I had a busy December, but I did manage to do a little bit of game development that I probably should have announced here a while ago.

Together, Will Guss and I managed to successfully participate in the 31st Ludum Dare jam. Our product: gn0Portal, an experimental combination of Pong and Portal inspired by a tweet from the extraordinary @moshboy.

We started the game jam working in Phaser, with the intention of releasing gn0Portal as an HTML5 web game, but over the course of the first 24 hours we slowly discovered that the framework simply wasn’t a good fit for what we were trying to accomplish. Having finally accepted this inconvenient truth, we scrapped all of our work and started over, this time working with Libgdx and JavaLib, a component-oriented game library we co-developed about a year ago.

As a result of the loss of 24 development hours, the game isn’t quite as polished as it could have been. What’s more, we indulged in some questionable design decisions out of service to a quirky aesthetic inspired by our shared work environment, the Ubuntu terminal. Some players may struggle even to get past the menu or find the tutorial because it requires typing exact commands, a fairly esoteric and unintuitive system.

But I like it.

I haven’t quite mastered my new job to the point where gamedev can become a regular part of my life again, but I’m optimistic that it might in a number of weeks. I hope to return to live streaming development of One, my next major game project that I put on hiatus about a month ago.

In the nearer future, though, I’ve planned to participate in the 2015 Global Game Jam with Will Guss and Oliver Richardson, an extremely talented programmer I’m excited to collaborate with for the first time.

Today I did the first bit of recreational programming I’ve done since Ludum Dare. Yesterday I was the Dungeon Master in a 5th Edition campaign I’m starting with my friends, and I had to use this website for a couple simulated dice rolls. I wasn’t exactly satisfied with the site’s design. It bothered me just enough that I was willing to indulge the revelation that this was a perfect opportunity for a quick little project, and that it would give me a chance to put my newly-earned knowledge of Python and regular expressions to the test.

This only took about 2.5 hours to throw together and I really enjoyed it. I might return to improve the documentation or clean up the code a little, but for now I’m pretty sure it works well enough to use in my future DM’ing.