About HeyChinaski (twitter: @HeyChinaski)


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HeyChinaski's Archive

Miner Matter

Posted by (twitter: @HeyChinaski)
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 6:53 pm

I did it! I turned the simple physics concept into a game! I’m pretty happy with this one.  The pace of the game is a lot slower than I originally planned.  It’s pretty hard to have things all your own way when it comes to physics libraries.  The game is pretty fun, I think. It takes a lot of patience to keep the carts from spilling everywhere but you can’t go too slowly as there is a timer on each level.



The graphics turned out OK.  I think they’re a bit grungier than I would have liked but our hero is down a mine after all.


I didn’t have time to add a lot of polish I would have liked:

  • A roof to the mine
  • Support struts
  • Sparks while braking
  • Other minecart trains whooshing around in the background
  • Parallax scroll
  • Any sound whatsoever

But that is always the case when I enter LD :)



Here’s the submission page if you want to try it out


Placeholder art

Posted by (twitter: @HeyChinaski)
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 7:11 am

Spent the morning plumbing in images.  All placeholder for now.  I should really start with images from the beginning rather than just drawing primitives.7

Still need someone to drive this crazy minecart train! And something to put in the carts …



I’m in

Posted by (twitter: @HeyChinaski)
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 8:52 pm

Started a bit late (about 10 hours ago) but I’m in.  I’m going for a minecart game where the aim is to traverse the bumpy mine rail road without spilling all the gems you’ve worked hard to mine.


I’m using Java with Java2d and JBox2d.  I’m also using engie, a small 2D engine I wrote in Java for doing LD entries.

I’ve spent most of the time so far (literally hours) optimising and tuning the physics.  If I’d imagined it would have been so time consuming I perhaps would have hacked together my own sketchy physics code, although perhaps that would have taken even longer.

Building the terrain from splines and then converting it into discrete concave polygons for JBox2D was a fun challenge.


I guess I’m pretty behind schedule.  There’s still no art whatsoever so I’ll have to slap something together pretty quickly tomorrow.  Then there’s actually building in a win condition and tuning the level difficulties.  First – sleep!


Posted by (twitter: @HeyChinaski)
Monday, December 16th, 2013 3:31 pm


I didn’t make a post last night when I finished so here’s one now.  Singulus is finished and I’m pretty happy with it.

There is Only One sword and Only One shield to be shared around the gladiators.  You use the arrow keys to move and space to fire.  Aiming is automatic, it locks on to the nearest player.

Click Here to Play It and the entry is here.

The gameplay is simple but quite fun andthe graphics aren’t too bad.  The sound is pretty basic (bfxr) and I couldn’t find the motivation to make some music despite having plenty of time.  Perhaps next time if I’m better practised with the right tool I’ll feel more inclined.  It’s just always an afterthought for me during LD.

Perhaps I could have tweaked the gameplay a bit more (size of the arena, speed of the players etc.)  I’m not sure if it’s optimal as it is.  Some people complain that the sword is too hard to dodge although I have to say that is the point.  The aim should be to get another player between you and the guy with the sword or grab the shield to protect yourself.

I achieved things a few things that I’d never done before with this game:

Made a networked multiplayer game. 

I used nodejs for the server and communicated with the client via websockets.  There’re a lot of things I probably did wrong technically.  For example the network messages are very inefficient and there’s no client side simulation so when there is lag the game just freezes up.  However the result is a reasonably playable game.

There’s also no limit on the number of players.  I’m not sure how the game would play if a lot of people joined at once.  It seems like 4-6 players is about the optimal number.  Thanks so much to everyone who helped playtest the game over the weekend.  It’s hard to work solo on a multiplayer game so the few times people volunteered their time to help me test were very useful.

Made some AI well balanced and smart enough to substitute for human players.

I knew when I started that a multiplayer game would be tricky because there often wouldn’t be enough people online playing it to be enjoyable.  I didn’t think I’d be able to make bots which wouldn’t either be so smart that they were unbeatable or so dumb that they’d be a walkover.  It seems like you always get one of these extremes when building AI.  However these guys seems pretty well balanced.  It’s lucky the bots worked out because I discovered playing with less than 3 people is pretty dull.  Now the bots make sure there are always at least 3 “players” at once at all times but they log off again once there are at least 3 human players.

Here’s the link to Play It Again


A Crowd. A Shield!

Posted by (twitter: @HeyChinaski)
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 10:27 am

I fixed some bugs and added a crowd to watch the gladiators.  I also added (only one) shield.  As long as you hold the shield the sword can’t hurt you.



It’s multiplayer so you can help me playtest it here:


Move with the arrow keys, fire with the spacebar.  The aim of the game is to grab the sword (You Only Get One) before anyone else and fire it at another player.  Aiming is automatic. First person to a score of 5 wins.

Make sure to click on the canvas to give it keyboard focus … need to fix that :)


Posted by (twitter: @HeyChinaski)
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 8:34 am

I added some AI players for when there are no other humans online.  The challenge was making them beatable.  I think it’s fairly well balanced


As always, I could do with some help playtesting:


Move with the arrow keys, fire with the spacebar.  The aim of the game is to grab the sword (You Only Get One) before anyone else and fire it at another player.  Aiming is automatic. First person to a score of 5 wins.



Posted by (twitter: @HeyChinaski)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 8:11 pm

I’ve mostly been tweaking the graphics:

This is what it looked like hours ago:


And now:


I’ve gone with a gladiator theme.  I’m pretty happy with it.  It’s multiplayer so I’d really appreciate some help testing if anyone has a second:


Arrow keys to move, spacebar to shoot (if you have the sword).  Aiming is automatic.



First post

Posted by (twitter: @HeyChinaski)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 3:50 pm

A little late I’m afraid.  Here’s a screenshot:



The art is pretty poor and the gameplay is really simple.  It’s multiplayer though so it would be awesome if people could jump on and help me test it real quick:


Arrow keys and spacebar.  The aim is to shoot each other with the bullet (white square). There’s only one of them.   Aiming is automatic.

I’m using:

Javascript/canvas for the front end.

node for the backend

Sublime text for editing

Inkscape for graphics.



Posted by (twitter: @HeyChinaski)
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 5:25 pm


It’s called “Professor Power and Powerbot”.

I’ve been a bit less communal this time I’m afraid.  Few blog posts, no screen capture and less reading of other peoples posts than usual.  Sorry about that, will make up for it when it comes to rating!

I’m pretty happy with this entry :)  It contains a lot more polish than my previous entries and it’s nice to get away from the pixel art motif I usually end up with.  It seems to chug a bit on a Mac but otherwise it runs fairly well.

It’s all written in Javascript using the canvas element.  I used Sublime Text 2 for editing, Chrome for debugging, Inkscape for graphics, bfxr for sound and Sunvox for the music.  Sunvox was awesome, I hope no one is too annoyed at my clunky music (you can turn it off in the game).


I made a level editor this time.  It’s one of those things that you think will consume more time to build than it will save but in this case it worked great.  I think it helped with design immensely.


There’s some really tricky and (I hope fun) gameplay in there.  Whilst I’m not a huge fan of HTML/javascript etc. it was great for quickly hacking together the editor.


Anyway here’s my entry

Here’s the source

And here’s the game.


A long day

Posted by (twitter: @HeyChinaski)
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 4:10 pm


I decided to go with a different technology than my usual Java2D applet game.  I was tired of the performance and sound issues that would always appear at the last minute.

I spent most of the time today trying to implement a platform game using Panda3D but I couldn’t get satisfactory results from the collision utilities.  The camera and the player would jitter all over the place.  The player wouldn’t slide off the platforms nicely, whatever combination of solids I tried.  Perhaps I should have spent more time with the engine before this weekend.  At the very least I could have learned that what I’m trying to achieve isn’t feasible.

Having wasted half the day on Panda3D I switched to javascript and canvas.  This comes with its own issues of course.  Pixel art looks awful when scaled and there doesn’t seem to be a way of avoiding the interpolation that takes place short of prescaling all images.  So I’m using larger vector based graphics drawn in Inkscape and exported as pngs.  You can see the results above.

I am a little behind but I have a working mechanic, working collision, a conceit that fits the theme and I’m fairly happy with the graphics I’ve clumsily cobbled together so far. :)



Pilot & Command is Finished!

Posted by (twitter: @HeyChinaski)
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 6:38 pm
Title screen

Title screen

I still need to have one or two final test playthroughs in case there’re any final little bugs but I’m pretty pleased with everything.  I got most of what I wanted done and I think the game is pretty fun to play.  It’s short enough to play through in 5-10 minutes and yet does get challenging towards the end.  It’s possible I’ve made it too hard as I’m so well practised at it from testing.  I often make that mistake.




There were a few things I didn’t get around too, although these really amount to polish.  Animation of the ship when moving up and down and a few simple frames of animation per enemy would have made a huge difference to the feel of the game.  Additionally parallax scrolling on the backgrounds, which I found way too tough due to the way I’d implemented the motion of the ship, would have been awesome as well.  I split up the background tiles in anticipation of achieving parallax but it was too fiddly to get in in the last minute.  It would also have been great to have something that aided the player (such as ground tanks) that could only fire when not affected by the Minimalisation.




You’ll need to have Java to play it

Download the JAR file (recommended)

Play the applet (Performs poorly)

Checkout the source



Not much to report

Posted by (twitter: @HeyChinaski)
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 8:07 am


That is to say, I’ve definitely been productive but I’ve lost track of what’s been done.  I’ve definitely added some more enemies, the ship is nicer to control now too.  Oh yeah, and you can die now too!


New Bad guy

More timelapse.

Getting There

Posted by (twitter: @HeyChinaski)
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 1:23 am



I’ve overhauled the graphics and am fairly happy with the way the look right now.  I also added a structured way of adding events so I can control when dialog/enemies/power ups occur, which is the kind of thing I usually leave to the last minute so it’s good to have it in early.



I still need to do:

  • More enemies
  • Better ship control (maybe)
  • Sound
  • Music
  • Power ups


Here’s the latest timelapse.  It seems when I enter Ludum Dare I end up playing way too much of each game as soon as it’s halfway playable.   I mean more playtime than you can justify as thorough testing, just procrastinating,  I suppose that’s a good sign though?

Change of direction

Posted by (twitter: @HeyChinaski)
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 10:35 am

I couldn’t get satisfactory car physics together.  I was looking like I’d have to spend the rest of the weekend hacking on it or switch to using a physics library to do it (which would take most of the weekend to learn).  I’ve decided to switch to something far less ambitious.  A side scrolling shooter.


The bad guys that you have to shoot are “The minimalisers” and have turned part of the universe into a horrible, minimal line drawing.  You have to push back this “minimalisation” by shooting them down.




It’s a shame that I couldn’t get the driving game working, I suppose I need to learn more about that stuff some other time if I ever want to use the techniques in a Ludum Dare.  I’m happy that I’ll get something finished by the end of the weekend now though.


Posted by (twitter: @HeyChinaski)
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 4:56 am

Man I hate it when people complain about the theme but I have to admit, out of the shortlist, this was my least favourite.  I’ve decided to go with a top down driving sim with minimalist graphics.  I’m having a terrible time getting satisfactory physics on the cars (I was aware that this is very tricky but I had no idea it would be this tough).


Here’s a timelapse of my progress so far:



Anyone know how to embed a Youtube video? I thought it could be done by just pasting the link …

Can’t Wait

Posted by (twitter: @HeyChinaski)
Friday, April 26th, 2013 3:18 pm
11211-shot0 (1)

Astro Gardener, my LD23 entry.

I’m super keen to get started on LD 26, it’ll be my third entry.  Not quite eager enough to stay up past 3am to discover the theme though.  I guess I’ll find out when I wake up tomorrow and get straight to coding.  I’ll be using Java to build the game and a small library I cobbled together from code in previous entries


Tourist Trap, my LD 25 entry.

The library consists of a handful of classes to support development of  simple 2d games using Java2D with rudimentary collision management and playing of sound/music.  Of course if I come up with a game idea that the library can’t support I’ll have to ditch it and code everything from scratch. I think it unlikely I’ll be quite so ambitious.   I’ll be coding in eclipse (in Windows), probably using paint.net for graphics plus bfxr for sound and SunVox for music if I get around to it.

My LD 26 entry!


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