Accurat Unity Plugin SDK

Another Unity plugin project – I seem to get a lot of these! – exposing native iOS and Android libraries to Unity and constructing a C# friendly SDK around them.

This project was initially problematic, as both libraries inherited a huge number of Google libraries, leading to conflicts and linking problems. Not only that, the underlying libraries’ kept updating with behaviour changes, so what started out as a simple three week contract lasted about a year!

Deathtrap Dungeon: The Interactive Video Adventure

Forming Branching Narrative with Matt Spall, we spent 18 months developing this game together, with the infamous Stoo Cambridge providing graphics and UI.

The game is entirely written in JavaScript, contained within bespoke native code wrappers. This enables us to publish as native apps on PC, Mac, iOS, Android and console; even allowing an online streaming version, which we use as a playable demo directly on branching narrative.com.

We’re planning on releasing more Fighting Fantasy titles with a variety of actors in the future.

Buy it now!

Pose Recognition Unity SDK

This was another Unity Plugin SDK project for iOS and Android, but with particular emphasis on optimisation.

Nexus Studios were using Tensorflow in an AR dance game to track player’s movements and apply particle effects as they moved. For this to perform well, data needed to be sent to Tensorflow and the resulting pose data retrieved back as quickly as possible – otherwise the effects would be out of sync with the player movement.

This involved optimising the AR image pipeline, the C# to native interop, image manipulation within Tensorflow itself, and delivering the data back to my C# API for the game to use.

Lone Wolf AR

Lone Wolf was a unique (at the time) location-based AR game, released to tie in with a new Lone Wolf book release at a Comicon event in Lucca, Italy.

Written in Unity for iOS and Android, using Vuforia for AR, the game presents a map of the local vicinity, showing the first location where the game begins. Alongside location tracking, we also used image recognition as a backup trigger for the in-game events.

The game guides you through the city, fighting monsters and solving puzzles, being ultimately rewarded by entering into a free prize draw.

Headcaster

Headcaster was a next-generation messaging app for iOS and Android, allowing you to deliver animated, lip-synced messages via a variety of characters – ranging from cute kittens, through to the zombied reincarnation of Margaret Thatcher. Celebrities use the app too – notably Stephen Fry and Rio Ferdinand – to deliver podcasts via custom made caricatures of themselves.


We also developed a desktop version for broadcast purposes, for a series of short satirical pieces for BT Sport. This allowed for camera movements, green backgrounds and multiple characters.


We developed this over 18 months using Unity, with myself as CTO overseeing a team of six coders and 4 artists whilst developing native code plugins for video sharing. Challenges included building a patented lip sync system which worked across all languages, and building a server architecture able to withstand spikes in traffic from Rio tweeting a headcast to his 7 million followers.

Playora

Playora is an iOS and Android app allowing you to play PC or Flash games on a phone/tablet, or stream content from a PC or phone/tablet to a Smart TV.


Challenges included low-latency video encoding, so games could be played without any noticable lag, and DLL injection coding, effectively hijacking a game or app’s visual and audio output from within the app itself, rather than simply recording the screen.

Alph & Betty’s Topsy Turvy World

Alph & Betty is an animated digital storybook for young children. Beautifully illustrated, it features TV quality animation, real game functionality and literacy-focused educational toys.


The book contains a mini platform adventure and over forty fun mini-games and puzzles based on recommended primary stage literacy learning; including letter recognition, phonemes, rhyme and alliteration.

Primarily aimed at children 3-8 this is pitched somewhere between a story book, a game and a TV cartoon. This is essentially a beautiful animated book which incorporates real proven game concepts and animated sequences with a slant towards literacy and learning.

Harlem Globetrotters Trick Shots

Trick Shots appears at first to be a simple shoot-the-hoops game, but soon you find each of the 40 levels has been fine tuned so you have to bounce the ball off just the right point on a wall; use fans to blow the ball to just the right place to hit a switch, or precisely time your shot to avoid a moving obstacle.


I partnered with First Post Studios, who provided the design layouts and quite unique graphical style, to initially produce the game for iOS and Android. I then worked with Samsung, to create a special version using their S-Pen, and later develop a new version using JavaScript to form a launch game for their Tizen platform.

Big League Brawl

Big League Brawl was a new take on the classic, side-scrolling beat-em-up game. As well as pummelling opponents with your fists, the player can also use items lying around as he progresses – baseball bats, seats, bottles – all sorts of unsavoury items!


On a technical level the game is interesting as it’s actually a 3D game, even though it’s displayed with a 2D perspective. The player and enemies are flat 3D models, with pivoted arms, legs and head, to give a cartoony feel.

The game was really well received and was very popular on the app stores.