About matthias_zarzecki (twitter: @IcarusTyler)

Entries

 
October Challenge 2015
 
Ludum Dare 33
 
October Challenge 2014
 
Ludum Dare 30
 
Ludum Dare 29
 
MiniLD 46
 
Ludum Dare 27
 
Ludum Dare 26
 
Ludum Dare 25
 
Ludum Dare 25 Warmup
 
October Challenge 2012
 
Ludum Dare 24
 
Ludum Dare 23
 
MiniLD 32
 
Ludum Dare 22
 
Ludum Dare 21
 
MiniLD #26
 
Ludum Dare 20

matthias_zarzecki's Trophies

Unstoppable Rating Machine
Awarded by codeapparat
on May 6, 2012
Most Tasty Jam Entry Award
Awarded by codeapparat
on January 19, 2012
"Doing your homework"-Medal
Awarded by pretzelhands
on July 19, 2011

matthias_zarzecki's Archive

Vertical Void DX is live!

Posted by (twitter: @IcarusTyler)
Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 1:46 am

Hey guys!

My October-Challenge-Game Vertical Void DX just got accepted into the AppStore. Get it while it’s hot! (And the 50% launch-discount is on :)

Features!

  • An endlessly generated cave-system
  • iOS Tilt-controls!
  • 12 unique caves
  • Awesome glowing crystals!

Go Get It | LD-Entry

-Matthew

 

Matthew’s big list of public-domain songs

Posted by (twitter: @IcarusTyler)
Monday, October 29th, 2012 2:36 am

Hey guys!

Looking for established high-profile music? Don’t want to search websites for that one awesome track?

Then go check out Matthew’s Big List of Public Domain Songs!

Features several dozen folk-songs and classical pieces, used in such games as

Go check it out. Also features some pointers to locate more awesome usable tracks.

-Matthew

Thoughts on Boxy the Boxcat (a post-mortem, if you will)

Posted by (twitter: @IcarusTyler)
Thursday, September 13th, 2012 4:15 pm

So let’s talk about the evolving mutant laser boxcat and her civilization-destroying offspring.

 

What went AWESOMELY

Music

Fuck yeah people love the music. If I knew I’d be able to make such a well-received track I would’ve put more time into it than 1 hour right before the deadline :)

The response to the music-track has been hugely positive, being described as “oddly fitting” and “catchy” and *moves head to rhythm*. After hearing it repeatedly I feel I should’ve switched the Cello for another instrument

Humor

I didn’t really have humor in mind per se, just a bunch of interesting/irrelevant stuff to collect for your home, which I presented in a matter-of-fact deadpan way. Apparently it worked :)

Kittens

Because everyone loves kittens. In the end I got up to 8 cats in total, missing the goal of “1000 Kittens” just short of 9992 cats.

Pacing

Works well. Note how the game starts immediately, there is no in-game intro. The title is maybe 2-3 seconds long, and changes with the music. After some exploring and learning the rules of the game-world you slowly evolve and learn how to undo said rules, culminating in the ability to blow up the environment, and ultimate wreak havoc on the human race.

Cuteness

The other general consensus is “it’s cute”. Sweet. I didn’t expect this at all.

Reception

Holy hell this is going well. As of writing Boxy the Boxcat is the 2nd most-played-game this LD, it got a rather big piece on IndieGameMag, and  lot of Let’s Plays. Here’s a fun one.

Lasers

This one went really well. The lasers look good, feel right, and the explosions have a good amount of WHOMPH to them. Note how the just says “You now have laser-eyes”, and the players naturally figured out how to blow up cars, and then the barrels. I was a bit afraid the latter wouldn’t be readable, but it worked perfectly.

One plan for the game was to have an evolving home/base, where you would periodically return to during the game (think the Normandy, or the Bastion). The “nest” is the result of this, changing each time after the player has found something. The items are displayed, and the kittens-effects change from “Feed us!/We’re hungry!” to “NOM”.

Sadly, players naturally didn’t return that often during gameplay. Still, it feels good 😀

Tophats

These seem to become my trademark, it’s the third time they appear in a game (the others being Badass Locomotive and the spiritual predecessor Let’s Protest!)

 

What went SLIGHTLY LESS AWESOMELY, perhaps just adequately

Level-design

The level lacks the usual long-time-polish and testing I put my level-design-through. It’s a bit too big, the hotspots are spaced too far away from each other in an order that isn’t occurring to the player naturally. The second half is also horribly laid out, with most players going straight for the other cat, and skipping the melon (which barely anyone found) (yes there’s a melon in this game. Can you find it?)

Cat-speed

One common complain was that the cat-speed was too slow. This is a common fallacy in feedback. The cat-speed was actually pretty well, if it would be faster the game would feel worse. It is the level AROUND the cat that is wrongly adapted to the speed, requiring the said bit of tightening.

Pickups

The “pickup-effect” is awesome. I feel I should’ve added a sound/fanfare.

Timelapse

Decided to set the picture-intervals to a shorter time, resulting in a rather long video. Go see my post on creating timelapses for a detailed breakdown.

Title

For some reason I thought “Boxy the Boxcat” was too short, and I wanted to an evolution-referencing subtitle. “Evolution Escapades” was my take on creating something akin to “Hooky Hijinks”, but in retrospect I feel it doesn’t fir at all the rather sombre game (before it admittedly goes off the rails).

Conclusion!

So how does it fare? Pretty well. Good score, currently 2nd most-played-game this LD, which is quite frankly amazing. I’ll need your help to reach the top!

I also had a great time playing  435 other games so far. Go check out my picks for some nuggets.

 

Also, I have an actual chance of ranking in the Kongregate-contest. I’d appreciate any quick 4-5 star votes, if you could spare them /puppyeyes/

Go Play | LD-Page

-Matthew

 

401 games down – here are my picks

Posted by (twitter: @IcarusTyler)
Sunday, September 9th, 2012 9:32 am

So I just played 401 of the 1406 games this LD (How? I’m a wizard). Here are some that stood out in one or more categories / are particularly interesting / are horribly underrated and deserve more plays.

(links to the LD-entries are in the headers/titles)

 

Cuboid Sandbox – cominu

I have no idea what’s going on. Some kind of cube-simulation, I fathom. But it is quite pretty.

 

One Day To Breed – Hazel

You are a cat. Find a partner, breed, and continue as the offspring until you have reached the peak of cat-dom. Quite cute. Also, the second game to feature boxcats :)

 

Happy Vegan Birthday – Huitre

Ridiculously good-looking point+click full of nice little gags.

 

EvoRide – inakrinat

It’s essentially Rainbow Road, but with a self-creating dna-path.

 

Species – mappum

I’m stil amazed by how this game manages to pull off what it does in 2d. More information would spoil the experience :)

 

FOR THE darWIN – TravisChen

You are Darwin. Dig out fossils to prove evolution, all whilst avoiding the church! Also, this game has the most sensible use of the NumPad ever. Top that!

 

Where am I? – AgentParsec

Play this game blind. Do not read the description. Do not read the comments. Every bit of information will cloud your playthrough. Just do it.

 

My Time – GamesByZed

1-day-extra-game by Zed, which is quite focussed. You are the Ludum-Dare-Theme “Evolution”. Show the other themes who’s boss!

 

-Matthew

 

How to make a good timelapse

Posted by (twitter: @IcarusTyler)
Sunday, September 9th, 2012 4:16 am

What is a timelapse?

A timelapse is a short video that shows your progress over several days, compressed into a 3-5 minute video. Here’s a good one of my last LD-game My Little Planetoid 

How do you make one?

You need a timelapse-tool, which will automatically create screenshots, save them and compile then into a video. Chronolapse has proven excellent. If you have a webcam, you can also set it to capture pictures from it.

How do I make a good timelapse?

Edit your pictures!
There is no need to see you absent from the screen for 2+ hours. There is no shame cutting material or only selectively turning on the capture-program.

Put as much info in as possible

If you have 2 monitors, capture both. If you have a webcam, use it.

Keep it short + compressed

Long timelapses aren’t that interesting. Try to keep the total length under ~3 minutes. The capture-interval is vital for this too. An interval between 30 and 60 seconds works well, <30 seconds will probably result in too many pictures, and a too long video.

Add music!

Preferably something that is either fun, entertaining, and/or cool.

Pros:

  • Everything looks super efficient!
  • You can give people an idea what it’s like to create a game in 48 hours, especially non-designers.
  • A timelapse makes it possible for fans (and you) to compare their workflows.
  • You can see a game evolve from simple blocks to effect-laden masterpieces of joy.

Cons:

  • What cons?

Making notes on the screen

Some devs have a text/image-editor open, on which they write what they are doing. While it can be entertaining, I prefer to condense the material and let the pictures speak for themselves.

Live-streaming

Streaming and timelapsing goes hand in hand. If you feel you can do a succesful stream, do it!

 

With this information in mind, let’s study my current timelapse of Boxy The Boxcat. What works, what doesn’t?

  • Note how the video is tad too long. 2 minutes is good, 5 minutes borders on unwatchable.  The song wasn’t even long enough, so I had to add a piece after 2/3 of the video.
  • There is a bit at the end where the game is essentially done, but the recording keeps going, showing the submission-process. I should’ve cut it.
  • Unlike my other timelapses, in this one I actually smile for a few frames. Yay positivity!

Now prepare your own for the next jam, and go play & rate Boxy the Boxcat while you’re at it :)

-Matthew

LD-games get frontpage-treatment on Kongregate

Posted by (twitter: @IcarusTyler)
Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 5:49 pm

Hey guys,

So I just noticed this

It links to an own sub-section of LD-games on Kongregate, which is currently arranged by “highest rating”. This might explain how my play-numbers doubled in one day :)

It is also interesting because these rankings will most likely determine who will win the Kong-Contest. It’s a bit sad though that most of the traffic will be funneled through the top-entries.

(Note: I just wanted to share this. I present this neutrally without opinion on the validity/integrity of the “controversial” contest)

-Matthew

Boxy the Boxcat in Evolution Escapades Timelapse

Posted by (twitter: @IcarusTyler)
Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 3:21 am

Behold! My slow descent into madness! (for your enjoyment)

 

Play | LD-Entry

-Matthew

Boxkittens

Posted by (twitter: @IcarusTyler)
Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 3:17 am

Hey!

So here is Boxy the Boxcat in Evolution Escapades

Features!

  • Cats
  • Lasers
  • Boxkittens
  • Nuclear Waste
  • And much more!

 

Play | LD-Entry

 

-Matthew

Exploding Panda-Barrels

Posted by (twitter: @IcarusTyler)
Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 5:05 pm

So I had “Panda” stuck in my head and played around for a few hours.

The glorious result!

It has everything. Pandas. Explosions. Procedural bamboo.

I guess this counts as warmup-game. Enjoy :)

-Matthew

Declaring stuff

Posted by (twitter: @IcarusTyler)
Friday, August 10th, 2012 9:20 am

Hey guys,

So I’m in. I will be creating a game using my trusty guitar.

 

What do you mean you can’t make games with that? Alright I guess I’ll use Unity and Max and a dozen other tertiary tools then.

Rock on!

-Matthew

Comparing ratings of my last 4 LDs

Posted by (twitter: @IcarusTyler)
Monday, May 14th, 2012 10:46 am

So I saw the all the stats-posts and wanted to be cool too.

Here are the ratings of my games during the last 4 LDs, including some general stats.

What’s interesting to see is that the number of games has skyrocketed. 1 year ago there were only 352 games, now it’s 4 times that much.

As a result of this I believe a percentage-score becomes important. Ranking, say, 50th out of 300 is different to ranking 50th out of 1400.

Aside from that I can tell that I have significantly improved after my first LD. Audio has increased steadily and Theme hung around the top ~25 spots. The rest did improve generally, dut did fluctuate.

My worst grades were in Humor, yet even then they were in the top 40%. Cool.

I learn from this that POLISH MATTERS. I always made sure the game is as “complete” as possible, even getting my roommate to play it a few hours before the end to implement the input. The more “stable” and “complete” a game is, the less you may frustrate the player, which will result in a better mood towards your game and thus better ratings.

(Yes I know the coolness-rating has been calculated differently each time, I didn’t take that into account. But I did take extra care to look beyond the coolness-numbers and I did actually come out 1st every time. Does this make me eligible for a lifetime-coolness-award? :P)

-Matthew

More picks (I’m at 336, btw)

Posted by (twitter: @IcarusTyler)
Saturday, May 5th, 2012 3:01 am

Here are some more awesome games. Enjoy.

 

Lilac.27

Beautiful twin-stick-shooter/adventure on several spherical workls.

 

Angle Isle

Everything is 45°! Also, you’re a bird. Lovely platformer.

 

Cruel Space

Twin-stick-shooter on multiple planets with leveling-up-mechanics. Beautiful presentation.

 

DINO-CAB

Ferry people around town without causing too much collateral damage. Or destroy the city, should you get pissed off.

 

Trucking the Universe

Rednecks in space. Also, one-button-controlled.

 

Rambros

Defend the freedom with 80s action-heroes. Laugh-out-loud funny.

 

Inside my Radio

Rhythm-bases platformer. It’s beautiful, and sounds great.

 

-Matthew

 

300 games down. 902 to go. Here are some picks.

Posted by (twitter: @IcarusTyler)
Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 12:56 am

Hey guys,

Here are some games that I found to be interesting, compiled for your enjoyment.

 

Atom Planet

A lovely little 2d-sandbox starring a dinosaur. What else do you want.

 

The Tiny World of Fiorella

Incredibly polished and beautiful dungeon-crawler. It’s positively Zelda-esque (or was that Isaac-ular?)

 

 

Oh Boy, oh boy

You rotate a planet trying to land asteroids, plants and wildlife in such a way that they survive, and cultivate an own environment.

 

Beef War

It’s tower-defense with beef. Also, insane.

 

Life in a Jar

You control a colony of sentient cubes, build stuff and assign jobs. A lot of parallels to My Little Planetoid.

 

Enjoy :)

-Matthew

Thoughts on My Little Planetoid

Posted by (twitter: @IcarusTyler)
Monday, April 30th, 2012 1:27 am

Hi guys,

So I created My Little Planetoid in 48 hours. Read on to find out what I thought afterwards (a post-mortem, if you will).

 

What went right

Genre/Setting

This is both a science-fiction and city-builder game. The combination itself is rather rare.

Building stuff

It just feels awesome. And I love the “Build now on moon”-gag, which I think is quite good game-design.

Timelapse

According to people this video is “intense”. It might be due to the orchestral music, but probably because my facial expressions during Ludum Dare varies between “frown” and “manic laughter”.

Soundtrack

I composed this over the course of the 24 hours. The first idea of the music I had immediately after I decided on the idea, and it grew from there. It has been quite well received, with many people saying they like it and find it relaxing.

Also, the idea of a space-banjo is just awesome.

Graphics

Having empty space as background meant I was able to concentrate more on the 3d-models in the foreground. And while they could be improved a lot, you’ll notice there’s a lot of detail to be found.

Mood

The combination of the somber soundtrack and the space-y visuals worked quite well, which people also remarked positively.

 

What went alright

Theme

This time I actually prepared. I made a list of ideas for every possible theme. Tiny World was the one where I didn’t have anything brilliant ready, so threw in an idea I already had before. After the announcement I developed more of them, but threw them out when I saw others made them first.

Scope in fiction

My Little Planetoid has a somewhat weird range of buildings. You start out with houses and farms, which could position this game anywhere in the past or future. Then you quickly advance to Science-Laboratories and advanced-space-stations. So while it is a progression through technology, I feel it could’ve been more focused.

Scope in design

In design-terms My Little Planetoid is huge.  It has more unique features/elements than any of my previous games. It has multiple complex 3d-models. It has a somewhat extensive GUI. And, most importantly, a huge web of each other influencing resources and variables.

I was even glad when something emergent happened, but there was lot of potential for bugs and unforeseen combinations. Which led to…

Balancing & bug-testing

I literally coded in something 10 minutes before the deadline. There was no time left for dedicated balancing and bug-hunting, only what I noticed during test-plays myself. The resource-balancing now kinda works, but it does feel off sometimes.

In the end the basic resources become abundant, so you aren’t really thinking about them any longer.

Textures

I used a basic pixelated diffuse-map on all things. Sadly there was no time to take care of UV-maps, but it doesn’t really show unless you really look.

 

What went wrong

Failure to realize how bloody huge this project is

This led to a (frankly mental) development-speed in the last hours, and the incomplete balancing.

 

All in all

This was an awesome and fun gamejam. My Little Planetoid is right now one of the most-played games, and people really enjoy it. The general consensus is that this could be huge if further developed. And so I will 😛

Play | LD-page | Mini-Review (at 9:50) | Review

 

-Matthew

 

 

Space Timelapse! In Space!

Posted by (twitter: @IcarusTyler)
Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 12:59 pm

This is me being in what I call “oh shit”-mode for two days. Surprisingly, I think I even smile one or two times.

 

-Matthew

Planetoids

Posted by (twitter: @IcarusTyler)
Monday, April 23rd, 2012 1:24 am

“Tiny World” was quite challenging, but I DID IT *fistpump*

I created My Little Planetoid, a city-building-game set on a small planetary body IN SPACE. You can build houses, factories, and launch satellites and rockets.

 

 

Play | LD-Entry | Timelapse | Soundtrack

 

Go check it out, it’s quite fun :)

-Matthew

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