Posts Tagged ‘challenge’

My MiniLD 71 Retro Challenge entry is underway

Posted by
Sunday, January 29th, 2017 7:05 am

It took me a while to notice the challenge was on, but ever since I did it, I could’t help but to hurry and make something cool.

For the last 2 months or so I nurtured the idea of writing a game for a 486 and thus challenge came handy for motivation.

Last friday I bought a ancient (vintage?) 486 laptop. I actually grew up playing in a very similar model (and eventually even had one that was precisely this model, but never got to work well).  Fortunatelly, even after more than 15 years powered off, it came on mostly flawless – just some keys not working, CMOS battery dead and internal LCD blurred beyond regular use. Still, It’s feasible for play testing it.


After watching a Retro City Rampage 486 post-mortem, I went looking for more resources and found a video by Bisqwit, a finnish hacker, in which he demonstrastes how to run OpenGL code in DOS.

The game I’m working on actually has a legacy SDL/OpenGL 1.1 renderer because I didn’t bothered with writing a OpenGL 3 renderer (for OSX and Windows)- after all, it already has a OpenGL ES 2.0 renderer for mobile devices, Emscripten and Linux. Adapting it to use Offscreen Mesa software rendering – per Bisqwit example – wasn’t hard at all. The real challenge now is to make it run at playable speeds on a real 486. But so far, I was able to run it on DOSBox and under 8MB of RAM!

Screenshot-DOSBox 0.74, Cpu speed- max 100% cycles, Frameskip 0, Program- NOUDAR-7

And does this look like, when running on OpenGL ES 2:

device-2016-10-16-222156 Screenshot_20170101-175019

One last step would be to change the game itself to fit more nicely into the challenge’s theme. That is significantly easier, considering the game engine is very configurable (even without recompiling it). In fact, it has a simpler, text-based core (that runs VERY well on DOSBox. If I fail on optimizing the 3D version, at least I will have a text-based game to submit), making it more suitable for tweaking the balance and flow.

Screenshot-DOSBox 0.74, Cpu speed- max 100% cycles, Frameskip 0, Program- NOUDAR-8

And why a 486? Why DOS? Well, despite having previously owned a IBM PC clone (8088!), NES and Atari 2600, it is this machine that caught my attention in terms of quality of games. It was the first machine I knew that could properly challenge the almighty SEGA Mega Drive.

I hope that, by the deadline for the challenge, I will have a more fine tuned game to show here! =D



Posted by (twitter: @@morbidcamel)
Saturday, April 25th, 2015 9:53 am

Hi all.

Have you played ARCK yet. I’ll rate your game if you do mine. I warn you though, it is a puzzle game and it will take a lot of brain power to figure it out. I can assure you that everything in the game is somehow related. If you give up, download the source and have a look for yourself.


Hint: There’s multiple ways to get in.


Posted by (twitter: @McFunkypants)
Monday, December 9th, 2013 2:53 pm

I hereby issue a gamedev challenge for you all. Can you make a game without any killing? Can non-violent games be fun? Are you creative enough to think of more interesting interactions? Try the #NOKILL #LD48 challenge! =) Spread the love!

We Accept The October Challenge!

Posted by (twitter: @Dixumgames)
Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 12:18 pm

Hey guys!

We, Dixum has decided to join the October challenge. As we are a new game dev company  we see great potential in this opportunity. We are at the moment two persons at the company, me and my friend. I have participated in Ludum Dare challenges many times and I really love it.


October Challenge

Posted by
Saturday, September 28th, 2013 3:35 pm

I made a stupid maze game. Does anyone want to buy it for a dollar and help me be an October Challenge king?

October challenge completed!

Posted by
Thursday, November 1st, 2012 11:30 am

Had my first sales today via Ubuntu Software Centre which felt really good, a day late, but I’m still happy!

I’ve really slacked on “marketing” the game as we’ve been crunching at work, but hopefully in next few weeks I can make proper demo version and port the game to windows (note to self: how come I’m always able to blame work for my slacking).

Getting the game published in the Software Centre was simple and the review process was really fast (wish other platforms would work as well).

I’ve been toying with the idea of porting the game for Android, but I have not done any research about that yet (never done any mobile development).
The game is written in fairly standard C++ (uses some POSIX libraries) and SDL, and AFAIK that combo should work decently well on Android.

The games October challenge submission is here: Tiny Puzzle Garden


Thanks for the fun event and good luck with your sales everyone!

First zone almost completed

Posted by (twitter: @juaxix)
Monday, October 15th, 2012 12:43 pm

New monster and zone almost done!
Check out the video:

I’ve been working with physics and lighting.
I had some problems to optimize the entire theme of light and shadow with the mobile hardware, because some older devices do not support anything but OpenGL1.1 and the ones supporting OpenGL2 only have two lights (hardware acceleration) dynamics, and are directional.
I also had a hard time trying to coordinate all the events of the generation systems and balance enemy load, these are synchronized via environment variables with the AI, once you load the level you meet certain standards for each part phase, it run macros that direct action through the gaming experience.

I made ​​several models in 3DStudio and Maya, textures with Photoshop and it has been more difficult than I thought, but also a lot of fun :)

I’m making a summary of what I’ve done since the last update:
– Added a compass (triangle in front of the avatar) to know where to go next
– Creation of optimized materials compatible with light and shadow
– Creating a new enemy: mini skeleton, with its animations, etc..
– Creation of a series of doors with different animations, particle systems and so on, that are synchronized to provide a consistent flow to the game
– Including transients and environmental sound effects are played according to a given priority
– resource optimization: its a need to use the least number of objects in memory and AI’s possible, it’s an art to know how to do this and mantain the FPS high, almost between 40-60+

In six days I have to submit the game to the markets.
And it is working in Blackberry PlayBook, iPhone4+, iPad (1,2,3), Pc (win,linux,mac), etc

October Challege Complete! Mallow Drop is on Google Play!

Posted by (twitter: @gritfish)
Monday, October 15th, 2012 6:29 am

Whether it makes a buck is up to you, I guess.

Platform: Android
Technology: Flash / Air for Android
Started: 18 months ago
Launched: 12 Hours ago
Android Play Market Link:
Free Demo on the Android Play Market:

Mallow Drop is a unique puzzle-platformer for mobile that draws its inspiration from the sliding-across-ice puzzles found in many classic games, and ‘traffic jam’ style sliding block puzzles.

Mallow Drop started as the physics sandbox for Gritfish’s game engine, ‘Boxy2D’. As more objects and physics ideas were toyed with, the sandbox became more game-like, and was eventually given sprite-based graphics and adapted into a larger mobile puzzle game based around altering the gravity of the game by rotating the phone.

Mallow Drop suffered from the ‘first game syndrome’ of a scope that was way outside my ability to produce. The actual production occurred in several jam-like bursts of energy spread out weeks and sometimes months apart. The lack of continuity led to needing to re-aquaint myself with the code base several times. The level design stage (which I had wrongly thought would be simple and quick, once the engine worked) took about 3/4 of the total time, including several rewrites of the game engine in order to make the game work better with the eccentricities of the level design needs (the way the game plays requires large amounts of level geometry to be interesting, which quickly hits some performance problems on low-end devices. This is why I’m not going with iOS just yet). In the end there were about 115 working levels, which were culled down to 100 for the final game.

Prior to Mallow Drop, I’d never worked with sprite sheets, tile maps, or really any kind of graphics in flash beyond basic MovieClips. I started by making one big spritesheet with basic artwork, and copying regions of that into the MovieClips on the stage. Later I added in functions to draw larger objects, and adapted the rendering class to even parse CSV data taken out of the tile maps I made with Tiled. When we did Lighthouse for LD #23, we even plugged in 3D transformations and re-rendering separate to the objects the sprites were attached to.

Screenshot from 6 months ago

Screenshot from release build

Screenshot from release build

Mallow Drop’s sound and music were provided by my colleague and collaborator Matt Hamm (@brainfed). I think he did a great job, but I know he had difficulty ‘letting go’ of the tracks, and letting them be ‘finished’. His words below:

I started with mostly “chiptune” tracks but as the game, and the art specifically, evolved so did the music. The only track that’s remained relatively unchanged is “Beep Boop”, which is the music for the science levels and I always liked, even though it’s quite short. The others were all slowly expanded upon until they became what they are now. I think Trees best represents what I was trying to do, blending chip arpeggios with recorded and sampled instruments.

I think the biggest challenge in getting the game done in time for the October Challenge was the huge amount of dev time that’d already gone into the project. The scope was far too big, and took long for a first game. But the rewards have been worth the investment. The 18 months I worked on this game now and then in my spare time have left me with:

A working, stable engine that has been used for 5 game jams so far in puzzles, platformers, and top-down zelda-likes.
A sprite rendering system that has allowed me to make flash games that’ll run on a phone.
Knowledge of tools and techniques that were way outside my previous experience like tile maps, quad-trees and object pooling
A massive lesson in scope and project management, both in terms of taking an axe to dream features in order to make it polished and stable for release, and in terms of stepping back, and seeing where the real problems that need addressing are.
Most importantly, learning that you meet the best people making games. I can honestly say that no group of people I’ve met is more interested in each others work, or more honest critics, as game designers and developers.

Well, in addition to making Mallow Drop, I’ve also started doing some rough video game reviews at (My xbox and pc are hooked up to a treadmill, and it kinda changes the way you play games a bit – you can read all about that on the site). Game-wise, we’re looking at taking ‘A Theft of Colours’, the game we did for the ‘contrast’ mini LD game, to a full release.

October Project – Pen Study is Ready to Make Money. Are you?

Posted by (twitter: @LanceNanek)
Thursday, October 11th, 2012 2:40 pm

Pen Study, a fun app with language learning tidbits and mini-games to grow your brain that I write and blog about with Chloe, just entered the Ludum Dare October Project to be ready to earn our first dollar. Are you ready to earn your first dollar? Check out our implementation below.

For this challenge I went with integrating a single ad banner on the menu screen, not the game modes themselves. You can see it at the bottom of this screenshot:

The ad and falling facts game mode.

Screenshots of the app showing fun characters helping the player trace letters.

The tracing game mode.

For high traffic games I use a much more complex solution involving multiple ad providers in AdWhirl and with their own specific integrations. Shout outs go to Millennial Media for paying the most for banner ads so far outside of deals arranged in person, and AppFlood for bringing in the most installs!

This dare is about easily getting unfinished games and challenge entries making money, so here comes a simple single integration with an ad provider I’ve never tried before. Here is an Android layout with the banner:

[stextbox id=”grey”]

<LinearLayout xmlns:a=””

<!– Other content goes here. –>

< a:id=”@+id/AdLayout”


And here is the code that initializes it.

[stextbox id=”grey”]

public class SelectLessonActivity extends DelegatingActivity {

protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {

final AdHubView adhubView = (AdHubView) callingActivity.findViewById(;
adhubView.init(this, Constants.ADHUB_INVENTORY_ID, AdSize.BANNER


Make sure you have the needed permissions in your AndroidManifest.xml:

[stextbox id=”grey”]<uses-permission android:name=”android.permission.INTERNET” />
<uses-permission android:name=”android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE” />
<uses-permission android:name=”android.permission.READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE” /> [/stextbox]

And that you have the JAR in your libs:

A list of JARs in the source code tree.

App libraries.

Coding done! Getting real ads was a little difficult with this provider. I had to post to a market first, then wait for the approval process, and also wait for banking information to be approved. Some other providers let you get going immediately and sort it out later. I did like being able to pick categories of ads that match the app demographic, kids and education games:

A list of categories with checkboxes for what ads to show on an ad network site.

Choosing what type of ads to show.

I feel people will be more likely to click a targeted ad and it has a better chance to be useful and not annoying to them. A targeting method common with other ad providers is specifying keywords. That might be more flexible and powerful. If the ad provider ads a new category, my keywords might match that already, for example. Or they might use smarter algorithms enabled by keywords.

Hope this helps your own projects! Check out Pen Study to feed your brain between coding. :)

e x e r t i o n — October 2012 Challenge

Posted by (twitter: @matnesis)
Friday, September 28th, 2012 3:06 pm

i have the sprites, the idea and the title for this challenge.

you can see the under-construction here.

good luck!

Egypt Hack & Slash: October Challenge number one!

Posted by (twitter: @juaxix)
Thursday, September 27th, 2012 5:57 pm

Hey, I made other games later and published to the markets, now I will expand the business lines and use more markets.

The game is called Egypt: Hack & Slash, it’s in dungeons and crypts inside Egpyt, mummies, demons, orcs, skeletons,…slay them all! :)


  • Shiva 3D
  • Blender
  • 3DS Max
  • Maya
  • Photoshop
  • etc
Good luck and have a lot of fun!



I’m in!

Posted by
Friday, April 20th, 2012 9:14 am

My name’s Olivier Giguère-Durand and while I have an incredibly busy week-end ahead, I still couldn’t miss the chance to participate.

I’ve decided to dust off my java skills (pwahah, why not use c++, you big dummy!) and use the Slick framework (which I’ve never used prior.)

It should be, if nothing else, a fun learning experience :)

As for the other tools and decisions, I’ll base them on the theme when it’ll be announced, so we’ll see then!


Good luck to all, have fun and learn a bunch!

Finished my first LD game!

Posted by
Sunday, December 18th, 2011 8:32 pm

I have successfully finished my very first LD game, The Last Man on Earth.

You play as the last survivor of an alien invasion, your goal is to avenge your species by clearing out an alien spaceship.
It is a pretty hard game, but please don’t get mad at me – I had no time to balance the gameplay.
The game has two endings… and a kitten.

It has been great fun, I would love to participate in the future, too.



  • Visual Studio 2010
  • XNA Game Studio 4.0
  • Paint.NET
  • Inkscape
  • Bfxr

Game Page:

Kitten Dare Badge

Remember: you love kittens

Posted by (twitter: @McFunkypants)
Friday, December 16th, 2011 8:27 pm

Remember the KITTEN CHALLENGE! Don’t forget your fine furry friends and add a kitten somewhere in your game as an easter egg. If you are participating, be sure to post to the blog using the “kitten-challenge” and “easter-egg” tags and put this icon on your title screen or screenshots.


Posted by (twitter: @McFunkypants)
Friday, December 16th, 2011 10:11 am

This is an official challenge to all Ludum Dare gamedevs.

This weekend, your quest is to put a KITTEN somewhere in your game as an “easter egg”.

This “kitten challange” will be like a meta game in which everyone tries to find the kittens in each game they play. You know you want to.

Do it – for the love of kittens. For the love of meta. For the love of all things LD48.

Edit: Dock was cool enough to make an icon that you should put in your game title screen or game thumbnail screenshots so we know to look for your kitten:

Finally, be sure to post to the blog using the “kitten-challenge” and “easter-egg” tags.

Here are the tragic results of theme voting. Where’s the kitten love?

1. Alone+227
2. Randomly generated+206
3. Evolution+41
4. Parallel dimension+14
5. Forgotten places-29
6. Falling-77
7. Moon-105
8. Tunnels-108
9. Consequences-113
10. Decay-116
11. Dreams-118
12. Underground-125
13. Time-travel-133
14. Teleportation-148
15. Self-replication-170
16. Territory-284
17. Mechanisms-291
18. Antihero-325
19. Reflection-417
20. Shape-shifting-477
21. Kittens-481

AVOIDAL – home found!

Posted by
Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 10:44 am

AVOIDAL - Use Your Enemies

AVOIDAL (my August 2010 Ludum Dare entry) and October Challenge entry has found a home!

I’m excited to report I finalized on a primary sponsorship deal with Tom Fulp of Newgrounds last week and have finished all the integration and testing work required. That work included getting to create 23 fun medals (achievements) for players to win when the game is played over on the Newgrounds site with a player account. The game will launch over there next week on November 3rd. I’ve also managed to sell a few non-exclusive licenses including one to Big Fish Games. The primary sponsorship was found via posting to Flash Game License. I spent a good bit of time in October working on, play testing, and polishing the original competition version into the final version.

AVOIDAL screenshot - final version

The highscores have been reset so get in there and play!

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