Project Cake

I did pretty much all I wanted to do with Project Bacon (my little Tank-based combat prototype), so now I’m moving onto the next step.


This is a test of more traditional methods of game design (manual placement and setup design principles). I’ve rewritten the engine I’m using to support using manually-created content instead of just random content.

All of these levels are currently set up using Tiled, an open source Tile Editor program. From Tiled I can set up art, gameplay, collision, and much more — it works as a full fledged editor for me.

The … Continue reading

Project Bacon: Combat Prototype 1

I finally got a chance to work on the combat prototype for Project Bacon (in addition to a few other nifty little additions). First I’ll describe the extras I put in, and then I’ll go into a little more about the combat prototype.

“Fog of War”: The player’s light reveals the map. Similarly, the minimap reveals itself as you play through it, instead of showing up fully revealed. This gives the game an explor-ey feel. It also makes it easier to tell where you have and haven’t been.

Game Over: The player can now die. When he dies, … Continue reading

A thing I made

As I’ve mentioned recently, I’ve been doing research into random level generation techniques.

One thing I was looking at was random maze generation. By loosely following the first 7 or 8 parts of this tutorial I’ve come up with this little widget. Pretty cool, no?

I’m gonna do the rest of the tutorial and add in rooms. In the end, I don’t know if this’ll be useful to my “Virtual Level Designer” project, but it’s kind of a fun little exercise.

Continue reading


I made another trip up to Vancouver this week to give my encounter design talk to another developer we’re working with and once again it went very well.

As in the past, though, once I get thinking about this topic it’s hard to stop. This time, my ponderings have inspired me to do some related-fields type research and it’s been fascinating.

Basically the more I think about this topic the more I become convinced it should be possible to procedurally generate good combat encounters, including the level design the encounter takes place in. Because of this most of … Continue reading

My New Band?

This is one of those facebook forewarding thingies I usually hate, but this time it actually was kinda cool. However, since I hate the “chain letter” aspect of these things, I decided to just post the results here instead.

Here was the original posting, sans chainletterings:

1. – Go to Wikipedia and hit random. The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2. – Go to and hit random. The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3. – Go to … Continue reading

The Castle Ravenloft Board Game

Since I got it a few months ago, I’ve been playing a lot of the Castle Ravenloft board game.

It’s a pretty decent game, but something has bugged me about it and I haven’t been able to really explain what it is until recently. When describing the problem to my friends, I usually said it was a “pacing issue,” and I think that’s true, but I think it’s more accurately an “expectations issue.”

I’ll elaborate:
What I expected Castle Ravenloft would be:
I expected it to be structured kind of like the classic Hero Quest board … Continue reading

Idea: Dynamic Easy Mode

I had an idea that I’d like to explore some more when I get some free time.

I’ve noticed a trend lately in games’ easy modes (I tend to always play games on easy mode. I’m so hardcore it hurts sometimes) where, in addition to making it easier to avoid death, the game has made it easier to interact with the “cool things” about the game.

For example, in Bayonetta, the game was structured to take best advantage of her awesome (sexy) attack animations. In medium and up, in order to get all the coolest animations you have to perform … Continue reading

I haven’t really been playing much else…

Over the three day weekend I finally got a lot of GTA 4 in, and I do love it quite a lot. Some of the things I mentioned in my first post still continue to annoy me (the many MANY buttons on the controls) but many have faded as I’ve gotten used to dealing with them.

Here’s a list of my top 5 favorite things about GTA 4 and my top 5 least favorite things — just based on this weekend’s playing:

1. Niko Bellik – He’s the series’ best hero to date. Not only is he a … Continue reading

BoD IV: The Last Voyage of the Donnie Marie

I hope someday to make a recording of this one, but I have very little skill with music-making

Just imagine a guitar plunking out a folksy tune while you “sing-speak” the words like Bob Dylan. Then, every so often, grab a friend and interrupt the song for some random commentary and you’ll have a regular Talking Blues classic!

The Last Voyage of the Donnie Marie

Now way down south Mississippi Way
There’s a little old tugboat people say
And she had a purdy name: “The Donnie Marie”

Her captain was Desmond Taylor Chunkee
The first mate: Kiki, … Continue reading


Every so often I pick up my copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, open it to a random page, and start reading. It’s quickly become one of my favorite books because usually when I do this style of random reading I notice something helpful that I didn’t notice before. This is usually because I have something weighing on my mind that reacts to something I read.

It gets me thinking… usually in a good way.

Last night I was musing about my work and the stress I was under. My mind kept going in circles, thinking about … Continue reading