my old blog disappeared under mysterious circumstances. let’s see if this one stays alive for awhile.. this time, instead of installing Wordpress, i’m using Jekyll. it dynamically constructs fancy looking static websites out of textfiles. no databases to max out my cheap hosting, just plain old HTML. seems cool.. (i don’t know anything about web code). when i want to do a blog post i just make a textfile in a directory on my computer and run a script which builds and uploads it. it can’t do built-in comments so i put Disqus on here but not sure if that works properly or if i like it yet..

anyway yeah hello! i haven’t properly released any games since Forget-Me-Not in 2011. i’m a full-time carer now so i just make stuff -very slowly- in spare moments or late at night. one day perhaps i’ll finish another one! i’ve spent the last few years learning how to do shaders & FBOs and stuff like that, being entranced by the pretty graphics techniques they enable.. i want to make games that look like they’re taking place on a living, breathing, melting surface.

i’ve got a few games on the go.. here’s some stuff about two of them:

Next Saturn?

this game is new. i’m a fan of Jeff Minter’s work and have wanted to be able to make the kind of psychedelic, feedback drenched stuff he’s been doing for years. i was messing around with a tunnel racer type game a few years back, but i’d only just started learning shaders and was constructing a heap of geometry on the cpu. it was a bit slow and i didn’t really know how to bring it all together in a pleasing way.

recently i had another go at it, this time putting as much of the maths as i could on the gpu. at the moment the game takes place on a sort of ribbon, rather than in a tunnel, but hopefully i’ll be able to make it morph between these. (gotta figure out how to make it bifurcate like Torus Trooper does, too!).. i’m not very good at maths, it’s all just trial & error, but it’s working ok. here’s the last proper video i captured, a few versions old now:

all the twists & turns of the ribbon are done in a vertex shader. the actual geometry that the game “knows about” is just a flat rectangular grid. this makes it super simple to just stick sprites or whatever on it and have them magically look & behave like they’re in uh, ribbon-space. it looks odd. like, you can tell it’s all just an illusion, but a coherent one.. things warp and skew strangely but all follow consistent rules. it doesn’t feel like a real 3D space at all..

the colours on the ribbon are just coloured video feedback of the whole screen - ie, every frame, it maps the previous frame as a texture onto the 3D shape of the ribbon.. a simple but cool effect. it can be unpredictable :) i like how it sometimes looks like running paint. i used to literally dream of being able to make gfx like this.. my stuff is kinda higgledy piggledy, not the best, but still pretty happy with how it looks!

as for how it far you just have a jellyfish thing which you can move about and shoot the little sprites that swim up and down the ribbon. not much there yet..i keep getting sidetracked by shinies @_@ it’ll probably end up being a very simple shooty/racer game.

Wobbegong Land

i started this one ages ago.. 2012? i pick it up again every few months.. it’s a game where you drive a bouncy little amphibious car-shaped-creature around on randomly generated tile-based 2D islands. i don’t really know what it’s going to be yet, but it’s fun to bounce around in. i want it to be like a cute little arcade ecosystem, with plants that grow and animals who live their lives. i want it to feel lush and wet. it should be like a NES world come to life (while still being made out of a nightmare of garish tiles). it should be intricate and tactile to /perform/, but also totally chilled. no death, no fail state, just hangin’ out. here’s what it looks like so far:

i spent a long time on the controls.. pretty happy with em. it uses two analogue sticks (or two halves of a touchscreen).. one for movement and the other for shooting, climbing up cliffs, or wielding the stack of stars you’ve dug out of the ground. you can use that stack as a pogo stick or to bat creatures out of the way. you can momentarily turn backwards while flying through the air to charge yourself up and enter spin jump mode when you land - with which you can bop creatures and change direction instantly. it’s kind of hard to explain :P i think it feels really nice though, once your fingers know what to do, the precedence of the different tiny timings of touches that lets you be cool & acrobatic.

hey, it’s my new blog! UNDER CONSTRUCTION obvs :P