About incobalt (twitter: @incobalt)

I'm just a simple guy who enjoys making games. I also study games at school. I used to be all about writing fiction, but games have been more important to me, so now I'm interested in games (and their narratives).


Ludum Dare 37
Ludum Dare 34
Ludum Dare 33
Ludum Dare 32
MiniLD #53
Ludum Dare 28
Ludum Dare 22
Ludum Dare 22 Warmup

incobalt's Trophies

incobalt's Archive

Emily: Compo Reflections

Posted by (twitter: @incobalt)
Wednesday, December 14th, 2016 9:16 pm

I hope everyone had a good Ludum Dare! It looks like we made quite a few games this past weekend :) I enjoyed myself, and I thought I would make a reflection post on my entry, “Emily”.

Emilty Title Screen

Now, while I like my own entry and think I did good work over the weekend, I am going to probably rake my entry over the coals. This is with the intention of improving on the design and looking to the future. Play it over here if you want to try it out before reading on.


Having Trouble With “One Room”?

Posted by (twitter: @incobalt)
Friday, December 9th, 2016 9:09 pm

If you’re having trouble thinking up an idea for “One Room”, you’re not alone. Yesterday, I made a post about what you can do to make the theme work for you. Here it is. If you’re thinking of quitting the compo over the theme, check out my post first. The theme’s there to help you! Let’s go make some games!

What to Do When the Announced Theme Isn’t Working for You

Posted by (twitter: @incobalt)
Thursday, December 8th, 2016 11:04 pm

It’s inevitable. When the theme is announced, more than a handful of people don’t know what to do with it. The theme might be too esoteric or vague. The theme might be too restrictive. It could suggest a particular kind of game, and that’s not the kind of game they want to make. Maybe they just simply don’t like the theme. We’re a diverse community, and so the theme doesn’t work right away with every one of us. This was me when “An Unconventional Weapon” was announced for LD 32. If this is you, this post is here to help you work through the theme so you can get to working on your game. Don’t give up at the start because you don’t like the theme! Remember, Ludum Dare is about making a game. The theme is there to help. This post is meant to be encouraging and helpful. (more…)

It’s Full of Stars – Post Compo Thoughts

Posted by (twitter: @incobalt)
Monday, December 14th, 2015 9:06 am

After submitting around noon yesterday, followed by emergency sleep and even more emergency grading, I’m finally going to make a post talking about my compo entry.

It’s Full of Stars – Play Here

So, I’ve been in a bit of a design slump, working on a long solo project. My last two LD entries weren’t very exciting and I’d felt really down after them. This time, though, Ludum Dare was just what I needed. I’m happy and a bit proud of what I made, even if it’s not really all that amazing. I had fun making this little thing and I really feel like I know what I’m doing (even if I don’t). I’m even happy with the music, and I hate every bit of music I’ve made.

It’s Full of Stars is a result of constantly being asked where my work is positioned, who I’m connected to as an artist (I’m in an MFA program) and all these things when I really just want to make things that mean something. There’s also been a lot of talk about constellations lately, so I decided to make something with that.

I went the easy route with two-button controls, and made it mouse-based. If the theme had been *just* two-button controls, I’d have tried to make a pun of the theme like I do with a lot of them (after grumbling a lot about prescriptive mechanics not being a theme). Growing was really the focus of the game, but I wanted to incorporate both themes. We’re probably never going to have this happen again, so might as well, right?

I really wanted to pass an image out to WebGL and let people save their constellations. This is easy for the Windows build, but I was too tired when I was figuring it out to try more than once to get the extra JavaScript working.  The other thing I regret about this project is that I couldn’t figure out a good way of making it more gamey. It ended up being a bit more like something you play with. Adding in “society moves” was my way of doing something towards this. The mechanic with this is that as your constellation gets bigger, and the further you reach to add a star to the constellation, the more likely “society” will notice and add something to your constellation. So if you keep things small and close to home, you might not get noticed, but you can’t make something that looks good or says what you want it to say. If you reach out and try to make something, then you’re more likely to get noticed and for people to make up connections that you wouldn’t yourself. Other ways I could have done it would have been to try to match a particular constellation as closely as possible, or something like that, but this would require some image comparison concepts that I don’t even want to comprehend, or making this into a set of puzzles with specific set star locations. I didn’t really like either option. I’m open to ideas for gamey elements to consider.

Anyway, if you want, check it out! I’ve also got a video of a full play of it below.

Follow the Sun – A Ludum Dare Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @incobalt)
Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 9:50 pm

In this postmortem, there are a bunch of things that I want to hit upon. First I’ll give a description of the game. Then I’m going to talk about the theme of the game vs. the theme of the competition. Then I’m going to go into what I couldn’t do due to time running out, and what I couldn’t do due to lack of skill. Finally, I’ll talk about my general experience making Follow the Sun. Suffice it to say this postmortem will ruin part of the game for you if you haven’t played it. If you don’t want to get story-spoiled, play it first before reading on!

About Follow the Sun

Follow the Sun is a short, 3D game where the player controls a child charged with rescuing the king. At the start of the game, the main character, a child named Kayin, sees the face of the king in the sun, asking Kayin to save him from the corruption that has befallen the land. To do this, the king uses the last of his strength to grant Kayin a power to cleanse the corruption, but it will only last until night falls. The implied goal is to make your way to the king, killing the red corruption along the way by using the granted power.


Into the Dark for You: A Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @incobalt)
Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 1:12 pm

Finally I am getting around to writing a postmortem for “Into the Dark for You”.  ITDFY can be obtained here. It is recommended that you play it, if you can, before reading too far as I’m just about to ruin the whole game for you.


Into the Dark for You – Submitted!

Posted by (twitter: @incobalt)
Sunday, December 18th, 2011 4:39 pm

I submitted my first ever Ludum Dare entry: Into the Dark for You!  I’m really glad that I decided to do one this time. It was a great experience, knowing what I can do in just two days 😀


Here have a screenshot:


24 Hours Down

Posted by (twitter: @incobalt)
Saturday, December 17th, 2011 7:17 pm

After 24 hours, I have something that resembles the whole of the game.  The remaining hours will just be for polish and adding features.  Really happy with myself at this point 😀


The latest demo can be found here.



First Playable Demo

Posted by (twitter: @incobalt)
Saturday, December 17th, 2011 3:00 pm

I haven’t named the game yet; it will come to me eventually. What I have, though, is the first playable demo of my entry available for all to play.  It has mostly all the mechanics in place, the rest is just some map magic.  You can get it here.



Enjoy and if you encounter anything super strange, let me know :)

End of Day One for me

Posted by (twitter: @incobalt)
Saturday, December 17th, 2011 4:20 am

Well, I’m rounding out the day here.  I’m surprised how well this is coming along for me (I had doubts)!  Here’s what’s going on so far:


So far it’s just a simple tile engine with some map transitions and tile-to-tile movement. I used TileStudio to make the tiles and maps and used the code generator to make (old style) Allegro code. Then I just gutted it for what was important to me (the map tile placement data) and went from there.  At nine hours in, I think I’m doing alright for myself.  Time to go get my six hours and then back to the grind :)

LD #22: I’m In!

Posted by (twitter: @incobalt)
Sunday, November 20th, 2011 8:18 pm

I’m going to try my hand at this.  It will be my first LD entry.  I expect I might fail 😛  Already requested the 16th off from work 😀

I program in C++, and I think I’m going to stick with using my old standby of Allegro.  As far as I can tell that’s allowed?

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