Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Pixar Story

I got Wall*E on Blu-ray for Christmas and it's an amazing 2 disc set.

It features the short film "Presto" which played before the movie in the cinema, as well as a new short, "Burn-E" which fills in the background to some key moments from the movie.

One of the standout extras is the documentary "The Pixar Story" by Leslie Iwerks. It's full of some great footage and is inspirational to watch. I had to smile when Lasseter talks about how Disney wanted them to make "Toy Story" edgier - I've experienced this a number of times from video game publishers - it's interesting that this seems to be a common problem in creative industries.

Luckily for us Pixar followed their gut instinct and made the movie they wanted to make.


Friday, January 23, 2009


2009 is shaping up to be an exciting year!

The big news is that I have gone indie. I'm no longer working for Pandemic Studios Brisbane office. I had a great opportunity to leave and pursue a passion I've had for a long time and I've taken it. I wish the team at Pando Brisbane best of luck and look forward to seeing the team succeed.

There is some cool new stuff in the works for Brainiversity which I will talk about in the coming weeks... for those on Facebook you can check out some of the new Brainiversity 2 games that have already been built. There are a bunch more Brainiversity activities to come and a few other B2 surprises in store.

More news later!


Monday, January 19, 2009

iMac - The Verdict

Okay, so it's been about a month since I made the switch from Windows to Mac.

So, what do I think? Have there been any regrets?

Well, the short answer is I haven't looked back, even for a second. The Mac environment is so slick, fast and intuitive that I couldn't even think about going back.

I don't want to repeat myself and go on about all the cool features the Mac has (read this post if you want more info) - but I will say that the thing that has impressed me most is that the Mac is less cluttered then Windows.

Spotlight makes finding anything on your computer super easy, and the fact that the hardware and software are designed to work together cuts out so much complexity that Windows needs to have to support every possible sound/video card out there.

So there you have it. No buyers regret, just happiness and joy from having a Mac in my life.

Well, this is officially the last Maclovin' post - so no more gushing. I promise!


Friday, January 16, 2009

The return of Zork

That's right, there's a new Zork game in the works. This time it's an online browser game.

As a big Zork fan I'm looking forward to seeing what Jolt Online Gaming does with the universe. The game is called Legends of Zork which will be playable here.

There's no hard info on when it will be available.

In the meantime, check out Fusion Fall here, another other cool browser game. This one uses Unity and is full 3D.

And if you're into point and click adventures, check out Griswold the Goblin, also another browser game.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mobile Me

Now that I have a Mac I'm going to give MobileMe a go.

It's a service from Apple that puts your contacts, calender and email into "the cloud" letting you synch between multiple computers and your iPhone.

In preparation I'm switching from Microsoft Entourage as my mail and contacts program over to Mail, iCal and Address Book. Luckily these Apple apps have an "Import from Entourage" option built in.

I've never been so organized in my life!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

David Perry Game Design Reference Book

You gotta love Dave Perry. He is a legend in the games biz. And he's tall.

He's the man behind some gaming greats including Earthworm Jim and MDK. And he's done some great stuff for the games industry which I won't list here as you can read about it on wikipedia.

Anyway, he's written a book with Rusel DeMaria on game design which I am looking forward to reading, called David Perry on Game Design.

There's not a great deal of info about the book available, but I'm expecting there should be some gems in there based on Dave's pedigree and game dev history.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Studio Game On

Studio Game On is a cool concept that has game developers making a game "live" over a six week period. The game they have chosen is called B-MOVIE and you can see the game pitch below.

Run in conjunction with the Game On exhibition at the State Library of Queensland, you can watch the developers create a game from scratch - and can even participate through crowd sourcing by submitting ideas at the State Library or via these forums.

So check out the site and have your say today!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Palm Pre

I've had a Palm since 1996 - back when it was a US Robotics Pilot. I loved it and used it every day.

But slowly the Palm platform fell into obscurity and was overtaken by the likes of the iPhone. The concept of a PDA and phone (and music player) all rolled into one is pretty awesome. Plus the iPhone did what no other PDA challenger did - they captured the simplicity and ease of use that the Palm device offered.

But now it seems like Palm are back with their Palm Tre phone. It shamelessly copies a lot of iPhone innovations but it also seems to extend a lot of iPhone functionality and has a few other neat features to boot (removable battery, wireless charging, etc).

Check out Engadgets round up here and Gizmodo's comparison with iPhone and the Google G1 here.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Yahtzee keynote at GCAP 08

Game Connect: Asia Pacific (GCAP) is the annual Australian game developers conference, and last year they had the very funny Yahtzee deliver a keynote on what makes a good game.

Check out the video below courtesy of tsumea - the Aussie and NZ games industry web site. Enjoy!


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Some Cool Apps

My friend Bernard was over last week and gave me a heads up on some apps that I wasn't aware of. They're pretty cool so I'd like to share them with you!

First up is Live Mesh. This is the brainchild of Ray Ozzie, Bill Gates' replacement at Microsoft. He's a very smart guy and you can find out more about him here in this Wired article.

Live Mesh - is a data synchronization system that allows files and folders to be shared across multiple devices. Click here to sign up. You will need a Micrsoft ID such as your MSN or Hotmail email address. It's handy to transfer files between multiple computers, including your work colleagues or friends PCs. Works on PC and Mac!

Evernote - like Live Mesh, Evernote has a web and PC/Mac client that lets you take notes and synch to your computer. You can access your notes from any PC using the web, make changes or create new ones, then have them synched back to your PC. Pretty cool stuff. Again it supports PC and Mac.

Picasa for Mac - finally, the most awesome photo management software is now available for the Mac. Picasa, Firefox, Thunderbird and a whole lot of other multi-platform software packages is what makes switching from Windows to OSX so easy. Basically all my day to day software stays the same but with the advantage of a fast, sleek, simple to use OS! Get Picasa from here.

And lastly, is a game app called ScummVM. I've talked about this before, but I'll mention it again as it runs on practically everything from Windows to Linux to OSX to the iPhone. It lets you play the classic LucasArts adventures as well my old graphic adventure game Flight of the Amazon Queen. Get it here if you love graphic adventures.

And download Amazon Queen from here.


Sunday, January 04, 2009

More Mac Loving

Okay, so I've had the iMac since Christmas eve and have been using it extensively. So, how have I found the switch from Windows to OSX? Amazing!

The Mac has been so easy to use that just today when I used my old Windows PC to grab some files I found it frustrating to try and navigate - and I've used a Windows box for years. Any way, I am well and truly a Mac convert.

I promise this will be my last Mac Loving blog (at least for a while) - so take it out here is a link to an interesting blog chronicling the early days of the Mac.

Folklore.org: Macintosh Stories


Thursday, January 01, 2009

Flash Dev

It finally clicked. I've got my head around ActionScript 3.0 and have got the first Brainiversity activity running under AS3.0.

Unlearning the weird logic that AS2.0 forced upon you was the hardest part - now that I get it, AS3.0 makes a lot more sense conceptually - it's a proper game dev lanuage now!

I just have 15 more activities to re-write and I'm done :-)

Oh, and a Happy New Year to you all! We had a bunch of friends around and welcomed in the new year singing Abba tunes on PS3 Singstar. Good times.