Skip to main content


No Logo

I saw some amazing logos today on the Indie Game Developer page on Facebook. I was inspired to make a splash screen for my own game.

I'm not much of a graphic designer, I trained for it, but I fell out of practice. So today I wanted to put my arm to work drawing up a page which will display when the game starts:
It was fun making the "Celtic" knot type decorations. There's a certain geometrical genius to how they are made, I'd love to understand exactly the maths behind how to generate them. It was hard drawing them by hand.

I learned a lot from this exercise, for example, don't design your logo with the final bounds you intend to display it. It's easy to cut down a larger composition, but it's impossible to uncrop a smaller, unbalanced one.

I darkened some elements to bring the text in to main focus:

Recent posts

Play Test Write-up Number 2

The second play test of the Alpha build went well, lasting about 30 minutes of real play before an unexpected crash. There were a number of small issues and things that need to be re-balanced, but overall, the game was great fun.

When comparing to the real-time version of the game from 6 months ago, there is a marked improvement is fun, and real moments of excitement, at least for this play tester.
The mission chosen was one with multiple small groups of enemies scattered around the map. The player had limited artillery and air support, one unit of each. Both sides had a combat support unit for de-buffing opposing troops, and the enemy also had a general support unit for buffing friendly troops.
A short time limit meant that the player had to split their troops to tackle several objectives at once. This made the mission quite interesting as several small combat arenas were active simultaneously. The small map size (32x32) wasn't a problem, it never felt that cramped, and at times,…

Particle Tests 2018

With the infantry mostly done, work continues on the particle system.
Some of the particle elements have been migrated from the old project. But some parts have been reworked.

If you don't have a particle debugging tool in your game, I suggest adding one. It's great to be able to "paint" with particles at the mouse cursor. It saves a lot of time. Instead of adding a unit to the map and having it shoot at another unit, different particle effects can simply be mapped to keyboard keys and dropped on to the map at will.

The particles are arranged like this:

[hit particle]
----[sound particle]
----for i in range(amount):
--------[smoke particles]
--------[fire particles]
--------[spark particles]
----[crater particle]

In the main code we can just call a ShellExplosion(target_position, size=6) to place a particle and let it control all subsequent values and sub particles.

Infantry Tests 2018

Infantry are being added back in to the game. The sprites look great, even though they are really small. They seem to suit the turn based gameplay better than the real time version of the game.

There will be some more previews over the next week as more functionality is added. Particles and decals are being added back in to the game as well, much of the code and graphics are reused from the earlier version of the project, which helps to save time.

New Worlds Part 2

There are still some thing to add to the terrain set, but its mostly finished for now. It's really great to have a fully featured level editor so that the map elements can be tested right away. No messing around with modifying text files or external programs. Just switch modes and paint.
The terrain has achieved the appearance I aimed for, which is similar to a table top gaming board. I never wanted a photo real game environment, and I'm happy with the way it has turned out. It reminds me of bonsai trees or miniature gardens.
It is quite obviously tile based, there's no getting around that, but it's important in any case, since otherwise it could be difficult to know where units can move or not as well as guessing lines of sight.
Most of the techniques I've used here are things I tried before, but I never got them looking so nice or running so well. Drain on the graphics card is negligible at this point. The shader works really well.
The movement shader and fog of …

New worlds

Most of the AI and mission structure is done. It still needs heavy testing, but I'm getting tired of looking at the placeholder terrain, so I'm doing some work on the full terrain.

This is the basic "summer" terrain. There's a lot still to add, such as the water part of the shader (where you can see the grey gravel in the above shot) and of course trees, bridges and walls.

I'm not sure yet if I want to add modular roads as a different object. That would give them a more solid appearance, but might take more work and be more of a drain on resources.

There will be other terrain sets as well, some will feature bigger rocks, and different kinds of trees.

Summer Burnout!

Progress on my usual projects has been slow this month, my computer was suffering from severe slow down and a couple of times even shut down with a CPU overheat error.
Korea can be a very hot country, and a lot of expats who come and live here aren't used to all that entails. I'm from the UK where temperatures rarely get above 23°C (73°F) in the summer. Here temperatures above 30°C (86°F) are common, and the humidity can make that even harder to endure. It's not just humans and animals which have trouble in that weather, computer hardware can suffer performance reduction and quickly degrade if it's running at a high temperature for a long time.
If you're running an expensive gaming rig it might already have a state of the art cooling system, but the vast majority of expats won't want to invest in this kind of set-up. The computer I use the most is actually the one in my classroom, which is an ancient Windows 7 machine with an integrated graphics card. It'…