Jonathan Field - Maker of Random Stuff


Celebrity Guess Who

For a few years The Rev. Brendan Powell Smith had been organizing a party game where he would show interestingly distorted images of celebrities and have the group try to guess who they were. I thought it would work well online and he agreed, so we put it together.

It was a fun project, and my first to use Ajax techniques. By the time I was done I had finally come to like JavaScript. And I learned a few new Photoshop tricks to boot.

Retrograde 3000

This is an incomplete project, but I like what I have enough to post a youtube video of the work-in-progress. The 2D physics engine was something I wrote myself in Java in the days before Box 2D and other such packages, and I just ported it to C++ rather than use a the new libraries. There's not much to the game itself, but I'm happy with the the interactive music.

There's a second video that shows some camera moves, officially making the game 2.5D.

South Africa Motor Tour

In the spring of 2010 Eric Wong and I were doing some volunteer work in rural South African schools - fixing computers and such. At some point I got the idea that it would be fun to make a game for the kids to practice their lessons. With some guidance from the teachers, Eric and I put together this simple game.

The game is written in JavaScript and runs with no internet connection, a must in the area we were working. It was designed so that teachers could add new quizes to the game by creating fairly simple javascript files (example here). The kids had no other access to computer games, so they seemed fairly excited to play it.

If you play it here you'll find "A Very Easy Test" installed under "Grade 0 - Online Sample" for your convenience. The "Unit 9.x: Circle Geometry" under "Grade 12 - Maths" is also relatively easy.

Invasion of the Quadropus

I tried to learn Java a few times by reading and doing lessons, but I would always forget everything a few weeks later. Eventually I decided I needed a fun project to really engage my mind, so I brushed off my ancient game coding skills and Invasion of the Quadropus was the result.

Nearly one month in the making, this game brought all of the fun of 1980 into the 21st century. After completing it I used my new Java knowledge on one contract job and then started making a more advanced game. I switched to C++ when I realized that client-side Java is really only good enough for recreating the 80's.

Commodore 64

Slaughterhouse Screenshot
Splat! Screenshot
Suicidal Nazis from Mars Screenshot
Oh man I loved my Commodore 64. I spent at least 36% of my teenage years glued in front of that thing. I played games, but the majority of that time was actually spent attempting to make games. Mainly I used Garry Kitchen's GameMaker, though I also dabbled with Commodore BASIC and Arcade Game Construction Kit.

I must have started some 30 projects over the years, few of which got to the point of being playable. Only three were actually "released" - which simply meant I gave copies of them to friends after school.

To play you'll need a C64 emulator and the patience to load the games from a virtual C64 disk. For your trouble you'll be rewarded with poor gameplay, crude graphics, and spotty sound. However the games were well ahead of their time with regard to violence.

  • Slaughterhouse
    A nihilistic fantasy adventure game. Some might call it a predecessor to DOOM. It features five different blood-spraying animations and the inability to stop firing your gun as you move around. From the title screen:
    You are having a bad day and a clerk at the mall gives you some trouble. Your mind snaps. You decide to viciously pay back the world for its errors. You pull out an uzi and in your adrenaline pumped rage attempt to kill the world. This is... THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE.
  • Splat!
    You and your monster truck take on the pedestrians of a small town. The "fire" button punches the gas, and there are no brakes. You can steer a bit, but you won't proceed to the next pedestrian until you can hit them without swerving.
  • Suicidal Nazis from Mars
    It's the year 3001 and the Earth is invaded by kamikaze spaceships from Mars emblazoned with a swastika. Of course it is your job to eliminate every last one of them and take on the mothership.
  • Night of the Living Dead Chipmunks
    Inspired by the Far Side comic, a friend and I tried to create a game. It's not on the disk image above because in the end it was more of an intro than a game, but I posted a youtube video of it because it still makes me smile.

I seem to have been born a sort of free software advocate. The end of each game included the following message along with my then address:

This game was made to copy. If you liked it send any contribution and more will be released.

I don't think I ever got any contributions, but I went right on working on games anyway.