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The Entire Screen of One Game (08 Dec 2014 at 16:12)
This weekend was the 31th Ludum Dare, the 48h video game programming competition (which I have participated in many times). The theme was "Entire Game on One Screen". But this time I had several prior obligations such as flying to Zurich, where I now write you from. But, undaunted, and perhaps even freed by the inability to apply the normal polish, I put together this quick weird game, "Entire Screen of One Game." It can't be won, at least formally, and exists only to destroy your mind, but people seem to be getting it. Use the arrow keys and space.
Category:  video games (43 comments — almost 2 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Connector World by Tom 7 (29 Sep 2014 at 23:37)
Old news now, I know, but earlier in the month I made Connector World, a video game, for the 48h programming contest Ludum Dare.

Connector World by Tom 7
Connector World by Tom 7


This is another browser game using just HTML and JavaScript, having divested of Flash. It should work great in Chrome and OK in Firefox and might not work on other browsers.

Since I took so long to post this one, I can report the results of the contest! I got 73rd place overall (there were about 2,500 entries) and 11th place for "humor."

Anyway, it's an adventure-puzzle game that's pretty short. You can do it! Click to confirm your order.

Some hints:

I regret that the rules require you to leave open spaces for the "in" and "out" indicators, since there's no real point to this and it's not that fun to figure out
Once you get past the metal balls, you're almost done
If you get stuck on the last level, perhaps your current approach is wrong? There shouldn't be any dead ends.
Category:  video games (14 comments — almost 2 years ago)   [ comment ]
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The adventures of learnfun and playfun, episode 3 (20 Jan 2014 at 12:11)
It took an awful long time to finish, but I finally posted the third in my series of videos about my software that learns to play Nintendo games:

The adventures of learnfun & playfun episode 3
The adventures of learnfun & playfun episode 3


This one doesn't have too much technical materials, as it's the exact same program playing a bunch more games: Color A Dinosaur, Cliffhanger, Pro Wrestling, Pinball, Mega Man 2, Gradius, Double Dare, Arkanoid. There are also some new results for Super Mario Bros. It's a bit lengthy, but I tried hard to keep it dense and filled with entertainment.

I'm currently working on different projects for SIGBOVIK this year, but I also have some more ideas for the NES AI stuff. All we need is more time!
Categories:  sigbovik  video games (30 comments — 11 months ago)   [ comment ]
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Ludum Dare 28: Single Dragon: You Owe N. Lee $1 (17 Dec 2013 at 09:10)
For this weekend's Ludum Dare, I made another video game in 48 hours. The theme was "You Only Get One", and my lexicographic pun convention has reached the level of self parody, as my game is called You Owe N. Lee $1. It's a beat(?)-em-up game in the style of Double Dragon or River City Ransom.

Single Dragon: You Owe N. Lee $1
Single Dragon: You Owe N. Lee $1


I am trying to give up Flash, which is what most of my other web games are made in. Flash is great, but I got stuck on ActionScript 2.0 (old, slow), it's hard to customize the editor, it's expensive for-pay software, and most importantly, it's dying. This game is made with whizzo HTML5 technology, which appears to be the future. (At least, unless you are using Internet Explorer, in which case it may never work.) Chrome seems the best, and the newest FireFox also works OK.

I wrote my own AudioContext music player for this, so I don't have any MP3s of the soundtrack yet, but I will try to put it to tape.

This version has a secret; can you find it? Play the game!
Category:  video games (4 comments — almost 2 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Ludum Dare #27: Point One Hurts (31 Aug 2013 at 12:26)
Last weekend I made another Ludum Dare game in 48 hours, because it's one of my favorite things to do. The theme was "10 Seconds" so my game is "Point One Hurts". As usual this one can be played in the browser:

Point One Hurts
Point One Hurts


The game is more challenging than usual, due to my own bad planning. There's something to figure out there and it definitely can be won (and some people have enjoyed figuring that out!) but I didn't save enough time to work on the way the game presents its ideas to you. That's actually my favorite thing about game design: Interactively leading the player to figure out what's going on. Here, I just need to give the hints that you need to use the arrow keys and Z and X, to pay attention, and that your gaming instincts may betray you.

The part that came out best is the music, so play with headphones or download the themetrack MP3s.
Categories:  t7es  video games  mp3 (3 comments — almost 2 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Summer is for video games (30 Jun 2013 at 23:26)
Just a short post for June, since not much happened in this month. It consists entirely of video game reviews.

I played two newish games that I really liked. The Swapper is a great puzzle game with a very well done mood, like exploring those deep caverns in Metroid where you felt like you weren't supposed to be there. What really stands out for me is the puzzle design: Like Braid, most of them investigated a single new idea, and you have enough information to solve any of them from about 4 minutes into the game. Though they all had clean answers, a lot of them admitted alternate solutions without being too exploitable. It's my favorite thing to beat games the wrong way, so this one was super. Starseed Pilgrim is a somewhat hard to place indie gem. It's part figure-out-the-rules, part exploration, part polishing your skills, part puzzling. I played a really long time in this game without realizing a basic fact, and I have a feeling that there are a few more things to learn. (I have made progress towards what I think is the final goal, but haven't "finished" yet.)


I played some other games: A Dark Room has been making the rounds and can be played in your browser no big deal. It's a text-only game pretty akin to the now classic Candy Box. A Dark Room ended up disappointing me, but it's not too long and it does have some good fun. Call of Duty Black Ops II was pretty disappointing. I feel like I sort of know what I'm getting myself into with these Triple-A shooters (it grossed half a billion dollars in its FIRST DAY, the most ever, though I guess that speaks more to the quality of its predecessors, most of which I did like), but this game was really uninspired. It was like they just got a bunch of level designers to put together some "missions" that had nothing to do with one another and you jumped from one to the next lookin' at axis-aligned crates and then there'd be these random ass "team" missions that had nothing to do with anything where you'd be telling all these idiots what to do but mostly you just wanted them to just stand there to attract the enemy fire so you could do it yourself. Like real war. On the other hand, Bioshock Infinite was much better than its predecessors and I liked it a lot. At its heart it's just a shooter (and only a mediocre one) but the map design is so lovely, and some of the characters and storytelling is really cool too. I do think this one is worth playing.


That is all. Any games you think I should be playing?
Category:  video games (4 comments — almost 3 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Ludum Dare 26: Dragon Drop! (29 Apr 2013 at 12:07)
As usual, I participated in Ludum Dare, the internet's favorite 48 hour video game programming competition. This time's theme was Minimalism and my game is called Dragon Drop.

Click to play Dragon Drop!
Click to play Dragon Drop!


Mild hint: Every game can be won. There's more (or less) than there looks, should you think of dismissing it.

Play Dragon Drop!
Category:  video games (13 comments — almost 3 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Ludum Dare 25: Age of Umpires (29 Dec 2012 at 13:53)
Hello! As you know I like to make video games, especially in a 48-hour binge called Ludum Dare. I did the 25th edition a few weeks ago. The theme was You are the Villain, and my game is called Age of Umpires:

Age of Umpires
Age of Umpires


I don't want to spoil the surprises in the game since they are fairly shallow. I think it came out fairly well, so if you have a soft spot in your heart for Nintendo's Ice Hockey, go ahead and play it online. The two-song 8-bit soundtrack is available.

Many more projects in the works. Even worse than usual about finishing them. :(
Categories:  t7es  video games (7 comments — almost 2 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Ludum Dare 24: One of the best birthdays (31 Aug 2012 at 12:44)
Last weekend was Ludum Dare time again, my eighth-ish time participating in this 48-hour video game making competition. The theme was "evolution", a classic which has made the final round of theme voting like 10 times without winning. This particular competition I ran into some problems, but the game is charming in its way:

A pixelated cell with a charming but ambiguous facial expression wears a birthday hat. The text reads, 'One of the best birthdays'.
One of the best birthdays by Tom 7


At first I was trying to come up with experimental gameplay, since I got a big kick out of doing that in some previous contests. But I couldn't get excited about anything (of course 2/3 of the way through I had an idea I really liked, but it was too late :)) so I decided I'd just make a game in a style I really like and spend loads of time cranking out content. The game is a large-map dangerless exploration platformer. I initially attempted to make the map 16,000x16,0000 pixels (256 megapixels!) but found out hours into working that some tools I expected to be robust (Imagemagick, for example) did really weird bugs on such-size images, and it also turned out that libpng was like the one thing I had not installed in preparation. Wha-wha, I know, cool story bro. So there are some epic hacks going on behind the scenes to make this work, and some of the game world is conspicuously barren, and I didn't finish the in-world music so the game is silent except for the characteristic title theme song. But the game can be completed and I think it's pretty fun and it was a weekend well spent! Play it!
Category:  video games (3 comments — almost 4 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Ludum Dare 23: T in Y World (24 Apr 2012 at 23:37)
T in Y World
T in Y World - Play that thing!


Sup guys. I made this game in 48 hours for Ludum Dare #23, whose theme was "Tiny World". It is an experimental homage to an old game called ZZT, with some twists like that everyone can edit the game world, making it a Moderately Multiplayer On-Line Rule Playing Game. Other features:

Very expensive simulated color-ASCII graphics
Content & technology double-whammy
False dichotomy
Four new music tracks, including shamelessly self-referential theme song
You can turn off the annoying music
Spoiler 1
Thrilling Computer Science based gameplay
Integrated level editor
Spoiler 2
Boss battle!!


You can play it or get the soundtrack, or both!
Categories:  mp3  hacks  video games (14 comments — almost 3 months ago)   [ comment ]
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