I like to make games.
About johanp (twitter: @johanpeitz)
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 23 Warmup
Ludum Dare 21
Ludum Dare 20
The Having Ideas As Brilliant As Mine Award
Awarded by ananasblau on April 30, 2011
First off, thank you so much for all the kind words about the game, I’m really happy that so many people seem to like it.
Second, since so many people seem to like it, I’ve given the game a much needed update based on the comments I received. Biggest change in the new version (1.1) is time trials. Once you get a three star ranking on a level you can also strive for the best time. Other changes include updated ui, difficulty tweaks, tighter controls, lots of tweaking, and bug fixes. Oh and there’s replays too, so you can show your friends your awesome time attacks.
The compo page for both the old and the new version is available here: A Super Mario Summary. I hope you enjoy the new features!
Almost a week has passed since LD23 started and I think it is time to look back at what actually happened. I didn’t really have a favorite among the themes, so when Tiny World popped up I had nothing prepared. I got a few ideas while having breakfast, but nothing that I thought was interesting enough. Tiny World to me is about relative sizes, but all I came up with was not relative to anything else in the game. So I took a shower and not only did I get clean, but the idea of summarizing another game into tiny bits was born. I went with Super Mario Brothers pretty much straight away as it both widely known, but also said WORLD x-y on every other screen.
Can’t be bothered to read the post mortem? Go straight to the game and play/rate it here.
Things that what went right
I used my own developed engine Pixelizer. Even if I’ve been working a lot on it lately and this would be the first true test. Luckily it stood up to the challenge and allowed me to cram a lot into the game in little time.
Straight and simple, but colorful. I obviously had original graphics to start from, but I wanted to put my own touch to it to make the game as a whole a quite different experience from the original. The first thing I did on the project was actually animating the main character as I knew I would be spending a lot of time with him and didn’t want to stare at a purple box. From there I build the rest of the graphics to work with the character.
I knew making 32 distinct levels would take it’s time, so I decided to find a way to control the scope in case I ran out of time. The solution I choose was to alternate between making levels from the start and making levels from the back. Ie, first I made world 1, then I made world 8, than world 2, then 7, etc. Should I run out of time, I would at least have the start and the end of the game. Also I didn’t implement anything until it was needed in a level. That way I could focus on the task at hand at all times.
Being part of the LD meet up at Free Lunch Design worked great for me, it was very relaxing which allowed me to focus when needed, and chat with friends at other times. Kept me from burning out which very easily could have happened.
Things that what went less right
In retrospect, this was way to big for a single weekend. I churned out levels like a crazy person the last few hours before submission. Even if I had control of the scope, it would have ruined the idea as a whole if I had failed to recreate every level.
Pixelizer was good to me in many ways, but there are also some glitches in the game which are due to the engine. Needs more work.
The game feels a bit flat without any music. But there was simply no time for this and I am no composer by any means. I decided not to include music as it would probably do more harm than good unless it was really good.
Misjudgung the audience
A lot of the decisions I made for the game design concerned how to make the game more puzzly and less actionly. I thought I would get away with this, but it caused the game to be somewhat less similar to the original than what players expected. For instance being able to jump over the flag pole or nog being able to stand safely on pipes, made a lot of players frustrated.
I didn’t do much noise about having completed my game. I was tired and went to bed. When I woke up again the game was mentioned on some sites and I thought ‘hey that’s great’ but didn’t think more about it. Later that it started appearing on more sites and suddenly it was featured on Kotaku. From there everything exploded, with the game appearing on everything from destructoid and boingboing to barstoolgames. Tweets kept rolling in with comments and questions, from all over the world. It was an amazing experience to see something that I had created spread like a wildfire. I had never imagined that people would take the game to their hearts the way they did and I feel incredibly humble and fortunate to the whole experience.
Ludum Dare 23 was an amazing experience for me. Not only did I had a great time making the game, seeing the response has been thrilling beyond compare. Browsing the entires I am amazed by the sheer range of awesome game concepts and implementations. The sky is truly the limit for this fantastic event. I am happy and proud to be a part of it and so should you!
If you’re still interested in the actual game after reading this, please play/rate it here.
Big thanks to everybody who showed up to our Ludum Dare gathering at Free Lunch Design. It was great fun to meet you and to see you make and play your games! Here’s the list of games made during the gathering:
It’s always a joy to participate in LD and I can only hope you enjoy our games as much as we enjoy yours! Trying to play as many games we can at the moment and really enjoying the experience. Congrats to all who submitted!
Didn’t have time to post an announcement yesterday as my internet broke down whilst trying to submit. (The horror!) But it eventually worked again so without further ado, here is A Super Mario Summary!
The game is a puzzle platformer containing the essence of every level in Super Mario Brothers game, in tiny single screen versions. Try aceing all 36 levels by getting all coins and jumping to the top of the flag pole!
Play, rate, and enjoy right here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-23/?action=preview&uid=608
One of the main reasons I like to jam solo is the ability to swap between disciplines. If I were to code for 48 hours I would surly burn out pretty quickly but as long as I can swap from coding to pixeling to level designing to making sounds, I can stay on top. Just got tired of coding and decided to make a title screen. What can it be?
I’m making a platformer (as usual) with AS3 (as usual) and finally putting my engine Pixelizer to the test! Working relly well so far.
Woke up early today and decided to redraw yesterday’s graphical efforts. The result is a much more cheerful version of something I am sure you recognize. I’m quite happy with yesterday’s progress. The game is basically done (save a few enemies) so I can spend the entire day on making levels and polishing.
Biggest problem yesterday was eating too late too fast. Oh well.
Here’s my warm up entry Bee’s Knees Bees! Was quite fun to make and is weird to play. Help the bees collect nectar and make honey, watch out for the bear!
Good luck and see you next weekend!
What framework are you going to use for LD23? Why not try Pixelizer?
Pixelizer is an AS3 entity and component based game framework and today I pushed version 0.4.2. This version holds mostly fixes and tweaks to the 0.4.0 version, but a few new things as well, e.g. visualising colliders.
In order to make it easy and fast to use I’ve written a lot of components already so it should be super easy to get started. The whole thing also comes with a lot of examples that show you how to work with components. Read all about Pixelizer here.
I’ll also take the opportunity to say that Pixelizer is now on GitHub. Join the fun!
We’ve just decided that we ( Free Lunch Design ) will try to host an LD meet up during LD23! Join us at our office to jam, solo, or just hang out! Located in central Göteborg close to Järntorget we offer nice people, great restaurants, and lots of fun! Can’t promise we’ll be open 24/7, but we’ll try!
Although our offices are spacious, we do have a limited number of seats so I cannot promise that everybody can come. But if you’re interested, drop me a line on @johanpeitz .
I’ll be back with more details as the date closes in. See you then!
Progress has been good and I am happy to announce Pixelizer 0.4! As it stands now it is mostly functional complete.
What is Pixelizer? Pixelizer is a component based game engine/framework for making games in AS3. Think about it as Flixel/FlashPunk but with component. Easy to use and easy to extend. Comes with a truckload of examples too.
Download, demo & docs be here: http://johanpeitz.com/pixelizer
As always, feedback, requests, and general encouragement is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
First and last game from me this mini LD. Wasn’t really planning to make a pile so that’s O K.
But here it is! Circus 200! Help the acrobats build human towers through all the acts. Can you reach the finale?!?! Decided to also make it for that pirate kart thing so I went with a retro wide pixel look.
First, I want to thank for all the good feedback I got since last release. It’s been really helpful, so keep it coming!
Now then, with version 0.3 Pixelizer is really starting to shape up IMHO. Switch scenes, play sounds, add components and entities like there was no tomorrow. Feature list now looks like this:
- easy extendable component based framework
- nestable entities for easy manipulation of groups
- lots of premade components and entities
- fast 2D rendering
- automated collision detection and response
- spritesheets, animations and tilemaps
- automatic panning and volume of moving sounds
- exact mouse and keyboard input
- fancy text rendering
- handy math routines
- effective object pools
- useful logging
Code, docs, examples and all you need available on the project page: http://johanpeitz.com/pixelizer
And if you have any thoughts, feedback, or ideas. Let me know! Thanks!
I just released version 0.2 of my framework Pixelizer:
Pixelizer is a component based framework for writing games in AS3. That means that you have base entities and that you write little behaviors for them. Behaviors can be anything from game logic to rendering to whatever you can imagine. As most standard behaviors are already in the package, it is very easy to get started and getting your game on to the screen should be a breeze. I am aiming to make it really flexible, reusable and extendable. The main rendering technique in Pixelizer is currently blitting. Blitting is a fast way of displaying hundreds of objects with virtually no slow down.
I’ve been inspired by Unity3D, Flash Punk, and Flixel and added a my own philosophy into it all.
Code, example, and even a demo on the project page.
I would very much appreciate feedback on the whole thing. Very much! Thanks!
But nothing has happened since. Totally blank atm.
Unless xmas prep explodes in my face or something I’m going to make a stab at the oncoming LD!
Last few times I joined I used other peoples tools (flixel, flashpunk, etc) and wasn’t really happy with the decision. Mostly because they weren’t my own and that I had never used them before. So this time I want to use my own code and am therefore releasing it so that anyone can use it freely.
It’s called Pixelizer and is an AS3 component based game framework that mosly works with sprite sheets and platformers.
If anyone is interested to use it, it is available here.
For my third LD I knew from the beginning that I would have less than one full day to complete the game. Knowing that, I first planned not to join, but when I saw the theme I thought that I should at least be able to do something small.
Again my weapon of choice was AS3 and low res pixel graphics. This time I tried out FlashPunk (thanks to Sos’s framework posted earlier) and even if I used very little FP code I was quite happy with my choice.
All together it turned out more or less like I imagined it to be. If you haven’t played it I strongly suggest you do so before reading any further as the game is quite spolier fragile. Feel free to try the game here:
What went wrong
I wanted to really put the player into the action and let the player imagine what had happened before for herself. This had could been done a lot better and I’m not happy with the intro and outro texts at all. They worked, but nothing more. I think better texts could have emphasized the point of the game and the players’ reactions even more.
- framework code
I hadn’t used FP before so when I found out that Sos had posted a quick and dirty platformer framework I decided to use it right away. The framework was good for most parts (thanks Sos!) but there where some minor glitches that stopped me from adding some of the polish I wanted in the end. Since there is so little platforming actually in the game I might have been better off writing it from scratch.
- not much
I tried to think of a third thing that didn’t work out but failed. I didn’t eat very much, but that was expected. Next time I really should take more breaks and eat better – pomodoro style!
What went right
Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to pull any all nighters I decided to try something very special and short instead of generic and large. Usually I want to make levels after level, but this time I was smart enough to realize my weaknesses and use them as strengths.
While I usually dabble with pixel graphics, I wanted to try a new style this time. Normally I’m very much about child-like proportions, big eyes, and black outlines. In BATHOS I aimed for a realistic style in order to make it feel more real. Wether I actually achieved the latter or not, I’m very happy with the looks of the game and it is something that I will surely use again.
- framework code
Although there were some minor kinks in the framework I used on top of FlashPunk it allowed me to dive straight into the game mechanics. This saved me a lot of time and I think it was the first time in many years that I didn’t write any engine code for a game. Big thanks to Sos and Chevy!
- the name
Reading the initial response I am very happy with positive comments, something which I am very grateful for. There are of course people who don’t like the game and/or hate the ending, which it why I named it BATHOS ( = anti-climax ).
On a final note, let me recommend WolframTones for quick music. It requires some clicking to get the desired result, but it beats composing for a musical newbie like me.
And that’s it! I’m really loking forward to try the entries of this LD, a lot of great looking entries. Extra kudos to Phil and PoV for putting in the extra time and effort to keep the site running – thanks a million!
Wahey! My game is now complete. Just inserted a few sounds courtesy of SFXR and some music courtesy of WolframTones.
Final teaser screen:
Now awaiting submission form.
My game idea is extremely simple so I can spend extra time on graphics. Yay! Title screen and intro is done as well. A good days work! Tomorrow I will tie up lose ends and add some sound effects.
Progress is really good! All interactions are in and even animations. There are a few bugs present like items sticking in the wall when dropped too close but otherwise it is fairly smooth.
Here’s a shot of the first room.
That is all for now.
Allrighty! I didn’t plan to join LD this time but what the heck – I’m in! Mostly because when I saw the final theme I got an idea almost immediately that shouldn’t take too long to implement. The player is stuck in a building and needs to *drum roll* escape! Very original, I know, but I have a few twists up my sleeve.
So far the first room and the player is up and running as intended. Now to add some interaction with the game objects and then graphics.
I’m using FP, Sos’s framework, Flash Builder, and Pro Motion.
Good luck to all!