Three Thing Game rides again!

So, it’s that time of year again, Three Thing time.

The last competition was our first entry, we did what most first years do and missed the competition in semester 1 because we thought we weren’t good enough, My advice, which has also been said by James Croft, is to just go for it in the first year because it’s a brilliant experience.

I will also advise a few more things:


1. Maintain backups

This is extremely important, if you don’t have any experience with SVN try and learn it, if not you could use shared cloud storage like Dropbox, it is always vital to have backups when the time comes to it and it’s early in the morning and you’ve been coding for hours, accidents happen and you need to be able to recover from it, This happened to a few people last year and set them back a few hours work, which was awful for them, and their project was looking really good.


2. Keep it simple/Don’t go off course

You should try and get the core of your game as simple as possible, get that functioning well and then maybe if you have time build a little on top of that, but try not to have too many features as this will be more work, have a small amount and make sure they work.


3. Release your game

When it’s all over you should try and release your game to the world, we did and it’s had over 10k downloads on the Windows Phone Marketplace, things like that are really good for your CV.


4. Have fun

The atmosphere is a rather crazy and chaotic during the event, but try and keep it light hearted and don’t stress out, there will be a lot of other stuff going on, I remember last time seemingly constant volleys of Nerf darts flying around the room and a faux desk chair canoe down the centre of the room.


So if you are competing, enjoy it and see you there!




Quickfire Game Reviews

Right so in this post I’m going to attempt to review the games I’ve played recently in a sentence or less, let’s get crackin’!

(F) = Finished

(U) = Unfinished

Batman: Arkham City (F)

Great game, expands upon Arkham Asylum whilst adding more of a proper free roam setting and keeps the basics the same.

Portal 2 (F)

Much like Batman manages to build upon it’s predecessor brilliantly, some terrific voice acting.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Replay on PC) (U) 

A brilliant game in its day, looking back at it and realising how bad the graphics are was startling, hasn’t aged too well, have to say that the controls are poorly ported to PC making some missions unplayable.

Diablo 3 (Starter Edition) (F)

Great game, great atmosphere and Blizz definitely seem to be sticking to what they know, at points it does render down to thoughtless button clicking though.

Dirt 3 (U)

Awesome game, Beautiful Landscapes, comfortable controls, great fun and glad to see that the Rally mode is a large chunk of the game, Gymkhana is a nice addition but I’m awful at it.

Torchlight (U) 

(Intentionally) Plays much like Diablo, lovely graphic style and so far hasn’t fallen into the mindless clicking trap of it’s inspiration.

Blocks That Matter(U) 

Lovely game, solid platformer controls, interesting mixture of play styles, beautiful styled graphics and great shout outs to the Swedish Indie game community.

Saints Row: The Third (U) 

The game that was all about comedy definitely delivers in its latest iteration with a much needed new map, same great play style and characters.

Tomb Raider: Anniversary (U) 

Having not played the originals (gasp!?!?) I’m enjoying this game immensely, but at points it does scream re textured remake (which it is), not sure whether or not that is a bad thing though.


Beautifully styled and equaled with its atmosphere, LIMBO is a game that everyone should play, I’d like to think of it as the “Inception” of games.

Jonah Lomu’s Rugby Challenge (F)

Greatly needed new Rugby sim, Graphically adequate, the game play is pretty good, does a good job against a AAA opposition with a shoestring budget, many hours of fun for me and any Rugby (Union) fan i’m sure.

Total War: Shogun 2 (U) 

Another entry into the brilliant Total War saga, having played every iteration since Rome I can’t help but feel that something is lacking in this game, it’s a great game and technically an improvement on Napoleon Total War, but it just doesn’t give me that kick that all of the others have.

Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War II – Retribution (U) 

Only played the Last Stand game mode so far and from the little I know about RTS games I’m having quite a lot of fun from it, I assume that as soon as I play any other game mode I’m going to get my ass handed to me though, Good graphics and the aesthetic seems to fit.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution (U) 

Beautiful aesthetically, that same play style that the Deus Ex fans love and yet still very enjoyable for the Deus Ex noob (me) loving the game so far,   as many have said before me though, the boss fights ruin it (a case study on why you probably shouldn’t out source parts of the game).

Now I know that it may be unfair to review games in a sentence especially when I haven’t actually completed them, I find it provokes a much more honest reaction from me though, It invokes my feelings rather than my analysis for the most part. All of these are just my opinions on games I’ve played recently, I’m interested in feedback in comments.

Russ out!

Batman: Technical Difficulties

So the other day I bought the game Batman: Arkham City, and I was thoroughly looking forward to playing it.

Arkham City

Ordering it was an event in itself, I ordered the physical version of  it from Amazon and not 2 hours later Steam had put the Digital version of it on sale for £5 less than what I had just paid, so I was slightly annoyed as I could not only have bought it for less, but I could have got it much sooner too.

When the game came a few days later I was rather pleased but still somewhat disgruntled by the previous events, so I go to install it, take disc from case, open disc drive, place disc into the drive, close disc drive, disc begins to read, computer blue screens, wait, what?

Yep, every time I inserted any data disc (I know it was just data discs because I have watched plenty of movies and ripped many CD’s and there was no problem) into my PC the computer would blue screen and die. This was annoying as hell, interestingly you could run the setup once it rebooted, but then there is another problem, Arkham City is on two discs, yup, fun times for me.

So after thinking about the problem and little bit of Google searching I determined it was something to do with any software that checks to see if a disc has been inserted into the PC, the problem seems to have been that too many programs where doing this check and the OS wasn’t reacting well to this, and the main culprit I found out was a particularly unhelpful little program called Nero InCD. This came with the driver package for the disc drive and has been on my warhorse of a PC since I built it a few years ago, never really thought/cared too much about it. Thankfully this made it easier to uninstall as it was by no means integral to the system.

Once InCD was removed installation of the Caped Crusaders latest escapade went without a hitch and the game itself is absolutely brilliant and a definite must buy for any fan of its predecessor Arkham Asylum. I suppose there was a benefit to buying the disc version, If I hadn’t I would never of found this issue, so I can suppose be somewhat thankful.

Russ out!

Deadlines, deadlines everywhere!

So coming off of the Easter break I found myself in a bit of a bad position, due to some poor scheduling and a terrible work rate I had an awful lot of work to do in not a lot of time, this is also the reason why the blog went quiet.

I’m sure most people will have been in a similar position at some point, keep on putting off that bit of work because “I can’t be bothered” or “I have plenty of time left to do it”  or some similar poor excuse, Yes it’s much easier to spend your time going to the pub, cinema etc but to put it simply going to the pub/cinema/etc isn’t going to have a positive effect on your degree scores or workload, and whats more important.

This is something I still have a problem with, heck, right now I’m putting off revision to write this blog post (somewhat ironic), and the only way I’m going to change is through a significant attitude switch, and I hope that this recent experience is enough to do it.

I did end up getting all of my work done on time, but that wasn’t without over a week of solid work and a weekend of coding like hell, It was not a pleasant experience and I hope not to have to go through it again. I will from now on be trying to change and I will write blog posts on what I’ve found to be the most helpful for me.

Russ out!

Joe Bonamassa: Birmingham NIA 31/3/12

So here’s the somewhat belated blog post on the Joe Bonamassa gig.

Joe Bonamassa

We where right up in the nose bleeders! =D

Joe Bonamassa is an American Blues/Rock guitarist and somewhat of a child prodigy, he played with BB King when he was 12 years old. Since entering the music business as a solo act with his first release in 2000 he has recorded 10 Albums, 4 Live albums and 2 Live DVD’s, so he’s been ever so slightly busy.

Anyway, onto the show!

Joe Bonamassa

The show’s started with most of Joe’s newer songs such as “Dustbowl” and it’s kin, then he moved on to more of his greatest hits with songs like “Mountain Time”, “The Ballad of John Henry”, “Stop!”, “Blues Deluxe” and “Just Got Paid”. He also played some of my particular favourites “Django” and “Sloe Gin” which made me very happy.

Joe Bonamassa

All of these songs where breathtaking and technically perfect and the entire band played a great show. Overall it was a good show, but there where a few points in the show where the songs almost melded together, a few that where played in-conjunction sounded far too similar and this almost damaged the effect of the show.

My brother Nick was with me at the show and he is a guitarist and also has experience in EQ’ing many gigs and festivals, from where we sat we could see the audio equipment used during the show, Nick delighted in telling me what most of it did and how it worked and when it would be used. He even got to the point of predicting exactly when the sound guys where going to change the mix, which was really interesting. He being a guitarist I’m sure he enjoyed the show much more than me, seeing someone so technically excellent at playing the guitar is a sight to behold and it is increased when you have yourself experience playing, it’s the same with an discipline, Computer programmers will often look at someone else’s code and marvel at how clean precise and efficient it is, this is very similar.

The performance ended with Joe performing the title track to his latest album “Driving Towards the Daylight” which is also a stellar track and I have  embedded the video below, if anyone has an interest in Blues music and/or guitar playing I suggest you go and see Joe Bonamassa in concert, it is an experience.

Shear Carnage surpasses 2,000 downloads!

I hope Alex doesn't notice the lack of a shadow in this logo...

As the title suggests Shear Carnage, the game made by Me, Alex Rodgers and John van Rij has surpasses 2,000 dowloads and is currently sitting at 2,248 with over 1,000 of those coming solely from the UK, which is awesome.

Thanks again everyone for downloading the game, hope you are enjoying it! =D

Russ out!

Sorry it’s been a while & other big news!


As the title will suggest, I’m sorry it’s been a while, been a very very busy month so lets try and break it down a bit. I’ll do a few blog post’s over the coming days to get back up to speed with the last month. But I will try and space them out a little bit as to not flood you. there may be a few depending on how i’m feeling (read: tired/busy/pre-disposed).

So, yeah, it should be an interesting few weeks to be sure, now on to that big news:

Shear Carnage has just surpassed 1,600 downloads.

Yep, that’s a nice little number and more than I could have hoped for and I thank every single person who has downloaded it, I’m so grateful to you all and hope you have fun with the game.

We have been a bit quiet about it recently and that is mostly because of the amount of work we all have had recently, but we have been discussing where to go now and we are planning a few things for the near future which I think its safe to say we are excited for, so watch this space!

That’s about it for this post, See you soon hopefully!

what I’m planning on covering in the coming blog posts include the teasered Joe Bonamassa gig I went to, a fair amount of university work and an unfortunate convergence of deadlines and finally some of my recent experience with my computer to do with the game of a certain caped crusader which may or may not have been enraging enough for me to want to write a blog post about it.

So there’s all that to look forward too! =D

Russ out!

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