Sep 27 2011

The Adventure of Little Space Heroes Development Team

Today the team at Bubble Gum Interactive office in Sydney had a small party celebrating the soft launch of the closed beta of the Little Space Heroes game that we have been officially developing for a little over 9 months. Although the game is still some way from being completed, today marks a significant milestone in our development plan.

I am proud of two things: a) that we managed to have come so far to meet today’s milestone deadline; and b) that we have worked together efficiently as a team.

Everyone in the team is very passionate about his/her job, committed, and took their job seriously. All of us have sacrificed our weekends and worked longer hours not only to catch up with deadlines, but more so to give the game the polish that it deserves to be able to compete with the fierce competition out there with hundred other MMO virtual world for kids.

We’ve got Phil, our executive producer slash technical director, who tirelessly worked crazy amount of hours with amazing level of passion and patience, steering the team and keeping it on the true path to the vision. Then we’ve got Paul, our marketing director, who can pretty much make any game feature interesting and plausible, oh and he’s a master at copywriting. Well he should really be in another post called “The Adventure of Little Space Heroes Community Team”, but really he’s our best friend when it comes to testing the game as he never failed to find the most obscure and unreproducible bugs.

We’ve also got Martina, who’s like single-handedly handling all the server development, integration, deployment, maintenance, infrastructure / architecture design, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Then we’ve got Tai, who’s the sick genius behind the mini-games, go talk to him a gameplay idea and he’d go and build it in two days. We’ve got Aaron, who’s got this infinite amount of patience doing all the 1700 or so frames of animated renders per character, environment setup, and content optimisation. As for me, my daily chores include building the virtual world and various tools to make their lives easier, or maybe harder in reality I’m not so sure, and to police cookies trafficking in the office. No cookies passes through without me knowing.

Throughout this journey I’ve learnt a lot from these guys, at lunch times we would exchange banters on any topics from philosophy, relationships, work processes, to gameplay ideas, usually at a park overseeing the harbour bridge. Yes mostly they were very enjoyable, until Aaron decided to feed some birds and Martina went berserk because of it. For an unknown reason that I still don’t get until now, Martina has a strange relationship with the birds. They love getting near Martina for some reason, for food perhaps (she eats mostly sandwiches), even though she kept shooing them away, sometimes with her shoe or some nearby twigs.

When we started, we did handpick a few people to join the team, but over the time as we have a formal interviewing process I’m glad to find out that the team that we have now has consisted of very genuine and professional people. It feels like we are sharing the same culture even though some of us came from Austria, China, and Indonesia. It’s truly a rare opportunity. (Note: I’m talking not only about the development team, but the community and creative team as well, they are very cool people too!)

I used to think that the game industry is a cutthroat one. Maybe it is, but the team that I’m a part of now makes it feel like we don’t really have to be cutthroat to become a player in the industry. We can still have fun and work at the same time, and hopefully the games that we’re producing carry that same fun elements and spirit.

Of course, this is no happy ending yet. The happy ending will be when players really love what we do and the Little Space Heroes becomes a popular MMO virtual world for kids and supported by an active community. At least thus far we’re very proud to have come this far to closed beta and to have worked as a team together. We will definitely keep doing our best to deliver the best gameplay experience in Little Space Heroes.

If you’re interested to play Little Space Heroes, feel free to sign up and play it on www.littlespaceheroes.com and we would love to hear what you think.

Walking and Jetpacking in Little Space Heroes

Walking and Jetpacking in Little Space Heroes


Oct 15 2010

Danbo

My colleague Matt got me a cute Japanese character from Amazon.co.jp, his name is Danbo. When I first heard of it, I was like “what is Danbo? I’ve never heard of it”. I googled it and I found Danbo everywhere, a lot of cute inspiring pictures from all over the world. This morning Matt came to my desk and gave Danbo to me in its original Amazon.co.jp packaging. He’s such a good guy. Danbo is really cute. It’s almost like the garden gnome that travels around the world, but Danbo has its own cute appeal in its pictures.

I took it home and I went trigger-happy with my DSLR and uploaded a bunch of them in Flickr. Here’s the two that my wife and I like the most.

Danbo finding light

Danbo riding bicycle

More Danbo pictures I took:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/84085384@N00/sets/72157625175213972/


Apr 26 2010

Asteroids in HTML 5

Some of my colleagues at work have been raving about how cool HTML 5 is shaping up to be and how it’s going to murder Flash. Having been a Flash developer for 4 years, it’s quite surprising that I found myself not disturbed or annoyed in any bit with these remarks. I know I’m with Adobe when it comes to Adobe vs Apple, but I don’t believe personally that Flash existence as a leading RIA technology is jeopardized with the arrival of HTML 5. But that serves another discussion sometime later (or never, I’m not a purist).

Now I just like to share with you a little bit of fun that I had doing an asteroid game in HTML 5. I’m really astounded by its power, which doesn’t quite show its limit yet so far (I’m testing it all on my iMac and Macbook Pro). It’s still work in progress, you can only fly around and shoot, but there’s no collision or physics yet so those asteroids don’t break.

Click here to view the demo
WARNING: the demo may crash your computer. Make sure you’re running it in a browser compatible with HTML 5. I’m using Chrome 5 for Mac.


Jan 3 2010

Odosketch Drawing: Best Friends

Here’s another drawing using odosketch. Click here for full version.


Jan 2 2010

Odosketch Drawing: Cat Girl

Here is a quick drawing that I did using the best Flash drawing / sketching application called odosketch by Odopod. Click here to see the full version!


Nov 28 2009

Fling Solver

Two days ago, my mate Deniss challenged me to get past level 11 on Fling, a very beautiful puzzle game on iPhone. I got up to level 11, but couldn’t get past it. I solve a couple of problems, but got stuck on a particular puzzle and was never able to finish all the problems on that level. I was probably already playing it 50 times over before I gave up and did this instead:
http://www.anthonytambrin.com/flingsolve/

P.S.: please don’t send me hate mails for this


Sep 21 2009

iPhone Development Provisioning on both iMac and Macbook Pro

For two weeks now I have been getting my hands dirty with iPhone / OpenGL ES 1.1 development on my iMac. A week ago my wife got me a new Macbook Pro for my birthday and we have been inseparable. Just like a kid obsessed with its new toy, I can’t resist the urge to mirror any development tools and configuration that I have on the iMac into the Macbook Pro, so I can keep developing while at the same time accompanying my wife watching TV. All was good: Xcode ran properly, iPhone SDK 3.1 (Snow Leopard) installed successfully, all certificates and developer provisioning also installed, iPhone 3.0 simulator ran without any problems, and I was smiling, but not for long. Then I selected “Device – 3.0 | Debug”, rebuilt the app, and it showed build failed – 1 error, which looked like this:

“Code Sign error: The identity ‘iPhone Developer doesn’t match any valid certificate/private key pair in the default keychain”

I was pretty sure I’ve installed all the certificates:

  • Development certificate
  • WWDR immediate certificate
  • Development provisioning profile 

Then I noticed something in the provisioning profile (Window > Organizer > Provisioning Profiles):

“A valid signing identity matching this profile could not be found in your keychain”

I looked for clues on the net long and hard, then I discovered the answer posted by Dave Camp:
http://www.cocoabuilder.com/archive/message/xcode/2009/7/19/29533

The answer for my problem is: I’m missing my private key!

I took the following steps to fix this problem:

  1. Exported my private key from the login keychain from iMac
  2. Shared the private key over the network, downloaded it into the Macbook, and deleted the private key so it’s not stolen by someone (or just use a USB drive, safer and easier)
  3. Imported the private key into the login keychain in the Macbook (by double-clicking it). At this point it throws me some weird error but it works for sure because I can see it now in the login keychain

Voila! The build no longer returns any error!

Hope this helps some of you who encountered this same problem.


Aug 22 2009

New Flash Game: Flox

Hello everyone!!!

I know it’s a bit bizzare to finally add a post after such a long time – the last post was on 8 March 2008, that’s like what… 1.5 year ago! – this is one of those things that I do that gave me some real permanent joy.

After over one month of tinkering with Flash on flocking algorithm and ethereal effect, I decided to transform the experiment to a proper game complete with highscores submission (special thanks to MochiMedia for the well-developed, well-maintained, easy-to-use advertisement and leaderboard API). Finally, a game that I started and was able to complete without getting distracted with other things.

Check it out here!
http://www.anthonytambrin.com/flox/

Flox is a simple game where you try to capture and merge circles of the same colors using your mouse as a lasso and then you send the circles to the ever-shrinking pool in the center. If the pool shrinks to nothing it’s game over. I hope you enjoy playing this game. See how much you can score! Please feel free to leave any comments or feedback.

Some screenshots:


Mar 2 2008

New Video: Melodies of Life from FF9 Piano Collection

Played another piece from Final Fantasy IX Piano Collection, it’s called Melodies of Life. My most favourite song so far.


Mar 2 2008

New Video: Tifa’s Theme from FF7 Piano Collection

Wow… it’s been a long time…

Finally I’ve got some time to do my own things, so I took the time to play two piano pieces from Final Fantasy Piano Collection. This one is called Tifa’s Theme, it’s very soothing. I like slow songs… dunno why. Probably because it’s easier to play…

This time around, I lowered the camera angle by a bit so the pedal is visible.

I hope you enjoy it. Please feel free to comment ^_^