Category: Game Development (page 1 of 4)

Exo One Kickstarter Update. Jungle Tests, IndieCade and Moar!

September seemed to really zip by, and it was a bit of a scattered month in terms of what I was working on. I spent time on everything from the story to planet tech tests to bug hunting.

Here’s a peek at the Jungle test:

Read the whole update on Kickstarter here.



Exo One August Update

Had a pretty good, distraction-free and sickness-free month! Work was done! Huzzah!

What’s been happening, then? Here’s a quick rundown (spoiler alerts!):

  • Finished “skybox particles” for Island World
  • 2x Dunes biomes + rocky biome completed + biome blending. Super happy with the general scale, realism and variation in this planet. Tweets of WIPs below!
  • Not as happy with the water skipping gameplay as I once was. Now that there’s “charge/power” levels and pulling up controls, it’s a little less satisfying and simple. Going to leave this and see if a solution pops into my brain at some point!
  • Biome texturing mostly complete
  • Island World around 90% complete. Still needs some objects/fine detail placement/intro work etc. This planet has taken far longer than usual/expected because of two different plugins I don’t normally use/didn’t play well together. Now that I’m more comfortable with both, future planets using these should be much faster.
  • Fixed old nagging terrain specular issues.
  • Debugging performance issues in island world.
  • Had some difficulties marrying fog/water/terrain for Island World and combining certain plugins to create the effects on this planet.
    • The huge range of Unity plugins is great, getting them to work together sometimes is another thing!
    • Two water plugin options that were solid as of 6 months ago are now both deprecated or unsupported and not working properly in Unity 5.6. I’ve fudged my way around one of them for now.
  • Spent quite some time ‘debugging’ above plugin issues, texture issues/profiling/bug reporting.
  • Fireflies can now be picked up (they follow you) on the Ice World, which give more sporadic charge the more you have following you.
  • Wind now pushes you in the direction clouds move
  • A fair bit of time spent learning Fog Volume 3

Pretty Pictures of Things

Here’s a WIP that includes Rhy’s latest music track for the Island World:

And here’s a new one of the terrain biomes blending together:


Cya next time!

Exo One July Recap

Just a quick one, breaking down what has been happening. After losing a couple weeks and a computer HDD, I’m now back in action, new computer fully operational with all software reinstalled. If you’re a computer nerd, you might be interested to know I got:

Ryzen PC

Ryzen 1700x
16gb FlareX Ram
Two M.2 SSDs
…and kept my old GTX 780

I was hoping the speed difference would be quite noticeable in Unity but… meh, not heaps. My old i7-4820k was already quite good, so I guess I’m not heaps surprised. I did just render a short video, though, and it really ploughed through that in record speed. Also, Map Magic generates terrain segments a bit faster, but again in general, I was hoping Unity would become super snappy and responsive, but it hasn’t. Compile times seem much the same, as do scene saving times, etc.

I also bought a Cyberpower UPS battery backup, as I was paranoid my old machine might have lost some HDDs from dodgy electrics in my office/s over the years.

Intro Sequence Progress

Unfortunately, after all this new computer mumbo jumbo (and a big delay in receiving the UPS), then some work on Exo One for AVCON, I’ve really only done a few days solid work. Here’s a peek at an improved intro sequence that I’ve been meaning to do forever:


Exo One Next to Hollow Knight and Forts

Exo One next to Hollow Knight and Forts

I opted not to actually attend AVCON the other week, because I was concerned I’d get sick again, so huge thanks to my partner and some very helpful local dev friends of mine!

Was nice to get this write-up of Exo One by Chris at Hyper.

Of course, I got the con-flu anyway, but I can work through it for the most part. Bad things happen in threes or something? Therefore it’s all smooth sailing this month!

Tasks Completed

Bit of a small task list (lots of small things) for the month:

  • Hunting for writers complete (pretty much ready to go)
  • Story prep work for writer
  • New Ryzen PC received, reinstalled all the things…
  • Intro Sequence
    • Added transport monolith animation
    • Crater impact + FX
    • White flash + sound
    • Steaming craft
  • Improved low speed craft handling (doesn’t float about as awkwardly now)
  • AVCON prep (got Restart working properly)
  • Improved high altitude sky, so that we can’t see the world end so easily
  • Improved craft appearance (reflection probe)
  • Custom rain (needed custom solution outside of trueSky, due to high speed movement of the craft)
  • Switched temporal AA method to standard Unity for slightly nicer looking AA
  • Some terrain improvements, possible due to streaming/not having to worry about generation time.

Catch you for the next update! Should start seeing some more progress very soon.



Bye-bye, 2 Weeks

This is going to be a shitty update because a) I got nothing done and b) I hate making excuses and c) I can’t go to AVCON.

First off, I got pretty sick last week and had to go on antibiotics. I’ve just recovered from that, so with AVCON only a few days away, I’ve decided it’d be unwise to dive into the virus zone that is games events. I’m yet to attend an event without getting sick afterward. Luckily, I have friends and my partner who are going to show Exo One for me. I have enough energy to go and setup/tear down on the Friday/Sunday, so that should be safe enough I guess.

Secondly, (this is the comedy part) as I started feeling better and sat back down to do some work, my OS SSD died and failed to boot. SMART and Crystal Disk stats gave some conflicting info, and I did a Windows 10 reinstall, which lasted only 2 days before the drive died again.  Really average timing prior to AVCON, and zero chance I can show the new build now :(

Spent all day today sourcing new parts for a new computer, as this is actually the 3rd time in 3-4 years I’ve lost HDDs! The first time was due to an unlucky purchase of an infamous model of hard drive that failed at a high rate, the second time was from a power surge, and this last time I don’t know, but all the houses I’ve lived in the last few years (3!) have had power issues (brown outs and black outs). That may have something to do with it. I also fear the computer is just ‘haunted’ (dodgy motherboard or PSU or???) hence the new computer.

I’ve grabbed a bunch of premium brands/parts to try and reduce hardware failures as much as possible and ordered a pure sine wave UPS (uninterruptible power supply) that arrives next week to ensure my home’s power isn’t causing problems. So now I do the impossible and not put together my fast new computer – I don’t really want to take a brand new machine to a games event I’m not attending. I wouldn’t use it beforehand without the UPS anyway, just in case. You would be paranoid too if you’d lost this many HDDs :P

I’m planning on using this downtime for story work, as that can all be done easily on my laptop.

Apologies to anyone that was hoping to say hi at AVCON, but at least you’ll still be able to play Exo One! I’m off to put in a new OS HDD and get Exo One running on the TV before Friday.

Hopefully a more positive update at the end of the month!

Exo One June 30 Progress Update

A quick update on what I’ve been working on for Exo One this past couple of weeks, now that Kickstarter is pretty well settled for now:

The new version of the backer preview build should now work for 4k screens/odd resolutions. Check your Humble email/download link if you had issues in the past.

Worked on the story for a couple of days.

Rhys fixed an old, annoying camera bug. In some situations the camera would tilt annoyingly. Still one or two other oddities to fix yet.

Pre-order page is now up on Humble here, if you missed out on the Kickstarter:

Slight ‘wing tip trail’ upgrade on the craft in glider mode.

Partial world streaming tests. Instead of generating terrain in real time, I’ve pre-generated it in a huge area, which results in a big performance gain, and hopefully no frame rate spikes for people without beast CPUs. There’s still plenty to explore, but this would mean no more infinite terrain. With the focus of the game more on the movement and feels, and without a huge amount of ‘content’ to find, I think this is fine. I’m still yet to complete testing this as I have to actually stream the terrain in. Have to see if there’s a framerate spike from that next.

As part of optimization tests, I’ve tested baked lighting as the terrain now exists (pre-generated) before the game starts. This would mean a slight improvement in distant shadows, but unsure if I’ll be using it as I have less control over lighting (afaik, need to spend a little more time) and there would be a huge lightmap generate time for the number of terrains.

Pre-generated, streamed terrain (if they’re as smooth as I hope) will have a number of other advantages visually as well, since I won’t have to try quite so hard to keep frame rates super high to account for frame rate spikes.

Terminus Nominee – best game/design. Pleased to announce Exo One was a close runner up/nominee for Best Game and Best Game Design for TERMINUS this year. Full details:

Wind air currents. These are nice little atmospheric objects you can find if you look for them. If you manage to get inside the air current, they will give you a speed boost. I may toy with other ideas like having your controls become harder to handle within as well, so you have to ‘wrestle with’ the turbulence/speed.

First Ansel Tests. 
While this didn’t work in Unity 5.4, now that I’m in 5.6 we are in business. Just need to remove my own camera controls while in Ansel mode to make this work, since now the camera controls are competing with Ansel’s. Below is just a silly retro snap:

New trueSky, MapMagic, material updates. Here’s a screenshot of Sagan4 with the latest versions of these plugins, using MegaSplat for their rather awesome texture clustering (minimizes tiling effects):

exo one sagan 4

AVCON. If you’re in Adelaide and are coming to AVCON, I’ll see you there! Unsure yet whether I’ll be bringing an older or newer version of the game. Might depend on what state the current build is in.

Catch you for the next update, where I hope to have made some solid progress on planet streaming!

Post-Kickstarter Update


I’ve had a little time to decompress, and since then I’ve been doing the following things:

  • Managing all the rewards/surveys/spreadsheets post-Kickstarter.
  • Some add-on rewards (the self-print poster) will be sent out shortly. Just trying to minimize the time I spend sending out rewards as new survey results trickle in.
  • Trying to track down a small number of show-stopper bugs for some players, but not having much luck. This is thankfully only a tiny number of players as far as I know.
  • Upgrading Unity to 5.6 for its various speed improvements and new plugin versions, which are also offering speed improvements on top.
  • Experimenting a little with Voxeland, a Voxel terrain plugin for Unity (integration 1000% unconfirmed!) by the creator of Map Magic
  • Posting a bunch of new bug reports for all the issues I’m running into while upgrading to 5.6
  • Boring stuff like accounting/tax planning for the Kickstarter money


Moving forward, I’ll be working with Rhys and Tim to plan out the next planets and the music to go with them.

I’ll be completing the Tidal Locked world and optimizing it. Since I created it during the Kickstarter, it was a bit more thrown together than usual, and I’ll likely need to combine all three biomes into one for performance reasons, as all three biomes generate at once due to their close proximity to one another.

I’ll also be integrating fixes from plugin developers as they come in for Unity 5.6.

Plus, I’ll be setting up a pre-order page for Exo One via Humble Bundle too, probably so that pre-order customers get instant access to the backer preview build.

Since survey responses have now slowed to only a couple of responses a day, you can probably expect to receive your Rezzed poster add-on (if you pledged for it) today or tomorrow. Please fill out your survey if you haven’t already!


I’ll be sending out the first backer-poll very shortly, stay tuned!

Off Topic, Other Games

After an almost games-free Kickstarter month, I’ve finally had downtime to get back to playing a few games. Lately, I’m back on Rocket League, and having a few games of Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds.

I also tried Klei’s Oxygen Not Included, which I liked, but perhaps feels just a little too much like work for me to want to spend that much time with it. When I’m working on solving coding puzzles and business problems all day, somehow base-building/management stuff doesn’t appeal as much as driving around whacking a ball in Rocket League!

Oh, I also tried the new dirt tracks on iRacing, really great physics! I had one race and finished 3rd in my (super low skill!) tier :)

Finally, check out this amazing looking game I spotted via all the E3 press:

I could watch this 1000 times! If all I do is press a button to advance the pretty graphics, I’m sold!

Catch you for the next update, hopefully with a screenshot or two from Unity 5.6!

Kickstarter Success


Kickstarter Successfully Funded!

Thanks to all 1076 backers, we have ended our Kickstarter campaign for Exo One with a total of $40,103 after targeting $35,000! Couldn’t have done it without everyone’s support, sharing, advice and encouragement! I’m so grateful!

What’s Next?

If you missed out on pledging before the deadline, I’ll be investigating post-campaign options for supporting Exo One, once things have calmed down.

Then, development will enter full-steam-ahead-mode! I hope to bring you a truly unique game that takes you to the farthest reaches of outer space for a mesmerizing, sci-fi, planet-hopping journey!

Stay tuned and follow the Exbleative blog, as I continue to write about Exo One’s development. You can also sign up to the Exo One newsletter here.

Exo One at AVCON

I’ll be at AVCON (a comics and games event) here in Adelaide, South Australia to show off the latest version of Exo One in July, so please come and say hi!

Once again thanks to all who helped me succeed with the Exo One Kickstarter!

EXO ONE Reveal Trailer + Kickstarter is LIVE!

EXO ONE’s Kickstarter just went live! You can view the campaign here.

What is EXO ONE?

EXO ONE is a momentum-based, exoplanetary exploration game being developed mostly by myself (Jay Weston) in Unity. Players pilot a strange, spherical alien craft that can manipulate the laws of gravity, on mankind’s first ill-fated mission outside the solar system. The gameplay mechanics are inspired by games like Tiny Wings (iOS), Journey (PS3), and Tribes Ascend (PC). Every aspect of the game is laser focussed towards delivering an entrancing, flowing and exhilarating feeling of movement across a range of alien exoplanets.


EXO ONE at EGX Rezzed

After being selected to show the game in the EGX Rezzed: Leftfield Collection in London, EXO ONE received praise from a range of media at the event, going on to be named among the events top games by Eurogamer and The Guardian (among others!).



This month, Edge magazine, in a 2-page preview, said, “Tiny Wings, Journey and Kubrick collide in this sci-fi delight”.

edge magazine exo one

This is a real career highlight for me, I can’t say I ever expected to see my name or my game in its pages. And yes, it’ll be framed on my wall for alllll timmmeee! Now all I have to do is live up to the hype! Eep!

The New Reveal Trailer

You can watch the Reveal Trailer, launching today to coincide with the Kickstarter:

The trailer shows for the first time substantially more gameplay, as well as the future-historian narrator that features throughout the game.


So after over a year of development on the game, I decided to move forward with the Kickstarter launch to raise the quality bar, and help fund the remaining 8-9 months of development. Myself, along with Rhys Lindsay (our musician) and Tim Mcburnie (artist) will be looking for $35,000 AUD (or $26,000 USD) to complete all 12 planets, record music, develop concept art, record the voice overs and optimize the game. The campaign focuses on almost entirely digital rewards to keep overhead low when fulfilling rewards, with the sole physical reward being a limited run of one of Tim’s posters, signed by the team. The campaign will run until the end of the month.
Here’s the reward grid:


A week ago I began sending out preview builds to press in the hopes for some launch day coverage of the campaign. The preview build, which will be similar to the Backer Alpha build reward, contains a quick tutorial scene and 2 planets. I’ve also beamed out a press release, which you can check out here if you’re curious. And I’ll be all over the rest of the internet as well, on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc!


As you perhaps know, the first 48 hrs of a Kickstarter are super important, so if you’re thinking of backing EXO ONE, I’d love if you considered backing it on day one to help drive momentum and help the campaign become a success! Otherwise, I’d be super grateful if you could help out in the following ways!
After a long crunch period working up to EGX Rezzed, and then without much pause to get this campaign ready, I feel like I have done all I can to try and make the Kickstarter a success. With a little luck and your support, hopefully, the campaign will reach its goal!
Thanks for following along.

EXO ONE’s EGX Rezzed Wrap-Up

Earlier this year I got a rather excellent email notifying me that I’d been selected to show EXO ONE in EGX Rezzed’s Leftfield collection, a curated selection of indie games. I had set my expectations and hopes for Rezzed to go something like this:

  • Have some fun at the event
  • Meet some cool new people
  • Hopefully appear in at least 1 or 2 articles
  • See old friends and family

All of those things happened + more!

The things as they happened

Day 0

The day before Rezzed, things started off super rocky. As I arrived to set up and test the game, it was rendering with a pure black sky. I had backup builds, but this appeared to be more a bug or incompatibility with a graphics card. Luckily, I checked the build logs and pasted the error line into Google and one other person reported the same issue, solved by downloading the 2010 Direct X SDK.

The phew’ing was deafening. Almost paid $1500 for a ticket to Rezzed to look at some other people’s games! Hard to know if I should have brought the entire project over somehow, incase this was a problem I needed to fix in Unity, then rebuild. I’d of had to fix it on the PC that was running the game (remember I flew to London from Australia), download Unity, etc, then only have a few hours to get it working before the show.

Hard to know if I should have brought the entire project over somehow, incase this was a problem I needed to fix in Unity, then rebuild. It’d be awkward to fix it on the PC that was running the game (remember I flew to London from Australia), download Unity, etc, then only have a few hours to get it working before the show.

I put my poster up, chatted with a few people from Leftfield and grabbed food with Jai from FINIFUGU.

Here’s the poster at my station, drawn by Tim McBurnie:


Day 1

Used my London coffee app to find ONLY THE BEST coffee, in this case, the closest was LMNH Kitchen (look mum no hands). Truly an important step that cannot be overlooked!


Bumped into Andreas of Promoter app fame, who thought I was the event organizer, David Hayward (this seemed to happen to numerous, different people throughout the event, which was odd). Andreas was also showing his game, Future Unfolding.  I had some really amazing moments after playing it for just 10 minutes. His description goes like, “Future Unfolding is an action adventure that is all about exploration. Your goal is to unfold the mysteries and solve the puzzles hidden in the beautiful landscapes around you. There are no tutorials, and no one is telling you what to do.” I definitely advise not to look at trailers or anything before playing.

We had breakfast/coffee here on all three days and I really enjoyed chatting game dev, promoter app/biz stuff and events in general. It was nice to start each day at Rezzed with such great food, coffee and company! Andreas is a real dude, and his app looks quite good too, I’ll probably try it on the lead up to EXO ONE’s release.

This was just one of many real-dude encounters I had during the show. I’m not sure what it was about all the people in Leftfield, but I seemed to get along really well with everyone. In particular, since they shared my wall/opposite wall, I got to chat a lot with Jai, the guys from Alpixels (A Place for the Unwilling) , Joe from Four Last Things, Richard Boeser from Chalo Chalo , the PjamaLlamians who are making Flotsam, and the girls from Oniri Islands. Some of these peeps I felt an instant connection with, and it makes me kinda sad they’re now on the opposite side of the world.

This first day was kinda quiet, and there was occasionally some down time, but it was nice to be able to ease into things.

I had one press meeting that went well and resulted in me appearing in this:

After the first day I went and met an old Londonian friend for drinks, but I was so dead from not taking a break all day that I had to return to home base and eat, immediately followed by sleep. Didn’t seem to get much in the way of jet lag, luckily.

Day 2

This was a little busier than Day 1, got lots of good feedback, ideas, etc, all of which I wrote down during the day. Had another press meet up today which resulted in EXO ONE being included in this article, which painted the game in quite a glowing light!

Then this happened:


This is the Outside Xtra trio who came and hooked up their gear to do a bit of an impromptu Let’s Play of the game. The video isn’t out yet (and there was some sound technical issues) but I can’t wait to see it. Outside Xtra have quite a fan following, and during a ‘meet’ event at Rezzed I heard they had a line that stretched half of the building.

After the day was over, there was the The Rock Paper Shotgun drinks night, and a bunch of the Leftfieldians went out for dinner beforehand, which was at an old pub overlooking the Thames. Then I met and hung out with another old friend from when I used to live in London, who introduced me to some cool people. I didn’t do much in the way of networking with press, though.  I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’m trying to befriend them partly to improve my chances of them writing about my game. Maybe a missed opportunity, I dunno. I seemed to do fine regardless.

Day 3

This was the busiest day, and I’d often be standing a couple rows deep behind my game. I’m still told Rezzed is a pretty quiet event in the scheme of things. Again, nice to just ease into my first big event instead of DIVE in the deep end.

Met up with and hung out with a couple more friends and contacts on this day as well. Despite the larger numbers of people, I possibly talked to players less because I was just pushed back (or wanted to get out the way so others could watch). So it wasn’t manic or anything.

Had dinner after with some Leftfielders again then I was convinced to attend the after party, which was good fun with yet more games in every room. Checked out some of the retro games and played a bit of Joe Bain’s new game, Yucatan, which was super madness fun! There was some crowd based game in another room I think, but didn’t get to see it!


I think my press strategy was pretty ‘normal’. I suppose I often thought I needed to be doing some secret tricks or ‘know people’ or something special to really get noticed and stand out, etc. But now that the event is over and I got basically the best response I could have ever hoped for, I guess the basics worked pretty well.

Before the event, I made the following Rezzed trailer that I pinned to my Twitter, saying I’d be at Rezzed, along with my email address (no it wasn’t even spammed):

I emailed around 20 writers/game sites/YouTubers with somewhat personalized emails (more so if I knew more about them) saying essentially, “come play EXO ONE at Rezzed Leftfield”, and included the above, very short video. Got 2 solid meeting times, maybe 2-3 “I’ll come over at some point, whenevzies” and a bunch of ignores. Some ignores ended up turning up regardless, but I don’t know whether that was from my email or just because they happened to be in Leftfield. I talked to a handful of other developers in Leftfield about their press outreach efforts, and most did nothing at all, so if that was common within Leftfield or Rezzed in general, then contacting the press potentially puts you a step ahead just by pressing send.

I ordered 3 t-shirts online which I could have spent too much time on, but ended up just using my EXO ONE logo on the front and back, with “developer” written on the back, so if anyone was looking to chat with the developer, they could easily spot me.


Press Stealth Abilities

Something I noticed about press at the event was that almost all of them (unless I’d set up a meeting) liked to fly in under the radar and play without me spotting/recognizing them. That worked for a few people who I saw write/tweet about the game afterward, but otherwise, if I recognized someone I just said so. Otherwise, I’d risk being weird (sorry, person I was totally weird to!). I imagine this is done so the developer doesn’t bug them too much or affect their play experience any more than it should. Generally, I just said something like, “the tutorial is kinda bad right now, so if you need any help lemme know”, then I left them to it.

I definitely felt that fan-boy factor a little with some people I met, but I had some great chats with press, gamers and devs alike. For the most part, with press, they’d come play the game, ask between 0 and a dozen questions then take off pretty quickly. Wasn’t overly hard, and while I practiced a bunch of practice answers to questions, many never came up.

After the event, I wrote and thanked anyone who wrote about EXO ONE, if I had their email address/Twitter.

Tweets ‘n Articles

Here’s most of the press/tweets I got during the event and after:

Damn it, I didn’t meet Terry! Terry is one of these darned people who don’t use a photo on their Twitter profile, I didn’t recognise him! I do recall seeing he was showing his game before flying over, but slipped my mind once I was there. I may have met him or Ruari as I recall one of the State Machine (his game) devs chatting to me. Tried to go play before open one day but someone was on it. Huge fan of Super Hexagon, so would have liked to have gone and been a weird fanboy/say hi briefly :P

Not bad!

Biz Cards

Ordered about 500 and used a quarter of them, mostly taken by gamers. I put a screenshot on the front and some words (game name, my name, contact details) on the back.


One small error perhaps I could have improved would have been some way to sign people up to the newsletter at the event. The Flotsam guys had some kinda small iPad with a sign-up form on it, others went for the handwritten method. I guess the handwritten way stands out as being a mailing list quite obviously due to the email addresses on it, while the iPad kinda requires prompting (“hey you, sign up for our newsletter?”).

I’m not sure how many people went home then signed up for the EXO ONE mailing list, but over the entire event I added about 80 people to my list. Really don’t know if this is “good” or not.

Resources I Used

I’m a big fan of both Thomas Reisenegger’s games PR/Marketing videos on GDCVault, and Indie Game Girl, who did a specific games event article/slide show.

Maybe just search for Thomas on Youtube:

Emmy’s site is

General Help

Before the event, I asked everyone I knew for advice, including some people I didn’t know. This resulted in a couple of meetings that might not have otherwise happened, various tips/tricks for events, who to look out for (I hadn’t heard of OutsideXtra for example), introductions to press, how to keep my expectations realistic for a single, small-ish event and more.

What did I learn about EXO ONE?

The biggest stand out problem with the game was the first tutorial level, which is going to be getting some major love and redesigning soon. The camera I’m using hates the kinds of movement you can do in the starting level, and I throw a bunch of controls at the player and pray they remember (they never do). So this resulted in many players not ‘getting’ the game as they were missing pieces of the puzzle. Most people that I helped out ended up getting the hang of it, and luckily all press did too.

I got mixed feedback on the story, but I’d say fairly overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the story as-is, but also some very convincing “you should make it less literal” arguments.

Also received a handful of comments that there were too many controls. Mentioned this to some other Leftfielders and of course heard the opposite, “I had no problem with the controls”. Simpler is definitely better, but I feel like I might be able to remove at least one control combo (like holding two things to glide up for example).

Thankfully most of the feedback hit exactly the mark I was going for, with comments like:

  • That was super relaxing
  • It was mesmerizing
  • The sense of speed and feeling you get when you reach the clouds is amazing
  • I could just watch it all day

Like the Adelaide games event before (AVCON), people sat to play and didn’t want to get off. I should have forced an end timer on the demo as people had to wait ages to play in some cases. I was lucky the musician, Rhys, told me to shorten the first level, since even after doing so, people sometimes asked me if they could ever reach the transport structures in the distance. A classic example of the game developer being too good (fast) at their own game.

Quick Notes on Other Games

Since this post is getting long… Quick bullets on other games (I mentioned Future Unfolding above) that were near me and I played in Leftfield.

  • Oniri Islands
    • Great multiplayer iPad game that uses physical chess-like pieces (cute little figures) to move characters around on screen. Great for playing with kids.
  • Flotsam
    • While seeming pretty early days, I’m super pumped to see where this ‘floating base builder’ goes.
  • Four Last Things
    • Very charming, funny writing and simple point n click adventure, using classical/famous artworks.
  • A Place for the Unwilling
    • Intriguing ‘mini-society’ and village full of characters whom you interact with and have influence over/effects on during ‘end times’. Great spooky vibes!
  • Chalo Chalo
    • Super fun party multiplayer game that isn’t instantly recognizable as being hilarious fun, but totally is!
  • Everything
    • Those rolling quadrupeds… I saw some really, really weird stuff happen in this game during the event! I jumped on for 2 minutes, but think I need to have a proper go and hear the narration/music to really get into it.

Special Thanks

…to David Hayward for organizing the event, it went off without a hitch! And thanks to SEGA for sponsoring Leftfield.

It really was an amazing event, surrounded by awesome people and great games! With any luck, I’ll bump into some of my new friends again at another games event… *sniff*!


I’ve left the best till last! I’m wildly excited to announce that next month (May) EXO ONE is getting a 2-page preview in Edge magazine! So pumped! I’m not a huge games magazine reader, but whenever I do pick one up, it’s always Edge!

Next – Kickstarter

I’ve increasingly gone from ‘maybe doing a Kickstarter’ to ‘probably doing one’ to ‘doing one’ to ‘most likely doing one in May’. It takes time to build up the courage, you see. I’m going to get some advice on exact dates, but that’s my current thoughts. I’ll be announcing an exact date soon, so if this is something you’re interested in, you can sign up to my newsletter below:

Subscribe to EXO ONE’s mailing list

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Heading to Rezzed in 1 week

Since I’ve got a build done for Indiecade, pressure is off a bit for Rezzed, as even if the game dies often, I’ll be there to restart it etc. My biggest fear is I’ll be overseas without my PC and unable to fix any issues that occur. I’m most concerned that there could be some kind of graphics card incompatibility or some other thing that causes the game to run badly or fail, but I’ve tested the game on a number of friends computers with no issues so far.

I took Monday and half of Tuesday off to recover from working most of the weekend into an all-nighter. Now:

Final Rezzed Tasks


  • Ensure my build shortcuts work so we can just load planets from wherever we are. ~30 mins
  • Fine tune camera some more ~30 mins
  • Script energy spheres so they’re closer to the ground for new players to pick up more easily. Couldn’t get a handle on what my dumb code was doing, gonna bail on this for now at least ~30mins
  • Try to get level restarting working again ~3 hrs :(
    • I wasn’t looking close enough at my debug logs ordering or my  if else logic!
  • Improve timing on navigation icon hint animation ~15 mins


  • More camera fine tuning ~30 mins
  • Improve planet 2 ~4 hours
  • Hanging out probably a bit too much on William Chyr’s excellent Manifold Garden stream :P Highly recommended occasionally though, especially if you’re a solo dev. ~2 hrs


  • New creature stuff for 2nd planet ~ 3 hrs
  • Integration with MapMagic ~30 mins
  • Directional vector UI stuff ~2 hrs
  • Bug fixing above! ~30 mins


  • Further creature improvements ~1hr
  • Profiling above. Oops it runs like hell :/  ~30 mins
  • Improving planet 2 biomes, variation. ~2 hrs
  • Testing ~30 mins
  • Rezzed prep work ~1 hr
  • Build testing/uploading ~30 mins


Not really going to add anything of substance from here on, it’s Friday, I’m leaving Monday for 1 1/2 weeks, so I’m going to make sure it works properly then pack tomorrow and chill out before the hell that is international flying on Monday.

  • Air particlezzz! I’m embarrassed to say ~3 hrs (it’s hard to get these just right!)
  • Tweaking both planets ~3hrs
  • Tweaking lighting ~1 hr
  • Rezzed prep ~30 mins


Final testing has picked up a bug with the wormhole sequence where the screen goes black (but game continues afterward). So this will be my last task before flying off. If anyone going to Rezzed is reading this, I’ll cya there, hopefully without a buggy game on my hands!

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