Moo at the Moon

March 1st, 2007

Here’s my 7th experimental done-in-under-a-week game. It’s my take on the one button design challenge, that seems to pop up every now and then on every game development forum that I read.

Moo at the Moon

Screenshot of Moo at the Moon Screenshot of Moo at the Moon Screenshot of Moo at the Moon

Download (3.6 Mb) (Release 1)


As the full moon rises, nature’s most savage beast (cows) reveal their true nature: their ability to fly.

You play as one of the cows, who tries to jump over the moon. The game is played by only using your left mouse button. When you press down on the mouse button the cow clings to the nearest star. Try to jump from star to star and reach the moon.

Esc – Will quit the game.
Alt + enter – Will toggle fullscreen.


Game Design, Code & Gfx: Petri Purho ( petri.purho (at) )

Music: Dance Orchestra – Blue Danube Waltz.

Sound Effects: From acclivity’s TwoCows.wav, licensed under a Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0 License.


Physics model is based on Markus Ilmola’s tutorials.

Inspiration source: Experimental Gameplay Project.

Moo at the Moon uses: SDL, SDL_Image, SDL_Mixer and SDL_RotoZoom

Kloonigames Version 2.0

February 12th, 2007

The new version of Kloonigames Blog is here! On Thursday night I (finally) installed the new version (2.1.) of WordPress, plugged in the Sociable plug-in and then I started dreaming that perhaps I could also create a new layout for the site. I mean how hard could that possibly be. I used to do sites, back when Netscape Communicator 4.7 was the hottest browser and tables and invisible images where the formating choice of the professionals. Few years ago I briefly created some sites using XHTML and CSS and back then I thought it was easier to do a cross-browser layout with tables than it was with CSS. Luckily things haven’t changed a lot, it’s still a bitch to create a good cross-browser layout with CSS.

Well it turned out that it takes few days to get a new layout working in both Internet Explorer and Firefox. Well it doesn’t work perfectly in IE, but I consider it as a form of a punishment for the people using IE as their primary browser. And if you dear reader are one of those pagans (I know that 31% of you are), who still mainly uses Internet Explorer, do yourself a favor and download Mozilla Firefox.

Enough ranting. The new layout is here and I hope you like it. There’s the screenshot of the old site to refresh your memory and to see what has changed. Let me know, what you think of the new one. And also please report if (and when) you find out that something isn’t working as it should be.

The Truth About Game Development

February 1st, 2007

Here’s my 6th done-in-a-week game. This time I was inspired by Darius Kazemi’s game design challenge and by the quality of life issues of game industry.

The Truth About Game Development

Screenshot of The Truth About Game Development Screenshot of The Truth About Game Development Screenshot of The Truth About Game Development

Download (8.1 Mb) (Release 1)


You play the part of a game producer and your job is to produce the best game you can as cheaply as possible.

Mostly you just try to motivate the lazy ass game developers by killing them.

Esc – Will quit the game.
Alt + enter – Will toggle fullscreen.


Game Design, Code & Gfx: Petri Purho ( petri.purho (at) )

Music: Nigel Simmons – Devil’s Candy Shop. Big thanks to Nigel for letting me use his song. The song is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 -license.

The graphics of the game are under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 -license. Some of the graphics are based on some Creative Commons Photographs by the following flick users: cippadistalippa, MicMacPics1, docman. For the full list of photographs used in the game read the READ-CC.txt in the game’s working directory.


The game was inspired by Darius Kazemi’s blog post: Design Experiment. Great many thanks to Darius.

Great many thanks to the band of Dweebish.

Inspiration source: Experimental Gameplay Project.

The Truth About Game Development uses: SDL, SDL_Image, SDL_Mixer and SDL_RotoZoom

News from the Rapid Game Development Frontier

January 25th, 2007

Here’s a quick look on what’s going on in the world of rapid game development.

A screenshot of Highpiled

First of all my friend Juuso, (the author of the excellent has published his first rapidly developed game: Highpiled. It’s a physics game where your object is to build a very high tower from a bunch of boxes. Juuso cranked the game in 21 hours, which is pretty amazing. I’m glad that he has decided to publish the game. And while we are on the topic of I also recommend you check out Juuso’s post about How To Create Games Incredibly Fast.

As an interesting side note, the game’s setup has the following phrase in it:

Highpiled is “blogware” which means in this context that if you like the game, it would be nice if you could write a few lines about it in your blog and link to from there. This is optional, but I’d appreciate your effort.

This was the first time I’ve bumped into the term “blogware” (used in this context), but I have to say that I think it’s a great idea. Up to this point I have just used the term “freeware” for my games, but maybe from now on I should use the term “blogware” 🙂

A screenshot of Flashpiper

Another friend of mine Martin (of has released a new (flash) game called Flashpiper. It’s an addictive pipe twisting puzzle game, with an online high score. I hope to see more games from him during the spring.

The mother of rapid game development has a new competition coming up. It’s due to start at 5th of February and is guaranteed to bring a horde of cool new games. Who knows maybe I’ll take a stab at the competition (if I come up with a decent idea for a game that fits the theme).

A screenshots of the games from

Another cool experiment was conducted by the good folks of the Finnish game forum They created a game (in a day) for every day of November. The result was 30 small innovative done-in-a-day games. The almost complete result of their work can be viewed here. Unfortunately it’s in Finnish, but luckily the combination of screen shots and download urls is a universal language that every gamer understands.

I’d also keep an eye out for these blogs: Bonsai, Skooma Games and Because the authors of these blogs have promised us rapid game development and I intend to make sure that they keep their promise. Even if it means that I have to personally track down where they live and start harassing them until they give up and create some more games 🙂

Cacodemon’s Score Mechanisms

January 17th, 2007

There are few things I never seem to get over with. One of them is the Cacodemon’s score mechanism (previous post on the subject) and the other one is Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I started rewatching the season one again).

Actually this is more of a very dry game design theory post about how different score mechanisms affect games. Cacodemon just happens to be the practical example. So if you haven’t downloaded the game already, you can download it from here. And click here to download the examples for this post (a zip file that includes three test exes). Download them now, I’ll wait. While your downloading you can study the highly scientific chart of how the different game modes have different skill vs score rates.

A highly scientific chart

Now we can begin the boring theory part of this post. We’ll begin by examining how the score mechanisms affect the game in general. I agree with Danc of Lost Garden that score mechanism are a meta game mechanics that’s layered on top of the core game mechanism. The core game mechanism stays unaltered but a scoring mechanism can adjust the balance of the game and enhance both the fun and intensity of the core mechanism. A score mechanism can also punish players when they play poorly, but punishing players can easily make the game too difficult and frustrating for the players.

In Cacodemon terms this means that what ever the scoring mechanism is, the player still can spin and bounce the kitties (the core mechanism). Even if there wouldn’t be any kind of scoring, you could still punish the kittens from the bottom of your heart. You just wouldn’t get any kind of score from it, but you could still do it.

The Original Simple-o-Scoring System
In the original release of Cacodemon (the cacodemon.exe) there is the simplest reward mechanism possible. You score by throwing the kitties to the wall or by spinning them. You also get some points if you throw the kitten into the oven. There is no punishment if you happen to drop a kitty. You have ten cute kittens to go and the game ends when you run out of kittens. The kitten count is reduced if you drop a kitten into the pit bellow but also if you throw them into the oven. Only difference is that you get some points if you throw the kitten into the oven.

Because both the oven and the pit reduce your kittens the optimal way to play the game is to just bounce and spin the kitten for maximal points avoiding both the oven and the pit.

The funniest thing to do in the game is to whack the heck out of the small cats and this scoring mechanism encourages player to do that. But the game lacks suspense, because the scoring mechanism doesn’t really punish the player for failing. You don’t get that “Damn, I almost had it” -feeling, that you get from a more intensive gaming experience. And I feel that that’s the biggest short coming of this otherwise good and beginner friendly version of the game.

The Punisher System
During the development of the game I already tested this scoring mechanism and decided to go with the player friendlier system. In this game mode (cacodemon_test1.exe) you also get points for plucking and banging of the kitties, but you can only cash in those points by throwing the kitten into the oven. If you fail to do that (the kitten slips and plummets into the pit), you get a zero score for that kitten.

This scoring mechanism is surely going to bring some intensity into the game. The game gives the player the change to risk it all for a greater score. Keep on bouncing the kitten and it’s possible that you don’t get any kind of score or play it safe and throw the kitten into the oven the first change you get. I think it’s a nice risk to give to the player, because in the end they can only blame their own greed for their failure.

The problem with this scoring mechanism is that in practice it’s frustrating at least for the new players. A series of games with a zero score is surely going to depress even the most enthusiastic player. Even for the player who has been playing it for a while, the game can be a bit too difficult. Especially if they don’t take the risk consciously.

The Score Multiplier System
So if my original version was newbie friendly and the second one was for the hardcore players, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way of combining the best of both systems. I think I came up with one and I also realized that I wasn’t the only one to use this system.

In this mode (cacodemon_test3.exe) there is a score multiplier that increases every time you throw a kitten into the oven. And it resets back to one when you let a kitten slip to the pit.

This way there is also the risk from the second system, but the punishment isn’t so cruel. Usually the new players don’t even bother with the score multipliers. But for the more experienced player the multiplier system gives a nice boost of replayability. And it also makes the make more intensive to play.

At least I hope it makes the game a bit more intensive without making it too difficult for the new players. I thought of adding this mechanism to the next version of Cacodemon’s Barbecue Party in Hell. So let me know what you think of it.