About LoneStranger of LoneStranger Designs (twitter: @lnstrngr)

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Ludum Dare Donor Award
Awarded by PoV
on May 27, 2008

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OveFunInnThePolGraAudHumTecFooJouTim
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2.532.063.502.942.382.71--2.502.693.47-

Dathgale says ...

It's an endurance game. It starts so easy I can't possibly lose, and the difficulty setting doesn't increase.

You've got a good idea, though. If the computer were smarter and the ball bounced more sharply, then I would have to budget my resources and the game would be more interesting. Or you could even remove the AI entirely and make the object of the game to keep the ball in play for as long as possible (and open up the entire top of the screen if you do this, otherwise adding blocks is unnecessary).

jolle says ...

Good idea, but too easy here. You just sit and wait and do nothing, which isn't fun at all.

Wiering says ...

Interesting idea, but this version is too easy. I agree with what Dathgale says.

pekuja says ...

Nice idea, but the game gets boring and easy very quickly. You should make the ball go faster or have multiple balls or something. A mouse interface would had also probably been a good idea.

Hamumu says ...

All good comments preceding mine, and I will add that the bounce effect is very broken... I lost when I had a really thick wall, because the ball decided to instakill about 4 double-blocks, bouncing onto the other side of them as it went.

Looks like you were more interested in the backwards and defense themes than minimalist!

It's a cool idea, but it will take a major change to reach "fun" status. A first step might be to triple the ball and paddle speed, quadruple the rate you make money, fix the collision, and give it mouse control! Right now, as others said, it's very boring. Even though I made a big every time the computer dropped the ball, I didn't like it anyway, since it meant more waiting.

thedaian says ...

Not a bad idea, but Hamumu pretty much nailed the problems. Speed up the game (or start at the speed it is, and make it go a lot faster each time the computer 'loses'), and you've got a potentially fun game.

keeyai says ...

Agreeing with Hamumu across the board. Good concept - balance it better.

SethR says ...

Not really finished but I can appreciate what you were going for. High marks for that pizza pic, yum.

philhassey says ...

No java here, sorry :(

drZool says ...

Having mouse control and more speed and it might be fun.

DrPetter says ...

I think I won. The ball ended up in an infinite bouncing pattern, so it couldn't possibly hit my goal unless I placed a brick in its way.
The idea is really nice, and it makes for an interesting twist on the whole thing. Collisions in this implementation are a bit shaky though, and that results in some unfair situations where the ball gets tangled up and takes down a large number of bricks at once.
It's also a bit annoying that the only way to gain more cash is to wait... a long time. Might have been better to include some more alternative sources of income, like selling old bricks or building certain structures that aren't really helping to protect the goal but rather help you to raise money instead, or something like that. Maybe you had some of that stuff planned already.

HybridMind says ...

Can't really say anymore than Hamumu and DrPetter and others have said already.

pansapiens says ...

Some difficulty installing / running (see your 'final' post). Nice concept, graphics were nice and minimal, but too easy. Way too easy ... needs to ramp up the difficulty more quickly from the start.

phren says ...

For some reason I can't manage to run this. :(

negativegeforce says ...

cool. playing the roll as brick builder instead of the guy behind the paddle.

Archive for the ‘LD #11 – Minimalist – 2008’ Category

(T+48:48) Final Entry: BlockOut v0.LD48_11

Posted by of LoneStranger Designs (twitter: @lnstrngr)
Sunday, April 20th, 2008 6:50 pm

LD48_11 Screen Shot #3

BlockOut v0.LD48_11
LoneStranger – 04/20/2008

This is by far not what I wanted it to be. There are only two brick types implemented, but I think its enough to get the idea of the game I wanted to do.

I wrote it using the Sun JVM version 1.6.0, however, it should work with version 1.5.0. It will not work with 1.4.2, because it needs the System.nanoTime() method.

My game is like Breakout… only in reverse.  The object of the game is to protect the goal from the bouncing ball by placing bricks on the field of play.  Bricks cost money, which you earn by playing and the computer’s misfortune.

The ball will bounce around and the computer will attempt to keep it in play. The player gets points/money for each couple seconds the game is going. If the ball leaves the field of play through the bottom, the player gets bonus money.

If the ball leaves the field of play through the top goal, the game is over and the score is reported.

I know the collision on the bricks from the side isn’t the best. I have some solutions in mind but not time to implement them.

You can download the game from my website and the code as well.

[Update] I used Eclipse as my IDE, and Photoshop to do the graphics.  That’s all the tools I used.  Oh, except for this pen and scratch paper.

[Update 2] I changed the above link to the zip version of the download.  The jar just wasn’t handling some pathing stuff right.  I’ll check into it for the eventual post-LD release.

(T+42:55) Update – New Screen shot, homestretch?

Posted by of LoneStranger Designs (twitter: @lnstrngr)
Sunday, April 20th, 2008 12:56 pm

I’m behind where I want to be, but I’m still chugging along.

LoneStranger LD48_11 Screenshot 2

So, it’s not really obvious from the screen shot, but this is not your usual Breakout game.  The idea is the same; the ball bounces and removes the bricks.  The catch is that you aren’t controlling the paddle.  The computer is.  Your job is to build up the wall and protect the goal at the top of the screen.  You do so by buying different types of bricks and deciding where to place those bricks for the best protection.

I’m not sure if I want to ‘scale back’ the graphics to make it look more minimalist, more in line with the hollow ball and paddle.  I think I’ll be able to get at least a basic game ready to play before the deadline.  I can see myself adding more things into post-LD revision later on.

(T+03:48) I have a Jumbo Size box of Gobstoppers..

Posted by of LoneStranger Designs (twitter: @lnstrngr)
Friday, April 18th, 2008 9:48 pm

… and a bouncing ball.  With paddle.  But no collision.

LoneStranger’s LD48_11 Screen Shot #1

Minimalllslslsleleslslslslssssssssst

Posted by of LoneStranger Designs (twitter: @lnstrngr)
Friday, April 18th, 2008 7:20 pm

I made a list of the probable theme winners yesterday and I pretty much had ideas for all of them.

Except Minimalist.

So I’ll probably just take one of my other ideas…. and minimize it.

Oh well.  Time to get crackin’.

(T-00:03) Friday Dinner – Pizza

Posted by of LoneStranger Designs (twitter: @lnstrngr)
Friday, April 18th, 2008 5:55 pm

Sausage and Portabella Mushroom Pizza

Sausage and Portabella Mushroom.  We got the sausage pizza from the Supermarket and added the mushrooms.  Yum!  Now, only moments away from the theme….

Under 23 hours to go….base code

Posted by of LoneStranger Designs (twitter: @lnstrngr)
Thursday, April 17th, 2008 7:20 pm

Like I said in my entry earlier this week, I’ll be using code from the book Killer Game Programming in Java. I took the example from Chapter 12 and stripped out all the game logic, graphics and sounds, leaving the game loop and the classes related to images and sounds, etc. 

LD48_11_LoneStranger.zip

I’m really looking forward to this compo.  I am going to try to get out of work a little early so I can head on over to the grocery store and pick up a take-and-bake pizza for dinner.  I’m not totally set on the toppings yet, but I may go with some fancy mushrooms and maybe some sausage or something. 

Still Working

Posted by of LoneStranger Designs (twitter: @lnstrngr)
Thursday, April 17th, 2008 9:11 am

Games, Java, Baseball and Tomatoes

Posted by of LoneStranger Designs (twitter: @lnstrngr)
Monday, April 14th, 2008 8:25 am

I’m going to give the LD48 a shot this time around.  It’s been years since I have actually attempted any kind of game coding, and I yanked out my old Killer Game Programming in Java book this week and started going through the chapters again.  The personal challenge with this compo is that there is a baseball game (KC at Oakland) on Saturday that I’m going to attend.  That’s a huge chunk of hours out of the 48.  Perhaps I can come up with a way to make them useful.  Design? Sketches? We’ll see.

At least I don’t have to plant my tomatoes this weekend.  I did that yesterday.  I turned some half-barrels into self-watering planters.  If anyone cares, I’ll have pictures on my home blog, www.lonestranger.net, later this week. 

So I’ll probably use the design patterns from the aforementioned coding book and code in Java.  I’m using Eclipse as an IDE.  I have used Eclipse for some of my work coding in J2EE, but I didn’t know about it the last time I was messing around with game coding.  It’s nice to be able to get the method completion and object browsing that you can do in VS, only not using VS. 

The last LD48 that I did enter was way back in late ’01 or so, for LD48_2: Construction/Deconstruction with a minor in Sheep.  I’ll have to dig out that old fossil if a game that I submitted.  It sucked.  In short, all you did was huck sheep from one side of the screen to the other, knocking over bales of wool.  But I guess the real success was that I completed something in 48 hours.  It’s a challenge in itself.

Anyway.  Good luck to all!

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