Monday, 7 September 2009

On with the show!

OK, so with a few temper tantrums and wailing as August the 6th came and went, I pondered "OK, so what now?". I did some reflection, though at the core I knew what the problems were (lack of documentation, lack of meetings, clear objectives, etc, etc), and thought "OK, the questions still stands: so now what?". Well, after destroying many cities on AoE to vent my anger & frustration, I moved my hovering cursor off of the AoE icon and onto the C# icon and started coding again. Ideas have since started to flow and I'm working on a couple of them right now. But hang on ..... after a big disaster you work on 2 projects at the same time? Isn't that a bit crazy suicidal? Well, to be honest, no! This is because one relies on parts of the other, so as one gets built, so does the other! Hurrah for reusability!

Anyway, I spent a couple of days coding in earnest and started to develop the framework of the first project, then gave in to destroying some more cities for a bit before returning to the realm of C# & XNA. So watch this space .......


Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Submission Withdrawal

Kirkley Entertainment Inc. is withdrawing from this years' Dream Build Play competition. We will begin the post-mortem process so that we can learn from the mistakes that were made and come back stronger in the future.

Thanks to everyone for their support, and best of luck to this years' competitors.


Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Temporary home for our Blog

We've been having some problems updating the Blog recently so we've moved it to this address now. I'm not sure how this will effect people who have subscribed to the RSS feed so please feel free to leave comments. We are working to get the problem solved and the site moved back so we'll keep you in the loop.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Texture Artist Position Available

We've changed our last position from a Game Programmer position to a Texture Artist position, are you interested or know someone who may be? Then just contact us!

Game Components of the Drawable Kind

** Warning! The following may document something useful, or just my own stupidity! **

So I've been looking into Game Components and haven't found a great deal on the web about the topic so ended up quite frustrated (especially saying as the MSDN tutorial tells you only how to add one to your game!), so I thought I'd post this information incase anyone find it useful!
A bit of history - C++ Collection Classes
Before I made (/am still making) the transfer from C++ game programming to XNA I would use something called Collection Classes to do a lot of work and I was wanting to implement the same principles in XNA. Some may ask "What's a collection class", well it is an array of instances of a class, for example here is a basic class:

private class CGameCharater{

public: //space for public variables (in C++ everything is private unless declared in the public section

int iPublicInt1;

private: // space for private variables

int iPrivateInt1;

public void CGameCharacter(string sCharacter, float xPos, float yPos, float zPos){} // constructor

private void UpdatePosition(){} // example method

private void ~CGameCharacter(){} //destructor so you could do your tidying up here

}; // end of class

Now, say you're doing a game where you want the one class to be the base of all your characters in the game and some characters you want to repeat (think of the Grand Theft Auto series for example, the main characters are only rendered once but the citizens of Vice City (for example) are the same set of models rendered multiple times in different locations), well you could have a default class that handles all of this behaviour and create multiple instances like this:

CGameCharacter* cGC[MAXCHARACTERS]; // MAXCHARACTERS is a static variable

You now have an array that contains the CGameCharacter. Next create a class called something like CGameCharacterCollection and use this class to perform all your initialization, and then a pointer to the class at the end so it is accessible. This way, when you want to draw the collection you would just call the Draw method of the CGameCharacterCollection class and that would draw all of your models (which keeps GameMain quite tidy) like this:

pCGCC -> Draw(); //pCGCC = pointerGameCharacterCollection which was declared directly after the Collection class was created

Simple once you've done it a few times!!

The Present - XNA GameComponents
So now I want to do the same (or at least similar) thing in XNA using Game Components so I started with the IDrawable extension of the GameComponent class so that I could use it to render objects to the screen. Unfortunately, as stated before, there are no real resources for this (if you find one though, please post a comment with a link) so Iwas stuck using the error checking in the C# Visual Studio compiler (which seems to be getting much better). Once I stuggled through that I was able to get a version going!

So what's the structure, well it goes something like this (bear in mind: there may be errors here as I only just got it working so it's not refined yet!):

public class GameComponent1 : Microsoft.Xna.Framework.GameComponent, IDrawable
public GameComponent1(Game game)
: base(game)

int drawOrder;
bool isVisible;

// variables declared here but not included to save space

public event EventHandler DrawOrderChanged;
public event EventHandler VisibleChanged;

public void Initialize(Vector3 pos, float rotY, float rotX, String model)

mdlMainCharacter = Game.Content.LoadModel>(model);
Position = pos;
RotationX = rotX;
RotationY = rotY;


public override void Update(GameTime gameTime)

public int DrawOrder
get { return drawOrder; }
set { drawOrder = 1; }
public bool Visible
get { return isVisible; }
set { isVisible = true; }

public void Draw(GameTime gameTime)
// generic Draw code used here

If you don't use the Visible and DrawOrder methods then you will get horrible errors from the compiler! Anyway, so in your main Game.cs file you will need to create a new instance of the Game Component you created (GameComponent1 in this example), register it with the game, call the initialize manually so you can pass the variables, then call Draw within the Draw in the main game class:

GameComponent1 gC1;
Vector3 gameCharacter1Pos = new Vector3(500.0f, 10.0f, 10.0f);
public float gc1RotX = 0.0f;
public float gc1RotY = 0.0f;
String strMainCharacterModelName = "dude";

Then in your game constructor:

gC1 = new GameComponent1(this);

In Initialize:

gC1.Initialize(gameCharacter1Pos, gc1RotY, gc1RotX, strMainCharacterModelName);

In Draw:


And that would get a character rendered to the screen (I used the dude model from the Skinned Model sample for GS 2.0).

What you can do now is you can create multiple instances of GameComponent1, or you could carry on and create the Collection Class, cool or what! :)

Friday, 12 June 2009

Main Character again

Hallo again, so as promised here is the main character front view inked and hopefully ready to go!


Character Design of the Main Character

Hallo and Greetings everyone from Munich! We have been pretty busy theses last couple of days. But I have managed to get some more sketches out. I hope that you like them.

Now I still have to colour the Concept Artwork, but i am waiting to see if the images are ok, then i will start by scanning them in and making colours on the copy so that if we don't like a certain colour skeem then we did not ruin the original. But alas we do not have a scanner here. David and I are definatly looking into that, asap.

Now I hope that it is ok that i am posting the images on The reason i am doing this is because it is a fast and quick way to get all the images in one specific place, plus if for anyreason my computer crashes or I loose my data then i have it somewhere else. They are all under my name and Deviantart automatically puts a copyright on any images you post in there. If its not ok, we can find a different place.

Lets hope this link works this time ^^


Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Character Design

Hey all, first it was pretty hard to get into the swing of creating a decent looking character. But so far this is what i have come up with. I hope you like ^^

Friday, 29 May 2009

The Coven now has a basic lighting system! It’s a very simple CPU based lighting algorithm that calculates the lighting based on user inputted values for every hour of the day. This gives us the advantage of not only having something that looks pretty good, but something that has a very low CPU/GPU overhead.

1 Remaining Position

We still have one more position available for a programmer so just email!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

First Task List Sent Out!

The first task list was sent to the Team yesterday. Only 72 days left so let's get cracking!


Monday, 11 May 2009

2nd Draft of the Game Proposal Document Complete!

The 2nd Draft of the official Game Proposal document was completed and mailed to the team for reveiw today.
Clinton has sent back an edited version of the Game Concept document so we'll be working on the changes there as well as the rest of the documentation.


Team Registration Now Complete!

The XNA Dream-Build-Play Support Team kindly resolved some issues with my account so the Team is now officially registered with the competition this year. Good luck Team!


Welcome Chris!

Apologies that Chris's official Welcome message has come a bit late, but I've been experiencing some (IE8/Blog/GMail) techincal issues!

That aside, we'd like to welcome Chris
Hawthorn to the Kirkley Entertainment Inc. Team! Here are some samples of Chris's work, so, needless to say, we are very excited about Chris joining the team!


All images subject to copywrite

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Late announcement!

Hi there,

this should have been added to the Blog a while ago so apologies for the delay. Please welcome Chris Hawthorn as he joins the Kirkley Entertainment Inc. Team as a 3D Modeler. More to come soon!

Remember: we have 1 game programmer position sill available so let us know if you are interested.


Monday, 4 May 2009

Welcome Clinton!

It is now confirmed that Clinton Myers has joined the Kirkley Entertainment Inc. team to help us reach our goal of creating a winning entry into this years' Dream.Build.Play competition! Clinton has joined as an Interface Programmer but will pitch in with other programming tasks when needed.

Here are some samples and Videos of Clintons' previous work:

Nut Harvest (developed with the GameMaker Engine) Playable at:

Quadtrix (Developed in XNA in two weeks. Bug testing, play testing, and review took another two.)


Quadtrix Title Screen:


Saturday, 2 May 2009

Website updates now live (finally)!

Hi there,

our website has now been updated so all the answers to your questions should be there. If not, then please do not hesitate to Contact Us.


Another post bites the dust?

Further to our last post: We've had an enquiry about the Interface Programmers position for the Dream.Build.Play project so we are looking forward to bringing that person online pretty soon too.

This leaves us with 1 Game Programmer position left available, so if you have the equivalent to 1 hour a day to spare until 6th August and have some experience with XNA, then get in touch!


Thursday, 30 April 2009

Another position gone?

Exciting news: we've had an enquiry about the interface programmer position so things are feeling like they are gaining momentum! Hopefully this position will be concrete soon.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

So what's been going on???

Exciting news: we’ve pencilled in a 3D Modeller, we’re just awaiting samples before making anything concrete. This brings the team up to 5 …. So just 2 programmer positions available so sign up now!

What else? Well, I've been getting tied up in a world of really heavy documentation hoping that, once complete, the project will run more smoothly. So what does this entail? Well there is:

  1. The Initial Concept
  2. The Game Concept
  3. The Game Proposal
  4. The Functional Specification
  5. The Technical Specification

I admit I made a mistake with 1 and turned it more into a mix of 2 & 3 so I'm now sorting through the self-inflicted carnage. But we’re getting there … slowly.

Here are some links on Game Documentation:

Work is also continuing on the website. This was scheduled to be completed by the end of last week, so is over-running a bit (hopefully not a sign of things to come!).


Sunday, 26 April 2009

Welcome Paul & Nicole!

So the team has grown from 2 to 4 as of yesterday as Paul and Nicole Kirby joined the team! Paul has joined us on the programming side, and Nicole is on the art/storytelling side.
Here is a character design that Nicole completed for a difference project last year (a kids' educational game). Unfortunately that project never got off the ground, but is still panned for some time in the future and will come from the Willow Tree Learning branch of Kirkley Entertainment Inc.
Paul is an excellent programmer as I have seen him in action on several, non-games related, projects before.
All images © Kirkley Entertainment Inc. 2009

Friday, 24 April 2009

Some more concept art...

Art work © Kirkley Entertainment Inc. 2009

An Update About the Game Itself!

So I thought it would be a good idea to write a little bit about what we are developing (as well as show off some more of Larissas' work). The details are a little bit vague, but full disclosure will be given to team members upon joinging the team. The game will be described publicly upon release.

So to reiterate: the game is an Action Adventure game with elements of stealth. You play a newly turned vampire in a small coastal town in America in 1863. The game will use natural elements to either help or hinder your process in the game. All actions you take will effect how the game plays so it's up to you: use stealth or go in all guns blazing.

The game world will be a small sandbox - small as the game has size restrictions.

The game will be developed using Game Studio 3.0 (Game Studio 3.1 will come out during the competition but we will have to evaluate it as converting may cause delays).

Not much info. I know, but hopefully this will draw some interest.


Art work © Kirkley Entertainment Inc. 2009

Concept Art & 2 Spots May Be Gone

I've been pretty excited to see the work that Larissa has been producing, and here is one of my favourites! I couldn't wait for the website updates to finish before sharing it!
So, we may have 2 more spots filled in the team, so that's also pretty exciting! The 2 spots are pencilled in and we are still looking for:
a) 3D Modeller
b) Programmers x 2
Please let us know if you are interested by mailing us at:
If you are interested in joining the team, then you cannot be a professional artist/modeller/programmer as part of the rules of the Dream.Build.Play competition. The full rules are here:
Not so exciting is the fact that the documentation is not complete yet, but there is a lot going on. So, here are some lessons learnt so far for the post mortem:
1) Have your concept thrashed out well before the competition
2) Once the concept is done, create all the rest of the documentation
3) Advertise for Team Members well in advance
4) Have an informative website!
We continue to work on the website so that should be done soon. It's not going to be the best looking site in the world, but the more time spent on the Website is less time spent on the game! If you do spot any errors on the site please mail us at:

Art work © Kirkley Entertainment Inc. 2009

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Website Development & New Post

We're working on the website at the moment to give people as much information as possible about who we are and what we're doing. We hope to have the updates finished by the end of the week.

Larissa has been working on some more concept art and we'll be putting some samples up on the website also by the end of the week.

A job posting for the Dream.Build.Play team was put up on the Facebook group for the LevelUp Society. For those not familiar with the group, the LevelUp Society was created to raise awareness of the fact that there are game developers in Calgary, Alberta.


Monday, 20 April 2009

More job postings

So we need to get the word out a bit more so we can build the team and the game. There is now an add on the XNA webpage. Or, while you're here, you could apply now!

If you have any questions, then please feel free to email me.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Join the team!

So for our entry in the Dream.Build.Play contest we can have a team of 7 people working on the game, could you be one of them? Email us now to join the team.

Don't forget to check out the Dream.Build.Play website to check the rules and the prizes (which you could win a share of)!

More documentation!

So the Game Proposal Document is complete so we are now working on the Game Description Document. You may be asking "what's the difference", well the Game Proposal Document outlines what you are proposing and contains only brief information about the game. The Game Description Document goes into more detail about the creation of the game to include game play, genre, etc. Once the Game Description Document is complete, the Technical Design Documents will be created. Technical Design Documents (should) contain all the information that is needed to start creating the game. These documents are fluid as requirements may change during the development process.

More information can be found at:

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

On your marks.....!

So we're striving forward with the documentation and the Game Proposal Document for our Dream.Build.Play entry is almost complete! Depending on how things go we may release the documentation, but until now it is NDA only! Character designs are also in progress so keep posted for more news.

Monday, 13 April 2009


Hi there, and thanks for looking at this blog. The purpose of this blog is just to chronicle events that are happening at Kirkley Entertainment Inc., like the fact that we have registered for Dream.Build.Play this year! We are also looking to build up our team so that we have the maximum amount of team members for the competition (7). Anyway, whatever happens: we'll post it here!