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Saturday, August 24, 2013

End of Day One

Today. Wow, today. As always, the first day of Ludum Dare was the most hectic. This time though, it was taken to a whole new level for me. I've don Jam groups before... But this time involved about 10 people in on the design and brainstorming. It was a powerhouse of shouted thoughts and eagerly expressed ideas. The amount of energy was truly exhilarating at times! We managed to pump out A LOT of cool ideas, and even more joke ones. QWOP was something that we discussed a lot, especially in how the mechanics of it could be applied to a ten-second themed game. There was something about a plane and the exiting thereof during a crash, there was a game about hilarious speed dating... It was great. We ended up settling on a top-down-tactical-squad-based-bank-robbery-sim-thingy. Go us! :D Time for teh bedz now, but we'll have more progress to post tomorrow. ^_^

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I had some pre-LD feels, so I wrote about it.

Three years ago, I discovered a wonderful new thing called “game jamming”. At that point in my coding career, nearly all of my experience had been in small utility applications, written piecemeal as pet projects. The idea of writing video games had always intrigued me, but beyond the WC3 map editor, I had never actually done anything in that area. A friend brought to my attention the “Global Game Jam”, and I was hooked on the idea. I decided at that point to take a year to develop my chops, and get to where I felt comfortable joining in on this fun concept.

A few months into this, I discovered another awesome thing (and no, not through @Notch): Ludum Dare. With the GGJ having come and passed for that year, I decided I would enter LD 21. It ended up starting on my 18th birthday, and I chose to celebrate it here, with all of you wonderful people. I enjoyed that first LD so much that I have made it a point to not miss a single one since. Family reunions, sickness, even *women* haven’t been able to keep me away.

This LD is the 2 year mark since I started participating. I turned 20 yesterday, so this weekend is my delayed party. I cannot wait to enjoy this LD, and many more in the future. This Jam is something to look forward to throughout the year for me. It has been an escape, a time when I can turn from the more bitter parts of the world for just a while and make something that is in its own right beautiful. It has been an adventure, where I’ve learned my way around the game industry and coding at large. It has been a networking and social experience, where I have met good business partners and even better friends. It has been amazing, a true life changing event in every way.

There is thanks in order for our lovely organizers: Christopher Kaitla and Mike Kasprzak. Without them, none of this could have ever happened. Thanks also to all of the great people throughout who have provided keynotes for the event. Thanks to all of those who participate, for making this the friendly learning experience that it is. That’s right, thank *YOU*, random Ludum Dare participant.

I hope we can all have another wonderful LD experience. Good luck, and have fun!


Saturday, April 27, 2013

LD 26 Opener

Well, here we are at Ludum Dare again. This time, I brought friends! Quite a few, actually. Last time was just myself and my roomie, but this time we have multiple coders. I'm really excited to see how much more can be accomplished with 24 extra hours and more people, perhaps multiplayer functionality is in order? We'll see.

It's late on night one, and we have a very thoroughly fleshed out game idea. If you'd like to read through the game design document and see our process in action, just follow this link: it'll take you to the magic.

With all this wonderful progress, I think I'll head to bed soon... In the mean time, meet the team!

Greyson Richey (myself): Code, studio owner, designer, music enthusiast.
Craig: Art, music
Greg: Code, design
Ryan: Code, design

Looking forward to what tomorrow brings. GL HF
Our stream

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Recap of Utah Indie Games Night 9/25

Tonight, I had the wonderful opportunity to do the formal presentation! I love indie game night, but this night was something on the special side for me. I feel like I was able to share some great information with some great people, and that is extremely gratifying. I spoke on HTML5 Game Development and Monetization. Here's the link to it, but you can also view it inline below!

Anyways, after my presentation, there were some fantastic games demoed. The brilliant artwork by the students at UVU working on Cape Chronicles, the simple and beautiful gameplay by Trent at Thunderhead Interactive in his game Lightfloor (?), and impressive gameplay/tech demo from Mike Daly in his game Mayflower: The Seeker, and numerous others were there to capture the imagination and attention of the community.

It's always great to see such a wonderful community, and we had an amazing turnout! It seemed to me like we tripled the attendance of the last meeting! Best wishes to all of you game devs out there.

Friday, August 24, 2012

BIG list of LD48 Streams!

If you've ever wanted to find or watch a stream, you may have noticed that the list made by comments in WP isn't very conducive to that. So I made a list that is much easier to browse, and figured I'd share it here. I also wanted to be able to search by language, so I found who was using what language where I could. Enjoy this little list, and have fun with the competition!

If I missed anything, let me know.

Bloodyaugust - http://www.twitch.tv/bloodyaugust93 - HTML/JS (me)
Felipe Budinich - http://www.justin.tv/syrenaica - HTML/JS (of the Evilot Kickstarter)
bigbass1997 - http://twitch.tv/bigbass1997 - Java
thatshelby - http://www.twitch.tv/thatshelby - AS3
quill18 - http://www.twitch.tv/quill18 - C#
Nick Cash - http://www.twitch.tv/syncarn - Python
Raptor85 - http://www.twitch.tv/raptor851 - C++
Folis -  http://www.twitch.tv/BlechiRC - HTML/JS
Anon - http://www.youtube.com/user/CreamerLad
Fififox - http://www.twitch.tv/fififox
cniangel - http://twitch.tv/cniangel - Java
andrew845 - http://www.livestream.com/ld24andrew845 - Processing
TehSkull - http://www.twitch.tv/tehskull - Corona
JaydenB - http://www.twitch.tv/atomicmonkeypro - AS3
Jeremy Stark - http://www.twitch.tv/thejeremystark - AS3
galman - http://www.twitch.tv/galman33 - AS3
danlthemanl - http://twitch.tv/danlthemanl- HTML/JS
nidjo123 - http://www.twitch.tv/nidjo123
Lucariatias - http://www.youtube.com/user/Lucariatias
hoggydoggy - http://www.justin.tv/hoggydoggy
BenW - http://www.twitch.tv/garagecoder - AS3
TestSubject06 - http://www.twitch.tv/TestSubject06 - AS3
chrizc - http://www.livestream.com/chrizc
vircung - http://twitch.tv/vircung - Unity
fritzendugan - http://www.twitch.tv/fritzendugan
grimpunch - http://www.justin.tv/grimpunch
michax  - http://www.twitch.tv/anidev/
90sml - http://www.livestream.com/90sml - Python
sgehlich - http://de.twitch.tv/lesoosh
dhasenan - http://twitch.tv/dhasenan
NedortGames - http://www.livestream.com/NedortGaming
kiwi - http://www.livestream.com/random_and_shit - Java
pragmascript - http://de.twitch.tv/pragmascript
zeh -http://www.twitch.tv/zehfernando - AS3
mappum - http://twitch.tv/mappum
Milligan - http://twitch.tv/Milligan_
skyllartor - http://www.twitch.tv/skyllartor - Java
jayitinc - http://twitch.tv/jayitinc
NateAGeek - http://www.twitch.tv/nateageek
JaydenB - http://twitch.tv/atomicmonkey
Windryu121 - http://www.twitch.tv/windryu121
MattySVN - http://www.twitch.tv/SirMattyHD
laubori - http://twitch.tv/lauboman
cafaxo - http://www.twitch.tv/cafaxo
myachin - http://ru.twitch.tv/myachinsa
bablo - http://www.twitch.tv/baburo
KEFIR - http://twitch.tv/kefir_msk
panuo - http://twitch.tv/oks4
Demurgos, MrHalfman, Scipion - http://fr.twitch.tv/demurgos
MrHalfman - http://fr.twitch.tv/halfmans - HTML/JS
ScreamRawr - http://www.livestream.com/screamrawr - Art
Stoogebag - http://twitch.tv/stoogebag - C#, Lua
Ryan G - http://twitch.tv/irishwilly - AS3
Cedric Baudry - http://twitch.tv/cedric_fr - C++

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ludum Dare and Kongregate: The Controversy

Let me say this at the outset: I am in favor of the Kongregate move. Now let me clarify some points:

  1. Kongregate is not offering monies based on how well you do in the Ludum Dare ratings. Instead, they use the popularity rating system of their own site. This means that those who do not choose to submit to Kongregate are not in any way forced to participate. If you are for whatever reason steadily opposed to the idea of being involved with Kongregate, go nuts. Block all the entries hosted there. Really show 'em who's boss.
  2. Kongregate is not paying the hosts of the competition for the opportunity to conduct this separate competition. They are choosing to spend their money in a way they feel will be beneficial, to who or for what reason is outside my knowledge and the scope of this writing. They are not "paying off" McFunkypants or Kasperzak to take the jewels of our fine competition. They are simply offering another opportunity.
  3. Kongregate is well within their rights to do what they are doing. They have in no way broken any law, written, assumed, or otherwise. What they do with their money and site is their business. If they want to have an incentive for great coders to host their game on Kongregate, good for them. 
  4. This does not go against the spirit of the competition. The idea of this competition is to make games, and have fun while doing so. It is beyond me how someone could feel that money somehow removes the fun-factor. Money is used to motivate fun in *every* competitive sport! If you ask an average athlete why they play their game, they'll tell you it's because they love what they do. Same goes for us game developers.
  5. A chance to win a prize will indeed increase the popularity of the competition, but not necessarily the quality or focus of the games. Fun games get played. Crappy games get tossed. If your game is a fantastic one (and web-based), it will probably win both competitions. If it sucks, you're not going to do well in either. 
  6. This is great for publicity of the competition. Duh.
  7. This provides another way for coders to gauge the quality of their game. More feedback in the form of their rating and comments system is just another way to improve our processes.
  8. Making money for an indie dev is a good thing. Some people take issue with involving money in the competition. WHY?! If a person who is new to the competition x-posts to Kong, and realizes they can make money off of their talents, the industry and their lives are bettered. Of course, this creates more competition, so there will obviously be resistance to this idea.
So why are we fighting this? Why not embrace the next stage of this wonderful competition? Lets all accept that this is happening, and figure out how to best utilize it for our industry, and the fun it involves.

tl,dr: Make games. Have fun. Good luck this weekend!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Making The Experience a Competition

So far, our games have been lacking a major feature: interaction with other players. This kind of thing is extremely important, especially the kind of player to player interaction that creates competition. An experience where you are isolated can be nice, but even a crappy game can do well if it correctly utilizes a competitive player base! Thus, Pongfinity shall have high scores.

Kongregate provides a nice little API that can be used to update statistics that they track for you. It is relatively easy to implement, although somewhat restricted in what you can do with it. However, all we need is some simple high score tracking, and this does the trick quite nicely. A little Javascript, and suddenly our game becomes much more enjoyable, because you get the opportunity to compete with other people.

In the finished game, the goal is to have high scores for each difficulty level, and then an overall high score. We may also keep track of "low scores", or the worst scores that occur as a sort of fun-factor. We'll also be implementing achievements into the game that correlate with completion of milestone scores and defeating difficult challenges.