Latest Posts

  • Clockwork Whistler

    click to zooom

  • My new game Kyobi released onto FlashGameLicense.com

    Kyobi Title Page (320px)

    Today I managed to get time to finish-off and release my new game, Kyobi, onto FlashGameLicense.com. The game is best described as a cross between Columns, Tetris and a Match-3, but with a big fat dose of physics thrown in for good measure. As the blocks drop you can grab them with the mouse, and fling them around. Match 3 or more of the same colour and they all explode in a shower of particles.

    Throw them together with real force and you’ll shake the screen and score bigger points. Chain combos can be obtained by smashing lots of colours one after the other within a set time. There is something very feng shui about the game. Watching people play is fascinating; some will try to organise the blocks into different stacks of colour along the bottom. Others will just slam them around with gay abandon! Personally, I’m a “stacker” :)

    I am really pleased with how this game plays. I spent a lot of evenings working on tweaking the difficulty, so the first 20 levels guide you through the game. The pace ebbs and flows gracefully. After a really hectic level with 6 blocks falling every couple of seconds, the next level can often be far more sedate with a slow trickle to give you a breather. Basic game AI controls level progression there-after, ensuring the game doesn’t just get faster and faster (which would be no fun for anyone). The game uses my new PixelBlitz physics classes through-out.

    Kyobi In-game (320px)

    Kyobi In-game (320px)

    At the time of writing this Kyobi is up for bidding on FlashGameLicense.com. If you have a Developer account there (or are one of my FGL friends) you can play it here. Everyone else I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until it goes public, sorry!

    Right now I’m waiting for SomaTone.com to finish the music and sound effects for Kyobi, but hopefully that will be done soon – this will be the first time I’ve ever used them, but I’m sure they will do an excellent job, and I’m really looking forward to hearing what they come up with! In equally exciting news for me: The Game Creators will be bringing Kyobi to the iPhone this March. Can’t wait to see what they do with it too :)

  • Super Stario Land Video

    I worked on a few commercial games on the Atari ST back in the mid 1990s, one of them was Super Stario Land by Top Byte Software. This was a shameless port of a Nintendo game a few of you may have come across. The developer (Adrian Keylock) literally copied as much as he could from the NES original onto the ST, and I did the graphics.

    Today I saw someone had uploaded a video of it to YouTube. It made me smile, even if the graphics do now make me cringe. It was actually really hard work to draw because the developer enforced a strict number of bitplanes per sprite, which mean I had at most 3 colours to paint with (plus black). The graphics were shamelessly stolen from the NES original. But there were no “Sprite Rip Archives” back then! They were copied by hand from a TV screen onto graph paper. Then redrawn on the ST.

    Quite frankly if the ST hadn’t been on its last legs when this title hit, Nintendo probably would have sued our asses off. As it happens they didn’t, the game got good reviews and sold well. It even spawned a sequel.

    Interesting factoid #1 – the main character is based on Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes.

    Interesting factoid #2 – I was never sent a final copy of the game. The publisher was run by a guy called James Matthews. He was a nice enough chap, but the cheeky bastard never even saw fit to send me the game – let alone any payment for my work. I did finally get a boxed copy off ebay a few years ago.

  • Unit 16

  • Alientar

    Highly unoriginal, but still bites!

More posts to tickle your grey matter ...