more blog posts, but then I invested all the time into actually finishing the game, which I think was the better way to go. That being said, I brought the game to a finished stage and made a release for the Ludum Dare Jam submission.

Ludum Dare Jam: Submission / Windows Binary / Source Code

Desk

If you have seen any parts of the livestream you might be a bit surprised, but as mentioned in the previous post, I changed things around and went with a point-and-click puzzle game. One of the main issues I have when building a game is that I’m really bad at creating any kind of usable art. And when I get something somewhat nice looking, it will have taken me multiple hours.

Lock

By now I don’t even really remember how I got the idea, but I suddenly thought of taking pictures of my own room and “stylizing” them to look kind of pixel-art like. The additional advantage of moving around some furniture was that I could also clean up parts of my room. The end result has a wide range. Some screens look a lot like drawn pixel art, while others still contain a lot of detail. I find it amazing how a few pixels aligned properly already make things recognizable. One thing I probably should have tried, is to reduce the used color palette. That way I’d have managed to drop quite a bit of information detail, possibly making it seem more drawn rather than a photo.

Screen

The game is now finished, but it’s very short and I still have some ideas in my head what puzzles I could add, but even more importantly how I could make it work better code-wise. A lot of the game is really just defined in one JSON file and I think, I could expand that one even more, allowing for really quick expanding of the game work and puzzles. We’ll see when I get the time.

I hope you’ll enjoy playing my game and don’t forget to rate my game!

Change of plans

Posted by (twitter: @DarkCisum)
Sunday, December 11th, 2016 10:50 am

So after I didn’t get anything really done yesterday, I decided to skip streaming and started thinking about a different idea that I’ve since been working on. Not fully sure how it will end up, but I at least feel better about this plan than I felt during the hours and hours of stream where I didn’t progress at all.

Secrete

I’ll make sure to report back once I feel more comfortable that this idea is actually doable. For now, back to “art” creation. :)

6 Hours in and the progress is slow

Posted by (twitter: @DarkCisum)
Saturday, December 10th, 2016 11:38 am

Browsing through all the blog posts on Ludum Dare makes me realize just how slow I am at creating anything useful. Sure, I haven’t picked the easiest path with creating a game from scratch (except my SmallGameFramework) in C++. At the same time it can be motivational to see what other people have already done.

I’ve been streaming on Twitch and Livecoding.tv for the past 6h and all I can show right now is a moving sprite and even with that, the movement isn’t really where I want it to be. Additionally I think the movement code needs to be changed again, because when I have a collision system in place, I’ll have to be able to influence the movement, but maybe there’s another way around it.

One Room

My current idea is to have some sort of a puzzle game – not very original – where you have to solve some puzzles to leave the room. Currently I have no idea how I’ll get the art done, but I know some people that might be able to help out. But first I need to actually get some sort of game running, otherwise there’s no point in creating art for it.

One thing on my ToDo list for the next few hours is to also quickly go out and grab some supplies, with tomorrow being Sunday and only a few stores are open.

Let’s go into the next round of productivity! :)

Technology in use

Posted by (twitter: @DarkCisum)
Saturday, December 10th, 2016 6:03 am

Here’s a list of things I’m be using for the 37th Ludum Dare Jam! I’ll make sure to keep updating this list during the jam.

Libraries

Programming Tools

  • C++ – The language
  • CLion – JetBrains’ C++ IDE
  • CMake – Meta build system
  • MinGW-w64 – Compiler

 

Audio Tools

  • Bfxr – Sound effects generator
  • REAPER – Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
  • cgMusic – Music generator
  • Synth1 – Free VST synthesizer

Image Tools

Other Tools

  • cmder – Awesome command line replacement
  • Git – The version control system

Streaming Tools

Let’s give this another go!

Posted by (twitter: @DarkCisum)
Friday, December 9th, 2016 9:41 pm

It’s been five Ludum Dare Jams with SynthGuitar since I last participated and here we are again. I made sure that the weekend is free to focus all the time on Ludum Dare. Let’s begin!

The chosen topic is: One room

As per usual the first idea that pops into my head is some platformer, but as the past has proven, making a platformer from scratch in the given time frame is quite tricky, especially since I’ve never implemented a fully working platformer. Not putting the idea right off, but maybe there are more interesting things to go after.

The plan right now is to first get some sleep and in the morning brainstorm a bit in what ways “room” can be interpreted and how far one can stretch the definition of “one”.

Here’s a cute dog picture just because dogs are awesome!

Doggo

Get in touch with me on Twitter.
Don’t miss the streams on Twitch and Livecoding.tv tomorrow!

Conclusion

Posted by (twitter: @DarkCisum)
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 3:36 pm

I just posted a summary of the whole event on my development blog and but wanted to post my conclusion here as well.

Having a somewhat finished framework ready to go really help a lot in the development since I could immediately jump in and didn’t have to bother with a lot of the boilerplate code. I really hope to get this small framework a bit expanded so things will end up even easier and less hack-ish to code, because while writing a framework you can take your time to design things properly, I did not have that time during the Compo which ended up in a lot of code repetition.

Synth Guitar

While nobody will watch someone code or sit around for hours on end, I still like to stream stuff, because it kind of forces me to keep working on it and not start some video game or randomly browse the internet. In addition to that it gives some nice conversations from time to time and you feel less as a solo developer. I just hope to get a better solution for the webcam, since I feel webcams make streams a lot more interesting.

It took a lot of time, but in the end it was really nice to have something finished and ready to be voted on.

Game

See you next round, maybe? :)

Technology is awesome!

Posted by (twitter: @DarkCisum)
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 6:50 am

While doing other stuff in the morning I’ve spent some time at noon to setup my webcam, so that you can actually see me in the live stream. I think it adds a lot more personality to a stream and makes the boring wall of code often a bit more interesting. While using the built-in webcam of my notebook was very easy when I actually streamed from my notebook, it’s a whole other story when we talk about streaming from my new and shiny desktop PC while still using my notebook’s webcam.

Luckily technology is awesome and can help us out here – though I’ve to say that it’s a shame that there aren’t a lot more free solutions to certain things. Like a lot of the protocols are open and anyone could potentially implement them and there often are quite a few applications that can work kind of with it, but regarding usability, most application that are really simple and great cost money.

Anyways lets get back to the awesomeness. First I tried the video streaming that is built into VLC and it kind of worked, but it had odd glitches and hit the limits of my notebooks CPU. So I thought why not stream the webcam feed with Open Broadcaster Software, and so I did. However since OBS only supports the RTMP protocol, I had to setup an RTMP server on my desktop. Luckily Google is still a thing and I found the MonaServer in no time.

So here’s the final streaming setup:

webcam-stream

Just come and see for yourself:

Pixel art!

Posted by (twitter: @DarkCisum)
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 7:48 pm

I feel, I’ve made quite a bit of progression over the past few hours. Sure others might have been more productive, but it really doesn’t matter. 😀

The collision system seems to work fine so far. It’s the most simplest collision system ever where you just move from one tile to another. I’ll first go with this and if there’s enough time (*joke joke*) I might change things around a bit – or if the game play feels really dull.

Anyways my big achievement for this evening I think was some fancy pixel art. I’m not really good at art, but so far it doesn’t even look that horrible.

Pixels

I used an older version of Aseprite, back when it was still free. It seems like a great software and $10 is really not much, however since I don’t intent to create a lot of pixel art in the future, I currently don’t see why I should buy it. 😉

I already look forward to creating more frames tomorrow for the different actions!

After 12.5 hours of non-stop streaming I’m going to get some sleep. 24h left, stay tuned and see you tomorrow!

Wow 12.5h

My Tiles!

Posted by (twitter: @DarkCisum)
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 4:51 pm

Yes, I’m still alive! What an achievement or so… 😀

After the last post I’ve wasted a lot of time figuring out how to get a basic triangle wave form only to realize after an hour or two, that a triangle wave form is just the absolute value of the saw-tooth wave form… At least it didn’t take me very long to understand that the square wave form is just the sign of the normal sine wave form.

After having spent so much time on this audio bit, I finally go over to start some magic with tiles and here’s the result:

Tiles

Uhm yes, very boring and hurts too much if you look at it for too long, but one has to start somewhere, right? 😉

Also it amazes me that I’ve been streaming for the past 9.5h!

Live

The perfect sine

Posted by (twitter: @DarkCisum)
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 11:33 am

After a few difficulties and “hard” math problems, I finally got the synth working and it plays perfect sine ways at any frequency you want:

Perfect sine

Challenge: At what frequency does the sound above play? 😉

I’m now going to implement the other wave forms: saw-tooth, triangle, square

Wish me luck!

Sound is An Unconventional Weapon

Posted by (twitter: @DarkCisum)
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 10:06 am

Now that most of the basic stuff is kind of ready in code, I can think more deeply about why my unconventional weapon should be.

So far the main idea is to generate sounds on the fly – a sort of synth – while taking player input into account. Meaning the player can adjust the frequency and base wave form. The sound then only will become effective once the settings fully match with the properties of the “enemy”.

Currently I’m building the synth and then I’ll plan more on how this will be integrated into the game etc.

Sound Synth

And I’m live!

Posted by (twitter: @DarkCisum)
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 7:20 am

Come and watch me do silly things, ehrm I mean develop my Ludum Dare entry!

Good morning!

Posted by (twitter: @DarkCisum)
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 4:58 am

After some good and long-ish sleep I’m back at it again. Here’s a picture of my workspace:

Workspace

Regarding ideas, I’m still a bit on the fence about it. One of the things that came to my mind which seemed reasonably interesting was to use music as an unconventional weapon. However in which way that should be implemented is still unclear. I guess, I’ll think about it more over lunch.

Let’s Go!

Posted by (twitter: @DarkCisum)
Friday, April 17th, 2015 8:59 pm

The compo has started and surprisingly the theme has turned out to be rather interesting: “An Unconventional Weapon”

Unfortunately my SmallGameFramework didn’t fully make it in time for LD32, but lets “make games and not engines” and maybe I’ll get the chance to refactor out some stuff.

All I need now is an idea that uses the theme in some way and I’ll have to decide on a genre. For now however it means to take a nap and look at things with fresh eyes!

LD#32 here I come

Posted by (twitter: @DarkCisum)
Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 12:52 pm

A long time ago I’ve tried to participate but due to time constraints I never finished the game. The next few Ludum Dares were always on a bad date, but surprisingly this weekend it looks like that I’ve the whole weekend for myself!

As usual I’ll be using C++ and SFML. But since starting from scratch can be quite time consuming I’ll be cooking up some SmallGameFramework before the Compo starts and then during the Jam build on top of that. Join me while I’m streaming the whole process of building the SmallGameFramework: YouTube Live Stream

My main tools for now will be:

From time to time, I’ll certainly make use of:

In addition to SFML, I might make use of:

If you want to stay in touch with my adventure, make sure to checkout:

The unsuccessful end…

Posted by (twitter: @DarkCisum)
Sunday, December 16th, 2012 12:20 pm

I went into the competition, because I’ve always wanted to do one, but I saw it only a few hours before it started and wasn’t prepared for it at all. So I’ve been busy the whole Sunday and don’t see a chance in finishing simple half of what I’ve had in mind with in 6 h.

But I’m not really sad/depressed/down/etc. for multiple reasons:

  • I already kind of knew, that I won’t have the time to finish it.
  • I had quite fun while writing the base code.
  • I’ve seen some weaknesses of mine and will try to improve them in the future.
  • I had a great weekend apart from doing only one half of the LD.

Congrats to everyone who already finished or will finish their game and happy voting! :)

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