Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Bar Fight Live Vote #2: Back to the Drawing Board?

When we launched version 0.2.0 of Bar Fight Live we were hugely excited as it included the gameplay prototype, which let you get to grips with a punching, kicking Stunt Guy for the first time.

Bu what did you think of it? Alongside this initial demo we asked you to give us your feedback by voting on the following question:

Q: What do you think of the demo’s touch controls?

  • Just right (same again in the next update)

  • Getting there (I’d like to see the controls develop more)

  • Try again (I would like an alternative)


The results were something of a surprise - and another notable landmark in democratic development:

You voted for "Try again"

 

  • Just right - 5.7%

  • Getting there - 45.7%

  • Try again - 48.6%


That’s right, nearly half of you asked us to ‘try again’ which pretty much means ‘go back to the drawing board’!

Well, that’s the deal. The winning vote decides what we do next and so we’re beginning the process of coming up with new controls for you. The downside to this is that it’s going to push everything back a little and we want to take extra care to make sure the next version of the prototype gets a resounding thumbs up from you. We’ve got some thoughts on how we might get this to you quicker but please be patient – we’re starting again!
Categories:

Friday, 26 October 2012

Friday, 26 October 2012

Kempt Game Hijacked by Ling Valentine

It's said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and we all enjoy spotting 'influences' in the latest releases.

What you don't often see is a game grabbed by the throat and hacked into an astounding new form by a Chinese car super-saleswoman. That's exactly what happened when Ling Valentine - the car lease phenomenon and Dragons Den-defying marketing one-off - got her hands on our very own Stunt Guy - The Getaway game.

For those not yet up to speed with Ling's unique approach it's well worth checking out her website, lingscars.com, an object lesson in doing it your own way. And that's exactly what she did to our game!

So what happens when a legendary stunt man meets a Chinese typhoon? Predictably enough, total nuclear destruction - check it out: http://j.mp/LINGiOS

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Original 1980s Stunt Guy Game Found!



Trawling car boot sales and charity shops isn't just a past time, it's an archaeological vocation, saving the significant from obliteration. Recently we dug up this little gem, an original 1980s LCD Stunt Guy game.

We have no idea how it plays yet but the team are hacking it and hope to bring it to life soon - watch this space!
Categories:

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Who's This 'Tricky Rider'?



Here's a little tease of something we've been working on recently. You'll find out what this is very soon, in the meantime hit us up with your guesses in the comments below or on Facebook.
Categories:

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Thursday, 11 October 2012

BIMA D-Day Schools Challenge


We were fortunate enough to be part of yesterday’s BIMAD-Day schools initiative, a national event aimed at closing the skills gap in the digital industry. Across the country digital agencies attended local schools to mentor a day of digital creativity with the students.

Our welcoming hosts were Chaucer Technology School, here in Kempt’s home town of Canterbury and appropriately enough we were to mentor a class taking up the Mobile Apps challenge with the aim of submitting the results to be judged in this national contest. Right up our street!

After getting over the shock of being back in school (so much has changed, so much is exactly the same!) we settled into our roles of pseudo-supply teachers to a room full of thirty Year 9s - “Year nine, YEAR NINE!!!” became a regular refrain throughout the day! Fortunately the class seemed to respond well to the day and were genuinely engaged.  

Like most schools the suite of computers wasn't the most current but the creative process isn't just about the speed of your processor and the version of your software. The ideas began to fly around the room from the word go, fuelled by a strong understanding of how apps work and a freedom to think up new possibilities. We had ideas from the practical - very useful medical and personal security apps - to the fantastically fanciful - pet translators and open-ended games that tapped into your dreams!

One thing that struck us was how much time was actually spent on the class PCs - just an hour in the afternoon. To us this seemed like a good balance as what makes this industry so exciting isn't the technology itself but what the possibilities it creates. However, we also left the students with a Flash demo app to pull apart and recreate. It's when you understand technology that things get really interesting - it fuels your imagination and turns brilliant ideas into brilliant products. 

Monday, 1 October 2012

Monday, 1 October 2012

Sneak Peek: Bar Fight Live Level Art

Whilst you've been pondering the gameplay prototype and how you'd like that to progress we've been busy with other aspects of the game.

In particular we've been looking at the game environment - after all, every Bar Fight needs a bar!

Here's a sneaky peek at what we've been working on - a classic saloon bar. Note that it's ACTUALLY a movie set, built on the Hollywood back lot that Stunt Guy calls home:



As ever we're after your input, let us know what you think in the comments below - or get in touch on our contact page.
Categories:

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Stunt Guy Logos Updated!

We've just given our Stunt Guy logos an overhaul! Not only will the new logos keep Stunt Guy at the center of the brand, but we recon they'll make some pretty awesome t-shirts too! See our new logos below:

Categories:

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Reality Bites: More Realistic Release Schedules

We've learned a few things over the time that we've been working on Bar Fight Live and one of them is just how realistic we should be about the frequency of our updates. As you may know, the plan has always been to release a new build every 3 to 4 weeks, get your feedback and then whizz out a new build in another few weeks.

Reality has bitten. We're going to need a little longer.

Before you wail and gnash your teeth we're only talking a bit longer - about 4 to 6 weeks. This should give us enough time to cater for cock-ups and 'unforeseen eventualities' (such as the version with the prototype getting rejected first time out by Apple 'cause it saved videos to the device in a way they didn't expect) and allow us to get even more of your feedback into the game.

So please bear with us for that little bit longer between builds, to balance things out we'll be keeping this blog updated with even more stuff so you don't miss a thing.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The Getaway

AN ALL-ACTION ARCADE GAME THAT PUTS THE USER IN THE DAREDEVIL SHOES OF A STUNT GUY!


Play the latest stunt guy game today.
Categories:

Bar Fight

BAR FIGHT LIVE IS YOUR CHANCE TO GET INVOLVED IN A PIECE OF GAME DESIGN HISTORY!


Stunt guy would like to invite you to join him in making gaming history
Categories:

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Bar Fight Live - v.0.3.0 Changelog


In our third release of Bar Fight Live, the following items and changes were made to the App:

  • Improvements to game play prototype

  • Improved layout & navigation

  • Improved vote & results

  • Implemented Ping notifications 

  • New vote every Friday - alerts user using Ping notifications

  • Changelog feed added

  • More images of artwork added to the gallery

  • Fixes for App Store rejection

  • New revision of the Bar Fight Live logo

  • New app icon

  • Made with more blood sweat, tears and caffeine :)

Categories:

Monday, 27 August 2012

Monday, 27 August 2012

Animation Prototype

The last you heard from me about animation was when I was talking about the animation for a prototype, using cool round squashy dudes!

However, we've rapidly moved on since then, hopefully towards something you guys can play, so now we have REAL-SHAPED PEOPLE. I drew these to get an idea of how the animation works and to give us a timing template for when Kit comes in and redraws the art to make it awesome.

One thing I've learned about animating for games is how important it is to get a feeling of context while you're making the animation. For example in the past I would animate a walk cycle, a jump animation and a falling animation independently of each other, and feel perfectly happy with it. But when I saw it in the game, the walk cycle may be too slow for the rate the character is moving at, the transition from jumping to falling may be clunky, or the animation of the jump just doesn't feel as fast and energetic as the actual jump is.

So after that I would repeatedly hassle a programmer to put them in the game and see how they looked, then I'd go back to my desk, try to fix it, hassle the programmer again and again until I've iterated enough to have got it right. Then I decide we need a "landing" animation when the character hits the floor and the programmer throws his keyboard at me.

Argh, right? Wouldn't it be much better if I could just program a rudimentary controller so I can play back and swap between animations myself? This is where Flash really shines, I can get a test rig together in a matter of hours, programming and drawing in the same environment, and really get a feel for what the game may require. While the code I write in these animation demos most likely won't be used at all in the actual game code, I can at least give Max a good idea of what I'm likely to expect the animations to be and likewise help define the feel of the game earlier.

Here is a GIF of it! :D

Categories:

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Thursday, 23 August 2012

App Store Refusal!



Today we got the unfortunate news that our latest submission of the Bar Fight Live app was refused. This was down to a simple technical issue with the way we were handling video caching. No doubt the way we wrote it was too intelligent for Apple, after all Max's changelog does say "Some very clever video caching ". Instead of making it less intelligent, this time we gave it some social skills to boot - hopefully this time it's Apple friendly!
Categories: ,

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Bar Fight Live - v.0.2.0 Changelog



In our second release of Bar Fight Live, the following items were added to the App:

  • Basic game play prototype!
  • Improved voting system - means more things to vote on, more often!
  • New video for supporters - video profile on Paul, our master animator.
  • More gallery images of artwork added
  • Some very clever video caching 
  • Minor tweaks based on user feedback
  • Tweaked design of the App navigation and layout
Categories:

Friday, 17 August 2012

Friday, 17 August 2012

Video Profile: Paul Fryer!

I'm just in the process of editing our latest team profile video for the next release of Bar Fight Live. This one is of Kempt animator extraordinaire, Paul Fryer. With an official job title of "fun-gineer", he sits between the Artists and Developers and is responsible for some of the juicy parts of game development: animation, sparks, explosions, sound effects, music and of course skid marks.


This video will be walking through how Fryer crafts and hones the animations for Bar Fight Live, and also some secret recipes he uses to add extra spice to game play.

This video will be available as a piece of featured content, in the next release of the App.

Categories:

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Bar Fight Live Vote #1: The Results Are In!

Today is the biggest day so far in the short but incredible life of Bar Fight Live.



This morning we counted your votes to determine the core direction of the game.



As a reminder, we asked you to vote on what kind of game Bar Fight should be:



  • Touch-based fighting (swipe to attack etc)

  • Turn-based strategy (choose targets, type of attack)

  • Arcade melĂ©e combat (Gauntlet-esque)


The results were as follows:




With nearly two-thirds of the vote you have told us to build a touch-based fighting game! There's certainly wisdom in this as we can be sure that Bar Fight is perfectly suited to a mobile device.




If this wasn't the way that you voted don't despair, we're still listening to you. And if you haven't voted yet pleased do! It might sound strange now that voting is closed but we still want your input - every vote, every comment, every email gets taken into account - Bar Fight is your game!

Categories:

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Clarity

A big part of making games fun is making them understandable. You don't want players getting hit by something they couldn't really see, or getting stuck on an item of scenery that doesn't look like they get stuck on it; those aren't the fault of the player and therefore aren't fun things to have happen!


One easy way to differentiate between different objects and their affect on the player is with colour, for example; red = baddie, green = pickup, yellow = impassable wall etc.


But I also like to try to use the tone of an object to communicate its importance to the player.



Referring to the image above, let's start with the least important part in the gameplay heirachy;


  • The background! In the above image the background is dark and muted; the player has no limitations in this area.

  • Second is the objects that the player can interact with. These objects do not hurt the player, but may impede movement or have a non-critical purpose, like smashing into bits when someone is punched into them. These are tonally brighter than the background to make them more noticeable than irrelevant objects.

  • The next brightest thing is the really important stuff; baddies! Things that can hurt you or that you should be especially aware of are tonally bright, to set them apart from the background and non-baddie objects. Baddies pose a threat to the player and their position is very important information for the player to know, so they'd better be easy to spot!

  • Finally, Stunt Guy himself! As the player character, he's the most important item on the screen, and so should be tonally brightest; the player should always know where he is. Particularly as how as a touch game the screen may be covered in fingers, you may need to find him again after briefly obscuring him.

Of course, this is only a guideline. There can be bright background objects, and dark baddies! And of course adding colour hue and saturation messes it all up again... But by setting out this principle in the first place it gives the art a yardstick to measure against; it keeps the game easily communicable, which is half the battle in producing an enjoyable game.


For fun (well, fun if you're me :D), do an image search for black & white GameBoy screenshots, and see which games you can make sense of at a glance and which ones you can't! If it's a maze game, what differentiates a wall from the floor? If it's a platform game, what's the difference between a background object and a platform you can jump on? The original GameBoy only had 6 shades of grey to work with, so it's really informative to look at what they did, what works and what doesn't. Mario is an interesting example, there's a very clear difference between the background and the foreground tonally, but the character sprites are neither light, nor dark. While this contradicts my theories for the Stunt Guy heirarchy and does make Mario harder to spot, it does mean that the same character sprites are as visible on the bright outdoor levels as they are in dark caves!


Cool huh? :D

Categories:

Monday, 6 August 2012

Monday, 6 August 2012

Game play sketches

Here are some very early concept sketches of gameplay and how the Bar Fight game might look. As things stand now it's up to you to let us know how the game will look and play! So get the app and get involved so you can have your say!


Done with: Pencil, pen and photoshop



Categories: ,

Friday, 3 August 2012

Friday, 3 August 2012

Bug Spotting - Thank you Brandon!


This one goes out to Brandon Cowan from http://www.crazydogapps.com for pointing out that Stunt Guy - The Getaway had a pretty heinous graphics scaling issue on iPad1 & 2, and to all those of you with an iPad 1 or 2 I am very sorry, this was my fault - I will explain how shortly.

Brandon, being an App Developer himself, very kindly sent us multiple screenshots of the issue and video of it in action which enabled us to quickly work out what the problem was and squash it flat. The fixed version will be available as soon as possible.
The problem was caused by a fundemental change in the programming framework we use to create Stunt Guy which occurred shortly before release. I then failed to re-test the game on my iPad2, assuming that because it worked on our other non-retina devices that it would work properly on the iPad - but it didn't.

This brings up one part of the game development process that is very important - testing and bugfixing!

When testing games before release they must be tested extensively across all platforms and in as many different directions as possible. Menus should be navigated backwards and forwards, buttons should be tapped as rapidly as possible, or while animations are playing. The game should be tested extensively; what if the player crashes and dies, and then the time runs out immediately after, or vice versa? What if you can clip a wall or object in a certain way? Can you manage to die before the game has even begun? Testing is all about being very creative and pushing the game into situations it isn't designed for; you're *trying* to break it, so you can fix it! Because no matter how unlikely the scenario, no matter how weird the cause, it WILL happen to someone out there in the world playing your game. Even if the cause is something that the player is not supposed to even think of to do, like jump backwards into a barrel repeatedly, if it happens and it breaks the game it shouldn't be in there, because someone will think of it, and do it.

When you do cause one of these issues (and you will!), it's then very important to properly document the issue. I know that Max will have his hands full all the time, he'll be implementing new features or running down other bugs that we have already discovered, and he doesn't need to spend 15-20 minutes trying to work out how to recreate an issue that I've found. So I send him a bug report, with a step-by-step description of what happened and everything I did to cause it to happen. A hypothetical example;

-------------------
Start Menu, pressed button through to Main Menu, hit play game, played the game, died by crashing into a car, exit screen, score on gameover screen doesn't exist
-------------------
I then back this up with screenshots of the issue, or like Brandon so kindly did, with a video of the whole process.

This is because the bug could be caused by anything. It could be an error in the code on the Start Menu button that somehow causes the score to break later in the game. Or it could be a bug in the "car crashes into another car" code. I don't know this, but Max does! He can look at my breadcrumb trail, relate that to what he's done, and find the problem quickly. It takes me an extra minute or so to properly document the issue, but it can save potentially hours of him trying to find it himself if he knows exactly what I did to cause it.

Of course, bugs can still get through. There's a LOT to test in a game. One thing to remember however is that bugs are not caused by computers; they're fundementally a human error. In this case, the error was mine in not testing the app on ALL devices instead of just the ones I thought were relevant. I tripped up on one of the eaisest things to test, and for that you all have my sincere apologies.

Thank you again Brandon for bringing this issue so expertly to our attention, we really appreciate it!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

touchmyapps.com review


Yesterday we received a rather brilliant review from touchmyapps.com. Kind comments included:
"If this approach to fundraising actually manages to work, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more efforts like this popping up all the time."
"[Stunt Guy] gives you an idea of the production value this developer is capable of."
A very complimentary review we think! See the post on their site here (about half way down the page): http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/07/31/10-new-app-store-games-to-watch-july-23-29/

Monday, 30 July 2012

Monday, 30 July 2012

How to start a bar fight?

Here's a pencil sketch of Guy sitting at the bar, pinching some dudes nuts! Guess that's one way to start a fight...
Categories:

Friday, 27 July 2012

Friday, 27 July 2012

Bar Fight Live - v.0.1.0 Changelog



In our first release of Bar Fight Live, the following items were added to the App:
  • Full menu system in place
  • Scrolling menus implemented
  • Photo gallery with images of artwork
  • Videos for: pitch/introduction, explanation of vote for fight dynamic, and profile video of Kit our Illustrator
  • App detection - to check if our sister App, The Getaway is installed on the device.
  • Pitch slides - explaining the project.
  • InApp Purchases - to get people involved!
  • Badges for supporters
  • Dev Blog feed - displaying the latest news from our Development blog
  • Vote system - to allow users to vote on the important decisions
Categories:

The Getaway live on the App Store!

A second day of good news from the App Store, as our second game Stunt Guy: The Getaway goes live! Whilst most of our anxiety and sweating was taken up waiting for Bar Fight Live to be approved, there was most certainly a sigh of relief to hear this brilliant news!


One quick reviewer on the App Store piped in with:

"Smashing up other cars hasn't been as fun since the original GTA!"

Looking forward to hearing more reviews :)

For those who haven't yet seen our trailer for The Getaway, check it out here:

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Bar Fight Live on the App Store!

After a long 13 day wait not knowing what might happen, the app finally went into review yesterday. Every hour was a tortuous wait filled with tension, coffee and more tension. The previous game had been approved in what seemed like record breaking time so as hour after hour went by we were sure something must be up. We imagined all types of scenarios going on behind the secretive doors of the App Review team: buzzers sounding, people running, foreheads sweating.  Thankfully just as bedtime approached, a message came through letting us know that it had been approved! And what a beautiful message that was!

And here it is - Bar Fight Live in all it's App Store glory. Doesn't it look at home? 

Bar Fight Live on the App Store

Still reading this blog post? You obviously need to go and download your free copy of the game...

Monday, 23 July 2012

Monday, 23 July 2012

Where Do I Begin: Make an iOS Game

I sometimes get asked the question "How do I make an iPhone game?" so here's the answer.

Step 1: Get a Mac. You may not like it, but it's the only way. (link)
Step 2: Download and install Xcode from the Mac App Store. (link)
Step 3: Download cocos2d-x and install the Xcode templates. (link)
Step 4: Create a new project in Xcode. Pick one of the cocos2d-x templates. I recommend going with the box2d template, but if you'd rather write your own collision detection then pick the plain cocos2dx template. (Help at the bottom of the page)
Step 5: Make the game! I recommend pen and paper to sketch down some rough ideas and then have at it. (link)

There are already plenty of tutorials out there on the specifics of making a game with cocos2d-x so if you're stuck try a few of them out. What you essentially need to know is that all your graphics will be images that you can create with your favourite editor (flash, photoshop, fireworks, painter, etc). Once you've imported your assets you can use them like so:
CCSprite *mySprite = CCSprite::spriteWithFile("myImage.png");
mySprite->setPosition(ccp(480.0/2.0, 320.0/2.0));
this->addChild(mySprite);
Providing your app is landscape, this code will create a sprite, center it and then add it to the display.

Help Installing Templates: Using terminal navigate to the cocos2d folder and run "./install-templates-xcode.sh -u -f"
Categories: ,

Friday, 20 July 2012

Friday, 20 July 2012

This Week's Press Roundup

There's certainly been quite a bit of press attention this week, surrounding the pending release of Stunt Guy's game, Bar Fight Live. The exposure online was courtesy of these great sites:


Read the articles here:
I attempted to ask Stunt Guy how he felt about the coverage, but got a sharp answer back of "Listen nerd, if i can't wrestle with it or BBQ it, i'm not interested". Guess i caught him pre-lunch.
Categories:

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Live Development, Crowd-Sourced, Crowd-Funded - World first!

You may have noticed we've been a bit quiet recently? Well, that's because we've been super busy!

As well as working on the update to Kart Fighter and trying to get the BIMA Awards under control (with a lot of help from Bridget) we've been working on a super-secret project which will be fully revealed very shortly indeed (as soon as Apple approve it in Fact!)

Our next game - Bar Fight will be the world’s first live game development on the app-store.

Interested? Grab the press release
Follow Bar Fight Live’s progress on www.stuntguygame.com
Or follow the app's hero, Stunt Guy, and his ramblings on: Twitter and Facebook,

Thanks to everyone that's helping us get the word out now but special thanks to @emilyaturner for re-writing our hugely inappropriate press release for us. Quite exciting as it actually appears to be working! Thanks Emily.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Stunt Guy now on Facebook




Stunt Guy got his own Facebook page today, he's very excited, please go and "like" him here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stunt-Guy/219103311545106

He also asked me to share his biog with you, he's such an egotist:

"Hey dudes, I'm Guy Stunt, star of stage and screen, known by my many admirers as Stunt Guy. You'll have seen much of my work but you might not realise it was me as I'm generally taking the place of some wussy, flouncy actor-type who doesn't have the stones to do the scene.

Remember when Keanu beat off all those dudes in black suits? That was me. When Sly sewed himself up? Me again. When Sharron un-crossed her legs? Yeah... you guessed it.

Anyway, a few months back some weedy dudes from ingerland gave me a call and offered me a truck-load of cash to star in two of their games. I pointed out that they didn’t have any scars and so they threw in a white-tiger which sealed the deal.



Apparently these two games will be “free apps on iOS” (whatever that means) and will be released in the middle of July. The bit I really don’t get is that they haven’t actually built the second one and they’re planning to sell it to you as they build it so you can see it as it develops – they reckon you’ll like that. Personally I can’t see why anyone would play either game when there’s still good gator-wrestlin’ to be done."

So, there you go!
Categories:

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Magnetic Man

Making iOS Apps really leaves you with only one option, get a Mac. But which one? I opted for the MacBook Pro and at the time it seemed the most sensible option. I've had it the better part of two years now, and in the process learnt some of its quirks.

For those of you who don't own a MacBook or have yet to get friendly with it, there is a very specific process for using an external monitor. You plug in the monitor, close the notebook and then wake it up with the power adapter attached. This is called "clamshell mode".

This might work fine if you're just checking your emails or doing the odd bit of surfing the web, but if you're doing work that taxes the processor you'll quickly end up with one very noisy very hot MacBook. The solution seems obvious, just open up the notebook so it can properly cool itself.

The reality however is a little different. There is no option to run an external monitor with the MacBook screen disabled and trawling the forums you'll find a lot of people with the same issue. There is really only one solution, and that is to put a magnet in a very specific place to trick the MacBook into thinking the lid is closed. Should I have to do this with £2k+ of professional equipment? No. Will I make the best of a bad situation? You bet.


For those of you wanting your own funky looking magnetic man then check at your local steamer trading cook shop. If you were instead expecting some dubstep then look no further.
Categories:

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Flash Dead? - 5 million iOS Installs for New KartFighter

Until comparatively recently you'd have been totally forgiven for describing Kempt as a Flash house. Although I'm definitely not a huge Adobe fan* and I acknowledge that the player has a few issues, I'm not ashamed to say that Macromedia (not Adobe) did a brilliant job of creating a revolutionary tool which made rich application/game development truly accessible for the first time and sparked a decade of unprecedented creativity. But... times, and opinions do change my friends...

Increasingly Kempt's success comes not from Flash projects but from what we're doing with iOS/mobile games. Take our recent release for Red Bull: Kart Fighter - World Tour for example: unfortunately I'm limited in terms of what I can reveal outside of this press release but suffice to say that the iOS version alone garnered over 4 million installs in it's first month 500k of which are in the UK and that's without any media support at all - in fact the campaign hasn't really even started yet. Whilst we can still generate significant numbers with Flash games it has to be said that we'd struggle to generate these kinds of numbers in that time period.

Added to this I had a really amazing chat with David Helgason from Unity at GameHorizon last week, he's a really inspiring character and it was fabulous to hear his insight on the landscape, the challenges for Flash and his vision for the future of Unity. Whilst Unity comes at the problem from a very different point of view David speaks eloquently about exactly the same thing that sparked my original passion for Flash - the democracy of game development. I get the feeling that there'll be very exciting things to come for their technology and I very-much look forward to seeing it develop.

So, while people still love flash games and I don't subscribe to slightly naive statements like "Flash will be dead within the year" I do think that the world has changed radically (for the better) for us developers in the last couple of years. We now have the luxury of choice and the benefit of opportunities that we never had before. And I will say that, unless Adobe can find a way to both up their game and improve their developer relations, Flash's days are indeed numbered.

So interested in Kartfighter?

But more importantly the game here: http://www.kempt.co.uk/site/casestudies/245/

*Lists of the reasons that I dislike Adobe are available on request.

Update - more Red Bull press releases here:
Ten million installs for Red Bull Kart Fighter World Tour: http://j.mp/1xTkDj4
6 million installs for Red Bull Kart Fighter 3 http://j.mp/1vNuKa2

Joanna Lumley Makes Us Taller


Yesterday saw the launch of the Inspiring the Future initiative, a scheme which aims to bring workplace expertise to Britain's school children using a network of volunteers from all sectors and professions.

We were lucky enough to be invited to yesterday's event and went along to Bishop Challoner school in Tower Hamlets as exhibitors, setting up our modest stall in readiness for a morning of careers conversation with the pupils.

Flattered to be involved, what we didn't expect was the arrival of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to kick things off, followed by a stirring speech from Joanna Lumley (http://j.mp/Oi4LzK) that was Churchillian in its power to inspire. You didn't have to be 16 and in full-time education to feel a foot taller after that amazing oratory feat.

We're delighted to be involved in Inspiring the Future as it's a project with aims very close to our hearts. If you're in a position to get involved we'd urge you to do so at the earliest opportunity. Find out more here: http://www.inspiringthefuture.org/

Bar Fight start page art work

Here's a scene i sketched in pencil for the start page of the game; Stunt Guy and Gal kicking butt!











Several hours of photoshopin' later, and the image looks like this...

Monday, 2 July 2012

Monday, 2 July 2012

POT

Not the kind you smoke, but rather Power Of Two. OpenGL has to have textures as Power Of Two. That means valid sizes are as follows:
2,4,8,16,32,64,128,256,512,1024...

Of couse you can have any size image, but once you turn it into a usable texture it's expanded to the nearest POT. Worst case scenario you have a texture that's 513x513, and you've just wasted 785,407 pixels (or 74.9%) worth of memory. If you can, try and make sure you get as close under one of those values as possible, or better yet create a sprite sheet.


Categories:

Friday, 29 June 2012

Friday, 29 June 2012

App Icon Development

App Icon Version I
Here's the first version of the Bar Fight app icon that i worked one. Initially we decided to kept it black and white which worked quite well in the end.









App Icon Version II
The second icon was based on the intro page image to Bar Fight. In this version i decided to add a bit of colour to the icon, to give it a little more depth. However, this version was finally binned as we decided the level of detail was too much given the scale in which the icon would be reproduced.






App Icon Version III 
This is the third and final version of the app icon. Keeping in mind all the lessons from the previous icons, this one punches straight to the point; and in full colour too! WHAMO!  Right in the chops!
Categories: , ,

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Stunt Guy The comic book?!

Inspired by my modest love for comic books, i thought i'd mock up what Stunt Guy's would look like.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Friday, 22 June 2012

Animation Progress


Hello again! I've now reached the point where I have an animation demo to show Max. Once he's given it a lookover and hopefully waved his arms around with ecstatic approval, I'll export the component parts of the animation and we can put it in the game and see it in action! This is also a great time to show you exactly what I'm showing him... but in animated GIF format! Remember them? :D Brace yourself, here comes the TECHNOLOGY;


This animation kinda consists of 3 parts;

1) The "physical" animation. This is the flex and bounce of the Stunt Guy / Brawler sprites, and the way they speed up, slow down and look like they have "weight". This is very important to the feel of a game, if the weight feels too light the game can feel fake and uninvolving, but if it's too heavy the player will end up mashing the input device trying to get things to move faster and just get over there a little bit quicker and AARRGGGGHH

2) There's a "collision swoop", which demonstrates to the player where the attack is going and what it'll hit. This will probably happen every time the player attacks, whether they hit something or not, so if they miss, they know why.

3) Finally there's a thwack which will be spawned at the point of collision, showing the player what was hit and where! This is where the aforementioned sweat and teeth will fly out from, and doing these parts are my favorite bit. I also find it helps to make the noises as I draw them, it adds verisimilitude. KER-SPLAT!!

Of course, the next step will be to put it into the prototype. From there things can still change; we may find that the swoop looks bad in the game, or that the thwack gets too busy when there's a lot of them around, or we may run into a technical limitation, or we may just think of something better! Game development is fluid, the only way to really know if something works is to test it where it's supposed to be.

So yeah, this is the kind of stuff that we do all the time, but that noone ever really sees except us. But now, also you! :D

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Animatin' Prototypes

Hi! I'm Paul, and I'm an animation and art and sound and explodey bits guy here at Kempt. I've just been doing some conceptutal animation for the prototype you'll hopefully soon be playing in the app store!

This project is interesting for me beacuase unlike most games we develop, the game has to be understandable and playable at every iteration. So while normally we would be adding these effects later in the game, making use of full animation, HUD feedback and particle systems, this time we're working with placeholder art in a bare-bones engine.

The art will be changing dramatically over the next few weeks, as will the game, so to communicate the actions of the player and the baddies in a bar fight I'm using a few basic animation effects and squishing the placeholder graphics about.

The characters are currently just these cool little circle guys so I thought it would be fun to squash them around like those pull & squash ball-bouncing animation exercises, to see if I can get some personality into them with just the squashin'! When the game starts coming together we'll develop the animation to do what we want, communicating positive & negative to the player and smashing blood, sweat & teeth all over the place; but for now we're going for some basic reactions so the player knows what's going on in the prototype.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

You Will Submit!


As local coffee baristas can attest to we’re frantically prepping Bar Fight Live version 0.1.0 (the first one!) for App Store submission. This ain’t our first rodeo (as Stunt Guy might put it) but there is something about submitting a game to Apple that’s akin to handing in your homework to the head teacher. No matter how many times we go through this process the thought of giving up control of our app for a week or so always creates a frisson of anxiety. Combine that with the genuine excitement for Bar Fight in the studio and the consumption of a slew of caffeinated beverages and you have a team of extremely wired individuals.

I’m hoping that most of you will be reading this after the app has sailed through review and you already have it installed on your iDevice. If so you can be assured that we’re currently going through it all again as we ready the next update.
Categories: ,

Introducing Kit Wallis

Hi, I’m Kit I’ve worked at Kempt for about 6 years mainly doing artwork and design, before Kempt I was working as a freelance illustrator and comic book artist having been published several times worldwide. This is one of the reasons I think I’m enjoying working on the Stunt Guy games so much I’m kind of treating my approach to it in the same way I would go about doing a comic book (ish). I’m basically doing the character art on the Stunt Guy games which is fun as the game is based around some crazy ass characters!
I’m going to be posting loads of my working drawings and doodles on the blog. I’m not entirely sure how this is all going go so bare with me, I have a hard enough time posting to my own blog! Anyway  I hope you like what I post and I look forward to your comments!

Ta! 

Friday, 15 June 2012

Friday, 15 June 2012

The Bar Fight Logo

So the first design for the Bar Fight logo apparently looked too much like a certain fighting game set on a street! (fig 1.) Booooo! I said but my work colleagues did have a point! So I started sketching a few ideas out (fig 2. and fig 3.) I decided I quite liked fig 3. So I scanned it in, turned it into a vector image and squashed it about for awhile, the result being fig 4.

This logo has added punch!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Game Menus

Laying out menus with code just plain sucks. You shouldn't have to do it, period. If your approach is to use Flash to create/lay-out menus and then manually export all the assets as pngs, it's not going to be long before you start tearing out your hair.

The key problem is registration points and the co-ordinate system. In Flash 0,0 starts at the top-left, but on the iPhone 0,0 is bottom-left. That means that you can't just copy paste co-ordinates from one to the other. The second problem is the registration point. I can pretty much guarantee that at some point you'll export a graphic from Flash and find that the centered registration point in the graphic isn't in the same place in the PNG, or that top-left registration point is just slightly off because you stuck a drop shadow on something.

The hardcore solution is to programatically write a whole bunch of AS3 (approx 1,208 lines to be a little more precise). Now with a single click I can turn a complex Flash menu into a single file that I can load and run on my iPhone. Pure bliss.



Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Bar Fight!

Here's another sketch for the Bar Fight game, This was done for the dev app as a background image, we probably won't use it in the final version of the app so this might be the only time you get to see it! I didn't really get the right sense of 'impact' with it that I was trying for. However I do like how Stunt Guy and Gal turned out! Check out his giggling package!

Done with: Pencil, marker pen

Monday, 11 June 2012

Monday, 11 June 2012

Creation

The beginning of a project is a fresh start. There's no code to manage, no bugs to fix, just a million miles of endless opportunities. There's a lot of excitement when I get the chance to open Xcode and do this:


Introducing Max Heide

I wake up, the sun is creeping in through my bedroom curtains. Turning over I look at my iPhone, the time is 8:33am, it's time for work.

Getting out of bed is easy when you've got an awesome job, and having a motorbike with over 100bhp to get you there helps too. Tearing down country lanes without being stuck inside a metal can gives you an amazing sense of freedom. Having the power and agility to easily get though any situation makes you feel like you can do anything. That is a great way to start the day, and a great way to start a new project.

When I'm on the bike it's an ultimate test of my thinking ability, my life is on the line and one bad decision could have serious consequences. The trick for me is not to always make the best decision possible, instead I continuously make quick good enough decisions. If you spend a lot of time trying to make the best possible decision, you might find that by the time you execute it the situation has changed or something you didn't anticipate happens. My approach is to chain together lots of quick good enough decisions, you try something but immediately after question it and make a new decision.

I take exactly the same approach when I make a game. I don't spend weeks trying to architect the perfect game framework upon which to build a game. I just make quick iterative decisions which keeps the game prototype flexible and fun. Inevitably somewhere down the line the game engine is going to be expected to do something that it wasn't designed to do, and because you were quick and iterative you should have plenty of time left to hack it together.

- Max Heide, Lead Mobile Developer

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Stunt Guy Bar Fight!

Concept sketch for the intro page of The Bar Fight game.

Done with: Pencil

Friday, 25 May 2012

Friday, 25 May 2012

Dev (not) Required - Nice Hair Essential

*** Update - I should probably say that we filled this job... Sorry if you found this and got excited... we are always on the lookout for talented people with cool hair though. ***

Hiya,

Let's cut to the chase. We're an awesome games studio in Canterbury, Kent. We specialise in producing games for brands but also publish our own games. We rock.

We need an equally rocking PHP & MySQL developer with cool hair and skills in:
  • PHP
  • MySQL
As well as being hardcore in PHP/MySQL we'll give you bonus points if you can show us skills or knowledge of:
  • Facebook API
  • Linux administration
  • Java
  • HTML5
  • C++
  • AS3
  • Playing music, particularly drums... we've got guitar, bass and keyboards nailed.
Interested? Great, drop us a line! (We don't really give a shit what your hair looks like though.)
Categories: , , , ,

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

V1 App Map Done!

Blimey, this live development stuff is really weird... it's like having a client that you never meet.

So... Dear Client...

Today was a good day, we made some real progress. 'The Getaway' is nearly finished and we've finally nailed-down what the initial release of 'Bar Fight' is going to look like.

For the first release of Bar Fight we're going to keep things nice and simple, essentially it'll do two things:

On the one hand it's going to be a bit of a pitch to you - our clients - the kind of thing we might submit as a first set of ideas for a project. It'll therefore feature a simple prototype, initial concept art and an outline of the game/gameplay.

However this isn't just about selling the game, it's also important to us that we use this as an opportunity to give you all a bit of insight into the development process. So we're planning to kick it off by including some really exclusive content - stuff we've never-ever shared before. There'll be raw art from 'The Getaway', storyboards, the development blog and a series of interviews with team members showing how they produce art, code and animations. There'll also be a series of public votes on the future of the project, we'll use this (as well as all the nice comments in the app-store) to shape the future of the game - you really will be as much part of the process as we will be.

So, a good day, it's going to be really exciting, I do hope you'll join us for the ride!

Cheers,

Chris