30th Jun 2008
Last Friday the new Cartoon Network UK site for Chop Socky Chooks went live. This was a great feeling as we designed and built the site ourselves, put together all assets (wallpapers, clips, etc) and built a custom video player all in record time.
You can visit the site at http://www.chopsockychooks.com
I did all the xhtml/css/flash and our superb design team here did the graphics and assets. Believe me, IE6 testing was a joy… oh yes.
The “Coming Soon” area you can see on the games page is my new project that started build today It’s going to kick some! (quite literally)
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
19th May 2008
Well for some reason AddictingGames didn’t consider Colour Chain “addicting” enough, and didn’t approve my upload. Oh well.
On the plus side a few portals have started ripping off the GameJacketed version and posting it to their own sites. PuffGames gave me a respectable 4000+ plays in 24 hours.
Best of all though are the stats from the site the game was actually created for – Shaun the Sheep.com – where the game has now topped 30,000 plays since its release a few weeks ago. I’m nearly finished on a new game for the site which will be released early June, so I’ll keep everyone posted.
We’ve also picked up a contract from Cartoon Network to create a kick-ass game for a new show that debuts later this year. I can’t give any more details away other than the game will be a horizontally scrolling beat-em-up. Game design spec work starts this week, with a prototype shortly after. Definitely exciting stuff.
7th May 2008
The game Colour Chain was officially released onto the Shaun the Sheep site 6 days ago, and has been going down well. The “Top 5 scores of the day” feature is proving a good draw / challenge. So far the game has had 6000 plays in 6 days (which is on par for the traffic levels we get). The average time someone spends playing the game is a very healthy 6 minutes 5 seconds.
Wanting to experiment further I released Colour Chain onto Kongregate, Newgrounds and AddictingGames to see what the response would be like, and to get used to the submission process.
I wrapped my game in a GameJacket so I could monitor its travels, prepared some screen grabs and let it fly.
The game appeared on Newgrounds instantly (as an “Unapproved” title) and I was shocked to see it gain 300 plays in the first couple of hours. Newgrounds obviously has some serious traffic. It’s got a pretty good rating on Newgrounds (3.18 / 5.0) and the comments are surprisingly friendly. Not at all what I expected.
Kongregate wouldn’t let me use my GameJacket version, so I had to upload a plain vanilla one and trust their stats. It still received 300+ plays within hours of release. The average rating is 2.64, which is totally fair, and the comments are mostly constructive which is nice.
AddictingGames hasn’t released the game yet, so we’ll wait and see what happens. I’ll post again when I have some more stats to share.
Play Colour Chain on Kongregate
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