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Posted by (twitter: @Guardian_Bob)
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 7:01 am

So this is coming together much better than expected.


I’ve got movement, I’ve got the problem, I’ve got a solution.

I still need to add timing, difficultly, scoring, sound, polish.

That said I’m happy with my progress. Very happy.

Oh and to plug my semi-live stream again:

WPF and False Starts

Posted by (twitter: @Guardian_Bob)
Friday, April 26th, 2013 9:22 pm

So I have an idea and I’m working on it now.

WPF is the right solution, but it is a pain in the rear.

That said, I’m starting to put things together.


Doh – Updates Running

Posted by (twitter: @Guardian_Bob)
Friday, April 26th, 2013 7:07 pm

I forgot to check Visual Studio for updates.



Semi-Live Stream Up

Posted by (twitter: @Guardian_Bob)
Friday, April 26th, 2013 5:24 pm


Doing a semi-live stream again. Refreshes automatically.

Go banana!

Getting Ready

Posted by (twitter: @Guardian_Bob)
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 1:14 pm

I’ve started to grab supplies, brushing off my maze library.

You can my maze lib here: http://www.kins-home.net/ludum/timelapse/MazeCreatorLib_2.2.zip

I’ll be using SFML again, building in .Net again.

Oh and I’m in.

Improvements On My Library

Posted by (twitter: @Guardian_Bob)
Saturday, December 29th, 2012 7:00 pm

So while I wasn’t able to participate I did improve my maze creation library.


Not only is it two orders of magnitude faster but it has a proper unit test. Full code coverage. No loops, there is a solution (unittest checks for the solution and even prints it out).

The code is far more maintainable now as well.

Let me say Visual Studio 2012 is very impressive as you dig into it.


On this one screen you can see I have full code coverage in by my unittests. There are two functions which are taking most of the time when running a performance test. There are no detected code issues (or they’ve been suppressed). Oh and on the bottom left, you can see how maintainable the code is. It can drill in further but I didn’t have space on this one screen shot.

You can grab it here: http://www.kins-home.net/ludum/timelapse/MazeCreatorLib_2.2.zip

Yeah, I’m Not Going to Make This

Posted by (twitter: @Guardian_Bob)
Friday, December 14th, 2012 8:05 pm

I hoped for inspiration, but here’s the thing. I’m on a plane most of Sunday, and the VP of SW is expecting me to have a Simon Says game running on an embedded system by Monday. So I guess (for the sake of my job) I’m out. Next time. Have fun, I’m rooting for everyone.

Good luck.

Maze Tool

Posted by (twitter: @Guardian_Bob)
Friday, December 14th, 2012 4:05 pm

As we get close, I feel it is a good idea to post an update to my maze library. I’ve built a tool which will help people create mazes.

There’s only one path from start to end and it runs quickly. The points are 1 based (instead of 0 based) with 1,1 being the upper right hand corner. There is an outside border, so the actual size of the arrays generated are 2 spaces bigger than your specified size.

I’ve built a generator:

See this post for the library:

Here is the application, requires .Net 2.0:

Maze Creation Library – Testing

Posted by (twitter: @Guardian_Bob)
Tuesday, December 11th, 2012 1:57 pm

So I continue to test my library before release tonight. Does it work with small mazes?

Sure does.

How about medium ones:

Great. But let’s get a challenge going.

A 76×120 maze:

Click to enlarge.

Looks good to go.

URL: http://www.kins-home.net/ludum/timelapse/MazeCreatorLib2.zip

Quick level generation.

I’ll be using this in my next project.

Oh and the times here are based on the debug build on a VM, they improve on real hardware using a release build. For example that big maze can be created in under 830 ms.

New Maze Lib

Posted by (twitter: @Guardian_Bob)
Tuesday, December 11th, 2012 10:11 am

I’ve done some code cleanup and such. I’ll post the new version tonight but wanted to give people a preview.

It is reasonably fast to generate mazes. If nothing else it might help with level generation.

C# Libs In Use

Posted by (twitter: @Guardian_Bob)
Sunday, December 9th, 2012 4:45 pm

So I’ve built my own library for the next LD I attend. This is a simple maze creator.

Written in C#, it is still rough at this point.

Maze Demo

Demo of the maze creator library

S is start, e is end, and no diagonal moves allowed.

I plan on using SFML and this in a game if I make it in.

Here’s a link:


Posted by (twitter: @Guardian_Bob)
Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 3:07 pm

I’m going to try to do this; however, that Sunday I’m traveling from PDX to LEX.

I guess I’ll see how things turn out.

Post LD48… What Worked and What Didn’t

Posted by (twitter: @Guardian_Bob)
Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 8:30 am

Sheep Breeder

The Good

  • Following the Theme
      I was able to get a more strict adherence to the theme than most. Let’s be honest here, “evolving” a gun at random isn’t really evolving. It is mutating. For true evolution you need generations and traits passed on.  In playing a number of games I’ve seen this issue side stepped. My wife who is a sheep farmer (where you breed to get certain traits) has been educating me for years, so I felt I had a very good grounding in reality for this game.
      Basically with a theme like evolution you can:

    • Complain
    • Make the game you want and ignore the theme
    • Make the game you kinda want that you can kinda claim follows the theme
    • Follow the theme – ignore the consequences
      I’m glad I followed the theme, even if it felt more challenging.
  • Content Generation
      This is more luck than anything else. I could use real sheep for sounds and pictures.
  • VirtualBox
      While it might make playing some games harder, this was a blessing for me while developing. Taking a snapshot as I was developing was far easier than using any kind of SCC or other backup system. Time lapse became simple, you can even see the virtual machine reboot in my timelapse video.
  • Visual Studio 2012
      Microsoft hasn’t changed Visual Studio much in the past years. Yes it is themed differently, but it works basically the same which helped a lot. I only stated using it 3 days before the compo so this worked out. It could have gone the other direction fairly easily.
  • .Net 3.5
      I was able to make a game that will run on just about any Windows based machine without installing anything extra. This made me quite happy.
  • SFML
      I only used the audio portion, and barely scratched the surface of this 3rd party library. I appreciate the ease of use and clean structure.
  • Lack of Bugs
      Watch my timelapse video, there are very few show stopping bugs. Taking care while constructing my classes helped immensely with this.
  • Finishing
      The last game I did was in Hypercard nearly 20 years ago. Tic-tac-toe. I’m proud that I was able to finish with something playable.
  • Own Webserver – Semi-Live Stream
      On the VM host I was able to use the timelapse software to create screen shots as I worked. Those were saved on a network drive and shared via webpage as I was going along. This semi-live stream kept my server from dying (even though there was over 2 GB of files downloaded) while people were watching. There’s something to be said for owning the entire chain.
  • Sleep/Food
      Typically I get 6 hours of sleep. I got 7 each night during the Ludum Dare. I know my brain was in over drive as my body kept yelling “Consume All The FOOD!” I was able to finish without coffee or any soda with caffeine. Beer did help as well at night to settle things down.

The Bad

  • Following the Theme
      I had an awesome idea for parallel worlds/companion that I would have loved to do. Maybe next time.
  • Content Generation
      I can’t draw to save my life. I can’t make sounds/music. I focused on the core game play as a result. The screenshot doesn’t look as interesting as most entries.
  • Visual Studio 2012
      Microsoft hasn’t changed Visual Studio much in the past years. They haven’t fixed the bug where the tool generates a 32-bit icon it can’t edit. What’s worse, the default color pallet for the icon editor is all shades of gray, with no standard 8 bit pallet provided. Intellisense stopped working. You’d think after 7 years they could get this right.
  • Lack of Experience
      I haven’t done a lot of game design, so this was tough in many ways for me.
  • Food
      I needed more variety in my food choices. It would have made me much happier.
  • Time/Features
      I had to drop a major feature that would have helped a lot with the game. The bi-annual fair, which was supposed to give the player money and help them see their progress. I just couldn’t do it in time.

I Almost Soiled My Trousers When…

  • .Net 3.5 + SFML + VirtualBox
      I was using a 32-bit version of Windows 7. I had to submit my entry a few hours early due to another engagement. Right before I submit I tried my game on the host OS. It crashes with no information. I bring up the event viewer and see that SFML had an invalid image exception. Invalid Image? I’m not using the image library. WTF? Then it hits me. My host is 64 bit and the VM is 32. The invalid image exception isn’t related to media at all, it is the dll image. I quickly force my project to build in 32 bit mode. That diving catch prevented many other headaches later on.

Wrap Up and Challenge

Posted by (twitter: @Guardian_Bob)
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 9:58 pm

So I did it. First time too. I know the splash screen isn’t flashy. But don’t let that keep you from trying it out and giving me feedback. Heck I could use all the help I can get.

As for my thoughts on VS 2012, it is pretty. Once you get the menus to quit shouting at you and you get past the UI it is the same VS you know and love/loathe.

You can watch all ~45 hours of development here:

Just the days with the sleeping cut out:

(Yes I still need to add some audio…)

My challenge is to play and rate 10% of the submitted games. I’m really going to try for that.

Done… Video Later Tonight

Posted by (twitter: @Guardian_Bob)
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 5:05 pm

Got my game done: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-24/?action=preview&uid=15211

I’ll have the video tonight, I have a family thing to attend now.

6 Hours To Go, Pretty Darn Close

Posted by (twitter: @Guardian_Bob)
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 12:01 pm

I have something that would be playable… Just needs some polish and a scoring system. I’m feeling pretty darn good given this is my first Ludum Dare.

My semi-live screen shot stream is still running, will make a video once I’m done.

see it at http://www.kins-home.net/ludum/

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