About jovoc (twitter: @joeld42)

I've been participating in LudumDare since LD#1 way back in 2002! I've worked in Visual Effects & Animation (ILM, Tippett, Disney), in Game Dev (EA), and am now working at Smule making mobile musical experiences.

I started Tapnik (www.tapnik.com) as a side project and hobby business, and have released several apps and games: The Brainstormer, Droppyship, Planet Minesweeper, and More!

Follow me on twitter, @joeld42

Ludum Dare (and similar contest) entries:
* LD26: Minimalism -- Minimum RPG
* LD25: You Are The Villian -- Evil Lair (in Dartlang!)
* LD24: Evolution -- EvoWord
* LD20: It's Dangerous to go alone -- Take This (3d voxel zelda)
* LD19 Discovery -- Planet Thing
* LD18 Enemies as Weapons -- Iron Reflex
* LD17: Islands -- Crater Galapagos
* LD15: Caverns -- Spaceship in a Cave
* LD14: Advancing Wall of Doom -- Glacier
* LD13: Roads -- Crossroads
* LD12: The Tower -- Moonbase Defense
* LD11: Minimalist -- Cowbell Hero
* LD10: Chain Reaction -- Jumping Chain Guy (barely started)
* LD8: Swarms -- Bugzapper
* LD7: Growth -- Kudzu Commander
* LD5: Random -- Buttonlands
* LD4: Infection -- Bad Food (2nd try)
* LD4: Infection -- BioWar (abandoned)
* LD3: Preparation -- Hannibal's Cannibals (lost the code)
* LD2: Construction/Destruction (Minor Theme: Sheep) -- Trans-Icelandic Express
* LD1: Guardian -- Zillagame (the game that started it all for me)
* LD0: Indirect Interaction (I didn't know about LD yet)
* MiniLD16: Constraints -- Moonsweeper
* MiniLD11: Sandbox -- The Wanderer
* MiniLD9: Audio/Sound -- JamClock
* Speedhack 2003 - Outlands (my first allegro game)
* LudumDare Halloween Hack 2003 - The Halloween Machine
* TINS2006 - Railroad Merchant aka Merchant of Venus
* TINS2007 - Headline Recycler

The code (it's quite a mess) for all of these can be found at my ludumdare code dump on github:

Also, I made a game engine (mostly for iPhone, supports desktop GL with some hacking):
It's terribly incomplete, buggy and totally undocumented. Don't use it! But I built Droppyship with it in a week or two so it can't be all bad, I guess...


Ludum Dare 37
Ludum Dare 36
Ludum Dare 33
Ludum Dare 32
Ludum Dare 31
Ludum Dare 30
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 24
Ludum Dare 22
Ludum Dare 20
Ludum Dare 19
Ludum Dare 18
Ludum Dare 17
Ludum Dare 15

jovoc's Trophies

The Christopher Walken Award for Hilarity
Awarded by keeyai
on April 24, 2008

jovoc's Archive

I’m In Again

Posted by (twitter: @joeld42)
Friday, April 21st, 2017 8:56 pm

Allright, looking forward to this one. I have a reasonably clear schedule and should be able to get something going this weekend. I’ve copied in an some basecode and I already have a window and some stuff drawing in it…

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 6.48.19 PM

(just placeholder graphics will have to replace them).. yay 4000 random trees.

One exciting wrinkle is I’m using the Oryol engine for the first time, which seems like a great engine but it’s not really suited for a game jam unless you already know it pretty well, which I don’t. But my main goal this time is to learn it, so that’s good. (Note: for game jams in general I reccommend Raylib, it’s powerful, fast and super-productive. I would be using that one if my goal was mainly to finish a game. :) ).

Anyways, good luck everyone! Not really sure where I’m going to go with this theme but we’ll see…


Im in and here is my first screenshot

Posted by (twitter: @joeld42)
Saturday, December 10th, 2016 3:19 am

Screen Shot 2016-12-10 at 12.20.32 AM

I have no idea what my game is going to be. I have a couple of fallback ideas maybe. But I can draw stuff at least. Trees and orange rocks and stuff. Going to get some sleep now maybe a good idea will reach me in a dream.

Alien Construction Skills VR – Post Compo Version

Posted by (twitter: @joeld42)
Sunday, September 25th, 2016 3:58 pm

I’ve finished a Post-Compo version of my LD36 game. Check it out if you have a Vive, and tell your friends. It’s free (or rather pay-what you-want, tips are appreciated), but I’m mostly after getting as many people as I can to play it. I’m working on another VR game right now and I’m hoping to learn from this one about marketing, discovery and what works for players. If I get enough downloads, I’ll add some more levels. (If you have any ideas for good levels, let me know).

Help me spread the trailer far and wide!

Thanks again! This game wouldn’t have existed without LudumDare!

Get it here:

Alien Construction Skills on itch.io


Alien Construction Skills

Posted by (twitter: @joeld42)
Monday, August 29th, 2016 12:32 am

Here’s my compo page for “Alien Construction Skills VR”:

Alien Construction Skills VR Compo Page

Give it a try if you have a Vive, any feedback is welcome. One warning: I added the sound effects in the last 10 minutes and they are pretty terrible and loud, so turn down the sound a bit first, especially if you’re using headphones. Next time I’ll try and do better sound if I do it at all.


^^^ Click the gif to go to a full Gameplay Video.



This was fun. Can’t wait to try some other entries, but for now, time to sleep.



Progress Continues

Posted by (twitter: @joeld42)
Sunday, August 28th, 2016 2:18 pm

I have a title now  — “Alien Construction Skills VR”

Progress continues. I now have 5 playable levels and the game is sort of fun. Now on to making it look good and stuff. Follow me on Twitter (@joeld42) for more updates.



Alien Construction Skills – Halfway Point

Posted by (twitter: @joeld42)
Saturday, August 27th, 2016 9:39 pm


Alien Construction Skills VR

Youtube Gameplay Video

At the halfway point and I’m pretty happy with things. It’s pretty fun, you can win, you can lose, and I have all of two levels. I’m aiming for 5 levels by the end of things.

So now to finish up the gameplay and then on to making it look (and dare I hope for sound?) good.

Ancient Aliens VR!

Posted by (twitter: @joeld42)
Saturday, August 27th, 2016 1:43 am


Lots of progress. I’m not used to using an engine, it’s amazing how much having something like unity helps.

Anyways, my game idea is probably not the most original evar, but it should be fun and it already seems like a good fit for VR. See you tomorrow!!

I’m in! And probably doing VR!

Posted by (twitter: @joeld42)
Friday, August 26th, 2016 5:54 pm

I missed the last two LDJAMs so I’m super excited about this one. This time I will probably be doing VR since I’ve been doing a lot with that lately, but I’m not sure until I see the topic and come up with an idea.

Good Luck everyone, and follow me on twitter (@joeld42) for updates.

Kids Make Video Games

Posted by (twitter: @joeld42)
Saturday, April 16th, 2016 8:38 pm

I’m not officially doing LudumDare today because I’m hosting a “Kids Make Video Games” event! We had a bunch of 2nd and 3rd graders over and they all got to draw animated characters (which I will rig up in Spriter tomorrow).


They drew tilesets and build levels in Tiled.  Here’s me explaining how Tilesets work.


The kids got really into it. They had no shortage of really good gameplay ideas. If you’re ever out of cool game mechanics, ask an 8 year old.


They really enjoyed building levels with their tiles. I spent a lot of time scanning things. :)


The game idea we came up with was called “Party Animals”, each kid got to make their own animal character, like a Cheetah, a robot dog, a ninja Kitty, and so on. One of the kids made a character based on her pet dog.

We also did sound and music and talked about game ideas.

So now I am going to get to work importing these and building some basic gameplay around it. It won’t be too fancy but hopefully in a week or so the kids should have something playable.



Not in but making games

Posted by (twitter: @joeld42)
Saturday, April 16th, 2016 1:31 am

I’m not “officially” participating this weekend because of a poor scheduling (or maybe it’s a good thing). I’m leading a workshop tomorrow of 2nd-3rd graders on how to make video games! I’ll show them LD and what people are working on, and we’ll see if we can throw together a little game.

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 11.28.08 PM

Anyways, this amazing work of graphical beauty is me trying to get set up for that. Hopefully I’ll have a little generic game thinggy and we can drop the kids artwork and sounds in and add their ideas for gameplay. I’m using HaxeFlixel and haven’t really used that much before so I’m having to figure out everything. I finally got Spriter animations importing and figured out how to link them to a FlxSprite, probably not the best way to do it but it’s working so that’s good. The purple dude is a Spriter animation with two linked bones, and the red box is a FlxSprite for gameplay/collision purposes.

I’ll be watching everyone’s progress and I’ll post what me and the kids are working on, though it won’t be an actual jam entry. Next time I’ll schedule things better, seems like a really good theme this time.

Hugzilla – Postmortem and Reflecting Back

Posted by (twitter: @joeld42)
Thursday, August 27th, 2015 12:32 pm

This was an interesting LDJAM for me. In a way it brought things full circle back to my first LD, LD1. That was what, over a decade ago?

The first ludumdare game I made was called “zillagame”. The theme was “Guardian” and the game involved protecting a small, seaside community from an attacking godzilla.

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 8.43.47 AM

This time, the theme was “You are the monster” and so I decided to revisit that idea, but from the perspective of the Godzilla. My game is called “Hugzilla”. The hugging angle only came up after I modeled the zilla with outstretched arms and noticed it looked like he was trying to hug the buildings. The best components in any creative endeavor are alway from these kinds of happy accidents.

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 6.17.03 PM

Some differences stand out immediately. I got a little better at 3d modeling, I realized the importance of picking a good color palette, and it’s pretty cool that you can run this in a web browser these days. But pretty much, I made the same game (or incomplete half-game). Thirty-three ludumdares (well, I didn’t join all of them, probably 2/3s) and I’ve got basically a monster that moves around the landscape, buildings that take damage and some nice scenery, with little in the way of actual gameplay.

What does this mean? That I spend too much time on engine features (I remember I spend a lot of time on PNG loading in LD1, this time I spent a while on object mouse picking which went unused). That 3D is untenable without a huge engine like Unity or UE? Maybe that I am just a slow learner?

Not really. I don’t do these game jams to try and win. My huge collection of unfinished prototypes is my trophy shelf.  But most of the time, I’m doing LD to expand my boundaries, either to learn or try a new tool, or to push the limits of whatever tool I’m using. It’s a way of battle-testing a tool or process. I also tend to focus on the graphics rather than the gameplay, which makes sense because that’s my background (tools and graphics programming). I wonder what would happen if I made a game with nothing but cubes. In face, my 2nd ludumdare game was sort of all cubes, but I did get carried away and ended up writing a pseudo-3d level editor and convex polygon tessellator for it. I guess you can’t change who you are, and LD, like any creative expression, is a way to find and reveal that.

Anyways, I should probably do the traditional postmortem lists here:

What went right:

  • Luxe engine, Haxe language. Once again, this turned out to be a very productive tool. 3D support is still in very early days but Luxe and Haxe feel like a very, very good fit for game dev, both for jams and larger projects.
  • Blender Exporting. I spent a little bit of time beforehand getting a bare-bones blender export script working. That was hugely helpful, for the first time I wasn’t manually exporting and importing everything which always takes a lot more time than it should.
  • “Tilemap Texturing” I came up with a very interesting trick to use a uvmap similar to a tilemap in blender. I’ll write up a full blog post about this soon, but this trick alone was worth the entire weekend.
  • “Matcap” materials. I threw in a “matcap” style shader, which lets you render a material sphere and use that to fake a material. It worked great. I didn’t have time to use it for other than giving things a little sheen but for future contests this seems like a good way to make a bunch of materials quickly.


example of matap. That sphere is actually a render out of blender/cycles, but this trick works great with hand-painted material spheres too.

What went wrong-o:

  • Vague game design and mechanics. I only had a vague idea of what the gameplay would be like, I was imagining RTS-style controls at first and so I spend several hours doing 3d picking code and stuff I would need for that. However, I didn’t end up actually needing that. If I would have nailed down my gameplay a bit more on paper first, I would have realized this earlier on.
  • Last-minute shadows: I had some shadow code that I was working on before the compo (as part of my basecode). With twenty minutes left I decided to try and throw that in there. I had barely enough time to get it working and no time to tune it, so there are all kind of weird shadow artifacts, so it looked worse than if there were no shadows at all. I’m honestly a little jealous of the unity folks who can just check a “shadows on” checkbox. Anyways, I’ve tuned these since the compo, so the post compo version will have nice looking shadows, and hopefully I’ll have this to use in the future.
  • Anti-social. I did spend a bit of time on the Snowkit Community chat, but overall I felt a bit isolated. There was just too much volume on the ld site to follow other people’s projects, twitter wasn’t too lively this time around, and I didn’t join the IRC chat this time. Next time I will try to spend more time in IRC and maybe attend a meetup if there is one nearby.

Anyways, I’m probably not going to do much more with this game at least anytime soon. But I’m taking some of the tech and code for this and am going back to revisit an earlier ludumdare game that was one of my favorites (from LD13), maybe that will turn into something tangible.

See you all next time! –Jovoc


Finished! Phew

Posted by (twitter: @joeld42)
Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 8:31 pm

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 6.16.00 PM


Hugzilla is not really a monster. He is just misunderstood. And he loves buildings…



Big thanks to Sven for all his help with the Luxe Engine (part of the Snowkit Community). And thanks again to Mike and crew for rocking yet another ludumdare. I gotta go eat now, that’s a wrap…

Lots of pretty scenery

Posted by (twitter: @joeld42)
Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 6:09 pm

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 4.03.09 PM

Well, I got a bunch of level geometry built and you can hug buildings now, so that’s cool. Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll have time to add any enemies or anything like that.. so it will be a cool tech demo but not much of a game. That’s ok.

Hugzilla playable

I could try to add some enemies real quick, or just polish up what’s there now. Not sure what I will do with the last two hours..


Hugzilla Lives

Posted by (twitter: @joeld42)
Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 1:51 pm

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 11.49.29 AM

I fixed the eye code, and started working on the real level art. I don’t think I’m going to finish the game though.

In the process, I discovered a neat blender trick to texture things like a tilemap, just learning that was worth the whole weekend alone/

But anyways, it’s coming along..

Play Hugzilla!

Hugzilla and Eyeballs

Posted by (twitter: @joeld42)
Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 3:46 am

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 1.43.06 AM

Some good progress… Got health bars and damage working on the buildings, you can now hug them to death. Also got the eyeball code sort of working, but it’s buggy but seems like it will be very cute.

You can try it out here, if you want. There are a handful of test houses to the south that you can hug.

LD33_Jovoc Hugzilla

I’m going to sleep now, as I’m starting to add more bugs than I fix. See you all tomorrow…


Lil’ Zilla

Posted by (twitter: @joeld42)
Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 8:28 pm

Screen Shot 2015-08-22 at 6.25.48 PM

I have a monster! He’s kind of cute, and he has articulated eyes and feet. (They don’t do anything yet)

Next up, to get him to destroy some of those houses.

Playable Link – LD33

Makin progress, slow but steady..

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