Just cleaning up the garage..

Did some cleaning in the garage this weekend in preperation for a house move. Here are some of the random things that I found.

First off, a Dreamcast dev kit. This one doesn’t work – I think the graphics cards is fried. Still a lovely looking unit though.

A large, red Gravis Ultrasound. This was a mighty soundcard back in the 90s. It had on-board sampe RAM and got a lot of love from the demoscene as a result.

Three different types of storage: a 3.5″ disc, a 5.25″ inch disc and a monster 15.1″ disc cartridge. The RL01K-DC holds a whopping 5.2MB and was used in the venerable PDP-11.

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Shall we play a game?

Way back in December of last year I was honoured to be asked by Abyss, one of the main organisers behind the massive Assembly demoparty, if I would be interested in creating an invitation demo for them this year. Of course I jumped at the chance. It’s taken a while (curse you real life and your endless demands!) but here’s the result:

The demo is written in C++ and GLSL using OpenFrameworks 007 as a base. That’s a bit of a departure from my usual DirectX + custom engine approach, but I needed to familiarise myself with OF for my job and this seemed like a good way to go about doing that. So this is actually my first ever (and possibly only ever) OF release.

The wonderful soundtrack for this demo was created by Brendan Ratliff, aka Syphus, aka Echolevel. This isn’t the first time we’ve worked together – back in 2008 we made the matter-of-factly named Ribbons, Tunnels & Techno, a demo that I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for.

Shortly I’ll be packaging up the code for a full source release and I’ll blog a bit more about the creation of the demo at the same time. Until then you can download the windows executable from the Ate Bit site and, if you’re feeling generous, you could always leave a nice comment on Pouet.

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It’s still fairly secretive and hasn’t been seen in public yet but my latest project, AteBitVJ, is coming along nicely. The aim of AteBitVJ is to take the best bits of some of my previous works (my demoscene output, my Processing experiments and music visualistations and a bunch of my other, non-public, experiments) and wrap them up into a real-time VJ app. The unofficial tag line for the project is “no loops allowed”, meaning that it’s not a VJ program for playing video loops – pretty much everything is generated (and tweakable) in realtime.

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Posted in atebit, Computers, Development, Music | 2 Comments

OpenProcessing.org and Ray Marching

I’ve taken a little break from Flash and gone off to play with ray marching – an optimised form of ray tracing. I started off using the GPU, then ended up with a nice little Processing sketch that I’ve uploaded to OpenProcessing.org. Open Processing allows you to share sketches with others and is a great place to pick up inspiration and learn – every sketch uploaded includes full source code, easily browsable on the site.

(click on the picture to run the sketch)

Be sure to play around with the F and M keys to get a look at what the sketch has to offer.
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Make your own Bullet Hell

UPDATE: Check my new blog about developing a Bullet Hell game at https://bhsalpha.blogspot.com/

Work continue apace on my Flash game, Bullet Hell Surive. Actually, no it doesn’t. What’s the opposite of apace? Slowly? That will do.

With most of my time now taken up by housedad duties, I’m finding it hard to get enough time to get things done on the project. Occasionally I get an uninterrupted hour or two and get lots done, but usually it’s half an hour here or there and once I’ve got settled in the time is half gone. I get the distinct impression that, were I working on this fulltime, I could have got to this stage in the project in a single week.

(click on the picture to run the demo)

So what’s new in this version? First up is the level editor. You can use this to create your own levels, which you can then play. Continue reading

Posted in Computers, Development, Games | 11 Comments


Yup.. I’ve finally joined Twitter. Drop by and follow me, I’ll be talking about BHS development (and other things) as they happen.

Twitter username: evilpaul_atebit

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Bullet Hell Survive… Flash!

UPDATE: Check my new blog about developing a Bullet Hell game at https://bhsalpha.blogspot.com/

I’m getting more interested in making my work more easily accessible. After dabbling around with Processing for a while (and enjoying it’s ability to publish-to-web fairly easily) I’ve decided next to take a look at Flash. This should make it even easier to get my work into the hands of more people.. excluding you people with iDevices of course ;P

For my first Flash project I’ve decided to write a game. More specifically, I’ve decided to update my old Bullet Hell Survive game that I wrote as part of the first one day game jam that I organised, Dundee Jam. I thought the game in its original form was fairly fun, but it certainly had a few flaws that needed fixing. I’ve been wanting to update it for a long time now.

(click on the picture to run the demo)

The premise of the game is pretty simple – dodge a storm of bullets while trying to maximise your score. In a normal bullet hell game you have to defeat enemies, but not here. In BHS you just have to survive against the clock. You can score in one of three ways: camp out in one of the level’s score zones, graze bullets (à la Crazy Taxi) or collect the special “score bullets”. Click on the image above and you’ll be able to play the work-in-progress build of the game. Use WASD or the arrow keys to move around. It’s only a couple of hours work so far and uses coder art mixed with a touch of hastily ripped Xenon 2 graphics. There’s still a hell of a lot more to add. Oh.. heh.. no pun intended there! ;D

The only really interesting piece of code so far is the part that controls the spawning of the bullets. Continue reading

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So here’s a little ZX Spectrum platform game prototype that I threw together at the end of last year. After getting so far into the project I decided that it wasn’t worth continuing with – too big a project, not enough time and I couldn’t find any artists or level designers to help out with the workload.

Anyway.. cut to now and I’ve finally got around to packing up the source code (and the tools to build the thing) and releasing it. Feel free to grab it and do with it what you will.. within reason of course! ;D

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Depth-of-field in Processing

It’s an old trick: generate a set of pre-blurred sprites and choose the right one to show (based on depth) to give the illusion of an expensive depth-of-field effect. Here it is in a Processing sketch:

(click on the picture to run the demo)

Use the mouse over the applet to control it – left/right controls rotation, up/down controls focal point and a deft click of the left mouse button gives an extra little kick to the simulation.

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Oh no more Processing!

I was discussing Flight404‘s flow field simulation experiments with Roxlu yesterday and I realised that I’d never actually tried to recreate the effect myself. I’ve played around with stuff that was inspired by these works, but never really been that satisfied with the results. So I thought I should just borrow the idea wholesale and see what came out. The result is this:

(click on the picture to run the demo)

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