I was born in '86 and have been a professional engineer in the game industry for a few years now. I've worked on an unpublished XBLA/WiiWare title and 3 published iPhone games (GodFinger, Valet Hustle, dizm SKATE). I currently work at ngmoco and am working on an upcoming game.
Ludum Dare 24
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 22
Ludum Dare 21
October Challenge 2010
Ludum Dare 17
Awarded by Zac on December 8, 2008
Most Ridiculous Stereotype
Awarded by Ondure on December 7, 2008
I dunno if the name is going to stick, but here’s the game’s design:
In the world in front of you is a little man who is very fast but unfortunately very stupid. He has found himself in an ancient crypt and wants treasure! Naturally, this crypt has a giant boulder, lava, shooting arrows, walls closing in, and more hazards. You are a benevolent wall-building-spirit who is tired of seeing adventurers die. As a result, you will be building walls to protect the adventurer from traps, help him collect treasure, and get him out of the crypt before he is crushed by the boulder!
Click-and-drag to draw a wall. Character runs and does very simple pathfinding around obstacles. Collect treasure. Don’t die.
I’m starting late but I’m really looking forward to this one!
I really want to. As usual I can’t spare the whole 48 hours, but maybe I can make an 8 hour game instead! We’ll see.
The themes are almost all excellent.
I’ve used it personally and find it easy to work with and fast. I figured it might be useful to a lot of you guys who want to try out the mobile market. Let me know if you have any questions.
I submitted my game to Apple. Have a look at the submission post here:
Little to no progress since my last post. I’ve had to work all weekend and stayed late working much of the week. No bueno. Still hoping to get something sent to Apple before the 31st, but the outlook is not too good.
I’ve made my XCode project and I’m trying to wrap my head around Box2D on the iPhone. I’m also debating on using my own game framework (that I made for Valet Hustle a year ago), or if I will go with Cocos2D. Because Cocos2D has Box2D bundled, I figured the solution was obvious, but looking further into it really all they appeared to do is include Box2D in the download. There are no actual connections with Cocos2D that I can see. And do I really want to learn another API? It’s debatable.
Either way, I’m happy that because A Lasting Impression was from an 84 hour project it has only around 15 source files. It’s in Java, so I’ll need to port it to Objective-C, but once I’ve got the physics and the rendering pathway all settled the rest should be quick and easy (Valet Hustle’s engine was one I originally made in Java and then ported over to Objective-C, so I’m already pretty good at the process).
My current target is to have the original Java game running on the iPhone by the end of the week. That will leave me about another week to add in some more entities and features, then I can submit it and hopefully get it approved just before the end of October. But that may be unrealistic – I may need to content myself with having it submitted by the 31st, but actually making a few bucks afterwards. Apple is notorious for taking forever.
Well I think I’ll try to make something for the October challenge. My only possible chance of making a sale, I think, is to make an iPhone game, so that’s what I’m going to do.
Because my free time is sparse, I was thinking I’d port over a game I made for an 84-hour compo. That way, I can spend less time drawing and planning and more time just finding the bits about the game that were fun. Also in the interest of saving time, I might make this in Unity, although I hadn’t decided. If I don’t, I’ll just use the iPhone framework I already have and find some iPhone 2D physics library I can use – does anybody know any good ones?
I’m going to port over “A Lasting Impression.” You can find it here: http://www.javagaming.org/index.php/topic,19135.0.html
I think its main improvements will come from creating a challenge before the time limit is up. Currently, you can get kids angry when you take their bubble gum and they run around and knock things over, but that’s the only challenging bit at all. What I’d like to do is add in more things that can potentially mess up your stack of stuff if you don’t deal with them, like angry dogs, popping-up prairie dogs, gusts of wind, and the like. Plus, I think I will get rid of the whole items falling from the sky thing and replace it with every single item being added by something. As in, an airplane might fly by, and if you throw something at it then it crashes and explodes into debris you can use, balloons float by occasionally or are attached you kids (and you must pop them to get them to come down), etc. These sorts of things will make the game much more fun that it is, I think.
I made a no sound version of my game in case people don’t want to download the 35mb. Originally I just posted the no sound version on LD with the option to download a sound version, but I switched it around. Now the default is the sound version (if you click the built-in DL buttons) with an option further down in the post to get non-sound versions. If I had more time I would have pulled in a sound loader that allows compressed music, but I didn’t.
Well, for only having been able to work on this for 12 hours, I think I did a pretty darn good job. I used JPixel again (as I mentioned before), which basically has support for OpenGL, pixely particle effects, and a lot of other junk.
Okay, I admit it, I was banking on “Escape” when I came up with my game idea. Therefore I will admit that the only thing that this game really has to do with islands is that it randomly takes place on one. I really would have loved to be more original here and go with the actual theme, but I was very short on time (12 hours was even far more than I suspected) and having spent 3 of that drawing the characters I had to go with I had planned. I already had design docs written up and all that beforehand and this sort of game really uses JPixel well, so that’s that.
Anyway. In Zombie Grinder you are running from a horde of zombies! I thought it would be fun to do an escape-type fighting game where you’re not limited by hit points. So, in this you can’t die unless you touch the horde on the left side of the screen. As such, even though you can be attacked by up to 50 enemies at once (I limited it because any more might slow down older systems), as long as you can stay on the right side of the screen you’re pretty safe. Turns out this is more difficult than it sounds.
I coded all the characters using the same base class, and gave the AI the ability to compare “factions” for who they wanted to attack. This ended up giving the awesome side effect of being able to drop in allies (same faction as the player) with very little fuss. All I had to do was draw a new character (or just tint the player’s guy, of course). This adds a very cool element where you’re running madly from these zombies and you can have some dumb friends drop in and distract some of the zombies. I really would have loved to play on this mechanic more but obviously didn’t have the time.
Overall I’m pretty pleased with this. It’s a simple little time waster that does, more or less, what I went for. And the number of moves you can do, along with the complexity of the combat system, is pretty awesome. My big disappointment is that I didn’t finish doing weapons in time – trust me, they would have been awesome.
Anyway, give it a play and let me know what you think. This could use a lot more work and quite a bit more polish (worst backgrounds ever!), but hey we can’t have everything. And don’t worry about losing – you can’t!
PS – Yes indeedy the gameplay and characters are inspired by River City Ransom.
I liked both of the top two themes (Islands and Escape), so I decided to incorporate both of them. Basically you’re in the Isle of Man when a zombie plague breaks out. You’ve got to run your ass off to get out of there in time, all the while fighting zombies who are getting in your way. Picture a side scroller with a horde of zombies coming at you from the left (so if you hit the left side of the screen you die) and individual straggler zombies on the right. Couple that with occasion humans getting eaten alive in front of you and there’s a game concept! To win, you need to get to a boat and escape the island. You can’t die from individual damage, but the more you get attacked the slower you’ll be getting out, and the closer the horde will get to you.
Every top-voted theme is totally awesome – I’m really excited for this one. I doubt I’ll have a full weekend, but I should be able to get something out. I decided that I am going to (once again) use my personal library JPixel to make this one. I used it for Exproad, Improad, Reroad, my first LD entry (for #13). JPixel has all the typical stuff built in – Sprites, particle effects, 2.5D side-scrolling support, sounds, collision detection, animation system, etc. That’ll make it really easy for me to slap in some gameplay, even though it’s very unlikely I’ll have more than 5 or 6 hours this weekend. I’m thinking maybe zombies or something, even though I did it in #13 as well. Or maybe I’ll go more original. I think what I like about zombies is that it’s totally okay if they have shitty AI.
Nooo, this is exactly one week too early! I will be at a wedding this weekend. Sad…
Here is the timelapse for my game. It’s very short because I only spent about 8 hours developing.
So yeah, got my first comment on the game and I thought I would respond to it (and all future comments). This game is not fun and didn’t get at all where I wanted it to because I literally only had 8 hours to spend on it. I made the sound effects in 20 minutes (so I guess they suck too) and was unable to test them out to see how I liked them (sound effects are usually really important to me in my games). The levels are definitely designed like a 3-year-old did it and I absolutely did not succeed in making a fun difficulty curve. I also was not at all able to make the ship control very good… in fact losing both of your wings doesn’t even seem to do much in that department. Plus the static from losing your antennae is way crappy.
But, I still had a bit of fun rushing to make this and I still think it’s a pretty cool concept. It’s also a bit pretty and maybe you can play it and ruminate over how it has the potential to be a fun game.
Either way, thanks for playing!
I lied, I ended up making a game all tonight. Tomorrow is going to suck because I’ll have had no sleep. Oh well, so it goes. I made this one in Unity. I sort of sucks because I wasn’t able to spend any time balancing it (I spent about… 8 hours start to finish on this, including design). Still is a pretty nifty entry, I suppose. It’s even got 5 levels.
The idea is that you’re in a space ship and you’re trying to land on a planet, but your space ship is too heavy to do so without burning up. So, you’ve got to ram your ship against various obstacles in space in order to break pieces off and reduce your total weight. As you break parts off, your ship loses functionality. Breaking off your wings reduces your maneuverability, breaking off your antennae reduces your ability to see around you, and breaking off your cockpit actually kills you. If possible, you want to break off the body of the ship by ramming into something just as you pass it – once the cockpit is free.
Anyway, you can it for PC at:
And for Mac at:
I’ve decided I don’t want to be stuck inside all weekend – I want to explore the town I just moved to. So, no LD. I was hoping for Attraction, but that clearly lost a lot. Advancing Wall of Doom is pretty cool but no thanks. Good luck all.
You can’t see it, because I don’t have a camera. Rest assured, it is a wood-colored boring IKEA table with a laptop and an iMac on it, and that’s it. Why? I just moved here last weekend. Not much in the way of furniture…
About to make some yummy risotto for dinner, then I’ll be ready to go. Depending on the theme, I may or may not do this contest, actually. I’m just sort of zonked at the moment and not looking forward to the prospect of being chained to my desk until Sunday night. We’ll see.
I’m excited for LD 14, I’ll definitely have a go at it. I was also pondering what language or dev platform I would use. Java is my staple, but I’ve learned or mastered so many other technologies lately I thought I would give one of them a go. Let’s see, there’s XNA, which I recently made a game in, there’s Unity, which I’ve got a good amount of experience with, there’s Objective-C/iPhone, which is always cool because then it can be published, there’s Flash (I still haven’t made anything in AS3)… hmmm…
I don’t know at this point, but it’s likely I’ll go with Unity or the iPhone. Trouble with doing an iPhone game is that nobody can play it unless I release it on the app store, and aside from that being more or less impossible in 48 hours I still think the audience who could play my games would be very limited. Still, I’d love to mess around more with the iPhone – using the accelerometer and the touch screen leave some big possibilities.
Well, we’ll see…
Well, I missed the start of the competition again, but this time I don’t think I’m going to rush to get something done. I think I’ve entered 4 programming comps in the last month and a half, and I need to get away from the computer.
However, you can see my entry for the Java 4k Game competition, if you like. Basically you’re a guy in a spooky house trying to scare ghosts away from your friends before your friends are “eaten.”
Wow, I’ve got the best food, and the second best journal.
I can’t say I expected that, but I did expect EIR! to land just about where it did in the other categories. 14th overall, with my other places in that ballpark. That’s top 24% which really isn’t bad, and I said to myself after playing everyone else’s games, “it’s one of the better games but not one of the best games.” And I was right.
One thing that I learned from this whole experience which I hadn’t gotten from my previous game ventures was a chance to see what’s successful. After creating them I think I have a good feel for which of my games have something really good going for them and which don’t, but that’s different than being able to specifically point out what gets acknowledged by the community as “good.”
So, what is good? What does that really mean? In Ludum Dare 13, it means something that looks complete, and not something that looks like it was made within a time limit. The vast majority of the entries to LD13 were more like demos and attempts than completed games (mine amongst them), because people would finish an engine and time would be up. The top 5 places in overall could all be described as games that set out to achieve something and did it. Complete products, no holes anywhere. That, I believe, is the most important piece of doing well in a 48 hour competition.
There’s more to it than that, obviously. The game needs to have something unique in it to set it apart. Some of the games submitted were complete but didn’t do amazingly well, mostly because they didn’t stand out enough. Increpare, the big winner of LD13, made something that any one of us could have done. His gameplay is crazily simple, the execution of it not at all complicated. But his idea is so standout and brilliant that he went away with 5 medals, all of which were gold. Then there is PsySal, who weaved an engrossing story, and bluescrn who who executed incredible gameplay. All of these approaches are different, but the key point is that they all stand out.
Similarly, you also need to have a sort of minimum level of execution in every other category. If there is one part of your game that is memorable because it’s bad, then you’re pretty much out of the running. When I saw the initial screenshots of these games I thought Fiona’s entry was a surefire winner, because the presentation is so slick and the idea so cool. But when I played it the controls were so difficult that this potential was immediately eliminated. Meanwhile although increpare’s gameplay was ridiculously simple, there was something about creating that movie length time limit and the maddening screw-you-over mechanics that made the gameplay good, and some people spent a lot of time trying to get to an “end.” His gameplay certainly wasn’t the best, but because it wasn’t at all bad, his game was able to seem like (and become) a winner.
So, in the end, what you need is:
1) A complete-feeling and polished game.
2) Something that makes your game stand out.
3) No major or easily noticed problems with your game.
Easier said than done, of course. But the most noticeable thing to me is that bells and whistles and complexity of gameplay are completely unimportant. It’s much better to take a simple idea and make that work perfectly.