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Ludum Dare 30 — August 22nd-25th 2014 — Theme: ??? (VOTE NOW!)
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    About Simon (twitter: @simonchauvin)

    PhD candidate focusing on emergent narratives.
    Also game designer and programmer on my free time.


    Ludum Dare 29
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    Ludum Dare 26
    Ludum Dare 23

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    5th time

    Posted by (twitter: @simonchauvin)
    Monday, August 18th, 2014 5:41 am

    Hello everyone,


    It’s finally here: the best time of the year, the Ludum Dare. It’s time to get experimental!

    I’m going to use Unity this time, coupled with The Gimp, Paint.net, Inkscape, Bfxr, LMMS and Blender if I’m crazy enough to decide to make a 3D game.

    I will share space, food, drinks, music, tears and sweat with my good friends AnnaGavaldaKedavra, glbs and Marcellus.


    I wish you all a great time!



    Half time

    Posted by (twitter: @simonchauvin)
    Saturday, April 26th, 2014 10:00 pm

    This is it, on day passed, it’s almost 5am in France. Time to sleep a bit.

    I managed to do most of the coding. Here is a little place holders filled screenshot. This a kind of top down shooter with a (I hope) a little twist beyond the obvious goal of the game :)



    That’s how we jam in France!

    Posted by (twitter: @simonchauvin)
    Saturday, April 26th, 2014 10:15 am

    Metallica & Iron Maiden


    Ready to go

    Posted by (twitter: @simonchauvin)
    Friday, April 25th, 2014 1:15 pm

    It’s 10pm in France, we bought fuel and are now fully ready!


    Fourth time already

    Posted by (twitter: @simonchauvin)
    Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 1:08 am

    Hi fellow Ludum Darers,

    It’s already my fourth time participating and I’m still excited as this was the first time.

    As always I will be sharing space, food and drinks with some friends doing the LD too. But we are all participating in the compo.

    I will be using Inkscape, Paint.Net, The Gimp, LMMS and bfxr for art stuff. Depending on the game I wanna make I’ll choose between Unity3D or my own JavaScript engine: {FM.js(engine);}. I also often use Tiled Map Editor when doing JavaScript games. And of course all my code will be available on GitHub during and after the LD. I’ll also try and post stuff on my Twitter. If you wanna check the games I made for other LDs you can find them here or on my GitHub.

    I wish you all a great LD, can’t wait to play your games!


    Third LD!

    Posted by (twitter: @simonchauvin)
    Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 8:47 am

    Hello everyone,

    So excited about this weekend ! I’ll be doing the Ludum Dare for the third time. First time on December though.

    I’ll share a room with two friends but we plan on working separately on our own game. It worked pretty well last time.

    Anyway, I’ll be using Unity and Monodevelop if I want to make something a bit complex, otherwise I’ll use my own JavaScript engine coupled with Netbeans.

    For graphics I’ll mostly use Inkscape, GraphicsGale and Paint.net. Sounds will be a mix of LMMS and Bfxr.


    Best of luck to you all!


    More than 100 games rated. Here are my fav’!

    Posted by (twitter: @simonchauvin)
    Saturday, May 18th, 2013 10:06 am

    Hi everyone,

    last chance to vote so I’m laying down here some of my favorite entries. I like games with an interesting take on the theme, especially through gameplay. I also tend to appreciate games with a great mood and interesting mechanics.
    Of course the order of appearance does not matter!

    Boximalism by poohshoes

    Circles by Are

    People by BenW

    ZIN by henrykun

    shon by ilovepixel

    I wish to thank you guys for making these games, I really loved them and think that these are truly innovative and interesting.

    Take care,Simon

    Down The Line – Postmortem

    Posted by (twitter: @simonchauvin)
    Tuesday, May 14th, 2013 2:58 am

    Down The Line

    Down The Line is my game developed for the 26th Ludum Dare on minimalism. It was my second entry in the competition.fmjsengine_logoI took advantage of my own JavaScript engine, {FM.js(engine);}. It proved very useful and trustworthy, I did have to make a few tweaks on the pathfinding component but overall it worked pretty well out of the box. I also used Netbeans, Tiled Map Editor, Inkscape, Audacity, bfxr and Circuli.


    Last time I participated I was alone, this time I decided to enter the Ludum Dare with other friends such that we could spend the week end together, help each other out, playtest the game of one another, etc. It was extremely motivating, we were in an infinite motivational loop. If anyone of us was tired just the fact of seeing the others making progress was enough to keep working.


    We live in France and the theme was then announced at 4 am, In my opinion it’s the worst time to get started, do we stay up until the theme is announced ? Do we wake up at 4 am ? Or even 6 am ? There’s no perfect solution so we went with the last one, we woke up at 6 am after a good night sleep, ready to get started… but 6 am is still not the best time of the day, especially if you count on working ’till 2 am.


    The theme did not really appeal to me since I consider minimalist game design as good game design. I just felt like the theme was not a theme but rather a constraint that I already try to apply to my games. So it took me roughly 4 hours of eating, sleeping, thinking to get started but I finally got excited with my newborn concept. I wanted to let the player experience minimalism by letting her carefully creates paths with few waypoints but maximum efficiency. During judging I saw a few games with a similar approach so I guess it’s not completely irrelevant. It could have been brought further though, especially in terms of level design and scoring by allowing the player to find better paths for a same level.

    Anyway, even though it was very fuzzy at the beginning I sensed that there was something that could be done. During development the game kind of evolved on its own and became its own thing. It was a bit as if I had no plans but I knew what kind of feeling and level design I wanted. The gameplay had to fit that.

    In the end several iterations altered the way the player handled the entities, that’s how were created the blue and red entities, depending on the directions they took when hit by a waypoint. I could not decide whether they should follow the path forward or backward so I created two types of entities.

    Overall it went pretty smoothly and after my last Ludum Dare one year ago I could not have dreamed of a better second time. Now that I’m done with my whining and ranting let’s talk about the development itself. What did I do wrong ? What went right ?


    What went right

    Early prototype: I was able to get a minimal working prototype very early, this helped me a lot and made me confident that I would be able to deliver. In 48 hours of hard work confidence is key, you sleep better, you work better and it helps you stay motivated.

    Concept: the early playable prototype proved me that my concept was leading somewhere interesting, somewhere with potential. I still had some doubts of course but manageable ones :)

    Design: one of my main tools was Tiled Map Editor. Even when you’re not building a tiled game it is still relevant to place your objects, giving properties to them and to the levels themselves. Building levels could not have been easier.


    What went wrong

    Programming: the system I built at first worked perfectly, each entity was assigned a path as soon as they touched a waypoint. But when I added a new entity (the blue one) I discovered that my system did not handle AT ALL the reversed behaviour. It can seem pretty basic, and it is, but the system I built did not consider all waypoints in the path, only the following ones. At the end it was a mess and I discovered a bug that prevented me from adding more levels. This is the main regret I have for this Ludum Dare, I should have thought of that or designed the last level first such that I would have discovered the bug earlier and have time to fix it.

    Design: although I had built a prototype early I didn’t use it to quickly create my levels. I kind of waited for the game to build itself and let it inspire me. While it might be cool to work like this it can also lead to undesired situations, like the one described above.

    Sounds: I think that my lack of knowledge in sound design has prevented me to make a perfectly consistent game. Specifically, the sound effects appear less clean and clear than the music since I used bfxr to generate sounds and Circuli to make music. The former is made for 8 bits style game and it does not mix perfectly with the crystalline music produced by Circuli.



    Time to wrap it up. As I said above I could hardly hope for a best second Ludum Dare. Of course I could have made a better game, the theme could have been better suited for my taste, I could have been more cautious to avoid major bugs, etc. But it was the best 48 hours I had spent in a long time, my tools are working great, the game seems to be well appreciated and I think we (my friends and I) are considering participating in every Ludum Dare ’till we’re bored… or dead.

    Thanks for reading! And don’t forget to play my game and rate it!


    Half time debrief

    Posted by (twitter: @simonchauvin)
    Saturday, April 27th, 2013 5:02 pm

    Hi fellow LD-ers,

    I’m very pleased to be able to present you my game that you can play here (on Google Chrome though due to a minor temporary bug with FF).

    I’m pretty confident that I’ll be able to complete the game and add the necessary tweaks and polish. I had a blast all day, as I said in an earlier post I’m doing the Ludum Dare with two friends glbs and Anna. Compared to last year where I was alone it is so much easier to get motivated and to work long hours. I think that my game alone is a proof of that, last year at the same time I had almost nothing. I’ll never do the Ludum Dare alone again, it’s so much cooler like this.

    The game has changed a bit during development, it got simpler and interactions have already been modified a few times to be more intuitive. I still feel that something is not right but I’m too tired to even think about it. I’ll let you see for yourself. Do not hesitate to give me your feedback :)





    Getting somewhere

    Posted by (twitter: @simonchauvin)
    Saturday, April 27th, 2013 4:36 am

    Hi everyone,

    I found a pitch and started working on the prototype 4 hours ago. It was pretty hard to come up with an idea, the theme is so open. The real difficulty is that I always try to be minimalistic in the way I design games such that when the theme is precisely about minimalism I just feel that I should just make any game and design it the same way I always do.

    In the end it helped me go further and reach the fundamental meaning of minimalism, what it really represents. A form of revolution, a way to represent only what needs to be represented, it’s a form of optimization. I tried to create a game where the player has to do exactly that. Hopefully, the intentions will be met!

    Anyway I found something and I hope that I will have time to finish it, I’m afraid I’ll have to design a lot of levels whereas I’ve never been able to tell whether I liked that or not. Very few games have proved me that I was a good level designer, so let’s see what happen…

    Here is a little screenshot of the soon to be working prototype.



    Courage mes amis !


    Second timer

    Posted by (twitter: @simonchauvin)
    Monday, April 22nd, 2013 5:27 am

    Hi everyone,

    I’m happy to say that I will be participating in the 26th Ludum Dare this week end. It’s the most exciting time of the year!

    I’ll make a game solo but I’ll be sharing space with my friends glbs and AnnaGavaldaKedavra doing the LD too. What’s best than friends, game making, food and drinks? Right ? Yeah the sun and a swimming pool would be a good addition to the mix, someday when we’ll be rich. Anyway, be aware I have a big tendency to make weird stuff, I like interpreting the theme or translating it into game rules and it often results in stochastically fun games.

    Here are the tools I will be using:

    Programming: HTML5/Javascript with {FM.js(engine);} OR Unity

    IDE: Netbeans OR Visual Studio

    Level design: Tiled Map Editor

    Graphics: Inkscape, Paint.net, GraphicsGale

    Sounds: bfxr, inudge.net


    Have fun and good luck to you all.


    I’m done and I have something to tell!

    Posted by (twitter: @simonchauvin)
    Monday, April 23rd, 2012 7:01 am

    Finally, after 48 hours of work I actually produced something (named Perspectives) and uploaded it on the LD’s web site.This was my first LD and my first time as a one man game developer! You can directly play the game from here.


    I can’t say I’m happy with the game I’ve made but I’ve sure spent hell of a good time making it. While the theme did not appealed to me at first I insisted and created a consistent experience I think. I actually wanted the player to explore a world and discover how small it can feel when she has limited movement capabilities. I’m sure the intentions are not met by players since the execution is really shameful but as much unbelievable as it can seem I’m not too disappointed with the end result!

    Here are the tools I have used:

    • Language: Javascript
    • IDE: Komodo Edit
    • Engine/library: {FM.js(engine);}
    • Graphics: Inkscape and GraphicsGale
    • Sound FX/music: bfxr and Otomata

    I’m pretty satisfied with these tools but I’m still undecided whether to keep using Komodo Edit or to come back to Netbeans or Eclipse. Inkscape and GraphicsGale are really awesome, especially GraphicsGale, even for a beginner it’s very easy to create any animated (or not) sprites. I was really afraid by the idea of creating graphics since this is my first time but I actually liked it and think that this might be the best part of the game! (though I must admit it was not a hard thing to do since the rest of the game is poorly done). Still it’s ironic, I’m supposed to be a programmer and game designer for Christ sake ! I guess I like to learn new stuff, for instance I’m more into music recently, god knows why. Regarding the sound and music it was also pretty easy with bfxr and Otamata but I really could have spent at least one hour on it instead of rushing it in 15 minutes.

    Overall, I am completely in love with my new set of tools and feel almost capable of doing anything right now (I name this feeling the post jam disorder).

    In the end I believe that working alone in my living room have prevented me from getting motivated enough to achieve everything I wanted. Next time I would really love to work on my game with other Ludum Darers.

    In regard of the game I believe that it lacks many things, especially a bigger world and a better level design. Once again I was too lazy to achieve the few modifications that could have improved the game significantly. Another thing is that I was more involved in the programming than in the design of the game. More specifically, the collision and integration of Ogmo Editor took me some time and in fact, I absolutely wanted to use and enhance my JavaScript engine whereas I could have used a typical Flash based game development library (Flixel, Flashpunk). My last game, created for the global game jam 2012, is similar in that regard. Next time I promise I will make a longer and more polished game by using a full featured engine (Construct2 or Unity) or a reliable game development library (Flixel or my thoroughly tested one !)


    Anyway it was really great and I’ll make sure to do as many LD as I can.

    Thanks for reading,


    There’s always a first time

    Posted by (twitter: @simonchauvin)
    Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012 5:06 am

    Hello everyone,

    This’ll be my first time doing the LD. I’m really looking forward to it and hoping I’ll be able to make something cool or weird or new or complete !

    Here are the tools I’m going to use:

    Programming: HTML5/Javascript with my own framework, the {FM.js(engine);}.

    Graphics: GIMP, Inkspace.

    Sound and music: bfxr, inudge.net, Freesound.org.

    Can’t wait.


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