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...