Potentially Insane Developing

I have been hard at work on a game called “Literally Insane Racing”. It is basically everything I wanted Slide Racing to be 3 years ago, but now I have the skills required to make it.

I have drawn 40 cars for it, all with their own strengths and weaknesses, all handling noticeably differently. There’s a fine line between genius and insanity, and I don’t think I hit genius.

“I’m glad there weren’t 35 cars.”

Posted in Flash, Gaming, My Games, Previews | 2 Comments

Summer Punch

Surprisingly, though I have rarely touched Flash this year, I got a job this summer working 5 days a week at Mousebreaker. (That’s this Mousebreaker). As such, I have been powering away at Flash, and with any luck I’ll come out of it with something cool to show for it. Here is a little preview of the first.

Literally Insane Racing

Menu ripped off from the original Driver. Let’s call it an homage.

The working title is “Literally Insane Racing”. This is one I’ve been wanting to make for a while – the biggest Flash top-down racer I can imagine, with 40 cars available to play. The hook is that the cars are all useful for different races – rather than a linear progression from slow to fast, in this game no one car will be able to win every race. Oh, and it’s going to have a stupid story attached, because it’s one of my games and that’s what I do.

I call it LIR Yep, still LIR

(I think I got better at drawing in the last year despite not drawing at all.)

We’ll see how that goes. Incidentally, there’s nothing quite as scary as opening up your game on your home PC and seeing how the colours look vastly different.

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Audiobook Generation

I bloody love audiobooks. This is definitely not a game-related post, as I cannot develop games while listening. What I can do, however, is cook, or wash up, or walk about London, or sit around waiting to meet my invariably late friends. Audiobooks are superb for making dull things interesting; when I have a good novel on the go, I actively seek opportunities to listen to it, until every chore in the house is finished. Since I began, almost 2 years ago, I have mauled them, going through about 1 per week on average. This, for the record, is twice as fast as Audible will sell them to me. Oh well, their loss.

5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Steig Larsson
This series is a great example of the advantages of audiobooks. For one, the actors were drilled into correctly pronouncing the Swedish names, meaning you can talk about the book to Scandinavian friends and sound like you know your stuff. On top of that, the book begins very slowly – but in audio format, you just get through it and into the action the series is famous for. I don’t know if I would have read past the first 50 pages myself; luckily, Saul Reichlin read it for me!

4. Lolita – Vladimir Nabakov
Read by Jeremy Irons, who perfectly captures the forceful, unsettling air of Humbert Humbert. A criticism I have heard of audiobooks is that you do not get to imagine your own voices, and there is perhaps validity to that. However, Jeremy Irons can’t do a young girl’s voice for toffee, and I found that I was able to overwrite his manly depth with my own interpretation of what a 12 year old might sound like. The book itself is highly potent, and difficult to stop thinking about.

3. Life And Laughing – Michael McIntyre
Who knew Michael was so interesting? Hearing him deliver his own jokes is a pleasure, and on top of that, some things hear don’t appear in the print copy. We hear him fumble words, and ad-lib through his mistakes, or joke about how he has to read it to us. That sort of thing can’t be matched in paperback.

2. Harry Potter – J. K. Rowling (as read by Jim Dale)
My favourite thing about audiobooks is how they are tied to real world memories. I can remember where I was during particular plot moments, and it helps me look back to where I was 18 months ago. (I was vacuum-fighting, fyi.) I have a famously bad long-term memory, so this is a genuine pleasure of the format, and it is strongest in a series so often referenced. As an aside, I listened to Jim Dale, who speaks around 2 hours faster than Stephen Fry on the longer books. However, if you are a Stephen fan, that is fine too, they are both brilliant.

1. John Dies At The End – David Wong
I didn’t realise when I started, but listening to this book was like gambling; every now and then, a coy sentence would slip in that would make me burst into hysterics. If I were walking around in the real world (IRL), all of a sudden strangers would see me start laughing, and back away slowly.
I found out later, David Wong is a senior editor at Cracked.com. That explains why he’s so damn good at this.

Also recommended:
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
The Hunger Games – Suzanne Colins
At Home – Bill Bryson

Not recommended:
Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand. I listened to 27 hours of this philosophical masturbation before encountering the valley where entrepreneurs have a perfect society in which philanthropy somehow fills the void left by not paying taxes. I couldn’t stomach the thought of 24 more hours of that.

TL;DR: Don’t worry, from next week I will have a lot more game-related posts! Exciting times are abound in my programming life.

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The Grammar Police

grammar nazis

I saw yet another comment thread descend into minor quibbles about grammar. I have come to the conclusion that I just… don’t care about it. If someone can’t spell, it doesn’t mean they’re stupid, it just means they can’t spell.

On another topic; exam season. I probably do have time to update the blog, what with the time I waste not revising. But regardless. Blogging properly resumes on the 28th.

Posted in Broken promises, Just for fun | Comments Off on The Grammar Police