About Ysty (twitter: @curtissivess)

I'm a person who makes games sometimes.


Ludum Dare 37
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Ludum Dare 35
Ludum Dare 34
Ludum Dare 33
Ludum Dare 32
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Ludum Dare 29
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Ludum Dare 25

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Ysty's Archive

I’m In Again!

Posted by (twitter: @curtissivess)
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 9:32 am

Last Ludum Dare I felt I lost my way a little, as the game I ended up with maybe stretched any reasonable interpretation of the theme a bit too far. This time I’ll go back to my roots making silly games about queueing and noire epics about the horror of living in the Midlands!


Engine: Unity

Language: C#

Graphics: GIMP, and maybe a bit of Blender if I get drunk enough to think that’s a good idea.

Sound: Audacity

Leap of Faith

Posted by (twitter: @curtissivess)
Monday, December 16th, 2013 7:13 am

So, this Ludum Dare I decided to take it upon myself to “fix” the first person platformer, and came up with a game called Leap of Faith (it was only today that I realised that there’s another game in the compo with the exact same name, is that some kind of game jam faux pas? :P). The basic premise is that prison overcrowding has lead to convicts being placed in to semi-real (sort of holodeck-like) simulations that provide them with basic exercise, and also serve as a test to see which prisoners may be competent enough to be released from the simulation and placed into the military. However these simulations are also very dangerous, and any fall means death. You only get one chance at beating the program and returning to the real world.

There are two main problems that arise whenever a game includes platforming from a first-person perspective as far as I see it. The first is that as you can’t see yourself or your feet, it’s impossible to know when you are at the edge of a platform. The solution I came up with is that you no longer press a button to instantly jump, instead you hold down the jump button as you are running and you will jump as soon as you get to the edge.

The second problem is that you have very little situational awareness during a jump, making it easy to miss platforms. My solution was to make the arc of the jump very steep and giving you a lot of air control, so you can essentially fall on to platforms from above. I also added an air dash and the ability to clamber up walls, because both of those things are cool.

The game I made last Ludum Dare was the first game I’d ever made in Unity, and because of that it was really rushed and fairly poorly executed. Since then I’ve become much more used to Unity and C# and it’s been really great doing another Ludum Dare and seeing just how far I’ve come. My last LD game had pretty much no gameplay, but I got the core mechanics of Leap of Faith down in the first half of the first day.

Even though the game isn’t terribly long, getting the core stuff down early did give me a lot more time to polish and add less important features (such as moving platforms) into the game. It’s far from perfect, but I’m pretty happy about how this one turned out. The only thing I kind of regret is how useless I am at any kind of music composition. I’ve usually managed to get around this by having a lot of ambient sounds, but this game just ended up way too quiet. Maybe people’ll think it’s an intentional comment on the monotony of prison life?

As always I learnt a lot making this game. Maybe before the next Ludum Dare I’ll read a book on composition or something and maybe attempt some kind of theme tune or ambient soundtrack.

I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @curtissivess)
Thursday, December 12th, 2013 5:57 am

Last Ludum Dare I had only just got to grips with Unity, and my entry had to be really rushed. Really looking forward to making something a bit deeper this time. I’ll be using:

Game Engine: Unity using C#.

Art: GIMP and Blender.

Sound: Audacity.

Now to just cross my fingers and hope the theme is something I’m into.

Start(ish) of Day 2

Posted by (twitter: @curtissivess)
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 3:23 am

All my previous entries to Ludum Dare have been in 2D, made in Lua with an engine called LÖVE. Recently however I’ve been trying to become proficient at Unity and C#, so it made sense to make what is my first polygonal game. Well, right now there isn’t much of a game there but there will be by the end of the day.

Look at the amazing texturing!

Being kind of new to Unity I found it more difficult to come up with a good idea for the theme. This game is a little abstract in its interpretation, and is based around all those “every ten seconds…” statistics you get in the media. Like “every ten seconds Oprah Winfrey earns $100” and “every ten seconds 20 people die”.

The result is a game that I think I’ll call Midlands Noire, that will hopefully be a not be too heavy handed look at poverty in the year 2024.

All that’s left to do now is to finish the game part.

I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @curtissivess)
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 8:15 am

Hey there,

I’m in again!

I’ll probably be using Unity as my game engine (although since I’m still quite new to Unity I might have to switch to using LÖVE). Art will be done in GIMP as always and Audio will be made in Audacity.

Good luck everyone.

Obscure submitted.

Posted by (twitter: @curtissivess)
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 3:13 pm



I didn’t really want to post a blog on my game until it was ready, because it’s very difficult to communicate what it is just through screenshots. I thought it best to wait until people could actually play it.

Obscure is a minimalist horror exploration game. You are trapped in a pitch black complex, and must find your way out with what little light you have available. A monster is stalking you, and the only way to escape him is to close your eyes and run. Sanctuary is available to the south east, but getting there through the labyrinth will be difficult. You can find its page here.

The graphics are only represented by what your light is blocked by, but each area should be uniquely designed enough that you don’t lose track of where you are or turn around with realising it. This is the first time I’ve made a horror game, and I think it came out really well. It was also the first time I’ve tried a lot of things.

I never actually realised until I was making this game how easy generating collision maps was in Love2d. You can import an image and do a pretty simple loop to build up a 2d array with all the collision data you need. However, using this meant that load times became an issue. With the size of the game I wanted, importing and looping through an image that was the same size as the level (1 pixel = 1 pixel) would take minutes, which is way too long.

I managed to save a bit of time by making the collision map a two colour gif rather than a png, and also made the image much smaller (I then scaled up the array rather than the image), and halved the size of the level (in retrospect, that level was twice as big as it needed to be anyway). This brought it down to about a 10 second loading time on my rubbish old laptop, which seems reasonable to me, and anyone with a slightly more modern machine probably won’t even notice the load.

Because the graphics are so minimal, a lot is represented by the sound (the most important of which is the location of the monster). This is also somewhat new territory for me, but I managed to build up some sounds from the infinite source of foley that is my house to create what I think are pretty convincing effects.

I’ll probably have more reflections on the game when I’m a bit less buzzed from completing it, but I feel very happy with what I managed to create. If nothing else, it’s atmospheric.

I’m in

Posted by (twitter: @curtissivess)
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 4:31 am

Hi all, since I’m taking this weekend off from writing essays anyway, I thought I might have a go at my second Ludum Dare.

I will be using:

Engine: LÖVE
IDE: Komodo.
Graphics: GIMP.
Sound: Audacity.

ISBAC! finished!

Posted by (twitter: @curtissivess)
Sunday, December 16th, 2012 4:29 pm


It Should be a Crime!, my rhythm stealth game about queue barging, is done and submitted! It’s short, and I hope sweet. Find it here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-25/?action=preview&uid=17877

Day 2 Update!

Posted by (twitter: @curtissivess)
Sunday, December 16th, 2012 6:35 am

So, part way through the second day and I’m feeling pretty solid. The gameplay works, I have three solid levels (I may add more if I can think of any good ideas for another level), and the sound doesn’t click annoyingly any more. Just a bit of polish and I think I’ll be ready to submit.

For those of you interested, I’m making a rhythm-stealth game about queue barging. Here’s a screenshot of the third level (yes, there are some v-sync issues):


Of all the parts of the game, I found the sound the hardest. The game relies on it (telling if the matrons at the front of the queue at looking at you is difficult to parse just through visuals), and in the end I use three piano notes (the first three from God Save the Queen, as it happens) to indicate where everyone is, recorded from an old keyboard by my phone. I also decided I wanted ambient rain on the main menu. The problem, of course, was that despite being in the middle of the English winter, it hadn’t rained all weekend. I had apparently given away my rain stick at some point, so I made an impromptu one out of Turtle Beans and an old poster tube



The effect is muffled and quite quiet in-game, so if you don’t know how it was made it’s actually pretty convincing. Jayne Cobb would be proud.

The only other sound in the game is the sound of the people behind you tutting when you cut into the queue, which was easily gained by simply recording my own highly refined tutting and looping it. It may not be the best sound design in the world, but at least the game’s going to sound different.


End of day retrospective

Posted by (twitter: @curtissivess)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 4:01 pm

For some reason, I had convinced myself that the theme was going to be “End of the World”. Surely, given the year, people wouldn’t pick any other, right? I had it all planned out: a space epic about the struggles of the last remaining human against a cold and uncaring universe. It was going to be awesome. Then I woke up the morning of, and to my surprise the theme was instead “You are the Villain”.

This, being the only theme that I hadn’t thought of any good ideas about yet, came as something of a shock. However it soon struck me that there was one brand of villain that gaming had yet to cover. How, I thought, could we possibly be taken seriously as an artform if we did not tackle this issue head-on?

These are villains worse that murderers, worse than terrorists, worse even that Republican voters. Yes, that’s right, queue bargers! Sure, they have been a common staple in many games as the antagonist – who can’t remember the infamous ‘No Russian’ level of Modern Warfare 2, in which you must intimidate civilians in an airport into waiting their turn checking their baggage – but no game has ever tried to go to the heart of what makes these vile beasts tick, put you in their head, made you think like a queue barger.


So today, with a hot cup of tea and neglecting to clean my teeth just to get into the British mood, I set out creating the EQS, or Extendible Queueing Simulator. This highly powerful piece of software is capable of simulating not one, not two, but up to three distinct queues at once. People may join the queues, leave the queues, and most importantly each individual member of the queue can both tut and steal your place in the queue. I also added our villain, who for reasons unknown must reach the end of the queue in a very limited amount of time.


In order to achieve his sinister, might I say even dastardly goal, this barger must seamlessly blend in and out of queues without being seen by the queue matron, who ensures that only those who wait can get inside wherever it is you actually are. But there’s more! British politeness can only be stretched so far, and should you push the people behind you from not just tutting, but to perhaps writing a strongly worded letter, that too shall mean the end of your malevolent game!

Tomorrow I will work on getting the sounds appropriately malefic, the graphics a proper shade of blood red, and the gameplay as fun as stealing tea from a baby.

I’ma In.

Posted by (twitter: @curtissivess)
Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 12:39 pm

Hey people, since this year has been officially designated my “get off my arse and make some games” year, it seems there’s no better way to end it but participate in my first Ludum Dare!

I will be using:

Engine: LÖVE (I was going to use impact.js but I just don’t feel as comfortable in it as I do in LÖVE right now).
IDE: Komodo.
Graphics: GIMP.
Sound: Any tool I can scrounge up, mostly Audacity.

I’ll see you all on the battlefield.

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