About LTPATS (twitter: @LTP_ATS)


Ludum Dare 36
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MiniLD 49
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Here we go!

Posted by (twitter: @LTP_ATS)
Friday, August 21st, 2015 8:49 pm

I’m in, and for the first time I’m going for the Jam instead of the Compo! Hopefully the extra day will make it less stressful, and I’ll be working with RainbowSexyFish instead of going solo.

Same tools as usual: Unity, Photoshop, and probably VOPM for sounds and music.

Good luck everyone!

I’m in. No more skimping on Coolness!

Posted by (twitter: @LTP_ATS)
Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 3:53 pm

This will be the fifth Ludum Dare for me, and this time I don’t have school to distract me! Last time I was nearing graduation so I could barely play more than a handful of games. As a result I didn’t even get a ranking :(. More time means I get to rate and comment more other games, woohoo!

I will be using the same stuff I usually use: Unity, VOPM, Protools, and Audacity, and PS5.

Good luck and remember to play, rate, and comment!



Interval Game (no title yet)

Posted by (twitter: @LTP_ATS)
Sunday, December 7th, 2014 2:45 am

Working on an educational music game / sandbox about intervals and basic scales. Having a blast!prog_gif_01_COMP

I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @LTP_ATS)
Thursday, December 4th, 2014 5:07 pm

In for the fourth time, gonna be using the same tools as last time most likely:

Unity for the engine, VOPM, Protools, and Audacity for audio, PS5 for textures or sprites.

Good luck everyone!

Roy, Gee, Biv Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @LTP_ATS)
Monday, September 15th, 2014 3:55 pm

Roy, Gee, Biv was a 48-hour compo game that involved three characters meeting up and attempting to free themselves from the world they’ve been constrained in. I had a lot of fun developing it, though it has plenty of issues that would need fixed if I were to ever release this as a completed game.

So let’s get right to it!

Unless you haven’t played the game yet, in which case I’d highly recommend doing so to avoid spoilers!

Play Roy, Gee, Biv Here!

What Worked


This is one I’m definitely proud of! After releasing a dozen+ games I’ve finally started to embrace the idea of a narrow scope. Getting out of the “Oh, but wouldn’t it be cool if I did this too?” mindset is tricky, and there are times where it can actually be beneficial. Overall for situations like this I try to steer away from this mindset, unless I feel the idea can be easily implemented and will complete the game idea rather than bloat it.

Having Something Resembling an Ending

I realized recently that proper endings are something that my games tend to lack. Sometimes I’ll do something involving a few lines of text, or player will enter a sandbox room that might say something along the lines of “You Win” or “Have Fun,” but often my games will have no endings at all and just go to the title screen.

I think this has definitely disappointed some of my players in the past, so I’ve been trying to think of ways to create more interesting endings. For this game I wanted to try again with the sandbox theme but add a bit of a twist to it.

Obvious spoilers ahead! If you’d rather see the ending yourself first, please play the game (link is at the top).

I noticed that early in the game’s development I had a lot of fun playing with a random bug that turn into a mechanic: instead of picking up an object, one character would hop on top of it and “ride” it, sometimes even projecting he character upwards in the sky depending on the object’s size. I realized that one thing I love about games is when they break, and how rewarding it can be breaking a game because of how surprising it is. Since this also often means completely altering the previously established rules of the game, it can also give the player more of the game to experience. So for the ending I decided to slightly alter the rules of the game to give the option to break it (more than it already is broken, that is) for the player.

Basically what happens is the characters “share” their abilities and can all do what the others can. As a result they can all fly or ride out of the roofless area they are constrained in and exit the playable game world. Outside there is a big party room with lots of particle effects. There are some rideable platforms and an underground area which is just a 3×5 grid (trying and failing to be clever since the game’s song was written in 15s). The player is free to roam the world or just fall of the edge or whatever.



The sound could’ve definitely used more time, but for what I was trying to accomplish it got the job done. Each character had their own part to the song, there is a bass track tying the other tracks together. If I had more time I probably would’ve added more nuance in the music overall, and maybe have more audio cues to character abilities, doors opening, etc.

What Didn’t Work


I told myself to go really minimal for this game, I wanted more time to troubleshoot any scripting issues since this was my first time using Unity for a short gamejam. While I enjoyed the idea of this, the game just looked a bit sloppy and incomplete overall, and I would’ve liked to spend more time considering the overall aesthetic of the game. Also some really lazy amateur mistakes in my animation (animating the root, the worst part is I knew I wasn’t supposed to do it and I did it anyway) led to floating or sinking characters, which led to me desperately trying to patch up mistakes in scripts before I had to upload the game in time. Overall the game was messy, and that seems to show pretty well in the art.


The game was confusing to many people, and overall I think I did a pretty poor job in teaching the player what the game is about. If I did this again I would have put more time into designing a smoother learning curve. This is definitely one of the biggest challenges for me in game design, since many of my games have very limited tutorials, text-based tutorials or none at all.


I wanted the climax of the game to be around the time the characters could all see each other, but because of this I didn’t feel like I had enough time to really use the characters’ abilities to their fullest and fully flesh out their interaction.  A lot of this was because of how opening doors worked: Instead of using switches to open them, I made them one-way doors that could only be opened by one character. This meant that in order for the characters to get through doors of a different color, they have to wait for that character to open in for them, forcing them to meet very early. In order to fix this I would have to change the doors to open with distant switches, or have players teleport somewhere when they open a door, or something else.

Satisfying Ending

While I’m glad I included the ending, I definitely felt like it wasn’t terribly successful. There wasn’t exactly anything to “do” after the game was won other than wander around, and I didn’t even do much to indicate that the players have gained each other’s abilities. Overall it could have used a lot more substance.

The Wrap-up:

I’m glad I finished the game and achieved all of the basic mechanics that I planned on. However it needs a lot of polish and some reworking of the basic gameplay. I’d like to come back to this again sometime, but it may not happen for a bit. I also didn’t get a chance to play and rate that many games (school keept me busy), which is especially disappointing because that is one of my favorite parts of Ludum Dare. Overall I learned a lot about my current strengths and weaknesses. I have quite a ways to go but jams like this are helping me learn!

See y’all next time!


In for the Jam! Also a Mini (Belated) LD#29 Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @LTP_ATS)
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 5:24 pm

Third LD (and in a row)!

I will be using the same stuff I usually use:

~Stencyl or Unity

~ PS5 for art

~ Guitar Pro 5, VOPM, Freesound, Protools for audio

I will also most likely be using personal code libraries depending on what type of game I make.

Also I never got around to writing a post-mortem for my last LD game Sea of Deception, so I figured I’d squeeze out a quick one here since I should be reviewing my last LD entries anyway.SCANS_SM

What Worked:

Scope – If there’s one thing I’ve (kinda) learned by doing game jams, it’s managing scope. I was lucky enough to have a small scope that was achievable within the 48-hour time frame I had.

Sound / Art – I think the success of my art and sound in the game could be related back to my small scope: by not requiring too much for the game, I was able to create a small number of assets and sounds which ultimately saved time and helped to improve the overall quality of the game. I had only one song, and a few sound effects for the player’s moves. For the art I only needed one tile set with a few environment pieces, and three characters. Overall the art looked a lot better than most of my previous games, and I think it’s because I kept it simple.

What Didn’t Work:

Readability – A couple things in the game may have been difficult to understand without knowing the overall goal I was trying to achieve for the game. I wanted to get across the idea “dolphins can be just as messed up if not more messed up than sharks.” Because of this I often had the sharks in more vulnerable positions than the dolphins. I wanted to give the impression that there was some sort of species-related war or conflict going on, with several different groups (for instance I have some implied cross-species love in some spots in the game). In the end I have a group of humans caged up by dolphins, in what are supposed to be ball gags. Some people were able to read this, but I was finding it difficult to make them read as ball gags and not just part of their scuba equipment.

This was my interpretation of the “Beneath the Surface” theme: As the player communicates with more individuals, they gain knowledge and can access new areas. The basic mechanic of the game involved talking to others and filling up a “knowledge” meter, while NPCs communicated basic thoughts with “speech” (more like picture) bubbles that could be a bit difficult to read or understand out of context. There are barricades that open up when the player reaches a certain amount of knowledge. On some browsers the screen would get cropped weird, preventing the knowledge bar from showing. This severely hurt the overall readability and playability of the game, since it eliminated an indication of the player’s progress. However, the game is still playable without it (and some may feel that the lack of bar adds to the immersion :P).

Size – This could potentially be seen as a positive thing, but the game was really short. There is only one level, and it is beatable in under 5 minutes. Because of the scope of the game I think this was necessary, but if this were to be a full game it would definitely need to have additional levels, tile sets, music, etc.

Anticlimactic – This is actually a bit of a recurring theme in my game design, but my games often have a simple “You Win” screen, or straight to the title screen for the endings. Since I have been thinking about the narrative in my games a bit more, I feel that at the very least I should focus on making more interesting and thought-out endings. I think the main issue with stuff like cut scenes is that it requires text, additional animations, or other additional player / NPC movements which are difficult to add in when pressed for time. While I think it’s good practice to focus on narrative through gameplay rather than dialogue or cut scenes, having a satisfying ending to a game can potentially help tie it all together and improve the overall experience.

Coolness – This is probably what bummed me out the most about this LD. Because I was so busy with school, I had to focus on school work immediately after finishing LD, so I barely had time to play other developer’s games. This was probably my favorite part of my first LD, I loved seeing everyone else’s creations and interpretations of the theme! In addition to that, the giving and receiving of critique was very helpful and gave a strong sense of community. I’m hoping to spend more time playing everyone else’s games this time!


Overall I did better in this game than my last game, especially in Audio (#45), woohoo!

#45 Audio 3.88
#129 Theme 3.81
#157 Mood 3.59
#158 Graphics 3.88
#261 Fun 3.40
#342 Innovation 3.38
#425 Overall 3.31
#1989 Coolness 22%

And to compare, here is my previous submission’s score:

Coolness 95%
#233 Fun 3.28
#245 Audio 3.00
#322 Mood 3.02
#375 Humor 2.53
#436 Graphics 3.05
#436 Overall 3.08
#685 Innovation 2.61
#788 Theme 2.36

Whoops, guess this wasn’t that short of a post-mortem after all O_o. Oh well, good luck everyone!



I’m in (my second LD48)! Time to get weird?

Posted by (twitter: @LTP_ATS)
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 1:32 am

Excited and slightly nervous for my second LD48. My last game went pretty well (click here to read the post-mortem, complete with game and soundtrack links) and I learned a lot about scope and time management. I had so much fun on it I’m working on a spinoff, and plan on having a full release within the next couple years once I do some more prototyping!

Since the last Ludum Dare I’ve released several more games. LD hooked me on game jams so much I went on a bit of a “game jam binge,” participating in as many game jams as I could. I’ve made about six games since LD #28 (plus two more games for an Infectious Diseases class I was taking), many were with my partner Kristin Magann of RainbowSexyFish.

Anyway I will be reading over my post-mortem like crazy before starting this time so I won’t repeat any previous mistakes (we’ll see how that goes). Can’t wait for the theme, many of them are looking pretty interesting!

I will be using:

~ Stencyl most likely, but mayyybe Unity if the theme inspires something I know I can program (I just started using Unity recently, still learning the ropes). If I use Stencyl I may end up using some personal code libraries depending on the type of game I make.

~ Photoshop 5 for art

~ Guitar Pro 5 and VOPM for sound and music, possibly free domain stuff from Freesound or self-recorded sound effects. Audacity for any additional tweaks.

~ Pencil and paper for fleshing out concepts!

Good luck everyone and happy jamming!

My Top Six: Weird Edition!

Posted by (twitter: @LTP_ATS)
Monday, January 6th, 2014 11:22 am

Here are my personal favorites that I think were successful in being weird, different, interesting, and/or experimental in nature. All hail absurdity!

These are in no particular order! Play and rate them all before the time runs out!


X. Da’ Face – Snail_Man

A short experimental game with amazingly eerie music that literally falls apart as the game progresses. The dialogue is great and the sprite “trailing” effect is icing on the cake in terms of presenting the game as fantastically jenky. It’s short and it’s weird, just play it! You don’t have much time!


X. Give Me A Hand – Sink


This game had a really clever use of the theme: you only get one hand! The game can be played in many different ways depending on which hand you choose each time. The music is simple and to the point, it works well with the short length of the game. In addition to that, your health meter moves around a bit, it’s almost like your hearts are gettin’ jiggy to the beat! Super fun and silly! Also something about the color palette really jives with me. Play it now!


X. CUOP DO SACI – leparlon

It’s like QWOP but with one leg and hand-made art! Also based on Brazilian folklore (if the first sentence wasn’t convincing enough). I think that’s all that needs to be said, this is awesome so play it!


X. superfrozenkittengetsonlyonesecretbottleforyou – evilindiegames

Wow, I probably played this game longer than I should have, but my eyes feel fine so I think I’ll be okay! Fisheye + sweet color palette + kitty people seems like a good formula to me. You have to collect secret bottles so you don’t freeze! This game is pretty surreal, after playing it for a bit I realized that I am the only kitten moving around collecting these bottles: am I the last surviving kitty in a world of frozen cats that weren’t fast enough to keep collecting the bottles? Kinda depressing and creep. The music is catchy as well (I didn’t get bored of it after it looped a lot). I would also like to give  special kudos to the creator for for one upping our 1GAM idea of using all three themes: not only did they use the LD theme, they incorporated all three themes from the other gamejam! Awesome! Play it!


X. You Only Get 1! – Danman9914

A “game show-like” game where you must choose one item to use in several different scenarios. This game gets better the more you play it because you slowly learn which items work well with what scenarios! I Love all the pink! A fun and goofy game, you should play before it’s all over!


X. Cat Gentlemans Play: Insult Spinner 10 Cents – RobotLovesKitty

A two-player game (that is also fun as a one-player game)! Slap each other, trade insults, and duel! You better go play it, time is running out!


I am sure that there are a plethora of fantastic games that I either forgot to mention or didn’t get around to playing, so I apologize for all of the great absurdity that I missed and failed to mention! For those I did manage to play, I will be awarding them with my “Keepin’ it Weird” trophy!






Wall of Fingers Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @LTP_ATS)
Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 5:41 pm

So Wall of Fingers has been done for a few days now and I’ve been slowly gathering all of my thoughts on it, so I felt it was time for a recap! This was my first LD, and third game jam (I recently participated in 1GAM and TAG).

four pages of rough concept stuff:




What Worked:

Scope – I needed to make sure I could actually create the game I was planning in 48 hours. I’ve been wanting to make a game like this for a while (wall-of-death platformer) so when I saw the theme I figured it would work well for a sadistic game like this ;).

So I kept it simple: 5 levels, 2 masks,  choose 1 mask per level, 1 life for the entire game. For sound I decided to do a song for each level, and sound effects for all basic movement, death, level completion, pause menu, etc. because I am insane and regurgitate sound and music. Overall this was a modest scope and I thought I had control over it (more on this in the “What Didn’t Work” section).

Sound – I had a blast working on sound, doing sound for games give me an excuse to nerd-out on random theory junk. Since I was doing one song per level, I decided to make the timing for each song sequential from 6-10:

LEVEL 1 – 3/4 (6)
LEVEL 2 – 7/8 (7)
LEVEL 3 – 4/4 (8)
LEVEL 4 – 9/8 (9)
LEVEL 5 – 5/4 (10)

Art – It was weird and kinda creepy and the color palette was obnoxious so that’s win-win-win for me.

What Didn’t Work:

SCOPE!? -I left out a lot of things in the initial planning stage that I ended up adding slowly throughout the game’s development. Not the best idea. For instance, I wanted to have sounds for many different aspects of the player’s movement. A bit into the game, I decided on having sounds for jumping, landing, wall jumping, and flying. I had all of the sounds recorded, but the landing sound was never implemented. This was because I kept having to troubleshoot other issues, and I was worried that focusing on something minor like the landing sound could hurt progress on something more important.

Ultimately this wasn’t a huge deal, but if I planned out the sounds in the early stages I would have at least been able to confront this issue earlier on and decide what to prune before things got out of hand.

Another thing I didn’t really establish in the conceptualizing stage was what other assets / platforms would exist in the game. I guess at first I assumed there would be none (which I should have kept it at) and the whole game would be centered on running / jumping / wall jumping /flying. Though for some reason I was feeling like I needed to add more “stuff” to the game to make it more interesting in the last 1/3 or so of the jam.bounce_SHOWOFFDISA_ANIMATEDMAGNET_ANIMATED

So I decided to add bouncy platforms, disappearing platforms, and magnet platforms. I made the art / sound effects for them and scripted them into the game, only to realize that I would have to reshape a lot of the levels simply to allow these new platforms to be used properly! This would’ve been a lot of extra work and in the end I decided to keep only one of them (the bouncy ones) and that was for a specific reason (which I go over in “Know how you intend the player to play the game”).

Adding junk to the levels AFTER they have already been designed – This goes along with scope, when designing a level I should know exactly what assets will be used any how: is this the first time the player is using this asset? If so then I need to introduce it properly, if not then I need to slowly introduce new / more difficult ways of interacting with it, etc. Because of the platform fiasco, I added a lot of unnecessary stress later in the game’s development.

Difficulty Curve – Huzzah, six games under my belt and I still suck at designing difficulty curves! It’s okay, this is probably my current biggest flaw as a game designer so I know it will take a while before I get it. The game can be beat in about 3 minutes, though some who played the game played it for a least 20 minutes. This makes me happy knowing that some people were willing to put that amount of time into my game, though for every individual who has the patience there are probably several who will most likely quit and rate it after the first or second death. The latter are the people I need to reach out and appeal to.

Another complaint I received is the “You Only Have One Life for Five Levels” aspect, which kinda breaks my heart but I totally understand why people don’t like it. Right now my games tend to have this “if you can’t play it then oh well” attitude, which I’m trying to avoid. I like hard games and I want my games to appeal to like-minded people, but what if someone want to like hard games but can’t get into them because the difficulty curve is too steep? Or what if someone thinks they hate hard games until they played one that had a strong difficulty curve that allowed them to get into it?

I’m learning that being accessible and being “watered down” are not necessarily the same thing. That by properly introducing my game I can appeal to a wider audience, while still allowing the more “hardcore” fans to appreciate it (more on this in the “Future Changes” section).

Bugs n’ Stuff – I’ve had a report of the player going through the world after grabbing a mask, so yeah, that’s not good XD. It seems to be a pretty rare occurrence too, which is bad for a bug because that’s means it will be difficult to recreate and just a difficult to know if it’s fixed. Luckily I may have an idea of what’s causing it, so I’m hoping to avoid this in future installments.

What I Learned:

SCOPE!! – When I’m planning I need to plan EVERYTHING and how it will be used. Know what needs to stay and go BEFORE actually working on the game. Don’t plan on adding stuff later on because I think I have the time, get what was planned DONE before ever considering this (THIS IS IMPORTANT).

Know how I intend the player to play the game (and how I will teach this) – I like giving the player choices to make in a game, it gives them an excuse to play it again if they enjoyed it. That being said knowing HOW to present the choices to the player is just as important as providing the choices, because if they don’t know they have a choice, is it really a choice?

After implementing the mask mechanics into the game, I thought it would be cool to eventually allow the player to make three choices: mask A, mask B, or no mask. Choosing no mask to beat the level is essentially “hard mode.” This choice is possible on the last two maps. Since I thought of this after the initial level design I altered the levels a little bit to make it possible to beat with no mask. The bouncy platforms really helped with this.

That being said, how did I make this choice to player apparent? Well, I didn’t really. On every level leading up to the 4th one the player needs a mask, so why would they try to beat it without one? In a future installment, I’m thinking of making this choice more apparent through the level design: At the start of a level have an upper path that is hard to get to that leads to the two masks in the level, and a more accessible lower path that leads to a one way drop that forces the player to continue the level without the masks. This will hopefully introduce the idea that it is intended to give the player the option of playing without the masks. If a level NEEDS to be beaten with a mask, have the mask in a location that forces the player to pick it up to continue.

So what I picked up from this was to understand how I want the player to play the game AND how I will teach the player to play the game (this also involves teaching the player to understand their choices, and teaching them how to recognize when they do and don’t have choice).

Future Changes:

To manage the difficulty curve:

~I will increase the number of levels (most likely to 5 groups of 5)

~When the player dies, they will restart in the level they died in, not the first level

~After beating the five levels, there is an optional “challenge mode” unlocked for that group. This is where the player must beat all five levels with one life. The player can complete these challenges to unlock new levels or level groups.

~I will most likely avoid all platforms, unless I go for more levels. I want to have a lot of time to introduce new mechanics to the players and not rush them into it too much. This way I can be a bit more confident that they can handle more difficult levels eventually.

To the sound:

~The music can go in a couple directions. If I’m going to have 25+ levels, then I need to ask myself if I’m willing to make 25+ songs. Granted they will be pretty short, probably under a minute each, but there are alternatives. I could also do one song per group of levels, with each stage playing a single instrument of the song, and the final stage playing the completed piece with all instruments, but that requires more planning.

I will probably go with one song per level for now, since it will be fun practice and I may be able to find ways to make each level visually different in some way to pair with the music. We’ll see.

~I will get that landing sound in there!

~I want to sync up the song length with the length of the levels better. Right now they are somewhat close, but figuring out a basic formula that will allow me to determine how large a level needs to be to finish when the song does should help a lot.


~I’d like to fix any current bugs that exist

~I’d like to (eventually) tweak art and animations a bit.

~Maybe have some collectible objects that give the player incentive to replay a level with different masks / no masks. These could be used to unlock more levels or other stuff.


Thanks for reading / skimming! Thanks for the feedback! Thanks for having game jams that make me less lazy! This was an awesome experience and I can’t wait for the next Ludum Dare!

You can play the game HERE!

You can hear and download the soundtrack HERE!

More games and stuff HERE!

Wall of Fingers

Posted by (twitter: @LTP_ATS)
Monday, December 16th, 2013 1:50 am

Here is what I ended up submitting for the compo:


Outrun a giant wall of fingers through five levels. You only have one life.

I had a lot of fun making this, especially the music. The game could definitely be harder / longer, but that wasn’t the point of this IMHO. That being said I would love to rework this at a later time and set up a better difficulty curve.

I made a bunch of platform assets that did different things, but I realized that my original level concepts didn’t account for that, so I left most of them out (I didn’t want to throw in a bunch of platforms that would affect the level without having more time to test it out). So once again I learned to MANAGE MY SCOPE! Maybe this time it will stick ;).

more info / other game stuff here.

Time to sleep! 1.5 day update for Wall of Fingers

Posted by (twitter: @LTP_ATS)
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 2:10 am

This jam started about 6 hours after my last class of the quarter, so this has been a nice transition into my winter break ;). I decided to go for a “wall of death” style platformer where the player has only one life to outrun the wall through 5 levels (I’d love to add more later, I’m thinking of polishing this up later for a sequel or something).

Because the small amount of levels I was able to write a song for each level! They’re short, around 40-60 seconds each. The MIDI data is almost done, and after that I will use VOPM for sega genesis-esque weirdness.

In the levels the player can also pick up masks that enhance their abilities in some way. The purple one allows the player to move faster, jump higher, and wall jump, while the green one grants the player flight. When the player picks up one mask, the other mask vanishes, and the player must use their selected mask throughout the entire level. There are different paths in the levels, some requiring a specific mask.


I finally decided on a name! I was getting worried because I couldn’t think of one until I started designing the wall of death sprite. I thought a wall of twitching fingers would be kinda cool and weird and creepy so I went with it, and now my game is called Wall of Fingers…

In these situations any excuse to do something weird is good in my book.


Good luck y’all!

First LD, aiming to try #nokill !

Posted by (twitter: @LTP_ATS)
Friday, December 13th, 2013 12:44 am

I will be using Photoshop, Stencyl, and I will be making use of some personal script libraries. As for the music I’m using Guitar Pro 5 to write any MIDI data and most likely VOPM (16-bit FM synth) for the instruments, also Audacity if I need to do any additional tweaking. Can’t wait for the theme!

my games

my music

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