Posts Tagged ‘8-bit’

  • Our new 8-bit inspired HTML5 game: Droplets

    The problem with working so hard on a framework and client projects, is that you have precious little time left for your own games. I felt the need to correct this. So I spent a day converting one of our Flash games to HTML5:

    Droplets is a simple little game based on the range of vinyl toys created by Jam Factory. Just get the 5 droplets home, collect as many hearts as you can on the way, and avoid contact with pretty much everything else! The mobile version differs from the Flash one in that you slide left/right and have a lot of bounce – if you aren’t too careful you can end up ricocheting around the place like a pinball. Get home to the factory at the end to complete the level.

    Simple, but still quite fun :) And I’m very happy with the way it resizes intelligently on most devices. I’ve tested it on a variety of phones and tablets, from an iPhone 3 up to a Nexus 7, and it ran ok on most of them. Some (like the Samsung Galaxy S3) don’t cope with the canvas scaling too well and thus the frame rate suffers, but on the whole it’s about all that the ImpactJS engine can handle.

    Point your mobile browser at http://gametest.mobi/droplets/ to play. And if by some fluke you’re a portal looking to license it, drop me a line.

  • Pixel Blasting 3D Jellyfish GPU Melting 4k Demo

    There have been some really inspiring demos and games released recently, here’s a collection of a few (hit the jump for the full list)

    Bits ‘n Bites is a pretty awesome blog featuring some cutting-edge WebGL work. The pretty picture above is from a 4k demo called Frank. A proper multi-part with great synth track and seriously sweet effects. All for a sum total of 4096 bytes. Be warned though it’s likely to make your GPU cry – don’t even go in here unless you’re packing some serious graphical firepower. The Frank blog post details how he handled the compression, music generation and shaders. Fascinating reading.

    Also from the same site (I apologise, I don’t know the name of the guy creating these works of art) is a WebGL port of the Windows demo Muon Baryon. Another demo well worth watching. But probably the most interesting thing of all is Sonant Live. A browser based music tracker with JS replay using generated synth sounds. Really awesome!

    Talking of shaders: check out Shader Toy to build them in real-time online :)

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  • JavaScript books and IDEs at 50% Off – Including one by an 8-bit Game Dev Legend

    If you have a need (or just want) to get into JavaScript development there are some great offers to be had right now! A whole stack of books from O’Reilly at 50% off and a really great IDE.

    First up is the WebStorm IDE from JetBrains. If you’re one of those developers who just can’t code with code-insight then this is about as invaluable an IDE as they come. It’ll inform you of JS coding errors in real-time, offer code optimisation suggestions and of course cross-project code-completion too. Licenses are 50% off until November 27th 2011 and include a free upgrade to version 3.0. That makes is just £27 (around $60) so well worth considering.

    As wonderful an IDE as WebStorm is, I personally get on much better with Sublime Text 2. This is not an IDE, just an Editor. But it’s the best editor I’ve ever had the pleasure of using! Extremely fast, super-slick in operation, great colour schemes and fonts – and the best feature I’ve ever seen in an editor: The mini-map overview. There’s no discount on it, sorry :) But as it only costs $59 I’m not sure you even need one. I find myself using it to edit even AS3 files now. Grab the free download and evaluate it for as long as you like.

    As for books O’Reilly have got a “JavaScript Path to Mastery” deal on until January 19th 2012. Put in the code at checkout and get 50% off the e-books or 40% off the printed counter-parts. There are some really great books on offer including High Performance JavaScript and the essential reading JavaScript: The Good Parts by Douglas Crockford. I personally recommend this one, it helps explain just why JavaScript does some of the weird things it does, which is essential if you’re coming to it from AS3. There are also a load of HTML5 books available, but to be honest the only one that interested me was the one on Canvas, but you may find some that you need.

    Interestingly they’ve also got a book on offer called Supercharged JavaScript Graphics by Raffaele Cecco.

    If you’re old enough that name might be familiar to you as he was an 8-bit game developer of some notoriety. Responsible for creating gaming classics like Exolon, Cybernoid 1 and 2, Stormlord and Deliverance, I picked up his book with keen interest. It’s a bit of a hodge-podge, diving all over the HTML5 spectrum of new tech, but the section on canvas blitting and game design is really nice. I’d like to have seen a whole book just on this from him :)

    There you go. If you’re going down the JavaScript route the above links should save you plenty of money, which is always handy around this time of the year.

  • Sketch-A-Toe Fluff is out!

    We were contacted a week ago by Steve Rack, who had designed a character called Toe Fluff. He decided to open the character up to any artist who fancied creating a customised version. And let’s just say it all went a bit mental from there! It grew into hundreds of quality customs, a big feature in Digital Artist magazine, and an exhibition to show off the best.

    Steve had seen the work we did on the Droplet Series 2 game (indeed Gav has created his own spirograph inspired Toe Fluff for the exhibition), and he wanted to know if we’d be interested in creating a “retro art package”.

    Now dangle anything “retro” and “art related” in front of us, and we’ll most likely bite your hand off while pixelling and coding you a new one. And thus, Sketch-A-Toe Fluff was born! You get a blank Toe Fluff shaped canvas to doodle on, all set in a nice retro homage to etch-a-sketch (without the complexity of the dial controls!).  Pick a crayon, and get drawing :) Click the logo to find the “hidden” credits screen, with a new 8-bit tune from Ilija.

    Steve would love it if you sent your best bits of work to him via email.

    Full details, and the tool itself, are on the Sketch-A-Toe Fluff page. Have fun!

  • Quartet released to FGL

    It has been a while since I posted (other than about bitmap fonts in flixel). A brand new baby daughter and a wildly increased work load in the office has cut my coding time down dramatically. But tonight I updated and released our new game Quartet. Quartet is a graphically retro-inspired puzzle game. You attempt to assemble faces as quickly as possible, with more “complete” faces scoring much bigger points. As the timer decreases things get frantic and it’s as much as you can do to survive, let alone put that final piece of robot chin into the slot you need to secure a “full face” bonus :)

    The game is now in active bidding on FlashGameLicense, and we’ve had favourable feedback and play testing from a lot of people. Those who “get it” seem to really love it, and ferocious high score challenges have occurred on the beta test. We took a lot of player feedback on-board and produced the final build this weekend, which is up on FGL.

    Right now I cannot tell how the bidding will go. It’s started ok, with a healthy first bid, but the weekend has meant its failed to progress from there. I think the quirky retro style may put some sponsors off (as opposed to the game itself) but personally I love what Ilija’s done with the graphics and music. It has a charm all of its own. And while part of my brain wonders what would have happened had we shoe-horned it into a contrived Aztec / Egyptian setting, or one with cute Safari animals, I’m glad we didn’t.

    I’m also glad that Quartet is finished, and that we completed it in such a short time scale. There is nothing quite like the feeling of finally releasing a game! It’s quite a buzz. A good kick-start, because we have much bigger, more impressive titles looming sharply on the horizon, and some big changes for this blog. So stay tuned folks :) oh and if you can view the game on FGL, be sure to check out the Credits!