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Aug 25


Hello! I have been a little absent, sorry about that. Over the last few weeks, wooing has taken over my weekends so I had even less free time to work with. Other than doing amazingly well with the wooing (I can hug her whenever I want without the police getting involved!!) everything has just been steadily moving forward.

Work on Acre has been going well. I now have all the core mechanics in place and just need to add visual effects, sound, and the surround stuff. I also added a basic lighting system. I was tempted to go with a more complex system but I decided it is fine as it is for now. I may add slight light variations just to make things look a little cooler but that is something for later in the project. I have how ever taken a short break from working on Acre which I will explain in a moment. I also rewrote the combat and collision systems and added a weapon mode to the item system. You now have to stand still to attack. This solved a lot of the knock back issues and adds an element of risk to combat. Before if you had a weapon then you where unstoppable. Once the effects and sound is done I plan to actually start on the art work. I think this will give me an extra boost of energy to get the project out of the door. I have a great feeling about this game. I think it is going to be my best game yet!

Acre light test

Light results in event

Sadly the 15th of this month came and went without any of the money that Microsoft owes me. It seems that despite getting them all the bloody paper work they have came up with yet another reason to not pay me. I can not ask them however because they do not entertain 'where is my money e-mails' until the end of the month! Sadly I had plans for that money, most notably eating and starting a company which will have to be put on hold for the time being. The company not the eating! So now I am having to put development on hold while I pucker up and earn some money. I am hoping to do this with freelance work but to be honest I am getting tempted by the guarantied income provided by a job. So for the next few weeks the focus will be dirty dirty money!

With the previous paragraph in mind I am also working on a little art site in order to sell the various paintings that adorn my walls and provide me with endless pleasure. I say this to install due value into them. For those who actually like my art you can buy my art and enjoy it every day. For those who don't really care for my art but hate me deeply (Could it be you?) you can buy my art in the knowledge that you will be robbing me of one of the few sources of sustainable happiness in my life. Sounds good right :D. Anyhow after reading about various payment services I have decided to go with google checkout. The fees are reasonable (roughly 5 out of every 100) and google pretty much own the internet so you know your details are safe because well they probably already know them and they haven't blabbed yet!

So that is what is going on with me! Oh yeah below is a painting I did for my good friend Edmund. His brief was striking and bold. He is also very good at maths so I decided to base my painting on a shape generated using maths. Enter the chaotic attractor . Once I had wrote a little bit of code to generate my own and played around with the variables to make a pleasing shape (I wrote it in html 5 because I am all hipster and cool) I imported the generated image into flash and drew all over it like a 5 year old! Behold its striking boldness!

Edmunds abstract attractor

Now I need to get back to selling my skills on the docks

Much love


Jun 27

Adventure invigoration

Hello everyone. There has been another two week gap between blogs, sorry about that. In the first week I got smacked in the face by the big fisted thug of self doubt and while sitting in the dirt holding my nose the quick fingers of the "what the hell am I doing" monster freed me of my direction. Directionless I spent the week wondering around the house cursing myself and eating cheerio's

The following week I decided to take off from working on grub and instead did a little research, web coding, and dreaming of how to best change me life. After a lot of reflection I have come to realise that the poor sales of Love Hurts coupled with some rather unsavoury reviews has left me in a state of confidence crisis and a real need for a little victory. It has also made me re-think my plans to become a indie superstar.

This brings me to my new plan of action. Indie games are on there own far too speculative. They simply take too much time to make and all that effort does not even guarantee a single sale. As indie games are my passion I need to seek a complementary income that will keep me in vimto but also give me the flexibility to actually work on indie games. So I have decided to look into starting a web design company. On the outset it seems like a great idea as I am a skilled web developer, I am interested in web technologies, and it will allow me to manage my own time as I see fit

As it is a long road from deciding to start a company and actually doing it I have decided that I will try for a quick victory before I start. Over the weekend I came up with a game idea that I believe will be easy to put together, in fact I already have part of the foundations working! The reason I am working on this new game instead of Grub is that Grub is tied up with a lot of the negative emotions as it was what I was working on when Love Hurts was released. I still think it's a great idea and intend to go back to it when I have banished my demons. But for now it feels great to have a new plan and to be working on a new project. Below is a screenshot of how Grub is currently looking and how the new project is looking

Grub with broken spikes of doom

Project Adventure!

Lots to do today so I will see you next week for another joyful rendition of the trials of the ever increasingly emo indie developer!

Much love


Jun 12

The matter of unstable matter

Where the bloody hell have you been? Well I was just, and then, erm I am sorry kind readers! Sorry I missed my blogging appointment last week. I realised the other week that I really needed to add platforms into Grub so I set about doing so. Sadly it has turned into a never ending battle. At the end of last week I was close but no cigar so I decided to hold of blogging until I had got it all working and was sure it was going to become a feature. Days melted into each other until before I knew it, it was time to blog again. As it stands I am very close to having the feature locked down. There are just a few odd behaviours that I need to beat out of the system first. The main one being the fact that occasionally it is possible to fall through platforms. The good news is that this feature will add a lot to the depth of the game. I will be able to add all the platform standards such as locks and keys, spikes, vanishing blocks etc. Below is a screen shot of the platform feature in action.

Grub with platforms

I have so many things on the go at the moment that I have decided to take drastic actions. This week I am going not going to watch TV or play games in a hope that the extra free time will translate into increased productivity. I may also dedicate a day to reading as I have two business books and a book on unity to read. Fingers crossed this will not result in death by boredom!

On a very happy note Love Hurts received an amazing review from Gamergeddon written by the impeccable Kyle Sullivan. It is this kind of feedback that makes the long hours and limited financial return totally worth it. So thank you again for the great review guys :D

Sadly that is all I have time for today as I have to cram in a weeks worth of games before 12 o'clock tonight when the games and Tv fast begins. Wish me luck!

Much love


Apr 17

The grass tyre resolution

Good morrow friends, family, and fans ... well maybe not fans, as I doubt I have any at present, and I know my family do not read this, nor do my friends for that matter. Let me start again! Good morrow fine people who arrived here by mistake while looking for porn. How goes your Sunday? Good I hope. Now that I have established that it is Sunday and not Friday the day that I should blog I can explain my reasoning. Working backwards Saturday was fully booked with odd jobs and doodad manipulation. Friday I decided to exercise my rights as master of my own destiny and bunk off work to go for a bike ride with a good friend. Sadly I am somewhat out of practice at long rides and came utterly unequipped. Eventually the inevitable happened and I got a flat tyre some 6 miles away from home without a pump or puncture repair kit, or phone, or anything a reasonable person would take. So 6 miles out into the countryside with out a means to contact home or repair the puncture we decided to try and pack the tyre with grass in the hope that we could limp home. A few things you need to know in case this ever happens to you. Firstly prepare for a bumpy ride as it is near impossible to get the density of grass even. So you will be riding home on a lumpy wheel. Secondly the grass tyre is only really good for about two miles. Thirdly expect everything near the wheel to be speckled with a neon green glue like substance not that dissimilar to that of the predator's blood. This is the result of the weight of the wheel crushing the grass in the tyre into grass juice. Finally I have no way of validating this claim but I am sure that ridding with a grass tyre feels the same as riding through porridge. It is hard going and you look ridicules doing it.

At the start of the week I was having trouble with my art. I am still in the funk of not liking anything I produce. So in the name of productivity I decided to build a fire and forget sound system. The idea being that in the game I can just ask it to play a sound and it will deal with killing off the sound object once it has finished for me. It would seem that Flash has a little problem with sound in that there is no reasonable way to detect when a sound has finished playing. What about the complete event I hear you muttering to yourself. Well the problem with the event (other than it being an event when I would prefer to just peek at the sounds state) is that due to changes to deal how sound works with Vista and Windows 7 there is no guarantee that the event will fire on time. This is mainly a problem because the Sound object is unable to loop infinitely so the best way to do something like loop the game music would be to start it playing again every time it stops. So we move on to checking the play heads position in the sound object against the sounds length. Well due to a bug it seems even when the position has reached the end of the sound it reports a smaller number than the length of the sound, so that too is out of the window. What I ended up doing was a horrible system where by I record the previous play heads position and check it against the current position. If it is equal 4 times in a row then the sound is considered to have ended. The 4 times bit is to deal with the fact that it is possible that the play head will report the same position depending on when the sound is started and how often the position is tested. Luckily even with the 4 checks the delay between the sound ending and the end being detected is only 100 milliseconds.

Pictured below is a picture of a test level used to test the interaction between the new enemy type Flappy and the original enemy type Spike

behold Flappy!

Next week I will be spending the days building a website for my good friend Mr Wright, so game development will be compressed into the evenings. Hopefully spending some time on another project will revitalise me and get Grub back on track.

Wow I think this might be the longest blog I have written so far. Sorry for the long read :P

Much Love

- Jon

Mar 25

The occupational deliberation

Bonjour bon Internet!

This week has brought sunny weather, good progress on my new game and much debate over what to do with myself. I am all but out of money and I fear gainful employment is the only solution to remedy this issue. I even took a pop at a local job but was unluckily/luckily rejected. I still have not decided how to feel about it. You see I am very happy with what I am currently doing both in terms of life style and creative output. But I am sure the same could be said of helping busy young models in and out of their underwear, and not many people can make a living out of such a pursuit! So if I can not scratch a living from it I must get a job. I have been thinking about what would happen if I did become a wage slave again, other than getting a 3DS. In some respects gainful employment could be a good thing. I would be able to work on larger projects and even give them away free as money would not be a factor in creating them. But then projects will take an awful lot longer to complete and development time would be making demands on whatever paltry free time I have. Luckily I do not need to make a discussion just yet as I have the last of my eggs in the flash game license basket. Hopefully that will pay enough to keep me going. If not it will be time to start applying.

My new game (which I am thinking of calling Grub) is coming on very well. To day I made battle with math's and successfully made it by bitch, giving me silky smooth rotating backgrounds. Take a look

grub screen shot

grub screen shot

grub screen shot

grub screen shot

This weekend I am going to spend making some gifts ready for when I visit Dundee next weekend. I am really looking forward to it. It would be great to show everyone my new game and get some feedback from them. I will have to really pull my finger out next week. I will be setting off on Friday so I will have to blog a day early. So I will catch you on Thursday

Much Love

- Jon