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.

Looks Pinball

Looksi Pinball was a game for iOS with a novel twist – it comes with a special housing in the shape of a pinball table, within which you place your iPad or iPhone. Buttons on the side control the flippers, a plunger launches the ball, and the scoreboard is reflected onto a back panel like you’d find on a real pinball table.


The game contains three tables – UFO, Zombie and Puppy – each with minigames to play if you complete the correct sequence in the pinball game.

Challenges came with designing and refining each table’s lanes and features, to make an enjoyable and playable game, as well as balancing various physics aspects – the weight of the ball, strength of the flippers, and so on.

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.

Little Bird

Little Bird is a novel platform game for iOS, where you control your character by tilting the device left and right, like a steering wheel.


Like any good platform game, Little Bird has moving platforms, mine carts, hidden shortcuts, trampolines, cannons, collectables and all against the clock!

This was a really fun game to make, testing our design skills as the original level designs were provided by the client in biro on yellow lined A4!

Racing Apex / Hotshot Racing

Racing Apex harks back to the earliest days of 3D driving games, particularly Virtua Racing. With its unique low-poly, flat-shaded style, Racing Apex offers a contrast to today’s ultra-realistic console racing games.


I developed the very first prototype for first-gen iPhone using Unity version 2, a time when Unity didn’t support vehicle physics very well. A great deal of time and effort was put into making the car handling feel twitchy and fun (harking back to the days of the original Wipeout game on PlayStation), whilst keeping the car controllable at high speeds. Implementing AI players was also a challenge, making them seem as life-like and intelligent as possible.

Finally, ten years after this original demo, the game has seen release via Sumo and Curve, and is doing really well.