Sunday, 21 December 2014

A Knight Before Christmas - Grab my new book totally FREE for a limited time!

"A Knight Before Christmas"

Download my brand NEW book now! Totally FREE for a limited time! A rhyming picture book for all ages, download the DRM free PDF file to your computer, tablet or smartphone. A great Christmas story to read to your kids.

A massive thanks to the people who donated to my indiegogo to help get the book made and who's names appear in the back of the book!

Friday, 12 December 2014


Super Ten Ton Ninja is out now! I provided all the splash screens and map for this one! Free Trial at 
‪#‎gamedev‬ ‪#‎indiedev‬ It's a fun and addictive game (I'm not biased - I already liked it before I was hired to do the screens!) reminds me of the swinging character in the old Amiga game "Fury of the Furries" check it out!

Friday, 5 December 2014

A Knight before Christmas - 20% funded already - two weeks to go!

Just wanted to say thanks to everybody who's checked out my indiegogo book project so far.

Making really good progress on the artwork! Will post more updates to the project shortly so please bookmark it and follow me on twitter too! ;)

Here's a bit more info if you haven't seen it yet:

I've just launched an indigogo for my new children's rhyming picture book! The book is a story about Santa and friends, when the North Pole gets an unwelcome visitor in the shape of a fire breathing dragon he must find a brave knight to save Christmas. The book will be FREE to download on 19th DEC (2 weeks) but if you donate just £1 you can get a name in the back in time for Christmas. I'm also offering the page sketches as higher rewards! The book will be released as a DRM free PDF and would make a nice present on a kids tablet etc! MERRY CHRISTMAS! ;) Ric

Monday, 24 November 2014

A Knight Before Christmas - a rhyming story book by Ric

Over 10 years in the making (well if you include sitting in a drawer gathering dust!)

I wrote this story way back and never got around to doing anything with it. This Christmas I'll be releasing it as an illustrated DRM free PDF e-book to all the backers of my upcoming indigogo campain. For just £1 you will get the book and your name (or a loved one's name if you intend to gift it) just in time for Christmas.

The story starts where the North Pole has been beseiged by a fiery dragon and Sant must go off in search of a brave knight to get rid of the dragon and save Christmas!

The book will be 24 pages long and full of my cartoony illustrations!

I hope you will check out the project and pledge for yourself or as a present to somebody!
Many thanks! Ric

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Jerk Chickin - my first Windows 8.1 game

As my daughter will be learning Scratch at school I decided to come up with a simple game idea to use a touch screen which we could try and re-create in scratch.

 A discussion on Ga_Ma_Yo (Game Makers Yorkshire) mentioned Jerk Chicken (whatever that is) and an idea formed in my head.

Jerk Chickin - the game was born.

Basically a single player game where you drag the 'chickin' around the screen using your finger!

I won't give too much away yet but it features Jerk Chickin, Piggies and Mad Choppa the butcher!

Follow my blog and stay tuned for more progress! You'll find all my updates on Twitter too -


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

High Spirits - a comic strip by Ric

I entered the Jameson Whiskey Bursery challenge with my Oo? cartoon strip, unfortunately it was rejected due to the target market being too young to comply with advertising rules. So over the weekend I racked my brains and literally turned to booze for a more mature cartoon strip idea. Here I present HIGH SPIRITS about a group of bottles containing real spirits. If it gets greenlit I envisage a longer story made up of multiple 3-6 panel strips taking Whiskers and Ginny and their friends on a worldwide Booze Crooze, where they will encounter dangerous dangers and Rum bottle pirates! Ahoy me mateys! Wish us luck!
A sample strip with a very lame pun!

Tidy notes and elaborate sketches!

If you like this sort of thing you might like to follow me on twitter too: @cartoonsbyRic

Friday, 17 October 2014

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Share Some Secrets - Book Cover Art Mockup

Here's the mockup to the new book by Christina Gabbitas - Share Some Secrets. A story about good and bad secrets which helps parents and teachers to discuss child safety issues from a child's point of view in a family setting. The book is written in a subtle way so that children can read it and share it with their friends.

You can still help to get the book launched through kickstarter and gain various rewards including signed copies and a credited acknowledgement in the back of the finished book. Please follow Christina @poemspictures and myself @cartoonsbyRic on twitter for more updates.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Book Signing - Leeds WHSmith - Saturday 4th October

The poetry book written by UK school children I illustrated for Christina Gabbitas is hitting the shelves at selected stores of WHSmith and Waterstones.

This Saturday Christina has invited me along to her signing in Leeds WHSmith where she will be signing copies of her brilliant Felicity Fly books and I will be signing copies of the poetry book!

The book was written by UK school children as part of an incentive and competition run by Christina and £1 from ever copy sold goes to charity. So please pop along and show your support!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Share Some Secrets - a children's story book about child safety by Christina Gabbitas

I've recently worked with Christina Gabbitas a brilliant and enthusiastic children's author, poet and voice artist.   You may have seen her Felicity Fly stories in WHSmiths and Waterstones or at one of her many signings or school events.   Her latest book is written for children but tackles the subject of children at risk in a way that young children, their parents and teachers can comfortably read the story together and discuss the difference between good and bad secrets.

Share Some Secrets
Christina is very passionate about the subject and wanted to raise awareness from an early age, hopefully this book will help! I agreed to help her by doing the illustrations and helping to spread the word about her book and kickstarter.

I hope you will join me in supporting Christina and her work by donating a small amount to the kickstarter:

In return for your generosity there are some great rewards, sneaky peeks at the work in progress artwork and story, and most importantly if the book helps any children to share their bad secrets it could change their lives for the better! Please share the kickstarter and webpage with all of your friends and families.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Monty Python Live (mostly)

Who's a lucky boy then? I only managed to blummin well win two tickets to see the final Monty Python Live (mostly) show which also went out live around the world!

I won the tickets through twitter thanks to the brilliant people at Yorkshire's famous Black Sheep Brewery! Luckily my brother who is also a lifelong fan of the Pythons offered to drive me in return for one of the tickets! (how could I refuse!) So with no time tolouse we jumped in his car and headed off to London.

The show was an amazing experience with live performances of some of the funniest and most famous sketches interlinked with video and animations. Anyway you don't want to hear me going on about it, here are a few pics...

We love Monty Python and we also love Black Sheep Beer!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Games Britannia Live - A great success!

I won't bore you with the details of how we got to Games Britannia Live in Sheffield and all that, but we got there, and it was amazing!

Rich and I attended together on the Saturday and Mark Hardisty (the brilliant organiser of the show) kindly lent us his Nexus 10 for us to show off our game as we only had access to 7" tablets and our smartphones. I also attended the Sunday to give out more demos and also to take my daughter to the Moshi Monsters game level design workshop by Sumo Digital Ltd. It was a great experience for her and I also met a lot of my developer friends over the weekend including the brilliant Byron Atkinson Jones who was running a unity class for developers at the show and Ste Pickford one of my personal heroes of game development.

We set up our table in the indie section along with our friends from 4 Door Lemon, Utopian Sandwich, Retroburn studios and Boneloaf. The venue was excellent and we had a steady stream of people coming past the table and stopping to chat and try out the game.

The game seems to appeal to just about everybody, surprisingly lots of ladies and kids wanted to play Zombie Piranha. Luckily we decided a while ago that any gore in the game would be very cartoony and swapped out a lot of the red blood for green zombie blood.

We got lots of praise for the gameplay and graphics, and people were able to grab a copy of the game by scanning the QR codes we plastered all over everything or by searching just the word 'Piranha' on google play (searching Zombie Piranha brings up thousands of zombie games before finding ours!)

The version we released consists of 5 starter levels and the full easy version of Fin-Durance! This allows people to have a proper limitless experience of the gameplay and try out many of the power-ups before we launch the full version. (Hopefully later this year!)


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Zombie Piranha at Games Britannia Live weekend festival 28th-29th June

If you're in Sheffield this weekend you'll be able to view the latest Zombie Piranha demo in the flesh!
You'll find us in the indie section of Games Britannia Live at the Millennium gallery.
See the official website for details...

for updates on twitter look for the hashtag #zombiepiranha

15000 download challenge for CLONE ZOO HD, we currently need only around 80 downloads in order to reach 15,000, help us get there in time for Games Britannia Live on Saturday. FREE download available for Android smartphones and tablets on Google Play - Clone Zoo HD - FREE download

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Zombie Piranha - Chumming soon! (again!)

It's been rather a long while but Zombie Piranha is certainly not Dead in the water or Sleeping with the Fishes!

After taking time updating our most successful match 3 games Clone Zoo HD (14,000 downloads) and Clone Zoo HD  Easter Eggs (26,000 downloads) to add in storylines and update the gfx and gameplay, we now want to focus on getting Zombie Piranha updated and move it towards a proper release, we were planning on running a kickstarter to get the game finished but we are now more hopeful to get a a publisher on board to make sure it doesn't just get lost in the deep dark pool of mobile releases and will go head to head or at least swim alongside the more successful games.

After a fantastic night out at GaMaYo (the social gathering for GAme MAkers in YOrkshire) we now have more encouraging and enthusiastic feedback and are determined to get this finished with more polish than ever before!

Prepare for more fishy puns and screenshots in the coming months!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Special Easter Treats for all! FREE comics and games! :D

All my comics are FREE on Amazon for two days only this Easter. Today and tomorrow you can pick up ALL the Dinki comics and the Inky & Fred collection,completely FREE OF CHARGE! The comics are available on Kindle, but if you don't have a Kindle device you can download the FREE offical Kindle reader APP for Android, Ios, PC or Mac.

Clone Zoo Easter Eggs HD The clone Zoo Easter Eggs game has been given a makeover to HD along with other enhancements such as a story. If you already have the game you can update it or if you're new to the game grab your FREE copy now!

Have a happy Easter and enjoy these Freebies while you eat your chocolate! :D

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Clone Zoo HD is now on the Google Play App store.

With newly updated and more detailed cartoony graphics, smoother gameplay and an added story!

Download for FREE from the Google Play store here

I hope you enjoy the updates! Please remember to share the link with friends and rate the game if you like it!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Clone Zoo HD - coming soon

The clone zoo series of games have been around a while now, the most popular version being the Easter Eggs one! Soon you'll be able to play a brand new HD version of the original Clone Zoo with a storyline and completely new graphics! The game will be released within a couple of weeks on Android smart phones and tablets!

Stay tuned for more info very soon!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Jack The Nipper! Games Britannia 2014

As my friends and followers online know I'm a huge fan of old retro video games, especially stuff made in the 80s by Gremlin Graphics of Sheffield.

Jack the nipper cartoony mock-up screen I made for the Games Britannia 2014 schools challenge competition. Please visit Games Britannia Schools Competition 2014

For the past couple of years I've been involved with the Games Britannia game jams which has given me a fantastic opportunity to mingle with my heroes of the 8 bit era of British gaming who inspired me to get into working in gamedev. The thing I loved most about Gremlin Graphics games in particular were the brilliant cartoon characters such as Monty Mole, Zool, Potty Pigeon, Bounder etc. Amongst my favourite games of the time was Jack The Nipper, who was pretty much like the Beano character Sweeny Toddler and got into all kinds of mischief to fill up his "naughtyometer" whilst trying to avoid getting a spanking! (this was the 80s!)

Back in the late 90s, early 2000s when it looked like these games were never going to reappear from the archives I was involved with some groups of Retro Remakers. We we bedroom programmers, musicians and artists who worked together to try to recreate our favourite old games from scratch to run on modern PCs often playing around with the graphics but trying to match the original gameplay that we loved so much.

In 2003  I had a go at making a Jack The Nipper demo, I was using software called The Games Factory by Clickteam, which instead of using programming had an event editor and a drag and drop level builder. Until recently the files were stuck on a hard drive as unfortunately TGF wouldn't open the files in Windows 7. Luckily Multimedia Fusion was recently on sale in the Humble Bundle and I was able to get a copy of that to restore the files and re-compile the demo.

Here's the demo, It's only 1 screen as the movement in Jack The Nipper allows you to walk around the floor, jump up the shelves and grab the pea shooter to fire at the baddies. Although it doesn't sound much, to a non-programmer this was quite a challenge to get working.

I hope you enjoy it! Game Demo Exe file

My old 2003 demo screens.
Space = Start Game
Arrows = Move
Shift = Jump
Ctrl = Fire
1 or 2 = put object in pocket

Original game is copyright Gremlin Graphics, this was made for educational purposes and must not be sold in any form.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Book covers from 'The Land Of Ononokin' and 'Nanoagents'

I was recently commissioned to do some art for book covers. A good place to see them out is on the author John P Logsdon's very own website!

John is a hugely creative writer and his stories will keep you hooked. The Nanoagents books although aimed at a younger audience are a great read and introduce some really exciting characters and situations.

I've worked on various projects before with John and it's always fun to see what he has up his sleeves!  Please check out the stories and support his work! I'm sure these books will become firm favourites to many people!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Bob goes to Wonderland!

Bob goes to Wonderland! A game by Charlotte Lumb (with a little bit of help from daddy)

My daughter made a game for her school's Christmas Holiday homework project. (see previous post for info!)

She won some chocolate in a class competition for the best presentation format and really enjoyed working on a game project. Hopefully this will be the first of many!

If you want to play the game, it's available here: Game Download

We hope you enjoy the game! :D

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Dinki comics #11 & #12 are now uploaded!

The final two Dinki daily doodle comics are now up for my Kickstarter backers! I hope you enjoyed taking part! 8(:)p

It feels like the end of an era, now that the final two comics are up! I'm not sure where Dinki will go next, but there is a little game planned and I hope to start writing some childrens books using the characters created during the daily doodles. I can't thank the kickstarter backers enough for supporting me to get this personal project out there! It's nice to look back to the first issues and see how the story has progressed and the characters have developed. I hope everybody enjoyed seeing the doodles and I brightened up a few peoples days with the stories!

Here's to 2014! Let's see what happens next!

;) Ric

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Windows 7 Drag and Drop pictures into programs problem and solution!

Here's a solution to a strange problem I was having in Windows 7, if you find yourself in a similar situation it might help you out!

As an illustrator/artist I often find the need to drag pictures into my programs in Windows, unfortunately recently this stopped working for no apparent reason in Serif Page Plus X5, the software I've been using to make my comic book PDF files.

After hours of googling and trawling through the usual bunch of non-solutions, I noticed somebody mentioned if the program was running as an admin. I checked and this was the case, I turned off the run as admin checkbox and tried again, to my surprise drag and drop was restored!

I hadn't changed any settings in the program so still have no idea why it changed but I thought I'd share this in-case it helps anybody else!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Holiday gamedev with daughter

My daughter Charlotte had a Christmas holidays homework assignment, she had to choose from a list of famous authors and inventors and make a presentation about them. They could present the information however they liked. She chose to make a powerpoint slideshow and a little game about the works of Lewis Carroll.

We decided to use Clickteam's Multimedia Fusion 2 to make the game as I have a lot of experience with Clickteams software and with it's built in platform controls and simple interface for storyboarding the levels it's a quick system to learn.

She spent some time drawing characters for the game on paper which we scanned in and reduced. For some bizarre (and rather amusing) reason she chose the main character for the game as Bob, a squirrel who wants to learn about Lewis Carroll's most famous works.

We decided to make a 5 level platform game which shows interesting facts about the works on each screen and you have to jump around shelves in a library collecting pages from the books to go to the next level.

Cartoon Indie Game Box Art Posters!

Fellow game devs, here are some of the posters I've made for our own and our friends games. Got a game of your own you'd like me to...