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.



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