Archive for the ‘LudumDare’ Category

Pressure – The Game (and the competition)

28 Apr

And… done!

Tomorrow I’ll probably write a post-mortem, I’m dead tired… Smile

A total of 29 hours yielded “Pressure”, a game where you control a ship that’s a nightmare to control! Smile


If you took part on the LD 48, you can vote here:

Game can be downloaded from:, and the source code can be downloaded from

This is a nice entry… don’t think it’s as good/fun as “Particles”, but it’s probably the best looking entry I’ve done (if not the more polished)…

Have fun all, good luck to those that are still working on their games, and for the Jammers!

Covenant, out!


Update #6 – The progressening

27 Apr

I’m blogging very little on this compo, but that’s mainly because I made an aggressive schedule and I’m trying to keep it… Don’t want to go to bed too late, I have to work in the morning!

Anyway, most of the game is done, it’s missing load/save mechanisms (which are pretty easy in this game), tutorials, balancing, polish, another enemy type, music and sound FX… Music will be a pain this time around, since I don’t have access to the wonderful equipment I had in the last couple of compos…

Some screenshots of the latest progress…

Failure is an option:


Level up, and upgrades:


Still considering if I give the game an ending… Don’t know exactly what would that be in this context… And I probably should add some description text as an introduction to what we’re doing, besides the tutorials…

Anyway, catch you in a few hours!


Back to work!

27 Apr

Just woke up, time to get back to work!

Game still progresses nicely, although I’m starting to move to the “boring” development: UI, game flow control, menus and such…


Gameplay UI is done, now it’s time for the main menu systems (“New Game”, “Continue”, “Exit”, that sort of thing…).

Thinking of having a more “robust” save game system, instead of a checkpoint based one, but that’s more trouble making the UI, really… and I don’t like UI work in the slightest…


Update #4–The shootening

26 Apr

It’s not a game if there’s no shooting in it! Smile

I’m calling it a night, been working for about 15 hours, and progress has been very good… I’m 30 minutes ahead of schedule, which is very good!

The ship now mines the deposits, can repair/reload if you land softly, can shoot at enemies, which can damage the player if they get touched by it (other enemies will shoot back, but that’s for tomorrow).


Gameplay-wise, I’m only missing the other enemies, UI and the upgrade/RPG part, and glue everything together, so hopefully I’ll have a lot of polish/balancing (better graphics, music, sound FX, etc) to make this fun!

Cya all tomorrow!



Update #3 – The Updatining

26 Apr

Finally, I have atmospheric currents:


Still need some fine tuning, regarding strength of the effect, etc, but it looks good and behaves as expected…

Though this was going to be easier, until I couldn’t find anywhere a Bezier/Point distance function…

Basically, the currents are 4-point Beziers (randomly generated)… To gauge the force of the current at the ship position, I was going to see the distance to the Bezier, and if it was smaller (and finding the parametric position), I’d compute the 1st order derivative and use that as the force… But finding the distance was a bit harder, so I ended up by having to decompose the Bezier in 10 pieces or so, and do a line/point distance function… It works surprisingly well, to be honest, but it’s a dirty hack!

Next on my work list: the squid enemy (or jellyfish, haven’t decided) enemy, which just moves in simple patterns, unaware of our ship… I think making the asset will be the hardest part… Smile


Update #2

26 Apr

This time around, I’m not updating as much as I used to… I think that’s because I’m in the zone and I don’t want to stop for anything…

Anyway, progress of the last hours was very good… The ship moves around, explodes if it collides too much, all of it affected by gravity and density of the gas…


There’s mineral clusters floating in the atmosphere, you can now grab those, which will be used to gain experience and to make repairs.


According to my development plan, I’m 20 minutes behind schedule, which isn’t bad… Smile

Next step: landing, repairs and start on the “currents”…


First update

26 Apr

Work is progressing nicely…


The ship control sucks for now, but that’s mainly because I haven’t decided what kind of mood in the gameplay I want: if I want a faster paced game, the accelerations need to be more powerful, to negate the current direction and allow for faster reaction… If I want it to be more tactical, I’ll be able to leave it as it is, with a lot of inertia, which makes it mandatory to think before you move so you can do a safe landing.

Next steps are the pressure system (deal damage with depth) and the collision detection with the environment (should be easy, except for the “landing” code, which will probably require a lot of fine tuning).


Base idea established…

26 Apr

I’ve made a mind map of sorts to explore my idea:


What I’m doing is a game where the player is a mining ship that explores gas giants and retrieves resources… The deeper you go, the more pressure there is, which inflicts continuous damage. You can use the resources to fix the damage. After each level, you can upgrade your ship, RPG-style. There will also be enemies (natural gas-giant inhabitants, and other miners). Other gameplay elements can be gas currents (make it harder to handle your ship), and gravity (ship acts like a lander of sorts, low gravity in the upper atmosphere, higher gravity in the lower one). To repair, the ship will have to land (softly) on rocks that float in the gas giant’s atmosphere… They float because, er…. magic! Smile

Hopefully I’ll be able to think of some more ideas while I’m developing this, but this is a good starting point…


So, ‘Beneath the Surface’…

26 Apr

Well, as themes go this isn’t terrible…

– Spelunky/Diving game

– Submarine simulator

– Underwater shooter

– What lies beneath the surface of a person?

Anyway, since I just woke up, I’m going to have breakfast, check out what other people are doing, ready my “work-sheet” and make the basic classes, while I ponder on what I’ll do…


Another LD48!

25 Apr

It’s that time of the year again: Ludum Dare 48-Hour Game Development Competition.

I’m participating on this one again, and I’ll be posting updates on this blog, and on Twitter (@shadowcovenant, if you want to follow me), and also on the LudumDare website…

I’ve updated my basic LD48 framework with some stuff I think I may need (nothing game related, just some stuff most engines have out of the box)…


You can download the framework here, if you want to use it (it has some sample applications that show most if not all the features). Current features:

  • D3D9 initialization and some helpers
  • FMOD interface for sound
  • 2d Sprites (with sprite caching, etc)
  • 2d Particle System
  • Simple UIButton for easy menus
  • Text (through FreeType 2)
  • 3ds file loading (only tested with 3ds generated by 3d Studio Max). Loads lights, meshes and cameras.
  • Small simple math library (vectors and quaternions)
  • Simple 3d camera handling system (just with a “look at” operation)
  • XML loading/saving (might come in handy for configuration files, load/saves, etc. The XML loader was created by Frank Berghen, not me… the writer is all me, although the loader also has save functions, but I’m too lazy to figure out how they work)
  • 3d particle system (based on the 2d one, so very rudimentary)
  • 3d sprite system (quads that always face the camera)
  • LUA library support (it’s actually ripped from my engine, so it’s a good support system for LUA)… Last time I used cutscenes and scripting, and loads of the game code was much simpler because of that…
  • DDS image loading for an offscreen buffer (just supports A8R8G8B8 images). Might be useful for some level design stuff, although I’ll probably go back to my old days of text files.
  • 3d Tilemap (Kind of a blocky heightmap with an automatic texture atlas generation and partition of the map in chunks for possible culling (not implemented)).
  • Voxel system (almost fast enough for realtime regeneration)
  • Simple geometry generation (quad, cube, spheroid, caps and cylinders)
  • Special effect objects (sparks, explosions, although the explosion require some authoring)
  • Full-screen effect systems (to implement glows, or invert the colors, or add displacements, etc)
  • Full shader-based rendering system (no fixed-function pipeline), with simple lighting system (only shadowless point and spot lights, although directional lights should be easy to implement, just a matter of adding to the shaders). Shader system is built with uber-shaders in mind, with easy to add per-material properties (material color for example) and system-wide constants (ambient light, for example).
  • Launcher functions (a dialog box that pops and asks for resolution, sound volumes, window/full screen, etc, in 3 easy lines of code)
  • Simple navigation mesh generation and path finding (based on Recast). It enables to add objects to a NavMesh object (not all objects work yet), and it will build the navigation mesh, which can be queried… It’s easy to extend, if you know how to use Recast. This component is on a separate library, so you “opt-out” of it easily.


On the tools side, I’ll use:

  • Visual Studio 2010
  • Photoshop CS5 (for 2d graphics and textures if I decide to adventure into 3d, and for map creation, etc)
  • 3d Studio Max (for modelling if I go 3d, or for title screens and such otherwise)
  • sfxr (or Bfxr) (for audio effects)
  • Live Writer for blogging
  • Everything I get my hands on…


No idea what I’m going to use for music, but probably what I’ll go the same route as last time, asking a friend of mine to use his gear… if he’s available, of course… Smile

My expectations for this compo are fairly high… My last attempt was on the top 10%, so I want to do better this time (although the competition is stiff). The remaining themes are also not very inviting, except for Glitch (that would allow me to make the cyberspace action game I’ve been thinking about!)

Probably going for my usual 48-Hour compo drill… Go to bed at normal hours, wake up at 3am to see the theme and go back to bed… then start working early in the morning!