Daily archives "March 6, 2014"

TAG 8: Themes Announced

About TAG:

TAG, the arbitrary game jam is to encourage us game developers to explore ideas based on a random starting point and execute them as fully as possible. Themes are chosen randomly using a random word generator and just to supplement the host gets to choose a theme, any other rules he wants. The winner gets to host the next TAG. (My last game for TAG 7 is here)

TAG 8:

Themes :Deprive | Cow | Detectable 

Special Rule : Procedural


Generated themes

Deprive: prevent (a person or place) from having or using something. (Ex: The court ruling deprived us of any share in the inheritance).

Cow : a fully grown female animal of a domesticated breed of ox, kept to produce milk or beef. or an unpleasant or disliked woman. (Don’t blame me,thats what google said)

Chosen theme

Detectable: to detect, To discover or ascertain the existence, presence, or fact of.

Special Rule

This is not really a rule its more of a guideline so that we can learn something new.

The Rule is “Procedural Generation

I wrote a very short introduction to procedural game design here Power of the code. Basically lets try to incorporate something which is procedurally generated either offline or on the fly.

On the fly: the procedural generation is part of the game and you can see that in each playthrough. Level design, enemy placement etc(Like a simple moving objects in menu screen, something I did for my first game AAP The Sweeper )

Offline: use a tool or program like weavesilk or contextfreeart and use such generated art in game.

This is not a compulsory rule so don’t feel forced to incorporate it. Use it only if it enhances your idea.

The development time has started.

and will end by

Development Time Has ended. Please submit your games here


The games are to be submitted here

All the best, I will try to put up some samples of procedural art during the weekend.

The power of the Procedure

With the leaps of technological advancements seen in computer science its only natural that we assume that softwares on its own can produce something of value. This has been true main in the fields of natural processing, AI etc. The idea is simple “Put the rules down, randomize and stabilize other stuff”.

This post is an attempt to understand how we can use the power of the procedure in game development.

What is procedural?

Procedure/ function are blocks of code nothing more. Say you write a small piece of code to place a coin at a random location thats procedural level design.  The power of procedure is easily seen when you sprinkle in a decent amount of randomness. This generates unique and new environments.  The most important things to keep in mind with procedural things is that its not complete randomness. To illustrate this lets consider this example , weavesilk lets you draw outright stunning images. Try to close your eyes and draw few curves once on weavesilk and once on your paint tool. Notice the difference what makes and breaks a procedural generation is the rules that are put in, other part of randomness can be indeed random. Because weavesilk has rules to mirror image and adds a nice distorted effect when the movement is slow etc etc we get such a nice little piece of work.

What can be procedurally generated?

I consider two important things.

Level Design:

From the layout of the level, placement of npcs/powers, even things like dynamic powers and buffs almost everything can be procedurally done, but its very important to not over do it. The standard rules to be followed are

Is it feasible? anything the code emits out should still enable the game to complete/make progress. A random maze level without a route is not getting us anywhere(not just literally).

Is it interesting? whats the point of mechanic/element if that just doesn’t seem interesting.

Is it within bounds? while a procedurally generated level albeit feasible can be a stupid choice in the initial levels, ensuring that difficult stays within the limit is very important.

My favourite procedural generated works (Sorry haven’t played many rogue games, my apologies for missing any classics)

Binding of Isaac: The game features an insane number of powerups, cards etc all on which are procedurally obtained. Add to this even enemies and dungeon layout is random too.

Rogue Legacy:  After each death you play as ‘your’ heir, with a random powerup and random disorder, this makes for a hilarious and unique experience each time.


As a programmer procedural art is a God send, I am just started reading up about it, so please consider this section with a bucket of salt.

Backgrounds, Menu Screens etc make excellent candidates as these while important aren’t the core of the game, hence can be easily experimented with.

Nature anything from trees, waves, sand, space etc can be made to feel natural with the power of the procedure.

A few tools I have seen online which can be used for procedural/generative art are

  • Processing – has a good tutorial directed at non programmers and seems nice
  • Context free Art – A vectorish approach. A few samples from their site

    Snow_Forest by thijs



Starry Pines by credmond

Limit Theory:

A stunning game in progress, almost everything about is procedurally done and its astonishing how good the game looks.


Surprisingly I haven’t personally seen or rather heard of many procedural sounds in games. But I am sure many artists use them extensively, it would be really cool if procedural level generation and sound are mixed. Something like a rayman game where each tile plays a note, so when running you here the dynamic sound.


Things Missed:

I wanted to just introduce my thoughts on the subject, please recommend your favourite example or tools. What do you think about procedural design, what do you like about it? and what not?


AAP: The Sweeper

It took much longer than I expected but I am really happy to announce my first game, AAP The Sweeper.  Here is the link




AAP stands for Aam Admi Party, a new political party fighting in the coming National Elections in India. ‘Aam Admi’ is the Hindi term for ‘Comman Man’. I made this game in my support for them.

The gameplay is actually a pretty simple ‘Jack in a box’ kind of thing, I wanted to use the symbol of AAP ‘A broom’ extensively and hence chose such a gameplay mechanic. Your objective is to selectively sweep (swipe) corrupt politicians and thieves to courts and jail, all the while making sure that you don’t harm the common man. Few things implemented to make the game better are

  • Visual indications by numbers and colors to indicate whether a swipe was successful or not
  • Dynamic menu screen as my art skills are well bad.
  • Coins which need to be collected by tapping on them, they provide a much needed moment of relaxation during the min of gameplay.
  • Bouncy effect on walls, tail for moving characters.
  • Hype factor which forces one to not be arrogant.
  • A game news paper report, which shows headlines and article relevant to the current gameplay session you had.
  • Objectives, shown at the start and pause of each gameplay session. They are provide a way to communicate that there are different styles of playing.
  • A visually indicating level select screen which shows how far your scores have reached.
  • 5 levels, each with its own unique twist on the levels.

Few things which I had considered but that didn’t make the cut are

  • A fruit ninja style light indicating swipe
  • A burning broom effect when you are at max hype
  • Moving blocks of jail and court, while simple to implement didn’t feel necessary
  • Mini game modes like rolling brooms, akanoid with broom etc

Attached are a few screenshots


achievements chennai1 chennai2 delhi1 delhi2 indialevel menu news-ad news-ad2 pause score-ad select tutorial upgrades


Please do check it out and let me know what you think