Game Developers Radio Interview

A little over a year ago I did a podcast interview with Game Developers Radio. The podcast went on a hiatus, but they are back in full swing and have posted the interview.

The focus of the interview is Scrum and Agile development, both for teams and solo developers. I’m a bit of a Scrum nut (understatement…) and it was a great interview to do.

The only big change since the interview is that I’m no longer using Google Docs for my backlog/planning and have switch to the glorious Pivotal Tracker after hearing Andy Moore mention it a few times.

You can listen to me rant in the interview here.

Post Mortem – Ray Ardent: Science Ninja

Ray Ardent: Science Ninja is a high speed platformer made in Flash and released through the Flash portal scene. As a developer, it represents a lot of firsts: It’s the first game I have made as an artist and/or programmer and it’s also the first Flash game I have ever made.

Ray Ardent: Science Ninja Trailer

What Went Right:

1. Audio

The man responsible for the great music and sound fx is John Tennant. John and I worked together on Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts, where he was the audio lead. John is a great friend and he was the first person I talked to about the game.

Continue reading “Post Mortem – Ray Ardent: Science Ninja”

Ray Ardent’s Reception and Free Theme Song

It’s been almost two weeks since Ray Ardent: Science Ninja went live on Armor Games, and it’s been a pretty awesome couple of weeks.

First – John Tennant, the composer of the Ray Ardent theme song has posted both the original song and a dub remix for free download.

The player reception has been pretty split, which is what I expected. Some people love the gameplay and Ray himself, while others are “WTF?”.

The game has started to spread across a lot of portals and Ray spent a good chunk of the weekend on Kongregate‘s front page and is currently on the front page on Newgrounds.

The fan reception has been great, heck, the fact that there are Ray Ardent fans is great!

Some great tweets every day from people discovering Science Ninjutsu. For a while last week, there was a ‘Ray Ardent: Science Ninja’ player on Steam, but he’s since changed his name.

Another fan has created Ray Ardent on City of Heroes:

Ray Ardent in City of Heroes

If you play CoH, you might see Ray running (with super speed, of course) on the Virtue server, where he’ll be played in character – Science-tastic!

The crew at DIY Gamer also posted an article on Ray and what I’m doing with Ninja Robot Dinosaur.

Ray Ardent has also garnered a few reviews:
Switched – “hopelessly addicted to its fast-paced gameplay”
Jay Is Games – “a solid platformer with a nice coat of polish that sets it apart from the rest” – Browser Game Pick – “Sounds like a job for science!”

Ray Ardent and the art of the Thumbnail image

Ray Ardent is up for bidding on and I was given some very good advice from a total stranger. PJ Baron was nice enough to play Ray, and give me some very valuable feedback.

The crew at Flash Game License has been doing some research on the importance of the thumbnail image. It’s that little picture that tempts you to play the game.

Before seeing the results of the research, I believed that a descriptive image would be the best bet – show people what the game looks like.

The research that Flash Game License had done showed that games with a better quality thumbnail image regularly received more money from sponsors, received better editor reviews and were visited much more frequently. The research also showed that ‘screenshot’ thumbnails didn’t perform as well as a dedicated original thumbnail image.

With PJ’s advice and the research from Flash Game License in mind, I set off to redo Ray Ardent’s thumbnail image.


I’m really happy with how the reworked thumbnail worked out – I somehow managed to capture the retro/pulp feel that I’m going for with Ray.

Looking at these now, it’s almost silly that I thought that a screenshot would be sufficient. It’s the little things that matter people.