Another year, another review post. Like last year there wasn’t any defining achievement or goal reached, mostly slow progress on everything. Though I left my job and started working as a contractor. Luckily my former employer gave me my first contract due to their rapid growth so I’ve been able to start with a solid foundation.

Games Played

2017 had some really good games. Here’s my ranking of all the games I played:

  1. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  2. Mario x Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
  3. Finding Paradise
  4. Sonic Mania
  5. Life Is Strange: Before the Storm
  6. Super Mario Odyssey
  7. Horizon Zero

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Elasticsearch is a highly scalable data store that allows you to ingest, search and aggregate millions of records with ease. Recently a customer of mine was running into some performance issues with their multi-node deployment. The cluster was required to ingest around 90,000 1kb records per second and their configuration looked like this:

  • Two physical servers with 40 cores, 256GB RAM and 8x 1TB HDDs
  • Each server ran 7 nodes on the host OS
  • Each node was allocated 24GB RAM (maximum should be 32GB)
  • Each node was allocated 5 cores (see Processors setting)
  • Each node was allocated one

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This year at A MAZE in Berlin, Zack Wood and I decided to host and record some casual developer interviews. Despite being organised sort of last minute, we interviewed some really cool developers and there were some interesting insights into game development, design and markets.

Below are the links to the videos:

Mel Taylor (Orwell) & Simone Tranchina (Ludmilla) talk narrative games

Luis Wong (IndieNova) & Thomas Cashman (me!) talk about the Chinese games market

Zack Wood (Monster Garden) & Pavlos Alifragis (Rum Ram) talk gamedev


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Today the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy is released (yes I pre-ordered) so it’s the perfect time to talk about my favourite game.

I’ll never forget the first time I played a Playstation. I was sitting at home with my Sega MegaDrive playing Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Then, my dad came home from work with a box and said “Hey I got this new video game console. Let’s set it up!”. So then some unboxing, connecting SCART cables and there it was – but what the hell was it? There was no cartridge? A CD? What’s that?

Anyway, he put in

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My relationship with Pokémon starts back in 1999 when I first played Pokémon Red and Blue and was amazed by the Pokémon World. I would watch the TV show every morning before school and draw Pokémon comics after. That year was also the year I got my first computer and began my game development journey.

In 2002, I came across a fan-made Pokémon MMORPG called ‘Pokémon Online’ (aka ‘POL’) made by MeowthBG. I was excited. The idea of playing Pokémon online with other people amazed me. My brain hadn’t even thought of the possibility of online gaming, nevermind Pokémon online

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Checkpoints is an amazing podcast by Declan Dineen. In each episode he interviews a different game developer and dives into their game development process and life experiences which results in really interesting interviews with some of the most well known developers from around the world. If you haven’t heard of the podcast before here are some of my favourite episodes:

Every few episodes he releases an Autosave episode which …

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This blog post was originally posted by myself on the mini2Dx blog.

In recent years, websites have begun to shift their designs towards the concept of “responsive web design” to accommodate for the growing mobile market. This approach allows a single website to adapt its layout and visuals to suit the screen size that it is viewed on. The popularity of this approach has seen frameworks such as Twitter Bootstrap and Foundation become the unofficial defaults for implementing web design.

To avoid confusion between input response times (also known as “responsiveness”) in video games, from here on I’ll be

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I don’t have any particularly strong feeling about my 2016. If my life was a TV show it would be one of those boring filler episodes.

Games Played

I only played a few games this year. Here’s a ranking of the games I finished:

  1. Steins;Gate 0
  2. Doom
  3. Stardew Valley
  4. Hitman
  5. Firewatch
  6. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  7. Pokemon Sun

I was really disappointed by Pokemon Sun. It got good reviews but I felt the game world didn’t flow – there were too many transitions when walking around the towns and islands. Not sure why it was implemented like this as you can …

Read more has a great tool called Butler for automatically uploading your game’s releases to their platform. As a fan of automation I decided to go a step further and integrate Butler into my Gradle builds. I’ve create the gradle-butler-plugin which automatically downloads, updates and runs Butler. The following is a minimal example of configuring it as part of your build:

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Back in 2009/2010 I was on the committee of the Games Society at university. I had this crazy idea that the Games Society would build their own video game to raise money for charity so I set out to try achieve it. When we announced the plan, we immediately had a lot of people volunteering to help and so began our quest to build the Games Society’s first video game.

60 days and 60 nights

The university’s big charity week was held in the second week of semester 2 every February so our goal was to release then. We started

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