Categories: "Personal Life" or "General" or "Games and Stuff" or "Conventions"

Lash La Rue on Holiday second meeting


Ok so two weeks have passed and I had the job of doing:


  • Design document
  • Squirrel and Duck interactions
  • Destinations
  • NPCs
  • Asset list
  • Scale chart
  • Level designs


I had been concentrating so hard on my rig for Void I didn't have a large amount of spare time to give to Lash La Rue and his adventures. I did however get the design document finished to a certain state, and after this weeks meeting we all decided on the destinations from the list I came up with for the meeting.

Although the whole group had been very busy this week with dissertations and the like, so we set ourselves some more targets and by the next meeting the dissertation will have been handed in, hopefully meaning some time can be put towards Lash.


I set myself the task of doing:


  • Finishing the design document (all of the previous tasks have gone into the design document)
  • Finish the design of the main menu


See you in two weeks.

More amazing work of Jon Burgerman



So I thought I'd do another Jon Burgerman related blog entry, this time round showing off my anxiety wall image I got. Although I was a little pissed off with it as it had been raining the day it came in the post and obviously my postman couldn't care for what he was delivering and he got it all wet.


My very own anxiety wall image


I really love it, and at the exhibit they looked amazing all spread out on the wall, must say though I was at heart hoping for the Mario Kart one!


Since then I've also gotten his book, and I must say I had no idea that Jon designed a level for Wipeout Pure. Also that I was a little disappointed because of the lack of Game On imagery in it. I am quite fond of the book cover without the poster.


Pens are my friends


I also got myself one of his new Dunnys which I must say is lovely, I really like the pastel like colours on him, makes me think of Pete Fowler god knows why though, anyway I got a cute doodle on the box too, which seems to of gotten a little smudged at some point. I was almost tempted to not take it out the box, but a day later I decided I would anyway.


 doodled box



I also added Jon on Twitter the other day, and shortly after doing so received a message saying he'd popped my photo of my coloured in birthday card on his site, hoping I didn't mind. And of course I don't but I've been promised a doodle for it, which is amazing, and I hope to get him to doodle on my netbook at some point, because that would look beyond spectacular. I just wish he did less abroad at the moment and did more stuff in the lovely old UK, perhaps something in Wales too!

My new toy


I am now a very proud owner of a Dell Inspiron Mini 9, I had for a while wanted a little netbook, mainly because everything else I've ever owned portable computer wise has been really heavy. And to be honest if I ever want to go back home, round my boyfriends or go to a convention or conference, it's not fun lugging around something that weighs 2kg+, along with of course everything else I need.


A while ago, we're talking months and months ago, before Dell actually sold the mini 9's my boyfriend sent me this image, and at first I thought it looked silly, as why would a computer be so small.


Mini 9 image courtesy of Dell


But then after lugging around heavy stuff for so long it made me realise that something like that would really be beneficial to me.


So far I've used mine as my notes for a presentation, and just to be able to do work at university without having to bring in my large bag to carry a bigger computer in. Instead I can carry it in a small bag I own for example this one.


Image courtesy of Spun Out


Which I bought from the wonderful Spun Out store in Northampton, and I can actually fit in, along with little bits and bobs, my mini 9, my journal for writing and a couple of small books (that was its contents on Tuesday anyway).


Here's a little picture of my cute new toy as I've put it in the title, I've currently got it running the beta of Windows 7, which is lovely and way better than Vista. It runs so fast on it, and it's also very quiet which freaks me out when it boots up.


mini kitty


But yes, I recommend people to get a little netbook if you're tired of lugging around a big bag (and don't want to use a smartphone or PDA as a portable computer) and want something small and cute to fit in a little bag. I do recommend getting a netbook that has an SSD hard drive though, just as it makes a netbook better than your average laptop.

Also if you do decide on getting one, I recommend having one of the Xbox 360 HD-DVD players as it came in handy for installing things, or of course just an external disc drive. I also bought a 16gb SDHC card for it, which works as another hard drive really. And don't forget even though it only has in my case a 16gb SSD hard drive external hard drives, networks and USB sticks are your friends.


It also acts a nice thing for playing point and click adventure games on as they are of course perfect games in my eyes for while your travelling, and just so people know they can actually run WoW, as I had my boyfriend round the other day and he got it working, was a little slow though. Good thing with the Dell mini's though is if you wanted to upgrade it you can. He's just purchased one, and more RAM and a 32gb SSD, just means he has to put them in himself. But it will of course run WoW better for if you want to do that.


It has a really nice screen, although it doesn't really do it justice in my image.


it looks a bit faded with my image


And just to show how small and cute it is, here we have my "mini kitty" as it's called with my DS, just to show how nice and small it is. Now if Dell actually did full on different colours like the Eee pc netbooks, I would go out and get a red one that would match my DS. But Dell only change shells, so I'd only have a different colour top. I would actually pay more to get one completely in one colour keyboard and all, but I don't think any company does that.




It's shiny top is just waiting for a Jon Burgerman doodle now :) I would stick stickers on it, but a doodle in a black pen would look so much better, here's to waiting for that day.

Global Game Jam Newport


Global Game Jam 

This Friday just passed marked an event called Global Game Jam, of which I took part in. Originally I wasn't going to, as I have enough work of my own to be doing for my third year project, but Charlotte convinced me to go with her and Tim.


Global Game Jam was an event where people all over the world, I think just over 2000 in total maybe, all get into groups and attempt to make games in 48 hours. We started on Friday the 30th at 5pm and then finished on Sunday the 1st at 3pm.


After pitching ideas and everything we all started working on our games, so by about maybe 6/7ish we had started designing stuff, in my groups case I was designing the characters.


We were called Super Cute Animal Attack, our group compromised of myself, Charlotte (my twin sister) and Tim (her boyfriend), Tim graduated from the Games and AI course at Newport, and Charlotte is a film student wanting to get into the games industry, and I of course am a Games Design student wanting to also get a job in the industry.


Our idea we went with in the end was firstly titled "Mmmm" which was a game about the relationship between a Cajun squirrel and a Mexican duck and having to make their way through an area, which was slowly being destroyed by a giant robot koala, think the boss in Dynamite Headdy right near the start, not the cat though. We had a few constraints to the game these being the following:


  • A play session must last 5 minutes or less
  • Theme: As long as we have each other we will never run out of problems
  • Choose an adjective: in-between, rushed or growing


The game evolved over time, including the title of it being changed.


After 48 hours we came up with "Lash La Rue on holiday featuring Juan the duck"


The developed story of the game is:


Best of Friends Lash La Rue and Juan the Duck are travelling the world together. But everyone has their own problems, proud of his culture Juan never leaves behind his poncho, and therefore cannot fly. Lash La Rue on the other hand, is terrified of the water, together they will successfully tour the world's jungles, deserts, wetlands and mountains, and they both know that if they didn't have each other they would get nowhere.
Although, having their own busy lives, the two only booked out a certain amount of holiday for their world tour, with only a fortnight's travel to go, they must be as quick as possible if they want to visit all fourteen destinations before they close, and if they don't work together, they'll only spend their whole holiday arguing


For submission we were asked to submit a press image for our game, ours is particularly nice as we managed to get David Surman to draw the main image for us, the smaller drawn image is also done by Bill Kavanagh (as photos are a big part of the game, this is down to the fact that memories are best kept in photos, in the finished game the two below drawn images will be shown during play, along with others showing the two friends working together).


Lash La Rue on holiday featuring Juan the duck 


You can play a copy of the game from here on the Global Game Jam website, you can also view all the other games made in Newport and also all over the world.


As you can tell from the game, it is in a quite unfinished state, but we intend on finishing the game with a bit of our free time, in fact I have already started on a new splash screen along with the instructions page, which will nicely fit in with the concept behind the idea.


A few bugs which are quite noticeable, which I will point out are:

  • The animations are running too fast as we didn't have time to change them.
  • There are no assets in the foreground as we didn't have time to add them
  • The squirrels can't swim sign is too big, we didn't have time to resize it, although I feel it looks nice large, just it needs to look better.
  • The game doesn't really end
  • The squirrel can walk on water, it was hard to figure out how to stop him from doing it, so it never got finished
  • The parallax scrolling on the background and foreground didn't work
  • We didn't have time to put any other characters in the background which would help populate the space
  • We didn't put in a little orange tree, along with an orange that fell
  • We had to cut out about half the level as it didn't all work properly
  • The duck gets a little stuck after diving in the water
  • They both turn at the same time
  • Plus many more


As you can see from the items I've listed we realise that there are a few problems, but they will get ironed out and then a newer build will be posted up, the version on the GGJ website is 1.0 we hope to have 1.1 sorted at some point, at least with actual titles.


I would also like to point out that the music for the game was created by Rob Bennion who if I get this correct is a Jazz Musician/composer who very kindly produced our group a whole bunch of music in the space of a few hours, while also helping other groups at Newport. I would like to thank him very much for creating so much music in so little time. We will hopefully be using his services a little more while we get the game to a more finished level.


I must say the weekend was an unforgettable event and that it was a lovely way to start the year, and even though we didn't get a completely polished finished game out of it, I'm amazed at what can happen in 48 hours. Of course when sleep isn't exactly involved it's not a good thing.


Super Cute Animal Attack did also want to do their other game, which we also hope to do, either while finishing off Lash La Rue on holiday or once it's finished. I won't be posting up anything about it though as it hasn't been started, but it is a bit simpler than our Lash game and both myself and Charlotte agree if we went with it we would have had a finished game.


Either way expect more small games coming out of this blog.

A little play with NXE



While I had a little time spare last night (around writing my dissertation) I thought I'd check out the New Xbox Experience (NXE), which I must say it was fun to create them, as it was a mixture between The Sims 2 and creating a Mii. Might have been nice if you didn't have the ability to go as skinny as you can though, as it's pretty much skeleton thin.


Other than that the characters don't look too bad, although I feel they seem a little lifeless, and maybe there is a little too much choice in some areas and not enough in others, although the new layout of Xbox live is a bit confusing, good for people just joining as they don't know any better, but I've been used to it the way it is since it came out.


Well here's my little version of me, I really like the blue jumper and would love one just like it.



Although I don't agree with if they are going to release different clothes and accessories and then charge for them.

Burgerino - The work of Jon Burgerman



While trying to write up all my blog entries for university work and other goings on, I decided to write up a really quick one, which takes a lot less time of course.


As some people may know I'm quite a fan of Jon Burgerman's work, I still kick myself over not going to GameCity in 2007 as of course Jon attended it (along with Keita Takahashi), he's also signing things at the Forbidden Planet in London on Saturday, but I can't attend that either.


I had a really awesome birthday card this year (a few weeks back) from my sister, I didn't expect it one bit.




I coloured him in myself of course. But I also got another amazing present from my sister which was this.



As you can see I've started doing a bit of colouring in, which I actually did a few hours ago, I can't wait to see it all brightly coloured. (It's wallpaper for those that haven't seen the stuff Jon has made in the past.)


Also the other week I went to videogames live, but before that I managed to pop to Jon's exhibit in London, down Tottenham court road, I'm happy I got to go, especially as it's finished now, was a bit of a small space, but he managed to fit a fair amount of stuff in.



The best part of it though was the anxiety wall, which I have bought two pieces of, off of Jon's website, I can't wait to see which ones I get. I also picked up a packet of stickers from the exhibit, I then also felt I had to buy some more off his website, and a few stickers later my lovely new computer is decorated, I would buy more to put on it, but I ordered a couple of packs and got the same packet I got from London. So I'm afraid I'd get even more duplicates.




Watch this space for more entries soon (hopefully).

Back at University


Ok well after a long eventful summer of working with a few things on the side (I will try and do some entries for some events) I am now back at university, so expect to see some work here soon, or as soon as I find out what I'm doing. In the mean time I might try some sketching to keep me in the mood for drawing.

I'm also testing Windows Live Writer when I write this, seems quite good, if it comes out ok then I may use this for all my future blog entries. It?s a lot nicer to be able to open up a program installed on my computer and just write stuff without the hassle of opening up my browser and then logging into my blog.

Will Wright and Kojima in the same year



When I got to meet Hideo Kojima earlier in the year, I was very surprised that I actually got to meet him. When I read that HMV were having Will Wright as well I was ecstatic.

I travelled down very early in anticipation of a large queue, but I was actually number two in the queue, I won't go into huge detail about the event, but Will Wright was a very lovely man, who was kind enough to talk to me for a bit, although after being told I should hurry it up by HMV's security I had to stop talking.


I got a nice picture out of it, little off colour due to HMV's lights though.

I also attended his presentation of Spore, which I must say made me more interested in the game.

I do feel bad as my sister Charlotte couldn't attend, but I'm sure they'll be other people she can meet in the future I'm sure.

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