Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween Harry!

It's Halloween again!  I took my kids, Zac and Ella, trick or treating tonight.  Ella went as Snow White and Zac went as Bob the Builder.

We scored some booty from the neighbours before settling in to watch "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" on DVD.

And it wouldn't be Halloween if I didn't talk about the awesome game that is Halloween Harry.  The original game was created 23 years ago this year.  It's kind of weird having a computer game character that's older than some of the people in the games  industry!

Original Microbee version of Halloween Harry (1985)

If you want to find out more about Harry visit the Alien Carnage / Halloween Harry web shrine here.  

And if you want to download and play the PC version (it's now freeware), then check out Apogee's interview and download links here!

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Laaaadeeee it's Bejeweled!

I saw Jerry Lewis last night. It was classic Lewis comedy with a mix of music, songs and video footage from his past. Of course, being 82 years old, there wasn't much physical comedy - but we loved it anyway.

He had a question and answer session with the audience and his snappy answers proved that he's still as sharp as ever.

In other news I downloaded the new Hexic, er, I mean Bejeweled game. It seems like a lot of fun - so I'm looking forward to playing more tonight. Interestingly enough it has a 2 hour trial time. Is this a trend?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Jerry Lewis

I'm going to see Jerry Lewis tomorrow night with my good mate Pete.  Jerry is touring Australia with his 24 piece orchestra and will be playing on the Gold Coast.

I grew up on Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis and Don Knotts movies - and I never thought I'd have a chance to see him live.  I'm excited!


Friday, October 24, 2008

DS Games

I've been playing a lot of DS games lately - I love the fact that you can open the DS and begin playing straight away, and when you're finished you close it up like a book.  Very satisfying.

I bought Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir and have been having lots of fun playing it. If you like hidden object games then you'll get a blast out of this, and you can play it anywhere!

I've also been playing My Word Coach, a word based game designed to increase your vocabulary. I have actually learnt some new words and I've had fun at the same time.  So that's a double win.

I've also ordered My Japanese Coach for the DS - a game that teaches you rudimentary Japanese.  It also shows you how to read and write kana (Japanese syllabaries) - which is a perfect use for the stylus.

And of course Christmas is coming up soon, so there'll be dozens of more great games to play.  Now I just have to find the time!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir

Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir is the first hidden object game to be released on the Nintendo DS.

The top screen shows the whole scene, the bottom screen shows a zoomed in view.

I  downloaded the demo to my DS using the Nintendo Channel on my Wii, and despite the small  screen, I found it to be surprisingly fun to play.  So, this weekend I will be buying the game.

If you have a Wii, check out the making of video on the Nintendo Channel - they talk about using DS  features such as the microphone to enhance the game.  I'm curious to see what they do, so I will let you know when I play the full game.

If you don't have a DS or Wii, then check out the official site where you can play a flash demo of the game.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

iMac is looking tempting

I've been a Windows user for quite a while now. Before that I was an Amiga user, but I moved to the PC when the Amiga market died and the PC was the only viable platform to make games on.

Now, I'm seriously considering moving to a Mac.

The games I make are mostly on console, and what development I now do on PC is really for a web/casual/social platform. The software I use on a daily basis is mostly non-Windows software and I am finding myself using more and more web based apps.

So, within the next month or two, I will probably make the switch to a sexy iMac.

In other news, I've made some updates to Facebook Brainiversity - minor tweaks here and there - mostly to the challenge system. You can check it out here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

New Facebook Updates

The news feeds for Facebook Brainiversity stopped working a few weeks ago under the new Facebook layout, so it was time to fix them with the new API calls.

So, goodbye to the old feed_publishTemplatizedAction() call and hello to the new feed_publishUserAction() call!

Ah, Facebook, how I love you...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Word Spin for Facebook Brainiversity

I've just added a new Language game to Facebook Brainiversity.  It's called Word Spin and is an anagram puzzle game.  The rules are simple, unscramble letters to make a word.  For example, IBCAS is BASIC.

This game actually required a little more work than the others - I had to generate a reasonably large number of words that only had one possible permutation.  This required writing code to test each permutation to see if it was a valid English word - if it had more than two matches then it didn't pass as a valid word for my purposes.

And as with all word games, you have to make sure there are no offensive words that can be displayed to the player.  This is why I find word games a little more challenging to build than other puzzle games.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Nintendo DSi

Ah, the best handheld system ever just got better!

- bigger screens
- thinner form factor
- 2 touch screens
- built in camera
- SD card slot to download games to