bitSmith's Fund it Whirlwind


As you may or may not know we have been running a Fund it campaign for the last week and a bit. For those of you that don't know, is an Irish crowd funding website in a similar vein to kickstarter. So about two weeks ago we decided to put our rewards caps on and drafted up a rather large board of delicious bitSmithish rewards. Five days later and many many many reward changes, we were up on fundit and ready to see if anyone actually was bothered with us at all.

Cue frantically checking my phone every twenty minutes to see if anyone had donated, followed an hour later with some relief that we had raised €100 from five people (phew!). Checking back four hours later, was a nice surprise as we had been boosted to the 400 mark. Half eleven rolls around and we are all collectively floored by the figure. €1,000. In five hours. WTF? It's a glitch right? Apparently not. By Monday afternoon we'd hit our target of €2,000.

So here we sit, a week in and 125% funded. It was a bit of a roller coaster of disbelief and gratitude, but then - it's not over yet! According to Fund it we are the first game to be funded on the site, and the second fastest funded project ever on the site! All thanks to you guys out there in internet land. We have raised enough to send ourselves over to GDC, and we thank you so much.

Here's the But...


We are going to continue to push our campaign, and hopefully you guys can help us boost ourselves up to a self-sustaining indie studio (I'm getting a bit sick of koka noodles tbh :-P). We are now aiming to get the funds up to €3,000 at which point we will be able to afford some audio equipment that previously has been begged, borrowed, and yes, sometimes even stolen! (em well not really, maybe dropped back a bit late once or twice). If we hit that figure we'll have another special little something for all our contributors!

Also if we hit €4,000 we will be able to send someone over to PAX East to present the game to the general public, and help announce ourselves on the world stage! We'll see if we can make it this far, and if we do I'm sure we can dream up some kind of awesome extra reward for our funders!

bitSmith loves... 3D Buzz

3D BuzzThere are many great resources out there to teach you how to make games, but my favourite is 3D Buzz. So far, the good folk there have taught me Unity3D, Unreal 2, UDK and XNA. Their range of topics is huge, and the best part is, much of it is completely free. When I get a bit of free time over Christmas I am looking forward to dipping in to the new ZBrush and Photoshop series.

The format is informal video tutorials with a lot of chit-chat and banter. The style will not suit everyone, but for me its perfect. If you would like to learn how to make games, or you are looking to add a new skill to your repertoire, I encourage you to check them out.

A howdy, and a note on the website

Hello there!

As this is my first post on the blog I guess I should formally introduce myself - hello, I'm Ralph Croly and I'll be working on the research, puzzle design, UI and sound design for the game.

As resident web designer my first job was to design and build this spiffy new blog that you are currently reading, I have designed and built many websites and blogs before (you can see some on my website pluggy pluggy! apologies if it's a little stagnant - I haven't had a chance to update it in a while), so I decided to use this site as a chance to test out some of the newer technologies that are beginning to emerge; namely HTML 5 and CSS3.

With new technology comes great er, responsivity?

As with any new technology it takes time for the community to get to grips with it, and to figure out the best practices and pit-falls. HTML 5 and CSS3 bring us a whole host of new features; better semantics, the promise of better cross device support, and better media support. As a front-end developer type the stuff that most interests me is the new @font face CSS feature, which allows the simple embedding of non-standard fonts into a website. Look at the post header up there, it's an example of this technique in practice. Font Squirrel Is a fantastic resource for this technique.

Another excellent feature of this new technology is media queries. With their use it is easy to deliver different styles to different devices, just with a little bit extra CSS enclosed in a media query. As this is a blog about the development of an iPad game, it made sense to me to optimise the site for each category of device. Try it! If you are looking at this on your computer, try resizing the window and see what happens (If you are on Internet Explorer 8 or below, I'm afraid this isn't going to work for you. Anyway, cop on and download Firefox or Chrome will you!? At least Internet Explorer 9...). If you're on an iPad, change the orientation and see what happens. Magic!

This is the first time I've employed this technique, so there are bound to be a few hiccups and inconsistencies - there are just so many internet enabled devices out there it is impossible to test on them all. I used the excellent Skeleton Framework and a bit of guidance from the wonderful A List Apart's book Responsive Web Design. Here's the original post on responsive web design

If you have any comments, notice any bugs, problems on certain devices or want to put me down, please leave a comment!