Batch of Cubes and Side of Wings Please

September 30th, 2014

Cube Mark v0.5

I've re-worked cube mark and put it out on itch.io, it now has a batch mode that test the default quality settings in Unity and can run the benchmark multiple times.

Als re-worked the UI so it's front end now looks like this.

I chased up ARES games and got the OK to do a video of the Wings of Glory prototype I worked on for them. I think they wanted War Thunder, but it's sometimes hard to get across to people that a prototype is just something basic that shows the game mechanics and UI work OK.

So I present my Wings of Glory prototype.

And what the client really wanted (but on mobile)

Anyway I think there is massive potential for these tabletop style games on mobile and handheld devices with some good effects, but maybe not quite up to the War Thunder trailer quality just yet.

And if you like planes and turn based tabletop games check out Wings of Glory by ARES games.

And I also made a video/comic 'Can LGM Save the Silly Earthlings?' the first episode is below.

You can download the PC version which uses the latest Unity GUI to work as an interactive comic book.

I have been thinking about VR again. Well Johnathan Blow put up a video about the need for a game development language. The idea would be a language that is designed to make it easy to write games without all the layers of stuff that have been clagged onto C/C++. It sounds like there are quite a few new programming languages out there but none that were made specifically for programming games.

Well that's not quite true as the BlitzMax programming language, that I used to use, is designed to make 2D games programming a bit easier.

Anyway it got me thinking could VR use a dedicated programming language, lets call it VRL. Now you could make it like BlitzMax as a standalone language, but that would just be recreating the game engine.

So what if VRL hooks into your game engine and runs your VR world. OK all the game engines are different so we could use the same concept that Java uses the Virtual Machine. Only in this case it's a Virtual Reality Engine. So let's call it a VRM (Virtual Reality Machine). So in theory anyone could write VRL to build and run their virtual world, and it would drive/run a VRM which would allow any game engine to be used to run your VR experience.

But we already have programming languages like C/C++/C# ect and game engines like Unreal / CryTek / Unity why re-invent the wheel.

Well there was a time when the World Wide Web as we know it did not exist, but people could still go online by signing up to bulletin board systems. These system used proprietary software, hardware and subscription based payments. Does this sound familiar?!

Think about it VR could replace the WWW, but at the moment to get the best VR experience* you need to download an APP and run it.

This is not the VR Matrix/Oasis/Tron style world we all imagined, where you can portal/teleport/link to a new location or even world, instead we are back to the loading bar of doom!

Also potential benefits of a game/VR programming language can be great included features for setting up graphics, importing and using 3D models, animations, sounds, effects and images. As well as CPU/GPU heterogeneous computing, what if processing a loop on the GPU or separate core or thread was as simple as adding an extra command.

Anyway you get the idea, so do we need a new programming language for VR/Games?

It's been a while since my last blog post

August 29th, 2014

Link: #been a while

Sharded viewed from a hilltop.

So what have I been up to we'll working on a pet project, which is ongoing. Entered the Ludum Dare 30 and completed a basic game called Sharded. The theme was connected worlds so I went for a Stargate style of gameplay. I plan on working on this some more as like the look of it.

Applied for work on a freelance basis with a few companies, even going so far as making free prototypes to showcase my game development skills.

Just for reference if you plan on contacting a company to make them a game for free, expect either zero response or an avid response with the potential of something for nothing. Or a standard legal letter regarding the companies IP and how they prefer others not to play with their toys (or at least without toys they have licensed).

Also I did not get any follow up from Frontier, after working on the Elite Dangerous: Ship Database, I think they have released an app that allows you to "play" aspects of the game via mobile, it looks like station based activities.

Looking forward to Unity5 and it's Free option to export to WebGL, although I think I might have to hold off on the purchasing of a license until I can make enough money to purchase one and make a living from this.

I Briefly tried Unreal 4 which is a beautiful game engine, it really blows away Unity and it's a good offer for indie with only $20 a month. But it means going back to C++ and re-learning all be it a more professional game engine from scratch.

Hopefully Unity 5 will adopt a more reasonable price structure, or Unreal will add a C# API that is cross compiled into C++.

Sharded world in editor

I also set up a game development challenge or Jam on the Unity forum, in an attempt to get people to have some fun and have a play with Unity. The idea was to create a simple game really fast. But that petered out with only two challenges issued and very few attempts of the second challenge which was to make a maze based game.

Farty Spaceman

February 18th, 2014

Link: #Farty Spaceman

Well, I had to give it a go my take on the Flappy Bird fad is Farty Spaceman.

Farty Spacemans

The difference is Farty needs to keep replenishing his fuel and oxygen to survive, thankfully the deadly alien cavern he is trapped in is liberal sprinkled with oxygen and fuel pods.

Farty Spacemans Start Screen

Now available for a single pound on Google Play -> Farty Spaceman

Well it's worth a try, if it doesn't sell I will convert it to free and put in some ads.

Retro Remakes and Zeewolf

February 13th, 2014

Link: #Retro Remakes and Zeewolf

Retro Remakes are running a Cassette 50 jam, in the retro style where you would get 50 crappy little games on a cassette tape from a mail order games publisher for your 8 bit computer.

And I needed a project I could run with so I thought back to the classic Amiga games I used to play and the games Virus / Zarch and Zeewolf stand out for me as they were the first wave of real '3D' games.

So I set out to write a quick homage to Zeewolf using Unity...

A few days later, with the help of some code re-use and I managed to create Xeewolf.

But the Retro Remakes cassette 50 competition only has about 30 games so far, so I converted it to a tank based game.

Xeerhino

You can play them both on Kongregate

PS Retro-Remakes still needs more games so if you would like to help out hitting the 50 target.

Retro Remakes Mini Competition: One Screen Cassette 50

Update: And I also managed to make Xeeraptor a Mech based game!

Xeeraptor

Yay! Retroremakes passed the 50 crappy games target!

Elite Dangerous Database

January 27th, 2014

Link: #Elite Dangerous Database

Hi again, it's been a while so a quick update.

Well it looks like my indie game development runway has well ran out. So I'm looking for freelance and permanent work.

But I have been keeping busy, I've been working on a side FAN project. If you are as 'mature' as I am then you might remember the first 8 bit open universe 3D space game Elite.

Well Elite is coming back this year but it's going to be more dangerous than ever.

Now as a fan of the original, I couldn't resist making...

Elite Dangerous Database

Thanks to the developers at Frontier.co.uk showing off their great artwork and even blueprints I was able to attempt to model the ships in the game and show them off in 3D using Unity.

This was in the vacuum before the alpha and as a bit of fun.

Then the was the obligatory Ludum Dare #28 where I made Snowballs Chance

Probably spent a bit too much time on the graphics and not enough on polishing the mechanics and adding audio/fx ect.

I have been tinkering on a couple of other pet projects but mainly dusting off my CV and sending it out to game studios that use Unity 3D.

I'm looking forward to the imminent release of the Mantle API, as I hope it will shake up OpenGL and DirectX on the PC and open the way for multi-threaded massive draw call games that can show off the GPU power available.

And can't wait for the VR revolution that will hopefully kick off later this year with the Oculus Rift and others.