Star Particles

5 Comments 7 November 2011

Two posts in two days! Just made a star version of the fun particle thing I made yesterday! Check it out here. The stars are drawn with code – check the source code to see how. I’ve got a few other ideas for these little particles so watch this space! ;)


Posted in Experiment, JavaScript, Physics

Fun with JavaScript and particles

Leave a comment 6 November 2011

So since my last post exactly 2 months ago it’s remained fairly quiet on the site. The reason being that I’m currently tech lead on a big project at Specialmoves that is due to go live really soon (more on that later). However, I’ve had a rare quiet weekend and somehow found the motivation to fire up the Macbook and write some code.

The project I’m currently working on features a fair amount of particles (it’s a Christmas site, need I say more). For the vast majority of them I’ve used Richard Lord’s brilliant Flint library but there was a couple of loaders on the site where I used my own simple particle system. I’ve always enjoyed playing around with particles as you can see from the posts featured on this blog, e.g. ColorWall, WobbleWall and Simple JavaScript Physics.

So with yesterday being November 5th (bonfire night here in the UK) I started playing around with creating a sparkler effect using JavaScript and Canvas. It didn’t really look exactly how I hoped but in creating it I stumbled across some other cool effects, the best being the one below. Click here to view the particles in action, move your mouse around and click anywhere on the screen.

I’ve always enjoyed creating simple visual effects that are nice to interact with and fun to watch and I think this one is just that. It’s a simple effect but I found myself dragging the mouse around for ages playing with it.

I plan to write a simple particle tutorial soon (ambitious for me since I’m currently averaging 1 post every 4 or so months) where I’ll explain the basics of creating a simple particle effect. Many developers think particle effect are really hard to create but once you’ve got the basics down it’s easy peasy.

Below are some of the other particles experiments I made yesterday. The first is the sort of sparkler effect. The second a slower more mellow version of the above and finally the sparkler effect without the canvas being cleared.


Posted in Experiment, JavaScript, Physics

It’s all gone quiet over there…

Leave a comment 6 September 2011

Indeed it has all gone quiet over here on the site but not because I’ve buggered off travelling around the world again, oh no, I’ve been working hard actually. In fact a lot has changed since my last post way back in mid March.

I have a new job! Well, maybe not so new anymore as I have been here for 3 months. After returning from travelling I soon realised that I needed a fresh start at a new company to really get me excited about programming again. After deciding it was time to move on one company instantly sprang to mind as the sort of place I’d love to work… Specialmoves. Having worked with them on a Lynx project whilst at TMW I knew a few people at the company and thought I’d send my CV over and much to my delight – I got the job!

Specialmoves is very different to my previous jobs. The company is a studio rather than agency with little over 20 employees, and focuses primary on development. In my first week we had a Studio meeting and Darrell (one of the founders of the company) said that 10 years ago him and Pascal (you guessed it, the other founder) set the company up because they wanted to do “cool sh*t”, and it’s safe to say that is pretty much still the inspiration for all things Specialmoves. It’s an exciting place to work and the company are always trying to push the boundaries and be innovative. I hope to learn a lot working here.

Check out the video below for something I made in my first couple of weeks at Specialmoves. To read more about the project click here.

The other great thing about my new job is that it’s an Interactive Developer role, so not Flash/Actionscript specific. I like programming with Flash, it’s where I started out as a developer and I think AS3 is a fun language to write in. However, I’ve always believed as a developer it’s important not to get tied down to technologies and to remain open minded and keep learning/experimenting with new stuff. My role at Specialmoves will involve a lot of Flash, especially at the start, but I will also get an opportunity to work on other platforms like JavaScript and mobile development etc.

In other news my HTML5 version of ColorWall was recently added to the Chrome Experiments site. Check it out here and give it a 5 star rating! ;)

I plan to re-ignite the website over the next few months so expect some more blog posts soon!


Posted in Employment

HTML5 Snake

Leave a comment 16 March 2011

This is something I made this morning. I wanted to see if I could make a simple game in a couple of hours and I use to love playing snake on my old Nokia back when I was at school (yep mobile phones where invented before I left school – I’m not that old!!). Originally I was going to make it in Flash but a simple game like this is perfect for canvas and it’s an example of using the right technology for the job, rather than just sticking to something you know well.

Click here to play and see if you can beat my high score of 44. I’ll probably update it with a scoreboard soon. Oh and don’t try and run it in IE as it won’t work (no canvas support).

PS. It probably won’t work on your Nokia either but a mobile version could be an option in the future.


Posted in HTML5, JavaScript

Space Monkey

5 Comments 9 March 2011

You might play this game and think “this is just a copy of that iPhone game Doodle Jump”, and you’d be completely right. I was bored the other weekend and thought I’d make a game. I like Doodle Jump and there isn’t really any good online alternatives (google it, the top link is pretty poor, I’m not even going to link to it) so I thought I’d make one. I really enjoy programming physics and since it’s fairly simple for this game I did it all myself rather than using a library such as Box2D.

Normally I’d get the game to a certain level, like this early demo of Space Monkey, then move onto something else but I liked this one and thought I’d see it through to a properly finished game I’d be happy to post here. One thing I noticed was the game play is only a small part of a simple online game like this. It probably took roughly the same time to build the shell and score board etc.

Apart from the Monkey character (who I bought off iStock) I did all the graphics myself. I’m really pleased with the way this game turned out and I hope you have fun playing it.


Posted in ActionScript, Physics
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