About Wan (twitter: @AlakajamBang)

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 74
 
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

The Awesomest OST Award
Awarded by toasty
on July 26, 2017

Wan's Archive

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

Posted by (twitter: @AlakajamBang)
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: @AlakajamBang)
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: @AlakajamBang)
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: @AlakajamBang)
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: @AlakajamBang)
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: @AlakajamBang)
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.

 

Manu & Wan are in the house

Posted by (twitter: @AlakajamBang)
Friday, December 14th, 2012 2:29 am

Hi, we’re back as a team of 2 for the jam :)

Wan’s solo LD24 entry, The Voynich Experiment

 

The repository is already up on BitBucket. The tools we plan to use are:

* CraftyJS (JS framework)
* Tiled (tile editor)
* Photoshop
* Reason (music)
* SFXR (sound effects)

PS: Don’t forget to vote for Goats. Totally the best theme.

Obligatory timelapse + some cool compo entries

Posted by (twitter: @AlakajamBang)
Monday, August 27th, 2012 2:12 pm

Since it’s always a nice occasion to look back at things, I uploaded a commented timelapse of my work on The Voynich Experiment. So far the game has been met with positive response, so I’m pretty glad with how this first LD went for me! Of course there’s a few errors I made and have to learn from, but I feel like my time management wasn’t too bad.

Click on the picture to view the timelapse!

While I’m at it, here are a few interesting (web-based) games I played so far:

 

‘The Voynich Experiment’ is done!

Posted by (twitter: @AlakajamBang)
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 6:21 pm

Tired, but quite satisfied! I managed to do most of what I planned for this 2nd and last day. My only regret is that I might have taken too much time on nitpicking stuff instead of producing more contents/levels, but it could have been worse.

Congrats to everyone, I’ve seen quite a lot of promising games during this week-end! Now it’s 3am here, so time to sleep. See you soon!

‘The Voynich Experiment’ entry page

Cutscenes!

Posted by (twitter: @AlakajamBang)
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 1:35 am

Unfortunately, this picture does not reflect in any way the story of the final product. Or does it? Maybe I could fit a kitten somewhere.

First playable version, at last!

Posted by (twitter: @AlakajamBang)
Saturday, August 25th, 2012 2:45 pm

Well, I’ve had a few troubles while setting up the core code for my game (I notably lost a few hours with the weird collisions management CraftyJS provides D:), but I finally have something playable. Yay! I have set up five levels, each one introducing a new mechanic or idea. It’s a bit glitchy, but hopefully enjoyable.

Once I add some decent graphics.

And some music.

I’d like to add much more levels & content, but I guess it’s better to polish the game now, to make sure I don’t put myself in some bad  situation during the last hours 😉 But first, time for a break.

Play the latest version of the game here

A screenshot of the map editor

(PS: OMG don’t even have a name already)

Some platformer basics

Posted by (twitter: @AlakajamBang)
Saturday, August 25th, 2012 3:31 am

Okay it’s midday here in France, and I’ve been working for maybe 4 hours now.

I went for something between a platformer, a puzzle game, and Bubble Tanks. I have some pretty cool mechanics in mind, I’ll see if they’re as fun as I hope. Right now what I can do is load any level edited with Tiled, plus make the player… well, move and jump, it’s a start. Now let’s code some interesting gameplay!

(PS: Yeah, the player is a cell. Evolution, dude!)

Click here to play the latest version of the game

A wild contestant appears!

Posted by (twitter: @AlakajamBang)
Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 4:08 pm

Hi everyone,

I’m Wan, and I took my week-end to finally take part to this awesome event :) Some might know me from the Minecraft community as Jimeo Wan, the guy behind a mod called Inventory Tweaks ; I also won the Java4K competition this year (look for “The Little Scientist“). Now this is the first time I get to make a game by myself within a limited time, so I’m not very confident about all this – but I’m pretty sure this will be loads of fun, and I guess that’s what matters 😉

I’ll probably use JavaScript and the CraftyJS framework for my entry, since it feels quite fast and comfortable to code with. Depending on the game idea I’ll have, I might turn instead to something more powerful, like a Java applet. We’ll see what the new theme has to offer!

Other tools I’ll probably use: Photoshop, Reason, Notepad++

++

EDIT: I just set up a repository with the existing code I intend to use during the event. It might be useful to anyone who plans to use CraftyJS actually. Just a few libraries + some custom (barely) reusable stuff I made from previous small projects.

Color match

Posted by (twitter: @AlakajamBang)
Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 9:48 am

Here is my doodle for a very basic game. It’s about matching people by finding the same color in a gradient palette. A romantic game about the quest for love… and racism.

(PS: First entry!)

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