23rd Jan 2013
We are pleased to announce that our 4th HTML5 mobile browser game for the BBC pre-school channel CBeebies is now out. Based on the brand new show Old Jack’s Boat, staring Bernard Cribbins, Helen Lederer and Freema Agyeman, it allows little adventurers to peer into the depths of the sea and uncover the colourful characters living down below.
“Old Jack’s Boat is a brand new show on CBeebies and features Children’s TV legend Bernard Cribbins as ‘Old Jack’, a retired fisherman who lives in a little village on the North Yorkshire Coast. Helped along by a cast of colourful characters, ‘Old Jack’ tells tall stories from inside his old fishing boat. The series is a mix of live action and animation which allows Old Jack to wander along the seabed, visit tropical islands and fly high in the air on balloons always accompanied by his faithful dog, Salty.”
As with all CBeebies projects we have to take a very different approach to the design and implementation due to the age ranges involved. For example buttons use iconography, not text, and the game needs to cater for ‘inaccurate’ touch events and other random elements that 3 year old’s can inflict upon your mobile device.
Point your mobile browser at http://bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/ to find the fish.
8th Jan 2013
2013 is certainly well under way now. Christmas and New Years are all but a distant memory and I suspect all of us are now deep back in to our work. Although we enjoyed a brief spell away from the office it’s full steam ahead here right now.
I intended to write a summary of what 2012 meant for Photon Storm, but if I had to sum it up in one single word it would be: independence. 2012 was the year we went from being busy, hard working, full-time employees to being mentally busy, hard working, full-time-and-then-some but working for ourselves. And what a roller coaster of a ride it has been.
We took the concious decision to break away from Flash entirely and focus 100% on HTML5 games, specifically running in the mobile web browser. It was always meant to be a mixture of making our own games / IP, doing client work and collaborating on Kiwi, the HTML5 game framework we’re deeply invested in. In an ideal world those three elements would balance out quite evenly. Of course the reality is that client work sucked up a huge majority of our time – this is in no way a bad thing of course, given the current economic climate we are in no way complaining about having lots of work on the books, but it did present challenges to a company so small that we hadn’t anticipated tackling quite so soon.
9th Dec 2012
Back in May 2010 we released the game Quartet. The aim was simple – you had to put together the robots faces as quickly as possible. The more accurately you assemble them, the more points you get. As you progress the game gets faster and faster until eventually you’ll end-up putting a piece in the wrong place. It was a simple little game that Ilija and I put together over the space of a few days, but it has since been converted and revamped for the Commodore 64. Yes, the C64.
Called Assembloids it was an entry for the RGCD C64 Cartridge Challenge. Here is what they had to say about it: “Assembloids is all about assembling faces against a tight timer. Featuring high score verification codes and full screen open-border presentation (on both PAL and NTSC) there’s a lot going on behind the simple design. Using player feedback, the team are already finalising a retail version with some nice improvements. Expect to hear more news on this one soon!”
Ilija did all the graphics and Enthusi and Conrad handled the coding and music respectively. I just watched on in admiration as it all come together at the very last moment It’s great to see our game on another platform, especially one as cool as the C64.
Download Assembloids from CSDb (who also made the great animated gif above)
23rd Nov 2012
A quick summary of what’s going on right now:
First of all we’re happy to be one of the judges in the Realtime xRTML 3 contest that is now running. As their name implies Realtime provide some very smart web tech for real time push based messaging. This has massive application in HTML5 based multiplayer gaming. From a simple shared cursor experience to a proper full-on game. There are plenty of code examples on their site – and don’t be put off by the ‘enterprise’ focus either, the free tier has plenty of room to power a popular online game.
Talking at the BBC Fusion Games Summit
I’m pleased to be talking at the BBC Fusion Games Summit next week. I’ll be covering some of the stark realities of building for the mobile web and things to take into consideration when commissioning or pitching for HTML5 game projects. Although my talk is sold-out, if you’re attending the event then please come and say hello!
Sign-up for the Kiwi.js launch
We are getting increasingly close to a release of Kiwi.js, our HTML5 game framework built specifically for mobile browsers. It would be great if you could sign-up on our launch site and help to spread the word. The moment it goes live you’ll be first to know and we may even be throwing in some special offers too
My onGameStart presentation is up on Vimeo
Back in September I gave a talk at onGameStart about making money from your HTML5 games. The talk was called ‘Insert Coin to Continue’ and much to my dismay they filmed it all and put it online So feel free to watch me nervously trying to explain how to get your game sponsored. Despite my obvious nerves in public speaking the feedback I’ve had has been great, so it was worth it! Of course you should also check out the rest of the great videos, especially Rendering Voxel Worlds by Jonas Wagner, if only to see his priceless reaction when his brand new MacBook Pro falls off the lecturn
Storming Christmas Cards
We just had a bunch of company Christmas cards printed (by the ever excellent moo.com) featuring a cute new piece of pixel art by Ilija. We’ve had more printed than we need to send to clients and don’t want the rest to go to waste. So drop me a line with your name and postal address, and tell us what your all-time favourite game is (and why). Come December we’ll shove one into the mail for you, subject to quantity!
16th Nov 2012
Since starting to run Photon Storm full time earlier this year I always told myself I was going to keep things small. A micro-business if you will. Just myself handling development, my wife handling projects and we outsource the rest. But we’re at the point now where we are turning down considerable projects every week just because there are not enough hours in the day.
More posts to tickle your grey matter ...
- Phaser Coding Tips 5
- Phaser Coding Tips 4
- Phaser 3 Development Log - w/e 30 Jan
- Phaser Coding Tips 3
- Phaser 3 Development Log - w/e 16th Jan
- Phaser Coding Tips 2
- Phaser Coding Tips 1
- Phaser v2.1.3 and Pixi v2 are out!
- Welcome to the DarkForge - An archive of all my old DarkBASIC code
- Phaser goes to the movies
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