The Shard

July 20th, 2013

The Shard

This is The Shard, currently the tallest building in Europe at over a thousand feet tall.

Want to see the view from the top?

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Zombie Apocalypse!

June 9th, 2013

Zombie Apocalypse

Here I am fresh from a recent encounter with the undead. I have no idea what has happened to my nose in that picture - perhaps that’s one of the first symptoms of the zombie virus and now my brain is going to start slowly rotting away?

This picture was taken at Zombie Apocalypse which was a very thoughtful 40th birthday present from my brother and his family. I say thoughtful … although I’m not sure what thoughts made him think sending me off to be eaten alive was a good idea!

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“Ores” Web Game Playing Bot in Python

February 20th, 2013

Recently whilst looking up information on the internet I came across this tutorial on How to build a python bot that can play web games. I’ve written similar things myself before, but this looked like a nice simple method, so I thought I’d give it a go.

This is the game I picked as my target:

Ores Web Game

(You can play it here)

The goal - to write a program that will automatically play the game exactly the way a human player would play. That is, using only the information visible on screen with no behind the scenes fiddling or poking with the game’s code.

And here’s how things worked out …

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O2 Headphone Amplifier Project

December 16th, 2012

O2 Headphone Amplifier

I made this! It is a headphone amplifier for use with my Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

I’d love to be able to claim that I designed it, too, but that wouldn’t be true. It was designed by NwAvGuy and sold as a self-assembly kit by headnhifi.com. All I did was buy the parts and put them together.

Read on to see what’s inside and how I got on …

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Creating a Texture Atlas using Inkscape

November 18th, 2012

Following on from my previous article on Creating Game Graphics in Inkscape, here is a further look at how to integrate your graphics into your game engine.

Assembled Character

This time I will be demonstrating a way to combine all of your graphics into a single image file and create an XML file to describe that file in a form that your game engine can understand. This is called a Texture Atlas. Using a texture atlas (sometimes called a Sprite Sheet) allows your game engine to handle your graphics resources in a far more efficient manner than if it had to deal with individual files one by one.

My provided solution will create the files in a format that can be read and understood by the Starling Development Framework, but the method would be easy to adapt to other formats.

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Creating Game Graphics in Inkscape

November 15th, 2012

Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor. I was introduced to its use in game graphics design by the articles on Chris Hildenbrand’s excellent blogsite on 2d game art for programmers.

Dinosaur

What follows is not a guide to creating your graphics, but a set of instructions for getting your finished graphics out of Inkscape into a form your game engine will be able to understand. In a later article I’ll be going further into using Inkscape as a tool for game development.

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Friends Network

September 16th, 2012

Friend Graph

The picture above shows a graph of how my facebook friends inter-relate. It is entirely computer-generated, including all colours, sizes and positioning. Read on to find exactly what information the picture reveals and how you can make your own.

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Rockaoke

July 7th, 2012

This is me singing “Let Me Entertain You” by Robbie Williams at last night’s Rockaoke event.

Rockaoke

Rockaoke is, of course, Karaoke, but with a live rock band.

This was just one of several public singing performances I took part in this week …

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Ferrari Day

March 14th, 2012

This is me burning rubber around the International circuit at Silverstone in a Ferrari 360.

Ferrari 360

Sadly, this isn’t my car, as you can no doubt tell from the owner’s name written all over it. However, thanks to my brother generously buying me a Ferrari Driving Experience for my birthday I was able to take it for a couple of laps before I had to hand the keys back.

So, what’s it like to drive?

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Rammstein - up close!

February 25th, 2012

This is German heavy metal band, Rammstein. I took this picture at last night’s concert at The O2 with the crummy camera on my old iPhone. It makes the band look further away than they actually were:

Rammstein

Yes, I was about six feet away from one of the biggest metal bands on the planet in one of the largest music venues in the country. Beat that, posh people in corporate boxes!

Read on to find out how I ended up getting so close and personal with Rammstein …

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