Site Chooser

Sam Bailey: Album Design Winner!


Oh my… I’d like to thank my parents, some God or other, my friends and… I dunno, Sam Bailey? Yeah, if I must.

That’s right. I’ve just won online design equivalent of the Oscars:

Popjustice’s “Sam Bailey Album Sleeve Redesign” Competition

We had to transform this:

Sam Bailey Initial Design

Into something, um, better.

I instantly thought of the following, and just went for it:


Clearly it amused the awesome Popjustice folks! Check out the full list here (there are some total corkers in there).

I just hope the prize isn’t a copy of the album.



Posted on Sun 09 Mar in Award,Creative,Fun with No Comments

Heat Radio Shows!

Hello you!

Rather excitingly, tonight and tomorrow I’m hosting a couple of radio shows on Heat Radio: the #1 station for music and celebrity across the UK!

I’m rather nervous about how it’ll go down, but hopefully it’ll be fine. You can have a listen yourself tonight from 7pm, or tomorrow morning from 6am (if you’re mad) on one of these:

DAB: Across many UK Multiplexes
On TV: Freeview Channel 716



Posted on Fri 05 Jul in Fun,Radio,Voice,Work with No Comments

Hello Batman

Tossing a coin is SO 2012.

If you need to make a snap decision then the best decider is not heads or tails, but instead:


“Oh my goodness, how have I been so naive all this time? I had no idea that these two obviously juxtaposed items could be used to determine the choice of a binary decision!”… I hear you cry (or that could be the voices in my head).

It’s rather obvious when it’s presented to you, isn’t it?

“No but seriously, what the hell is this?”

I… it’s hard to explain. My mate Pete was bought the domain as a present at the Dynamo PR Christmas do.


REASONS, that’s why.

Anyway, he wanted to use it as more ludicrous enjoyable alternative to (yes, that does what you think it does).

So – combined with web fonts, some funky JavaScript to size the text to your screen, Pete saying a particular phrase on page load (or on tap on iOS… grrr) – I made it.

Hello Batman.




Posted on Tue 30 Apr in Coding,Creative,Fun,Web Design with No Comments

Just Love Safe

Oh no! It’s come to this, the horrible day has finally hit us… and pop music will never be the same again. Until the next generic, well-produced set of pretty looking people do well in the X-Factor and release some records, that is.

But until then we are lost… for JLS have split up!


You know, the handsome foursome of Marvin, Alan, Humphrey and Tiberius (I might have these slightly wrong). To mark this momentous of occasions and to once again take some time to think about the existence of the JLS-branded Durex condoms (“Just Love Safe”… yes, it really did happen), I decided to create a cartoon…

(Click to view a larger (a.k.a. readable) version)



Posted on Wed 24 Apr in Cartoons,Creative,Fun with No Comments

Strip Search!

Ok, you.

Stand still.

Brace yourself.

Get ready to bare all and…


Draw? Yes, draw. For Strip Search is the name of a brilliant Apprentice-style talent contest (not a phrase I thought I’d ever, ever utter) from the awesome guys at Penny Arcade: the world’s most popular web comic.

The prize? To work at Penny Arcade for a year, and $15,000.

The contestants? A whole load of AMAZINGLY TALENTED artists / cartoonists.

The challenges? Lots and lots of varied tasks.

The consequence of failure? Well, I’ll come to that.

Here’s the first episode, just to give you a tease:

And yes, you’re right: the theme tune is pretty awesome.

A new episode is unveiled on Tuesdays and Fridays online at the Strip Search web site, and I sat and watched all of them up to today’s over the weekend. It’s really addictive, very very funny in places AND – unlike most talent shows of this nature – the contestants and the judges are all really lovely.

The best part of the show has to be the elimination, which comes once every three episodes (don’t ask) and features the two bottom candidates of a day’s tasks battling against each other to create a comic based on two randomly selected words – in 90 minutes.

It’s damn hard, and it’s made harder because a) they’re on a stage in front of judges Mike and Jerry, the PA creators and b) said judges deliberately try to put them off with probing questions, fake time announcements and… well, I’ll not spoil the fun.

Today, I decided to play along, so following the show set myself 90 minutes to create a comic based on two words:




So… here it is:

Be gentle. I only had 90 minutes. 🙂

Next time, Pauly G’s promised me he’ll ask me lots of distracting questions over Twitter. I just hope he doesn’t drink my comic…


Posted on Tue 23 Apr in Cartoons,Creative,Fun,Review with Comments (2)

Burly and Grum – The Video!


Well, that was a fun and daunting experience. What was, you ask? Why, the reading out of Kate Tenbeth’s Burly and Grum and The Tiger’s Tale at Tiny Tigers (part of Save Wild Tigers) at London St. Pancras station.

We were expecting a few 5-8 year olds. What we got was quite a few 3 to 5 year olds! So a little younger than expected, so I had to ad lib on occasion, but still good fun and the majority of the kids’ attentions were held for the full 30 minutes of reading!

“Is there a video of this event?”

Well, yes. Yes there is.

“Can I see it?”

Yes, yes you can.


Ok, ok, here it is. Just… sorry to you if you’re Scottish, have Scottish people in your family, know Scottish people, have ever been to Scotland or have watched Billy Connolly:



Posted on Mon 18 Mar in Audio Book,Fun,Video,Voice with No Comments

Burly and Grum – Live!


This weekend is going to be fun. For the first time I’m taking my voice overs away from the studio mic and in front of an audience!

Across the weekend at St Pancras in London is an event called Tiny Tigers: a fun weekend of activities for children of all ages and their families, highlighting the plight of the wild tiger and raising funds to ensure that they are protected for future generations. To paraphrase (a.k.a. directly rip) from their web site.

It’s run by the Save Wild Tigers charity and should be great fun!

Part of the activities includes the reading of a special Burly and Grum story written for the charity. Who’s reading? Why, its author Kate Tenbeth and… me! Yep. I’m quite excited 🙂

The story’s called Burly and Grum and the Tiger’s Tale and you can download it here for a mere 99p.

If you happen to be free this weekend, we’ll be doing the reading at 3:30pm on Saturday so would love for your and your family to come and support us and the Save Wild Tigers charity.


It’ll be tastier than crispy fried earwigs. Hope to see you then!


Posted on Thu 14 Mar in Audio Book,Fun,Voice with No Comments

Obligatory Snow Blog Pos…

…no, I can’t stay cynical over this: IT’S SNOWING! IN BRIGHTON AND HOVE! WOOHOO!

I’ve only been living here for around a year and a half, so had not yet experienced Brighton and Hove in the snow. Today… that has changed! I decided to take my camera with me and take some photos of my adventure.

Photos qualify as creative and thus as an excuse to write this blog post, right? Good.

I’ll try to be as “arty” as possible when describing them:

Snow Photo Snow Photo

Here I highlight the true equalising force of the blanket of snow – regardless of that covered, be it on living plant life or pebbles formed of rocks millions of years old, the same beauty is portrayed once snow is… WOOOH IT’S SNOW AND IT LOOKS COOL!

Snow Photo Snow Photo Snow Photo

I view these photographs (or digital wonderment captures, as I call them) as one single piece, as they illustrate the power of framing and position to evoke a sense of scale of an obj… LOOK I MADE A SNOW MAN ON THE BEACH! He’s called Samuel. And he’s very pleased to meet you.

Snow Photo Snow Photo




Yes, that’ll do.

Also, I attempted to make a video with a live commentary of my experience of it pelting with snow on a windy Hove seafront. This went… about as well as could be expected:

The full set of my snow photos is on my Flickr photostream.

Right, I suppose I should get on with some work now, really 🙂



Posted on Fri 18 Jan in Creative,Fun,Photos with Comment (1)

Improving – and Speed Running – Quibble’s Quest

websitepngYo yo!

Since completing the initial version of Quibble’s Quest (that which got me the award to the right. Did I mention the award? Am I starting to sound like a big headed moron now? Yes? Ah. Er… I have a lot to learn still! How’s that? Better? Not enough? Still sounded big headed? Er… ABANDON PARENTHESES!) I’ve been doing further testing on (a.k.a. playing) it, and collecting feedback from those who’ve been playing it.

I’m planning on getting the game into a well-presented, bug-free state so I can consider it done – or at least ready for later expansion. I’m getting there!

Improvements Since The Original

Bugs Fixed

  • When the player is standing on the edge of a moving platform, when a platform changes direction the player can fall off.
  • When the player dies, bullets remain on screen after “rebirth”.
  • Timer reset visible after level fade-in.
  • Some background graphic highlights appear in front of the player.

UI Enhancements

  • “Press Esc to Pause” tip displayed on screen, to show player how the pause menu can be displayed

Learning Curve Enhancements

  • Added a “You need to destroy all baddies” pop up message if player walks in front of exit without destroying all baddies first (note: doesn’t stop play).
  • Added a “All baddies destroyed! Now find the exit” pop up message once all baddies destroyed (note: doesn’t stop play).
  • Increased length of particular tricky platforms on all levels (and repositioned one baddy branch on level 3 to align it vertically with a player branch).
  • Increased time allocation for Bronze and Silver awards.

Graphical Enhancements

  • Level 3 graphics dramatically improved (although work still required).
  • Level 2 graphics improved (added additional BG to create more visual interest).
  • Animated / better looking water graphics (tinted per level to represent water / lava / mud).
  • Consistent exit door graphic used across levels (and “Exit” logo displayed above door).
  • Replaced grey circle with a thumbs up blue “coin” for level completion outside Bronze/Silver/Gold timings.

Plenty more to do, but it’s a big improvement on the original release!

Speed Run!

My friend Steve from FCE didn’t believe that I was able to complete each of the 3 levels in under 20 seconds. He demanded proof. So I gave him just that. In a very low quality video:

Play it Yourself!

I believe that the second level is completable in less than 18 seconds… but can you do it?




Posted on Mon 17 Dec in Creative,Fun,Game,Video with No Comments

Games Design Award: A Week Later


Firstly, my apologies for the delay in this blog post. My hosting provider (UK2) had a major data corruption issue last week, which left my site down for several days. Fortunately all is good now (touch wood) so it should (touch wood) stay stable (touch wood) from now on (touch wood).

Touch wood.

Secondly, alongside placing my hands on bark, I’ve been rather cheery in my demeanour following last week’s Adobe Games Design Course award. Here, finally, is my post talking all about it.

What Was The Course?

Twas as a 10 week online course, run by Adobe, to teach people how to create games (using Adobe Flash). In summary, it was really good. Am I biased? Well, yes, but I was thinking this prior to last week’s events, OK? Good. 🙂

Each week there was live session online with the course leaders, featuring game theory, game programming tutorials and a weekly speaker from the games industry. It gave a great insight into the principles behind making great computer games, what it’s like to actually work in the games industry (and the various paths to get into it), plus how to design and develop our own games.

During the 10 weeks, we were given a weekly assignment to incrementally develop a particular game (“RoboCat”), designed by course leader Mark Shufflebottom.

Each week we were given the opportunity to add to what Mark had guided us through (I won a weekly award based on my redesign of the look and feel of the game), and then at the end of the course we had to create our own game – based largely or in part on the RoboCat game.

The result of three days of solid game development was Quibble’s Quest: a scrolling platformer / shooter around 3 levels, with the object being to destroy all baddies on a level and get to the exit in the lowest possible time.

You can read more about the game in this previous post.

What Was The Award For?

The award was for Overall Excellence (Over 19 (only just, mind…)) in the Adobe Generation Games Design course, based on my final game! I was absolutely chuffed and surprised by this, as the quality of the other games was damned good!

It was based on various categories, to quote course leader Roxana Hadad:

“The three categories of Aesthetics, Playability, and Outcome/Resolve were scored on a scale of 0-3. In addition to the rubric, we also considered what kind of innovative departure each of you took from the RoboCat template”

I’m thrilled to have won!

What Did You Win?

Well, aside from the warm feeling I also won a PS3 (!!) and £500 worth of Adobe Creative Cloud membership (!!!)! Plus it’s a rather tasty item to add to the CV. Oh and of course, I won the ability to put the tasty logo to the right on my site. 🙂

Where Is This Game?

The latest version is playable here (more details on what’s changed in it since the awards on a future blog post).

What Next?

Well, following winning this award I am going to take the bull by the horns and focus on getting my skills and experience in games increased, alongside my portfolio. Next steps include redeveloping this website you’re looking at to better reflect this, learning lots of technical things (today and tomorrow I’m on the Creative JS course, run by the excellent Seb Lee-Delisle) and creating many more games (I have something for Christmas planned).

2013 is going to be the year I fully get into gaming, and I can’t wait 🙂



Posted on Mon 17 Dec in Award,Creative,Fun,Game,Work with No Comments