About Carl Graves (twitter: @carlgraves)

@carlgraves carl-graves.com

I'm something of a game designer. I make games, sort of. Currently working on a procedurally generated space combat simulator, check it out: praedanhorizon.com

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The end?

Posted by (twitter: @carlgraves)
Sunday, December 7th, 2014 9:48 pm

CHECK IT OUT: http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-31/?action=preview&uid=10725

Well didn’t finish everything i wanted but…

I actually submitted something for once that I can be vaguely proud of!

Transit Heroes season finale!

Transit Heroes season finale!

Play it here: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/649807

It’s my satirical take on what watching tv is like. Try to stay awake as long as possible to maximize your tv watching. Tv shows lose effectiveness over time so you’ll want to cycle between multiple channels at once to keep their effectiveness higher.

Lotta channels lotta sound in this one, was relatively asset heavy.

screen2

Getting sleepy...

Getting sleepy…

Dare I dare the dare?

Posted by (twitter: @carlgraves)
Friday, December 5th, 2014 4:23 am

These things come sooner and sooner. And the scoreboard is starting to look pretty suspect:

LD: 3

Me: 1

 

All things considered, it could be worse. Regardless of historical LDs, I endeavor to release whatever garbage I manage to build in a weekend, even if it’s awful. I intend to build said garbage using…

Guts: Flashdevelop, AS3 (possibly using flash punk for library)

Art: Flash Professional IDE, Cintiq

Noises: BSFXR, and something to make music (probably tonematrix?)

 

Let us hope I append my appalling Ludum Dare history this time.

Failure!

Posted by (twitter: @carlgraves)
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 6:35 pm

Well at least I tried, but with less than an hour to go i seriously doubt i’ll have a game finished.

No game, but what i do have is a platforming engine with a multiplayer backend. So you can parkour with your friends. Right now there’s only 1 server so if it’s full i have no idea what happens (probably a crash). There’s not really any interpolation or extrapolation so crappy connections will look terrible.

Playable version here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/eac3y5ng41kvqpe/LudumDare29_release.swf (just drag and drop into your internet browser, depending on connection speeds it can take a while to join the game)

If you want to test out the multiplayer just boot up two copies of the game, or find some friends.

Well i tried.

Well i tried.

Post Mortem:

– Don’t make a multiplayer game unless you’ve done it before.

– Actually have a rough idea what the game will be or at least spend a little bit of time figuring it out.

– Art is important, leaving it to the last day never leaves you with enough time to create anything good.

 

It wasn’t a complete loss, I can definitely use the multiplayer experience in my actual projects. Which I had been shying away from because it sounded hard. The good news is, multiplayer stuff is tricky, but once you sort of ‘get’ it, you can make a semi functioning game fairly easily. Well regardless it was fun, and i learned a bunch of stuff I wouldn’t have tried in a normal day.

In the future, when i do another Ludum Dare, i’ll just make a flappy bird clone and call it a day.

Multiplayer!

Posted by (twitter: @carlgraves)
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 9:35 pm

Been working on a bunch of the multiplayer code. Haven’t even started art so I still have very little to show, but got a huge chunk of the really difficult backend stuff working. I’m in no means an expert at this stuff, and this is the first time I’ve dived into multiplayer coding. I’m making a huge mess but learning a whole ton.

I have a simple system where every player acts like the host. It causes problems with syncing as each player can have a slightly different impression of the same scene, which causes update spamming and a lot of jittering. As well because he reports from the client are assumed in good will it’ll never work in an actual product as it would be super easy to just decompile the client and ruin it for everyone else. But the good news is it works well enough for a jam.

The result is that now I have a sort of hacked together multiplayer parkour game it works (sorta) but is just crazy full of bugs right now.

Running the game between 4 different clients

Running the game between 4 different clients

 

6 hours in, lots of game left to build…

Posted by (twitter: @carlgraves)
Friday, April 25th, 2014 11:53 pm

Not panicking yet. yet. YET

The cyborg in there now is just a placeholder. I need to replace her with someone else eventually?

The cyborg in there now is just a placeholder. I’ll replace her with someone else eventually.

Trying a different approach than I normally do. I’m just gonna make random mechanics that are sorta fun with no real idea what it will look like. I still have no idea what the premise is going to be, so might be too early for characters. I’m thinking something with sewers or dungeons. Game will be some kind of multiplayer “grab coins, don’t die” thing. I dunno n things.

Here’s a playable demo: https://www.dropbox.com/s/51k88di2yxdzt66/LudumDare29.swf You should be able to drag the .swf directly into a browser to play it. Use WSD and space to move n jump.

Jeez! Finally can get jamming.

Posted by (twitter: @carlgraves)
Friday, April 25th, 2014 9:09 pm

Really should’ve set this stuff up ahead of time it took me slightly less than 2 hours to get the core stuff all setup. Which includes sounds, asset loading, collision and other junk.

Here’s my library that i’ve setup. Some of it was Frankensteined so I feel like i need to post it somewhere ahead of time so it’s not cheaty or whatever. The art assets in there right now came with dragonbones, are only temp. The audio (which im not including in the zip) was just ripped from another of my games as placeholder. The player.io is merely for show right now, it’s just pinging their servers and going nowhere with the return.

The robot is just temp art, it's from the Dragonbones api (i'm not keeping it)

The robot is just temp art, it’s from the Dragonbones api (i’m not keeping it)

And now, this is where the fun begins!

Good luck other jammers!

You have my sword!

Posted by (twitter: @carlgraves)
Friday, April 25th, 2014 9:48 am

I’m in for another ludum dare. Been in a few of these over the past couple years, but still have very few finished projects to show for it. I’m hoping to double my current count…

My tools of the trade:

Code: Flashdevelop

Art: Flash professional, Photoshop

Audio: Bsfxr

 

Stubbornly still using Flash, i still think it’s faster than Unity for stuff like Game Jams.

 

I’m in

Posted by (twitter: @carlgraves)
Monday, April 22nd, 2013 11:21 am

Alright, so this would be my fourth LD, I’ve only finished 1 of 3 so far. I’d rather not drop below 33% success … So lets do this! Even if the theme is potato.

 

Code: Actionscript 3, Flash Professional IDE

Art: Flash Professional IDE, Cintiq

Music: Renoise, bsfxr

Livestream: http://www.twitch.tv/mrcarlton (possibly?)

 

A little about my previous LD experiences. In case new people read these sort of things and want to hear horror stories:

So on my first LD I didn’t make a game I built an excessively elaborate game engine, mostly because I didn’t know what I wanted to build – and then decided to make an rpg where you played as a chicken with only 11 hours to go. Obviously I didn’t finish, but I used that same engine to run a boat ton of my other projects outside of LD.

So my second LD game I endeavored to actually finish. The game i built was ‘Panspermia’. This time around I focused on a super simple mechanic and just got something rough running in the first 3 hours, then spent the rest of the time fixing bugs, adding features, polishing art, and then publishing the game to the internet. It went pretty well and I’m happy with what I got finished in 48 hours (cuz seriously I have no idea how I got ALL that shit done, and still slept/ate).

And the last LD I attempted I was going to make a game where you played as the white whale from Moby Dick. I dropped out with 16 hours to go. Bad time management caused me to lose 4 hours at the start and bad utilization of my first day – I spent all my time making a realistic buoyancy and sinusoidal wave simulator, the waves looked and acted realistic – but the feature was a serious time sink just getting it working.

I notice i have a tendency to name my games mildly suggestive things like: Cock Quest – an rpg about a chicken, Panspermia – a origin of life theory, and Moby Dick – its about a whale honest.

Yeah Im calling it early.

Posted by (twitter: @carlgraves)
Sunday, December 16th, 2012 3:15 am

I hate failing these things but I’m choosing to drop out. :(

I love my idea and how far along its come, but realistically its not anywhere near finished. Terrible time management on my behalf is mostly to blame. While the hobbit was a great movie, I shouldnt have sabotaged 12 hours of Ludum Dare time, the excuse of ‘well i can use that time to think about game ideas’.

Heres some of the art: (i posted this earlier).

Ludum Dare 25, Moby Dick. By Carl Graves.

Ludum Dare 25, Moby Dick. By Carl Graves.

Since i posted that last picture, the whales are animated and the wooden junk floats around n stuff. The game uses a realistic buoyancy simulation, dealing with water displacement and simplified viscosity and is almost entirely overkill, but hey math can be fun, and i learned a lot of it.

Some animations

Some animations

Overall I scoped pretty close to what would be completed in a 48 hour span, but there was no way i could make up the 12 hours i lost by watching the hobbit. (Yes i know its only 3 hours, but i went sayed at my workplace until 10pm and just went straight there. I didn’t get home until at least 3 am, and then I was tired and had to sleep. :\). I had fun and I don’t regret this failure, and instead I plan to salvage my weekend rather than stay up all night trying to make up the missing time. Besides I have a different game that needs some lovin’ http://www.facebook.com/PraedanHorizonGame <– Linky linky, it has explosions and space :)

And so with that (and all the spelling and grammatical errors) I wave goodbye and wish you valiant superstars good luck in the Competition, the Jam, and all your future endeavours!

Carl Graves

Tally:

me: 1 LD: 2…

 

Progress.

Posted by (twitter: @carlgraves)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 11:03 pm
Ludum Dare 25, Moby Dick. By Carl Graves.

Ludum Dare 25, Moby Dick. By Carl Graves.

I’ll admit I kept putting off the posting because not much was happening game wise yet. But now that I’m replacing programmer redboxes and magenta circles with some art the game is ‘feeling’ a lot better. Its barely playable atm, and I’m pulling a mostly-allnighter to get the core of the game done so i can spend the last 9-6 hours doing nothing but polishing and content.

 

And wat exactly is the game? Well the working title is ‘Whaling adventure'(? yeah its terrible). And the whale in the picture is Moby Dick, but its not necessarily based on the book at all – he’s just a white sperm whale. And well you see, the whales are the villians, and you play as Moby. Mostly i just wanted to have ‘SPIT YOUR LUNGS WITH BLOOD AND THUNDER WHEN YOU SEE THE WHITE WHALE!’ somewhere.

Your entire want/need in life is to make the sailors lives miserable, you need to sink their ships and kill their crews without being killed yourself. Basically you need to navigate the whale around and ram and chomp your way to victory. Its going to be mostly just a Moby-dicking around game with loosely tied goals/achievements rather than any sort of level based progression. I haven’t exactly figured that out yet, I’m just sort of going with the flow right now.

1 Hour Left

Posted by (twitter: @carlgraves)
Friday, December 14th, 2012 5:57 pm

I already did a post about this but…:

Codez: Actionscript 3, math, keyboard, NAPE?

Soundz: BFXR

Artz: Adobe Flash CS6, cintiq + mouse

Food: Coffee, Sriracha, Coffee, Dinosours, Coffee, Tea

Sleep: Likely

 

Not my first LD, but i’m a relative newcomer as this is only my 3rd. I didnt even get close to completion of my first LD and I placed 3rd overall with my game Panspermia in the last one (so no pressure, D:)

Looking to do a couple of firsts this time around. Will more than likely get a Chronolapse going for this ludum dare. Its a timelapse screencapture software. Not going to be livestreaming, its way boring to watch those imo, and i’ll spend too much time getting it set up for it to be worthwhile. http://code.google.com/p/chronolapse/

I was debating whether I wanted to flashPunk it up this time. But i decided to just do what i’m 100% comfortable doing, I figure it’s better to spend 1-2 hours rewriting sound, input, and collision for the 1000th time rather than spend 1-2 hours on a forum to learn how to set up textboxes.

Not sure why, but want to try to use NAPE (no idea what the acronym stands for) a HAXE physics engine that is fantastic for as3. No idea what i’d need the physics for, but physics always leads to some fun shitzngiggles.

Best of luck to all,

Carl

Lets do eet.

Posted by (twitter: @carlgraves)
Friday, December 7th, 2012 3:34 pm

This will be my 3rd Ludum Dare. Had loads of fun on the last 2 can’t wait to see the theme and get started on this one.

Code: Adobe Flash cs 6 IDE, AS 3

Art: Adobe Flash cs 6 IDE

Sound: SFXR (probably?)

 

Submitted and Done! Check out Panspermia

Posted by (twitter: @carlgraves)
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 6:33 pm

You can play it here: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/601796

Ludum Dare page: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-24/?action=preview&uid=10725

Panspermia, the theory that initially spurred this games inception, is the hypothesis that life exists throughout the Universe, distributed by meteoroids, asteroids and planetoids. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panspermia. Its intended for bacteria and other simple organic material but i extended it to trees, mushrooms and sheep (and nothing else). Initially i was making a 1-1 realistic simulation of this, but i got bored of it, and started just making cool explosions and messing around with bacteria designs (which eventually became sheep). In the end, its a basic solar system simulator with a bunch of realism-breaking elements. I.e sheep can fall from space and not die, planets are waay to small in comparison to the sheep/plants, and this isn’t even close to a proper simulation in terms of physics and math.

Got most of the stuff i wanted to implement, got all my barebones features done, but started running out of time to add ‘all’ my stretch goal features. Right now its more sandbox than game, but its got the whole angry birds/ios charm to it, simplistic n stuff. Stuff like deathstars, ufos, nebula clouds, etc.

 

I must say it feels great to have actually finished one of these, I’ve attempted a few before but couldn’t think of anything/get something decent before running out of time. Now that i know i ‘can’ do it, I cant wait to see the next one.

Some Progress

Posted by (twitter: @carlgraves)
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 2:34 am

Working out the last few gameplay kinks. Then i can make levels and hopefully get to my stretch goal features. Barebones art is mostly completed just need some more finalizing and removal of placeholders, as well as a better background.

What gameplay is looking like now. Flaming trails etc change based on velocity, decal effects on things like impacts are implemented, and placeholder (likely to remain until final) sound effects are implemented. Just need a proper level browser and some kind of progression/scoring and its mostly finished.

Meanwhile…

Started working on a larger variety of planets with a variety of looks and special features. I.e Lava burns up stuff. Most of this is just cosmetic, but the effort is well utilized and makes the game look much better, and besides these only take like <10 min to draw and implement, and can allow me to create more diverse levels later.

Sorry about grammar n stuff. Hyped up on coffee right now, and no time to spellcheck.

Day 1. Success?

Posted by (twitter: @carlgraves)
Saturday, August 25th, 2012 5:25 pm

First pass at art. Taken from in-game.

Ludum Dare 24 update: First quick pass at art. Its sort of coming together. Just need the level flow and win states and it should be pretty playable.

This is for my game ‘Panspermia’, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panspermia, basically its the spread of life from one place to another hitch-hiking on debris and asteroids thrown up during large impacts.

If you are wondering wtf is happening. Basically the trees and sheep were launched into space by an asteroid i flung at the planet. The goal would be get life on the target planet, the one on the right. Some obstacles would things like planetoids n blackholes etc.

Participating!

Posted by (twitter: @carlgraves)
Friday, August 24th, 2012 4:33 pm

Yeah, that ^

 

Guts: Adobe Flash cs6, actionscript 3, IDE probably gonna do from scratch. No libraries.

Looks: In-IDE art, tablets and mouse drawn

Sounds: sfxr for sfx, and a terrible microphone.

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