Ludum Dare My Games

The Pirate Kart

I think it’s a great idea: everyone spends a weekend (or whatever) banging out a stream of miniature slices of gaming; rough, bug-riddled fragments of joy. Unfortunately, the weekend in question happened to fall shortly before my imminent adventure to Seoul. Net result: way too distracted, and honestly my heart just wasn’t really in it this time.

Nevertheless, I forced my way through three of these “games” before finally giving up. They live on my PC/Mac game page in one handy collection with a silly name belying the rather plain contents.

The games then:

  • Flip On – An ode to a primitive 90s puzzle toy
  • Balance – Balance blocks on a precarious beam (thanks Unity rigid bodies!)
  • Goals, I Do Adore – A challenge to “score goals” with the kind of controls and physics likely to make you a little bit angry

I set out to make these in Unity, and stuck to it. But absolutely, for games intended to take at most two hours, I wouldn’t do the same again. I just want something to put pixels on a screen in that time.

Download Paul’s Premier Pirate Kart Krap Kollection over here

Ludum Dare My Games

Fear and Colour

After a busy Christmas and New Year of doing things entirely apart from game development, I decided to throw myself into another 48-hour Ludum Dare effort. This was Mini LD #31, and I saw it as an opportunity to redeem myself for what I saw as a somewhat disappointing entry into the main competition last month. This time I would make something more ambitious…

The result is a Unity game titled Three Colours: DEATH (thanks to a friend for the excellent suggestion), but this time delievering a full 3D experience (In 48 hours! Unity really is something). I called it a “first-person survival puzzle game” on submission at the Ludum Dare site.

The concept is that the world is made of three colours (red, blue, green) and that the player can acquire the ability to phase through one or more of these colours – walls, enemies, the lot. It is also purposefully creepy, complete with a whispered rhyming narrative from yours truly. Maybe the weirdest thing I’ve released, but I think one of the most worthwhile.

Download Three Colours: DEATH on my new PC/Mac game page!

P.S. The tower can be climbed! There is an “end” (of sorts) at the top.

Ludum Dare My Games

Ludum Dare 22

I did it again – that makes 5 successful Ludum Dare entries (including one Mini LD). And one year on from making a clunky game with RPG leanings in a fantasy setting, I have made another clunky game with RPG leanings in a fantasy setting!

The theme this time around was “Alone” and once again I wasn’t immediately struck with inspiration. I eventually decided to approach the theme from the “fighting alone against many enemies” angle, arriving at a scenario where the player must guide a baby in a fight alone against numerous monstrosities. I’d already decided to use the competition to go through the motions of making a game with Unity, having always used Flash and Flixel before; and in that regard I’m really pleased with how it went. Unity has taken a lot of getting used to for someone much more used to traditional programming projects but I feel like I may have now made the breakthrough. I’ll definitely be returning to Unity in the near future.

Admittedly, the game itself – “Tower of Abominations” – was a mixed success. Possibly due to spending a little more time on art than I could afford, combined with my relative uncertainty with Unity, resulted in me struggling for time. The game needs usability improvements: particularly I realise dumping the player back to the beginning for failing at any of the floors is unnecessarily cruel for a game that requires trial and error to complete. But all-in-all a great experience once again, and one to build on in future I have no doubt!

Play “Tower of Abominations”

And once again, just like last time, I ran a timelapse of my screen during the whole sordid thing.


Ludum Dare My Games

48 hours, 511 games

Ludum Dare’s 21st 48-hour game development competition has just come and gone (with the 72-hour “jam” part entering its final hours as I write), and it has smashed all previous turnouts for participation. Over 500 games were made for the competition this weekend. Wow. It’s no real surprise that the site suffered server issues throughout.

And for me personally, outside of the maelstrom of attention centred on Notch’s entry, this was surely my most satisfying Ludum Dare completion yet. The theme was “Escape”, which was fine but didn’t give me an “I’VE GOT IT” moment. I ended up with this game set in a maze of interconnecting rooms in which you must escape to the exit while evading ever-increasing numbers of mysterious hostile humanoids.

The most pleasing thing was the fact I got the features finished to the point I could actually tweak and polish the game. The background rendering effect was a very late addition that I would normally have not had time for, but I think it really helps the aesthetic.

Play “Southward Lies Escape”

Additionally, I ran Chronolapse as I worked allowing for this fascinating insight into just how long I can shift lines of code around without really getting anywhere:

Ludum Dare My Games

All Talk

So my latest adventure in panic-developing a small game idea was provoked by the most recent Ludum Dare event – this time it was MiniLD 27. The theme was “All talk”, encouraging an emphasis on dialogue and conversation. I do have this habit of fancying myself as a writer at times, so it seemed a good fit for me to explore something a bit different.

The game that came out of it is really very short (on a 2 minute timer, in fact), and concerns a small conversation you might have with a fellow commuter on a train. There is branching dialogue, an “approval” system for the target of your chat and a bunch of achievements to provide a little purpose.

Play “Chance Encounter”

Ludum Dare My Games

That time again

So I hadn’t especially planned to follow my first Ludum Dare event with an immediate second, but then it got all snowy outside and I thought “why not”. The theme was “discovery”, which is exactly the kind of open, uninspiring theme I didn’t want. But I got to thinking outside the box and ended up with something that is essentially a series of menu screens, but it provided me with amusement. I think the core idea has potential, at least.

Click to go play


Ludum Dare My Games

I made a game last weekend

It’s true, I did Ludum Dare’s 48-hour game development competition this weekend (theme: “Enemies as Weapons”) and the result of it is “The Robots and I”, a cautionary tale about being trapped in a room with out-of-control robots running around shooting up the place. But it’s okay, you have the Universal Hacking Device in-hand to overcome them and turn them on their own! It needs work to become anything particularly worthwhile/fun, but I’m mostly just glad I managed to make something in 2 days!
Click to go play it

Arrow keys or WASD to move. Hold Space bar to hack.