Eggbox Interactive


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nekotcha
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(Blatant plug warning!)

Greetings all,

As some of you may know, for the past nine years I've been working in the games industry as a designer and producer, formerly at Free Radical Design and more recently with the fine chaps at Crytek UK.

As of a month ago though, I have struck out on my own into the world of freelance game design and consulting. My new company, Eggbox Interactive, can be found here: www.eggboxinteractive.com, so please feel free to take a stroll around, enjoy the scenery, try your level best to break the CSS, that sort of thing.

If, by any chance, you might happen to be the sort of person that might need some of these sort of services (er, didn't really intend that to sound *quite* so seedy) then feel free to give me a shout at the contact address on the site. Or if you have a friend or colleague that might need them, then please pass the details on. Or if your friend has a friend... er, well, you get the idea.

Also I'm currently working out the details with Hairy about doing a regular column for the site talking about some of my experiences from working in the industry, now that I'm a bit more independent. More information will be forthcoming at some point soon. But it's guaranteed to contain, um, well, words. I can absolutely confirm there will be words involved.

So yes, anyway, that was my little bit of news, cheers to you all, and if you happen to find any bugs or issues with the site then feel free to let me know on here or via email.

Cheers,

nekotcha.

#1 at 21:27:31 - 19/08/2010
Dragul
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I wish you the best luck in the world on this new adventure mate!
#2 at 21:30:56 - 19/08/2010
Micro_Explosion
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Site looks good - good luck.

Will recommend highly to anyone needing stuff doing.
#3 at 21:39:12 - 19/08/2010
JimJam
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Hey, best of luck Neko !
#4 at 23:02:36 - 19/08/2010
peej
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Lovely looking site (could do with a bit of a neg margin on the footer bar but that might just be my browser). Best of luck with the new venture and can't wait to read those articles you're planning, specially if you're allowed to dish a bit of dirt about Haze :)

#5 at 10:01:27 - 20/08/2010
nekotcha
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Cheers all! Yes, the site design was quite fun to do, haven't wrestled with HTML and CSS in years but it seems to work okay. I particularly like some of the nice bells and whistles that CSS3 allows you to do with such ease, like the rounded edges on the boxes and the drop shadows. Getting it to work properly in IE was a pain, but then when hasn't that been the case?

peej, regarding the margin at the footer, did you get no margin at all or just a very small one?

As far as the column is concerned, I wouldn't really expect any mud slinging, I'm afraid - I still work in the industry and it would be a really bad idea for me to start mouthing off weeks after starting my own company. But that said, I will be dropping a few nuggets of info here and there, and I would definitely say that you should read between the lines with what I write.
#6 at 11:51:34 - 20/08/2010
evilashchris
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:D sounds good!

Good luck with your new venture, and if you need any demon penises drawing, you know where to come :D
#7 at 12:23:05 - 20/08/2010
Dragul
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So no rotten notes on the industry?! BAH!!!



I really would like some info on the difference from working with Eidos or EA for example, and who is best...

And what went wrong with the development of Haze (rushed or no more money to develop or even developer tunnel vision)...
#8 at 13:04:21 - 20/08/2010
Binky
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Nice looking site, best of luck fella.

It also reminds me, I really should do a blog piece now I've left. Has enough time passed do you think?
#9 at 13:38:06 - 20/08/2010
Dragul
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Did you move to a completly different industry?

IF yes then yes... :P
#10 at 13:47:34 - 20/08/2010
peej
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nekotcha said:

peej, regarding the margin at the footer, did you get no margin at all or just a very small one?


A very small one, so the text looked like it was hugging the top of the container rather than sitting squarely in the middle. I use Flock (a Firefox / Moz clone) and have wrestled with this problem meself and fixing it usually buggers it for stuff like IE and Opera.

It's not a big deal it's just the sort of thing that would drive me mad on my own stuff. The design rocks though, I'm just a finicky twat :)
#11 at 14:51:37 - 20/08/2010
nekotcha
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@Dragul: Don't confuse me saying I'm not going to be mud slinging with me saying I won't be talking about my past experiences at all. My point was that it won't be a case of me going " are a bunch of wankers!" or whatever.

Anyway, enough of me talking around what it will and won't be - I'll get on with writing it and then everyone can judge for themselves.

peej said:It's not a big deal it's just the sort of thing that would drive me mad on my own stuff. The design rocks though, I'm just a finicky twat :)


Heh, well, it's on the list. And as ever the list is about ten times longer than I have time available. :) That's one (some would say fairly obvious) thing about working for yourself - you have to do everything. Unless I can perhaps train the cat to do some of it.
#12 at 11:12:13 - 23/08/2010
peej
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Cool. I have the same problems at the moment, working on a massively complex replacement for a really shitty old database driven VAX thing...

On the articles you're thinking of writing, mud slinging is pretty uninteresting but the thoughts of an industry insider and past experiences are definitely worth reading and would definitely be cool for this place.
#13 at 12:20:52 - 23/08/2010
Sillothian
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Best of luck with the new business Nekotcha \o/

I look forward to reading your articles on working in the games industry. I'm especially interested in anything you have to say on the development of Haze. I'm one of the people who genuinely liked the game despite the problems it had.
#14 at 12:24:47 - 23/08/2010
peej
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I reckon the story of Haze could be a fantastic read. I was overly harsh about it but I can pretty much imagine that most of the problems with its development stemmed from the publisher not the developers.
#15 at 12:42:53 - 23/08/2010
Sillothian
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I loved the gameplay, the level design and the online co-op, but it was the graphics engine that let the game down. It just wasn't up to the task of powering a 'next-gen' looking game and at times Haze looked an upscaled Xbox game. It's a shame the developers didn't license the Unreal engine.

I also think Haze was given far too much hype before it was released and stood little chance of meeting people's expectations. I don't think the comparisons with Halo 3 helped either.

I seem to remember one of the developers make a massive deal about how the storyline in Haze was such a great piece of writing and was miles better than any other fps. The only problem was the story was the same generic toss you get in all fps games, one of the main plot twists was given away in nearly every preview/review and Haze committed the ultimate sin of unskippable cutscenes.

Despite all this I still love the game ;-)
#16 at 13:15:18 - 23/08/2010
repairmanjack
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Sil... you still remember your promise to Merinho, right? :)

And best of luck, Nek. I've got a lot of respect (and impotent jealousy) for anyone going it alone, these days.
#17 at 13:57:05 - 23/08/2010
Dragul
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nekotcha said:@Dragul: Don't confuse me saying I'm not going to be mud slinging with me saying I won't be talking about my past experiences at all. My point was that it won't be a case of me going " are a bunch of wankers!" or whatever.



:P

Sometimes English not being my primary language does this... :(

My first post was of course joking about the "mud battles"TM...

On the second post I was talking about what I would find interesting to read...

Sorry for any missundertstading that might have existed.. :)
#18 at 16:15:49 - 23/08/2010
Trip SkyWay
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Hope it goes well for you neko! Web Site looks cool.

I feel really bad about that tune you wrote me for my XNA game :S. I am working on it again but time is a real problem so it's going really slowly.
#19 at 03:17:11 - 24/08/2010
HairyArse
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I'm sure the AATG collective could get together to produce a game one way or another. Surely we have enough skills between to pull something off?
#20 at 11:01:04 - 24/08/2010
nekotcha
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S'fair enough Dragul - I didn't think it was an unreasonable thing to ask or owt, I just wanted to clarify is all. And like I said, I really need to stop talking about what it might be and just get on with writing the thing. :)

Trip SkyWay said:Hope it goes well for you neko! Web Site looks cool.

I feel really bad about that tune you wrote me for my XNA game :S. I am working on it again but time is a real problem so it's going really slowly.


Oh gawd, no worries dude, I know what it's like to try and make a game in your spare time. It would be a shame if you didn't get it finished though, as it was a pretty smart little game!
#21 at 11:02:50 - 24/08/2010
Dragul
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HairyArse said:I'm sure the AATG collective could get together to produce a game one way or another. Surely we have enough skills between to pull something off?


I fear about what might come about from "The Collective"TM... It could be something along the lines of Barbie Horse Adventures! :P
#22 at 12:51:49 - 24/08/2010
Trip SkyWay
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Oh gawd, no worries dude, I know what it's like to try and make a game in your spare time. It would be a shame if you didn't get it finished though, as it was a pretty smart little game!

:)

I re-wrote it to tidy up my learn as you go code, but have been reading a C# book as I was doing it so fighting the temptation to re-do it again now I'm starting to get a good grasp on OOP concepts. I've got so far with it this time though that I think I can see it through to the end, as although it's a bit messy it does most of the stuff it needs to.
#23 at 14:34:48 - 24/08/2010
evilashchris
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HairyArse said:I'm sure the AATG collective could get together to produce a game one way or another. Surely we have enough skills between to pull something off?


This would be an awesome thing :D
#24 at 13:35:17 - 25/08/2010
Ace Grace
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C# programmer here!

/puts hand up.
#25 at 18:13:26 - 25/08/2010
evilashchris
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Illustrator here! :D
#26 at 18:42:04 - 25/08/2010
HairyArse
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Errm I can do PHP/MySQL/CSS, a bit of Visual Basic.

/jack of all, master of none
#27 at 19:02:54 - 25/08/2010
nekotcha
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Trip SkyWay said:
Oh gawd, no worries dude, I know what it's like to try and make a game in your spare time. It would be a shame if you didn't get it finished though, as it was a pretty smart little game!

:)

I re-wrote it to tidy up my learn as you go code, but have been reading a C# book as I was doing it so fighting the temptation to re-do it again now I'm starting to get a good grasp on OOP concepts. I've got so far with it this time though that I think I can see it through to the end, as although it's a bit messy it does most of the stuff it needs to.


I've always thought that there ain't nuffink more difficult than actually finishing a game, partly because you have to fix all the bugs and implement all the fiddly bits that aren't any fun, but also because you have to accept all of the bits that are implemented a bit shoddily, or held together with appalling hacks.

But then at the end of the day, nobody judges the game on the quality of the code. My honest advice would be to get the thing out of the door, hacks and all, and then apply what you've learnt to a shiny new project. I've always strongly suspected that the difference between getting a game out and not isn't how good the code you write is, but how prepared you are to live with how bad it is. :)
#28 at 12:16:14 - 26/08/2010
Trip SkyWay
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Yeah, cheers for that. This game needs to get finished so I can move on to something else.

Learning was the main goal with this and it seems to be working :)
#29 at 14:35:24 - 26/08/2010
nekotcha
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Well, it's nice to be finally able to say that this is what I'm working on at the moment (and is at least partially the reason for the absence of my column so far this year, although hopefully that's not going to continue too much longer). If anyone wanted to, y'know (hint, nudge) turn it into a little iPhone-Gamer news story (hint, nudge) then I certainly wouldn't complain. :)
#30 at 17:10:31 - 18/01/2011

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