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A late “I’m in”

Posted by (twitter: @jens_n)
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 1:28 pm

We (@urahziel and me) are joining the Jam.

Tech will be in C#, using DirectX and my private “Engine” :D

It will be a minimalistic space game. I would love to tell you more, but I am a bit in a hurry due to the late start.

I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @jens_n)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 5:40 am

I’m joining the jam!

Tech: C#, DX11-only, existing helper classes

My calculator says a city of about 1000 individual citizens (consisting of two legs and arms, a body and a head) and a goat should be doable on current hardware, so let’s build a city-crushing game :D

No idea if that’s doable in time, so lets get coding!

Planet Gravity

Posted by (twitter: @jens_n)
Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 7:13 pm

Yeah… Somehow I managed to not write the final status update until now :D

I will give you a summary of my weekend instead.


I joined the Jam 24 hours late due to some real life (well, university) work. The original plan was to work through the weekend, but when seeing the theme “Tiny World” I was in love and just had to hurry up to be able to join.

To get a overview I did a short sketch on the whiteboard . It was a “planet” – a circle with a house on the side and a tree on the top. I decided to skip over to coding. My motivation obviously came from “building a planet”. Making a game was really secondary on this jam, my interest was art-, style- and tech-related.

After posting an on this blog I started modelling a simple planet. Then I wrote the first version of the force field and added greyscale shading (greyscale because I had no motivation to teach my obj-loader to import materials).

The state at the end of the day:

The next day I fixed the loading of colors and almost instantly went back to greyscale because it looked like a plastic world (though fixing payed in the end when I had to emphasize the gameplay-relevant items). I still had about twelve hours to go. Time to implement shadow mapping! The light shining through the planet was really annoying and I already wanted to play with it for some months.

8 hours before the deadline Nick (@urahziel) visited to look at my progress and decided to join me. A three hour break later (last chance to make a break :D) we returned to work, this time with a game design idea (credits to Nick) and the motivation to implement it – knowing that I would get a model from a skilled modeler really gave me a push. Though I still had to finish the shadow mapping first. I just had to do it :D

The story ends with last-hour-gameplay-implementation and last-minute balancing. So last-minute I actually forgot to fix the game name on the title screen from “Tiny World” to “Planet Gravity” (though I silently fixed the download before anyone could notice :>).

What to take for the next ludum dare? I had no idea what to expect from this jam. If I had known how good the perception of the game would be (based on the current comments) and I would definitely have saved some of the long breaks and taken this project more seriously from the beginning.

I will definitly keep the nine hours of sleep on the last night. Being wide awake during the final stressful hours was super-helpful and I can absolutely recommend it.

So that’s it. Let me finally I invite you to play Planet Gravity!

24h progress report

Posted by (twitter: @jens_n)
Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 4:04 pm

I started about 24h late into the jam, so this is my ~24h-progress-report.

  • The capsule (which hopefully will be replaced with a player model later) can walk- and jump around the tiny world. Fixing the camera and orienting the capsule towards the gravity took more hours than expected…
  • Physics support for climbing on the house (and other arbitrary geometry) as well as pushing boxes around.
  • Basic shading, as it can be seen in the screenshot. Figured out far too late that my actual lighting-code was actually correct but I had generated inverted surface normals (and a far too low specular exponent to conceal the fact).
I am pretty happy with the result. Hey, I can walk around on a planet!

Next up:

  • Colors? No motivation to fix the importer, but random colors don’t seem to fit…
  • It still needs some kind of gameplay. I’m in the “I have some vague ideas”-stage :D
  • Shadow mapping would be awesome! (I don’t need gameplay if my graphics are good, right? :-p)

Better late than never!

Posted by (twitter: @jens_n)
Saturday, April 21st, 2012 3:45 pm

Just finished what I had to do for university, so I am joining my first LD :)

The frameworks of my choice:

  • C# / .Net 4.0
  • SharpDX to access DirectX 11 (probably DX10-level hardware support)
  • BepuPhysics – Awesome .Net physics library
  • Some DX initialization- and buffer management code I can fork from another project

My tools:

  • Visual Studio
  • Sublime Text 2 (for HLSL shader code)
  • 3ds-Max

First up: Create a tiny planet (a sphere), get the character controller to work with the planetary gravity and – maybe I should begin here – write a shader so I can see the planet.

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