22 August 2016

Late August Update

This blog has been pretty stark lately, I guess should explain a few things to you guys.

There's been a lot going on over the last few weeks, firstly there was a bridging unit I had to do at college to make it onto a games development foundation degree course which I unfortunately failed. I have also been contemplating a few major things - some of which a lot of you will think are good, and some which people will probably grimace at but these things will likely happen. I'll mention that in a future update.

First thing I should clear up is Iron, I've hit a major snag with that - one that affects Project Plasma 2 as well. This snag is something kind of personal that I will likely disclose at a later date in one bombshell-of-a-post. When that drops though it will be big, and will likely even qualify as a Wham Episode. This will not only be one hell of a U-turn on everything, but it will also open up a brand new avenue which I'm hoping you guys will really look forward to and enjoy when all that comes to fruition.

I'll hopefully have an update on that out in late-September, after the Jide Remix Mini review and the follow up to one of my previous rants, Feature Removal Competition Bonanza. Hell it may even come as soon as tomorrow... we'll see. (I doubt it'll come that early but it's possible.)

The second thing I want to cover here is the Remix Mini that I promised around two months (?) ago. This is still coming and I am working on it bit by bit. I hope to get it up by the end of the month. The follow up to the FRCB rant (linked above) will likely follow shortly after, probably when the iPhone 7 is released (see that rant to see why I'm timing it like that.)

Watch this space... I guess...

1 August 2016

Yorkshire Day Sale 2016!

So I'm a bit late at announcing it this year.

Speaks for itself
So as you can tell from the above pic today is Yorkshire Day and that means a sale is going up! So Project Plasma and Iron are both at 75% off for the whole day!

27 July 2016

Follow Me on SeaLion Club!

For those of you who are following me on Twitter (that's pretty much the only social network I've been using up to now) you may or may not be interested that I have set up a new social media account on another microblogging service called SeaLion Club!

SeaLion Club is basically a more lenient version of Twitter that strongly believes in and promotes freedom of speech and expression. It also has much higher character limit (1516 as opposed to Twitter's 140) so if you talk way too fucking much (like I do) then it's good for that as well.

My SeaLion Club Profile: https://sealion.club/archangelatom/ (Not much there yet.)

1 July 2016

July Update

So first off I'd like to say that I'm glad all of the talk about Brexit is calming down (though a recent trending hashtag on Twitter has created a minor resurgence) and now everyone's realising that we're not completely doomed - but that's not what this post is about. I'm done with the whole Brexit topic now and with all the ruckus it's caused over the past week I really don't want to perpetuate it.

The first thing I'd like to announce is that I recently got hold of Jide's Remix Mini PC. It's pretty underpowered but it's good enough for most things as long as you don't try to play diep.io (lags so hard its literally unplayable) or type tweets from your browser (noticeable lag.) Luckily its all Android based so I can simply download the app for that and use it more or less. Now you're probably wondering why I'm saying this - well one way I can make use of this mini-PC is that I can use as a tool to test Android games on and possibly appeal to a very niche market, the Android mini-PC market. Expect to see an Android port for Iron specifically for mini-PCs like the Remix Mini (it won't work with smartphones or tablets unless a keyboard and mouse is attached.)
Here's a fun fact - I'm using the mini-PC to type out this blog post. I'm honestly amazed at how quiet the room is without a computer fan making the place sound like Leeds Bradford Airport. (My main computer has a slight overheating issue which causes the fan to be at full spin constantly when on performance mode.)

While we're on the topic of Iron, I aim to make a fresh start on it over summer and completely overhaul the game. I made a blog post back in January about how Iron was flawed from the ground up and required a complete overhaul, well that overhaul is finally happening! Iron will bid adieu the shitty bi-directional combat system platformer mechanic and will become a top-down shooter game with omni-directional combat (original plans were to make Iron an RPG but I kicked this idea to the curb.) I now however have a new challenge of making it so it works well on mini-PCs and low-spec machines (the Remix Mini isn't exactly a top-performing gaming beast and uses an SoC which literally costs $5, its performance is roughly similar to the Raspberry Pi 3.)

As for when Project Plasma v1.1 will be out, it will now be after the release of Project Plasma 2 and as for when development will begin on that... well... I have no idea but I hope to make a start on it and have Iron completely released before September. Project Plasma 2 will likely be a Windows-exclusive (for now) and if what I have planned for it goes ahead I doubt it'll be friendly to low-spec machines like PP1 is. I won't set an exact target date for Iron yet, but I hope to release it by the beginning of September.

I hope to have previews of the newly revamped Iron by the next UK Indie Dev Hour (takes place 7PM to 8PM UK time every Wednesday) when I will then post screenshots of how everything is going at that point. The game's technical specs will remain very much the same (GameMaker: Studio, 1920x1080 resolution.etc) but the rest of the game including many of its core mechanics will be completely redone.

Project Plasma: https://archangelatom.itch.io/project-plasma
Iron: https://archangelatom.itch.io/iron

2nd July 2016 Update: *sigh*

28 June 2016

The Rabid 48 (Rant)

Consider this a follow-up rant to yesterday's Post-Brexit Aftermath rant.

So here we are once more with another rant just a day after the previous one was voted damn. Anyone who's been following blog since October 2014 will notice that the rant's name is pretty damn familiar to a certain other rant on a similar subject...

The word "rabid" can be used with more emphasis here though as these protests are far worse than what we had in Scotland about a year and a half ago.

Speaking of here we are again, who remembers all of those pointless rallies we had back in late-2014 following the independence referendum in Scotland. Well it's happened again in London this time (#LondonStays) and it's all going down in Trafalgar Square where a bunch people think a rally will change the outcome of the referendum.

Two words. Hell no.

A lot of the stuff I'll covering here is pretty much just reiterated from that rant (as well as the Pro-Brexit Aftermath rant I put out yesterday) but it basically just boils down to this - these rants will NOT change anything. You had the chance to make your move and you simply didn't. I stated in yesterday's rant that the youth of the country (my generation sadly) had the chance to vote and the vast majority (64%) chose not to. I'm not saying my generation is lazy, but it shows that they seem to care far less about the country's politics than older generations and this is what led the Leave campaign to victory.

As for these rallies, well I already covered that these rallies are completely pointless and rarely solve anything. Did the nationalist rally in Glasgow grant Scotland its independence? No. Did the nationalist rally in Dundee grant Scotland its independence? No. Did the protests in London against David Cameron's austerity bring a halt to the government's plans? No, although I agreed with their point. Will the protests currently happening in London right now overrule the Brexit vote? Given the track record of past rallies I seriously doubt it.

That's a hat-trick right there (not counting the current rallies) and I'm sure if I do some digging I can pull up many more examples where rallies failed and while I can almost admire the passion that goes into this, a lot nastiness comes out of it too. Let me go ahead and quote some tweets.

So yeah so much energy going into something so passionate yes, but the outcome has turned Trafalgar Square from a tourist attraction to a toxic cesspit of racism (not from Leave campaigners either, see the first of the above tweets.)

Your energy is far more better off being used into just accepting the result, you wanted democracy? You got it. You had a referendum, democracy was served and now you don't like it you want to overturn it. This kind of childishness is bringing awful flashbacks from #HopeOverFear in 2014. At the end of The Rabid 45 I suggested to focus all of that wasted energy on tackling ISIS, now maybe that was a little extreme, but my underlying point still stands. This is just a big waste of time although if I am proven wrong it will be interesting but I doubt it. The past three rallies have failed and this will too. Get over it, move on.

I guess I should also say something about the whole "Little Englander" bullshit as well that the Remain campaign (aka remainiacs) keep peddling. I voted out, as did many others, so we could secure trade deals with other nations where the EU has failed. This isn't pulling up the drawbridge like many are putting it, but rather opening ourselves up for more trade to appeal to the wider world. That statement alone is enough to counter the whole "Little Englander" bullshit but in case it isn't, I guess you should say talking shit about the Welsh too considering Wales also had a majority for Leave. But hey, feel free to keep the Little Englander jibes up, it just makes you seem incredibly ignorant and conveys a sense of arrogance too.

I'd like to close this rant by making a short statement about the whole Londependence movement that happened briefly on 24th June - it won't happen. While Scottish independence is very much a possibility, London is far too integrated with the UK to ever break away from the nation especially considering that the royal family is pretty much completely situated there and I'm sure the Queen (who technically has ultimate power over the UK) will veto London breaking off from the UK.

One final something to consider - Anjem Choudary (a prominent Islamic extemist living in the UK) was supportive of EU membership as it makes deportation harder. Maybe that might make you think about some of the downsides of remaining. (Source article)

And I'm fucking done on this - and I don't just mean this rant but the entire fucking topic as a whole, holy shit this has been one hell of a fortnight and I'm still waiting for the tide to pass over.

29th June 2016 Update: Shit just got even more real. There are now people actually calling for the assassination (yes you read that right) of Nigel Farage. I mean I know you guys on the Remain side of the fence may not like the guy but come on. This is especially shameful considering another MP was murdered a week before the referendum (R.I.P Jo Cox) and I'm saddened and angered that people stooping to such a low level.

29th June 2016 Update 2: A sister rally very similar to the one I just went hell-for-leather on also happened in Manchester however it was so petty it was barely even worth mentioning and it didn't last very long.

2nd July 2016 Update: Another fucking rally's going on this time under the hashtag #MarchForEurope. We had a fucking fair and democratic vote on 23rd June and your side lost. All of these rallies will NOT change a thing, the only event that had any impact in this was the referendum itself. 52% of those who voted voted to leave and if you are rallying down in London and you didn't vote then you have absolutely no right to complain as you did not do your part to stop Brexit from happening so sit the fuck down.

2nd July 2016 Update 2: Damn I don't think I've ever had to put out as many updates to rants as I have here, but sadly it seems this rally was far more contagious than its predecessor with it happening in nearby York as well as Manchester. It seems we've entered the Anger stage of grief here. Here's a fucking thought, stop this pathetic rallying (which as I've stated an incessant amount of times before, doesn't solve anything) and work on building a better UK outside of the EU.

27 June 2016

Post-Brexit Aftermath (Rant)

DISCLAIMER: This will be the last political rant on this blog. Sorry but I guess this isn't true.

This rant will definitely strike a few nerves and believe me I did do my best to restrain myself from typing this one out, but I simply had to give in because the amount of cuntery and foolishness surrounding the whole Brexit event is nigh-on overwhelming.

As many of you are aware, whether you're from the UK or not, we had a vote on whether to leave the European Union with the outcome (surprisingly) being 52% (51.9%) to leave. I am personally very happy about that as the EU, while once being a friendly trading bloc, has become a greedy, megalomaniacal wannabe superstate with a constant lust for more power over its member states. This simply had to end so I personally voted to leave. If you voted to remain, that's your choice and I won't judge you for that. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Unfortunately a lot of the people over in the Remain camp do not think that way.

I'm not going to bring up the recent petition on the UK Parliament's official site as that has been confirmed to have been compromised with some sources even claiming it was a 4chan prank. What I will say about this though is that this petition was hastily set up by a Leave supporter who proposed new rules for the referendum as he thought Remain was going to come out on top, This unfortunately backfired and the petition has now been abused by not only excessive numbers of Remain supporters failing to accept the referendum's outcome (some of these supporters are even willing to manipulate the petition illegally to get their way) but as well aforementioned bots allegedly set up by 4chan. Parliament removed a good chunk of signatures that were believed to be fraudulent but I'm pretty sure many still remain.

The cringeworthy petition can be found here.

With that out of the way I'll now shift over one of the main focuses of this rant.

A number of Remain voters have been looking to overturn the result of the referendum (hence the large number of signatures on the above petition.) This movement also appears to be gaining some ground in parliament as the Liberal Democrats have pledged to ignore the referendum and keep the UK within the EU despite a small majority voting to leave and with shit hitting the fan big style over in Labour a Lib Dem victory is sadly on the cards in the next general election. Sorry Corbyn, but if Labour can't get itself together then I may very well vote Tory just to keep the ironically anti-democratic Liberal "Democrats" out, that being said if TUSC contest my constituency again I'll probably hand my vote over to those guys. (TUSC is basically a left-wing UKIP, they strongly oppose EU membership while still upholding many of Labour's core beliefs.)

The largest issue within the whole shitstorm for me was the immense social divide it's created and how peoples' opinions of other people have changed. I am no exception to this - before the referendum I greatly adored the actor Sir Patrick Stewart, I was borderline fanatical over him, however now I have no strong feelings either way. On the reverse however I like John Cleese for his comedy work but when he announced his support for Brexit my opinion of him shot right up (Fawlty Towers and Monty Python anyone?)

I also have to say something about Richard Dawkins throughout all of this too. He's another one who I liked and I always assumed he took a neutral stance in it all,  I'd also like to point that he more or less said that the general public are too stupid to vote on something like the EU, before the referendum I dismissed that completely but following the referendum he's fucking right. People voted because they assumed that their vote wouldn't have an impact and if you thought then go eat shit, and if you thought that and now you're part of the cringeworthy #REGREXIT movement then go eat more shit.

And throughout all this I'd to give a major fuck you to all those who are whining about having their future stolen from them by the older generations. If you (mainly my generation sadly) wanted to stay in you should've got out there and voted. Statistics show that only 36% of 18-24 year olds turned up to the vote and as for those who whine about how the old people will die soon and won't have to live as long with the consequences that may be true, but that is an absolutely vile and sickening way to think. These people fought through World War 2 and the elderly who didn't probably parents who did so or lived through that horror, and people are saying they shouldn't vote? Fuck you!

These are the people whose votes you want to deny. Show some fucking respect. (Image from Fact File.)
And now I'd like to address those who claim that the Leave campaign is based around bigotry and hatred. Oh boy what a fucking cliche!

Now I do agree that the official Vote Leave campaign placed an exceptionally heavy emphasis on immigration but I detest the notion that most leave voters were swung by immigration, although it was a major point for many people. Many people were swung by pledges (wrongly) announced by many high-profile campaigners. I never expected a lot of that to be true, nor did they have any influence on my vote - I had my own reasons for voting out.

So let's be clear.

I am a 20 year old college student (at the time of writing.)

I voted to LEAVE the European Union.

I am pretty much dead central on the political spectrum.

I did NOT vote to leave on the grounds of immigration.

I did NOT vote to leave on the grounds of any campaign pledges.

I voted to leave because the EU became power-hungry and hated what it had become.

I'd like to conclude this lengthy rant with this pic which has been circulating it round Twitter after the result.
Sadly a lot of people on both sides of the fence do not wish to follow this example. (Image originally posted by Caroline Farrow)

28th June 2016 Update: A follow up rant for this has been put out - read it here.

12 June 2016

Blog Reform

This is a blog post I meant to put several weeks ago but I found the time to do so back then, however I've now got some spare time so I figured now would be a good time to put it out before I forget.

It's no secret that this blog was originally designed first and foremost a game development blog to keep track of all things relating to my game development and what I'm doing and any games I'm putting out or any game dev events I'd be getting involved with, itch.io week for example.

However the blog has recently began losing sight of its original purpose and what it was meant for, since I started the blog I have discussed political issues (a topic I wanted to avoid when possible,) phone tech (a personal hobby) and various other issues which I have touched on in the past. The blog has been home to a number of rants while others are simply me getting involved with unrelated business which I probably should be keeping out of.

And I've decided to take stand against... myself... I guess?

I've decided to reform this blog and delegate all unrelated topics to a personal sister blog which I'll be making some time in the future. The blog will remain as it always has done up the end of this year, I'm keeping it like this as I've promised follow-ups to a number of these unrelated posts such as the Feature Removal Competition Bonanza rant (where I completely ripped smartphone company LeEco apart for making stupid decisions) where I promised a follow-up in September/October.

As of 1st January 2017, these blog reforms will come into play and all future non-gamedev related posts will be relegated to the new blog. Any current unrelated posts will remain on here and probably won't be removed unless I see fit, however any future rants and other unrelated posts will be on the new blog as of the beginning of 2017 and this blog will remain strictly unrelated.

As for my Twitter and personal social media accounts, they are orientated to me rather than my career so while there will obviously gamedev stuff on there, there will also be other things on there that I feel the need to talk about or vent. That will remain unchanged. This reform affects only this blog.

9 May 2016

What Am I Doing For Itch.io Week?

For those who aren't aware, itch.io is having a special week this week and we're all doing stuff for it! If you want more info see here.

So what part am I playing in this? Mostly sales but other things as well.

Project Plasma

  • Can be bought a whopping 70% off for this week.
  • Will try to ship out v1.1 this week (no promises) Due to time constraints regarding college assignments this won't be happening. Sorry!
  • Project Plasma download key giveaway! (Please only take one key or your second key will be revoked.)
    • 2 keys on Thursday
    • 5 keys on Friday

Project Plasma Mobile

  • Nothing...


  • Will make a start on recreating this.


  • This bonus game will be available for free for this week.

Project Plasma 2

  • Will post teasers and concept sketches (maybe.)

Well... that's all I can do I guess. There might be a few things that I'll get involved in on top of all that, but right now that's all there is to it.

2 May 2016

Feature Removal Competition Bonanza! (Rant)

Happy May everyone! Let's just get on with this. Kicking things off this month we have another rant targeted straight at the smartphone industry.

If you're the kind of person who gets pissy if their phone brand gets slated, then don't worry because this rant doesn't target any of the big brands (Samsung, Apple, Huawei, HTC.etc.) If you are however a LeEco (formerly LeTV) fanboy, then I suggest you close your tab or turn back now.

I am a huge smartphone, tablet, and gadget enthusiast, ask anyone I know about this and they'll confirm that. Sometimes when I'm bored out of my arse I may end up looking up what the tech industry's getting up to, particularly in the Chinese market as a lot of the latest innovations in smartphones lately appear to originate from there. Case and point...

6GB RAM in a smartphone? Vivo Xplay 5 Ultimate. Straight outta China

First 2K resolution display (2560x1440) in a phone? Vivo gets it again with the Xplay 3S (a lot of people attribute this to the LG G3 which was the first phone by a major brand to include a 2K display but not the first overall.)

First deca-core (yes 10 CPU cores) smartphone? Introducing the Zopo Speed 8!

So whether you think Chinese tech is wondrous or just a pile of cheap crap, it's tough to deny that they're innovative and are driving many of the features that are seen in many modern smartphones today. However lately, there's been another minor craze that's been rearing its ugly head with LeEco (and possibly UMI as well turns out UMI thankfully has more sense) hyping another feature, or more accurately, hyping a lack-of-feature in a certain phone. LeEco have decided to cut out the 3.5mm headphone jack, a feature which is seemingly commonplace among smartphones nowadays.

Now I've always had a very low opinion of LeEco, I've always seen them as a very backwards company who somehow managed to successfully piss everyone off by hyping their first batch of phones like hell only for them to skimp on various features. For starters they skipped the SD card slot and while this alone is enough to turn me away it's something that a few manufacturers are sadly doing, their phones run Android but have no Google Play which is partly down to the fact that China has very limited access to Google's services but despite that, most other manufacturers still include Google's services on their devices when selling their phones outside of China.

The whole removing the 3.5mm bullshite started after a rumour cropped up about Apple's next major iPhone release, the iPhone 7 of course, which is rumoured to be skipping the headphone jack. LeEco decided to take this rumour and go full retard with it and remove the jack from their latest lineup of phones (which still by the way, skip all of the aforementioned features as well.)

Now here's the part where I ask what the whole point of this is, there are very few USB type-C earphones out there (I forgot to mention that LeEco are hoping to phase out the 3.5mm jack in favour USB type-C earphones) and this is a move which will only hurt LeEco financially (probably for the best in this case as LeEco have consistently failed to learn from their mistakes) and a company like LeEco who is still a small name in the phone world needs as much financial backing as they can get. Not to mention that maybe some people want to use their headphones while their phone is plugged into say, a power bank of some sort? Bluetooth headphones exist sure, but not everyone wants to use bluetooth. The only reasonable way around this is if LeEco are so stubborn over this is to either include an adapter or include a second USB-C port.

One thing I want to put out there as well is the fact that another reason why LeEco did this is because they wanted to beat Apple to this. Imagine if Apple decided not to ditch the audio jack in the next iteration of the iPhone. I really hope they don't as not only would this NOT piss a load of people off (I have never owned an iDevice as writing this so it wouldn't affect me, at least not at first) but it would also catch LeEco with their pants down, making them look like a proper set of twits.

That being said, this would be around 150% as juicy as it normally would considering that not-too-long ago they lashed out at Apple for being an outdated company because they released a small flagship smartphone (LG did the same, but the difference here is that LG actually make decent phones.) I dislike Apple and I hate defending them but I have to stick up for them here, a small flagship is a brilliant idea considering that everyone is jumping on the 5.0''+ craze, leaving those who want a smaller phone either in the dust or treated as second-class citizens by forcing them to buy phones with budget specs. LeEco also brought up the fact that Apple aren't innovating, I'm not going to go into this, but if LeEco are implying that they're the top innovators then they're completely fucking delusional. Name one thing that LeEco has done that practically any other manufacturer hasn't and no, removing basic features and pissing off entire internet communities by doing so doesn't count.

Now I can see this audio jack being phased out eventually, and if more manufacturers jump onto this ludicrous bandwagon then the big brands will follow, there's very little we, the consumers, can do about that. With manufacturers already phasing it out, it'll happen eventually, maybe not for a year, maybe not for another two. We don't know. Right now it's only one relatively small manufacturer who's doing this, if Apple does decided to jump onto the bandwagon and phase out the jack in favour of lightning-port earphones (as the rumour goes) then that will be the beginning of the end for the audio jack and we don't like it, well there's not much we can do. We vote with our wallets, if you think a company's done well, buy it. Otherwise, if they've fucked up, avoid it.

8th May 2016 Update: I have decided to release a follow-up post to this rant when the iPhone 7 is released to see if LeEco really have gone and dun goofed with their frankly idiotic removal of the headphone jack (like I said, LeEco did this to beat Apple to the pie despite it possibly not even happening.) If Apple does include the 3.5mm in their iPhone, expect LeEco to be thoroughly humiliated in this follow-up and judging by the latest iPhone 7 leaks, it's really not looking good for LeEco. I'll go grab the popcorn because this could be juicy!

12th June 2016 Update: Very disappointed and saddened today to see how Motorola has now jumped onto the feature removal bandwagon with the Moto Z. Their only saving grace here is that they've left it in their mid-range Moto G models (which is more than what LeEco have done.) Still I'd like to know why they think this removal is so necessary because all I'm seeing is "let's remove this audio jack cos Apple might be doing and it's the trendy thing to do!" To make things worse, it looks like the iPhone 7's jack removal is a given. Although there is still one last glimmer of hope...

9 April 2016

Iron's Fundamental Flaws

Lately, I've been looking at Iron and its horrendous development. It was supposed to be done in December but that sadly didn't happen. I have come to the conclusion that the game is flawed from the ground.

Combat in a platformer game is hard to do without having to adhere to strict limits, having you only being able to shoot in two directions is very restrictive and makes for some very poor combat. That being said there have been ways around this. I recently played a demo platform game called Butcher which by the way, is a brilliant game and is probably one of the few so-called "retro-style" games out there that actually pulls off the whole retro theme very well (major praise going out to THD for that.) Anyway, Butcher uses an eight-directional playing sprite while pulling off omni-directional shooting.

Another indie game, Cave Story also pulled off an enhanced platform combat system by opting for four-directional shooting (three-directional when on-ground.) I don't think I need to explain in much detail what Cave Story is - it was pretty much the Undertale of 2004 and is generally seen as the forefather of modern indie gaming.

Unfortunately, Iron can't employ such a system. This simply because I outsourced the sprites to a friend of mine, unfortunately I didn't take combat into account and I was left with bi-directional combat which is pretty shite in a platformer game. I could request for new sprites but this would take a lot of time and I want to get the game out as soon as possible, mid-July would be nice.

That's why I've made the decision to completely overhaul the game, genre and all into something new - an RPG game. This may even result in me using a whole other engine. Sadly no one pre-ordered Iron, however if people had pre-ordered it I would offer them an immediate refund given the circumstances. The Thallium pre-order bonus will remain for the time being.

I have decided to hide Iron's download page for the time being, so you won't be able to access it, unfortunately this will mean that Thallium can't be accessed either although I'll leave that page up. Project Plasma and Project Plasma Mobile will obviously remain up also.

I'll release updates as I go along but I hope that with these major changes, Iron's development will be far less messy than it is right now.

Thallium - https://archangelatom.itch.io/thallium (game currently inaccessible)
Project Plasma - https://archangelatom.itch.io/project-plasma
Project Plasma Mobile - https://archangelatom.itch.io/project-plasma-mobile