Welcome to brianmacintosh.com. I'm Brian MacIntosh, and I am a game programmer in the Orange County area of Southern California. This site serves to host and distribute some of my games and my blog, below.
I have developed games and apps for the XBox 360, Windows PC, iPad, Amazon Alexa, and Windows 7 Phone. I'm particularly interesting in procedural generation, pixel art, and emergent gameplay, and I'm looking forward to developing more games with these technologies.
Camera Obscura Indie Royale
March 25th, 2015 @ 17:28
Tags: camera obscura, indie royale, bundles
I'm excited to have Camera Obscura featured in this week's Indie Royale game bundle! Pay what you want for Camera Obscura and 5 other games. No reason not to pick it up now!
Camera Obscura Steam Release
February 10th, 2015 @ 3:05
Tags: camera obscura, steam
It's happening. Three years after its inception, Camera Obscura has made it through Steam Greenlight. We've been hard at work through January getting everything ready for release, and it's coming on February 19th. I'm excited to finally get the game out to players so they can enjoy it!
For more information, visit cameraobscuragame.com.
Magic Mobile Website Compatibility
January 31st, 2015 @ 21:39
Tags: site, html, mobile, random
I recently started working on making these pages more compatible with mobile devices. One piece of advice I found quickly was to include the following meta tag in my HTML header:
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width,initial-scale=1">
It took me a bit longer to figure out exactly what this seemingly magic piece of code actually means for a site being rendered in a mobile browser, and to convince myself that yes, this code can magically make your website display much better on small mobile devices - but only if your website's CSS is already set up in a nice, size-independent way.
By default, mobile browsers assume that most of the internet is not designed to display well in a very small format. For that reason, they will render webpages at a large resolution more comparable to a desktop, and force the user to zoom and pan to see the content. What this code is actually doing is informing the browser that, yes, your content is fine to be displayed in a very small window - you are promising that it will resize itself and nothing will bleed off the page. This causes the browser to disable the extra-large render, freeing users from needing to zoom or scroll content sideways. So, if you've set up all your CSS to use percentages instead of fixed positions, it should result in an instant improvement in user experience as users can now simply scroll vertically through your content.
In my case, there was one other change needed to make this site's content mostly mobile-compatible. I often use screenshot images here, and those images are usually wider than a typical phone display, so I need them to scale down if the window is smaller than they are. This was accomplished easily enough by including the following CSS in the HTML header:
Which simply instructs every img element on the page to be no wide than its parent element. Aspect ratio is preserved automatically.
There are plenty of other small UX adjustments that can be made, but now my site renders in a much more convenient format for visitors on phones.
Outpost: New World (Ludum Dare 31)
December 29th, 2014 @ 0:28
Just a few weeks ago, Justin and I participated in the 31st Ludum Dare. The theme: Entire Game On One Screen.
We decided ahead of time that we wanted to make a game that was more action-packed and also more polished than our usual fare. I'm not sure we totally succeeded in overcoming our propensity for making fairly complicated simulation games, but we did manage to make our most polished jam game yet. Play it here!
Outpost: New World
Our past experience with game jams lead us to decide that we wanted to be done with the core game by early afternoon of the second day (sooner than halfway through the jam). We would then use the second half of the jam entirely for polish. While we fell behind on that goal, finished the core game around 6 in the evening of the second day, that still left us the entirety of Sunday for polish. It worked out very well - I was able to put together a very dramatic opening cinematic, a generate a full range of sfxr-generated sound effects, and record some moody cello music (three elements that we usually don't have time for in jams).
While I'm not a huge fan of how the final gameplay turned out, others seem to be enjoying it much more than any of our previous attempts. We'll see what the results show in about 21 hours.
Ludum Dare #30 Results
September 17th, 2014 @ 11:48
Tags: ludum dare, space transport tycoon, game jam
Results for the past weeks' Ludum Dare judging are in! While we knew we had made a game that was ill-suited to the judging style of the Ludum Dare, in which people have to play and judge a lot of games in a short time period, there were definitely some who really enjoyed the complexity and took time to learn the game.
I played some other really cool games while I was judging. Here are a few that I stumbled across:
- Tough Love Machine - A remarkable innovation on the classic sliding-block puzzle.
- This little piggy - It has bacon in it.
- Bidimensional Landscaping - A quick game with a unique new mechanic.
- Fluid Perspectives - A very nice little platformer
- Ferryman - It's a humorous and witty take on the theme.
- Toward Toward Heaven - Shares our plight of being pretty complicated, but I kept coming back for more of it. A unique take on "multiplayer" games.