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Posted by
Sunday, December 13th, 2015 9:35 pm

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 01.48.06

I’ve finished a prototype for a game jam for the first time in 33 years in the video games business.

Since leaving PlayStation, Ludum Dare 34 came at the end of my first week as an independent developer since I was last making games in the early 1990s.  Naturally, despite being rusty, I went for the “hard mode” of the compo.

WordUp is a simple word game prototype for the Mac using the “growing” theme. I plan on extending it. It’s brutally hard and I’d be staggered (but not surprised!) if anyone scored three figures without cheating!

In WordUp your aim is to grow a word more than the computer can. The computer places a letter. Then it’s your turn. If the computer can’t continue the word on its turn, you win and get a point for every letter placed. If you choose a letter that creates a word not in the ENABLE word list, you lose and start again with zero points. That’s it.

I’ve rated the game as mature audiences because the word list contains offensive words and could be chosen by the player or the computer. Future versions might well change this.

The game prototype for the Mac uses:

Messy, quick and dirty C++ code, the game written from scratch starting for Ludlum Dare (growing theme) solo in under 48 hours

The ENABLE word list

The Cinder Library

The Apple San Francisco system font

Tile graphics created in Acorn

Sound effects created in BFXR

I plan to continue developing this prototype into a full game. This is the first playable, original game I’ve created since 1988.

You can download the demo here:


I’d love your feedback,

You can get the source code here:


I made this game alone, from scratch. It’s not much, but I feel great about completing something within the allotted time, and allowed myself time to package and “distribute” it. I can now proudly say that at the end of my first week in a life I chose above a highly successful career at PlayStation, I made and released a simple game prototype from scratch.

I’m in

Posted by
Friday, December 11th, 2015 10:08 am

I am entering the competition. I’m likely to crash and burn, but what better way to end my first week as a developer after a quarter century break than by entering a competition?

I’ll be using the Cinder Library and C++ as my main language.

My goal is to make something incredibly simple and finish, no matter how rubbish the result. I will not be able to devote the entire 48 hours to development, or anything close, so it will have to be simple.

I hope I can still hack it, but there’s only one way to find out for sure!

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