About sanojian


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Space Amoebas (Not Agar.io!)

Posted by
Tuesday, December 15th, 2015 4:46 am

Space Amoebas!  http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-34/?action=preview&uid=7542

pictured: not Agar.io


This game was incredibly challenging for me to finish within the deadline. I can’t describe the feeling of joy I am getting watching players connect and pilot their goofy little amoebas around trying to eat each other.

Separating the servers from the game was a mistake though, which is obvious to me now. It is confusing to have to keep a separate server window open and confusion keeps the player count low, which is death for a multiplayer game. I was terrified of latency since I am in Europe so I wanted to make sure everyone could connect to a local server. I should have just made one server and dealt with the lag.

Most of my reviews are saying my game is just a copy of Agar.io. For some reason this is getting under my skin so I have to rant about it before I snap and yell at my dog.

First Rant: Do you go around to every one of the 100s of platform games and leave reviews saying they are “Basically just copying Mario Brothers”? Space Amoebas is about using planets gravity to propel yourself around in space to eat small enemies or hide from big ones. Yes, in my game you eat dots too. So did Pacman. What is your point?

Second Rant: Have you ever tried to make “Just a copy of Agar.io” in 48 hours before? It was really freakin hard. I wish there was a category for Technical Achievement which I think I would do well in since I don’t think anyone has made a WebRTC game with synchronized physics for LD before. The best I can hope for is Innovation, which I will do terrible in because my game is “just a copy of Agar.io”.

Do I look like Agar to you? Well, do I punk?!

Third Rant: This rant is aimed at myself. I swore I would never make another multiplayer game for a compo. It is so disheartening to see players have connected, bopped around for a few seconds without seeing another player, and leaving again. The whole, complicated system is working (miraculously) but there are no players to interact with so the game is boring. I really planned to write some AI but I ran out of time.

Fourth Rant: One side effect of writing a server for the compo is that I can see exacly how long each player has connected before leaving again. I can see you people. All but a few of the users who have left reviews spent less than one minute in the game. Some about 15 seconds!! Is that how much time you are spending on all of the games you review!? Are you just padding your coolness score? Why not just look at the screenshots and base your review on them?

Grumpy old man out. *drops mike*

Seriously though, thanks everyone who has tried my game and left feedback so far. Feedback is like gold.

Space Amoeba

Posted by
Sunday, December 13th, 2015 10:29 am

I added the ability to run your own server from a web browser, so if an existing server is too laggy just start your own!


Eat your enemies!


Space Amoeba

Posted by
Sunday, December 13th, 2015 6:33 am

Multiplayer game.  Grow bigger and eat your opponents before they eat you!  I need some testers if anyone has time.  The only server is in Europe right now so USA may be laggy.  Working on making some more servers now.



Beanzo for Ludum Dare Mascot

Posted by
Thursday, March 12th, 2015 1:52 pm

A bean you can trust

30% less snake, 20% more potato


Vote Beanzo for Ludum Dare mascot!

A clean record, no skeletons in this closet.

60% less flammable than the other candidates

Black eyes, like a doll’s eyes.

First time in the Jam

Posted by
Friday, December 13th, 2013 3:47 am

We are Sanojian and JFeldt.  While I have done a few solo LDs before this is the first time trying the Jam and this is JFeldt’s first LD!

We will be creating an HTML5 game using:

  • Editor: notepad++
  • Framework: Craftyjs and/or Raphaeljs
  • Artwork: Paint.NET and Photoshop
  • Audio: bfxr and Audigy
  • Music: FLStudio


  • Programming: Sanojian
  • Artwork: JFeldt
  • Sound and Music: Sanojian

There are some great themes this time in the final round.  Its going to be fun!


MountainKing – day 6

Posted by
Monday, July 29th, 2013 12:52 am

I have had commitments the last few days but now I have time to add a few more features before the deadline.  The game now has chat and a slightly better UI.

Play MountainKing!

Still to do:

  • sound
  • unit experience
  • show fighting somehow
  • better map

MountainKing day 4

Posted by
Thursday, July 25th, 2013 12:02 pm

Respawn is working and so is basic account creation.  So that means a public test is possible!

Play here!

No king yet…

Still to do:

  • unit experience
  • sound fx
  • show fighting somehow
  • improve the map
  • intelligent target selection during fighting
  • music?
  • chat?

MountainKing day 3

Posted by
Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 10:52 am

Networking is functioning pretty well.  Implemented most of the game rules.  Finished all of the tile art.  Why is this going so smoothly?  Could it be that after 30-odd failed games it starts to get easier?

Ready for a castle assault.

Still to come…  Public demo.  Ability to regain lost units.  Sounds and maybe music?  Lots of bug fixing.


Posted by
Monday, July 22nd, 2013 11:58 pm

I am making a multiplayer turn-based/RTS hybrid called MountainKing.  Everyone starts with a few soldiers and fight to stand on top of the mountain where the game proclaims them king.  Then a few seconds later someone knocks them off and there is a new king.


It is an HTML5 game using Craftyjs, Raphaeljs and Nodejs.  I started on the graphics over the weekend since I won’t be able to compete the whole 7 days (and also because I suck at graphics).

Evil Lair Construction Set

Posted by
Tuesday, December 18th, 2012 2:09 am



needs a dash more evil…

Hate elves?  Sure we all do.  Now is your chance for revenge!

The Evil Lair Construction Set

Design your very own Evil Lair.  Layout the rooms and hallways and set some treasure as bait.  Curious adventurers can’t resist those shiny baubles.  Raise their hopes and then have your minions close in for the kill.   As if the look of terror on their little faces is not precious enough, they often carry a few coins in their pockets as a bonus.

More treasure will lure more and stronger adventurers such as:

  • the curious naive – not very filling
  • the quick elf – the minions are always fighting over the chewy ears, the little scamps
  • the hearty dwarf – delicious spread on warm toast
  • the mighty knight – err… he looks kind of tough

Set traps, raise the dead and generally be awful.




I am in

Posted by
Monday, December 10th, 2012 1:26 am

I have done three Ludum Dares and finished three games.  For that I am very happy.  However, none of these games were very “fun”.  I seem to have the mechanics down so I will do some soul searching this time around to see if I can find the fun.  This game design stuff seems easy but it is really hard!


Update: Survival of the Leggiest

Posted by
Saturday, September 1st, 2012 4:34 am

Okay so my game was pretty-much impossibly difficult to win and confusing to boot.  Lesson learned.  I made some tweaks and uploaded a new version under a different link “Playable Version” so as not to be confused with my entry version.  Please try it!  (and then ignore it because you should only vote on my entry version)

Now with more love

Things tweaked:

  • added positive/negative feedback for when you are winning/losing
  • bigger fonts and different colors for readability
  • graphical indicators to show what the actions do
  • some gameplay tweaks to make it easier


Posted by
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 2:36 pm

Velocigopher attacks!

The game:  Survival of the Leggiest

Help the little critters to evolve longer legs so they can escape their predators.

Frameworks:  Craftyjs, Raphaeljs, jQuery

Sounds:  bfxr

Music: Musagi (thanks Dr Petter!)

Art: Paint.net



Shoebox World: postmortem

Posted by
Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 11:46 am

This has been my second LD attempt and my second completed game!

Shoebox World

The Good

  • Music.  My first game to have it.  Musagi is fun!
  • Artwork.  Perhaps you are thinking this should be in the Bad or even Ugly categories.  This means you haven’t seen my previous games.  I am actually improving!
  • I started to hardcode the “goals” for winning the game and then stopped and decided, for once, that I would actually design it.  It took a tiny bit more time than hardcoding but in the end all I had to do was cut and paste my first goal, change two parameters and presto, new goals!

The Bad

  • The game is confusing for first-time players.  I need to get better at making it accessible.
  • I came down with strep throat on friday.  I was a pitiful sight all weekend but damned if that was going to stop me.
  • Even with the strep throat excuse, I could not dodge a commitment that stole away most of my sunday.  I am just not good enough yet to make up for this lost time.

The Ugly

  • I was reserving sunday night for game balancing and polish.  I cut out any remaining features, made a test deploy to the server, a quick test pass and…it hangs?!  Obscure error message deep in the framework?!  Gahh!   I lost all my polish time desperately trying to debug a dumb little error that happened only after a deploy to the server.  In a way this was just bad luck since I am pretty familiar with the framework and the error ended up being obscure.

All things considered, another enjoyable experience.  Looking forward to the next one!

I am in!

Posted by
Saturday, April 14th, 2012 1:25 am

LD22 was my first attempt and I actually finished a game!  Was it a fun game?  That is up for debate but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  My goal for LD23 is to increase the fun level and increase my standing in the scoring.  I landed square in the middle of the pack  for  LD22.

Mantra: Keep it simple!  Focus on fun!

Postmortem of “Lonely Island”

Posted by
Wednesday, December 21st, 2011 4:40 am

Postmortem of “Lonely Island”, my first Ludum Dare entry.


The Good

I decided before the compo I would not make a game about killing things (having kids changes your thinking).  This helped me come up with something original (for me anyway).  Okay, so you kill the trees and you kill the fish when you cook it but hey, baby steps.

I took lots of breaks, got enough sleep, and ate healthy.  I think this made a big difference in my stress level.  I wasn’t even feeling that stressed when Sunday came and I still didn’t know what my game was going to be about.

I found an animation template that helped immensely.  My programmer graphics perhaps went from fugly to “charmingly ugly”.  I probably would have spend the whole two days just adjusting pixels to make the guy walk without it.

The Bad

I made the n00b mistake of committing my pre-competition thoughts to either Random Generation or Evolution themes, both having great possibilities.  I never thought Alone would win.  So when it did my mind went blank.  “How can I make an original game about being alone?  That’s like 90% of games already out there.”  I spent Saturday just making a generic game and hoping inspiration would hit me.  That might explain why you saw down trees by umm, punching them?

I waited until late the last night (GMT+1 here) to make most of my sounds.  My kids were sleeping in the next room and I was exhausted.  Not the ideal environment for trying to voice hilarious dialog.  Next time I will do this during the day and leave quiet night-time for coding and graphics.

Not enough playtesting. I got my wife to stop rolling her eyes long enough to try the game a couple of times so that helped.  Myself, I only played in easy mode (everything costs 1 log) to test all the features because building the boat over and over got tedious.  When your own game gets tedious to play after just a few times that should tell you something.  I missed the message because building the boat is still tedious.

Got too used to seeing my placeholder graphics for terrain.  The only piece of terrain that wasn’t created in the first 3 minutes of the compo is the freshwater, which is exactly one tile out of 300.  I should have looked at it with a more citical eye.  Spending just 20 minutes on terrain would have made the game look much better.

The Ugly

Not this time.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.  Can’t wait for the next one!

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