Hi! I make video games, I think.

Age 24

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bluswimmer's News

Posted by bluswimmer - December 12th, 2023

So, it's been a week now. I figured now would be a good time to reflect on Looping Larceny, and give some insight on its development. Be aware that there are major spoilers ahead.

I had originally conceived the idea of a "time loop search action" game a while ago. I don't remember exactly WHEN, though. Conceptually, the idea was primarily inspired by Metroid (duh) and Minit. Minit itself is a strange case; while it inspired the game's time loop mechanic; I felt like Minit ultimately didn't do enough with it to justify its existence. I made a point to try and better integrate the time loop into Looping Larceny; time also acts as hit points, and collecting upgrades opens up shortcuts to progress further into the cave.

However, the time loop hook was not enough to get me interested in starting development. However, after playing Pizza Tower, a thought occurred to me: what if, after reaching the goal, the player needed to return to the exit within the current time limit? I felt like this would be a fun surprise for the player and an exciting ending to the game. With this idea in mind, development started sometime in mid-June.

While we're talking about inspirations, I also want to shout-out Downwell, as it inspired the game's title screen.

The first part of development was largely about movement and upgrades. Initially, there were going to be three additional upgrades, but these did not make their way into the final product. The first two were a double jump and a high jump. Obviously three "jump" upgrades was a bit excessive, so I very quickly scrapped the double jump. There was also the "Safety Helmet", which would have reduced the time loss upon getting hit.

When I started to design the cave itself, I quickly realized that nearly half of the screens would need to have an upgrade or timer if I wanted to have eight total upgrades in the game. The high jump and safety helmet were both immediately scrapped to cut down on the redundancy. The helmet icon, however, was retooled for the Spike Helmet. The spike helmet was originally planned to be a pair of boots, but it was changed to avoid having two boot upgrades.

At this point, I think I should address the rather long development time. After all, it's a game that takes ten minutes to beat, how long do you need? Well, sadly, I was also dealing with off-and-on bouts of depression at the same time. At one point, my life felt so monotonous that I began to see the game itself as a warped expression of my life; every day feeling exactly the same. I continued to press on, but progress was a lot slower than I would've liked. Some days, I couldn't even bring myself to work on it.

Eventually, I sent out a basic test build to a few of my friends in September. Thankfully, it was well-received; if it wasn't, I'm not sure I could have brought myself to complete the project.

From this point on, I handed the project off to Mari for her to work on sprites and audio. I do want to genuinely thank her for her involvement in this project; without her, I don't think I would've completed it on my own. I gave her some basic direction when it came to the character sprites, but for the mostpart, the sprites and music were done by Mari. I think she did a fantastic job, and probably did far better than I would have if I opted to complete them on my own.

That leads me to release, where the game was thankfully pretty well received by my friends and the various people of the Internet. I even earned my first trophy here on Newgrounds- 4th place doesn't sound super impressive, but hey, I'll take it!

A few people have picked up on the Metroid influence, particularly in the very first area, which is very similar to the opening of Metroid 1. However, in true Metroid fashion, I think the strength of the game comes from its replayability. Despite being pretty short, I've noticed a lot of people playing the game again to get a better rank, a better time, or even challenging themselves to complete the game without collecting the optional timers. The game was designed to be speedrun friendly, and being able to accomplish that to some extent has been very rewarding for me.


If I do have any regrets.... it's the darn timer that's shown in this image. Within the first 24 hours, I received four separate complaints about this very timer. If you're wondering, you're supposed to perform a rolling jump to it from the opposite ledge, which seemed to confuse people since this isn't required anywhere else. Probably compounding the issue is the single bat that's flying between the two ledges; a few seemed to think that you were supposed to jump off of it to reach the other side. And because the ledges needed to be as low as they are, I couldn't really do much else with the room, leading to a pretty boring layout for something that comes so late in the game.

Thank you for taking the time to read this if you've scrolled this far. Overall, I'm still very happy with the final product, even if there's things I probably would've done differently knowing what I know now.


Posted by bluswimmer - December 4th, 2023



Posted by bluswimmer - March 27th, 2023

Hi, I have a Discord server now.

If you'd like to join, here is the link.

Posted by bluswimmer - June 11th, 2021

Bounce Canyon has recieved an Android app on Google Play. Check it out!

Posted by bluswimmer - May 26th, 2021

I've added a local multiplayer mode to my game Glide! You can see some footage here.


Posted by bluswimmer - December 8th, 2020

My Atari 2600 homebrew game, Cannonhead Clash, is getting a cartridge release through AtariAge!

You can pre-order a copy here!




Posted by bluswimmer - November 17th, 2020

It's been a couple days since I first released Glide. As of now, it currently sits as the highest rated game I've made to date (3.41 vs. Bounce Canyon's 3.35). Even though it wasn't frontpaged like Bounce Canyon was, I'd say the response to it has been pretty strong. And I'm glad it has! The funny thing is, Glide could have been a completely different game.

Development started around a month ago. About a month prior I had finished development of my previous game, Froggy Adventure, which I had been working on for close to half a year. I was pretty burned out, so I wanted to make something pretty simple for my next game. My idea? A Tiny Wings-esque racing game.

Thus, the hills. It took a fair amount of trial and error, but eventually I had a nice algorithm to generate a nice, hilly terrain in Pico-8.


However, I quickly ran into a problem: I suddenly remembered that Tiny Wings already had a multiplayer racing mode. I didn't just want to make a worse Tiny Wings, so I instead tried to come up with ways to utilize the new hill algorithm in a game.

One such idea I had was a one-button game where the hills were instead the ceiling, and you used a whip to swing around underneath. However, I became inspired by the "up-down" nature of the hills to experiment with some sort of gliding mechanic. Thus, Glide was born.

From there things were mostly uneventful. I opted to keep the minimalist style of the demo, as I felt the game needed clarity for which direction the glider was going in. Most of the development time at this point was about fine-tuning player physics and controls. The physics are probably what I'm most proud of- there's a lot of nuance to how the player controls, and it's very fun to zip through a tight area.

The movement actually directly inspired the second gamemode, Sprint. It felt fun to go fast, so the natural step to me was to introduce a mode solely about going fast. As a small aside, the difficulty in this mode actually ramps up faster than it does in Endless. The gap between the floor and the ceiling is as follows for Endless:

flr(80 - sqrt(12*hill_count))

And for Sprint:

flr(80 - sqrt(20*(hill_count+1)))

The music in the game was loosely inspired by Bomberman Hero's "Redial," though frankly I'm not a very good musician, so I don't think I came close to matching the style I wanted for the game. That said, some people have said that they liked the music, so maybe I didn't do too bad.

And with that, I don't really have much else to say about this game. If you'd like to catch up more on the games that I make, feel free to follow me on my Twitter, where I post a lot more.

Posted by bluswimmer - June 21st, 2020

Hi everyone!

I am still very hard at work on the Frog game that was posted a few months ago. As of now, I estimate that the game is around 70% complete; I want to have nine levels, and I've designed six so far. You can check out new gameplay footage here, which demonstrates a lot of the new features I've added since the last update, like sliding, enemies, and more!

This has been by far my most ambitious project to date, and I can't wait to share it with all of you.



Posted by bluswimmer - April 26th, 2020

Yes, I am alive. I've posted some very early development footage of my next game on my youtube channel...

Early Test Footage

Posted by bluswimmer - January 18th, 2020

Today I'd like to announce that I'll be participating in Weekly Game Jam 132! The theme this week is "Deep Dive". I'm going to be creating something of a proof of concept; not really a polished game by any stretch of the imagination.


The game is called "Daily Dive". If you think it looks at all similar to Bounce Canyon, then you're completely correct! It reuses a lot of code and assets from the game, like the canyon generation and the font. Ultimately it's probably going to be a hastily put together game with a mildly interesting idea.

The game is a literal "race to the bottom", as you'll be diving down another canyon, trying to do so in the least amount of time. However, the course is different each day! The current date is used as a seed to generate the canyon. In a way, it's like a daily competition between your friends over who can complete the course the fastest.


Feature-wise the game is pretty much complete. All I need to do is add a character to replace the ball and some sound effects, which is pretty much the bare minimum for the thing to qualify as a "game". If the game (or the idea, anyway) is received well, I might pursue a more polished game with a similar idea.

This is my first time I'll actually be submitting something to a jam. I'm a little nervous since I'll be competing with people who have probably done this sort of thing for ages. Regardless, I hope people enjoy my weird little experiment once it releases in a few days...