[Blazejam]: Tools and Software

The first step one must take in order to win a battle is to prepare, to prepare mentally, physically and tie his shoe laces. You can’t just win a battle if your pants keep falling or if your horse was kept unfed for a few weeks! Thus, in order to spare to some time and avoid running into certain problems during Blazejam, I decided to prepare myself by selecting the tools I will use this weekend! After pondering for a while, it all came down to this:

LOVE is a framework for making 2D games in the Lua programming language. It’s free, powerful, with a good amount of documentation and a great community. It’s also cross platform and can be deployed as a .love package (.zip->.love) or as a binary for Windows and Linux. There are also a few community projects that focus on deploying love binaries for the Android, Pandora and even a JS interpreter which allow the game to be played inside a browser (JS + HTML5)!
Project homepage: Love2D.org

Lua Development Tools by @koneki
I’ve been using LUA for my game-dev projects for a few years now. I remember first starting with LuaForNDS, then embedding it in my own games and applications. On Windows I used Notepad++ for my little scripts but not long ago, I moved all my machines to Linux (Ubuntu to be precisely). I’ve tried several text editors (EMACS, GEDIT and even Sublime Text) but I felt that they lacked the feel of an actual ide. This is were @Koneki stepped in with it’s eclipse based IDE for Lua developers. Besides the usual Syntax Highlighting, LDT offers a wide variety of features like “error marking”, “code folding”, “code templates”, “code formatter” and last but not least, a Debugger! It’s fast (feels lightweight) and the key bindings are made in HEAVEN! If love at first sight would apply to software and tools then that would be my first impression towards LDT!
Project homepage: eclipse.org/Koneki

There’s just one thing I miss about working in a Windows Environment: Paint.NET! I’ve spent the last 3 years working with it daily, doing schematics, drawing ugly concepts, making placeholder textures or just fooling around in it! It’s ease of use solved allot of headache’s for me. I’ve tried looking for open source/paid alternatives but nothing came close to the real deal. I’ve tried using PINTA, a drawing application which tries to replicate the functionality of Paint.NET but I couldn’t get used to it. So I decided to try out GIMP! The work-flow is quite different from what I’m used to, but luckily for me, there are hundreds and hundreds of articles and tutorials out there to help a beginner get used to GIMP.
Project homepage: gimp.org

Ubuntu 12.04 and a virtualized Windows 7
I’m a big fan of the Ubuntu movement! I first came in contact with it in 2006, with version 6.04 (if I’m not mistaken) and since then, I always had at least one machine running it! It matured allot since then and I now use it as my primary Operating System. The entire game I’m making for Blazejam will be developed on Ubuntu. Windows 7 will run under VirtualBox in order to build a Windows executable for the game.
Project homepage: ubuntu.com
Virtual Box: virtualbox.org

SFXr first caught my eye while reading a few posts about Ludumdare. A huge part of the LD jamming community was using it for their games and they were all pleased with the results. It’s a simple tool, made by DrPetter specially for Ludum Dare which generates random sound effects which can then be tweaked through an old school interface. It’s simple, reliable and FUN!
Project homepage: drpetter.se


Making games for charity – BlazeJam

Well, it’s certainly been quite a few months since my last (and first?) game jam. Now that my schedule is more relaxed I can focus on what I like to do most: make games (and drink beer). And what better way to relax then by spending some quality time locked in my lovely apartment, drinking coffee and giving my best to help others through my creations. In fact, one of the reasons I love working in the industry is based on the idea that I can help/inspire other people through my work. What better opportunity to do this than by making a game for a noble cause?

This weekend (July 7th) I’m going to participate in BlazeJam, a 48-hour game jam and auction to benefit the victims of the Waldo Canyon Fire. The theme will revolve around “Fire Fighting”. I’ve got a few ideas for it, but truth be told, I’m aiming for a more romantic approach to this theme. Right now I’m setting up a decent framework to use (on top of Love2D) for the jam, but I’ll try to keep it fair, so I won’t be designing anything beforehand.

The event will be live streamed, so expect to see me grunting at my monitor and drinking industrial quantities of caffeine during this event! Till then, I invite you guys to read more about it and wholeheartedly recommend to either participate or at least donate, if not money, at least some of your free time, into promoting it.