Posts tagged ‘video games’

In The Meantime

Back during the Ludum Dare preparation, I tried to have something to go on for all the candidate themes. One of them was ‘mouse movement,’ which wasn’t chosen. My mind lept to kind of a cheesy theme – Spacemouse – but I still had something of an itch to program, so I took up pygame again.

Being as I started late in a weekend and mostly just worked in the mornings during the next week, I probably could have gotten something done in 48 hours. Though, another week later it isn’t done ;^) The scrolling has gotten better, but still needs work, it needs some challenge variety and better pacing, and, while I have some crude voice calls, there are still no graphics ;^)

Sound has been it’s own little adventure. I spent a while going through all the sound editors in Debian trying to find something, then, just for the voice recording. While I still need to work on the sound mastering a little, now I need some way to get other sound effects. Glame looks like it might be capable, but I’m kind of at a loss with sound, so there is a bit of pause while I look for a good resource on how to get various effects.

In other news, I’ve also biked down the waterfall a few times. Last week it was nice and I had my sandals on, so I went wandering down the stream, collecting garbage. With all the stuff washed down by the rain, I ran out of bag long before I ran out of garbage. Both then, and later, I never got down to the waterfall shortly after any of the big rains; after all, I’d already seen it at it’s full roar glory, right? I went back down a few days later, after another rain had come and gone, and found the stream bed reshapen; the main run had been carved out a bit and island raised up to one side. A touch upstream, there were some rocks that had been rearranged last year into a sort of dam; the last of those were washed away; up until recently you could still walk across the stream without getting wet at that place.

Circuit Designer

Finally got my Ludum Dare entry uploaded at my web page.

Mind, it’s not very much fun in it’s current form, but at least now anybody who is curious can go look at the screenshot.

Games, games, and more games.

Well, supposedly the Ludum Dare voting was supposed to be finished up by now, but still no report of a winner. (I guess it was a second hand report.) Some of the better ones (windows; all games include source (see Ludum Dare user files if not in zip file); a few have source in python):

Balls(1515kb), by entheh, and Og(986kb), by Ufo Z, have two different takes on the same concept.

Ban(536kb), by k-zed, is somewhat similar.

Kingdoms(627kb), by AlanKemp
(may need an extra dll)

Ship Recorder(516kb), by bugboy

H-Bot, by MattB

Lagowar(664kb) by phydeaux, is really pretty, although it runs a bit slow on my computer

Gravy Hazzle(2004kb) makes a game out of planetary orbits.

StashHouse(1678kb), by sfernald, uses flash; excellent sound, but after the setup stage, all you can do is sit and watch for quite a while.

Bouncer(247kb), by wisebebe

Robomaze(133kb), by wyzfen, features robo-rally style movement.

My entry(30kb) requires python, and isn’t really much fun yet.

Thursday I went over to alemeda‘s game night. The night started out with Apples-to-Apples; Alemeda drew the first cards as ‘Bold.’ I looked down at my nice new hand and saw ‘My Hair’… Easy plays were kind of a trend for the game: I also got ‘George W. Bush’, which, given the company, was just a matter of waiting for the right green card (Idiotic, in this case.)

After that was Deadwood, which I plan to comment in depth on game design wiki shortly (check recent changes or the title index for ‘Deadwood’ if interested.)

Ludum Dare Postmortum

What Went Right:

1. Um… Well… Hmmm… I finished? I also implemented an electrical model that was ‘good enough’ to simulate two basic logic gates.

2. Probably couldn’t have pulled off half the stuff I did without a lose object oriented language like Python. (May have lost nearly as much time to at least one unflagged typo… but anyway.)

What Went Wrong:

1. High Concept: Don’t try to implement an electrical simulation in 48 hours. In fact, don’t try to implement ANY simulation in 48 hours ;^)

2. IDLE (a python IDE on linux): Maybe I’m missing something, but when I edit code and re-import it, I expect that code to be used, not the previous version. That was the killer. Minor annoyances are numerable, such as multiple-key ‘shortcuts’, bad shortcuts (copy for instance is the same as window menu, so I have to cut/paste in order to copy) and one window per file (thank goodness for the taskbar; I still wonder how much time I spent hunting for windows.) MUST get quality editor for linux programming…

3. No framework. I was doing a lot of my learning in both Python and Pygame during the competition. Which made trying to fit in an electrical model even harder.

4. Little art, no sound.

5. Submission confusion: Since Python is a scripting language I uploaded my entry as ‘source’ not ‘entry.’ Consequently, I didn’t get formally entered into the competition for voting. (Not that I had any chance of winning, but I DID finish…) Didn’t even find the ‘entries’ page on Ludum Dare until a few days later to see that I didn’t have a ‘vote’ by any of my files.

Ludum Dare

I spent this weekend doing the Ludum Dare (3rd) 48-hour game programming competition. I also didn’t get much else done because of it.

Now, I wasn’t expecting much; I was partially learning Python and Pygame anyway. The theme ended up being ‘preparation,’ so I took an old idea of making a printed circuit board layout game. (I guess I work with them too much at my job.) Lots of other people complained that the theme was too hard to come up with ideas for. I was fine with that, although my actual choices was… ill advised.

Just for the record, trying to implement an serviceable electrical model in 48 hours is crack mad. I ended up doing it for the three small projects I had time for (I have no doubt that there are other flaws, and certainly some laws of physics not being followed) So, while the game isn’t all that good, it is finished, and the components have a good enough simulation of actual function to complete the projects given. So while I won’t win anything, I accomplished about as much as I set out to do.

Of course the other reason is that it seems I misunderstood the submission procedure a bit, but the web site is not responding at the moment. Otherwise I could also link to screenshots and such… hopefully I will get them on my own web site some time in the next few days.


The board game night went pretty well, although it ended up being more of a card game night. Burn Rate (The dot-com crash) was the big winner of the night, begin played several times. I also got to play a real game of Mystik Domination, (expandable, but not collectible, card game a la Magic) which reminded me of several of it’s nicer points. I may have to get the expansion set (sets?) so it can play more than 2. Another first was Programmer’s Nightmare. Nobody really knew what was going on and I ended up winning by dumb luck. The others didn’t seem to enjoy it much, but I thought it was a thing of beauty to see in motion, even if strategy is difficult at best. Someone also brought Mausoleum(sp?), a game about offing your rich relatives to build better tombs. A fairly clean and simple game, although I feel no urge to buy it. Fluxx and Lunch Money were also played in between.

Meanwhile, NaughtyPets evolves. First I showed hit points. Then I tried normalizing to 100 working towards a health bar. Then I had an idea much more in keeping with the game’s cynical attitude: instead of health you have a running total of your pet’s current market value; damaged goods are obviously worth less than new ones, so when the value hits zero, it’s dead. Since I’m trying to base the value on game stats, you also have a quick way to size up an opponent.

I’m also trying to tweak early game play despite it being kind of a quick and dirty project. For instance, the stun abilities were basically no fun. While the stun-whack (wash, rinse, repeat) strategy was effective, it was boring to play and no fun to be subject to. So stun abilities are being restricted to to one-shot (Comfy Chair’s ‘Nap’ doesn’t work if the subject isn’t tired any more) or diminishing return (Floral type’s ‘Pretty’ is subject to decreasing interest, and ‘Allergy’ is back to slowing down action rate instead of stunning)

Currently I’m against a technological hurdle; Python is an objected oriented language, but I need to start treating abilities more like data and less like fixed method calls.


Not terribly much last week. Had a meeting at a client site, the day after all the snow, leaving my car coated in salt. There were also a few exploding capacitors on related work. I never knew they did that before. ;^)

I’m learning python. I had heard of a library called pygame which would hopefully cut out some of the nitty-gritty stuff, and the latest bug to bite me is “NaughtyPets.” Basically, a not-quite-PC parody of pokemon. All I’ve got so far is a pair of images that can reduce each other’s hit points in response to user commands.

The usual Saturday RPG group will be short about half it’s members, including the usual hosts. So I threw out board games at my place, and we are expecting the minimum three players to make things interesting :-) Others welcome, but it’s probably too late notice.


NationStates seems to be cross-pollinating with LiveJournal. It has a general community (), as does my current region, . For an up to date list, check the nationstates interest.

NationStates also seem to be doing so well that the steadily climbing nation and region counts (nations was growing at something like a thousand a day) on the main page were scrapped in favor of a mcdonalds-esq “over 25000.”

Sure, I’ve been wanting to learn about politics…

The nation of Castalia.

Being as I’ve only just taken office, there are still a number of things that need to get cleaned up.

This Weekend

This weekend for once I didn’t have to be someplace else. Outside of groceries and a few other necessities, I did glorious nothing. Other than finishing a computer game called The Longest Journey. I found it a bit lackluster, despite all the awards listed on the box. Maybe I’m just not a good match for adventure games.

Sunday night I got hit by a bought of fatigue. I think I need to get to bed earlier; I’ve finally stopped waking up later and not in the mood to get up.