Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

App of the week: Monument Valley

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Been playing Monument Valley┬áby UsTwo for a day or so and had to make sure everyone knows about it. It’s stunning. Beautifully put together and super clever gameplay. Think adventure puzzler crossed with MC Escher. So many apps try and do that ‘waffly airy music and arty atmosphere’ thing, but Monument Valley does it with ease.

Very few apps make me smaile as I use them. I found myself smiling a lot and gently nodding in appreciation, partly for the attention to detail, partly for the art style and partly for the sheer madness. There are 10 levels, each will many sub-levels and puzzles to solve. Only issue is that it’s over all to soon. But I don’t hold that against it. It’s worth the money and then some.

Download it for iPhone, iPad now. Android coming soon (apparently)

Bonus: If you’re into that kind of app and you haven’t played Little Inferno, you won’t be disappointed either. It’s a bit old now but still in my top 10 list. No spoilers but if you manage to get to the end, it’s amazing.

Box2D Javascript test

Thursday, March 13th, 2014


I’ve just indulged myself in some physics therapy. I *FINALLY* managed to get a few hours to play with the JavaScript port of the infamous Box2D.js physics library. Not fantastically exciting, but at least it’s a start!

Why is this even remotely interesting? Well, I’ve had a bit of a history with physics engines. Way back in the early days of Flash 5 and AS2, I was pulling together a team to make a pinball game to promote a new Disney movie. A contractor took on the job of writing the physics engine but half way through, he decided his work was too ‘valuable’ and wanted to license it to us instead. Honour and morals are pretty high on my list so that approach didn’t go down too well. So I did what any Creative Director (with barely a C-grade in O-level maths) would do… I decided to make one myself. How hard could it be? Turns out it was quite hard, took lots of “vector maths for dummies” research and annoying my ‘real coder’ colleague Jop with random circles and lines scribbled on napkins. But we got there. I think I OD’d on vector maths a little, hence haven’t been near a physics engine since.

The engine I made was quite ‘creative’ in its approach. It had all sorts of optimisations to make it run on slower computers, especially given how bad browsers where back then. I’ve managed to dig out a debug version (excuse the dead fonts). This version has the visualisation of my “hit zone optimisation” turned on. As the game starts up, it registers every element of the table and every section of curve. It only bothers to work out which areas to properly calculate based on the ball’s immediate surroundings. It sped the calculations up something like 400% when I switched it on for the first time. Click on the image below to launch it in good old-fashioned Flash and you’ll see how it highlights first the quarter of the table to concentrate on, then the individual areas within. Just click yo get started and use the cursors (down arrow to pull the spring back). Have fun!



GameHack 2012 at Pinewood

Monday, April 30th, 2012


To some, this weekend was 24 hours of constant rain and storm force winds. To about 400 dedicated game hackers and makers it was 24 hours of constant RedBull and code. Yep, the inaugural UK GameHack event kicked off in style at the world famous Pinewood studios just outside London.

If you’re new to the concept, these events challenge teams or individuals to come up with something in 24hours (or sometimes 48 hours) from scratch. You can bring a ideas, frameworks and code snippets but the bulk of the work is to be done when the whistle first blows.

So I wasn’t quite sure whether I should be a game creator of go as a general creative helper for anyone who needs me. As it turns out, a fair few others took this initiative, which was great. After the initial presentations and sponsor intros, we all managed to hook up with some needy teams. As luck would have it, I met a bunch of really great, dedicated and most importantly, funny guys to help out on the ‘MiniChe’ game concept.

MiniChe was a 3D mobile game where you follow the exploits of a mini Che Guevara as he tries to take over the world, one city at a time. My role was to create a bunch the UI graphics so the game could be played from end to end. Check out the video below of a ‘work in progress’ video the guys made, you get the idea. Can’t wait to see what the final thing looked like.

I had other commitments on Sunday morning so had to bail at about 1am. The stormy ride back on the motorbike was something I’ll remember for a while too!

Looking forward to seeing more videos from the other amazing projects as they emerge and I’ll definitely be back next year!


New Corn Pops Challenge game on Miniclip

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

Every game that makes it onto Miniclip is a momentous occasion for us and our latest is no exception. It’s called the Kelloggs Corn Pops Challenge and you have to complete the 4 mini-games to unlock your extra bonus. The style we were working off was pretty mad. Kind of a cross between the cheesy, early Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Yo Gabba Gabba. All credit to the good people at Kelloggs for letting us (Digital Outlook) put this one together. One of our other games is at 34 million plays and counting, so fingers crossed for this one!

It’s been a real labour of love. Each of the mini-games were based on a physics engine and it plays really well. The sounds really add to the experience and there are a few riffs in there from the ever resourceful Reason. Check out Jop’s blog for some more details but if I were you, I’d just play it.

One thing to note, an easter egg if you like, the mad looking guy at the end (the one with the wig) is actually the developer, Jop! I think Warhol underestimated the 15 minutes of fame thing…

Games at - Corn Pops Challenge
Corn Pops Challenge

Play these super-awesome challenges, unlock the golden cereal pieces and win!

Play this free game now!!

Miniclip Games Arcade widget

Friday, September 19th, 2008

I deal with these guys a lot at Digital Outlook but never actually embedded their Arcade widget… easily rectified. It’s not rocket science, just go here, choose a game and get the code… except the embeddable flash apps are bigger than the ‘standard’ 450 pixel width of WordPress (this blog). You can alter the flash tags to be 450 width but it does come out a bit small. Works though…

You can do it to single games too…

Here’s an embeddable promo for a game we did for Mr. Men. Last time we checked it had done 32 million game plays in about a year. Not bad! Why not add a few to the total…

Games at - Mr Men Pinball
Mr Men Pinball

Activate multiple targets for bonus points in Mr Bump Pinball!

Play this free game now!!