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Good News

9:24 am Filed under: Dispell

Received an email this morning from Manifesto Games saying they’re keen to distribute Dispell.

I’m pretty stoked about this, firstly I’ve been closely following the creation of Manifesto since seeing one of it’s founders, Greg Costikyan speak at the FreePlay event in Melbourne. He was mostly on about how there wasn’t as of yet a viable channel for “indie” games on the scale of the music or movie industry, then after talking about it he went out and created one!

The Manifesto of Manifesto strikes a cord with me and my opinion of the state of the game industry, it’s great that someone is having a go at making a change and if I can support them in that then even better.

Secondly they’ve only just gone live after a reasonable beta period and the site looks great (gamasutra article), they’ve got a great library of “different” games up there, real indie titles warts and all, I think Dispell will sit up there with them really well.

Where Dispell sits is something I’ve struggled with since I’ve started wrighting about it to promote it, it’s certainly not a “casual game”, a common response I get from non/very casual game players about my age is “there’s shit flying everywhere”, “where am I”. It doesn’t really hold it’s own as a hardcore shooter either, it works best as what it was written as.. a game to be played along with kids by older gamers.

I’m hoping that if I can get my wrighting skills up to a level so I can convey that in a simple statement, that I can service a niche in the market.

Still got a bit of work to do to finalise the deal (contracts and so forth) but it’s great news that has pulled me out of the slump I’d hit as I realised how big and hard the whole marketing thing is going to be!

Heading up bush with the boys this weekend for some more dirt squirting 4×4 action, really looking forward to a good unplug and multi beer re-boot.

Blog Update

11:33 pm Filed under: BrownBot

Sorry for the boring posts but as you might have noticed I’ve re-formatted the blog to fit in with the rest of the site, I also double checked and tweaked the Dispell download so it completely uninstalls.

I’m all but done now, just got to replace that photo on the product page and write up a bit of a manual, nothing to do then other than rake in the dough.

Andy’s take on the Dispell logo

12:22 pm Filed under: Dispell

Andy (aka Cricible from MadProps) came up with this charming little version of the dispell logo, I might save it for Dispell 2 – Taste the Golden Spray.

Dispell Product Page

10:53 pm Filed under: Dispell

Been plugging away at the products page for the past week or so, I think I’m almost there with the look, the payment processing is in place and I’ve got the files hosted on a cheap host. 

I’m planning on doing a little photo shoot this weekend the get some nice clean family at the computer shots to replace that placeholder. Then it’s one last check on the actual program then releaseing it on a few forum on the indie forums to see what they think, depending on how that goes I’ll work out how I’m going to tackle the major promotion.

The whole marketing thing is whole other skill to master, not a bad skill to have I supose.

Stay tuned for a post about the 12 hour bike race soon!

Edit: Also watch this space for some much needed changes to the blog’s look.

Masterful Sidling

8:53 am Filed under: General

Skillfull sidling Marvel at this spectacular display of “sideling”, Dick sideling George and my Aunt Betty at my wedding, note how the sidlees are blissfully unaware that they a currently being sidled.

4×4 Freedom Weekend

4:16 pm Filed under: General

The Chimp posing it up on his WR400  We rode to freedom in Maryville last weekend, Dick, Moorey, the Chimp  and I headed the 3 odd hours down from Corowa mid Friday arvo with a few beers. The bullshit started rolling from here and didn’t stop till we arrived home Sunday arvo.

Friday night we all met up at the pub where we were all staying and had a surprisingly quiet night with everyone in bed before midnight. I think it was the uncertainty of just how “medium core” the trails Daz had lined up for us, that had everyone keeping themselves healthy.

The little red cubbuse got stuckNot a bad thing either as the trails we hit certainly tested us out, the “little red caboose” armed with new mud tires performed better than anyone expected including myself, we only had to be winched out once where I buggered up my line on a steep and rutted out climb (see pic below). I really didn’t think the tyres would make that much difference, we still had bugger all clearance so we slid over plenty of stuff on her belly, thankfully I didn’t see too many rocks.

We ended up with 15 odd bikes on the Saturday, seems as though word of mouth spread a little too well and half of Melbourne was there to try their hand at motorcycle riding, sounded a little frustrating for other riders, we got held up in the cars a bit also, we were joking that they looked like a pack of confused storm troopers. Though they were a bit frustrating I was envious of them, driving the car is fun and you can get drunk and talk crap at while doing it, but I’d prefer to be mixing it up on a bike. I’m going to have to sort something out on that front soon…

Rather than try and describe the whole day I’ll take you through the images… hover over them to get the text description.

Everyone getting ready The 4x4s having a pee stopEuan tying to tipe the car on it's roofMatt showing us what a 4x4 can do Coogan fixing the tyre Confused storm troopers Euan and Buggy horsing around in the back of the ute Brice the comical genius eating shit much to everones amusement Me piloting the little red caboose Buggy the stinky co-pilot

Euan trying to tip the ute over when we got stuck, Matt tackling a ridiculously deep hole, Coogan rolling Daz’s tyre off the rim trying the same thing, the confused storm troopers taking a break, Euan and Buggy horsing around in the back of the ute, Brice eating shit in front of everyone.

The impassable hill

This was the only impassable hill we came across all day.

Uppo V Dick Who's my daddy (the Chimps Real dad V his actual dad) Hazard V Some big mate of Daz'sBuggy V Geffa

The start of the arm wrestling comp

 Dirchie getting pumped with some one handed pushups Dirchie psychout Dirchie arm wrestle mainina Dirchie arm wrestle maininaDirchie slinking away in defeat

The “Dirchie”, a late wild card entry to the arm wrestling.

Things to look forward to Chimp!

We found the Chimps Doppelganger in the pub.

It was an awesome weekend, I’ve got sore gut muscles from laughing so much all weekend, we’ve got to do it all again soon.

Here are a couple of vids:

  1. Coogan dropping into the pit rolling the tyre off in the process (warning 20MB)
  2. Matt exiting the pit the hard way (warning 10MB)

XNA Invaders 2

11:49 am Filed under: Game Code

I’ve been consumed with learning shaders the past couple of days, progress has been good, I’ve gone from thinking they were some black magic code that only the graphic programming l33t could ever understand too leveraging the power of them to create a simple shader of my own design.

It’s been pretty intense and poor ole Zetty didn’t get much attention the past couple of days but I’ve cracked the code, I wouldn’t say I fully understand the whole thing and I’m not quite up to the multi pass shaders but I’ve got the basic building blocks down, so I’m happy, seeing shaders are going to be a necessary part of graphics from here on in.

To prove that I can do it here’s at updated version of XNA Invaders complete with CGA raster looking shader that I made up, I’m going to comment the code soon to make it more readable for those interested, here’s the updated exe for now.

Thanks to Chub from the YakYak forum for putting me on to the Ati documentation and RenderMonkey, I’d started with the Nvidia and it was crap.

Off on a 4×4 weekend with the boys this arvo, will be a great break from the keyboard, a solid campaign of piss drinking should be able to slow the old brain box from it’s red line rate at the moment.

XNA Invaders

12:22 pm Filed under: General

Last week Microsoft released the first Beta of their XNA Game Studio, XNA Invaders is the result of around 5 hours of me mucking around with the code supplied in the help.

It’s a very basic example of a 2D looking 3D game using only line primitives in XNA, it’s got no sound because you need to down load another 300 odd meg of DirectX SDK to bring a wave file in and I figured not everyone would want to do that.

What do I think of XNA?

Good:

  • Managed Code is great (apart from it’s lack of globals, for games anyway)
  • user input is super simple
  • Timing code is all there and works
  • The basic project has everything you need layed out well (update and draw functions)

Bad:

  • Shaders only, this is the biggest one do you really expect someone just starting programming to be able to understand how to code a shader? They blow my mind and I’ve been playing with 3D for years, you’ve also instantly restricted your audience to around 20% of PCs, I realise this will change soon enough but this rules out most indie devs who want to sell their games (apart from those XBox 360s out there).
  • Have to install c# express even though I have full blown VS 2005 installed, I realise this is beta software but why?
  • Toting this as “anyone” can write a game is a bit rich, this is not a game engine! It’s a slightly cleaned up version of managed DirectX, the sample they give you you can’t even play without a joypad.

I’m still interested to see what comes out of all this, hopefully some more interesting games, personally I’m moving to a full blown engine (Torque) so I can actually get something interesting done rather than re-coding the same crap everyone else has done before for you.

Here’s (226KB) the game itself, you’ll need a really recent copy of DirectX and shader support in your graphics card.

Update: Was missing a dll, fixed now, if your still having trouble try this DirectX update (1.65MB)

Here’s (48KB) the solution for anyone who has the XNA beta installed, it should be a good basic XNA game sample for someone interested in doing a 2D/3D game.

Buggy’s B’day Weekend

10:08 am Filed under: Fun

Had a great weekend, headed down to Melbourne after work on Friday with Zett, Ev, Tan and Mitch. A few beers and a few laughs in the car on the way down and we were there before we knew it.

Buggy was “working” at this art exhibition at Revolver, it was all these plastic train carriages painted up by renowned Australian graffiti artists. It was pretty interesting, though I was more interested in the non graffiti styled ones.

We helped Buggy pull down the exhibition then headed back to his for some more beers and so pretty bloody good pizza.

Next day we were lined up for some go-kart action out at Sunshine, these are the same karts that we drove for Rude’s bucks trip a few years ago so I had a sort of home track advantage. These karts have got some stink about them, you top out at around 65kph on the main straight. There was 12 of us and another few weirdos we didn’t know on the track for our half hour session, there was no races as such just hot lapping though I did have a few good tussles with Zett and Buggy. Nat also proved difficult to pass once he knew you were there.

Poor old Euan copped a couple of big hits in the rear after slowing down for a person who had spun out in front of him, trashed 2 karts and got rattled pretty hard. Crap thing was that he wasn’t at fault at all he slowed down and the next person coming around the corner (one of the Greek/Italian weirdos who we didn’t know and had a perchent for nudging) slammed straight into him, the track was pretty wide and Euan wasn’t on the racing line so I don’t see how it could of happened. Anyhow I ended up with the fastest time, with Zetty second from our group, it was awesome fun.

After the karts we grabbed some beers on the way to Buggy’s and soaked up some sun on his front lawn (see the pic above). After that we headed to the Pub for a bite to eat and shoot some pool, then back to Buggy’s for some more beer before heading down to the park to climb some trees and hit the swings.

It was a nice cruisy weekend with a lot of laughs.

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