About SFBTom (twitter: @SFBTom)

Indie game developer from London, UK. I mostly work with my brother Adam under the name SFB Games, making games for desktop, mobile and very occasionally consoles.


Ludum Dare 29
Ludum Dare 23

SFBTom's Trophies

The Theoretical Physicist
Awarded by TeamEpsilon
on April 21, 2012

SFBTom's Archive


Posted by (twitter: @SFBTom)
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 7:41 pm

I can’t believe I actually finished in time this year! I’m super happy with the state of the game, it feels nice and solid.

You play as a pair of Men in Black, looking for aliens who’re impersonating humans!

Have a go, I’m off to rate a few games then sleeeeeeeep.



Rocky Road

Posted by (twitter: @SFBTom)
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 12:05 pm

Looks like the last few hours weren’t entirely for naught! I decided to test out my pathfinding system, and throw some difficult terrain at it too. Works like a charm! Blue is the area that particular unit can reach, purple is the path to the grid space I have highlighted (no mouse visible, sorry!), the darkness of the grey terrain indicate the difficulty in passing it (either a 3-space penalty or a 6-space one).



First signs of life

Posted by (twitter: @SFBTom)
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 11:30 am

Hello! How’s your game coming along? Mine sort of is! Not as much as I’d hoped though.

A lovely jolly bit of fun trying to figure out why the Flash compiler just wasn’t running today set be back a good few hours. Proooobably should have put that on my pre-flight check list….

Anyway, here’s the first screenshot, underwhelming as it is. It’s the bare but now functional bones of a turn based strategy game. Now to build it out into my idea! There’re going to be spies, government agents, aliens, the works. Potentially represented as just different coloured circles, we’ll see how rusty I am at arting.

Hello again old friends

Posted by (twitter: @SFBTom)
Friday, April 25th, 2014 8:02 am

Let’s have another go at this, shall we? Last time, I spent about 40 hours porting over a c++ library for binaural 3D sound to AS3, then realised there wasn’t enough time to actually make a game with it. Still, I ended up with a 3D sound library for Flash, which I should really open source one day…

So this time, it’s the same old setup:

  • Platform: Flash/AIR
  • IDE: FlashDevelop / Flash Pro CS5.5

And for libraries, my favourites, including my own personal library (freshly open-sourced):

For sound effects, I’ll most likely be using my old as3sfxr library/app:

Not sure what I’m doing for music, possibly FL Studio? Depends what I need I guess!

Good luck everyone!

You, and you only, have one

Posted by (twitter: @SFBTom)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 9:17 pm

So here’s where I’m headed with this.

After poking around that idea for a bit on the N22 bus, I arrived at the phrase ‘In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king’.

My idea is this. After [insert disaster], most of the world have lost their sight, hearing and the ability to talk. You however, can still hear, your one remaining sense. You somehow stumble across a man who can see and talk, but can no longer hear. Together you team up to make your way across the [insert environment] and reach [insert goal].

The game is played with no graphics at all, just a pair of headphones and the d-pad/arrow keys. In fact, it’s best played with your eyes closed. I’ve been fiddling around with 3D sound positioning to get that sweet sweet immersion everyone talks about these days.

It plays out like an audio only text adventure, with you making choices on the d-pad. Of course, the seeing, talking man is played my myself, and sound effects are all being gathered tomorrow from around town/my flat.

Biggest challenge ahead: writing and recording a good, branching story in the time left. Only has to be a few minutes long, for now, but still…


It’s midnight in the UK, out come the caffeine and twiglets.

Posted by (twitter: @SFBTom)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 5:15 pm

It’s just over 8 hours since I kicked off, and I’m neck deep in DSP, learning far more than is healthy for a LD48.

I’ve done no graphics, which actually means they’re almost done…

Also, no writing or recording lines as of yet, which is slightly more troubling. I’ll get round to it eventually, hopefully before the time is up.


Super Late, but I’m in.

Posted by (twitter: @SFBTom)
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 9:59 am

I was out seeing The Hobbit late last night when the theme was announced (2am here in the UK), and was thinking about it all the way home on the nightbus. I decided to sleep a little, as it was 5am when I finally got home, and woke up at 12pm. An idea has finally formed, and it’s ridiculous and challenging and will most likely be horribly embarrassing if I get it wrong. I love it.

I’m interpreting the theme slightly differently to the way I think it was intended, which is always a neat start!

You, only, get one.

Time to get cracking. More details once I’ve done enough to decide it’s worth continuing at all!


Subatomica: a post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @SFBTom)
Monday, April 23rd, 2012 4:18 am

First of all, if you haven’t already, go play Subatomica


Regrets, I’ve had a few…

First and foremost, I regret sleeping. The 8 hours I had would have been very handy, and I know I can push through if I have to – I’ve done it twice at the Global Game Jam.

So being short on time meant I wasn’t able to add any sound. I thought about throwing in a few as3sfxr sounds, but I ended up deciding that they didn’t fit the mood of the game at all. I would have had to spend at least a few hours making sfx and music that I’d be happy with.


The bright side of life

In the positive column, I managed to squeeze some fun out of the concept! I was worried that it was a hopeless cause, but a suggestion on twitter lead me to remove particle-particle collisions and suddenly it was fun!

I also found a graphical style I like, and could handle in the time. I usually rely on my brother Adam for art, so my skills in that area are a little rusty at best. A few items feel unfinished, like the goal, but otherwise it’s consistent and most importantly readable for gameplay.


What a tool

So a rundown of the tools I used!

  • FlashDevelop – A joy to use as always, my IDE of choice
  • Flash Pro CS5.5 – I like vectors better than rasters for this kind of game, plus swcs are a great format and integrate well with FlashDevelop

And the libraries!

  • nape – Still my favourite AS3 physics engine, well thought out, perfect for games, super performant!
  • Flint – A great particle engine, very easy to throw together amazing effects very quickly
  • BetweenAS3 – The best tween engine IMO, just really flexible and quick
  • Signals – A better way to dispatch events
  • tomvianas3 – My own personal core library, I ended up using quite a lot of it as usual!


Parting words

I had great fun making Subatomica! This was my first LD48, but it most definitely won’t be my last. For next time:

  • No sleep!
  • Get sounds in early, even if only rough!
  • Try to avoid the urge to refactor, even though my code will be made public!
  • To do lists helped a lot!
  • Change venue – I found sitting at the same desk for 2 days really hard, go work in a coffee shop/library for a few hours a day


Update #5: Submitted for your approval

Posted by (twitter: @SFBTom)
Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 5:19 pm

It’s up! It’s in! It’s done!

At least two of those statements are true. I just submitted the game, now officially called ‘Subatomica’. You can play it here!

The submission page is here, if you’d like to vote/leave feedback

Update #4: But is it fun?

Posted by (twitter: @SFBTom)
Saturday, April 21st, 2012 1:05 pm

OK guys and girls, it’s really starting to take shape now!

The main question I have at this point is: Is it fun? That’s where you can help! Have a play if you have a few moments, the 6 included levels take about 1 minute to complete in total (for me). Did it suck? Bring you enlightenment? Let me know! And thanks!

Details on how to play in my previous post

Update #3: Field testing

Posted by (twitter: @SFBTom)
Saturday, April 21st, 2012 7:36 am

Hello once again!

I’ve been working towards having something actually playable by this afternoon, and I’ve hit my target! That means you can go play it right now!

You control the moving charged particle. Your charge is determined by the y position of your mouse on the screen – there’s a handy bar on the left to show you what you’re doing. Red is positive, blue is negative. The same goes for the static particles, and just like in real life, like charges repel and differing charges attract.

The red-blue shimmer in the bottom left is an example of an electric field, it’ll accelerate you based on your current charge. The green ripples are a magnetic field passing through the screen. It’ll accelerate you based on your velocity and charge.

The yellow area is a temporary goal I set up. The game doesn’t stop when you hit it yet though, but it shows you that you’ve reached it! The gameplay is going to be a maze/obstacle course sort of thing. I’ve got a couple more subatomic tricks up my sleve too…

Click the image below to go to the game’s temporary site!

Update #2: Out here in the fields

Posted by (twitter: @SFBTom)
Saturday, April 21st, 2012 12:45 am

Hello again!

I’ve been working though the night (LD started at 2am here in the UK) on getting the game engine ready for action. I’ve just finished adding in electric fields and magnetic fields (left and right boxes respectively). You can see their effect of the particles!

As I mentioned, the game is based on subatomic physics, specifically on the motion of charged particles… I’m moving onto the controls now, so I might have a playable demo next update, and an explanation as to what on earth is going on! Any guesses?

I’m taking inspiration from images like this:

Update #1: The Physics

Posted by (twitter: @SFBTom)
Friday, April 20th, 2012 9:59 pm

Hey all, hope you’re having fun so far!

I’ve been coding for about 2 straight hours now, and I have something visual enough to show! The game is based around the very tiny world of subatomic physics, a subject dear to my heart (no, really!). As I mentioned before, physics will be handled by nape.

The first bounce:


And my super awesome workspace!

Long time jammer, first time dantis

Posted by (twitter: @SFBTom)
Friday, April 20th, 2012 10:51 am

I’m pretty excited for my first foray into LD! I think this’ll be my 6th game jam, but the first done in the comfort of my own home.

I’ll be using Flash as usual, with FlashDevelop as my IDE of choice, along with Flash Pro CS5.5 as my graphical tool. Sound effects-wise, I’ll be taking my own medicine and using the as3sfxr library and tool I ported across a few years back. I’m not sure just yet what I’ll do for music…

On the coding side, I have my own base library that I’ll be using. I’m just cleaning it up now so I can upload to github before the kickoff, I’ll update here when that’s done. If I go for a physics based game, nape will be there for me. BetweenAS3 is my go-to tween engine, Signals is great for events and as3corelib has a good lot of useful stuff.

OK, back soon with that github link!

Edit: Personal code on Google code for now! http://code.google.com/p/tomvianas3/



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