Tea ‘n’ Cake

Looking Back, Whilst Going Forward


When Talking about looking back though, I’m also talking about looking back in time. Metaphorically again; I don’t have post-cognizance, apart from memory, which is a form of…Never mind.I’m talking about retro gaming. I was recently at Game Box, which is a fun diddly do of an evening out that involves games, usually out of their boxes. this time however it was retro flavoured and came with an assortment of retro consoles that were barely hanging together; some of which were so old you had to actually tune them in to get them working. To cut a long story short, i was inspired to set up some of my own retro consoles again. As you can see from the image at the top, not everything was in working order. Nothing to do with Pickachu, he just happened to be on the chair I was using as a table. I’ve dealt with this before though. I used to have rabbits. Lots of them, and those fuzzy little bast***s really liked to chew cables. Anyway, some scissors and a little bit of electrical tape was all that was needed… even if I did attach the wrong coloured cable ends on occasion.  TaDa!


True. That is a picture of two consoles, unrelated to the joypad I was fixing.. the N64 is on the shelf underneath. I just couldn’t be bothered to take another photo of it. There are a few games which are pretty timeless on most old consoles and I’m too much of a penny-pincher to re-purchase them on various e-shops so setting up the old consoles is the next best alternative until they finally fizzle out. Some great games are also missing from modern retro libraries for various reasons, and some have ports that are worse than the originals.  I also have to say that while I’ve made my love for Return Fire on the PS1 known before, I don’t actually love the console, nor do I own one, which is why you don’t see it here.  I also freely admit that I didn’t set up the original Xbox again because I don’t have anything on it that I want to play again… Is that controversial? Feel free to argue that (or any other) consoles case if you fancy a flame war on social media. For me, the top retro console has to be the SNES. It beats out the Megadrive on overall quality and original games. The NES and Master System are too old and clunky for me to be a hipster about them. You could argue that the N64’s 3D is just as clunky and horrible as the PS1 but in different ways, but I guess modern me can just cope with fuzzyness and muddyness better than noisey textures that dance up and down beside you.  Besides, the N64 is worth turning on just for this music…


The cube is a good all round machine, but also gains some points for it’s boot screen, and for being the first console I ever released a game on (Mega Man Collections).

I don’t fancy talking about what I’m doing at the moment because it’s just technical behind the scenes stuff but as a quick update, I’ve been reworking the beam weapon stuff so it can use a capacitor system rather than a time based system which it used before. i.e. you can fire for as long as you have charge and it stops firing when you let go. See. I knew you wouldn’t care. Here’s a gif with glowing bits anyway.


Yeah… I’m done for now. Social media exists. Use it if you like. We exist on it sometimes. TwitterFacebook, and Youtube. Bye for now.




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On The Defensive!


For those of you who guessed correctly about what the above picture is… Well done I guess.  It is a shader. This particular shader is for the simple shield effect on the ship. It’s probably more complicated than it needs to be, but shaders are something I’m still learning and only got into thanks to The Bruce from @RadicalForge. The above image shows a mistake I made if you look really closely. I’ve fixed it now but left it in the picture because I’m so lazy that I couldn’t even be bothered to take a new screenshot. Don’t be so judgey. I realize that I’m just plain rubbish at marketing, but if thousands of people play the games I make, yet my blog readership may or may not exceed single digits, it makes sense to spend my time on the games rather than the talking about the making of the games right? Maybe not. Super meat boy was probably the best argument against that.

Getting back on topic, here are a couple of spheres that show the shaders functioning…. I kept that sentence so simple because I was really struggling to avoid childish double entendres. Of course now I’ve said that you have just done it in your head, and now that I’ve said that you have…  Stop. Picture time!


I make shaders in a test project to avoid adding bloat to the main project,, but once in the game project they can just be slapped into place without too much hassle, and I often leave a lot of settings as publicly accessible just for the sake of tweaking. This seemingly random energy wall has a purpose elsewhere in the game, but here, it’s just for bumping into pointlessly while showing off gif compression at incredibly amateur levels.


The invisible shield around the ships is far more universal. No! Don’t be daft. Of course it isn’t invisible all the time. It activates when hit and is brighter when it receives greater damage. Seeeeeeee?!


Right. Nothing else I can be bothered to talk about today. Thanks for stopping by, and as always, feel free to ask me any questions you have on the social media.   TwitterFacebook…etc I do I do try to quickly respond to either of those too at least. Bye for now.

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An Absense Of Sorts… With Spaghetti

I have’t posted for a while. I could give you any number of reasonable and believable reasons for not posting, or tell you that it was indeed a swarm of techno virus infected guinea pigs that stormed the office and sliced things up with tiny retractable buzz saws (some of you may still be thinking “Yup that sounds reasonable”). It’s not true though. The simple fact has been that I just haven’t felt up to it. Despite my arrogance I’m not prone to thinking that anyone want’s to hear anything about what I’m doing… which is probably why I often resort to nonsense.

Speaking into a vacuum isn’t something that comes naturally. Just like making small talk, which is why I’m either arsing around or going straight into the guts of a complex subject matter rather than talk about the weather. I don’t tend to do that online though because when it’s a technical matter It’s hard to gauge how well any given audience member is following, and political conversations online are usually partisan and involve the left and right extremes lobbing metaphorical grenades that usually hurt the majority of people who are just trying to get on with life in the middle.  Basically it’s a sad state of affairs when people people know (or think they know) one thing about you, and assume they know all the rest of your political views. Of course it would be much worse if that ever became true. That would normally mean that you haven’t thought about things enough.

So back to the blog before I say too much about the real world. I’d be lying if I said that I’d been pushing on at full throttle. I haven’t, but I’ve still done a lot over the past month. This week, I’ve decided that all I’m going to do is tease at those things with related images… Because It’s hard to stay serious for more than a paragraph at a time. Think of it as a picture quiz… Ah Hah! Now you’re interested!

Picture 1. I made math spaghetti. It’s beautiful just in it’s natural state here. Regardless of the end result. Yes. I am a nerd.

1 point for stating what this thing is. 3 points available for correctly stating what it actually does (hint: it does 3 things), and 1 easy bonus point for a correct guess as to what it will be used for in game (Max 5 points)


Picture 2.  This time. Metal Spaghetti… From a thing… from the past… but now.

1 point for stating the type of controller AND what the problem is with it. 1 point for guessing/deducing (regarding recent local events) what inspired me to do something about this problem. 1 point for naming my tiny assistant. 1 point for spotting the other subtle mistake I’m making with this controller (that I decided I don’t mind), and 1 bonus point for guessing what caused the damage in the first place (or a suitably ridiculous but amusing story) (5 points Max)


Picture 3. Code spaghetti (or not as I think the code actually pretty decent). It’s fairly clean and doesn’t use an update function until you need a watching thingy to keep tabs on some stuff (because pointless efficiency). Could be commented better of course. I’m always a little guilty of that on a first pass. What’s it all about though?

1 point for guessing what the little pink boxes are. 1 point for guessing what the little red glowing spheres are. 3 points available for guessing what these things might do as groups or individual sets. (There are actually a lot of correct answers that should be easy to guess if you got the first two points correct). There is a bonus point if one of your guesses is wrong, but the pink boxes with red spheres should do that thing. (5 points Max)


Picture 4. And finally, Metaphorical art spaghetti. It’s a collection of random art pieces from a variety of projects, in a variety of styles.

1 point for guessing a decent reason that I might collect a bunch of my art together like this. 2 points for naming 5 distinct art styles/types used in this montage/ collage (depends how you view it).  1 point for telling me which piece of this image you hate the most, and 1 bonus point for pointing out which compression I used that made the whole image blurry so that all the detail just gets lost and I’m totally wasting my time here.


These are 4 topics that I might talk about over the next few blogs. If you have a preference as to which one I talk about first, make a suggestion. You can even have a bonus point for that. As for the quiz… There is a maximum of 20 points available. 10 points is a passing mark. The winner (assuming anyone actually does the stupid quiz) will get a random genuine thingy. If you feel like getting in touch use the usual channels such as TwitterFacebook… And please do, because I’m slowly going unhinged over here. Bye for now.


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The ISS Thingemy?

  This is “Last Week Tonight!”, but not with John Oliver, and not a political satire in the slightest. It’s a very spurious comparison really,  in that I made this stuff last week, and I’m showing it tonight. I finally got round to fixing the default ship. Still kept it really basic for mainly style reasons… Admitedly […]

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Le Homme et la femme. Deuxième partie!

This week I’m continuing on from what I talked about last week, specifically the evolution of the original chosen concept art. By the end of last week we had made the sculpt of the player characters, but still had a couple of issues to deal with. IF you forgot, or didn’t read, get on back […]

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How a Concept Evolves

The concept art you see for many games is usually a little different from the final version that you see when you play. Sometimes it isn’t, but that’s normally because it isn’t concept art at all, but rather illustration for the purposes of marketing materials. We aren’t going to bother talking about that today though. Today, we […]

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A Variety Of Things That Were Done!

Hi Everybody. Sure. It’s a lazy title given that almost every week I do a variety of coding, designing, animating, and arting… Why is “arting” not a word? Is art supposed to be too metaphysical to be a verb or something? meh. Nevermind that, I need to get on talking about nothing in particular including some […]

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The Complexity of Simplicity

See the picture above. That is an explosion which could be used to demonstrate the concepts that I’ll be talking about this week, but instead I’m just going to leave it there, completely detached from this weeks dev diary except by happenstance to demonstrate that the inside of a ship blows up when the outside does. […]

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Social Mediocraty… And Explosions

There was no blog last week and I don’t even feel guilty about it. That’s because… well, it’s a blog. I didn’t kill anyone or steal someones lunch. Geeeeez, get off your moral 15 blogs a week high horse. OK. Take a minute to get over your ‘lack of blog’ rage… There we go, just breath, […]

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Spool Up The Jump Drive!

Welcome back to another episode of me just talking crap. From the title of this week’s blog you might have guessed I’m a Battlestar Gallactica Fan. I did enjoy it very much overall, and especially loved the very reality grounded look and feel of the tech. I wasn’t big into the spiritual side of things […]

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