Tales from Birmingham, Iliara Updates and Stuff

Anya Nov 27, 2012 Blog, Iliara, MagNets 0 Comments
I am a shocking, shocking blogger. But it’s been awfully busy… Ye Olde Roadtrip So I mentioned on Facebook that the oldies were in Birmingham, because we got to the final five of this. We were presenting MagNets; more information in our Projects tab. While the oldies were otherwise engaged, the younguns had lots of fun with Blender and Unity making the demo. And by lots of fun, we mean lots of sobbing and “WHY IS IT POINTING THAT WAY, WHY?” We didn’t get the money, but no worries! Sony thought we were great, and there are always other possibilities… Iliara Updates I have begun to apply my arteestic perfectionism to the first 12 levels of Iliara in the hope of having a polished set to show people. I have also begun writing documentation so that we can get interested parties in on the Editor easier. In the release, of course, there will be tutorials… but for now, no. I put in about twenty-five bug reports the first day. I’m really popular. Will is deeply entrenched in the Port To Unity. It’s still deserving of capitals because it sounds like a somewhat epic job. Not that I have any idea […]

ExPlay Write-up

Anya Nov 03, 2012 Blog 0 Comments
Total Monkery returns! It’s good to be home. Our Travelodge? Not the best… TM have brought shame upon our good names by being total failures at partying, I must say. We left the TIGA After Party before it had really begun and went to bed, and left Bath for home comforts before the Edge Quiz had even started. I did get a bit involved in the daytime fun, namely Joust and the paragliding sim, which apparently I was playing (atrociously) when there was a camera trained upon it. Erk. Talks I enjoyed: Undoubtedly the Dear Esther keynote on Thursday was the highlight for me; don’t think there was anyone in the room who didn’t do a little internal cheer when we got to the Steam sales figures. Though it’s obviously dangerous to be comforted or excited by the Dear Esther story – for every success story there are probably a hundred invisible failures – you can’t help feeling just a little bit less afraid to try. Aside from that, I enjoyed the panel on Accessibility. I’m not unaware of Accessibility in other areas, but I’d never really thought about it for games. I’m massively annoyed that I didn’t write down […]

Updates updates updates

Two weeks since my last blog post? Shameful. I’ll get put in the monkey cage for this, for sure. And what have I been doing while I fail to write? Well. In Iliara-land, aside from the usual tasks of making levels, making art and breaking stuff, we have talked over the level progression and have cemented the way forward. It always goes really well when we get together round the whiteboard and talk, which I think bodes very well for the future. There was always going to be a bit of worry when we first started, because at it’s core Total Monkery is a family business and it’s not like comedians tell jokes about how harmonious and successful families are, but everything has worked out so far. It helps that we all have someone who can get away with interjecting when a disagreement starts slipping out of Business-space. Richard tells Will and I to stop our shenanigans; Will and I recklessly offer up our opinions when Mum and Richard’s discussion becomes a little overenthusiastic; Will and Richard both keep quiet and try to steer me and mum away from each other at all times. Anyway, the upshot of the talk […]

Super long update today! Stuff and things! I think I’m on a sugar high!

Anya Oct 16, 2012 Blog 0 Comments
Today Will and I got chocolate for being good minions. Today was a good day. …aaand I never thought I’d say that about a day that started out with a maths lesson. Richard has been giving us little trigonometry refreshers in the mornings for the past few days. There was a whiteboard and everything. Richard looked all teachery. It was… actually very cool. My head is feeling rather heavy at the moment from the weight of all the new things I am trying to learn. It would help if I wasn’t trying to learn everything ever in the tiny space of time I can conceive of, like the crazy impatient person I am. Over the last couple weeks I have been on what amounts to a self-taught crash course in CSS, the results of which are a new Iliara website which looks reasonably shiny and works pretty well… assuming you don’t have IE8 or an iPad 1, and assuming you don’t mind it being jerky and buggy on various other mobile and tablet platforms. Tomorrow, I will fix it. Today, I can never look at another line of CSS again. Will is responsible for the floaty JavaScript Iliara header, btw. […]

Business Cards!

Anya Oct 09, 2012 Blog 0 Comments
I’m so excited. We all got BUSINESS CARDS today. GROWNUPS have business cards. I’m a bit annoyed with them because the gradient came out quite significantly darker than it did on my screen and on my printed copy, but they were also probably even cheaper than making them yourself, so can’t complain. When we’re wildly successful I want ones shaped like a bunch of bananas. Possibly that smell of banana. That would be awesome. Or just have our name printed on bags of foam bananas. Everyone loves you if you hand out sweets, as I learnt in primary school. Anyway, Iliara levels are always and forever being built, but I am, for the most part, continuing my crash course in CSS via the Iliara website. It’s still fun, although my God, can CSS be annoying sometimes. Anyway, once I’ve done that I will most definitely be moving on to making a custom theme for the TM website, although that will probably be a side project for when other jobs are driving me mad. Soon, I’m sure, Iliara will be Unityfied. It’s going to look sooo pretty. Also, be fun. Speaking of fun, looking forward to ExPlay in Bath… although we’re […]

Web development!

Anya Oct 01, 2012 Blog, Iliara 0 Comments
Iliara levels are coming along steadily. Richard is still fixing bugs. We’re still hunting for them. Everything is happy and peaceful in the TM office. Moving to Unity very soon, which will change that pretty quick I reckon. I am going to find the time to get some TM codemonkey interviews done at some point, I swear *looks at task list speculatively* but until then I am just going to talk about what I’m doing, which is less about the game developing and more about learning how to do the… everything else. But I am happy, because the something that needs doing today is learning CSS in order to make version 2 of Iliara.com. Which is looking pretty awesome already in the sense that it does everything I’ve asked it to do so far. When it’s finished and uploaded it will be so pretty, and so cool, and made with the power of TYPING THINGS IN NOTEPAD++! You might be able to tell that I’m at the very very early stage of learning. I feel a bit like a magician awed by his own tricks. “LOOK, I WROTE WORDS AND NUMBERS AND IT DID SOMETHING!” I declare. “Yes, dear, well […]


Anya Sep 21, 2012 Blog 0 Comments
Today has been one of those days! Not for Total Monkery, as of course everything goes swimmingly in our office at all times, but Will and I started the day in a dusty attic and nothing’s gone quite right from there… Today has been a day of less Iliara levels and more Team Meetings. Our Monkey Wrangler has given me deadlines. Deadlines! The cheek… as anyone who knows me can tell you, deadlines are my nemesis. But they are counteracted by me massively enjoying nearly everything I’m supposed to be doing at the moment, so I’m not complaining. But! Today I need help. There have been a few debates in the TM hub recently around the subject of badge designs. And by debates, I mean petty squabbling, as only the members of a family business can. So to save the company from all-out badge war, I’ve decided to pass on the decision to the wisdom of the internet. Below are ten badge designs; comment and tell us which one’s your favourite, please? Or if you like them but a tiny bit different? Or if they all suck and we should make a new one, this time with boobies? All input […]


Anya Sep 20, 2012 Blog, Iliara 0 Comments
I apologise in advance if I make a little less sense than usual, I’m somewhat under the weather. At the moment, the lower monkeys are hard at work making levels for Iliara while Richard fixes bugs we find. The air is filled with the sound of “Richaaaard… can we have this feature pleeeease?”. When Richard is free for non-SekritProject coding time, the Port to Unity will begin. Which should be interesting. I’m sure some very entertaining bugs are going to emerge over the coming weeks. I also have a nice long list on my whiteboard entitled “Anya’s non-Iliara goals”. These mostly involve the promotion side of things. Very soon there will be screenshots and promo materials so we can show wot we got to the world. Also, there will be badges! Everyone loves badges. Hopefully so we can scatter them about at ExPlay… if we can all agree which design to go for. In fact… I may need your help for that later. Stay tuned!


Anya Sep 11, 2012 Blog 0 Comments Blog
I have mostly been christening the Total Monkery whiteboard. Whiteboard marker is a challenging medium.

Iliara: Where we are now.

Anya Sep 07, 2012 Blog, Iliara 0 Comments
So, I hear that we may well be making a game… think it’s time to talk about it! Iliara is a spirit creature, created by the life force of his planet. He begins his life in innocence, not knowing his origin or purpose, but is guided by the planet to his eventual destiny – saviour of the world… His story is played out in the cave paintings of the ancients, and that’s where you come in đŸ˜‰ Iliara will be a platform game for mobile, tablet and PC. Players will fire life-spirit using touch or mouse controls to move around the levels, collecting items, fighting enemies and solving a wide variety of puzzles. Iliara also includes a feature-rich level editor, enabling players to create their own puzzles, remix the work of others and share with the community, as well as participate in challenges and competitions. Iliara started out as Recoil, based on the way Iliara moves; you fire one way, he recoils the other.  Here’s one of the first versions: You can see more of Iliara’s development from a more technical standpoint from Richard’s YouTube channel. Richard began Recoil nearly two years ago with artist Matthew Beakes (website/linkedin), and from there […]