Posts for the month of December 2015

Ludum Dare Compo 34 Post-Mortem

I created become a game developer in 60 seconds for the Ludum Dare compo this weekend. There were two themes, "growing," and "two button controls." I focused on "two button controls" and figured that making a game was sort of like growing a game. It became very meta.

I think the game speaks pretty well for itself.

I somehow already got a lot of awesome comments.

My changelog was pretty tame:

2015-12-12 10:26:27 Initial commit.  Here we go.
2015-12-12 10:53:06 Image editor?
2015-12-12 11:13:34 A primitive menu.
2015-12-12 11:21:59 What am I doing?
2015-12-12 12:17:19 Added game.js, so it's like it's done.
2015-12-12 12:35:54 Some input changes and image editor suggestions.
2015-12-12 13:03:54 Almost a game.
2015-12-12 13:35:44 Shooting.
2015-12-12 13:46:41 Some endgame business.
2015-12-12 14:05:14 We're going to make some sounds.
2015-12-12 14:54:51 Sound editor.
2015-12-12 15:23:44 This is almost really a game.
2015-12-12 15:35:27 Fix fix fix.
2015-12-12 16:15:06 I'm now in the 'what have I done' phase of the day.
2015-12-12 16:29:56 All of the parts are there.
2015-12-12 16:45:33 Added a timer.
2015-12-12 17:23:38 Got rid of the collectible editor.  Made sharing work.
2015-12-12 17:29:09 Title screen.
2015-12-12 17:40:18 Last minute thought.
2015-12-13 10:15:27 Added random bleeps and bloops all the time.  Toned down the volume.  Added a tiny bit more helper text.  Changed the +1 now that it's configurable.
2015-12-13 10:16:52 Oops, you should always be able to get points.
2015-12-13 10:23:12 Even quieter, just because.

Thanks to the Tech Valley Game Space for giving me a place to hang out while doing this, and the Tech Valley Center of Gravity for being that space and being located in a great place for post-jam food, the center of downtown Troy, NY.

Table Saw Projects

Here are some of the first things I have created with a table saw.

Small Table Saw Sled

Not much to say about it. I need to redo most of it with hardwood.


This was the first proper thing I made. It is all made of tongue and groove joints.

Things I would do better next time:

  • I did a lousy job gluing and clamping. Taping the outside of the top and bottom during a dry fit and then gluing and "rolling" it back up seems like the easiest way to do it better without any more investment.
  • One of the panels has its grain pattern oriented differently, as a result of the sizes of scraps I had.
  • The handles are too close to the top, uneven, and too big. I should have just spent more time planning, there.

It's currently full of scrap wood, so it works.

Screw Advance Box Joint Jig

I figured I needed a reliable way to make strong joints to get started, and I did not have the tools (or technique) to jump right in to the woodgears approach.

Derived mostly from these plans, I made a screw advance box joint jig out of relatively cheap plywood, and with it I have made my first good-fitting box joints.

A/C Cover

The covert that was on my outdoor air conditioning unit had completely deteriorated in just a few years, so I made a slightly beefier one by making a frame out of 2x4s using box joints and gluing some old scrap plywood on top. The whole thing is sealed in probably half a dozen layers of paint, so the box/finger joints are not even visible.

I am pretty sure the old plywood I used is going to be the first thing to go, and common advice seems to be that just a scrap of plywood with a brick on it is when you want, but I had to try out my new jig.

Wood Cube/Robot Toys

I made these as gifts. I saw images of something similar and wanted to try my hand at making them. It ended up being a lot of work (mostly the sanding)!

I made too many mistakes to list. My plan going in was to make more than I need and put the ugliest pieces on one(s) that I would not be giving away. That generally worked out.

I like how they turned out. If I do it again, I will get more creative with the design.