in search of Space Monsters

exploring arcade game design with HTML5 and JavaScript

A selection of screens from my new HTML5 arcade game – Road Rage

I intend to complete this game very soon. I confess I’ve got a little carried away adding some special effects with sprites. The shards of metal that fly away from the damaged vehicles when struck with a missile or gun fire were just too tempting to resist.
I spawn them in the game with random trajectory, […]

Balancing the action and using a classic for inspiration

Designing HTML5 arcade games with JavaScript has become something of a theraputic exercise. The combined thrills of pixelling, coding and designing the various elements of the action are proving to be quite useful in the stressful run up to Christmas.
Yet despite this I now find myself in that unavoidable “crunch” mode on two projects. I […]

Sprite creation for mobile web games – some thoughts on colour and composition

Back in my day as a Gameboy Advance artist we used to have some key rules for asset creation. Generally much of the design was handled externally via the client and we simply adapted any work for presentation on the small screen. But occasionally we were given some free reign to create new art. To […]

Super Jet Boy – a few thoughts on touch-screen control and sprite presentation

Jet Boy (or Super Jet Boy to give it its full title) is a game about a boy with a rocket pack who embarks on an adventure to recover some mystical golden statuettes. High above the kingdoms of his homeworld a series of enchanted sky temples play host to an array of weird monsters charged […]

Crossfire – an HTML5 vertical shoot ‘em up – development update

Just a quick update as work on Crossfire (previously Stargun) is moving at pace just now.
I’m very keen to use the project as an exercise in broadening the featureset of my game framework.
Currently I’m focusing on creating the kind of vertical shoot ‘em up that was popular around the late 80’s and early 90’s. The […]

Artwork and development for Distant Orbit

I’ve been working hard to create the visuals for Distant Orbit this last week. I know how much I enjoy looking over other developer’s workstations so I thought I’d capture mine and post them up here.
I’m still undecided on the use of cartoon aliens. I like them but I’m not sure if it’s right for […]

Playing with fillStyle to create some neat game effects and text

Creating games using HTML5 and the Canvas isn’t always all about using drawImage(). For the most part it is of course because we want to display our lovingly drawn sprites and environments but there are plenty of legitimate cases where we might opt for using the primitive drawing methods such as fillRect().
I use fillRect […]

In development – River Raider – mobile HTML5 arcade game

My HTML5 take on Activision’s classic River Raid is almost complete and it’s been a huge amount of fun.
The beauty of the original game was, for me at least, in it’s slick execution. I loved the way the plane rolled left and right and accelerated the more you held the stick. I also loved some […]

Handling grid movement

I thought it might be worth briefly sharing my approach to handling grid movement. It’s by no means finalised but just now is giving some very satisfactory results.
In every game that I make I employ a fairly basic box based method for collision detection. In reasonably fast paced arcade games where the sprites are deliberately […]

Playing with sprites, walls and new game concepts

I’m always looking at new game designs and cool ways to implement them. I also have my own system for creating HTML5 games that has evolved over the last 12 months.
I don’t use frameworks or libraries or such, I just enjoy getting my hands dirty with my own code.
But if you’ve read this blog before […]

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