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- Spring Thaw

It's been a cold, dark winter here but things are starting to melt and the sun is starting to shine. During my long commutes I have been working on new music for the next Old Weller release, as well as practicing my shader chops. It's also these long commutes that have convinced me trying to make a game with my own engine is going to take forever.

I have been experimenting with the Godot Engine and my current plan is to develop a full version of Posse Magnet with it as a first project. Assuming that goes well, I will use it again to make the larger game that my engine was intended for.

Stay tuned! As always, thanks for being here!

- Jams of Two Sorts

This year marked our triumphant return to TOJam! As happens at game jams most of the planned features were cut, but we ended up with a pretty sweet little prototype! While you're checking out the games people made, be sure to give Posse Magnet a try!

And speaking of jams, a second Old Weller album was released in April! Fly Away Home contains darker moods and musical growth from the first album. have a listen and Follow Old Weller on Twitter:@olweller!

More good stuff coming this year. Thanks for being here!

- Do You Hear What I Hear?

Making games involves diverse creative mediums, an important one of which is music! In the last half year I've been firing up SunVox on my commutes when I need a coding break... And wouldn't you know it, an album dropped out!

In development news, there will still be a Windows release of our next game but I am using Linux more and more for development and I am currently getting the codebase working on that platform. More news in the new year. Happy holidays, everyone!

- Going Down With The Ship

What? No, we're not dead. Or finished making games. We are still working on our next major commercial project. But sometimes there are diversions. Like this one:

We were sad to have missed TOJam this year, but apparently I still needed to get a little game jam game out of my system. If you like, you can download Soviet Acid Voyage here. I can't promise you a good time, but I can promise you trippy chunky pixel landscapes in a limited palette!

- Last Minute Recap

What a difference a year makes. I accepted a new role in the spring which has kept me very busy (long days and long commutes!). I still managed to crash and burn at this year's TOJam in May by trying to use our current game engine. When my PocketCHIP arrived I whipped off this silly Pico-8 game for a RetroRemakes game jam.

Since then, I've been taking my PocketCHIP on my daily commutes and have been coding away on our next game on the train (it's so tiny and weighs less than my lunch!). But since PocketCHIP can't support our current game engine (it doesn't do OpenGL 3) I have been using it to build the underlying economic engine that will serve as the backbone for the game. Very necessary, but it doesn't make for exciting screenshots...

We also permanently dropped the price on Pond Scum so if you're an Android gamer, have a look!

More to come in 2017! All the best from our family to yours.

- Iterations Later...

I'm still trying to find a new job, so have been iterating through development cycles on our latest game engine after my daily job search. Starting Iteration Nine this week! Here's a screen shot from Iteration Seven:

Still mostly test data and placeholder art, but it's steady progress! More to come!

- Iteration One Complete

I was laid off from my job in August, which has left me with lots of time on my hands (after I check the daily want ads, naturally) which I've been investing in our latest game engine.

I've just completed Iteration One this week (which is the second iteration, naturally) so thought it was time to give you a little peek at what we're working on. Pretty standard 3D engine fare (Perlin noise patches and Suzanne heads plus the start of a swanky User Interface system) but for something I'm building myself from the ground up using C++ and modern OpenGL, I'm pretty pleased. More to come!

- A Murderous Diversion

TOJam rolled around again as it does every year and the theme for TOJam 10 was "It's All Come To This".

Sounds desparate. So we made Donner Party Dinner Party, a twisted, morbid, experimental game in a "pixel folk-art" style. It's not quite finished, but it is playable. Enjoy!

- It's because I called you scum, isn't it.

So yeah, we're not dead and PondScum for Android is still a thing: PondScum!

The response has been disappointing so far - we haven't been able to get it reviewed anywhere or garner much interest about it in general. Am I on some blacklist I don't know about?

Doesn't matter - we're coding again! It's early days, so all I can say is that it is not another mobile game! We are returning to the PC platform because this one is a bit more substantial in scope.

We are currently coding the foundations of the game engine. More details will be released once we've got more to talk about!

- You're all scum!

I mean that in the nicest possible way, of course! NotSoft is very proud to announce the release of our latest game: PondScum!

It is available now in the Google Play Store in both Free and Paid versions and features and original soundtrack by Zach Smith!

Please give it a try and tell all your Android friends! The OUYA version will be available in the near future!

- Mind the Time-Gap!

Seems I haven't updated the website since 2012. Bad form, I apologize. There were some fairly dramatic changes in my life that happened after the previous post, and it took a bit of time to get back on track.

NotSoft is not dead! In the last update I talked about shelving PondScum for Android. Since getting back on track it's been in active development and will soon be available on the Google Play store as well as the OUYA gaming system.

There will be another update very soon as we get closer to release. Watch this space!

- Where Did That Half-Year Go?

Seems half a year has slipped by without any updates. Sorry about that, I've been having way too much fun!

So, I'll try and recap some of the good stuff that's been going on.

At the end of January, I participated in the Global Game Jam at the Toronto location which was organized by the lovely Randy Orenstein and the indomitable Troy Morrissey and run by a massive team of volunteers. It was an amazing experience.

I had been experimenting with the Lightweight Java Game Library at the time (and will use it again in the future, it's pretty awesome), and worked on a game I called "Lightrail":

click to embiggen

Earth texture courtesy of NASA

I was going for the 1D gameplay thing (in 3D, for some reason) but I wasn't able to bring it past an early prototype during the Jam. I took it a little farther afterwards before finally deciding it was an interesting little tech demo (to me), but I couldn't see it ever becoming fun, so I shelved it. It happens.

Troy Morrissey is also the driving force behind an upcoming documentary on game jams. During the Global Game Jam I took as many oppourtunities as I could to ham it up for the cameras. Hopefully some of it will make it though the final edit.

Not long after shelving Lightrail, I decided to give the Android market another try and dusted off an old prototype: Pond Scum!

Note: early version - pretty much all of this is placeholder art

The original Pond Scum prototype was created with Flash. The Android version is a complete rewrite in Java using OpenGL ES. The early version already plays really nice and I'm looking forward to implementing some of the exciting ideas I have for it. As soon as I can take it off the shelf again. No, I'm not even kidding.

"Are you planning on actually finishing any projects?" you might be thinking. Yes, I am. Here's what happened: TOJam: The Sevening.

Troy invited me to participate on the team he was putting together for the event. I'd never done a game jam on a team before, and Troy is a really cool and super talented guy. I'd be stupid to say no.

During the planning stages the ideas came fast and quickly got far too ambitious for a 3 day game jam. We pared it back as much as we could. Then spent much of the jam paring it down even more as we dealt with issues (both technical and real life). By the end of the jam we had little more than a pretty looking things that you could interact with a little, but it was nowhere near a game. But we're still working on it.

Light Key: Writing and Sound Design by DARC Productions, artwork by Ian Wright, programming by bignobody of NotSoft.

One of the really exciting things about this game is that Ryan Cox of DARC is also the guitar player of the incredible hardcore punk band End Program and he is putting together a Canadian Punk Rock compilation that will accompany the game! You can find out more about the compilation here on the facebook page for it. Stay tuned for more!

My musical tastes are all over the place, but have a special fondness for punk rock. You might have noticed that if you've had a look at our YouTube Channel this year. I think the indie game dev experience has a lot of shared ethos with punk rock.

So yeah, that's what I've been up to. Starting and shelving projects, going to game jams and punk rock shows. Life is pretty good. It would be better if you bought one of our games though. Go on! You know you want to!

We good? Good. See ya around xmas time I guess?

- Holidays? What Holidays?

Ok, I did find a minute or two to get reaquainted with my family. It was lovely. Then, when I wasn't adding to my Steam Coal collection, I was working on our new 3D game engine for Android.

I'm not even going to try and estimate when we might release something using it as it is still in very early development, but I figured I'd give you a little peek:

Don't worry, most of these are supposed to be very abstract - just test data during engine development, really.

Finally, 2011 was a very poor year for us in terms of sales. If you'd like to help support us during our current development cycle, please consider buying one (or more) of our games or other products! Just have a look at the banners down the left side of this page and see if anything strikes your fancy. Thank you.

- Swami Shami: Digital Guru

Remember back at the end of July when we said we got an Android device? Well we just released our first Android app!

Swami Shami is a simple but fun app that will answer your yes or no questions. Sort of like the old Magic 8 Ball, but with much more personality. So if you have an Android device, why not check it out?

- A Sale To Celebrate Our Move to BMT Micro

We've now changed to BMT Micro to handle payment processing and product delivery. To celebrate this move, we're having a sale! Buy Shlongg and/or (but hopefully and ;) )Wytches Brew and use the code "BMT4ME" (without quotes)as the Discount code when ordering for 50% off!

Sale ends October 1st, 2011, so hurry!

- I Don't Seem To Recall Ever Owning A Droid...

We've finally gone mobile! Sort-of. I got an Android device so we're going to take a crack at making some apps. Stay tuned!


I'm going to TOJam again this year, likely solo again. I'm not going to say too much about my project other than that since I only have 3 days, I have to keep things as simple as possible, so it has only one scene - the subway. The game is set both on the trains and in stations.

Since I'll have my fingers busy enough making the generic subway graphics, I thought I could get some help from the internet to get a bit of the uniqueness of real life in.

So to give the subway scenes a bit more reality, I decided I needed 2 things (other than the people, of course) advertisements and graffiti.

So here's what we're looking for:

Graffiti Artists

Your art is free to enjoy. This game will be free to enjoy. What do you say? Get us some digital images of your work and let us know whatever name you go by and where the work can be seen (if applicable). I'll try and use what I can on the walls and on the train of the game's setting. FOR BEST RESULTS IMAGES TAKEN FACING THE WORK STRAIGHT ON WILL WORK BEST. Now it's your chance to "deface" NST (NotSoftTransit) property without fear of retribution!

Indie Artists

I was originally going to put "Indie Game Developers" but then I thought, why limit ourselves here? If you're independent and creating art of any kind, here's a way to sell out and keep it real at the same time: Get free advertising on the NST (NotSoftTransit)!

Before you get too excited, here's the catch! YOUR AD WILL BE VIRTUALLY UNREADABLE IN GAME.

Let me give that a second to sink in.

You ask "why would I go to all the trouble of preparing and sending you a digital ad if it won't be seen?"

A good, if obvious, question.

We will make sure the ad is seen on a web page somewhere, probably the one holding the end product. So make it good. Provide a link and I'll link your ad on the page too. Then players can have a fun little "spot the ad" mini game in their heads as they play - scaled down versions of the ads will appear inside the subway station and trains (so for best results, make sure the artwork is readable from a distance!).


BEFORE YOU SUBMIT ANYTHING: 1) We reserve the right to decline any submissions for any reason, though we appreciate them all. 2)You retain all rights to your submissions. Any Images used are digitally manipulated and everyone involved agrees that I have to right to use the results of those manipulations in the game and on the game's web page. 3) While we cannot go into the details of the game design, we must warn you now: THE GAME WE ARE MAKING IS NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN. It is not our intent to upset anyone so both children and people of a sensitive nature are invited to play one of our other titles. If this does not sound like something you want your submission associated with, please withhold it.

I'm not kidding. There are going to be people who, despite the warnings, will be upset by the game we are planning. If you don't want those kind of associations, don't bother submitting.

Contact Us Here!

I hope this isn't ignored :( TOJam is May 13th, so I need submissions before then!

- Help Bring On The Zombie Apocalypse

The Zombie Apocalypse is coming. Or it will, if ex-commercial-game-developers-turned-indie-darlings Lemmy & Binky (& now Nickenstein!) can survive long enough to bring it about. Confused? Read all about Project Zomboid here!

The gist of the situation is that these 3 talented guys are working on what promises to be perhaps the greatest zombie survival horror game ever created. But it won't happen any time soon if they have to take another soul-sucking day job (like me - why do you think it takes us years to produce our games?).

That's where we come in. It's up to us to make sure they can pay their rent so they don't end up on the street (can't have their computers exposed to the elements) and to be sure they can eat occasionally (it's hard to code when you're hungry).

Donate at least 5 GBP (about 8 bucks and change on this side of the pond) and you'll get free updates of the game for life. I've already made my donation, and plan to donate again over the coming months. Won't you please think of the pixelated zombies and make a donation too?

- Last Year's News

Another update already? Don't get used to it! Just trying to clear out a couple of 2010 items so we can dig in to 2011 with a clean plate.

First of all, bigpants assures us the TOJam #5 games will see the light of day, but I for one have lost faith. So we're posting ours. Have a look in the Games section under free games (or just click the scientist shooting the neanderthal) for Kairos Mend!

Secondly, Amy of Amy's Ramblings was one of those lucky people who took advantage of the Wytches Brew giveaway last month, and she was nice enough to do a review! You should read it!

More stuff coming soon! Probably not too soon, but soon...
P.S.:The picture you see in this update is now available at PixelStarch.com. Buying anything from there directly supports us. Thanks!

- Flashy New Makovers

Happy new year! We thought we'd start this year off by doing things a little differently (that's partially what the site re-skin is about). That's what new years are for right? Trying new things. And this year we'd like you to get to know us better.

When I say "we" and "us" as I so often do, I really mean "the company and I", because as much as we like to put forward the façade of "Oshawa's Premier Game Studio", in cold harsh reality this whole operation is just that one bearded guy you probably saw scowling at you on the new front page (who's stupid idea was that anyway? It's amazing it hasn't scared everyone off).

My name is Steve, but my "internet name" is bignobody. You can call me whatever you like. I am an artist. Much of my art is in the digital medium, and much of it is interactive.

Some of my art is free, some I ask for money for (but always provide free demos). Like any artist, I want my work to be appreciated. I'm not so vain as to think I'm producing anything ground-breaking - I simply aim to please myself in the hope that it might also be appreciated by other like-minded individuals.

So have a look around! Maybe you'll see something you like. Or something your friends will like (please tell them). And keep checking back! There's interesting stuff coming this year...

- The slog so far...
2010 and older is now the legacy site. You can view it here, though the accuracy of the links are not guaranteed.

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