Been a while

Hi all Family of Grave Diggers followers!

First of all, I am sorry if I missed someone when I told I’d be away for a while, everything happened so fast!

And this is what happened: I had decided to take a year off to really finalize the game but time was running out (and for you who follows my devblog on twitter knows there were a lot non game related stuff that slowed everything down too), so I had to get a job!

We, my family and I, lived in Montpellier (it’s on the Mediterranean side of France) but we never really liked it there so we decided to change city as it seemed a good moment of opportunity, and we choose Bordeaux!
So off I were looking for a job, having interviews, doing tests, negotiating salary, start date and so on.
And one day I found both an interesting and okay paying (my girlfriend would leave her job so I have to be the bread hunter for a while), starting early April.

Just one problem, that’s in two weeks! And we couldn’t find an apartment! Well off I went, renting an AirBnB for my first week of work:

But the train takes 5 hours (when it’s not late or outright annulled!) which left me with only, roughly, one day with my family every week, so I decided to bring everybody here right away!
So… moving!
Moving like a game developer!

I have moved around a bit in my life and I have found that it always takes around three times more time/energy to move than you thought it would.
The fun thing is that this rule seems to work even if you know about the rule!
It’s Always much much worse than expected.
Let’s move this:

Almost done, right? Right?

And sure it was (worse than expected, not almost done) , the moving itself took almost a whole week, including all the last minute panic cleaning where, for example, my mother in law threw all our last stuff away before we noticed, and so on.

But finally, here we were, freshly arrived in Bordeaux!

But, misfortune. We haven’t found an apartment just yet, what should we do? Sell our things and live under a bridge? Move to Australia?

Barring the most important stuff, we put all our things in a storage facility box:

and rented another temporary apartment for a week.

But we didn’t find an apartment so we rented another temporary apartment. For a month this time. That should do the trick, right? Right?

Sorry for the bad quality image:

I took the tramway to work and I must say that it’s beautiful around here:

And lots of cats!

So far so good but in the meantime, I also had to learn some new tech I haven’t tinkered with since school or just didn’t know at all (Python, git, tcl, Amira, open inventor, crazy buildsystems, the list goes on… but also the work I was actually supposed to do, Single Particle Reconstruction, IMO really cool stuff) so I was quite occupied to say the least.

But we didn’t find an apartment!

So here we went again, another month in a temporary rent.

Add a death in the family and the burial the same day there were national strikes (no trains, “operation snail” on the motorways…), a week of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (in our 40m² temporary apartment), all the hassle of finding a school for the kids in the last two months of the year without having an address and moving our (sparse but growing) stuff every now and then and I must confess that we were quite relieved when we finally found it!

Now we just have to move in, that should be easay and quick right? Right?

We have just started to explore our new surroundings, but I like it a lot.

The view from our toilets (never underestimate a good toilet view)

The Darwin Project (you can go there by bus, tramway or … by boat!)

And of course the ocean:

Thank you for reading all this (or scrolling quickly!), but now it’s time for the real news:

A Family of Grave Diggers 0.875 is now Out!
All the wonderful music made by Chris Kukla is now integrated, lots of bugfixes and maybe most important, the development is back on track!

It’s nice to be back.

Ludvig aka Valmond @ Mindoki Games

Beta version 0.74 out now!

With, among other things:
Big GUI overhaul, text should be readable now (please comment on color & font!).
Pad support (I only have a XBOX 360 pad) starts today (You need to activate it in the menu), Alpha though, same here, please do tell how/if it works (Pad-button “Y” to calibrate analog stick)!
Auto-Popups in pickup-slots (activate in the menu) for keyboard-only play.
Music is the same old but wonderful music is in the makings!
Lots of new rooms & tunnelparts have been added, like the secret room…
Actually secret rooms, which you might find sometimes. And the secret shopkeeper, have I told you about the secret shopkeeper?

And last but not least some not at all secret stuff; bugfixes, polishing, tweaks and fixes!

Please enjoy this version 0.74.

Valmond aka Ludvig Larsson @ Mindoki Games
ps. Oh yeah, Groupees actually excused themselves, paid me double which I must say is some nice goodwill…

LIVE on Steam! (Early Access)

Aand … a Family of Grave diggers is Live on Steam (Early Access)!

I got over a hundred new twitter followers in twenty minutes, lots of hi quality streaming demands (around ten) counting several hundred thousand followers!

I’m not yet off to bed.

Early Access means that the game isn’t really finished. So what does that mean?

My game is around 80% finished content wise, there should (well well) be no more big bugs and you can actually play the whole game, there are just some endgame content left to do.

And some tweaking of course!

Enjoy! Come enjoin the Family of Grave Diggers!

How do you make an Indie game?

How do I make my Indie game?

So I was asked what tech I use for making my game. Not what tech I use in the game itself (like OpenGL or C++) but what kind of programs I’m using.

I didn’t think I used that many, here they are!

  • Visual Studio + Visual Assist (So Damn Good) for coding
  • Tortoise SVN for versioning
  • Notepad++ for scripting and website updates
  • Filezilla for uploading stuff on the Web/Internet
  • Photoshop for image editing
  • Tiled for map editing
  • Audacity for sound & music editing
  • Greenshot for screen capture
  • Fraps for video capture
  • Magic Video for video editing (IIRC, it was some time ago, not my program)
  • 4VideoSoft for Video converting (IIRC)
  • Mantis for planning and bug tracking
  • Steam for publishing
  • Twitter and WordPress for community management
  • DSM replication software between my Synology NAS at home (with SVN) and another far far away in another gala…city

And I’m not even sure I’m not forgetting any one…


The BETA is Out!

Beta Party!

Finally, I have pushed the last Alpha bug into oblivion, erased that Alpha-features filter in Mantis (my bug tracker) and made a new one that says “Beta only”!

Well, I included “Extra features” too, so that I can have Some fun eh

But here it is, a Family of Grave Diggers Beta 0.1 with functioning shopkeepers, the Forbidden Forest tower defence running, all the dungeons in place (but without much content though, well that is what a beta is for!), better help interface and a bunch of other things!

Now I just have to fix that ugly ugly tree…

Kickstarter finally LIVE!

Hello Indie Game Lovers!
After a lot of hassle, my pledge on Kickstarter is finally live!!

Check it out here:

What? Why am I doing a Kickstarter for a game that’s already in the making?
It’s all about looks actually (well almost).

You can check out my official Kickstarter video here
or check out one of the Alpha playthroughs: Spazz Does Gaming or Phail_Munsta
And there you’ll see the graphics, which are, kind of amateurish sometimes.

So I’m doing this Crowd Funding to fix exactly that, beautiful graphics are expensive!

Also there are no musics in the game yet, I’d love not having to use some free old classic music for everything but some new exclusive exciting stuff for the game, music that fits to the theme, music that was created for this special ambience, so that’s the second part of the main goal!

So please think about donating some bucks or buy access to the game (DRM free or Steam) and one of the extras!
Obviously, if you want to retweet my initial Kickstarter tweet, I’d be all so happy too!


Ludvig Larsson aka Valmond

Desura Bankruptcy

Hi everybody!

I was selected for Desuras Alpha Funding last month, sweet eh!

So I’ve been working full time on networking, banners, presskit, honing details etcetera etcetera the last weeks.
I also decided to try to give it an edge so I subscribet to a banner publicity program at Who’s Gaming Now.
I sent them the banner yesterday because Desura will start selling my game Wednesday!
The mail came back asking this:

So are you sure you want to point it to the Desura page?
With all the news around the problems with Desura/Bad Juju parent company etc, I wanted to just ask before I just link the banner there

After a quick search, it seems they doesn’t pay developers any more and that their owners (Bad Juju) are filing for bankruptcy and even that they will scrap Desura completely…
That’s the explanation why my 2 contacts mails insta-bounced this morning…

Soooo, first things first:

A big thanks to Who’s Gaming Now for alerting me!

Secondly, I now have to rebuild my marketing (master) plans which might (or not, gotta think this over) include a small Kickstarter! I had it planned a bit but the Desura Alpha Funding seemed a better choice at the moment.

Well, I have always wanted to do a Kickstarter, so I’ll mourn a bit, hmmm, okay that’s done, lets start planning!

See you tomorrow, hopefully with some new plans!