Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ludum Dare 23 - Post Mortem

I managed to get an entry completed for the 48 hour competition.

You can read the post mortem here:

Game entry is here:

I'd love to participate again, but it can certainly take a lot out of you.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ludum Dare 23 - Warmup and Flash Games

I haven't done anything with this blog in ages and a lot of my development has been stagnating. Most of the work I've done has been on an EverQuest emulator server, which is fun, but not especially rewarding. (

Now, in an attempt to rekindle some of that old hobby coding fire, I've signed up for Ludum Dare 23 and completed the warmup weekend.
The first idea I chose was too big to complete in that time frame, so after a day and a half I put it on the back burner and then started from scratch on Sunday. I guess I can only say mostly from scratch since I'm using my own rather simple Flash/Flex framework. It just sets up some boilerplate for a preloader, stage, events, resource manager, and a very light menu UI.
I was at it for about 10 hours with breaks for lunch and dinner and finally released a game based on my new simplified idea, Canyon Runner.
This was one of the first games I played on the VIC20 when I was a kid, so it has a certain nostalgic value, and after all these years I think the game mechanic can still be fun.
You can see the original gameplay here:

My take on it has slightly better graphics but I still take a tiled approach as it actually makes the game easier to play than if I had used smooth scrolling and pixel collision.

I was also compelled to add some simple powerups to spice things up a little. One speed boost is ideal for me, but two speed upgrades will just get you plastered all over the canyon wall. Speed upgrades stop doing anything meaningful after 2 above or below the starting speed. The coins just give you 1000 points.

The hardest part of this was the map generator, but that was because I approached it poorly. My first version tried to make random gaps in the new row, which means you need to try to adjust it to line up in at least one column with the row before. This proved to be a huge headache, so I ended up centering on the canyon opening and mutating it in one block at a time in width and direction.
This proved very effective and more closely matches the original.

Once I had states cycling properly and a score, I just built and uploaded it. My first project, while promising, wasn't going to get done in time, but I still spent a day and a half deep in code and content creation before starting over. By the time I Sunday evening came around I was exhausted, so the game wasn't as polished at I might have liked.

After a good night's sleep I was ready to throw some quick polish on it and then, equipped with a complete and playable Flash game, I set out to work on something that I had thought about on many occasions, but never messed around with because it required a complete and playable Flash game.

Kongregate is pretty well-established Flash game site. They have good developer incentives and a nice API for offloading stats, doing account-based saves, and so forth. I found the QuickKong library which makes connecting to the KongAPI easier than it already was and quickly integrated some stats into Canyon Run.

There is a source link in the description, or you can click here.
I have a couple of sounds listed in the credits that came from so if you use the audio in the resource directory, be sure to provide attribution.

As Flash development environments go, mine is very humble. I use nano with the java highlighter rc file set to include .as files for formatting. The makefile assumes flex/bin is in the path.
You will want the Flex SDK and the Projector Content Debugger.
For fdb to work you'll want to copy your debugger to flex/bin/flashplayer.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Blender Gun Models, etc

Last time I made a post here it was about some firearm models I was working on in Blender. It's been quite a while and these files have just been sitting around collecting dust so I've decided to release them.
The host for many of my links has gone down so I've also updated the Downloads section.

You can find the gun models and licensing information at

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Blender Weapon Pack Preview

I've been working on some guns and melee weapons in Blender lately. Ultimately I'd like to see them go into an RPG of some kind, but it might be a while. The projects I've completed have usually been abandoned and then picked back up later, sometimes more than once. Burnout is pretty common when you're working on your own time, but whether these models make it into a finished game or not, I'll release them all once they're complete.

From left to right, top to bottom: L85, Dragunov, M4, AK47, M1911.

I haven't even started UV mapping, but I'm actually tempted to just bake them shaded like that.
The bolt is animated for the rifles and the carrying handle iron sights can be removed to reveal a rail. I intend to add some modular accessories like a reflex sight, ACOG, SUSAT, etc.

The 1911 has been made from scratch and now has an animated slide and separate magazine.

The melee weapons I have so far can be found at

My goal is to build a fairly robust library of weapon models and so far it's moving right along. I'm not going all out in regard to detail and since the firearms aren't texture mapped, making a new rifle takes about 2 hours.

Feel free to request any particular weapons you'd like to see. I may already have it in mind to add them, but requests will at least increase their priority.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Colt 1911 Revisited

Since there was a request for the blend file for the colt 1911 model, I figured I'd give it a little attention. I didn't put much work into it, but it's a little more clean and the non-manifold geometry is gone.
The texture is pretty rudimentary, but I didn't know anything about the source of the original image I used so I grabbed some from Wikipedia that were listed as public domain.

The original is available here.
The revised version is here.

Creative Commons License

If you don't have Blender, get it here.

Monday, August 10, 2009 2009 Game Contest

I've been using the 2009 game contest as an excuse to dive into modern C++. Nevermind that I studied it pretty extensively about a decade ago, today it's a different animal.

Anyway, here's a preview of my entry. There's a lot to be done, but I think the hardest parts are over.

(youtube for better quality)

I'm not an artist, so you can expect a fair amount of particle effects in an attempt to cover my miserable sprites and textures.
The visuals are all lua driven and my campaign / mission system is pretty solid so adding the rest of the gameplay elements should be relatively simple. Of course, they won't be and if I finish in time it will be by the skin of my teeth.

I got bored and didn't make the deadline. It is likely that I'll come back to this and finish, but I doubt it will be any time soon since I'm not especially fond of side-scrolling shooter games. It did at least serve the purpose of getting me more acquainted with modern C++.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


A friend pointed out to me that Crawl Stone Soup recently released v0.5.
If you're a nethack, angband, or general roguelike fan you're sure to enjoy it.
You can download a client or just ssh to and log in as joshua.

A++ would die alone and hungry in a hateful dungeon again.