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Microspace, update #3

Posted by (twitter: @Novodantis)
Monday, April 24th, 2017 9:24 pm

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So tired.

But it’s done! I think it might even be properly submitted over at ldjam.com, check it out: Microspace!


Overall it was a brilliant jam, lots went well, a few things took longer than I’d liked. I celebrated turning 34 yesterday and a games jam was a great way to do it! Anyway, enough incoherence for now. Sleep beckons.

Microspace, update #2

Posted by (twitter: @Novodantis)
Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 3:40 pm

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So, coming to the end of Day 1 and what’ve we got?

Well there’s a MicroSub that is controlling pretty well now (upside to having done half a million 6DOF control systems is that it actually went pretty smoothly!). We have a bloodstream environment I’m pretty happy with and I think I know how I’m going to handle cell spawning.

Main concerns at this stage are the way I’m planning to build the circulatory system itself… branched splines with extruded geometry gets complicated when it’s all hollow. Junctions are proving a bit of a headache. I’m aiming to have figured out what I’m doing with it by the end of tomorrow, one way or another. Oh, also, some kind of tool or weapon on the craft, with environment elements you can collect/remove. Then Monday for implementing polish and objective-tracking, with any luck! =D

Microspace, update #1

Posted by (twitter: @Novodantis)
Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 6:44 am

Next update >>

I’m sure you can figure out what these are…

Particles, mmm


Posted by (twitter: @Novodantis)
Monday, December 12th, 2016 9:55 pm

Phew! It was a lot of work, but our game Stormrunner has been submitted. We had an absolute blast making this one, but too tired now to say much more. It’s a little buggy as these things always are, but we’re mostly really pleased with it. If you ever thought bolting a winnebago to a rail car was a good idea; if you ever wanted to escape a nuclear storm; if you ever felt like eating raw meat where you found it; THIS GAME IS FOR YOU.

Please check it out Stormrunner!

And don’t forget to turn on sound =)

Sling – Posted!

Posted by (twitter: @Novodantis)
Monday, April 20th, 2015 8:41 pm


Sling is now ready to play! I’m too tired to make another GIF, but basically it plays a bit like this:


I didn’t intend to actually use the whole time (due to it being 2am here and work tomorrow), let alone the packaging time, but this has been a rushed one indeed. I can’t get the Webplayer to build in NOT development mode (?), the WebGL one refuses to test locally, I don’t have any way of testing the OSX version… but the PC one definitely works! Apart from the escape menu, *ahem*. So if the mac one works, would be good to know.

Anyway, postmortem to follow later, as will the playing of other games. Looking forward to it!

For now though, I am shattered and shall be going to sleep.

Sling #3 – It was all worth it!

Posted by (twitter: @Novodantis)
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 6:30 pm

From the ashes of Complete Fail comes the sweet aroma of grappling vindication! I was at my wits end, but I finally managed to get the system working sort of how I wanted (it’s a bit hacky, but at least it works). And what fun it is already! The enemies can’t even retaliate yet but I’m spending half an hour throwing soldiers into railings.

Seriously; if you’re at the point where you’re about to throw in the towel, let this be a call to rally. After all, Gammy-Self-Flying-Sling can make a comeback, so anything’s possible! Hahaaa! Who’s laughing now? Not the Ganzies, that’s for sure.


Tomorrow will be focused on getting them to shoot back, plus sound and maybe even a bit of actual level design. Exciting!

Sling #2 – I hate Rope Physics

Posted by (twitter: @Novodantis)
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 7:15 am

So I feel some background on this may be in order. Since 2003 or so, I’ve been writing a book about a world called Azimuth. The main character utilises a wrist-mounted grappling hook called a Sling to do just about most things, because in Azimuth there is no ground; just endless sky. As I’m on the cusp of self publishing this book, it seemed like the perfect fit to realise Kiy’s adventures as a game where you take out enemies by whacking them with a metal clamp on string (similar to the Chinese Meteor Hammer).

Of course, it’s overly ambitious for a games jam. Even with the help of Ultimate Game Tools, my sling doesn’t seem to understand basic things, like physics.


I just… don’t even know.


Sling, update #1

Posted by (twitter: @Novodantis)
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 12:38 pm

I’m having considerable difficulties with this theme; namely that the only idea for it that’s really sparked off my brain is just _way_ too intricate for a games jam. But I’m just going to try and get it done because I’ve wasted hours today already trying to ferment a concept to supersede it.

"Ganzabar's Finest"

I’m starting with the enemy rather than the Unconventional Weapon. I feel I may regret this.

No, I CAN’T, I don’t have time. ALRIGHT, I’ll do it!

Posted by (twitter: @Novodantis)
Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 3:35 pm

I haven’t done an LD since LITH for the Jam last December, but I was guttered about missing the one in April and I’ll be damned if I’m going to miss this, too. Okay, so I’m meant to be travelling north to see the family this weekend, but my laptop is portable. Amirite??

Also, roll on the Self-Driving Car. I would have had at least 200% more time to work with.

LITH – A short Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @Novodantis)
Friday, December 27th, 2013 3:56 pm

So it’s been more than a week since Ludum Dare Jam #28 ended, but what with the holiday period I’ve not had much chance to really sit down and write about LITH; my first Ludum Dare and first games jam. I had a huge amount of fun doing this game! As an archetype of the Perfectionist, it was cathartic to just plough on with things and it meant I got a huge amount done in a very short space of time.

Play LITH!

What Went Right

  • Mood/Theme – The game quickly snowballed from a concept I’d had in my mind in an embryonic form for quite some time, although it was the “You Only Get One” theme that gave it the characteristic bank-your-points twist. And I’ve had a lot of encouraging feedback about how genuinely creepy it is, which is just what I had in mind at the start. So big success there!
  • Music & Sound – So often this is an element that gets overlooked even in professional games, but thanks to the musically talented Rich Webb, I feel LITH does well here. The feedback on this has been hugely positive, also!
  • Engine – Not that I had any hesitation about using Unity, but I doubt I could have gotten this level of graphical sheen, immersion and usability; on both PC and Mac; using anything else. Well done, you guys! You should drink a smoothie or something.

What Went Wrong

  • Coder Down! – Unfortunately, we lost a team member fairly early on, so I had to quickly re-arrange plans as I’d not intended to be coding. As a result, the code has committed more crimes than a recurring cartoon supervillain.
  • Rushed Art – Sort of related to the above. Most of the art was draft quality or thrown together very hastily (I’d planned to make the Liths look more like stone monoliths with glyphs and all that; as it is, they actually just have their lighting map over flat grey and look too much like Daleks). Most of the time I simply didn’t get around to replacing it.
  • Daft AI – The AI was mostly worked on last minute. To begin with, the Liths were like psychics and far too hard to evade. They also ping-ponged off walls very erratically. In my attempts to make them smoother and more believable, they’ve also become rather stupid and get stuck in rooms sometimes. AI is one of those things that can easily go backwards, especially with such tight timescales!

So there you have it! I aim to continue working on LITH after the Jam and see what we can make of it. Overall, I’m happy with how the game turned out, and look forward to the next…


About Novodantis:

Alexander Webb is a writer and professional game designer living in the UK. He currently works on strategy games for mobile.


Dawn of the Final Day… 24 hours remain!

Posted by (twitter: @Novodantis)
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 8:07 pm


I’m probably not the only one doing this Jam with that moon face staring at me in my mind.


So… Sunday I was half a team down (ie. solo), but I made up for it by recruiting my brother, the very talented Rich Webb, to do some sweet music for us. It’s really coming along now, but I feel it isn’t quite ready to be shown in detail yet. However, the Liths are now a fair bit smarter (which, along with Rich’s eerie robot chuckle sounds, makes them even more creepy).

Tomorrow shall hopefully bring scoring, some instructions and the ever important dungeon generation!



Posted by (twitter: @Novodantis)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 3:36 pm

Stuck in a room with one of these things right now

They may not look threatening, but a Lith will end your life if it catches you. And they’re faster than you are, so you’re going to have to outsmart them. You only get one chance to escape this labyrinth because if they find you, you’re dead!

Currently testing a confined space with one of these running amok. Actually kind of terrifying.


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