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Ludum Dare 37
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Ludum Dare 35
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Ludum Dare 32 Warmup
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Actually prepared this time

Posted by
Thursday, April 20th, 2017 5:31 pm

So I’m traveling again during Ludum Dare and will have limited time to participate but I’m hoping to put something together.  I figured since I have limited time I would actually get my workflow set up and get ready to go before the event so I didn’t spend an hour getting things ready like I normally do.  I figured I’d put together what I’m doing in case it would help anyone else out.  Also, if anyone has any suggestions I’d love to hear them.  I always like seeing how everyone else sets up their workflows, so here’s mine.

The tools:

Engine: Phaser.io

Language: Javascript

Platform: Browser (HTML5)

IDE: Atom (Ok, it’s not an IDE, and only a text editor, but still)

Graphics: GraphicsGale

Music: LMMS


Phaser.io and Atom are new to me, so I spent some time figuring out an easy way to develop, iterate, and test.  Here’s how I’ve got things set up:

Atom Setup:

I created a bunch of Atom snippets for some of the commonly used statements that I always forget the format of.  Not having an IDE means no code completion so this is extra important.

Atom snippets for some commonly used statements

Atom snippets for some commonly used statements

Now I can just type p + the command I want and it Atom builds the statement for me and I just have to fill in the variables.  I’m sure this will save me a bunch of time looking up syntax.


Phaser setup:

I created a basic template for Phaser games that I copied into a fresh directory.  I created a couple of states (Preload, Menu, and Play) so I didn’t forget any of them.  I also made sure to have the Phaser examples and Spriter project available for quick reference so I can look stuff up without leaving my editor and going to the web.

Atom Setup


I also learned that Python has a simple web server built into it, so I created a quick script to navigate to my LD38 directory and start the web server.  This is much simpler than setting up a local Apache instance or pushing to the web for testing.

web service start

A quick jump over to the browser and navigating to localhost:8000 and I’m good to go.  BrowserTest

Source Control and Repository setup:

This time I set up my Github repo in advance and created the remote connection in advance so I’m not Googling how to do it during the submission hour like I normally am.  If you want the boilerplate code it is up there now: Github repo


I also took the time to set up a spot on my website for my in process or finished game.  I use Joomla to publish to the rest of the site but that takes time.  This is quick and dirty with a simple index.html.  I also set up FileZilla to connect automatically so now I can one-click publish.  http://codingadventure.net/games/LD38/

So that’s it.  Pretty simple but should stay out of my way and just work.  If anyone has any suggestions let me know!

Temple of the Sky People post-mortem

Posted by
Friday, September 2nd, 2016 9:52 pm

This entry marks my 5th entry in Ludum Dare, and I think it has been my best so far from an art, game design, and coding perspective.  I wanted to get my thoughts down in my standard Good, Bad, and Ugly format.  I’m not sure about everyone else, but I always go back through and read my old post-mortems before each Ludum Dare to get back into the rapid prototyping mindset, so here we go.

Thog has no time to read your puny post-mordems!

Thog has no time to read your puny post-mortems!

Play Temple of the Sky People here!



Playtesters wated

Posted by
Sunday, August 28th, 2016 3:27 pm

Want to help me playtest my entry?  I’m getting close, but this is going to come down to the wire.  I threw together a quick test level of some of the elements that I’ve got into the game so far.  Checkpoints, powerups, traps, water, health.  There are a lot of little things left to do (invincibility frames, displaying text, main menu, pause menu, etc) and some bugs to squash (hitboxes for the traps facing left are wonky, plus some more) but I’ve got the basic framework in place.  I’d appreciate any feedback or bugs that you uncover.  It is playable in Flash right in the browser.

Play here


You can complete everything in a minute or two.  This is really just a test bed for me.

Thanks all!

Really rolling

Posted by
Sunday, August 28th, 2016 3:02 am

I’m on a roll.  All the bugs are fixed, the map importer is ready to go, graphics are coming along nicely.  I’m in content creation mode.  I may actually finish for the compo this time.

Finished some of the ancient technology powerups that Thog is going to be able to use.


Standard Metroidvania Double Jump Boots


Mask of Moving Freely Underwater while seeing hidden passages

Off to bed!  It’s 4 AM!

Giant Alien Thing

Posted by
Saturday, August 27th, 2016 11:34 pm

I’ve got a lot left to do, so natually I stopped for about an hour to make a giant, alien… status thing.


I’m defending my choice by saying that it is a time honored Metroid tradition to have upgrades delivered by giant alien statues.

Temple of the Sky People

Posted by
Saturday, August 27th, 2016 9:14 pm

I’m making good progress on my game tentatively titled “Temple of the Sky People”.  I spent a bunch of time doing sprite work, working on Tiled map importing, and coding a bunch of stuff.  I’ve hit a problem where the map tiles are showing up wrong.  It is because when I pull in data from Tiled indexes each tileset sequentially so I’ve got to do some math before getting it into HaxeFlixel.  I’ve run into a solved this problem before so I’ve got to go back through some old code, but I’m putting that off and posting here.

caveman large

Thog hasn’t changed though

Here’s the temple tileset.  I’ve still got a bunch of little things to do, but the bones are there.


I went with the DB32 palette this time.  I’m working with it and I’m really enjoying it.

I’ve also started on some traps.


Ok, back to code review…

Temple of the Sky People

Posted by
Saturday, August 27th, 2016 12:21 am

Screw it, I’m making a Metroidvania.

I’ve never made one before and I’ve always wanted to, so here we go…

caveman large

This is Thog, or some other caveman-like name


Thog has a sick child and the village wise man says the only cure is a gem found in the ancient Temple of the Sky People.  Thog will brave the monsters and traps of the temple to recover the gem to heal his child.

I’m using the theme twice.  See, Thog is a caveman, so everything he uses will be ancient technology.  But then he is going to go into the temple and discover even ancienter technology! (I don’t think ancienter is a word).  But because ancient lost civilizations always have better technology than the current ones Thog will find ancient technology that will actually be super advanced.  So Thog will start the game using clubs and torches and end the game flying around with a jetpack shooting lasers.  Isn’t that clever?  See normally ancient technology is worse… but in this case… it’s… better…

Running!  And Jumping!

Running! And Jumping!

Keyboard inputs, map imports from Tiled, basic main character animations, collisions, and more all running at a silky smooth 60 fps.  But the gif is captured at 33 fps so you can’t see it.  Great start for me and 4 hours of work.

Release the Monster Post Compo

Posted by
Thursday, August 27th, 2015 9:52 pm

This Ludum Dare I decided to do something a little different.  I’ve been messing around with Adventure Game Studio over the last couple months and when the theme came up I thought this would be a good opportunity to use it for something.

My idea was that a generic evil genius named Dr. Destructo had his plans foiled by the forces of good again.  He is blaming his incompetent minions (like any proper villain should) and summons a monster (the player) to use its mind reading power to root out the incompetent minions and make them pay.


Introduction sequence

The game is made in the style of the old Lucas Arts adventure games like Monkey Island and Indiana Jones.  The graphics are a glorious 320×200 with four frame walk cycles.  Music is non, existent and minimal sound.  I’m really happy with how it turned out.

The game is investigative as you try to find out which of the minions is responsible for the operation’s failure (spoilers: they all are). Find the evidence to eliminate as many as you feel like and then talk to Dr Destructo to see how you did.

monster0002The Good:

  • The Engine – Adventure Game Studio does exactly what it sets out to do.  I spent no time coding an engine.  Every asset I made and letter I typed is directly tied to gameplay, which allowed for a longer game.
  • The puzzles – There is a fine line for puzzles in adventure games.  Too strange and the player is just trying random things to guess what the developer was thinking.  Too simple and it is boring.  I think I struck a good balance, but just in case I made the central puzzle (you gather clues and then figure out a logic puzzle to learn who sleeps in which bed and has which job) skippable in case you don’t want to do it.
  • The sprites – I like the look.  I originally had some more frames to the animations but started to minimize because of time constraints.  I think the lower frame animation cycles add to the look.

drdestructo0003The Bad:

  • The Engine – The engine is great, but the export options are not.  There have been some people successful getting them to run on Linux natively but the OSX engine only runs on older versions…
  • Time available – I was traveling for work during the jam and was on a special project that didn’t allow for much time.  I spent about half the time I normally like to dedicate to a game jam.  Having the engine helped this a lot, but it led to some rushed areas like…

minion0014The Ugly:


  • Backgrounds – I had to switch styles because of time constraints, so while the sprites are very clean and crisp the backgrounds were made with gradients and the normal tricks (granted at a low resolution).  I needed to go back in and clean up the brackgrounds, but I ran out of time.  They aren’t really bad, but they aren’t where I’d like.
  • The endings – I’d hoped to make different animated endings depending on the number of minions you killed, but I didn’t have time.  You do get a different ranking and score, but I’d hoped for more.

If you want to play, follow this link!




I need your help!

Posted by
Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 12:13 am

The evil Dr Destructo’s nefarious plan has just been defeated by the forces of good and he is in a foul temper. He is sure that his plan was sound and the reason he lost was due to incompetence by his minions. He has summoned his loyal monster to use its powers of mind reading to discover who is responsible for the defeat and deal out horrible retribution!



Obviously the art is a WIP…

Here’s what I need.   I’m looking for funny ideas for reasons that this unspecified plan could have failed.  “Minion forgot to load his gun with bullets” and “Food poisoning” and “Overslept and missed the battle” are the types of things I’m looking for.  I’m hoping that the creative powers of the Ludum Dare community can come up with much better ideas than I could on my own.  So… any ideas?

The Great Debate Post-Compo Post-Mortem Post-post

Posted by
Friday, April 24th, 2015 3:55 pm

I’m very excited to have successfully completed my second Ludum Dare!  I’ve been working all week on implementing a lot of the feedback that I’ve been getting on my game and am releasing a post-compo version.  Thanks to everyone who game me feedback and already played it.

My game is a puzzle game disguised as a Debate Simulator titled The Great Debate.  Here’s a link to the entry page with the game on the top.  This is the version you should play for scoring.  If you want to play the cleaned up, streamlined post-compo version you can play it here.

It is categorized a puzzle game because the each round you pick a word that is given a score based on a secret scoring criteria.  At first you will just be picking words randomly, all the while you can try to recognize patterns and figure out what is going to maximize your score.  Then pick the highest scoring words you can for the remainder of the game to argue your opponent into submission.

The debate simulator is because you yell random sentences at each other with random words thrown in.  These sentences are actually totally meaningless, so it isn’t really a debate.  Actually, now that I think about it, it is very much like most debates on the Internet.




Post Mortem after the Read More…

Aristotle joins the just barely finished debate!

Posted by
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 9:01 pm


Done!  Aristotle is making his appearance in the debate alongside Hal 9000, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Albert Einstein.  He was finished literally minutes before the 9:00 EST deadline and was the last piece added to the game.  Whew.

I’m really glad we have a submission hour.  I always forget how to remote push to GitHub and have to mess around with it every time because I never remember to push the code up during the compo.  I also has a last minute panic when my music file was a .wav or .ogg and Flash only takes MP3s, but a quick online conversion seems to have taken care of it.

Click here to debate!

HAL 9000 joins the debate

Posted by
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 6:34 pm

hal9000This is going to be close…

And here I am posting here instead of packing in little stuff…



The Great Debate is playable!

Posted by
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 11:54 pm


The Great Debate is playable!  Well, there is only one puzzle and no funny MadLibs like conversations yet, but it works!  You can play as Albert Einstein matching wits against Neil deGrasse Tyson in a battle of wits.  Try to figure out what makes certain words score higher than others and earn more points in 10 rounds to win!

I’ve got most of the art finished.  Tomorrow is all content, music, bug smashing, and polish!  Now I’m off to bed!  I’m typing with all exclamation marks because I’m really tired!

Play here!

Note: There is no victory screen, so you will have to imagine an awesome one if you do win.

Note 2: There is at least one bug.  It isn’t a game stopper, but if you click on something other than a choice in the box you automatically answer the same thing as your opponent.  Annoying, but not game breaking.  This should just give you an idea of how it is going to play when finished.

Neil deGrasse Tyson enters the Debate!!!

Posted by
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 4:58 pm


Work is coming along steadily.  The basic game is almost done (still working on a state machine to control the flow of the game, but all the pieces are in place.  I’m hoping to have all the programming done this evening with tomorrow dedicated to music, extra debate rules, extra debaters (I’m taking requests!) and as much polish as I can squeeze in.




Albert Einstein joins the debate!!!

Posted by
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 9:51 am

I finally decided on my game. It will be (tentatively titled) The Great Debate!  Words are your weapon of choice.  Debate your opponent into submission!


Fear his Gedankedank! (click for animation)

It will be a puzzle game disguised as a debate simulator. The debate will take place over a number of rounds and each round of the debate, the two players will be given a list of four random words and have to choose between them. Each debate will also have a secret rule that determines how the words are scored (number of letters, highest ASCII value in the word, number of duplicate letters, etc). Your job as the player is to look at the results of the scores and try to determine the rule being applied, which will in turn let you maximize your score. The winner has the highest score at the end of the debate.

In the background the two debaters will be using the words that you select to have a debate about something random.  What the debaters say will be random.

Humor will be added due to the MadLibs like nature of the debate, since I will be inserting random words into completely random sentences.  Hilarity will commence!

Incidentally, does anyone know why the gif isn’t playing?  It is animated if you click on it…

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