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Ludum Dare 30 — August 22nd-25th 2014 — Theme: ??? (Suggest a Theme)
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    About Neonlare (twitter: @https://twitter.com/MthisG)

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    In? Most assuredly! Out? No.

    Posted by (twitter: @https://twitter.com/MthisG)
    Friday, April 25th, 2014 3:08 pm

    Hello folks, it’s another year and another LD, and things sure have changed here for me! I took a sort of quasi-break last time (I submitted an entry but didn’t rate any) but this time I’m going full swing! A lot has happened this past year, a lot of progress and I’m ready and willing to nail something out awesome for this time around!

    This’ll be my second Jam this month, I submitted an entry for Alamantus’ Insanity Jam and managed to tie first with the project. It’s a surprise, as I wasn’t too happy with the project and nearly cancelled it before being convinced to finish it (much thanks to JupiterHadley. Alamantus and the Tales of Game’s guys for this!). You can check it out here: http://jam.alamantus.com/insanity2014/viewtopic.php?id=251

     

    Beyond this and working on emigration to Japan for a year along with working with the ToG guys on a super secret project (Shut up and Jam Gaiden 2) which has been a really, really damn good ride. But enough of this, it’s time to LD, and I’m here to say I’m In.

     

    Tools of the Trade

     

    FL Studios 10 – Music and some special effects

    Audacity – For Sound editing

    Game Maker Studio – All game making programming goodness

    Graphics Gale – Graphics and whatnot

    Flash – More graphics, potentially

     

    Everyone enjoy LD! It’s a damn good Jam and I’m looking forward to everyone’s submissions! Over and out~

    Alas, poor LD, I knew him Horatio

    Posted by (twitter: @https://twitter.com/MthisG)
    Sunday, December 15th, 2013 3:55 am

    Hey so, due to some serious oversleeping and just lack of time, I’m gonna have to pull out of this Ludum Dare for December. It’s something that really aggravates me to no end, but It can’t be helped. The Project I’ve been working on won’t be completed before the submission deadline, and whilst the game will come out in due time this month, it’ll need more hours of the day than the weekend. I wish everyone the best of luck with this LD 28 and enjoy playing a ton of cool games from it, cheers! :)

    I’m In! And more Ramblings from a Dev

    Posted by (twitter: @https://twitter.com/MthisG)
    Saturday, December 7th, 2013 12:00 pm

    I’m in again folks! Ludum Dare 28 hey? How times flies. I’m unsure as to the shape of the flying object, be it a bird, a plane, or a Copyrighted Mascot, but it’s flying none the less. Unless you prefer your time to flow as opposed to fly, but I digress.

    This year sure has been an “interesting” one for me. Recent graduation, the delve into some more serious game dev being bunted by several in real life issues but I can certainly say I’ve learnt a LOT these past few months about the worlds we all live in. I’ve been partaking in the One Game a Month Jam for each month of the year, and this will mark my last submission for 2013. It’s certainly been a learning experience, and whilst the majority of my games this year have been “Nano-Games” I’ve still learnt a great deal from the experience. Ah yes, learning, did I mention that? I guess I did.

    If you’re interested in checking out the games I’ve made prior to this LD jam, you can find them up here at http://www.onegameamonth.com/MthisG . Beyond this however, we also got a website set up, which is going under a third revision which also has a ton of games posted up. Not all my submissions have been put up and there’s still Fahzor’s Getrudis to be posted up on a page, but you can check all of those games out (Fahzor’s little dealio is found here at http://getrudis.com/ , and the rest of my Solo projects are here at http://studio-anjin.co.uk/solo.html ). Come along! Play some games! Break some games! It’s all cool!

     

    But yes, back to Ludum Dare.

     

    I’m really, REALLY Hyped for this LD. It’s the final contest of the year, and I’m going in guns blazing for this one. Being the last major game dev jam going on this year, it feels right to put the best foot forth and show the world what we all have as developers, and show everyone our progress throughout the year in this one big firework of the year. I’ve been getting into gear, checking my arrays and lists twice over, and getting to grips with a basic do-it-all framework that handles a lot of the non dev stuff like display windows and whatnot prior to the start date. The software I’ll be using for the Jam are a follows;

    Game Maker Studio (GML – C based language engineered for more game devery stuffs)

    FL Studios (Music composition and Sound effect creation)

    Audacity (Sound editing and mastering)

    Graphics Gale (Graphical asset design and pixel art)

    Gimp (Same as above)

    Adobe Flash (Same as above)

    Twitch.tv (I’ll be streaming whenever I can, over at http://www.twitch.tv/neonlare , in fact I’ll be booting up a stream shortly for preliminary work)

     

    I’m going to be doing something slightly different for this LD. Instead of deciding on a genre and working on the framework ON the announcement of the theme, I’ll be working on a BASIC framework and deciding a Genre to stick with, and incorporating the theme into this framework. When I say framework, I’m generally just talking windows, menus, and the stuff that really shouldn’t be eating up the dev time of a project. I’ll see you guys around, and good luck with your submissions! I look forward to playing through them all~

     

    LD 26 – Plex Postmortem

    Posted by (twitter: @https://twitter.com/MthisG)
    Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 8:12 am

    TLDR: Links to my LD 26 stuff. It went well! Honestly.

    LD Page: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/?action=preview&uid=1913

    Soundtrack Page: http://curoi.bandcamp.com/album/plex-soundtrack

     

    Phew! It’s been one hell of a ride this LD and for the most part it’s been a really beneficial and enjoyable experience! Plex has been recieving some very nice reviews and despite a few bumps in the road everything turned out pretty decently.

     

    If you’re interested in checking it out, you can find the game here- http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/?action=preview&uid=1913

     

    Now onto the GBU!

     

    Good

    • The music went really well, especially considering the nature of it. In contrast to my previous entries, the music in this is of a way more natural, instrumental nature, based on real strings and what not. I’ve also released the OST onto Bandcamp, so if ye feel like supporting a lil’ indie dev along the way be sure to check it out here :D http://curoi.bandcamp.com/album/plex-soundtrack
    • Graphically, the presentation of the game was another pretty smooth ride. Minimalism led to more focus on a cohesive art style, and although it did come out sliiightly pixelated versus its original vectors, the entire game seems to hold well :).
    • Gameplay wise, aside from some conveyance issues and bugs with the HTML5 version (I’ll get to them shortly), the simple mechanics seemed to be a big hit for most folks.It’s humbling and awesome to see folks enjoy the game, its that kind of thing that really motivates me more to make and create content, games, etc :D.

     

    Bad

    • Conveyance issues. The code in the game is supposed to draw an axis to show you the orientations of your flipping, but it doesn’t seem to work in levels. As a result people have had issues regarding this mechanic and not quite understand it. It’s built around the principles of teslation, but I will certainly implement this in a future version.
    • Level selection. I admit I was a little lazy regarding this so the game boots you back to the title each time you complete a level, which breaks some flow of the gameplay. Lesson learned D:
    • Music was originally a serious issue, as only one of the tracks would play. This has been fixed for the download version, but for HTML5? Well…

    Ugly

    • Holy smokes the HTML5 export feature of Game Maker :Studio needs some serious work. Issues with randomize() functions plain not working and characters getting hooked up on walls for no reason caused me no amount of frustration. As a result the “Full” experience is really the downloadable version.
    • The video for the Compilation footage is barely audible in the youtube video. The audio, whilst a little low by nature and made a little more quiet in the video itself was basically blasted away by the volume of the other videos submitted, meaning the music and sound assets aren’t really showcased in that compilation sadly. I guess for future reference I should crank the volume up to 11 next time. It’s a real shame though :(
    • Some people can go diagonal in the game. Most can’t. I can only assume they’re Techno-Wizards, but for the next rendition I may just ensure that I keep movement bound to else checks as well.

     

    Conclusion

     

    This is what I love about LD. It encourages coming out of our little comfort circles to do something more than just retro inspired art platformers or the same kinds of games we usually fall into the cycle of making. It encourages open minds and the desire to better ourselves and others. It encourages motivation, and determination despite extreme crunch-time conditions. It encourages, at it’s core, creativity.

    So, I’m going to sign off saying that LD26 has been a blast for me, I’ve loved most all of its moments. It’s certainly inspiring me to further the concept of Plex, building up on it giving it a good polish and education before sending it off to fend for itself in the world. For now though, I’ll spend my time getting ready for the next LD.

     

    Cheers!

     

    LD Page: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/?action=preview&uid=1913

    Soundtrack Page: http://curoi.bandcamp.com/album/plex-soundtrack

    I’m In! And a bit of a reflection too

    Posted by (twitter: @https://twitter.com/MthisG)
    Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 8:01 pm

    I make a bit of a habit to try and enter into Ludum Dare as frequently as possible. It’s become almost a ritual of mine to try and do something with it no matter the theme since my first LD entry of “Arcane” for LD #18 – Enemies as Weapons.

     

    Boy the amount of stuff I’ve learnt through this. When I started this I was a novice game developer who did a bit of everything except programming. Since then I’ve been constantly trying different things and genres with each entry, testing out ideas and mechanics unfamiliar to me. It’s really helped me a great deal.

     

    It’s quite often that people sing the praise of indie developers. The Notch’s and McMillen’s to the Amaya’s and Nygren’s. There’s a lot of names that get out there, and just as many, if not more that aren’t. I think it’s kind of a shame really that some names stick and others don’t, especially when the quality of the games these guys put out are often always top notch, if Ludum Dare is anything to go by.

     

    It’s that adage I keep hearing, “Game Development is like making a film, where you grind your own lenses” that sticks true to me. The end user isn’t going to notice the hours slaved over tweaking animations, or creating smooth menus,  or the horrible little quirks that comes with engines like the inversion of y values for the Box2D physics on Game Maker Studio (Seriously guys? Seriously.) But Hell, to get a game done and out, finished and playable for people to enjoy, and for those players to actually, honestly enjoy the thing is seriously a humbling feeling. No game is flawless, the same as no film is flawless or no book is flawless, but its the flaws as much as the strengths to a game that adds character to the product. I think these flaws and nicks give games some added flavor. They make these things human, they’re not merely simulations but actual things that hold sentimental or emotional depth. I think Ludum Dare really brings that adage of grinding lenses to its core. Everything focused out in those 48 hours will often not be pristine or absolutely bugless, but in each game you can feel the effort put into it, and see the progress we make as developers and admirers of the art form. A Bad Game is always Bad, this much is true, but I don’t think there are ever really “Bad” Games on Ludum Dare, they’re all part and process of growing as developers.

     

    So here’s my salute to the past Developers of Ludum Dare who have moved onto other things, to the current Devs who are planning and running for this month’s LD, and to the future Devs who have yet to pluck up the courage to try this foray into crunch-time, to make a game they’ve always wanted to do. Without folks like them who break blocks both creative and conventional, LD wouldn’t be where it is today. Experiment on, and we’ll be experimenting with you.

     

    As always, Count Me In.

     

    My Tools

     

    • Game Maker : Studio – Game Dev. and Programming
    • FL Studios 10 – Music Composition
    • Flash CS6 – Concept Art and Animation
    • Gimp – Photo Manipulation
    • Graphics Gale – Pixel Art and Animation
    • Twitch.tv (GearStrike, UltraJMan, Romscout, MegaGWolf, gallefrayvbs, thatonevideojirard, projared and the TGS podcast, etc.) – Inspiration / Anti-Cabin Fever
    • Jazz Radio.com – Inspiration
    • Youtube – Inspiration / Anti-Cabin Fever

    I’m really excited to see what LD #26 has in store for us. Lets Rock!

     

    You find yourself in a Dark Tin Can

    Posted by (twitter: @https://twitter.com/MthisG)
    Sunday, December 16th, 2012 7:17 pm

    Hey folks, hey one, hey all, hey yo’! Tis been a bit since the last time I submitted for Ludum Dare! Here’s hoping the game grabs your fancy, it was a blast making it!

    Sealed EvilMain Page:  http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-25/?action=preview&uid=1913

    Oh and of course; +1 Goat.

    1goat

    LD 48 – Missing Links indeed (White Flag)

    Posted by (twitter: @https://twitter.com/MthisG)
    Sunday, August 26th, 2012 12:30 pm

    I’ve been tearing away at code for the past 30 hours, gone through 3 different prototypes for a game befitting of this theme and I’m just, stumped. I know for sure I won’t be able to make the deadline sadly, but it certainly has opened a few things I have to work on. There are two major points as to why I’ve just crashed and burned this time around, it’s a little sad for me, as I had made it like a ritual of mine to try and participate within every LD from my first one – Enemies as Weapons. Oh well, ya live, ya learn, ya rise again. D:

     

    Out of all the factors, these two were the ones that effectively killed me this time around. I’ll see you guys around for next LD!

     

    • Menu Logic – Something that has evaded me for the longest time, I usually struggle the most with menu management. This was the downfall of most of my projects for this LD, and it’s something I’ll definitely have to work up and polish before participating in a theme as complex as Evolution.
    • Theme Complexity – Evolution wasn’t really a theme I was expecting to see for this LD, so it did surprise me to see it come on up. That and the involved complexity of involving Evolution as an intrinsic gameplay mechanic is another one of those project killers for me sadly. As I worked further on my projects I had less and less time to implement this system in, and I did not want to do another Metroidvania esque platformer as I had already created one of those before for LD – Escape.

    Good luck to everyone and I hope your projects have gone smoother than mine! Have fun!

    In for Ludum Dare 24

    Posted by (twitter: @https://twitter.com/MthisG)
    Friday, August 24th, 2012 4:52 am

    Hey there folks, tis me again!
    I’ll be in again for this round of Ludum Dare, having just returned from my year in Japan. I’ll be using all my usual tools, FL Studios for Music, Game Maker Studio for the actual engine, and some Audacity alongside Art-Rage.

    I’m really excited to see what will come of this Ludum Dare, every time it seems to get more and more dynamic, and more entries come out from all across the internet. I wish everyone the best of luck! Lets make this one great!

    Ludum Dare #23 : I’m so damn in.

    Posted by (twitter: @https://twitter.com/MthisG)
    Thursday, April 12th, 2012 9:33 pm

    So another Ludum Dare comes rolling in soon, but not just any LD though. This time, it’s the 10th Anniversary of the whole shindig, which is an amazing thing in itself. A whole host of people, gathering together, from all across the globe to develop a game in super-crunch time restrictions. It’s pretty damn fun, and whilst I don’t really post so much as a blogger on these parts  I do usually log into the IRC to chat with folks and see how things are going, and I do regularly participate since from approximately a year or two ago. Having said this all, there’s only one more thing for me to add;

     

    I’m In.

    Im In! (Neonlare)

    Posted by (twitter: @https://twitter.com/MthisG)
    Wednesday, December 14th, 2011 2:54 am

    [DETAILS TO COME]

    I’m In regardless however, but I may be using a different platform, depending on how this contest turns. As always, I’ll be running FL Studios for my Music, and stuff like that, but we’ll see how it goes with the theme ;D.

     

    Of course, it could be 2D, it could be 3D, it could even be 1D! Possibilities are indeed Endless (or, at least, not as finite-as-finite) .

    Graphics will be made with Photoshop, Flash, or Paint, or even Blender, providing certain things play into my hand.

    It’ll be interesting, this is my first LD abroad (in Japan at the moment), so it will definitely be interesting to be -able- to get some sleep beforehand.

    Ludum Dare 21 – My Post-Mortem

    Posted by (twitter: @https://twitter.com/MthisG)
    Saturday, August 27th, 2011 1:54 am

    It’s been a good set of days with Ludum Dare, and aside from one incredibly annoying and potentially ruining issue it has been a great learning experience. It’s been a lot of fun and I hope to compete again in the future.

    The Good:

    Entire game got completed, without too many hits (except for the one mentioned above), it’s been a blast and in general I wouldn’t have anything bad to say with it. Programming was difficult at times, but it helped me push out more and further my little experience in that field a lot more.

    The Bad:

     Work on the Music took a lot longer than previously desired, but more-so than that it seems the game is working out to be a bit hard for players. I wish I had placed the controls information inside the game, as this generally would clear up that holding X makes the character run a lot faster and in general makes for easier platforming. It -is- playable, but this is where the ugly comes in.

    The Ugly:

    This is where it gets really nasty. The original upload I made for the contest had everything working, everything, except -one- item, which is crucial to completion. The reason why this wasn’t in the original upload? On zipping the file I must have done something horribly wrong which wrote those rooms as completely blank. In my source outside of the zip everything was fine, but with the zip bundled and such, I didn’t notice this error till later. I reuploaded another zip with the correction made, but if this invalidates the entry then I’m willing to roll with that blow; I’d much rather a game that was complete and made in the spirit of the contest rather than try to rush something out just for the whole idea of “winning” something. Hopefully though, this shouldn’t cause any problems.

    Summary:

    Incredible learning experience through and through. I had originally intended to make an RPG with a basis engine beforehand but the time frame for that does not fit very well for a 48 Hour contest. I’d like to attempt it someday, but maybe for the Jam as opposed to the Compo. I really look forward to the next Ludum Dare and as usual check out the other entries submitted. There’s some amazing content up!

    Till next time~

    My Entry for LD 21… IS FINISHED!

    Posted by (twitter: @https://twitter.com/MthisG)
    Sunday, August 21st, 2011 7:19 pm
    Server problems and chaos whatnot aside, 
    
    this Ludum Dare has been an absolute blast and I've enjoyed every moment of it. 
    Please give this game a shot and tell me what you think, I've really enjoyed making it.
    
    I hope you find the game fun!
    
    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-21/?action=preview&uid=1913
    
    Enjoy guys~

    End of my First Day – Comments

    Posted by (twitter: @https://twitter.com/MthisG)
    Saturday, August 20th, 2011 1:14 am

    It’s been six hours already in the contest, and I’m deciding to hit the hay for a little bit for now. It’s been a pleasant surprise getting the theme above, and I’ve been making sure to put it to use in the project. The game has been going rather well, aside from a few code hiccups here and there which have been resolved, the graphics for the most part are completed as well as the Map for the game. What is required now is placement of Enemies, basic enemy AI, a bit more polish on the code and music. Oh wonderful music.

    I’ll sleep on this. Hopefully I can get a screenshot of the project up sometime soonish, but for now, It’s time for me to get some sleep. Before I pass out from exhaustion.

    Here we go! I’m IN!

    Posted by (twitter: @https://twitter.com/MthisG)
    Saturday, August 13th, 2011 8:19 pm

    Hey there, posting to confirm that I’ll be entering again for LD, this time I hope to invest full time into the project and not be distracted by anything in real life. Total. Dedication. To. The. Cause.

    Anyways, my tools of preference are as follows;
    Game Maker 8
    FL Studios 10
    Notepad

    Here’s hoping this goes well! I’m hoping to also post frequent Screen-Shots in order to log my progress throughout the course of the Contest. Lets do this! :3

     


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