About Topaz

I program in Python. I've been programming since late 2011.


Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 23

Topaz's Trophies

Topaz's Archive

Games based on 2 button controls

Posted by
Sunday, December 20th, 2015 11:54 pm

Gonna be honest, I laugh at comments that say along the lines of “simple gameplay but it’s ok” when really, what do you expect from 2 buttons. </rant>

Another question.

Posted by
Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 12:17 am

Hi guys,

So I was thinking of changing my default programming language to something web based, as it seems to be the most versatile and useful career opportunity I could pursue at this point. From what I’ve seen, a knowledge of HTML, CSS and maybe PHP and Javascript would be the most useful things to know in this regard.

I have a few questions which I’m sure some of you web developers here could answer if you have a chance:

HTML4 or HTML5? A tutorial site (I’m thinking w3schools at the moment)?

Also, my main question would be as to what development tool. I’d be mainly interested in something which can do most of what I’d need in terms of running it without me needing to constantly re-open the document, and could integrate fairly well with the language (such as, maybe, highlighting of keywords of the language?)

Thanks in advance :)



Buying a new laptop. Advice?

Posted by
Thursday, June 20th, 2013 2:39 am

So I was thinking of moving to OSX over my 2 year old Windows 7 laptop, and I was wondering if any Mac users are here who have had any experience with running Python on Mountain Lion. Specifically I would be interested to know what version of the OS you are running, and what graphical module you use (I use PyGame). Please don’t suggest I use Windows 8.

Thanks in advance :)


Judging has ended!

Posted by
Monday, May 20th, 2013 6:38 pm

If you’re bored, and waiting for the winners to be announced, heart this post and be entertained for 2 seconds :)

A Post Mortem – Somniphobia

Posted by
Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 3:18 am

Hmmm… I’ve never written one of these before.


Short version:


  • Ld26 was held at a somewhat inconvenient time for us
  • Was most certainly not the theme I was expecting to be chosen (nor did I want it)
  • My internet had some issues, which caused problems since we were using Skype and Dropbox to sync our resources
  • The game didn’t really end up with much of a story or game play


  • Enjoyable, like last time
  • I, personally, think that my art team did some amazing artwork for the game
  • Despite issues with people being unavailable, we still managed to finish something which we could submit as a ‘finished’ game
  • Dropbox and Skype worked amazing for our coordination of the development
  • Amazing start time (12:00 midday, relative time)
  • A team to help me took so much stress off the development, and it was nice to talk to people while working on it


Longer version:

In general:

I guess I’ll start by saying that I most certainly enjoyed participating in LD26! This is my second entry, though last time I was solo. My team was made up of Zeapear, Binary Star and I, with me being the programmer, and the other two working on the graphics. Overall, I think the strongest point of the game is the amazing graphics which my team made for it, and apparently some people were fond of the music too. In terms of game play, I have to agree that it was somewhat lacking and this was partly because of unavoidable issues which led to members of the team being unavailable for periods of time over the course of the event. The time was a plus because 12:00 in the day is perfect; enough time to get up and ready, and enough time afterwards to make a start and not have a whole sleepless night knowing that a quarter of the compo is gone without you making any start whatsoever.

The tools:

The tools which we used for coordinating our work, notably Skype, Dropbox, and at a few points flockdraw.com, worked flawlessly over the duration of the event meaning that we didn’t waste time figuring out what was wrong with something, and instead had more time to work on the game. I used my Python+PyGame combo again and some of you may remember Tiny’s World, which I made for LD23 with them. The problem with Tiny’s World was that, being my first game, I had no idea what bundling was or how it worked, so anyone who wanted to play it got to install Python and then PyGame to play it. This time around, I’ve managed to get some simple instructions for most Linux users, and a compiled (.exe) version for windows.

Another point of view:

Since I’m only one person from the team, I have Zeapear’s view of how she found participating in Ludum Dare.

This was a pretty fun experience for me. I did all of the level select screen’s art, and I did the opening ‘cutscene’ (the title screen and actual levels were Binary Star). While this game turned out a lot different than I, and I think the rest of the team, thought it would be, I’m fairly proud of myself for actually managing to get my bits done, as… Uh… ‘special’ as they may be. This was my first experience in game creation, and even though I did none of the heavy lifting in terms of programming, I think it’s pretty cool that I can say that I helped make something like this.


Well, that’s the end of my first Post Mortem, if any of you are interested in checking out our game, visit it at:


If you do play, please read the description, it may make the game make a little more sense. I hope you enjoy playing what we managed to get done in the time we had!

More progress…

Posted by
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 10:39 pm

Work is coming along nicely. Art is looking better, and new features are being progressively added.

Here are some new screenshots of the game and the main character.

The title screen

The title screen


The tutorial level

The tutorial level

Level select screen

Level select screen


Our main character

Our main character

How my team’s game is going

Posted by
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 3:58 am

9 hour mark, I think it’s going alright. The graphics are mostly placeholder, but there’s some good stuff in progress right now. As for the programming, it’s nothing special, just a level select screen (with one level to select) and a basic loop for where the first level will be. I’m out for the night, hopefully I can put in a whole day’s work tomorrow.

current status 1

As you can see, nothing impressive as of yet.

— Topaz

Programming a game for a history creative assignment

Posted by
Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 4:09 am

Hi guys, some of you might remember about 6 months ago I said something about working on a game for my SOSE assignment. The assignment was pretty much meant to be a game (board game sorta thing) or any sort, and to include facts about the Federation of Australia in 1911. I’ve finally gotten around to compiling a .exe version for the Windows users so if you want to take a look, feedback would be nice.

Btw, this was submitted (to the teacher) a while ago, I’m just interested in what you guys think. And also, the game is pretty much the exact same copy as what I submitted, so that’s the finished product.

This may not be finished uploading, if it doesn’t work check back in an hour or so, I have fairly slow upload speeds.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/75311676/R_for_F.zip (~17MB)



I’m in too

Posted by
Friday, April 5th, 2013 9:17 pm

Hi guys, I’m in for my second Ludum Dare. This time I’ll have a Graphics team to help me out, and I’ll be in the jam like last time. For anyone who suffered having to get Python and PyGame for my game that I made for the LD23, fear not, as I now have the ability to compile my programs for Windows users.

Can’t wait to play all the games that you guys make, see you at LD26!

— Topaz

My first executable!

Posted by
Friday, March 15th, 2013 7:06 pm

Hi guys, as you may remember from Ludum Dare 23 (you probably don’t), I used Python for my entry with the module PyGame. This caused trouble with some people, which I could understand, as it involved people needing to install Python and then PyGame for the program to run. After some testing, I’ve figured out what was stopping my game from compiling into a .exe, and this was because of just one tiny text file which the compiler did not bundle with it.

On to the topic of this post, the compiler said that certain DLL files were necessary and were not bundled with the app (I don’t have permission to redistribute them). So I was wondering if any of you had some time to try this test application out and tell me both if it works and whether or not you have Python installed.

Thanks in advance.


(You will need to extract the folder from the zip)



My semi-finished SOSE assignment

Posted by
Thursday, October 18th, 2012 4:55 am

Hi guys, you may have heard before that I was writing a game on the federation of Australia for my SOSE/history assignment. Well, it’s done for the time being. Just wondering if anyone would be interested in testing it for me, that would be a great help. Any feedback would be appreciated.

Just so you know, it’s written in Python with PyGame, so if it’s too much trouble to install these, then don’t worry about it; I’m happy to hand my game in as-is. This runs on Windows 7, and from my experience in LD23, it should run on Linux (Debian, at least). I believe it’s possible to get both Python and PyGame for Macs so you can probably try it on them too if you have one.

If anyone is interested, I can try to compile an executable for Windows, but for the time being, it’s not one of my priorities.

Headphones or at least a way of hearing the sound is somewhat necessary for the end cut-scene.

Thanks in advance for anyone who can help.




– Topaz

Anyone good at sprite/small image creation?

Posted by
Sunday, September 30th, 2012 12:29 am

Hi guys, just wondering if there’s anyone with some spare time who could make me a few small images of a stickman. All I’m after is images that could be put to form an animation so it looks like the guy is walking. Size specifications would be around 150 pixels high, and this would be enough detail. Thanks in advance to anyone who can help :)

My twist on a history assignment

Posted by
Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 4:13 am

This is fairly unrelated to Ludum Dare, but it will involve me coding a game, and I I’d just see if any of you were interested in trying it when it’s done or have any ideas for me.

The general idea is that I’ve got an assignment for history about the Federation (the Federation of Australia) and it’s a creative assignment so I can write a computer game as my assignment. My plan is to create a game where you have to run a certain distance and there’s some power-ups and obstacles. Hurdles would slow you down if you don’t jump over them (they will have text in them which say things which impended Australia from federating) and there’d be true/false icons which you could either jump to collect if it’s true or not collect if it’s false. The idea would be to teach people about the Federation (my classmates and I will be playing each other’s games) so I would be putting facts about Federation in it in the power-ups and the hurdles.

If you have any suggestions, that would be appreciated.

— Topaz

A great discovery!

Posted by
Friday, May 18th, 2012 2:49 am

So I know that a lot of you guys played my game, “Tiny’s World” (the one with the mouse), and I know that many [all] of you, including me, experienced severe lag. Though I didn’t put this in the game info, that game was the first that I have ever written. I’m here to say that I realised why the lag was so unbelievably high and the framerate, so low. Basically, I have been placing (“blitting”, as PyGame calls it) images on the screen, when actually I should be blitting sprites as they are all constantly moving. To fix this, I changed the pixel format of all my images using Surface.convert_alpha() which converts the Surface (image) to a sprite form. When I changed all my regular game objects, I increased my framerate from 15 to 17 FPS. This was much to my disdain, as I expected more. But then, I proceeded to change my (moving) background images to sprites, and I managed to get the framerate to in excess of 100 FPS! 😀

What I’m here to say is, I love ALL you guys and the LD. Thanks to all you guys who run it and contribute it. And thank you for all those helpful (constructively criticising) comments you made about my game and for all the suggestions which I am currently working on adding into my game.

And by the way, I am working on a post compo version of my game and if anyone is interested in it. It wont lag [or will lag much, much less] and I will be adding features you have expressed your interesting in in your comments when you played it.

Thanks again for the LD, as I’m learning more and more about Python; both its strengths and weaknesses.

If you want to play the old version of my game (for the time being, before I upload a new version), it’s here:



Posted by
Saturday, May 12th, 2012 8:21 pm

As the title suggests, I will be writing a postmortem soon. Just wanted to say that you still have a day to play my amazing game; now with an OSX version! This is my first fully complete game, and first Ludum Dare entry, so I would really appreciate it if a few more people rated my game:


Thank you all for your helpful comments and support 😀



I have rated 106 entries, and that’s all I can do 😛

Here are some of my favorites:


So far, my favourite games are:

Burger Defender- Cool idea for a game

Bipolar- Really cool how you can have the drugs and change what everything looks like :P

The Tiny World of Fiorella- Really good graphics and probably my favourite overall so far

SubAtomic- Absolutely hilarious! :D

My favourite games so far

Posted by
Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 6:32 pm

YESH! My coolness is at 42!

So far, my favourite games are:

Burger Defender- Cool idea for a game

Bipolar- Really cool how you can have the drugs and change what everything looks like 😛

The Tiny World of Fiorella- Really good graphics and probably my favourite overall so far

SubAtomic- Absolutely hilarious! 😀

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