Monday, December 31, 2007

Farewell 2007... hello 2008

What can I say? 2007 was an awesome year, the highlight being the birth of my son Zac.
Being a dad is the best job in the world - especially with two great kids!

It's New Years Eve and I don't want to sit at the computer for too long, so HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holiday Clean Up

It all began when we bought some Christmas lights to put in the front yard... but the garden was overgrown with trees making it difficult to place the lights. So, the garden needed trimming.

In preparation Leigh ordered a super skip (a giant steel container to store rubbish). Of course, it needed filling - and it's the holidays - so what began as a simple garden clean up became Operation Landscaping.

So now we have a totally re-landscaped front yard, sans trees and with brand new wood chip mulch. It looks great, but now we're in the clean up mood and the attention has shifted to the garage where I have a lifetime of junk/toys/memorabilia stored.

I decided that it was about time to be ruthless and throw away/donate stuff that I haven't looked at for years. So I mercilessly culled out all of my Edge computer magazines and Wired magazines (I kept the first ten issues of each), I even threw out old magazines that had the slightest mention of games that I had worked on (I had a lot), and even bundled up a bunch of toys, comics and books for charity.

As you can tell I'm a bit of a hoarder and for some reason I tend to keep old toy and game boxes. Yes, that's right boxes. Empty boxes. It was time to let go and throw them out.

I finally threw out my Imperial Attack Base toy box that I had (for some strange reason) hoarded for the last 20 plus years. I'd most of the toy years ago so I threw the rest out too.

But don't worry - I've kept all of my toys that are still in blister packs including Star Wars action figures, original Ninja Turtle toys, The Simpsons figures, Star Trek figures and a whole bunch of other whacky toys I've picked up over the years.

I'm keeping these for the day when I can give them to my kids and watch them rip them open and play with them as they were meant to be played with!

But I did decide to keep one empty box... the original Japanese Playstation package. I really like the box design, it's so simple for a games machine that changed the world.

Original Japanese PSX Box (front)

Original Japanese PSX Box (back)

Well, it's time to clean up my home office, but before I go - if you haven't played Puzzle Quest yet then head over to Big Fish Games - they have a special offer on until the end of the month where it's 40% off all games. So you can pick up Puzzle Quest on PC for USD $12! What a bargain!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have a safe and happy holidays and that Santa brings you lots of wonderful video games to play!

I've had a great year making and playing games and look forward to doing more next year.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Brainiversity in iWin Top 10

This is the first time one of my casual games has made into a top ten, so I'm pretty chuffed. And right before Christmas too :-)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Brainiversity on iWin and PlayFirst

Just in time for Christmas PlayFirst and iWin have both released Brainiversity on their sites.

It's getting great reader reviews which is a real buzz. It's even earned a 5/5 on iWin. Excuse me for indulging myself, but here are a few of my favorite player quotes:
"WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! I just love this game."

This game is absolutely awsome. I swear I can feel my brain thinking"


That's what I love about making games in the internet era - you can get feedback from the people who matter most (the players) instantaneously.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Speed Racer

I've just watched the Speed Racer movie trailer a few times over... and I'm not sure what to think of it.

It kinda reminds me of the Dick Tracy movie (the garish colors) and the racing looks a lot like the Wipeout video game - but the characters and vehicles appear to be true to their source material.

I often wonder how these movies get made. I mean, Speed Racer was an okay cartoon show, but to sink so much money into remaking it for the big screen seems rather odd. Maybe the Wachowski brothers saw an opportunity to tell a story that needed to be told in this Tatsuo Yoshida animated series.

I guess I'll have to wait until May 2008 to find out.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Back from holiday

That's right, I've been on vacation for the last week. I spent my time swimming with the kids (we stayed across the road from the beach - it's summer time in Australia and the weather is beeeeeautiful!), reading and playing Super Mario Galaxy.

I had an awesome time and am ready to get back to work.

I have some Brainiversity news - a Spanish version is currently in the works which will be followed by German and probably French - we'll see how the Spanish one goes first.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

More Super Mario Galaxy and Smarty Pants

I'm on holiday at the moment so I've had more time to get stuck into Super Mario Galaxy.

I'm still enjoying it immensely - Nintendo has definitely captured the feel of Mario 64.

The 2nd player mode is cool, I've had my 3 year old join in for a couple of minutes at a time. She almost has the hang of pointing the remote to pick up stuff - but it doesn't quite engage her yet. However she keeps coming back to try, so I'm hoping she'll get the hang of it.

I've waited a long time to be able to play games with my kids, and what a great time to be playing!

Another game I'm playing is Smarty Pants, which is a quiz game like Buzz, but for the Wii. Unfortunately for the developers, they've assumed that the PAL territory consists solely of London. Which means that what should be a fun game grinds to a halt when you get the Sport or UK category - and have to answer a question about British soccer players or London suburbs.

I went to the options hoping you could turn off these categories, but it's not possible. That would have been a smart move seeing that they didn't localize it for Australia. Maybe they'll do this for Smarty Pants 2 - or pay a bit extra and localize it for the Aussies.

The game uses your Mii in it's user profile but oddly enough won't let you use your profile when you play in solo mode - you have to use a guest profile.

I actually bought Smarty Pants because I played it on Facebook - which has you answer ten questions then send these on to friends to try and beat your score. It then shows you how everyone rated. The Facebook version is lots of fun and quite addictive. But unfortunately this feature isn't included in the actual retail version of the game... maybe Smarty Pants 2 will fix this too.