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January 20, 2018
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Joost van Dongen's Blog   Expert Blogs


Joost van Dongen is lead programmer and co-founder at Ronimo Games, the Dutch indie studio behind the 2D MOBA Awesomenauts and the side-scrolling strategy games Swords & Soldiers 1 and 2. When still a student Joost was part of the team that made the original version of De Blob. In his spare time Joost created the abstract racing game Proun and the live music performance game Cello Fortress. He also composes music and plays cello. Joost has been writing blogposts at his official dev blog for years.


Expert Blogs

Posted by Joost van Dongen on Tue, 09 Jan 2018 09:58:00 EST in Programming, Console/PC
Generic matchmaking systems on Steam/Playstation/Xbox make development easier, but limit how much control you have over matchmaking. This post discusses several approaches we tried in Awesomenauts and why we ultimately developed our own from scratch.

Posted by Joost van Dongen on Tue, 31 Oct 2017 10:25:00 EDT in Audio, Indie
A lot of people feel insecure about the way they they create. In the past I never dared record the cello songs I wrote. This post is about setting aside my creative pride and focusing on the result instead of on whether I consider my methods 'cheating'.

Posted by Joost van Dongen on Tue, 17 Oct 2017 10:07:00 EDT in Programming, Console/PC
Most major platforms offer similar generic room-based matchmaking. In this post I explore how they work and discuss the pros and cons of using these systems instead of building your own from scratch, based on our experience developing Awesomenauts.

Posted by Joost van Dongen on Tue, 26 Sep 2017 09:05:00 EDT in Audio
We did a very bold experiment: we let people play whatever game they wanted and we improvised a live soundtrack based on what happened on the screen. In this post I explain our approach and what we learned about what works musically and what doesn't.

Posted by Joost van Dongen on Tue, 05 Sep 2017 09:10:00 EDT in Design, Programming
Good matchmaking requires thinking about what your game really needs, and maybe even redesigning some aspects to make matchmaking work. This post explores which things to consider and why you need to limit requirements to avoid endless waiting time.

Posted by Joost van Dongen on Mon, 17 Jul 2017 10:21:00 EDT in Audio
We did a couple of live stage performances where we improvised a new soundtrack to someone playing Journey and Ori And The Blind Forest. This post shares a video compilation of the performance and explains our approach and what did and didn't work.

Joost van Dongen's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 01/09/2018 - 09:58]

Yeah, matchmaking is a really ...

Yeah, matchmaking is a really big and complex topic, both technically and from a design perspective. I think a lot of people overlook how complex the implications of subtle things can be and how difficult it is to guess user behaviour before a game launches. Everything you do is a ...

Comment In: [Blog - 10/31/2017 - 10:25]

Good thing I removed a ...

Good thing I removed a useless paragraph at the last moment then Made it an exact fit

Comment In: [Blog - 07/17/2017 - 10:21]

Thanks Combining live music with ...

Thanks Combining live music with games is still such an unexplored field, I hope more people will come up with interesting stuff in that field. :

Comment In: [Blog - 07/11/2017 - 11:42]

When a new programmer employee ...

When a new programmer employee or intern joins the team I review all their code before it 's committed for at least a month. I keep doing that until I 'm confident the programmer works according to our style guide, and until I 'm confident in the general quality of ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/19/2017 - 09:48]

Joost here, from the Awesomenauts ...

Joost here, from the Awesomenauts team. : r n r nIt 's interesting to read your analysis of why you think the game is fun. A lot of the elements you mention are things we were specifically aiming for during development, so it 's nice to hear they work for ...