links will be here


Day 1

Posted in Work at 11:16 am by guy_simmons

I’ve managed to sublet an office for the summer. A friend of a friend, who only works during school term time, has agreed to let me use the space until the end of the school holidays. Which gives me until the first week of September I think. Here’s my work space:

I walked here this morning, it took me about 30 sweaty minutes, with a brief stop in Rymans to buy myself a brand new notebook. I love notebooks, every time I start anything new I love to get myself something nice to write in ( I ended up buying two, a nice A5 notebook for workings out/doodlings etc. & a little A6 moleskin covered job, which I’m handwriting this into).

I have to say, it feels wonderfully liberating to be away from the stresses & strains of Lionhead finally. Having spoken to a few leavers now, it seems that the wave of freedom & relief that washes over you, far outweighs the negatives (such as having no money or stability for instance). Don’t get me wrong, Lionhead’s a great place to work, but it’s just a bit…frustrating, at times.

Anyway my plans, now I’m independent, involve me initially finishing off an iPhone game I’ve been working on for…well a stupidly long time. Beyond that I’m not sure yet, but I really don’t want to have to go & work full time for anyone ever again…famous last words & all that.

So on to my game, because that’s primarily what this blog is going to be about for the time being.  I actually started this before the iPhone App Store went live, as an experiment to see whether I could knock something together quickly, & to see whether there would be a market for iPhone games (little did I know at the time). It was a simple idea, based around an ever increasing shape needing to be steered through a shifting maze, & by giving the player control over the size of the shape you create an interesting risk/reward mechanism i.e. the bigger you get, the riskier it is to play, however the greater the rewards become.  In my head I saw a little piggy eating food & getting fatter & fatter. So I started the project off, calling it Mange Tout, & spent a long evening knocking up a proof of concept. It felt pretty fun to play & so the “Eat ‘Em Up” was born!

Here’s a shot from that first prototype, which admittedly just looks like a bunch of coloured dots on a black background, but they do move around, honest.

MangeTout prototype

MangeTout: The green dots are food, the red dots are poison, the white dot is an alka seltzer to help you rapidly lose weight & the piggy is the...well, piggy!

So today has largely been about settling myself in, making some lists, checking them twice & trying to put together a simple roadmap for moving this forwards.  Tomorrow I’m going to start work on a few new enemy types for the game (using the above image as a guide, enemies would be the red dots), as I want to introduce some more gameplay variation as it’s a wee bit repetitive at the moment .

The game is a lot more advanced than the simple screen shot above (it really is very old), & I have a few people helping me out with development nowadays, but I’ll talk more about that & post more information & shots as development progresses.




Posted in Home at 10:57 am by guy_simmons

We have a new family member!

His name’s Paris & he’s a seven year old, perfectly trained, super obedient, great big bag of utter soppiness.

So far all of us, bar the cats, are bowled over by how much of a lovely fella he is :-)



Posted in Work at 7:23 pm by guy_simmons

…it’s been a while!

So today, after 7 years of working there, I finally left Lionhead.  To say it’s been a roller coaster ride would be an understatement, & trying to detail the whole bittersweet experience would be difficult…so I’ll summarise by saying this:  Lionhead is an amazing studio, packed with wonderfully talented people, who exhale creativity & sweat magic.  They’re owned by a really great publisher, surely blessed with infinite patience & staffed by a lot of hard working, energetic, passionate & enthusiastic people, who bend over backwards to offer Lionhead a tremendous amount of support…& then of course, we have the true genius of this bloke.

But enough of that, I’m going to start developing games again, hurrah!  The first thing I’m putting out is a simple iPhone game, an “eat ’em up” that I call Pig Out.  While I finish it off, I’m going to write an honest to goodness, old fashioned development diary, right here on this page, to keep track of my progress.  So if anyone still reads this, & to be fair this corner of the internet has been gathering dust for a very long time, I’ll begin the diary from Monday!











Recurring dream…again

Posted in Home at 11:15 am by guy_simmons

I had another Mucky Foot office dream again last night, this time though Lionhead had to move in for unknown reasons.  It felt really odd having loads of familiar out of context faces hanging around in my favourite dream location.

What is my subconcious trying to tell me?


Happy 7th Birthday Kal!

Posted in Home at 1:33 pm by guy_simmons

Happy birthday to my lovely little chap!



Recurring dream

Posted in Home at 6:49 pm by guy_simmons

I often have this dream (maybe not so much recurring, more episodic) where I go back to Mucky Foot.  All the machines are still set up but covered in dust, & it’s like we all legged it suddenly, locking the doors behind us & no one’s been back since.  It’s a really nice comforting dream, & always involves me switching my machine on & wiping dust from my screen & keyboard as it boots up.  There are always a few other people around me, & we’re always really excited to be back & giggle at the prospect of doing new exciting things.

I had the dream again last night, except when I turned up at the office the bailiffs had been in & taken all the machines away.  In the dream I remember thinking that it was amazing we’d gotten away with it for so long anyway, but neverless it was still a bit sad & I woke up feeling quite miserable about it.

Dreams are funny really & I’m sure there’s some big meaning behind all of that, especially as the dream’s stuck with me all day, but I’m really just curious as to what my subconcious does with it next.


The power of advertising.

Posted in Home at 12:24 pm by guy_simmons

Kal Simmons, age 5:   Daddy, when can I get some of that spray to give me a “sharp look”?




Posted in Home at 5:27 pm by guy_simmons

…again!!!  It’s turning into a bit of a habit, albeit a good one.

This time we avoided hotels & planes, & instead went the Eurostar, rental car & Davy Crockett Ranch route.  All in all a good choice, but getting to & from St Pancras with luggage & kids was a huge pain in the arse, next time we’ll drive to Ashford & get the train from there I reckon.

The “ranch” itself was okay on the whole & the kids loved it, especially the pool & the horse riding.  There was a half decent games arcade there too, but foreseeing the tantrums I told Kal it was a “scary hut” full of monsters & so managed to bypass that entirely.  Having a car made a huge amount of difference, as we tended to skip back & forth between accommodation & the park itself, avoiding visitor peaks & squeezing sneaky swims in left right & centre.  None of those horribly crowded, standing room only, sweaty buses for us, thank you very much!

The rides are nice & tame, which always suits the kids, although taking them through the “Haunted Mansion” on the first day wasn’t a great idea, as Kal kept waking up that night thinking skeletons were coming out of the walls!  We rode Pirates of the Caribbean once or twice a day, & I think when I die I want to be laid out on a cart, set alight & pushed down into the depths of the ride, Viking burial style.  We also mostly avoided the new Disney Studio park this time round, due to the complete disappointment last year…except on the last day, with an hour to kill before our train home, we wandered in there & rode the Tower of Terror.  Brilliant BRILLIANT ride & next time that one will become a daily feature I reckon.

And so back home, knackered, aching feet but all with huge disney smiles plastered over our faces, & just to prove it, here’s the kids queuing up for the Dumbo ride:



Mucky Foot retrospective…

Posted in Home at 12:29 pm by guy_simmons


Really chuffed with this, thanks to Kieron Gillen for remembering us 😀



Brown bread

Posted in Home at 1:21 am by guy_simmons

Taurus T. Cat was given the long needle this evening, & tbh I’m absolutely gutted. I’m not a cat fan, never have been, but T was my little furry chum. He came as part of the package when Dom moved in, & at first we were pretty wary of each other, but it wasn’t long before he was up on my lap at every opportunity, sleeping on top of me at night, & draping himself across the back of my chair whenever I sat at my desk.

After we had kids Dom had to pretty much focus on them, & T became more my cat (I used to joke that I wanted him in the divorce settlement, sod the kids I wanted T!). Whenever he killed something & brought it in I’d go bananas & lock him out, & whenever he puked in the house I’d be cursing him to hell while wiping cold cat sick off the carpet, but all he had to do was rub his furry little cheek against my chin & we’d be friends again.

In the past couple of months though he began to seriously slow down. Numerous trips to the vets, many shaved parts & a multitude of bi-directional needle jabs failed to pin down exactly what was wrong with him. The vet finally got to the root of it today, FIV, & sadly there was nothing that could be done. The vet gave us the option of bringing him home for the weekend but we couldn’t bare it. He’d lost an incredible amount of weight over the past 3 weeks (anyone who met T always remembered him being an enormous cat) & I was pretty much carrying him from place to place & hand feeding him towards the end. As much as I wish he was laying here on my chest right now, purring away, neither Dom or I felt it was fair to keep him going purely for our benefit, so we took the decision to let him be put to sleep.

Dom was with him at the end, but I ended up stuck in traffic leaving work and got to the vets too late to be with him myself, although I gave him a final cuddle this morning & said my goodbyes as I had a feeling it was going to be the last time I saw him.

And that’s it really. I’m already getting the painful reminders, the dent in the duvet where he was laying this morning, the food bowl in the kitchen with his uneaten breakfast in it, & tomorrow we have to break it to the kids. But tomorrow is another day & right now I need to head to bed to sleep. By morning the dent in the duvet will be gone, but the memories wont be & I’m grateful for that.

Sleep tight my little matey, you’ll be missed.

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »