Sep 14 2011


I got interviewed for one! Against All Expectations – Episode 9. Leo (@limbclock) asks me a bunch about my background, Beacon and Vigilance, what the plan is with Fight Back, Mac stuff, HaXe stuff, Finland stuff… taking in things like the unfortunate name conflict with Chevy Ray’s Beacon (spoiler: totally my fault!) and how Vigilance was partly inspired by an RPG Maker game.

Hell, I’m not going to go on about the Sam HaXe work I’m doing right now. There’s plenty about it in the podcast. 😀

Some interesting stuff kicked off over the weekend. Ars Technica put up this post about contract clauses from game development studios which specify that anything employees create, even in their own time, is the property of the company. (My personal opinion: it’s taking the piss!) I sent this on to Jas Purewal (@gamerlaw) who, being super awesome, wrote up a whole article addressing the legal situation, sharing what developers think on the topic, and giving sensible real-world advice on how to deal with these issues. If you do any kind of software work yourself then give it a read, though I guess it’s written for a UK audience so the legal stuff might not be universal.

Right… back to implementing the SWF spec!

Feb 17 2011


A lot of people liked Beacon’s music. That’s awesome! Some have asked me where they can get the soundtrack. Well, if you’ve installed the game, it’s already in the package you’ve downloaded:

Windows/Linux: Look in Beacon/Music/
Mac: Right click “”, select “Show package contents” and navigate to Contents/Resources/Music/

If you haven’t got Beacon installed right now and just want the music, I’ve uploaded a zip file of the soundtrack.

I’ve also uploaded my first album. It’s from over three years ago now but I’m still proud of many of the tracks in it, even if they could use remastering with the tricks I’ve learned since 🙂 It’s over here and there’s a Flash player for the individual tracks as well as a downloadable zip. Feel free to check it out! I’ll upload some newer tracks in the coming days – some which are more like my work on Beacon, and some which are quite different.

Feb 15 2011


…I think. Please let me know if it works for you, as I haven’t had anyone test this one!

As ever, it’s up on Beacon’s project page. (I’ll have to set up the sidebar project links tomorrow to keep that visible.)

The Linux build was easy after the Mac build – I lost some time to the case-sensitive filesystem but there wasn’t anything really odd to deal with. The only weird part is that Linux doesn’t seem to look in the local path for dynamically linked libraries, so you need to install the libraries required to your system or run a shell script that tells it to look for them locally, since I put them in the .tar.gz. I think it’ll work…

I also discovered today that my Mac build won’t work on OS X 10.5! It only works on OS X 10.6, and I think I’d need versions of SDL and possibly FMod that were compiled for OS X 10.5 in order to fix that. It’s unfortunate but I’m just not willing to put the time in to try and support the older OS. It’s an odd approach by Apple, making compiled code only work on the latest OS by default… I’m pretty sure my Windows build would run on Windows 98 or something, let alone something a mere two years old.

Anyway, so far Beacon’s been getting some great feedback (“a lovely bit of work” –; “My god, this is beautiful” – an RPS commenter :D) and has already been downloaded by over 4500 people. It’s great to see so many people interested in small indie games by total unknowns. I’m feeling much more confident about trying to do this for a living now!

Feb 14 2011


but I’m DONE and there’s a Mac version of Beacon now and it’s lovely.

I thought doing a Mac build would be like building stuff for Linux. It’s not! Apparently libraries come in “framework bundles”, and programs go in “application bundles”, so there’s lots of Mac-specific directory stuff to handle. On top of that, the accepted way of doing everything is to build stuff through XCode. I wanted to use gcc directly so I could port to Linux more easily, but I think that actually made everything take longer.

IT’S OKAY. I get it now! And the sheer number of Mac owners and gamers around was quite a surprise. I only realised yesterday that about half the people I know use Macs, and a bunch more showed up on Twitter to hold out for the port and help beta test. You guys are great and very patient. I won’t make you wait next time 🙂

Next up: Linux build.

Next next up: sleeping for a couple days solid.

Feb 12 2011


Well – I’ve fixed a few more bugs and added a few more visual effects this morning. I’m just fixing bugs and minor hangups now.

Final version playtests so far today have thrown up a few more issues than I expected, so I’m holding the release off until this evening. If you came here to check it out now, sorry for the delay and thanks for your attention and patience. If you’d rather be notified when it comes out, please follow me on Twitter. ♥

Edit: And by “this evening” I guess I meant Sunday. I’m going over the game with hanzonaut and we’re eliminating a few rough spots he identified. It’s heavy going but it’ll be worth it!

Feb 12 2011


Beacon’s pretty much good to go! But… it’s 1am and no-one’s awake to playtest.

Right now I’m going to get some sleep, ’cause I’ve been busy all day tweaking and improving! I finished the third music track, added three kinds of tile, added a bunch of detail graphics, cleared up some DLL dependencies, optimised the game to run better on low-end systems and did some quick animated graphics for the splash screen. A quick snapshot of the splash screen mid-animation looks nifty in its own way, I think:

Anyway. I guess I’ll be setting up a page, getting a few playtests and actually releasing the game tomorrow morning. I’m kinda excited! See you then!

Feb 11 2011


Thursday has been kinda busy. I’ve been working on music, reverb for the sound effects through FMod, bugfixes, an icon for the app and a quick splash screen… a lot of polish type stuff, but nothing really to talk about. So instead, here are some pictures of the editor I made for it!

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Feb 09 2011


are rubbish instruments to synth.

So today, apart from blitzing round Beacon’s world in the editor to fix up a load of naff areas, I’ve been wearing my ♫ MUSIC HAT. Spoilers ahead!

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