Archive for the 'Me' Category

Switched to Linux (again)

I last ran Linux as my primary operating system about four years ago. I switched back to Windows as I was doing a lot of Windows coding for my studies at Media Design School. After getting fed up with various problems I was having with Windows XP I recently decided to switch back to Linux again. Last time I was running Mandrake but I felt like something new this time round. After reading some reviews and checking out a few desktop screen shots I chose openSUSE 10.2. Ubuntu was a close second. It seems to be the Linux distribution of choice at the moment but I found it a bit too brown for my liking 🙂 Ultimately this screen shot did it for me. I thought this looked like a real clean, uncluttered and easy to use desktop. This is the default Gnome desktop, I’ve been a die-hard KDE in the past but I feel nowadays less is more. The new Gnome main menu looks reminiscent of the Windows XP Start menu. However there are a few subtle differences. For one, it includes Beagle desktop search. Not the Windows style search, more like Google Desktop. Type something in there and it will find applications, documents, email, web pages you’ve visited. Rather than opening up a huge hierarchical menu, the More Applications button opens up a page of more applications. No surprise there, but it’s more web like interface is quite nice to use. It also provides a search mechanism and convenient groupings to help with finding things.

That’s the default install. I’ve tweaked it a fair bit. For a start the default music player “Helix Banshee” didn’t work with my iPod Shuffle. I upgraded that to a newer version of Banshee that fixed that. I was quite intrigued by the features of Beryl. I was also finding the package management that came with openSUSE not that great. There seemed to be two package managers installed, Zen and Yast. Neither of which were that great, the main problem being that they were both incredibly slow to check for updates. Instead I installed a new package manager called Smart. It’s really fast and a breeze to use. Hopefully it’s included as standard in a future version.

Despite all the beta software I’ve installed it’s still pretty stable. I genuinely think that this desktop setup is nicer and easier to use than Windows XP. I can burn DVD+Rs again and my PC doesn’t reboot several times while trying to boot the OS and I can use ethernet without it dying every couple of minutes like it was on XP.

Although I installed a dual boot Linux/Windows configuration, I don’t think I’ve actually booted Windows since I finished reinstalling it.


GripShift online leaderboards

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on online high score tables for our PS3 game GripShift. We’ve now made these live on the official GripShift website. Building our own leaderboard site means we’ve been able to provide GripShift players with information that is not available in game, like overall player rank. So know we can tell who is the best GripShift player in the world! Incidentally it’s a guy called GG2U who bought and completed the game the first week it was out, he’s got some youtube videos of him pulling off some insane moves. Now the leaderboards are available online though others are seeking to end GG2U’s reign at the top.

In other GripShift news the boffins in the marketing department have uploaded a new trailer to youtube just in time for the European launch. HD trailer downloads are coming soon.

Wii News Channel Launches

I just updated my Wii to access the newly launched Wii News Channel. The top headline for New Zealand today: “New Zealand declares National Lamb Day”.

The country is finally coming out of the closet to declaring their Lamb Love with a national day.

Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton stated, “New Zealanders had no reason to be embarrassed about their sheep … we hope all New Zealanders will recognise … this milestone and mark it by enjoying lamb for dinner on Feb. 15”.

Oh, we’re celebrating eating them then. Fuck off Jim I’m vegetarian.

GripShift for PLAYSTATION®3

I’ve been working on GripShift for PS3 for a while now. Development is all wrapped up for the US version which should be released very soon now.

GripShift for PLAYSTATION®3

So far there announcement has been covered by IGN, Eurogamer, Computer & Video Games, Kotaku & Destructoid. There’s a fair bit of discussion about the features that are in the game on this NeoGaf thread. Sony’s website has more information and screenshots.

Below is the official press release.

GripShift® Is Speeding Onto The PlayStation® Network As A Downloadable Title


Wellington, New Zealand – December 20, 2006


GripShift® is a re-mix of the award-winning original specially redesigned
for e-Distribution (EDI) through the PlayStation®Network. Running at
60fps, GripShift will come to life on the PLAYSTATION®3 computer
entertainment system in unbelievable high-definition at 720p. Featuring
totally enhanced HD graphics, refined gameplay and four player online
multiplayer for $9.99.


Digital Download Deluxe: Experience a re-mix of the award-winning original
specifically redesigned for e-Distribution through the PlayStation®Network.

Original Combination of Genres: Stunt Driving, Platform-Action and
Puzzle-Solving genres combine to offer the ultimate driving experience.

Vibrant 3D Environments in HD: Navigate through roller-coaster style tracks
and four themed worlds (Desert, Jungle, Ice and Horror) that come alive with
brilliant 3D HD graphics at 720p 60fps stunning lighting and dynamic visual

All-new Gameplay and Content: Improved vehicle handling provides more
responsive controls while new game content includes 125+ new and re-mixed
levels, 25 race tracks, and an enhanced music soundtrack.

Puzzle-like Challenges: Multiple routes, short-cuts, loops, jumps, ramps,
power-ups and dangers to avoid will challenge the most skilled drivers

For more information visit



GripShift® is slated for release late December/early January

UPDATE: The official website is now live.

In the press

I haven’t written anything here in ages so I thought I could mention some of the press coverage we’ve been getting. First, Goliath was on the cover disc of the February issue of PC Gamer UK. We’ve had a lot of very positive feedback from readers so it’s been great exposure for Goliath. Also in February, UK based Retro Gamer magazine did a Quazatron story which included a link to and screenshot from my (still unfinished) Quazatron remake. Thanks to Matthew Smith for pointing that out to me. More recently we’ve been contacted by a journalist who was writing an article on Goliath for Austrailan based PC Powerplay magazine and Portugal based Mega Score magazine who are going to include Goliath on their April issue’s cover disk.

Goliath interview on TekTime Radio

I was recently interviewed about Goliath on the TekTime Radio show. TekTime is a a specialist show about computers technology on Victorian radio station 97.1FM 3MDR. The interview is available here in mp3 format from the TekTime website.

Goliath wins at IGF

Goliath has been selected as a winner in the 2006 Independent Games Festival Student Showcase. We were one of two winners selected from 17 international entries in the middleware-based game category. So some of us will be off to GDC in March to show off our game 🙂

Independent Games Festival 2006 Winner

The Independent Games Festival was established in 1998 to encourage innovation in game development and to recognize the best independent game developers. The IGF Student Showcase is one of three competitions in this year’s Independent Games Festival. Ten outstanding Student Showcase winners were selected to be displayed at Game Developers Conference in San Jose this March.

Gamasutra – 2006 IGF Student Showcase Winners Announced