Dino Dini Kicks Off The Craft Computer Club

Kick Off 2

The last week my twitter has been pretty active since I launched the Craft Computer Club Kickstarter but one retweet caught my attention last night and it was from someone called Dino Dini.

I recognised the name straight away as the author of my all time favourite Amiga football game, Kick Off 2. I spent many many hours playing that game when I was “revising” for my A-Levels. It’s one of many computing experiences that inspired me to study Computer Science and want to be a programmer.

So I replied to the Retweet asking if it was the same Dino that wrote the game (you never know on the Internet) and received this response:

And then something magical happened that’s making me smile as I write this, I received a generous backer notification. It was from Dino and it came with a wonderful message of support and an offer to help if he could.

Today I’m going to write to Dino and see what we could do.

I’ll let you know if anything, Kicks Off (sorry, it’s a poor pun but couldn’t resist)

Screenshot 2014-02-10 13.51.45

Blast-em: A very open video game

Blast-em: A very open video game

Today, Byron Atkinson-Jones releases his latest game Blast-em. It’s a good old fashioned side scrolling shootemup with a pulsating soundtrack by @gharrisonsounds Gavin Harrison – if you’re old enough to have had an Amiga or ST you’ll love it, and if not you should go find out what you’ve missed out on, have a look here.

Apart from flying through space and blasting anything that moves there’s two really interesting things about the release: Byron is giving you the option to buy the source code and letting you see how many he’s sold!

A game’s source code and the amount it’s sold are two things that are usually kept under lock and key. They are both incredibly useful to someone starting making games and writing software in general.

A great way to start learning how to do something is to start with a finished product you can take apart, break and put it back together to see how it works. For example, this is how we learn about music, we start with the sheet music (source code) by accomplished composers, see which parts make the melody which parts make the rhythm. We can then fiddle around with it and make new versions. This is how I invented Axel G 😉

Byron has turned the release of a game into a learning experience for students of video game development and it’s a wonderful thing. Byron has suggested he might run a daily blog on the development of his next game, a Pac-man inspired so hopefully we can show that too.

So best of luck to Byron on the release of Blast-em

Finally: A playable demo of The Vault – our html5 browser game development

Very excited to be able to post up this playable demo of our html5 browser game development I’m working on. It’s called The Vault 

You can play Farringdon Lane and the Vault of Alien Mind Terrors here (Chrome/Firefox only at the moment, mobile browsers to follow 🙂

The Vault HTML5 game
The Vault HTML5 game

Once we’ve finished the game, I’ll write up the technical side of using JavaScript and HTML5 to make a game. In the main I’m very positive about it, particularly the applications it has as a tool for teaching children basic programming. As a language for large projects it has some severe limitations, mainly around objects, typing and debugging. But in the main, these are outweighed by brevity and speed of development.

The other part I want to write up is the 2D platform genre which HTML5 can rejuvenate. Some of my favourite games were of this genre (e.g. Turrican, Metal Slug, Ghost n Goblins, etc) and this project really also explores whether they can provide depth but more on that later…