10th Oct 2008
Things have been a little quiet on the PixelBlitz front these past few weeks. I have been working on some new classes but am not ready to release them to svn yet, however I have got a nearly complete Vector2D and Vector3D set ready, which will form the basis for a lot of things to come.
The reason for the slow-down is that I’m nearing completion on two brand new games, and resurrecting and finally finishing a third. The old game I’m finishing off is Five Dice Frenzy, a Yahtzee inspired dice game. I’ve beefed-up the visuals, added a worldwide ranking / highscore system and a comprehensive playing guide. There are a few tweaks left but then I will happily release it. It’s up on FGL at the moment but I’ll finish it properly next week.
My two new games are Tractor Beams and Fruiti Blox:
Tractor Beams is a new game for the Shaun the Sheep web site. Next week, around the 15th it will be released and feature exclusively on there for a month before we seed it further. It’s a strategy game very similar to Five Dice Frenzy, but totally Shaunified! We did the visuals in-house, again the excellent pixel work of Gav / Jam Factory (check out his awesome new blog design!).
The game features a really cool effect I created (almost by accident) on the title page, where the logo literally beams down from space into view. The effect could easily be re-used for a “spooky / ghostly” appearance, so I’m going to package it up and release it next week, so you can use it in any Hallooween inspired games you may be working on
We Tractor Beams will go down well on the Shaun site. It takes a while to get used to it and understand how to play, but once it’s clicked the highscore attack becomes really addictive!
My next game is Fruiti Blox:
Fruiti Blox is my brand new game, with graphics by Peter Jovanovic. It’s an against-the-clock puzzle game, which is very nearly finished – but I’m still toying with the idea of expanding the core game out further and including several “mini games” to enhance it. I’ll decide next week once Tractor Beams is released
Despite what the screen shot above may look like this is NOT a “Match-3” game at all!
So what’s next? I actually think it’s time to cease game making for a moment and spend some quality time on PixelBlitz, finishing off all the odds-and-sods I left hanging around, and integrating some core new classes into the fold. By the end of the year I fully expect to have the world manager done, and hopefully the tile map class as well (but no promises on that one!).
I’ve been using PixelBlitz (at least core parts of it) in all my games recently, and it definitely speeds things up. But the more I use it for real games, the more I realise we need to add!
Right now though I’m off to pack for The Game Creators Convention 2008. I attended last year and it was great fun, so I’m expecting nothing less this year Most people will be there already, but I need to travel up in the morning instead. It means getting up at 4.30am, but it’s worth it!
5th Oct 2008
Tonight was the first FlashGameLicense.com coding competition.
You had 5 hours to create a game based around the theme of “Lies” (you were free to interpt that theme however you wanted).
I was late to start, so only had 4 hours, but here is my end result
The competition winners should be announced on Monday. I don’t expect to win (some of the other entries were brilliant!) but it was great taking part all the same.
12th Sep 2008
Well it was quite a hard slog, but in the end I finished my Flash remake of the Atari ST classic game Abombinaball. I am extremely happy with the end results. It’s polished until you can see your face in it, and has gone down really well in the final round of beta testing.
Here are a couple of screenies:
Read my full development post-mortem here. The game is currently in the bidding process on FlashGameLicense.com (3 bids and counting!) so once this has finished I’ll of course release it for everyone to play
20th Jun 2008
Right now I’ve got 3 new Flash games in active development. Two of them are being developed at work because they tie-in with TV properties we own. The third is a remake of an Atari ST game called Abombinaball. This game is an arcade puzzler. You control a small bouncing ball that must bounce across a playfield to defuse bombs before they countdown to zero and explode. As you move across the playfield the grid blocks fall away behind you. So you have to plan your route carefully, but also quickly (because the bombs are constantly counting down).
It’s a great game So far I am about 3 days into development on it (that’s just working a few hours per evening). I have grabbed all the graphics from the original, resized them, played the whole game from start to end (grabbing each level) and have built a level editor in Flash. I’m really pleased with the level editor, it’s pretty easy to use and let me re-create the original levels with ease, but it also means I can create new ones too.
I’m going to release this with both the original Atari ST graphics (doubled in size) and with a brand new graphic set to give it that shine and polish todays gamers expect. I’ve not yet decided if I will keep the name of the game the same or not. It’s quite a cool name, so probably I’m trying to track down the original author (Martin Brownlow), but am not having much luck. I really want his blessing on this project before I release. Fun fact: He was the lead developer on Shiny classics such as MDK and Sacrifice. He’s released a book called Game Programming Golden Rules which is a good read and contains some great coding practises that apply well to Flash (such as BSP Trees and Hash functions). Anyway here are a couple of grabs from the original:
6th Jun 2008
Today I released my first ever true retro remake: Cannon Fighter. It’s a remake of an old 8-bit MSX computer game. A very rare game infact, so rare that the overwhelming majority of people will have never heard of it, or played it. But that’s no bad thing! Everyone wants to widen their gaming horizons, right? 😉
You take on the role of a cannon protecting a supply dump in the desert, and must stave off the relentless tank attacks. You can retreat up to 3 times, but once you hit the base it’s all or nothing!
This is a pixel perfect remake and bar a few exceptions it follows the original game to the core. I hope you enjoy it, and if not at least be pleased to know how much I used to love this game when I was a kid
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