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Finding my game in the LD30 mosaic

Posted by (twitter: @royvanrijn)
Thursday, August 28th, 2014 4:14 am

Update: I’ve changed this into a code golf challenge, if you’re into code golf, give it a shot here

A couple of hours ago Will posted a cool mosaic with a lot of thumbnails of games forming a large world map. He set us a simple challenge “find your game!”.

Check out his post here: All LD30 Games in this Mosaic!

First I had a quick look, couldn’t find mine… so I solved it as a real programmer should.

  1. Input: mosaic.png
  2. Input: #tiles x and y
  3. Input: mythumbnail.png
  4. Loop over thumbnails in mosaic
  5. Calculate error
  6. Output image with least error and remember the coordinates


Interesting thumbnail right? Please play the game here:

A (dis)connected world…

Post-mortem… a (dis)connected world

Posted by (twitter: @royvanrijn)
Monday, August 25th, 2014 8:26 am

Time for a post-mortem.

butcher scene


This #LD I’ve decided to use the framework I made last time: for a point-n-click game.

Before the competition I decided to add some more features, like a dialog system and a way to play sound. Also the Javascript should now work correctly on iOS and Android as well.


NO! I didn’t want Connected Worlds… I had some great game ideas with other themes, but not this< theme. What should I do? Well, I went for a short walk outside and imagined two worlds close to each other. What if the worlds are very close, but not yet connected? How about a love story? Yes! A love story! This is the basis of my game.

The puzzles

When making a point-n-click adventure game one of the most important things to have is: good puzzles. If the puzzles are too obvious people will make their way through the game in a matter of minutes, if the puzzles are too complicated people will quickly give up and hate it. This is the moment I panicked, I was again clueless and had no good puzzle ideas. That is when inspiration came from my living room… the Mythbusters. My love story was featured around building a rocket. And where did I learn everything I know about building rockets? The Mythbusters. That is why they just had to become part of my game (and they did!).

Drawing! Drawing! Hand cramp.

The biggest drawback of making a point-n-click adventure is the visuals… I love playing the genre and want to bring back the fun I had with games like Gobli(ii)ns, Monkey Island, Larry, DOTT etc.

Instead of drawing on the computer I decided to use something new (for me):

  1. Draw on paper (using pencil)
  2. Make photo with phone
  3. *instant dropbox sync*
  4. Open in GIMP
  5. Play with threshold
  6. Do digital coloring
  7. (optional): Turn layers into animation with sprite GIMP plugin

The amount of drawing to programming was 90/10, maybe even 90/5/5 if you include making music and sound effects!

In the end I decided to also push my hand-drawn artwork on Github, you can check it our here.

Music & sound fx

For the music I decided to use SoundHelix. It took me a while to figure out how to change the settings to get something which matches the scene I was working on, but I love the result.

The sound effects where all quick hacks, shouting at the microphone. I’m especially proud of my lions roar, which turned out much better than I anticipated.


I’m very pleased with the result, it is much better than the first LD I finished. It makes me feel so proud when people say it reminds them of the fun they had with the good old point-n-click adventures. It is my duty to make you laugh and have a good time!

To play my game, click here.

Mythbusters cameo in my Ludum Dare game

Posted by (twitter: @royvanrijn)
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 12:21 pm

Yesterday I was completely lost, my adventure game needed a good story and couple of puzzles… So I turned on the TV and the Mythbusters were on. The game story is about a rocket, and who are better in blowing stuff up than the Mythbusters!? So I decided to include them into my game:

Oh no… connected worlds

Posted by (twitter: @royvanrijn)
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 12:21 am

It took me about 20 minutes this morning to figure out a theme, then I needed to start drawing because my game idea will involve A LOT of drawing…

Here is the first ‘result’, pen and paper > iPhone photo > digital coloring:

Some links

Posted by (twitter: @royvanrijn)
Thursday, August 21st, 2014 10:43 am

I’ve been reading up on sprites/animation and pixel art. Here are some links of websites with good content:




If the baby stays in, I’m in

Posted by (twitter: @royvanrijn)
Thursday, August 21st, 2014 1:10 am

With my pregnant wife almost due I’ll hopefully be able to join this Ludum Dare. I’ve whispered to the unborn boy he should wait until at least monday with his ‘Hello World’…

Last Ludum Dare I spend the whole weekend not making a game, but making a small Javascript game library (which brings me as much satisfaction as an actual game being a pure programmer). This time I’ve polished the code a little bit and it seems like I’m ready to make an actual game with 100% my own library called Paca (no external libraries at all!).

But to do this I’ll have to declare the code I’m going to use, you can find it here:

Feel free to use or abuse it!

You can play around with this the test game here:

The framework should make it easy to implement a point-n-click adventure game, my favourite genre. If you want to see what the code looks like implementing the test game, please check out:

Be sure to set “Paca.DEBUG = true” so see the navigation mesh. Otherwise it doesn’t make any sense right now.

ps. Yes it has animation bugs, but that is because I’m reusing sprite-instances, not the library.
pps. Obviously I won’t be reusing the sounds and/or sprites, those will be redrawn during the contest!

Already distracted…

Posted by (twitter: @royvanrijn)
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 4:02 pm

This is how my Ludum Dare always goes:

  • Hey! There is a new LD coming!
  • I’m in!, hell yeah, I love it!
  • I should get my tooling and language selected and ready…
  • Using a game engine/tool/library feels like cheating, I should write my own!!
  • Dammit, one day before the competition and I’m 50% done with my own framework!
  • Yes! My framework is done, do I still have time for a game? No, it is 2015 by now.

But … it is entertaining, educational and most importantly: FUN!

This time I’m building a JavaScript point and click adventure game engine, like my favourite games from the past (Day of the Tentacle, Monkey Island, Leisure Suit Larry‎, Cursed Monkey Testicle), wish me luck,

Here is a random kitten (have to practice drawing too):


QUESTION: Can anybody recommend a good pixel-based drawing tool? I’ve seen Pyxel and Pickle, any other suggestions?

Can’t wait! Can’t compete :-(

Posted by (twitter: @royvanrijn)
Thursday, August 16th, 2012 1:17 am

Last Ludum Dare (#23) was my very first LD, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Ever since LD#23 I’ve been collecting ideas, about game types, lighting, different platforms, tooling… all waiting until the next Ludum Dare. I’ve learned about coding for Android (which was going to be my platform of choice this time), and I’ve even pre-written a small library to take care of some scaling aspects for me.


Checking my agenda it looks like I can’t compete this time… But I’ve got something else planned that weekend which is going to be awesome as well. Maybe you guys are familiar with Discovery Channel’s “Scrapheap Challenge” and/or the US version “Junkyard Wars”? It turns out here in the Netherlands there is a company which does team building activities with the same idea! In the morning you are divided into groups and get a challenge (something they have done before or we suggest our own challenge). They have a scrapheap with a lot of old bicycles and other scrap and a huge shed with welding equipment etc. During the day the professionals will assist you (crash course in welding for example) in the build! In the end there will be a race and a big BBQ. The teams can even take their creation home.

This has got to be the best team building activity imaginable and it isn’t the worst reason to skip this LD!

Itty-bitty botty: Post mortem

Posted by (twitter: @royvanrijn)
Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 6:09 am

I absolutely loved my first Ludum Dare. It is a good exercise is planning, scaling, hacking, imagining and just plain having fun! Until two days ago I’d only build large enterprise software systems, and never really a game before. But I really enjoyed it, and recommend everybody to join LD24 four months from now.

The concept:

For this game I decided to stick with plain Java. It is the language I know and are familiar with. Also I decided not to use any framework whatsoever. To make it playable for as many people as possible I decided to make an applet. It could easily be made into a standalone application, or maybe an Android app…! I loved the old point-and-click games when I was younger, from Dirty Larry to The Day of the Tentacle, from Monkey Island to Gobli(iiii)ns. So that was settled, it’s going to be a point-and-click adventure!

The big pro:

Not a lot of physics and/or complicated game code.

The big con:

I’d have to brush off my paint skills because point-and-click adventures are filled with graphics and animation! I’ve fallen in love with my little animated robot (see above).

One big factor in games is music, and for this contest I took some MIDI control code I made years ago. This was turned into a procedurally generated music generator. Every time you play my game you’ll hear something new. Also, the music is constantly evolving and will never play the same thing twice. But, to make it easy on the ears, some chords do repeat and all changes are slow.

I’ve also added three types of chords, happy-chords, sad-chords and scary-chords. During the game the emotion of the character will change, and so will the music. It can also speed up and slow down.

The result:

I had a volleyball game on saterday, and visitors coming on sunday, and I had to watch the F1 and Luik-Bastenaken-Luik. So it was already a busy weekend. But I managed to squeeze in some hours. I think the game turned out pretty well. You really have to search to find all the items and get further in the game. A friend who test-played the game said he had the same good feeling the moment he found something new, making progress in the game, that he had playing games like The Day of the Tentacle. Which was a huge compliment.

Here is my result, have fun playing the game: Itty-bitty botty!

p.s. Any comments (and ratings) are appreciated! Perhaps someday I’ll create a full blown game, I’d love to do…

Done! Finished!

Posted by (twitter: @royvanrijn)
Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 8:02 am

I’ve decided to call it a day. The game is fully playable and has (kind of) an ending to it.
This afternoon I’ve been adding more and more polish, because adding to the story would have a major impact.

Here is my (for now) ‘final’ entry, time to catch some sleep:

This is what it looks like right now, be sure to play it!

Time for a teaser screenshot

Posted by (twitter: @royvanrijn)
Saturday, April 21st, 2012 12:29 am

After a night without a lot of sleep (Europe…) this is my current result for LD23, my first LD:

There is just one room in this point-and-click adventure right now, but hopefully I can make some more room! Although time is very limited sadly…

All comments are welcome, now that I have the time to change stuff :-)

Giving LD#23 a try…

Posted by (twitter: @royvanrijn)
Friday, April 20th, 2012 8:53 am

Dreams? I’ve got a lot of dreams…

Ideas? Plenty!

Plans? I’ve got plans too!

Time? Well, not a lot, but I’ll give it a try anyway!

A friend of mine has competed in LD competitions before, and after asking me for the 100th time to join his jam, I’ve decided to join on my own instead. It is just much more fun!

What are my plans?

  • Java (applet) game
  • Point-and-click adventure (Ouch! A lot of drawing!)
  • No frameworks, just plain Java
  • Music? Yes, MIDI, procedurally computer generated!
    (I’ve got some Java MIDI code from an earlier project)
  • Sound effects? Probably, not idea yet how.  Bytebeat sounds maybe?
  • Animations/drawings, GIMP and maybe some edited photographs to speed things up

Last but not least, I’ve got an extra handicap/excuse for not finishing: A two week old baby to take care of…

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