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  • Welcome to the DarkForge – An archive of all my old DarkBASIC code

    darkforge-ad

    Back in 1999 I started using a language called DarkBASIC. As its name implies it was a version of the BASIC language sitting on top of DirectX and pimped out with lots of great 2D and 3D features. Coding in DarkBASIC looked something like this:

    As you can see, it’s easy to read and understand. And honestly, it was great fun! I was utterly hooked.

    At the time nothing much really existed on the PC for easy game making. Sure, there were some “click and drag” style tools. But if you wanted to code in anything other than C++ your options were limited to say the least. And if you wanted to use a language that was specifically for making games, your options were even smaller.

    The big two of the day were DarkBASIC, created by Dark Basic Software (who later renamed to The Game Creators), and Blitz Basic, created by Blitz Research. Both companies are still going today, but back then the competition between them and their users was fierce! To be fair, Blitz had the upper hand both in the elegance of its language and performance, having been born from the equally powerful Blitz Basic on the Amiga. Where as DarkBASIC was more like AMOS from the Amiga, both in its syntax, ease of use and style of marketing. This was no mistake as the founders of Dark Basic Software worked at Europress and were instrumental in the publishing of AMOS. As a result, DarkBASIC utterly thrived.

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  • Phaser goes to the movies

    demolition-dojo

    We always love seeing the games created with Phaser and this month we’ve a number of film and TV related tie-ins. First up is Demolition Dojo, created by Ignition Creative for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. Pick from one of the four turtles and smack down some ninjas while avoiding the little old ladies :)

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    Next up is the game Clean up on Aisle Rufus for the Warner Bros. film Dolphin Tale 2. Created by Portland based TheFlock you have to save the fish from the hungry bird!

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    Finally one for pre-school children is the new Paw Patrol web site for Nickelodean. The site features 6 different games, from Find the Bunnies to Fix the Bridge, each of them fun for younger children and fans of the show.

    It’s always great to see what sort of games Phaser is being used for. So if your agency has used it for a project please send us a tweet and let us know.

  • We’re hiring: Freelance Project Manager / Producer (UK only)

    awesome-producer-wantedWe’re in need of an experienced freelance digital project manager / producer to help our studio run smoothly. The work will include: daily direct client liaison, helping write schedules and proposals, and managing our remote development and art teams. We anticipate this taking up approximately 1 – 2 hours of a day, each day, so is not a full-time position. The key to this role is being able to help out daily but in small chunks of time.

    You will work from your own home/office, but must live in the UK. You will be willing to travel for occasional client meetings, and dial in to weekly conference calls. Experience of web game production would be a massive bonus, but we’re happy to consider any digital production experience. We’re a small team working on some really cool projects – from our game framework to our contract games. The work is varied and if you’re a gamer (of any level!) then so much the better :)

    If you feel you can whip our chaotically busy but massively talented studio into shape, then please send details of your experience and rates to rich@photonstorm.com or tweet me @photonstorm. Or pass this on to anyone you may know who would be suitable for the role.

  • Pixel Perfect scaling a Phaser game

    gameboy25

    With GBJam3 just started today I tend to get asked this a lot on twitter: “How do I scale my game and keep it crisp?

    This is a perfectly valid question and is essential for games that rely on pixel art. And the answer is that there is no 100% fully cross-browser compatible solution. There are various CSS hacks and vendor prefixes you can try, but they won’t work on everything.

    However, if that was my final answer there would be no point in this blog post, right? When we created our lowrez jam game, which was a game running at a 32×32 resolution, we came up with the following approach that works much more reliably than any CSS hack. Here’s how to get it working:

    For this example I’ll assume you are making a GBJam game, so you’ve a restriction of 160 x 144 pixels. The same as the original Gameboy resolution. First create your Phaser game object:

    The important things to note here are:

    1. Use the un-scaled resolution
    2. Always use Phaser.CANVAS as the render method
    3. Give an empty string as the DOM parent (the 4th parameter)

    Once the game object is created we use a new object to hold our scaled canvas:

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  • We’re hiring: Laravel4 and Web Audio API developers

    phaser-jumpWe’ve been working relentlessly on Phaser, but in order to help us reach some of our goals faster we need additional development support.

    As a result we’re looking for 2 experienced freelancers:

    Laravel4 Developer

    You’ll help the core team build the new Phaser web site. A large portion has been completed already. But we need a highly competent Laravel4 developer to help finish off key areas. You must have demonstrable and proven Laravel4 experience, and time to dedicate to working on this.

    Tasks will include building the user management / registration system, integration with Stripe and help with some common admin areas. Ideally you’ll have a rock-solid grasp of CSS as well, as some tasks will require it.

    Web Audio API Developer

    The current version of Phaser offers a decent level of abstraction for adding audio to your HTML5 games. It handles both legacy audio and Web Audio, audio sprites and playback support. However this is an area we’d like to really focus on expanding and there are opportunities for many enhancements here.

    From positional audio, to Web Audio filter effects to dynamic sound generation like sfxr. You’ll work closely with us to help craft a modern game specific audio API that works flawlessly on mobile, neatly slots into Phaser and adopts the style and conventions that make Phaser so popular. You will need to understand the Web Audio API inside and out – we’re not just talking someone who has perhaps completed an HTML5Rocks Tutorial here. Ideally you’ll have a game dev background and understand how best to hook the new audio API into the rest of Phaser.

    This task would be suitable for “part time / evening” work if you’ve the right experience, as we’re not working to a fixed deadline for this feature (“it’s ready when it’s ready”)

    Get in touch

    Both positions are remote only and can start immediately.

    We expect you to be self-motivated and professional in your conduct. We don’t have time to micro-manage you or be left wondering why you’ve “gone dark”. You must be available to discuss progress on a regular basis and will commit code into a shared repository.

    For our part we’ll pay you promptly and fairly, just as we’ve done with many other freelancers over the years. We’ll respect your experience and listen to your suggestions. You will be considered a part of the team, not a “resource”. In return you’ll treat us professionally and treat our projects with the same care and attention you’d give your own.

    No agencies. No exceptions.

    If you’re interested in either role please contact rich@photonstorm.com including details of which role you’re applying for, how you can help us and your daily rate.

    Applications for these positions expire July 25th 2014

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