Category: Ludum Dare

Return of the Mack

“I just wanted to let you know that you did a great job fixing that bug. It was really tough and you did a great job on it, and because you got it done on time we shipped the project on time. This was a really big deal for us. I’m glad we hired you. Why don’t you take Friday off?”

— My Current Boss

Yeah. I think things are getting better.

So it’s time to come back out of my shell. Let’s do something fun and blog about it! Let’s see, let’s see…

Oh. Oh, yes. This is it. The next Mini Ludum Dare’s theme is…7 Day RTS.

That I can do. But I won’t be doing it quite as straight as they are because I do have a full-time job. Instead, I’ll be doing it as a 40-hour game. I’m still going to try to get it done by the deadline on the 29th, which means I’ll have two weekends to work on it. That should be sufficient. It’ll also mean more blogging!

Now I need some decent free graphics. I’ll be making sounds with SFXR/Musagi, of course.


The official Viridian Games site now has proper pages for Sandworm! and Castle Adventure, as well as updated source code and executables for both those games. So if you tried to play them earlier and had trouble, head over there and give it another shot!

Ludum Dare 21 – A Study in Failure

When I showed McFunkyPants’ Keynote to my 16-year-old daughter, she said, “That is one wise baby.”

And over the course of the weekend, she kept asking me, “Are you doing what the wise baby said?”

And I would say, “Yes, of course.”

But I didn’t. I made a NOOB MISTAKE and got over-ambitious with my game design. I wanted to make a platformer with conversations at various places because I had a story to tell. But I decided that my platformer level would be larger than the screen, smooth-scrolling, and 256×256 tiles in size.

And I felt that I needed an editor in order to make my (one) level. I spent most of Saturday trying to beat it into submission, and when my wife told me Sunday that she needed to go out for most of the day to get the kids ready for school, I knew I wasn’t going to finish.

After an hour or two of working on the editor, I should have ditched it, reduced the map size to 64×64, and edited it by hand. If I’d done so, I’d have finished something; as it is I have a half-finished editor, a nice conversation system…and no game.

Ah, well. There’s always LD22.

If it’s not Ludum Dare 21, it’s CRAP!

Ludum Dare 21 starts tomorrow at 10pm EST. I cannot wait. I think I’ve got a really good chance to make something cool this weekend.

And here’s the keynote!

Hope to see you guys there!

LD21 – I’m in.

Yes! I will be competing in Ludum Dare 21, which just happens to be this weekend!

And for once, most of the themes I hate are getting downvoted. I also feel like both my skills and my framework are in a much better state than they were when I competed in previous LDs. So I’m really expecting to have a finished game at the end of the 48 hours.

And if any of you guys are on Google+, you can add me to one of your circles and we just might livechat over the weekend.

Ludum Dare 19 Post 2: Yeah, I was crazy.

Okay, here’s a timeline of how my participation in Ludum Dare 19 went:

Friday, 8 PM: The theme, “Discovery”, is announced. I am not at my computer. Indeed, I have just sat down with my wife to see Tron Legacy. In 3D. Short review: the awesome parts are awesome but the movie drags at the end and I don’t like that everything on the Grid is blue except for CLU and his cronies. Still very much worth seeing. There are 48 hours left.

Friday, 11 PM: Arrive home, fall asleep. There are 45 hours left.

Saturday, 8 AM: Wake up. Find out what theme is. Write web post complaining about it. Start working. Get basic project for the program going. Decide I don’t have time to make Zeta humanoid, so I draw some simple “wheeled robot running left” and “wheeled robot running right” tiles. (Very reminiscent of Hamumu’sRobot Wants” games.) Start working on the map. There are 36 hours left.

Saturday, 1 PM: My wife points out that we need to do Christmas stuff, like, you know, buy a tree and decorate it and maybe get some presents too. I figure this will take 3-5 hours. There are 32 hours left.

Saturday, 4 PM: Arrive home with tree, decorations and presents. Take tree and decorations inside, leave presents in the car (just like my parents used to). Realize the living room is a mess. There are 28 hours left.

Saturday, 9 PM: Living room is now clean. Tree is now assembled and decorated. Children are ecstatic. I am exhausted. There are 23 hours left.

Saturday, 11 PM: Go to bed. There are 21 hours left.

Sunday, 10 AM: Wake up. Realize there are only 10 hours left. Spend the whole day playing World of Warcraft instead.

So yeah, crazy.

Ludum Dare 19 Post 1: Obligatory Complaining About the Theme

Discovery. Come ON. Name me a game where you DON’T discover anything.


“Discovery” suggests a Metroidvania to me. Those games are all about discovering new powers and discovering new areas of the map you couldn’t get to before.

So…really simple version of Zeta?

Yes. Yes, I think so.

Holy Crap, Ludum Dare!

Holy crap, Ludum Dare! 19! Is! This! Weekend! And I said I’d compete! Am! I! Crazy?!

Yes, I guess I am. Theme voting is going on right now (my personal hope is that MAD SCIENCE! wins). I’ve got my framework ready for just about any game idea I might come up with.

So expect a lot of posting over the weekend! As usual, you can keep track of the compo by visiting the official blog and you can get more regular updates by visiting #ludumdare on

The October Challenge

I was hanging out in #ludumdare like I do when a regular there by the name of PoV posited a challenge to us:

Make a game and sell at least one copy (or license it) by the end of October.


I’ll be taking him up on that, and the game I’ll be making is the long awaited Star Kittens! Needless to say I’ll be blogging the entire process.

And if anyone else wants to join in, here’s PoV’s original challenge post along with tips for success!

Well…Utter Failure

I didn’t get my game finished in time; I simply bit off more than I could chew.

I tried to do Star Kittens. And while I did get most of the basics in there (you can dig out terrain using your sculler droids and then tag it as certain rooms) in the end I didn’t have time to write the AI for the kittens – even as simple as it would have been.

And the real problem was that I didn’t get a chance to post here or on the Ludum Dare site with a lot of updates or progress reports – I was too busy trying to make the impossible.

But I did make a timelapse!