Baldy Dash

Released19th October 2009

Code by Richard Davey

Graphics by Gav Strange

Level Design by Richard Davey and Seb Hamilton

Produced by Aardman Digital for D3



Aardman Digital created Baldy Dash to promote the release of the new Nintendo DS title Shaun the Sheep: Off His Head. The DS game is published by D3 and involves you playing through 6 missions and 8 mini-games. The theme of the DS game is to return the Farmer’s lost toupee. You can see a video and find out more about the DS game here.

Using the “hairy” premise we put together a game concept involving driving the jeep around the farmyard, collecting the missing toupees (in Baldy Dash we call them “wigs”) and avoiding hitting anything else.

The game was produced to be played both on the Shaun the Sheep web site, and virally. Depending where you play the game depends which end-screen you see. The viral version has an advert for the DS game and a link to play it on the Shaun the Sheep web site. If you play the game on the Shaun site (and are logged-in) then you are automatically entered into the competition to win a Nintendo DS and copy of the game.


The game uses a modified version of the engine I built for Star Fish. The core concept is the same, but the motion was changed to make the jeep feel like it was driving towards the mouse (rather than swimming). I also added moving objects in the shape of the sheep! There are four kinds of sheep – bone idle ones, who do nothing but stand chewing grass, and then moving ones which amble about the farm at a slow, medium or fast pace.

The sheep don’t actively home-in on you (that would just be unfair), but they do map a relatively sensible path through the objects in each level. When they hit something they’ll turn around and walk the other way, perhaps wagging their tail before doing so. The sheep don’t actually collide with each other. They probably ought to, but if you’ve ever seen the TV show you’ll realise things are more than a little chaotic, so we extended that artistic license into the game. It also made them very hard to predict, and the point of any game is foremost to have fun, so I didn’t want to take away from this.

Development Trivia

I built the first 10 levels and then the following 20 were built by Seb Hamilton; a true Aardman fan, who was with us on work experience at the time. His levels are really quite hard! So if you fail to complete all 20, blame Seb not me :)

baldyjeepWe didn’t have any photos of the Farmer’s jeep from a plan / birds-eye view. So we found a 1:12 scale model airfix kit of the jeep in the marketing department. It was put on the office floor and Gav photographed while leaning over it. He then did some photoshop magic to make the end result. At the final scale you’d never know it was 149 pieces of tiny plastic! He hand-drew the rest of the items in the game.

The name is of course a pun on the retro gaming classic “Boulder Dash“, even though this fact will be lost on the vast majority of players. Sadly those who do spot the pun may be disappointed when they find there isn’t a boulder or diamond in sight. You can thank Aardman Digital’s Community Manager Katie for the title :)

Make yourself heard