Been a While
Sep 30th, 2013 by Joe

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LD27 Game Finished
Aug 25th, 2013 by Joe

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The release, future plans, and other random thoughts
Aug 19th, 2013 by Joe

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Ludum Dare #26 Results
May 21st, 2013 by Joe

Here are the results for ‘A Game of Numbers’


I am absolutely amazed at how well the game was rated. There were 1610 games submitted and 1400ish were past the threshold of getting rated and to be ranked that high in the overall, fun, and innovation categories is just crazy. My goal with Ludum Dares has always been to get better and to try to make something that I typically wouldn’t.  I definitely achieved that goal with this game and I’m excited to continue working on it.

After the initial feedback was positive I thought the game would do ‘ok’, I was thinking somewhere in the top 200, but I didn’t think it would be this high. I think my game was deceptively enjoyable. For instance, my game never showed up in a single “favorite games played” post on the Ludum Dare page, but yet people still rated it highly and seemed to enjoy it. It’s as if it never really seemed great, but at the same time, when you were done playing it, you could acknowledge that you enjoyed it. I’m definitely reading too much into it, but I’m just excited right now and very motivated. Also I should mention how many great games were made. Seriously, just go through this list and play some of these games, they are great: Top 100 Compo

Game of Numbers 2.0
May 18th, 2013 by Joe

The response to A Game of Number has been amazing and honestly I didn’t really expect it. It’s hard to say exactly, but it has probably been played by around 7,000 people judging by the stats gathered from the Web version. Speaking of which, the web version is really what has enabled the game to have that level of reach. It’s just not super practical to expect an average person to download a .zip file to play some random short free game. That’s somewhat discouraging, but is understandable, you need to make it as easy as possible to play your games and if it just loads in a browser then there is very little barrier to get people to play it.

With that many people playing it I have received a lot of feedback and the majority of it has been very positive. In light of the feedback I have decided to go ahead and develop it further and make an enhanced version of the game. I’m still in the process of putting together everything and coming up with a plan, but my initial assessment is to create a game that will target the tablet form factor (iOS/Android/Win8). It seems a natural fit for touch input and would be something could be played in small bites. I would also release for PC/Mac/Linux as the game is being coded in XNA and using MonoGame to support other platforms works really well.

As for what the enhanced version means for the actual gameplay and game, the idea is that there will be a significant more number of levels. I haven’t come to an exact number of how many there will be because making them is a time consuming process and I want them all to have a certain unique feel. I don’t just want to create a bunch of similar levels that play on the same idea. I also plan on adding a couple elements to the game. Nothing really extreme, but just a few things that will open up the game to some more logic puzzles. The game will also feature a level editor and an ability to create and upload levels and level packs to a server, where they can be played and rated by other players.

And here is a sneak peak of the editor and a level I’m working on:

A Game of Numbers – Post Mortem
May 1st, 2013 by Joe


The Good

  • Tools – I am very familiar with C#/XNA/Gimp
  • Scope – Game was super simple and easy to program
  • Editor – Used Gimp to make and map the level, so therefor no need to make a editor myself
  • JSIL Version – I managed to get a web version working, which seems really cool to me

The Bad

  • Editor – Using Gimp to make levels was difficult. Yes it saved me lots of time, but when editing levels I would often make mistakes that I would have to go back and correct.
  • Puzzles – Coming up with good puzzles was difficult. I ‘m sure there are a lot of possible puzzles with the elements that are implemented, but they take time and experimentation to find and I didn’t have much time. That said, I’m fairly happy with the set of puzzles that I finished with
  • Audio – I didn’t really have time or the desire to add any sound effects or music to the game. It probably would have beneficial to have some sound effects.

This is my third Ludum Dare that I’ve participated in and the 4th gamedev competition that I’ve done. Unlike my previous attempts, I was super relaxed during this one. I brainstormed for a couple hours after the theme was announced and then started programming right away. I think after about 6 hours of programming all the mechanics were implemented and all that was left was making levels. I thought the levels would be easy so I took a break and didn’t really do much work on Saturday, I think I made 3 or 4 levels. Then on Sunday I started crunching because I realized that I couldn’t come up with any good puzzles. Luckily I buckled down and managed to create a good number. Overall, it was a great experience and I am pretty happy with my game.

Post-Compo Plans

I probably won’t do this right away, but there are a couple obvious things that I will do to improve the game.

  • Audio – Add some audio to the game
  • More Puzzles – I will add some more puzzles to the game, but still try to keep a certain uniqueness to each one. I also don’t really want to introduce any more elements.
  • Puzzle Editor – Have an editor mode where people can try to make their own puzzles

I might also look into the possibility of porting to mobile devices and trying to make an educational type of game, it could be interesting.

Here is the entry (Windows + Web):

Math Based Puzzler
Apr 28th, 2013 by Joe

My game is almost complete. It’s a math based puzzle game. This is the first time I have made a ‘puzzle’ type of game. I normally stay away from that genre just because I don’t really enjoy them, but I decided to give it a try. It’s been a fun experience and much more laid back previous ludum dares that I’ve participated in. The only thing left is adding more puzzles, but creating them has turned out being a lot more difficult that I thought it would be. I’m hoping to have around 20 or so levels, but who knows how many I’ll actually get in time.



Ludum Dare Results
Jan 25th, 2012 by Joe

My goals for this Ludum Dare were mentioned a few posts ago before the competition started. I wanted to finish in the top 70 overall and have at least one category in the top 20. I managed to achieve one of those goals. Here are the judging results from my game.

#40    Mood    3.59
#63    Overall    3.44
#76    Theme    3.56
#94    Community    3.22
#147    Fun    2.89
#157    Graphics    3.26
#284    Audio    2.41
#340    Innovation    2.44
#360    Humor    1.75

My game was judged as the #63rd overall so I achieved one of my two goals, but my highest rated category was Mood and was only at 40. I am pleased with the results. This game was definitely an experiment and wasn’t the type of game I would normally make. It was much more story driven and really wasn’t fun at all. My goal for the next Ludum Dare is to just make something fun. Lets say at least top 50 in the Fun category. 

I’ve also started some design work on a new game. It’s similar to Xploration, but much simpler and more complex. In many ways Xploration failed because everything was too complex and my intended scale was too large for me to deliver. Perhaps something like that would succeed if I had more experience or more skill, but I’m going to try to make something much simpler and see how it works out.

TheRescue is done
Dec 18th, 2011 by Joe

I have finished my game and submitted it. Unlike my first LudumDare, I’m actually really happy with my game this time. It isn’t the type of game I would like to make, but I didn’t really want the alone theme, so I kinda had to go with my first idea. Here is the download.


Some More Progress
Dec 17th, 2011 by Joe

I ended up taking a very long break today, which wasn’t really good for the progress on my game, but I still think I am in good shape and will be able to finish it Sunday. I’ll probably work on it for a couple more hours tonight and then try to get some sleep. The main things remaining are:

  • Finish creating the world (I’m probably about 10% done)
  • Everything Audio related (Haven’t done any audio stuff yet, probably not going to be able to get much done)
  • A menu/title screen (This shouldn’t take more than about a half hour)

Visually, not much has changed since the last post I made, but I will still go ahead and post another screenshot. I am really liking how everything is coming together and I am hoping I can get close to my vision for the game.


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