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Mini LD #28

Posted by
Monday, July 25th, 2011 1:01 pm

Gonna try to participate. That’s pretty much all I know for now. 90% chance of using Python /w Pyglet cause that’s pretty much what I always do.

Detritus: Operating on Jam Time

Posted by
Sunday, May 29th, 2011 4:36 pm

Didn’t manage to completely clear this weekend of distractions, but fortunately it’s a holiday weekend and I’m willing to go for a 72-hour time scale. Gonna try to get everything mechanical pointed in the right direction tonight and fill in the game content tomorrow. Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like right this minute (very similar to my earlier mockup).


Posted by
Saturday, May 28th, 2011 3:28 pm

Finally got the concept/mockup/etc for my MiniLD #26 together here. Interesting requirements; they have really delayed me (planned to start early this morning) but I think it makes a pretty good point. Hammering out a game in a weekend is cool, but having a plan and an idea of what it should look like makes me feel a lot more directed now that I’m getting ready to begin.

Title: Detritus

Description: At an unspecified location in an unspecified time period, you live as a scavenger amidst the wreckage of a destroyed civilization. One day, while digging in the debris, you make an incredible discovery…

Detritus is a text-driven adventure game about exploration, mystery, and lost technology.


The mockup shows two related game screens. The center of the screen is dominated by a static illustration of the current location or situation. When the player has finished observing the illustration, it fades out and is overlaid by a text description and a number of options. The player selects one of the options to progress the game and the text will change to reflect that progress. New illustrations will be presented as warranted by the player’s progress. Note that the vaguely medieval theme of the mockup has nothing to do with the actual game.

Definition of Done:

  • Playable from start to finish.
  • At least one “win” and one “lose”; as an adventure game, these will probably be “good” and “bad” endings.
  • At least ten illustrations of reasonable quality.
  • Some sort of inventory system.
  • MMO-style quest tracker keeps current goal and progress visible at all times.
  • Accessible and understandable instructions.

Bonus Features If I Have Time:

  • Some type of character customization/progression.
  • Useful mapping system.
  • Specialized mechanics beyond the multiple-choice adventure paradigm; puzzle mini-games, for example.
  • Player journal for tracking previous events and quests.
  • More/better artwork (Art could be an enormous time investment, so it is a low priority beyond the minimum.)

Themes in Use:

Mainly “Dig” and “Descend”, I think. To be honest, I’m not sure how much influence the themes will have, but I’ll do my best to work them in where I can.

Leaving the Vault: Post-Compo Edition

Posted by
Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 6:26 pm

I’m not that great at post-mortems or recaps or whatever, but I did polish up my game a little bit after the competition ended. It handles different resolutions better now and delivers in-game messages in a less annoying way. It also includes music and a voice-over for the intro, not included in the compo version because I couldn’t/didn’t make them myself.

So, without further ado, Leaving the Vault v0.3.0:

I’m really not likely to make any further additions or improvements to this specific game. I’ve started collecting all the best parts of the code and some other things I made into a framework to use at the next (mini) LD. I suppose I’ll see you all then!

Timelapse part 2

Posted by
Sunday, May 1st, 2011 4:55 am

Continuing saga of me making this wacky game. Again, no catchy music or anything, but maybe still interesting?


And now to get ready for the final crunch o_o.

So very tired…

Posted by
Sunday, May 1st, 2011 12:38 am

Holy cow, thought I was gonna be able to keep going later than this tonight. My game is progressing nicely though. I’ve just made a breakthrough: Various objects in the environment can be scripted to respond to the player. First thing in the morning I’ll start putting together some interesting things for them to do and I should be well on my way to wrapping up some pretty nice gameplay.

I sure hope so, at least… considering that I’m about to sleep away something like half the remaining time.

Seyall tomorrows.

LD20 Timelapse Part One

Posted by
Saturday, April 30th, 2011 5:13 am

Here’s a timelapse of my first ~10 hours of work. Sorry I didn’t add in any catchy music or anything. I’m thinking making a full-length timelapse of the whole compo once it’s done, so maybe I’ll throw music in on that.

Uh… not sure how to do this right. Have a youtube link: MY AWESOME TIMELAPSE


Screenshot #2: Almost 8 hours?

Posted by
Saturday, April 30th, 2011 2:37 am

Hah, time is flying, but here’s what I’ve got so far.

Might wanna click that a couple times so you can see anything… not a very big screenshot or anything. And kinda low contrast. Just a little guy with his gas mask, standing around. You can use the keyboard to walk him around, and he animates it as he does so. Turning out pretty okay so far. I always forget how long it can take to do anything graphical; my last entry was ascii-based so I got right to gameplay after the first couple of hours.

All is well, however; I’m getting over the initial setup hump and into the actual fun parts now. I think I’ll try to talk about the actual premise of the game in my next blog post.

Hour One

Posted by
Friday, April 29th, 2011 8:04 pm

I made a title screen o_o.

Sometimes I wonder if I spend too much time focusing on things like title screens and main menus, but I really never feel like a game is finished unless it has them. Also it’s the simplest case for the “GameMode” class that I re-create with every single project; it’s just a class that encapsulates a particular combination of visualization, simulation, and input. It’s good for switching between things like “Main Menu”, “Inventory Screen”, “Map Screen”, and “Overworld View”. Or whatever. You get the idea.


One of these days I should make a real library / framework for my flow control code and other stuff. Maybe after this LD I’ll try to extract some of the nicer bits and do just that.

Anyway, back to work!

Workspace for LD20

Posted by
Friday, April 29th, 2011 2:48 am

I was kinda boring/reclusive last LD, so I’m going to try to post arbitrarily large amounts of stuff this time around. We get rated on community after all, right? Gotta put on a show for the folks at home ^^. Not super entertaining cause we’re still 16 hours away from the start, but here’s a shot of what I’m going to be staring at for two days:

Note the mini-fridge within arm’s reach. It is loaded with mountain dew, as it always is. I might be a stereotype, but at least I am a caffeinated stereotype.

Also note the “OpenGL Library” box on the computer… it has my trusty red book and orange book. I will be using neither of these during the compo, because HOLY SHIT raw OpenGL is way too hard for me to do on this timeframe ^^;;. I keep them there for other projects. Maybe they will bring me good luck.

Setting some goals for myself…

Posted by
Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 6:51 pm

Just gonna talk about some of the goals I have for the game I make this time around. I’ve got art and code pretty well figured out (enough to make lots of games anyway) and game design is pretty much my final obstacle, so most of this will be design goals.

Creatively engaging gameplay. The game should require some level of creative thought from the player. I don’t mean that it’s going to require creative expression, just that it should ask the player to handle situations in a way that requires some level of interpretation and problem solving. One measuring stick for this goal: A game that requires creative engagement can only be reliably beaten by a human player or extremely non-trivial artificial intelligence. It also can’t be beaten by a brute force search and/or pre-programmed sequence, which means that it probably needs some level of procedurally generated content to ensure that interpretation is required on every play cycle regardless of how many are attempted.

Another sub-possibility of that goal is that the game may simply have less or no meaning without creative engagement; a simulation game with no stated victory condition is creative by its nature because otherwise it would have no purpose; it can only be “won” in the subjective judgement of the person playing. This option is tricky, however, because anybody not engaged early by the game will have no reason to continue playing.

Another problem with all of the above is that requiring creative thinking from the player can be very frustrating if the game’s finite solution space is not flexible, informative, and intuitive enough to enable that creativity.

Constructive in theme and mechanics. I’m going to try to make my game inherently non-destructive / non-violent in theme. A huge portion of games portray a situation of direct conflict against other people, usually violent conflict. As a programmer and an artist, I can honestly say that defeating, conquering, or hurting other people are not significant sources of excitement or entertainment in my everyday life. I have more fun building things and expressing myself. You can tone things down by making the game into a conflict against non-people (monsters, zombies, computer viruses, etc) but that’s only a partial solution because it still triggers the “US vs THEM” attitude. My game is going to be about building or creating in some way that is worthwhile in its own right (helping people, overcoming danger, repairing damage, etc). The gameplay metaphors surrounding combat are so finely tuned and deeply ingrained that it can be hard to think of other options, but they’re out there and I intend to find them.

I guess that’s all I can think of for now. With the theme still a day away, it’s not like I can go too much into specifics. Anyway, dunno if any of that was interesting to anybody but it’s related to the compo so I don’t feel bad posting it.

A wild programmer appears!

Posted by
Friday, April 22nd, 2011 5:16 pm

I’ll be in for LD#20, my second one. Had a pretty good time last time, and hoping this one will go just as well.

Nothing’s final till the game is done, but tools likely to be used:

Good luck to everybody entering ^^.

DiscoFive: First playable version?

Posted by
Saturday, December 18th, 2010 12:58 pm

Okay, so the first playable version might be available at http://dl.dropbox.com/u/15538966/DiscoFiveRC1.zip. I say might because I really don’t know for sure if it runs on anybody else’s computer. Tested and works on both of my linux boxes, but it might not go anywhere on other systems.

(EDIT: Managed to test it on a laptop running windows 7. Seems to run just fine there.)

For anybody who can’t (or won’t) play it, here are a couple screenshots:

First Screenshot Time

Posted by
Saturday, December 18th, 2010 7:36 am

Okay so it doesn’t look like much but I want to prove I’m doing something, so there!

Disco Five Screenshot 1

The game after about 3 hours of setup and coding.

So you have FOV and exploration types of stuff going on. The map generator seems to be working although I am completely sure there are bugs somewhere in there. Player gets placed in an open area at spawn, which is nice.

Next step: Add some things for the player to discover. That’s the theme after all. Once the player can discover things on a single map I’ll work on trying to apply some sort of larger narrative/flow to the gameplay.

Right on, let’s get this started.

Posted by
Saturday, December 18th, 2010 4:39 am

Dunno how many posts I should spam during this thing, but I’ll start with this one.

Stayed up just long enough last night to see the theme, slept for 8 hours, and now I’m back with my (alleged) plan.I looked over a couple posts to see if anybody was doing the exact same game and I don’t see it yet.

blah blah gotta remember I’m on a 48 hour limit (much less, now) so just gonna blaze down the description if I can here.

Thinking it will involve the adventures of the starship “Discoverer Five” and its single crewman, a professional space prospector. The game begins by exploring various exotic space rocks and looking for valuable minerals. Everything changes when the player discovers… something?

That’s all I got so far. Gotta do a little bit of last-second waffling on the details of visual style and which libraries to use. Gonna give myself maybe 30 minutes of “design time” before the first code hits the editor.

A wild developer appears!

Posted by
Thursday, December 16th, 2010 2:26 pm

Seriously I have wanted to do one of these Ludum Dare things for SO LONG it’s ridiculous. I just miss every single one of them.

Will be my first attempt at a competition like this but I’ve been failing at game development for years so I think I’m pretty well prepared.

I’ll probably be hacking it out in Python. Likely to use pygame or pyglet depending on what I decide to make, but I might also be tempted to use libtcod because I’ve been experimenting with it a lot lately. All depends on what works best with the theme I suppose ^^. I wish I were cool enough to do something all flash or ajaxy or whatever, but alas I know nothing of AS or JavaScript.

Anyways, I’m pretty excited and I might have the whole weekend wide open so we’ll see what happens. With any luck I will finish and release a game for the first time because of this ^^.

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