Posts Tagged ‘Retro’

  • Cat Astro Phi is released!

    I am very pleased to announce that we have finally shipped our new game: Cat Astro Phi. This has been a long, drawn-out development process. Not so much because of the game itself. Although I did fall foul of constant feature-creep. But because so many other things interrupted it:  My most insane period at work all year, the birth of my daughter, a huge 5-game release project for the BBC, and loads of other things. All fighting for a slice of my time.

    But I finally battled through and got the game into a state where I felt it was nearly complete. Then I showed it to a few friends, and the reaction was awesome. Adam Atomic told me “I LOVE THIS GAME it is like sci-fi Link’s Awakening i am like enthralled by this“. Tom Fulp emailed and said “I just played through, killed the robot and got left behind on planet 4. It was mesmerizing!“, and people I work with and respect highly were also very enthusiastic. So I knew I had something good on the boil. It’s so easy to lose sight of that when you’re deep in the game. For you, you almost hate the sight of it, and it just doesn’t excite you any longer. Know what I mean? But to have people like Adam, Tom and Chris say really positive things gave me that belief in the game back again. Enough to fight through and finish.

    And finish I did :) The game is now up on NewGrounds (who also sponsored it) and will be front-paged today. There are 11 Medals for you to unlock, some of which are easier than others, and a host of easter eggs to find. Plus of course there is this amazing soundtrack too by Rich Vreeland! You just have to check it out, or buy the digital remix album. At $3 it’s a steal!

    Right now I’m going to have a bit of a rest, and take in the feedback and comments the game receives. I may make a few tweaks based on them, but essentially I now consider this game finished. And that’s a wonderfully liberating feeling :) Atari 16k contest here I come!

  • 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!

  • DotEmu Shop open – free games available for 10 days

    I blogged about the Silmarils collection being available for the PC a few months ago, and now DotEmu have opened their new online shop. It’s still in beta but you can browse their PC, iPhone and Online games. If you sign-up now you can grab a few games for free, but I believe this offer is limited for 10 days. They had Ishar 1, Beneath a Steel Sky and Drascula available for free download at the time of writing. The rest of the catalogue, including the brilliant Gobliiins games and the addictive Krypton Egg, are really cheap though, with single games costing only €2.90.

    Update: DotEmu have confirmed which free games are available, and when. The line-up is as follows: Ishar 1 from April 26th – 27th, Nicky Boom April 28th – 29th, Metal Mutant April 30th – May 1st, Maya May 2nd – 3rd and Transarctiva May 4th – 5th.

    Sign-up at

  • The 8-bit Rocket auto-biography is out

    20 man months of work.

    Copious amounts of writing, editing, re-writing, re-editing and editing once more.

    Stacks of demo games and hundreds of lines of quality source code.

    All to make this the finest 650+ pages of AS3 game development ever commited to dead tree.

    Jeff and Steve, the 8-bit Dynamic Duo have done it! Their book is finally out …

    The Essential Guide to Flash Games: Building Interactive Entertainment with ActionScript

    Despite having a slightly odd title (how many games have you ever played that weren’t interactive?!) this book looks awesome. I’ve pre-ordered my copy from Amazon UK and will give it a proper write-up when received. I have major respect for people who hold down full-time jobs / families, and still manage to produce such a mammoth book as this.

    There is a bit of blurb on the Friends of Ed web site about it, although not as much as I would have liked. For example no contents listing, no sample chapter, a poor quality cover image and no index even. Given how many books on web development FoEd produce it begs the question why their own site is so shit. But I digress (and hopefully they will update this page over time). So for now the best place to learn about the contents is from the horses mouth so to speak, here on the 8-bit Rocket.

    Congrats Jeff and Steve – I wish you all the best with sales. All you have to do now is stop calling my games advergames and the world will be perfect 😉