Tea ‘n’ Cake

Happy New Abstract Time Period!

I hope you have all had a good Christmas and a Happy New Year, whatever you got up to. I spent the time with my family mostly, eating too much, playing games, and generally just having fun. Part of that fun was accepting that I was away from the office and simply couldn’t keep wrestling with the Xbox Living Dungeon stuff. I had to just put it down and forget about it for two weeks.

That meant that if I felt like doing some game dev stuff (which I almost always do),  I was going to have to just play, and/or do a bit more on the little arcade arena game, Space Time! I did both in fact. I spent several days making Space Time work in almost exactly the same way as it worked before, except more abstractly.

So on the surface the game looks and plays almost exactly as it did in the version on Itch.IO, but under the hood things are now very different.

1.All the bits are bits and not a monolithic thingy:


Before the ship was one thing with the functionality of a Plasma Torpedo Launcher, a Mine Layer, and an Autocannon Turret. Now it is a ship, that HAS a Plasma Torpedo Launcher, and HAS a Mine Layer, and HAS an Autocannon Turret. That fundamental difference means that the ship doesn’t have to have any of those things, or may have multiple of those things, or even different things. The technical term is encapsulation, but what that really means is we can chop and change things going forward, add new weapons and possibly even different ships.

2.The Ship no Longer takes input from the controller:

This might sound counter intuitive, and in this process I certainly did a few things that were counter intuitive(for the greater good of course). Before now, the Plasma Torpedo Launcher waited for an action from the input manager which was directly taken from the controller. The ship movement did a similar thing, as did the turret, and the mine layer, etc, etc. There was even a nice state controller so that the ship knew which mode it was in and so which actions it could perform. That is all gone, including surprisingly, the state machine. Instead, the whole thing has been replaced by an entity controller that takes input, and passes it on to the ship or ship parts as generic instructions. This is a long term strategy that ties into the next thing.

3.The Ship is no longer the Player. The Player is no longer the Controller ID:


The second part of that statement was tricky to do neatly but what it means is that, whichever controller the player presses A on, that is player 1. Simple right? “Sure, but why on earth did you stop the ship being the player” is what you might ask if you had no become bored of my nonsense and stopped reading already. The answer to that is two girls one cup. Metaphorically of course. players can now select which ship they are so they can both control a single ship. Having a second player on your ship offers an instant advantage as they can man the turret while you fly about. They can also manoeuvre while you turn, or even shoot the main gun while the first player focuses on dodging. Longer term this also means we can add new functionality to the ship so that other players can do special functions or control different weapons.


It’s all very silly and very exciting, even if it did leave the temporary front end of the game in a terrible mess. Ah well. If any of this tickles you and you want to know more. Get in touch on Social media as usual. TwitterFacebook, and Youtube . Bye for now.


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A Painful Archaeological Adventure

Screenshot (5)

For the last couple of weeks I’ve spent  most of my time scrutinizing the ancient scrolls. By that I mean editing really really old code from The Living Dungeon. I’m absolutely determined to get it updated on the Xbox but it’s a huge task.  The code was not the best to begin with as Chantelle and I had not figured out how everything worked in unity at that point. In addition to that the code predates Unity’s GUI system and that is a huge deal. Every single item on the GUI was individually coded and calculated for position based on resolution and screen size. It didn’t help either that Unity made some kind of attempt to update the code to modern standards which made it all break further, and become more confusing to follow.

That complicated work on The Living Dungeon has consumed almost all of my time. It’s a terrible business strategy. Fixing the game for a few people won’t help me make any money, and I can’t reuse the code base for anything because it is so fragmented, dilapidated and bespoke that reuse would be incredibly advised.

Basically. I have to just admit that this week has been about EGO. A couple of users asked me to fix it, and I said I would. Now I’ve put two solid weeks into rebuilding a huge amount of code for just those 2 people.

I also know that I won’t learn from this. In the past I’ve spent more time and money trying to do more for fewer people, and I have no doubt I’ll make the same mistake countless times in my life. I realise full well that I have made many, many significant decisions based on what is better for  other people. It’s stupid, but I think it’s just in my nature. When I say it’s in my nature I mean that as a naturalistic statement. It’s not a moral thing. I don’t claim to be a good person or a bad one. I don’t act  out of fear, or concern about how others see me. This is just something I have done too many times in the past to ignore it as a pattern. I don’t know what I can do about this behaviour, or more selfishly, whether I can harness this behaviour in a way that actually works out for me as well as other people. It’s just something I think I have to work through, but if anyone reads this and has any ideas, I’d love to hear them because I could do with some sensible advice.

Of course, if you want to talk about anything else that’s good to. Reach out on social media. TwitterFacebook, and Youtube . Bye for now.

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Making Knots, and Gravity Wells

This week I finally managed to get the proper release build working for The Living Dungeon. That’s one step closer to an update. The next problem is fixing an unusual issue with the dialog in the cutscenes being off to the side, and the in game HUD not scaling with the fit to window function. This is going to require a little more research, but I’ll get there. That is unfortunately All I have for the Living Dungeon at the moment, because talking about trial and error testing and trawling through forum posts does not make an exciting tale.

It’s Space Time! This week I took a build of Space Time to teesside University’s Game Creation Society. They were kind enough to offer up volunteers to test out. Obviously they loved it and most of them picked it up very quickly. We recorded the session so if you want to see a little 4 player mayhem here is a video.

Progress is being made on Space Time in leaps and bounds, even if a lot of it is behind the scenes right now… or occasionally just in my head. I freely admit that this game is still in it’s infancy and there is a long way to go, but unlike the mechanically interwoven and complex games we recently made (The Living Dungeon, and Dead Exit), this one is a return to the pick up and play style of our game BOOMBA!, and will theoretically be fun at every stage of development. That though, is a story for another day.

I just now decided I’m not going to say any more about anything, so get in touch on social media if you want more info this week. Try TwitterFacebook, and Youtube . Bye for now.

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Pulling at Threads

Been messing around with a few things this week. I’d love to say that it has all gone very smoothly but that is far from the truth. The first piece of good news is that we finally got The Living Dungeon working with Unity 5.6. The bad news on that front, is that we haven’t […]

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Dead Stuff + Explosions

Dead Exit got another review this week. It was another 8/10. That seems to be the consensus among the review giving community. The pessimist in me was expecting more hate from the people who would pick it up for 10 minutes and just say “Nope”, or from people blaming the game for when the game fails […]

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The World Keeps Turning

Despite the apocalypse, things keep moving along. We’ve uploaded a new PC version of Dead Exit with some little fixes, including a fix for a super rare multiplayer bug, and some minor visual poopy bits (That is a technical term). That is probably the most pertenant thing that’s being dealt with. We are also aware […]

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Half a Week Later.

Dead Exit came out on Halloween. It’s far too early to tell whether or not it did ok. We won’t really know for sure for a couple of months. Reviews have been fine. We’ve had a decent number of 8s and also a few 7s, so nothing to complain about there really. There is no […]

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Dead Exit Enters! A Halloween Special

Dead Exit is coming out for Xbox on Halloween. Wait! That’s today! So the first question is… Why haven’t you bought it yet?!?! In fact if you go off and buy it now I’ll totally forgive you for not bothering to read the rest of today’s blog post. I’ll continue for those of you who have […]

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The Dead are Coming… To Xbox!

YUP! Dead Exit has an official release date for Xbox One. Halloween! That’s the 31st of October for any of you people who don’t pay any attention to the machinations of witches, warlocks, the undead, or dressing up as stereotyped versions of other cultures and then getting in trouble because someone gets offended. Whether you […]

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World Space Week

OK. So that was only part of the week and it ended on the 10th, but I didn’t know until the Saturday morning when my daughter told me. She has been doing unity tutorials and after finishing one had decided it would be a good idea to make a similar game but with spaceships… because she […]

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