Ludum Dare 33

Ludum Dare, one of the largest online game jams, has posted the results of every competition and jam entry made, a staggering 2727 games! You can check out my entry below if you haven’t seen it yet, for which I have included my results:

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So if I compare with my last entries to Ludum Dare, the average of scores have shown their gradual increase (2.47 – 2.86 – 3.17 – 3.31), and I must praise Lyserdigi for the music to get a such good audio score.

I’ve had a load of fun developing this entry, which I’ve gone into detail in a post mortem. So during the three weeks after submissions had reached the deadline and tried out and voted on as many games as I can, which isn’t easy since I started a new job last month, and I have no idea how any person could vote on over 2700 games in three weeks. Regardless, I’ve managed to find my favourites, found through recommendations, some friends or by random. So to end things off, here are my favourites:

Escape from Twump Tower

Honorary award for catchiest music track in a LD game, this is a very colourful game for such a topical storyline. Music is really catchy and I love the Megaman approach.

Intergalactic Love Machine

I love the dialogue and the text options, this is a really neat idea to base the theme on and the design of the monsters are really well made, fitting with the individual characters.

R-ADIUS

Very well made, I like the strategy involved in planning how to overwhelm the player ship to make it lose all its lives. I hope MrTwister expands this to give some more level and boss varieties, since I managed to beat the player after three rounds and the game just looped around.

Unsolicited

Brilliantly simple and novel concept, definitely liked the level of micromanagement you have to pull off in the later levels.

A Shadow In The Night

A very well polished puzzle platformer, with a unique jumping mechanic. Really good take on classic movie vampires with a great art style!

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Secret of Escape – Where to find it!

Secret of Escape is officially released to the public, you can download the game for either PC, Mac or Linux (both 32-Bit and 64-Bit). You can get the game from one of these fine game services:

Download Secret of Escape from Desura

Download Secret of Escape from Itch.io

Download Secret of Escape on IndieGameStand

Click the banners to go directly to the game page!

HaxeFlixel: Making a Custom Preloader

Today I figure I shall write a tutorial for a part of Flash/Haxe gamedev that isn’t really written much, especially for HaxeFlixel, one of the more popular frameworks for the Haxe programming language. While not very necessary for desktop and mobile games where data is loaded from the client side and loading times is usually very quick, preloading is used a lot in web based content where data is loaded from a server, so there would be less delays during playthrough. Even then, you are still able to customize the preloading itself to make it more appealing and to suit the game you are making, add links and other info or to include ads, as such I am going to show you the basics of creating your own preloader for a HaxeFlixel flash game.

Preload HaxeFlixel Default Preloader

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What have I been up to?

So the last month for me was pretty hectic, I’ve been updating some design elements for Secret of Escape and doing my software day job, both have been battling to take the most of my work and free time but I’m keeping at ease. ut also been doing some extra stuff. I figured that since it’s been a while since I posted on here, I figured I’d show you all the two main things that I’ve made, but till now have only been mentioned on either my Facebook page or Twitter.


A* Pathfinding: Because why not?

So the basic story of this one is that a colleague of mine who also studies games programming was trying to work on his own A* Implementation as well, but was struggling on parts of the algorithm. So I figured I’d try myself, since I too haven’t attempted to write my own version for some time. My first attempt at it was back in first year University, and due to the poor resources I ended up giving up. It’s also very worthwhile that I at least get a working implementation done since Secret of Escape also uses pathfinding for some of the enemies.

After about two days of looking through online resources (I highly recommend anyone interesting in building their own to read this article) and help from some very helpful folks on Twitter, I successfully got a working implementation!

The source code is up online, the application was built using LibGDX but with a bit of tweaking the pathfinder and node classes could be used for other Java based engines. The classes are commented with all the steps for clarity.

View the Source Code

Clean Commuter

This is a grid based puzzle game where you use commands and functions to control cars to get them to parking spaces. The game used three computers connected to a server so each player controlled a car. The purpose of the game was to teach basic concepts of programming, problem solving and teamwork, while adding a small message on environmental awareness. The game was made for a nationwide school event called Blue Fusion, which students from schools around the Hampshire area came to compete against each other by playing games like Clean Commuter in order to gain interest in science, technology and maths.

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I was the project lead in a team of five, as well as the person responsible for the in-game graphics and most of the rendering using LibGDX. We worked on the game for over five months and we were able to complete the game in time for the week long event. Unfortunately, due to copyright and licensing, the game will not be available for download from me on any site, but I hope you appreciate these screenshots.

So after today, things should be slowly going back to normal. I should be giving a few updates on Secret of Escape within a few weeks or so, I’m also considering doing the Insanity Jam, which is a small games jam where you make a game based on whatever you receive from the random game idea generator with the Insanity option on for totally bizarre ideas. But for now I’ve got some work to catch up on.

Talk to you all later!