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10 hours left…havent started yet

Posted by
Sunday, December 7th, 2014 9:11 am

Had to work this weekend but home now, even with the short time I’ve chosen to not believe in my self but to believe in the ME that believes in myself, this game WILL be finished on time.

probably going to stream my efforts at twitch.tv/raptor851 as well

possibly in

Posted by
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 11:15 pm

assuming I dont need to work 30 hours this weekend like last LD, too lazy to repost but using same tools/engine as my last few LD entries.

Live LD rating + announcing my new year’s challenge!

Posted by
Thursday, January 3rd, 2013 8:29 am

First off I apologize for getting such a late start on rating, but I’ve had many issues come up and didn’t really have time to submit a full entry myself.  Normally I just rate myself and put up a “best of” every 100 games I rate, but this year I’ll be doing it a little different, plus kicking off an “event” I’ll be doing at the same time.

First, the link! http://www.twitch.tv/raptor851

Here at my twitch.tv page i’ll be livestreaming playing and reviewing as many ludumdare games as is humanly possible in the next four days (while still keeping the reviews fair and detailed).   My order will be semi-random, but for anyone who joins the stream and shares their link I’ll be happy to skip ahead to their game immediately and give some live feedback/directly answer why I liked or disliked certain things.  It would be nice as well if afterwards you stuck around in the stream to view other people’s game reviews, and perhaps provide some feedback of your own.

Later, though it’s going to be a small one this week due to the ludum dare reviews, I’m going to start my challenge this year.  Every week I will develop and release a fully cross-platform desktop game from scratch, using ideas from the previous week’s stream or just coming up with something on the fly, and using the development and testing of them, and perhaps support of the stream, to help drive forward my game engine project (unfortunately it’s kickstarter only raised 10% of the funding, so i’ll have to re-launch)

Hope to see some of you around!

It’s a tiny bit late but…new Sprite Editor release!

Posted by
Friday, December 14th, 2012 7:44 pm

For anyone using the old version you might want to just save and upgrade, the new version here is 100% backwards compatable with the old project files.  By popular demand I’ve added a classic tool select alongside the autotool for people more comfortable working with that, plus the spritesheet export and palette ripper are somewhat improved.


LD25 Warmup Game – Z-Like

Posted by
Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 5:52 pm

I put this up yesterday but forgot to post about it 😛

Finished up a warmup game this last weekend, ended up being kinda a zelda-roguelike hybrid with randomly generated floors, took about 12 hours to make, can check it out here


and see my post with the tools used and information on the game engine here, I could really use the support to get this thing developed further, it’s well along but has so much more to go!



I’m in + new engine release/kickstarter!

Posted by
Sunday, December 9th, 2012 10:48 am

I’m in barring any sort of emergency or being called in.

Just like past few LD’s, my toolset

  • Engine:Aether (my own cross-platform engine that’s been in development for quite some time)
  • Art:Sprite editor (soon to be renamed Aether Graphics Editor but the new improved version has a few bugs to work out still)
  • Sound: sfxr/atrk/lmms/audacity
  • IDE: Code::Blocks
  • Livestream: custom scripts (attached lower in this post)
  • Target platforms: Linux/Windows/Android (I unfortunately still don’t have a mac to test compile on)

This LD my engine now has all SORTS of new features and enhancements, and I have just launched a kickstarter campaign to try to get some funding to take it even further now that it’s gotten to the point where it’s more than usable for 2d games, you can check that out here

Kickstarter Campaign

Short version of the most notable engine changes

  • moved from GL2 and GLES11 to GL3.3 and GLES2
  • VASTLY improved performance on android, mostly due to the GLES2 migration, though the pipeline itself has been cleaned up and the old batch rendering system completley re-written with a far more efficient one.
  • huge improvements to the ttf rendering system, it’s faster and now also supports “tabstops” on the screen to make lining up text on non-monospaced fonts very easy
  • internal message pump and state manager
  • interactive debug console
  • built in file and compression handling, path decoding, and configuration objects to manage saving game data and settings
  • simple highscore manager object to retrieve and post highscores from a server


100 Games rated – Best Of

Posted by
Friday, September 7th, 2012 10:06 pm

Just like the last few times, now that I’ve passed 100 games rated time to pick some favorites that I think could use a bit more <3 !  This time is a little different though, I’m not going to pick “overall” favorites, as to be honest this LD every game so far that i’ve loved in one way has managed to frustrate me in another, so I’m going to categorize some favorites based on what I think is their strong suit!

As always, in no particular order (games that would fall in multiple are only listed in the one i think they’re strongest in)

Best Use of Theme:

Most Fun:

Best Graphics:

Best Music:

Some of these still only have a handful of plays, go try them out and give them some feedback!

And as always, I could always use more feedback on my entry as well if you havent played it already !


Super Genome – Timelapse and Postmortem

Posted by
Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 1:15 am

Keeping with the ludum dare tradition, time to do a little analysis on what went right and wrong during my development this time!  Before I get started with that though, for one I’d like to apologize, normally i do this at the same time as my “100 games rated” review and best of list but unfortunately so far my review list, though not quite at 100, to be perfectly honest i just dont have that many games that really stand out yet, not enough to make a real list, so expect that some time in the next week or so as i revew more!  Secondly, my timelapse is now up, accompanied by a nice track of classical music as always, so please enjoy this.

Get on with it!

Right! postmortem! The point of this post, for starts, here’s the link to the competition page itself


What went right:

  • The theme: frankly i was dreading another dreary, artys/emo theme like “abandoned” winning again, those kinds of themes are simply NO FUN for us programmers and it’s horifficly hard to get a decent gameplay idea that’s not just bolting the theme onto the story/background. (I generally rate 1 on theme when people do that myself, as just tacking it on isn’t really “meeting” the theme)
  • My engine: my game engine worked BEAUTIFULLY, a few minor fixes were needed after release but having a fully cross-platform engine set up and ready did wonders, so even though my idea made me write a full entity system and isometric renderer from scratch having windowing/input/state management/texture and memory management already taken care of made the task a lot easier
  • My tools: the newest version of my sprite editor (available under the “tools” link at the right) worked like a charm, it made animating the modular sprites a breeze even for a crappy artist like me, this time around a lot of people have even said they LIKED my art style!
  • Time: for the first time, I was actually able to be HOME on both days of ludum dare! So this was the first competition i technically actually had 48 hours to work in

What went wrong?

  • Timing: This ludum dare took place on the first weekend college is in, in the middle of one of the hottest weekends of the year in southern california so of course we had rolling blackouts all day saturday, my UPS tried it’s best to keep my desktop running but i ended up with a few hours of downtime midday, losing a good 4-5 hours of development, I ended up having to cut features due to this
  • Mouse control:  The game was meant to be controlled entirely by mouse using pathfinding, unfortunately due to being down most of the day saturday i ended up having to cut pathfinding or I wouldn’t have had time to make actual levels and art to play.  This made getting around corners somewhat tricky though thankfully still do-able (wasd also works as analternate, it was debug code though and not the way the game was meant to be controlled so it’s a little jumpy)
  • No way to restart: Another feature i had to cut due to time was resetting the player after he dies to restart (the levels already reset, only the player needed to reset) so i was forced to put just a simple game over screen when you die
  • Lame ending: Another cut feature, I was going to make a better image to show when you get to the end and to thank you for playing but again, due to playing catchup for saturday a lot of art had to be cut, so all you get now is a blurb of text for the temporary ending
  • not all evolutions have artwork:  my game actually tracks a LOT of statistics when you’re evoloving, over 2000 combinations are actually possible but only a tiny portion make visible changes due to my inexperience in isometric art that’s not geometric in nature and lack of time. There is no distinct skin/leg/ear/or fang graphics for the other features that evolve, only general body type, head type, and back type are actually shown
  • needed a statistics readout window:  I really needed a window to show your current statistics, the “overall” statistics modified by your current evolution status are  attack/defense/speed/flight/poison/and vision, a lot of people had trouble in the caves because they did not kill enemies outside first that would buff their defense before starting to fight the much tougher bats and spiders inside

And to close out, here’s a short gameplay video of how it all turned out!

Got a linux native game that needs testing?

Posted by
Sunday, September 2nd, 2012 6:23 pm

Well, i’ve basicly given up on ludumdare’s search feature, it’s utterly useless since it finds every single game that so much as mentions linux in any way (it finds games that say “sorry won’t work on linux” and “let me know in comments if it works on linux”) and half the people that “do” have linux version requires a 6 hour install procedure to get all the interpreters installed.  If anyone has a linux native game that needs testing, go ahead and leave it in the comments here and if i havent already I’ll check it out!  Now that’s NATIVE games though, i don’t want a bunch of java7 and love2d games linked here, I can’t run those! So binary only.

No i will NOT install your frameworks

Posted by
Thursday, August 30th, 2012 4:51 pm

In the interest of less typing, first, read my post from last ludum dare on this topic, as it covers 90% of what I want to say right now.


Basicly though, the short of it is, if your game REQUIRES a setup procedure, or requires me to go out and install some other libraries or runtimes on my system itself before I can play, I will (most other people will too) click the “back” button and move on to the next game in the list of 1400.  This goes for you too love2d people! (ESPECIALLY love2d people!) Even if i did manage to figure out how to get the mess of severely outdated libraries love uses on my system without destroying my entire OS I would still have to deal with the fact that love versions don’t work with games made in other versions, so no matter which one I install it would only work for half the games!  Pack the interpreter for love, it’s a TINY set of executables and libraries, i showed a few people how to do this last LD and it seemed to be a huge success, a lot of people were able to play the game that otherwise wouldn’t have.

To add on to this as well:

* No I will NOT install a different web browser, if your game has issues in firefox I talk about the issues in firefox and rate it based on that, sure chrome may be a better experience in your game but I don’t use chrome.  If it has MAJOR issues under firefox i just leave a note saying it doesn’t run on firefox and move on. I’ve seen a lot of instances of people pointing out bugs/lag issues that break the game and the response basicly being “oh…just test it on chrome”

* No, I will not upgrade my system core (libc, libstdc++,etc…) just because you compiled with the latest git version of gcc and don’t want to take 10 seconds to copy those shared object files into the tarball.  “just upgrade gcc/libc!” as a fix to get your game working, leaving me with a month worth of tracking down every package that breaks and bug testing all my code against a new gcc version is not going to cut it.

* No, I will not install sun java 7.  Seriously, unless you have some sort of HUGE PRESSING REASON to be compiling for sun java 7, set your compile target for java 6, now magially those 90% of users complaining in your games page about “crashes on start” or “wouldn’t run” can run the game just fine!  Also stop using the non-standard java extensions for different sound types included in sun and microsoft’s jre’s only, it breaks your game under the default vm’s on android, linux, and basicly any system using anything but those two vm’s

A few extra tips to add on to the ones in the linked post:

* Linux Games:  on top of what i already posted last LD (READ THAT POST!!!)  another common mistake i’m noticing is distributing the linux games in zip files.  Remember, zip does not preserve permissions! This means that your executable files will not be executable after download, and you simply have to hope that the user knows how to re-flag the file executable. (you’d be surprised! linux is far more mainstream now, the majority of users do NOT know why that file “just wont run”…even in something here like LD) . The preferred distribution format is .tar.gz , i don’t know offhand the gui programs for linux that can create them but even from a shell it’s as simple as

tar -pczf filename.tar.gz /folder/path

* Naming your links:  Please stop simply calling everything “web” it makes filtering for platforms next to impossible, and LD’s search function next to useless.  At least make them say, “web(html5)” or “web(unity)” so that when i’m  browsing html5 games on my android or such every other “web” link isn’t silverlight or unity telling me “lol…i trolld you, i don’t have a web plugin that works on your device!”.  There’s also quite a few games that named their links “windows” “mac” “linux” and all three of them point to a windows executable, sometimes with a blurb that it “hopefully” works under WINE.

* Don’t put things like “sorry linux users”  “sorry mac users” “maybe next time i’ll do html5” or things like that in your description text, it makes your game come up when filtering for those platforms and makes the ludum dare search feature entirely useless.

* Make sure your zip/tarball has a well named folder your entire game is contained under in it, do not have all your files simply sitting on the top level.  there’s 1400 games to test, most games do this properly but a few still do not, if you dont contain your stuff in a folder it will happily unzip all your files all over other peopel’s test directories, generally containing other games we’re testing or want to keep around to try farther/review, and now instead of just having a folder to remove i get to hunt and peck files, sometimes hundreds of them, from the main directory trying not to delete the ones i meant to keep…



Posted by
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 10:05 pm

So many problems this LD, being the first week of the college semester had tons of homework and rolling blackouts in the area (thanks to the fact that a LOT of people are home doing homework, on a super hot day with the AC’s on, worst power outages of the year so far).  Actually lost power twice yesterday!  Thank god for battery backups and incremental saves though, I pushed through and though i lost a lot of time and didn’t quite do all I planned I managed to release a complete game again, just recorded a bit of it to show off the evolving aspect.  The creatures body parts are independant and when you kill anything you “absorb” it’s DNA/traits and it reforms you into some…generally pretty silly looking things. (blob with bat wings and a wolf head, wolf with bird head, etc…basicly any combination of the monsters found in the game)  It actually works pretty well and the dynamicly combining sprites don’t look half bad, especially for artwork I did 😀

check it out here, it’s short as i cut straight to the evolving parts, but then the game is pretty short too, there’s only about 7 map areas but they’re all linked and you can freely explore them. (the maps are all done in tiled so you can edit them and link in more maps too if you really want)



Good job SCE…

Posted by
Saturday, August 25th, 2012 4:07 pm

And no i don’t mean Sony…talking about Southern California Edison…my power company.  TWO power outages so far this LD, first power outages of the season actually, but then it doesn’t surprise me that much, SCE is notoriously bad on peak days and this LD is timed pretty poorly for us, this is the first college weekend of the semester so today there’s thousands upon thousands of students all staying home to get their first week paperwork/homework complete, indoors with AC’s cranked.   Hopefully we don’t get too many more rolling blackouts in this area, this last one was bad, was down for about 30 minutes and my battery backups died :/


This is definitely making things harder than they should be….

I’m in!

Posted by
Monday, August 20th, 2012 3:17 am

Language: C++

Engine/API: Aether Engine (My personal developed API/Engine http://www.midnightfragfest.com/aether/)

IDE: Code::Blocks

Graphics: Sprite Editor (My own personal tool http://www.midnightfragfest.com/sprite-editor/ )

Audio: SFXR, Autotracker, LMMS, and Schismtracker

Livestream: Simple bash script for livestreaming to twitch.tv



ffmpeg -f x11grab -s $SIZE -r $FRAMERATE -i :0.0 -f alsa -ac 2 -i pulse -vb $BITRATE -vcodec libx264 -threads 0 -acodec libmp3lame -ab 128k -ar 22050 -f flv “rtmp://live.justin.tv/app/$KEY”


Timelapse: Simple timelapse script and timelapse processing script


sleep 30

while [ 1 ]

valf=$(printf “%.8d” “$x”)
scrot ./`echo $valf`.jpg
sleep 30
x=$(( $x + 1 ))





ffmpeg -r $FPSI -i %08d.jpg -s vga -r $FPS -f flv -qscale $Quality -ar $AudioBitrate $OutputVideo



While my game didn’t do terribly well in LD 23, it got overall average scores, I did get quite a bit of plays and a lot of good feedback on it.  I decided why not, take it and expand it out further.  Well this has taken FAR longer than expected and I ended up developing a full cross-platform 2d game engine/library that supports Android NDK/Linux/Windows/Mac in the process, but as of last night the extended edition of my LD23 game “Tiny Defenders” Is available on google play :)

First off, a link to the free version:


And a link to the compo page!


But that’s not  the primary purpose of this post!   I wish i had though of it sooner and done more in between but i’ve started doing video logs of my development so following this sentence i’ll have a few videos, starting with a video of the competition version, showing how the game evolved as i tried new things and added on to what I already had.  I actually think it’s kinda interesting to see how something starts from a tiny little ludum dare game and evolves into a full game.

Click the link to view the rest of this post! i’m hiding it under a “more” tag otherwise it’ll eat up the entire front page….it’s huge!


Lack of useful feedback in LD23

Posted by
Monday, May 14th, 2012 12:30 pm

I’ve said my thoughts on the current ranking system elsewhere so no real need to re-state here, but theres something to me that’s quite a bit worse that could be addressed, and this is more of a community thing really but perhaps there’s some way for LD24 some “encouragement” could be put in place to do it.

Much like LD22 I take the same issue with my comments/feedback…..my comments and feedback are 100% positive (well..99%..someone did bring up that more feedback in the HUD would have been nice 😀 ), nobody could really say a bad thing at all.. out of just over 100 ratings 40 of said people posted that they “loved” the audio and thought it was “really really fun!”….and that was about the extent of my feedback. (And not just my game of course, I’m just using it as a easy example as it effects me the most personally, many many others I’ve browsed through are the same, nothing but positive feedback and glowing praise towards the game….then a really low score)

I scored a 3.07 in fun and 2.75 in audio

Now…whatever, those scores arent “bad” by any means, but they don’t reflect the feedback in the least!  if 40 people of 100 “loved” those….then I’m looking at probably 20-30 ratings who did not like the gameplay/audio who did not leave feedback.

That sucks…mostly because it’s the feedback from those who didn’t like the game that I care about, I want to hear why they didn’t like it!  As much as I appreciate the “I love it!” posts as feedback goes negative feedback is far more helpful. I don’t know if people are just too “polite” to post things they didn’t like or if they are somehow afraid of being “retaliated” against and being given a bad score on their game or what, but, at least to me, I enjoy feedback good and bad…It lets me know which things I tried people liked and which things i tried people didn’t like so I can either explore further into an idea or avoid it in the future.  (Especially in something like this where I made a game type I’ve never done before AND tried a few twists from the “norm” in it’s genre)

So, in saying that, I’d like to re-iterate my suggestion I brought up prior to LD23 based on my experiences from LD22….we need some sort of way to allow people to attach an anonymous comment to their vote (well, the site would still know who posted it, just dont show the name) but still leave a way to leave comments in the thread like we can do now (showing our names).  Perhaps this would allow more people who don’t want to say anything bad to open up a bit and give honest feedback?

Feedback has to consist of both what worked and what did not work to be effective….just my $0.02

Current Ratings Stats!

Posted by
Sunday, May 13th, 2012 12:30 pm

Just updated the spreadsheet generated from the LD stats page, cleaned it up a little to make it easier to read this time.


  •  226 people have rated 0 games
  • 60 rated only 1
  • 251 rated 2-10 only
  • 167 rated over 100
  • current average = 35

For anyone who want’s to get a few more ratings in before deadline, you’re free to add mine to the list 😛

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-23/?action=preview&uid=7131 </self pimpage>

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