by Grzegorz Dalek

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How to live and create with clinical depression

It took me a long time to come up with this post because it’s more personal than the previous ones. It’s probably not something you would expect to find on a blog about making games, but that’s something a lot of people struggle with. Since I’m one of them I’d like to share some thoughts and tips on how to deal with depression on day-to-day basis.

Know and understand your problem

Once upon a time people considered me a dreamer. I used to dream about making impossible things and was so stubborn and determined I achieved them. But with time all this effort started to wear me down and I began to feel progressively worse.

Being depressed isn’t about feeling a bit sad - but it’s more about feeling nothing. You become completely devoid of any initiative, motivation, hope, ambition and will to do anything. Stress will start to pile in, because you’re doing nothing and your dreams will be...

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The Last Stand update


So I’ve decided to put The Last Stand on hold. Working on a game became a bit of a chore and even since I’ve been working on it for almost 2 years there is no end to be seen. Game became a bit code-heavy and considering all my duties at my regular full-time job and other personal/health issues I cannot continue to work on a project of this scope much further.

If you’re interested in playing the last stable version of The Last Stand let me know - so I’ll put it online somewhere to download.

Work on the project has been incredible experience for me and I’ve learned tons. To compare here is the screenshot from the very first build of TLS: thelaststand.jpg

And here is one from the last one: tls20.02.2014.jpg

As it goes for the very first project (excluding all the games I’ve been working on at different studios) TLS was a bit overambitious for my skills and now it’s simply too large to complete within reasonable time...

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Visual themes

Here comes the small video update showing how the backgrounds and environment of the game will change. For now I’ve created 3 different themes that are randomly generated each time you play. It looks like that:

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Working with Wwise


It took us some time to wrap our head around how to do sound design and music for The Last Stand. My idea was to have dynamic music supporting what’s happening on screen and reacting to how player plays the game.

Unfortunately native Unity sound system which uses very limited version of F-Mod wasn’t capable of most things Arek wanted to add to the game in terms of sound design. So we have decided to seek further and we came up with solution to use Wwise Sound Engine - which turned out to be incredible.

The power of Wwise is independence. While I can code the game Arek can work on the sound and music and set up the proper events in the Wwise editor itself. So in the nutshell he can do all he needs without waiting for me to implement the logic into the game. All I have to worry about is to call proper events and set the value of the parameters Arek is using to control how sounds and...

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Spaceships - how do they work?

There wasn’t a big idea behind The Last Stand at the very beginning. It all started with “I wonder if I could do an Asteroids clone in few days” and later it evolved into this project of epic proportions.

Biggest change was adding the spaceships which are about to be customizable and will be able to work in a variety of ways. There was a lot of stuff to figure out - how to do collision avoidance and steering, how to make them tactical and fun to fight against, and how to make them have interesting tactics and behaviour.

Since I’m not a big mathhead at the very beginning I knew there is no point of making navigation and ship flight in 3d - the math for that is way too complicated. So I came up with idea of having 2d game being played in 3d space - so objects and camera are 3d, but all ship logic is calculated on a 2d plane which is much easier to do.


Ship steering is done by...

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Procedural texture generation

I’ve got a lot of questions regarding how textures are created in The Last Stand, so I’ve decided to describe the process in details.


Textures are generated at runtime by using Substances. If you don’t know what substances are - those are procedurally generated materials which can be integrated with a lot of 3d applications - such as Maya or Unity. Format was created by company called Allegorithmic mainly for creating a way to reuse materials and reduce size of the textures greatly. Since those are created at runtime there is no need to upload big texture files with your game build which is great for i.e. web based games or mobile games.

There is also a way to regenerate textures on the go and to expose a lot of parameters of the substance to manipulate them straight from code. In this way you can create animated normal maps or some other interesting effects.


Background for the...

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Ludum Dare #25 Entry - Twisted Neighborhood

I’m proud to present myentry for the #25 edition of the Ludum Dare game jam. It was an outstanding experience to create a fun game in just 2 days and I have learned a lot during this time. The theme of the competition was “you are a villain” so I came up with an idea to play as a twister wrecking the stereotypical US suburbia.


It makes me proud that “Twisted Neighborhood” was very nicely received taking #5 place in “Fun” category, and #9 in “Innovation”. Totally ranked as #19 amongst 1327 entries.

I hope it will be possible for me to return next time and take part in this great event.

Here is a link to my entry: http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-25/?action=preview&uid=19357

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