About JoeCool (twitter: @_JoeCool_)

I am developing games since 1994. My first title was Arya Vaiv, a vertical shooter. since then I have worked on a lot of games, but only very few worth mentioning.

LD22 was my second Ludum Dare this time participating with a bunch of great people, especially Guybrush (Andreas). That was a very very fun ride this time!!


Ludum Dare 22
Ludum Dare 21

JoeCool's Trophies

JoeCool's Archive

Four Friends is done…it was a tough ride

Posted by (twitter: @_JoeCool_)
Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 12:07 am

We did it! Team Flare submitted 1 hour before deadline!!

For all besides of myself it was their for first Ludum Dare. Andreas catched a flew yesterdays and stayed awake all night with me to finish things up! Chapeau Andreas that was tough! Thanks to Ralf, Monica (gfx), Miriam and Hanne (sfx) for their great work! A detailed post mortem will follow soon!

Please play and vote here:



Team Flare is in!!!

Posted by (twitter: @_JoeCool_)
Friday, December 16th, 2011 4:27 pm

Hey Ludumdare 22,

my name is JoeCool and I am in again, but this time not on my own! Guybrush a good friend and ninja game designer joined me!

We are going to use:

  • our Brains, hopefully!!
  • AS3, Flixel, Flashdevelop
  • Gimp
  • Sfxr
  • Audacity
  • Musagi

We wish you guys good luck creating the best games ever and having lots of fun!!

Team Flare!

Postmortem for Lost in The Shadows

Posted by (twitter: @_JoeCool_)
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011 7:12 am


This competition was very exciting for me. The Theme was “escape” this time. While that is a very good theme, its actually used in lots of games already, so its hard to come up with something entirely new.  I did the game “Lost in the Shadows“.

The game is a rogue like adventure game where a dwarf is lost in the mines and tries to escape without dying. You have to find the exit, dig for water to survive and collect as much gold nuggets as possible on the way.  Sounds like some fun, but actually the game gets boring too fast. Its probably a content problem but also a design issue as well.

So here is my postmortem:

What when right…

Level generation
Level generation was done very fast and the rocks are layered, rooms where cut in after the rocks were calculated. There are 4 different rock types, the easiest which the  level is filled from the start. The second rock type is generated with rectangles. The third layer is more complicated, because it can only exists on the second type of rocks and the same with the forth type. So when you dig the rock gets harder step by step. This makes the game much better and more appealing. The rooms where cut in after the rocks where generated. That was ok, but I would change the now and cut the rooms after the first rock type is set. That should make the levels even better. The hardest rock types sometimes reveal hidden items. You can find gold nuggets and water. While the distribution is ok for this small short game, it needs much more improvement  for a decent experience. So balancing is still a big issue.

The sfx creation was a lot of fun. I went out with a hammer to hit some stones in the park, fiddled around with water in the sink, walked around to record footsteps and so on. That was really cool and exciting. The recordings have a not so good quality due to the iPad2 microphone, so I pimped them a little with audacity. That was fun and didn’t cost too much time.  The mining sound worked quite well, so I synchronized it with some particles. That is actually my most favorite part of the game yet.

Character pixel art
The character creation was ok as well. You have to know, that I am very inexperienced in creating pixel art, so it was really ok for my knowledge level!

Gameplay and gui implementation
The implementation of the gameplay and the GUI was working out very well. Actually I had only a few minor bugs nothing I to worry about and it was done quite fast. Well the code is far from optimal, but that was not the purpose of that competition.

I got it done:
Well it was my first official game jam ever and I got the game done. That’s was and still is really good for my ego! I overall invested around 20hours into the game creation.

What went wrong…

Tileset creation
The tileset creation was really bad,  it took me ages, at least 2-3 hours which is, compared to what is looks not worth 15 minutes. There is still a bug in the tile set. Connected to this my biggest time consumption was the FlxTilemap class from flixel. I never used that before and it didn’t work at all for my game. So I decided to implement it by myself, which isn’t too complicated, but I was a little frustrated already about my progress and made bad mistakes.

Game design and game mechanics

The  idea was to create a rogue like adventure, but without monsters, just the mine and the dwarf with a tight storyline etc. Sounds ok so far, but the most important part, the storyline, was done in the last half an hour before submission. So  just a few atmosphere texts made it into the game, thats it.  Well, actually the story wouldn’t have made sense at all, at least for what I have planned for, because you can die quite fast and so everything gets repeated, which is not a good game experience.
The water and the nuggets worked ok as items, but I would have needed some traps and enemies overall. The game is lacking lots of content here and so its really not that much fun. So all in all the game mechanics are quite poor. You walk around dig some rock, try to find water to survive and if you are lucky you will find some nuggets.  I have to invest much more time thinking about the concept before starting coding and art creation.

No Music, I have never done music and I started to use musagi 2 hours before I wanted to submit. I realized that this would take me at least several days, because I have never created any music. The game doesn’t feel complete without music to be honest.


Overall I am quite happy and I am will pimp the game so I can release it  later on. Thanks to the ludum dare team for all their hard work. I am happy to be part of such a great community and this was definitely not the last ludum dare for me! :)

Lost in the Shadows submitted

Posted by (twitter: @_JoeCool_)
Sunday, August 21st, 2011 1:48 pm

Hey guys,

its my first Ludum Dare and I got the game  finished.Yeahh!!  The game is a rogue like adventure game where a dwarf is lost in the mines and tries to escape without dying. Don’t expect too much. I haven’t added much content, but the replay value is ok I think.  I still have a bug in the tileset, but my brain is not able to figure it out anymore.  I have no music, but self crafted some sfx :).

Please  try and rate it, thanks!


Lost in the Shadows

Posted by (twitter: @_JoeCool_)
Saturday, August 20th, 2011 12:41 pm


here is a short update. Acutally I post more frequently on my google+ account, because its much faster :).

Its a rogue like survival game…

“The dwarf is buried in the mines. Unfortunately he has no food and water. The mine is mainly destroyed only a few rooms left where he might find some useful things. Time runs out and he has to find the exit, otherwise he will die soon…

Not much of a game yet. The dwarf can move around and dig through the whole mine. The mine is random generated with rooms and different rock types.  Fog of War is working as well. Next I will add items, some gui elements (water, food) and enemies…


Servus Ludum Dare!

Posted by (twitter: @_JoeCool_)
Thursday, August 18th, 2011 10:37 pm

Hey guys, I am IN!!

this is my first Ludum Dare, so I am very excited.

I will be using flixel (as3game library), flashdevelop (ide), gimp (graphics) and sfxr for soundeffects. I have never done any music and no idea which music program I am gonna use.

I feel quite confident with flixel, but to work out an original game idea in this timeframe is the hardest part for me I think. Anyway I hope I can get some super cool ideas and finish a fun game in 48 hour.

Good luck to all you crazy game devs! :)

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