Archive for the ‘No More Sweden’ Category.

An open apology to the Ludum Dare community (and other game jam communities)

Just a moment ago I finally realized something I should’ve realized years and years ago, and decided that the best way to approach it would be to write an open apology.

Over the years of participating in Ludum Dares and other game jams, I have partly unthinkingly and partly knowingly cheated and otherwise acted maliciously in ways that have made my results look better than they deserve. This has happened in two ways:

  • Using certain bits of MMF2 code I had made earlier to get started with a game project faster, and
  • Using the “submission hour” to add content and polish/tweaks

In earlier LDs I’ve taken part in it’s also possible that I’ve added content after the deadline along with bugfixes, but I’m not certain of the extent of this kind of behaviour and I’m fairly certain it hasn’t happened in recent years (not that that makes it acceptable to have happened before!)

The former category of cheating has mostly concerned certain relatively simple “modules” that I’ve added to my projects upon starting to work on them; it would’ve been quite trivial to re-implement the same features during the actual compo and I doubt I’ve gained much advantage via this abuse of the rules; this of course doesn’t make my behaviour any less wrong, merely a bit dumber.
Using the “submission hour” for polish and features has definitely affected the quality of my entries significantly; I have no excuse for this behaviour.

It makes me angry at myself to have abused the goodwill of the community in such a way and I’m very very sorry that I’ve acted this way. The reason behind this kind of behaviour is probably partially in my own naïvete; when I first participated in LD I was much younger and thus had less of a moral compass, and after that it’s been easier to point at past offences and think “well, I did that before so I don’t have to care now, either”, or just not think about the whole issue in the first place. I’m glad I’ve realized that this way of thinking is actively malicious and morally wrong, but I’m really sad it took me this long to actually decide to acknowledge it and the awful things I’ve done. What makes me feel even more awful is the fact that I’ve manipulated my time lapse videos so that this behaviour couldn’t be seen in them.

So, again, I’m very deeply sorry to have acted in such a malicious manner, and I apologize for having been as dumb and mean as I have. Ludum Dare has been a very important part of my game developer hobby for these past 7 years and I’ve learned a lot and enjoyed all the experiences related to the event; I just wish this kind of attitude hadn’t been a part of it behind the scenes, or at least that I’d have been morally sound enough to stop doing it, feel genuinely sorry and apologize a long time ago.

As a gesture that someone hopefully finds useful, I’ve decided to upload the bits of engine I’ve re-used in many of my LD games; right now I can recall two that I’ve utilized in multiple entries (especially the latter can be found in nearly every entry):

  • A simple platforming engine. The version I’ll include here contains some extra functionality, such as slopes, because I’m not completely certain on whether I’ve used only the simplest form in a cheaty manner or also this more advanced one.
  • A system for quickly resizing the game window to a multiplier of its original size. This is a very simple piece of code, but as a result also very easy to quickly add to a project at the start of development.

Additionally I’ve used Adam “Sketchy” Hawker’s pathfinding tutorial in multiple entries, and while I’m not certain of how much of the tutorial code I’ve copied directly to my entries, I have a memory that suggests that I’ve done so and renamed variables afterwards to make this less apparent. This is awful.

I have used these two particular engine pieces in a similarly cheaty way in other game jams, such as No More Sweden and Nordic Game Jam, for similarly dumb and irresponsible reasons, although without the intention to act maliciously (if that matters).

I hope that the fact that I bring this matter up on my own helps prove that I genuinely feel very sorry about it and wish to be a better person in the future. It’ll be somewhat scary to see what’ll come out of this, but in the end whatever possible bad outcomes are deserved and I’m nevertheless sure that this is the right thing to do, right now.

Here are the two pieces of engine mentioned:

Platforming engine (with slopes) – ThePodunkian kindly taught me the basics of this design years ago (in 2008, maybe?)

Screen size multiplier – I’m fairly sure I implemented this myself and refined it over the years.

Seems like Adam’s pathfinding tutorials are no longer available; I feel slightly uncomfortable uploading them as they are, but if anyone wants I can make a tutorial based on the system I’ve used.

I’ll be posting this on twitter & the Ludum Dare blog; hopefully all relevant parties will see it.

No More Sweden game jam 2015!

Well, that game jam was last weekend. And it was lots of fun! Swam in the ocean for the first time this Summer and talked a lot with cool people; game development tends to be not that social most of the time so these moments where I can meet other game developers stand out nicely.

During the actual jam part I started to make a simple board-gameish online game where players have different jobs with different missions and have to carry them out. One of them is a traitor, with the mission to spoil everyone else’s objectives. I didn’t get quite as far as I had hoped, only managing the basic gameplay without the actual objectives, but it was fun making an online multiplayer game again. I probably wont keep working on it, but I might revisit the concept at a later date (although I do have several projects to work on at the moment anyway).

In other news, the game development streams I’ve been doing have been really enjoyable because it’s easier to concentrate on a project when I can’t just stop the moment I feel annoyed by a bug. This has also helped working on multiple projects at once. So thanks, everyone who has joined to watch the streams!

Also, Environmental Station Alpha’s Soundtrack is now out, for $2,99! Go check it out!

No More Sweden 2014!

Last year NMS was quite a disaster for me due to some personal problems, but this year has been a ton of fun! I even managed to finish something. Other indie developers are mostly really cool people and it’s cool to be able to follow the creative processes of other people over the weekend. Also instead of the usual pizza’n’burger -type diet, the local shop sells relatively cheap salads, so the overall atmosphere has been surprisingly healthy!

My game is called PILARI, and it’s a two-player arcade thing where the players fight against each other using bombs. I got a sudden inspiration to make a pillar-based topdown platformer engine, but couldn’t decide on where to take it, which made me end up making a simple deathmatch thing. It might still be fun? At least it looks somewhat cool.

~CONTROLS~

ESC – enable gamepad
Control/Q – drop a bomb. Hold for a moment to drop a more powerful one. You can only have two bombs at a time, and when you’re charging a new bomb the other one wont count down. You can use the explosions to propel yourself and your other bomb to the air, since you can’t damage yourself. Landing on the enemy’s head damages them.
Shift/Tab – Jump. Kind of useless mostly.
Arrows/WASD – move.

I think I’ll use the same engine for something in the future. :)

Download the game at Unicorn 7!

Also working on this

Sorry to whoever happens to read this blog and expects news about ESA; I’ve been working on a brand-new Officer Alfred editor, and I got to say that this time around it’s looking much better than last year! That gif was made entirely in an MMF-built level editor, which makes me quite proud (I shouldn’t be). Hopefully the loading times wont be atrocious.

As for ESA, I added some new cool stuff but I’m a bit stumped about a certain design thing. How to persuade a player to search for something less obvious instead of going in a straight line without having stupid plot-based walls?

No More Sweden 2013 will be held this month, and I’ll be there! Way cool! Hopefully I’ll get some GAMES made, woop!

Oh right! No More Sweden 2012

So yeah, that one was some 2 weeks ago, but I completely forgot to mention anything about it here.

It was a lot of fun! We were in Malmö, and I held a presentation showing off the games I’ve been working on (ESA, Officer Alfred & Beyond the Black Hole). I saw a lot of cool games from other people, made new friends and ate bettern food than I would’ve expected from a nerd gathering (didn’t eat a single pizza during the whole trip!)

The coolest thing about the venue was that there was a free-for-all workshop downstairs, with a high-quality laser cutter, tons of useless wood and metal (and bicycles). One of the organizers, Martin Jonasson, had created some custom-made arcade cabinets with his friend there, and we got to make games for them during the jam-part of the event. The coolest was a 4-player cabinet, which looked like this:

I of course made a game for it. Due to the cabinet not being tested very extensively, there were some problems with the controls; apparently the cabinet couldn’t send all input so it might be that one of the players couldn’t move at all if the others were using all of their buttons. Fortunately, this problem was partially solved during the event, and the games people made could be played to their full extent.

I worked with Erik Rönnblom, and together we made a game called “The Boulder Will Kill You”. In the game all the players are chained to a boulder, and thus drag it along wherever they go. The point of the game is to get the boulder into a specifically marked area. This grants the players points and more time to move about.
Have a screenshot:

I also started to work on a simple, humorous cardgame, but didn’t manage to finish it:

Environmental Station Alpha keeps going

Yaay, more enemies.

Also, this year’s No More Sweden is slowly approaching – the event will be 20th of July. If you live near Malmö, Sweden, I suggest that you visit the event website!

Update to Barrel Facility

Woop, updated it to add more levels, enemies and mechanics. Also made some parts slightly easier. You can now press ESC to kill yourself in case you get stuck, too.

LINK IS THE SAME

No More Sweden 2011

So, NMS 2011 was this weekend! It was a blast, I enjoyed it thoroughly. All the cool people were there and we got to test some really interesting games, such as Johann Sebastian Joust, and a new game from the same guy (Douglas Wilson) called ‘Monster’ (alternative name option would be ‘Beacon of Light’). It’s a lot of fun playing games that feel like those classic games I played with my friends were in primary school or such, but with additional control added with the Sony Move controllers.

Also, we of course had sort of a game-making competition; people wrote verbs on pieces of paper, and everyone had to pick 1-3 verbs and use them as the theme of their game. My verb was ‘Boooom’, which is a bit on the edge on whether it’s a verb to begin with. I used it as if it was meant as ‘to explode’; I made 2 games, the first of which failed because it really was too ambitious.
Here’s a picture:

The game was supposed to have the theme included in the plotline – the No More Sweden facility was going to be about to destroy Sweden with various bombs, and Hercule Poirot would’ve been sent to disarm them. The engine was quite solid, but doing a full game with it would’ve been a major pain.

I started a new game when there was only 11 hours left to the competition. This time I used much more simplified graphics in order to make it in time.

I’m actually very happy with the game itself. It turned out to be brutally hard, but other than that the style is kinda nice. I had to leave for my airplane right after the compo ended, so my game didn’t really make it to the voting. I also got some nice music composed by Anosou. Thanks Anosou!

GO PLAY THE GAME

Be A Man – the story of World War Swing Show-off

No More Sweden was really intense and fun this time around! I’m currently in the house of one of the organizers, watching some football. Everything has gone fine this far and I’ve had a great time here. Hopefully I’ll get safely home, too!

Anyway, here’s the game I made for for the 48-hour game jam. My theme words were World War, Swing and Show and I made a really tiny game from the first idea I could get. Hopefully I’ll do something better next year. :) Daniel Remar’s Be A Man was one of the funniest games I’ve ever played, I hope he uploads it even though it may be hard to understand the inside-jokes.

World War Swing Show-off

Download the game
(It’s a two-player hotseat game, all the instructions are in the game file!)

No More Finland For No More Sweden

I’ll be leaving tomorrow for No More Sweden, the most amazing tiny indie jam this summer. All the cool guys shall be there, or at least northern cool guys!