I wrote a novel!

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on September 17th, 2020

Hey! I forgot to mention, I wrote a novel!

It is titled “Thief, Acolyte, Consort” and it was published in May of 2020.

It is a fantasy story about a woman who arrives in a new city looking for a fresh start, and finds magic, adventure, danger, and love.

There are links for buying both the e-book and the paperback here: https://james.hamsterrepublic.com/writing/ and there is also a pretty large free-sample of the e-book available here, if you want a taste of what it is like: (smashwords e-book sample)

Mantle Moon Sea

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on February 2nd, 2017

I made a little game for fun, and to practice my C# skills. What better way to have fun with C# than with Unity3d?

This game is called Mantle Moon Sea, and the idea of the game is that you are piloting Bob the Hamster’s submarine through the ice-caves of a frozen moon. You collect treasure, bump into harmless jellyfish, explore maze-like caves, and generally have a relaxed time. Oh, and you also pump the pristine ocean full of floating science buoys.

The music is Bilinsky by rocavaco (CC-BY), and my oldest daughter made all the jellyfish noises for me.

Paladin Traducer

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on August 20th, 2015

Paladin Traducer is a color-matching tile game with some RPG elements.

Depending on which types of units are included in the matches you complete, they will launch attacks against the Paladin. Multiple attacks will raise your damage multiplier, but completing matches without any attacks will reduce your damage multiplier.

You cannot lose– the goal of the game is to defeat the Paladin as quickly as possible, getting the highest score.

traducer0006.bmp traducer0019.bmp traducer0020.bmp traducer0021.bmp traducer0022.bmptraducer0018.bmp

I created this game for the Slimesalad One-Month All-Mouse Left-Click OHRRPGCE Game Contest (2015)

You can download it from here:

Download from Google Play Store

My biggest source of inspiration was Swoc: of Swords and Blocks by Baptiste Villain. It is a great game, with similar but more complex gameplay mechanics. In SWOC, your player tile deals special attacks against enemy units, whereas in Paladin Traducer there is one single enemy unit (the Paladin) and you control all the other Puzzle Demon tiles.

The music was created with Ben “GreaseMonkey” Russell‘s autotracker.py

Mr. The Hamster’s Math Class

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on July 27th, 2014

Mr. The Hamster’s Math Class is an educational game.

Repetition and memorization is very important for learning the foundations of simple math. This game tries to make memorizing simple math fun, so that children can have a solid foundation to stand on when they more on to understanding the more advanced concepts that build on top of the basics.

Download: (Windows) (Mac) (Linux) (.Zip) (OUYA Console coming soon!)




A word from the High Priest of the Cult of Baconthulhu

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on December 23rd, 2013

Siiiiiizle! Siiiiiiizle! I am the high priest of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Cooked-At-Less-Than-144-Degrees-Fahrenheit. I am here to decry the heinous heresy against my dark and salty master.

(Windows Version) (Mac Version) (OUYA Console Version) (Zip File)

The blasphemer who created this game has updated it yet again! That makes twice in one month, and now this farce contains even more Hamster-Triumphing-Over-Bacon mockery.

I was willing to overlook the old 2009 version of this game, since its lack of a real save-game feature made it unlikely that any player would progress far enough to permit the player to complete the desecration of the image of my Thinly-Sliced-Pork-Lord.

Here is a short list of the new outrages committed by the new version of this game:

Save-game support!
Sound Effects
Different colors for each floor
Now has a “good ending” and a “bad ending” depending on whether you save-scum
You can make donations from the main menu

Chalk (draw permanent marks on the floor)
Jiffy Potion (fast walking for a limited time)
Scroll of Repel (drive away enemies for a limited time)
Maul of Wall-Whacking (breaks cracked walls)
Scroll of Telepo (Teleport)
Wavy Sword

Monocular Blarb
Meat Man
Crypt Yuk
Jelly Coiler
Doom Sponge

Rebalanced enemies (slightly easier)
Buffed the Scroll of Burning
Slightly reduced the size of the two largest dungeon levels
Fixed Soma potion to work properly

Please join me in NOT playing this game.

The Death of Von Stabbingmore

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on March 12th, 2012

Last week I finished a new game for the 2012 Week Long OHR Random Collab Contest. This was a collaboration, and my randomly chosen team-mate was Sid “Thespazztikone” Tyler. He happens to be a master at making maptiles, which is one of my biggest weakpoints, so I was very happy to be teamed with him, and he didn’t seem too mad about me hogging all the plotscripting and textbox-writing fun.

The game we made is called The Death of Von Stabbingmore, and you can download it from here: slimesalad


The game is intended to be in the style of a point-and-click puzzle-adventure, although there is no pointing and clicking. All the controls are the standard OHRRPGCE interface for running around the map and fighting RPG battles. The puzzles are all built into the battles, requiring you to use the correct sequence of commands to win. I tried to make the dialog funny, and based on reactions I have gotten to it so far, I think I succeeded.

The game uses tall hero walkabouts, based on the WalkTall tech demo scripts that I wrote a few months back. In writing this game I found a fixed a few bugs with the OHR’s support for modifying walkabout sprite slices.

The Snubbing of the Squid (48 hour game)

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on December 18th, 2011

I just participated in Ludumdare 22 and made a game 48 hours. The theme was “Alone”, and I made a simple Minelike.

You can download the game from here:

Windows version

Python source code

The controls are a little klunky. I think if I was doing it over again, I would have abandoned any attempt to allow free-pixel movement, and I would have instead bound all movement strictly to the grid.

I also recorded a timelapse video of me making the game, at a rate of 1 screenshot every 60 seconds (not including the times I hibernated the computer when I went to sleep)


Escape the Wolf (in 48 hours)

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on August 25th, 2011

Last weekend I participated in the 21st Ludumdare 48 hour game making competition. It was a lot of fun. Mahlena came over to keep me company, and I programmed almost all weekend. I used the OHRRPGCE, and talked the OHR community into timing our own annual 48 hour contest to be simultaneous with the Ludumdare competition, so that people could double-enter. Several did.

The theme of the contest was “Escape”, and the game I created was called Escape the Wolf: OHR You can download it from here:

(Windows version) (Mac OS X Version)

I also have a page for it at SlimeSalad, and the Ludumdare page for it is here.

Basically, you run away from the wolf, and try to find the cabin. I hacked together some pretty decent-seeming ai for the wolf, and took care to avoid overusing randomness. The map is generated randomly, but the gameplay is pretty deterministic.

Procedurally generating the forest was pretty fun, and not as hard as I feared it might be. I allocated layers 2-7 as overhead, then I generated trees from the top of the map down to the bottom, dynamically placing the tiles in the lowest free layer. That means that seven trees would have to overlap before there would not be room for the tiles (possible, but very rare). Trees layered badly when they wrapped over the top of the map and onto the bottom of the map, but it was too minor for me to care about in such a time-crunch.

In retrospect I really should have added some landmarks scattered around the forest. I did have one landmark, a cobblestone path that lead from the cabin to a well. It made a big difference in finding the cabin, since the cabin was only 3×3 tiles, and the footpath could stretch over as much as half the map. Still, it is a big map, and more landmarks would have helped.

I am also very happy for Mahlena’s brief playtesting. The wolf chomped her rapidly and repeatedly, and that convinced me that the game mode I had been working on should become “Hard Mode”, and that I should add Normal and Easy modes.

So far the ludumdare responses have been mostly positive, and all the OHRRPGCE users who have played it seemed to like it. I will update this post after the voting period is over.

The voting has completed, and out of 509 contestants, I scored in 12th place for Audio (which really surprises me, because I was just doodling and warbling into the microphone) and I scored in 17th place for Humor, which I am proud of, because so very many of the contestants tried to make funny games.

Vocabulary Mosaic

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on April 15th, 2010

EDIT: 2015-05-18

I made a new version of Vocabulary Mosaic. This version has larger tiles, some visual improvements, control improvements, and perhaps most importantly, it can save your progress automatically so long games do not have to be played in a single sitting.

vocabmosaic-gameplay-01 vocabmosaic-gameplay-03

Download Links:

Info and screenshots below are about the old version from 2010:

I was asked to write a game design article for Hamsterspeak Issue #36. Instead of just writing an article, I wrote a game.

I had recently been playing a lot of Words-With-Friends with my Sister and my Brother-in-Law, and that had me thinking about word-tile games.

One thing I don’t like about word tile games is the limited size of the board quickly cramps the word space, and the double and triple score boxes force any winning strategy to emphasize small words on score boxes in favor of long words.

So I set out to make a word tile game that rewards long words most of all. The result was Vocabulary Mosaic.

There is more information about the making of the game in the hamsterspeak article. (old version)

A Landscape with MyPaint

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on August 11th, 2009

NeoTA clued me in to MyPaint which is a nifty paint program. Unlike most computer programs for making pictures, this one attempts to simulate the feel of actually working with pencils and brushes and inks. At this it failed, because I did not get any paint on my clothing, or in my hair, or in my eyes. I didn’t get dizzy from chemichal fumes. I actually did not make any mess at all, nor did I have to spend any time with turpentine cleaning my brushes. But for the non-unpleasant aspects of painting, it has done a great job of simulating the painting experience, which the caveat that it provides so many fancy magic brushes that it almost feels like I am cheating sometime.

grassy valleyFor example, I did most of the work on this one using a brush tool that simulates a flurry of vertical brush strokes along a gradient of shades. Cheating? Well… actually, it is probably not really possible to “cheat” when it comes to creativity.

I know I can do better with this tool. I have always had a dual fascination/fear with painting, and this tool takes away most of the things that I dislike about painting and adds UNDO and LAYERS. That can’t be anything but good.