Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Temple Showcase 15 Available now!

Temple APA comic showcase Issue 15 is now available to download as a free PDF and contains contributions from Simon Mackie, Malcolm Kirk, Tony Suleri, Ben Peter Johnson and myself.

The Temple is a showcase for amateur and professional creators who are active in the UK comics scene.  If you'd like to contribute or want more information, then check out the blog for more details (next deadline is likely to be early March).

Board Horde Stat Analysis

Hi folks,

I thought I'd round off the year by giving a brief analysis of the stats/views received for Board Horde since it's launch six months ago.

It seems that board games prove particularly popular around the November/December holiday period, as views started to pick up massively in November (going from 5 views a day to 100), and this month alone the game has had 4,500 views (which accounts for more than half the total views over six months!). 

For anyone interested in making HTML5 games, I'd strongly recommend use of Clay.io, as it gives you access to stats like this, gets you plenty of plays, and also allows other gaming sites to link to your game which can get you plenty more plays without any effort on your behalf (such as m.clickjogos.uol.com.br - a foreign site which has given my game over a thousand views)

Also adding a Gamemix banner to your game can add a small but steady trickle of users.

Oh yes, and the grand total of advertising revenue that I've made to date? $4! Finally I can buy that speedboat that I've always wanted!

All the best for the New Year, folks!

If you haven't played my game yet, check it out here: Board Horde

Friday, 22 November 2013

100% Biodegradable Anthology Out Now!

The first issue of the bi-monthly sci-fi digital comic anthology that myself and John Kirkham have been putting together is finally available to buy online, from either DriveThruComics or Comicsy (depending on preference).

100% Biodegradable contains a wealth of strips from comic creators across the UK, including Tony Suleri, Simon Mackie, Stuart Giddings and Dave Thomson.  Gigantic rampaging rodents...paranormal ice-cream salesmen...psychotic alien cab drivers...this one has it all, and is priced at £1 (or $1.61) for 30 pages of b/w and colour strips.

Although the bulk of the comic is written by myself, I'm hoping to bring on board more creators from the UK.  So if you have a sci-fi/action/horror strip of 1-8 pages (preferably self contained) then please send it to the Biomekazoik mailing address for consideration (biomekazoik@gmail.com).

Getting Post Apocalyptic at the BBC

At the end of March, myself and writing partner Frank Burton submitted an entry to the BBC Script Room (Bunk Mates; a post apocalyptic sitcom that was loosely based on a short comic strip I worked on some years ago with Paul Harrison-Davies).  Apparently a few other writer folks followed suit, as the BBC received almost 3,000 submissions (a third of which were also comedies). 
In July we were contacted by the BBC who informed us that our script was amongst the 5% that had made it to their long list.  In traditional English fashion, I put the kettle on and had a celebratory cup of tea and a biscuit (just the one biscuit, mind.  I didn’t want to overdo it at this stage).

The 150 scripts left were once again sifted through, and in August we were informed that Bunk Mates had made it to the shortlist along with 50 other entries (more celebratory tea for me, along with two biscuits - one of which was a chocolate hobnob).  We were given some useful feedback from one of the script readers, which stated (among other things) ‘Very funny and well written take on the 'post apocalyptic sitcom' – a theme that comes up often. Great opening with the postman, the juxtaposition of mundane and terrifying, which is then echoed in the script. The plot and pacing is well thought out and there are no lulls in the script.’

In October the BBC informed us that along with 25 other people we had made it to the final stage, and were invited to attend a development session at the BBC HQ in November. 

Anyway, we attended the session on Tuesday (if you look closely at the photo swiped from the BBC Twitter feed, you might be able to make out my bald spot in the foreground), and found it to be very informative and productive.  The most useful parts of the half-day were being given the opportunity to question producers from various BBC departments (such as radio, children’s tv, etc), and building up an action plan of where we want to go with our writing careers and how we intend to get there, with the aid of Development Producer Henry Swindell.

It was also nice to learn that all the comedy scripts have been sent on for further evaluation, which may in time lead to more feedback.  The chances of Bunk Mates actually getting developed at this stage are pretty slim (though not impossible), and it was repeatedly pointed out that the scripts should be considered more of a calling card of voice and talent. 

As Paul Ashton puts it on the BBC Blog: ‘The real danger for that 1% is that they might think they’ve made it and the pressure is off – but they haven’t, and it isn’t. It’s just the first step on a long road.’   So…the contacts are there, and the BBC doors have both me and Frank’s boots firmly wedged in them.  Time to write some stuff! (but first, the kettle beckons…)

Thursday, 14 November 2013

New comic anthology launching soon!

Here's a quick peek at the cover of the brand new '100% Biodegradable' bi-monthly digital sci-fi/action comic anthology, edited by myself, designed by John Kirkham and containing the work of some rather marvellous people (including Simon Mackie, Tony Suleri, Dave Thomson and more).

Although I have enough of my own material to fill five or so issues I'd quite like to get a few more comic creators involved, so if you think you might have something suitable then drop me a line at biomekazoik@gmail.com (I also have a few spare scripts knocking around if any artists fancy illustrating them)

More details, such as the launch date, will follow soon!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Spod! Comic Anthology Kickstarter

Spod! The oddites from space comic anthology containing a collection of sci-fi shorts originally conceived as part of Mark Millar's Clint project is looking for funding on Kickstarter.

As well as containing the work of several Temple Apa members (including myself, Dave Thomson and Neil Alexander) there's a whole host of rather impressive looking strips from comic creators around the globe. And if you pledge at least a tenner, you will get an exclusive 16 page digital comic by me and Dave Thomson, which contains the making of Love and War, plus our first ever comic collaboration - The One Eyed Wench (pictured above).

Even if you don't have spare cash to spend you can help by spreading the word about the kickstarter, as without full funding it may never make publication.

Anyway, here' the link and thanks for your support:

Spod On Kickstarter

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

In space no one can hear you drool!

Temple member Paul Harrison-Davies has a brand new webcomic out, dedicated to the child friendly adventures of Astrodog! Updated with new material every monday and friday, the strip is well worth checking out. Paul's Astrodog strip has come close to getting professionally published on several occassions, but luck has never been on its side.

Hopefully the webcomic will draw more attention to Astrodog, so spread the word you happy shiny people!

Astrodog Website

Friday, 21 June 2013

Board Horde Released!

I'm happy to announce that the pesky fantasy board game I've been working on for the last six months has finally been finished, and is available to play online.

Since I've only been 'programming' since the start of the year I'm very happy (and somewhat surprised) with what I've managed to achieve.  The game changed quite a lot as I worked on it, and was originally going to be a homage to Paul Eldridges Gonad athe Barbarian board game, from issue 12 of the Temple apa.  I was quick to realise that doing a board game about a testicle shaped hero attempting to negotiate his way through Klunge valley would narrow my audience down a touch, and opted for something a bit more universal.

Here's a brief description of the game:  'Board Horde is a fantasy board game for one or two players (hot seat).  Navigate your way across six trap filled boards, kill monsters, die frequently and swear lots!  Play against your friends, family and loved ones - and annihilate them!  After all, there's points to be won and a spot on the Leaderboard to be earned.'

Board Horde can be played at the following places (completely free.  It's supported by ads):

http://boardhorde.clay.io (desktop and mobile, though mobile may have audio issues)

Its also possible to embed the game on websites, so please let me know if you would like to do so (its as simple as pasting a small piece of html code onto your site).

Special thanks to Olivia Egbunike for the excellent music track, and my wife Jenny for providing some of the background art (and for those who tested the game, ta!).  John Kirkham also provided the company name and logo (It was a close call between Biomekazoik and We Demand Monkey Butlers) and will be getting involved with the next gaming projects. 

Anyway, please give the game a try and let me know what you think.  If you'd like to hire me for projects and Bar Mitzvahs then just give me a yell at biomekazoik@gmail.com

Monday, 6 May 2013

Board horde menu redesign

Currently working on giving my Board Horde game a bit of a visual overhaul (as the menu was functional, but missing lots of useful stuff). So, here's a pic of the Fruit Machine style menu redesign.

I've also added two new boards, and am working on making the a.i. smarter than a Village Idiot. With luck I'll have a new update ready by the end of the month.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Board Horde released on Newgrounds

After months of blundering my way through my first forage into the world of computer game creation, I've managed to complete the first version of Board Horde, which has been entered into the Newgrounds Touchjam competition. Although the judges get the final say on who wins, all votes help draw attention to the game. So if you get the chance to check it out and have a play, pop along to the following link:


I still plan to add a lot more to the game for the next update, including a three player mode, smarter a.i., more boards, more potions and traps, and special hero skills.

First I must catch up with some comic projects, and some sleep!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Board Horde Version 1

Right, then!

For the last few months I've been working on an RPG Board Game titled 'Board Horde', and I've finally managed to knock it into a vaguely presentable sort of state. 

I still have lots to do (there's no sound yet, only three boards, various bits of art need changing or updating etc.), but I thought I'd post a link to it here in order to get a bit of feedback. 

Board Horde Dropbox Link

It will eventually be intended for larger touch-screen devices, as well as desktop, so feel free to test it on whatever you can (although it's touch screen enabled, a mouse should work as well) and report any findings. There's a couple of bugs which occasionally surface (the Change Places potion malfunctions from time to time), but if things go hideously wrong you can always press the Board Horde logo at the top of the screen to reset to the menu.

Game Rules:

The basic aim is to get your three characters from the entrance to the exit before the other player (currently the game is for two human players, though I plan to put AI in, and a third player at some point).

You have three character classes, which have different strengths and weaknesses. They are as follows:

Mage: Best with potions, weakest against enemies, and has a medium chance of setting off traps.

Rogue: Okay with potions, okay against enemies, least likely to set off traps.

Warrior: Bad with potions (may suffer ill effects), best against enemies, most likely to set off traps (on account of having eaten one too many pies)

Traps are currently represented by squares that look like grey piles of rubble (I'll make them look a bit more fiendish when I get the chance)

Potion Effect: 

Haste: Doubles the characters moves.
Teleport: Moves the character forward a certain amount of squares (range differs depending on character class)
Invincible: If the character lands on an enemy, automatically wins.
Feather:  If the character lands on a trap, doesn't set it off.
Change Places: Switches places with the member of the opposition who is furthest ahead on the board.
Death Pulse: Destroys any enemies within a certain radius of the character (range differs depending on character class)
Slow Down: (only for warriors) Halves the movement speed on the dice (the number is rounded up, so it's still possible to move if you roll a one)
Enfeebled: (only for warriors) Gives the warrior the strength of a wizard when he next lands on an enemy.
Bloated: (only for Warriors) Sets off the next trap that the warrior treads on. 

Anyway, that should be enough info to get you started. Feel free to make any suggestions for improvements (please bear in mind that the HUD profiles are out of date, and the text objects are in some cases there to replace SFX etc), and stay tuned for further updates!

Right, must go write those comedy sketches I've been promising Fran for the last month...

- Dave

Board Horde Screenshots

Well, hurrah and huzzah!

I've finally managed to iron out most of the bugs in the board game I'm working on, and am almost ready to reveal the rather rough around the edges version of the game.

In the meantime, here's some screenshots, and the menu screen.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Board Game Backgrounds

With the first somewhat rough version of the computer Board Game I've been working on getting close to completion, here's a few backgrounds that I've knocked up on the ipad to go with the game.  They're liable to chance in the final version, but they'll do for now!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Not A Lot Of People Know That Vol 2

Huzzah!  The sequel to Not A Lot Of People Know That has just been released, and is free to download from Smashwords (with more online distributors to follow).

Here's the blurb:

'In the second volume of David Hailwood and FJ Riley's ridiculously accurate Not a Lot of People Know That, we learn that all winning Lottery numbers add up to 56, the University of Life is a real place, and 36% of Mexican waves are started by fly-swatters. We hear the story of the world's least successful fake hermit, and discover why the Isle of Skye is populated almost entirely by injured celebrity chefs.  Based on literally minutes of painstaking research, Not a Lot of People Know That Vol. 2 is the most well-informed book since Not a Lot of People Know That Vol. 1.'

The book can be downloaded here:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/294899

The previous book is available here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/26074

Both myself and Fran were rather surprised at how well it's done (especially since the bulk of it was written on the bus, and in the pub).  Out of 240 free humour books on itunes, it's currently placed at number 2.  It's had several hundred reviews, and I've decided to capture my favourites from the Barnes and Noble site as some of them are quite brilliant.   It might also give you some indication as to why were we considering naming the sequel 'Marmite'...  

‘If you enjoy satire and humor, you will LOVE this book!’ –blkeyesuzi

‘This was such a stupid book’ - Laura_V

‘Nothing really makes sense, but its not supposed to. Its trivia for the brain dead. Haha.’

‘Rather nice, Monty Python meets MAD magazine.’

‘Most of the stuff in there is either something a sicko would say or its not true.’

‘It frightens me that so many reviewers 'werent sure' if the info was true or not’

‘It's hilarious reading some other people's reviews. They say that the facts are hard to believe. Well that's because they are not real facts!’

‘If I read another review that uses the term fact in reference to this book, I'm calling the president and demanding more public school funding. This book was obviously intended as humor. For those of you who find some of the "facts hard to believe" there's good reason for it... your an idiot!’

‘The facts arent correct!’

‘Most of these facts I dont believe. I am a very skeptical person and this book, while interesting, really pushes the boundries of believable.’

‘Some facts are pretty interesting and other are hard to believe, but nonetheless I feel a little more knowledgable’

‘This book is one of the most entertaining things i have ever read!!!!!’

‘WASTE OF TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’

‘Any douche bag who hates this book has a lame sense of humor.’

‘Pure, unadulterated crap’

‘Ok this book is really funny i mean it says stupied things but it is soooooooooooo funny.I really want to meet the author of this book and tell him/her how good this book is.You just have to get it.:)’

‘Every single word that spews from the author's hideous mouth is stupid and untrue. Rome wasn't built in a day, but this book probably was... Basically, it sucks the balls it tells you to cut off if you get measles!’

‘A good read if your not looking to use any brain power.’

‘Like a lot of things in this world, it doesnt make sense. But then maybe it does. A not so straight and square outlook on certain topics.’

‘This book isn't true so don't be upset if u read it and become dissapointed. But the book is really funny. My mom was having a bad day and I let her read some of the book it completely made her day. This "fact" book is definitley a favorite of mine and don't think yuck facts.’

‘To every one who called this book stupied: GET SOME SENSE OF HUMER ANYONE WHO CALLED THIS BOOK STUIPIED YOUR SO FAT AND UGLY U DONT KNOW WHAT UR TALKING ABOUT. To al of u who said it was funny awesome cool and halares : u are awesome’

‘it would have more value as a weight for your recycle bin.’

‘First off the facts are fake so stop writing reviews saying you don't think the facts are right and I think it is a funny book and if you don't undersrand it then your an idiot’

‘There were probably about 500facts in this book i never even knew existed!’

‘Not the slightest bit accurate’

‘it was difficult to tell fact from fiction.’

‘So is all the stuff in the book true as in real proven fact?? I dont get it if this book was a joke book or a fact book.’

‘This book is funny and there was some cool facts. But some i didnt believe, like this one (pg. 64: Until the 18th century, castration was the only way to cure measles.) Castration is cutting off your balls for men. To women, ovaries. You would cure measles but youd die anyway thanks to having no balls!’

 ‘Typo, "...not a lof..." That's hilarious’ (Authors note:  Blast!  Someone noticed!  Fortunately we paid a higher grade of monkey to write the sequel (after they’d finished ghost writing their latest Barbara Cartland novel) so with luck there will be less spelling errors)

 ‘My school bought like 300 copies of this. It was waste od their money.’ (authors note: quite right, since it’s FREE!)

‘It was ffunny and claver but kinda stupid’

‘Didnt read’


‘My favorite was "if u drink pepsi and coke mixed together u will die." Its funny cuz ive done it b4.’

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Temple 13 Out Now!

The latest issue of the Temple APA comic showcase is out now, containing work from the usual bunch of rapscallions, such as Simon Mackie, Tony Suleri, Paul Eldridge and Dirk Van Dom.  The issue is assembled by Malcolm Kirk, who also drew the rather marvellous creature feature cover.

Anyway, it's 44 pages long, entirely free and can be downloaded from the main site here:  http://templeapa.blogspot.co.uk/

For those who wish to contribute to the next issue, the deadline is 26th May.  Newcomers are always welcome!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Inkpad Artwork

Happy New year!

I've just got myself a new art package on the ipad (at the pricey sum of...£2.99!), and here's a few of my doodles.

This should be a very handy package for designing characters for a computer board game I'm currently working on (using Construct 2, which I brought for Christmas.  Cheers, Santa!).