8WG – New Site on its way.

I have been wanting to build my 1st MVC site for a while and always wanted to take the 8weekgame concept further and build it out into its own site. Well now I’m – I have completed the functional analysis and design and now in the process of mocking the HTML pages using a snazzy tool called CoffeeCup. I have decided to get the front end pages done first before moving onto designing and building the backend database (the model part of MVC).

The first protoype page is now up and will grow as the weeks come on. I have decided to use the CSS framework Metro UI CSS to rapidly develop the pages using Microsoft’s Modern UI design language. This is changing with the advent of Windows 10 and there is a new version (3.0) of the Metro UI Framework coming. Please note I will remain on version 2.0 until later on after golive and way up the pro’s and con’s in upgrading. The Mock can be found here:


I mentioned Phase 1 earlier. I’m splitting 2015 into two Phases and using Trello to help me organise this in a simple Scrumboard approach of Todo/Doing/Done. Again this can be found here:


I will of course keep this blog upto date on my progress.

#8Weekgame – Voting is Open!

Well after 8week’s the contestants have finished their games, play tested, sweated and sworn and cursed to get this far. They have done such an amazing job all of them, and I wish them all the very best of luck.

Voting will open on the 11th February and will finish 11.59pm 25th February. So I know you are itching to play these games, so here they are:

  1. Shaw Young – The Distant Future – This is a browser based game that runs elegantly in Firefox and Chrome.
  2. Peter Lamb – Uprising – This is a PC game and will require you to install the game and various DLL’s if you need them.
  3. Andrew Carmichael – The Beast Hunter – Another browser based game that works best in Firefox.
  4. Charlie Walters – Island of Aeris – Again another browser game that excels in IE10 and Firefox (NOT Chrome though)
  5. Charles Humphrey – Road Rumble –  Like Uprising, this is a PC game that will require an install.

To vote:

  • Play all the games. Give them all a good go as the guys have spent a considerable amount of time and effort into them. A couple of them have a high difficulty curve to begin with, but persevere and you will get hours of enjoyment and find your favourite. Only then move onto the next step……
  • If you haven’t already you will need to ‘Like’ our Facebook page.https://www.facebook.com/8weekgame
  • The Facebook Question will be on the page. Vote for your favourite game.


The Distant Future – You can use create separate teams by dragging the boxes with your player names on them to the rectangle below. This is quite handy in certain scenarios….

Road Rumble – When you first start up hit the “M” key to get the Map up. This is invaluable. You may find you die quite quickly – don’t despair, press the “H” key to request a Helicopter to come to your aid and repair you. Remember also, “G” is for firing your Gun and “R” is for Rockets.

The Beast Hunter – There is a feature whereby you need to hit Start twice at the beginning of the game to have all 14 of your sheep start the game.

Uprising – My only tip is to be patient with this game. It is very clever and sometimes you feel you are in a maze you will never get out of, but that’s the beauty of this game, it keeps giving.

Island of Aeris – Remember to press “ctrl” to grab hold of the vines! I was constantly falling because of this!

#8Weekgame – 5th Week Update


Firstly, apologies for the delay in missing the last two weeks posts. The festive season (plus dayz) has eaten into my time. This hasn’t stopped out developers though, so here is the update.


Peter Lamb

Peter’s Uprising is coming along nicely. Peter has managed to revise his camera class as well as his rendering engine. Also a new feature that Peter likes to call Action Triggers. It’s a way of defining class and methods in the level definition XML and when the player collides with a pre-defined area of space, it triggers the method to be called accordingly. This will allow Peter the ability to define methods for e.g. when a player collides, so something. Uprising sounds like it is coming on nicely. Last i looked I think Peter was working on sentry guns!


Martin Elsworth

Martin is an UK expat in New Zealand and has had his folks over for the Xmas break, so Martin hasnt had time to complete anything. I’m sure though a big push is coming……..


Charles Humphrey

Charles keeps on giving, Road Rumble is immense and Charles has another video to show us with full audio. I cannot wait to play this and I think Charles wants to convert it to Monogame and release it on the Windows 8 App Store.


Age of Vampires has blossomed. Charlie was quiet for a while, then out of the blue, these images appear. Look at the egg shell background and the new enemies. Loving it. Remember….this is Charlies first game, hand drawn art, the works. Just think what he will be producing on game 2 if this is the quality now.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

***Transmission Start …..missing in duty
***Transmission end.


Andrew Carmichael

Still no update from Andrew, but I’m sure he is beavering away ready for keyboard down on the 3rd Feb.

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#8Weekgame – 2nd Week Update

Countdown Timer


The 2nd week is now upon us and the contenders have been busy dev’s! Plus we now have the 8weekgame Counter ticking down as we speak (Thank you Shawson), check it out. I wanted us to use the official site more, but we seem ti be focusing our efforts on Facebook, which is fine for now. In the future I would love to build a proper 8weekgame site though.


Anyways, here is the update from our dev’s.


Peter Lamb

Peter’s Uprising is coming along nicely. He has a couple of levels built and completed a feature whereby users receive medals for completing levels within certain parameters. Peter at the moment is trying to resolve a Collision Detection bug and had kindly included some Alpha videos for us to see.



Martin Elsworth

A slow week for Martin as he has his folks from the UK in to NZ where he has immigrated. Martin though has started on a basics and has decided his game will be an isometric viewpoint, possibly a Sim City style game or a racer.



Charles Humphrey

Road Rumble continues slowly for Charles as he doesn’t know where to take the game. Charles has addedthough fuel and damage limits, plus adding some animated explosions. In the last newsletter I included a clip of Road Rumble. For anyone who missed it, here it is.




Charlie has his game up and running now for Age of Vampires, and working on collision detection for slopes for his game. From what I can gather this is Charlie’s first game, and I’m really impressed on how much he has accomplished. Charlie has also managed to get a new screen shot up for us, looking good.


No official update from Tash, but i do know she has a lot on at the moment for other personal projects, but still feels she will have time to complete. “Come on Tash, we know you can do it!……”


Andrew Carmichael

A quick update from Andrew. His game is named BeastHunter.  He has sourced his Graphics and next he has a meeting to source some sound effects. The game itself, you can move the beast around the screen and approach some sheep, but they cannot actually eat them yet, yummy!


So as you can see our contestants have been busy on their games, some are moving more swiftly than others, but I’m certain once personal commitments relax/completed/calm down, we will see a raft of new content to tease you with and get you excited to play them February 2013!


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#8Weekgame – 1st Week Update

8weekgame (Competition-3) contestants


So apart from Project Personal I’m also organizing a Indie “Make a Game” competition 8WeekgameAs the name suggests, it is make a game in 8 weeks, using XNA oe Monogame for the PC or Javascript and HTML5 for browsers. Historically this competition has been a closed affair with only the voting open to the general public. This year though due to the interest, we have opened the entries and have gathered the following crew who are participating:

  1. Shaw Young
  2. Natasha Hampshire
  3. Martin Elsworth
  4. Charlie Walter
  5. Charles Humphrey
  6. Peter Lamb
  7. Andrew Carmichael

This time around (we are calling it Competition-3) we have prizes thanks to the kind and generous sponsorship of Pluralsightan invaluable video library for Developers and ZiiP GameStore, a leading UK Indie Online Store for PC and Console games.

So the Competition-3 kicked-off on the 3rd December and will run until 3rd February 2013, so how have our Developers been fairing? Lets take a look…..


Peter Lamb

Peter is aiming to create a 3rd Person Shooter called Uprising using XNA for Windows.  So far Peter has the basic screen navigation done and has started building the collision and drawable entity engine. Peter also has some thoughts and ideas for his character models and the visual style for Uprising.

Martin Elsworth

Anyone remember Manic Martin from competition 1? No, well no-one does! Martin hasn’t confirmed what his game is though is the 2nd time round. One thing for certain though he is using XNA for Windows after experimenting with Javascript. So far Martin has the base classes written and animation working but not finished. Game State and Level Editor up next!


Charles Humphrey

An interesting concept from Charles called Road Rumble, which in Charles own words is “Top down drivy, shooty thingy” and again being written using XNA for Windows. Charles so has written the logic to read the the game world from a texture, has the cars and people moving about on the world with Physics thanks to the Farseer Physics Engine. Charles  also has a particle system base in and smoke trails. Tackling next will be the Game State Manger plus some video clips of the game to show us.


Our 1st Javascript game, Charlie is attempting a RPG Platformer titled Age of Vampires. Charlie has even given a detailed description

In the Age of Vampires, no one is safe, enjoy this adventurous platform game, where your jump straight into a world full of mythical and supernatural creatures, where you play as your choice of race. Improving your skill set, improving your weapons, armor and completing quests.

Charlie has even started showing off some of his art he has drawn.


So far no update from Tash, but we know she is using Javascript. Personally I think Shawson has locked her away until after the competition, too scared of Tash’s Javascript skillz.



Andrew Carmichael

This cannot be a coincidence can it? No update from Andrew, and another Javascript game, plus another person who Shawson is close to on a regular basis…..could Andrew be held up in the same cupboard as Tash? Watch this space!


So congrats to the contestants so far. I will blog next time for week 2 plus hopefully screen grabs from their games. Exciting times.

Microsoft XNA
Microsoft XNA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Project Personal, Time to get Serious….

As the title stipulates, I’m getting Serious and I mean business. So what am I getting serious about? Well, personal coding projects which I never finish. I’m blessed (cursed) with an over-active imagination which can lead to an lack of discipline at home for my personal work, which is perplexing because with everything else I do, I’m very organised which sometimes borders on OCD‘s (Washing up piles ordered into separate piles springs to mind). Yes I lack basic common sense and I tend to mislay and loose things alot…..but hey that is an integral part of who I’am.  Even at work I’m organised… really organised and anal about time.

So my problem I think is that my imagination is wild at home. I’m unrestricted. I’m free. I’m wild. I need to tame the need to learn “other stuff” and become a Ninja at something, like MVC……..

Hello Project Personal….

I have limited spare time. I have a wife who likes to do stuff as a family and a gorgeous 2 year old who demands my attention (quite rightly).  Plus I use that spare time to run and keep fit, which is also an important feature of my life. But I still have this insatiable urge to learn and code and finish a goddam personal project. Balance is needed, so I have decided to plan my time properly – Hello Project Personal.


  1. Use Spare time only – which is:
    1. 7.30am – 8.30am Monday – Friday
    2. 19.30pm – 21.00pm Monday – Friday
    3. Some weekends
  2. Cannot let this project interfere with family life and running.
  3. Need to complete 1 ASP.NET MVC Project from now until December 2012…..not 2013
  4. Use reading time (Our bed time reading usually consumed by Fantasy/Sci-Fi Novels) reading upon new stuff.

Tonight I have chosen to finish an App i started 3 months ago for the wife. Easy Accounts app so she can track our outgoings on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Easy peasy. I’ve started it and i would say its a quarter the way finished so this would be a good to get it out there and finished. Plus I have decided on some reading materials. So here it is, this is my learning stuff – No more and no less:

  • Accountable – Wife’s MVC app. The name may change.
  • DI for .NET – I will continue reading this book.
  • SQL – Enhance my very poor SQL skills.

The rest of the evening I have been planning using Google Calendar and setting up a Trello board:

Trello Board

Google Calendar

This is a little bare at the moment, but that’s my plan for this week – to plan,plan,plan. I will keep these updated and post specific milestones here or any code samples I feel are appropriate.

Then What?

In the new year (2013 if you didn’t know) I want to use the lessons learn’t and move onto a new project. I have a couple I want to do:

  • 8weekgame – I really want to build the site which will allow me and Shawson to continue hosting new competitions. I have lots of ideas for this so watch this space!
  • Accountable Windows 8 Metro App – If all goes to plan I should have the site live in January, with wifey using it. I would like to write an App for Windows 8 which utilises this system. In October I plan to upgrade to Windows 8 and purchase a Windows 8 Table (Hopefully a Surface) so having Accountable on there would be ace.

What is important though is to complete Accountable and complete it well, while keeping and balancing a family life. If i still have a wife in December I might have succeeded………

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