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Ludum Dare 30 — August 22nd-25th 2014 — Theme: Connected Worlds
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    About Will Edwards

    Dreaming of making indie games is, sadly, still just a dream.


    Ludum Dare 30
    Ludum Dare 28
    Ludum Dare 27
    MiniLD 40
    Ludum Dare 25
    Ludum Dare 24
    Ludum Dare 23
    MiniLD 31

    Will Edwards's Trophies

    Outside the Box Game Idea Award
    Awarded by rfgpfeiffer
    on August 31, 2014
    Gamification of Rating Games Award
    Awarded by ViliX
    on August 26, 2014
    Hacker Newser
    Awarded by udo
    on August 29, 2013
    Prettiest Text Adventure Award
    Awarded by royvanrijn
    on April 27, 2012

    Will Edwards's Archive

    All LD30 Games in this Mosaic!

    Posted by
    Monday, September 1st, 2014 11:30 pm

    AFTER you’ve played and commented on my game, you can feast your eyes on this mosaic ↓

    ↑ Your game is in that parrot! You just have to find it… happy hunting :D

    I picked a parrot picture because in my game there are still some wild animals to be found on the map in some of the jungles… happy hunting there too :)

    You may also like my interactive map of Ludum Dare participants

    Ludum Darers in Real World

    Its really really fun to watch your pins appear on the map when you play my game, and light up and reveal the ahem annotated map as you comment on other LD30 games!

    Please do comment on my game too so you light up my map when I play my game! That’d be the nicest compliment of all.

    This isn’t the first mosaic I’ve made for this Ludum Dare 30; you may also enjoy hunting for your entry in this map:

    Ludum Dare Stats

    Posted by
    Monday, September 1st, 2014 8:09 am

    As my game scrapes the LD30 game contest entries, I gather a lot of stats about who comments on whom.  And, I believe, comments are a good proxy for playings and ratings.

    We’re over a week into the 3 week voting time, and already the activity on the site has dropped significantly.

    Here’s the comments over time (PDT):


    The high peaks are at 12 noon each day; it seems people play and rate in their lunch hours!  Even as the number of comments per hour drops steadily, it still has a local maximum at 12 noon each day.

    I know I play, rate and comment during my lunch breaks … but I’m not in the PDT timezone.

    In fact, I have the supposed location of 617 players so far (seen my game?) so I could actually do an ok job of determining the local time they comment, and perhaps its not their lunchtimes?  I may do this…

    I was expecting the comment rate to pick up again at the weekend, but seemingly not.

    There are 2,539 entries, of which 1,044 are jam entries and 1,495 are 48-hour comp.

    There are a staggering 43,495 comments!

    3,536 of those comments are replies by the entry author, commenting on their own entry.

    764 of those comments were posted by 365 Ludum Darers who didn’t enter LD30.

    18 entries have no comments at all, and 1 entry has only the entrant commenting.  Sad!  I’ll put a list at the end so you can go do something about it!

    The top-10 commented-on games (so far) are:

    212 Close Your Eyes – nonetheless (Web, Source)

    195 Sinister – Joe Williamson (Web, Source)

    187 Heart Star – AdventureIslands (Web, Source)

    175 Connecting LD30 to the Real World – Will Edwards (Web, Source)

    161 Chipset-0 – deepnight (Play (flash), Source (Haxe), Timelapse (soon))


    All LD30 Games in this Mosaic!

    Posted by
    Friday, August 29th, 2014 12:20 pm

    AFTER you’ve played and commented on my game, you can feast your eyes on this ↓

    In keeping with the theme and my drive to connect the real world and the Ludum Dare virtual world:


    ↑ Your game is in that map!  You just have to find it… happy hunting :D

    You may also like my interactive map of Ludum Dare participants

    Ludum Darers in Real World

    Its really really fun to watch your pins appear on the map when you play my game, and light up and reveal the ahem annotated map as you comment on other LD30 games!

    Please do comment on my game too so you light up my map when I play my game! That’d be the nicest compliment of all.

    I have made some small tweaks to my mosaic placement algorithm since I made the LD29 mosaic, to do consider longer swaps than just two.  The results are intriguing, and I can discuss my counter-intuitive results in a technical blog post sometime soon perhaps.



    Posted by
    Friday, August 29th, 2014 4:34 am

    I’m struck by how many of the games also fit other candidate themes we voted on.

    Most games also fit one or more of:

    Another World

    Day and Night

    Many also fit:

    You Are Already Dead

    Do you spot any other patterns?

    Ludum Dare is European!

    Posted by
    Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 1:47 pm

    Ludum Darers in Real World

    As you can see, there’s a nice tight bunch on the east coast of the US, but otherwise LD is a very European affair!


    Now in my game there’s lots of strange map goodies all over the world, and I’m particularly pleased with Iceland, but who will be able to unlock them?

    UPDATE: There is a Ludum Darer in Iceland – thx Banni!  And there’s even players in the middle of the Amazon jungle!  How cool is that?!?!?

    I am also tracking comments over time this LD, so will be able to make some pretty charts later as scoring draws to a close.

    Oh, and I need to set about making another LD mosaic

    The average LD gamer uses… Windows 7!

    Posted by
    Thursday, August 21st, 2014 5:45 pm

    If you take all the photos on the internet and average the pixels out, the average pixel is … Orange!

    Yes I know you’d have guessed pink with a splash of white, but this is serious science folks ;)

    Emergent Orange.  People puzzle about this; is it gamma correction, is it florescent lighting, is it sunlight, is it … puzzling eh?

    Anyway, you may recall I’ve been making mosaics of the titles and screenshots you use when you enter LD?  Here’s the Mona Lisa from last LD:

    I took those images and averaged them all together.  And here’s what I get, the average LD entry pic:


    There you have it!  A tad orange, but most striking of all is the Windows 7 title bar etched into it like a TV channel logo on a CRT!

    So you use Windows 7 eh?  Please make a web game anyway, so I can play it ;)

    My script is here, you can see if your own photo collection is Emergent Orange!

    My Probation Officer suggested I get a hobby… hope she approves LD!

    Posted by
    Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 6:30 pm

    (title is just joking)

    I’ll be using my barebones.js library, and you can too!

    Its got a ready-to-use RTS-type map and a noise explorer and I used it for previous LD entries e.g. my platform game.

    I played around last week familiarizing myself with the Javascript physics engine p2.js, and put a simple exploration into barebones.js.  I’m not super happy with p2 physics not the API, but its probably user error.  I think it’ll work well enough for a contest.

    Here’s some barebones.js screenshots from some games I started and abandoned since the last LD: willcity_01Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 15.21.09


    Posted by
    Monday, May 5th, 2014 1:51 pm

    29.turtle1 29.mona_lisa

    As requested, I’ve updated my mosaic script to give hi-res PNGs.

    I have also improved the image matching algorithm, giving much better mosaics!  Old results on the centre column, new algorithm on the left above.

    YOUR GAME IS IN THESE MOSAICS!  Happy hunting :)

    I’ve bumped into the LD wordpress maximum image sizes, but if you run the script you can get mosaics at higher res (and get an index file that tells you where your game is!)

    ADD: I’ve blogged about how I made these!


    Posted by
    Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 7:17 am

    Last LD we made scripts to show all the screenshots in a mosaic of the Mona Lisa.

    Our Art was in Good Company.

    I’ve updated the script, and run it again.  Your game is in this picture, somewhere!  Happy hunting :)

    This time, I looked through the Google Image Search results for “Beneath the Surface” to find a nice picture of a green turtle:

    29.turtle1.greedy turtle1

    A discussion about how to improve the script, or alternative images that better fit our screenshots, welcome :)

    Feast your eyes on this!

    Posted by
    Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 7:24 am

    ExciteMike made a very nice mosaic and script from the LD 28 entries:

    Mosaic of all LD28 Games

    Mosaic of all LD28 Games

    Very very pretty!  And it made me wonder how you’d make that mosaic fit some target image e.g. the Mona Lisa

    Here’s my script, and here’s the output


    (My script made the one on the right, if you’re wondering ;) )

    (And you still have time to play my game!)

    Plotting My Downfall

    Posted by
    Friday, December 20th, 2013 9:05 am

    We’ve been tracking my Ludum Dare results in order to weaken our strengths this Ludum Dare.

    We got off to a bad start in Ludum Dare 23 Tiny World with an embarrassingly respectable 4.14 in Graphics.  Well, we’re not respectable!  So we had to do something drastic about that and that was called Ludum Dare 24 Evolution!

    LD24 was a new low-point for us – how could it not be, it being the second entry and worse than the first?

    Ludum Dare 25 was predicted to be such a stinker that we didn’t dare enter!  The chart clearly shows our interpolated results would have been disastrously middle-of-the-road, so its all for the best!

    However, we became complacent, thinking we’d dodged the LD25 rating bullet as it were, and didn’t keep our eye on the ball; Ludum Dare 26 You are the Villain wiped out our earlier gains and we hung our heads in shame again.

    What were we doing wrong?  Should we have gone with a simple 6 hour platform game in 1D without background nor goal?  We plucked the lint from our navels and pondered.

    Ludum Dare 27 10 Seconds was masterfully managing the Theme and Audio aspects, but overall far too well received.  As said, we had managed a decent showing in Theme and Audio, and those are now trending safely downwards; but Humour, Fun and Innovation all trend alarmingly upwards and we had to focus on wiping those out this Ludum Dare!

    Really, was it time to go use GameMaker or *shudder* Unity or to make Windows-only binaries or blitz the board with speed ratings?

    Ludum Dare 28 You only get one is all tender hooks; my first solo entry, Ursa Miner, has definitely wiped our the Fun and Humour categories.  I believe I have successfully exercised them forever, and furthermore I believe my technical Innovation and destructive terrain will be well enough hidden that the bastards who keep playing the game for like 10 seconds (I have the server logs duh) and then passing judgement never even notice!




    My game, Ursa Miner.  Please overlook anything mildly impressive:

    Thank you everyone who is not a 10 second rater!  That theme was so last year!

    I’ve played my way through all the links people have given me on the IRC channel; so if you have a WEB game you want played, its just leave a comment here below :)

    How to make a hole in a mesh

    Posted by
    Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 12:39 pm

    With difficulty, is the usual answer :)

    Last week I came across csg.js and, thinking its online interactive demo super-neat, I posted it to reddit.  Unfortunately, it didn’t get the attention I thought it deserved, so I determined I would incorporate it somehow into this weekend’s Ludum Dare.

    The CSG in csg.js stands for Constructive Solid Geometry.  There are several, increasingly complex and increasingly efficient ways to do CSG.  csg.js takes the simplest, least efficient and very elegant approach by splitting the polygons in a mesh into a Binary Space Partitioned (BSP) tree.  A BSP is a tree where the two children of a node are those in front of and those behind a 3D plane.  csg.is then takes another BSP and computes the parts of it that are on the inside of the object in the first.  Using just this single ‘clipTo’ operation, and an ‘invert’ function, all the boolean operations – union, subtract, intersect – can be synthesized.

    csg.js is slow.  Its slow because its javascript, its slow because it supports a generic and extensible definition of a vertex, its slow because its using BSPs and its slow because its synthesizing boolean operations from just two functions rather than ‘unrolling’ that logic.   Using BSPs is also generally all about picking good splitting planes early on, and heuristics for this are hard.  In the maths sense.

    So I set about making it faster.  Because the objects in my game are basically cubes and symmetrical, my instinct was that picking the splitting planes as octrants would be a good choice.  And this simple thing made my benchmarking 3 to 5x quicker!  I also tried simple things like using arrays instead of objects and all the other tips and tricks you pick up for javascript optimisation; however, these only made it slower!  I lost a lot of patience with the various profilers in FireFox and Chrome too!  One interesting thing though is that FireFox is consistently 2x faster than Chrome!  And I thought Chrome was the speed demon :)  But these days, FireFox is way faster for computational javascript, it seems.

    One side-effect of using BSPs is that it is a very noisy process.  Polygons get split and split, and even if the ultimate result could be simplified, the output of the algorithm is a very messy mesh made from lots of small polygons.

    Here’s a practical example from my game Ursa Miner, where you can blast holes in the terrain:


    The top-right shows an innocent intact block.  On the left you can see how the faces on the cube are each made of just two triangles.  This is a very normal 3D block.

    Below, I’ve fired a cylinder at it.  And whilst you can see on the bottom left that the remaining faces are still nice and flat, you can see on the bottom right just how many new triangles there are to render in the scene!

    Here’s a fun development video showing it in action:

    And, if you want to see the mesh lines in my game, Ursa Miner, open your javascript console and execute:

     debug.showLines = true

    in the REPL!

    In making my game I had to try and optimise things to make it at all possible to make holes in things.

    The landscape is made from Perlin noise, and is infinite.  I divided up each chunk of 10x10x10 space and turned it into a mesh using marching cubes to not create the inside faces.  However, I discovered that it was prohibitively slow – even on my fast macbook – to fire cylinders through such big meshes.  So I turned each individual cube into its own mesh.  And now firing cylinders through things was fast enough, but rendering so many individual cubes was prohibitively slow!  So my solution was to render whole 10x10x10 chunks of space as a single mesh, but if you fire at it it immediately subdivides it into individual blocks.  This is an acceptable tradeoff and makes the game playable.

    So next Ludum Dare, lets see you incorporating destructive terrain into your game!  And, if you can’t wait until then, you can always go blast some cylinders through blocks and fly through the holes in my game Ursa Miner! :D

    Thank you CSG, thank you csg.js and thank you all for appreciating it :D

    Still no plot, but I could waste hours playing with my destructible terrain

    Posted by
    Saturday, December 14th, 2013 3:10 pm

    So you can fly about drilling holes in blocks with the ‘vapouriser’.

    Here’s a vid from a very early bit of prototyping:

    And now the blocks look a lot prettier and there’s a bit of noise deformation on them:

    Screen Shot 2013-12-14 at 19.18.48


    Still haven’t made any progress on how to adapt it to the theme, though ;)

    Ideals welcome :)

    Haven’t got a good theme idea yet but I’ve got destructible terrain!

    Posted by
    Saturday, December 14th, 2013 3:15 am

    Last week I discovered csg.js - Constructive Solid Geometry.  This is a library for computing the intersection, subtraction, union of meshes and so on!

    I forked it and played around with some performance improvements.  Its still very slow, even though what its doing is supremely non-trivial.  So I can’t really let you saw things in half with a mini-gun.

    So how can I use this for ‘you only get one’?  Ideas, anyone?

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