Tagged: design

Blunderball Paperback Now Available

There’s less than a month to go until Flash Fiction Month 2019, but I’m happy to announce that Blunderball – my anthology of flash fiction from Flash Fiction Month 2018 – is now available in classic dead tree format!

The paperback is available on Amazon UK, as well as basically any other Amazon store you’d care to look for it. You’ll find it in a bunch of other shops too, and usually somebody in Australia starts offering these things on eBay sooner or later, so basically just get one where such things are got. Continue reading

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Ultraviolent Unicorn Deathmatch of Destiny – Physical Edition

I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if fifty copies of a book about unicorns with chainsaws for horns had just been dumped on a doorstep somewhere in Hampshire.

~Obi-Wan Kenobi (who is fictional, and therefore can’t sue me for making up quotes)

Yep, that’s right. This is a thing that exists now. It has been made and cannot be unmade. Continue reading

Flappy Bard

Here’s my first HTML5 game – Flappy Bard! You might be wondering why you’re hearing about this one after April 1st’s Cookie Cracker. Well, there are two reasons:

  1. I made Flappy Bard as a birthday present for my sister and wanted her to have a chance to give it a go before it went out to the general public.
  2. I thought that Cookie Cracker would make a better April Fool’s joke if people weren’t already aware that I could create this sort of thing.

Flappy Bard is essentially a clone of the classic Flappy Bird, but with some small changes to the way in which obstacles are spawned and an overall Shakespearian theme. Continue reading

Twine for Beginners: Styling Text

Twine offers several handy options when it comes to displaying text in particular ways. From straightforward bold or italics to more eye-catching animated effects, there are a whole range of features built right in and this tutorial will show you how to use them.

The following techniques are all very simple, but if you’ve never used Twine before then you might like to start off with this tutorial which offers a very basic introduction to it. You might also be interested in my tutorial covering how to colour text in Twine, which this one will also touch upon.

Much of this tutorial is so simple that you could probably get the hang of it simply by reading through the example piece, Snazzy Susan and the Majestic Markup. However, the tutorial below will go into slightly more detail as well as linking to other guides and resources, so if you find that you’re struggling with anything then do pop back. Continue reading

Twine for Beginners: Colouring Text

Colouring text in Twine is incredibly simple, but also incredibly useful. If you’re dealing with important information – whether that’s a particularly significant word or phrase, or a stat the player must recognise at a glance – then it helps to format it in some way that immediately sets it apart from the rest of the text on screen.

If you’re unfamiliar with Twine, you might like to familiarise yourself with it using this tutorial which will get you started in just four clicks – and possibly take a glance at some of the others in the series – but many of the following techniques will be very straightforward. If all you want to do is change the colour of specific bits of text in Twine, this tutorial will help you do just that.

In fact, this tutorial is so simple that you can probably just glance through the example story, Snazzy Susan and the Majestic Markup, which will contain most of the following information (as well as a few examples of how to style text in other ways). This post will only go into marginally more detail, but will also link to some handy external resources so do pop back if you get stuck. Continue reading

Twine for Beginners: Timers and Live Text

If you want to make your Twine games more interesting, there are few easier ways to do that than the (live:) macro. This thing can do as little as shuffle your random text from time to time, or as much as introduce completely new mechanics into your game. This tutorial will borrow a few ideas from others in the series, but honestly – if all you want to do is make your games a little more dynamic – it shouldn’t be too hard to follow on its own. Here are a few different methods of using (live:) to do interesting things:

Method Zero: What (live:) Actually Does

This macro behaves a little differently to (if:), (else:), (either:), etc. so I think it’s worth taking a moment just to introduce it. If you open up Twine 2 and type in (live:)[Here’s some text I want to appear live.], this is what you’ll see when you run the game:

At a glance, it’ll appear that nothing’s going on. However, what’s actually happening is that the (live:) macro is constantly refreshing that text. You just can’t tell because refreshing the text doesn’t actually do anything. It looks the same every time it shows up, so it doesn’t really matter whether it’s being re-displayed a thousand times a second or it’s displayed once and just stays there. However, the fact that this doesn’t draw attention to itself can actually be pretty useful, as you’ll see in the next step. Continue reading

Blunderball Ebook Now Available!

I figured I’d get my 2018 flash fiction anthology out while it was still 2018. Blunderball is now available on Smashwords for $0.99 and should soon appear at other non-Amazon retailers. I’ll aim to get it on Amazon as well before too long, but until then Smashwords also has a Kindle version available so if that’s your device of choice then I recommend getting it there. It isn’t hard to do. A paperback version is in the works as well.

This is actually the fourth book in which my writing has appeared this month, after Unrealpolitik, The Ruminations of a Multiheaded Monster, and of course Ten Little Astronauts!

If you’ve read any of these (or a significant number of the individual stories that make up Blunderball), please do consider leaving a review at your retailer of choice (or Goodreads). It makes such a difference.

Ten Little Astronauts One Week Away!

Ten Little Astronauts is now in print, just in time for its trade publication date: December 13th. The copies I’ll be taking to book fairs – including the Hampshire Writers’ Society Members’ Book Fair on the 11th – arrived just today!

This seems like as good a time as any to share the cover with everyone, especially because it’s already showing up on Amazon, where (among other places) you can now pre-order copies. Naturally supporters of the book got a look at the cover as soon as it went to print. Continue reading

Project Pandora 3

You might be wondering how there can be a Project Pandora 3 given how Project Pandora 2 ended. You might also be wondering what Project Pandora even is, and if that’s the case then I recommend starting with the first one.

Project Pandora 3

That said, familiarity with the series isn’t essential and this wouldn’t be a terrible place to jump in (especially compared to Project Pandora 2, which will not even function if you haven’t played the original). My Project titles in general have always been about exploring one particular (usually fairly meta) game mechanic and how the player interacts with it, and developing an epic multi-game storyline isn’t really a big part of that.

Basically, have a quick go at the first two beforehand if you want the full experience, but don’t be afraid to get stuck in with Project Pandora 3 if you just fancy playing something vaguely sinister.

Happy Halloween!

Supporter List for Ten Little Astronauts Closing Imminently!

If you’d like to support Ten Little Astronauts but haven’t already, this is your absolute last chance. The supporter list will close at midnight on September 17th, UK time. If you’ve never even heard of this book before, here’s a video – filmed on board a submarine – to tell you what it’s all about:

Everybody who supports a book at Unbound gets their name listed in the back to record their contribution. But with Ten Little Astronauts set to launch next month, the thing has to be typeset and printed which means – inevitably – they have to call time on adding new supporters.

If you’re reading this before the deadline, please do consider spreading the news however you can. Post it on Facebook. Send out a tweet. Print out this blog post, fold it into a dainty origami swan and foist it on somebody while shouting “HONK! HONK!” I promise I won’t judge you (though can’t speak for anyone else).

Remember: if your name’s not on the list by midnight on the 17th, it won’t be in the book!