About TobiasW (twitter: @tolicious)

Hey there! I'm a computer science student from Germany, and as you've probably guessed by now, I make games. I also co-organize a monthly game jam in Berlin.

My games: http://blog.dragonlab.de

Also I'll love you FOREVER* if you try out the game I'm currently working on and leave a bit of feedback! (It has a Unity Web Player build and desktop versions for Windows, Mac and Linux.)

*) might be exaggerated

Entries

TobiasW's Trophies

you SURVIVED Helevenium #LD29
Awarded by alvivar
on May 19, 2014
Quality commenter (QUALITY ALERT, MAKE WAY)
Awarded by Jwatt
on December 12, 2013
The Longest Comment on my Game Award
Awarded by Teejay5
on September 17, 2013

TobiasW's Archive

I’m in! Woaaaah!

Posted by (twitter: @tolicious)
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 6:00 pm

LUDUM DAREEEEE! YEAAAAAAAH!

 

…aaaand I’m out.

Posted by (twitter: @tolicious)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 6:24 pm

“I’m doing my best here to fix the gameplay, but it doesn’t work!”

No good ideas, no fun in and with the current prototype – and no urge to continue. Time to get out, I guess? I feel a bit burnt out.

(Luckily, there is a local 8h game jam tomorrow. Maybe I’ll whip up something fun there! Although it certainly won’t be for this theme.)

Good luck to all of you! Stay strong!

PS: One pic from the prototype as goodbye. I feel a bit sad to let it go, really!

goodbye

PPS: If you like glowy shapes, you might like the bigger project I’m currently working on: Catcher!

Base Code!

Posted by (twitter: @tolicious)
Friday, December 13th, 2013 7:13 pm

Yo! I’m sorry that it’s so late, but here is my Unity3D base code! (You’ll need RageSpline to use it completely. Oh, and not everything is totally cleaned up, I ripped it right out of another game.)

It does lots of cool stuff:

  • Unified button layout for XBox360 controllers on Windows (even with vibration there!) and Mac
  • Makes cool (optionally glowing) shapes (together with RageSpline)
  • Traversing spline paths (with RageSpline too)
  • Uses Scoreoid for a leaderboard
  • Basic text buttons and vanishing text for notifications
  • Easing
  • A few helpers for math, Unity and some general C# stuff

Good luck everybody!

I’m in! And I can hardly wait!

Posted by (twitter: @tolicious)
Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 2:07 pm


“Ludum Dare! I’m in.”

I’ll probably use Unity3d/2d – and since I just learnt that I can use stuff that I bought without providing its sourcecode, I might use RageSpline, 2DToolkit and/or Daikon Forge GUI.

I’ll post my base code later after I experimented some more with 2d stuff tomorrow.

 

And on the matter of RageSpline, cool GIFs and shameless self-promotion – I’ll love you FOREVER* if you try out the game I’m currently working on and leave a bit of feedback! (It has a Unity Web Player build and desktop versions for Windows, Mac and Linux.)

 

*) might be exaggerated

I’ve rated 140 games. Time for a Best Of! (Part 3)

Posted by (twitter: @tolicious)
Sunday, September 15th, 2013 6:35 pm

I’ve previously done two “Best of” lists of the games I enjoyed the most so far – you can find them here and here. I always planned to do this third part, but then life happened – and now at last, with one day of judging left, I present to you this final part!

So one last time, in no particular order, here are some more entries that I think nobody should miss out on:

 

pleading-rainPleading Rain by Brassawiking
You aren’t really sure what happened, but standing in the rain with a gun to your head and two people shouting at you, it’s quite clear that you probably fucked up. This is a dialogue game, fast-paced and intense: You try to figure out how to get out of this situation, and until you do, you’ll have to stall without spilling any unwanted proverbial beans. It has no less then 9 different endings and some of the best writing I’ve seen this LD. (Two tips: You can click on parts of the images when you “Think”, and sometimes you need to click on more than one part until a new dialogue option pops up.)

 

flooded-dungeons
Flooded Dungeons by ripatti
A super-polished dungeon crawler where your primary concern are not the many monsters or the riches, but the impending watery death flooding the higher levels. Fly, you fool! Oh, but maybe grab some of the riches while you’re at it. This game feels so finished, I stand by my suspicion that ripatti secretly made a time machine for this LD. Or cloned himself. (Then again, I guess this level of dedication would make up for the cheating.)

 

10013-milliseconds10013 milliseconds by mortus
This is a short adventure game with a Myst-like vibe: You are a technician, and not a happy one, because an explosion in the bunker you are in destroyed some pretty important equipment and locked down all the doors. Your only hope: A distress signal. The computer hasn’t got much power left though. Oh, how I love this game: The super clean graphics, the sound effects, the music. The mood they create together so dense, I feel like I can touch it. (And if you still aren’t sold: It also features a fox!)

 

ecostarEcoStar vs Aeronox – DreamTeam
EcoStar vs Aeronox is the best side-scrolling shooter I’ve seen at this LD. The seasons have been greatly sped up and invaders attack – luckily you’re up for the defence! The enemies are element-coded according to the seasons with strength and weaknesses, and you can get an element shield and charge an elemental attack additionally to your normal one. Great music, wonderful graphics and a lot of R-type-like fun!

 

antidoteAntidote by Antidote
You’ve come to get the golden idol, but you’ve been poisoned – quick, make your way out! And while you’re at it, grab a lot of riches to make it worth your while. Another super-polished game – this time in the jam section, being a perfect example of what you can achieve with a team of dedicated people. Everything fits together, and shooting, blasting and running through the dungeon while picking up shiny jewels feels great.

 

tai10 Second Tai by Teejay5
A short game about oversleeping, flying with jetpacks and fighting sharks (oops, spoilers). While it’s really rather on the short side and it’s missing music, for me it was pretty hilarious. There should be more ridiculous physics-based games. And I can’t get over the faces Tai makes! They are just so well done, haha.

 

clocked-inClocked In by rylgh
An avoider-type game with some pretty neat design choices. It just feels extremely smooth, everything about it – even when you lose a heart, it just feels like is factored into the normal flow of play. It also features a flawless and clean visual presentation, a nice minimalistic soundtrack and great level design.

 

 

Did you like my recommendations? If so, maybe you could rate and comment on my game too. I’d be really happy about that!
 
Lost-in-the-DarknessLost in the Darkness by TobiasW
Your three friends are scattered in this nightmarish world, turned into creatures of darkness – and you’re their only hope. Follow the music and save them! It won’t be easy though: The world is in constant change. Be ready. And don’t stay in the darkness for too long…

 

I’ve rated 100 games. Time for a Best Of! (Part 2)

Posted by (twitter: @tolicious)
Sunday, September 1st, 2013 2:36 pm

Like I wrote in my previous post, I’ve rated 100 games now. There were a lot awesome games in there – and a few that I think nobody should miss out on.

So again, in no particular order, here are some more entries that I think everyone should’ve played:

 

probe-teamPROBE TEAM by Andrew Shouldice
If you play only one game from my list, take this one. You are playing a swarm of drones, one by one, tasked with exploring and repairing. Even if your current drone fails, you’ll likely have explored the perimeter. And that’s where the game really shines: Exploration. You want to know what’s around the next corner, what the probes discover next! Together with the shiny visuals, the soundscape and the small bits of plots, this game manages to create an incredible atmosphere. It’s my favourite from the whole LD27 so far and I wouldn’t be surprised if it wins!

 

royal-defenestratorRoyal Defenestrator by BasmanovDaniil
You are the Royal Defenestrator, tasked with… I am not sure what you are actually tasked with. But it seems that the queen isn’t very happy, and if she isn’t happy with something, there’s really only one choice what to do with it! There also only one word to describe this game: “hilarious”. Combine a few pretty fine jokes, a lot of emergent humor, a simple clean style and perfectly fitting music and you get this game!

 

the-only-oneThe only one by JaJ
Ah, The only one. I don’t want to spoil anything, I think you’ve got to play this one for yourself. The writing is excellent and compelling. I felt sad and touched after I played it, and it’s been a while since a game did that to me, especially one so short and created in only 48 hours! The 2 color look works well (which is pretty hard to pull off in my opinion), and even if that’s not your thing: This game is really worth playing.

 

the-duellistsThe Duellists by jay griffin
This game in one word: “Polish”. Oh, and also “gorgous pixel art”, although I suppose that’s three words. Contrary to “Way of the Gun” from my Best Of (Part 1), the core gameplay here is actually about duelling. The mechanic is simple and fun and everything works smoothly. I just wish he would’ve added music – but then again, he already announced a post-compo version.

 

detective-awesomepantsDetective Awesomepants by xel
I’ll let xel do this one himself: “Experience the epic adventure of Detective Awesomepants as he tackles difficult cases assigned to him by the world police! Travel to exotic locations. Meet unique characters. Put bad guys in jail! All in a days work for the greatest detective around.”
So – it’s basically murder mystery in 10 seconds with super quirky characters. Short, sweet, extremely fun!

 

legend-of-epikourosLegend of Epikouros by Erhune
It seldom happens, but sometimes there’s a game that’s not that much fun to play, but I’m super excited about nonetheless. This is one of those. The concept is as simple as it is brilliant: It’s an adventure RPG with a long play time – but each player session only lasts 10 seconds. When you start, a lot will have already happened to our hero Epikourous, dictated by other players, and you’ll watch his story until it’s finally your turn to play him. What will you do with your 10 seconds? I really hope this one gets a post-compo version!

 

 

Did you like my recommendations? If so, maybe you could rate and comment on my game too. I’d be really happy about that!
 
Lost-in-the-DarknessLost in the Darkness by TobiasW
Your three friends are scattered in this nightmarish world, turned into creatures of darkness – and you’re their only hope. Follow the music and save them! It won’t be easy though: The world is in constant change. Be ready. And don’t stay in the darkness for too long…

 

PS: I rate/comment everybody who rates/comments my game – so if you’d like one of those, that would be a better way than to ask for it in the comments here 😉

I’ve rated 100 games. Time for a Best Of! (Part 1)

Posted by (twitter: @tolicious)
Saturday, August 31st, 2013 4:02 pm

So yeah, I’ve rated 100 games now. I wish I could rate more, but I seem to have the tendency to write detailed feedback. It takes up so much time!

Anyway: I’m in awe of this community. So much creativity and talent! And there are some gems that I think nobody should miss. There are a lot of those, so I’ll split it in multiple parts. In no particular order:

 

10 Seconds Before the World Ends by Lustdante
You’re a scientist trying to save the world which ends in (you probably guessed it!) 10 seconds. Luckily you have a suit that doesn’t only stop time, but allows you to move around in the meantime! Use debris as platforms, promenade under deadly obstacles and activate time again in the right moments to let it create a passage for you. Everything about this game is awesome, and it feels strangely great walking in a frozen world.

 

Low-BatteryLow Battery by RHY3756547
Hunting for treasure as a robot felt never more franti- WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED. This game is hard as hell, but even while losing I had a lot of fun. Shiny graphics, totally over the top effects and a kick-ass soundtrack completes the set.

 

Rebound-ReconRebound Recon by TheHermit
Your drone stole the industry secrets you were looking for – now you just need to get away! There’ll be no room for mistakes: And that’s where your drones advanced predictive software comes into play. It allows you to plan your route before the drone executes it. This is the best puzzle game I’ve played this Ludum Dare! The controls feel a little sluggish until you get used to them – I recommend you deal with this, the game is definitely worth it.

 

Way of the Gun by vrld
Way of the Gun is a… dialogue/bantering game? Wait, what? I won’t tell you why, the intro can do that much better – what I can tell you though is that this game features pleasing graphics, great music, an interesting mood, superb dialogue, a lot of quirky humor and some funny surprises.

 

Clockwork-CatClockwork Cat by patrickgb
A cute cat with a big wrench and an even bigger clock – what more could you need to make a great game? Maybe an extremely smooth flow? Soothing music? Small clever puzzles? Well, if you agree, you’re in luck – this game features all of that. Its only downside is it’s shortness, but that’s hardly a reason to pass it up!

 

Insert-picture-hereCrappydoodle by superjoebob
No picture for this one? Yep – I really have no idea how to depict it pleasingly in 120×85 pixels. Which is a bit ironic, because Crappydoodle is a game about pictures. It’s basically Pictionary on speed with random strangers – what’s not to like? Don’t try it though, because it’s addicting. No really, please don’t click the link.

 

Did you like my recommendations? If so, maybe you could rate and comment on my game too. I’d be really happy about that!
 
Lost-in-the-DarknessLost in the Darkness by TobiasW
Your three friends are scattered in this nightmarish world, turned into creatures of darkness – and you’re their only hope. Follow the music, resist the darkness and save them!

You saved a friend! (But at what cost?) – Now with music!

Posted by (twitter: @tolicious)
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 1:41 pm

 

Play this while looking at the GIF: http://dragonlab.de/projects/ld27/Song%20Ingame%20v2.mp3

(Made with Abudant Music. That thing is incredible.)

Nearly 27 hours in, 21 to go, and I feel fiiiine.

The game is coming along slowly but surely. As always, I make up most of the game design as I go along. Still no way to win, and so far it’s easy to avoid losing, but I can’t help myself – I like those little critters:

I’m in! YES!

Posted by (twitter: @tolicious)
Friday, August 23rd, 2013 6:00 pm

Base code will depend on the game I want to make, either:

Good luck, everybody!

Burglary: A Postmortem (Happy New Year Everyone!)

Posted by (twitter: @tolicious)
Monday, December 31st, 2012 9:18 pm

Happy New Year, folks!

I thought it’s time to write a postmortem too. For those who haven’t seen my game yet, you can find it by clicking on one of these conveniently placed handcrafted icons:

icon-small

youtube-icon-small

And now without further ado, here we go:

 

Some things went wrong

Yup, I’ll make that the first section. I think the game turned out pretty well all in all, so I’ll let the best come last!

Not everything went right though. First and foremost: It took me hours and hours to get motivated. Motivation is my biggest problem when I work alone. I’m not too good with game design, and often I don’t see if a game can be great before it becomes great – which seldom happens in the first few hours. There are many moments on the first day where I wanted to give up. What helped me was to remember that I’ve felt this way before with other projects and they turned out great! And now I have another one of those.

What didn’t help either is that I have no definitive base code library, I extracted my base code from another project and had to delete stuff that doesn’t fit. And then post it here. It takes time, and I don’t feel too good about it as it goes a bit against the Ludum Dare spirit. I’ll take care of that soon and will have one for the next LD!

Unsurprisingly, the clock wasn’t kind to me. Two of the levels were created in 10 minutes before the deadline. The first level is my “easy” test level, and the fourth level is my “hard” test level. I didn’t even have time to test the two in between. The third level works quite well, the second is awful but at least it’s beatable in about 1 1/2 minutes…

The music doesn’t sound stealthy at all. I am no musician, so this is no surprise. I’m not sure if I want to put enough energy in this to get better just for the LDs, so I guess I’ll just have to deal with that. I should have added an option to turn it off though.

 

Some things went right

Probably the most important thing: I wrote a to-do list before I started. This is so incredibly helpful and I hope all of you are doing it. For those who are not, here are the benefits of doing it:

  • You think about the code design along the way. It’s not as exhausting, restricting and time intensive as doing a full-blown software design and it still gives you a general sense of what you need.
  • You can always look how much you still have to do and how you’re doing progress-wise.
  • Most importantly: It keeps you from digressing. At least that’s what it does for me – every time I feel like I’m lacking clear directions, I check my to-do list. Works without fail.

 

I had a level editor at hand. Mind you, it’s nothing fancy – it couldn’t be easier actually:

level editor_thumb

Yup, it’s just TextPad – with an XML file, shown with a slightly modified version of the Laser Systems font. It’s dead easy to parse. I’ll surly have something fancier in the future when I’m more established with games that actually need an editor, but for now its service was perfect.

 

It was 10 hours before the deadline. There was no time to be wasted. Yet I was idle browsing the FlashPunk forum without anything specific to look for. And guess what I found: TileLighting [1.0.1], made 6 days before the Ludum Dare. On an impulse, I spent 2 hours to integrate it. Here is the result:

comparison-both

Is there are lesson to be learned from that? I have no idea. All I know is that it made the game SO much better – it basically gave the game one of its major mechanics.

 

Speaking of major mechanics, I was 8 hours before the deadline and I had to decide which single feature on my huge to do list I wanted to implement – all others were to be discarded. I decided on lock-picking, and it turned out great. After the light became such an essential tool in the game, I decided to link the lock-picking to the lighting level – just how it would be the case in real life: The more light you have, the easier it is to do something hard. This feature received the most praise in the comments which makes me pretty happy!

 

Another important thing was that I focused on what I can do best: Gameplay. I could’ve spent more time on the graphics, but then it still wouldn’t look good and be much less fun. I think the abstract graphics are working well for the time being.

 

Another good thing was that I inserted sound effects and music. They might not sound as well as in other games where the developers actually know what they are doing, but it’s still a vast improvement to silence! I think I did both in 1 1/2 hours. With 48 hours in total, there is no excuse not to add them.

 

Here’s one more on gameplay: Enemies don’t have to be intelligent, they just have to work and be fun. I thought about implementing pathfinding, but took a far easier route in the end and I fare just as well:

  • Enemies just patrol a straight line.
  • When they hit a wall, they go left or right.
  • When they scrape a wall and find an opening, sometimes they enter it.
  • An enemy that spots a player goes to where he saw him last, then follows the player’s trail a few seconds:

trail_thumb

And yup, that’s it. Just going straight for a point, then following a trail the player leaves. It’s was rather easy to make and is a lot of fun to play against!

 

I have no idea how much impact the fact that I made a gameplay video had, but I think it was a pretty good idea. It can give people a sense of the game if they don’t have enough time or incentive to play it and it can provide basic instructions for those who don’t like to read and can’t figure it out by just playing. It’s not hard to make, it doesn’t take much time and you can do it after the deadline: You should definitely make one too!

 

Some things were learned

A few lessons learned/tips:

  • Don’t like the theme? Neither did I. Deal with it! You can still make a fun game. It’s not like you have to design your whole game around it. Sure, that would be cool – but having a game that will get 1/5 in the Theme rating is still better than having no game at all because you gave up before you even started.
  • Keep calm and carry on: Never give up while there is still time! Maybe the game isn’t great now and you don’t have any idea how to improve it, but if you carry on, inspiration will hit.
  • A to-do list helps to keep you on track. It also helps with the design. And tells you were you stand progress-wise. Write one before you start developing.
  • Focus on what you do best. For me that’s gameplay, and that’s why my game isn’t as pretty to look at as other games, but it’s a lot of fun.
  • Add sound effects and music. Even if you’re not good at it, I guarantee that your game will feel FAR better with them, and with good tools, it won’t take you long to make and insert it either. (In case of doubt, just add an option to turn off the music.)
  • Sleep. Yeah, 48 hours isn’t much time, but if you’re fresh you work better. And who knows what kind of ideas you get when you’ll get your subconscious some time to rest?
  • Music for Programming is pretty cool. Especially when you’re having a hard time concentrating.

 

Some features were discarded

Are you interested in what I wanted to implement, but ran out of time to do? Here is a quick breakdown:

  • Level / Gameplay
    • Lasers
    • Treasure makes you slower
    • Treasure: Weight (can only carry certain amount)
    • Traps
      • Step-on mines
      • Bleeding
    • Alarm Level
    • Timer
  • Enemies
    • Enemies shoot
  • Equipment
    • Dynamite
    • Vanishing / Hidden after time
    • Hacking
    • EMP

I don’t want to elaborate on these, just give a quick impression, but it’s such a pity that some of them are missing! I wanted to have lasers as obstacles, maybe switching on and off, traps to force you to have a higher light level (and maybe a trap disarming mini game), an alarm level slowly escalating difficulty when you’re seen, enemies shooting at you, and my favourite: Dynamite to break walls, but alerting every guard even if they can’t see you.

 

But well, you can only do so much in 48 hours. All in all, I’m pretty happy with the result. It’s a very good feeling I did that all on my own, and I am glad I participated!

 

Some thanks are offered

Thanks to the Ludum Dare organizers and to the great, great community! You guys have made a wonderful thing here and are doing all of this in your free time and it is so much appreciated! I cannot believe how many games were made, and how many kind comments I got on my game – I’ve seldom experienced such a friendly community. I had a great time and I will definitely participate again!

 

Do you have any questions I didn’t elaborate on? I’ll happily answer them in the comments! And you could leave a little comment if you enjoyed reading this or what you rather wanted to read.

Apropos, one last thing: Thanks a lot for reading this postmortem! It hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it. (And it’s probably pretty obvious, but maybe you want to follow this other conveniently placed link and rate my game? Your feedback means a lot to me!)

And here we go, a blog-post about my entry!

Burglary

icon

Explore the premises. Evade the guards. Pick locks.
Steal the treasures! And the escape with them.

Burglary, an action/stealth game about stealing from
the rich and giving to those needing it: Yourself.

Visit the Official Ludum Dare Submission!

Play the game on Kongregate!

View a gameplay video on YouTube:

youtube icon

Used libraries/tools:

And here I go, finally!

Posted by (twitter: @tolicious)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 7:27 am

Steps taken so far:

  1. Hear what the theme is
  2. Do some brainstorming
  3. Decide to do something with Unity
  4. Get a good nights sleep
  5. Decide not to go with Unity after all and do AS3/Flashpunk instead
  6. Finally upload the base code*
  7. FINALLY start coding away!

Good luck everybody!

*) I know it’s bad style to upload it so late – I’m sorry. I don’t have base code per se, I salvage other projects, so I had to get the idea first to decide on which set of base code to use. Next time I’ll do it properly!

edit: Damn, I forgot some level loading code. Updated.

Dude, dude! I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @tolicious)
Tuesday, December 11th, 2012 2:54 pm

First time Ludum Dare, reporting in for duty!

I’m not sure what I’ll use yet. I’ll probably default to AS3/Flash (Flashpunk or Starling), but depending on what I decide to do, it might also become AIR, Python (pygame or pySFML2), C# (SFML2.NET) or Unity.

Graphics will be done in Photoshop with my trusted Bamboo Fun, or I’ll go with abstract stuff.

I have no idea what to use for audio yet. sfxr I guess? And something else for music?

Obviously my base code is different for each of the named languages, and I have also different base code for a few genres. In the rules it says “Base code and personal code libraries are allowed, but should be declared and shared with the community prior to beginning your entry. To do this, make a blog post.” “Prior to beginning your entry” means before I start coding, but it can be after the theme was announced?

PS: SO STOKED ABOUT THIS

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