Currently we are working on Smith and Winston an action packed twin stick shooter for PC. You cna find out more here: Smith and Winston
Execution Unit has worked on many and varied projects over the years. Usually shuttering one before moving on to the next.
New Metal Army
New Metal Army sought to bring together as much of the world of heavy metal in to one place on the internet. It ran from 2006 until 2014.
New Metal Army was a website and a set of internet bots that scraped news, heavy metal and general music websites for news about heavy metal bands. Using natural language parsing, basic machine learning and pattern matching the disparate sources were colated together to create one coherent news stream.
As well as news, gigs from around the world were collated presenting the user with views of gigs in their country, county and city. If tickets were available the user was given the opportunity to buy tickets.
My long term collaborator in all things and fellow Metal Head Charlie did some amazing artwork for New Metal Army. We were very active on a veriety of forums and this animated banner proved a great success.
Here is the header image that was at the top of all the pages
Initially built using Turbogears New Metal Army migrated to Django about half way through it’s life. It always used PostgreSQL as it’s back end. The bots were written in Python2.7 using BeautifulSoup to sanitize the HTML.
Beep My Stuff
Beep My Stuff provided a digital library service. Users scanned bar codes using a webcam or barcode reader and Beep My Stuff stored their collection of CDs, Books and Video Games in a digital library. Information about the users collection was sourced from Amazons database.
Users used Beep My Stuff to build libraries for insurance reasons, to note who they leant items too and to remind them of what they had stored where.
The website was built using Turbogears and PostgreSQL. The web barcode reader used Flash to capture images from the users camera. The camera image was analised in realtime to look for barcodes to scan.
Tentacles wa the first game that Charlie and I started a few months after the iPad first appeared. The vision was to make a Pikmin style game crossed with Command and Conquer light strategy all using the brand new iPad touch display.
The game proved to be too ambitious for a two man team and we stopped development after 8 months. I have no doubt that we will return to this idea at some point.
Tentacles was written in C++ and OpenGL. The levels were designed in Blender and exported through a Python exporter and level munger. We designed and debugged the game on the PC and Mac using GLUT. To get the game to work on iOS we wrote a thin Objective-C shim
This was the first time that I had integrated physics in to my engine and Bullet Physics worked suprisingly well on the 1st gen iPad.
We developed autonomous agents that swarmed as a group when given paths to follow and targets to get to. Still looks cool to me now! This was to be the basis for the pikmin like swarming.
Max Astro was the second game Charlie and I worked on. Max Astro was an iOS puzzle game. While lost if space Max crashes on a strange land, he is cast from his space ship and must traverse the landscape to get back. Aliens fall from the sky with balloons to thwart max.
Nearly 500,000 users played Max Astro across iPhone, iPod and iPad platforms. Once Max Astros revenues dropped low enough we took it down from the App Store seeing no value in maintaining it.
Max Astro was written in Objective-C and C++ using OpenGL. We debugged and designed the game using a desktop version that used GLUT. Levels were designed using Mappy.
Max is going to make a special appearence in Smith and Winston.
Word Taxi was a spelling puzzle game. The player is tasked with driving a taxi through town satisfying customers desires to “buy shoes”, “get food” or visit their friends. In order to make Taxi accelerate the player must spell words using the eight letters they are randomly given.
Despite many revisions of the game we couldn’t make Word Taxi fun enough and after 8 months of development it was shelved. We might return to this idea if we can see a new path for it.
We design the game on the Mac and PC using C++ and GLUT. The code was largely the same as Max Astro’s but we added Box2D for lovely 2D physics effects in the game. Levels were designd in Tiled.