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End of Day 1

Posted by
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 4:26 pm


Thee upgrade screen is mostly functional now. There are currently spread, damage, and piercing upgrades for both aimed and unaimed shots, plus the health upgrade. The game kinda works now, all it’s missing is content and balance. Wonderful.

Stuff is Happening

Posted by
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 6:06 am


The pink circles are all enemies, and they’re closing in. In other news, I’m going to need to turn the difficulty down at some point.

Minimalistic Pseudo Roguelike

Posted by
Saturday, December 6th, 2014 11:09 pm

2014-12-06 21_57_03-Adobe Flash Player 11

Here’s my progress so far. This is the start of the game, and the field ends up looking a lot more open after the player’s weapons and the big enemies plow through a bunch of walls. There are currently 7 enemy types, including two wonderful ones that blend in with the walls. The goal right now is to kill the big red square, but to do that you need the ultra cannon, which is unlocked by collecting 10 fragments from the med-size enemies, which can’t be realistically killed until you have some powerups. Right now, my biggest challenge is going to be finding a way to effectively instruct the player on how the game works. And yes, the grid is basically totally random, because I’m amazing at procedural generation.

End of D1

Posted by
Friday, December 5th, 2014 11:23 pm

2014-12-05 22_19_52-Adobe Flash Player 11

And now you see my extremely sophisticated graphics above. This is going to be a pseudo-roguelike of some sort, but I still don’t really know where it’s going. The blue dot is the player and the red dots are enemies.

I’m in and off my game.

Posted by
Friday, December 5th, 2014 7:43 pm

I’m here, I forgot to add my piece to the glut of “I’m In!” posts before this thing actually started, and I’m not going to be doing much voting because I’m heading for a plane out of the country 15 minutes before LD ends and leaving my laptop at home. Still, I’ve seen people do LD in a much less combobulated state than this, and thus I’m going for it.

I use AS3/Starling, Inkscape, lmms (ear-bleedingly so), TexturePacker, and BFXR.

I’m also wondering: why did this theme win? It’s not that I have a problem with it, I’m just not sure how it managed to beat everything else that was there.

Iter Bellum Deus Postmortem

Posted by
Monday, September 1st, 2014 12:06 pm


After giving myself a week to reflect, I’ll say my piece on how my second Ludum Dare went.

I keep a full text log when doing Ludum Dare, and I may publish the entire thing if there’s interest or I feel like it. For now, here are some highlights:

Day 1 – 6:46 PM
    Test build worked the first time. I’m not sure if that’s a good omen.

Day 1 – 10:50 PM
    So evidently entire matches are getting decided by minute differences in ship position. That’s what I have to assume because I’m getting inconsistent results and nothing else is random.

Day 2 – 11:20 AM
    I could never have had this many ships on screen in vanilla Flash.

Day 2 – 1:02 PM
    This game is still missing any kind of player interaction whatsoever.

Day 2 – 4:47 PM
    Got four power buttons working, but since I only implemented the explosion power, they all linked to that. Proceeded to spend 5 minutes trying to blow up everything with all four copies of the explosion power. Failed.

Day 2 – 9:19 PM
    Managed to unravel my game mechanics and successfully allow the player to exit a level. That took more effort than I wanted it to and less than I expected.

Day 3 – 9:37 AM
    Sound is done.
Day 3 – 9:44 AM
    …unless I decide to change the victory noise to something that’s not an ear-piercing whistle.

Though The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is a good movie, I think my experience categories during this LD are better described with a different set: What Went Right, What Went Wrong, and What Was Facepalm-Worthy.

What Went Right

-Schedule Once again, I was lucky enough to have a fully open weekend for Ludum Dare. I also like my timezone, as I kind of get three days to work with. Ludum Dare started at 6 PM for me, giving me a fairly relaxed first day where I could just get my basic concept down. Then I had a full day in the middle to really flesh things out, and the last day for polish. At no point during this structure is there any incentive for me to lose sleep, because if I stayed up too late it would just hurt my next day. As things worked out, I was able to get the basic concept down in the first hour, get a working demo by the end of Day 1, get all combat mechanics and powers plus music, graphics, and a lot of menu stuff done Day 2, and have plenty of time the next day for polish, level design, sound design, and finishing the menus. At no point did I find myself wishing for the extra 24 hours I would have gained doing the Jam. In fact, I was extremely relaxed for the last 6 hours, figuring that I had plenty of time to do whatever was needed.

-Code I love Starling now more than I ever did before this project. So much stuff that was convoluted in regular as3, such as angles, object disposal, and event handling was made much cleaner. Texture Atlases are a really convenient way to manage graphics once you’re used to them, and the performance boost is amazing. I was also blessed with a relatively bug-free game – there were a few bugs, but nothing really show-stopping and very rarely anything that took more than 5-10 minutes to resolve.

-Graphics I should focus some time on refining and improving my style, but I think I might be on to something with simple, clean vector graphics. They work really well for Ludum Dare because I can get something decent looking without having to spend too much time. It’s not the most amazing aesthetic, but it works.

-Concept The first thing I do when the theme is announced is open up a text file and start brainstorming (I think better with a computer than with pencil and paper.) I considered doing a game where you played two games simultaneously, but they interacted in a fundamental way, such as if enemies in one world could only be defeated by attacks from the other. My second idea was a more plot-oriented one, where you played in a world being invaded by demons, and to stop them you needed to go through the portals and break the machinery in the demon world. I rejected the first because I wasn’t really inspired and the second because I didn’t think I could do it justice. The idea I settled on, as written in my log, was this:

Alternatively, I could do something totally different and try to find a non-standard definition. Wikitionary gets me this:

(usually with “well-“): Having favorable rapport with a powerful entity.

    The idea that comes from this is a game where planets are connected by warp lanes, and send ships down those lanes
to try to capture other planets. Pretty standard stuff, the trick would be that the player doesn’t control any of this. Instead, they are a god that is aiding a particular civilization. This would mostly involve raining divine wrath on your enemies.

I think this one worked pretty well.

What Went Wrong

-Audio I should probably have focused more on this. My composed-in-an-hour Ludum Dare music has gotten mostly negative feedback, and I’m not exactly a master of BFXR. I’m supposing that SFXR and similar are more suited to more ‘retro’ games and that perhaps I should look into other options. Even if the audio’s not to everyone’s taste, I had time to put in mute buttons, so it shouldn’t interfere with the game too much.

-Submission Hour First of all I’d like to point out that I can’t seem to find this mechanic anywhere in the Ludum Dare rules. I legitimately did not know about it my first LD, and found myself scrambling to get the thing uploaded before the main compo deadline. Not having my own website or a good plan, I eventually uploaded to a Google Site and hoped it would work. I hoped this time would be different. My final submission time of 10 minutes before Submission Hour ended says otherwise. I tried the same Google Site, and I am still using it for the download and source download, but after half and hour of failing to pass wmode=’direct’ into the page embedcode so the game would actually show up, I concluded that the effort was going to be fruitless. With half an hour remaining and my stress-o-meter near the point of exploding, I ended up registering for itch.io and putting the game there. Success, but after much more difficulty than I would have liked.

What Was Facepalm-Worthy

-mimeType is case-sensitive. And that’s why my XML import took 20 minutes longer to get working than it should have.

-AS3 Vectors are a feature I should have known about a year ago. I’d been coding in a language for over a year without knowing I could do the rough equivalent of strongly-typed arrays.

-LD29 Since my last LD was LD28, I forgot that I’d skipped one and labelled all my files, project folder, and even the log with “LD29” instead of “LD30.” Took me half the compo before I noticed.

-BFXR I thought I’d somehow lost my copy, couldn’t find it anywhere, and was midway through downloading a new copy when I noticed the desktop icon for it.


Overall, I’d consider this a successful LD from a production standpoint, and I’ve been getting mostly positive feedback – certainly an improvement from last year when most people were complaining about having trouble leading shots (to be fair, it was too hard.) I’d like to thank the organizers for giving me and so many others this opportunity, the makers of all the great games I’ve played so far, and everyone who’s given me feedback so far. You guys rock!

Iter Bellum Deus is available here.


Halfway Report

Posted by
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 6:15 pm


All the basic gameplay elements are done, now I just need to do everything else. Blue team has the aid of the player, a powerful entity that can use a number of special abilities to change the flow of the game, i.e. blue team is well-connected. The planets are connected by hyperspace lanes or whatever, allowing ships to be sent for trade or warfare (mostly warfare.) Current powers, from left to right in the interface, are:

1. Wrath: Destroy all ships and weaken planets in an area. Warning: you can hit your own ships and planets!

2/3. Boon/Plague: Temporarily boost or plague one planet, vastly increasing or reducing its ability to produce ships and recover from damage, respectively. These persist when a planet is captured, so if the enemy captures your boosted planet they still get the boost, and if you capture a plagued planet, it will remain weak until the plague wears off.

4. Crusade: Permanently boost a group of your ships, making them faster and more powerful.

Explosions and Facepalming

Posted by
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 3:56 pm


Here you can see the game mechanics start to take shape, as the player blows apart a number of ships. I’ve probably spent too much time playing around relative the the time spent adding mechanics, but I’m fine with where I am now. What really bugs me is that I apparently labeled all my assets and project folder “LD29” instead of “LD30.” Wonderful.

Rainbow Shipfest

Posted by
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 10:25 pm


This game will make sense at some point. The idea basically involves ships being sent across warp lanes to attack enemy planets. It draws from a certain style of strategy game that I’ve seen a bunch of different people make (the flash games Civilizations Wars, Tentacle Wars, and Phage Wars being the first I found looking for examples,) but I’m planning a different form of player interaction.

Something in Space

Posted by
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 8:42 pm


An idea begins to take form…

[The background is the part of this with by far the least amount of work in it.]

My Addition to the Glut of “I’m In” Posts

Posted by
Saturday, August 16th, 2014 1:43 pm

After a hiatus from game design that lasted longer than I would really have liked, I’m coming back for another round of this. (My first and only previous entry being in LD28.)  Except this time I’m coming off from a break from programming instead of several months of working on a game, and I’m using a framework I probably don’t understand as well as I should. Starling is still as3, though, so the transition hasn’t been too rough. So far, I see it as having fixed a lot of issues with the regular as3/Flash framework, so it’ll be fun discovering Starling’s own issues when they come to bite me in hour 47.

So, to formalize my tool list:

Platform: As3/Starling

IDE: FlashDevelop

Graphics: Inkscape (+Paint.net if necessary.)

SFX: BFXR or some other thing.

Music: LMMS

Webhosting: Same as last year. (Scramble to figure something out in the last hour of the compo.)

One vs. Legion is done!

Posted by
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 6:44 pm


2013-12-15 14_11_43-Adobe Flash Player 11

(I never did announce the title, did I?)

I wasn’t sure I’d be able to complete this, given that I have a tendency to be overambitious and over-complicate things, traits that usually lead to ruin in LD. I’m still convinced that this idea was too ambitious, but I got a working game out of it. I’ll write a detailed post-mortem later, but suffice it to say that I’m happy with how this went overall (though there were a few hiccups and I need to find a better way to upload this.) You can play and rate my game here.

Starting to Come Together

Posted by
Sunday, December 15th, 2013 12:49 pm

2013-12-15 11_43_49-Adobe Flash Player 11

Surprisingly, I might actually be able to pull this together – all I need are two more enemies, a win condition, a tutorial, and some polish…



Posted by
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 2:11 pm

2013-12-14 13_02_56-Adobe Flash Player 11

So far development on this as-of-yet untitled game is going pretty well. My original idea was “you have to take down an enemy army with only one soldier,” but I decided spaceships would be easier. So the idea here is that you have one battleship, which has all its guns and its shield projector wired up to only one targeting system. Since the battleship can’t dodge anything, you have to try to block the enemy shots with your shield while shooting them.

Yet Another “I’m In” Post

Posted by
Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 9:56 pm

Except this one is trying to be funny by making a half-baked joke about the sheer number of these and then flailing towards metahumor by trying to joke about how it’s making a bad joke. But now it’s joking about how that was an even worse but this sentence is- AUGH! I’M LOOPING! BREAK!

…Anyway, my name is Adam, my username is 14-year-old me’s fault, and I’m announcing my participation in this Ludum Dare. Though this is my first Ludum Dare, you might recognize me from… uh…my obscure flash game? My Game Maker techdemos that only <30 people played? …yeah. I’m not sure of the full set of tools I’ll be using, but my core is going to be FlashDevelop for code, Inkscape for graphics, and LMMS for music.
Naturally, I’m really excited for the event, and I’m sure it’ll be my most productive weekend of the year.

And to all, good luck and have fun!


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