Posted by at 11:51 pm  24 Responses »
Jun 252012

Dashkin was in “development hell” for almost a year. My own excitement and confidence in the game were dissipating. Sean couldn’t even look at it without feeling sick because it had grown larger and messier, far beyond what it was originally designed for, with many new features tacked on. The .fla was unstable, slow and the situation growing more and more depressing.

So just a couple of weeks ago Sean made the difficult decision to start rebuilding. From scratch.

It’s not a redesign, but rebuilding has given us opportunities to make the game better in many ways. The problem with Dashkin 1.0 was that we started with a cute little prototype, but adding its features made it fatter, slower and sweatier every day. It was still pretty to look at but every addition caused new bugs or performance problems.

Since the decision to rebuild from the ground up, we have the benefit of all the lessons learned on version 1. For build 2.0 we now know what the finished game will be and how all the features work within. We’re working strictly from a comprehensive game document that details almost every aspect and we’re not deviating from that.

The result of all this is that we’ve made more progress in the past couple of weeks than in the previous 8 months. We’ve now overtaken the point at which Dashkin 1.0 almost fell over and pace is actually increasing. On top of all this, the game uses a single-figure percentage of the processing power version 1 required. Even the file size is less than a third of what it was this time last year.

As progress rockets skyward, we’re now more excited than ever at what we’re seeing. It’s finally coming together and playing it feels great. The image above is a screenshot of the new level editor (click to see the editing UI), which allows instant playback of any part of the level as you build it. This means that everything in the level can be precisely positioned, and tested in real time with a keystroke. Sean is still deciding whether or not the editor can be a part of the full release but if you ask me, it’s amazing and must be shared with the world.

If you have any questions about Dashkin for Sean or myself, please head over to:

  • formspring – A. Phillips – ask me anything
  • Dashkin Game on Facebook – loads of regular screenshots and Dashkin news
  • Dashkin Game on Twitter

oh, before I go, please help this guy:

Feb 122012

Dashkin Progress *

Last month, Dashkin was put on hold in an effort to continue getting those Kickstarter rewards out. Earlier this week however, we made some more progress on the game itself. I know I’m being too hard on poor old Bitey, but for some time I’ve been concerned that it feels somewhat repetitive. So while we’re aware of the dangers of “feature creep” we’ve been discussing one or two additions to avoid making a boring “dash-mash” game that’s too much of the same thing. We’re not giving anything away just yet but we think it’ll make a better game without causing much more delay.

The Dashkin Facebook page now has over 5000 subscribers! Check it out for the latest updates and screenshots. Isn’t that what you want?

BCA FX enters Month 7 *

The BiteyCastle Academy FX course continues to grow, now in its 7th month with over 260 members. Interested in joining? Sign up HERE and if you bring some friends with you, you can get free access. Conditions apply and details are in the course forum.

Designs for a serpentine fire style



Kickstarter Rewards *

Three exclusive Dashkin wallpapers have been sent as rewards to all our beloved Kickstarter backers. The high resolution wallpapers are currently only for those who pledged to our campaign, but here’s a low res thumbnail at which you’re welcome to squint. At some point in the future (probably to coincide with the game’s release) this, and other goodies, will be available to anyone who plays the game.

Wallpaper #3

Drop me a comment below! What would you like to see at the next update?


Season’s Greetings

 Posted by at 2:42 pm  7 Responses »
Jan 062012

oh look, here’s 2012! First I wanna say thank you for the outpouring of support and encouragement since my heart surgery. The past couple of months of recovery has not been difficult. Sure there’s been the pain of a split sternum, but I actually feel like I’ve got off very lightly, as if escaping some kind of punishment. I guess that’s mostly because I sit in a chair drawing pictures for a living, and I can do that whatever the weather, whatever my health.


The FX course is doing well with 217 members. If you want to learn 2D FX animation, you can join us at any time for immediate access. Check out the course page for info on how it works, what you can learn for a measly 85 cents a day and of course, how to sign up.

All course participants start at Week 1, with a new article/lesson coming every week thereafter. I plan on continuing this course until my brain dries out, so there’s plenty of content to keep you going. Here’s part of a splash animation lecture from the course:


I’ve been working on a lot of things. Sometimes I think I have my schedule under control when suddenly, in the shower or drifting off to sleep at 3am my eyes will snap open as I’m reminded of another deadline that’s looming. I work up to 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, so my working week consists of about 14 ordinary work days. Lately I’ve spent a lot of time working on the BCA FX course, maintaining the site and being active on the BCA FX forum. Each week’s lesson takes between 2 and 4 days to write and prepare.

On top of that I have two freelance commitments, together taking up about 7 more days. The rest of my time is spent working on Dashkin’s rewards and catching up on the game art. Speaking of which, here’s the first of the Kickstarter Dashkin wallpapers. The high-res versions of these are exclusively for our backers. If you’re one of them, all three of these new images will be completed very soon and delivered to your inbox in glorious MD (Massive Definition).

The main Dashkin focus right now is the Kickstarter rewards and the art for those. This includes wallpapers, posters, postcards and collector cards. The sketchbooks are still under construction but I intend on having the pages finalised and sent to the printers before February turns up.

Unfortunately a BiteyCastle holiday card wasn’t squeezed into the schedule this year, so what I started in October 2010 may finally see the light of day in December 2012.


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