New Game – Trouble on the Tracks

I’m excited to announce my completion of a brand new game, Trouble on the Tracks! Made in 48 hours for the 31st Ludum Dare competition, it’s a runner/platformer game themed around an old movie theater. Play it on my website! (It’s Flash, sorry iOS people).


Old Movie Marquee by Ruthie Edwards

Over the last few months, I’ve been slowly learning HaxeFlixel, a fascinating open-source toolkit based on Haxe. At first having no visual interface was extremely cumbersome, as I’m used to very visual IDEs like Unity or Flash Professional. But with the help of Will, cofounder of RVA Game Jams, and countless internet references, I got used to placing each object by code rather than by hand. Now that I understand the language, I like it a lot more because it’s always accurate and there are lots of cool features built into the engine (gravity, acceleration, camera shakes, easing controls, etc).

 

Trouble on the Tracks Game

The graphics were done in a little Mac app called Pixen that I picked up this summer for $10. It’s great not only for creating pixellated artwork like the backgrounds, but for animating sprites too! It’s got everything you need in a pixel-editing app and nothing superfluous, which is why I enjoyed it so much.

 

Trouble on the Tracks Game

Again thanks to Will, I picked up a new sound-editing tool this summer: MilkyTracker. Inspired by old-school audio trackers, its interface is gaudy if not totally esoteric. However, it’s great for creating songs based on short samples– with a sample editor and an instrument editor where you can create your own waveforms, you can make video-game-esque music quickly and easily (once you figure the interface out). I based my NES-inspired soundtrack on “The Easy Winners” written by Scott Joplin.

 

Trouble on the Tracks Game

Overall, Trouble on the Tracks has been my most technical game yet, crafted entirely in code. I learned a new programming statement, a for loop. Basically instead of counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and so on, you can just say for (i in 1…55) and it does the work for you. Programming isn’t so complicated when you learn some shortcuts. I’m thrilled with the way this project turned out and can’t wait to work in HaxeFlixel again!

Ludum Dare: Teddy & His Cat

It’s been quite a weekend. I’m proud to say I’ve made my very first solo game!

Teddy and his Cat - A Game by Ruthie Edwards made for Ludum Dare 29

With the help and support of everyone at RVA Game Jams, I submitted my first game to the 29th Ludum Dare Competition! The goal is to make a game, creating every asset (including graphics, code, and sound) all by yourself in 48 hours. I had a blast hanging out with other game developers at 804RVA, and I picked up a lot of knowledge and resources along the way. Galan showed me an awesome site called abundant-music.com that I used to generate the music in the game. Momin attempted to explain to me how he was using trigonometry in his game, which went in one ear and out the other but that’s OK. Everyone else was supportive and helpful too! You can see other games RVA game jammers made for Ludum Dare at RVAGameJams.com.

I made the game in Flash since it’s the only thing I know how to “program” in. I use the word program VERY lightly, since I was only using the default code snippets to create “buttons” in Flash. The most challenging thing was designing the levels and getting all the art done in time. I did have to learn one new piece of code, the all important if().

Teddy and his Cat Flash Programming - A Game by Ruthie Edwards made for Ludum Dare 29

if is probably the first piece of code any programmer learns so I suppose I’m off to a good start. Hopefully I’ll learn how to do some other things, like else() one day. Until then, enjoy my dumb little game!

Click here to play Teddy & His Cat online. (Requires Flash Player)
Ludum Dare 29 page for Teddy & His Cat