Cool Links Category

  • Happy Christmas Demo

    To celebrate a highly productive 2009, the chaps over at Just Add Water game studio asked me to create a Flash Christmas card for them. They provided all assets and wanted it to showcase the successes of 2009, such as the release of Gravity Crash on the PS3. But also to include a few gentle nods towards 2010.

    JAW 2009 Christmas Card

    The music is by CoLD SToRAGE (he of Wipeout fame) and is from the Gravity Crash game soundtrack, available next year. Also due out is the PSP version. If you’ve not yet had a chance to try it, then do so!

    Click here to see the Christmas card in action.

    Check out some monster Gravity Crash videos.

  • Qubicle – 3D Pixel Art modeller for Windows / Maya


    After reading my write-up of Q-Block I was contacted by Tim Wesoly who has just finished his 3D pixel art modeller Qubicle. There are two parts to it: Qubicle Constructor, which is a stand-alone bit of Windows software that allows you to create 3D pixel art, using tools similar to Photoshop. And there is the Qubicle Maya Plugin, which lets you import Qubicle files into Maya and easily animate or rasterize them. You can see some example videos and models on Tim’s (gorgeous looking!) website Mind Desk.

    So if pixel art is your thing, and you fancy taking it into the third dimension easily (perhaps for animating) then you really ought to check this out. PhotonStorm’s resident pixel expert Ilija is currently on holiday breezing around Egypt, but when he returns I’ll throw this in his direction to see what goodies he can come up with. Nice work Tim, keep us updated on developments, everyone here loves good pixel eye candy :)

  • Q-BLOCK: Create 3D Pixel Art Online

    Aww this is just too much fun! Take a 2D sprite, extrude it into 3D and then shave and tweak as required.

    Voila, you’ve just described Q-BLOCK and created your first piece of 3D pixel art:


    It’s cool pixel art, in 3D (rotation under you control). And you can edit any model you like, change the colours or just add on new parts.

    I had a very similar idea to this years ago, and never bothered to do anything with it. I built a small prototype app in DarkBASIC that would build a 3D model from a 2D sprite. But the Q-BLOCK guys have gone a whole step beyond that, and it rocks.

    Check out their blog for some excellent examples of insanely good Q-BLOCKery.

  • ActionScript Painter 2.0

    Well this is just too much fun! Grootlicht have just released ActionScript Painter 2.0. I wasted a whole hour this evening creating images in this wonderful package. Remember Painter? This is similar. But automated. And made in AS3. It’s a piece of FP10 wizardary and some of the results are beautiful. Here are a few of my creations:

  • PhotonStorm Weekly Round-up

    Despite an incredibly busy time at work I have managed to progress my chameleons game by quite a considerable amount. It’s an action / puzzle platformer and I’m using Box2D for all of the platform elements. It just feels lovely bouncing off the blocks, gliding, sliding and slinking about the levels. As a side effect of this I have learnt loads about the b2PolyDef, sensors and custom contact listeners. It’s all good stuff though – you can never stop learning :)

    Fruiti Winnings

    Fruiti Blox Flash Game Friday Winner
    Since release Fruiti Blox has been going down well. Loads of plays, decent enough NG and Kong scores and it even won the Mochiland “Flash Game Friday” award (and $100 in the process), winning this is a first for me so I was really pleased about it :) Here is the review:

    This puzzle game has you matching four corners of the same color and eliminating all blocks within that space. The gameplay idea isn’t new, but the execution is definitely top notch! I like how clicking on the color highlights the selected and dims the others (makes for finding corners faster). The bubbly graphics and smooth interface make it even more fun! You can’t just buy this kind of polish in a store, folks. With leaderboards and achievements rounding out the game, it’s definitely a great experience.

    I’ve had some player feedback come through that I am going to implement in a new build that I’ll release to Candystand and BigFishGames next week.

    The 8-bit Interview

    I also finally managed to complete an interview with Jeff over at 8-bit Rocket. He sent it through to me around the start of May, and I only just got it back to him, which is incredibly slack of me. Hopefully it won’t take him as long to edit out my weirdness and get it live as it took me to finish it.


    Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know how disgruntled I was with GameJacket. Their recent collapse into bankruptcy has left a lot of developers out of pocket, myself included. I’m not going to dwell on this any further, a number of good people have lost their jobs there and a really well built system is now in tatters. I understand why it happened, what I will never forgive them is offering me the $1000 advance in the first place even though they knew full-well they could never afford to pay it to me. That just stinks. I’m even more annoyed by the fact that Kyobi was all set to actually make back that advance, and then some, had it had a chance. It had already earned nearly 60% back by the time they went under. With GameJackets collapse the game dropped out of hundreds of web sites across the world, which of course also effects the amount of referrals it can send to Kongregate (my primary sponsor), so I’m almost certainly going to loose money as a result of this too.

    Still, life goes on. There’s no point even giving this any more thought. I recognised the “dying” signs of GameJacket a good month in advance of their death, and released Kyobi onto Mochi as a precaution and now I’m glad I did. Otherwise it’d be fighting for distribution against the rest of the wave of GameJacket orphans now hitting the service.

    AS3 Atari ST YM Player

    Christian Corti, the mastermind behind the AS3 Mod Player library Flod, has been working on a YM Replay library and it is sounding incredible! The YM format is a direct register dump from the YM soundchip found in computers like the Atari ST or the MSX. There are hundreds of YM tunes available (converted from classic games and demos). Although SNDH is the format of choice for chip-tune replay on real Atari hardware, getting that to replay within Flash means emulating an entire 68000 CPU, which is quite a tall order. YM replay at least means it’s “just”  having to emulate the YM chip itself.

    How useful is YM replay in Flash games today? Virtually none unless you were doing a retro remake and wanted an authentic sound (without using megs worth of mp3 files, YM tunes are typically around 4k in size).

    But how cool is the fact that FP10 is powerful enough to do this at all? Loads :)