Peter’s Animation and Filmmaking Showreel

I have two showreels to show you. The first is my all-encompassing personal showreel, and the second is my showreel with a more corporate/commercial focus; showing the clients and businesses I’ve worked with, either as a freelancer, or working as part of a business, such as my time at HeadcastLab. Enjoy!

Personal Showreel

Corporate/Commercial Work Showreel

I used After Effects to animate the titles, and Photoshop to create the assets within.
The song is Brightly Fancy by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
What do you all think?

BRITANNIA’S BUCK BRIGADE!

Now Free on Android
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pirat.bbb

Collect & share codes to customise Britannia! #BUCKBrigade

This is a new app that I made to provide yet another fun game that everyone at BUCK convention 2016 can play and share. Codes will be dotted about at different stands etc, and released periodically on twitter at the hash tag #BUCKBrigade. Also share the codes you find with others at the con and online to see how long it takes for everything to be found!

Here are a couple of codes that have already been released as part of the app’s launch: CUTIEMARKS and ONTHEMOOON

The app is developed by me with art from sky-sketch.deviantart.com

8 Nights at 8-Bit – 10,000 EDITION

I have finally released it! The update to my first ever app, 8 Nights at 8-Bit!

8 Nights at 8-Bit

I cannot believe that my game was downloaded 10,000 times. I want to thank everyone who even gave it the time of day to look at in the Google Play Store! I set out to see if I could show my love for the Five Nights at Freddy’s games into my own original title. I wanted the game to be hard and to make the player think and try things out. This proved to make people hate the difficulty level and get confused about how to not die, so the biggest improvement in the new version is an Easy Mode!

I hope you all enjoy the new update to this game. Please share it wherever you can, and I sincerely hope you have fun!

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pirat.eightnights

Browser: http://pirat.uk/8bit

8 Nights at 8-Bit

UPDATE: The game has a new version to play. More info on this post.

———————-

I have jumped back into game development and I thought I’d stretch my legs by having a crack at a horror game inspired by the brilliant Scott Cawthon 5 Nights at Freddy’s games. 5 Nights 3 was being teased when I started development on this game, but if you’re familiar with those games, don’t expect a direct clone here!

8 Nights contains two unique enemies that will keep you jumping back and forth to keep both in check, and to boot there is a generator that you must make sure is always running if you’re going to make it through the night. Do your best to see if you can survive the 8 nights and you will be rewarded with the original story playing out night by night which were voiced by the bar’s actual staff Rick and Toby!

8 Nights at 8-Bit

The game is out now on the Google Play store for all android phones and tablets!
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pirat.eightnights

If you don’t have an android device, you can play the game here on any html5 browser, including Opera on iOS.

How did I get my Steaming Pile of Shame?

Hurriedly, the reader scans down the text to make sure that the Steaming Pile of Shame wasn’t something scatological. The article opens with the assurance that this Pile of Shame pertains to the owning of unplayed video games. With a sigh of relief, the reader reads on…

I have owned my current Steam account since 2010, when I relinquished my old account to my brother in order to build my own separate games library. Coincidentally 2010 introduced the digital gaming community to the Humble Bundle, but I’ll get into that later. In the past 4 years I have acquired titles at the staggering rate of over 100 games per year. Yes, my library is closing in on that sweet 500 games milestone. Here’s where the shame comes into it; I have only played 22.5% of these games. I think that this is a little unfair, as the ‘unplayed’ count includes games that I own and have played on other systems, for example GTA: San Andreas, which I have completed on console a couple of times, but only own on Steam due to its inclusion in a Rockstar Games bundle. Regardless, 22.5% use of hundreds of things that I have spent my money on is a staggeringly low percentage, hence the shame.

Just another game that I shamefully hadn’t played until recently!

I know that I am not alone in owning more than I can chew. I have seen subreddits dedicated to helping alleviate the Steam backlog, and countless memes about Steam Sales emptying wallets. But why do we do it? Why do we allow ourselves to add to these shameful piles of unplayed games? Well the contributing factors are quite numerous, which is why the problem seems to be getting out of hand!

  1. Steam sales. Perhaps the most common method of acquiring unplayed games is via the “It’s so cheap now, I should get it before the price rises” mentality of Steam’s seasonal sales. On top of the “practically-a-steal” pricing, Steam also waves incentives in front of hapless sale-goers. A badge and experience points for purchasing from a particular type of sale for example. It might sound like a trap for the foolish, but when you see a game you want with an extra, even if superfluous, reason to buy it; there is no holding back.
  2. Indie Bundles. I mentioned before that the release of the Humble Bundle coincided with the beginning of my Steam journey. This is because games bundles are the next largest benefactor to the Pile of Shame. Steam sales have bundles too (whether they are for particular games series’ or specific to individual publishers), but you purchase those knowing that you want most of the games. When it comes to indie bundles, I have found myself only wanting one or two of the games, but the recommended price is often lower than the full cost of the standalone game! This means you pay less than usual for the game(s) that you want, and you also get a handful of other titles to play later! I will say here that I tend to push up above the minimum or average price because at the end of the day we buy games online to support the publishers, and digital sales are extremely important for indie developers so please; always push above the average.
  3. New games! New games get released all the time. With gaming being so social, it is quite important to keep up to date with the latest popular releases so you can talk about them with your friends, or have more people to play with online. This means that older games which you fully intend to play get pushed back. More games get released, and perhaps you haven’t finished that previously new game. Whatever the reason, the unplayed games that we own get pushed back and back, until they become socially irrelevant, or are completely forgotten.

Well I think that it is about time that we do something to shrink this Pile of Shame. As much as we can think about different ways to trick Steam into thinking that we have fewer unplayed games there really is only one solution: PLAY YOUR DAMN GAMES! And that is what I fully intend to do! With so many ways to skin this metaphorical rabbit, I have chosen to take a weekly trip into my rabbit hole and play a game or two from my Pile of Shame. To help me stick to a weekly schedule I am also filming my play sessions to be released on The Killer Bits webshow.


The latest video in my Pile of Shame series

 

Because the pile is so big, I can’t possibly make it 100% of the way through every game. Instead I have decided to set myself a limit. I will play each game for a couple of hours to see what it is like. The next problem is choosing where to start. I have decided to reach out to the YouTube and Reddit communities, asking for them to choose between a selection of games that I would like to play. That way I know which game other pile-of-shamers might want to see. The videos that I produce will provide a taster of each game for viewers, and hopefully a few of them will also have a backlog, and the games that I present to them will help them decide whether or not to play. However you approach your pile, and in whichever order you choose to play them, I hope you can be inspired to actually get playing. Since beginning my Pile of Shame journey, I have found a few gems that I know I would have otherwise not made time to play. I have the viewers to thank for selecting these great games and helping me on my journey. I know that my approach is far from original, but that’s okay; I would recommend that everyone makes a schedule and reaches out to the online community for help. I am having fun doing it, and I will always be happy to share my experience of games with other gamers.

A typical games library on Steam. So much to do… so little time…

Good luck on your journey through you unplayed games. Let me know how you are approaching them, and what you have found, whether you have uncovered some treasures, or absolute stinkers. And finally, please check in on the Pile of Shame over at The Killer Bits; see what I am playing this week, and feel free to drop a comment and vote on next week’s show. Even if you read this article months or years after it was published, I doubt I will have finished the pile, so stop on by!

 

Featured image by http://customsaga.deviantart.com/

Gamify your cares away

“IS THIS A GAME TO YOU?”
I have often been asked in heated exchanges with those serious, uptight folks you’re always hearing about.

As a matter of fact, yes.

Gamification is the process of applying game elements to things that aren’t usually associated with games. These elements include; rewards, experience, number chasing, a user-interface, feedback, and recreation, among other things.

An everyday example would be a reward card. Just like a video game, you can increment your experience to hit a goal where you expect something back (on your reward card it might be a voucher to spend, in a game it could be a stat increase). If an online store embraces the similarities between a reward card and a videogame, they can make the shopping experience more exciting. This could trigger more impulse purchases or returning customers. When I purchase from a store, I might receive a message along the lines of “You only need to buy this one other thing to get this free other thing”; just look at WeLoveFine – they operate in that exact way. Knowing that I am so close to a reward will make me consider making that little extra effort to receive it. My GamersGate profile not only has achievements that I can collect, but also an EXP bar and a virtual currency known as Blue Coins. Yes shopping online makes it very easy to see how services are being complicated, and made fun, through gamification.

A regular play-session for me can be anything between 20 minutes and 3 hours. One of the deciding factors in breaking past the 1 hour or 2 hour barriers are whether or not it is worth doing so. My head would argue,

“Well we took a long time getting through that level, you may as well treat yourself to a preview of the next one.”,

or

“I know we were going to stop after acquiring that power-up, but you deserve to be able to use it for just a few minutes, it’ll be fun!”.

You simply cannot stop playing once this happens!

Good games designers would consider this and know how to appropriately reward a player and entice them to work a little harder for the next one, even before the player figures out that the old reward is no longer fun or relevant.

Rewards are the easiest way for me to be motivated to get something done, even if the reward is having that task itself put behind me. In games it’s “I have to risk drowning in the Chemical Plant Zone to enjoy the rest of this amazing game”, and in life it’s more like “When I have weeded this patch, I won’t have weeding to do for ages”. If something is boring or hard to do, simply look at the reward on offer and it will help you get it done.

Why is this the second Zone? Drowning is TERRIFYING when you’re a kid!

Sometimes tasks are huge, or simply unfair. Break down the rewards to work out your completion percentage! Gamifying your life is supposed to be fun, and what better way to have fun on a hard task is there than productive procrastination? When you are done breaking it down, you have the excitement of cracking on with that task and chasing that perfect 100% you’re aiming for.

When your task is broken down to milestones that add up to 100% also calculate reward points. Depending on your task, you might need a reward every 10%, 20%, 25%, 33% or even a break at 50%. Think about it; when you hit that 25% milestone, you only need to work as hard as you have done a further 3 times, and that’s it! Have a Mars Bar when you’ve done it twice more, and you will reach the time where you have only to do 1 of 4 workloads AND you’ve had a Mars Bar. Brilliant.

I prefer Snickers, personally.

I use this method for long efforts such as hiking. I know that I am doing 21KM for the day, so when I’ve done 7, I’ll stop for lunch, and when I’ve done 14, I’ll stop for tea. Every 2KM I’ll stop for a drink of water. The whole time I am visualising this percentage bar over my virtual real-life heads-up display. Google Glass could one day perfectly recreate this method for me naturally and I will not even have to imagine how I gamify my walks, rewards will be automatically noticed!

I’m sure there are countless articles about businesses gamifying to engage customers or to easily mine data, but I don’t want to go into those. You are most likely not a big company or indeed you are not interested in amassing a wealth of personal information from a userbase. I want you, the human, to enjoy life a little more by giving yourself these games. Sure, some things need to be taken seriously, and you should always be appropriate. for instance; driving games should be passive:

“When I pass 5 green cars, I will win the green car game and put my name on top of the green car game leaderboard when I get home”

Not something that would affect your driving:

“If I hit a long stretch of empty road, I need to hit 88MPH before I have to slow down, then I win the McFly award” because you could win yourself a Darwin award, or start collecting points on your license and not in your head.

Go out there, I implore you, and start collecting, amassing, and earning these fictional points, badges, and levels. Get the high-score for not stepping on the cracks (maybe you’ll beat your score on the same commute tomorrow?). Beat the high-score for most sit-ups before breakfast. Become champion of inserting your card into the chip and pin device BEFORE the self-service asks you to do so!

Keep chasing those numbers and level up!

Congratulation, a winner is you!

‘Hard’ can be fun, not punishing

I know I’m a little late to the game, but I have been playing through the original Dark Souls recently. I have never been a fan of difficult games, I give up too easily and look for a guide, or an exploit, or cheat to make things easier and get the whole thing over with (I often pick up a game to experience the story more than anything else). #FilthyCasual, I know, I know, but after seeing the furious dedication that some gamers had for their precious death-laden ‘Dark Souls’, I became curious and picked up the title for a fiver in a Steam sale. One of the best purchases that I have made all year! I’ve been having fun. A lot of it. And that is not without dying more times than the game probably intended (although I made it through Sen’s Fortress on my 4th try without falling to the boss before Anor Londo #PrideThroughTheRoof). I have spent many nights now just wanting to explore that ‘just one more’ region of the meticulously designed map before switching off. The feeling of accomplishment that is found in making it through a particularly stressful or scary area is highly addictive. It is gaming ambrosia, and I have been lapping it up!

First boss of the DLC, the Sancturay Guardian. Tough as nails!

But that’s enough stroking the already established ego of the near-perfect Dark Souls. I wanted to write this post about it because of my recent streaming of the Artorias Of The Abyss DLC. The whole DLC has been constructed as a devilish learning experience. The first boss attacks furiously with claws and a sharp tail, but I managed to tank him and get through to Oolacile. The woods leading to the next boss have a good balance of tough as shit golem dude, and opportunistic asshats with pitchforks. But it was the fight with Artorias that really shines through.

Artorias himself. Best fight so far!

Artorias is somewhat forgiving, in that his moves are well telegraphed with enough timing to dodge (especially useful if he manages to buff himself). Even so, I died a lot just learning what the moves would be. I learnt to not let him buff (by spamming my heaviest attack), and I learned the best times to roll, best directions to roll, and the best times to shield a hit. The combat took practice and became a beautiful sort of dance. Every time I would face him I managed to chip his health down below what I could previously achieve; 70%, 60%, 40%, 20%, and (infuriatingly) 5%. I was rushing to the boss room with excitement every time, knowing exactly where I slipped up the last time and exactly what I should change to stand better odds against the good knight. Defeating him was a wonderful feeling, and it unlocked what felt like twice as much DLC as I had expected. My next target was the dragon I passed on a bridge earlier. I thought I could apply the same ‘learning’ attitude to combat with him, afterall- I have already killed four dragons and two hydras! I was so wrong.

Kalameet. Bastard.

The dragon (that I would later learn is named ‘Kalameet’) passes over the battlefield, spewing black fiery death over the whole area, insta-killing me a number of times. I managed to shield a lot of the damage enough to pick up all the loot on ground, but it seemed that combat was impossible. I gave up and decided to come back later after I’ve had a think about it. It turns out that he is impossible to defeat until a certain conversation with a particularly awesome NPC hidden behind a locked door. The game taught me that a hopeless cause is indeed a hopeless cause, and even though it took me a while before I discovered the helpful conversation, the difficulty was very informative (i.e. GTFO). I have yet to defeat Kalameet. The final part of the DLC involves venturing down into the dark and terrifying abyss. Ghosts everywhere, and the other enemies could easily take me down in less than 3 hits (swarming around me unless tactically lured back to even the odds). It was super spoopy, #2spoopy4me for sure, but I just wanted to know what treasures and secrets hid around every shadowed corner and past each steep path downhill. It was all fun and games until Field Marshall Asshole appeared.

Manus, father of the OH GODS WHAT THE F

Manus wasn’t a pleasant fight. My first encounter with him immediately followed a trip similar to the Tomb of the Giants form the main game, so I was a little bit on-edge and basically panicked. My second fight had me faring better, although ‘better’ wasn’t exactly hard to achieve, and ‘better’ just didn’t cut it. The dude wailed on me, tossing me around like a particularly weighty rag-doll. I fought him one more time before I decided to call it a night. Yes, I still have to come back and fight him, but I know that I can learn his attacks, and I know that I will adapt and become a better player for the constant death that my poor character experiences. And I really, really look forward to it! -PiratPeter

The birth of a new website

Hello!

Welcome to pirat.uk, glad you found it.

As I am writing this, the site is in its infancy, barely a couple of days out of the door (and I’m afraid that right now, it shows). There’s only a little bit of content to view, and the layout of the site is a little bit ‘fluid’ as I change things on the fly (and when I find the time).

You are currently reading a blog post, and I would like to define the content of ‘blog posts’ here in this very first one, before I really kick into gear and get updating. I intend this website to be a great number of things. I intend it to be a repository for every gaming-related thing that I get up to that I care to share with the rest of the world (hello, world). It is a place for me to really speak my mind and let you know what’s going on inside the little bubble that is my gaming world. What am I getting on with outside of streaming playthroughs and uploading video features that could be interesting for visitors of my website to know? I currently haven’t got the foggiest, so I suppose it’ll be progress updates for now (and possibly me hyping over upcoming game releases).

What am I up to right now? Well, I have the enormous task of setting up a pretty, functioning website that I care about greatly, and getting it populated with some good starter content. I am also applying for a role presenting an existing YouTube gaming show in my free time (It’s a great show, and will be a big gig to land considering what I hope to achieve). I really hope to get it, as it will compliment the activities I will get on with for this website, as well as providing me with another outlet for my passion for video games. It’s all very exciting stuff, and I hope to be kept busy for a good long time!

I guess I’ve rambled on enough for now. Here is a picture of where I currently reside.

Lovely place to be outdoors- looking forward to many hours inside playing games and editing videos :p

-PiratPeter