Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

I haven’t been blogging much lately, but have done a few on Twitter lately. I have been super busy on “MiG Madness” and it’s coming along beautifully. Still aiming to publish on Xbox Live Indie Games before the end of the year. Plus plans for a Windows Phone version naturally!

So just a reminder. Best place to follow my progress right now is on Twitter over here

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 210 user reviews.

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Lately me and fellow XNAer, and good buddy Jeff of 1am Studios have been doing gamedev nights after work. Even though we’re working on our own very different game projects, it’s a fantastic way to keep the motivation up. In fact, I fully credit these nights for getting my Game #2 anywhere close to where it is now. And getting me back into the gamedev “ZONE”.

Before then the most I was managing was a couple of hours a week of gamedev.

That’s to be expected with gamedev being my hobby, not my regular day job.

It’s also a perfect excuse to feast on Pizza, music, and movies – comedies work best.

Anyway, I highly recommend it, if you know other XNAers in your area.

Speaking of Jeff. He’s been bringing new life into classic old games using XNA. Check out his latest project is a Carmageddon remake here. (before that he also did Need For Speed in XNA)

I made great Game #2 progress last night too:

  • the Threat Indicator is all polished now and working wonderfully – very happy with it
  • more annoying bugs squished
  • and refactorings a plenty

And lastly, I’m finally on Twitter. Not sure if that’s a good thing yet. My blogs posts have been pretty short lately, so thought I might give it a whirl.

You can follow my ramblings here…

until next time, cya

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 218 user reviews.

Friday, March 12th, 2010

I got my coding face on again at last…

Game #2 well under way – full steam ahead.

  • Day-Night-Cycle – COMPLETE!!!

Very happy.

So can’t wait to unveil what it is exactly, but for now all you get is tasty morsels.

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 186 user reviews.

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

Rss for my previous post (first in months) seemed to be buggerised by fvcking spammers – go figure. Let’s see if this works.


Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 283 user reviews.

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

YES, I’m still here!

My blogging (or lack of) is inversly proportional to how busy I’ve been with life in general.

I am happy to report that…

  • I do in fact have another Indie game in the works
  • all going well, I’ll be able to blog about it sooinish
  • …when it is closer to completion
  • …in a few weeks / maybe a month or two. Rough guess

Sharky :)

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 264 user reviews.

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009


There’s a new interview of me talking about Air Legends, it’s development, Bionic Shark Studios, sales/pricing, and other stuff at ExL Studios.

Check it out here.

While you’re there check out their site. Besides Developer interviews, they will also be reviewing Community Games! (an Air Legends review will be coming once my Update is complete.)

It’s great to see the community really gearing up, with several Community Games/XNA sites sprouting up lately. (apologies if I missed any – it’s quite hard to keep up, so do let me know!)

While I’m at it, if you’re a fan of Air Legends, get over to and rate Air Legends for me.
…and if you’re not so much – well, perhaps hang on and try my coming-soon Update before making your judgment. ;)

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 183 user reviews.

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Tomorrow, I’m excited to be going to the Wings Over Wairarapa Airshow. There was even going to be a Spitfire flying, but unfortunately it had a wee hiccup on the landing gear front and crash landed.

Anyway, I’m still really looking forward to it. I figured why not get a little local publicity for my game and made a Leaflet for my two awesome kids to proudly hand out at the event.


The more observant of you might notice it says “Coming soon” despite the fact “Air Legends” is actually already released on Xbox 360. That is because at present this new Community Games marketplace is still only available on Xbox 360’s in USA, UK, Canada, France, Italy & Spain. More countries will come online as Microsoft enables them.

So, now a message to anyone visiting after seeing one of the leaflets.

  • Thanks for coming!
  • The PC demo of “Air Legends” will be available for download here within the next couple of weeks. (the game itself is complete – I just need to build an installer)
  • The Full PC game will be available also, for nothing more than a donation.
  • The Xbox 360 version will be available in New Zealand, just as soon as Microsoft enables the new Community Games marketplace here. Hopefully soon – but this is out of my hands unfortunately.
  • The Xbox 360 version of Air Legends topped the sales charts for the week of 5 Jan 2009!
  • In the meantime, see more of the game here.

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 155 user reviews.

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

I’m thrilled to announce that Air Legends is published at last – on the Xbox 360 that is. (A windows version shouldn’t be far off)

It is available on Xbox 360 Community Games marketplace in US, UK, Canada, France, Spain & Italy. Other countries should follow as Microsoft enables them. (I’m guessing they’ll be schmoozing with a government near you to make it so.)

It’s a supremely satisfying moment, though it hasn’t really sunk in yet.

Even if you’re not in the supported countries, you can still check it out on the web marketplace here:

“Air Legends on the Marketplace”

Now to reflect on a little trivia…

  • 2 years & 5 months in development. Just me tinkering away in my limited spare time.
  • began as a tiny exercise to brush up on my .NET v2.0 skills at home – since my day job had me rotting in v1.1.
  • the game is based on an unfinished game I attempted in BASIC back in the 80’s.
  • the distinctive rotation of the planes was something I came up with back then. I wanted you to enjoy all angles of the plane rather than the traditional 2D side view.
  • I started it as a 2D game. Became 3D when I quickly learned what a mammoth task it would be coming up with sprites for all angles. In the 80’s it was easy with only 16×16, 2 colour sprites.
  • I started the game using Managed DirectX with .NET 2.0. I didn’t even know XNA was coming, so it was a very pleasant surprise when Beta 1 emerged late 2006
  • the game had no name. The exe name was Legends.exe. David Weller that suggested “Sharky’s Air Legends” when Microsoft needed a title for the first XNA showcase video. The name stuck. Thanks Dave.
  • the project was scuttled much of 2007 thanks to certain personal events that hit hard. With a whole new life ahead energy levels returned and I resumed with vigour and a serious goal to make the life dream a reality.
  • I dropped the “Sharky’s” prefix one day in 2008, when it dawned on me I could actually publish this thing one day!

That’ll do for now. Bound to be more trivia – but I can blog that later.



Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 167 user reviews.

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

While I’m in a posting frenzy, here’s my new brand…

Bionic Shark Studios

Matching website to come… when I can be arsed…

p.s. hard job coming up with a (hopefully) quirky company name. Bit of a random choice in the end, but I enjoyed this site for stiring up some whacky ideas…

Band Name Maker

Good sense prevailed, and I didn’t go with “Conundrum of the Blunt Carrot”.

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 256 user reviews.

Monday, October 6th, 2008

With Air Legends work-in-progress phase now over, and the might-as-well-go-commercial-phase beginning, I plan to get blogging again.

The first thing that comes to mind is this…

I don’t know why I’m so lucky, but I’m reminded once again at just how freak’n clever some of my closest friends are!

Great friends, who are far more talented than myself to be brutally honest.

Take, Martin Kay who composed and performed the original music in Air Legends. I just love it to bits. Despite hearing it thousands of times while developing & testing the game, it still isn’t old for me. I catch both myself, and my kids (expert play testers I might add) humming/whistling the main theme after any time playing the game. That has to be a good sign, right?

By the way, Martin’s profession is far from musical. Music is a hobby/passion, much like creating the game has been for me. The main theme is called “March of the Victorious”. He also did the gameplay theme which is deliberately more subtle & sombre. I think it brilliantly captures tone you’d expect when in battle.

I’m elated at how the music turned out. It is exactly what I wanted. Reminisent of the good ol’ war movie themes my dad would play in the car when I was a kid.

Then there’s Jeff Harris. Jeff was one of a few friends that helped me test the balance of the “Air Legends” gameplay. But check out what he’s been up to in his spare time! Lately he’s been tinkering in a little XNA. He’s started building and blogging about his XNA game that uses the 1994 DOS game “Need For Speed” data files (tracks, models, textures etc…).
I’ve seen some early gameplay and was totally in awe of how much he’s achieved so quickly, not to mention how good such an old game could look with newer tech behind it!
He hasn’t put any screenshots up of his version yet – but rest assured I will keep hassling him till he does. Definately a project/blog to keep an eye on.

Check out Jeff’s NFS XNA remake at Phobos Labs

And It’d be plain wrong to not mention the talent in the XNA community as well. Some truly stunning games emerged from the shadows for the Dream Build Play contest.

Videos of them can be found here (click, then search for “dream build play”)

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 273 user reviews.