Gaming Your Way

May contain nuts.

Here's a new old game

It seems the NFL Rush site has opened up the game section, which is cool as I can actually show you some work now.

My favourite of the bunch was the first one I worked on, Gameball Maize Maze.

gmm_grab1.jpg

I think this was only my second iso game, it's not a display system I love, but I'm pleased with the depth sorting on this, it's pretty solid, and I love the art style so much.

As a game I think it works pretty well too, it's more for the younger readers out there, but it did all come together nicely ( There are some blog posts about it's development from way back, this one in particular should make a whole lot more sense now ).

Squize.

The cake is a lie!

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So that's being 3 years of GYW ... me and Squize working together for 3 years as GYW - that's worth a little celebration, isn't it?

Oh, and if you discover the secret message you can keep the cake :)

nGFX

2009 in words and pictures

It's that time of year again, and for the first time in 3 years of doing it I'm actually getting it done on New Years eve rather than the 1st. I'd like to say it's a sign of our new found pro-activeness, but in reality I'm out on the beer tomorrow so it's best to get it done today.

Ready ? K, let's go.

Jan:

Our second birthday and tons of work. Some of the games we did in 2008 actually came out in this month, and it's a bit of a muddled mess as the projects we were working on are behind a registration, so we didn't actually know when they went live, so a bit of guess work here.

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Sarge's Bowling Barrel. A project we did with Brandissimo. If you ever have to do a game with 10 pin bowling scoring, don't. On paper it's straight forward, in real life it's a massive ball ache to try and code. The graphics are lovely as supplied by Brandissimo, and the speech sounds great. As a game it's a bit throwaway, just pleasant quick fun.


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Racing to School. Another Brandissimo game for the NFLRush site ( Hence the lack of links ). A simplistic Pole Position-esque style racer. The movement and the collisions were really nice, I'm more than happy with them. The hardest part of the project was the rubber banding, it's a really really tricky thing to do well. Quite a nice end result though, fun little job.

Aside from this, cronusX was still called X and under development. And that was the first month of the year.

Feb:

Another busy busy month. I think until the end of March I was working on 3 projects at once constantly, which is so nasty.

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Invaders Must Die. Our highest profile release to date. When we landed this gig I was doing cartwheels, it's The Prodigy man, bands don't get much cooler. I think we did a really good job considering ( Post mortem if you want to see what "considering" actually means ) and having our game on the NME website and hearing the band were playing it after getting off stage in Australia and that they "Love it" almost cancels out all the other shit that's happened this year. This is why I make games, to get to do cool projects like this.

This month also saw us buy our way into the 4K comp and hopefully into developers hearts. February also saw me post a rant about all the "Make Flash games, you'll earn more money than you can actually count" articles that seemed to come out in a big wave, we jumped on the twitter bandwagon and Olli showed some lovely rendering action.

March:

After the highs of Feb, comes the lows of March.

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Save our Dumb Planet. I really dislike blogs where everything is made out to be all rosy. In real life you have blips, and we've had more than our fair share this year. I think just sharing the highs and glossing over the lows is just bull shitting the reader, and that's something we've never tried to do. We love you all far too much. Love in a brotherly way that is, not in a penetration sense.

So keeping that in mind, this was one of the worst projects I've ever had to work on, with the single worst meeting I've ever had. In any job. Ever. Early in March this game was canceled, the client weren't happy with the progress and the direction we were taking it in. It's there prerogative, there's no bad blood here, but it's the first time I've had a project fail on me, and the first time I've not really connected with a client.

A real kick up the arse. Apparently I don't walk on water, and this project hammered that home. Paid for my mac book pro though, so always a silver lining.

bovis.png

On a better note, the 4k comp was finished up, with our entry, Bovis Abyssus released to the world ( And to be honest I'm really proud of that little 4k shooter ). An excellently run comp and one we were really proud to have sponsored.

X was code complete this month and Olli showed off some screens from a certain game, which like Dumb Planet, will never see the light of day.

And just to finish the month off in style I split up with my girl...

April:

...spent the month mainly licking my wounds.

This month didn't see anything new come out. I did ( With hindsight ) a quite hate filled post about putting ads on adver-games, and how it sickens me so much. Olli was a productive bunny this month and had a lot of time with Unity3D, the highlight being a very helpful post about all things GUI.

May:

A funny kind of limbo where we were just doing things with nothing to really show or write about. It turns out one game finally went live,

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Blitz Bots Alley. Another game for Brandissimo. This one just seemed to go wrong, it was meant to be a reskin of Sarge bowling, but due to the changes in the gameplay, which was fairly flawed and something we didn't notice until well into development, it was pretty much a total re-write. A low budget and a complete lack of motivation from me lead this to being drawn out and although we salvaged something ok at the end of it, it missed the mark and was just painful to work on. I burnt some bridges with this project, which I regret.

June:

A month that saw me get another year older, and where we spoke more about other peoples things rather than our own, including a great interview with our mate Chris about iPhone development.

Olli got all random level generation on our asses.

We also posted our first article about mtx. Was it only really June that we started hearing about coins and the like ? It seems like they've been around for ages due to the sheer amount of words which have been  devoted to them.

This month also saw GameJacket close ( There's got to be some lame pun involving zips and closing, but nothings coming to me. Just make your own up ).

July:

This is more like it, back on track again.

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AQI Zoneout. I got to work with the sexy basement.tv gang and our mate ickydime on this bad boy. A nice original puzzler, which would make a good iPhone game. It was slightly odd because I left the project before it was gold due to timing issues, which makes it feel slightly empty for me, you need the money shot, but I'm really pleased with how it turned out and had fun doing it ( Once I got over my fear of breaking the basements svn ).

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cronusX. My baby. I'm so proud of this game, it's everything a GYW game should be. It was really nice to be able to work with Olli directly on a game, and I really enjoyed posting every build as we went, that's something I'll def. do again ( I can't link to the WIP builds, as our dog shit cheap host that was used just for games got hacked, and the hosting company just gave up after that. I guess they didn't bother with the backups they said they did, and it was just easier to fold and keep everyones money. Cheers for that ).
In terms of traffic it's proved to be a disappointment, but let's save covering that for the post mortem.

Aug:

A quiet month really. First pics of Ionic were posted, cronusX went viral and I got all moody about things ( Which I'm not even going to bother linking to ).

We were busy, just sometimes there's nothing to say about it.

Sept:

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Via was Olli's sweet word game. It's not out yet as we're still looking at the best option for it, but it will see the light of day in the coming year.

The rest of the month was mainly talking about things that were coming soon, or "pointless filler posts" as they're known in the trade.

Oct:



Destroy All Cars. A box2D powered crash'em up made with our mate Elliot who I used to work with at gimme5games. Just to show what I know, I'm far from being a lover of this game, and it's our biggest hit by a long way. I think it was in the top 3 games on the Spil sites in it's first month, knocking out 4.6 million hits, and it's since been sold to Addicting and MouseBreaker, and will be on Miniclip in the new year.
It's great to have a big fat hit ( It's weird 'cause it just got slated on Kong, and although front paged on NG, critically it was panned ), just be nice to have one with a game I have more of an emotional investment in ( That's a very polite way of saying I'm not overly happy with it isn't it ? ).

Nov:

Basically words about Ionic, and a beta launch. That's it, move along now to the most wonderful time of the year...

Dec:

Ionic went gold and is now in bidding limbo.

And that's it, our year. Only our 2nd year and the most difficult by far, I think it shows how lucky we were on year 1. Our output was down, both in terms of actual games written and overall quality, which has made us look at a lot of things and it's not going to happen next year. There were big projects running in the background, like the National Geographic one, which haven't seen been launched this year, so that'll give me something to write about 365 days from now.

I'd just like to take the chance to thank you all for sticking with us, without you all out there we'd just be writing this for ourselves, and that's just a mental thing to do.

Happy New Yeah my beauties.

Squize.

Where have you been?

Oh wow, I just updated a few things on the blog software (it so needs some more work visually) and notced how many month I have been silent ...

Well while Squize had all the fun with games, I had ... none - ok, one finished game but that hardly counts.

I must admit I lost a good deal of faith in flash game coding when 3 ideas I had for games didn't make it to much more than a beta due to the fact that I imagined them to be fun but only if you played them the way I imagined, some of our fellow mates found out that it just would be easier ignore my "gameplay" idea and just "collect" scores and woooosh all the fun was gone - freedom in games can kill the fun :|

So I wasn't too unhappy that we would be doing some LARGE scale none game stuff - a drop dead huge web based training plattform, lots of backend stuff had to be written (I so do hate forms is all I say), the whole administration stuff, special stats, the why-the-fuck-is-this-fucking-css-not-working-in-this-fucking-browser css and a lot of content.

So far we got 159 pages of information, in there are 162 swf files containing animations/learning stuff and 16 pages of final tests (so can get a piece of paper that shows you've done it all). The animations are mostly rendered videos - some 3 hours of that.

Not to mention that I coded some pretty complex simulations for the lessons like a door communications system (one to rule them all - from single family homes, to 6 family condos with 2 entrances) that you can "wire" up and then programm ...

Meanwhile ....
Whenever I had a free minute I dived back into 3d, to get my first character done but it's a slow process if you only invest a few hours at most in one go ....

Next year we're going to translate most of the wbt stuff to EN and NL so I'm not going to be doing games as soon as I like to ...

Wow no image.

... and now I make room for Squize again ...

nGFX

Over did it ?

I don't know about you, but I think I'm suffering from Turkey blindness. I've still got about 8 stone of turkey to eat my way through yet too, Christmas really is the only time of the year that turkey curry seems like a good idea.

Anyway, on to the point of this post. Look at this bad boy,

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The Juggernaut

He's the boss baddie from Ionic. If you're liking the look of him you may want to bookmark our mate Lux's brand spanking new blog as he did a lot of artwork for Ionic, including that big fella above. Like all new blogs it's a bit like Bambi, taking it's first little steps, but you're pretty much guaranteed some very sweet images along the way.

I'll leave you look at that whilst I chip away at the turkey mountain waiting for me in the kitchen.

Squize

Merry Christmas kids

If you're doing a big family thing tomorrow and sprouts are on the menu, top tip, have a box of matches to hand.

And on that fart related note, we'd both like to wish you all a Merry Christmas. We hope Santa empties his sack and you're left delighted with the results. I'm going to stop now before the spirit of Christmas is spoiled any further.

Have a good one, and we'll see you all after loads of turkey. And sprouts.

Squize.

HI DAC*

AWESOME! Our new great game, Destroy all Cars, is live! WOW!

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Play this GREAT physics based smash 'em up right now! Featuring 25 levels of AWESOMENESS with 12 selectable cars to smash. This is super fun, if you're 8 or 88!

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Unlock all the liveries for each car as you SMASH through the levels! Go on, create MAYHEM on 4 wheels!

Squize.

* Worst. Blog. Post. Ever.

Old news already ?

I was going to post about my experiments with Pixel Bender the other night, but I guess this tiny bit of news warrants more of a mention first.

Don't look at the picture below, don't! Now, what would be the coolest platform you can imagine having your as3 games running on ?

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You looked at the picture first and spoiled it didn't you ?

So before the net that talks about Flash is awash with the news, and it's all we ever hear about again, get your fill here: Flash Platform Extends to the iPhone

Squize.

What's stuck in our pipeline ?

Figured it would be an idea to actually talk about Flash work on here for a pleasant change. I've been quiet of late as to be honest nothing much has been happening. I've been wrestling with box2D for one project, finishing off another and working on the TD as a personal release.

Here's a little grab from the National Geographic project ( I can't say anything more about it, NDAs = not the best subject for a blog post )

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We've been hit with a lot of amends on this project, but it's all shaping up nicely. I believe it's going to be a CD only release, possibly making it online at a later date. So that's a game I can't talk about that you'll possibly never play. This is why I haven't been blogging much.

Next up is a game I've been doing with my mate Elliot at www.MakingFunGames.com


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Not the most gripping of screen grabs I know, but I think this could well be a bit secret too ( No NDA, but then no "Feel free to spill your guts about it" ). This is a box2D based game, and I'm not even going to start bitching about how hellish it is to get box2D to do something ( I did the pinball game way back, and so had forgotten everything I'd learned, which at the time was barely enough to get a ball moving with some flippers ).
I think it's going to be quite good when it's done, there is something pleasing about making cars crash for some primeval reason.

Both of these should be done and dusted by the end of the month.

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This is the current build of Ionic, my TD game, which shows some nasty placeholder art for the turrets. The baddie shadow effects are in now, which I'm really happy with ( So happy I didn't actually manage to capture a grab of them in action ) plus some of the collision checks / shooting. One thing I added the other day is that little spiky drone just at the bottom of that top red box. That little drone, aside from needing to be scaled up and re-coloured, comes out of that open hatch on the far left there and collects any dropped coins when a baddie is killed ( See, he's heading for that obscured spinning gold G there ).

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, aside from that one, which needs a 1000 words to explain it. Not my greatest prtScn moment.

I'm not even going to put a release date on Ionic, it's done when it's done. It's not me being all "This is my art, don't you understand ?", it's me being snowed under with other things, so this is my down time project.

Squize.