Ludum Dare 30 – Just getting stuff done.

A few weeks ago I decided to take part in LD30 (For those who don’t know – Ludum Dare is a game development competition where solo developers have 48 hours to create a game centered around a theme).

I made the flip decision midday Saturday to take part: I was watching Markus Persson (Notch) construct what would eventually become billboard-grass-simulator-2014 and eventually “dark”, and wondered why I was watching somebody else make something, when I could be making something too!

So… My objective entering LD30 was to crack on making something and “complete it” – that somebody could start the game, follow a basic tutorial, be reasonably engaged with the game mechanics, and win (hopefully losing a few times beforehand whilst still retaining enthusiasm for continuing). I knew the graphics would be primitive, the sound would be non-existent, and my choice of genre wouldn’t appeal to everyone, but I didn’t really care too much about that, I just wanted to listen to Electro House and make something.

Screenshot of my LD30 entry

My LD30 entry – click to play!

The game was made using HTML5’s Canvas, JavaScript, and a little bit of CSS, simply because I didn’t want to mess around with any 3rd party libraries, or clutter my mind with having to fix bugs whilst referring to bad or non-existent documentation. My objective was to pick a reasonably detailed game mechanic which would need me to do nothing else other than blit sprites and write game logic. There’s so many hobby gamedev projects I’ve started and not finished – despite learned lots from making them so few have actually been bundled up as a playable game.

At the end of it, my actually-rather-difficult strategy game came in at 446 out of 1493 which I’m pretty chuffed with, though I didn’t have enough time to play all the other 1000 or so games created by others – check the other games out here.

And make sure LD31 is in your calendar.


Reporting in

A progress update – The terrain rendering has been improved to the point where I can stand to look at it – it’s now lit, is multi-textured and has some grass clutter. I created a robot model which replaces the old zombie, so now it’s a game with legit robots.




RRROBOTS! is my new project, and is currently at a ripe age of 3 days. It’s partly 3rd person shooter and partly tower defence game, the objective is to kill all the RRROBOTS! before they get to the underground human city and kill everybody. Here’s what it looks like at the moment:



Microsoft certification

Last month I finished my second exam [70-562] – this means I’m now an MCTS in developing Web Applications(hurrah!), unfortunately I have to print my own certificate (boo!).

I got quite a lot out of reading through the self paced training kits – though they’re DULL AS HELL, and full of errata. Lots of little unknown unknowns in my knowledge of C# and got patched, and I learnt quite a bit about stuff I have never come across in my job or in my spare time.

The big downside to taking the examinations is the interface you’re forced with using – it’s bloody awful. Lack of mouse-wheel enabled scrolling of the question and answers, 800×600 resolution, no option to switch mouse buttons for lefties (minor point but still, it was a bit frustrating), and a strange UI behaviour where, if you click a radio button of a selected answer, it deselects it! – so my belt&braces OCD make-sure-I’ve-clicked-my-correct-answer method caught me out a few times. Despite the unnecessary hurdles, I made it through – seriously Microsoft, fix the interface.

Project-wise, I’m currently working on a top-down multiplay zombie shooter – Its in it’s infancy at the moment but you can find some early screen-shots on the Daybreak project webpage.

Legume is on hold for the meantime – it’s not dead – unlike zombies – which are.