Ludum Dare 34
Coming December 11th-14th Weekend

October Challenge ends
Make a game – Take it to Market – Earn $1

Posts Tagged ‘xna’

I am in for the 4th time

Posted by
Friday, April 17th, 2015 7:45 pm

I will use the same framework as last time with one difference: I target web from the beginning on (and maybe only release a web build).

Here are the tools I will use:

  • Visual Studio 2013 with XNA 4.0 and C# (here is the base classes extracted from my previous LDs:
  • JSIL to target the web browser
  • Inkscape for graphics
  • bfxr for sound effects
  • some python script to randomly generate looping music (let’s hope I can find it again, don’t know the name or author, but it was posted on this blog on a previous contest)

I highly recommend JSIL if you are using XNA, because let’s be honest, most users can’t be bothered to download a game. In case anyone wonders what is involved in porting a XNA game to the web it is really straight forward (there is also a great if you are stuck):

  1. Check out the repository and its submodules: git clone –recursive
  2. Build JSIL with Visual Studio
  3. If you use audio you need an ogg encoder, download oggenc2.exe and place it into JSIL\Upstream\OggEnc
  4. Use the files from this gist:
  5. Copy the *.jsilconfig file in the same folder as your SLN and name it <YOUR SOLUTION NAME>.sln.jsilconfig
  6. Copy the buildJSIL.cmd in the same folder as your SLN and adapt the project names
  7. Copy index.html and index.css in the output folder specified in buildJSIL.cmd and replace the project specific names
  8. Copy the folder JSIL\Libraries in the output folder specified in buildJSIL.cmd

You can now run buildJSIL.cmd. It will compile your solution and generate JS files. If you want to test it, you can run a simple web server in the output directory (python -m http.server).


Faster Than Alien : Game submitted

Posted by
Sunday, December 7th, 2014 5:12 pm

Faster than Alien intro

The game is not entirely ready, but it is submitted nontheless. I’m not entirely happy with the AI or with the control system of the alien spawn in the 3rd phase of the game. Also, for the game to have some depth, there should have been more spaceships and more human units (esp. marines) to explore and hone your alien tactics on.

Also the game is very ugly, but I’m not artist and I simply did not have the time to do serious pixel pushing or 3D-modeling. By minimum the sprites should have walk cycles to all 4 directions, but this time it was not a priority, and therefore, it did not happen.

I’m was quite happy with the tool of my choice: the Jypeli-library. I only encountered one problem caused by the game framework and even that was circumvented quite easily. Coding the game in C# was a breeze, but creating assets takes really much time. Even when I decided to use only minimal placeholder graphics. My respect goes to you fellow LDers who have created really professional game assets AND a game in so little time.

The game consists of ~1000 lines of C# code, 20 or so sprites, few sound effects generated with SFXR. I effetively worked around 12-16 hours, and I estimate that the time was distributed 10% ideas / 40 % coding / 40 % assets / 10% updates, chatting, etc. I have captured the process, so expect timelapse in few days.

Have fun playing and beware the bugs:


With Added Clouds

Posted by
Sunday, December 7th, 2014 4:45 am

Been bug fixing a fair bit and app flow improved.


Special Plops

Faster than aliens

Posted by
Sunday, December 7th, 2014 2:16 am


Time to give a sneak peak to my game. I draw inspiration from the first Alien movie, FTL and 90’ies game Space Hulk. You play as the alien spawn and try to breed (as that is what aliens aspire to do, right?). Unfortunately for the unlucky spaceship crew, this involves taking captures and defending the nest and territory. There will be some casualties for the AI controlled hu-mans, but that should not become as surprise to them – after all, all these dangers are listed in fine print on your contract with the megacorp, remember?

The game happens on a spaceship that fits on a screen. The player starts as a alien spawn born out of a first hu-man casualty. First you have to run and hide until you have grown enough you can try to take an human captive to be used as a host. At this time the humans will probably find out there is something fishy going on, so beware those flamethrowers. Dragging the unwilling host for your offspring behind you, you should find a warm spot in the spaceship to build a nest and start to reproduce. Nesting means you can no longer move, but fortunately you now have alien soldiers and alien drones at your disposal. It is time to be the insectoid mastermind that takes control of the spaceship before the hu-mans destroy your nest or initiate the self-destruct mechanism.

What I have:

  • A spaceship where you can walk around. Built from tiles and loaded from a resource file.
  • A player controlled alien spawn that grows to be a full grown alien.
  • Hu-man crew that wanders aimlessly. If it sees an alien spawn, it tries to catch and kill it. If it sees a full grown alien it will flee in horror.

What I still need:

  • Ability for the full grown player controlled alien to take captives, find a warm spot and build a nest. And indicators for these.
  • A state machine for the hu-man AI as the game relies heavily on interesting behavior of the simulated spaceship crew. Information propagation is also needed so that the first sighting of a full grown alien makes the crew to arm themselves.
  • Game ending conditions.
  • Sound effects.
  • Better graphics produced using Blender if I have the time (probably not).

I will probably not make it as I do not have too much time and the AI stuff is always prone to be more complex than expected. But I will do my best!


Mini Ludum Dare 48 Game: Death Plot

Friday, January 10th, 2014 11:36 pm
Current Title Screen of the game

Yesterday, I posted the day zero development log of my Mini LD 48 game, Death Plot. Now I will explain the game. I am using a more literal definition of conspiracy and façade. The game is a top down two dimensional shooter/bullet hell. It is a single player game where you control two characters at the same time, tying in conspiracy.

The graphics are OBVIOUSLY placeholder. They’ll be worked on tomorrow.

One of the characters is controlled with WASD controls, the other with the arrow keys. You will fire bullets with the spacebar. It is intended that you use both hands on the keyboard, and control the characters single player. That adds a challenge. You could potentially do local multiplayer, but it is not designed that way.
The enemies come in two flavours: real and façade enemies. The real ones shoot bullets that one shot you. (It’s a bullet hell after all.) The facades’ shoot bullets that don’t harm you, but they serve as visual clutter to make dodging more difficult.
I haven’t completely decided on the visual style, but it will probably be ASCII or early sprite based.
Anyway, that’s the general gist of the game. If all goes well, I will have a playable prototype tomorrow. My Day 1 Dev Blog is coming next.
You can follow my Ludum Dare blogs on: or

“A Cat With Only 1 Life”, status after 1st day

Posted by
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 2:49 pm


The first day is done for me. I managed to do around 4 hours of game dev today (from 18:00-22:00 local time). Installation of tools took some time and being a family man, 4 hours is what I had so the progress was limited, but this is where I’m at.

The idea is to build a game of a cat with only 1 life (when everybody else around him has the typical 9). How he still can beat the others is something that you will see day 2… (hint: cats are stooopid, but the cat with only 1 life has to be smarter than the rest).

The tools used: Visual C# 2010 with JyPeli game programming library. Paint.NET was used for drawing sprite graphics.

What was produced in that 4 hours was 10 or so sprites and ~250 lines of C# code. (and then I spent another 1:30 to prepare the timelapse, screenshots etc., but where is the fun in LD if you do not share?).

If you are longing to see more of my process, see the timelapse:

Only One Shot Turbo Edition (post-LD26 Jam version for Charity Game Jam)

Posted by (twitter: @xanjos)
Sunday, December 1st, 2013 8:30 am

Hey everyone,

So this past week I’ve been taking part in The Charity Game Jam and since I had no time to make something new (because of work and other stuff), I decided to do a slightly tweaked “Turbo” (read: Post-Jam) version of my old Ludum Dare 26 Game Only One Shot with some changes based on the feedback I got back in April such as slightly faster player movement as well as four additional levels.


“Turbo” version of my game


Original version of my game

Download Turbo Version (Standalone EXE for Windows)

Play Turbo Version Online (HTML5)

Entry Page for Original Version

Post-Mortem for Original Version

TTY GFX ADVNTR now on XBox Live Indie Games!

Posted by (twitter: @GaTechGrad)
Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 1:55 pm

My game TTY GFX ADVNTR is now available on the XBox Live Indie Game (XBLIG) marketplace.  This game started as my mini LD45 entry, which was written in C and SDL.  After receiving positive feedback from other Indie developers, I decided to port it to C Sharp and XNA, so it would be available to a wider audience.  The XBLIG version also has many new enemies, different weapons, and a skill system for crushing attacks.

boxart  ttygfx_levidsmith

Buy the game today for only $1 (USD) on the XBox Live Indie Game marketplace.  From the XBox360 home screen, select  Games tab > Browse Games > Indie tab > New Releases or buy it on the web at TTY GFX ADVNTR (only for XBox 360)


Official Soundtrack:

Finished! Post-Mortem Time!

Sunday, August 25th, 2013 8:43 pm


Ludum Dare 27 was my first ever game jam!I made a game hastily titled “Get Ready, Fight!”. It’s a single-screen, 2D competitive action platformer where players have 10 seconds to run around and collect powerups and modifiers for themselves, before fighting to the death using whatever equipment they managed to scrounge up. While I managed to finish the game, I didn’t quite bring my vision to life. I had hoped to focus more on the initial 10 second scramble, forcing players to make hasty decisions and then have to deal with the consequences. In the end, it seemed more fun just to have all the powerups have positive effects, so the 10 second scramble is just a race to grab as many powerups as possible without much thought.

Overall though, I had a great time with the jam. I came up with an idea that I think has some potential to be fleshed out and I managed to finish a game from scratch in under 48 hours to boot.

Here are some quick post-mortem-y thoughts about my experience while they’re still fresh in my mind:

What Went Well:

  •  Stopped making excuses and actually entered a jam.
    • Could have said it was too close to PAX, but didn’t.
  • Stuck with it, finished the jam. And it’s a real, honest-to-goodness game too, including menus, audio, and some reasonable polish.
  • Did absolutely everything myself. Coding, art, sound effects, even music. No libraries outside of the XNA framework.
  • Speaking of which, I also tried something totally new during the jam: making music! It’s bad, and there’s incredibly little of it (maybe 20 seconds), but I did it!
  • Didn’t get too hung up on art, since the rate at which returns diminish for my time investment is substantial (read: I’m not a very good artist).
  • Got a reasonable amount of sleep!
  • Streamed development a few times at, totaling over 12 hours.
  • Resisted the urge to just give up and play Spelunky instead.

What Didn’t Go So Well:

It’s easy to criticize your own games, and one that was made in <48 hrs has a lot to criticize. Still, here are a few things that stuck out:

  • Pretty poor art.
  • Music and sfx are pretty sparse, and what is there is pretty bad.
  • The game drifted away from theme/my plan pretty quickly.
  • The gameplay doesn’t have a lot of variety, even though I had a lot of ideas for this.
  • I was hugely productive for some stretches, but others were quite poor. I should have taken a more distinct break at that point and walked away from the screen.
  • I did not eat very well.
  • My schedule was rougher than it needed to be. 48 hours is a lot of time if you keep your scope down, so there was no need to stay up until 5am on the first day.
  • I wasn’t too interactive with my viewers on the stream (but a huge thanks to those that did hang out! You rock!). Next time I’ll use the mic.

What Went ???:

Why on earth did I decide to make a multiplayer-only game for a solo game jam? I’m not even sure 4-player mode works at all. And there’s certainly going to be balance problems that will be obvious once the game is played with other humans.

What I’d Change For Next Time:

  • Spend more time on gameplay once I have a functioning game. I could have done a lot more with the concept I built.
  • Make a single-player game! I basically came up with an untestable concept for a solo jam.
  • Start thinking about music earlier. I like that I attempted to make the music myself, but I definitely had a “writer’s block” of sorts when it came time to compose the music (I use the term “compose” as loosely as humanly possible). Thinking about what style of audio earlier could have helped there.
  • Create a timelapse of development. Streaming is awesome (and I’d do that again), but it would be nice to look back at the whole process over the span of a few minutes.
  • Consider jamming in a group environment to keep myself motivated.


Posted by
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 4:25 pm











Just uploaded BALLZ. As usual could not spend as much time as I would have liked, but works and is kind of fun… ish 😉


Kerinova Studios LD27 Report- Hour: 4

Friday, August 23rd, 2013 11:26 pm

The second bi-hourly post has come, and I am really late for it. One hour and 20 minutes late in fact. Oh well. Better late than never, as they always say.


I am starting to get really tired. Ludum Dare started at a fairly bad time for me. It started at 6:00 PM, so by the time Ludum Dare began, I was already wake for like 12 hours. Nevertheless, I continued on for as long as possible. So, what have I gotten done since the last post?


If you remember, during the last post, I had nothing playable. Just some engine level stuff. In the 3:30 hours since then, I have finished most of the core features. I finished about 25% of the assets, and got more done on ideas.


I now have a working menu :) Which is sort of playable I guess. So goal number 2 finished, Goal number 1 sort of failed.

I don’t really like this menu background. I will probably change it later.

I don’t however, like the menu. I think it is rather ugly, and will need a revamp later on.



The game itself isn’t playable. I still need to finish the tile, player, and enemy assets. Tomorrow will be a lot of asset work, then debugging all the things I couldn’t test, because I didn’t have assets.

You might say a solution to the debug problem, is to use placeholders. However I hate placeholders. I would rather spend the art time doing something that may end up in the final submission.


Nevertheless, I am making decent progress so far. 42 hours and a half to go.



Before the next post, my goals are:

  1. Get sleep.
  2. Work on the game in my dreams.

You can follow my live stream at, and my live tweets at

You can follow my Ludum Dare blogs at

Joining the Fray

Posted by
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 10:12 pm

I am most definitely in for a fourth run at the competition.  My last entry did very well, and I have set the personal bar quite high for this competition. The big thing I want to improve on this time is feedback, as in letting the user know how their actions affect the game world. There were too many off-screen changes in the last game and it cause quite a bit of confusion.

LD Warmup 2

Speaking of setting the bar too high and going overboard, I sort of went overboard with the warm up game this time.  I started making something simple, but was having too much fun and made a pretty sizable game over 16 hours.  It’s a pretty basic metriodvania style game, where you need to search for several artifacts to open the hidden treasure room.  Lots of exploration, I’d love to see if anyone can find all the treasure.  You can grab a copy of the warm up game at the warmup entry page.

In any case my tools haven’t changes too much in the last year:

Programming: Visual Studio, C# using XNA 4.0

Graphics: NES style using Paint.NET

Sound: SFXR, FamiTracker, Audacity

Map Editor: Tiled

Base Code: Get it with my latest warm up game here.  As before, I am distributing it with my warm up game so you can see some context with how to use the library. There is quite a bit of goodies in the library including a pretty powerful 2D camera, a great input and sound manager, and lots of graphic helpers. If you use XNA or Monogame, you might find some good code you can pull out for your own work.

Font: For any text display, I have been using a free font  from, specifically Proggy Square.  I have converted it to a spritefont (PNG) for use in XNA (both full size, and something that fits in 8×8 for NES style graphics).  The original font and converted formats can be downloaded Here.

Looks like i’m in for the first time

Posted by
Friday, August 16th, 2013 10:33 am

I’ve been looking at ludum dare for a while since i started studying game development in school. This weekend it’s finally being held during a weekend I can participate in :)

My setup is as follows:

Editor: Visual Studio 2010 express

Language: C#

Base code: XNA

Art: Paint.NET or GIMP, haven’t chosen yet, and I’ll probably use some sprite animator as well.

Audio/Music: No idea yet..

I hope the theme is interesting and can be interpreted in a lot of different ways. I have only finished two games before but none of them had this tight of a deadline. It’s going to be fun to see how this goes 😀

Pile O’ Pirates

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 10:06 am

Unfortunately, we were not able to meet the mini LD 44 deadline. This was due to several factors, the main two being part-time work and windows drivers related casualties.


Though we did not finish Pile O’ Pirates in time to have a working game, we fully intend to complete it. So look out for progress updates and videos in the coming months.





Game Features so far

–        Zoomable 2D game

–        Selection/Movement of pirates constrained to boats.

–        Movement of Ship without screwing up pirates.

–        Saveable settings (Such as resolution and Fullscreen)

–        Over 300 styles of male only (as of now) pirates

–        Random name picking from list of popular male names.

Here are some screenshots of what we have managed to accomplish.


POP Title Screen

The beginnings of Pile O’ Pirates title screen.

POP Unit Selected

A zoomed in view of a selected unit and his comrades.

POP Selecting Units

Selecting some units in Pile O’ Pirates.

POP Moving Ship

Moving a ship in Pile O’ Pirates.



See you all for the next Ludum Dare. :)

I usually don’t know how to write these kind of things but I figure I try and write as much as I can about how my game turned out and what it was like taking part in and actually completing my first Ludum Dare.


Long story short, Only One Shot is a game where you must shoot all the enemy squares to complete the level. However, the game adds a twist where you must do this with one bullet otherwise you fail the level (Hence the game title). But how do you kill more than one enemy with just one bullet (especially when the enemies are spread quite far apart)? This is where the reflector blocks that are placed around each level come in. When a bullet hits a reflector, the reflector will spawn a bullet from each side apart from the side that it was hit on. In levels containing more than one reflector, the game almost feels like a Rube Goldberg machine where one bullet starts up a long chain reaction just to kill some enemies in one go.

What went right:

  • The Graphics: Having minimalism as a theme meant that I didn’t have to worry about the art (since I can’t draw to save my life XD) and sort of essentially get away with simple (if somewhat crude) shapes.
  • The Gameplay: Trying to interpret minimalism in terms of gameplay mechanics was a bit difficult. Whilst I could have made a simple one button game, I wanted to convey minimalism in the sense that the simplest of things (either one or nothing) are only needed to start a huge reaction hence the one bullet rule of my game. From this core concept, I managed to create a game with simple, yet deep mechanics.
  • Having a Plan (and mostly sticking to it): Once I had decided on the core idea of my game as well as figured out the type of game I wanted to make, I decided to flesh my idea out a bit further by brainstorming and jotting down notes on a pad before I get started on doing some actual coding. Although some features I had planned in my notes did not make it into the final version of the game that was submitted, doing this really helped in two ways: Firstly, having a plan to stick to meant that I was able to get most of the essential concepts of my game done in time without the distraction of bloating up my game with unnecessary features and secondly, having a plan meant that I would have a concrete idea of what to code without the risk of suffering mental blocks (if I had decided to just jump in and start coding without one).

OnlyOneShotNotes1 OnlyOneShotNotes2 OnlyOneShotNotes3

What went wrong:

  • Time Management: This was probably by far the biggest fault I had with the game. Originally, I had planned to get the game completed and submitted in time for the compo but overall, I wasn’t really making full use of my time as I was either too distracted to work or taking too long on one task (The collision code for my game between the player/enemy and the walls took one long tedious Sunday afternoon to do and most of it was wasted on trying to work out which parts of the collision boxes have overlapped before I eventually realised that I could just use the direction vector of the player/enemy and use that instead whenever the two collision boxes interect and reposition accordingly). Having to work on a Monday didn’t exactly help either which meant that I was only able to work on the game during the evening but fortunately, my game was nearly done and luckily I managed to submit it in time for the game instead (despite the fact
  • The reflectors: Although the basic function of the reflectors worked out pretty well (spawn additional bullets when hit), there were a few glaring bugs in the overall functionality which meant that they didn’t work out exactly as I had envisioned. The most obvious bug was when a reflector would spawn bullets when it wasn’t recently hit. During early playtesting, an endless stream of bullets would sometimes spawn from a reflector for no reason causing the game to unfortunately slow down and crash. Although the bug still persists, I managed to work my way around it by adding an extra flag in the logic that checks for a game over condition.

Initial Feedback:

To my own actual surprise, the initial feedback for my game so far was really nice with most saying that they loved the overall concept of the game (with some saying that they would love to play more levels) whilst criticising the fact that the player moved too slow and that there was no way to tell which way the player was facing (a fault of my own in trying to keep the art as simple as possible).

Post-Compo Version? :

Due to the positive feedback that I have received, I am considering making a post-compo(post-jam?) version of my game (depending if I have time) fixing all the bugs I wasn’t able to fix during the 2/3 days of development as well as tweak the game based on feedback (i.e. a faster player and a way to work out where it’s facing) plus add some extra functionality whilst keeping the core mechanics and art the same (although I may consider adding some extra polish to the art as well). To keep things fair however, I would only consider starting work on this version once the judging period so that way I can take all the feedback and work out what needs to be changed.

Overall Experience and What I’ll Do in the Future:

For me, taking part in my first Ludum Dare and actually completing it was a rather scary yet fun experience and despite the fact that some things didn’t go exactly as planned, I feel that my gamedev skills have improved (a bit I think) further. For the next Dare however, I will be working much harder to ensure that I am able to submit something for the compo rather than the jam by working hard to improve on my graphics skills (which I find terribly lacking) so that I don’t have to make something rather crude and simple (unless it’s actually better to go that way). I might use another engine for the next Dare (I’ve used Unity before) or perhaps learn a new one (I’m looking at you LOVE). After all, there’s only roughly 3 more months I have left to start improving my skills until August 😉

And now for a selection of some of the nice comments that I have received for my game…

“Really cool concept. Would have loved to play more levels :D”

“Cool bullet splitting mechanic! Work on this, you have a neat puzzle game idea on your hands :)”

“Great game, I loved the concept.”

“Simple, challenging, awesome. Simple, yet smart design.”

Finished the web port of my XNA game!

Posted by
Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 11:24 am

In order to make my entry more accessible, I decided to port my game to the web using JSIL (check it out, the project is great:

It even supports an Xbox controller (at least in Chrome), so give it a try:

Oh, and if you also want to port your XNA game and get stuck, don’t hesitate to write me a message!

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