About Ted Brown (twitter: @oreganik)

Owner and game developer at Oreganik in Eugene, Oregon. Loves Super Metroid, Celtic Folk Metal, and going to church.

Currently working on Chess Heroes! Check it out at chess-heroes.com, or follow development on Facebook!


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MiniLD 50
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Ted Brown's Trophies

Charging Llama Seal of Approval
Awarded by Charging Llama
on December 18, 2015
Thanks for Everything!
Awarded by heatherketten
on August 24, 2015
Narrative excellence in LD25
Awarded by Winterblood
on December 19, 2012

Ted Brown's Archive

Halfway Update

Posted by (twitter: @oreganik)
Saturday, August 25th, 2012 7:53 pm

I’ve spent about 18 hours on the game so far, minus sleep and meals with my wife, and  I’ve got a solid foundation.

The setup is currently:

  1. You have a herd of buffalo that you control.
  2. There is a field with grass that the buffalo will wander over and eat.
  3. There are wolves that attack nearby buffalo, and can be stomped.
  4. If the buffalo eat enough grass, a baby buffalo pops out. Whee.

In terms of time sinks, I wasted a few hours playing with a flocking algorithm, and spent a good chunk of time rewriting the original code into state machines, so I can extend functionality easily.

The next step was going to be evolution via special types of plants (Fireweed for speed, Cloudpuffs for buffalo wings, Rustleaf for durability). But I’m not quite sure what the goal of the game should be anymore. It was clear when I started (I’ll go into detail during the post-mortem), but … …. I really wish I had those hours back from the flocking fiasco. =)

Joyous Morale Rating: 5/10

Witness the Birth of the Buffs!

Posted by (twitter: @oreganik)
Saturday, August 25th, 2012 3:44 am

Here’s what’s probably NOT happening by Sunday afternoon… but what the heck!  =D

That’s right. Buffalo evolution! Raise your little buffs by herding them around, avoiding wolves, indians, and pioneers, eating good ol’ fashioned Heartgrass to birth more buffs, and chowing down on Fireweed, Cloudpuffs, and Rustleaves so that the young ‘uns are better evolved to take on the world!

These are the “simple polygon” versions I might end up doing in Blender. But that’s a long way from now.

Good night, everybody!

Juice It or Lose It!

Posted by (twitter: @oreganik)
Friday, August 24th, 2012 12:59 pm

Martin Jonasson (http://grapefrukt.com/) & Petri Purho (Crayon Physics) gave a wonderful 15 minute presentation called Juice It or Lose It, where they show how to make games “come alive” with simple techniques.

They start with a dull Breakout clone and a confused audience. When it’s over, that audience is applauding and cheering, loudly!

This is relevant to Ludum Dare participants because they:

  1. Take a simple game concept (like you’ll be creating)
  2. Make it rock (like you want to do)
  3. In a short amount of time (like you need to do)

It also has links to source code!

What are you waiting for? Juice It or Lose It!  =)


Stats on Theme Voting

Posted by (twitter: @oreganik)
Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 9:23 pm

I put all of the voting results into a spreadsheet and created some formulas, to see if some interesting patterns would appear.


Total Score: The most basic sense of what’s hot or not: all the +1’s and -1’s added together.

Top Ranked: Abandoned (405), Survive (299), Parallel Worlds (253)

Bottom Ranked: Regret (-594), Inhabiting (-568), Precision (-564)

Polarity: How strongly people felt about the theme. The percentage is how many people voted +1 or -1, instead of a zero, or “meh.” The winner should be no surprise to Ludum Dare veterans!

Top Ranked: Kittens (88.38%), Loneliness (84.11%), Pirate (83.76%)

Bottom Ranked: Natural World (71.86%), Lost Paradise (72.51%), Stolen (73.16%)

Popularity: The total votes, multiplied by Polarity. Will this tell us the eventual winner?

Top Ranked: Abandoned (3.17), Survive (2.45), Parallel Worlds (2.06)

Bottom Ranked: Regret (-4.78), Kittens (-4.52), Pirate (-4.46)

Love: What about multiplying +1 times Polarity? How do they stack up then? Because (finally) Abandoned isn’t at the top!

Top Ranked: Survive (6.96), Abandoned (6.76), Evolution (6.49)

Bottom Ranked: Inhabiting (2.33), Precision (2.39), Stolen (2.52)

Hate: Just for grins, what’s the result of -1 votes times Polarity? Higher means more Hate!

Top Ranked: Kittens (8.94), Pirate (7.82), Regret (7.56)

Bottom Ranked: Abandoned (3.59), Creation and Destruction (4.14), Chain Reaction (4.29)

TL;DR: Abandoned is the clear favorite. It also has the most total votes by a wide margin, so that doesn’t come as a surprise. But the level of hate directed at Kittens is incredible! It’s not at the bottom of total votes, by any means, but these formulas suss out  a deeper, borderline pathological intemperance for our planet’s young felines!

Now to plunge into deeper LD voting tallies, if I can find them…

Looking For Group: Eugene, Oregon

Posted by (twitter: @oreganik)
Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 1:38 pm

This will be my second Ludum Dare Compo, and I’m looking for like-minded people in — or around — the Eugene, Oregon area. I’m using Unity and Photoshop, and I have experience with Blender and Audacity. Let me know if you’re planning to Dare!

Ludum Dare 23: That’s a Wrap!

Posted by (twitter: @oreganik)
Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 8:57 pm

Circus Flea: Complete!


My first Ludum Dare, and it was a (minor, personal) epic. Years of game dev in the trenches prepared me well.

When the Tiny World theme was announced, I had nothing. No ideas, no leanings, no figments. I just knew what I wanted to avoid: guns, exploration, and standard videogame tropes. Then I asked my kids and my wife. Boy, talk about a brainstorm! Ninja Mice who steal cheese from around the world (my son, 6), you’re a giant and therefore the world is tiny (my daughter, 9), me (tilt-shift photo effect and a hobby train table, 35), and my wife (flea circus, age undisclosed).

The flea circus idea got my juices flowing. Originally, it was going to be a collection of minigames: cannons, tight ropes, clown cars, etc. But I started with a diving board simulation, and after I abandoned in (3 hours later) as hopelessly complex, I realized I needed to take that single idea and milk it for what it’s worth. So I simplified, and fell back on a spring algorithm that I’d used before (pulled from here: http://processing.org/learning/topics/spring.html).

I joined the IRC channel, and even though I was using Java, I started a Unity-specific channel to foster support, as I have a lot of experience with it. At one point, we had people from Oregon (myself), Massachusetts, Sweden, and Italy in our channel, which never really exceeded 5 or 6 people.

After 24 hours of development (except for two hours of my son’s soccer game), 36 hours of waketime, and 3 large energy drinks, I crashed with a version “0.5” that was fully playable. I woke 9 hours later. I discovered (via IRC) that the public domain images I was remixing (including a kick-ass flea in a Speedo) were invalid for the compo, so after a short panic I took new shots with my camera and made new images.

The Speedo-wearing flea never made it in the final game, because I didn’t have time to re-draw him. (but if you press ‘m’ in the game, you should see the prototype mode he would have been used in)

I finished up the final crucial bugs before heading to church for two hours (with the potential punch-hole in my submission very much in the back of my mind).

In my timezone, 6 was the cutoff, and I still hadn’t achieved my version of an audio “drama” playing out in the background and responding to the player, one that involved my kids and wife. By 4 I had myself in there as the “Carnival Barker,” by 5 I had everyone recorded, and then it was a mad dash to the finish line. I stopped development 3 minutes before the shutoff, with a handful of unused lines on the cutting room floor, but the initial “vision” mostly intact. (it was a small and humble vision)

Whoosh! That was a fast 48 hours.

I developed Circus Flea on a MacBook Air running OS X. I wrote it in Processing, a Java IDE. I used Photoshop, Audacity, a Canon Digital Rebel XT, and daFont.com.

Thanks for the chuckles and cheers, folks. I’m looking forward to playing the results. Like Mike Meyer said, Ludum Dare is now measured in Kilogames. Congrats.

Let’s Do This! Anniversary 10x Multiplier!

Posted by (twitter: @oreganik)
Friday, April 20th, 2012 10:32 am

Ludum Dare is as old as my game career … er… if you count my time at the Guildhall… so… I guess I’m already cheating! YES! THEY’LL NEVER EXPECT IT!


Anyways, it’s my first time entering. Looking forward to a lovely crash at the end.

Tools: Processing or Unity, Photoshop, Audacity, BFXR

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