Ludum Dare 27: Post Mortem

Fleeting Reality

tl;dr I liked the look and atmosphere of my game. I hated everything else, or lack thereof. I’m currently making a post jam version that is completely different.


Fleeting Reality was my second attempt at Ludum Dare. I think I learnt a lot more from this one.

What went right?

- Graphics:
I liked what I created in the time, and I made a lot more that I never used.

- Atmosphere
The limited sounds and camera distortions created a semi creepy atmosphere I was aiming for.

What went wrong?

- Mechanics:
The mechanics worked in my mind, I translated them horribly. I didn’t give the player clear enough instructions either.

- Music:
If you’ve played the “game” (don’t if you haven’t not worth it) you’ll notice there is no music. I actually spent around 3 hours trying to record and edit eery piano music. My mic was screwing up for the first couple of hours then I decided it really didn’t fit the game at all.

- No fun:
The game simply was tedious to play. Part of this is not getting solid mechanics. Also I forced the theme into the game too much.

Tips for myself for next Ludum Dare.

- Find the fun, before anything else.
- Code more, draw less.
- Be better with tools.
- Invest in a midi keyboard and/or learn to make music on computer.


So as I said I like the atmosphere. I made a lot of assets so I’m currently making a post jam version.

Everything is different, everything.

First 10 seconds will be a thing of the past, sorry theme but you gotta go.

Next you won’t actually control the patient directly. There will be two forces of “unreality” trying to manipulate the reality of the room. The player and the computer. Reality will slowly crumble. You need to manipulate the player to make your version of reality victorious.

The patient is meant to be creepy insane, so I thought having the player actually controlling him ruins the concept. The gameplay is a lot more involved.

Also the patient now zaps stuff when reality is distorted enough.


Ludum Dare 27: I’m in!

Alright, I’ve decided to start getting hyped, I’m in!

Last Ludum Dare was my first and it was a lot of fun. My only goal was to finish a game and get it out there, success.

That being said there were some major flaws with the mechanics and it was an incredibly dull game-play experience. So I’ve written myself a list of goals to try and guide me.

Goal List:

  • Take the theme literally.
  • Plan thoroughly.
  • Don’t make it too hard.
  • Make controls nice when they are first implemented.
  • If a mechanic is 100% going to be in the game, implement it correctly the first time you put it in.
  • Max three coffees a day, maybe four or five, no more than six.
  • Write blog posts through the comp to reflect on your course.
  • Find people to play test within the 48 hours.
  • If following this list is ruining the fun, ignore this list.

Tools (same as last time):

  • Loom Game Engine: It’s easy to use, has live reload and is simple to deploy.
  • Sublime Text Editor: I’ve never loved a text editor so much before.
  • Photoshop: I’m too lazy to learn anything else at the moment.
  • Texture Packer: This is great for automatically making sprite sheets from image files.
  • Audacity: I’ll probably just be recording sounds again.
  • Bitbucket: My git source control provider of choice.
  • A cool web app that I’ll use for planning my game.
  • Open Broadcaster Software: If I stream I’ll be using this, it is amazing.

Fishing Jam: Day 8+

Day 4ish of Spectrum.


Spectrum has had a face lift. I’ve hit seven days but I intend to take this game a bit further over the next couple of weeks with the intention of releasing it on Android and ios. Day seven was mainly spent of graphics surrounding Spectrum the fish. That included getting the bubbles working properly with spectrum’s rotation and sand stirring on the ground when you bounce off the bottom of the screen.


Obviously those hooks are going to be cut soon.

I might release a version for the fishing jam by the 9th of June. Time will tell. I have a few ideas that I’m going to build on and expand the game. The endless runner mechanic works pretty well on a touch device, I definitely need to tighten the controls a little.


Fishing Jam: Day 6

Day 2 of Spectrum.

Well I got the mechanics into the game.

Spectrum can bounce and collide with the hooks. I won’t be working on it today, but I should finish it tomorrow. I’ll probably spend an additional day as well, getting a menu up and play testing it more.


Introducing ZooN

Here is the first post describing a non-jam project I’m working on. It is a top down shooter-thing.

Your ship has two modes, dark and light. You can switch between these two modes, there is a slight cool down. Each mode can damage different enemies. Light can hurt dark and neutral, dark can hurt light and neutral. Obvious and simple.

Additionally your ship and the environment evolve. The evolution is triggered by how you are playing. Easy mode will evolve your ship to compliment your play style, hard mode evolves to counter it.

Dark and light modes will evolve differently. I’ll go into detail with this later, but first, the history.

I was only meant to spend a month on it this, this year. I’ve spent longer. Here is how the project started.

The first version of ZooN was made in 2011 probably over a day or so. It was when I was first experimenting with the html 5 Canvas element and JavaScript.

Back then it was simple called shooter.html. It started by accident. I was just making a little shooter demo. I was drawing circles and I some how managed to draw two overlapping each other. The dual mode ship was then borne. I didn’t really get too far into it. Here is a screen shot.


The only mechanic was the switching between modes. I then moved on to other projects and it lay forgotten.


Fishing Jam: Day 5


The rpg is too far from completion, I really don’t want to release a horrifically incomplete game.

Also, I spent a lot of time writing the script today and felt the story would work better simply as a short story. In my rpg system it would stagnate, and, well, be bad.

So I decided to flick the kill switch, and started working on another game with the remaining few days.



Rainbow powered super-fish.

Meet Spectrum. He is an engineered super-fish that runs on rainbows. I drew this image for the rpg, he didn’t have a name a couple of days ago.

With only a couple of days to make the game I’ve decided to go really simple. How simple? One button simple. What could be more simple than that? That was rhetorical, obviously no buttons would be more simple, smart arse.

For some reason I thought of this experiment I did in a html 5 canvas several years ago. I’ve uploaded it again here, I’m sure it exists somewhere else in this domain but I’ve long since destroyed any link to it. I think it is the rainbow.

Javascript Experiment. N.b. I don't own the rights to the planets/background picture so if they are yours (I'm the only person that visits this site so I doubt it) I'll happily credit you/remove the image.

Javascript Experiment.
N.b. I don’t own the rights to the planets/background picture so if they are yours (I’m the only person that visits this site so I doubt it) I’ll happily credit you/remove the image.

The game mechanic is incredibly simple and probably already exists in a million ios games. You press space to bounce and you need to avoid the white dots. You are the white dot pooping the rainbow dots. If you play it (which I don’t recommend because it really isn’t a game) you can change the direction and speed that you launch at. If I remember correctly I was originally trying to replicate angry birds, obviously that didn’t happen.

Anyway that is the inspiration for Spectrum. Here a mockup.

Spectrum Mock

Spectrum Mock

People are trying to catch you and you have to avoid the bait. This will definitely be playable the next day I work on it, then I’ll work a bit on graphics/sounds/music on day 7.


Fishing Jam: Day 4

Today I started working on the graphics.

The two main areas are the town and the beach.


Unsettling contrast of styles.

There is an incongruence between my ground style and character style. I really dislike it so I’m probably going to completely re-do all ground tiles. Definitely the sand which is just Gaussian noise, I’ll probably try to draw it.

Positives are that I’ve got a nice batch of fish ready to add different statistics to for the battle scenes.

However I’m seriously doubtful that the game will be any where near where I want it in three days. I’m probably going to turn complete focus on just catching fish.



Fishing Jam: Day 3

Okay so my days are kind of spread out. I regret doing an rpg from scratch because it is incredibly time consuming. Nevertheless, I’ve got a fishing system running.


Obviously this scene will happen whilst next to water fishing, not in the middle of the town. Unless I forget to disable the debug short-cuts.

Here is a screen shot of the basic layout:

Not quite the one I imagined. It doesn’t have much of a UI yet, the line strength actually isn’t reading the actual stat at the moment. I’m going to have to cut the scope of this project pretty dramatically to finish it in seven days.

Anyway, onwards!


Fishing Jam: Day 2

Well I did very little in day2…

I rewrote most of what I did on day 1 so that I could load scenes more efficiently with less coupling.

I finished my json scripting system and made an editor with javascript/html for some reason.

It outputs json scripts like the following which the game reads. I’m sure there is a better way to do it but whatever.

        {"main":"Nice day, no?"},
        {"ShopKeep":"It's pissing with rain and you're not buying anything."},

I also designed (on paper) the fishing system and how it works with the player’s stats and items.