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etodd makes games

Enlisting IBM Watson as a voice actor

Posted by etodd, 02 May 2016 - - - - - - · 544 views

Allow me to regale you with an exciting tale: the birth of a janky dialogue and voice system. I have a JSON file with all the localized strings in my game, like this:{ "danger": "Danger", "level": "Level %d", ...}
A preprocessor takes this and generates a header file with integer constants for each string, like this:namespace strings{ const int dang...

The Poor Man's Threading Architecture

Posted by etodd, 12 January 2016 - - - - - - · 1,859 views

The game industry hit Peak Advice Blog a while ago. Every day I [s]read skim ten articles telling me how to live. Fear not! I would never give you useful advice. This series is about me writing bad code and you laughing at my pain. First Contact
Say you have some voxels which occasionally get modified. You regenerate their geometry like so:vox...

Ludum Dare 34 Postmortem

Posted by etodd, 28 December 2015 - - - - - - · 1,365 views

Friday 21:15
Fifteen minutes after the theme announcement, my friend Ben Homan walks through my front door. Not really my front door, I'm just a subletter. But this is a first. Normally he ignores our instructions to walk in without knocking. The first time, he texted me from the driveway. 21:30
Jesse Kooner walks in, also unannounced, bearing fro...

One Weird Trick to Write Better Code

Posted by etodd, 28 September 2015 - - - - - - · 3,588 views

Developers hate him!

We'll cover some standard tips and tricks here, but we're not really interested in those. We're looking for the One Weird Trick to rule them all. Hopefully each trick we encounter brings us closer to coding Mecca.

In the beginning
The first video game I ever wrote was called Ninja Wars.
Yes, t...

The Poor Man's Postmortem - Lemma

Posted by etodd, 25 June 2015 - - - - - - · 4,823 views

The big secret of our industry is, we don't actually enjoy making games. We slave away in obscurity for years in anticipation of one glorious day.

Not release day, no. The day we can finally write a postmortem full of pretentious anecdotes, bad jokes, and unsolicited advice.

Well I just finished a game, and doggone it, I am going to exercise my inaliena...

It's done!

Posted by etodd, 12 May 2015 - - - - - - · 2,635 views

It took nearly 5 years, $30,000, and most of my sanity, but the game is finally done! Check it out: lemmagame.com

Look for a more in-depth postmortem... soon. It's 6:30am and I haven't slept yet.


Posted by etodd, 27 April 2015 - - - - - - · 5,211 views

Lemma is finally coming to Steam on May 12. Check out the new trailer:

For the first time ever, I shelled out for Adobe Premiere rather than hacking something together in Movie Maker and OpenShot. I didn't use any of the fancy features, but it was worth it just to avoid dealing with crashes all the time. Altho...

The Poor Man's Character Controller

Posted by etodd, 06 April 2015 - - - - - - · 3,834 views

Let's say that, like so many of us, you want to make a surreal voxel-based first-person parkour game. You're trying to figure out a production schedule. What will take the longest? Graphics? Sound? Level design? I bet it will be the character controller. And I bet it will take 4½ years. Why?
In running/jumping games, player movement is paramount. It takes...

Screenshot Saturday 213

Posted by etodd, 27 February 2015 - - - - - - · 1,032 views

It's the end of February and this game is supposed to be content-complete. In a sense, it actually is. All the levels are done. Twenty in all. I thought this month would never end!


Just so you know, there are sixty of those lights and I had to hook up each one individually. It fell just barely beneath the "worth i...

The Poor Man's Voxel Engine

Posted by etodd, 18 February 2015 - - - - - - · 5,211 views

This is not a tutorial. It's a story. A Voxel Odyssey.
The story starts with 19 year old me in a dorm room next to the Ohio State stadium. I don't have the repo from this stage of development (SVN at the time), but I remember the process clearly.


Photo by Kristen Sutton
XNA 4 comes out in September 2010 . I imme...

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