Ludum Dare 35
The Theme is:
Shapeshift

About Jwatt

boheme eccentric

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Ludum Dare 34
 
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MiniLD #55
 
Ludum Dare 30
 
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Ludum Dare 28
 
Ludum Dare 27
 
Ludum Dare 26
 
Ludum Dare 25
 
Ludum Dare 25 Warmup
 
Ludum Dare 24
 
Ludum Dare 23
 
Ludum Dare 22
 
Ludum Dare 21

Jwatt's Trophies

The-Sorta-Person-Award
Awarded by Ovidios
on December 30, 2015
The Really Catchy Music Award
Awarded by klianc09
on November 30, 2014
The Most Officialest Keynoter Award
Awarded by drnick
on April 25, 2014
Nanda Kore Award of Comedy Excellence LD28
Awarded by Rahazan
on December 18, 2013
New Best Friend Award!
Awarded by zakchaos
on October 3, 2013

Jwatt's Archive

Tangrade lives

Posted by
Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 4:18 pm

I’m still working on this, yo.

prev8e

Let’s get it out of the way first why I didn’t submit anything: the point of LD for me is to get insightful comments about what to improve, and the flaws were obvious to me already. It’s like, yeah I get it, it’s confusing and feels unfinished, cause it is. If I don’t find the gameplay appealing myself, there’s no point in having the community repeat that to me.

I clearly focused on the wrong stuff on the weekend. My sweet AI patterns didn’t end up mattering in the end. I sorta forgot I was making an arcade game, and swamped myself by bringing too complex behaviour into it. Such a Jwatt thing to do. People don’t care about the AI doing a dance, they just wanna shoot some bad guys and rack up points.

By the time I’d reduced the thing to a “Human Tetris with random encounters” like it should’ve been from the start, everything was a mess, and there was no time left to fix the game (or to thoroughly playtest it). So I figured I’ll continue working outside of the event with a “soft reset” mindset. The main mechanics and many of my enemy designs are still functional and reusable, after all.

Importantly, there’s still a community interested in playtesting it, and some have even suggested putting a price tag on it once it’s done. I’m not big on monetizing my games, but I do see the point; it could be a neat touchscreen game, considering your main interaction is literally an analogue for swiping. And it’s not like difficult to build for Android with Love2D.

Not to mention Love2D’s sweet shader FX brah didn’t you say you owned a GPU?? We can like 60 FPS on your GPU if you don’t mind??? 60 FPS on the “P.C.” console forever???

Posted by
Monday, April 18th, 2016 6:57 pm

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When your screen might look like this at a given time, it’s probably a good sign that you need to think things through with a clear head.

Honestly, I’m just not having fun anymore like I did on Saturday/Sunday. The gameplay took a few strange turns, and now the very last jam hour isn’t exactly enough to turn this into the smooth experience this concept deserves.

Consider Tangrade outta LD35, but not binned. And consider me going to sleep. Later, I’ll be considering the promising games I saw you folks making. Then reconsidering Tangrade with a more streamlined approach.

prev7b

These rainbow border effects are considerably kickass, though. Heck, so’s this whole Love2D thing which I hadn’t even considered previously.

Geez game designers what were you thinking

Posted by
Monday, April 18th, 2016 3:24 pm

Maybe I didn’t end up realizing all the cool shmup stuff in my original vision, but I think it’s gonna be a playable Human Tetris kinda thing. I had to scrap most of the intricate AI, and it’s a shame to leave my efforts on the cutting room floor, but I’ll touch more on that in the post-mortem/post-jam builds.

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Hey, at least the dying animation kinda looks cool.

Rainbow FX

Posted by
Sunday, April 17th, 2016 8:01 pm

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Kinda looking like a game now. And starting to play like one too. I really know what to focus on now. Hopefully I’ll have time for expanding on all that tomorrow.

Behold Jwatt failing at his own game

Posted by
Sunday, April 17th, 2016 12:55 pm

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In my defense, AI will wreck anyone’s shit at the max difficulty.

Some heavy-duty playtesting going on. Man I love tinkering with the AI.

Once I’m done with some sort of a reasonable progression, the next day should be just balancing and graphical improvements.

Then again, compared to yesterday, today’s been more like

tumblr_o1ux4hCuHU1s9nmr2o1_500[1]

(sloth may not represent actual in-game footage)

MOOOOM THE AI IS HACKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by
Saturday, April 16th, 2016 12:38 pm

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prev4b

I ended up making like a tiny script language for enemy patterns. This theme is really bringing out the high-level handcrafter in me.

This is some human Tetris shit

Posted by
Saturday, April 16th, 2016 9:57 am

This is how you SHIFT with style. The incoming walls of death instantly break any hanging blocks, so getting to a safe spot can get tense with big ships. At least there’s a warning beforehand.

prev3

Also note the basic one-directional guns (don’t worry, the omnidirectional ones are still mid-game loot) and indications for when you’re about to disconnect pieces of your ship. (Not being allowed to do that is crucial for the puzzle-action vibes!)

But don’t note the C64 sound effects I added, cuz you can’t hear them from the gif.

Next up some enemies and it’s like donest of 2016. Rarely in LDs have I had such a clear idea of where I want to go next, which says something about the clear focus of the concept. Even looks like I’ll have extra time to tune things up.

BTW, I think I’m calling this game Tangrade. It’s like you can already see the logo being built out of shifting diamonds and triangles.

Shapeshiftiest concept of 2016

Posted by
Saturday, April 16th, 2016 6:53 am

This is what I have in my first few hours. It’s something like a shmup, but you never move your ship in a traditional way – you only ever shift it.

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Things get funny when you have like guns that maintain their orientation from the last shift. (this might get frustrating though, so playtests will show if I’ll have to change it)

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The level scrolls to one of the four diagonal directions, generating similar tangram-esque enemy ships on the way. Spiced up with events like undestroyable obstacles that force you to shift your dreadnought into something more compact to fit through.

Oh, and did I mention that pieces left over from destroyed enemies are free to capture? That’s how you get stronger so you can wreck more shit.

För helvete

Posted by
Saturday, April 16th, 2016 1:19 am

Stupid sexy shapes.

förhelvete

OFFICIAL LD35 SHADOW KEYNOTE FREE DOWNLOAD!!

Posted by
Friday, April 15th, 2016 5:59 am

Welcome to Ludum Dare. Good vibes. Stay determined. Keep it simple and have fun.

Most of you already know that sorta stuff is what’s always rephrased in the official keynotes. Pep talks are fine and all, but how about a bit different and more concrete design advice? In fact, I’ll save you all my other musings and give you just one question to guide you.

—–

Suppose it’s Friday/Saturday, the theme’s been announced and you’re grasping for an idea to spend your weekend with. You have all these cool features you wanna include in the game.

Just then, someone kicks down your door and barges in to shout at you:

 

What is it that you do in the game?

 

“Well, it’s a post-apocalyptic platformer with zombies and pixel art, and there’s upgradeable guns and time travel and–“

No. Those are presentation details. It’s not helpful to you as a designer nor interesting as a pitch to others.

I mean, for most of the time a player invests into your game, what are they actually doing? What sort of interactions are taking place?

If you can answer that question for your concept, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a smooth sail.

Let’s take a few examples from earlier Ludum Dares to see how the question is answered with style. Mind you, these are very memorable games exactly because they attempt to master one thing.

First, Snowball juggling Olympio by Benjamin: “You control two snowman arms to juggle snowballs.”

Second, This Precious Land by Ishisoft: “You combine bits of nature to expand your world.”

And third, a narrative example. There’s a lot more that you can do in a story-based game beyond clicking through textboxes. The Uncertainty Principle by radmars: “You act out multiple possible timelines at once.”

Note how using actions beyond “it is/there is” immediately makes the pitch more fleshed-out. It gives more for you, as a creator, to focus on.

And importantly, what you do in the game doesn’t need to be some sort of mind-blowing gimmick! The question is just a litmus test of sticking with a feasible scope. Literally what people mean when they’re telling you to keep it simple.

You can always expand on the amount of content and polish with your remaining time, but cooking a soup of irrelevant features is only gonna make your Sunday night a mess. Additionally, it obscures the above question – the only one that players ultimately find worth answering.

me irlFig. 1: Pretty much the most representative photo one can take of me.

The latest news is, I’ve also fallen to the Löve fad. Hey, it’s essentially Pygame that isn’t shit.

You’ve seen Flashfunk, Flyingfunk, and 5funk, now it’s time for Clusterfunk to make an LD appearance. (Our off-LD gamedev team is gonna port our adventure game to Löve soon, so this is kind of a stress test for Clusterfunk.)

clusterfunkFig 2. official clusterfunk logo DON’T STEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Of course, nobody cares about the tech, and y’all just want a game. I made the most abstract experiment last LD, and now I’ve got a card game vibe, so it’s gonna be something a bit different.

Music’s gonna be with Milkytracker, Grafx2 for the grafx two. I’ve literally never had to change these in the roughly twenty jams I’ve participated in, so there’s a heads-up if you haven’t found any good tools.

me irl2(my legs are also participating)

#ludumdare is a fun place

Posted by
Wednesday, December 30th, 2015 9:11 am

15:36 < LiamLime> The distribution of ratings in LD is literally a gaussian curve
15:36 < LiamLime> Which does not represent the actual quality
15:37 < LiamLime> http://l1m.eu/y8a4o
15:37 < LiamLime> that’s for overall from the last jam, for example
15:37 < LiamLime> blue being compo, green being jam
15:37 < LiamLime> theme: http://l1m.eu/6f265
15:37 < LiamLime> fun: http://l1m.eu/6868d
15:38 < LiamLime> audio: http://l1m.eu/9u109
15:38 < LiamLime> etc
15:38 < LiamLime> It’s all normal distributions
15:38 < LiamLime> Basically what you’d get if everyone cast a completely random vote
15:39 < Inari[Neppy]> LiamLime: with a random vote you’d get random games gettin good votes
15:40 < Inari[Neppy]> not good games getting good votes
15:40 < LiamLime> Inari[Neppy] The distribution does not represent what the games are like in LD
15:40 < Inari[Neppy]> LiamLime: how so?
15:40 < LiamLime> The majority of the graph should be descending
15:41 < LiamLime> Especially for overall
15:41 < LiamLime> there should be many games with an average overall of 1 and 2, and ever fewer as you get towards the 5 region
15:42 < LiamLime> I mean literally
15:42 < LiamLime> If you had a random number generator make up votes, this is what you’d get: http://l1m.eu/o8auv
15:42 < LiamLime> Peek at 3, as you’d expect
15:42 < Inari[Neppy]> sure, but not the same games would ge tthe same votes
15:42 < Fine> that depends on the number generator
15:43 < Fine> normal distribution is probably a good approximation for the average back-pat LD vote, though
15:43 < Jwatt> Yeah
15:43 < Jwatt> The sorta person who leaves a comment like “nice”
15:43 < Jwatt> And rates everything 3
15:43 < Fine> alliel_a says …
15:43 < Fine> Dec 26, 2015 @ 1:00pm
15:43 < Fine> nice game
15:43 < Jwatt> The sorta person who owns flanel shirts
15:43 < LiamLime> But if backpatting is a consideration, then you are left with 3 votes to cast
15:43 < Fine> I am basically Notch now
15:43 < Jwatt> The sorta person who likes vanilla ice cream
15:43 < LiamLime> 3 = horrible, bad, awful, medicore, back pat
15:43 < LiamLime> 4 = alright
15:43 < LiamLime> 5 = good
15:44 < Jwatt> The sorta person who thinks space is kinda cool but only looks at pictures of nebulae with quotes on them
15:44 < Inari[Neppy]> whats wrong iwth liking vanilla icecream
15:44 < LiamLime> Hey, remember when demotivators were a thing?
15:44 < Jwatt> The sorta person who isn’t affected by post-9/11 zeitgeist
15:44 < Inari[Neppy]> just cause you like your icecream kinky
15:44 < Fine> holy shit my game has like 30% nice-rate
15:45 < Jwatt> The sorta person who codes in Java
15:45 < Fine> it’s terrible isn’t it
15:45 < LiamLime> Anyway
15:45 < LiamLime> http://liamlime.com/experiments/ldscrape/out-ludum-dare-33.html#
15:45 < Jwatt> The sorta person who uses windshield wipers in the summer
15:45 < Jwatt> The sorta person who doesn’t discriminate between varieties of orange juice
15:46 < Inari[Neppy]> OJ is a nice topic
15:46 < Jwatt> Let me have this guys I’m having a field day
15:46 < Inari[Neppy]> i have to yet find one that tastes good
15:46 < Inari[Neppy]> they all dont taste like OJ
15:46 < Inari[Neppy]> :<
15:46 < Jwatt> The sorta person who thinks Kindle books are the same thing as physical books
15:46 < Inari[Neppy]> they mostly are ;D
15:46 < Fine> do they think Minecraft is great
15:46 < Jwatt> The sorta person who hasn’t cancelled their subscription to newspapers in 2015
15:47 < Inari[Neppy]> lol
15:47 < Inari[Neppy]> jwatt typing out all the things she hates
15:47 < Jwatt> The sorta person who thinks cannibalism is morally wrong but hasn’t ever had to argue against it
15:48 < Jwatt> The sorta person whose favorite color is “plaid”
15:48 < Jwatt> The sorta person who played the guitar in high school but hasn’t since
15:48 < Fine> you sure hate plaid, don’t you
15:48 < Fine> what did the scotsmen do to you
15:49 < Jwatt> Hold on we’re almost at the end guys
15:49 < Fine> are you gonna keep going until this is specific enough to identify a single person you particularly dislike
15:49 < Jwatt> The sorta person who doesn’t care about the distinction between “bit” and “byte”
15:50 < Jwatt> The sorta person who’s gonna call you out if you say “tomorrow” when you mean the day that’s already changed at 00:20
15:50 < Inari[Neppy]> days change at 00:20?
15:51 < Jwatt> The sorta person who would be a smartass about the thing I am criticising about smartasses
15:51 < Fine> the sorta person who points out your slightly unclear wording when you are quickly typing out train-of-thought
15:51 < Inari[Neppy]> lol
15:51 < Jwatt> The sorta person who owns those little wet towel things
15:52 < Inari[Neppy]> the sorta person that dislikes polygamy by principle :<
15:52 < Jwatt> The sorta person who thinks 128 kbps sounds okay and consequently has their entire music library at that quality
15:52 < Jwatt> The sorta person whose favorite band is “whatever’s on the radio but no rap or country”
15:53 < Fine> rap is awful though
15:53 < Inari[Neppy]> interesting point
15:53 < Inari[Neppy]> i dont have a favourite band, mostly because no band i’Ve found yet had more than a few songs i liked 😛
15:53 < Jwatt> (The implication is that that’s all the genres they can name but we’ll get to that once I’m done with this gold mine)
15:53 < Inari[Neppy]> usually i like 1-2
15:53 < Inari[Neppy]> and then none
15:54 < Jwatt> The sorta person who takes yearly photos of themselves in the same set with the same clothes and the same expression
15:55 < Jwatt> And the sorta person who read all this shit and finds nothing amusing in any of it
15:55 < Jwatt> There
15:55 < Jwatt> I’m done
15:55 < Jwatt> For now DUN DUN DUNNN
15:55 * Inari[Neppy] hands Jwatt a medal
15:59 < Fine> Jwatt: oh, oh, the sorta person who lists “Having fun” as one of their interest
16:00 < VDZ> I personally consider ‘nice concept’ to be worse than ‘nice’
16:00 < VDZ> Like, what’s that supposed to mean? ‘At least you tried’?
16:01 < Jwatt> Fine: I like that
16:01 < Inari[Neppy]> it means they like your take on the theme
16:01 < Inari[Neppy]> imo 😛
16:01 < VDZ> Probably not what the poster is trying to say, they’re just posting a random positive comment
16:01 < Fine> I also had comments in the past tense
16:01 < VDZ> But like, what about the actual thing I made
16:01 < Jwatt> They just felt like they had to say something
16:01 < Jwatt> Cause they’re that sorta person
16:01 < Fine> I guess what I’ll take home is the game doesn’t hold your interest that long
16:01 < Inari[Neppy]> VDZ: well it might imply your concept is nicer than your execution
16:01 < VDZ> I spent like half an hour coming up with an idea, then I worked my ass off to make it
16:02 < Jwatt> Who thinks silence is worse than pooping out some noise from your mouth

End of an era

Posted by
Sunday, December 27th, 2015 6:05 pm

Alright, I’ve been hearing enough complaints about me using Flash for jam games. Because of the 3 Arch Linux tinfoil hats around the world that don’t have Flash installed, I’ve decided that the rational thing to do is clearly to Shift+Delete all my reliable, versatile dev tools on a whim and start from scratch in the volatile HTML5 environment. So, uh, GET HYPE.

I chose Phaser.io because reasons. Some of my doodling is leading me to making a boss rush game where you can only move with propulsion. Which also sets things on fire.

michro3

It’s like the dumbest thing ever. Which is great, cause then I feel no pressure about making it.

You can check out some basic controls at https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/75065952/michro/index.html, which might be updated to a cooler build without a warning.

It’s not for any jam in particular but I’m making it with a similar improvisational mindset. Maybe the progress doesn’t quite indicate it, but I feel like focusing on character design: making one interesting boss per stage with its own gameplay gimmick. Of course the bosses will spice up fights with gratuitous Jwatt humor as well.

So look forward to meeting…

The onion who just wants to be your tutorial guide but whom you’ll be grilling right off the bat while feeling like a dick!!! WHOAO SPOILERZ!!!!!!!
onion

The extraterrestrial fennec fox who covers up parts of the stage with its stupid dialogue boxes!!!

fennec

The… medusa who’s cross with you because she thinks she’s stubbed a toe which she doesn’t have?? I guess??

And uh maybe some sorta neurotic afro dude who keeps obsessively rearranging his stage yeah ok

Extra Oxygene

Posted by
Friday, December 25th, 2015 10:57 am

scr1_thumb

So I made Neo Oxygene this LD. It looks something like that. (I still haven’t taken other representative screenshots, heh.)

I gotta say this is one of the most fun LDs I had. I didn’t feel stressed about whether it’ll meet some standards. I just sort of twiddled some variables around until there was a functional enough game on the screen. Most of what I chose to work on was the fun parts in my idea of gamedev.

It’s a system that you can interact with. Especially in game jams, I often like to make abstract things, systems that have creative output for your input. I guess my games tend to lack a human element. People feel disconnected from my games because of that. But that’s just the kind of guy I am.

Consequently, I don’t expect a game like Neo Oxygene to end up on “best of” lists. It’s an experiment, more of a toy than a game, and I’m glad to see a bunch of people have found it interesting to play with regardless. Ratings aside, I’d personally say it’s 80% of the way like I envisioned it. If anything, it lacks a feedback loop between the two screens. Once you get good at it, you’ll basically just keep going endlessly, and the high score thing to compensate for a lack of measurable progress is just laziness on my part. So just taking this content further, in a nutshell – not inventing an entirely different system.

I’ve stopped counting exactly how many game jams I’ve participated in, but 20 is in the right ballpark. Some years back, it would’ve seemed so distant that I could just whip up a solid system like this for a jam, without entirely straining myself. I mean compared to back when I didn’t know better than to program almost all game logic inside a huge main function. When adding a new transition would break everything for hours. Now I can intuitively think in states and scripts and handle a whole bunch of design concepts with a handwave.

It’s good to have that bit of perspective now and then; that sudden realization of how making something that’s a game is actually really cool in itself. That during some weekend, thousands of people are tasked to write a bunch of symbols in a text file, put some pixels and sounds together, and many of the results of this great randomizer are actually very unique and high-quality experiences – or at least promising soil for later growth.

It’s too easy to forget about the coolness of game development when you’re lost in your web of technicalities, or when you think you know what you’re doing and fall into lazy patterns. There’s something endlessly rewarding about mentally placing yourself back in the primal inspiration of your novice days. Like thinking about what kinds of games you *would have wanted to make* back when you were just fumbling to put some pieces together.

Probably many of you people are in that phase where you don’t really know what you’re doing, and you’re uncertain about even being able to finish something for a game jam… let alone taking crazy creative risks. You might have a critic’s sense of what good gameplay is like, but you don’t know how to inject that into your games, either technically or design-wise. I don’t know what to say to that, except: just keep pushing.

it has been unleashed,,,,,,,,,,,,

Posted by
Monday, December 14th, 2015 10:22 pm

scr1_thumb

scr2_thumb

http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-34/?action=preview&uid=5551

So I’m calling this beast Neo Oxygene. It combines both themes through its dual screen: there’s a growing side and a two-button side with a shared resource pool. I had fun making this and the outcome is delightfully weird, go see if you can jam to the Jwatt aesthetic.

me IRL

Posted by
Monday, December 14th, 2015 2:34 am

 

me irl

On second thought, having a tutorial person feels like out of scope for my game now, but let it be remembered that I thought up this fucking guy.

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