I've been programming games for more than 20 years. Previously I worked on the WORMS franchise for Team17. I currently teach game programming and design at the University of Bolton and run a small indie studio called MindFlock where we specialize in AI based gameplay.

Comment History  (0 - 30 of 70)
zoombapup
zoombapup Mar 10 2014, 5:57am replied:

Would be happy to. I'll include our material if the bid isn't successful.

+1 vote   article: The dirty business of funding
zoombapup
zoombapup Mar 9 2014, 8:24pm replied:

Current one is a TSB "Greater Manchester Creative and Digital Launchpad" thing. Basically industrial R&D grant that does 60% funding for projects.

+1 vote   article: The dirty business of funding
zoombapup
zoombapup Mar 2 2014, 2:02pm replied:

Its all just bought stuff from the Unity asset store. Its mostly just placeholder content for now. Appreciate the comments though, I think you're right.

+1 vote   media: HOPE Developer Diary #22
zoombapup
zoombapup Jan 21 2014, 1:22pm replied:

Yeah, there are already a few trees here and there. But one of the things you as a rig manager have to do is keep people happy enough to work productively. Which means sometimes making spaces they feel happy in, which means more natural areas like gardens and parks.

+1 vote   article: Man is it tiring finding somewhere to live!
zoombapup
zoombapup Jan 2 2014, 6:05pm replied:

The worst bit is that I'd like to do some analysis of other games design aspects to show how I'm thinking of developing the gameplay, but I'm too scared to because of the Content ID, so no discussion of other games for me.

+1 vote   game: HOPE
zoombapup
zoombapup Dec 26 2013, 11:40am replied:

Thanks, much appreciated.

+1 vote   article: Looking forward to a new society
zoombapup
zoombapup Dec 19 2013, 3:56am replied:

Yeah, I think the world I envision would be good for MMO and other media, but honestly its one of those things you have to stop thinking about as you develop.

+2 votes   game: HOPE
zoombapup
zoombapup Nov 30 2013, 9:13am replied:

Yeah, absolutely want to get there. But feel like its not fair to release it currently, it literally wouldn't be playable to anyone but me right now (parts tend to block other parts etc). Will get it out as soon as I can though.

+2 votes   game: HOPE
zoombapup
zoombapup Nov 27 2013, 6:12pm replied:

Thanks, I keep thinking of doing an early release and I'm definitely going to do it, but its at the "just too broken" stage right now. Its almost like it makes me think its ready and then I notice it really isn't. I need it to be something you can actually play and have fun in. Which isn't far off, but its frustratingly slow to come together in that way.

+3 votes   game: HOPE
zoombapup
zoombapup Nov 24 2013, 7:36pm replied:

I'm going to maybe do something quite stupid and release it just as soon as I have enough mechanics in it to feel like a game you can play (trade, construction, crafting etc). Then I plan on developing it further with the social stuff while people play with the other parts and give feedback on how that should change.

I suspect "finished" will be a quite loose term. More like "released" in that I plan on developing it in quite a few directions (first phase is getting the rig working, next phase getting off the rig into the wider world etc).

So I can't honestly give you a date for when. But I'll release the work-in-progress builds as early as I can. Likely for free.

+2 votes   game: HOPE
zoombapup
zoombapup Nov 24 2013, 4:57pm replied:

I thought that eagle had a bear in its claws when I first looked at it :)

Hmm, I like the idea of birds, because they do represent the only real animals (except rats, cats and dogs) that I could see living on rigs. But it doesn't really say too much about the social setup does it? I mean the work ethic and solidarity etc.

Most of the early coins did have images of status on them to be sure, but they were also promises to pay the bearer, so tended to be dual purpose.

Nice suggestions.

+1 vote   article: Help me choose a name for the games currency?
zoombapup
zoombapup Nov 18 2013, 5:42pm replied:

I didn't know COD:GHOST had fish? I knew about the dog, but fish?? oh AAA you are amazeballs!

+1 vote   article: Bags of fun and the demon fish from hell
zoombapup
zoombapup Nov 18 2013, 5:19am replied:

Glad you say that, because its kind of meant to be like an RPG garry's mod kind of thing (Garry's Mod meets the sims as an RPG).

+2 votes   article: Bags of fun and the demon fish from hell
zoombapup
zoombapup Nov 11 2013, 5:36pm replied:

I agree that in general you don't want inventories clogged up with tons of items. But in this case, you wont necassarily have tons of items, but instead have tons of inventories. Basically almost all machines in the game will produce things for an inventory. There are a huge number of storage options (the world being full of metal containers helps there). So inventory management isn't such a problem as the issue of tranferring things from one inventory to another (i.e. from the trade area to the industrial area for crafting into goods for sale).

Noted about the packs idea. I'll no doubt do some testing with the API and some indie devs to really figure out how it should work. But I agree. I want to make it so you can buy/sell "add-on" content. Pretty much exactly like that Daz3D thing, but not crap and more game-dev focussed.

+2 votes   article: Less business, more development!
zoombapup
zoombapup Nov 2 2013, 6:59pm replied:

There are a bunch of different tools to use. For the most part they'll be part of first person view. But a few like the build drone are remote operated (think ROV). Thanks for the comment though, I'm always thinking about how to make the world more immersive. Take your point about the tools.

+2 votes   game: HOPE
zoombapup
zoombapup Oct 14 2013, 3:35am replied:

Hehe.. yeah, but don't worry, it'll get far showier before release (its actually meant to be a sort of sparky electric stream thing, but I don't want to spend time doing the graphics code for it right now.

+2 votes   article: Hotbaaaaaarrrrrrr!
zoombapup
zoombapup Oct 7 2013, 3:28am replied:

I've been torn about the glove/gauntlet thing. I figured something like sanctums glove would work, combined with a pipboy style left arm. But then distinct "tools" would work too.

+2 votes   article: Physics beam working
zoombapup
zoombapup Sep 30 2013, 5:35am replied:

Right now its just me. I've got various artists that come and go quite a bit. But you mostly can't rely on them :)

+3 votes   game: HOPE
zoombapup
zoombapup Sep 9 2013, 3:44pm replied:

Top 100? where, what how? :)

+2 votes   game: HOPE
zoombapup
zoombapup Aug 18 2013, 4:04pm replied:

thank you kindly sir.

+1 vote   article: Latest Hope developer diary #21
zoombapup
zoombapup Aug 18 2013, 4:03pm replied:

thanks, much appreciated.

+1 vote   article: Latest Hope developer diary #21
zoombapup
zoombapup Aug 12 2013, 4:58am replied:

Hey Fox!

I'm working on some research artefacts right now which I'll be taking into our labs sometime over the next few months. If those work out, I'll do a slightly bigger artefact and release that on the internet. So I'd say it might well be 3-4 months before you see much there.

I've actually been focussing a lot on things like trade and craft as I learn more about Unity and C#, so things have been a bit slow on the AI front. But I really REALLY want to get onto playing with the AI soon.

Sorry its taking so long. You've also reminded me to update the mindflock site again :)

I tend to put more info up as I'm working on the reddit page:

Reddit.com

Take care!

+2 votes   game: HOPE
zoombapup
zoombapup Aug 7 2013, 3:00pm replied:

Thanks. Look forward to sharing early builds.

+2 votes   game: HOPE
zoombapup
zoombapup Jul 22 2013, 3:51am replied:

zoombapup 10hours 10mins ago says: Online
Yeah, if you like there's a reddit thread over at:

Reddit.com

Where I tend to post my rambling ideas for the game. So post anything you like there. I'm always happy to get player point of view about these things.

+1 vote   article: Good progress on an important feature
zoombapup
zoombapup Jun 8 2013, 8:04pm replied:

Yeah, that "we take what we find" thing is key here. So there'll be a bunch of objects of all varieties in the game, some just as junk to be processed, but other stuff could still be used.

Glad you like it.

+2 votes   article: An insight into working out a unique style for HOPE. Part 1 - Whitebox
zoombapup
zoombapup May 29 2013, 7:08pm replied:

I honestly don't know at this point. It feels like multiplayer can some along in a new revision once the basic game feels right. Its more work to support it, but I guess it might be worthwhile.

+2 votes   game: HOPE
zoombapup
zoombapup May 18 2013, 4:43am says:

I wish I had a time machine to actually make it with :)

+1 vote   article: Some good news for HOPE
zoombapup
zoombapup Apr 13 2013, 8:21am replied:

Interestingly enough I saw that the other day too. I find a lot of animated films/series quite visually interesting. Hope to get some of that visual quality in the game, especially the sense of scale and detail.

+3 votes   game: HOPE
zoombapup
zoombapup Apr 8 2013, 9:39am replied:

I'm from Hull originally. Live in Lancs now (ptooey), but mostly a yorkshire lad yes.

+1 vote   article: HOPE Developer Diary #19 - Aka fun with foley!
zoombapup
zoombapup Apr 7 2013, 5:24pm replied:

Hehe.. we're getting there slowly. Look forward to showing more.

+1 vote   article: HOPE Developer Diary #19 - Aka fun with foley!
zoombapup
zoombapup Mar 25 2013, 8:31pm replied:

Thanks. Glad you like it.

+1 vote   article: On the horns of a dilemma
zoombapup
zoombapup Mar 21 2013, 2:02pm replied:

I'd settle for "this was fairly well done and felt different" right now :) thanks though.

+1 vote   article: How hope is both a game and a research project
zoombapup
zoombapup Mar 19 2013, 5:27pm replied:

Yeah, borderlands and fallout 3 are definitely in a similar vein, although I think we're a bit more "positive" than those. And no guns.

+1 vote   media: Container home work-in-progress
zoombapup
zoombapup Mar 17 2013, 3:27pm replied:

yep, thats coming next. Will post when its done.

+1 vote   media: Small trade barge
zoombapup
zoombapup Mar 17 2013, 9:47am replied:

I'm lucky in that I already have that part-time job I need to support myself (I teach game dev at a University). That provides enough funds to pay for living expenses and doesn't take a huge amount of time away from development. If I didn't have that, it'd be a far harder thing to do.

Hope to show you some new cool stuff. It does look plain for now, but thats mostly because it hasn't been textures properly yet. Soon enough you'll see how weird it is :)

Thanks for the comment.

+2 votes   article: Job offers, artwork, Ken Levine and Smart Bodies.
zoombapup
zoombapup Mar 17 2013, 7:51am replied:

Thanks. I like it too, Lance did a great job.

+1 vote   article: Hope development update
zoombapup
zoombapup Mar 3 2013, 6:17am replied:

I actually posted the news after the original feature got archived. Figured the artwork Valentin has been doing was worth telling people about.

Good to know that people who are following get to know about it anyway.

Fallout: yes in a way there are going to be similarities, post-catastrophe civilization is going to have a very similar feel to post-apocalyptic, although I think we'll have a far more up beat vibe than fallout did. I like to think people who survive an apocalypse might actually want to band together and hold each other in more regard.

+2 votes   article: Added some images and a feature about how HOPE started as a research project.
zoombapup
zoombapup Feb 24 2013, 4:16am replied:

I think you will feel like you are working on the rig, because for the most part you will be the one to build it. The rig starts off pretty small, but over time you can add structure to it, the aim being to enhance the rig to attract more community members, a bit like the Sims or Sim City I guess.

Erm, no comment on the barrels. Probably just a bad day at the office.

+1 vote   article: How the concept of HOPE was formed.
zoombapup
zoombapup Dec 25 2010, 4:08pm replied:

It will be quite some time yet. Its a pretty complicated game. But aiming for a release next year.

+1 vote   article: Designing a game user interface
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