Archive for the ‘Ludum Dare’ Category

Attack on radmars pixels

Saturday, August 20th, 2016



Grim Gateway pixel dump

Saturday, August 20th, 2016


Uncertainty Principle, so many screens…

Saturday, August 20th, 2016



This is how I learned never to make an adventure game for a ludum dare jam. @_@ so much art!


Fleshmess gifs!

Saturday, August 20th, 2016



Assorted team radmars pixel gifs!

Friday, August 19th, 2016

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Ludum Dare 24 “Death Death Evolution”

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

On Ludum Dare Site:

Direct Link:

Art Timelapse:

This Ludum Dare went surprisingly smooth. We started off Friday night cooking up a bunch of good ideas and finally settled on the concept that every time you die, you gain a new ability based on how you died. We then spent the rest of the night fleshing out all the abilities you would have, flagging them as necessary, nice to have, and eventually cutting some. After that we had a pretty solid plan to always tab back into and check where we were at. We also put TODOs for art, programming, levels, etc on the doc as well so we could quickly see what the other team members were doing without pestering them.


What went well:

First and foremost we bumped up team RADMARS to four people, by adding brendo. This helped quite a bit, as he spent basically all of his time on level design. The biggest thing we learned from Escape from Minimars is that the level design needed much more love this time around. The biggest complaint (from us, as well as the comments) was that the game felt stale by the end. I really liked the way we created and ‘painted’ the levels for DDE as well. (as opposed to minimars) Brendo designed all the levels just using colored squares for all the different elements. ( red bricks for solid ground, green for platforms etc)  This way, we had all of the levels designed and playable before we even did the art for what the environments would be like. The only real direction we had was that we wanted to have 3 areas. ( as adhesion was going to make 3 music tracks ) I wish we’d spent a bit more time thinking about it, but we settled on: forrest, caves, and ‘nature-punk’ future-ish kinda thing. It was really nice to have the levels built before I pixeled the map-tiles as I had a much better idea of what kinds of tiles to make. Minimars was the complete opposite, where I panted a buncha tiles and just had people make random shit out of those. Both work, but I like the former much better.
Working with MelonJS was also pretty awesome. The creator, Olivier Biot, has been really active about updating it. We had some feature/bugfix requests after minimars pretty much all of which were fixed in the next version. So awesome! :D
Tiled ( ) is fucking boss. I can’t recommend it enough for working with a tiled maps.
Version control! We used Git (still not quite used to it… I’ve always used SVN) and its pretty much invaluable when it comes to working in a team.
Voice chat & live streaming! All weekend long we had all 4 of us in voice chat (mumble) so we could quickly ask for things and get status updates (as well as dick around and make bad jokes, and complain about… well everything really. complaining is fun) I had a stream up on which makes it very easy to show what I’m working on with the team. I can demo animations, brendo got to see people play testing his levels, etc. really awesome. I highly recommend it.


What went not so well: 
The major thing that went wrong was scoping. There was a lot of detail and polish that (i think) is pretty important that we just didn’t have time to do. The biggest of which would be the main character’s sprite never changes. We wanted to have the character change for every different ability. The changes would only be minor, like a stripes, boots, a spiked hat but the fox squirrel red-panda thing had quite a few frames of animation. :( this makes creating overlay elements that much more of a pain in the ass.
I’m gonna rant for a bit here so sorry ahead of time.
Perhaps I’ve just not found the right tools, but the process for making animated pixel-art characters is not so fun. Photoshop is probably the best tool to use for pixel art (that I’ve worked with) its just got so many features, and they’re all highly tuned and polished to make it as painless as possible to actually make stuff. The biggest problem with this of course being… animation. Photoshop’s animation features are basically garbage, but that’s not what Photoshop is for so thats completely OK. The biggest problem though is exporting the animations to a sprite sheet. Doing it manually is obviously… terrible. I’ve tried using pretty much everything from scripts to Photoshop actions to try to make the process as painless as possible, but none of the solutions really fit well. I do realize that at the end of the day, its actually not *that* big of a deal, but I see it quite a bit like an IDE having re-factoring tools. If its a hassle or a pain in the ass to make changes, (at least for me) the ‘fuck it’ impulse flares up and the changes never get made. This is of course made worse by the fact that the drawing tools in most other pixel drawing apps I’ve used just feel very immature compared to PS’s :( ) And the more complex your animations get, the level of pain-in-the-assery rises exponentially.
I used Graphics Gale for all of the particles (explosions, splashes, smoke poofs, etc) because in terms of making simple pixel-art animations, it’s really awesome. Its fast, you can go back and forth between frames easily, constant playback preview, and it can (at least reasonably well) export to sprite-sheets. The problem with Graphics gale is that the way it handles layers is really clunky. If it wasn’t for that, id be using graphics gale… pretty much all the time. Selection, copy & paste, are also really clunky and can be a bit weird. :(
I’ve tried to use gimp, and Paint.NET as well. They’re pretty good Photoshop alternatives, but if  you’re already using Photoshop they really don’t bring much to the table as far as animation is concerned.
/rant  Phew. sorry about that *_*;
Map Tiles & Parallax backgrounds: All pixeled in photoshop, grid, guides, selection, cloning, painting tools all make my life so much easier.
Maps: Painted (tiled) using Tiled map editor.
Characters: sketched and painted in photoshop, pixeled in photoshop, exported to sprite sheet using a photoshop action.

Particles, explosions, and effects: Directly pixeled in graphics-gale, no real sketches or anything like that.

‘At the end of the day’
Now that I’ve had some time to sit back and rest, I’m really proud of this game. There’s a lot of stuff I would like to go back and change like the shameless pallet swap of the background in the third area, and the additional states of the avatar. I’ll get to em uh… eventually! for now, Go Team RADMARS! (Also, all of the other LD submissions keep getting better and better each time.) Can’t wait to do LD25 :D

Ludum Dare 23

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012



Just finished up my second Ludum Dare, and my first time in the jam version of the competition. Myself and two other darer’s ( adhesion, and emarcotte ) joined forces to take on LD23′s theme: Tiny World. Pretty much all of the first day was spent coming up with ideas. After 4 hours of tossing ideas around we boiled it down to “Escape from MiniMars”.

Direct Link:

Ludum Dare page:

Art Timelapse:


You are a robot that finds himself on the surface of mars (well, minimars… but its the same damned thing :P ) and must escape. For all intents and purposes it is a mario style platformer. We loved the idea however, that there would be tons of tiny people in this tiny world that love the shit out of robots. They chase after you and jump on so they can hug you! Killing them was to be incredibly easy as youre… a goddamn giant robot. The difficulty is such that the people can never really kill you (except in maybe one or 2 areas) so its more of a way to kinda color the world and just make you chuckle a little bit whist mowing all these tiny dudes down with supercharged eye-lazers.

Now since this was a JAM entry, we had a team. Emarcotte adhesion and I all programmed it up.  (although they did most of the work, I just tweaked jump arcs and stuff like that XD ) While Adhesion rocked his chiptune magic and I was free to spend pretty much the entire weekend making art assets.



For the art and level design I used a combination of Photoshop, Graphics Gale (, and Tiled ( The game was programmed using MelonJS ( (a html5 canvas game engine).


I really can’t say enough about Tiled. It’s a map editor thats incredibly easy to use and can export data in a buncha different formats, one of them being XML.

All you do is import your tileset, and start to paint. You can have multiple layers of map tiles, setup entities within the level, as well as setup your collision maps. Flash’s Flixel and MelonJS both have native support for this guy. It’s a must in my opinion.


Graphics Gale is a pretty nice freeware pixel animation app. The interface is a bit clunky, and the Layer stuff can be a bit annoying, but It works really well for animation.


Photoshop is an obvious choice, but it pretty much blows for animation. XD If Graphics Gale’s UI was better id never close it~


MelonJS is pretty easy to work with.  You can make a platformer basically out of the box. The engine is pretty high level though, I found that you have to hack in even the most basic of additional features.  I also have some pretty large complaints about html/js games and javascript in general, but that is a rant that will go on and on and on forever. :/



Last LD I did the compo and I must say, it was brutal. I didn’t get to put as much time as i wanted into either programming, art or.. cough cough sound. (if you saw my last game, the music was actually playing a randomized selection of notes. ) With the jam, you get more time, and more manpower. I really do like both, but I think the jam comes out a little bit ahead in my book. I got to work on art to my heart’s content (and drawing arm’s discontent) and got what i feel to be quite a bit of stuff done. I think i will do the compo for my next LD competition, but the JAM was damned fun.




my first Ludum Dare

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012



My Results:

Having heard about, and been wanting to participate in Ludum Dare for quite some time now, I finally decided to join up for ludum dare 22 and its theme: alone. The challenge? Completely concept, and build a game, by your self, in 48 hours.  *_*; I decided to go with a jump and run platformer entitled: Find your shit! The general backstory was that you awoke in a strange mansion full of danger and pitfalls wearing only your underpants, find your shit, and escape. Each article of clothing or bottle of booze would give you bonuses. The only two that were actually implemented were: shoes that increased your jumping ability, and hotpants that allowed you to slide down walls and wall-jump. I had planned to have a headband that allowed you to headbutt through cracked walls, and for the first item, right next to you as you awoke to be glasses. Which of course allowed you to see.

The challenge was of course, much harder than I had expected. I thought I would easily be able to complete my modest set of features, as well as put just a touch of story in there. (I had planned to have talk boxes every time you picked up an item, a place where youd see the main character grumble to himself some strange / stupid pun or random outburst of profainty.)

I intend to make sure to add these elements to my next submission. Miserable failure as this project is, it atleast received some pretty good marks for humor.

The game: As you can see from both the gameplay and the image… I never got a chance to do any of the world graphics. I spent far too much time on the main character’s sprite and the game engine. The biggest problem of course being, that i decided to write my own platforming engine from scratch. Big mistake.

I wound up spending 2/3 of my time writing the engine. This left almost no time at all for graphics and testing. The game is of course, brutally hard. As i was building it I kept thinking it was too easy, this was of course, because I’d just been playing it the whole time and was used to the awful jumping curve.

All in all, I completed what I set out to do. Its a game, it works, theres not really any show-stopping bugs, and you can both win and lose. It’s not everything that I wanted it to be, but it was a damned fun experience. I intend to take part in as many LD events as possible moving forward.

My next endevor however, will be a LD Jam competition. The Jam is a variant of the traditional LD compo, in which you have 72 hours instead of 48, as well as being able to have a small team of people instead of just yourself.