JoyToKey and How to Keybind Your Controller

This article is about how to keybind your game controller with JoytoKey to play games that require various keyboard keys to play. I use this with browser games on Itch.IO, if there is no native controller support. A lot of platformers and games on Itch.IO and Steam use a keyboard and mouse, but generally, I prefer controller support. Keybinding is a useful ability that can allow you to play more responsively, or even play an indie with your controller–even wireless controllers!

On YouTube

Getting Started with JoyToKey

There are many programs available on the web for binding keys to a controller, but I’ve found JoyToKey to be the easiest, and it is also free. You can purchase a registration key if you wish, but it is not required. The program is classified as shareware, so you are within your right to either use it for free or support the developers with a purchase.

I visited the JoyToKey website today, and my only suggestion about that is to click the right area. This program is safe and free. If you so desire, you can download the game from sites like Softpedia, but I’ll link directly to the JoyToKey download page here to support the developers.

Setup Steps for JoyToKey

JoyToKey download
Download JoyToKey from one of the first three links
  1. First, download JoyToKey from the JoyToKey website.
  2. Click one of the download links in the area below where it says “Download the Latest Version”
  3. Follow the Setup instructions and then open the program.
JoytoKey Install
Follow the on-screen instructions to install

Tip: Make sure that your controller is connected before setting up a new JoyToKey profile. If you are using a Bluetooth controller like the Xbox One controller, make sure it is connected wirelessly. This will help you let JoytoKey highlight which button you want to bind in yellow and make it A TON easier to know which button you’re binding.

What to Configure

Most keyboard-controlled games will use some variation of the directional keys, left down up, and right, or WASD. This can vary, but not much. Aside from a few variations for action or jumping keys, that usually sums it up. Note, that I do not cover integrating mouse support in this tutorial, but it is also possible using JoyToKey by pressing to highlight and then, configuring the analog stick directions on your controller.

Make sure your controller is connected

As an example, I configured the keys for a game called Ducksoup Dungeon by developer Richard Lems on ItchIO. I’m using this game because I am familiar with the controls from my review of it. Many browser games on Itch.IO say what keys to use right on the front page. Here the controls are directional, plus the keys D, and F for jumping and combat.

To configure a button, find it on the button list and double-click. A window will come up that says “Assignment for:” etc. This is where you choose your key. So for example, I want the up button on my Xbox One controller to trigger the up arrow key on my keyboard. I enter it into the yellow area.

Almost There

It might help to play the game with the keyboard first to decide how you want to lay out the keys on your controller.

Ducksoup Dungeon
Ducksoup Dungeon on Itch.IO

For me, I’m binding the directional keys for the keyboard to the directional keys on my controller. Then the D to my X-button, and F to my A button. This is a natural type of layout for games that already support controllers.

Now Play Your Game With JoyToKey Configured

Playing Ducksoup Dungeon
Playing Ducksoup Dungeon

And look, I’m playing this browser game with my Xbox controller!

If you liked this tutorial please have a look at some of my other gaming tips and tutorials. Thank you for reading MrDavePizza.

Enjoy your games.

Jaded – Time Warp Platformer (Demo Review)

I love these platformer games that emerge from the woodwork every single day. Today, that game is Jaded by Shellsnore games, up on Steam. It’s a standard platformer with directional keys, jump, attack, and a special mechanic which is a time warp. Although the time warp mechanic is more of a cacoon slingshot kinda thing, it works pretty well. I was able to bind my controller to the basic keys with no problem. Let me share a tad more here for you.

Getting Started with Jaded

The demo does mention that the game is still in beta, and there are few mobs. There are enough to make it worth your while though. I definitely got a Celeste vibe from this, which is appropriate because they’re both precision platformers. I found the progression even through the first level to be complex enough to make me willing to try things a few times to get them. Admittedly, my video shows my gameplay as sort of jarring when first trying to get the time/slingshot mechanic, but once I got the hang of it I was able to navigate and understand the objectives flawlessly.

Pixel Art Pleasantries and Game Status of Jaded

The pixel art in the game will be just fine if you decide to check it out, which is almost my preferred style at this point, and it does look good here. Mobs include some crazy purple birds, some warriors that honestly look like they could easily be skeletal warriors, and there were some blue land crawlers.

I don’t want to expose everything about this, because it’s a very introductory demo. The developer has listed the game as free-to-play currently, so that puts this somewhere in the middle of those two categories. So, check it out, it really has a lot of potential, and I think people are going to be talking about this.

Thanks for Reading

Thank you for reading MrDavePizza. I’ll be appearing in your feed and on my site with new demo and free games as often as I can play them, and I have plenty of features and showcases coming soon too. Take care.

Ducksoup Dungeon – Animal Hero Game Boy Rogue-Lite (Free Game Review)


Let’s jump right into Ducksoup Dungeon. It’s a free web browser playable rogue-lite on Itch.io by developer Richard Lems, also known as Blastmode Games. You might have heard of Lems’ work on the game Mighty Goose. In the game I’m discussing here, Ducksoup Dungeon, you choose one of four heroes. It is playable in a web browser or can be downloaded. Starting with “Slashchicken,” the first hero is a chicken. With amazing firepower at your side, you’ll blast your way through and collect coins. Each play’s collection can be used to unlock the other three heroes. Every level features hidden procedurally generated areas, meaning it can be a different layout every time you play. The levels, of which there seems to be an infinite number, are filled with containers destructible for coins, reached by eliminating various mobs.

The game is ready to go in seconds and if you want to rebind the keys for your controller, you may be pleased by how satisfyingly this strategy works. Some neat things I noticed by doing this include: doing things like holding down and shooting with Slashchicken creates a slow-motion effect allowing you to unleash on enemies below (or in reverse, up!) You can also play with a mouse and keyboard just as well I presume.

Each of the four characters has a unique mechanic similar to the way Super Mario 2 worked, with a select screen at the title. I also experimented with Rollerpig–a pig who rolls… There’s also a snail name “Swarmbug” and a rat named “Ratbone.”

Overall Thoughts on Ducksoup Dungeon

There’s not too much I need to say, but Ducksoup Dungeon is super fun for what it is, and I found the learning curve quick and engaging. Make sure to drop by the itchIO link below if you want to try this one out, and I’m always happy to get new subscribers over on YouTube, where you can watch the video above along with my other videos.

Thanks for reading and watching MrDavePizza Video GAmes. There’s more where this came from, be sure to explore the blog as well as my other content.

Figment 2: Creed Valley – A Really Weird But Vibrant Game

It seems that Figment 2: Creed Valley, is a new game headed to Nintendo Switch in February of 2022. I’ve been all about checking out these Switch demos right away, and when I saw this listed today I downloaded it immediately. I wasn’t quite sure what I was dealing with here, as it seemed somewhat derivative but also cozily familiar, the reason of which I discovered later. This game is really pleasant-looking though. It reminds me of moments from games like Bastion but also games like Weaving Tides. It’s pretty cute really, with enough prickly wholesome creepiness to stay interested. Yeah, actually it feels really good. So, let’s take a look.

Orange Battery, Blue Battery: Puzzles in Figment 2 Creed Valley

The premise of Figment 2: Creed Valley, is a surreal platform based on the obstacle of solving puzzles with some combined cartoon swordplay to defeat the nightmarish presence inside the world of an unknown character’s mind. All is atop floating platform islands, filled with various Dali-esque features and creative geometries of plants and machines.

In the demo, the puzzles are pretty simple. Collect color-coded batteries, which look like big crystal spheres, to light up the paths amongst the island to move through the game. No doubt, this gets more complex as the story progresses. The press kit boasts piano roll dancing and mish-mashed puzzles from some unlikely sources. You’ll never feel put upon to go head to head with the bosses of Figment 2 Creed Valley, but you will feel challenged. Most of all, it just looks amazing, and that’s the mindset I’d encourage.

What Is This and Why?

A little research has informed me, I have played another game by the creators of this game and even reviewed it. Bedtime Digital Studios. Chronology. I actually enjoyed that game quite a bit, and it was one of the first indie reviews I ever did. I totally see the origins of Figment 2 in the quirky, steampunk, surreality of Chronology. Aside from that, there is, naturally, a preceding game to this individual series called simply Figment, which is easily tracked down on Steam and elsewhere. This studio has a lot of credibility in creating dynamic games with proven artistic integrity and intriguing stories. And I guess I’m happy for them. The game is pretty pleasant on Switch, and doesn’t overcomplicate things, but feels whole and spirited. I think the actual release will be a good release.

I’ll Leave It In Your Hands

I think the best thing to do if you like what you’ve seen here is check out the demo. From what I’ve seen in other gameplay videos, you can actually play on much farther than I did. I give up easily on these, it’s my thing. But not before seeing what it has to offer! Best wishes to the developers on this one.

Thanks for reading, see you next time. Have a look around my site Mr. Dave Pizza.

Dialogue Blip Sound Effect for Tyranobuilder

Welcome back to another article in my how-to series for gamers and game makers. Today I’ll be talking about making a dialogue blip sound effect in Tyranobuilder free! Sometimes known as dialogue blip. You might be able to use this in Ren’Py or VN Maker, or even other dev projects. Tyranobuilder is where I’ve staked my claim though right now. The sound effect is universally compatible though, just change the part where you actually implement to the protocol for whatever tool you are using. Okay, let’s get started.


I’ve mentioned previously how I recently began development on my own visual novel, Thank You, Mr. Bell. It took a colossal amount of tricky keyword queries and brainstorming. But I ended up having more than enough to get started on whichever design path I like! So today, I’ll give you some examples of what you can use for sound effects! In fact, I decided to cover this topic, because it’s one that I only figured out how to do from looking in various corners of the web and piecing it together.

Blipping Blippity Dialogue Blip Sound Effect

Unless things have rapidly changed in the gaming scene, you’ll probably have tried a few visual novels before taking it upon yourself to make one. There are some authors who claim they don’t particularly like to read before they get started on their novels, but I think most game devs probably borrow heavily from games they like. So yeah, you probably have a good idea of what you want to do and what types of visual novel features you really enjoyed. For me, it was the dialogue blip.

Dialogue Blip Sound Effect Tyranobuilder

I’ve played a good chunk of them, which you can find in my visual novel section if you like. One thing I always liked in certain VN’s was the way the scrolling dialogue text would make a dialogue blip sound effect as it played. Ace: Attorney is one of the most famous examples of this, but I’ve seen it in VA1-Hall-A and even Aviary Attorney. Personal shout out to Monster Pub, which has some of the best honking dialogue sound effects in existence.

Making a Dialogue Blip Sound Effect in BFXR

So, before I tell you exactly how to code the effect in Tyranobuilder, let me explain the audio aspect. You’ll need to create the sounds first. The first time I researched this technique for Tyranobuilder, I found an approach for use in Unity, a popular game engine. You can either use BFXR OR BeepBox. BeepBox doubles for game music as well, but BFXR lets you call what I’d considered a loop, or a module within a music compiler. The sounds are just a little bit more chiptune if you like, and they sound quite good. Basically, toy around in BFXR and make a sound. Try both ways though, with BFXR and BeepBox. You can decide what’s right for your project. The download link for BFXR is at https://bfxr.net Their site and app are very straightforward and plainly designed. They are totally legit though, and work great!

dialogue blip sound effect bfxr

BeepBox and Blippiness

You might still have no idea what I’m talking about. Here’s the thing, there is no honky music generator. You’re going to have to create the sound yourself and code it into the game. For Thank You, Mr. Bell, I tracked down a website called BeepBox: https://BeepBox.co This is a free sound/music generator that I’ll talk about for my example.

As it turns out, creating the sound effect is incredibly easy using the right tools.

After you’ve checked out BeepBox, select customize instrument on the right, and select a sound that appeals to you. Select a few notes on the grid of rectangles, and hit play. You’ll get an idea of what exactly you’re looking for in terms of tone and pitch (or just what sounds best, for simplicity.) You can then export the song using the file menu on the right. The format is up to you, I use MP3 format because it’s pretty universal. Though if you’re using TyranoBuilder (not sure about the others) audio must be in the “.ogg” format.

BeepBox dialogue blip sound effect tool

Next: “Ocen”

For randomizing the loop intervals, which is the next step, I recommend using the program “Ocen” for the next part. I used to use “Audacity,” however, people say it has spyware since it was bought out. So I use Ocen instead, although it doesn’t have quite as many features. Also, I don’t mean to be negative, but the name for this software is very confusing I understand. In my opinion, it looks like Ocean misspelled. I hope they fix this but no harm no foul I guess.

When you open Ocen, you can do some different things. The most important is to make the tones close to each other on the sine wave (the area that visualizes the sound in wave lines.) You can sort of cut out selections at random intervals and amounts with your mouse button. This is actually good, because it makes the dialogue sound a little more organic than just a repeating tone at the same interval. It shouldn’t take long before it’s sounding pretty random, which is good! You can also adjust the pitch under Effects > Time and Pitch.

I like to modify the pitch of the same sound for different characters male, female, older, younger.
Once you’re done, export the file to a folder. Usually, the project folder is suitable.

Dialogue blip sound effect in Ocen

Afterward, you should have something that sounds like this:

Just one more thing, make sure to create an Ogg that’s totally silent. This is fairly easy. Open any other file in Ocen and copy a silent part with no waves and paste it into a new file. Save as silence.ogg.


Implement in Tyranobuilder

The next step is to import the asset to Tyranobuilder. You should be able to figure this out with a beginner’s level knowledge of Tyranobuilder to do this part, but I’ll explain real quick. Click on the assets menu, select the sound effect by choosing the speaker with the sound icon, and then add the Ogg file.

After you’ve done this, the most important part is next.

To have dialogue make a sound effect, you need to implement something called a Tyranoscript. It’s simply another feature that’s included in Tyranobuilder. Create a new transcript and drag it to the spot right above the text you want it in. You can see this in the image above. Assume that your blip sound effect is is triangle.ogg and your silent sound effect is silence.org. Then paste the following into the scrip form:

[macro name=type]
[playse storage=triangle.ogg loop=true]
[endmacro]

[macro name=stop]
[playse storage=silence.ogg clear=true]
[endmacro]

Test Your Dialogue Blip Sound Effect

The only thing you have to do now is insert [type] before a line you want to play and [stop] when the text stops, which naturally is the end of the text block. Do not insert this text before a hashtagged sentence that indicates the character name or it won’t work.

Make sure to experiment with the text boxes to a level you understand them if you’re having issues, but otherwise, that should do the trick!

You can see how it performs in the trailer for my upcoming visual novel in my VN project if you like: https://www.youtube.com/embed/XtGAKg79WNc I decided not to embed it, since this article is for YOU! You will see exactly what I meant though.

Thanks!

So, there’s just one last thing I wanted to mention, which is you do not have to do this the same way I did. As long as you understand the principles, you can use whatever sound effects you like. I know that Tyranobuilder is a semi-new software, but it is very versatile and if you understand it, it can pretty much do what you want.

And that’s it, you’ve now learned how to make dialogue sound effects in Tyranobuilder. You might be able to apply some of these techniques to Ren’Py or VN Maker, but I’m still learning myself, so there’s plenty to learn!

Thank you so much for reading Mr. Dave Pizza. If you like what you see, please have a look around, especially my How-To Section. And please come back! Thank you!

5 More Great Itch.IO Games

Here are 5 Itch.IO games that are either demos, choose your own price, or free–depending on how much you want to contribute or can afford. You may have noticed I am very enthusiastic about this platform because it is where indie games are happening every moment! I’ve got some great titles for you, so let’s get started.

1. Doggo Quest

https://meebob.itch.io/doggo-quest

The dog is pretty cute and funny and the interactions with the other creatures and features are all really good. When I looked at the environments and creatures I noticed that this game seems to be entirely hand painted, possibly water-colored. It has a very relaxing ambience because of that. I want to play more games that are painted, because it just looks so darn good and makes me feel calm.

It takes a moment to figure out the first puzzle, but just keep trying things you will get it. Maybe you need to try looking at some things or barking. 🙂

2. Sort The Court

https://graebor.itch.io/sort-the-court

Sort the Court is awesome. You entertain a court of audiences to the king who ask you yes or no questions which affect the state of your people. There are a pretty substantial variety of who you interact with from entrepreneurs to monsters. It’s all pretty humorous and definitely entertains. I knew I liked games but I didn’t realize I could fulfill my gameplay needs with two buttons representing yes or no. This game does request a donation of around $5 and it’s worth that in my opinion. This is a nicely made and enjoyable game.

3. Tanuki Sunset Classic

https://squidsquadgames.itch.io/tanuki-sunset

There is a full version on Steam, but this one is a nice test of the game which has built its way up. You are a racoon in a 80s rad sunset landscape and you have a skateboard. What do you do? The demo is pretty well developed so I’d probably check out the game. Sincerely challenging in the right ways though. Don’t laugh at my attempts to drift ad doldrum. My experience with racing games is it generally takes a little time before you can perfect the drift. Even in Mario Kart, I fall off the ledge constantly if I play an unfamiliar character or vehicle. Anyway.

4. Ocean Trash Cleanup

https://bobbes4321.itch.io/ocean-trash-cleanup

This one is a short joy, an in development creation with a fun demo. It’s an important concept, cleaning up the ocean, but so are krakens. It’s totally free and a nice concept. I know that I insistently favor games which I can actually complete, but I just like the straight forward nature of this. The graphics are perfect and the challenge is manageable. I like it a lot and it’s something I would play more if it were more developed. Nice!

5. Little Things Remastered

https://klicktock.itch.io/little-things-remastered

I looked up the developer of this game and did not find him on social media but he does have a website. His name is Matthew Hall, and he created a few titles with this aesthetic. It’s an artistic flat graphic hidden object game with some nice music. The object mosaics are objects themelves which is kind of nice. They puzzles are pretty challenging and include over a 100 objects. That’s not bad. If you want to chill out and do some hidden object sleuthing this is a great title on Itch.io.

Closing Remarks

I hope you liked this list. If you’re looking for a game to play these were my picks for issue. I’m constantly impressed that the unique content on this platform. If you need to double down on the mainstream stuff this is your granola.

More articles on https://MrDavePizza.com. You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram.

Thanks for reading!

Burnstar: It’s Like a Sauna in Here

I got Burnstar for under $2 on eShop and it’s also on Steam for around $5. That’s not bad really. And this game is actually good fun. It is cheaper than a burrito from Chipotle too. This is one of those games that doesn’t have a sweeping lore setup for burning a bunch of junk. It’s just cool looking, fun, and the sound design is funkalicious. You can play this game either as a single-player or co-op. (What are co-op games?) I think co-op would probably be easier, but I did alright on single-player. This game is $2 you have nothing to lose really.

Lurked the Nintendo eShop this morning for a good match for a new section of my site I’m expanding about frugal gaming. Yep, cheap games! I’ve received a lot of positivity reception for my research on this subject, so here we go.

Burnstar: No Mas Pantalones

I’ve seen so many games that look good at first and then you start playing and that illusion breaks away like flimsy cardboard. This is not the case with Burnstar. Also, this game IS family-friendly, I have no doubts there. It’s E for Everyone, but despite the action atmosphere of the game, there’s no bad energy about it. Pretty rare to lineup those two in a row sometimes. Probably the only issue you might have is deciding your strategy for the puzzles. That’s up to you though, as it should be!

Burnstar Review
Burnstar Map

There are four player options, however, you really only need to play as the main character to begin with. I guess the other characters have either more of a support role for co-op or maybe for solving different types of puzzle. I’m looking back now and thinking that freezing obstacles might have been pretty useful at one part.

Burnstar: Puzzle Inferno

You start off with a grid with various obstacles and objects. Not everything is important, but some things are. As you’ll be reminded in the intro, your job is to burn the goo. There’s purple goo everywhere. It’s flammable, and if you can set fire to it, you can burn entire pools of it for stars. Most importantly though, burn the goo! You collect stars to achieve enough completion that you can grab the big star and move to the next level. This shouldn’t be too hard (at first), because there are star outlines painted on squares throughout the grid. If you can light those grids on fire with explosives, you’ll be able to get all your starts to move on. It is not always obvious what to do though. There are some boxes that are more flammable than others, like the big red boxes.

Burnstar Puzzle
Purple Slime Level

As you progress through the world map, you’ll encounter different obstacles. When I reached Haunted Isles there was a block that kept chasing me. I took a break there. There is a timer in the upper right corner, but you’ll never run out of time. I really like that, however, I’ve been so coddled by games past that I thought maybe the game crashed when it didn’t display “Game Over” as I ruined every opportunity to get enough stars. That’s actually a good thing though, because you can spend time to figure out how the puzzle might work. Either way, not an issue. Also, you can uh, get captured–by a saw or one of your explosives.  The puzzle simply restarts then and it’s no big deal..

Conclusion

I kept on trying to think of a game that was like this, but I couldn’t. It’s really not a lot different than your average puzzle game, but the style and design is really unique and fun. I did not feel any annoyances with the graphic quality or anything. Honestly, I do not totally understand why this game is so inexpensive. There are 80 LEVELS! That is boatload. 

My only issue at all was during the last puzzles I tried as I moved around the island. I got kind of confused by what I was supposed to do with the blocks that chased after me in Haunted Wilds. There are only a few areas like this I think, but I did not spend enough time to figure it out. If it were Co-Op, it would have been so easy. A lot of games these days do expect us to play with other players, but that’s not my thing. Maybe it is yours, and even if it’s not, check this game out, not much to lose really. I think you’re going to go far.