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    yeah, im in

    Posted by
    Friday, December 14th, 2012 10:48 am

    wasn’t happy with my last entry, lets see what i come up with this time.

    tools:

    language: haxe (targeting flash).
    text editor: sublime text
    sound: bfxr
    art: photoshop
    libraries: maybe polygonal.ds, but maybe just the haxe stdlib.  hard to say.

    good luck, me.

     

    Crashed on Planet Minutiae: Post-Mortem

    Posted by
    Friday, April 27th, 2012 6:21 pm

    Now that the dust has settled, it’s probably reasonable for me to write a bit about the development process of my Ludum Dare Jam entry, Crashed on Planed Minutiae.

    I wrote this game using ClojureScript, a variant of Clojure which compiles to JavaScript. For the unfamiliar, Clojure is a dialect of Lisp which runs on the JVM. Barely one year old, ClojureScript is an extremely new language, and when rushing to complete a game, it shows. For the first 24 hours, my development was fraught with regular (every twelfth build, oddly enough) compiler crashes due to an undiscovered memory leak. The JavaScript interop was shaky (but has already improved to address issues I faced during development), and some bugs in my code took a very long time to track down.

    That said, I’m happy with my choice. It allowed me to write the logic for the game at an very high level, including writing a (very) small domain specific language for generating random levels. The compiled code ran quite quickly, and I didn’t really have any performance issues with it (that said, the game runs at 30fps, and not at 60 like I would have liked. I attribute this to my reckless calls to the canvas, more than to any fault of ClojureScript). I was able to write a couple macros to ensure that my canvas stack usage was always valid (every call to context.save() had a matching call to context.restore()), and to ease some of the burdens of the canvas’s API. Once more of the quirks with ClojureScript are worked out, I’d recommend it to anyone.

    More detrimental to my progress as a whole than the language I used, was the fact that there seems to exist no good tool for writing canvas paths. My process involved tweaking lots of numbers, much guess and check, and just ditching things that I couldn’t make look right. THis, more than anything else, was why I ended up entering the Jam as opposed to the primary competition itself (that and poor time management, of course)

    The game itself is somewhat neat, it’s a top-down adventure game, I wish I had time to add more features. Originally my plan was to have beasts rise out of the ocean and attack you as you harvested the crystals. You would have also gotten a blaster, to fight them off (in fact, the dialog still says that you do get one, but it does nothing). I would also just used HTML for the minimap/health window. Much more hassle than it was worth, and for no benefit.

    Overall, I count it a success, even though I wasn’t as excited about my product as I had last time I entered (which had the benefit of being my first game as well).

    I am in: LD23

    Posted by
    Monday, April 16th, 2012 6:24 am

    I’m planning on entering Ludum Dare 23.  I will be using ClojureScript, and developing using various HTML5 technologies.

    Last year I enjoyed entering the competition immensely, but I made some mistakes which I intend to correct this time around.

    1. Not releasing on the web (e.g. downloadable executable).
    2. Not following the theme.
    3. Not blogging/participating in the community…. really at all

    I didn’t do number one because I didn’t really know any useful languages. I had been a paid javascript developer for several months at that point, but I was still fairly green in terms of how to make a game, and I hadn’t done visual effects in quite some time (never being particularly good at them :). I’m choosing ClojureScript this time, as it compiles to JavaScript and can run in the browser. It also allows me to enjoy a faster pace of development compared to actual JavaScript. I did a test run this last week to push it to its performance limits, and it performed admirably

    Number two fell out of not being that good. Surprisingly, I’ve become a much better programmer between last December and now. Last time I was very focussed on making anything that worked. I was hoping to follow the alone criteria by naming my game “Alone Where?”, and having no other characters. Eventually I dropped the “Alone” from the title because it felt like I was trying too hard, and then the title became shortened further to just “W”. Regardless, I’m going to follow the theme at least somewhat more closely this time.

    As far as the third is concerned…. I’m notoriously terrible at doing anything social online, especially when there is code to be written! I have no patience for social networks or blogs, but who knows…. I’m at least making an effort to not be as antisocial this time around by posting this :p, and I’ll see if I can post at least nightly status reports regarding my game next time.

    I’m unsure as to whether I’ll enter the Competition proper or the Jam this time. I will likely only have time to do the Competition, but who knows, that ended up being a spur-of-the-moment decision last time anyway based on “whelp it ain’t good enough now, so Jam it is”. Either way, it’ll get released!

    I can’t wait.

    Edit:

    Seems like typically people list their tools and such.

    Tools:

    • Code: ClojureScript HEAD, using Emacs for editing and lein/lein-cljsbuild for building.
    • Art: Probably PixylEdit, Pixen, or something along those lines
    • Sound: BFXR, though sound might not be supported cross-browser.

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