the online ramblings of a generally confused game designer

Sunday, June 25, 2006

designer in transit

Hello there :)

First off, I'd like to thank everyone reading the blog for doing so, as well as thanking you all for your kind comments. I'm currently sleeping on a mattress in a function room in my dad's pub. My PC is sitting on a windowsill and my chair is a bar stool. Very rock and roll. I move into my new place in September, so life is going to be a little transient until then. In fact, I have no internet connection at the pub, so I am currently using a borrowed machine, I'm working on the internet connection issue, but expect posts to be a little irregular until then.


the game...

It's going fantastically right now.. a couple of major hurdles have been jumped. The first issue for me was the graphical side of things. I wanted to simplify the look of the game, so Simon's escape level became a test bed for me. After many itterations this is the look I came up with.. compare and contrast to the earlier pics..

Brighter, and generally more fun. The scale has also been altered to make him look in more peril. The bright colours also look great on the PSP's screen. The second game I worked on is the canteen level, where different coloured sauces are used to fight contrasting tentacles.. heres a pic of that...

At the moment I'm working on a keep me up level, which makes use of a vertical mode. Code complete, but no graphics just yet.

I know what you're thinking, you want to see the game in action don't you. well. here's some more shakey cam footage of me playing it on my psp.. no more music I'm afraid, as I've decided to wait for KittyHawk Drive's latest version...

whatcha think?

Monday, June 12, 2006


thats right.. I tok some time out from the packing to upload some early gameplay footage for you guys to look at.. all in a test phase, all could possibly change etc etc etc

Those are my thumbs on the ocontrols, and my girlfriend filming. The music is an early test by Odevil Jazz, my own personal music god, and was produced with Kittyhawk Drive. All comments on all aspects of what you see and hear welcome.

Oh.. and btw, I may be noticably absent over the next week, moving and sorting out new internet connections and the like. Hopefully when I re-emerge it will be with new imagery from another of the mini-games which make up Visiting Day.

Watch this space

Sunday, June 11, 2006

boxes, boxes, everywhere

I'm moving home on Tuesday,

As a result my flat is now full of boxes, and as an obsessively tidy person I find it very hard to work in that kind of environment. For that reason I have taken the weekend off, playing Shadow of Colosus on my as of yet unpacked ps2. It's a fantastic game, I wish I had access to the kind of team to turn a simple gameplay idea into something so beautifully realised.

In one of the boxes, no doubt the bottom one, is the eyetoy I jury-rigged as a webcam, the self styled 'blog-o-cam'. So no gameplay video today. I'm gonna borrow my girlfriends dv cam tommorow though, so I will be able to post up a video then (with a rough recording by KittyHawk Drive).

In other news, the blog has picked up a couple of new readers (thanks gnome) so hopefully you can all help me to spread the word about visiting day.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

dodgy days

I have just had a couple of really awful days. Having left my mobile phone at a bar I was working behind on tuesday, I was surprised when Jules (a good friend, and collaborator on mirror and entropy, and soon to be lead tester on visiting day) IMd me to let me know that my phone was now being answered by a teenage girl. After a charming conversation with the new owner of my mobile phone, i was told I could have it back.. but have yet to recieve a follow up call. That said, apparently she payed £25 quid for it, and I am strangely proud that such a crappy posession could catch such a large amount on the black market.

Anyway, back to the games side of things.

Coding has fallen behind because of the issues I've been up against personally, but I'm cracking on. I have upped the framerate for the game to 7fps.. and I think that might be as high as it goes. It's a shame, but the games are still genuinely fun to play. I have altered the looks of the enemy to tie in with Kittyhawk Drive's music, and it's all working rather nicely. No new media as of yet, but I shall be putting some cool stuff up over the weekend, including the first video.

Oh, and just for any new readers visiting the blog for the first time, welcome. I am always pleased to hear from new people so drop in a comment. I'm also always looking for testers and people to inform of releases, so drop me a line at

more soon...

Monday, June 05, 2006

lucky monday

One mini-game is now code complete.. all it needs now is a graphical overhaul based on the music that is being produced for the game.

One major stumbling point I've run into is that of frame rate. The game is now running at 6fps, which would be shocking on a desktop pc, but is definitely playable on the mobile psp. I still hope to bring that up though, which means tiding my code and graphics up a bit to save space in memory. I'm enjoying the challenge actually, and it's definitely bringing up the quality of my coding.

I now have a logo for the game.. it's preliminary however, so I'd love any feedback you may have. I'd like to say too that you're all more than welcome to use the images i'm posting of the game on your own blogs for publicising the game, or just to show what's going on out there. Hopefully the game will hit local press sometime soon, and I'm really hoping to bolster my number of readers so that I can grab lots of testers (down the line) and realease the game to an even larger audience at launch (further down the line).

So thanks, hang on in there (and Gnome, your video is comming)

[edit - logo is now in.. there have been some problems with blogger]

Friday, June 02, 2006

friday update

'Visiting Day' is now in full swing. Having upgraded my pc with CS2 & Flash 8 (for a ridiculously high price) the game's visual qualities are already improving. I'm still scratching away, with the bulk of code for two of the minigames done. I'm hoping to get another 3 together for the initial release (2 - 3 months away). I am aiming to spend a month or so ballancing and fixing the gameplay to produce something small and refined rather than something big and haphazard.

The music for the game is really comming along. My main contact in the band has sent me a work in progress for the main theme, which is a weird mix of cirque du solei and phantom of the opera... very odd. It's completely changed my plans for the visitors. It's going to create a very cool mood in the game.

so... more to come, obviously.. here's a couple of pics to keep you ravenous blog readers happy for a little while :)