After lots of tinkering and code wrangling the first playable demo of Moon is now available.
It's just a little taster and it's missing lots of intended features but I think it captures the main elements of the final game. For reasons of my own sanity it's only compatable with Windows 7 and above.
So, Moon is now very nearly in a state to think about releasing a demo. Just a small one, still with lots of missing stuff and probably the odd bug or two but something tangable none the less. And, in excited preparation for all that I decided to submit it to IndieDB
As a bonus, here's a full HD Moon desktop to celebrate.
My first project as graphics programmer for Double 11. The challenge was to squeeze a game that made some pretty significant demands on a ps3 onto the new PSVita. Oh, and add a whole pile of new content, features and control methods.
Little Big Planet is pretty much the biggest franchise I've ever had the chance to work on. It was full of huge coding challenges but also lots of fun visual effects and graphical fluff to write. The metacritic score of 88 along with tons of great reviews seem to suggest we did a pretty reasonable job.
At the start of 2009 I created a simple puzzle game called Efficiency. Despite being a simple project that I put together in a few weeks it turned out to be much more popular than I ever expected.
Over time I got lots of people asking me to fix It's biggest failing. A total lack of functionality on Windows 7.
So here by popular demand, is a new and marginally improved version of Efficiency (which to celebrate I've added a ' + ' to). It should work fine on windows 7, it's got much nicer procedurally generated music and it's even got a few added bits and little fixes.
Having completed Ferrari Challenge to such a high standard, we got the opportunity to include all the other exciting high performance cars that don't feature a prancing horse on their bonnet.
Supercar Challenge was basically all the bits that never made it into Ferrari, plus lots of new stuff. Lots more cars, more tracks, better multiplayer, better renderer, more game modes, more downloadable content and crucially (for me) better visual effects
As a bit of a departure from the high saturation colour schemes and arcade physics of the game we'd been working on upto this point, Ferrari Challenge was a real racing simulation. All licenced cars and tracks, with the added bonus of the vehicles being smashable and damagable (a first from a car manufacturer I think).
By now I'd really settled into my role as lead visual effects programmer. I had lots of code and systems written and the trust of production management to get on with stuff and do what ever I could to make everything look better. I think visually the game is definitly the best looking I'd worked on to date.
My game engine code base has really matured over the last year as it's feature set has had to match the needs of iO during it's development. Finally I can really play with concepts as they pop into my head.
So, while I was finishing off the game progression aspects of iO a simple game idea occurred to me, and for the first time ever I could quickly throw that idea together into a game. After about 2 weeks of occasional spare time writing it and doing the simple artwork, Efficiency is the product of that idea.
It's just a 'beat the high score' sort of game with a few elements you might find familiar if you've ever played Chu Chu Rocket. I think it could most easily be described as a puzzle game involving sliding blocks. Play it and see.
Note: Sadly this version contains a bug that prevents it from running on Windows 7. I'm in the process of fixing it as time permits. However, the bug is basically the entire sound system so it might be a while.
When I first heard that we'd be making a game for Pimp My Ride my first reaction was "How?". Its a little hard to see where a set of game mechanics can be attached to the format of the show. Luckily it wasn't a problem I had to deal with. Instead I was charged again with the creation of all the real-time effects and this time I had a little help, i.e. I'd gone from a team of one to a team of two.
The final result looks pretty good on all its release platforms (especially the Xbox 360). Though a little short on depth, the game is reasonably entertaining and the handling of all the vehicles is pretty good. As far as procedural effects go, it features everything from fire hydrants and collision sparks to flocks of birds and scatterings of rubbish and leaves.
After a few months working in R&D for next gen platforms, I moved onto this project.
I was to take complete responsibility for all real-time special effects. At last a task that made use of a much broader range of my skills. That's every sparkle, explosion, cloud, rocket trail and puff of smoke, from conception and artwork through to implementation. If its not already obvious, I really enjoyed this project.
Sadly the game as a whole was littered with ill conceived design decisions, marred by under developed handling and crippled by poor track layouts. As a result, the press mauled it. though nothing bad was said about the effects, which is at least a little positive.