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DMG CTRL – post-mortem

Posted by
Sunday, December 25th, 2016 7:06 am

Merry Christmas, everybody!

I don’t have a gift on me, but I guess a post-mortem will do.

I’m half of the Horse Stache creative duo. I’m mainly responsible for the aesthetic aspect of our games, while my friend is busy coding our dumb ideas into existence.

Our latest game DMG CTRL is the second game we’ve ever submitted to Ludum Dare, the first being It’s Cupid, Stupid (LD 34). Though it’s too early to say for sure, but at least in terms of responses, we’ve surpassed our previous game.

Which is not to say that it’s perfect. Far from it. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First things first, we want to talk about…

What Went Right

Surprisingly, my music got decent feedback. Our previous game did not future any music or sfx, so I made it my mission to add sounds this time – however bad they were going to be.

Having no musical talent whatsoever, I only spent about half an hour fiddling with BeepBox, and I guess it turned out okay. Some people have, quite rightfully, pointed out that my music is repetitive, but we really lucked out with the type of game we were doing. Lesson learned – repetitive music goes along greatly with repetitive gameplay 😀

Art was another positive in people’s eyes. I was going for something colorful and cheery, and reviewers responded well to it. I am willing to experiment with my art, but it’s nice knowing that, at my most basic, I can create something people might enjoy looking at.


For instance, Doom-like emperor’s portrait at the bottom was something we wanted to do from the get-go. Really glad that people liked it.

Still, it wasn’t without its issues.

What started as a leisurely-paced game making session became a race against the clock by the end, so some of the art you see in our game was actually done by my friend. Bolts of lightning, for example, are all on him.

But alright, that’s enough of tooting my own horn, let’s look at…

What Went Not-So-Right

Once again, we’ve faced the issue of “We have a vague idea, let’s not try to expand on it at all”. We were so busy building a completed game that we forgot to make it fun.

Sure, some people liked it, but the overwhelming verdict is that it lacked the elements of engrossing experience. It was monotone and kind of unengaging.

I could put some of the blame on the theme, but it’d sound petty. A lot of people made some really unique games, so we’re the only ones to blame for our downfall. (Still, the theme did not help us :D)

We only came up with good-ish ideas for abilities when it was time to put finishing touches. We found out that our time management skill is really our worst enemy.

So, with that in mind, let’s focus on…

What We’re Going to Do

For the next Ludum Dare, we already decided to use our time more wisely. The idea is to produce a playable prototype in 48 hours and then add visual flavor to it in the last 24 hours. It will be more hectic but at least the gameplay will (hopefully) be better.

We’ve addressed some of the more pressing concerns about DMG CTRL, and out post-Jam build features waves, growing difficulty, and some downtime to rebuild the lost buildings. It’s still not ideal, but at least it’s more in line with our original vision.

You can play it here.

Anyway, thank you for reading this wall of text. TL; DR: We’ve still got a lot to learn.

We’re really grateful to everybody who left their feedback to our game. You’re awesome, and you help us grow as developers.

Have a magical holiday season!

DMG CTRL – post-Jam version

Posted by
Sunday, December 18th, 2016 7:39 am

So, we decided to work on our game some more and address a few of its shortcomings. Aside from cosmetic changes (like the way the intro plays out), we introduced gameplay improvements.

Now, enemies come in waves, and you have some time to rebuild your ruins and prepare for the next attack. The difficulty steadily grows, too.

Lastly, when you lose the game, you get a simple statistics of how many enemies you’ve killed. It is a logical addition, and god knows why we didn’t implement it in the first place. But hey, hindsight is 20/20.

NB: Since it’s a post-Jam version, you can’t judge our game based on it. You have to play and rate the original version.



Posted by
Monday, December 12th, 2016 4:30 pm

DMG CTRL is finally done, you guys. It’s been a year since my friend and I first participated in Ludum Dare. We’ve learned a lot in the meantime.

(Hopefully it shows.)

Play DMG CTRL now

LD 37 – First update

Posted by
Saturday, December 10th, 2016 9:43 am

Last time my friend and I participated in LD, it was Ludum Dare 34. Time to rectify that.

So here’s a small sneak peek into our game called DMG CTRL:


(gameplay gifs not included)

Some NPCs

Posted by
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 10:07 am

Working non-stop on art assets for It’s Cupid, Stupid, the two-button cute-’em-up (link to our first post). Here’s an incomplete list of the characters you can see in our game:


Art’s very basic and some sprites are subject to change.

Not the duck, though. We dig the duck.

LD 34: Off and running!

Posted by
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 8:28 am

For our very first Jam, my friend and I decided to go a bit old school. It’s Cupid, Stupid is a two-button shmup – or, if you’re feeling particularly pedantic today, cute-’em-up – about finding one’s true love. We even managed to sneak in the second LD theme! Expect colorful atmosphere, silliness, and lots of humor.

I am in charge of the creative side, so I will be posting some screenshots every now and then to invigorate my self-esteem. Here’s our title screen, hot off the press:


I’ll try to follow this up with more screenshots and sprites in the next few hours. Stay tuned!

(And yes, we call our ourselves Horse Stache. It’s a long story)

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