Posts Tagged ‘GameJam’

Chubby Olympics – #indiesvsgamers entry.

Posted by (twitter: @maunovaha)
Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 7:16 am


Hi fellow gamedevs!

I recently participated to #indiesvsgamers gamejam and developed a simple game, and thought that I could share it here as well.

In summary, I wanted to create arcade -style sports game which pays homage to old nintendo games such as “track and field”. As it stands now, the game has only hurdling as a sport. But, it could be easily extended if people want’s to. :) The game uses gamejolt high scores API and the results has been interesting to see as a developer; I am not even close to be a best player. 😀

Have a fun playing it, plus it would be awesome if you drop a comment & rate it. After all, gamedev is a learning process.

Play link:


Late To The Party… But Nicely Dressed

Posted by (twitter: @kidando)
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 2:43 am


Great. Late to the party. But I have hope that i can still make it before the deadline. I don’t think I want this to bleed into the 3 day jam. But anywho.


Looks like Ian will be my choice character for Game Jams. say hello to Double Oh Ian. Agent Doi: Shaken but not startled.

Let’s do this!!!


Posted by (twitter: @jenninexus)
Friday, April 17th, 2015 10:16 pm

I’m in!  Not sure what angle to take on the “Unconventional Weapon” theme but definitely going to figure it out tonight! ♥ Jenni (aspiring dev / noob)

Twitch | Facebook | Twitter


Want to prepare for next Ludum Dare?

Posted by
Saturday, September 20th, 2014 8:36 am

If you want to prepare for next LD I have great thing for you:

96h Jam with rules which:

  • starts on 29th November (beginning of Saturday)
  • ends on 3rd December (end of Tuesday)
  • voting ends on 10th December (end of Tuesday)
  • will be on Game Jolt
  • have theme (something like here)
  • have 3 rules for game (like theme, but a bit complex)
  • theme and rules voting will start 22nd
  • have 4 challenge rules (like rules for Ludum Dare)

It is longer (and easier) than Ludum Dare, so you will have good practice for Ludum Dare.

It’s pretty innovative: it is 4 days challenge and it have 3 rules (I think that no other Game Jam have these things).

It will probably be too small, but you can increase number of participants joining the competition.

And if you don’t want to join, but have great idea for theme/rule: please, suggest theme or rule here.

For more info follow links.

I hope you will join or/and suggest theme/rule or/and play games there. :)

Woah there!

Posted by
Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 4:35 am


Results are out for my compo game Two Must Become One. This game is my first LD ever, and I have to say, didn’t expect this AT ALL:

#113 Audio 3.58
#130 Overall 3.71
#184 Mood 3.47
#307 Fun 3.35
#394 Innovation 3.37
#409 Graphics 3.32
#724 Theme 3.00
#1626 Coolness 37%

Holy bananas! 130th place on the first try!? Yay! Thanks a lot to everyone who voted and commented! I got a lot of very helpful feedback too, and I’ll try to better myself and future LD entries.

What’s interesting is that people’s impression of my game was apparently good enough to make them rate it +3 stars (in other words, most could have felt bad if they gave me 1-2 stars for it).  Audio got the highest rating, despite the fact I added some music literally in the last minute. The song itself I composed ages ago too, but it fit this game perfectly. I am pretty sure my game has gotten much better ratings than it would otherwise have because of the audio.

What also fascinates me is that most ratings are between 3 and 4 stars, and additionally are pretty close together (3.32 Graphics, 3.35 Fun and so on). I guess it made a solid first impression.

The fact that theme only got a 3 star rating is not surprising at all. I was not able to add all features I wanted to add, which could have made a connection to the theme more obvious. This also means I need to tune down on game scale next time, because this game here as is, is pretty in-depth for being made in only 48 hours. Looking back, I’m wondering how the fridge I got it done in time in the first place. But well, I did it! Weee!

The coolness rating came out pretty bad. I admit I didn’t play too many other games this time because I was happy just to be done with it and to have my first LD entry finished. “Winning” or “getting ratings” wasn’t exactly my aim here. This will change next LD competition, though!


Overall, taking part in this competition was a very positive experience, and the only thing I would improve next time was decreasing the scale of the LD entries. And maybe stop recreating things that already exist! I need better ideaass!



The #TAGJam will start in 12h (GMT+01:00)!

Posted by (twitter: @ratalaika)
Friday, December 6th, 2013 4:55 am

The #TAGJam will start in 12h (GMT+01:00)! You can upload your Ludum Dare warm up games :) and see if you can win some traffic to your site!

You can check the rules here: The Arbitrary Gamejam!

We will be publishing the themes in 2h! Be prepared 😀

My First Game – Then and Now

Posted by
Friday, November 29th, 2013 3:24 pm

Last journal post until I actually make some progress, I swear!

After making a long post about my choice in game engines and then another explaining where my original game concept came from, I’m going to, finally, explain the history of my first game’s development. In brief, I hope.

Heartbreak version 1: Unity 3D for Windows

Original Heartbreak game, made in Unity3D

As you can probably see, the game is very flawed. One major issue was with the controls, which were tied to the mouse, so moving the mouse left and right caused the ring to spin. Hitting left mouse button would fire the balls from the central heart. On top of that, the game itself is bugged. At the eleventh hour, we discovered a bug on the fourth or fifth level that would cause the score to reset to 0 after the player had progressed to the following level. Finally, at the time I made a big deal out of “elegance of design”, which I saw as every part of a game coming together to compliment everything else.

Don’t get me wrong–elegance of design is a good thing, but I may have taken it a bit too far by creating a menu system that you could literally “lose” at (by accidentally selecting the exit button), in the interest of turning even the menu screen into a gameplay tutorial. I think I had seen one too many episodes of Sequelitis.

After the 2013 Game Jam, I was excited to try my hand at game programming, since I’d been only the lead designer for the original Heartbreak. I wanted to learn the craft of programming for myself, in the interest of being more self-sufficient. To that end, I decided to start as “simple” as possible and got into programming for the Atari 2600. Yes, the real Atari 2600.

If it’s a bit debatable whether or not I technically “made” Heartbreak version 1, since I was really just directing a Unity 3D programmer in what to do, I consider my actual first game to be my first remake of Heartbreak for the Atari 2600. I used the homebrew tool Visual Batari Basic, which, when combined with Batari Basic, gave me a convenient and simple IDE with many helpful sprite and sound design tools, plus the ability to code in BASIC and use a pre-made kernel, rather than coding everything directly in 6502 Assembly. I was extremely grateful for that.

Heartbreak version 2: Visual Batari Basic for Atari 2600

Prototype Heartbreak game, made in Visual Batari Basic for the Atari 2600

It took me a couple months to actually make Heartbreak for the 2600, since I was learning along the way and frequently had to go back and reprogram bits of code here and there as I discovered more efficient ways to organize the game logic. Keep in mind this was all done for a system with a 1.19Mhz processor and 128 bytes (yes, individual bytes) of memory (only 26 bytes of which were available to me in Batari Basic, since the kernel I used consumed the rest of it to write the playfield to the screen).

In the end, it was again thanks to a more experienced programmer, who generously wrote a custom kernel for me, that Heartbreak was able to function well on the 2600. Normally, using Batari Basic’s standard kernel, only a single playfield color can be displayed on-screen per playfield pixel (those big, rectangular blocks), but the programmer managed to work around that limitation with some clever 6502 Assembly wizardry that I still don’t fully comprehend.

From the custom kernel as a framework, I was able to build the finished game. Some months later, I revisited my old code and cleaned it up, organizing everything into neat, clean functions that you can view here. I’m rather proud of how tidy and efficient it all is (relatively, keeping in mind that this is BASIC with 6502 Assembly calls in it, all programmed in non-object oriented in a language that relies on spaghetti code). The game itself only uses about 1000 out of ~3000 CPU cycles that are available with this particular kernel, and the game itself is under 4 kilobytes. And, yes, it works on a real Atari 2600. If you’d like to try for yourself, I included Heartbreak, with a few other small games I developed for the Atari 2600, in a 32k compilation ROM (along with an updated version of my previous LD, Ping) that you can get here (you’ll need an emulator such as Stella to run it, unless you have a real 2600 with a Harmony cartridge), and you can see the finished version of the game below.

There have been a number of gameplay changes since the Unity3D and earlier 2600 versions.

Heartbreak version 3: GameMaker for Mobile

Originally, the player had to hit a button (joystick fire on the 2600, spacebar or left mouse on Windows) to fire a new ball from the heart. The ball would take on the color of the heart and it had to either match the block’s primary color or be one of the primary colors that made up the block’s color, or else the player would lose a life (indicated by the size of the central heart). Hitting a wrong block three times meant game over, but the player’s heart would be brought back up to full size after every stage.

Once I’d finished the basic game on the 2600, I was seeking to program in alternative gameplay modes, since alternate modes were a thing with many 2600 games. One of those modes included a bouncing ball, so rather than the player having to spawn each ball (which would fire from the heart and then disappear once it had stricken a block), the player only had to press the fire button when they wanted to transfer the heart’s current color to the ball. This meant a lot less button mashing, and it was far more satisfying to just control the blocks to catch the ball as it bounced. This ended up being the only game mode in later versions.

With the block colors, I’d always intended the game to start with simple primaries–Red, Yellow, and Blue, and work up to secondaries–Orange, Green, and Purple–and finally to White and Black. White blocks would give you a heart back, but black would take away a heart if they were struck and had to be avoided, which was particularly challenging in the 2600 version, because the background is solid black as well.

However, this lead to the game becoming progressively easier, since an orange block could be broken by either a red or a yellow ball, a green with yellow or blue, and a purple with red or blue. Obviously, a game should get more challenging over time, not less. I fixed this in the 2600 version by having the ball remove a color from the block’s color, leaving the remaining colors in its wake. For instance, if a red ball hits an orange block, it bounces off and leaves a yellow block behind, which must then be broken by a yellow ball. And if the orange block was hit by a yellow ball, it would bounce off leaving the block red. Yellow blocks would need to be hit by all three primary colors before they would disappear.

Overall, I’m very pleased with how the game itself plays as of the final 2600 version, but a few things had to be sacrificed in the move to the 2600’s limited hardware.

For one, the ball will only bounce at a few pre-determined angles, as letting it bounce freely would result in the ball always getting lost, particularly since the blocks aren’t of uniform shape and they don’t fully encircle the central heart.

Additionally, there was no way to add multiple concentric circles to the game, so it always operates on a single ring. I would very much like the game to have up to three or four rings at a time, as in the original Unity3D version.

Finally, I always intended the game to be a musical arcade game, but having background music wasn’t feasible with the 4 kilobyte size limit of the 2600’s ROM. I would like to bring a musical quality back into the game, with the heartbeat matching the tempo of the current soundtrack, rather than set to a steady, heart-beating sound effect.

On top of all that, I’d also like to bring the game to a mobile setting, which I think would fit the gameplay very well, being a sort of casual game that works best in just a few moments played at a time. This would, of course, mean reconsidering the control scheme. I would like a simple swipe gesture to allow the ring to spin, perhaps with a simple tap used to set the ball’s current color to the color displayed by the heart.

On the other hand, I may modify that mechanic so that the heart does not change colors on its own, but instead must be tapped by the player in order to change the ball’s color. Or maybe the heart and ball always share the same color and, rather than tapping at the right moment to get the right color on the ball, the player would need to tap the heart to swap between its colors? We’ll see.

While I’m at it, I’d like to update the game’s visual style, maybe moving away from the direct pixel-art look into something a bit cleaner. And, who knows–if I find the time, maybe I’ll try implementing some kind of power-up system, similar to Arkanoid. I may have an idea of how it could work.

Now it’s (finally) time to get to started!

Livestreaming development on [TAG] The Arbitrary Gamejam

Posted by
Friday, August 2nd, 2013 10:57 am

I’m starting a livestream of my current development on TAG, The theme is “Wrecking“, with sub-themes of “Invalescence” and “Depilation“. I am using both Invalescence and Wrecking in my game, and have already made quite alot of progress and got most of the main functionality complete. Feel free to leave me suggestions and feedback in the stream chat :)

Edit: Just Finished Up, Made quite a bit of progress and fixed a few things :)

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