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.
I 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 between shots and added filters to the keyed out footage to match lighting and improve the 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 can upgrade painlessly from Flash Player 6 or 7. All the games are mouse-controlled and were tested by kids for usability and game balancing.
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.
Back in 2002 some colleagues and I built one of the web’s first and most popular online multi-user Flash games, Dinky Bomb.
After the dotcom we were working for folded, it was sold to EA and subsequently acquired by Atari, who have unfortunately done little with it. Gone for now, but not forgotten; there are a few YouTube videos out there, including this one, which features Dinky Bomb as part of a TV game show from way back then… good times!
FreeYourBuddy is a video-based ‘advergame’ I produced for GT/VML for a Windows Mobile campaign. It’s a lot like Subservient Chicken, but you need to chat to Buddy and direct him to solve puzzles in order to escape the confines of the computer in which he’s trapped.
You can tell him to do silly stuff too – or just swear at him like I do – whatever floats your boat. Somewhere online there’s a walk-through; but it’s more enjoyable to try and solve the puzzles.
There are a few Easter eggs in there and I also localised the game, so Buddy understands 4 different languages and can hopefully piece together even the worst grammar. He is, however, not the sharpest tool in the box.