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Failed…but not

Posted by
Sunday, December 13th, 2015 7:43 pm

I think everything that could go wrong from a time management perspective did go wrong for me.  As such, there’s no chance of finishing anything, really.  But I don’t consider it a failure.  I did get an idea for a game mechanic that I think will work really, really well on both mobile and desktop.  I have a very rough tech demo of it (nothing worth playing) and plan on spending the next week working on it.

Bleh, such a stressful weekend.

Calling it a night, have the initial direction set.

Posted by
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 12:58 am

Going for broke and trying to do both themes.  That said, I’m focusing on Two Button Controls first.  I plan on going very literal with it and have only two buttons, either the left/right mouse or left/right edge of a phone/tablet.  For my initial idea I really needed it to be in 3D for it to make sense.  So my goal for tonight was to see if I could establish a proper scene.  Creating 3D assets, especially humanoids, from scratch is a big weakness of mine.  I’m satisfied with what I have, so I’ll work on the core mechanic tomorrow.

WIP screen shot 01


Almost forgot my I’m in post

Posted by
Thursday, December 10th, 2015 7:48 pm

Ya, title says it all.  Been so busy with grading/pushing my students to join/doing practice runs that I didn’t post here.  Oops.  I’ll be using either Unity or GameMaker, depending on the style of game I decide to do.  I’m going to try and work 12-tone music composition in there somehow as well. One thing I’m thinking of trying this time is restricting the core game development to two hours, then spending the remainder of the time on content and polish.  I’m rather pleased with how Dragon vs Archers turned out and it could be a fun little game with a bit more content and polish.  That said I’ll be intensely annoyed if “Strength in Numbers” turns out to be the theme.  I’m far less pleased with how Expanding Planet turned out, but since it only took me two hours, it’s no big loss.


  1. Unity 3D or GameMaker Studio
  2. GIMP
  3. Blender if needed
  4. Audacity
  5. Blue yeti mic for SFX/recording the piano.

Post Mortem on Guardian Against Shadows

Posted by
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 2:57 pm

Guardian Against Shadows places you in the role of a Maltese that needs to bark away the fearsome shadow monsters to protect his humans.  Bark to much though, and you’ll annoying the very humans you are trying to protect! That at least is the high level concept that I ended up with.  While there were some pretty sweeping changes from the original vision, the core of the game idea remained intact; the unconventional weapon is a dog’s bark.


Guardian Against Shadows is done

Posted by
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 6:49 pm

Total dev time is approximately 12 hours.  Pretty much only had three 4 hour chunks to work on this, so given that limitation I’ve very pleased with how it turned out.  My high score so far is 414 shadows banished.  Wish I had time to try and get something besides cubes for the shadow monsters, but such is life.  I would like feedback on the bark sfx, I had a bit of a raw throat by the time I got a decent one, and I’m curious if it was worth the effort.


Guardian Against the Shadows

Posted by
Friday, April 17th, 2015 8:59 pm

In honor of my parents Maltese that suddenly passed away this morning…

You use the energy and bravery contained in the bark of a Maltese to defend against the Shadows.

Engine: Unity
Graphics: GIMP and Blender
Sound: Audacity, ChipTone, BFXR, BeepBox.co

And the coding begins…

Posted by
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 10:48 am

Taking a slightly different approach this time around.  I’ve spent the last 16 hours (with some sleep in there!) designing out on paper what I want to create.  I think I have everything to the point where I mostly know everything that needs to be coded, though I’m sure I’ll find things I’m missing along the way.  The general idea here is that since I can’t do art at all, to take the time that would have been spent on art assets and spend it in design.  I guess I’ll find out how well this works over the next 10 hours of coding :)  Hopefully I’ll have the framework fully in by tonight so I’ll have a good solid 10 hours or so tomorrow to refine and bug fix.

Loss post-mortem

Posted by
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 2:23 pm

And with 3-ish hours left, I need to call this a failure loss.  I was originally going to call it a failure, but upon reflection I did learn things from this, so it isn’t a true failure.  I’m going to skip the What Went Right portion of a post-mortem because so very little did go right and what there was might not have been good after all.  The game didn’t even get to a point where it was interactive, so it’s hard to say.  So what did go wrong?


I had a grand total of 10 hours to dedicate to LD.  That’s just not enough time, not when you’re going up against people who are putting in 30 hours or more.  And out of those 10 hours, I’d say 5 of them were distraction filled.  Attempting to do the LD with a family doesn’t work very well.

My initial design was far to broad.  Now I’ve done enough 48-hour jams to realize this quickly, but it still cost extremely precious time planning things out, then looking at the time and realizing that I’d never get anything done if I continued at that pace.

The Rules:
This time around the compo rules really hammered me hard.  A good portion of my design hinged on using code snippets that were already written…and then realizing after I read over the rules summary post that I couldn’t use any of it.  That really hurt, both time-wise and moral-wise.
So how to deal with these issues next time?  Well the scope issue I think will always be there.  It can be very hard to correctly guess how much can be done within a given time frame, but with continue practice I’ll get better at it.  Time is trickier item.  It’s going to be years before that eases up, at least until my sons are teens and I don’t need to be deeply involved in their learning every day.  Until then I think my best bet is to approach the LD as a micro jam, and focus on completing something within a 4-5 hour time frame.  As for the rules…bah.  Annoying, very annoying.  I suppose my best there is to collect my code fragments and publish them so they’re publicly available, and therefor eligible for use.

So here’s to having better luck on the next one.

Beneath the Surface – Update 1

Posted by
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 2:10 pm

Yes, I like the theme name so much I’m making it the name of the game.  I spent last night and most of this morning thinking out how to represent the theme on multiple levels and on how to integrate it into a world that I’ve been working on for a little while now.

Some minor background, there are three types of dragons: Equines, Humanoids, and Serpentine.  This story involves Snow Furry, an equine dragon and rune mage.  She’s contracted to clear out a ‘mistake’ by a sheriff at a rather extortionist price.

The game play has been bugging me quite a bit.  In the end, I’m settling for a top-down 2D view using Unity3D.  I’ll use a rather simple RPG rule-set at first, then see if I can expand it if there’s time.  Still very up in the air about how to handle the levels, thought at first it will simply be a sequence of square rooms with the primary objectives.  I’m also going to keep everything to single mouse clicks, with the intent of making this playable on a tablet.  I doubt a phone would enough screen space.

Also did a little bit of tech research for publishing the game.  Since my last LD, Koding changed their setup and can’t be used as free hosting any more 😛  So I nosed around a little and found out that Google Drive can be used as a very basic web host.  Have it all setup now – click here if you wish to test it – though at the moment there’s nothing there except a very bland title screen 😛

Yet another entry post

Posted by
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 11:49 am

This will be my second attempt at doing the Ludum Dare challenge.  Hopefully this time around I’ll finish.  I’ll most likely use Unity, though if a strong 2D idea hits me I’ll switch over to GameMaker Studio.


*sigh* This just had to happen on the Neverwinter launch weekend.

Starship NALS

Posted by
Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 12:28 pm

The starship NALS – Not A Lost Sale – is making a run at the wall of SOPAPIPA.  Firing blasts of education, it will bring down this construct of ignorance!

Zeroing in on theme

Posted by
Friday, August 19th, 2011 8:33 pm

Escape is an interesting one.  I’m still trying to figure out exactly how to represent it in a game.  I’ve got several ideas:

  1. Escape from a place – You are someplace you don’t want to be, but getting out is hard
  2. Escape from a prison – variation on 1, but this time something is actively trying to stop you from leave
  3. Escape from a situation – You are someplace you don’t want to be, but this time the place is more of a social construct.  Social status or job perhaps, self image (too fat/weak)
  4. Escape from an emotion – Some emotion is holding you back, depression, pain, paranoia

These are the ones most resonating with me right now.

Tossing my hat in the ring

Posted by
Friday, August 19th, 2011 6:22 pm

I’ll have to dodge spouse aggro and play with my kids, making this even more interesting. But what’s life without a little challenge, eh?

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