Category Archives: News

2012: A new year.

I thought I would post an update letting everyone know what I have been up to over the last few weeks, since all of my posts have been either tutorials or adding to my portfolio. After enjoying a great 18 months at Substance, I decided to go full time freelance since the beginning of 2012. The adventure so far has been a success and a massive learning curve. Going freelance has made me change my attitude to work, broadened my development experience, and taught me invaluable life lessons. I owe the a lot of thanks to a lot of people over the last few months, particularly a great developer called Jonny Frodsham and everyone at magneticNorth.

Going full time freelance has given me the financial freedom to create 2 indie games as my next projects. I am really excited to work on my own titles again after releasing Cowlorful with Jimp, which has been played over 5 Million times now.

I will be creating a game with my friend Ewan Brock which I have posted previously about before called Davey Jones: Lost Souls. The game was postponed by the birth of a baby, marriage, moving house and going freelance but we are now committed to releasing the title and work has been going really well so far. I have completely rewritten the engine from ground up and the title is about 6 weeks away from release. Davey Jones: Lost Souls has a really nice feel to the artwork and experience at the minute, and I cant wait to hear what people think about it!

Another game that has got me excited is a as of yet unnamed RPG again with Jimp. I grew up addicted to Final Fantasy 7, probably the most important RPG of all time. It has influenced and tugged at my heart strings more than any title ever has. Final Fantasy 7 was the first game to make me realise that games could induce an emotional response from a person, and become more than simply a way to kill a few hours. In the same way that movies have other the years evoked countless tears or a laughter, Final Fantasy 7 proved that games could create that kind of emotional response too. As well as this, Final Fantasy 7 contained a battle system to die for. It was simple enough to learn the basics, but it required hours of dedicated refining to perfect and a lot of the bosses required custom configurations to beat.

There were many things that made Final Fantasy 7 great, and better writers than myself have tried to put their experiences playing this title into words. I completely understand that our game will be well below the quality of that masterpiece. However, I am extremely excited to work on a project that will be of a similar nature. After spending so many years being a fan of these games, it feels really good to hopefully contribute something back to a genre which has given me so much personal enjoyment.

I look forward to the next few weeks, and am really excited about working on 2 great projects. If anyone wants to become a BETA tester for either the unamed RPG or Davey jones, please get in touch, we would love to hear from you! You can contact me at craig [ at ] grindheadgames.com and we will send you versions to test during development, a big thank you and a wet soppy kiss. If anyone has a spare 5 minutes, we would be more than grateful for your help and I look forward to hearing from you.

There will also be an update for this site pushed live soon which will make it slightly nicer to use. The website also needs some general maintenance, and as there is a drop in traffic over the weekend this seems the ideal time to do it. Expect some downtime this weekend, but a much faster service by Monday. I apologise in advance for any disruption.

Thanks for reading this long post!

Craig.

Error found when using World Construction Kit ( WCK ) and Google Analytics

I am a big fan of the Box2D World Construction Kit and have used it to many build several games. However when working with the packages recently I encountered a strange problem when trying to incorporate Google Analytics into the build. I have used Google Analytics many times in the past, so I was surprised to find an error when using it. I had opted to use the Analytics component and avoid using the AnalyticsLibrary component. I spent a while trying to figure out if there was a problem in my code, but there really is not much you can get wrong with Google Analytics and this was not the case. Here is the error I was receiving:

outer-scope = [global Object$ flash.events::EventDispatcher$ flash.display::DisplayObject$ flash.display::InteractiveObject$ flash.display::DisplayObjectContainer$ flash.display::Sprite$ flash.display::MovieClip$ Preload$]
[Preload~[O] *[A]] {} ()
0:getlocal0
[Preload~[O] *[A]] {} (Preload~[O])
1:pushscope
[Preload~[O] *[A]] {Preload~[O]} ()
2:findpropstrict com.google.analytics::GATracker
[Preload~[O] *[A]] {Preload~[O]} (Object~[A])
4:getlocal0
[Preload~[O] *[A]] {Preload~[O]} (Object~[A] Preload~[O])
5:pushstring “UA-19243777-5”
[Preload~[O] *[A]] {Preload~[O]} (Object~[A] Preload~[O] String~[S])
7:pushstring “AS3”
[Preload~[O] *[A]] {Preload~[O]} (Object~[A] Preload~[O] String~[S] String~[S])
9:constructprop 11 3
[Preload~[O] *[A]] {Preload~[O]} (*[A])
12:coerce com.google.analytics::AnalyticsTracker

VerifyError: Error #1014: Class com.google.analytics::AnalyticsTracker could not be found.

at Preload/handleComplete()

To this day I am unsure why the class can not be found when trying to use Google Analytics with Box2D World Construction Kit. It is really strange, I can trace everything as expected but it still errors. The workaround we came up with was to install the Google AnalyticsLibrary component into Flash. For some reason this solved my issue, and I was able to compile after doing this even though I didn’t adjust any of my code.

If anyone could unravel this further then leave a comment! I am intrigued to find out the real reason behind this. For the mean time, if anyone else encounters this bug then placing the LibraryComponent into the library may help you.

Cowlorful has been sent to sponsors!

Over the last few months I have been working during evenings and weekends on a Box2D platform game called Cowlorful with my good friend and talented artist, Jimp. I have found Cowlorful a pleasure to work on, this is possibly due to the fact that it looks so pretty!

Cowlorful Title

Cowlorful Title

The game features 19 action packed levels, which Jimp carefully put designed and put together. We originally wanted to do more, but because of my workload I did not have enough time to create any. It is a shame as I would have liked to have created a couple, but I think there is a healthy amount of content regardless. The main problem I had was with the performance, the graphics can be quite intense, so making it all run fast was an issue.

Initial Level Design

The game also contains 40 hats that the player can unlock and wear. Why would a cow want to wear a hat you may ask? Well, because cows are pimps. There are also 10 side quests available to complete and some more hidden secret hidden goodies, such as the Golden Udders. Who knows what these do ? I hope you enjoy finding out!

The game has now been sent to sponsors and we are both excited to see what they think. We have decided to email portals directly this time instead of using FlashGameLicense, at least initially. It will be interesting to see if we can avoid the 10% cut that FGL take out of your profit, I hope we can! I will post up some more information and the release date as I find out. Keep your eyes peeled!

CreativeJS launches!

creativejs

creativejs

CreativeJS has been released! Created to showcase latest groundbreaking work being achieved using Javascript, HTML5 and other native browser technologies, CreativeJS already boasts a very nice selection of demos and interesting articles to glance at. Seb Lee-Delisle has gathered group of experts to help keep the site updated, so expect to find stories frequently.

One of my favourite articles on the site: The Making of RO.ME by Mr Doob, is up now. I’d advise you go have a look! http://www.creativejs.com