Category: Life

Stuff I’m up to personally

Ludum Dare #22 – Postmortem, Journal, and Time-lapse

21 December, 2011 at 12:20pm | Life, My Games

So, this past weekend I participated in the 22nd Ludum Dare competition. You have just 48 hours over the weekend in which to create a game. The crux of the competition is that you create all code and content within that 48 hour period. No re-used assets at all. Only engine/middleware/framework code is permitted to be prepared beforehand.

I wrote my game with Unity. It’s the first project I’ve ever undertaken in Unity, and I had very little experience of it. I came out of the other side with a very positive impression, I really liked using it. As much as I love C/C++; given the time constraints, it seemed a good idea to go with Unity. The other big upside is that you can deploy the game to be played via a web browser. This was definitely what I wanted. I didn’t want people to have to go to the hassle of a download-and-install, just to play the little toy game I made over a weekend.

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vs-android: Closing in on v1.0

22 July, 2011 at 10:48am | Android, C++, Life

Microsoft Android

So, it’s been quite a while since I last posted on this blog. I’ve been pretty busy the past few months with various things. At work we had an important milestone during that time, which thankfully passed with flying colors. Outside of work though, I actually got married a couple of months ago! My wife and I eloped to Hawaii, just the two of us, and tied the knot. 🙂

So it’s been quite a busy period recently for me. Starting on vs-android back in January probably wasn’t the best timing. Getting it done wasn’t too bad; it was more the follow-up support email period that was tougher to deal with. More so, given the marriage preparations and what have you, which I was going through at the time. So vs-android got left by the wayside a while, and rightfully so!

A couple of weeks ago though, I picked up the project again. I was determined primarily to fix the dependency issues the previous version had. After looking again at what Microsoft had done with their Win32 toolchain, I decided to massively change my approach. I went from a system that was built primarily with MSBuild, with a little C# to sanitize pathnames and switches. To a system which had almost all of it’s moving parts in C#, with MSBuild just ferrying the project data into it.

That was pretty much the basis for the latest iteration of vs-android. I bolted on a few other things along the way, but for the most part it was just about getting it into a stable and reliable state.

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New domain, new game, new book…

18 November, 2010 at 10:05am | Life, My Games, New Games, Work

Music To Make Games By... Is No More.

Well, my posting on here has hit a bit of a lull. Overwork isn’t my excuse this time, since my last post things have been pretty crunch-free at my day job.

I think I’ve just chilled out a little more at home, not so much coding. Been actually playing games a lot more than usual; enjoying “Fallout: New Vegas” right now, and played a ton of “Dead Rising 2” as well. To hark back to an old blog post I made here about Dead Rising; I can confidently say that Blue Castle Games did a great job on it, you guys do indeed rock!

Recently I did just move my blog to a new domain. I felt the old website name “Music To Make Games By…”, and it’s really long domain name wasn’t to my liking. The original aim for my blog was to talk a lot about the Guitar Hero games I’m working on. That sort of thing is pretty difficult to do though. For obvious reasons I can’t talk about games that aren’t announced yet. Also, to talk about anything with any sort of meaty ‘behind the scenes’ content I’d need to run it by Neversoft first. So yeah, all that fell by the wayside and I mainly ended up covering my foray into XNA and C#; with a few distractions on the way.

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British Gamedev History: Master of Manic Miner?

28 July, 2010 at 10:47am | Life

Masters Of Doom

I’ve always been fascinated with game industry stories. From the first day I started in the business, I’ve always been eager to hear anecdotes from other people that had seen and heard so much. Many years on now, I’ve some of my own stories. Some of which I’m actually part of myself. It’s kind of surreal to feel like I’m on that other side of the fence now.

Recently I picked up this book again: “Masters of Doom”, by David Kushner. It’s the third time I’ve read through it. Nuts eh? I don’t think I’ve ever read any kind of book that many times over. It’s just a very well told account of id Software‘s birthing, and what happened to the key employees up until around 2003. I’ve recommended it to several people over the past couple of years, since I first picked it up. In fact it was suggested to me in the first place by a coder colleague here at Neversoft.

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XNACPC – An Amstrad CPC Emulator for the Xbox 360

21 May, 2010 at 9:17am | Life, XNA / C#

A few weeks ago I mentioned on twitter that I was working on an Amstrad CPC emulator, written in XNA. There are plenty of the things for the PC and various other consoles, but not one for the Xbox 360 yet. So it seemed a cool little exercise to undertake.

A long time ago, I wrote one of my own for the PC. The website I setup for it is still live, here. I developed it initially around 1997. Back then I’d pretty much just gotten it to be able to boot, and be able to type things on the keyboard. I revisited it a few years later when I needed something flashy for my portfolio, around the time I was trying to break into the games industry. With that version I managed to get a handful of games running nicely.

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Guitar Hero : Metallica announced

1 February, 2009 at 3:44pm | Life, My Games, Work

I only ever seem to write on this blog when there’s a new GH game coming out…

Metallica

That said, I’ve started to code a little in my free time. I got a block of time over the Christmas break and I decided to have a good go at doing some stuff with XNA and C#. Was a good experience, I feel a lot more comfortable with C# now. I’ve learnt to live with some of the annoying differences between it and C++. I code in the latter every day for my day job; for another language that’s so close to it, it takes a bit of a leap to leave the old ways behind.

So, hopefully I’ll give this blog a bit of a new lease of life soon with some tidbits from my XNA adventures. I’ve got a couple of ‘in-progress’ articles going already.

Anyway, Metallica… Read more »

Getting old

26 August, 2008 at 1:06pm | Life

Amstrad Ebay

I learned how to code on the Amstrad CPC 464. Used to be mad for the system when growing up, read and re-read magazines, and spent hours playing a lot of very bad games. Plus a few good ones, mind. I think I only stopped using it in 1994, when we got our first PC.

Fast forward fourteen years, and things are very different. Read more »

That 'World Tour' game I've been working on…

26 August, 2008 at 11:19am | Life, My Games, Work

Guitar Hero World Tour Box Art

So, updating this site hasn’t gone entirely to plan. Fortunately though my workload has eased up a little now, there’s a number of things I wanted to write about so hopefully I’ll get the chance now.

Speaking of workload, the last ten months or so I’ve spent working on the now announced: Guitar Hero World Tour. Read more »

Crave? Who the hell are Crave?

18 February, 2008 at 1:00am | Life, My Games

This afternoon, I was checking out eBay for the Gamecube version of the first game I worked on. I’ve pretty much every copy of all my games for each platform, but I didn’t have an NTSC Gamecube one of this title. I spotted a few at decent prices, but I was suprised to see that there were actually two different versions on offer. One from ‘AKA’ Akklaim (a moniker Acclaim adopted to be ‘down with the kids’), and one from a company named Crave Entertainment.

atv2acclaim.png  atv2crave.png

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