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js13kGames — Back to the basics

September 16, 2019

I want­ed to par­tic­i­pate in js13k for a while now, so I final­ly took the dive, sim­i­lar­ly to 7drl this year. The result­ing game is called Back­Flipped, and you can play it on either the com­pe­ti­tion site or itch! Also, you can check out the source code on Github.

I had some goals:

Here’s a lengthy post­mortem detail­ing my design deci­sions so I can refer to them lat­er, but also so oth­er peo­ple can learn! I might make a sep­a­rate post about all the opti­miza­tion tricks I used, but for now the js13k resources are very use­ful, and I tried most of the tricks list­ed there.

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7 Day Rougelike Challenge 2019 — Six sides of the same hex

March 13, 2019

So I made a rouge­like! I have a prob­lem with rouge­likes: the games are incred­i­bly pun­ish­ing, and usu­al­ly I can’t bring up the patience to con­tin­ue play­ing after five per­madeaths or so. Also, these games can be com­pli­cat­ed, with very lit­tle explanation—something I think is amaz­ing in most games, but can be very frus­trat­ing in a rouge­like where you’re thrown to the wolves almost instant­ly.

How­ev­er, I have been fas­ci­nat­ed by the genre, regard­less of my inabil­i­ty to actu­al­ly play the games. So when I saw 7drl was hap­pen­ing this year, I want­ed to make a min­i­mal­ist rouge­like, also known as a rougelite. Here’s an overview of the game­play of the game and how it was put togeth­er this way.

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Best of 2018

January 9, 2019

More years, more games! Look­ing back, I can only say one thing: Geez, I played a lot of games this year!

Like last years’ lists, this just list games I played this year, not nec­es­sar­i­ly games that released this year, in no par­tic­u­lar order. Also, only itch embeds this year because I’ve played a lot more games on itch, but also because all Steam embeds from last year’s list broke and I’m too lazy to add links/embeds for every­thing this time around.

It’s long, so you can skip straight to the Hon­or­able Men­tions and Books. Also, here’s 2017’s list.

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How to make a good puzzle — Solutions

August 28, 2018

I’ve had a cou­ple of peo­ple request hints or a solu­tion sheet for How to make a good puz­zle, so here it is. If you’re hav­ing trou­ble beat­ing the puz­zles, you can check the videos here for hints or the entire solu­tion. Please use it only as a last resort.

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How to make a good puzzle — Explorables Jam 2018 entry

August 19, 2018

The Rubik’s Cube. Sudoku’s. Video games. Puz­zles are every­where, but just how do you make a good puzzle—one that’s fun, and sat­is­fy­ing to solve?

I’ll explain this with lev­els from Sokoban, a puz­zle game where you push box­es to the cor­rect spaces on the grid. I’m demon­strat­ing my points using this game, but they can be applied to most types of puz­zles. Since puz­zle design is sub­jec­tive, your mileage may vary, but this is a good start­ing point that I’m also using for my own puz­zle games.

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