Happy New Year and Run Sackboy! Run!

January 1st, 2015 in News

I think it’s a record for me to not do a single post in the entire of 2014, but it was a busy year that flew right by. In Early December we (FireSprite and Sony Computer Entertainment), launched Run Sackboy! Run! on iOS, followed a few weeks later by an Android version as well.

It’s an infinite running game based upon the LittleBigPlanet franchise, and we’ve spent a lot of time trying to keep it as authentic to the licence while at the same point create an entertaining and engaging game in its own right.

A PS Vita version is due soon, and it’s free on all platforms (with optional in-app purchases) so it’s very easy for you to get hold of a copy and give it a go!

There’s currently a Christmas special version with snow and a special Santa costume, and we’ve got plans for more special versions as we go through the year!

FireSprite and The Playroom

December 10th, 2013 in News

Following on from the announcement that I worked on Xbox Fitness, which was a launch title on Xbox One, I can also now proudly reveal that I have also worked on an launch title for PS4. In fact, The Playroom, which is pre-installed on every PS4.

The Playroom itself has been announced since E3, and recently had this great demo on the Jimmy Fallon show:

However, FireSprite have only recently made themselves public, which is why I haven’t been able to post anything on this until now. It’s been a really exciting 10 months working at FireSprite, and there are some real legends of the games industry there doing amazing work. Look out for more information on other projects in the coming year!

Announcing… Xbox Fitness

September 30th, 2013 in News

As is often the way with video game development, you can’t talk about something you’ve worked on until it’s very close to the end of development. Since going freelance 18 months ago I’ve worked on quite a few titles, and today can announce the first of those: Xbox Fitness.

It’s a launch-window title for Xbox One, and uses the new Kinect sensor to great effect. I did 6 months design work on the game for Sumo Digital back in 2012, and can’t wait to see what the game has evolved into since.

An update to Single Joystick

January 29th, 2013 in News

A few weeks ago I posted about a new concept for creating a joystick on touch screen devices, and the response was really good so I’ve continued working on it. The video below covers the main points (and also has me talking on it), and I’ve updated the original article and also posted a quick update here on AltDevBlogADay as well.

Hopefully this will start showing up in games soon!

A new kind of joystick…

January 15th, 2013 in News

If you follow me on twitter, you may have seen me mention working on a prototype control system for touch screens. A few weeks ago I set myself a challenge: see if it’s possible to combine two virtual joysticks, used in most touch based first and third person shooters, into a single joystick. And still be controllable. Here’s a very early stage video (a bit jittery due to my capture method):

It’s been a nice little side project to work on, and I’ve written up my progress so far. As usual, it’s both on this site here, and here on AltDevBlogADay too.

Social Media Cafe

December 18th, 2012 in News

I’m doing a talk tonight at Social Media Cafe, simply titled “Video Games: What Happens Next?”. I’m going to briefly discuss how we’ve got to where we are, and where technology may take us in the future. There’ll be other speakers too and it should be available online afterwards.

Blender Render

October 26th, 2012 in News

I’ve been using Blender 3D on and off for about a year now, albeit mostly off. I first used it quite a few years ago – I think the first version I tried properly was 2.35a. At the time it showed promise but, at that point, felt very alien to my 3DS Max. Maya had also felt like a big change in direction when I tried that initially, and I knew that with a bit of perseverance and understanding of the workflow I could probably get my head around Blender too.

Skip forward to about a year ago, when Blender underwent a huge UI change with the release of 2.57. Since then I’ve dabbled more and, while there’s still a few things to get my head around, I’m finding that I’m becoming more and more confident and adept with it.

One of the more recent additions has been the cycles renderer. This is a big step, as it enables realistic lighting to be rendered out of the box and fully supports a multitude of shaders and operations allowing for very complex materials to be created. The node editor is fast and easy to use and, best of all, you can have a live 3D window constantly previewing your changes.

The above image was created by me, using free textures from cgtextures and some hand created bump and specular maps. In all, I’ve probably tinkered for about three hours while learning the system. I’ll carry on experimenting for sure, but for anyone looking to create realistic renders I think Blender is now a very competitive product. Have a look at these images on google to see what it can do. To me it’s standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the big boys now, without costing a penny.

Simplicity wins again

September 10th, 2012 in News

At the risk of turning this into a ‘why I love Valve‘ blog, here’s another great thing that they’ve just gone and done. Unlike the Mann Vs Machine Team Fortress 2 trailer from a few weeks ago this time it’s a piece of design from their about-to-be-released Steam ‘Big Picture’ mode. As with all great designs, you look at it and instantly wonder why someone hasn’t done it before: it looks so obvious, and it looks like such a massive improvement over current virtual keyboards on consoles.

(Thanks Kotaku for this screenshot.)