Posts Tagged ‘bees’

Swarm Hunter Post-Mortem

Posted by
Thursday, December 17th, 2015 5:15 pm

How was the world’s first First-person zebra-beetle air-combat simulator made? Sate your thirst for knowledge with words from the source, after the moving pictures.



The Wait

This time around I had no prior project ideas or learning goals. Going in cold.

Out here the jam starts way past bed-time, so when the theme(s) were announced I hit the sack right away and let my subconscious deal with the thinking.

The Idea

I scribbled down a plan first thing in the morning.

It contains some doodles of a segmented flower and futuristic looking bees with the following words:

LD34 Ideas, Growing:
Movement – 6dof
Goal – Defend

The shortest design document I’ve ever done and that’s what I went with.

The Jam

With lessons learned from the past jams I enforced a very rigid sleep-work rhythm: 16h work, 8h sleep, 16h work (the first 8 hours had already passed). As such I ended up working a total of 30 hours with the last 2 hours spent on eating, showering and short breaks.

Working itself went swimmingly. The programming tasks weren’t too difficult and I even managed to use a third-party open-source plugin for the bee movement which saved me more than few hours of coding and debugging.

The Panic

It wouldn’t be a jam without at least one little hiccup. This time around it was audio.

With 6 hours to spare I felt more than comfortable with my chances to finish in time. After recording and listening to the buzzing sounds I made it became obvious that while mimicking what a human might think a bee sounds like is easy, the real deal that is not. Looping and trying the sound in the simulation proper revealed another problem, it’s super annoying to listen to for more than 10 seconds when uttered by swarms of bees.

In the end I managed to fix it by applying a few Audacity effects to make it less monotonous and lower in tone. It’s not perfect by any means, but I consider the outcome an Xmas miracle. The other sounds worked right out the gate, which must be part of the same miracle.

The End

Overall I haven’t had this successful a Ludum Dare Jam since LD26.

I’m not going to do an extensive Post-Jam version this time, but I do intend to give it a bit more graphical polish and a tutorial of sorts in due time.


Play it here!

And, please, read the description for controls, there’s no in-game help at the moment.

Progress (23 hours in) – Gameplay!

Posted by
Sunday, December 13th, 2015 2:47 pm


First-person zebra-beetle air-combat simulator. That’s a world first, I would hope!

The only thing left on the to-do list is audio, but that should be a cinch right?

Progress (14 hours in) – Simulation up and running

Posted by
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 8:46 pm


I strapped a camera to one of the bees, it got beaten up pretty bad…

The simulation works about as it should now. I have the whole day tomorrow to implement interaction mechanics and audio, lucky me!

Progress (10 hours in) – BEES!

Posted by
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 3:44 pm


There they are, swarms of bees, as planned.

Most of the time was spent on modelling, texturing and animating. I even made an “evil” bee variant which will come in handy later.

Creating a flocking behaviour for the bees would have bee-n a big deal except someone had already cracked the code with Unity and opensourced the whole shebang.

Take a look if you need something similar:


Posted by
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 4:53 pm

beesI’m not entirely sure what just happened. I woke up in a strange place with a computer in front of me. A post-it note on the computer said, “You have 48 hours to make a game or we let you go.” Well, crap. We certainly wouldn’t want THAT, would we?

So I booted the computer and found myself in a Google Hangout with Mariah Almeida and Will Brierly. They were in a similar situation, though Will luckily had an unlimited supply of soda to sustain him. We therefore agreed that he’d be the one programming the game. I’d be on sound, since I love me some SFXR, and Mariah would do animations.


Well, we knew the theme was “Minimalism.” How did we know that? Don’t ask, it wasn’t established! We had also previously heard that the theme for this months One-Game-A-Month was “Spring.” Therefore, by combining these two themes together, and throwing in some POTATOES for good measure, we created… this.

The game has you controlling a little spaceship that shoots bees to pollinate potatoes, meanwhile trying to avoid the dogs with bees in their mouths and when they bark they shoot bees at you. And… that’s pretty much all there is to it.

Interestingly this game was created as kind of a stream of consciousness from all three of us. After the Google Hangout, Mariah went and drew 4 random things. I went and made 4 random sound effects. Will created 4 random game mechanics. We them smashed them together and called it a game.

This game has no title but you can play it here:

We are still currently trapped in our respective locations. Please send supplies.

– Dan

Flowers n Bees

Posted by
Sunday, December 9th, 2007 1:34 pm

Flowers n Bees was made for the 8th Ludum Dare 48 hour programming competition. This was my first attempt to create a game in 48h, so it was quite a challenge to come up with something playable at all. The goal of the game is to gather honey for the winter. However, you cannot collect honey on your own. Instead you have a swarm of bees at your command that can do the gathering for you. Flowers n Bees was programmed in Python using PyGame, PyOpenGL and PGU.

Flowers n Bees Gameplay

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