About sol_hsa

Jack of many trades, master of some.
Check my site for more info than you'll ever need:


sol_hsa's Trophies

Zen of Ludum Dare chillax keynote 2015 nominee
Awarded by voxel
on April 10, 2015
Believes in Evolution
Awarded by Jwatt
on December 16, 2011
The 'You saw me on IRC' Award
Awarded by pretzelhands
on August 19, 2010
The Black Badge of Zorkitude
Awarded by nilsf
on September 3, 2009
For torrent pains sustained
Awarded by DrPetter
on April 20, 2009
The You Deserve an Award Award
Awarded by GBGames
on August 19, 2008



BenW says ...

I can't beat level 52.

Wiering says ...

Nice game, I think I got to level 28 or 29.

SteelGolem says ...

cool, i liked the popping noises. impossible to do some of the crazy levels :3

midwinter says ...

fun to play :)

Papper says ...

Great game, lots of fun.

Endurion says ...

Neat idea, well executed :)

Hamumu says ...

Seemed really pointless at first, until I tried some of the higher ranks of levels. It's a weird game... hard to say really. There's definitely gameplay there, but I'm not entirely sure what it does. Obviously you need to dodge bullets, but there's also the aspect of figuring out what to shoot. Strange...

It's got good polish, with all the fades and stuff, though I wouldn't have minded an automatic retry instead of constantly going back to the menu and clicking Continue (thanks for actually having a continue, though). I also would've liked a better control scheme, but it probably would be too easy then. Asteroids control isn't really suited to bullet hell dodging!

gimblll says ...

Has a polished look to it. The levels were too random for my taste, it felt kind of pointless. Maybe a few more gameplay elements could've helped.

allefant says ...

Nice game. Very simple - and yet fun.

Sophie Houlden says ...

well I dont really like the 'set it up and see how it plays out' type games, but the dodging added an element of skill and planning that held my attention, and the game seems very friendly, though I'm not sure why ^_^

mjau says ...

It's kind of fun-ish, sort of, though it seemed a bit pointless, specially since bubbles pop by themselves after a while anyway and the score wasn't visible when I played it the first time. Found out about the widescreen bug and tried it a bit in windowed mode afterwards, but it still felt kinda pointless. (Er. Sorry.) Perhaps limiting the amount of shots you can fire in a level would have made it feel more like a puzzle? I did have some fun driving around dodging bullets, though.

Also, while the continue feature is very nice and appreciated =), the delay when you get killed and have to click continue in the menu doesn't work that well; you have to switch between using the keyboard for the ship controls and the mouse for the menu (so a hotkey for continue would've been nice), and when you keep getting killed on a level the delay of the game over message can really get on your nerves as well. So, an instant, no-delay retry would've worked better (with some sort of unobtrusive feedback that you lost), would've been easier to get into "flow" then.

Very nicely polished game though, so you get points for that =)

chaotikZA says ...

Quite addictive - had to force myself to stop so I can look at some other games. Nice polished look.

SethR says ...

Damn U, wide screen bug!

TenjouUtena says ...

Good take on the theme. The level progression is nice, the difficulty progresses nicely.

Deepflame says ...

One of the most polished LD games I played, very fun to do, will definitely play some more later. :)

greencow says ...

poppies poppies poppies

Archwyrm says ...

Quite nice. It would be better if your score actually mattered. I like the trade-off between levels where you need to set off the chain reaction and try to avoid being obliterated, and levels where you need to set off chain reactions very quick to avoid being obliterated. Maybe some power-ups and things would help throw some variety in the game play.

philhassey says ...

Very pretty :)

DrPetter says ...

I think it's a bit unfair and unethical for Sol_HSA to bring in multitudes of foreign sweatshops and inflate his game with an unrealistic number of levels like this. I mean, he could have kept them at somewhere around 5-10 to at least make it seem sort of credible. Tsk tsk.

Anyway, the game is well polished and has all the fluff you'd not expect but still dearly miss in an average LD entry. I played a somewhat dodgy build earlier and the controls have been much improved for the final entry version. No complaints there.
The scoring seems a bit unbalanced though, as some levels yield enormous returns without much effort at all. For instance I passed the halfway mark of the allocated score display from just running through the first two levels of the hardest difficulty setting. Skilled players should have no problem wrapping it many times over.
By far the most enjoyable aspect of the game is when you drop all sense of caution, let off one careless shot and then zig-zag between bullet showers hoping to somehow squeeze through. Surprisingly it does work often enough and the results are spectacular.
The game really does give the impression that Sol_HSA had vast amounts of time to work on it and didn't need to rush through a single detail.

negativegeforce says ...

no time for comments!

Archive for the ‘LD #10 – Chain Reaction – 2007’ Category

Partycle Popper 1.5

Posted by
Tuesday, January 1st, 2008 10:33 am

Did not quite make it in 2007, but here’s Partycle Popper 1.5

– Pretty much recoded based on cleaned up basecode which was based on the contest version of the game
– The widescreen bug fixed

– Audio recoded using SDL audio instead of fmod to make porting slightly easier
– Custom mixer for sound fx and midi instruments
– MIDI player (only supports one instrument and note on, but hey, it works)

– Gameplay tuning;
– Player’s bullets and bad pop bullets are faster, normal pop bullets slow enough to dodge around now
– Scoring is slightly tuned
– On player death, the same level is restarted with the same score as when the level started
– Couple new hint lines, and couple informative printouts here and there

Partycle Popper 1.1 Post-Mortem

Posted by
Friday, December 21st, 2007 3:56 am

What Went Right

1. Not giving up
Above all else, the most important thing that went right was the fact that I didn’t give up. After reading the theme I thought about it for a few hours before starting to work, and figured it would end up being a puzzle game (not much unlike a bunch of entries ended up).

However, puzzle games require lots of well-designed levels to be fun, and I was pretty sure that I couldn’t manage that in the time frame. There were several moments during the contest where I was asking myself why am I doing this, this is not going to be fun, but pressed onwards anyway, and the end result (after changing from pure puzzle game to something between a puzzle and a shmup) is pretty neat.

This is also the first time I’ve felt like continuing development on an LD entry right after the contest =).

2. Pseudo-random level generation
At first I had totally random levels, but they were, quite frankly, boring. I ended up writing a bunch of different level-generation algorithms (looped square, circles, grid, spiral), which then were fed some pseudorandom values with increasing number of partycles as the levels progressed. I think the first 25 levels or so are surprisingly good with this design.. after that we’re well into the bullet hell territory, and levels were turning pretty similar.

One thing that happened almost by accident is the fact that different levels require different kinds of gameplay – some are “almost” pure puzzles, some are “almost” pure shootemups, and of course the frantic bullet hell levels later on.

3. Time management
I managed to go to dog school, take the dogs out six times, take a shower, do some christmas shopping, sleep well over 8 hours in the middle, watch a movie, etc. and still submitted the final entry 9 hours before the contest end time.

4. Sfx(r)
One thing I’ve really improved upon in LD entries is the sound effects. Sure, I used the (amazing!) sfxr tool as basis this time, but also recorded (with a crappy webcam mic) and mixed some sounds. I used fractal music generator for the music again, which, while not good, is better than nothing.

5. Graphics
I think the graphics turned out pretty good this time, the little there is.

What Went Wrong

1. Bugs
A few bugs which I could have found (and possibly fixed) during the last 9 hours of the compo were left in. Widescreen monitor support, which I actually spent some time on, is broken. Midi music volume works differently than I expected, ending up changing the system midi volume(!), and third, some PCs, more-or-less-happily including my wife’s, are slow. As in 2fps slow.

I’ve solved the first and have been trying to figure the last for the past week or so. It appears that the rendering drops into software on my wife’s PC for some reason that I haven’t been able to figure out yet.

2. Tons of other stuff to do
Having this kind of contest in the middle of the holiday panic isn’t the best possible time =)

3. Tuning
Another thing where I could have used more time on; more level generation algorithms and/or hand-designed levels, slowing down the “normal” bullets from partycles, different kind of partycles that would lead to different kinds of puzzles.. etc. We’ll see if the game is popular, I might spend some time developing it further.

4. Code re-use, or lack thereof
I realized, while doing this contest entry, that I’ve probably written a bazillion font printers. Thus, I started working on a basecode set which includes most of the stuff I’m doing over and over and over again to be ready for the next LD.

5. Post-LD Exhaustion Syndrome
Returning to work and working on the multi-million line projects which move forward at glacial speeds after making a whole game in a weekend.. well, you probably know how that feels =)

Kick-start package

Posted by
Monday, December 17th, 2007 7:24 am


EDIT: mirror: http://www.kekbur.se/ld10_mostentries.zip

EDIT: better package (more games): http://www.kekbur.se/ld10_most_games.zip

About 100 megs. Includes all the entries I could download easily, and does NOT include entries that have extra requirements (such as XNA, pygame, etc).

Consider this a kick-start package! It includes directories for all the entries, so make sure you go through all of the entries, not only the ones already included here.

P.s. the package won’t stay there forever.
EDIT: P.p.s: doesn’t include separate source packages either.


Posted by
Sunday, December 16th, 2007 10:12 pm

So, bugs found in my game so far:

– Something strange happening on some machines – game running slow as heck. Did try running in 800×600 windowed mode, turning blending off and background texture off, still slow. No idea why, as the game doesn’t really do anything special. I can debug this on my wife’s machine if I find the time / inspiration.. Could be related to AMD CPUs, ATI vid cards, or karma. Probably karma.
– EDIT: midi volume is way low on some systems, which is good or bad, and fmod seems to change system midi volume directly. Oops.
– Widescreen (as well as tallscreen) code, which I spent some time with, apparently not working correctly. Should leave black borders, but doesn’t. Duh. Run in windowed mode instead.

To run my game windowed, give it some parameter. Any parameter. -w for example.

For those possibly wanting to compile my game on different platforms, the following external libs are needed:

– GLee (for example from http://www.opengl.org/sdk/)
– SDL_image
– FMOD (optional – game can be compiled without audio)

Partycle Popper 1.1 – final

Posted by
Sunday, December 16th, 2007 9:53 am

Okay, I’ll call this version final.


Yep, added music – generated fractal midis. Plus option to turn them off when they drive you mad. If they do. Anyway, grab the final version of the game here – includes sources. Have fun!

Partycle Popper 1.0

Posted by
Sunday, December 16th, 2007 7:38 am

Phew, levels are (more) sane now. I still may update the entry, but this is pretty much feature complete now. Maybe if I can play around with some fractal music generators and make a soundtrack, or something. Who knows. Grab 1.0 from here


I think I’ll go fry me an egg or something.

Partycle Popper RC1

Posted by
Sunday, December 16th, 2007 3:55 am

Still far from done, now with sound effects and tons and tons of tweaks. Levels are still crap.


Someone complained that the game is too easy, and well, it sort of is, because the levels are crap. I made the change that if you don’t pop the partycles fast enough, they will burst in a deadly manner as demonstrated in this screenshot. RC1 available here


Posted by
Saturday, December 15th, 2007 11:13 pm

Yawn, darn I’m tired although I slept, in theory, at least 8 hours. Oh well. Still lots to do today. I hope to be able to continue in a couple of hours after taking the dogs out etc..

I’ve given up on the ‘food’ category, btw. Simply haven’t had the inspiration to photograph everything I’ve eaten, which so far has consisted of mass amount of different sandwiches and some oddball soup.

first playable – menu added

Posted by
Saturday, December 15th, 2007 12:11 pm

http://iki.fi/sol/ld10/partycle_rc0.zip (~756k win32 binary)



First playable done. The game is pretty much “complete”, in a way that there’s multiple different stages, the player’s ship has been tuned a bit, etc. Audio is missing, and the game, quite frankly, isn’t fun. But it’s a game!

Partycle Popper

Posted by
Saturday, December 15th, 2007 8:56 am

Frist post on ld blog.

Whoo boy. I still have ways to go, but I think this is turning out to be a game. Time log and bunch of screenshots are available at http://iki.fi/sol/ld10/ – here’s a recent one:


it’s shrunk, so right-click and view image to see the full thing. I think.

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