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Darren Kearney Posts

OBSTACLES – My Entry For UL Gamejam 3

OBSTACLES is a top-down 2d driving game that started life as an entry for the UL Gamejam held on November 3rd 2018. It’s available as a browser game playable with a keyboard or controller on itch.io. The gamejam theme was “Obstacles”, hence the game name. Designing the Game I sketched a few ideas for games and settled on an idea that became this game. The idea was that the computer plays as the car and you play as a monster/wizard that is throwing heavy objects on the road to cause the robot car to crash. With the pressure of time, and maybe a little too much time trying to figure out lanes and such, I decided to go simpler and…

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Homework is boring; make stuff instead

At some point in my childhood, an uncle gifted my family an old computer he no longer used. Probably one of the best gifts anyone could have received in the 90’s, even though nobody in my family knew much about how it worked, or was useful. Having a it was considered a Good Thing. The computer was some kind of Digital, though I don’t recall which model. It had a floppy disk drive and a cd drive. When booted up, you where left with a blinking cursor in DOS. One had to type “WIN” to boot into Windows 3.1.1. As a kid I didn’t know what I could do with computers, but I was fascinated by them. I curiously entered…

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Test Driving Gutenberg

Why write about writing in a different editor? I’ve got a few other blog posts lined up, but they need a lot more work. As WordPress is moving to use Gutenberg soon, I decided to take it for a spin. I don’t want to mess up my in-progress stuff using the beta version of it! This opinion post that is largely inconsequential, but I did encounter a bug. Luckily, the Gutenberg editor was stable enough to throw up a screen to prevent me from using it further, so no need to worry just yet. Writing an article about Gutenberg is also a short and sweet way to get familiar with it. Plus I get to work on my writing skills.…

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Darren’s (Quick and Dirty) Pico-8 Cart Masher

About a week after UL’s Game Dev Soc Game Jam, I had some free time to revisit the collaboration tool I made for the gamejam team. It was nothing special, but I was hit by a mini-epiphany of turning it into a super-simple web app that would aim to make it as easy as possible to use. A fun little side-project, why not? Generally when solving any problem I have to ask myself “Has this been solved before?” because usually the answer is “Yes” and in this highly connected world we live in there is a Good Reason why a problem has not already been solved by someone else, in which case there is some rewarding thinking in asking yourself…

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Ludum Dare 41 – Combine 2 Incompatible Genres (Part 2)

Here I write about my second day of the gamejam weekend. Part 1 is here. Happy Accidents On the second day of the gamejam, I had a scheduling mishap. I had convinced myself that I had band practice and took some notes for the game in the morning. After I went into town and learned of my mistake I decided to use it as an opportunity for learning. Knowing practically nothing about how a cafĂ© or tea room actually works I reckoned it would be a good first step to organize a short meeting with some people who run such a business. My research hat on, I set out for a place that serves tea and has a relaxing atmosphere…

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Ludum Dare 41 – Combine 2 Incompatible Genres (Part 1)

This theme is fantastic – it drives creativity. Simply by getting you to juxtapose genres in a particular way to see what doesn’t fit! Then think of idea’s that are achievable in the given time. Repeat until you land on something you think might be fun and wow, it’s already going to be fun simply on the merit of it’s wacky genre combination. I’ve started to work on a Turn-Based Strategy Game that is actually a Text Adventure made using Twine. We’ll see where it gets to by the end of the jam. I started working on it after dinner. Here’s some screenshots as I log off for the day:

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My Global Game Jam 2018 Post-Mortem

In my previous post, written before the 10th annual Global Game Jam, I mentioned my aims, expectations and excitement about the jam. In this post, I’ve written about the game I worked on at the jam as well as the main struggles faced by the team. More great lessons from just one single weekend! Assembling a team I aimed to make something very small in scope and simple to make. Making things with friends is more fun so I wanted to get a team together. James Ward, a friend with the twinned brain powers of wildly creative imagination and laser beam focus, was on board for the jam. We got in touch with Cathal Duane, another friend who was also…

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Anticipation of Global Game Jam 2018

I’m delighted to be able to attend my 4th Global Game Jam in Galway. I’ll be switching to another game engine for the jam AGAIN – this time I’ll be using Godot Engine instead of Pico-8 (which I have been using these past few months). Since the Previous Global Game Jam I used Godot during last year’s Global Game Jam and I failed hard. A lesson was learned, which is what game jams are about! While an obvious one, let me share it with you: “One should not learn a new game engine at a game jam and expect to have anything more than a Pong clone”. Sadly, since then I have not used Godot for anything, even though I…

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Vim Weirdly – Preparing My First D&D Campaign

Adventure awaits Dungeons & Dragons: Let us embark upon a fantastical adventure in this collaborative storytelling social game! Vim: Let’s code with terse editor commands! What? No, I’m not making a vim based Dungeons and Dragons game – I’m using vim to keep notes and write story elements (and blog posts). This is probably the driest and tech-hipstery blog post related to D&D you’ve come across. I prefer vim. Or rather, after having used it in work I chose to stick with it. Then on reading “The Pragmatic Programmer” by Hunt & Thomas I decided not only to stick with it but to use it everywhere I could and make it my choice. When I set about writing up notes…

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A thought on “Where are Irish Game Devs?” survey results

Recently there was a series of “Who is Irish Game Dev” polls in the IrishGameDev facebook group which had some interesting results. For me the most interesting was the “Where is Irish Game Dev?” which asked everyone in the group to select the province in which they work. The survey results: Location Count Connacht 26 Leinster 109 Munster 13 Ulster 5 Not in Ireland 15 Total respondants: 168 (approx 13.488% of group) Members in group: 2266 This data was used to create a pie chart that showed the percentage of total count spread across each location. For this article I will use a bar chart to represent the data as I believe it has more impact. This helps us get…

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