Time to workout!

August 29, 2014

It is time to start working out a bit.  I’m not talking about going to the gym and pumping iron, or waking early to go for a jog, although those are not bad ideas.  I’m talking about game development.  I’ve been participating in LudumDare events for several years now, and recently LD30 took place so making a game was on the list of things to do.  The weekend was quite a failure for me, the theme had beat me and left me to dry.

After the theme was announced, no game ideas came.  It was a struggle to find something that might become fun.  I tried three different ideas from a runner, to an action shooter, to a twist on snake.  At approximately halfway through the weekend the result was a version of snake with place-holder art and was not actually fun to play.  I abandoned the project and went on a downward spiral, after 15 years of making games this was all I was able to come up with?  It felt awful.

When you fall down, get back up.


It would be easy to stay down, but it is time to get better.  Practice.  Work on the game development skills that I’ve dried up upon.  I feel good about my programming skills, but I certainly lack some subtleties that are extremely important for game development.  I’d like to be able to make a game in 48 hours and have it be something that comes out looking reasonable and playing reasonably well.

So I’ve joined the #OneGameAMonth community in hopes to create a basic game every month, and look forward to both the challenge and the learning experiences that will come.  I will be building upon my #TurtleBrains framework that is aimed to be a high-quality C++ framework for 2D game development and real-time applications.  #OneGameAMonth will also allow me to work on my artistic skills which currently stand far below that of the average five year-old.

Having joined #OneGameAMonth it is time to get a jump start.  This weekend I will be working on my failed LudumDare in an attempt to make a playable, and possibly fun version of Snake.  My focus will not be on design, or programming complexity, my focus will be on the art, and polish.  Snake is an extremely simple game that I’ve used for prototyping and framework testing before, so polishing it should be a good first exercise.

Game Review – LD30 Game: Icarus Crisis

August 27, 2014

Game Review

Icarus Crisis is a game made for the Ludum Dare game jam, this entry had a maximum of 72 hours to complete, but was done by a solo developer, rojo.


Icarus Crisis – rojo (Click to go play)

Icarus Crisis is a complex turn based strategy game, which reminds me of a playing on a table top against the game rules.  The primary mechanic is the chance of dice, but each dice has different chances, and your crew members can gather more dice by exploring around the world.  After each member gets a turn, the gate opens even wider, providing suspense and rushes the strategy to prevent useless moving while still collecting dice.  Be careful of exploring and finding the possible ambush from the formless!

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Game Review – LD30 Game: Drempt

August 26, 2014

Game Review

I had a little free time this evening after work, and since the Ludum Dare game jam just finished this weekend I decided to give back a little since my LD30 was a pretty big failure.  On the #ludumdare irc channel, I asked for a game to review, I can’t actually rate the games, but hopefully this will be better than any ratings received, I know I always appreciate the feedback and comments more than the ratings themselves.

Drempt – DesertRock (Click to go play)

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Introducing TurtleBrains

August 1, 2014

For the past year I’ve been working on a game development framework that is meant to be used on multiple platforms, currently aimed at Windows and Mac OS X, however I have hopes that Linux will be added in the future and possibly even Android/iOS.

I’ve been writing in C++ and have got a solid portion started and working for Mac OS X and Windows, unfortunately little fill on the game development portion.  If you need to write a real-time application using OpenGL, popup dialog boxes, message boxes and other operating system controls – TurtleBrains is working great, which was part of what I desired with TurtleBrains for easy game development tool creation.

Going forward I’ll be working on the game development part of Turtle Brains, a State Machine, Input, Sprites, Entities, Tile System, Particles, etc.  I still have some things to figure out, such as choosing and applying a license, sharing the code, and keeping things consistent, clean and quality driven.  Hopefully this will become usable for making some of my games by about April 2015, or maybe earlier if I can really put some time into it.