About Wan (twitter: @mkalamalami)

I'm Wan, a hobbyist game dev from France, gone semi-pro in 2015. Hopefully a first commercial game will be out soon... ish...

I make HTML5 entries, usually with a couple friends. Our entries typically feature story-based games with original mechanics and average art! Here are quick descriptions if you want to try some:

Top 100 Entries

Squircle (love story set in a blocky platformer) #8 Overall, #7 Fun
Corponnected Ltd. (mix between a management sim and a puzzle game) #14 Overall, #12 Fun
Sisyphus (difficult platformer where you place your own traps) #46 Overall, #3 Innovation
The Voynich Experiment (puzzle platformer played on parchment) #2 Overall, #5 Audio

Other entries

Minotaur (gloomy platformer where you can move any wall) #61 Innovation
Squ (cute running game with a leaderboard) #1043 Theme
L'hypnose (experimental, silent point & click) #20 Mood
Pacbreakoban (mashup of three classic games into puzzles)

Entries

 
MiniLD #72
 
Ludum Dare 37
 
Ludum Dare 36
 
MiniLD #67
 
Ludum Dare 35
 
Ludum Dare 34
 
Ludum Dare 32
 
Ludum Dare 30
 
Ludum Dare 26
 
Ludum Dare 25
 
Ludum Dare 24

Wan's Trophies

Wan's Archive

The One Room Club: A game of dwarves, elves and disco

Posted by (twitter: @mkalamalami)
Saturday, December 10th, 2016 2:16 pm

The One Roome Clube Logo

Night fever, night feveeeeer… We know how-to-dooo it!

Imagine you’re a dwarf, and you’re in desperate need for your daily beer. Now imagine the only place miles around where you can get your fix is a strange tavern where elves dance to even stranger music. Imagine the only way to get that sweet sweet beer is to go past those disgusting drunk elves, to avoid the orc bouncers and find your way to the VIP Room.

Do you know what happens next? Mayhem!

Gameplay

The One Room Club is a blend of card & rhythm game, where your  dwarves will have to progress through a tavern dancefloor to reach the VIP room. Day after day, security will be made tougher to prevent you from reaching your goal. Use your wits and fight your way through the place, to get the well-deserved reward :)

Progress

This first day went by quite smoothly, with the core gameplay code mostly working. Things are still pretty ugly and rough on the edges, but hopefully we should be able to run a level from start to end before we sleep. On the art side we already have a good part of the character design done, and a pretty good idea of the direction we want to take! Since the core gameplay is not too complicated, we plan to spend more time than usual polishing the experience and making things fun!

character design (1)

Character design

Team

We’re a team of 4 this time, including two Ludum Dare veterans (Wan & Manu, both coders/game designers), an artist/game designer (Prohibé) & a composer (Kay Lo). Some previous entries from the team:

Robot Forest (by Manu/Prohibé/Kay Lo)

Minotaur (by Manu/Wan/Jack)

Corponnected Ltd. (by Manu & Wan)

“Results” for Ludum Dare 36

Posted by (twitter: @mkalamalami)
Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 2:46 pm

Feedback Friends! results

1910 games have been made during the LD36 jam, and in the weeks that followed, they gathered no less than 18983 19000 comments! Congratulations everyone. While there’s no winner everyone is a winner due to the lack of ratings, we just unlocked for you a couple new ways to browse the LD36 entries:


Browse coolest entries

(gave the most feedback)


Browse most popular entries

(got the most feedback)

Of course you can also still browse games randomly or through the usual Ludum Dare 36 event page.

Dare to play: the best of LD36

Some of our streamers released compilation videos curating their favorite games, go check them out!

Larry Chupacabra


Featured games
Cave (man) Story by Culturebosh_games
On Fire by dietzribi
KMF by godjammit
Channel 83 by S0lll0s
The Late Fee by Hjalte500
Write Only by randomhuman

Molpe the First Siren


Featured games
On Fire by dietzribi
The House Abandon by jon_nocode
The Cave of Wonders by Noval33t
Curious Dinos by RafaSKB
Pyramid by metalhaze
The Polaroid by dissonent
Poramid by unphook
My house is over there by kynninen
Frog Whisperer by felixsoum
Rock ON by terryg

Lists

 

Did you make a best of video/article of your own? Let us know in the comments!

(NB. trophy icons are made by Patacorow)

Who are the oldest LD36 submitters?

Posted by (twitter: @mkalamalami)
Wednesday, August 31st, 2016 6:04 pm

Using the data scraped for Feedback Friends, I just ran a little query to answer some questions like “Who are the oldest LD36 submitters?” or “I am older than the average submitter?”.

Note: by “old” I mean “who subscribed for the longest time”, which is easy enough to figure out by looking at UIDs, those incremental, public numbers assigned to each account. You can check your own UID by looking at the URL of your game.

For instance, the elder of LD36 is Jovoc (UID 34), who apparently was here since the very first Ludum Dare, and still takes part regularly! Here’s the top 10:

+------+------+--------+-------------------------------+
| rank | pct  | uid    | author                        |
+------+------+--------+-------------------------------+
|    1 |    0 |     34 | jovoc                         |
|    2 |    0 |     55 | negativegeforce               |
|    3 |    0 |    169 | joss                          |
|    4 |    0 |    484 | Sébastien Bernery             |
|    5 |    0 |    547 | ladybenko                     |
|    6 |    0 |    627 | Atridas                       |
|    7 |    0 |    680 | Arowx                         |
|    8 |    0 |   1012 | Tange                         |
|    9 |    0 |   1049 | AtkinsSJ                      |
|   10 |    1 |   1066 | jplur                         |
+------+------+--------+-------------------------------+

View the complete list on Pastebin

You can use this list to find your own name and figure out where you rank in terms of seniority 😉 I for instance am among the 7% oldest members who took part in the event, my first event being LD24 [/bragging]. Also:

  • The median user is from LD33
  • At least 1/4 of the users are new accounts who never took part in an event before, LD or MiniLD
  • As shown by Tijn’s work on past events, the turnover is especially big for the Jam category, which can be explained (in part) by the fact that teams come and go with each event, often requiring people to create new accounts.

 

Introducing the “Feedback Friends” mini-site!

Posted by (twitter: @mkalamalami)
Thursday, July 28th, 2016 4:46 pm

Previously, in Ludum Dare…

In case you missed it, LD36 will be a little bit unusual, in that it won’t feature ratings.

To bring everyone up to date, the reason behind that is that PoV, when announcing his break from running the August LD, has also raised concerns over the ratings system. He recommended not to use it for this event, and following a poll made by Sorceress, we voted in majority to follow his advice.

Now, some of us really wanted to still find a cool incentive for players to play each other’s games. Ludum Dare may be enjoyed for the competition, but getting loads of playtesting and sharing feedback with each other is also a great part of what makes the event special.

So here comes our little experiment:

 

The Feedback Friends mini-site

Here’s how it works:

Right after LD36 ends, you’ll be able to use this little thing to browse games and find those who need feedback the most. The more games you comment on, the higher you’ll be featured! The goal, of course, is to make sure everyone gets some comments on their games, and reward the more active commenters with more feedback.

If you’re curious, you can already browse the games from Ludum Dare 35 to get an idea of how it works.

Open beta: MiniLD #69

Starting today, the mini-site will be open for the current MiniLD in order to test things out, gather opinions and make some tweaks.

Please share your suggestions & bug reports in the comments. And if you’re curious, feel free to check the Github repository!

 

[Update] The Ludum Dare world map

Additional announcement: Will Edwards is looking for contributors (artists/programmers) to upgrade a project he made for LD30.

It featured a nice map of the world, where people could place their entries and find their neighbors. It also encouraged commenting on other games, which is exactly what we’re trying to do. It would be a nice way to complement the Feedback Friends, so if you have some skills & free time, you know what to do!

Pac-Man + Breakout + Sokoban = Pacbreakoban!

Posted by (twitter: @mkalamalami)
Monday, May 30th, 2016 2:04 am

Wow that name is bad! I guess I was too busy squeezing out a couple levels 😛 Anyway…

Pacbreakoban is a small puzzle game, and my first attempt at using Unity. It should take between 5 & 10 minutes to finish its 8 levels.

I’m quite happy in the end with the depth of the game, as the later levels turned out a bit challenging to play, yet interesting I think. The physics are a bit wonky at times, but hopefully the game remains enjoyable.

Your feedback is welcome, I’m curious to see whether it’s fun enough for people to finish it!

And the winner for the Graphics award is…

Posted by (twitter: @mkalamalami)
Sunday, April 17th, 2016 7:16 pm

spoilers2

Look at that magnificent background gradient! And look at that clean, white square! And those spikes, so original & pointy!

Anyway.

I just released Squircle – graphics are quite basic but it was fun to make. Hopefully you can enjoy it too.

Good luck everyone for those last couple hours :)

Squ Original Soundtrack

Posted by (twitter: @mkalamalami)
Sunday, December 27th, 2015 8:00 pm

Clipboard02

I uploaded Squ’s soundtrack for fun on my SoundCloud account! You can play and rate the actual game on this page.

The music was largely influenced by Mario games – I actually listened to recent Mario Party soundtracks in particular to get an idea on how to get the sound I want. I’m not used at all to make this kind of joyful music so it was a pretty new experience.

Here’s the complete list of what I used to make the music & sounds of the game:

Software

  • Propellerhead Reason 8 (DAW, see screenshot below)
  • Audacity (conversion and mastering)

Hardware

  • M-Audio Keyrig 49 (MIDI keyboard)
  • Shure SM58 (voice mic)
  • Focusrite Scarlett Solo (sound card/audio input)
  • Audio Technica ATH-M50 (headphones)
  • Those $20-something speakers I’ve got since high school

reason

Ho ho ho!

Posted by (twitter: @mkalamalami)
Friday, December 25th, 2015 5:39 am

Squ’s time management in a graph

Posted by (twitter: @mkalamalami)
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015 3:15 am

Here’s how our time management looks like for the Squ Jam entry!

timeman

Here’s a quick list of lessons learnt:

  • Art takes time – for the first time, I (Wan) planned to focus on art rather than code, and unexpectedly I ended quite happy with the results, given my average drawing skills. The hard part instead was that I’m not used to spend that much time squeezing out assets, and for a rushed coder like me it certainly was a good lesson in patience.
  • Review your technical bottlenecks *before* the jam – Every other LD we end up making a platformer, and every. single. time. We spend ages on issues with collisions management and the integration of TilEd (our map editor). The main reason, in the end, is just that we’re not very experienced with physics engines, and it shows: a large part of our time & energy was spent on it, instead of happier things such as level design.
  • Spend more time on level design – Of the total 5.5h logged as “Level design”, maybe 3h max was spent on the final levels. It’s still more than our previous entries, but we do seem to procrastinate that task… Too bad because that’s where you get to show that cool gameplay mechanic, and overall, for a platformer, good or bad level design make or break the fun of a game (emphasized for future me :P).
  • With good hardware, audio is easy – It’s a more advanced lesson targeted at musicians, but I just discovered how important a good audio interface is. I bought one right before the jam, and not only I was finally able to record noise-free voices, but also the overall mixing and sound-picking for the music felt much easier. The game features no less than 6 – short – music pieces, yet I managed to wrap up satisfying tracks in less than 4 hours.
The making of Squ's art probably deserves its own post :P

“How to make art as a s***ty artist”. The making of Squ’s assets probably deserves its own post :P

Overall we still made a great deal of progress in time management since our last entry together, learnt a lot of things and had a huge amount of fun as usual. Thanks for reading! Now go play and rate our game 😉

Say it with a gif

Posted by (twitter: @mkalamalami)
Sunday, December 6th, 2015 11:42 am

We're in

Hi! We’re a team of two from France, and we’re in for a… hey sixth Ludum Dare already! It’s still as much fun as the first times, if not more.

Techs

  • Engine: PhaserJS (with a custom game template built from previous entries, feel free to reuse code)
  • Music: Propellerhead Reason 8, Audacity
  • Graphics: Photoshop
  • Editor: Notepad++
  • Other optional stuff, depending on the game: JXFR, TilEd…

Previous entries made together


Minotaur
(Platformer)

LD32 – #61 Innov., #131 Overall

Corponnected
(Management Sim)

LD30 – #12 Fun, #14 Overall

Sisyphus
(Buggy platformer)

LD25 – #46 Overall, #48 Fun

Have fun everyone!

“Minotaur”: A platformer where every floor/wall/ceiling can be moved

Posted by (twitter: @mkalamalami)
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 9:16 am

Here’s a post-mortem for the Minotaur entry, a platformer we made as a team of 3 based in… France? UK? Australia? Ehem let’s say “Earth”.

This entry is the 3rd one I made with fellow programmer Manu, and 5th overall, so one good thing we can say is we’re quite getting a grasp on how to manage our time/energy and the scope of the game. We already knew the engine we were about to use (Phaser), and most of the tooling around it (TileEd, etc.), plus we’re starting to have a sense of what can be done in 72 hours, to avoid scope issues.

The week-end was far from being uneventful though, so here’s a few thoughts about specific topics.

 

Physics-based platformer? You’re gonna have a bad time.

If there’s one thing we didn’t realize when choosing the idea, it’s that we needed to actually learn to work with physics libraries.

Up to now, we always used Phaser’s “Arcade” physics engine, which is pretty basic and works well for simple things. But we quickly realized that it was nowhere near the requirements for a game where every element of the level can actually move. More precisely, the Arcade engine doesn’t handle well situations where more than 2 bodies are colliding together (ex. : cube stack).

Yay...

Yay…

Conclusion: we reluctantly switched to the more powerful P2 library, that’s also packed with Phaser. That’s when we left the comfort zone…

 

 

optimised

BETTER THAN GOAT SIMULATOR! PARTY HARD! GET HYPE!

Fortunately, getting the basics to work took less time than expected. However, when looking back at it, we overall spent hours and hours of tweaking all through the week-end to make the gameplay actually stable and fun. The hard part, with physics libaries, is to actually understand which lever solves which problem:

  • Having troubles making walls slide past each other? Lower the friction.
  • Don’t want the player to be able to push stuff just by walking against it? Lower its mass.
  • Want to force the player to follow a moving wall? Create a constraint.
  • Want to make sure walls don’t move an inch until you grab them? Make them static.

Not mentioning the various bugs that took hours to solve, be it about world bounds, collision groups, detecting collision directions…

But in the end we actually got it to work, and that was incredibly rewarding. There’s still a few glitches but the game is mostly playable, so we’re now proud to say: YES, we know how to make 2D physics games!

 

Graphics vs. Level design

One of the main events for this entry is we teamed up with Jack, a talented graphic designer we met the day before on /r/ludumdare. It was pretty improvised, but still a great opportunity, since “Graphics” is the one category where we’re always struggling the most. As a pair of programmers it can be hard to make good-looking art…  Plus given how long art can take to make, it’s often been hard to find the good compromise between programming more features/contents and making better art trying to make better art.

Working with a teammember dedicated to graphics was mostly new to us, and we couldn’t help notice how it changes the dynamics of game dev a bit: suddenly you have to discuss upfront how the game will look, what are the capabilities you’re looking for, which limitations you can accept, the dimensions of the tiles… And then stick to that. Plus, even if you try to thoroughly discuss the theme/style you’re looking for, you’re suddenly blind to a big aspect of the game, being how it will actually look.

Well, until you actually get some art:

mockupmockup

The first artwork Jack shared with us. Exciting!

That first artwork was really exciting, and helped us adjust the story, figure out the shaders we’d need, and in general plan things out a bit more precisely. And of course we were motivated by knowing how good the game could look in the end!

That’s about when we made a little organization mistake: what would have been best at this point was to get a tileset done so we could start designing levels. The focus was instead put on the character animation, which took quite some time. It was totally worth in the end (try the game to see it, importing a gif wouldn’t do it justice :P), but the side effect is we started really late the work on the final levels.

On the good side, the tileset was pretty nice in the end, and a great moment occurs when you finally integrate the sprites into the game. Suddenly everything looks 100 times better! Yay, I’m making an actual game! After that, we eventually managed to produce enough content to make the game enjoyable, but there’s still some improvements that could be done about the levels. Mainly:

  1. I do believe some aspects of the base mechanic are underexploited ;
  2. We didn’t fully take advantage of the art provided by Jack, as most backgrounds for instance were patched together in a hurry.
The final level 2 background, made in a few seconds, 30mn before the deadline

The final level 2 background, hacked in less than a minute, half an hour before the deadline. Sorry Jack.

In the end I think the game still looks pretty good, and we definitely couldn’t have reached a such level of polish as a team of two. When comparing the game with our previous entries, the difference in art quality is pretty obvious I think.

 

About the game idea…

I’ll end the post with a little confidence about how we found our idea: the week before LD, we actually brainstormed ideas for most of the themes of the final round (here’s our file, beware it’s in French). I’m not sure how fair it is but there was that post featuring a ranking of the themes after the last round, and because of that we were almost sure that the theme would be either “Companion” or “An Unconventional Weapon”. I’ve never seen a such post before but it was definitely a bit of a spoiler I think! So we did have some ideas in advance.

On the other side, the telekinesis mechanic was an idea for the “You are the Power Source” theme, not the final one. Since I really wanted to try that platformer game, we eventually chose it over the other ones, and plugged the theme on the story more than the mechanic. But hey telekinesis is actually used to destroy robots in the game, so technically it is an unconventional weapon!

 

Thanks for reading this, if you haven’t already we’d be glad to get your feedback on Minotaur. And congrats to all contestants, we’ve played some really awesome games already. Cheers!

robot_sprite

Nous sommes in!

Posted by (twitter: @mkalamalami)
Thursday, April 16th, 2015 3:54 am

Bonjour ! We are Wan & Manu from France, and we’re glad to join you for this Ludum Dare!

Techs

  • Engine: PhaserJS (with a custom game template built from the last game, feel free to reuse code)
  • Music: Propellerhead Reason 7, Audacity
  • Graphics: Gimp
  • Editor: Notepad++
  • Other optional stuff, depending on the game: JXFR, TilEd…

Previous entries made together

LD30 : Corponnected
(ranked #14)

LD25 : Sisyphus
(ranked #46)

Good luck to everybody, and don’t forget to have fun!

“Corponnected Ltd.: For a better world. With more factories.”

Posted by (twitter: @mkalamalami)
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 4:15 am

Our jam entry “Corponnected Ltd.” is now in the wild, and first feedback has been very positive! To hear people saying they actually finished the game / played it for half an hour is incredibly heartwarming. Here’s a quick postmortem while memories are still fresh:

Before the Jam

This week-end was my fourth LD, and the second one with teammate Manu. This time we managed to make a 3rd person, Guillaume, join the team, so with our extended workforce we felt like the sky is the limit! With our little experience with previous jams we knew we had to avoid making a too complex game, so we planned to make something that could easily start small, and then be iterated over.

We chose in advance to make the game with Phaser.io (HTML5 engine), so we could practice with it a bit before the jam (before that, our engine of choice was CraftyJS, but while we love its API, some annoying issues made us want to try something else).

(more…)

Potato Salad challenge

Posted by (twitter: @mkalamalami)
Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 8:52 am

Did you vote for the POTATO SALAD theme?

With POTATO SALAD, your game is guaranteed to be a success. Fact: about 100% of potato lovers dig POTATO SALAD, including the Ludum Dare organizers.

If you are a REAL game dev, then you should +1 the POTATO SALAD theme by clicking here and looking for POTATO SALAD. If you’re not a real game dev, then I hereby declare you a REAL game dev, and invite you to +1 the POTATO SALAD theme by clicking here and looking for POTATO SALAD.

And whatever the final theme is, make sure to have POTATO SALAD in your game.

 

For those who want to POTATO SALAD their submissions here is a non-official POTATO SALAD badge.

Let’s make a video game!

Posted by (twitter: @mkalamalami)
Monday, August 18th, 2014 8:29 am

http://ludumdare.com/compo/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/YtKWRKk.gif

After missing 3 LDs in a row, here we are to hack a new video game. We’re a team of three this time!

Techs

  • Engine: Phaser.JS (we’re all new to it, but that’s where the hype is, so let’s give it a try)
  • Music: Propellerhead Reason 7 (freshly bought license! my wallet is empty!), Audacity
  • Graphics: Gimp
  • Editor: Notepad++
  • Other optional stuff, depending on the game: JXFR, TilEd

What we want to do

Not a platformer game, because we already made some, otherwise have fun and make something original.

Is there no challenge like inserting goats or kittens this time? Hell yeah Potato Salad!

I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @mkalamalami)
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 7:47 am

 

On my defence I didn’t intend to take part in this edition, since I had to visit family. I ended up making a game with my sister. So, here is what we plan to use for… the game we released yesterday:

Techs

  • CraftyJS (HTML5 game framework)
  • Notepad++
  • Photoshop
  • Pencils, paper & image scanner

Existing stuff

  • Some code from my previous LD entries

Here is our entry, a short game called “L’Hypnose” which was mostly programmed on a train. I was afraid that people would find the game “slow” and/or “weird”, but so far the LD community seemed to actually enjoy it! Awesome.

 

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