Game Development

Blog 886: Going Public (Fragment v0.06)

Yep, it’s official — Exon is has finally had its first real, live, public appearance. Only seven years after I started saying “I should demo this”, I took it along to the Edinburgh College Games eXpo 2023 and it got plastered all over a giant television in the central hall and… people played it. Actual human beings! Admittedly that was the whole point of the event, but you know, there were 30-odd student projects and some other local indie devs to compete with for attention.

You can now play v0.06 at home by heading to, but maybe, before you hit that download button, you want to know if the people thought it was any good?

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Blog 885: “I’m Never Being Dungeon Master Again,” he said

He just keeps coming back for more. Yes, my D&D group had a gap between adventures so, once again, muggins here foolishly volunteered to run a short “dungeon”.

The first time I ran an adventure was hard work, but I think my second, far more scope-limited, single-session attempt went pretty well! So I doubled down on the principles of the latter and prepared a… two-shot. Which ended up as a three-shot. Oops.

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Blog 883: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

And so we finally come to where it, for me, all began. 2002’s Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast was my very first Star Wars game, so it’s probably wise to concede that there may be some bias approaching. I first played this game having just bought The Best of Ultravox and Gold: The Greatest Hits of Spandau Ballet, so please play those in your head while you read this too.

Jedi Knight II is quite a departure from the previous entries in the series. Developed by Raven Software rather than solely in-house at LucasArts, and built off the Quake III Arena engine rather than their own tech, it’s something of a fresh start in almost every way.

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Blog 882: Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith

Where are we at for title-stack by now? Star Wars: Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith makes four, but maybe we’re dropping the Dark Forces II entirely since this is an expansion pack. (Although gog sells it bundled with Jedi Knight, it comes as a separate installer so maybe it’s one of those fabled expandalones?)

But the real question is: did a brand new suite of missions manage to address any of the more wobbly bits of Jedi Knight?

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Game Development

Blog 881: Artistic Direction

I am not, by trade, a texturer. I’m a professional programmer. I’m an enthusiastic (if nothing else) writer. I’m a passable 3D low-poly modeller and animator. I’m good enough at gameplay and level design. That’s a combination that has allowed me to get most of the way to making an entire game by myself.

But wrapping those 3D objects and landcapes in textures? That’s always given me gyp. I’ve tried and tried and tried over the years to find a method of texturing that nestles somewhere between my capabilities and my tastes, and it has been quite the journey — the next phase of which I am now embarking upon…

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Blog 880: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II

If I said that Star Wars: Dark Forces would have made a perfect film, then it’s no surprise that its sequel basically just went ahead and made a film. Yes, Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II is the one with the live-action cinematics, supplanting the hand-painted characters of the first game’s cutscenes with proper costumed actors.

Dark Forces ended with a distantly observing Darth Vader asserting that “the force is strong with Kyle Katarn.” Let’s find out just how strong, shall we?

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Game Development

Blog 879: Instant Action

I have been saying that I want to demo Exon at a live event for… well, ever since I bought my big dev laptop. Which, according to my calculations, was seven years ago. I have not managed to demo Exon at a live event in that time. Oops.

But now something’s coming. Soon, Exon WILL go to the ball! Luckily I already have a demo that can be exhibited, but its structure is maybe not ideal for showing off to wandering crowds. There must be something small and quick that I can add that’ll be a little more appropriate…

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