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Yup, yup… I’m in.

Friday, December 9th, 2016 8:01 am

Using Unity and a bunch of free software. Should probably get some rest before we kick this sucker off!

Also, while I have your attention, go play my free game I just recently released. ktnx :)



Squishies, go!!!

Thursday, April 14th, 2016 5:34 am

As it is now tradition, the IndieSquish Minecraft community will be entering the Jam. We’ll do pretty much the same thing as every time before, which goes like this:

  1. The kids (ages 8 to 40+) build game assets on our Minecraft server.
  2. The above are imported as voxel-art using some tools (no textures, just colours)
  3. The game is assembled in Unity – again will use the Linux experimental build.

Most Portem: Our most complete entry yet

Thursday, August 27th, 2015 7:36 am

You are the villain monster!

I felt this was worth a post since this is probably the most complete game we’ve submitted since we started doing the Jam using our particular formula.

For those unaware, we run a kid-friendly/parent-friendly (well supervised) Minecraft server called IndieSquish, and every so often we enter Ludum Dare as a community. All the in-game assets are built on the Minecraft server by anyone who wishes to participate, and we do try and use every single thing that gets made. These items then get exported to a format that can be used by Maya/Blender and animated there. The end result is a voxel-like art style.

Including myself, 31 people showed up on the weekend to help build the village and monsters. The youngest, as far as I know, was 9.

In progress shot at the end of Saturday.

Not sure why time worked out better. We usually try to aim for as simple a concept as possible, but inevitably we always run out of time. On the development side, some things that I thought would take long- like guard patrols and vision cones, were quick, and other things that should really be simple- like the “hold down key to search container” mechanic took longer.

Another reason I thought would probably contribute to wasted time is that I built the game using an experimental build of Unity on Linux – but too did not seem to slow things down. There was even enough time to add in sound – usually the first thing to get get culled when the deadline hits.

Since I don’t have a recipe for success, I’m going to go with: We got lucky!

Hope to get equally lucky next time. :)

Once more unto the… we’re doing it!

Thursday, August 13th, 2015 4:44 am

The IndieSquish Minecraft community will participate again, using the same dirty trickses as the other times.

– Build voxel art in Minecraft
– Animation/rigging in Blender/Maya
– Build game in Unity

Maybe this time we’ll actually finish! 😀


Let’s do this!

Friday, December 5th, 2014 1:47 am

It’s time to kick bubblegum and chew ass!

I guess I’m in. Probably will just Unity3D it up as usual with a bit of Blender/GIMP thrown in for good measure.

Over 30 celcius predicted this weekend though – so might stick to working at night, being heat-averse. I should just move to Svalbard or something. I hear they have great internet there. 😀

Nexxuz Post-Jam cleanup

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 12:44 pm

I’ve been cleaning up our Jam entry quite a bit. What started as a quick touchup here and there is now turning into something a lot bigger.

  • New camera angle
  • Properly scripted boss fights
  • Rebalancing bullet damage
  • Adding more things to shoot at (and at you)
  • Fixing powerups
  • Projectile behaviour tightened up
  • Loads of added visual effects
  • Sound effects

Loads more to do!



Nexxuz – Progress Report

Sunday, August 24th, 2014 7:50 am

Once again, we’ve utilised our lovely Minecraft community (mostly children, we run a family-friendly server) to help us build our game assets for our LD jam. We’ve decided to make a Zaxxon-like Shmup with six levels, two enemy ship types per level and one boss fight at the end of each level. All game assets were built inside Minecraft, then exported through Blender, stripped of textures, and finally plonked into Unity for the actual game-making.

Amazingly we wrangled 20 – 30 super excited kiddies into building our levels and sticking to our build rules (mostly), and got all of the building done in one day. Now for the most time-consuming bit; putting it all into a game.

The Story:

You’re the pilot of a little spaceship flying through space. Your ship gets caught up in a time-space anomaly and shatters, leaving you in one smaller version of your ship with the rest of your ship parts scattered across different dimensions. In order to recover your ship parts, you need to fly through the dimensions (connected via portals), shoot down the enemies, and recover each part – and each part will add to your ships’ abilities and let you complete the final stages of each dimension.

Here’s an early early version of our ‘castle’ level;

And a couple of Vines of the almost complete Ocean level;



We’re doing it! Rarrrr!

Thursday, August 21st, 2014 4:26 am

The Indie Squish Minecraft community is entering ye olde Jam again, doing the asset creation the same as we did the last two times – by building voxel stuff in Minecraft. :)

This was the first one we did:


Likely will be a Unity3D game, music done in heck-knows-what.

I’m in, rawr!

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 4:44 am

Going to do the compo this time round.

Will likely be in Unity, and depending on the game, I *might* possibly use Twine and the Twine/Unity parser thingy I made for http://makerseden.screwylightbulb.com/  – it’s nothing too fancy, but we do plan to release a starter project for people who want to make similar games. Graphics will be GIMP/Blender.

No idea about sound… might just record some armpit farts and call it good.

See you around this weekend – have fun.

Indiesquish.com is in!

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 11:55 am

We’re doing the Jam again.

The creation process will be the same as we did for Lepton’s Quest : Build voxel art in Minecraft, use voxel art in game. It’ll be Unity as the engine this time round though.





A difficult entry

Friday, December 21st, 2012 12:40 pm

Just before Ludum Dare 25 was to begin, yet another domestic mass murder incident hit the United States. Details about it saturated the media, social networks and general conversation. As usual with these things, I think the arguments about it almost infuriated me more than the actual event. It’s always the same, people pipe in with their own opinions on what’s to blame, and most of the time they will focus on one thing, be it guns, violent media, games, news media, etc. And then you have people using the event to push their own agendas or to get ratings; like the NRA is calling for more guns,  or news media plastering it all over their stations dressed up for maximum sensation.

It was amidst all this noise that Ludum Dare came upon us, and the theme “You are the villain” announced. I really did not feel like entering. Sure, I could have had fun with it, pitting you as a dark overlord terrorising the peasantry. But just then it was rather difficult for me to escape the real world. A world in which we actually do have villains. The kind nobody wants to be, but some just are.

I met a kid in Buffalo, NY about 15 years ago. He was in his mid teens and had just taken up drug dealing to earn a living. It was a surreal moment, especially upon realising that he did not seem to be fully aware that he was committing a crime, or any of the associated consequences. All he knew through this poor awareness is that he goes down to the river near the bridge, buyers show up and he gets money for the stuff he sells and he should be wary of cops. He was simple of mind, and had a bizarre aura of innocence about him. This was not someone like me. He was brought up differently, reasoned differently, his world was incredibly small, and I doubt he had any real thoughts about his future. But he was a villain.

Screenshot from 2012-12-21 20:51:03


Back to Ludum Dare 25: I decided to put my frustrations into a non-game, and put it here. Like a commenter noted on the game’s page “You marched right up to the theme and punched it in the face”. The intent was not to be subversive, but rather to pose a question about who a villain is. As ham-fisted and unsubtle as it ended up, I feel I still failed to convey a lot of what one could question about all this, but at least some of it is covered. At the heart of it, and the one thing that I wanted to get across is that the issues are complex and largely psychological.

If one dug deeper than that, you’d get to all the related causes. Things like the United States being a country where consumerism and beaurocracy thrives in a well-matured fear-driven environment. A place where shame is turned into entertainment. I could go on rattling off more, but would likely get to a point where every sentence offends at least one group of people.

I’m just saying, look deeper. The blame is not guns, “video games”, violent movies, etc. Even if you managed to make a place where no murders occurred, by shoving guns in the hands of everyone, you still have not solved the problem. You’re still left with an ill society with all the same ailments that causes this to begin with.

I was an awkward kid once too.

Anyway, have a look here:




Ah heck, why not?

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012 10:58 am

I was going to skip this one, but changed my mind. Will be doing the compo.

Depending on what the game ends up being, it’ll either be Unity, OpenSLUDGE or just web/Javascript, graphics made with GIMP/Blender. Music with… dunno yet. I’ll hum a tune!

Lepton’s Quest postmortem

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 6:21 am

Doing the Jam in Ludum Dare 24 turned out to be an experiment of sorts. A proof of concept. We wanted to see if we could make a game, but also involve anyone in the Minecraft community we run at indiesquish.com. We’d gather all the troops and set them upon some empty worlds to build sets for use in the game. They’d have a custom texture pack that eliminated all the textures, leaving just coloured cubes, looking very similar to the final output after rendering the scenes in Blender.

All this turned out exactly as planned. They showed up, they planned and built a grand assortment of buildings, NPCs, monsters and UI elements.

The theme was “evolution”, which I naturally assumed would result in loads of high concept stuff from other devs that I would not be able to do. The engine I used is intended for 2D point & click adventure games, so we had to do something that stuck to those mechanics. The plan was to build the “evolution” part into the plot, and make a simple RPG with Japanese style turn-based combat.  Thus Lepton’s Quest was born.

Sadly, as the end of the 72 hours approached, we started leaving out more and more of the planned features, with the aim of at least shipping something by the end of it. And we did. Not great, but as a proof of concept I think it worked well.


What went well

1. The artwork. A bucketload of players showed up to help with the building, while our best builder  Nidhux coordinated most of it. We’ll post some videos from the livestream at some point.

2. Livestreaming everything. We had a livestream on twitch that showed the building and development work. It helped builders visualise their construction against the rendered output, and generally kept everyone motivated.

3. Community. We hadn’t given the sound/music any thought beforehand, and had several people volunteering to do music and sounds. Kas/Kong also hopped in on day 3 to create the lovely into and outro.



What was left out 

1. Combat system. It was to be a simple turn-based system. You have two attacks and one “drink potion” action. You get to pick one per turn. First is a basic damage attack with a chance to miss. The second is a low-damage attack with a chance to stun.

2. Monster encounters. The community built some awesome monsters, and in the spirit of the  “evolution” theme made variants on each type of creature. It would also feature random livestock around the village which would become mutated monstrosities.

3. NPC animations. This was never going to be too complicated, just enough to make them less static.

3. An underground aquaduct system. Down the well at the end would have taken you to an aquaduct system. You’d have had to defeat a boss monster (two headed crocodile) before being able to free the villagers.

4. Some sound engineering. The levels are way off… soft this, loud that.

5. Flavour. The plan was to add more flavour-dialogue to NPCs and add things for Lepton to look at and comment on.

6. Some added plot exposition. There was actually more plot to it, but we skipped some parts.


We’re in. With a twist…

Thursday, August 9th, 2012 5:15 am

Last time I did not quite finish because I spent too much time on the graphics. The game engine I used was OpenSLUDGE, which made the game creation part easy, so I felt the “substance” had to come from the writing and look. If I had to go back and do it again… I probably would end up doing the same though, and in LD24 I see myself making the same mistake – I know no other way. So my new plan is this: Ahem ahem…

First up, going for the Jam instead of the 48 hour compo. Secondly, I am getting help, but this is where it might get a bit interesting. I am co-owner of a Minecraft (& other) community at http://indiesquish.com/ and we have some talented builders on there. I also have been playing with the idea of using Minecraft as an oversized voxel editor, the results of which are shown in the pic below. Notice how the final output does not resemble the original build.

I convert the Minecraft world into a Wavefront object using a util called mcobj, and then render it in Blender. I use orthographic rendering because I like it, so nyah.

The idea is to have our whole community participating in the event, building buildings, landscapes, characters, spaceships, whatever is required from scratch. We’ll have several live streams going, and several time lapse recordings. It’ll be a grand experiment.

Here’s a standard flatworld with two villages:

So in summary:

– Game built using OpenSLUDGE engine.
– Voxel art drawn using Minecraft by a bucketload of excited kids (and a few big kids)
– Converted to mesh using mcobj
– Game graphics rendered in Blender
– Sound, will get back to ya. 😉

IMPORTANT: No assets from Minecraft end up in the final output. It’s just coloured cubes with no textures on them.

Nix: Adventure on the far side of the solar system

Monday, April 23rd, 2012 2:42 am

The game ended up being a considerable amount shorter than initially intended. I also did not have time to make clipping maps for the scenes, so the rover will sometimes be seen riding over things he’s supposed to be going behind.

I’m fairly happy with what’s there though and would like to expand it and make it into a complete experience, perhaps even a bit beyond what the original scope was intended.

EDIT: Oh, and I added a Windows installer for ease – link below.


LD Entry Page: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-23/?action=preview&uid=10871


Windows Installer: http://screwylightbulb.com/NixInstaller.exe



First timer, but definitely in!

Thursday, April 19th, 2012 5:39 am

Start time is 2am for me, joy. :)

I will likely be using OpenSLUDGE to build the game on, with Blender/GIMP for graphics. All depends on the theme. I might end up just doing a browser game instead, if it ends up being more suited to the theme.

Anyhoo, see y’all there! (figuratively speaking, that is)



Rusty Broomhandle




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