Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Back in Oz!

Woo hoo - I'm home in steamy hot Brisbane again. It's been raining a fair bit, but that's okay. It's welcome after the years of drought we've been experiencing.

As I mentioned in my last post, GDC was great, and I learned a lot.

Speaking of conferences, gameOn is on again this year. It's a series of free lectures presented by Creative Industries Precinct in conjunction with Kelvin Grove urban village and supported by the IGDA, Griffith QCA and QANTM. Anyway, I'm doing a talk on creating gamses on Wednesday 2nd April 5-6pm.

Click here and scroll down for more details!


Saturday, February 23, 2008


I've been quiet this last week because I've been at GDC in San Francisco.

I've had a great time learning a lot of cool new stuff and catching up with a lot of good friends. It's ironic that I get to meet more Aussies here in the USA then I do back home. I got to say hi to Mark Bracken and Ross Symons from BigAnt, Steve Fawkner from Infinite Interactive, Mario, Jos and Tyrone from Sidhe Interactive - the list just goes on. It's great to see the Aussie industry has a strong presence at the show. In fact, the Queensland Games stand was one of the best - it even made front page of Wired.com.

The conference had some amazing speakers and my only complaint is that there are so many talks that I wanted to see scheduled at the same time. On one day I had five different sessions that I would have loved to sit in on - all at the same time! Luckily the GDC conference produces audio recordings of all the sessions, so I'll be able to catch up on these later.

Well, I'm about to pack my bags and check out of the hotel... then I'll be on my way home to Australia!


Friday, February 15, 2008

100 not out!

Today I reached a cool milestone with Brainiversity. The online version has just clocked up it's 100th member. Small fry, I know, but a lot more than I expected in the short amount of time since opening up the beta.

So a big thanks to all the people who are playing - I have some cool new stuff in the works!

In other news, my friend Matt pointed out a neat site called io9. It's a sci-fi blog with lots of interesting stuff from movies, books and even real life. It even includes an image from my other friend Hugh's cover art to the new Indie Jones movie. Included in the cover are spoiler images of the crystal skull, so you are warned!


Sunday, February 10, 2008

All good things must end...

And so it with a heavy heart that I remove the Phantom Hourglass cart from my DS. Yes, I have finally finished the latest Zelda game. I played it almost every day, a little bit here and there, and now it will no longer be a part of my life. Sigh.

I had lots of fun playing it - but as I've mentioned before - thank heavens for gamefaqs.com. There were a number of things in the game that I just didn't get. And now that I have a family and a life gone are the days where I would spend weeks trying to work out how to solve a puzzle. Actually, I never did that. Life is too short.

I play games now for fun, and approach them much the same way as I would reading a book. In fact the final boss in Zelda was so obscure for me that it felt like I had just come to the last page of the final Harry Potter book only to find that it was in Latin and Ms. Rowling was sending me the message of "screw you pal, you've come this far and if you want closure then you're going to have to work for it. Enroll in Latin classes now!".

Anyway, I pored over quite a few walkthroughs trying to work out what I was doing wrong. I eventually found out what I had to do and if it wasn't for the internet I probably wouldn't have finished the game - and how annoying would that have been? To invest so much time only to hit a brick wall in the last few minutes.

Not that I'm innocent of such charges. I remember during development of the first TY the Tasmanian Tiger game that I played Halo and was pissed off that the ending of the game required you to use the Warthog - a vehicles that I had avoided where I could during the game. Doing that last section of Halo took forever as I had to learn the skills that they assumed everyone would have had by the end. I vowed never to do anything like that. So, what happened? The final level of TY has you piloting the Doomerang down a stupidly long tunnel. A skill that the player never had to use before. For some reason I let this happen.

Anyway - I was young and naive then. I promise you now that I will never let anything like that happen again... honest... you do believe me, don't you?


Friday, February 08, 2008

Congratulations Puzzle Quest!

Congrats to Steve Fawkner and team for winning the DICE Interactive Achievement Awards "Downloadable Game of the Year" category with Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords.

They beat out some pretty tough competition with the likes of Azada, Build-A-Lot, fl0w and the other industry casual/hardcore darling, Peggle.

Great work guys!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Magical Forest

Duncan and Marko from 3 Blokes Studios are about to release their first casual game called Magical Forest on iWin. Gamezebo has a good preview which you can read here.

Here's a typical comment about their game: "I beta tested this game and loved every minute of it."

Great work guys! I'll add a link to iWin when the game is released.


Saturday, February 02, 2008


I got my new HD 1080p Sony TV this week. Man, is it sweet. We've watched a few DVDs upscaled and they look great. Can't wait to watch some Blu-ray movies. Here in Australia Blu-ray has won the "HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray" battle so there will be a lot more titles available soon. One of the things that really hit home that Blu-ray had won was seeing animated movies advertised during Saturday morning cartoons with the tagline "Available on DVD and Blu-ray".

Only a few weeks to go before my PS3 arrives. Hopefully Burnout Paradise will be out in Australia by then. I've been playing the demo at work and it's a blast.

In other news I've made the Beta of the new version of Brainiversity open to the public. I'm not going out of my way to market it to people - I'd prefer them to find out via word of mouth... but if you want to check it out you can find it by following the links on my site :-)