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Welcome to the new site

Hi all,

The new Drupal page is up and running.

No games are hosted as of yet, but I'll get all of the ones I had before back (and more) shortly.

Please don't forget to update your RSS feeds.


January Retrospective, February Project Goals

January Retrospective

  1. Got my first ever paid work as a game developer, details are still hush-hush at the moment but the project was to port an old Blitz3D indie game to BlitzMax (so it can run on a Mac). The basic port is complete, and infact is improved over the original (better graphics, more features, less bugs) but I'll get back into it later to refine and polish the product before it goes on sale.
  2. Begun work on the Earok Engine, but put that on hold half way through the month to focus on the above Blitz3D port
  3. Started, completed and published Heart of Ice, my first ever 48 hour Game Jam entry.
  4. Learned the fundamentals of Drupal, and put that knowledge to use developing a new website for Auckland Game Works (still not done, but getting there!)

Overall a pretty good month! If I can stay this productive for another 11 months, I'll have had a very good year indeed.

February Project Goals

  1. Establish a business entity, so I declare my game development income and pay tax on it (sigh..)
  2. Think of a name for the said business entity
  3. Ditch Wordpress, migrate to Drupal on my own page
  4. Reach the first milestone for the Earok Engine
  5. (Possibly) release a minor update to Derelict, built on the Earok Engine and exploiting it's features (like ducking - dynamically lowering the volume of background sound and music during dialogue). It still won't be anywhere near the "final word" on Derelict though.

Lots to do in February, we're five days into it already and I haven't worked on any of my project goals yet! Better get to work.


Game Jam #5 - I'm done

24 hours ago I wasn't sure that I'd get a game done. 12 hours ago I was even less sure. But somehow, I managed to pull it off and produce something that wasn't too sucky, entirely from scratch. So, now I (somewhat) proudly present to you, Heart of Ice:

The game should be fun for a few minutes at least, it Isn't as polished as it could be but I think a potentially solid game could come out of it. I have it hosted here on the site. Instructions are in the readme.txt as well as on the second intro screen. Well, I'm off to sleep now. Thanks again for all of your comments and support. Edit - Forgot to mention, Matt and Josh did cool games too, as well as most of the other teams there; I'll do a post on these soon.

Game Jam #4

To my readers; Sam, Kristie, Stephen, Mum and of course Kirsty, thank you for all of your kind support and comments. Heart of Ice is approaching completion, although lot slower then I had originally anticipated (Especially due to me constantly changing my mind about gameplay mechanics, and then re-changing it!). The art assets are pretty much done; I have drawn 6 characters and have produced another three through rudimentary palette swapping. Everything in the game is still completely my own work, though I've had advice from Kirsty and some other people on certain things for it. I'm hoping to get the core gameplay done by 12pm, giving me three hours to tackle a task I haven't given much thought at all: Producing the sound! I may do another blog post then. Stay tuned.

Game Jam #3

I'm sleep deprived, having only managed 2.5 hours, and feeling slightly delirious. I'm still by myself on the project, and I'm actually feeling quite good about that because, perhaps for the first time ever, I'll do all of the content - from sound to art to programming - entirely by myself. So, announcing my Game Jam 2009 project -

Heart of Ice; a real time dungeon romp loosely remincient of Legend of Zelda on the Nes and classic KnP title Mortuum. I'm planning to get the guts of the game and art assets done today, with Sunday free for polishing. Stay tuned.

Game Jam #2

The Game Jam has begun! You can watch me live at (Though you might have a hard time seeing me, I'm right at the end of the middle table on the right hand side and wearing my Black Mario Fedora). I'm not sure if I'm allowed to announce the restrictions to the world (even though there probably is no harm in doing so) so I won't.

But I will say they are very interesting, and absolutely none of my game ideas before the Game Jam could possibly fit in them. The game I produce in the next 48 hours will be completely different to any other I have ever made before. Just about everyone has formed into teams, except for myself; tonight I'm going to program an engine for making 3D Isometric games (Think Legend of Zelda on Nes, but with polygons) and then offer it to one of the other teams; they'll either be interested or they wont (in which case I'll use it for my own game idea). Time to get started. LETS ROCK.

Game Jam #1

Matt, Josh and I are here at Waikato University in Hamilton. We're in a beige computer lab, surrounded by high tech gaming PCs (as evidenced by the fact that a few of them are currently being used to play Left 4 Dead and Farcry 2).

The Game Jam hasn't started yet. In half an hour we're due to receive a briefing video from the creator of World of Goo, and then we'll be told our theme and restrictions before we get to work. I'll make another post before we get started.

I'm feeling a mixture of zen-like calm, nervousness and just a slight bit of fatique. I haven't settled on an idea yet but I'll post what I decide on shortly after the presentation. Stay tuned.

Just about ready for the Game Jam

Me, Josh and Matt are off to the Hamilton Gamejam at around noon tomorrow. I'll be taking my laptop and doing blog updates every 6 hours or so.

My toolkit comprises the following -

Programming languages: BlitzMax, Blitz3D

2D Art: Paint Shop Pro 8, Richards Evolving Sprite Tool, Paint.NET

3D Art: Tattoo, Cartography Shop (May need to purchase a copy of Milkshape too)

Sound: Audacity, SFXR, Songsmith (Don't laugh. It's the only way I could possibly make any music at all)

Level Design: Mappy

So, in a couple of days you'll be able to play my next title! Tune in next week, same Bat time, same Bat channel.


Drupal is amazing!

One of my recent side projects was to build a new website for Auckland Game Works. It is still a work in progress but the latest version can be seen here. The idea that I pitched to the group was to try and consolidate all of AGW's web resources - Forums, Wikis, File Storage, Meeting management etc - into a single website, but I didn't have a clear idea of what CMS would be best for the job. I investigated linking different PHP apps together, like Wordpress and phpBB. Unfortunately there are significant difficulties with this approach (Not only linking users together, but also managing Style Sheets) so I started looking around for other solutions.

Drupal seemed to be a pretty good solution (The CMS of Greenpeace, BBC, Nasa, MTV among others) so I uploaded it to a temporary website and had a play with it. Install was straight forward, but it has a really high learning curve. It certainly took awhile to get my head around the hundreds of options, the different types of content that can be posted, and the idiocyncracies of the administration interface (It doesn't have a seperate administration panel!).

However, it is worth the extra effort because it is incredibly powerful - the default installation has built in support for blogs, individual user profiles, forums, comments, contact pages, wikis, search, tags and a lot more. There are also hundreds of extensions available on which can be used to make any kind of website you wish; the content creation kit in particular can be used to make custom forms for posting just about anything.

I am going to migrate to Drupal soon. Wordpress has been good to me but I want to expand the website and do cool new things with it, which WP wouldn't be able to support. Stay tuned.


The Game Jam

I have just posted my registration for the University of Waikato's Global Game Jam session, a 48 hour Pizza and Coke fueled game development marathon and part of a World Wide Game Design competition.

I'll be attending with one other person from Auckland Game Works, hopefully we can convince more people to come along. If other Aucklanders attend, maybe we could convince them to give AGW a look. I already have a cool idea for a game in mind, but I can only wait and see if the rest of the team is interested.

This will be the first time I have ever worked on and released a game within such a short time frame, the closest was Blow Stuff Up which was just under a week (Firestart was 10 weeks, The Kiwi's Tale was about 13 weeks and Derelict was 9 months!).

The Game Jam runs from 5PM on Friday the 30th Jan to 5PM on Sunday the 1st Feb. If they have Internet available there I'll try to keep the blog updated during breaks.