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Caffeine Count

Posted by (twitter: @SnoringFrog)
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 3:11 am

First night of Ludum Dare caffeine intake: 0mg

Wait, what? It’s 6am and I had no caffeine? Not sure how that happened.

Regardless, I stripped down an old idea that’s been sitting in my notes for a couple months and that seems to be what my code is headed towards now. Decided on using Lua. This will be my first LD with it, but my second game (and second time overall) with it.

I got more done than I expected to tonight (concept, basic movement, jumping, and a good-enough map system), but whether or not I can even finish in time for the jam is entirely up in the air. If I do finish, it might be ridiculously short and fairly lame, but I’ve got some quick ideas to toss in for humor points to help my score out.

Even if the game is terrible, I’ll still be happy. Finishing even what I’ve done so far with college graduation just a couple weeks away (and the nice pile of projects that comes with that) is enough of an accomplishment for me. (But of course, just because it’s enough doesn’t mean I won’t aim for more!)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I believe it’s nap time.

This is such a terrible idea but…I’m in

Posted by (twitter: @SnoringFrog)
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 7:38 am

LD Saturday marks my 3-year anniversary with my girlfriend; it’s also my last weekend to work on various final projects before I graduate (I should be getting excited about that graduating college thing, but all I seem to be getting is tired). Basically, this is an absolutely terrible weekend for me to try making a game, but I’m going to go for it anyways (looking back on my previous “I’m in” posts, this is starting to become a theme for me).

My usual LD goal-list looks something like this:

  1. Learn something new
  2. Complete a game
  3. Score better than 50% of participants in Compo/Jam (whichever I join)
  4. Score better than Puzzlem00n in every category (one day, Tim…one day!)
  5. (Optional goal) Interpret the theme in a unique/atypical way
  6. (New goal!) Remember to do a post-mortem

Thanks to added stresses/constraints of college and love and exhaustion and all that, I think I’m going to have to forgo most of those, which means my goal list looks a bit more like this:

  1. Learn something new
  2. Complete a game thing
  3. Score better than 50 5% of participants in Compo/Jam (whichever I join)
  4. Score better than Puzzlem00n in every category (one day, Tim…one day!)
  5. (Optional goal) Interpret the theme in a unique/atypical way
  6. Remember Arrange for someone to do a post-mortem for me after the funeral

Also thanks to additional stresses/constraints, my toolset is probably going to be something I’m already more familiar with (rather than using it to meet goal #2). It’s all pretty up in the air, but I’ve got a feeling it’ll be something like this:

      • Language C#/Lua (or a text-based game in Python)
      • IDE: Visual Studio 2010/Monogame (C#) or Vim/Sublime (Lua and Python)
      • Graphics: GIMP
      • SFX: maybe sfxr/bfxr, but probably nothing
      • Music: maybe autotracker-c, but probably nothing
      • Girlfriend Displeasure Diffuser: smooth talking
      • Damage Control (after smooth talking failure): profuse apologies

Energy: caffeine


    Motivation: caffeine”Sustenance”: caffeineSleep: caffeineAnti-depressant: caffeineLifegiver: caffeineCaffeine: unpopular flavors of Monster, unusual energy drinks no one’s ever heard of (both courtesy of Big Lots), hot tea (earl/lady gray, lapsang souchong, gunpowder green, English breakfast)

I’m in…I think

Posted by (twitter: @SnoringFrog)
Sunday, December 8th, 2013 1:02 pm

I’ve got no clue if I can actually afford to be in or not. I wanted to do this LD in Unity (or my newly acquired Multimedia Fusion 2 (thanks Humble Bundle!), but I won’t have any time to practice with either.

I also have no idea if I’m doing this alone for the compo, or if my 1-3 friends will be joining me for a jam. Who all joins me will make a huge difference in what tools I use, so I’m even more lost as to how I’ll actually be going about this LD.

Regardless, I will be making some sort of attempt, and even if my results are trash I will still be aiming for 2 of my 3 ever-present LD goals:

  1. Learn something new.
  2. Complete a game.
  3. Beat my unofficial LD rival, Puzzlem00n, in every category. (Ha. I can already tell that’s not happening this time around. One day, Tim…one day.)

Here’s a list of tools I might end up using:

Language: C#, Java, Python
IDE: Visual Studio C#/Monogame, Netbeans, Vim, Unity, Multimedia Fusion 2
Audio: sfxr, voices
Graphics: GIMP, MS Paint
Other: caffeine, sugar, 80’s music

Things that will not be used: sleep, hygiene

Silver Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @SnoringFrog)
Monday, August 26th, 2013 11:57 pm

This was my 2nd Ludum Dare, and only my 6th or 7th attempt at a game since I started developing games last spring. Figured I’d do a post-mortem post on this one.

What Went Right:

We got the game finished (well…sorta; we’re not gonna talk about that pole vault thing).

This was my first completed project in Monogame; everything went pretty smoothly in that regard.

My partner (who hadn’t completed a project like this before now) was super-impressed with almost everything I did, even though I half-assed a lot of things, so I was super-encouraged for the majority of the development time.

When it became clear that 10 seconds would probably be the theme, I was determined to not interpret in a “you have 10 seconds of time to do a thing, go!” way, since I assumed that’s what almost everyone would be doing. So, I spent some time trying to find a more creative interpretation of the theme, came up with 10 2nd places, and managed to implement it.

I got to make a game that actually uses multiple screens, which I’d neglected to get around to until now.

I also got a really light introduction on working with camera movement vs. just player movement, which will probably be the most useful thing I take from this. Looking forward to doing a better job with that on other projects.

Potatoes, goats and the Flying Spaghetti Monster all get brief mentions.

Testing that gorram 400m event has reminded me that carpal tunnel exists and should be avoided. It also made me love putting secret cheat modes into things (oh, btw, there’s a secret button combo for super speed that was part debugging tool and part scrapped feature). Yes, I realize this sounds more like something that went wrong than something that went right, but it’s kind of both in a weird way.

Finally, I learned that I am much more comfortable with week-long game jams, but I am also much more likely to get distracted and not complete them. Ludum Dare operates on such a short schedule that I actually get things done.

What Went Wrong:

The game had too much going on. I knew at the onset that it’d be tough to work in all 10 events, but I didn’t count on my partner’s computer (and math homework) refusing to cooperate, which made it hard for him to code anything, making our time crunch that much worse (though he did do most of the art when we hit an impasse with compiling on his machine).

There’s no sound. I really wanted to get some sound effects in there, at least, maybe even some simple music.

Pole vault–just didn’t happen. That one would have been interesting to to around with, though I imagine it would have been atrocious with that jumping/throwing code we ended up using (more on that in a second).

That jumping/throwing code we’re using needs desperate improvements. It does ok for some things, but other times it just ends up looking terrible. I’ll confess I had no clue what to do with it and ended up getting lucky with a few alterations that made it passable. After that I just didn’t have time to tweak it.

I’d rather be working on Yesterday’s Papers or Push Out, my two partially-developed ideas from failed game jams over the summer.  While I liked the story of this idea, I barely even brought that into the game; apart from that, this game just didn’t interest me as much as I would have liked. This probably led to more willingness on my part to say “eh, at least that part’s done” rather than actually trying to make things good.

Things I’ll keep in mind for LD28:

The idea is too big and needs to be stripped down.

The idea is still probably a little too big.

“Eh, at least it sorta works; I’ll just leave it like that,” might be okay in a couple spots when you’re down to the wire on time; however, it is not okay for a mechanic 70% of your game depends on.

Ludum Dare is not the proper time for roommates, friends, concerts, or super-long not-really-important conversations with people I can easily talk to on Tuesday.

Earplugs or noise-canceling headphones are a beautiful invention that significantly improve coding performance; however, they are difficult to utilize when working on a team.

When it comes to a time crunch, I think I prefer working alone. It’s lonely and potentially miserable, but I get things done when you lock me away with only my code and some energy drinks.

In for my 2nd

Posted by (twitter: @SnoringFrog)
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 10:12 am

I’m in, this will be my 2nd LD. Once again, the goal is to do the jam with a couple of my friends/classmates, as long as all goes well. Worst case scenarios: they drop out and I switch over to the compo on my own, or we fight about what to make and all dive into the comp. Regardless, at least one game will be made.

Here’s what we think we’ll be using:

Language: C#
Environment: Monogame
Images: GIMP/MS Paint (yes, MS Paint)
Sound effects: bfxr/sfxr
Music: In-game music – probably nothing; development music – a bit of everything (courtesy of Spotify ^_^)

Depending on how I feel and which machine I do most of my work from (and if my apartment’s wi-fi cooperates), I might stream a bit. If so, it’ll be at twitch.tv/snoringfrog; I doubt the other guys will be streaming.


Looking forward to this LD; I met a lot of awesome people thanks to participating in the last LD, and I’m hoping this one will introduce me to several more.

Change of plans

Posted by (twitter: @SnoringFrog)
Thursday, April 25th, 2013 3:26 pm

Medical issues and schoolwork attack my partner and I, so he is unfortunately going to be unable to participate.  Technically, I probably shouldn’t be able to participate either, but against my better judgment (and my girlfriend’s urging), I’m still going to attempt to get something workable created for this LD. With any luck, I might be able to do it in 48 hours and submit to the Dare instead of the Jam. If not, I’ll at least stick to the Jam part of the original plan. But given my inexperience with XNA, and the loss of my partner, I might try switching to something a little simpler (as much as I hate giving up the coding side of things) and looking at Construct Classic or something similar. I suppose I won’t make that decision until I actually start the game though lol.

I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @SnoringFrog)
Saturday, April 20th, 2013 12:55 pm

Well, we’re in for the jam.

First LD, currently working like a madman to ensure I’ve got time to do this.

As of now, here’s the tools we’re looking at:

IDE/language: XNA/C#

No idea what libraries we’re using

Graphics: mostly GIMP,might dabble in Pyxel Edit and Hexels too

Sounds: my partner’s got something for music, and I think I’ve got a sound effects program lying around on a harddrive somewhere




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