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Germies Postmortem ( and 32bit bug fix )

Posted by (twitter: @stuckieGAMEZ)
Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010 8:22 am

I’ve just fixed a rather peculiar bug that I didn’t catch as my main dev machine is 64bit Linux, and my Windows build laptop was running 64bit Windows too… seems that my timers are a bit iffy as under both 32bit Linux and Windows, the game runs at double the speed! Well, technically, it’s the 64bit versions which are running at half speed, but as I wasn’t aware, I tuned the game for this speed.

Seems that being lazy and depending on SDL_gfx’s FPSManager wasn’t wise.. I’m assuming it relies on the size of an int since SDL_Timers are unsigned ints – which is obviously different across 64bit and 32bit architectures. Though it’s my own fault for not testing in the first place!
Granted, it was done in seven hours, and I guess these can be considered “ports” to 32bit platforms as the only change was a modifier to the infection countdown to double it’s response time.

The original one has now been marked for 64bit platforms, and a 32bit version uploaded on the Germies entry page, here.

Speaking of those seven hours, here’s the postmortem after the jump.


Posted by (twitter: @stuckieGAMEZ)
Monday, December 20th, 2010 7:15 pm

How I managed it, I have no idea.. but in the past ten hours or so, I managed to build a game from scratch, with just SDL, a C compiler and my trusty GIMP by my side… that’s the art package of course 😛

I also literally hammered some buttons of SFXR in the dying hour and got some rather disturbing sounds from it, so they went in as well.

Germies InGame

WARNING! You're about to fail!

Doesn’t look particularly spectacular, but there is a game in there somewhere!

The theme link is so tangible it’s unreal though.. as most of the scoring is a bit hidden for you to discover.. I was going to have the infections just appear and have them the “discoveries” but that made it much more stupidly difficult than it is!

So go cultivate some germs, and earn massive points 😉
Link to Germies comments and download page

Source is included.. it’s a one file jobby of close to 900 lines of “C” .. it’s nasty.. enjoy!

Congrats to all the participants, Compo and Jam alike :)
Here’s to the next one! where I might be better prepared ( hah! )

Oh look, a game almost!

Posted by (twitter: @stuckieGAMEZ)
Monday, December 20th, 2010 12:19 pm

Only really been at this since about 4:30pm GMT ( it’s just past 7:10pm GMT now ) but I’m making some quite good head way already!

It’s a simple game now.. coloured “germs” get pushed onto a dish. You need to group them together to clear them, before they start to rot. You then need to manage those buggers to stop them infecting the rest of them!
Some germs are better than others, of course! ( and worth more points to clear! )

Ironically, it’s been a game idea I’ve had for a while, just never got round to doing.. though the link to the theme is a bit iffy ( discovering which germs are better to keep on the dish longer than others.. *cough* ) but it’s better than sobbing in the corner.. again..

And yes, they look like Splodge with no .. err.. feet, I suppose.. bit pressed for time art wise now 😉

Obligatory screenshot:


Lots of little Germies!

Might actually get a game submitted after all!

Time for Plan B

Posted by (twitter: @stuckieGAMEZ)
Monday, December 20th, 2010 6:54 am

So, this looks like the second Ludum Dare where I might not finish anything for.
Certainly not for want of trying this time though; however I never really made it off the starting line!

With about twelve hours left of the Jam, I have two choices:
1) Drop what I’m working on and start afresh – and ignore what I’ve spent all weekend banging my head on the table with.
2) Hope that I can fix it/work around it quickly to carry on with my original plan.

Somehow don’t see (2) working out that well, so giving myself a final five minutes to have one last root through this issue, and going for option (1) .. which means a MUCH simpler game.

Oh and failure is of course, not an option!
I’ll go down kicking and screaming with keyboard in hand, if I have to 😉

Splodging Along

Posted by (twitter: @stuckieGAMEZ)
Saturday, December 18th, 2010 6:12 pm

Haven’t quite got anything on screen yet… scary thing is, I have been coding all day and have quite a fair bit of code to show for it too!

Turns out taking the engine and stuffing a prototyping layer on top of it ended up being a bit more work than I expected… so while my initial idea was to abstract pretty much everything, the past few hours have had me refocus specifically on what I’ll need to get a game done over the next couple of days. And a few words of wisdom… Lua and heavily templated and inherited code can cause some major headaches! Be careful where you abstract from, or you’ll be going in circles and creating some rather spectacular dependency diamonds 😉

So, with one day down.. I have to re-plan a few things. Originally it was: Day One – core code, Day Two – gameplay code, Day Three – asset fix up and tidying loose ends/porting fun. So it looks like I’ll be cutting into the asset time to get something done.. but once I have the core code done though, it should be fairly plain sailing so I’m still quite confident at this point.

No doubt that’ll change around lunch time tomorrow, should I still not have anything on screen!
But for now, some sleep is in order…


Posted by (twitter: @stuckieGAMEZ)
Friday, December 17th, 2010 10:23 pm

Discovery, eh?
I probably fell into the same trap as others when I originally saw it, and thought of it in the literal terms of discovering things – which sounds much like Exploration, really.
Then I started to see outside the box a bit, and how open the theme actually is!

So, after a few hours of brainstorming a few ideas out on my graphics tablet, I’ve come up with Splodge!
You control an alien whose ship has malfunctioned over some random planet, and fallen to bits and crashed. You’ve to find all the bits of your ship, avoid the local nasties, and get back home.
Unfortunately, your bits of ship have managed to scatter pretty far and have landed in some rather difficult to reach places. Luckily for Splodge, he can absorb things to mimic their properties and get about the hostile environment a bit better.

Also, bit late with this, but here’s the obligatory desk pic – each machine has a dedicated purpose; graphics, audio, code, source control/IRC! Seems to be working well so far :)
LD19 - Ready for Anything!
Now for some sleep, and see if my idea still makes sense in the morning….

LD19, here I come.. hopefully!

Posted by (twitter: @stuckieGAMEZ)
Sunday, December 5th, 2010 6:41 am

After abysmally failing LD18 – by falling asleep and not waking up for quite a while – I’m going to make a bit more of an effort to do LD19!

I didn’t get much done at all for LD18.. a very simple little Entity/Component System which worked pretty nice, and some chain physics to link object together. Then I fell asleep. That’s what I get for jumping into LD to do something from scratch, not long after a milestone, and without much time to catch up on sleep. Let’s not do that again.

This time, I’ll be taking part in the Jam, as I’m not using my own engine, and they’re not particularly wanting the source given out. Fair enough, if I can produce a crap game in 48hrs like the previous LDs I’ve taken part in, surely a not-quite-so-crap game can be produced in 72hrs with an engine that’s not utterly mental! I do have to do some work on it though as it’s geared up for 3D games rather than 2D games; so I need to add support in for that. I also want to wire up bullet instead of the propriety physics engine that’s there. So, it’s not like I’m coming in with a fully complete engine for LDing, there’s still some work to do – just I can’t give out the source, and I get an extra day due to Jammin’ it ( where most of the engine fixing will be done in the extra day, anyway ) .. other than that, I’ll be following standard LD competition rules; so game logic code written in the time frame, all assets from scratch, and working solo.

Should be fun!
Course if things go south, my back up plan is to “from scratch it” again.. but we’ll see.

And so it begins…

Posted by (twitter: @stuckieGAMEZ)
Saturday, August 21st, 2010 12:58 am

So, just woke up about six hours in and saw the theme – Enemies as Weapons.
Very nice :)

I’ve had the idea of doing a top down scrolling shooter for a stupidly long time, but never really sat down to get it done. This shall be the weekend it gets a prototype at least!

Think of Uridium as an 8-way scroller, where you additionally have a grappling hook to swing yourself around the super structure if you wish, or to smash enemies into one another, or collect pickups, or any number of useful maneuvers a grappling hook affords. That’s pretty much what I have in my head.

That means the main proponent of the game will be this sodding grappling hook, so I best get that done as soon as possible, especially as I suffer from “math fail.”

As LD18 has now started, and I have zero framework/engine available to work with, it’s going to be a “from scratch” entry with my trusty GCC, and SDL providing the brunt of the back bone.. and I may have a look in seeing how quick I can get some Lua scripted action going.

Now, for breakfast and work!
Good Luck, Everyone :)

Declaring… something…

Posted by (twitter: @stuckieGAMEZ)
Monday, August 16th, 2010 12:50 am

I’d been hoping to start LD18 with a brand spanky new engine to mess with.
That’s not quite been the case, however, due to work commitments and stuff.

This leaves me with three options, really:
1) Resurrect my old engine from it’s grave, for one more beating.
2) Be a lunatic, and write everything in the 48 hours ( no doubt spilling over to the Jam as well… )
3) Use this week to try expand my current engine beyond five source files, containing probably about a couple hundred lines in total.

As option one will lead to defeat ( the engine’s really knackered, there isn’t really any frame-rate independence in there at all, and the timers are all wobbly – the time mangling effects in Yargh! is proof enough of that! ) that leaves me with the other two.

So, I think I shall get the bare minimum of an engine ( load images, sounds, etc.. and display/play as appropriate! ) done this week, so I’ve some foundation to start with.. else, I’ll be wasting time building up framework code ( or hacking around existing broken code, ) and I’m not particularly good at time keeping, as the previous failed attempts will show 😉

Engine code bared to all will be available here: http://svn2.xp-dev.com/svn/stuckie-SGEngine/trunk/
Looking forward to this one… think it’ll be very interesting :)

Yargh! vs the Virus Scanner

Posted by (twitter: @stuckieGAMEZ)
Wednesday, April 28th, 2010 12:22 pm

There’s a couple comments now about virus scanners tripping up on Yargh! for some reason.
I’ve tested it myself on a number of virus scanners without any issue, so I can only suggest to update your definition files and so on, since as far as I’m aware, it’s a false positive.

That said, the only thing I can allude it being to is that I compressed the main exe with UPX.
I’ve used UPX before for entries without an issue, so it could be the latest version I grabbed does something that makes some virus scanners thing it’s a bit iffy. As such, I’ve just uploaded an uncompressed version of the game. And seeing as I know some virus scanners would block access to the whole zip, never mind just the exe, I’ve re-uploaded the entire data set with it.

The new version is available here: http://www.stuckiegamez.co.uk/gamez/ludumdare/ld17/yargh-uncompressed.zip

It’s the same data, and it’s effectively the same compiled exe ( I did just recompile, just in case ) but if you’re wanting to be super extra safe, the engine sources are in my entry for you to grab and compile yourself.

If there are any more problems with this, please let me know!

YARGH! Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @stuckieGAMEZ)
Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 2:07 pm

YARGH! Post Mortem

I enjoyed that, that was a fun weekend :)
Course not everything went to plan, but a number of things did, and after having had a few nights sleep, I can reflect over things with a clearer mind.
So click the link below for more details!


Yarr, yer a poor excuse of a pirate!

Posted by (twitter: @stuckieGAMEZ)
Sunday, April 25th, 2010 7:03 pm

Yes, yes I am…

I didn’t make it in time again, unfortunately.. but I did get a hellova lot more done than LD16’s derelict! So I’m releasing anyway.

I really enjoyed working on this, and though I say this all the time, I’m hoping I do get a chance to finish it off :)
Download link is here: Win32 and AMD64 Linux Binary + Data

Here’s a screenshot which sums up this weekend:
Sheer Bedlam!

I’ll put a post mortem up later.. once I’ve had some sleep.. course I have work in the morning ( silly me forgot to book time off! clever, eh? ) so it may be a bit before I get back to it.

Well done to everyone else that took part and finished something, looking forward to seeing and playing some of them :)

Last Few Hours…

Posted by (twitter: @stuckieGAMEZ)
Sunday, April 25th, 2010 2:42 pm

Well, with just over four hours left, I’m still tying loose bits of code together… as per usual.

As such, I highly doubt there’ll be much polish at all.. no music, and a very poor chance of a bleepy sound effect in sight!
BUT! I’ve already surpassed the functionality from derelict, as you can actually figure out what’s going on, and get some feedback 😉
It’s still got some niggles to work out… but I’ve got my Win32 engine build done ( took about an hour, holy hell… shouldn’t have bothered, really ) and the Hud interfaces are up and working as well!

Another screenshot:
Picture of the HUD in operation, giving some unit feedback!

Here’s hoping I’m posting in a few hours with a completed build!
Really enjoyed working on this :)

Yarrr there be attackin!

Posted by (twitter: @stuckieGAMEZ)
Sunday, April 25th, 2010 9:30 am

Falling behind slightly due to having to do a bit more tweaking and more work around code than I expected for things to behave themselves. Methinks this may be the last time I’ll be using SGZEngine in it’s current form.

Anyway, progress!
I’ve fixed the camera and added it’s “smarts” in again, so it only draws what it sees, not everything it can find.
I’ve added movement and attacking for men and ships! YARRRR
There’s wind – depicted by the crap clouds. It’ll randomly change direction and strength, and will affect your ships trajectory. Quite amusing to watch them perform wide arcs to get to where you told it to go as the wind’s throwing them about a bit.
The whole map is finished.. minus the randomising of where forts and treasure start.
All the graphics are done apart from the hud, though that wont take long ( nice big block of solid colour will do, if need be )

The Red Beard ships are attacking the lone Pink Beard ship!

What’s next…
Looting and Pillaging!
Capturing Mines and Forts ( and placing them, of course )
Some context sensitive clicking ( at the moment, left click to select/deselect a unit, right click to move, left control and right click to attack )
Hud stuff. This is probably of prime importance, actually.. as there is a lot going on, and I don’t want another derelict disaster *cough*
Polish ( sound, music, perhaps fix some of the tiles which look a bit crap )

Yarrr a progress report, me hearties!

Posted by (twitter: @stuckieGAMEZ)
Saturday, April 24th, 2010 11:38 am

Ahem, anyway…

I’ve taken the derelict scroller and rewritten it from the chunky scroll to a smooth scroll.. though, I’ve lost it’s “smartness” where it’d only draw what it could see.. now it draws every sodden tile ( otherwise, it gets lost and starts blanking out tiles before you’ve moved over them, and not drawing quick enough.. hmm.. some investigation later is needed. )
I’ve also added mouse support into my engine and exposed it to Lua. Need to do something with it now!
Finally, engine wise I told it to spit out a delta time properly… may as well stop making everything frame-dependent 😉

Currently have a large (100×100 tile) map loading in and being rendered. Actually, it’s technically two maps that get loaded, one for the background, and it keeps another for collision stuff.. may change this later as it’s taking it’s time per frame ( probably due to the rendering of all those sodding tiles! )

Anyhow, time for dinner.. here’s another screenshot in the meantime:Placement Test from two maps ( one actual tiles, the other x.y offsets and some more data )


Posted by (twitter: @stuckieGAMEZ)
Saturday, April 24th, 2010 2:29 am

Woke up, had a small fit with the theme ( my original ideas wouldn’t fit for it ) so made some tea and had a think.

Hmm… Islands…

After some scribbling in GIMP, I ended up with this.. so a piratey game sounds like it could be fun to do!
Also, I’ve already done most of the tiles I’ll need now, and they’re not too horrendous for a change either.
Enjoy the test tile grid I created.. now to actually get some code done!
Decided I’ll be using SGZEngine again… but perhaps gutting bits out as I go in preparation of redoing the thing.
More details about YARGH! ( working title, though it’ll probably stay ) as I think of them!

YARGH! Tile Example

YARGH! Tile Example

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