Ludum Dare 32
April 17th, 2015 @ 6:00 PM PDT/9:00 PM EDT (01:00 UTC)

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Posts Tagged ‘xna’

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!

# – A Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @KitchsTweets)
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 4:37 pm

This was, as always, an absolute blast.  I’ve had to miss the last two, due to commitments beyond my control, and last weekend I remembered just how much I’ve missed.


# is a game about shooting squares.  That’s really all there is to it.  Wait… and sometimes the squares grow back. And sometimes they shoot out at you.  Oh… and there’s a piano.

The Theme

We all know the theme.  My take on it was more of an aesthetic than a game play one.  Soft colors, simple objects, piano music playing simple chords.  I think it worked.

The Gameplay

# was a lot of fun to develop.  I had the basic concept in my head prior to the theme being announced, but some of the big mechanics, basically the “layer” shifting and the audio component just sort of happened.

The layer thing was introduced as sort of a player control mechanic.  It is really easy, as was pointed out, to beat the levels by holding the left arrow and space bar.  The layers gave the lower squares a fighting chance to get established, as well as forced the player to do something than just “sit and spin”.


The balance however, was off a bit.  I initially balanced the game, unaware of a bug that could would make the last square invincible to most, but not all bullets.  This made the game considerably harder than it really was.   When the bug was fixed… the game became super stupid easy.

I made corrections, but didn’t get a chance to get back in and really do the balance work the game deserved.   You can eventually get yourself comfortable enough where it’s not frustrating, but probably not in the time the average person plays a LD entry.  I tried to make the early levels as accessible as possible, then ramp up the difficulty rather quickly there toward the end for the more interested.  Not as hard as pre-bug unfortunately… but a decent challenge if the dice don’t roll your way.

The Graphics

Like I mentioned before, I wanted to go clean and simple, and that’s what I did.  Not really a lot to say about it, except I really like the green, and the purple.  Red needs work.


The Audio

I’ve never been an “audio” guy, and this game has a lot of sound happening really fast, bullets flying, blocks breaking…   I knew sounds generated by sfxr would have a high potential for ear bleeding (at least the ones I generate).  As I was shifting through layers, I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if the music chords changed when the layer did?

I jumped into the idea with absolutely no idea how I was going to accomplish it.  I almost scrapped the whole thing entirely.  I generated a lot of sound files, and tried to tweak them to work with the rapid pace, with ear splitting results.  I did, somehow, manage found a bright piano sound that would pass, although not perfect.

What went right

  • Fun and easy to develop
  • I believe there’s a solid concept in there somewhere.
  •  Graphics / colors were nice and fitting
  •  The audio idea worked.

What went wrong

  • That stupid invincible square bug wasted a lot of time.
  • Balancing issues, especially consistency.
  • The Red Layer

Thank you all for your kind feedback.  I look forward to playing some more games!

Link To The Game


Ross (Kitch)


Simple Towers

Posted by (twitter: @AleksandarDev)
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 7:45 pm

So I decided to do Tower Defense type of game. Again I wanted too many in too little time. I’m happy with what I came up with. Take a look:

Sample gameplay

Sample gameplay


Bag it, tag it

Posted by (twitter: @KitchsTweets)
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 5:43 pm

sell it to the butcher at the store….

My LD26 Entry is called #.  It is a game about shooting squares.  Get it now while it’s still full of those tasty bugs I haven’t found yet…





kitch is dying… a lot.

Posted by (twitter: @KitchsTweets)
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 10:40 pm

Off to bed… but managed to cause quite a bit of damage tonight.


The Good.

The game fits in with the minimalism theme very well, while still being somewhat complex and interesting (at least by  my standards).  Game is feature complete.  I’m very happy with it’s state this far in.  All of the gameplay features are in, level control and difficulty are implemented, and even the menu states are complete.   Spent a bit of time on audio this evening, and while it’s rough… it’s more ambitious than anything i’ve tried in a Ludum Dare before and i believe with a little polish, it will be quite the little go-getter (or a massive failure).

The Bad.

The game runs in two difficulty modes currently.  Really frickin easy, and “Oh for the love of everything that is good, please make it stop” hard.  I see this screen a little more than I’d like


The Plan For Tommorow

  • The combination of the bullets firing, and cells exploding creates chords.  The sound files need to be just right for this to work, and they are not right now.  It’s not BAD, it’s just not good.   This will hopefully be a quick fix tommorow
  •  I want the game to be difficult… but the kind of difficult that can be appreciated by the person that is playing the game for 30 seconds before they rate it.  Currently we’re at the “rage quit and send death threats to the developer’s family” level of difficulty.  The balance hammer needs to come out.


Mid-day update

Posted by (twitter: @KitchsTweets)
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 1:29 pm

Well.. after almost a full days work… I’m here


It looks exactly the same as it did last night… however, menus, and levels, and collisions, and powerups and a whole lot of little things are in place.

Just a couple minor things on those front to clear up tonight…

Hoping that clears the way for a full day of polish and audio tommorow.


First Night

Posted by (twitter: @KitchsTweets)
Friday, April 26th, 2013 10:28 pm

Welp…. after a somewhat heated argument between me and a quadtree, i got off to a start at least.  think its about time to call it a night.

I’ll be streaming most the day tommorow.

Kitch's screenshot

Kitch’s screenshot



Another first time jammer here

Posted by
Friday, April 26th, 2013 6:21 pm

Let’s do this! Stuff I’m going to use:

C#&XNA, Visual Studio 2010, Paint, Gimp, SFXR, Audacity, lots of junk food.

edit. also energy drinks!

Lets Jam!

Posted by (twitter: @@JustinLeeBarker)
Thursday, April 25th, 2013 6:52 pm

Barker Games is in for the jam!

Last Ludum Dare I(Justin Lee Barker) made The Accursed Moon. This time Jeremy Gohier will be joining me. I will work on the programming and he will work on everything else.

The problem I had last Ludum Dare was that I worked between 13-14 hours on Saturday which burned me out. All I did Sunday is fix a few bugs and publish it. My motivation was depleted :(

I plan on working normal work hours(8 hours a day). With Monday being the only possible exception. Hopefully that way I wont loose motivation and will feel more confident about our entry.

Our tools:

Language: C#, XNA

Art: Gimp, possibly InkScape

Sound: sfxr

Music: Undecided


Good luck to everyone!

Happy Ludum Dare 26

I’m inifying myself.

Posted by (twitter: @KitchsTweets)
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 12:03 pm

Gonna be in for this one… after missing the last two (sad face).

Using this LD to say goodbye to XNA, probably try and port it over to monogame once completed.

Also throw some, sfxr and FL Studio in the mix.

Using my 2D starter project, with basic gamestates and such, P32D.

Going to follow my traditional Ludum Dare plan of attack

  • First Hour : Panic because I have no ideas for the theme
  • Next 2 Hours :  Start working on the game
  • Next 43 Hours : Continue working on game
  • Last 2 Hours : Finish working on the game

Gonna attempt to stream some of the dev time as well, if all goes smooth… don’t want to spend those precious minutes working out streaming problems…

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