Tuesday 29 July 2008

Moviestorm 1.1 is live!

All systems go!

Version 1.1 of Moviestorm has left the launchpad and will be available imminently. We've pressed the Big Red Button and everything is on its way to you at this very moment.

If you're already a Moviestorm user, press the Update button when you start Moviestorm and you can have all the new stuff right now. New users will have to wait another hour or so.

We'll of course have full info in the forums and on the Web site later today. Let us know what you think. We're off to crowd round Chris's monitor and look at what's next in the pipeline.

Monday 28 July 2008

Things that don't exist

Sometimes making software becomes an interesting exercise in metaphysical philosophy. Things that don't exist can be your downfall.

In this case, user directories.

We're busily running through the last minute go/no-go checks for the upcoming release, and it's all getting a little like Mission Control here...

Cowboy hat - check!


Shader model three - check!


Script slider - check!

DAVE (the other one)

Launcher is GO, repeat, launcher is GO!

COMMANDER ANDREW stretches his hand towards the big red button labelled RELEASE. An expectant hush falls across the control room. Pull back to master shot, then crane down to BEN, a scruffy-looking guy in the corner.

Er, Commander, I think we have a problem. What if you try to load a movie when there's no user directory?

Shock passes across everyone's faces. ANDREW pulls his hand back.

OK, hold it everyone. Ben, say your piece...

Well, it's only a theoretical possibility, but... what if the user stores his movies somewhere other than the default directory, and then tries to load a movie, in which case...

... there'd be no user directory, Moviestorm would lose all control, and crash into the Sun, causing a massive solar flare and the destruction of all life on Earth!

Is that bad?


(taking command)
I need an answer, people. Now. This window is closing fast. If we don't get Moviestorm off the ground now, I don't have to remind you what the consequences will be.

I'm on it, Commander!

DAVE throws a manly arm around BEN's shoulders. It’s a guy moment, as we see BEN swell with pride.

Good call, son. That took guts, but you may just have saved the whole mission.

Who said life in the software industry was ever dull, eh?

Friday 25 July 2008


From cambridge wagamama's website:

Does that man in shorts and glasses look familar? Could well be our very own Mr. Gold. Does the engineering team spend too much time at wagamama? Does programming ability increase or decrease with the quantity of noodles consumed? Does he always chat up the waitresses? All these answers and more in the next exciting episode of the moviestorm development blog.

Tuesday 22 July 2008

Cheap sunglasses

Why's Johnnie wearing shades in the office?

  1. He's got a hangover?
  2. He's on the run from Swedish hit men and is in disguise?
  3. He's not really Johnnie?
  4. He's so damn cool?
  5. He thinks he's so damn cool?
  6. He's modelling for the new Moviestorm accessories pack?
  7. He's sponsored by cheapasssunglasses.com ?
  8. He has to wear them to protect us from the laser beams in his skull?
  9. His breed don't normally go out in daylight?
  10. The sun's in his eyes? (Yeah, right. Can you see any sun in this picture?)
For the obligatory cheesy ZZ Top references, go here. Or here. Or here.

Wednesday 16 July 2008

File | Shave

We just realised. None of our programmers has a beard. Not one.

That can't be right, surely?

Still, the Art & QA teams make up for it.

Tuesday 15 July 2008

Children, children!

Whose clever idea was it to label one section of the issues database Features Awaiting Redesign and Testing, purely so that all suggestions for improvement can be labelled FARTs?

Monday 14 July 2008

Triangles of Power!

How to make life complicated for your development team. Give them conflicting instructions.
  1. Simplify the user interface.
  2. Give me more functionality.

The pictures on the walls were taken from the Web. Everything else in this scene is made with standard Moviestorm assets and 1.1 preview 3. It's not about taste, it's about testing.

So they came up with these neat little triangles on the main control buttons that access the tools you need less often.

Attached to the "save" button, the "save as" feature makes a very welcome return. You have no idea how much you miss something like this until it's gone, do you? Along the same lines, we've also brought in a feature to copy a scene, which is great for experimentation or anything involving match-moving. And one more subtle change we've made is that we don't create a saved movie directory until you actually save it, so you don't end up with My Movie, part 97 cluttering up your hard disk.

Friday 11 July 2008

You can tell release is near when...

... you overhear the following exchange.
Ben: Rendering isn't exactly going as well as I might have wished.

Dave: In what way?

Ben: Like Matt said, but without so much French.

Dave: Hmmm. Any ideas, anyone?

twak: No, but I suspect I'm guilty... It's all gone a bit Friday.

Moviestorm's new look

Every time I fire up Moviestorm these days, it looks different. Here's how the main menu has changed over just the last few weeks. It feels like using a whole new app. Great work by Mitch and his crew.

Moviestorm version 1.0.4 (18 April 2008)

Moviestorm version 1.1 Preview 2 (July 4 2008)

Moviestorm 1.1 Preview 3 (current dev build, 11 July 2008)
What you can't see is that the "film strip" in the middle moves. It's cute.