Archive for the ‘Nordic Game Jam’ Category.

Nordic Game Jam 2017!

voittoisuus
(Cool photo & cool cake by my girlfriend, Anni :3)

Nordic Game Jam 2017 was last weekend, and I ended up winning it with my game, Baba Is You!

I went in not really expecting much; I wasn’t initially really in the mood for making new games so the plan was to kinda feel the situation and possibly just work on ESA 2 and/or Snake Game. The theme of the jam was “Not There”, and at some point it got me thinking about “not” as an operator in programming/logic. This in turn made me think of a puzzle game where the game logic is part of the game world, and eventually this idea turned into my entry. I was expecting to run to some really hairy coding problems and not be able to finish, but hey, that very much didn’t happen!

notthere

I’m not totally sure where to take the game from here; during the event my plan was to polish it a bit and release it mostly as-is, but since people really liked it and it even raised some philosophical considerations in some players, I think I’ll be working on it further.
hihi
notthere2

Download the game on itch.io!

 

In other news, Environmental Station Alpha’s second anniversary was also last weekend, and I almost completely forgot to announce the sale that went with that. Oh well! Let’s hope we won’t get to its 3rd anniversary before ESA 2 is done.

Next up in the indie gamedev event schedule will be No More Sweden in June; we’ll see what happens there :O

Weekly progress post #61: An end to farting

Nordic Game Jam starts tomorrow! I really want to be able to show bits of ESA 2 and Snake Game there, so I spent today’s stream polishing some tiny bits of both. Thursday will be mostly quiet so I hope that I’ll be able to pull off some more polish in preparation for the actual event.

In ESA 2 I finally updated the double jump effect as well as the hookshot’s graphical look. Not 100% sure about the latter because of how “lasery” it looks, it almost feels as if this new hookshot should be able to be used offensively. Nevertheless, it’s an improvement. I’ll try to add some polish to certain early-game areas as well so that I could show off the beginning of the game without feeling that it’s way too work-in-progress.

In Snake Game I worked a bit on a cutscene/hub area that’ll be used for accessing the various encounters in the game. I needed to implement a ladder for said area, and to be honest the code for it is fairly hacky, but hopefully that won’t become a problem later on. I’ll try to get this area polished further before NGJ so that the player can somewhat seamlessly move from the main menu to the first encounter while learning controls on the way.

Weekly progress post #60: Shadowbeasts!

Today’s stream saw the addition of 1 new small room, beginnings of the tileset for the ~FINAL NON-OPTIONAL AREA~ and a new enemy for the previous area, seen above. The penultimate area is starting to feel pretty good apart from certain awkward room transitions, a missing bossfight and the general lack of background details that applies for almost the whole game at the moment. I’m going to have to spend a bunch of time decorating everything, eventually…

I’ll also have to redo the in-game map soon! I think I’ve talked about this before, but it’s nevertheless something I’ve been hesitating with because the current system has some really obscure code going on and picking that apart will probably be less than enjoyable.

Nordic Game Jam will be next week! I’m probably going and based on previous years it should be good fun. Not sure if I’ll get anything worthwhile done, though…

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.

Weekly progress post #9: Post-NGJ pondering

So yeah, Nordic Game Jam was last weekend and because of it I forgot to add a weekly update last week! I was initially slightly afraid that I’d be too busy with things to really enjoy the event, but in the end everything turned out great! It was a lot of fun to hang out with those indie dev friends that I only meet at these kinds of events, and the atmosphere was very relaxed. I even got to have a sauna twice!


The theme of the jam was “Leak”. I almost completely disregarded the theme, and made a tiny game called Sausagebear and Mr. Duck. I had a very strong inspiration of a game with ducks that can be herded and followed that; in the end I didn’t have time to polish things quite as much as I’d have liked, but that’s understandable seeing that I started working on this some 12 hours before the deadline.
GET THE GAME HERE!

My favourite games this year were
1. Jukio’s Stress-reliever.exe. We had a lot of fun during the jam and this was one of the results. Jukio does great stuff. LINK HERE!

2. Doki Doki Densha Sekai. A very dreamlike experience, resembles Yume Nikki although with more meditation and less creepy. At first I wasn’t impressed but the metro mechanic made this really really inspiring! LINK HERE!


Tonight I worked a bit on the new area in ESA 2, as well as implemented some tiny fixes to Snake Game. With the latter I ran pretty quickly to some aesthetical issues that will need to be solved so I didn’t work on it on-stream that much. I’m starting to appreciate the artstyle of ESA 2 more, and these new enemies (+ one not visible in the gif) have a very nice sense of weight to them.

I kind of want to stream again on the weekend, we’ll see if that happens, though.

Update to Copenhagen 2030

Added customizable controls as well as a settings menu that allows you to choose between two gamemodes and whether you want to reward a person dynamite/ammo/nothing upon successfully defeating an enemy. Also fixed some stuff and made it so that you don’t have to restart the game to play more rounds; now the game continues automatically until someone wins.

 

LÄNKKÄRI

 

TRY OUT THE NEW VERSION

Note: if more than 1 gamepad is connected, the game will assume the number of players to be equal to the number of gamepads connected. The game was meant to be played with a pad, after all.

Footage of my game at NGJ2015

My game won the “Most Marketable” jury award! Woop woop!

Nordic Game Jam 2015

Greetings from Denmark! After missing the event last year it has been really great to meet all these cool people and make games with them in the Aalborg University. :) I don’t remember when I last slept 3 nights in a row on the floor, but here we are. The theme was Obvious, which I think to be kind of silly in the same way many Ludum Dare themes are in that almost anything can fit it.

My entry is Copenhagen 2030, a game where global warming has turned Denmark into a Wild West -esque wasteland. Four players combat against each other in a deadly standoff. The game doesn’t have instructions so I’ll list them here:
You can only shoot when not behind the crate, and you can only be shot at when no behind it. The dynamite can hit you even behind the crate. If you run out of bullets, you need to shoot 3 times to re-fill your bullets. Bullets deal 1 damage, dynamite 2, while all players have 2 health. The score is counted based on successful kills.

Keyboard controls:

Left/Right/A/D/F/H/J/L -> aim
Up/Down/W/S/T/G/I/K -> move behind the crate
Shift/E/Y/O -> shoot
Control/Q/R/U -> throw dynamite

Gamepad controls:

Left stick -> aim
Shoulder buttons -> move behind the crate
A -> shoot
B -> throw dynamite

Unfortunately the game is Windows-only.

DOWNLOAD THE GAME (ITCH.IO)

 

  I also made another game with a similar concept, but it didn’t really work so I didn’t finalize it. I’ve played the boardgame Bang! quite a bit lately, which probably explains the Wild West setting.

A new review of CWOUN!

The blog has been relatively silent for a moment. Let’s fix that!

CWOUN got a really neat review over at the RETRO SPIRIT GAMES blog. Go read it by clicking here! Basically the review points out the main problem with the game – it’s too hard. Ugh. I’ll update the game with some updatey updateness once ESA is at least nearly complete.

As for ESA, I was on a trip for a week and thus wasn’t able to keep working on it. However, I’m back, and so’s development. I’ve reached the 90% mark, and decided that after this I’ll try to refrain from using a percentual calculator for measuring the game’s state, since at this point things get a lot more uncertain due to there being so much polishing to be done everywhere, even if the actual content was done. There’re only two rooms to complete before getting to the final boss, so that’s very cool!

I made a list of things that need to be added after the final boss is done!

Nordic Game Jam 2014 is going as I write this, but unfortunately I was unable to attend this year. This saddens me a lot, since that’s easily the best game jam I’ve ever participated in! The other trip I was on kind of drained my money (not to mention energy), so I had to pass this time.

NORDIC GAME JAM 2013!!!

So, I was in the Aalborg University in Copenhagen from thursday to sunday, making games and meeting cool (and occasionally less cool) people. I managed to finish two small games during the 48h game jam, one of which got music done by Joonas Turner! For reasons not related to me I didn’t get to submit my games to the voting process, but all in all I was really happy with both. However, the most important thing for me was the social aspect; I had sauna with cool people, had drinks with cool people, slept at cool people’s place and overall cool people were all around me all the time. It seems that Swedish/Danish indie developers are much cooler people than the Finnish ones – there appears to be a trend of more social and open behaviour! I wonder…

 

KARZ
Cheesy name aside, KARZ is a very simple arcadey arena thing where 1-2 players drive cars around a level and destroy other vehicles with HUGE SWORDS. It’s pretty hard, but I & the guys I played it with found it quite satisfying to play, which is cool. The visuals are intentionally very simplistic and weird, I didn’t really care about graphics here. The players have to cooperate, but they also compete in terms of score. Music done by Joonas Turner.


This game requires a gamepad/joystick! Xbox 360 controller recommended.

DOWNLOAD THE THING!

 

 

It’ll End Tonight
Artsy pretentious artgame with a deep message and ugly visuals. I had a simple idea and decided to get it done in about 8 hours. Overall I’m pretty happy with the result, though – I think the atmosphere works. It takes only about a minute to play through the game, so I recommend checking it out. Controls are WASD + Mouse, although joystick/gamepad is supported and even encouraged. For pads, move with left stick and use stuff with Button 1. Button 6 (right shoulder button) also does stuff.


DOWNLOAD THE THING!