Tuesday, 6 December 2011

(UPDATE) An old screen mock up..and my blog is now wider!!

I've widened the width of this blog! Yay let's all have a party! Ok it's not that big a deal but it does mean I can fit some Amiga size screenshots in now without having to scale them down and in the process  losing that retrotastic scanline effect I like to add.

To start it off here's something I found recently from 1994. It's an old screen mock up of a game I was going to do with a couple of old mates of mine called TMR-II for the PC. For those interested the art was drawn using Brilliance on an Amiga A1200.

Paris with or without top?
Looking at the width I still think there's some adjustments to be made but it's better than it was. Only real tweak I've had to make so far was the blog header which needed expanding to cover the extra space.

I almost forgot there was also a female character called 'Paris'. Can't think why I did a lesser clothed version? Hmmm... 
**** UPDATE ****
Me mate Gary Symons just reminded me that the game was based on an old arcade title called 'Search and Rescue' by SNK which I was aware of at the time but due to creeping old age had totally forgotten about.. So to remind me and anyone else who is wondering, which is probably about 3 people here's a youtube clip  of said arcade game being played.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Revisiting 1995: The Sensible Golf level editor

Define new map?

It's screen shot time again folks! I've taken it upon myself to provide a few screen shots for the GamesTM article that's currently being written. 'Yeah no probs' I said thinking I'd load up the old Amiga emulator, take a few screen shots and be out in time for the virtual pub to open.. Nope!

Hang about, go back to the start, what am I talking about 'again' I've not done any for a while, damn I must be getting on a bit as I'm time warping back to 1995 and the many hours, days, months spent designing and editing golf courses for Sensible Golf. Strange.

Anyway as I was saying it took a bit longer than I thought but after several failed attempts to get me USB joystick working,(subject of a later post) I managed to sort out the shots as promised and just as I was about to close down the emulator I saw a disk image of the Sensible Golf map editor. Hmmm.. I wonder if it works? And if it does work will I be able to actually use it again? (cue tick tock music)  It loads! Cool I thought... then.. well.. that's about as far as I got. The memory banks that stored the 'how to use it guide' have become somewhat corrupted so I'm relying on that old favourite , trial and error.

Something is working here...
Unlike Cannon Fodder these tiles are 16x8!
A brief break for some food followed by much clicking and pointing with more clicking and pointing thereafter revealed what can only be described as a light from the heavens. Well actually it was a loaded golf course map but you get the idea. So I'm now seeing a loaded map and those corrupted memory banks have began to self defrag. Result! Joyous triumphant cheering would be heard if I could be bothered.  Strange thing memory, if you had asked me this morning how to use the Sensible Golf editor I would have look bewildered and puzzled, more than I would on a normal day.

So what's the point of this somewhat pointless exercise? Well I was kind of thinking how cool it would be to hack the original game graphics and levels I did back in the day with a newly created one off map and graphics,  as you do.

Then I thought apart from me I doubt anyone would really be that bothered by it, my to do list is quite big and if I was going to do something along the hack route I would suspect Cannon Fodder is a clear winner for this kind of retro tom foolery.

Ah well the idea was good for all of about 5 mins including ad break. ;) That Cannon Fodder idea is starting to linger...hmmm....

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

I once did a pixel version of the World Cup...

And here it is...all drawn 1 pixel at a time using the most excellent ProMotion from the most excellent Jan Zimmerman & Cosmigo!

Unfortunately due to licensing regulations that are tighter than tight things wrapped in latex rubber, shrinked, re-squeezed and then cling filmed to the extreme, this humble image can never be used anywhere without permission from some man in a suit who works for FIFA.(Commercially anyway)

So I thought I would donate it to my blog and give it an airing for bit, poor thing has been stuck in my footy art folder for ages..

Still not all is lost,  I have a growing collection of pixel designs for various shirts and other suitably worthy attire waiting to be finished so there! This concluded this rather pointless yet mildly satisfying post to my blog. Good day to you all.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Jack Sparrow Pixel version!!!

Argh me hearties it be that time of the year when all that swashbuckling and rum drinking be a taking over the erm... well you get me meaning... My son is playing Lego Pirates of the Caribbean at the moment on the XBox360. So I thought I would post a few animations I did of Jack Sparrow 'pixel stylee!!' just to bring them out for a few rounds on the screen before retiring them back in the old stuff folder.

Now then me dears these grafs (techie term that) were originally created for an official game of the movie . Unfortunatly said game didn't quite make it past the galley before being abruptly shoe horned off the ship via a very short plank..Sploshee Splash... Plop!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Retro Gamer & GamesTM Interviews

So I did this interview recently for Retro Gamer magazine where I answered a few questions about my days at Sensible Software and the joys to be had creating art on the wonderful Commodore Amiga.

Issue 94: Art Attacktasticles!!!
Come to think of it the interview isn't that recent now but just like the good old London buses you wait ages for one and two come along, so not only am I in the 94th issue of Retro Gamer I've also just given an interview for GamesTM who are doing a feature on us  bods at Sensible Software.

I believe this issue of Retro Gamer is still available on back issue for the sum of £4.99 + P&P. 

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

A new blog entry

This is a blog entry to let you know (yes 'you' that solitary soul peeking around the door at the back of the room) that I shall be writing a new blog entry very soon.

This is a rock!

Friday, 20 May 2011

UK Government...

If you're in the UK like me and attempt to watch this video via YouTube you will get this rather bizarre message appearing instead of the expected video feed. The video in question is titled, "Lawful Rebellion in Birkenhead" , please take some time to read up on the events surrounding this video as it will illustrate why the UK Government probably doesn't want you to view it.

Now then to get around this unnecessary tampering from those silly fellows in Whitehall who really should stop treating us like kindergarten kids, there is a way.  You view it via a free proxy!! YAY!
So without further ado  try this link. View the video! courtesy of http://hidemyass.com/

Just paste the URL of the Youtube video into the box and away you go!


And here's a picture of the MP who decided that we really should not be allowed to view those nasty things on YouTube as it may give us a few ideas..

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Bottom about face....

I like pixel pushing, I like pencils, I like my Wacom tablet, I like water colour paints, I like.... I like...

I realised the other day that I've spent most of my professional life drawing digitally. When I say digitally I refer to the creation of graphics (mostly for games) on a computer screen using a graphics program without  a pencil or sheet of paper in sight!

As a child (still a child some in the know would say) I used to enjoy drawing and painting, what child doesn't? I sketched, painted and even managed to fail my art 'O' level for taking too long in the exam(ever the perfectionist). Then I discovered video games and thus my digital artistic journey began and my artistic endeavours switched from the analogue world to the digital. Commodore 64 sprites and character sets  in glorious chunky fat pixels became my new canvas!

Fast forward a few years and the advent of graphics tablets and art applications introduced a whole new way to create art digitally. Don't get me wrong I'm a huge advocate of this technology but there's something rewarding in using a pencil, a pen and a splash of water colour that never fails to make me smile. Maybe I'm becoming less geek as I get older? Perish the thought...Next I'll be growing my own veg and painting sheds.. (Did I tell you we've got a new shed and I'm growing pumpkins this year?)

Take this recent illustration which started out as a pencil doodle and ended up as a new plant species in the Blobbit World, inked in and water coloured with Blobbit friendly hues. I asked my son Jack to come up with a name and he suggested Bloobelly Spikey plant which almost felt right so after further discussion we ended up with the title Blooblee plant! 
(Mobile phone photo so not the best quality, scan should look better I'd say)
There's something about water colour that just works for me... simple yet effective! And with that thought next week I shall be painting in a cave using chalk and water... and talking of caves I don't believe that Bin Laden died this year.. 2001 seems more likely surely? Here's the most excellent James Corbett with a pretty good summary of why I like many don't believe the 'official' story.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Vernimb reveals bum Shocker!

There I was doodling away recently on the back projection of a Vernimb when it dawned on me that I in order to preserve the correct detail I would have to draw a Vernimb bum! Bit saggy but it's not real so none of that cosmetic meddling required here thank you..
That's all for now, you can go...

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Cannon Fodder disk box...

During a recent clear out and tidy up..hang about that reminds me does anyone remember that show that used to be on in the UK many moons ago called Stoppit & Tidy Up?? Narrated by Terry, oops Sir Terry Wogan? No?... oh OK...as I was saying I was in my garage doing some "conversion" work... Conversion being the conversion of old stuff from shabby cardboard box to clean solid weatherproof plastic cube thing (with lid!!) when I found a box of 3.5" discs.(remember those?)

Wearing my techie geek hat as I often do when I find myself rummaging about in old boxes of tech, I often snap a pic or two of any notable finds along the way. I was happily snapping away (resisting at this point in the blog entry to type 'as you do') at lost treasures I'd forgotten I'd owned and came across this....
This is the very box I used to store all me Cannon Fodder art disks, demo disks and beta tests of the game. As you can see I never did get around to buying a proper box and used this bulk unbranded x50 disc cardboard box as storage complete with masking tape repairs to hide the mistreatment the poor thing endured over the years.
Now the question remains do any of these discs actually work since being exiled to planet forgotten about since 1993. Hmmmm I might have to set up an Amiga next weekend and find out... On further thought will any of my Amigas work long enough to test them out and/or(nerd mode) will the disks be damaged? Perhaps I'll leave it "as is" for now... 
Note: Will climatise them to the house temperature well in advance to avoid any of that funny electronics failure malarkey if I feel lucky as punks do...

Oh and I should also mention that the Podcast from my appearance on the most excellent Cafe Calcio radio show is still up if you haven't had a listen yet..It's 1hr long and yes the music at the start is part of the show.. (Yes Mum...)

Thursday, 17 March 2011

I was on the radio I was.. last Friday to be precise @ 9pm..

So there I was last Friday having a cuppa tea when out of the blue at zero hour I read an email asking if I would like to be a guest on a football themed radio show called "Cafe Calcio" on London based Resonance 104.4 FM. The subject of discussion was 'Games' which for me meant only one thing,  Sensible Soccer!!!
What could I say?? 

I had a great time meeting the gang (in the pub) Chris Dixon, Chris Roberts and David Stubbs and fellow guest Daniel Tatarsky who's knowledge of Subbuteo was mind blowing to say the least which is probably why he wrote a book about it. (Amazon linky here)

The music at the start doesn't last too long so don't do what my mum did and think you're listening to the wrong podcast! ahh bless...

Not one to alarm but...

I've been wrestling with Blender in an attempt to make a 3D version of a Vernimb Sentry this week. So far it is starting to look less like a deformed plum and more like a video game character.

Once he is done I can then proceed with the exciting bit , the animation!! Oh and of course creating a bona fide 3D Blobbit too.

The sketch to the right is the literal version I did for the book I'm writing. They're a tad more serious than those seen in the game version that's for sure. It's exciting indeed!!
Original Vernimb
Sentry Sprite

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Texturing phase 1 - 90% complete

Still a bit too clean to be accepted into the blobberhood but a few bits of dirt and grime should sort that out.. :)

Did I say that I really really like using Blender?

Elenin = Nibiru

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Sketches of the teleport door and pad

Here we have two sketches... But not just any old sketches oh no oh no oh no... These are sketches of something that is in my book (yes that book!). These are sketches of a Blobbit repaired 'Matter No Splatter' transportation device. Usually these devices appear unbroken but sadly this one wasn't so lucky. But all is not lost as our hero Blarold Blobbit has made good using some wood, a couple of metal shoes and a rivet gun.Wowsers!  Will it work? Hmmm that's a good question... Only one way to find out and that's to see it in action in Blobbit iDash. Yay!!
(Now I must go and finish texturing it in Blender, chie de chie my luvvies!!)
Elenin = Nibiru

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Oh joy of Joy Division...Texture Paint is jolly good.

I have discovered that the 'Texture Paint' mode of Blender 2.5 is indeed rather awesome!! I've been playing with seams and one of the most frustrating things I've experienced is shading up a nice texture only to find that one of the seams doesn't quite look right. But all is not lost, oh no!!  You see there's this rather nifty (not heard that word for a whole,'nifty' not 'rather') that lets lazy oiks like me paint directly onto the the model! Now it's no Photoshop or Gimp but it does have a smooth and smear mode which is fine and dandy for smudging out those bleedin' angular 'stand out like a sore thumb' joins!! YAY but no hay!!
Look no wires I'm flying!!

Cuppa tea now to celebrate my new best buddie in Blender 2.5..

Monday, 28 February 2011

Seams... but no Mrs Slocombe..

As a relative of newbie who is still learning the ropes with all this 3D modelling, texturing and animating malarkey (yes I'm so 2D I even have a travelator in my home instead of stairs), I have discovered that in order to make a UV Map fit like a glove without an obvious stretch or skew the right approach to unwrapping is required; to avoid pixel tomfoolery anyway.

Now just last week and a year I was getting a bit ahead of meself and thought I had it in the bag. 'Ahhhh' I said to meself as it become quite apparent that the art of unwrapping is indeed an art in itself (on a small scale, not that I'm comparing it to drawing and modelling, that would be like comparing decent choccy to that cheap muck you get off of Romford Market sometimes. Maya Gold for me all the way!). I digest...Careful thought on where to place those seams is important if a nice clean texture layout is required. Which it is otherwise what's the point...Yarse.. (Getting the hang of this me is...).. This is the concept sketch of something I'm 3D'ing at the moment....will post the final doo-dah once it's done..

This has been the ramblings of a solitude moi under-dubbed with a slice of WaveStar "Mind Journey" working from my space pod in near Earth orbit.. Si

Elenin = Nibiru I reckon...

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Blobbit T-Shirts are now on sale!!!

It's that time again, that time when dreams of running a fashion empire start knocking at the door. Yes I've uploaded a couple of Blobbit related designs to my shop (Cool Blobbit Shirts)
I'll upload some pics as soon as I get a moment spare...   

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

What? No... Surely not.. Oh yess indeedy deedy dee...

Work on bringing Blobbit Dash to iOS has resumed after what seems (and probably is come to think of it) an absolute chasm of time.

So without wasting any further cycles typing endless letters into something half eligible I'm outta here to get this bleedin' game sorted with me ol' mucker Mr.Ripley of Effervescing Elephant  He has a new site don't you know!

First job to be done is to get the background art into some sort of structure and thenbuild up a list of what is going where and by whom, what time and at what point the nasties make an appearance..  There again I may just be saying that in a cunning rouse to mislead and misdirect.. (what the blinkin'ell is he going on about?) Beats me... Cuppa tea methinks..

Might be using  Art Rage to do the BG art on this one.. Can't beat a bit of pencil sketching without pencil and without paper.. hang on that's not pencil sketching is it? Well I suppose it is in a sense.. but I ramble onward and upward...  


Visit the Hobeka shop to buy some cool stuff... Pixeltastic!!!!

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