Archive for the ‘LD #08 – Swarms – 2006’ Category

Teeny Tiny Ninja

Posted by
Wednesday, November 28th, 2007 7:59 pm

I was quite pleased with how this one worked out, The game only has three levels and I was quite worried that the last level might be impossible. As time was running out on the clock I was trying to figure out if it could be done, I finally got a single ninja home and went “that’s it! ship it!”.

playing post compo I actually managed to figure out how to get all of the ninja home on that level by using a few tricks.

Teeny Tiny Ninja

I also liked the look of Teeny Tiny Ninja. I got the stars idea from a previous Bluescrn entry. Adding a bunch of stars does indeed liven up the look of things. Also The ninja home came out surprisingly well for programmer art. I thought the sound worked well too, but the scores the game got suggested I was in the minority. when a ninja goes ‘Hut!’ every time he jumps it’s cool, but people found it less so when there were a couple of hundred Ninja doing it, serves themselves right for picking swarms as the theme I say.

The game used a homebrew physics engine made during the 48 hours. this worked quite nicely, Ninja were all implemented as tiny triangles

Ninja Triangles

See. There was no Line to object collision detection so it was possible for Ninja to get stuck on corners by impailing themselves on a point and having their triangle points go either side. There were alsdo a few other little quirks that caused th ninja to get stuck. The solution worked brilliantly. I checked to see if a ninja hadn’t moved for a while and if so just added a huge random vector to its movement. A lot of people took this to be an intentional behaviour because it looked very ninja like. sometimes a ninja would jump to a wall or point and stick there for a bit then jump away again.

Once again the controls were a bit unintuitive. But I thought the use of a mousewheel worked well.

Download the game

A Perfect Swarm

Posted by (twitter: @TenjouUtena)
Wednesday, November 28th, 2007 5:04 pm

Ludum Dare 8 was my second ‘short term’ game programming contest, and my first solo. The theme was ‘swarms.’ I was bound and determined to do an RTS game this time, since my partners in team compos always want to do something actiony. I think I actually wanted robots or magnets or something like that.

I thought it would be nifty if instead of directly building units, you had to attract units with various buildings. So you start with a base and 1 swarm. There are resource buildings (Apple, Flower, and Metal) that you can hover over that will give you various resources. You also have a base. You can build either Apple or Nectar huts in your base. These increase your attraction rates for food or nectar. (It was originally going to be food and sex, if you read the code. I guess bees have sex with flowers or something.) Once bugs are attracted to your base, you can add them to existing swarms, or break them off into new swarms. You can also build Radar to increase your attraction range, or buildings to increase the power or speed of your bugs.

Initially this was going to be swarm vs. swarm warfare, but I ran out of time pretty quickly. (I’ll go into my mistakes below.) So instead the computer just sent a specified number of waves with a specified strength at you at regular periods, and you needed to have swarms built up and ready to fight when they came.

Obviously one of my largest problems was art. As you can tell from my screenshot, It’s ugly. Really really ugly. All the art in the game was ‘placeholder’ art that I was going to go back and fix. That never happened. Secondly, I panicked at about 30 hours. I barely had an engine, and the deadline was closing in. I actually ‘gave up.’ I came back to it, and finished up later. Thirdly I didn’t have a good plan. I know I wanted an RTS, but I didn’t have a good execution plan. I also bit off WAY more then I could chew back then.

My tips for beginners are:

  1. Make a plan – Seriously, take that first hour, and may out some code to get rid of the urge. THen take the next hour or two, and make a task list. What code does your idea need? Divide it up into tasks. As you go along, check things off that you’ve put in.
  2. Take breaks – This is always a newbie mistake too, but, make sure you take regular breaks. 48 hours, even with a couple of sleep periods, is plenty of time to get something done.
  3. Start Small – It’s much easier to add to a simple game then it is to try and cram in everything a more complex game needs.

A Perfect Swarm


Posted by (twitter: @drZool)
Tuesday, November 27th, 2007 1:43 pm


Theme Swarm. I did a shoot em up, sidescrolling thing. Play the game online


Ingame screenshot


Posted by
Tuesday, November 27th, 2007 12:52 pm

Swarm was my entry to LD8. The theme of was, well… “swarm”. I know, I know, I’m no good with coming up with names for my entries. Anyway, for this game, I coded an entire 3D engine (octree based) from scratch. So, I spent most of the 48 hours debugging octree code, and crammed in some gameplay towards the end. Since I never spend more time on gameplay – it still should be as fun to play as most of my games :)


This is an in-development screenshot, showing some octree debugging going on.


That’s how the game looks like. Shoot down all the pink, eyed balls to encounter the uber-cool-final-boss-with-superior-AI. (I got feedback suggesting that at least one person actually played long enough to encounter the boss – so I consider the gameplay aspect successful.)

Here’s a mirror of the original submission: Swarm

Wee Ninja

Posted by
Monday, November 26th, 2007 10:22 am

LD48 #8 theme was “Swarms”. It also occurred right around the initial release of the Nintendo Wii. Thus, you get Wee Ninja, a game where you are trying to beat an insanely large horde of other shoppers to the last remaining Wees in stock during the holiday season. It’s fun to play, simple, and includes achievements to unlock bonus abilities. One of the more complete entries I’ve ever done (possibly because the gameplay was so incredibly simple!).

Wee Ninja


Posted by (twitter: @philhassey)
Monday, November 26th, 2007 9:16 am

Galcon cleaned up pretty well in the compo. Here are links to my post-mortem and history. Truth be told, I’ve been making versions of this game for about 15 years now. But this version almost didn’t happen – during the theme voting for this contest I was leading a large group of people to back a different theme from swarms – I had in mind to make an Adventure Game. But since swarms won, I figured I’d try re-making Galcon again for lack of a better thing to do.

On the tech side I realized I needed to up my production going beyond what can be done with pygame. I used pyplus and swig to build C extensions for my game so that I could do some cool graphic and swarming techniques not possible within python. However this caused some trouble, I was able to submit my linux source of the game for the deadline, but due to the craziness of python extensions for windows it took me another full day of work to get it ported to windows.


After the compo I made a shareware version of the game:




Check it out.

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