Category Archives: Games

HerdyLand – mobile game


You can now enroll for the beta testing programme for my forthcoming mobile game, HerdyLand. Initially just for Android, I’ll be focusing on responding to feedback to improve the game before I crank out the iOS version. As you’ll see, it’s not complete, but playable enough to provide feedback I hope. If you’d like to give it a try and leave feedback, I’d appreciate it:

Unity – How to make things see where they’re going

While developing a game, I wanted to enable characters to “see” where they’re going; that is, to tell them what they’re about to stumble into, without using colliders. The answer was to cast a Ray, angled slightly downward,  in front of the character, so he can “see” if he’s about to walk into a tree, or a river, before it happens. Continue reading Unity – How to make things see where they’re going

David Beckham Academy

Adobe Site of the Day winner, FWA winner and Creative Showcase runner-up.

I was asked by Tribal / DDB London to create this games site, for a joint campaign between The David Beckham Academy and Volkswagen.

Play the games

I used filmed action of Beckham himself and the video alpha channel support of Flash 8, which was rather new at the time. I was consulted on all aspects of filming and production. After we agreed game concepts, I met with the film crew at ‘Off The Radar’; I drew up the shot-list and we decided to shoot on HD at 50p, to get the cleanest possible key.

Tech used

  • Green screen at Flash Studio Norte, Madrid
  • Panasonic VariCam (1080p @ 50fps)
  • Adobe After Effects
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Flash
  • A football

dba-green1dba20I went to Madrid for the green screen shoot with Beckham as visual effects supervisor and was responsible for treating and editing the footage for game production and related media.

I stitched some of the sequences together with morphs to create almost seamless blends dba-kick01between shots and added real-time lighting filters to the footage to help with the in-game compositing.

I coded a 3-D projection system in Flash and perspective-matched each scene, so that objects move around the screen convincingly. I worked with the designers at DDB, who created the backgrounds and UI elements. I included ‘Express Install’ capability for those users without Flash Player 8, so 95% users could upgrade painlessly from Flash Player 6 or 7. All the games are mouse-controlled and were user tested with children for usability and game balancing.

A high-score table was included and the users with the highest scores were entered into a prize draw to win a training day at the academy with David Beckham. While modern video games only ever motion-capture players and recreate them as 3-D models, the DBA games site still remains a one-of-a-kind.

Super Kickups returns

Super Kickups mobile gameAddictive as crack – apparently

I finally decided to relaunch one of my classic old Flash games as a mobile app. I picked Super Kickups since I think the game mechanic works nicely on a touchscreen – that, and someone once told me that it’s addictive as crack – which I take as a compliment. I’ve recently added a leaderboard and I’ll be adding various other features, such as pickups and achievements, in the near future.

I used Starling for the rendering and it runs smoothly at 60fps on both my shiny new HTC and my somewhat slower old Sony Xperia. It’d be good to know how it runs on a range of other devices – especially if anyone finds the performance slow.

I’m not planning to target iOS just yet though, being a bigger fan of Android (perhaps Apple could make iOS less of a pain in the proverbial). You can download it from the Google Play Store here.