Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Movin' On Up

I've decided I'll be moving to Tumblr, it's a lot more refined and useful. I'll leave this page up for while, but won't be posting anything new.
To keep up to date, head over to my new blog location at:

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Student Advice

While at University last year I began writing a series of daily updates based on advice for students. This went on for just over a week, totalling nine updates. I thought the blog could use an update so I've uploaded them here for anybody that might enjoy them:

Mix energy drinks in your coffee, show your body clock who's boss!

Recycle! Collect your empty bottles, fill them with varying amount of water then learn to play the Mario themetune on them. Internet stardom awaits!

Week-old Pizza is still good, providing the mould is replaced with more cheese.

If it's light outside it's time to sleep.

Bins must never be taken out unless stacked at least 15 inches above the rim.

Deadlines don't exist until one day before they're due.

"My dog ate my work" is no longer a valid excuse, instead opt for "My roommate burnt it".

Fire alarms are 99% false, the one's that are real are due to late-night drunken cooking.

Wikipedia forms at least 90% of all research done by a first year student.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

On the horizon...

I should start by thanking everybody who downloaded the STUBBS game I posted previously, there was such a demand for downloads that rapidshare's servers couldn't take the strain. It's been well over a month and we racked up a grand total of three downloads! *Cue fanfare*
Still, I'm slightly surprised anybody downloaded it at all as hardly anybody reads this blog and it was, let's face it, awful.

You might be interested to know that I'm working on a few different games now, this time I won't be setting myself a 24 hour time limit, so hopefully the deformed creations that spew from my subconscious won't be bug-ridden and/or terrible (as STUBBS undoubtedly was).

The first is an RPG in a similar style to the classic 2D Final Fantasy games, with a very familiar battle system. It's very early days though, so no screenshots yet just dozens of documents for planning and design.

The latter is a 3D physics-based platformer built in the Unity engine. Expect flying ships, crates, see-saws and boulders galore. There is a working build of the game, but it's not ready for public release yet, I'll keep you posted. Until then, gasp dramatically at these screenshots of the game so far:

And as usual, I've included a comic:

Monday, 24 May 2010

It's Alive! IT'S ALIVE!!!

Yesterday I decided to set myself a challenge.
I decided I would try and learn a whole new development program and create a game... In 24 hours.
This was chaos, but eventually I provailed and "STUBBS: Super Tremendous Ultra Ball Blaster Supreme" (I know, catchy title) was born.

STUBBS is a tribute to Pong, with two paddles rebounding a ball between each other. The difference is that it has been recreated in 3D with a complete visual overhaul. Expect sun flares, particle emitters and motion physics galore.

STUBBS began life as a couple of 3D blocks sitting happily their axis...

And then came the lighting and particle effects.

Eventually, the effects became more and more advanced. Texture maps, a lighting halo, an ocean and a skybox were added:

Then game ironing out the bugs and making general improvements. The paddles became more capsule-shaped and the ball bounced much more realistically. At this point I also toyed with adding physics objects to the mix, adding five small towers that could be knocked down by the ball. However this had to be removed because the fallen debris altered the bounce of the ball too drastically. The example below shows the towers falling after being hit:

Eventually I settled with a simple 3D pong game I'm happy to say I made in under 24 hours. I have approximately 6 hours left as I write this; MISSION SUCCESSFUL

If you want to download STUBBS, you can find it here:

Just unzip and run STUBBS.exe

"Ever notice how freeform sandbox games never quite deliver everything they promise...?"

Tuesday, 18 May 2010


I've just finished my final exam, where's the confetti?!
Not much is happening at the moment that's noteworthy, so I haven't updated the blog too recently. Looks like I really need a few more interesting things to happen!
That being said, we're currently planning a video here in J2 with all of us in it. That should be great to film and will be a brilliant way to remember our time here before we all part ways. It also gave me an excuse to buy a T-Shirt to use in a few of the skits:

Yes, that's braille on the back. Not even the blind are safe.

And of course, there's the mandatory comic strip. I think it pretty much speaks for itself.

Friday, 30 April 2010

It's official, I'm finished for the year!
Lectures are over and the only dark cloud looming over my near future is the final exam on the 18th of May. Still, I have approximately 432 hours until then so everything's looking good.

I had a great time over Easter Break, spent with my family and friends. My personal highlights were the Easter Party and a week spent Skiing in Andorra.

Skiing again was brilliant, managed to pick it up again within just a few hours. The first run's always a little daunting, but within minutes you'll be hurtling down the mountain with carefree abandon with a compulsory "Wheeeeeeeeeee!" sound.

As you can see below, there was plenty of snow which lasted throughout the week.

The apartment was much better than we all expected, with a massive amount of living space and a great view of the mountains:

And to top it off, bottles of wine for under £1!

While skiing I decided to do a bit of filming for the blog, so I grabbed the camera and recorded a full run from a first-person perspective. Unfortunately there's littl sense of speed because of the lack of detail in the snow as it moves past, but at some points the camera is moving *pretty* fast.

After getting back from Andorra I had plenty of animation work to do with Redders and Rachel. We headed back a bit early to work through the weekend on it, tirelessly animating our project. A few days (and sleepless nights) later we presented our work to the world, which went pretty well almost grabbing the elusive first.

The next panic after that deadline was the Technology exam the following week. I don't yet have the marks back, but I have a good feeling I've passed. *Crosses fingers*

To close the academic year, we had a rather interesting lecture. It was comprised of German Television, Prog Rock and our very own "TECHS-Factor" (which was as wonderfully cheesey as it sounds). It involved getting up in front of the lecture theater, logging into your chosen online instrument (eg: iNudge or Pianographique) and pumping out some "kickin' chunes" in a bid to win some booze. It was all worth it to watch our tutor Andrew Clay bob his have and have a mini-rave to the techno music on offer.

I had hoped by this point to have had my Music Video ("Watch Over You" by "Alter Bridge") and Creative Video ("How To Film Your Creative Video") uploaded to share, but it's been a nightmare. Google Videos is no longer taking uploads, YouTube flashes up errors with every attempt, Facebook gives up half way through each try and they're too big to upload to Vimeo. I really am stuck for ideas, so if you know an alternative please let me know!

Friday, 26 February 2010

TLDR: I'm Back!

I have returned! *Cue celebratory music*
It's been a while, I've been a little pre-occiped setting up the new PC (which incidently is so big it could eat my old one).

Back at University I've been keeping busy. Yesterday I walked into Uni wearing a full suit. This wasn't a random (and very nearly brilliant) decision though, I was becoming a fake news anchor for the afteroon as part of our News Report spoof. It went pretty well, I had my fair share of inability to read lines and there was a good dose of corpsing too. Themes of the afternoon included carnivorous lobsters, escaped lunatics and horse love. So a usual day at University it seems.

In animation we've been writing a storyboard and script for our mock fairytale trailer: "Lil' Red Riding Hoodie". It's planned out now, so all that remains is recording the lines, drawing the scenes/characters and then animating it together. Is this a good time to mention that I've been cast as the voice of Wolf from Gladiators? Yep, that'll be interesting...

I spent last Sunday at a heavy metal concert with some friends, which was a really enjoyable experience. The line-up was "Man must Die", "Bleeding Through" and "Hatebreed" with "Machine Head" headlining. While I don't typically listen to much heavy music (I'm more into Rock) I quite liked the first two acts. The third act; Hatebreed were awful though (despite getting the "best" crowd reaction of the three). One of the reasons I went was to hear Halo performed live by Machine Head, it being my favourite reasonably heavy track. Unfortunately I missed it as we had to catch the last train home. Maybe next time, eh?
You can find the pictures HERE.