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PUB CRAWL! Best of British Game Jam – #BOBjam!

On 26th, 27th and 28th July, the Best of British Indie Games group met together (More can be read on that here.) but unfortunately I couldn’t make it, and a friend of mine, Alex, and I decided to take part from home.

We started discussing ideas on the Friday, minutes after the theme was announced- Britishism. Alex is a great pixel artist, see- and I couldn’t do art if a shiny demon shined and said “Make me some pixel art, or I’ll eat your souls.”

The result?  The result was Pub Crawl! It takes no imagination to figure out the inspiration here. Anybody who has seen The Worlds End will know, by heart, that it was a large inspiration for the end product- even though Alex hasn’t seen it yet.

Jarvis is sober. He doesn’t like being sober! So, help him stay on his feet and get him to drink as much as he possibly can!

On Saturday morning, Alex popped over and we started planning further, and decided on a course of action that, after about 4 hours, would leave us with something worth pushing out the door.

The original plan was to have Jarvis wobble down the road, and at each door, you’d play a mini game involving clicking beers before they fell off the table. You’d get a little drinker and score for each pint, However, this was to be added later.

After the mini game, began the main game- Keeping Jarvis standing straight. You tweak the mouse and use WSAD to nudge him in the right direction. If you were too drunk you’d either piss off a skinhead or get whacked by the “guvnor” (our nickname for the police officer.)

6 hours in, however, Alex’s insulin pen snaps and calls the day to a rapid close- he needed to get that one fixed! Thanks to our earlier plan, though, we still had something to publish, though it lacked much of the intended features.

It’s still plenty of fun! Plus, on the Sunday I snuck in a car that can run you over- I play it just to see that happen!

Oh- More updates on this game soon. Alex has been coding updates all week and I can’t wait to see what he’s done!

Pub Crawl!

Jarvis got drunk, hit by a car, and then landed on it’s roof.

Play Pub Crawl here.




Monster Trucks – #1GAM June

Junes #1GAM was very quick- it was a test for the first version of SturdyEngine  and a good one at that. Several flaws were found and removed in SturdyEngine for this project!

Monster Trucks SturdyEngine test

Monster Trucks SturdyEngine test

Play Monster Trucks Here.

The game itself was not new, it’s the first thing I ever created with Unity! However a fair bit of work went into the 16 hour dev period for this #1gam.

What was involved in Monster Trucks:

  • Rip out old waypoint system and replace with Sturdy Waypoints. This maps each waypoint into an array and allows you to accurately determine the position of a vehicle without having to bubble sort each vehicle in game. At the cost of memory, this allowed a massive increase in the number of vehicles on mobile devices.

In fact, Sturdy Waypoints was developed for monster trucks. The previous version only checked positions at each waypoint on the track, but the new one can calculate positions based on current waypoint *and* distance to the next waypoint. This alone is enough for good waypoint checking, however, we went a step further an implemented arrays to remove the need for bubble sort.

Each element in the array is increased the first time a ship passes over this particular waypoint/array element. Instead of bubble sorting, we can just read the array to determine our position!

  • Implement and fix any oversights on SturdyEngine.

This went really well. A few bugfixes and source updates, and about 30 minutes of time, and this was implemented. This, mixed with Sturdy Waypoints and the old Monster Truck demo meant this prototype was done!



Sturdy Engine – Unity #1GAM Helper

After the release of the Red Forest prototype, I realised I was spending FAR too long creating menus and UIs and not enough time on the games, so I decided to create a helper package to ease the process.

I began to strip Red Forest down. I removed the game,  I moved all required assets into a new “_SturdyEngine” folder and organised all default materials and files there.

After a few hours I was left with a Splash Screen, a screen fader, a menu, a pause menu, a confirmation dialog, and an AppManager scene that contains the backbone of any multi-level game.

AppManager is the core of any apps that use it, but it does not require that you write your game with it in mind; It is designed that when ready, you import this package, tell it the name of your gameplay scene and then apply one line of code when your game is finished. How does it work?

AppManager.FadeIn();      -Sades the screen in.

AppManager.FadeOut();     -Fades the screen out.

AppManager.OnPause(); – Sets timescale to almost absolute zero, resulting in an immediate pause. The screen fader and everything that needs to circumvent this uses a new Timer library that ignores time scale.

AppManager.OnQuit(); – Exits the game- if the user correctly navigates the confirmation dialogue.

AppManager.ReturnToMainMenu(); – Does what it says on the tin- Fades out, then returns to the menu, then fades back in.

AppManager.StartGame(); – Starts a new game. Loads the scene listed at the top of the source file labeled as “Start scene” – This could be your customisation screen, character select, level select, or just the game.

AppManager.GameOver(); – Fades out, Loads the scene labeled “Game Over”, Fades in. the Game Over scene needs to call AppManager.ReturnToMainMenu(); – Done this way for flexibility.

The rest is automatic! Obviously you need to change the text in the Main Menu scene to match the project you’re working on, but it’s already hooked up to AppManager and just works.


The result? Well, once done, I exported a Unity Package, imported it to Gravity Ed, set the start level and game over scene and boom- Gravity Ed was a fully featured prototype with menu, pause button and quit.


What’s next? Well, I’d like there to be a ControllerManager that wraps Unity Input, but can seamlessly get its inputs from on-screen d-pad/buttons. This will require effort to port games to, but if done right, a few search&replaces should do the trick.




Red Forest – Part 1 – #1GAM May

In May, the month before I got married, I became aware that I was running out of time. The wedding was fast approaching!

Red Forest Prototype Screenshot

Red Forest #1 Screenshot

Play Red Forest here:


Instead of writing an entire game from scratch, I pulled out an old robot-football prototype I wrote from around 2003 and began porting it to Unity.  FMC, or, Full Metal Conflict, as it was called, was always fun to work on. This was no exception in Unity either, and within a few hours I had wonderfully floaty hover vehicles shooting at each other, but it lacked something.

So, I turned it into a racer. I was never interested in Football, even when there were lasers involved!


May’s version of Red Forest involved a single, terrain based track and it was brilliant fun. I would say it stuck to my 16 hour dev rule but this one didn’t, I spent most of the month on it, getting the AI to respond and react realistically, and generally applying the adrenaline pumping speed I envisioned.

It worked.

Now, seeing as I want Sturdy Games to be about telling a good story as much as it is about games, I had to find a suitable story! Cue my cousin Brian’s input:


Once every couple of years, a great racing tournament is held in the Red Forest.

People from all over flock to enter, voluntarily, coerced, or as slaves.

The prize is enough money for the entrant’s community to escape poverty forever. Or enough for the racer and their family, or their master, to live like royalty for the rest of their days.

The poor represent their families, their friends. The slaves represent their wealthy owners.

Then there’s me. The reason this place is called the Red Forest.

I don’t race representing anybody. I don’t care too much for the money.

I just like to watch the world burn….




Spring Bonus- Screenshots and artwork

Appynation,  our buddies and publisher of our game,  Spring Bonus,  have posted loads of artwork from the game for everyone to take a look at.

You can see more on their Facebook page here.

Mash ‘Em Marbles

This weekend for my April One Game a Month entry, I recoded my old game Mash ’em Marbles!

It’s as close to the original as I could get it. Plenty of fun, and incredibly simple. Sadly because I used some old media and the theme became a little bit more than Minimalistic, I could not enter this for Ludum Dare.

What did I do?


I pulled out all of the logic. I tore it to pieces, then I put it back together again using saner methods of coding. There are no crazy scripts attached to my GUI elements, there are very few GUI elements at all now (everything is a mesh) and the whole thing runs far better.

I also improved the textures where possible. I’m no artist, so you can guess this won’t make a huge difference!

The main menu is nicer too- and it now allows you to select the level you wish to play. This goes against what the original version of the game was about- survival- how long did you play Marble Madness before you finally saw level 5? However, I realised that in the end it only increased the fun and allowed players to see more of the game without getting fed up at that one irritating spot.

I am working with someone to bring some far, far more interesting levels to Mashem. More on that later in the year!

OK the juicy bits:

Play it here.

Screenies? Why not!


Mash 'em Marbles



Spring Bonus! available on iOS and Android

I’m happy to announce that Sturdy Games and Grey Alien Games have teamed up with AppyNation to bring you Spring Bonus for iOS and Android!!!

Spring Bonus link image


You’ve been chosen by the Easter Bunny to help him light up the Magic Rainbow by melting away the cold grip of Winter! Embark on a magical journey through the Spring countryside with the cutest animal friends this side of Dr Fluffikin’s Petting Zoo!


A hundred levels full of the most adorable fun – just tap and slide your way through the countryside, unfreezing Easter eggs, thawing yummy chocolate, rescuing hapless frogs and adorable ducks from their icy ponds – bring sunshine back to the land!


Spring Bonus gives players a much needed boost of sugar, chocolate and cute animals featuring fluffy chicks, frolicking lambs and bouncy rabbits. This adorable match-3 game is bursting with bonuses and fun for all the family!

Read More…

Shooter! – New 1GAM game.

Shooter (One Green Alien Mutherfunker) is a classic vertical shooter. It was released as our second entry to One Game a Month (http://www.onegameamonth.com/)

You’re in space and find yourself under an endless alien assault. You know you are doomed- but you decide to take out as many of those ugly green motherfunkers as you can before you go!



Click to play (Requires Unity Web Player)

SHOOTER began life as a prototype. After reaching the 28th Feburary without having our original Feb OGAM entry ready, we decided to code it into a full but simple game. The whole process took 12 hours.



How I proposed – You Play

As many of you know, I proposed to Nicky by hiding a ring in a game I was developing at the time. Typical of a workaholic, I asked her to test a level when we were out on a date…

Here’s the playable version of Spring Bonus that I built to propose to Nicky. Originally this played the Nickelback song “Holding on to Heaven” but I have had to replace it with a riff of my own.

Play the below to see what it was like. (Don’t worry, Unity player is no problem to install and it is worth installing it!)

Oh, She said “YES!” – Or, actually, more of a “YAP!”…


<Click here to play>


Spring Bonus is a wonderful Match-3 game designed by Jake Birkett of Grey Alien Games (http://www.greyaliengames.com/). We worked with Jake to port this bright, colourful, fun game to iOS and Android.

Fancy a game? Get it for your device here: http://www.greyaliengames.com/springbonus/index.php



Latvian Lances- Joust the Board Game!

A good friend of mine, Martin Corns, turned Joust into a Board Game. It looks to be pretty awesome!

It’s a print and play game. To download the image files, grab the game images and print them out. They can be found here

You an download the manual here.