Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Game 1 done!!!


Retro Racer is now complete! After a small surge of geeky activity Retro Racer is now finished in all its 8-bit glory! We hope to have a release by the start of Feb, exclusively to Windows Phone and for the sum of absolutely free.

Simplistic but fun is what we were going for and should prove a perfect mini game to test the viability of using the windows phone format.

 'Little White Box'
We now have two larger scale projects on the go. 'Little White Box'(Right)- a kind of bullet hell shoot-em-up without the shoot, more a bullet hell Dodge-em-up with a punishing difficulty level- and 'Little Pig Planet' - a more laid back casual game which sees our hero 'Flumpy the Pig' steering his home planet with his feet, like a big pink barrel walker, through meteor storms(it's hard to explain, wait for the demo).

We hope to have both these titles released on Xbox Live Indie, Windows Phone 7 and PC buy this summer with a possible iOS release depending on sales.

Friday, 20 January 2012



Ten minutes after writing the last blog entry it all went pear shaped, ten minutes later and my face was planted in my hands, palms sticky with the tears of frustration. A memory leak, a BASTARD memory leak! Basically the algorithm for randomly repositioning the sprites once they had left the screen was eating so much memory that 2 minutes of play would use more memory than running all the CODs at once.

At 2300 points things get a litte tricky!
Nick was horrendously worried that if this got any worse it would start to devour the internet and blast us all the way back to the stone age; this would be bad because I have delicate lady like hands that wouldn't take kindly to rubbing flint together, pretty sure Nivia didn't exist back then.

So Monday night consisted of basically rewriting the entire 'Rival' class and not sleeping or blinking, this paid off though; memory leak, plugged, controls sorted and scoring system added. We're on our way...
Still super basic at the mo, but what can you expect after 2 weeks.

The next couple of days have seen collision detection working(Woop Woop) and some basic game play mechanics added and controls and scoring refined, so we are now nearing somthing playable, not good or fun but playable!

The next stage will be menus, sounds and working out how to make it actually worth playing. Will keep(anyone board enough to be reading this blog) posted.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

It starts!!!!

17/01/2012 -

Another year another promise to myself to do something that involves something other than eating, scratching and watching Mythbusters and so far it's going ok.

Last week marked a momentous occasion in entertainment history with the birth of  'Flump Studios'! An indie game studio which consist of myself (Paul Marrable) on lead programming and game design, my beautiful wife on art design and the all powerful Nick Osborne on Menus design, audio and marketing.

It's something we've always wanted to do to be honest (except my wife who probably want to be a ballerina or something, I don't really listen) but have never really got around to. I've been programming applications for years in VB,C++, Pascal and Python and Nick's always been the hardware guy who has forgotten more about motherboards and CPUs than most of us will ever know(Thanks for all the xbox and ps3 fixes down the years).

The one thing we've always had in common is the love for video games, not just playing them but an odd fascination with their design, their art and the industry as a whole. So it has always made sense for us to create games at some level but unfortunately we are both cursed with an almost terminal apathy. This week though feels different, somehow more important, more powerful, I can only describe it as how Bruce Banner must have felt after the first time he turned into a giant green monster; Flump Studios started it first project.

Happy Retro Racer

It may not look like much here but when it's in motion you'd
swear you were watching F1.

It was Saturday last week when we decided on the concept; we wanted something simple, colourful, would work as well on a phone as it would on a console and most importantly fun! We decided on a top down racer with the visual style of an old Atari 2600 game, we thought this perfect as it would prove easier to design, easier to keep consistent and having grown up with the archaic console a wonderful homage to our gaming past.

We're looking to add a psychedelic mode once the main mechanics are down with modernised graphics and audio; I'm quite looking forward to this bit as we'll be using pulsing pigs, spinning Jaffa Cakes and possibly little Ronnie Corbett.

We decided to use Microsoft XNA for development as this uses the C# language which I am quite familiar with. So far the project is coming along quite nicely, we have a scrolling road with three lanes, a moveable car and multiple rival sprites that re-spawn at random when they leave the screen. It's not much but it's something!

Next is the collision detection, I'm looking forward to getting this out of the way so the real game can begin, once the programme can recognise that the player car has hit a rival car I can get working on scoring, level upping, crash animations, messing with the sprites; you know the stuff of  dreams. Collision detection is something I've never really had to tackle before in any of my previous applications so I have no idea how this will play out, only time will tell.