About jahndis (twitter: @jahndis)

My name is John Langewisch. I enjoy developing games, creating artwork, specifically cool character animations, composing music, and just creating things in general.

I especially enjoy games that tell a good story and use unique graphics and audio to create an immersive experience.

I also do a little bit of web design on the side, and work full time as a software developer.

Entries

 
October Challenge 2015
 
Ludum Dare 33
 
Ludum Dare 30
 
Ludum Dare 29

jahndis's Trophies

jahndis's Archive

Why do I keep doing this to myself?! (╯°□°)╯

Posted by (twitter: @jahndis)
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 1:29 am

Hey all, hope you’re enjoying the compo/jam.

After reaching the wee hours of day 2, I’m 100% convinced that I’ve (once again) bit off way more than I can chew… As of now, I still don’t have actual gameplay, and I have almost no time tomorrow to do anything. *sigh*

Takeaways:

1. Start small start small start small start small….

This always gets me. I somehow manage to come up with these grandiose ideas of what would be the perfect game for the theme, and then I convince myself I can do it, when I usually can’t.

2. New framework/OS/programs work great for jams!

One goal for me this time around was to use new… well… everything… I have been a long time user of GameMaker, and I was looking to make a switch for a while now (since most of my dev life is on Linux nowadays). Therefore, I looked into Haxeflixel combined with Aseprite (for animations), Gimp (for other art), TexturePacker (for.. texture… packing…) and vim as my editor (I would also have used either PixiTracker or Caustic for music and SFXR or something else for SFX but I didn’t get that far). Needless to say, this setup worked really well for me. I felt like I learned tons of new things to use in Haxeflixel that I might not have known about otherwise (Tweens are amazing). I actually took the time to learn the steeper learning curve of Gimp, and it felt really natural this time around. I *really* love vim as an editor, so I was pleased to know that this setup is practical for future jams.

3. I dunno it’s late I’m going to bed.

Here are some GIFs of the would-be game:

merp recorded

 

The premise was going to be that you were stranded in your cargo ship after being torn through a wormhole to the edge of the universe. Here there is an abundance of an unknown substance that can be reformed into various forms of energy (fuel, electricity, etc.). However, there is a lurking creature that feeds off of the substance, and doesn’t like you being there. Your ship is not equipped with weapons, and you must use any “unconventional” tactics to fend off the terror so you can survive while your hyper drive charges. Game would have featured Lovecraftian style terror with 5 nights at Freddy’s style resource management, with a “20000 Leagues Under the Sea” feel with plenty of screen shake.

Would it have been cool? Probably. I might pick it up some other time and finish it the way I want it. For now, sleep seems more valuable to me.

Until next time!

– jahndis

 

Are highly rated Ludum Dare games sticking to the theme?

Posted by (twitter: @jahndis)
Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 4:35 pm

 

Well once again, it was an amazing Ludum Dare. Frankly, I thought the caliber of games that were submitted were of especially high quality this time around.  I was excited to find that someone had posted data on the ratings of all of the games submitted, and naturally, I was curious to answer some statistical questions. One of which being: “Do games that do well in Ludum Dare stick to the theme?” Now I realize that Ludum Dare is all about the games produced more than being a stickler for things like this, but it is a question that I think is still worth asking. So I ran a quick correlation check on all of the games, and then the Compo and Jam games separately. The results were fairly interesting and I think there are a few things to take away from it. Here are the correlation results between the 9 (yeah I included coolness :P) categories users are rated by:

Correlations

 

For those who don’t know what the heck is being shown here, a very green (close to +1) value demonstrates a strong positive correlation, meaning, games that have a high rating in the one category also tend to do well in the other. A very red (close to -1) value indicates a strong negative correlation, meaning games that were rated highly on the one aspect generally did poorly in the other. For more info: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-interpret-a-correlation-coefficient-r.html

Now for some interpretations :)

  1. Fun games tend to score really well overall in both the Compo and the Jam (big surprise)
  2. Games with a good mood tend to get high overall scores almost as well as the fun games.
    • This was encouraging because I often feel that a game with a good mood might not always be considered “fun” and that’s what the developer was trying to accomplish. I’m glad that this doesn’t go unappreciated in this community.
  3. Graphics and innovation are somewhat important to getting a high overall score with audio taking a slightly lesser seat.
  4. Innovative games tended to stick to the theme better
    • This could be because developers are forced to quickly come up with an idea and work with it in a short amount of time, which may result in some wacky or really cool game mechanics.
  5. Having a good mood generally depends on a higher quality of graphics and audio (duh).
  6. Coolness has nothing to do with anything (other than getting ratings of course :D)

These were all pretty obvious (to me anyways) and they may help some of you figure out what to focus on in future Ludum Dares, or just ignore all this and make the game you want :). However, there is one particular correlation (or lack thereof) that I was a bit surprised at. And that is the correlation of theme to overall score. You’ll notice that it never gets above 0.6 in any of the charts (indicating a moderate correlation). I was surprised that this correlation wasn’t much higher, and I could easily see developers thinking it unfair to see a game that didn’t really stick to the theme do better than their game which did. Now I am NOT saying that anything necessarily needs to change, because I realize that this whole thing is about making games and if a good game is made, then the jam was a success. However, I know it is also important to do some self examination every once in a while to make sure things are working as well as they could be. Maybe the theme rating needs to hold more weight in the scoring system? Maybe not? Maybe no one cares at all and we just go make more games (my vote)? I’ll leave that for you to decide :)

See you all next time!

 

[cache: storing page]