Author Archive

  • Home Sheep Home 2 is out! Developer insights into the cross-platform build process

    This has been a long time coming. Nearly a years worth of puzzle boarding, planning, animating, development, testing and packaging. But it’s finally out! Home Sheep Home 2: A Little Epic landed today across multiple platforms: Web (Flash), iOS (iPhone and iPad HD) and PC Download and is sitting happily on homesheephome2.com waiting for you to pay it a visit :)

    The original game was something of a viral success story. Created in around12 days, primarily to promote new Shaun the Sheep episodes, it went absolutely ballistic on launch getting nearly 1 million plays per day at its peak. In 18 months it had managed 102 million plays and even today still pulls in quarter of a million players daily, with large clear peaks at the weekends.

    It’s fair to say the success of the game took us a little by surprise. We knew it was good, we knew the concept was quite original, had nice cross-gender appeal and the puzzles were challenging without being frustrating. But we had no idea that so many people out there would agree! It was quite amusing at first when the clones started to appear. Somewhat less respectable companies ripped the game off and it was unofficially ported to iOS and Android.

    A Chinese company even decided to steal all of the graphics and code, re-colour the sheep pink, throw in a few new levels and released it as “Home Sheep Home 2”. Somewhere around this point it was no longer funny any more and we realised it was time to  invest in making a true sequel (and as a side note: In the PC version there is a cheat mode that turns all of the sheep pink, in a not so subtle middle-finger to the original rip :)

    [ Read more for developer insight on the build process ]

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  • MojoCreatives talk about the making of Car Games in Flash

    The “car” and “racing” genre is heavily catered for in the Flash gaming space. But it’s also large enough that there are companies dedicated just to producing these sorts of games. MojoCreatives is one such company and in this short interview I caught up with their CEO Michael Ojo about this unique space in the gaming spectrum:

    What got you into car games?

    “I got into the whole online gaming gig back in 2007. It was just something I stumbled upon really. I had enjoyed playing Flash games online and figured why not make my own? I’m a total car / auto fanatic. And racing games are my favourite genre, so it made sense that I would try to make a game like this. I’m not a developer myself. I create the game idea, concepts and design style. We then use either our in-house coders or work with other studios such as IriySoft. My first game was called Crazy Mustang and was finished in December 2008. It was extremely popular with plays now in the tens of millions. Since then we’ve released another 11 car games.”

    How do monetise your games?

    “All our games are free to play but carry ads. We release them on our own sites (like ArcadeLot.com) and of course we’ll upload to the popular portals like Newgrounds and Kongregate. That alone helps the game get a decent exposure. And after this we’ll reach out to the top gaming portal owners. This is sometimes a daunting (and time consuming) process, but if your game is good it’s worth it in the long run. Right now we are gearing up to release at least one new game every month and some will be accompanied by mobile versions.”

    What goes into making a car game?

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  • Croco Magnet – HTML5 Retro Game Remake

    Denathorn Games have released this sweet little retro-remake: Croco Magnet. Based on an Amstrad CPC original you control a blue ball that bounces left/right (rebounding off any wall it hits) and must clear the level of radiation, while avoiding the “nasty green blob things”. I really like the fact that the game flip-screens when you hit the edge, it means you need to really remember several screens worth of placement in order to angle the ball just right. Works very well!

    The game appears to have been created using the JavaScript export feature of Monkey, a language we’ve blogged about in the past and has quite a following. I’m not sure of the current status as the official web site hasn’t had news posted to it for 9 months, but the community is alive and healthy. Performance for me was perfectly playable in Chrome and Firefox. There’s not exactly much movement going on, but that isn’t really the point. The point is that this is a fun, addictive little remake, the sort I loved creating in Flash, running purely in browser.

    Play Croco Magnet or read more about the Monkey programming language.

  • Flash Game Dev Tip #15 – Collectable Particles

    Tip #15 – Collectable Particles in Flixel

    This tip was born from a question I see raised in the Flixel forums often: How do you use an FlxEmitter to emit more complex particles. I.e. ones that are animated or have their own logic, and how could a player interact with those particles?

    We’ll solve this by creating a simple demo. In it you can fly a small ufo around a tilemap using the cursor keys. Where-ever you click with the mouse a burst of particles will be created, in this case an explosion of coins. If you fly into them you can collect them. By grabbing the source code and reading through this you should then be able to modify this approach for your own game.

    By the end it’ll look something like the above. Hit the jump for the full details, source code and example swf.

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  • Outpost: Haven – Alien Breed for the Web generation. Screen shots and trailer video.

    The owl men are here, and they’re so very hungry.” – Gary Mason, former head of security.

    A distress call wakes you and your crew mate from C-Sleep. A suspected rad leak at the nearby Outpost space station needs investigating. Don’t worry, it should just be a quick jump in, jump out job…

    This is how Outpost starts. With you and your buddy exploring a space station. Ominous sounds coming from every corner, flickering lights making you feel as uneasy as possible, and a tense sense of foreboding hanging heavy in the air.

    But wow, what a way to start! Outpost:Haven is the latest Flash game from our good friends at Gaming Your Way. Inspired heavily by Alien Syndrome and the Amiga classic Alien Breed you get to crawl around a gloomy space station, trying to discover what happened while blasting the hell out of the aliens who’ve infested the place. Info-cards are waiting to be collected revealing a surprisingly deep story. Weapons can be customised via the terminals situated around the station, and new ones bought including the obligatory Aliens homage Pulse Rifle.

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