About Nocturne (twitter: @NocturneGames)

Part time indie debveloper, full time doting father, constant loving husband, long term cola addict and now new Technical Writer at YoyoGames...


Ludum Dare 23

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25 played… Here’s my top pick so far

Posted by (twitter: @NocturneGames)
Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 11:59 am

Well, I’ve played my first 25 games and it’s been a blast! I’ve only found a couple that I didn’t like very much and most of the rest have been rally rather good… But looking at my votes, I see only two that I have give fives to in most categories and so I think those deserve to be shared with the rest of you as they are really good games and VERY different from each other…


Lets start with what has been (so far) the most complete entry for me, and thats Deity by Blake.

So, why is this game top of the list so far? Well, to start with, it has used the theme in a really original and well thought out way, with no sense of it being “forced” or contrived at all. Secondly, it has a great presentation with a lovely polished feel to it – helped by the excellent graphics and sound – which just invites you to play. As for the gameplay, it’s an original, yet simple,  puzzle game where… well… you have to kill people! Yes, it’s also a bit perverse and twisted, but for my money that only adds to the charm! The only down side (there’s always at least one) is that there is a certain randomness to the game, which means that some levels can take a looooong time and require patience from you the player… But hey, aren’t deities supposed to have infinite patience?


My second game to recommend, comes from the programming skills of Free Napalm and is called Gale Axile.

Now, before you rush off to check this out, let me just say one thing. This game is HARD. Still there? Good! Because once you get into the game mechanics and fathom out what you have to do to progress, you’ll find this game ultimately very rewarding… So what is it all about? On the surface, it seems simple enough… get enough resources together to build yourself a spaceship and escape the galaxy of tiny worlds where you have been stranded (the reason for which is quite funny!). But it’s not that simple! You have to eat and stay warm and gathering resources means you have to grow planets (yes GROW PLANETS!) as well as a number of other things. I strongly suggest that you read the manual and give this game a few tries to get the hang of it as it’s a really rewarding game! Oh and the graphics may not be the best but the work well, as does the sound.


So that’s my top two for this post! I really can’t recommend them enough and hope that these guys do well in the competition as both games are pretty unique and innovative and have used the theme in really different and interesting ways. I’ll post again when I’ve played another 25 games!!!!!


PS: Other close contenders for my top pick were Lone World by Haark (fun game, good graphics), Capsule by TrueValhalla (excellent idea, funny) and 6 Degrees of Sabotage by Dukope (great presentation, original idea). All of these deserve a play too!

Gravity Sucks

Posted by (twitter: @NocturneGames)
Saturday, April 21st, 2012 6:36 pm

Yes, gravity sucks… At the moment it’s tucking so damn heavily at my eyelids that I am going to have to sleep for a few hours. I really don’t want to, but everything is fading into and out of focus and every second letter I type on the keyboard is wrong! So, time for bed!

However, Gravity Sucks is ALSO the name of my game for this tenth anniversary Ludum Dare… I now have the concept fully fleshed out and the engine polished and working smoothly. I have added the beginnings of a HUD and some enemies, and have been tweaking the procedural generation this last few hours too. Here’s how it currently looks :

It may look a little bland, but it’s really nice in motion and the 360º gravity is really fun as I have added screen wrapping to the left and right edges, which means that you can do a leap off the screen and then spin back in on the other side and that way reach an otherwise unaccessible tiny world. Oh, and the enemy alien is really cute when moving!

Now I’m off to bed to get some sleep (4 hours, no more!) and then when I get up I’ll start work on the front end menus, then pickups and more obstacles/enemies and finally difficulty grades. Phew! Hope I can get it all done  by the deadline!

Busy morning so far!

Posted by (twitter: @NocturneGames)
Saturday, April 21st, 2012 6:33 am

Well, I’ve been hard at it now for over six hours straight and I’m quite pleased with the way things are going. I have designed a sweet little character sprite (no name yet!) :

and the main game engine ios about finished. I now have to decide whether to go for a random level generator or whether to plump for designed levels. Each has it´s own merits, as with a procedural approach I have to worry less about content and design, but it will require more programming, and with a straight levls approach it will need kless programming but much more design!!

Decisions, decisions! Actually, I may go for a mix of the two and try and have designed levels with random elements… Anyway, here’s a screen shot of my progress so far too :

First screen shot of the game

Must… Sleep… Zzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by (twitter: @NocturneGames)
Saturday, April 21st, 2012 12:25 am

Oh hell! I was all set to start… I had my munchies, my soft drinks, my programs all fired up and oodles of ideas ready for whatever theme comes up! But I forgot one minor detail. I NEED TO SLEEP! So, straight after the theme was announced I crashed. Sound asleep until this very moment.

However it seems that it may have been a worthwhile investment as I have awoken with an interesting idea for the theme (no mean feat as this was one of the themes I disliked the most!) and far more energy to pursue the creation and developement of it than I had last night.

So, lets get to it and see if I can’t actually get something done and entered before the rest of my 48 hours (now only 42!) disappears!

First LD Jam and it’s going to be huge!

Posted by (twitter: @NocturneGames)
Friday, April 20th, 2012 4:37 pm

So… This is Ludum Dare, eh? So many devs, so little time! I just hope that I can rise to the occasion and actually create something worthwhile.  Now :

Photoshop? Check!

GameMaker? Check?

Goldwave? Check?

Coke, crisps and chocolate? Check!

Theme? Erm… One hour to go!

Yes, one hour to go before I start to code my first epic (!) Ludum Dare game and I am actually nervous! I’ve seen so many great things come out of this Jam in the past and some of my most respected internet friends are participating that I feel I the pressure to have to make something GOOD for this… especially as it’s a landmark 10th anniversary event. Nothing less than the best will do!!!

And on that note, I’m off to relax and chill for the next hour in preparation for the fun ahead… Good Luck everyone!

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