About vandriver (twitter: @cleverkyle)


Ludum Dare 32
Ludum Dare 30
Ludum Dare 28
Ludum Dare 27
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 22
Ludum Dare 21
Ludum Dare 20

vandriver's Trophies

You were there *Award* #LD30
Awarded by alvivar
on September 2, 2014
Awarded for LD26 LOOP's bird controls.
Awarded by smilingrob
on April 30, 2013

vandriver's Archive

finally in again

Posted by (twitter: @cleverkyle)
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 11:11 am

Been a minute. Usual casual trash. Game maker, audacity, etc. Man I miss ludum dare.

doin it

Posted by (twitter: @cleverkyle)
Thursday, December 12th, 2013 6:36 am

The usual. Should actually have the whole weekend this time.

Focused on mechanics last dare and music before that. Maybe I’ll work on art more this time.

I could possibly be in

Posted by (twitter: @cleverkyle)
Friday, August 16th, 2013 10:27 pm

Going to be thoroughly busy on Saturday.  Hoping for a mad-inspiring theme.


If I am in, I’ll be using my usual casual bullshit programs.  Game Maker, sfxr, etc. Let’s go rad theme!

LOOP: Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @cleverkyle)
Friday, May 10th, 2013 11:51 am

My first postmortem, though I’ve been doing the dares for a couple years now.





My goal going in was to write some music first and see where that took the gameplay. The plan was to play around on the guitar then transpose it all to video-gamey tracker sounds. I hated the theme, but stuck to the plan. Mostly. I ended up just playing music all evening and wrote nothing down.

Saturday morning I continued tooling around with the guitar and figured since it’s minimalism, I wouldn’t transpose anything. I recorded very random doodling and then looped that while I pondered a game. Initially I had planned a color-based collection game, but didn’t think it fit the music so went for a storytelling game. The artifacts of the color game remain though, as all the objects you’re tasked to retrieve ascend chromatically.


Every sound was made with a mic and audacity. I had fun thinking of ways to make noises to suit the game. I wanted one noise to represent egg-breaking, hair-ripping, and self immolation amongst other things, so I had a bit of fun with that kind of audio puzzle here in my room. (it was me scratching my desk through some filters, by the way). To say nothing of how fun it is to caw. I actually loaded up some crow videos and practiced my cawing and of all the happy thoughts from this dare, by far the most pleasing is knowing I have cawed at many people through their own volition across the internet.


Not much to say here, except that I’m pretty happy with where I’m at with pixel art. I studied a fantastic old crow animation by Eadweard Muybridge to look for keyframes. I was so elated to see this in my search for reference material as I love this guy’s work.


I also really improved on my ability to neglect details a bit to get important things done. It took untold amounts of restraint not to completely redo all the tree assets for the winter level. Tree leaves should fall off in winter! But I just slapped snow on the leaves and was done with it. I doubt anyone but me even noticed, let alone cared, but it is still making me twitch thinking about it.


This turned out well enough, though really dark. At the last minute I had a change of heart about just how dark it was and threw together an alternate ‘good’ ending. I love it, but it’s kind of a pain to find since I didn’t really get to test it.



Man did I dislike this theme. I nearly abandoned doing the dare on the first night due to lack of direction. I prefer extremely narrow themes that force me to push their boundaries to create something unique. I hate these wide-open themes we’ve been getting lately. I also dislike the joke themes typically but included a potato in protest this time, possibly to the detriment of the atmosphere my game tries to build.


I don’t really consider this to be a game at all. There’s no real failure state, barely any player agency. I’m pretty displeased with joining a game-making competition and not making an actual game. It certainly works well as a little interactive storytelling device, but not much more. Also I forgot to include the damned title screen on the windows version! In hindsight perhaps the title screen was unnecessary, but what a dumb oversight.


I slapped on some virtual buttons and threw an android port out, but virtual buttons are just horrible for the control of the bird. Redoing touchscreen controls would be beyond the scope of porting, so I didn’t bother, but it makes this port pretty bad.



I’ve already resolved to start on game mechanics for the next dare, though this one turned out pretty well despite its lack of ‘game’. Also I learned an awful lot about sound editing and recording in small timeframes. Hopefully the era of silent vandriver games are over! Just I won’t try to wrap a game around music as it’s clearly way too difficult for me within 48 hours.


android games

Posted by (twitter: @cleverkyle)
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 1:04 pm

Is there a decent way to parse for android games so I can review while ‘working’? Conversely, link me your android games!


porting and gm studio

Posted by (twitter: @cleverkyle)
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 11:33 am

As a plebeian, I was pretty stoked that the new game maker studio could port my abominations to the web like the cool kids, but after some tinkering, it looks way more complex than just flipping some variables and recompiling. Will have to make the next one from the ground up for html5, I think.

I did, however, manage to throw some virtual keys on this bird to make an android port, which was very easily done.  So that’s good. Now on to reviewing!

i’m in

Posted by (twitter: @cleverkyle)
Friday, April 26th, 2013 10:27 am

My goal this time is to throw in some music. Let’s see if I can prioritize backwards.

Using Gamemaker because I’m a putz.

Schism/impulse tracker

Probably bfxr and sfxr

And some ancient horribly translated sprite program whose actual name I don’t even know.



Much smoother this time!

Posted by (twitter: @cleverkyle)
Sunday, August 21st, 2011 8:40 pm



I even made a How-To screen this time!

My second LD and I still feel like a novice, but it went much smoother.  The biggest lesson I learned from the first one was not to make puzzle games.  Designing the actual puzzles just takes way too much time that I have to spend programming simple things.   Some of you guys are giving me code envy.  Nevertheless I got the thing working how I wanted and with time to spare, but not enough to figure out exactly how to work with audio.  I guess that’ll be for Decemeber!

Now on to playing!

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