My favourite horror movies.

It’s Halloween and to celebrate I wanted to list my 10 favorite horror movies.  It’s a genre that I have loved for many years and if anything Dead Pixels re kindled my love of horror.

These films are my favorites in nor order. I dont consider them the best but they are the films I love to watch.

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Night of the Living Dead (1990)

A little controversial but I love the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead. It was Directed by special master, Tom Savini and it’s differences make it a really treat to those that are fans of the original.  I feel like it is in the sweet spot of having great zombie effects but being before cgi started to dominate.

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Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

Yet more controversy picking a sequel over the original.  Hellraiser II takes advantage of it’s higher budget and expands upon the world of the first Hellraiser.  I specially love the stop motion effects as well as the set and character designs.

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28 Days later (2002)

I remember the first time I saw 28 Days later instantly feeling like it was something very different.  It was one of the first films to be shot digitally and seeing it in 2002 was something that cant be recreated.  Sadly now it looks like a TV show as the digital has improved and is quite common now.

The building sound track is great and I love that midway point where everything is going great and you know it cant last.

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The People Under the Stairs (1991)

I saw this for the first time earlier this year and loved every second of it.  I’ve even re-bought it on blu-ray.

I love how the film gets darker as time goes on but still have little moments of comedy dotted around.  It was loosely based on a true story and makes you realise how never really know whats going on in other peoples houses.  The cast is great and includes 2 former Twin Peaks stars.  It also has a child protagonist who can handle themselves which is something you rarely see in horror today.

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Planet Terror (2007)

To put it simply, without Planet Terror Dead Pixels would be a very different game.

This isn’t just one of my favorite Horror movies, it’s one of my favorite movies full stop.  I love everything from it’s dialog and it’s gore to it’s sense of humor.  Quite a few movies try the purposely bad/over the top movie and few succeed, Planet Terror is one of them.  It is over the top and silly but takes it’s self serous enough that it works.

It is clearly made by someone that loves movies for people that love movies.

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Poltergeist (1982)

There has been a lot of debate over who actually directed it.  I’m on the side that Spielberg probably was the one doing most of the work.  The whole movie feels like a quality production and has great special effects. It really does not feel like a 32 year old movie.

I really like ghost movies.  They always have the mystery aspect of who is dead and why are they haunting people.  Poltergeist possibly has one of my favorite explanations for the haunting. It also has a lot of great dialog to quote.

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A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

I’ve always been a Freddy fan over a Jason fan.  He’s just so much more creative with his kills.

Maybe it’s nostalgia but Dream Warriors is easily my favorite of the series.  For me it’s that sweet spot between serious and goofy.

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Cabin in the Woods (2012)

As a big fan of Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon I had to checkout Cabin in the Woods when it came out.  The whole thing is a love song to horror movies and if you can go in without knowing anything you should.  It mixes Joss Whedon’s style of writing and humor with a lot of nods to horror movies.  Fans of horror should watch this!

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The Fly (1986)

Arguably one of the best remakes to every be made it took a simple 50s movies and made it darker than most people could imagine.

The first time to see it not knowing how far it’s going to go, or what body part if going to fall off next is an experience.  It also has a lot of fairly gross moments to make you feel uncomfortable.

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Big Trouble In little China (1986)

Not sure if this counts as horror or not but I dont care. I have watched it 4 times this year and may watch it again before the end of the year.  There is so much I love about the special effects and over the topness of it all. It’s such a shame it didn’t do well at the box office.

Also if you dint realise it Kurt Russel may be the main character but he is really the idiot sidekick of the movie.

 

Think I’m wrong? Well I’m not because I know what my favorite movies are.

But if you want to suggest some films yourself, leave a comment.

Bi-weekly report #002:Already running late.

It’s only the 2nd one, and I’m already late….

Personal issues came up last week and I had to skip it, but rather than wait another 2 weeks I thought I would do one this week and maybe another next week if there is enough to talk about.

So what Have I been up to for the past two weeks?

Dead Pixels II now uses FNA instead of XNA on windows.

So for those that didn’t know Dead Pixels II and Dead Pixels was written in XNA. XNA supports Windows, Xbox 360 and Windows phone 7.  When it came to doing the Linux and OSX versions things got messy as they used FNA (An open source recreation of XNA).  This made me worry about keeping both versions up to date. After talking to a few people, and the guy that made FNA, I decided to switch to FNA on all 3 platforms.

What does this mean for you?

Well most people wont notice anything.  For me it means that all 3 versions are almost identical at all times, and some of the odd XNA bugs will no longer effect Dead Pixels II.

Music system has been gutted and improved.

Screenshot 2014-10-22 04.48.04

I’ve gutted out the old simple music system, and replaced it with a more more advanced one that allows for each area to have it’s own playlist.  This also fixed the music issues in OSX and Linux so they will now have working music.

Another thing this allows is that the game now lists the current track and artist when paused.

Changes to the VHS effect and an options menu.

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I’ve been doing a few tweaks to the VHS effect, this made me realise that some people dont want have it no matter how much I like it, so I have now added an options menu where you can turn of VHS and CRT effects, as well as fullscreen and volume options.  This all saves so you dont need to tell it everytime you start the game.

If there is anything you would really like in the options menu that you think I may miss, please say.

In talks with a new artist about redoing existing art.

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I recently found an artist that I feel can offer a lot for Dead Pixels II.  We are currently talking about redoing all the current zombies, players and shop keepers to bring up the standard of art.  You can see some of his early work on this above.  What do you guys think?

The Dead Pixels Bible

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In order to get the new artist caught up on the Dead Pixels world so they know how things should look and feel I’ve been working on a big document called the Dead Pixels Bible.  It details everything from areas in the game to the types of zombies and answers important questions like “Do zombie breath?”.

I’ve decided that once the game is finished this document will be added into the pre-order extras/collectors edition, so you guys will get to see how I view the Dead Pixels world.

 

That’s all this time, if there is enough to talk about next week I’ll post another update then.

Bi-weekly report #001: In search of a better name.

So hopefully this will be a new feature here. I’m aiming to do a new post every 2 weeks just showing off what I’m working on.  most of this will be a summary of things posted on twitter.

(If you have a better name than bi-weekly report share in the comments.)

Mac and Linux

Dead Pixels II on Linux

First up I’ve been working on getting the Mac and Linux versions playable.  There are still a few issues with sound but after a few days work I’ve managed to improve the performance of the Mac and Linux builds.  These are now available to those that have preordered Dead Pixels II.  At some point I’ll do an updated demo with mac and linux versions.

The Graveyard

Graveyard gates

After a few hints on twitter I revealed that a new area I’m working on is graveyards.  Graveyards were something I wanted to do in Dead Pixels but never did.  Now I get the chance to do them.

They are a little different than your average street, not as long, but a lot higher.  You can get through them quick, but if you want to find anything good you will have to look around them.   There will be a few crypts dotted around to explore, the odd maintenance shed and if your luck maybe something else.

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Temp artwork of what the graveyards will look like

A new editor

One of the big things I wanted to do with Dead Pixels II was have editors for things rather than hard coding them.  This also means that once everything is done I can put the editors out there (open source) and see people make their own content.

Last night I started work on a new one for making groups of objects.  This will be used first on the graveyard, then expand into building interiors and set groups of objects in streets (for example maybe a traffic jam or a abandoned military check point.)

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Looks fun doesn’t it?

On the hunt for an artist.

In order to free up some time I’m on the hunt for someone to do pixel art and animation.  This will allow me to finish some of the remaining things that need coded while also adding more content.

Details can be found here

 

BoomBox!

When I done the EGX Rezzed expo earlier this year I noticed people took off their headphones when playing co-op so they could talk to each other.  This meant they missed things like car alarms and the awesome music.  I decided to get some speakers for future expos, but then had a better idea. Get a 80s boom box with a line in.

After checking out ebay I got this beauty from 1981.

Boom Box

Expect to see it at any future expos I attend.

 

That’s everything for this report.  There will hopefully be another one two weeks form now.

 

Dead Pixels II 0.1.4 – 0.1.4.2

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Forgot to put up a few posts up on updates.  Better late than never. 🙂

 

0.1.4.2 – 13th september 2014 (OSX & Linux only)
=========================
First LINUX Build! (Only 64 bit 32 bit crashes.)
Changed – Improvments to graphics code to boost Linux and OSX proformance.

0.1.4.1 – 13th september 2014 (OSX only)
=========================
First Mac Build!
Music diabled due to bug
0.1.4 – 11th september 2014
=========================
Changed – Weapon and damage systems recoded for online
Changed- Level-up animation
Changed – Tweaks to random system to help with online
Added – Lots of online test stuff (Disabled in public build)
Changed – Blood drops recoded (Disabled in public build)
Added – Boss healthbar
Changed – Zombie sprite system recoded. Larger enemies and different fps animations now possible.
Changed – Loading screen tape now rewinds.
Changed – Enemies and objects flash red when damaged.
Changed – Recoded sprite recoloring code. Multiple bugs fixed with this.
changed – Kickback improved.
changed – Road markings now randomized.
Added – Exploding barrels now added.
Changed – Car numbers changed
Added – Parking meters.
Added – Butcher Boss.

Dead Pixels and CSR-Studios 3rd Anniversary.

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I’m a few days late, but it’s better to be late than never.  On the 16th of this month Dead Pixels and CSR-Studios celebrated their 3 year anniversary.  It’s crazy how much things have changed in those 3 years.  I will always be eternally grateful to everyone that has bought Dead Pixels and told their friends about it.  While I often overwork myself and struggle to find time for myself, I can think of few things I would rather be doing with my life.

Rather than doing a post on the company and myself, like last year, I’m going to do a post all about Dead Pixels II.

First things first.

Is Dead Pixels II still in development?

I’ve been getting this question more and more lately, and it always stings a little to hear.

YES! Dead Pixels II is still in development!

I think it’s my fault that the beta testing build took so long lately, and I’m really bad at updating the facebook page (I don’t like bothering people). As long as I am still alive and it has not been finished yet, Dead Pixels II is  still in development.

If you check twitter you will see I tweet most days, and will often talk about and post pictures of what I’m working on.

From now on I’m going to try to get regular builds out and post more often on facebook.  I’ll maybe post a poll on how often people want Facebook posts. (weekly, monthly, when there is something to say, etc)

When is Dead Pixels II coming out?

Things have been pushed back. My hope is that for PC, mac and Linux it should be either finished in 6 months or in a very good condition.

Why are things so slow? What happened to late 2014?

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I’ve probably pushed myself harder this year than any other year, and this year is the one that broke me.  Part of this year I have worked 14 hours a day 7 days a week and it destroyed me.  I’ve realised that I cant do everything by myself, and I need to get help occasionally.  I also need to take breaks to recover.

After looking at how much time goes into each thing, there are some things I am not good at and will be looking into getting someone else to do.  This means they will be done quicker and I can get on with other things.

First thing I’m looking into is getting an animator to animate sprites.  If you know someone that has experience animating pixel art, send them my way.

How are the Mac and Linux builds?

Dead Pixels II running on Linux
Dead Pixels II running on Linux

There are now builds for both.  They both have a few issues that I’m hoping to fix in the next few days.  The mac build is currently online and available to those that preorder and Linux wont be too long.

Once they are both more stable I will do a new demo for PC, Mac and Linux.

What about consoles?

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I normally shy away from talk of consoles, because nothing is set in stone and I dont want to disappoint people.

At the end of the day I want Dead Pixels II to be on every console under the sun, and as long as it is possible I will try.  As it stands right now I have contacts with Sony and Nintendo, but nothing with Microsoft.  Now things could change and there aren’t easy ways to port to all platforms, but that is how things stand just now.

 

 

I’m not really sure what else people might want to know.  If you have a question that’s not here, please ask in the comments and I’ll answer.

Dead Pixels II 0.1.3

Another weekly update.

Added- Debug option to disable VHS and CRT effects.
Added- Debug option to set start seed.
fixed- Graphical bug when entering buildings with doors on the right side.
fixed- Characters sprite is dark when about to change area.
fixed- Players weaposn sticking through walls when entering buildings.
Changed- Glass bottles now spray glass everywhere when  destroyed
Changed- Street length doubled. zombie numbers  and car numbers increased to suit long streets.
changed- XP from new areas lowered.
changed- Car HP levels lowered
changed- Cars now explode.
Fixed- Tutorial cars alarm now visable.
Fixed- Doors can no longer be heard when not on screen.
Fixed- Players switch to idol animation when talking to storekeepers.

Dead Pixels II 0.1.2

I’ve taken a week off, and I’m back now.  It feels like now is a good time to get a quick update out.   There’s a few bug fixes, and a few more buildings are in the pool of buildings used in streets.  The OSX version is on the way, currently there is a sound issue I’m looking into.

Changelog

=================

Fixed- Item Spawn point set too high.
Fixed- Players getting stuck in doors.
Fixed- End of demo message.
Fixed- Bug in player sprite layers when meleeing.
Changed- Made small changes to help with OSX port.
Added- More buildings added to the pool of buildings used in streets.
Changed- Tidied up random building table.
Changed- Disabled breakpoint when debugger is not attached.
Fixed- Sub prefabs (Cash Registers) now show when they receive damage.