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Ludum Dare 29
 
MiniLD 50
 
Ludum Dare 28
 
MiniLD 46
 
Ludum Dare 27
 
Ludum Dare 26
 
Ludum Dare 26 Warmup
 
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Nearly 100 rated, some favourites

Posted by
Monday, December 29th, 2014 11:10 am

I can’t believe that LD31 is almost over. I’ve managed to rate nearly 100 games, and wanted to highlight some of my favourites that you might not have heard of:

Coward” by tomdeal

Laundry Day” by Omiya Games

Ludum Dare Pinball” by iShadow

Octorope” by OctoTeam

Bad Television” by bitslap_

Helga Kills Everything” by mutatedsoftware

Gray Grid” by Pixelsalt

Also, if you haven’t had a chance to play Network Programming, my game about a man escaping from inside the TV, then you can give it a try here:
Network Programming

What are people saying about it?

“Wonderful trash!” – talecrafter

“Looks cool” – error031

“I actually beat the game and feel very proud about it.” – Crushenator

“Haha best audio” – skonkan

The Creature Below Post-Compo version 1 is up!

Posted by
Sunday, May 11th, 2014 7:28 am

I have to fly somewhere tomorrow, but I wanted to make sure I got at least a partial Post-Compo version up of The Creature Below before I left! There are still a lot of cosmetic changes I want to make, but I got around to some of them, and fixed plenty of bugs as well.

creature_post01

Bask in the fact that you now face the correct direction on KEYUP events, that you can see what new item you received, and that your health actually refills to full when you die! Plus, a much-requested change: The Creature takes longer to kill you.

Still didn’t quite get around to that death animation. It will happen! I promise!

A Riddle

Posted by
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 6:39 am

What do you get when you cross this: linkwith this?????
blubba

creature_progress01
“AHHHHH!!!! GET AWAY FROM ME!!!”

I’m in!

Posted by
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 7:39 pm

I’ll be using Python and Pygame, GIMP, Aseprite, MilkyTracker, Audacity and BFXR as usual.

This’ll be my fifth time in the LD, though only the third where I’ve been able to devote the whole weekend to it. The last two times were rush jobs–one done in a hotel room in transit, and the other in the final hour of the jam after being filmed all weekend.

I’ve improved a lot in the last year or so, though my polish skills suck so you wouldn’t know it. I did finish a demake of Gravity Rush for MiniLD 50 recently that I’m mildly proud of, and you can play that here!

I’m not super jazzed about too many of the final themes, but we’ll see what we end up with! I’ve always been able to make do.

Vertigo – my MiniLD 50 entry updated!

Posted by
Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 7:45 am

MiniLD 50 was a blast, and I had a lot of fun demaking the PSVita’s Gravity Rush. But the version of Vertigo I submitted by the MiniLD deadline was really unpolished. So, since I had some spare time this week, I updated it!
vertigo01
No promises of actual good quality, but Vertigo now includes:
-A non-placeholder character sprite!
-Nearly 15 seconds of music!
-Some sounds and a cheesy pixel effect!
-Better level design and collision!

Collect enough gems to increase your power and escape the level! 80-something should be enough, but there are over 130 gems scattered across a very wide map.
You can give it a try here. Let me know what you think!

MiniLD 50: Demaking Gravity Rush

Posted by
Sunday, April 6th, 2014 8:05 am

I can’t believe I missed the MiniLD 50 announcement earlier! Demakes is such an exciting theme to work with. I would have loved to have jumped on the bandwagon weeks ago.

Luckily, it looks like submissions will be open for another day or so, so I decided to polish my collision detection and platformer skills and demake Gravity Rush, one of the PlayStation Vita’s most unique games.

I’ve decided the best way to go about this demake is to strip out everything except the gem collecting aspect. Collect enough gems and you’ll have the power to escape the map by flying (or rather, “falling”) upwards through a narrow vertical shaft. I got all of the gravity mechanics and collision detection in place this evening. The player can float in place, fall in any of four directions, and walk and jump normally on walls and ceilings, so long as the power bar isn’t depleted.

The art is placeholder-y right now, but here’s a gif of it in action, with the player’s sprite pointing the direction gravity is currently directed:
vertigo_progress01

I work tomorrow, so I won’t have too much time before the deadline, but I have some of the world designed on paper, and if I can implement that, then I’ll try and make a nicer player sprite.

Post-mortem-ish: LD28 Failures and Christmas Cookies

Posted by
Monday, January 6th, 2014 7:55 am

This was my fourth LD and usually I’d write a bit more about what I made and the design process behind it. But this time around, I’m…disappointed? Embarrassed? I made my entry, “Christmas Cookies” in the final 62 minutes of the Jam and while I’m impressed with my ability to make something–anything!–in such a short amount of time, the game is obviously thrown together. It doesn’t have sound, a title screen or a game over screen. There was almost no testing and no balancing to speak of. I wish I could have made the game I wanted to make.

The game I wanted to make, as soon as the theme was announced, was The Legend of Gas-stache and His Fragile Propulsion Device. What a title! What a concept! What level design! A puzzle-platformer where the player could only jump once…in the entire game. I sketched out the concept while at work: a famous jumping hero named Mr. Mustache is cursed and turns semi-corporeal. He can no longer jump by his own power, except by using a propulsion device his kidnapped brother left behind. He must use other techniques, including his newfound ability to turn into liquid or gas and melt through floors, to navigate through a castle and rescue his brother. I sketched the first ten levels at work and made sure that every level included spots that would try to trick the player into using his only jump, or convenient shortcuts. As soon as I got home, I rushed to start coding gravity and collision detection.

And then something I couldn’t have imagined happened: a national TV station contacted me about appearing in their New Years TV special, and they’ve already received a permit to film at my workplace, could I come in early on Monday?

To say that this turned my life upside down was an understatement. That week I was filmed for 40 hours, and 15 of those were during Ludum Dare 28. There simply wasn’t time to sit down and work on a game. As soon as I heard the schedule, I shelved The Legend of Gas-stache, and any plans for any other game, immediately. But Tuesday morning rolled around, and as I was biking home from an early-morning shoot, I realized that I’d arrive home with an hour to spare before the Jam ended! I plotted out the simplest idea I could think of during the ride, walked in the door and plunked down to code as fast as I could. Christmas Cookies was born.

I hated the idea of using the theme to create a game where you only get one life or hit point or whatever, but I had to run with the simplest concept possible. Your spouse is baking Christmas Cookies for a party, and you’re allowed to have one. You try to work, but the smell and thoughts of delicious cookies keep getting in the way of your work…literally, in this case.

As soon as the game was submitted, I jotted down a list of stuff I wanted to improve upon in a post-compo version: title and game over screens, more cookies in different shapes and sizes, better graphics, sound, and maybe a little background tune, like a chiptune Jingle Bells, ANYTHING. But the filming schedule swamped me and I spent the time after recovering and fielding phone calls about more details. Then it was Christmas, and New Years, and the rest is history. I hardly even had time or energy to rate games this time around. I became that person who barely rates anything–a person I never wanted to be.

Though it won’t be seasonal anymore, I do want to touch up Christmas Cookies, if only because I hate submitting something in that state. Assuming more TV shenanigans don’t happen, though, I’ll be back to regular form for LD 29!

I made something, somehow!

Posted by
Monday, December 16th, 2013 7:59 pm

I can’t believe I pulled off something at the last minute!
I had the very best intentions of making something cool. My design was going to be based around the idea of “You Only Get One Jump.” It would have been a puzzle platformer where you can only jump once in the entire game, and need to use other tricks to get where you’re going, like riding elevators or melting through floors.

But then, suddenly, I got recruited for a New Years television special and had a camera crew following me around! The first day of the jam I had to prepare, and then for the last couple days I’ve been filmed and had to go a bunch of places. Yesterday I was on camera for 13 hours, so sitting down to make a game was not posssible.

This morning I had to go do more filming early in the morning, but as I was biking home I realized I’d arrive home at 10am and would have a whole hour to spare! YES!
So I threw something together in the final hour. Is it good? No, but it’s something! Hooray for making something! It’s called Christmas Cookies and you can play it here!

So hacky

Posted by
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 9:46 am

Last LD I managed to pull out a game after three hours of coding in a hotel room with my sister animating sprites, which she’d never done before, in between hectic travel connections. After an experience like that, I started to think that the only thing only a catastrophic life event would stop me from making SOMETHING, anything.

This time, due to unexpected but pleasant life events, I’m…off to a really bad start. I may have to throw in the towel this time.

I have really hacky gravity, really hacky collision detection, and no real graphics or sound to go with my cool idea yet.

I’ll be busy tomorrow, but we’ll see what I can manage. I’ll sleep on some back-up ideas and see if I can come up with something simpler.

Yeaaaaah, Shark Jam!

Posted by
Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 7:51 am

Shark-themed Jam?
Hell yes, I am in.
shark_motorcycle
Maybe this guy will be in my game?
I haven’t decided yet. Sharks! There are so many possibilities!

We’re in!

Posted by
Friday, August 23rd, 2013 5:56 pm

Whoa the thing starts in like seven minutes, so here’s me saying I’m in!

Or rather, we’re in. Usually I enter the Compo, but LD27 just happens to fall on a weekend where my sister has spent copious amounts of money and time to come halfway around the world and visit. So I decided I wouldn’t spend 48 hours parked in front of my laptop while she’s here.
So, she’ll help me make something simple, and we’ll enter the Jam and get a little extra time.

I’ll be using Python and Pygame to write the code, she’ll be creating assets out of whatever we decide to cobble together.

My Top 5 Picks

Posted by
Sunday, May 19th, 2013 6:04 pm

There is so much talent in this LD it’s not even funny, and it’s sad that I won’t be able to play even a fraction of the amazing-looking games out there. Here are my lesser-known favourites after rating 100 games:

The absolute unquestionable champion:

SPACE TEST 48 – lazybraingames
SPACE TEST 48

At present, only 14 people have rated this game, and that is a crime. This game is so jaw-droppingly good at everything, from the audio and the humor to the phenomenal gameplay. It’s looks like an alien shooter, but plays like something else altogether, an amazing blend of puzzles, dodging and multitasking. Play this game.
Seriously, play this game.
Did you hear me? Just stop right now and go play this one. You don’t even need to read the rest of the list. It’s amazing. I promise.

Runner up:

*Humorous Title!* – Graf_Grun

Humorous Title

Pass through holes in the tunnel without hitting walls…and after you’re done, level different aspects of the game up or down to change the experience! Add colour! Make the geometry more difficult to perceive! Make the shapes simple or jack up the gameplay to make the corridor rotate!

Other awesome games:

SLEEP! we have a long way to go – NicoJaujou
SLEEP
This one actually made me sleepy. It has a wonderful atmosphere.

Add Removal – StuStutheBloo

Add Removal

This is a creative and tricky puzzle game, where you subtract colours from images to find secret codes.

Tokyo Minimaley Land – junt74
Tokyo Minimaley Land

A minigame collection of games themed around different Disneyland attractions, with tiny sprites of famous characters to match. This one had really tight theming and creative games, including a breakout where you control the ball instead of paddle.

———————
I hope you give all of those a try. I haven’t seen them highlighted yet and I believe they deserve the attention.
If you’re interested, you can also check out my game, Priorities. De-clutter your life by clicking objects to free them from your mind! I wrote a postmortem here.

Priorities Postmortem

Posted by
Saturday, May 18th, 2013 5:32 pm

This postmortem is a little late because I’ve had company over, but I’d like to take a look back on my entry, Priorities.

Priorities title screen

Priorities turned out a lot more thoughtful and meaningful than what I usually make. One player described it as “exceedingly artsy,” which I though you had to be deliberately trying to do to achieve, but here we are. Let’s see what went right and wrong:

Priorities

The Good:
-The metaphor seems to resonate with people. When the theme was announced, I didn’t want to make something that just looked simple. Minimalism is a movement for communicating ideas, so I wanted to make a game that communicated SOMETHING. I’ve done a lot of reading about stress, success and perseverance lately, so after about two hours of thought, I decided to try to combine minimalism in the artistic sense (simplistic elements) with minimalism in more of a zen-living sense. I know I’m not the only person out there who would love to cut a whole bunch of crap out of their life!

-Discovering while developing. I learned some new things, but I was especially pleased with some of the deductions I was able to make while prototyping and playtesting. Originally, the squares would have been five different colours, and looking at the labels would tell you which things you want to get rid of. After a run at this, I found that the action ground to a halt. The reading sucked the energy out of the game, so I replaced some of the colors with black squares that were obviously time-sucking stuff like Farmville and Internet trolls, so players could tell at a glance what absolutely HAD to go, and then could examine the other things more closely later. Bigger squares originally also took more clicks to destroy, but I scrapped that to speed up the gameplay and give players fingers a break.

-The music. This was my first time composing music, and I’m pleased with the results. I used Milkytracker and some free piano samples, and tried to mimic Philip Glass, a minimalist composer. To the person in the IRC channel who encouraged me to keep going when I was discouraged: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

-Low-stress development. Last time, when I made Build-a-Bandit for LD25, it was my first original game ever. I was up until wee hours in the morning trying to cram in interface bits, figure out the intricacies of my spriting program, and wrestling with packaging the whole thing up in an exe file. This time, with about ten other small projects under my belt, (including my warm-up game, Gotta Groove!), I was able to get things up and running much more quickly.

Priorities

The Bad:

-The scoring system. With so many players getting negative scores (often six or seven digits!), I wish I had changed the scoring system to something like a stress percentage. Then the goal would be to reduce your stress to 10% or less, instead of playing for three minutes only to discover you have negative 800000 points.

-Fun. I swore that this time, if nothing else, I would try to make something fun, after a somewhat dismal Fun ranking for Build-a-Bandit. At least it has some other redeeming qualities, but I don’t think Priorities is very fun, when everything is said and done. I definitely made it more fun throughout the course of development, but ultimately, I don’t expect people to have a blast playing it. Maybe that’s OK?

-The balance. I spent the last six hours of my development time begging for playtesters on IRC and didn’t really get the sample size that I wanted. I was acing the game every time, but a lot of testers first said they wound up with solid walls of black, and then found it easier on subsequent tries. Come deadline time, I cut all the spawn rates by about 10% and prayed it would work out.

Priorities is set up in such a way that it is either laughably easy, or hopelessly difficult. The way that the total number of squares influences how fast squares grow and spawn made it possible to completely screw yourself by taking care of too many big things while neglecting small things, or by taking lots of time deciding what to get rid of instead of ruthlessly triaging. Since it is all metaphorical for the stress we cart around via our to-do-lists and bad habits, and succeeding depends on doing something true to real life, I don’t know if I would change the mechanics given the chance, but I do wish that the balance wouldn’t tip so extremely to either side.

There are a few other changes I would make. I want to put a border around the squares so they don’t all fuse into a big blob as they get larger, and though you could argue that this too is metaphorical, it would be nice if squares didn’t spawn under other squares.

Overall, I’m happy with how Priorities turned out, and I hope you give it a try!
I’m also very proud of my warmup entry, Gotta Groove!, so if you want to smash your keyboard a bit, check that out too.

My help screen: decent or super crappy?

Posted by
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 3:46 am

Since the theme is minimalism, I tried to avoid wordy help explanations. But this…might be crappy?
priorities_crappyhelpscreen

Gameplay shot:
priorities_gameplay01

I’m finished except for balancing the rate of new objects appearing and how the score is calculated, but I can’t do it alone. If anyone could give Priorities a try and let me know their final score (positive and negative), it would be a HUGE help!

Download here

Well, that was unexpected…

Posted by
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 8:59 pm

What on earth is going on here?
priorities_wtfscreen

I switched my coloured squares to simple shapes like hearts and people, but when the game scales them up, they start distorting and growing weird appendages! Anyone know what’s going on?

I was looking forward to applying some new code with these images, but the images themselves aren’t really doing well in the game, even without the weird distortions. Maybe I’ll switch back to squares and put symbols in the middle instead?

Changing names and gears with Priorities

Posted by
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 2:10 am

After humming and hawing about the theme for an hour, I said I’d work on a fallback project if I didn’t think of something on a trip to the grocery store. Not one minute out my door, the idea for a game called “Many 2 One” popped into my head. I’m going to go ahead and rename it “Priorities.”
priorities_devscreen1
No, it won’t be random squares, that’s just placeholder programmer art.

The idea was to purge a lot of things from screens representing different facets of life, to lower stress, and letting players pick what their priorities are in life. The basic gameplay was pretty fun, until I added pop-up labels to the squares. Suddenly, the reading and thinking slowed the fun to a standstill.

So after my trip to the gym, I’m going to switch things up a bit. The labels will be less important because I’ll indicate fleeting, unimportant responsibilities and time-sucking facets of life by using black squares. I’ll cut the number of coloured squares by a lot, so if and only if players have triaged enough crap out of their lives, then they can start picking and choosing what valuable things they want to focus on.

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