YoYo Games

Three YoYo Years by Allison James

My mind is blown. As of today, I have been employed by YoYo Games as a junior developer for three years. The time has flown - it genuinely doesn't feel that long ago I was creating and releasing stuff like Remaddening independently. Yet, when I look back at it, the amount that has happened has been astonishing. This will be a little bit biography, a little bit reminiscing.I still remember, clear as day, my visit to Dundee in May 2010 to meet with the YoYo folk - at the time, Sandy Duncan, Mike Dailly and Russell Kay. The location of the original YoYo HQ hadn't been finalised, I'd never set foot in Scotland before (despite my nationality being 50% Scottish)... it was a great experience. We had breakfast in Costa, lunch in The Pancake Place and dinner in Dil'Se. Me and my dad stayed in Holiday Inn and had a further lunch in a Bangladeshi restaurant that sadly no longer exists.Roll forward a month and a half, and on July 5th 2010 I did my first official YoYo Games work - porting greenTech+ to PSP. The first week of work I had to work from home due to accommodation issues, but the following Monday I had a room on Bank Street ready, so on Sunday 11th July we spent eight hours travelling and stayed in a bar slash hotel in Perth for the night.I remember this place clear as day too. Dogs roamed around inside the pub. I remember looking out of our room's window, seeing my parents' car full of all my belongings and coming to the sudden realisation that fuck, my life was now going to be massively different. And perhaps most memorable to me, I remember watching the World Cup final on the shitty CRT television in our room. Holland got their asses kicked that day. Infact, this is another thing that makes time seem so much shorter - that the next World Cup is only a year off, so the one I saw that day was three years ago!So the day after, I began in-office work at the original YoYo HQ, an office above the I.C. Cave in the University of Abertay. Four of us were the entire in-office workforce for a few months - me, Mike, Russell, and Kirsty - with Sandy flying over every week or two. Soon after Realtime Worlds went bust (in August 2010), the workforce grew with an artist, Geoff; a producer, Stuart; and a web developer, Lee, all within the space of a few weeks. Our first game, a port of Chad Chisholm's "Skydiver Mach II", was released in October. Shortly after came Maddening, a quasi-sequel to my self published series madnessMADNESSmadness/Remaddening (Maddening was released exactly one year to the day after madnessMADNESSmadness, purely by coincidence). In 2010 we released several ports of existing games under the original YYG business model, including Teka Teki and Sync Simple. We also released an original solitaire game, Simply Solitaire, coded from scratch by me and then fixed laboriously by Mike (at the time I was still very poor at programming, achieving what I needed but doing it messily and without much optimisation). 2010 was also the year in which I met Mark Overmars, the original GameMaker creator, and Jesse Venbrux of Karoshi fame, who stayed for a month to create games in-house including an upgraded port of They Need To Be Fed and a new Karoshi game, Mr Karoshi.2010 Christmas party: A burger in the student café opposite University of AbertayThroughout 2011, the growth began. Several new people joined. Multiple more games were released. New teams emerged, with Jack Oatley and Darrell Flood, the two people I still live with in "YoYo House", spending a year creating YoYo Games' first social game outing "Grave Maker". The office, once four of us in a pretty empty room, began to fill out. The year began with the release of GameMaker 8.1, and ended with the release of GameMaker HTML5. I still remember having to pull 11 straight days of work with overtime to help get the new manual (now the old new manual) for the latter ready for its release, but a posh celebratory meal in Playhouse made it all worth it! I also met Kjell t'Hoen towards the end of this year - great guy who I would've kept forever had it been up to me, but sadly he was only here for six weeks!2011 Christmas party: Posh dinner in Duke's Corner2012 was when the growth properly began, though the big first change was outside the office. Me, Darrell, Jack, and then also Mark and Piotr moved house! From Bank Street, a small (but adequate) five-room compact cheap flat share where the stairwell leading up to it was frequently home to heroin addicts with no bowel control, we moved to a beautiful house on Adelaide Place with big rooms, a fantastic kitchen, a massive living area, and most importantly a specific room containing a full size snooker table and dartboard! 2012 also saw the release of GameMaker: Studio, the tool allowing anyone to publish their games cross-platform. We celebrated with a good old fashioned burger and beer in Ketchup.  Other games were released this year, including probably my personal favourite game I've worked on yet, "BASE Jumper".2012 Christmas party: Posh dinner, long part-ay and large amounts of free champagne in Queen's HotelAnd then began this year, 2013! The big story so far was the office move at the end of May. By the move, YoYo Games was on around 25 members of in-office staff, almost a 700% increase from when I started, and with more people still outside of it. We filled the University of Abertay office, which was adequate. And now we are in the top floor of River Court, an air-purified monster office with ping-pong and foosball tables, stunning views in all directions, a balcony, a massively expensive coffee machine and a drinks fridge (along with the rest of a gorgeous kitchen)... everything about it is breathtaking.So the three years feel like they've gone quick as a flash, but when I compare then to now, it's been a stunning change:ACCOMMODATION2010: Small room in a compact flat with a stairwell commonly housing junkie turds and a window view overlooking a graveyard2013: Large house, big rooms, a garden, a dedicated games room with full size snooker tableWORK HQ2010: Converted segment of an IT area of a university, makeshift kitchen area, no plumbing - just a "slop bucket", view featured a car park2013: Massive modern office, ultra-expensive kitchen area, ping-pong, foosball, air purifying, beach huts, Chupa Chups carousel, 360 degree view of Dundee featuring miles of River Tay and thousands of square feet of views of Dundee, and a balcony if the fact 90% of the walls are windows isn't enoughIN-OFFICE WORKFORCE2010: Two core tech, one game developer, one customer support (count: 4)2013: Around 8 core tech, three game dev teams of artist + programmer, three producers, QA teams, customer support teams and more (count: around 25, with space, and plans, for many more)GAMEMAKER2010: Standard 8.0, play games on Windows2013: Studio 1.1 + 1.2 Beta, play games on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, HTML5, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, with a plethora of options for them all and moreLOGO2010: Gradiented Ambex Heavy Oblique wordmark2013: Recognisable modern "YO/YO" ambigram logoMY CODING2010: Shit2013: Not so shitIt's been a hell of a ride, and a ride I want to keep on riding! Looking back at all the differences of the company in such a tiny timespan is awe inspiring. May YoYo Games live forever!

The Long Road Home Pt 3 & RekameMag Update by Allison James

I'm typing this on an iPad, as a train takes me from Edinburgh to York. It's sixteen minutes late from Edinburgh - I have eight minutes between the original York arrival time and the York departure of the third of four trains which are to take me from Dundee to Redgrave, home. Bloody delays.And yes, as much as being stranded in a city of bizarre accents for about an hour longer than I wanted is on my mind, I'm mainly thinking about how £10 for 24 hours of only-decent internet accent is shocking, and how using the iPad keyboard to type is like using a worn ball mouse to point and click. It fundamentally works, but it sucks.But I'm happy! I'm going home, where parents, pets and friends reside, and morning wake ups and having to prepare my own meals don't. Where my bed is more comfortable (put a single, sharp spike on my Dundee flat's bed and it'd be an improvement) and my room is... well, more compact, so that doesn't count as a plus.There's also events and places I'll get to go again. Car boot sales - got an original Game Boy and copy of Tetris for 50p at the last one I went to. Summer fetes, the nature reserve, Norwich... Er, ew.It'll be a good couple of weeks though, definitely.-----Other subject time! I'm slowly but surely working on a new issue of RekameMag (search it on GMC if you're interested, iPad's copy and pasting is diabolical). Got three articles and two reviews so far; Darrell "Dadio" Flood may be working on another article.Anyways, to cut a long story short, I'm open to any and all decent Rekame-page-long articles and reviews to put into it. I figure having a variety of people doing content would be cooler than all just me jabbering on. Of course, I CAN do it all by myself, but yeah. Thought I'd quickly mention that since it may not be a huge amount of time until I throw it out.If you are interested, comment here, email me or add me on MSN at nal(at)nalgames(dot)com, or add my Skype account, nal-games. As long as the quality is decent enough I'll slap it right in.Last topic is naturally game making. I've not done anything for over two months, mainly because Innoquous 4 blew my load. Though it's not done quite as well as I'd hoped, it's respectable enough, and those that played it did enjoy it. It second placed in one of the last Bytejacker Free Indie Rapid Fires, sandwiching itself between two excellent-looking games.I'd rather like to enter the GMC Jam, but that comes entirely down to self-motivation and whether I'll have time, given it's over two of the first three days I'm home. If that doesn't happen, I'm sure I'll be able to conjure up some sort of quick inspiration burst at some point in the near future. I don't like game making droughts!Anyway, that's all for the day. I'm either going to enjoy the countryside or watch a filthy comedy film now. Guess which one.

Dundonian Relocation by Allison James

Any YoYo Games users reading this will have more than likely read the website's latest glog entry, on a job offering to work within Game Maker at the YYG Office in Dundee full time. I know for some of you, it's a very tempting offer - a full time wage to use Game Maker! I also know that for most of the tempted ones, the "big thing" that's holding you back is the need to relocate to Dundee, Scotland.This is a blog entry to try and convey exactly what I went through, and still do, having done that relocation from a quiet village in eastern England to the city centre of a Scottish city. It will be a little similar to a previous glog entry, I Would Drive 500 Miles (Nearly), though that was written just six days after I arrived and five after I'd started work. I've now been here nearly seven months.I won't lie, the relocation is hard. If you're close to your parents (I am) and your relatives, friends and pets (again, yes), it's a little difficult at first. But MSN, Skype, or even just your everyday telephone alleviates that quite significantly. There's also the travelling to Dundee with your belongings - by train works if you don't have to bring too much, though without the car space of my dad's Ford Mondeo I would've had to shed 90% of what I did end up bringing. If you're not within Great Britain you'll probably have to factor in a plane too. These aren't hugely expensive; a return train ticket this Christmas from Dundee to my home village (450 miles each way), bought two weeks in advance, cost me £100 (about $150 or €150, I'd guess. Don't quote me on that). This was without any special discounts, just the fact I bought in advance. Plenty of websites will let you gauge the fares of whichever method of transport you think you'd end up taking.Dundee itself is a very nice city. It's far from a massive metropolis, but it has everything you need. There's about six different Tesco supermarkets, including a nice large one by the River Tay and a Tesco Metro (the store I use weekly) within the city centre, essentially a half-sized Tesco which has everything you need to live off, just a bit less of it. There are three malls in the city centre with everything from clothes shops to Argos (for those unfamiliar, it's like Amazon.com but a shop of it) to Starbucks. They vary in "quality", with the Overgate being predominantly full of well-known brands while The Forum (I think that's its name) seems to be more leaning towards independently owned shops. Both have a Gregg's bakery. For pubs, Japanese supermarkets and pretty much any mainstream chain you can think of that operates in Britain, Dundee is more than adequate.On the entertainment side of things, I haven't done much research, but there's a large, swanky Odeon cinema and Dundee Megabowl, with its 36 or so bowling alleys, pool tables, arcade area and a little Wimpy's segment so you can stay in the place for several hours and let the fast food bit cover a meal. Both of those are a couple of miles away from the city centre, but it's only around £10 both ways for a taxi. If you're a fan of sightseeing, Dundee is great. There are a number of points of interest (it's the "City of Discovery", y'know!) including the permanently anchored RRS Discovery ship and the McManus Gallery, which includes some DMA Design-related tidbits from Russell and Mike (including a collection of Mike's old business cards!).Weather is a common complaint, and is fairly understandable. Being up north, and part of the UK in the first place, it can be pretty cold. It doesn't rain a huge amount though - certainly no more than England. There was some very heavy and disruptive snowfall this year, which also caused one instance of the rare but cool thundersnow, and at least one day when every road was like a giant footpath. I've been told by Russell that it's the worst case of snow Dundee has seen in decades; it isn't regularly snow-coated here. But generally, if you own a coat (hypocritical of me, I know, given I don't!) and you didn't live in a permanent sauna before, you'll be fine.Last part I should probably get to mentioning, and probably the most important too, is the job itself. The next thing I'm going to say, I have to reiterate is 100% my own words. I've not been told to say this, I'm not lying, and I'm not doing anyone any favours. I absolutely love the job. I'm getting paid a very liveable salary to do what I spent seven and a half years of my life prior to starting doing for nothing. When help is needed with something I have some very experienced and very friendly people all around willing to give it. It is just an amazing atmosphere. Casual, but not jokey. Productive, but not overly-serious and not strenuous.Yes, the distance from home is a bit of a kick in the balls. Yes, I miss my daft cats, and my little bedroom in the little quiet English village. But can I go back for a visit whenever I want? Yes. Is it a great city I'm in with plenty of convenience and friendly citizens? Yes.And do I love my job? F**k yes.

I Would Drive 500 Miles (Nearly) by Allison James

As many/all of you may well know, from last Monday I have been working for YoYo Games in Dundee. As less of you may know, this involved moving out of the East Anglian countryside village I've lived in all my life and taking a 450 mile journey to a room in the middle of the noisy city. As I've said before, it's a huge system shock. But here's a little bit of information on the journey - I'm on limited bandwidth so I can't upload the large number of photos I took during yet but I'll add them later.I went to bed at 11pm on Saturday 10th with an odd, and unpleasant, feeling. I was laying in a room that, for sixteen years, had been my room. Bar a few vague memories, it was basically where I'd slept, every night excluding sleepovers/holidays/whatever, for as long as I remembered. But, in eight hours, it would effectively be gone from my life. I'm not ashamed to admit I didn't sleep very well/much that night. As my dad was looking to set off early, we left the house at 6am, leaving a sad mother, and, to my complete disdain, three cats that were nowhere to be seen. No goodbye hugs or anything.After a short while of not doing much, and realising I'd left my phone in my red holdall (buried under all the "cargo") instead of in my to-hand satchel, with a loud, non-automatically-stopping alarm set to go off at 8am, I just thought "meh", took out my iPod, put on the Ochre playlist and fell kinda-asleep.At 8:20, I woke up to realise we were in a layby - dad had to stretch his legs. I seized the opportunity to get my phone out - despite his not hearing it, it was blaring away. It's only past this point that I was able to take photos (my phone's my camera). A largely uneventful "middle leg" of the journey followed - a second leg-stretch stop, a playlist switch to Owl City, and a level created in Innoquous 4 (for future me's sake, the level I made is called "Navarone").At this point I really wasn't feeling great. The mixture of the length of the journey (I'm not travel sick but I get really tetchy), and continued thoughts of how this was basically crossing that line where the latest stage in my life is over, made me nearly want to vomit. I drank some water and laid back, though never actually fell asleep again - though I did miss our crossing the England-Scotland border because of it.The shot of relief came from seeing the first road sign with "Perth" on it. Thanks to the golfing tournament, most inns were filled up so instead of getting one in Dundee, we went to the nearest town or whatever it is, Perth. Wasn't a big fan of the inn though. The room was nice, but the bar was really depressing. To my surprise there were dogs running about in it though (I have pictures of one of them, will upload when possible).So, the Monday morning saw us heading to Dundee. Without much time to find what is now my room of residence, we headed straight to the University of Abertay. My dad came up too to see the office (which would've been hell to find if it had not been for Mike Dailly coming down to lead the way!), and I set up the computer at my station. At 10am, we left to view the room. I accepted it immediately, which I assumed I would, and I headed back to the uni to complete the day of work.Upon returning, I realised I would be put into physical exercise jeopardy - all of my belongings (of which there's a LOT) had to move from the car to the room. That's seven flights of stairs, and repeated journeys both up and down them to move everything. I'll happily admit I'm big and unfit. So it was murder! It was a relief to get it done though, and an unorthodox way of meeting one of my flatmates (*pant* *pant* "hi..." *pant*).And that's pretty much it. My dad slept on the floor that night, then left early Tuesday morning. As we both somewhat lack outside emotion, and as I was still asleep, this consisted of the word "bye".Despite the aforementioned system shock that is beginning to fade but still is there, and the odd pang of sadness (which is nothing more than a pang. Don't get me wrong, I'm not depressed or anything), I don't regret any of it in the slightest. The job itself is huge fun (getting paid to do something I've pretty much been doing for free for seven years? Yes, thanks!), I'm all set up in the room now (having today bought mobile broadband from the 0.04-miles-away Orange store, and a TV licence because I don't watch broadcasts, just play games on it, but whoever conjured up the TV licence concept is a bitch), and things just feel damn good. I'm in regular contact with my parents and friends, and the sheer amount of appreciation I've seen from the Game Maker universe regarding my position with the company is absolutely gratifying. If you're one of those that has commented positively on the Glog entry, Game Maker Blog entry or anywhere else, thank you.Here's looking forward to life.

Laptop by Allison James

A month since my last post? Preposterous!Anyway, I've been meaning to post. Honest. I was initially going to do one chronicling (looks wrong?) my time volunteering at Redgrave Community Shop, as a couple of weeks ago I ended my nine month tenure there. But my computer crashed on that last day and by the time I had it back up (which took a while as it's over four years old and showing its age) I didn't really feel like it. There wasn't much to say anyway.There have also been a number of other happenings since the last blog entry. I'll touch up on some now before the "main event".On the 15th May I celebrated my 19th birthday. I mainly got money (around £100 in total, with an extra £50 or so coming later or in cheque form meaning I couldn't get it very quickly) but also got a preorder of ModNation Racers and a few other things, including some old but lovely copies of such games as Far Cry Instincts on Xbox, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap on GameBoy Advance (win), and Call of Duty 1 on PC (also win).After staying up until 4am to play these for extended time, I was woken up three hours later by my dad asking if I wanted to go to Banham Car Boot Sale. Bleary-eyed and wanting bed, but realising that a nice supply of money + Banham Car Boot Sale = jackpot, I accepted. There, along with a couple of old GameCube games, The Getaway: Black Monday and a couple other throwaway items, I found an Xbox 360. It was £60 with a functional wired controller, a usable but dodgy wireless one, a headset, an additional component cable (basically old HDMI) and a copy of "Gears of War". I wasn't sure if I wanted it though. What if it was faulty and was a RRoD-bricked machine? I couldn't test it. But, thinking about all the games I wanted for the thing but never could get, I risked it. It paid off.I now have, along with Gears of War and a copy of the excellent Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City I also bought at Banham for £20, these games: Dead Rising (£8 - stunning game bar a few blasted flaws), WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2007 (£2.30 - mostly to help complete the set, I now have 2006-2010 unbroken), Saints Row (£5, not very good, but to get some back story as I have the multiformat Saints Row 2 already), Project Gotham Racing 3 (£2.30, not keen but it has the slick Geometry Wars and Retro Evolved demo which both win hard), and Fifa 07 (99p, not played. Got it because it was 99p!). On other gaming notes, I got a copy of Amplitude on PS2. I've only been looking for a copy of this game for seven years (more than a third of my life) - when I held it in my hands it was gratifying, akin to Mario holding Luigi's balls.So, five days ahead and I got ModNation Racers. It was disappointing. After a couple of days loving it, I hit a difficulty spike and spent the next four or five slugging through the last stages with frustration beating out fun. Then I discovered it was region locked online. This means that, not only could I not play anybody else I know that owns it, but it also means that because 99% of UK MNR owners seem to hate ranked matches, I can never find one. So it's just lost all appeal.Lastly, here are the answers to the quiz in the last blog. 1. Kaitlyn. 2. SNES - I've never owned a NES, PlayStation was my second console and Megadrive was something I got in the PS2 era for retro laughs. 3. Yellow, and at the time it was entertainment perfection. 4. Wheelcage: Test & Win, though all four are levels I've published. 5. XIII - I own the other three on Xbox, though prior to having SSX On Tour on Xbox I did own it on PS2, and I have Metal Gear Solid 2 on PS2, though not the special "Substance" edition. 6. Bottom - I have no Young Ones, a quarter of the Fawlty Towers series, and the entire Blackadder collection on DVD. 7. Robert Rodriguez - did films such as Sin City, Planet Terror and From Dusk 'Til Dawn. Tarantino would be second, I doubt either of the others would be in the top ten. 8. Yellow, though in the past it's occasionally swapped with green. 9. Inflatable sheep. I have no idea if he was even aware what it was meant for. 10. Pair of pliers. It also has a keychain which is all too good at getting in the way of the goddamn pliers.Quick breather!11. Lopham. "Redgrave & Lopham Fen". 12. Lindstrom. La Roux inspired "La Rolloux", LCD Soundsystem did "Get Innocuous!" which was one of my addicted songs at the time of a particular gravity flipping game, and Padded Cell did "Signal Failure" which was, of course, a direct influence. Lindstrom did influence a game name, but that game got canned very early in so it doesn't count. 13. A Bug's Life. But I still like it, which is testament to how good Pixar are. Now don't screw up Toy Story 3, right? 14. Insert, because I hate that thing when you type and it autodeletes stuff infront of the cursor. 15. Crazy Taxi 2 on DC. I own Crazy Taxi on PS2 and CT3 on Xbox, and played the Dreamcast version of the original at a 1999 motorshow. 16. Goes Forth. The only series I don't like is the first. 17. Impaled it on a screwdriver, which in bloody retrospect was a bad idea! 18. The Matrix. The others are poor. 19. Jesus. 20. A woob woob woob Dr Zoidberg!Okay, so now that's done, the laptop. I've needed one for quite a while, given possible future needs to move house and that the computer I use and have done since April 2006 is a family desktop that's horribly outdated and unreliable. So, today, I ordered one. Total cost of £603.50, though without the reductions it would've strayed into £810-odd. To save the effort, here are the specs.

Module Description
Base Intel® Core™ i5-430M (2.26Ghz, 4Threads, turbo boost up to 2.53 GHz, 3MB cache)
Microsoft Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit- English
Memory 4096MB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM [2x2048]
Keyboard Internal UK/Irish Qwerty Keyboard
Video Card 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD5470 Graphics Card
Hard Drive 500GB (5400RPM) Serial ATA Hard Drive
Optical Devices DVD +/- RW Drive (read/write CD & DVD) with DVD Burn software
Wireless Networking Dell Wireless 1397 Mini Card (802.11 b/g)
Cables 1 Meter Power Cord (3 Wire) - UK
Shipping Documents English Documentation
Gedis Bundle Reference N0655803
Standard Warranty 1 year Collect & Return Hardware Support included with your PC
Enhanced Service Packs 1 year of coverage included with your PC
PalmRest Silver chainlink palm rest – with Black Chainlink cover only
Order Information Studio 1558 Order - UK
Primary Battery Primary 6-cell 56 WHr Lithium Ion battery
Carrying Cases No Carrying Case.
Dell System Media Kit Studio 1558 Resource DVD (Diagnostic & Drivers)
Camera 2.0 Mega pixel Integrated Web Camera
Colour Choice Black chainlink
Accidental Damage Support No Accidental Damage Support
Online Backup DataSafe Online Backup 2GB 1 year
Theft Protection Solution Computrace LoJack for Laptops, 1yr license - included with your PC
Telephone Contact NO - Dell may NOT telephone me in relation to my order and related products and services
Labels Wireless Label CI5
LCD 15.6" High Definition (1366x768) WLED
DataSafe (Services Owned) Datasafe Local 2.0 Basic
Microsoft Application Software Microsoft® Office Starter 2010 (Word Starter, Excel Starter)
Protect your new PC McAfee® SecurityCenter 15 Month Subscription
Power Supply 90W AC Adaptor
Operating System Recovery Options OS Media MUI Windows® 7 Home Premium (64 BIT) Resource DVD

That's about all there is to say. Oh, it doesn't mention - it's a Dell laptop. Should be here in about two weeks - if I can get round to it, I'll put up my thoughts on it when it arrives.Anyway, that's all for now. See y'all!

Innoquous 4: Early Stages by Allison James

A blog post about my current active project, Innoquous 4, and some information on it.Firstly, it's initially aimed for YYG Competition 05. It's going to undertake the alias Innoquous Hand Held for this. Innoquous Hand Held will lack online functions, be capped to 480x272 as its screen resolution, and be slightly fiddlier than usual. This is a direct result of the competition restrictions. What it will contain will be 100 levels (40 new, 60 from Innoquous 1, 2 and 3, many of which will be tweaked to accommodate the faster controls). There will also be other obstacles - I'm aiming for timed-shooting guns and pushable blocks, that will debut, and make appearances in both new and old, tweaked levels. I'm looking to add a level editor - this may not make IHH as the control restrictions would make it difficult to implement.Once IHH is released, I will upgrade it to Innoquous 4. This will be the full-on game. 800x600 resolution, mouse-controlled, easy to use level editor (mouse-controlled), improved menu, plenty of customisation options (complete control over block colours, a choice of characters - play as a fish!, and other options), etc. I'll also poke UnknownGamer into making the online for it, which will build on I3's site - you'll be able to make an account on it, share statistics, see your rankings, upload levels you've created and download others', with level ratings etc. Depends on how much he can do.Now, cost-wise. I initially said I was going to make Innoquous 4 my first commercial game. However, with the need to make IHH free, this is now unlikely. What I am edging towards is making the game DONATIONWARE. This would mean you could pay $/£20 (madness!), $4 (what I would've initially charged), or even 1p/cent (*stares*). The reason I want to charge for the game is because I'm about to jump into the world of work, and in all honestly I'd quite like to be able to jump out of it ASAP into commercial indie game production. I know it'll probably be a few years before that provides any kind of income, but hey, the sooner I start making this damn game, the better!Yesterday I released a trailer for the game, showcasing its new IOTAS-style graphics and mentioning some of the planned features. If you're interested, here it is:And that's pretty much it, really! If you have any comments, suggestions, or anything else, don't hesitate to comment. Even if I don't reply to them, I certainly read them and take them on board. Thanks!Until the next blog entry.~ NAL

999 by Allison James

Had to make a blog entry on the only day of the year where all three numbers are identical. 09/09/09. Might as well celebrate 'em while we can, this is the last year the resulting date has a nice ring to it (101010? Psh), and there will only be three other dates like it in our probable lifetimes... unless we somehow make it to the first of January, 2101.Anyway, anyone that's following me on Twitter probably heard about a new, hour-long game called PixHell. For those that didn't... I made an hour-long game called PixHell. It was the result of a bullet-hell impulse. It turned out to be a very difficult game, but only because I wanted to make it look pretty with its bullet patterns.You can play PixHell from Game Jolt and YoYo Games. Alternatively, if you like chatting and gaming simultaneously, you can play a miniature, embedded version of it on the SigmaNine chatroom (along with a miniature, 45-level version of Ne Touchez Pas!). I'll likely be making mini versions of other games for that chatroom - they're not much effort and pleasant to play.As far as making games is concerned, I've had quite a few people say they'd like to see a follow up to Dreaming On E, a game which I finished purely because I had nothing else to do, and ended up pretty popular. To be honest, I'm leaning that way myself - DOE was fun to make. This time, I'd, of course, put a lot more effort into it. If you have a look at the last few blog entries, you'll see other stuff I'd like to make. Comment if you have any preference as to which game you'd like to see next.Anyway, that concludes this blog entry. See you in the next one!~NAL

Return of YoYo Games by Allison James

Well, after YoYo Games took pretty much the entire of yesterday to have a little down time, I was glad to see it back up. But, oh look.Innoquous 3 and Head Candy have lost their screenshots. Hopefully that's temporary, and they'll come back. Still, at least the games themselves appear to be intact.It appears to have affected many new releases too, including the recent, amazing game Purple.Sigh.