About jurnacsr


Ludum Dare 33
MiniLD #58
Ludum Dare 30
Ludum Dare 29
Ludum Dare 28
Ludum Dare 27
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 24

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Monster Machine – The Horror Is Upon You!

Posted by
Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 4:14 pm

Play Monster Machine!

Monster Machine is finished.  And I gotta say I feel great about the work I did.  I planned it very well, got plenty of sleep, was able to improve my artwork, and finish the game with plenty of time to spare.  I had a fantastic time doing all this too – even as 2 am hit last night I had plenty of energy.  The last few iterations of Ludum Dare just didn’t seem to do it for me – this one was totally different.  I’m really glad I had the time to put in this.  Now lets go over some game.

Reactor Incremental - a unique incremental game.

Reactor Incremental – a unique incremental game.

My game is Monster Machine!, an incremental int eh style of Reactor Incremental  If you’ve ever played Reactor Incremental you’ll know what I’m taking about.  Its a fairly unique incremental in that you can place your production buildings, and there are a variety of effects by placing certain units adjacent to others.  I wanted to replicate this in a game of my own for some time, and this presented a great opportunity to do so.  Truth be told I was going to go this route and let the theme fall where it will.  I like my adaptation; my original game design was nothing like this one.


So at 9pm Friday I started.  It was easy to create the initial grid and mouse mappings.  Making this setup and initial configuration very easy was ImpactJS, a JavaScript game engine that I will stand by forever.  I bought a license for this engine almost 5 years ago for $99, and I have got that value back many times over.  Its easy to set up a game quickly, and the built in Entity framework makes handling entities easy.  Using that framework I was able to get structures placed on the game grid quickly, getting two of the three structures working by the first night’s end.


Drawing Tablet - a life-saver!

Drawing Tablet – a life-saver!

Further speeding up my work was a drawing tablet, a first for me.  In all LDs before I used a mouse to draw graphics and my game appearance inevitably suffered.  Some people have that gift – I certainly do not.  Even with a tablet my art is sub-par – but this time its my brand of sub-par.  The mouse is also quite slow by comparison, and filling in small details like shading and extra scary teeth are tough.  With the tablet I was able to get my art done – and then some.  I was able to create multiple variations of each building so your map wasn’t so uniform, and each structure is animated to create a nice living (or undead) map.  I was also able to add some nice particle-like effects, made easy with the tablet.  I would recommend one to anyone.




Music Generator - This place is the bee's knees.

Music Generator – This place is the bee’s knees.

Another pitfall for my games is music and sound.  These can turn a good game into a great one – the atmosphere music provides is immense.  In the past I’ve tried making my own, but no way no how.  I’m no good on the keyboard and I have no experience with electronic music, so I stuck with some simple Python music generation.  It didn’t ever really mesh.  For this LD, I tried the Fake Music Generator.  And you should too.  The music that place comes up with blows me away – and I was even able to find a set of tracks that matched my atmosphere perfectly.  Sounds were simple this time around – only a building placement and build removal sound were needed.





The final result is one I am very proud of – the first one since my December 2012 entry, Unleashed – coincidentally from the ‘You are the Villain’ LD.  Let’s not get into the theme selection anyway.  I’m always glad to participate in LD, but when I complete a project start to finish, I feel so much better about the weekend.

An early game screen with some buildings placed.

An early game screen with some buildings placed.

Monster Machine – The Dawn of Your Terror

Posted by
Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 1:30 am

Day one is in the bag!  I’ve put five good hours of work into this, and sleep is very important.

But first, an update!


A nearly empty game map

A busier game map.

A busier game map.

My game is called Monster Machine!, an incremental game in the style of Reactor Incremental, a favorite game of mine.  In Monster Machine you

place Monster generators to create monsters, Nightmare Portals to send monsters out to scare the kids, and Mad Scientist Labs to generate science goo for upgrades.  Get as many monsters, tears of sadness, and science goo as you can!

I made incredible progress for my first day, a fantastic sign considering my recent failures in Ludum Dare.  I am coding this game for your browser, using the HTML5 canvas, so anyone (almost) can play it!  Running the show is ImpactJS, a game engine I bought for $99 almost 5 years ago now…wow.  That may have been one of the best purchases of my life.  Its been an incredible help, making game development easy to code, and fast to prototype.



I’ve really upped my graphics game too, making use of Photoshop – that I actually legally bought!  That’s how you know you’ve grown up – when its

This is totally legal and legit.  I've come a long way mom!

This is totally legal and legit. I’ve come a long way mom!

easier to just buy a license than deal with the keygens and installers for cracked software.  Going with Photoshop is a new Wacom drawing tablet that’s really made the graphics a breeze – relative to my skill.  I’m no artists, but this has really made my more comfortable in creating assets, and made the whole process faster.  That way I can code sooner!  This extra time has been spent adding more variations into the game – each structure has three variations that are randomly placed, so your map isn’t uniform and boring.  Each one is also animated!

I currently have monsters and tears generating, and their structures able to be placed on the board.  Getting science labs next follows the same pattern, so getting them there is easy!  Once I am able to place all structures its time to tackle the upgrade system.  That will be an interesting process, and will probably take up the majority of my Saturday.  Then its on to music and sounds, but that’s the home stretch.

The assets - and their variations.

The assets – and their variations.

Good luck to everyone involved – looking forward to your progress.

GAMUT – Hidden Color Worlds – Finished

Posted by
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 9:09 am

Jump right into it – http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=16532

gamutSS2GAMUT Title Screen

Another LD is in the bag – and this one has been the best one for me yet.  I am extremely satisfied with the game, but that’s not the important part here.

I managed my time very well, got plenty of sleep, and even managed to do some real-world shit during this.  In  LDs past I would burn out and crash.

I documented and planned, and stuck with it.  In LDs past I would depart from a design and mire myself down in details.  I stuck to my plan and finished it.

I persisted despite doubts.  In LDs past I have thrown good ideas away because of poor morale.  I kept at my ideas and am very pleased with the result.

A post-mortem is coming soon, outlining my development process, roadblocks, and thoughts on my game and process.

gamutSS1GAMUT Gameplay Screen

Play it here – http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=16532

Bathysphere – A Quick Post-Mortem

Posted by
Monday, April 28th, 2014 2:53 pm

bathyShot1What a weekend this was, and not in a totally good way. Hopefully it was just one of ‘those’ weekends, where Iwas sluggish, out of ideas, and wrong-headed to participate in the compo, as I usually do. MY ideas were trash, my coding and art more so, and so it was with a heavy heart that, on Saturday, I hung it up and said ‘This isn’t happening, I’m done.’ I marathoned the rest of the first season of 24, drank a bunch, and took my mind off everything.

Was I done with game development? It just didn’t seem to hold the same shine it did – and I was becoming painfully aware of my shortcomings as an artist and coder. It was pretty depressing. I had a decent rest of the weekend – played some soccer and had fun. But these LD weekends have always been something special, yet this one wasn’t…bathyShot2

So at work today I’m thinking about it all and I finally just do what I’ve always wanted to do – make something in a few hours. So I did. My game, Bathysphere, took 4 hours to complete from start to finish – all assets, ideas, coding, everything. This is what I love to do – rapid design, coding, thinking on the fly, and above all else simplicity in mechanics and execution. Bathysphere isn’t anything complex, time-consuming, or hard. You sink to the bottom of the ocean and rise again – along the way, you can collect fish and treasures. My head always seems to be in the clouds, so an idea grounded firmly in the possible was refreshing. More refreshing was finding out that my coding skills are very good, and simplicity in art is a great gift.

So play some Bathysphere and let me know if you enjoy it. It is simple and done – and that is very good.

Here are some technical notes, if you want them: I used the ImpactJS game engine for development, Paint.NET for graphics, BFXR for the sound effects, and Audacity to cut and convert the audio. All of the sprites are at most 20×20, except for the UI elements. I used three colors – white, black, and gold.bathyShot3

It Belongs In A Museum – Post-Mortem and Look Ahead

Posted by
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 4:56 pm



A screenshot of gameplay. I knew it would be a good idea to use the names from Key and Peele’s East/West Bowl sketch.

For this LD 48-hour competition, with a theme of ‘You Only Get One,’ I have submitted ‘It Belongs’ in a Museum, a platforming game where you dig into the ground to find treasures.  You can only take one of these treasures home with you, so you have to choose carefully which treasure you keep.  You can read more about the game on its Competition Entry Page, so here I will dive into the development process, content creation, and how I finished this game off.

1. Development

I developed this game for the HTML5 canvas using the ImpactJS engine.  I have been using the ImpactJS engine for a year now – if you look back to LD24, I developed another game using ImpactJS, and every one since then.  I am extremely happy with the engine – it allows me to get something working quickly so I can focus on content and mechanics instead of worrying about low-level game mechanics like collision detection and animation.

Dev Screenshot - Notepad ++

Developing configuration-driven ImpactJS code is easy to understand and implement.

With the low-level stuff taken care of, I was able to implement a simply ‘mining’ system in my game, where you can dig out blocks of material to find the treasures contained inside.  Instead of creating a new Entity for each block, I opted for a totally configuration-driven approach.  When I created a block, I gave it an object containing its details, and the Entity rendered and behaved depending on that configuration.  No more need for an EntityGravel, EntityStone, EntityObsidian – only EntityBlock with carrying configurations.

I took the same approach with enemies.  There are 4 types of enemies, and each one has slightly different behavior and animations.  That still wasn’t a problem, and I used the same configuration-driven approach as the Blocks.  I implemented different branches of logic for each hostile enemy, and was able to implement different animations based on the configuration as well.

HTML5 development, regardless of engine, is my preferred way of game development today.  It is much easier to understand and set up than a more traditional development environment, like Java.  I have XAMPP set up, so creating a new game is as easy as copying a folder, and opening a web browser.

2. Content Creation – Graphics

Art is hard – look back at the other games I’ve created and you’ll see that the artwork is lacking, to put it mildly.  For this game I was determined to simplify the art, using simple square shapes and finding help where I could.  I made a small breakthrough Sunday morning around 4am, when I decided to test out the Effects menu in Paint.Net, and found the utility of the Noise feature.  Holy shit, it opened every single door to me.  All of the blocks and the BGs are done in largely solid colors with large shapes, but applying the Noise effect adds randomness.  Dirt looks like dirt, sand like sand, and so on.  It also helped with the large BG images, creating variance in the skies, and making some nice starry night backgrounds.  I also took advantage of the Gaussian Blur effect to blur the background, making it easier for players to distinguish foreground from background.  The effect makes the game look more professional, and more playable.

Dev Screenshot - Graphics

Character animation is easier when you use large shapes, scale up to cover up mistakes, and copy-paste where you can.

For the player sprite, simple squares were used everywhere.  Squares were used for the shoulders, head, legs, and arms.  For animation, I copied and pasted where I could, to produce the animation quicker and look better than what I usually produce.  You’d be amazed at how good a square with rounded edges works in any situation.

3. Content Creation – Music

Music is also hard, but there are tools to make it even easier.  I generated the music using autotracker.py ( see THIS entry from my LD blog on how to set up autotracker – worth it!).  The music that gets generated is nice, often catchy, and is a ’16-bit’ type of sound that I really enjoy.  ImpactJS has easy-to-use music and sound features, so I only needed to load a music object and call a .play() method.  Simple.  Sound effects were generated using BFXR, another tool with a ’16-bit’ sound.

Originally I wanted to play my own music, and have been practicing for a few days, but there just isn’t enough time.  I had some melodies and tunes, as well as creative sound effects, but that was a no-go.  Not only is there not enough time, but my recording equipment is garbage.  All I have is the mic on my laptop, and recording any sounds – with my piano or voice, anything recorded wasn’t worth it.  It would also have been very difficult to process those recordings even if they turned out good.

The audio work exposes one of the biggest problems with HTML5 – audio support.  On a personal note, I have no freaking clue why some browsers support OGG, some support MP3, some support other formats – but not support all.  It’s a bit of a crap-shoot as to which audio works – luckily ImpactJS has tools for that.  Loading an audio file uses a path to the file – ‘media/sounds/hit1.ogg’, but you can use ‘media/sounds/hit1.*’ to tell impact to use whichever audio version works for your browser.  Another way ImpactJS makes development easy.

Dev Screenshot - Making Sweet Music

Using Audacity to chop your sounds up makes it easy to find the effects and music you want.

Once I had raw audio files for effects and music, I used Audacity to process and convert the audio.  I cut some of the BFXR effects to simulate a snake and bug sound and messed with volume levels here and there.  Simple.  Converting is a clicky-clicky pain in the ass, but it is an easy process.

4. Putting It All Together

I have learned a lot about game development in my year and a half of LD Competitions.  You can look back to my original game (though you probably shouldn’t) and see a near-total lack of understand as to the most basic elements – FPS, collision detection, input – but I look at what I do now and I feel quite proud.  I have come a long way as a programmer and game developer – my only wish is that I knew what I know now 10 years ago when I started college.  It may have only taken 4 years instead of 6!

There is still a very long way to go, though.  These weekends are hellacious on my body and sleep schedule, and I often get single digits of sleep over two nights.  Come Sunday and Monday I am a husk of a man, barely able to watch my beloved Carolina Panthers on Sunday.  This time management is an area I have been working on, and continue to work on.  This time, I did much more initial documentation, leaving little to none of my game up to chance or ‘Play it by ear’-ness.  Start to finish, I had the game idea, flow, and mechanics documented.  I even had most of the text worked out ahead of time.  When development started it was code code code – no wasting time on wondering what to do next.

Like you dad used to say, let the tool do the work!  Use resources like BFXR and autotracker.py to generate content for your game.  They generate great effects extremely quickly, leaving you to concentrate on more necessary tasks.  Experiment with those tools as well – discovering the Noise and Gaussian Blur saved me a hell of a lot of time and made my end product look so much better.  Use these tools, poke around with them, and find out what they can do!

5.That’s A Wrap!

So brings to end another LD competition.  I have no complaints this time around – sometimes I bitch about the theme or my time management, but not today.  I was able to produce a full product – a Video Game with a start and an ending – kind of, but that’s intended.  I encourage you to play IT BELINGS IN A MUSEUM, leave your feedback, and help me become a better game developer.  Play the game here!

Maybe someday instead of feedback, you’ll leave your money!






It Belongs In a Museum! DONE

Posted by
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 2:03 pm

And that’s a wrap!  I am very pleased with how this turned out- but I am burned out.  Its been a long and fun weekend, but now I need some rest…and maybe some beers.

Here’s the game: http://srjurnack.net/museum/

Here’s a screenshot:

The first screenshot from 'It Belongs In a Museum!'

The first screenshot from ‘It Belongs In a Museum!’








Now rest I will.

The Five Trials – Timelapse Video

Posted by
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 5:39 pm

Good evening all!  The Five Trials Timelapse Video is finished, and it has some kick-ass music to go along with it.  You can find it here:


10 Seconds – Day 3

Posted by
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 3:42 pm


The Five Trials is complete, and I am bushed.  I’m tuning out from the computer for a bit.

Play the game here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=16532

10 Seconds – Day 2

Posted by
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 4:59 pm

Good evening everybody!  I hope it was another production day of Dare-ing!

My day has been nothing short of spectacular, truth be told.  I have actually completed my game, 100%, start to finish.  I can play the game, it is mechanically sound, the story is complete, and I even throw a bunch of plot in there too!  I added the rest of the ‘Trials” to collect your Kung Fu powers – a balance game and a dancing game.  I also added the skill tests your master gives you to let you study at the Monastery.  Here are some screen shots.

screen 6

The story of the game. If this doesn’t get you interested to play this, then nothing will!

screen 7

Find your way up the Cliff to consult with your Kung Fu Master.

screen 8

The big test is here! Show your master what you’ve learned!

screen 9

The Balance mini-game. Don’t get wet!-

screen 10

Learn new Kung Fu moves to show your master!

screen 11

The Dancing mini-game. Doesn’t look like much, but that’s what tomorrow is for!

screen 12

The End screen.

I have had a hell of a good time coding this game.  ImpactJS is an amazing game engine.  I was able to get my ideas onto the screen quickly and efficiently, and then tweak them as I needed easily.  Impact is quite the cool game engine.

Tomorrow, Sunday, is art and assets day.  I’m going to finish the character animations, add backgrounds for the minigames and levels.  If time stays on my side, as it has so far, music is after that.

But I really need a break.  My brain is pretty fried, and my ass hurts from this chair.  There’s a case of beer in the fridge with my name on it.  Time to relax.  I am really looking forward to playing everyone’s games!

10 Seconds – Day 1

Posted by
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 12:26 am

Good evening/early morning all!  It has been one hell of a productive day filled with coding for me, from work earlier today to the start of the new LD competition.

From the first time I saw a possible theme of 10 Seconds, I wanted it to be chosen.  I’ve had a cool idea kicking around my head for a while now, and this theme is a great way to express that.  Most of the commentary I heard online was that everyone was going to make the same games – WarioWare-style minigames – and that may be the case.  Mine is kind of like that too, but not really.  There are a 4 small minigames, but they aren’t timed.  My 10 seconds comes as a part of the story.

You are Lee, an aspiring Kung Fu student.  In the mountains rising above your village you see the Monastery of the Bronze Staff, where the greatest warriors hone their skills.  For 10 years you have trained under Master Yan, a great Kung Fu teacher in your region.  You have learned much but feel it is time to move on to the Monastery – but your Master still has more to teach you.  Your task is to perform your best combo in 10 Seconds for Master Yan, or else he will not let you train at the Monastery of the Bronze Staff.

screen 1

In the distance, the Monastery of the Bronze Staff awaits!

screen 2

Find help from the townsfolk around you. Everyone has something to teach you. Aren’t my placeholder sprites wonderful?

screen 3

Some villagers have knowledge and skills to impart. Complete their tasks and you will be rewarded!

 To accomplish your quest you must find your skills in the village below.  Seek help from the villagers!

screen 4

A simple errand – fetch an old man’s lost fishing pole.

screen 5

Test yourself against the waters. Strike the drum!


You will be asked to perform tasks to learn new skills.

As you can see, I have made great progress in one day’s worth of work.  I am very pleased with my efficiency and Kung-Fu Focus.  Tomorrow I implement the rest of the minigames and the beginning and end games!

Good night all!

PS: I haven’t posted the game just yet, as it is incomplete and player and villager sprites are missing!


I’m In!

Posted by
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 5:57 am

It’s time to officially enter the rat race of Ludum Dare!

  • ImpactJS/HTML5 for the coding.  Impact is an amazing game engine, and I would recommend it to anyone.
  • Paint.Net, my hands for art.  I’m not much of an artist but I do have a bit of a ‘look’ going on with what I create and I’m getting to like it.
  • Google Docs for idea management.  An aside:  this LD will mark my first full year of game development, starting with LD 24 (Evolution).  The game I started then was rough, unplayable – no one could play it except for me on my machine, and stupid.  But it was a game!  It got me into game development in a big way.  It also started the whole ‘idea management’ thing for me.  When the theme is announced, which is always a really big deal, I get up from my desk, stretch, and maybe take a walk.  I let the idea rattle around in my skull for a while, around an hour maybe, and start fleshing out ideas.  I use a blank doc and write whatever I want.  Any idea at all.  As I do that, the good separate themselves from the bad, and the great rise to the top.  It really helps me organize my thoughts and keep a steady track.
  • Movie may be Kick-Ass 2, Paranoia, or 2 Guns.  It is a new tradition for me to see a movie on the evening of the LD start, to give me some inspiration and cool ideas.  The fist time I did this was for LD 25 (You Are the Enemy).  I saw The Hobbit, and came up with my ‘Unleashed! Son of Kracken’ game that is still my favorite game I have ever made.  I decided to keep the tradition going…but there don’t seem to be many good movies out there today.  I’ll have to figure something out.
  • My Piano is really just a cheap keyboard, but I’m going to try to make some music on it anyway.  My goal this time around is mechanical and program simplicity, so I can create the game and then focus on the art and music.  I am a very good programmer, but not a good artist or musician, so I need to work on those things.  Plus, they really bring the game together Lebowski.

Good luck to all who are in the Compo and Jam, and as always, looking forward to the theme announcement!

Warmup Weekend 8/17 – qShooter

Posted by
Sunday, August 18th, 2013 9:16 am

Good afternoon everyone!  As always I am very excited for the upcoming Ludum Dare #27 and the new challenges and games it brings!  I haven’t been doing much development over the past few weeks.  Work has been demanding, with a large project just being deployed and putting out the fires that follow.  With that in the rear-view mirror it was time to get back to it!

I decided to participate in the Warmup Weekend to brush up on my skills and try some new things.  I’ve always wanted to set up some sort of ‘radar’ system to track enemies, as well as a particle system.  With my game, qShooter (for Quick Shooter), I was able to implement both of those things with great effect.

Play game: qShooter

qShooter screen 1

qShooter is a top-down shooter that has you combating large waves of enemy missiles that are trying to destroy your space station.  You must survive for as long as possible, until your space station is destroyed.  Missiles can be tracked with the red dots on the screen.  Enemy missiles also detonate in a massive shower of particles, something I had never done before.

Making qShooter was a fun little 2 day distraction.  I put around 8 hours of work into it, using assets from OpenGameArt, as well as a Google image search for Space Station.


Posted by
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 8:39 pm

I am finished!

My game, Combo Up, is complete.  You can check it out here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/?action=preview&uid=16532.  It’s written for the web, so you should be able to play it on any platform…but maybe not browser.

I need a break now – time to take a nice midnight walk.


I’ll have a more detailed write-up tomorrow afternoon.


Posted by
Friday, April 26th, 2013 7:47 pm

Minimalism is the theme this year cycle. To be honest and a little bit whiny, I’m none too thrilled about this.  When I think Minimalism, I think of a design choice, an art, sound, or feature choice – not necessarily the theme of an entire game.  The word minimalism itself means a design choice – minimalism in life, in art, or in architecture.  Using last LD’s theme, you can make a Minimalist You are the Enemy game.

I find all my ideas so far centered around the design of the game – make a shooter with this minimalist trait, or a platformer with that minimalist trait – but no games that are Minimal, like last time’s You Are The Enemy.

I still need more thinkin time.

When Will Then Be Now? SOON!

Posted by
Friday, April 26th, 2013 6:56 pm

Soon!  I have the environment set up,  started up my timelapse software (hope it’s working, time for a quick test), and the coffee’s a-brewin.  Let’s do this Luders!

A Missing Piece – Music!

Posted by
Friday, April 26th, 2013 8:27 am

Another post with an amazing revelation (for me)!!!

There is a program out there called autotracker.py.  This code file, when run in python, will automatically generate a piece of background music for you to use in your games – I have just downloaded it, got it to run, and have exported a few background tracks that sound great.  I just discovered this tool today, and am supremely happy I did.  Music (and all art in general) is something sorely lacking in my games – that is no longer the case!

How to use (for Windows):

  1. Download Python 2.x (if you don’t have it already).  Using 2.x is important, as I tried this on 3.x and got errors.  Use 2.x!  Python 2.x can be downloaded here: http://www.python.org/getit/.  Make sure to use the 2.x link.
  2. Install Python.  Simply run the file you downloaded and let the program install.  I installed Python to the standard directory, C:\Python27.
  3. Copy the autotracker.py script file to C:\Python27.  Script file is available here: https://github.com/wibblymat/ld24/blob/master/autotracker.py.
  4. Open up a command prompt window (his Windows Key – R, and type ‘cmd’).
  5. Navigate to where you installed Python.  Use cd to change directory, and use .. to move to the parent directory.  To get to the C drive, type C:.
  6. Run this command: python autotracker.py.  The script will output many lines of text, and will end when the file is saved.
  7. Open the file output in VLC.  Sample the greatness.
  8. Convert the .it file to a readable format – in the case, .OGG.  To convert, go to Media -> Convert/Save.  Follow the dialog there.
  9. Your converted file is ready to be used!

I hope these directions are helpful – I already enjoy the output from this autotracker.py script, hope you do too!

Note: I am in no way affiliated with the creator of autotracker.

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