I'm a fourteen year old guy named Tim, and I'm here to make games and do it while I'm still young. I believe in games as art, and I'll always love making them.
About Puzzlem00n (twitter: @Puzzlem00n)
Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 24
Ludum Dare 24 Warmup
Ludum Dare 23
Awarded by johnfn on August 29, 2012
The "Thanks for your Great Advice" Award
Awarded by iandioch on August 24, 2012
It’s an odd thing that this turned the best game I’ve made so far, and yet this time, I was able to do it in 48 hours.
I feel like, somehow, I finally got the Ludum Dare right.
In Ludum Dare 23, I got through it in 48 hours, but the game that came out was terrible in every way possible.
In Ludum Dare 24, I disregarded all the advice you’re supposed to take during this competition, including my own, because I was obsessed with getting my way too over-complicated idea done. I ended up doing the Jam.
In Ludum Dare 25, I barely focused on doing the work at all, and had to do the Jam again just because I spent too much time on Saturday watching TV.
In Ludum Dare 26, something felt different. I was just tired of not getting anything done that I was actually proud of. So I shut myself in my room for the weekend, followed the tips for a succesful LD, and actually got something done that was good.
You can just look at the top of my LD page to see it. Compared to all those other game screenshots, something about this one just feels better.
In short, I feel like a completely different person. And not just because of the new profile picture. (Although it’s pretty sweet, if I do say so myself.)
In fact, this game is the the first one that makes me want to do a post-compo version. So I likely will.
So, come play my game, #. Welcome to a new Puzzlem00n. Better yet, a new Tim.
Alright, so, my game’s mechanics are finally complete! Now all that’s left is level design and art/sound touch ups.
“Egad man!” you cry. “What does it mean? What are those rectangles doing? I need the answers!”
Fear not. If you have Love2D installed, you may try my two level demo showcasing the mechanics.
So, yeah, level design. I can do this. Watch it live: http://www.twitch.tv/puzzlem00n
I’ve decided that I, along with many others apparently, am going to make a game based off the De Stijl art movement/Mondrian. I’ll admit, I knew nothing about them before the LD started, but I like how it looks.
See? That looks all too game worthy.
The concept is a maze game, where you, as a white square, go through, collecting all the three colors (only the primary colors exist in De Stijl!) and switching between them to help you pass through gates/ get by enemies. It’s not too original a premise, but I’ve learned that original premises = death in this compo. Unless you’re the winner. Perhaps that’s a bit backwards…
Well, good luck getting through day 1, everybody. We’ll certainly need it.
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires…
Woops, wrong declaration.
All corny jokes aside, it has come the time for me to make public my cobbling of libraries, which can be found here on Github: https://github.com/Puzzlem00n/BaseLibraries
Credits go to Kikito, Kadoba, litearc, Nikolai Resokav, Inny, thelinx, and YellowAfterLife for many of the libraries and ideas for what I coded myself.
A few interesting decisions I made this time:
- I’ve decided to make the game run with a pseudo-fixed framerate. Love2D normally runs with variable framerates and delta time, but I’m really sick of all the glitches that gets me, so I figured it couldn’t hurt sticking it to 30fps.
- I’ve finally written in my own code for tile collision. Don’t get me wrong, bump.lua is awesome and it’s still in there in case I want it for entity collision, but when I get weird tile collision glitches, it’s hard to fix when it’s not my own code. Besides, mine is much, much simpler, and works just as well.
Well, my fourth event approaches. Good luck to all, especially you, new guys! Without you, Ludum Dare wouldn’t be growing so fast and strong.
EDIT: A new credit goes out to Taehl, because I just had to add Tserial.
Chief: “Excellent work, agent. Do you spy anything suspicious?”
Puzzlem00n: “Not particularly. But the place reeks of starch.”
Ah, Ludum Dare… A time of programming, a time of isolation from our peers, and a time of many, many open browser tabs.
So, I’m back! Not that I left for any period of time much longer than anyone else, it’s just that normally I like to sit around and comment on MiniLD entries in the off season, and well, I didn’t. I’ve been having the motivation issues that are archetypal of a Puzzlem00n like myself, but now that LD has come around, it’s given me time to sort it all out, and well, you can read about way down there, after the break if you’re interested.
Enough of the life story! Toolset!
CODE- LÖVE, Notepad++, and whatever libraries the community and I have come up with that are of interest.
GRAPHICS- While I have Photoshop now, I’m still not that well versed in it (and admittedly we haven’t fully registered it as of yet), so Paint.net is the way to go for now. I am thinking of using something like Spriter Beta or Spine, but that’s only if I can figure out how it works by the weekend.
SOUND- Musagi and Aria Maestosa if I get to composing, but by recent trends, it’ll end up being something like iNudge or Otomata. SFXR/BFXR for SFX and Audacity for those extra details.
OTHER- Tiled has always been my friend. And if I get to streaming (details below!) OBS looks good.
And, to finish off, my goals for this LD:
- MAKE THE 48 HOUR DEADLINE. The first time I pulled back to the Jam instead of the Compo in LD24, I didn’t feel at all bad about it, because I knew that I really just wanted to finish my game idea at that point, and it was all in the good fun of making games. But when I did the same thing again the next time, I felt pretty bad. It was one thing to do it once, but to do it twice ran the risk of making it a habit. I firmly intend to stick to the compo deadline this time!
- DON’T MAKE A PLATFORMER. I’m SICK of all my games having platformer elements. This one should be topdown, hopefully.
- POST STUFF DURING THE LD. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I sure missed all the posts I made throughout LD24 during LD25. My page felt so empty!
- ATTEMPT TO RATE 100 GAMES THIS TIME. I managed it twice in a row, but I severely missed the mark last time. I’ve got to try and get another streak of full coolness!
- MAKE A WARMUP GAME. If I’d gotten to it last time, I might have saved a lot of time. I already lost the weekend (procrastination on a lot of things), so it might be hard, but hey, I sort of made a promise.
- Finally, and most ambitiously, STREAM MY LD! This has actually been on my list of goals for LD26 for a long time, and the fact that PoV made that new streaming widget is an incredibly welcome coincidence. I might not be able to do it, but if I do, let me tell you guys, I’ll be trying to make it quite the show!
Well, that certainly was a lot of writing for something that will stay on the main page for so little time, but hey, I like writing.
I really haven’t posted much this LD, and this has been for two reasons:
- I have a twitter now, so I couldn’t focus on both pieces of my online presence.
- I didn’t have much warmup or anticipation for it this time, I just jumped in to it.
Of course, only now do I realize how much of a jerky move this was, so I’m making a little post.
SUMMARY: So, I had to do the Jam again, because I lacked focus on it during the first two days. Yesterday, I found out it didn’t work on slower computers. I fixed it up, staying within the rules, so that it did. A few people played it, and they liked it. Today, I found out my slower computer fixes messed up some of the story. It didn’t ruin the experience for those people, but I had to make a second fix today for the old fix. So yeah, I’m feeling like a little bad right now.
It should work now though. Go ahead and give it a play. We can only thank the fates I haven’t had time to start rating games and not to many people saw the ever-so slightly messed-up story.
This whole LD has felt very, very off to me. Either I’m not myself right now, or the world isn’t itself right now. Perhaps both.
Here we are, my preliminary libraries.
- Advanced Tiled Loader (for Tiled editor, kadoba)
- LoveFrames (GUI, nikolai resokav)
- Navi (RPG message lib, litearc)
- Anim8 (animation, kikito)
- Bump (collision, kikito)
- Camera (camera, kikito)
- Middleclass (OOP for lua, kikito)
- My own gamestate system (based off some stuff from Bartbes)
So, who knows what’ll happen on this one. I haven’t really been practicing much, honestly, too much other stuff. Good luck to you guys!
I’m in, people! This’ll be my third LD in a row, and I’m very glad to take the excuse to finally put a new game out there after such a long time since August. Should be a blast!
The only sad thing for me is that, with school returning from the darkened shadows of its summer hiatus, I won’t have time to be as ridiculously active with the community as I was last time, and I probably won’t be stopping to give advice to every other new guy on the block. (Although, I am working on updating a little something…) This kind of pains me a bit, because one of the my greatest accomplishments in LD24 was making my way in to a deeper level of the community, and my two trophies prove it. But you know, priorities. If you’re interested in keeping up with me, you can give me a follow on twitter, where I can spam you with updates far more effectively.
And now, the declaration of tools:
CODE- LÖVE and Notepad++, and whatever libraries I can smash together until they work in semi-glorious harmony.
GRAPHICS- You know, I’ve really wanted to do something different with my graphics, and I’ve been thinking about installing that old pen tablet! Whatever the case, I’ll be using mainly Paint.net, if I don’t break out the old pixel art tools.
SOUND- Musagi and Aria Maestosa for music, with SFXR/BFXR for sound effects and Audacity for whatever else.
OTHER- Tiled, if I decide the game needs it. And XMind for planning.
In other news, I’ve decided to double-up the Warmup Weekend with the Hack-a-Jam! Why not, am I right? Should be fun, and a lot closer to the real thing than just warming up on my own time. I’ll submit it here when it’s done, as well as on the Hack-a-Jam site. EDIT: Alright, so I had to step out of the Hack-a-Jam/Warmup for homework reasons. This is not a good sign for next week…
Oh, and once again I issue a universal good luck to all the first-timers, whom without LD could never be the same.
You know, with all the really sad and/or dull forfeiting posts I’ve done, I thought I’d make one a bit more… Fun.
It’s October here in Ludum Dare,
And all men toll away
For ’tis the time to make some dough
And stop sitting ’round all day.
They make their games with great delight
though sometimes things are rough
It’s what they do, ’cause through and through
Indie devs are tough.
So what becomes of Puzzlem00n;
that young chap from ’round the bend.
Simply put, why is it
that his work has come to end?
Well guys, it’s a few days into October, and I’m stuck trying to figure out how my teammate and I are going to make our money. Despite Wonckay and I being only 14, we’ve planned to try and rake in some dough anyway. I think I can send the money through my parents when necessary, but there’s a lot we don’t know about what we’re doing in terms of business. So, I have a few questions for those who are more experienced than I am. We’re in the U.S., and thinking about using either BMTMicro/another payment service or Desura to sell through. Forgive me if I ask anything stupid or ignorant, but let’s just say I’m not nearly as good with this as I am programming. (And I’m far from perfect with that, too, haha.)
1) I’m pretty sure that both of the aboved services, to some extent, take out some government taxes before giving you your money. What I’m not sure about is whether or not I’ll have to pay any more taxes after that- would everything be taken care of? Because if there’s one thing I don’t understand, it’s taxes, and I’m hoping they don’t get in the way.
2) What kind of business license needs to be registered? You have no idea how much research I’ve done on this without getting any solid answers. Sources say everything from “you don’t need one” to information seemingly meant for physical businesses. So, what do I need, and how should I get it? Will using Desura rather than selling it with BMTMicro make a difference? (You know, since using Desura would make us under another business.)
3) Is it even smart for us to try and be making money at this age? I know it’s risky, but I’m really hoping we can do it. I’ve seen other people who say that it would be better if the young guys here were to just forget about it, but I’m not so sure. I’d like to try out the commercial thing, you know? So please, don’t just say, “Don’t worry about the money, just have fun, stay in school, hohoho, merry Christmas!” (If it’s really that hard, maybe I can just set up a donation system from free to infinity dollars. I would definitely appreciate infinity dollars.)
Thanks in advance!
As fate will have it, some unexpected situations got in the way over the weekend and I wasn’t able to get any work done on the Twine story. Literally, all I added was the start screen and the beginnings of a first page. Normally, I’d just finish it during the week, but of course, I have the October Challenge to prepare for (which my relatively silent partner and I are very psyched for, by the way.)
Sometimes, it seems like I can never myself for MiniLD’s. I just don’t always hype myself up for them like the real things, I guess. Oh well. I have a lot of stuff to do this week if I’m going to commit myself to making a commercial game in a month. At least we already have the story and basic design set! Anyone remember Lifezone?
P.S., does anyone have any decent instructions on getting a business license and other stuff you have to do to sell a game? Most things Google brings up expect me to know a bunch of technical terms. Unfortunately, I’m technically just a kid, and I’ll probably have to do it all under my parents.
In the spirit of not-gameness, I’m going to go with the most not-gamey thing I can: A very linear interactive story. I’m tired of making real games, and tired of programming, and tired of wanting to make a game with an amazing story and not having enough time for story. And besides, I didn’t have much time to prepare a code base, and well, I’m just more likely to succeed in Twine.
The only time I ever used Twine was in a short little escape game for a language arts project last year. It turned out pretty cool. So, wish me luck. I’ll figure out what the story is as I write it. That’s the cool thing about writing.
Aha! I’ve now reverse psychologically tricked you into reading this. You shall all now do my bidding. Mwahahaha. I mean… You won’t do my bidding. Yeah. That’s bett- …worse.
Continuing on with my established style for postmortems, I’m going to go through this thing first with a development summary, things I succeeded in, and lessons I learned to end it. So, let’s begin.
Summary- Just before going into this one, I felt pretty good. I’d just finished my second game ever, Placeholder, for the warmup, and that was a pretty good boost of confidence. During the time the competition began, I was at a car dealership with the family, which was fine, because I was just going to brainstorm anyway for an hour. I was trying desperately to get a signal so I could read the theme on reddit, and when I got it, I was hit with a bombshell. EVOLUTION. WHAT?! THAT WAS NEVER SUPPOSED TO WIN! I had mentally prepared for all the themes, quite literally, except for evolution. In the end, I think it was McFunkyPants’s book that pushed Evolution over. He mentioned it, saying “maybe it’ll win” with a wink, and, albeit unintentionally, rocked the vote a bit. Well, it was gonna win sooner or later, I suppose.
So, my first idea was beating up Charles Darwin.
My REAL first idea was a game that evolved depending on how you control it. The game would start off with a rectangle that would become your character or something else entirely… It would be vague to allow transition to other genres. Epic, but was it something I could make? I immediately told my brother and mom the idea anyway, though. My mom’s reaction was, “That’s impossible.” It was, wasn’t it?
So, I went with a choose your own adventure platformer. Fun, right, and sort of evolving as in evolving thought. Here’s that mind map:
After a while, I realized this was boring me to death.
So, I decided to go back and think through using the other idea. Risky. But, as I said in another post, I realized throwing away that first idea was a tip for people who wanted to be winners. And I knew I should do what felt right, regardless of whether something would come out of it.
So, I mind mapped that. I no longer have the same map from those early stages, but it involved several games the final version did not include, such as an asteroids clone branching off the shmup if you kept up held down (you have to in asteroids), a more open metroidvania coming from going right instead of left (get it?), a short grue-related text adventure, a game where you threw the block against the walls to try and cause a certain amount of damage within a shot-clocked period of time, a point-and-click adventure where the rectangle is a keycard, and a few others I’m likely forgetting. I was in love with the project’s concept.
On the first day, I began by making all the arrow-based gamestates work in their basic forms, without level design. I did this to an extent. The first day was wrapped up with the platformer working, the rpg character moving, and the ship moving around the screen with its rocket. The bullets were still buggy when I went to sleep.
Day two, I got the ship mode working first and foremost, fixing the shots (I’d like to thank Michael James Williams’ tutorials for teaching me how to make bullets work right in the first place) and making the ships spawn from the ceiling. I also designed a few platformer levels and called that part done. But the turn-based rpg was the killer. It needed a lot of work. I wanted it to be like the one in the LD23 keynote, where you avoid the enemies, then get a sword to kill ‘em with. At the time, I envisioned rooms connecting all of the different parts of the map. But I didn’t know how to leave the enemies in memory, so they’d still be there when you returned to the room. Bugs galore were getting in the way of things, and by the end of the day, I realized I had an incomplete game to submit.
With only a flicker of sadness and that feeling of failure, I went for the Jam with a happy, relaxed attitude. When I went to bed, I thought of just using a camera and one big room for the rpg. It worked marvelously, although it was a bit of a trouble to traverse it quickly, I realized. But I couldn’t fix it, speeds were hardcoded. More on this later.
I spent the last few hours working on the topdown shooter and recording some extra sound effects. (BEEEEwoooaw “FAILURE.”) In the end, I had about two and a half hours left for one more mode. After almost starting on it, I decided to submit. I’d rather not break something last minute.
Comments immediately showed that the game is way too slow. Indeed, this is true. You see, in the beginning, everything moves a set speed. This speed was designed to create a realistic jump, blast off, and rpg move all in the same key presses. I decided this speed so early on that it was going to be impossible to change without editing the values of all these other gamestates. My numbers were hardcoded, and it was not a smart move. I had no room for tweaking.
Other than that, comments have been positive on the overall concept. (Not counting RawBits, who apparently sees no connection with evolution here.) There is a glitch on certain systems with entities not updating at the same speeds (thus causing bullets to lag behind ships), which I apologize for, these bugs are not present on my computer.
All in all, I’d call this one a grand success.
- I made a game I thought I could never finish. Sure, it took extra time, but who cares?
- My first experimental title. I call it this because… Well, it has that feel, man.
- I got that old entities system to do something it’s worth using for. (Previously, I’d been using it in ridiculous ways, like in Empty, for example, make the player move. That’s what main.lua is for! Kinda.)
- In fact, I used a lot of libraries in ways they’re supposed to be used for the first time.
- This isn’t directly related to the game, but I feel like a lot more people know my name by now. Like I’m starting to become a recognizable person instead of another newbie to ignore, you know?
- It’s okay to pull back to the Jam. I don’t know how many people I’ve seen who say “I ran out of time” in their compo entries. The Jam’s there for a reason, people!
- Tips and guidelines are for people who don’t like having fun.
- Make sure things are tweakable. You don’t want to get trapped into a game where the variables just don’t work in your favor and you can’t fix it.
- Mind mapping does rock after all.
Some Inconspicuous Notes
Alright, I don’t want a firestorm to start in the comments over this, whether it be good or bad, but something should be written. A while ago, I made that post about Mohammad. I asked people to help him out with his dad, but he ended up getting help on a lot of other things, too. He got pretty mad at some people, and returned some pretty enraged comments. PoV then threatened to have him banned for this, and causing all the commotion in the community. So, PoV called for everyone to calm down and reset. The next day, Mohammad posted something else off topic, people still got mad at him, he got mad back, and some people said he ought to be banned. I got mad at him over this really bad move, and he then asked if it would be better if he left. I said yes. I figured, at the rate this was panning out, he would be banned anyway. And so, Mohammad said his goodbyes, and that he would keep communication to a minimum until the ratings were over and then just disappear. I was prepared to write a whole post on this decision to tell him to leave, until I realized I was really just frustrated. I took it back today, and now Mohammad’s here to stay with a better attitude. And I even got him to write with capital letters. In summary: PoV, situation neutralized, reset complete.
So, I have a lot of plans for the future of Puzzlem00n Development. I’m going to focus on branding myself and the site, but details will be withheld until I have time to make a post on the subject. Until next time,
Ah, yes, and as the clock ticks down, we all rate games with joy and pleasure at the immense creativity of our game developing brethren.
What’s that you say, dearest reader? You still haven’t rated enough games? You’ve been procrastinating? Well, that simply won’t do! What you say, you wish to cheat off me, to see the games I’ve enjoyed in no particular order? Is anyone looking? *glances left and right* Well, okay, but don’t tell the admins… They put so much work in to that Play and Rate Games page…
Another simple game from Azure, the guy who makes pure designs come forth in to a land where entertainment has become synonymous with “ACHIEVEMENT GET!”
Can a modest man in dashing undergarments get off of the island he finds himself trapped upon? With some great mechanics and a killer crafting system, it’s a surprise this game hasn’t been rated more often.
In a world… Where you live within a circle and gravity pulls you from all sides… You must fight your past selves to survive as long as you can! Filled with paradoxes, sure, but a fun time indeed. Hint: don’t spam the attack button into the air, you’ll be killing yourself later.
Do people really expect sci-fi missions to mars to go well these days? While a bit linear, this one is a pretty complete horror experience, and it’s not incredibly cliche, which takes some good writing.
Isometrically messing with evolution? How educational! Apparently with a few different paths to take, this game feels just as polished as this dynamic duo’s last entry, perhaps more!
Oh, man, a text adventure? Wait a minute… No it isn’t… Now it’s an Ascii roguelike. And now it’s a NES game- no, a SNES game… The world is starting to look… better. Based on the brilliant metaphor of text adventures to increasing insanity, this game rocks.
What, you’ve already played this one? SHUT UP AND PLAY IT AGAIN, THIS IS DEEPNIGHT! And it’s not all philosophical like the last two he made.
A puzzle game that actually manages to feel completed after 48 hours. Well played, Quintas, well played.
This octopus is seriously messed up, as it can use DNA points it gathers from destroying submarines to form grotesque legs reminiscent of other creatures. It then uses those legs to destroy more submarines. Senseless destruction is truly bliss.
Bikers. The wild lives they take on. What’s that you say, reader, they’re just circles? THEY’RE HELMETS I TELL YOU, HELMETS! *clears throat* Well, if we’re all ready to move on from that episode, this game of devolving weaponry is an enjoyable arcade experience with a lot going for it.
This one can speak for itself. “I was on my way to Aeolis Mons. We lost communication with the rest of our unit earlier this morning after they were dispatched to the supply drop site. I had a strange dream last night. I can’t quite remember what happened but it was terrifying in a way I can’t put into words. It felt like a premonition – something dark was coming.”
I’ll never think the same way about evolution again after these wonderful, jello-y squares taught me it’s all in the puzzles.
The fantastic output of a developer’s own evolution of learning through 48 hours. The story behind this game is what puts it over the top.
Aliens were never that good at driving automobiles. You’re going to have to upgrade your ship by stealing parts of others to survive… and make up for your terrible piloting skills.
Rob has a thing for good 3D. Evolve forwards and backwards through time, taking on the forms of bigger and smaller evolutions of your species to move through the area.
A game where the world shifts around you to form new paths you can take, one of which will hopefully get you to your girlfriend. A bit laggy on some machines, but if you can play it, it’s very worth it.
What’s that you say, dear reader? This is my game? Preposterous. This game was clearly made by someone devilishly clever and likely very handsome. The game itself evolves based on how you control it! How awesome!
What’s that, you say, reader? You don’t actually exist, and your just a clever amalgamation of how I expect you to react, and therefore, I’m talking to myself here?
I’M NOT CRAZY!!!!!!!
Alright, so, if you’ve been around the past while, you know Mohammad. You probably think he’s annoying sometimes, and doesn’t know what he’s doing. And his game is pretty awful and glitched up, and he hadn’t seem to understand he can’t make infinite patches even if he’s in the Jam, he doesn’t respond to many comments at him, he types in a rushed and carefree manner, he thinks this is the place to advertise his minecraft server, etc., etc.
But basically, he seems to be in dire need of advice. He’s having huge troubles with his parents believing in him as a game developer, and I’ve been trying to help him out, but let’s be honest here. I’m fourteen. I don’t have much life experience.
So, if you don’t mind, could you help me help him? Our conversation can be viewed here, at his Jam entry’s page. Please, I’m running out of ideas. http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-24/?action=preview&uid=14064
Well, after having to pull back to the Jam just to complete my entry, I couldn’t be prouder of this game. It’s just as good as I expected it to be. I love it, and I hope you do, too. Postmortem to come.
I have no right to call this game my own. This game is your game. It evolves into what you want it to become.
That is, assuming you want it to be one of four distinct and pre-chosen genres.
Alright, so, I’m out of time, and I’m not done. But here’s the thing. I don’t care! I knew this would happen in the back of my head when I went with my crazy idea. You see, when I first thought of it, I threw it away immediately. It was too ambitious. But then I remembered Chevy Ray’s advice from reddit. Throwing out the first idea was a tip for making a game you wanted to win.
I realized I didn’t want to win. I wanted to make something epic. And so, I decided to forget everything they tell you about going for something you could finish or something basic and just make my idea.
So, I did. And it bit me back. But was it a mistake? Absolutely not. I can still make the Jam’s deadline. I can still make a great game out of this.
To everyone who has received advice from me, and I tried to give a lot, I’m truly sorry I didn’t follow it myself. Yet at the same time, I’m not. Now, to finish this thing!
The idea I’m running with might be a mistake. But who cares? I love it. It’s very experimental, and I’ve never tread upon “experimental game” ground. One thing in my favor, and this is the biggest hint I’ll give, is that the game would literally be ruined if the graphics were any more than rectangles. So graphics will be fast.
To finish this thing, I’ll have to break a few of my own rules. But, again, who cares? Rules are meant to be broken!