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February 20, 2020
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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 Wed, 05 Feb 2020 10:15:00 EST in Design, Console/PC, Indie
This post discusses some of the most interesting things we've learned about balance during development and live operations of our competitive multiplayer games Awesomenauts and Swords & Soldiers 1 & 2.

Posted by Joost van Dongen on Mon, 19 Aug 2019 10:33:00 EDT in Design
What to do if something is overpowered for beginners, but fine for experienced players? Simple stat changes won't do in such cases. This blogpost discusses 3 approaches to fixing beginner balance that we've used in Awesomenauts and Swords & Soldiers 2.

Posted by Joost van Dongen on Fri, 08 Mar 2019 01:53:00 EST in Design, Programming, Console/PC
Whichever multiplayer game you look for and no matter how good it is, you'll always find tons of complaints from users claiming the matchmaking for that particular game sucks. This post explores the psychological factors that cause this.

Posted by Joost van Dongen on Tue, 08 Jan 2019 10:10:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Console/PC, Indie
There are many different ways to give players access to a beta. Which to choose? In this article I'll give a comprehensive list of options in today's market and discuss the differences.

Posted by Joost van Dongen on Tue, 25 Sep 2018 11:35:00 EDT in Programming, Art
Modelling interiors behind every window in a city often takes too much performance, so some games use "interior mapping", a shader trick to render geometry that isn't actually there, but still achieves sharp, perspectively correct rooms.

Posted by Joost van Dongen on Tue, 18 Sep 2018 10:21:00 EDT in Programming
Matchmaking is a big topic with lots of challenges, but at its core is a simple question: who should play with whom? With so many different aspects to take into account (like ping, skill, premades and region) the answer turns out to be rather complex.

Joost van Dongen's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 02/05/2020 - 10:15]

Interesting note on PvP balance ...

Interesting note on PvP balance versus PvE balance r n r nThe problem of skills being fun to use but not fun to be on the receiving end of is actually one we 've struggled with a lot during development of Awesomenauts. A year or so before launch we had ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/08/2019 - 10:10]

Previously we used our own ...

Previously we used our own forum for this and it worked great. We have a beta subforum where players can give feedback. However, my impression is that recently most gamers have moved to platforms like Reddit and Discord and a forum seems a bit outdated. I personally greatly prefer a ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/25/2018 - 11:35]

The room changing is actually ...

The room changing is actually a problem that doesn 't happen in my version of interior mapping, as is described in the post. In my version the rooms are in object space or in world space, if you want and then it 's the same room from every angle. I ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/18/2018 - 10:21]

That 's very true: players ...

That 's very true: players often overestimate themselves and they often use matchmaking and balance as scapegoats. I 've even had a case where a teammate was flaming me all match for being a n00b, while that player was dying all the time and was by far the worst player ...

Comment In: [Blog - 08/30/2018 - 10:38]

Thanks : r n r ...

Thanks : r n r nBeing able to set the mood and intensity of the music would definitely make it much more useful for all kinds of purposes. Right now the program doesn 't contain anything like that: it just produces music without any idea of the feel of that ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/29/2018 - 05:07]

I only played Splatoon for ...

I only played Splatoon for a couple of minutes at an event so I wasn 't aware of that. Sounds interesting, I 'll have a look. Thanks for mentioning it :