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About Me:

Sorry, but I haven't yet shared the information about myself that would typically display here. Check back later to see if that changes, or if I instead choose to remain an enigma.

Dumb baddies in my game prototype leads me to Pacman docs
March 13, 2012

Last night I was programming some super-elementary pathfinding into the game prototype I'm working on and I noticed enemies were getting stuck on corners when following the player. They don't yet have the brains to try moving a few more pixels forward so that they can round the corner and continue the pursuit.

Here's a demo video (152kb). The pink/red rectangle is the player. The bottom-left blue rectangle is the enemy ploddingly following him. (And the things that look like a trail of turds are player footsteps… In case I have a level set in dust or snow)

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Six wins Best Implementation at XYZZYs
March 05, 2012

This morning I attended the 2011 XYZZY Awards Ceremony on IFMud. The XYZZYs are best quickly described as the Oscars of Interactive Fiction, voted for by any interested players over two rounds.

My game Six was a finalist in a lot of categories:

Best Game
Best Setting
Best NPCs
Best Supplemental Materials
Best Implementation

In the end I won Best Implementation. And I think that was a good win, as I do believe in the strength of the game's implementation. The game that really mopped up, and ultimately won Best Game, was Cryptozookeeper.

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Unholy Jam
January 30, 2012

This is a story about team Dusk (which included myself, Wade Clarke) trying to develop the game eventually titled Unholy over 48 hours at the in-Sydney venue of Game Jam 2012, January 27- 29.

The brief of the jam is to form a team on the spot and develop a game from scratch within 48 hours related to a mystery theme which is only revealed when you show up. At the end, industry judges check out the games and dole out praise and prizes. This year's theme was given in the form of a picture, a ring formed by a snake eating its tail. The move from an English word cue (last year's theme was “extinction") to a visual one might have been made to help convey the theme to all participants around the world with equal force, getting rid of the English language issue.

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GameJam 2012
January 25, 2012

Tomorrow is Australia Day. The day after that it's Global Gamejam time again. I'm going to the Sydney venue where I'll contribute design, audio and music skills to one team as we try to cook up a whole game in 48 hours, Friday-Sunday.

In some ways, what I look forward to the most is the catered meals. They're the most tangible reminder that you don't have to pay attention to anything other than your game-making for 2 days. You don't have to leave the venue and you don't have to cook.

Kerkerkruip - texty dungeoning
January 06, 2012

I'll start this year by strongly recommending a game I played in the 2011 Interactive Fiction competition. It's a dungeon combat game called Kerkeruip - it's a 'roguelike' if you know what that means. It's highly tactical and very addictive and challenging. I've played it at least 50 times. Each game last 5-45 minutes (mostly at the shorter end).

It is free to play. Just download the interpreter Gargoyle for your OS:

then download the Kerkerkruip 'Story File' itself from IFDB (other resources for the game are also linked on the right side of the page):

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Someone snuck a SNES in my recycle bin late at night
September 27, 2011

I have ongoing problems with people putting unrecyclable crap in my recycling bin every week. Even when I only put it out real late at night, some bastards sneak out and fill it with non-recyclable shit I have to remove - if I happen to see it, and I probably don't half the time.

This week I came home from pub trivia to find the bin crammed full of decrepit electronic gear. Acres of ethernet cables, a dusty router, RCA cables etc. And amidst that, a SNES and a pile of cartridges.

When I saw the lone SNES, I didn't pause too much, but after I found the carts as well, I gathered them all up. I've never even owned a SNES. I brought it inside, sorted it out. The only thing missing was the AC adaptor. I have one of the correct voltage, but lower than needed ampage.

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Reach for the Stars
August 01, 2011

As I was saying in RotW, I didn't actually know what a '4x strategy game' was before I read EmP's Neptune's Pride review. Or in a best case scenario, I had read the term before, but had forgotten it since.

As I began to wonder about how long the term had been around, a game called Reach for the Stars - which my dad bought for me in 1985 - suddenly jumped back into my head. This was about to turn out to be very prescient of my brain, in a 26-years-later kind of way.

The next thing I did was look up 'Reach for the Stars' in Wikipedia, which said it was the oldest commercial example of a 4x game. Reach.. was developed in Australia for the C64 back in 1983. And there was the box art as per the box I still have with my other classic games inside another box.

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