Below is a list of some of the more interesting or recent freelance and personal projects that I have worked on/am working on that I'm allowed to talk about!
More challenges during lockdown I set about creating an online experience for people to play.
I'm not going to tell you much about the game as this could spoil it. You can play for £15 GBP, of which £2.50 goes to charity.
It's a 60 minute multiplayer game with a variety of puzzles to solve. There is an in-built clue system to help you if you get stuck.
Find out more at https://escape.robandchris.co.uk/
During lockdown I wanted to create an experience where we could feel like we were together even though we weren't.
I'd been wanting to get my teeth into a VR project and this seemed like the ideal time. As not everyone has a suitable VR headset I opted for a WebVR/WebXR approach so that people could use their phones (Google Cardboard) to join in.
This is quite an involved project. Firstly you configure your broadcast and the (websockets) server gives you a cinema ID. You can then share this with everyone else.
When a viewer joins they are taken through a number of steps to prepare themselves for immersion. This includes choosing your seat and configuring your microphone.
One step involves using AI in the browser to detect which way your face is pointing so the website can capture photos of your face from the front and sides. It then dynamically adjusts an avatar 3D model to load these images into it.
When you join the cinema, whatever is broadcasts appears on the screen, with 3D sound if supported. Also, anyone else that joins will appear in their chair, and their face direction is directly mapped to their avatar. If they look at you, you can see they are looking at you!.
You can hear the people around you too! The audio and video streaming aspect used WebRTC which is built into the browser allowing audio and video to be seamlessly transmitted. I enabled a STUN server to help with this, and if you add your own TURN server then its 100% reliable.
Because I was concerned about copyright, nothing is actually streamed through my server. I assume that everyone who shares watching somethign already has legal access to that content themselves.
You can try this out at https://cinema.robsmithdev.co.uk/
After entering the London Marathon to raise money for The Big Issue Foundation we needed to setup several fund raising options.
With my software and electronics background, and a fairly recent interest in Escape Rooms I designed and created an excape room which I wan from a function room in Hinckley, Leicester (UK).
During its operation it raised over £2500 with over 50 teams playing, and achieved a 59% success rate. During the time of operation I tweaked and improved the experience and had several enthusiast groups play, completing the room in 29 minutes!
The room consisted of several tech based puzzles, full computer controlled atmospherical lighting and sound, and the usual doors popping open, sound effects and group puzzles. Its stil available for hire!
Technially it was a Windows PC runing a special Direct3D application, which also communicated to several pieces of custom hardware via an Arduino interface. The PC output two seperate audio signals, DMX controlled lighting, a display which was visible in the room, and ommunicated with several devices. In total the entire setup had 4 arduino devices running!
As a side I am now starting to build props for others as well as design and code software for other rooms under the name of C&R Escapes. I have also designed and started building another.
The booking website is still up at https://escape.robandchris.co.uk/
Having a strong history with the Amiga I decided to work out a modern way to read and write the floppy disks back under Windows 10.
The solution uses a standard Arduino to read and write the data, which is then passed to Windows for decoding. All the source code is open source and freely available.
I have setup a seperate micro site for this project with full details of how the poject works and how I got it to work.
Full details, source code, arduino sketches etc available at http://amiga.robsmithdev.co.uk/
This game is a short pixel-art horizontal scrolling game whereby you must move santa and his sleigh and drop as many presents down chimneys as possible.
Along the way you can pickup carrots for extra time, mince pies for double points and a glass of wine to slow the game down a little. It all gets way too fast quickly and you must avoid the chimneys and roof tops!
This game also uses the Amiga MOD playing engine that I built for qoob. Amiga MOD files are great for retro style music at a very small footprint. The music in this game is about 4 minutes long in total but the files are less than 100k!
Play now by download it from the iTunes App Store
qoob was a game I originally came up with many years ago and began porting it to iOS. The game is written in Objective C and uses OpenGL for the 3D elements. It successfully passed App Store review on the first attempt!
Race your Ogre through the brussel sprout fields eat as many as possible before the towns folk catch you! - Its kinda a Pacman clone in retro style. It even uses old Amiga MOD files for music!
Play it now on the App Store
For a local fitness group challenge I was involved in I created a game related to the teams. I needed the game to be as accessable as possible, and also built as quickly as possible.
I decided to choose Phonegap for this with the build-once deploy-everywhere concept. I created the game as an HTML5 web page and wrapped it up using PhoneGap build and a few of the stock plugins. I then deployed it for Windows Mobile, Android and iPhone. I was impressed with how east Phonegap build made the process.
The game is a whack-a-mole style game "In just 30 seconds capture as many Pandas, Turtles and Raptors as possible to feed your falcon family"
Download and Play Now on: iPhone, Android or Windows Mobile
The E-Snowball machne was a "Lunch Time Challenge" to create a simple e-snowball system, taking roughly an hour to build. All it does is send an email to the people with a message saying you've been hit by a snowball. The email has been setup to get through most spam filters. Give it a try at snowball.robsmithdev.co.uk...
I created social-wars as a viral marketing experiment. Its a retro Doom-style 3D multiplayer shoot-em-up (fps). It uses 100% HTML5, the 2D canvas element to create a 3D environment (it does not use WebGL) and HTML5 Audio. The game integrates with Facebook and Twitter to create a unique competitive experience. It even works on an iPhone! I have now taken this offline and plan to build a true WebGL 3D version
Touchless Touch is an application for Windows that can turn any flat surface into a multi-touch screen. The software uses one or more Kinect or OpenNI sensors to achieve this. I spent several months working on and perfecting this solution as this method is a lot cheaper when it comes to making large format touch screens. Try it now
I created an app for Leicester Pride to help promote their activities as well as provide a location-based messaging service. The app uses a server to manage over 150,000 members worldwide. The app uses concepts linked to an older project (Mobuds) for which I filed a patent in 2007 but due to costs did continue this process. Find out more
CFE required a new website and provided a challenging brief. This included intelligent Twitter integration, multiple news sections, and article/publication management. The ensure solution runs off my bespoke CMS. The client liked this as it was simple to use.
The website was looking really old as it hadn't been changed in over 10 years. I went for a modern simple approach that loads quickly and provides faster access to the information required. See the new website
The client already had the site setup running on Joomla. The site was sluggish and the client was finding Joomla difficult to understand and manage and wanted to simplify the solution. The website was completely re-coded and converted to my CMS. The website now ran smoother and the client found it much easier and simpler to maintain.
I designed and created and host a website for Metamorphis salon in Leicester. The website was designed to their requirements and can be updated using the SiteInSeconds solution further down.
I host and maintain the Leicester Pride website for the charity. I have maintained this since 2011 for them. The site was 100% generated to their requirements. It has a custom CMS to maintain the content as well as an expenses & purchases monitoring system. View Website
I created and host the Live in Leicester website which displays listings of live music in Leicester. The website is maintained through its custom CMS. The website integrates with Amazon and iTunes to include links to artists albums.
If I am asked to create a fairly simple website but the client wants to be able to maintain it I build it upon my SiteInSeconds framework. This is a build it yourself style solution that I built for rapid website creation. The site integrates with PayPal for automatic billing. View Website
Karaoke software for Windows. This software allows you to create your own Karaoke presentations. I building this in the days of Windows 3.1 and has been maintained to Windows 8. It has a large community of registered users and was once used to create the captioning for the Channel 4 programme Karaoke Fishtank. View Website