Its not swine flu & WordPress

July 7, 2009 at 2:16 pm (Uncategorized)

Despite the rumor of swine flu, I actually just have a fairly nasty bout of regular flu. Im doing ok now and am on the mend. So that’s the health sorted, but I wanted to test out this fairly useless looking word press application for the iPhone out. Sure enough, it’s fairly useless except for the short message and we have twitter for that.
I’m working on some A.I and hope to write some posts or/and articles on the subject soon. Stay tuned.


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Spatial Hashing For Teh Win!!!

June 14, 2009 at 12:46 am (Uncategorized)

It totally worked. Sometimes when theory is followed by practice, things go wrong. But my previous blog post experiment has worked an absolute treat. I spent the afternoon implementing it into SBARG. Here’s a screenshot of the result.




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SBARG Website

April 10, 2009 at 6:28 pm (Uncategorized)

I’ve finally knocked up a small website for SBARG. When I say knocked up, I mean installed wordpress + a theme, thanks for theme recomendation Krisc. See the new website here SBARG Website

Not much there at the moment, but check out the highscores table, I’ll be filling out the highscores from more playtests later. There are also some screenshots and videos.

Hit the RSS button to get updates on any new news.. like release dates etc. I’m almost there, I can feel it πŸ™‚

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XBOX Community Games Sales Numbers Available

March 28, 2009 at 2:18 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

The highly anticipated sales figures have been made available to those who have published a game on the XBOX Community Games Service.
From initial reactions in the forums it doesn’t sound overly positive. But i’m sure the big winners will be keeping their cards covered. I wasn’t expecting overnight millionaires, the service is still young.

Oh well, back to the grind of game development. Playtesting is going well and I’ll be pushing an update this weekend to playtest for further feedback.

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SBARG – An Audio Update

March 17, 2009 at 9:10 pm (Uncategorized)

So lately I’ve been focusing a lot more on the audio section of SBARG. As my game is written on top of the XNA framework, playing audio is really simple. In the current stable build of SBARG I simply have a selection of sound effects in an XACT project and I just call SBARGAudio.Play(“ShooterPodFire”); at the relevant time and it plays the related sound effect.

But it’s what the contents of the audio that was beginning to bother me. After much searching I didn’t really find what I was looking for with the power of google, so I set out to brainwash one of my musical friends. I’m glad to announce that it worked. Having somebody create a sample audio track based on a little bit of information about the game had an immediate impact. A couple of samples were sent to me which I instantly liked.

Sample 1

Sample 2

I felt both these tracks would work in the main menu portion of the game. It’s not a major turning point in the dev cycle but it’s the little touches that this game is currently lacking in.

Another positive outcome of this newly found enthusiasm is I finally decided to make an effort to experiment with giving Dr Strobo a voice. So I set out in brainwashing another friend, and unsurprisingly, it worked again. I handed over part of my script for Dr Strobo and what I got in return was a very pleasant surprise. While it was very different to the voice that I had in my head in my head, I felt it had potential. Here are a few short samples of the raw unedited clips.

Sample Voice 1

Sample Voice 2

After some very quick hacky code, and some very unskilled processing I managed to capture this video

I was like …. Wow!! It’s Dr Strobo, he’s alive πŸ™‚

Now back to the beginning of this post where I said this was easy. That was a lie, due to some limitations in xna I can’t have this audio as1 long WAV file, this introduces a lot of extra manual labor and lots of thinking and coding to make work. The new soundtracks and effects are a must, but the voice over, is it worth it? The dury is still out ….

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ZP2K9 – XBox Community Game

March 2, 2009 at 7:34 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

I reviewed a game called ZP2K9 for community games which was developed by James Silva of Dishwasher fame. The game has just been published ready to buy for a mere 200 MS points.
I’ll be purchasing it tomorrow when I have time to play. Check it out, it’s a lot of fun.
Review Here
Market Place Game Here

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Guess who’s back… back again.. Conker’s back.. tell a friend

January 10, 2009 at 2:43 pm (Uncategorized)

Well after an epic failure of a year I’ve finally got back some of my mojo to work on some game stuff again. I’ll be working on IceCream with Epsicode check his new video out here
and working on a new little game idea i had recently, and hopefully more blogging πŸ™‚

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SBARG – Dream Build Play Entry 2008

September 26, 2008 at 8:40 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

I eventually got my entry posted. Then the deadline got extended by two days and i fixed up some more bugs and changed the difficulty level. I reposted with a new video which you can see here

SBARG - Dream Build Play 2008
SBARG – Dream Build Play 2008

The game should appear on the Dream Build Play gallery soon hopefully.

Dream Build Play Gallery

After the entry was posted I was digging through some old screenshots and videos and found this.

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XNA Game Trigger Editor

September 17, 2008 at 8:48 pm (Uncategorized)

The XNA Game Trigger Editor is a tool i built specifically for SBARG but feel it would be very useful for other games too so here is a little bit of info about it.

It allows me to visually configure actions to perform in the game based on some conditions. For example in the first level of SBARG, Dr Strobo appears to encourage the player with some motivational text when the player has defeated 1 Weed Monster. The condition is Kills 1 Weed Monster, and the action is Show Dr Strobo with text “ATTACK!!”. In the main update loop i always call TriggerEngine.Update(elapsed) which checks all triggers configured and if all their conditions return true, it performs the action.

In the first tab i can select which players to check this trigger against. In SBARG i can currently select Player 1 or the Computer AI.

The second Tab Lists the conditions.

And the third tab lists the actions

If we now take a look at adding a new condition we can see how these are constructed.

The drop list contains all the available conditions i can choose from. This list is generated by the Editor using Reflection to read my game assemblies and find anything that inherits TriggerCondition. A custom condition then adds properties of a finite number of types which are listed in the list on the form.

Depending on the type of property depends on what editor is shown when double clicking that value in the list. The number is a QualifiedNumber which has a number property and a Modifier of OrLess or OrMore.

The baddytype property is a SceneItemLookup property which is quite specific to SBARG but it basically looks inside the level xml file for anything that is a sceneitem and lists it in a drop down box for selection.

So we can use this like if Kills 1 OrMore WeedMonsterBasic.

The Actions are much the same with a set of actions to choose from, but they use the same property types as conditions so the editor remains the same.

The Actions and Conditions i have available for my game are.



Each one with its own set of lovely properties to choose from.

There is no limit to the amount of conditions to check or actions to perform for a paticular Trigeer. And the flexibility is endless as adding a new condition or action type is a trivial task which usually involves inheriting a class and adding 1 line of code for the condition or action. some are more complex but they are a minority.

Here is a shot of my level 1 triggers. It’s not pretty, but it sure is useful.

I’ll talk about the code more in a future post along with a release of the core of this Engine and Editor with source code.

It was so simple to knock up yet it totally changed the direction and possibilities of my game.

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My first post of a new blog

September 13, 2008 at 11:09 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

Here is my new home for me to talk about my project’s i’m working on.

First post so i’ll keep it short.

I will probably be talking about my game SBARG which is going to be entered in the DBP competition which is coming up very shortly. It’s a serious entry which i hope catches the attention of the judges enough to get some publicity for it, and because it’s almost complete feature wise i’ll be talking it up to try and get you interested in the game pending its full public release.

The picture you see in the title of the blog is Dr Strobo. He is an interesting character and i’ll tell you all about him in a future post.

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