Archive | 2014

Digital Dragons 2014

It was third Digital Dragons edition. I was on all of them, second time as an indie. It was the best Digital Dragons, hands down. Why? Basically, no errors have been made. This is my attempt at quite detailed coverage. Also it’s reminder for myself, do’s and dont’s for next events, lessons learned and maybe some good tips for others.

I came with special build of Ninja Cat and Zombie Dinosaurs PowerPack – new dinosaur (Archeopteryx), new powerup (dynamite), first equipment (spiders), some bugfixes, and all the things prepared in Pixel Heaven version (new ninja cat, vignette in underground, color mapping in water, blood stains on screen when player damaged, yada yada). I was hoping for finding someone who will help me with distributing the PowerPack electronically, so that players can buy it. Also I wanted to promote the game further across player and dev community.

First day

Indies were put in two long rows of tables, in the center of the main event hall. There were around 30 indie teams, from one-man-army doing things after work (The Miners), to 5-10 people teams with external investor (Gloria Victis). Each indie had one table to present game – not a lot of place, so things were crowded. We had electricity plugs underneath, and internet in the air.

ja i Martyna

My girlfriend Martyna, was helping me with booth. Without her help my throat at the end of the day would be like black metal singer. I would be grumpier than many cats, for answering the same questions (“will it be available for mobiiiile?”) and introducing game mechanics over and over again (I hate repeating myself). And I wouldn’t be able to attend any lectures or play other indie games. Thank you darling! I think that having at least 2 people at fairs is a must. I saw few other indies were alone, and I know from experience that it’s not good. Pro tip: try at least to Read More…

PowerPack status


I ordered mugs…

powerpack mugs


powerpack tshirts

Posters, stickers, bookmarks…
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Ninja Cat social additions

Recently I’ve been very busy with making a “social version” of Ninja Cat for Sense Lang. Sense Lang is a typing portal, teaching people how to type faster. They have also typing games, and we cooperate for a long time now, ie. you can play special version of Ninja Cat there.

So, after half a year, today (18.6.2014) I finally finished the project and you can play Ninja Cat with social additions here!

What exactly is changed?

Base additions

First, there is a option to login using social portal (currently Facebook and Twitter) – directly inside game. Thanks to that, you can see your picture next to health bar, and be able to save scores to highscore ladder… which is also displayed directly inside game. This is rather unique feature.



Challenges work like this: you select a level and your friend, you play the game, then your score is sent in a invitation to your friend, who can play the same level and try to beat your score. You are informed whether he did it or not, and you both can see your stats (points, accuracy, dinos killed).

That’s pretty cool feature, we predict it can add a lot of fun to game. It will be released in few days also on Sense Lang… and whole internet.… it’s live already, for whole internet. That’s because Read More…

Uuk – word managing tool for Ninja Cat PowerPack

Since sunday I’ve been working on a tool to help me in managing the files with list of words… because I’ve made another change for PowerPack, that is – introduced maturity levels. I called the tool Uuk, which is a name of organgutan librarian in Discworld. Yesterday Uuk reached level at which it can be shown outside, and so I made short video presenting it. Tadam!

It’s a AIR application, which uses minimalcomps for UI. I was timing the implementation, so I know it took me exactly 14h and 23 minutes to make it at this stage.

Why I needed such tool is briefly explained and demonstrated at beginning of above video. Btw, sorry for the bad quality… currently I’d rather work on PowerPack than spend even 3 hours making polished video.

What Uuk allows me to do:
+ easy filter/search for words, in all maturity levels (or a combination of them)
+ add, edit and remove words
+ quickly move words between maturity levels
+ is operated using mouse and keyboard shortcuts
+ autosave of changed words
+ log of changes during program run

What is left to code:
- “show exactly this word” (currently every word search is implicitely *wildcard*)
- case sensitive filtering
- search for duplicates
- full changelog appended to file
- tag support
- multiple languages support (target for future polish version of Ninja Cat)

Except the last two points, all should be quick and easy additions.

KrakJam 2014

For me, end of January is intrinsically connected with Global Game Jam initiative. First I was organising KrakJam’s (local edition of ggj), but after 2 editions I had enough and Maciek Siwek, friend from Shader (student’s organisation of gamedev) took it over. Because of that I was able to start participating, and this year I also had to take part.

Overall that was my 5th KrakJam, and 3rd in which I jammed. The event took place at Krakowski Park Technologiczny, and broke record Read More…

Keyboard shortcuts info in debug builds – IMGUI style

I want to share a little discovery, a trick easing the creation and development of games. First a short motivational and historical introduction.

Case study

I don’t know if you have it too, but when I’m creating a game, I often add to it a lot of keyboard shortcuts – even a few dozens. Player avatar, enemies, map, camera, physics, rules etc. Shortcuts use normal letters, digits, F keys, special keys (tab, home, backspace), and their combinations with ctrl, shift, alt. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what is available and what does what.

Especially I had problem with that in Ninja Cat, where shortcut availability depended on compilation mode (CONFIG:: variables, you can treat them like #defines) – debug+editor had all of them, debug without editor had a part of that, editor without debug had yet another part etc. It was very useful, because sometimes having too much shortcuts and special keys was bad – ie. during testing, when pressing some keys would change gameplay.

But I didn’t want to have it as binary – either all, or none. Sometimes the ability to intervene meant beaing able to catch a bug on the hot spot (perhaps Heisenbug?), and do something about it. So it was nice having it at such a granular level (debug/release, editor, deploy, profile). The disadvantage was that often I forgot what the actual shortctus were, what could I do at this moment. I was pressing shortcuts and they didn’t work, or I was forgeting about some magic functionality, hidden in not so visible code places.


Ok, now I’ll explain how to fix this situation. The easiest is to just display a list of all shortcuts, upon pressing some key like F1 or H(elp). But nobody would be able to create such list and maintain it over time. Also, having one huge list of shortcuts when you have only let’s say, a third of them, is not that really helpful. The solution? Do it in a automated way.
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