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In again, of course

Posted by
Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 2:26 pm

Oh hey.

Last time I experimented with using Elm, a functional reactive language/platform.  It was pretty entertaining, but I actually don’t think I learned much.

So I’m going back to using Haxe/HaxeFlixel again this time because it’s so easy.  I feel a bit like a traitor to the cause, but whatever, I have a ten-year old student who shouts “LAMBDA!” whenever he writes a map or a filter, so I think maybe I’m karmically in the green for now.

Functional Programming is Different: A Postmortem

Posted by
Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 10:13 pm

So I’d say I’m a post-newbie stage functional programmer.  I tend to program in Haskell no matter what language I’m using, as they say.  I go for purity even when it hurts.

But I’ve actually never made a complex game with a functional language.   It turns out there’s some tricky bits, and I ended up wasting an enormous amount of time on them.  I’m not sure I even learned anything.  Maybe I learned: 1) You can fudge random numbers with sufficiently weird multiplication, 2) Functional programming does not ensure non-crufty code.  This was some of the ugliest code I’ve ever written.


Brain fried

Posted by
Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 9:07 pm


I actually got the goblin-herding done pretty quick (probably because I herd cows professionally, haha).   Since then I’ve bumped into a number of annoying things I’ve never had to deal with in functional programming before, like passing around random number seeds every frame.  Also, there was some serious performance issues that cropped up around the herding algorithm, but I think I improved it enough.  I really wanted, like, thousands of goblins, but maybe a hundred or two hundred will be fine.

Not actually a game yet, but it’s already fun pushing the dudes around, so I’m confident I’ll pull through tomorrow, haha.


Posted by
Friday, August 21st, 2015 9:26 pm



Took me way longer to think of something this time around, but I think I got it.  It’s gonna involve hundreds of these little goblin dudes.  I’m thinking, like, lemmings + warcraft.  Except goblins are a little smarter than lemmings.  But not much smarter.



Well, on second thought, how about Elm?

Posted by
Sunday, August 16th, 2015 9:25 pm

Was planning on using Haskell, but you know what? I do want people to be able to play my game.  It’s  more fun that way.

I toyed around with Elm last year sometime and found it interesting, but didn’t have any real use for it.  But it’s perfect for LD — just compiles right to Javascript.  No downloadin’ nothin’.   I managed to whip up a little 2D fly-around-in-space demo today, and I’m pretty pleased with it, haha.  It clocks in at 117 lines of code, but a lot of those lines are pretty…light.

Functional reactive programming is so sexy.  And I like using underdog programming languages.  And it’s close enough to Haskell for my purposes.



Posted by
Saturday, August 15th, 2015 7:42 am

I’m in.  This time, instead of Haxe/HaxeFlixel (which is a lovely language and library), I’ll be using Haskell.

While I’m comfortable enough with Haskell that I shouldn’t be fighting the language the whole time, I’ll be stuck using SDL, which is very low-level.  My game will probably be much less juicy.  Also, I can’t even get the SDL libraries in Haskell working on Windows, so it might be awhile after the compo before I have a non-Linux release.

Still, I think experimenting with functional languages is important and fun, and making a game is just an excuse to program something interesting.  I don’t even play games, haha.

LD always gives me something to look forward to.  I’m pumped it’s coming up so soon.

Website Suggestion

Posted by
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 8:11 am

I live in the middle of nowhere and have a very slow internet connection and a rather old computer.  I basically can’t play any of the unity-based games.  It would be super-helpful to be able to filter for games that are flash-based.  It’s frustrating to want to participate and rate games but to constantly be unable to play any.  My method so far is: “Oh, that looks like it has simple graphics!  Maybe I can run it!  Oh, nope, unity. Beh.”

Killin’ It: Postmortem

Posted by
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 8:06 am

This was such an improvement over LD31 for me!  I had a decent idea within a few minutes of brainstorming (DDR-like competitive rap battles), was able to get a working demo of the beat-matching working within an hour or two, and felt like I had something fun and distinctive by the end of the first day (the ten likes on my animated gif progress post got me super pumped!).

I had one really frustrating four-hour window where I took a wrong approach to improving the beat matching, but I left the computer, did some work, came back, and did the stupidest thing that worked, and everything came together.  I was able to spend almost an entire day on polish.

I’m really pleased with all the little details: the crowd cheering and booing, the little “boring!” or “perfect!” or “toasty!” announcements, the distinctive characters.  I feel like I’m developing a personal art style that’s a cute half-step above programmer art.

The decision to use four different notes for the raps was kind of weird, since rap isn’t even pitch-based, primarily.  I changed this in the post-compo version so that you’re actually generating amusing rhymes.  I’ll post that soon.  It’s fun.

My playtesters all enjoyed themselves, though I’m aware that the game could use some more visual indicators to help you stay on beat.  Or at least be slightly more forgiving.

All in all, that was so much fun.  I got way more sleep this time around, and generally felt relaxed and competent the entire time.

HaxeFlixel is a good framework and I highly recommend it.

Click here to play.

Ok I’m calling that a night

Posted by
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 9:54 pm


I’m pretty pleased with that crowd, haha.

First day

Posted by
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 7:41 pm

ld32Haha I’m bad at making animated gifs. That looks fun though.

Well, it’s not much to look at, but it’s actually a game instead of a weird snowball throwing simulator like last time.  It’s two-player and played on one keyboard.  You take turns making little melodies/raps out of four notes/words. These get thrown at your enemy, and they have to match it back, simon-says-like.  If you’re off-beat, control switches to the other player and you get booed.

I wasted the whole morning trying to be clever with the beat-matching

To-do for tomorrow:

1) Improve the beat-matching. It’s hard to get it in the narrow range of challenging-but-fun.  I’ve never programmed a game where sound matters.

2) Tighten everything up.  Right now there’s weird delays and stuff.

3) An actual background, etc.

4) More characters.

5) More voices.

6) Juicy.


Posted by
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 1:42 pm

Trying to do a music/beat based game in HaxeFlixel but after spending a huge amount of time trying to get the timings right, it seems like I might have to ditch it.  Very frustrating.

Hot pockets and coke zero ordered

Posted by
Friday, April 17th, 2015 6:58 am

Last time was fun.  Not sure if what I made could be considered a game (Overserious Snowball Fight), but I kinda liked it.

I’ll be using Haxe again even though I haven’t used it since last time.

This time I’m shooting for something less ugly and more gamelike.

Last time around I listened to 80s hits on repeat.  This time it’s German rap.

Humanlike sound generation?

Posted by
Saturday, December 6th, 2014 9:25 pm

Are there any sound generators that can do vaguely human-like voices?  Futzing with sfxr doesn’t seem to produce anything I’d mistake for a human.

first compo, day one

Posted by
Saturday, December 6th, 2014 8:59 pm



Overserious Snowball Fight

God it took me so long to get even this working.  Friends lost faith until entertainingly tweened snowball-deaths happened an hour or so ago.

Most of the morning was spent getting used to Haxe and Haxeflixel.  Now I feel like I’m rolling, but I’m curious how much of a game I can make out of this by tomorrow night.  I still have some mildly grand but achievable notions.  But OH GOD I can’t even draw a wall of snow. How do I draw a wall of snow?   I might have to steal a wall from an open game art site.

Things I’m excited about:  1) Totally killin’ it tomorrow. 2) Makin’ it juicier. 3) Making the neighborhood kids dress in a greater variety of clothing, particularly with appropriate revolutionary accoutrements. 4) Simple AI. 5) Actually introducing the game elements, like getting killed.  6) FLAGS 7) SADNESS.

You all rule.  Thanks for providing me with distraction/inspiration throughout the day.


Posted by
Saturday, December 6th, 2014 3:38 am

I had been brainstorming ideas around the snowman character, so I was surprised some other theme won.  I think I’ll still go with my original idea, but keep it to one screen:



It will involve:

1) Tense snowball-throwing action

2) Dramatic deaths

3) Randomized neighborhood kids in puffy snowsuits

4) Flags

5) Communists, Jihadists, Anarcho-Syndicalists, 18th-century Republicans, and, uh, bimonarchistic Lacedaemons.  Maybe Catholics.

6) Sadness


7:08: Oh my god just spent an hour trying to get snow on the screen lol.  I swear I was once a professional programmer and that I did a goddamn HaxeFlixel tutorial before today. ugghh haha.

I’m in

Posted by
Saturday, November 29th, 2014 9:19 am

First time.

Language: Haxe

Engine: HaxeFlixel

Art: aesprite/gimp

I’m hoping my lack of artistic ability will result in something charming rather than painful.  Goals include impressing my friends and making pretty code.

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