Moving Forward

This spring was different time for me. For years my B.Sc. degree has been missing just a few tiny bits. For example, I needed just a few course credits to fill up a second minor subject, which is “Software Business” offered in collaboration by local universities. This spring I took a mini course and wrote one report about things I found interesting in last GDC, which were enough to get the few missing points. Now, after 15 years, I unlocked the B.Sc. achievement.

I don’t actually think there will be much difference from having a degree or not. It has just been sort of nagging thing because it was just almost there, so maybe it was sort of mentally easier to get done with that than keep it lingering forever. So I don’t have any current plans to continue towards M.Sc., even if I’m actually already halfway there (basically only thesis missing and a few other bits).

But that’s not all of things making this spring different for me. I decided it was time for me to leave Secret Exit, the company I co-founded over 5 years ago. I’m planning to continue as an “indie developer”, but I don’t really have anything announce-worthy to say about that yet.

I have actually already mentioned about these things in Twitter and Google+ already a while ago, so this post is sort of old news, but I figured I could write an update here as well.



22nd Ludum Dare contest was held late last year. Now that it’s going to be held 23rd time next weekend, I thought maybe it’s finally time to add a page and posting about my entry to the last one!

So, for the #22 theme was “Alone”, weirdly somewhat close to theme used for 20th LD48. I made a wannabe-artsy-moody game called LIFELONE which tries to convey feelings of loneliness. Or something. Check it out.



Back in October, we wanted to attend the forthcoming Alternative Party event. I think one could say it is a demoscene event, but with a broader or different scope or goals – for example, encouraging or embracing artistic expression with niche platforms (either niche by being rare, or niche by being so old).

So, we thought about taking part in the alternative demo competition. The platform is mostly free choice there, but the compo name itself directs you to think about something different. I thought that maybe it could be interesting to make a demo which would consist of only a single static line with changing colors, and try to take most of that limitation. That is, to make a “1-Dimensional Demo” (at least by my definition).
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Join Google+

I’ve always thought that updating stuff to my homepage/blog feels a bit too much hassle, so I don’t want to do that very often. Strangely, even switching away from home-made kludges to WordPress didn’t help the feeling in a dramatic way, although it surely helped a little bit.

That’s why this page has always been subject to relatively long pauses without updates, even if I have felt like I’d like to share something. Thinking about alternative solutions, the social media websites, I’ve had a Facebook and Twitter account for quite a while now. I have always felt that Facebook suits best for personal friends and not for public stuff. Twitter is ok for public stuff, but the 140 char limit means that you’ll share only some tiny things, like a little anecdote or just a link to somewhere.

When Google+ came around, I started using it as well. By nature it is like a combination of good things from both Facebook and Twitter, and seems to fit my usage patterns quite well. It allows really easily to select per-post who I’m sharing it with. It doesn’t limit me to short posts when I want to say a little more. Each post is automatically a discussion thread, and since it isn’t hosted by me, I have less to worry about approving posts / preventing spam entries.

So I realized I tend to write there a bit more often – the smaller things, findings and even some more light-hearted observations go there. So, if you want to follow smaller updates from me, join Google+ if you aren’t yet there and add me to your circles. Today, I was originally going to write about my latest findings regarding prototyping with Processing (again), but decided I probably do that in my Google+ stream later and write this endorsement post here instead! ;-D


Assembly and Evoke 2011

Writing a bit late about this, but in August I attended the Assembly 2011 event, as well as had the chance to visit Evoke 2011 in Cologne soon after that. I was actually going to GDC Europe and Gamescom events, but the Evoke luckily happened to be held just on the previous weekend in the same city.

As usual, I spent a little bit of time to make some entries to the event competitions. Read on for videos and a bit of info.
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Stair Dismount™ for Android™

At Secret Exit we just released the recreation of Stair Dismount™ for Android™ phones. As you can see from the video below, we’ve been pretty busy by releasing updates for it every few weeks, adding extra ragdolls and levels to play with. The game itself is free, and part of the extra content is offered against a modest payment.

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Better looking anti-aliased lines with simple trick

Here’s some notes about anti-aliased lines.
For these tests of rendering anti-aliased lines my goals were roughly as follows:

  • relatively high-quality anti-aliased lines (better than subsampling or postprocessing)
  • simple low-tech solution extendable to wide range of platforms (e.g. not relying on availability of shaders)
  • visually better consistency than what you get if you just ask graphics API to anti-alias lines for you, and you might not even get any if the hardware is lacking
  • try to solve issue of anti-aliased lines showing a “roping” effect
  • concentrate on case of single lines without yet going to additional complexities such as line caps or joins between multiple lines

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LD20: Guinea Pig Warrior

20th Ludum Dare contest was held a few weeks ago. The given theme was “It’s Dangerous to go Alone! Take this!”. I created a little platformer where the player character has a temporal projection sidekick. Check out Guinea Pig Warrior.


LD19: Drill Warrior

19th Ludum Dare contest was held already back in December. Since I managed to make an entry this time, I figured out I could post about it before the next one is held, which will be probably next month.

The theme was “Discovery”. Description, downloadable Windows build and source code of my game Drill Warrior can be downloaded from the separate page about the game.


Assembly 2010

The Assembly 2010 summer event was held last weekend. Once again I did something to contribute in the various competitions held at the event. At right you can see thumbnail from Afrika by Rustbloom & XZM. It’s our try at making a 4 KB intro with semi-abstract/stylized 2D vector graphics and bit of a story. Yes, the executable is only 4089 bytes long (0.004 megabytes). Check it out from Youtube, or download the original executable version (only for Windows). The intro ended up at 5th place of 16 entries, which isn’t bad at all.

Some time before the event I also spent a moment to wade through Box2D physics engine documentation, and made a little prototype game called Luomuheinäseipääntapinheitto (a.k.a. Organic hay pole peg throwing), entering it also to the gamedev contest (placed 8/19). Background music is Test Drive by Zapac. Check out a video from Youtube, or download and try it (only for Windows).

Here’s links (mostly Youtube) to some other highlights from the event: XMunkki’s gamedev entry Raya Racer for N900, Evoflash’s winner Flash demo from wild compo, Archee’s 4k intro with physics and AI, winner 4k, Pier 64k from Hedelmae, Tricky truck – Archee’s winner entry from gamedev, 64k intro compo 1st and 2nd, Fairlight’s demo (2nd in compo), and finally ASD’s winning demo.

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