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My Games and Levels

planet-lander

Planet Lander

Planet Lander is currently a work in progress.  It is built in GameMaker and GML, but all design, code, art and sound are solely developed by me.

Large cave section

SKYRIM QUEST – THE HUSTLERS OF WHITERUN

A quest designed for Elder Scrolls – Skyrim, within its own custom editor.

PORTAL – SINGLE PLAYER LEVEL

Designed in Valve’s Hammer editor for the Source engine

The level in its primitive state

UNREAL TOURNAMENT 3 – MULTIPLAYER LEVEL

Designed within a limited time frame as part of a level design competition

80 Days

80 Days is a game previously released on iOS and Android and now recently released on PC.  Taking inspiration from Jules Verne’s novel, ‘Around the World in 80 Days’, the game pits you as Passepartout, the almost unwilling, yet loyal companion to Phileas Fogg on his globetrotting journey.  As Fogg’s valet, you must find the fastest and safest routes around the world, all while overcoming the various scrapes and obstacles on your journey through text-adventure style mechanics. Continue reading “80 Days”

New PC

Now I am become Death, the destroyer of 4K worlds

This was originally posted my other website: www.invertlook.com

I have a new PC and god damn is it good.  I’ve always had a penchant for good hardware, but this time I’ve clearly taken it one step further.  I’ve paired it with an Acer XB280HK 4K monitor so I’m now running everything at four times the resolution I used to.  Which is, quite frankly, insane. Continue reading “New PC”

Dune II

The Building of a Dynasty

You know that feeling, when you’re drawn in to a strategy game so much that you act like a maniacal despot.  A madman who believes he is actually there.  All of a sudden you’re babbling, spluttering at the screen and barking orders at essentially non-sentient entities made up of ones and zeroes.  You start talking to yourself, the first sign of madness apparently, or maybe the only way to be sure of intelligent conversation.  Ok, so maybe that’s just me.  But when it happens, that’s when I know I’ve found a great game, one where I feel a sense of real presence and agency in the world.  That moment of very personal madness when I first played Dune II in 1992 was when I knew it was great. Continue reading “Dune II”

Rome II

Novi omnis impetum , deliqui

This was originally posted on my other website: www.invertlook.com

Novi omnis impetum , deliqui

Which roughly translates to ‘I selected all, I charged, I failed’ and is just one of the many maxims I’ve had to learn playing real time strategy games since my first foray in to them in the early nineties.  And I say ‘roughly translates’ because, yes, I did use Google translate for that one, I’m not a Latin scholar I’m afraid.

We’ve progressed a bit in the last twenty years from the old C&C style of ‘how many mammoth tanks can I build in five minutes to chuck at the enemy’ and the Total War series was one of the pioneers that progressed the genre.  You see, you need to retain the mindset of balance while playing Rome II, both on the battlefield and in the halls of the senate.  You need to play the benevolent statesman, religious manipulator and ruthless dictator just as much as the military general if you’re to have any hope of conquering the world as you know it.  Appeasing your people is just as much, if not more important to securing military victories than fighting the battles themselves.  Let’s look at an example from early on in the campaign… Continue reading “Rome II”

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor

This was originally posted on my other website: www.invertlook.com

J.R.R. Tolkien never liked the idea of his books making the transition to the world of screen.  You would hope then, that Peter Jackson’s trilogy would have dissuaded him from this line of thinking.  It breathed life in to an already well-loved set of books and fascinatingly detailed world through the entirely different medium of film.  Unfortunately Christopher Tolkien, J.R.R.’s son, has apparently stated his disapproval of Jackson’s conversion of his father’s books stating “They gutted the book, making an action film for 15 to 25-year-olds.”  Tolkien’s estate also took issue with profits made from the films involving an $80 million legal battle.  It looks like we won’t be seeing any more of the great professor’s world on the big screen for at least a while yet. And so here we are, despite the criticism and legal battles, experiencing one of the inevitable conversions of Tolkien’s work to an interactive medium from the success of Jackson’s films.  Many have come before of course, some successful, some not so much.  And as a licence, there are always the usual suspicions of cash-in opportunities, conjuring the image of greedy-faced publishers, rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of well-meaning folk dumping £29.99 in to their bottomless purses to experience permanently hitting X on their controllers in the most mind numbing way, yet perfectly content as the whole affair is wrapped around their beloved world.  And yet there are always exceptions; Dune II, Goldeneye, and the recent Alien: Isolation to name but a few. Continue reading “Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor”

Meditative Gaming

This was originally posted on my other website: www.invertlook.com

With the slew of modern games mostly revolving around beating ten tonnes of shite out of something, someone or even each other, it’s refreshing to know that we do have a few alternatives.  The kind of games for those off-days where we feel like slipping in to a hypnotic coma and waking up to a repetition of colourful lights and custom music. Continue reading “Meditative Gaming”

An Ode to EVE

Spreadsheet fun

This was originally posted on my other website: www.invertlook.com

A few weeks back a friend of mine discovered that I dabble in EVE Online.  I’m reluctant to use the word ‘play’ in this regard and would much rather use ‘dabble’.  It seems these days that anyone using the word ‘play’ in regards to an MMO such as EVE or World of Warcraft is instantly stereotyped as some fat, balding loner who immerses themselves in the same virtual world 16 hours a day, pissing in to a nappy and outsourcing their character to someone in China while they sleep so they can technically play TWENTY FOUR HOURS A DAY.  Unfortunately, all of the above does actually apply for some people but it’s pretty much the same as saying “What?! You drink beer?!  You must be an alcoholic!!”  So on discovering that I ‘dabble’ in EVE Online he said “You know that game is just a spreadsheet right?”  Well, that’s one way of putting it I suppose, but then it depends on which aspects of EVE you appreciate.  It really depends on your perception of the game.  The ‘spreadsheet’ side doesn’t particularly interest me at all.  It’s rather what you do with those numbers and calculations that matters.  In fact, EVE is about something else for me; a lot of other things really.  Here’s what’s great about it. Continue reading “An Ode to EVE”

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

You Will Poo Yourself

This was originally posted on my other website: www.invertlook.com

I remember as a child reading a set of Ladybird Well-Loved Tales books that all came with an accompanying audio cassette.  There were plenty in the series including The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk, to name a few.  There is quite a dark side to children’s fairy tales however, and the two that I found most harrowing were The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids and The Three Billy-goats Gruff.  Something about the imagery in those books, the sinister plotlines and the style of painting – so different from the cutesier modern day look of children’s books – made my hair stand on end.  At one point, during a car journey, I remember turning a page of The Billy-goats Gruff to be confronted with an image of a lurking Troll waiting in hiding under a small bridge to eat the goats.  I was so scared I actually vomited all over the page. Continue reading “Amnesia: The Dark Descent”

The Future of Virtual Economies and MMORPGs

This was originally posted on my other website: www.invertlook.com

In 2006, a self-proclaimed investment banker walked away with 120,000 US dollars that did not rightfully belong to him.  This money had been invested by clients of the bank under the assumption that it would accrue interest; it did not.  Instead, the owner of the bank waited until there was a sufficient amount to satisfy his needs, took the money, and ran.  Interestingly, the banker’s actions were completely legal, no crime had been committed.  The authorities did not get involved, and nobody even reported the incident to the police.  The bank in question was in fact, part of an online virtual world known as EVE-Online and although the money was virtual, it had a real world value of 120,000 US dollars. Continue reading “The Future of Virtual Economies and MMORPGs”