Paul Dixon (Boff) Blog / Portfolio

Hi, my name is Paul Dixon (more about me) and I’m an Actionscript Programmer, web developer, and all round Boffin.

For my favourite bits of work, check out my Portfolio [Hall of Fame] as linked above,
otherwise just use the filter button on the right to look at my Extended Portfolio.

If you read this far, be warned from here on in, it is the standard self indulgent, obscure personal references and self touting mire of a personal blog [just pretend it's 2007 and the world hasn't gone over to microblogging yet].

Unity3.5 + Flash = The Can Man

I’ve been testing the unity3.5 “free” export to Flash player 11+.
AND I GOT TO BUILD A GAME!!! with awesome music from David Saulesco, graphics by Mathias Heinänen

 Both the export and the game are awesome and broken, and no where near refined (naturally) as they should be (for the export look to the Native Unity Web Player instead of flash)

[suspiscion] It looks like they are not going to fix some of the issues until Unity4 drops and Adobe and Unity have come to some kind of agreement over licensing  costs.[/suspiscion]

But the main thing is, flash developers finally got a robust gaming engine to work on, and a robust 3d engine with dedicated fancy tools to develop in, so where the hell does this leave flash? Read more »

Be creative! Experience – Sleep – Hack the brain?

In a QI episode about hypnotism, it got me thinking, about a lot of things and I number of stories delievered by the QI Elves and Mr. Fry, started to resonate and remind me of other talks and discussions about creativity and where it comes from. Read more »

web games

We were discussing at work today, with the some of the mums who aren’t up to speed about what their kids are playing.
At they are appalled by the “war games” (as they are way too many games involving this gory killing). I learned that they don’t mind too much – actually – it’s just being able to ensure the age appropriate material is getting through.
But an interesting thing is how – like us more mature players – they want to be involved in that thing that is happening. Read more »

The gaming myth of GADA (Go Anywhere and Do Anything)

GADA (Go Anywhere and Do Anything) has long since been a dream for me.

The idea, is simple. With computers being able to generate and simulate, via seeding, random number generation, fractals home computers have played host in their tiny kilobyte sized memories to entire star-systems, planetary landscapes, entire galaxies.

This is not to say these games “sucked” but they sucked in different ways, their heartfelt over ambition sucked us in and won us over.

Read more »

First Person is wasted on “shooters”

First Person is wasted on “shooters”
I played doom some time back (gzdoom) and thought what a waste, 20 years of extrapolating, and polishing the same gaming concept.

Because other people are still making doom, this is DICE on Dissecting the FPS Genre ( a bit of background to my musings).
Read more »

Back on track.

Well It’s been about a year since my last update. New job and there was a ridiculous amount of overtime that came with that initially, thankfully that has come to an end (the overtime not the job). There was a bunch of positive family stuff happening as well, which I’d rather not get into, needless to say maintaining a blogs/portfolio wasn’t a priority.

Things are stable enough these days to warrant wading into the blog expunging the thousands of spam comments waiting for approval(it’s taken a lot of man hours and browser crashed).
So now things are in good shape so two things are going in soon,

  • recent examples of my work.

They are actually posts from the The Steam Powered User Forums talking about First person game design, as well as other gaming concepts, that I feel need to be stored and for others to link to.

Sommarlov – konstsim för hajar


Straight up and down request, build a game that does x,y,z.
That’s what we built.
Every project has a angle, a hook and dear goodness where those two fishing puns already.

And with this project we used Flixel – the little engine that should
Read more »


It was a success, 2d objects, in a 2d room and a control system to MOVE objects in in actual 3d space that is supposed to be intuitive for 7 year olds.
I present to you Fixarummet – Design your own room.

Compromise – Did you every have one of those projects?
Read more »

as3 inherited variables – internal instead of private

So you read up on OOP’s you’ve had some experience with python, java, c++ sometime in the far distance past.
But what you got on your hands right now is ActionScript 3. I love as3. They tried to follow some form of standard, but certain things proper OOP nerds take for granted fell off the wayside.
Things like “Private”. Creating a singleton in flash required mind altering drugs for AS3.
And here is another classic that I stumbled into today when doing my own class for the first time in a while.
Inherit variables.
Read more »

back to the drawing “bored”

My dear old friend apathy sinks in.
My branch of the main project line to develop a mini game fully, has hit the production sink-hole/mire.
I am currently in the paper-trail of Converting from timeline actionscript mockup, to a fully fledged OOP-flex/FlashDevelop enabled vision giving the artists free range to do what they like with the graphics, without damaging the code. That’s when I can get an artist in to do what this programmer can not.

It also gives me pause to thought to address issues that have crept in as well as plan for the future.
I’m kind of buzzed by the amount of interest shown by my merry little band of playtesters (co-workers and my sister), so I’ve had a number wouldn’t it be great if “blah blah”, or chill out on a thing or go to town on something else. Which is making me a little nervous.

I wouldn’t mind but this mini-game, is “simple”. Read more »

Undisclosed Project

Well, since I’ve entered into a iphone game and app course, the very same avenue I suspect the hard-core flash developers to hide in, when general web development slides fully into HTML5.

I started to think of games to develop for the ipad. And naturally amongst all the crazy ideas “wouldn’t it be cool too”, I settled on a casual game – as such. Built up of handful of smaller mini-games. It’s going to involve a lot of micromanagement, and having several balls up in the air at the same time.

So in my wisdom I start developing one of the core mini-games in flash just to get back up to speed with flash after a long summer. Art-direction, although being programmer art, was going towards the “main game concept”. Of course this first mini-game needs to be a stand-alone, fast and furious type of game to sell to friends and colleagues the larger picture, during those days in the future when I need a favour or too.
Read more »

unity3d – attempt number 2


Here is my first real stab at something “proper” in unity. Be warned – There be programmer art ahead!
Read more »

long overdue

ahhh back to the blog, spring and summer gave me an overdose of real-life.
Almost moved out of my house away from my kid due to a career change.

Got married.

Got another kid on the go…..the story never ends.

my parents were right ? ! ? !

For any child recieving advice from ones “elders” is hard, especially when it seams counter-intuitive.
“Don’t stand there making faces, because when the wind changes it will stay like that!!”
Read more »


Today I’m going to talk about valve software, they are my heroes in the game development world. They released this little game called portal, back in november 2007, and in March 2010, it got a little update : – Changed radio transmission frequency to comply with federal and state spectrum management regulations” .
Read more »

the bandwagon in the shape of flash’s coffin

Yes suddenly within the mobile market, a flash-less web experience is the norm, and the mobile market is of course the target for the new wave of “surfer”. With HTML5, CSS3 showing how god damn awesome it is, one just dreams of being able to write flash like web sites, but in pure HTML so “everyone” can see it. As a web-developer, it has been a dream for years, but so has browser standards and how well realised a dream is “that one” especially with the mobile market and their legions of bastardised “lite” browsers for smaller screens.

What is bumming me out, is this bandwagon jumping over the death of flash.
Read more »

Great Design = Function / Form

A relic from a time before the Great Browser War?
I love these sites, I really do. I’m not trying to be mean, I’m not point out OMG look how bad it is, it’s just, this is how the internet looked in 1995-1999.
This was a hip site, something to be proud off, I’ve known talented art directors and web programmers a-like who have built a web site of similar quality, back in that time period. The usage of tables and font tags…that takes some time and noggin’ work to sort out, although it does feels weird to see youtube in there, like an M16 in the hands of a Roman Centurion.

But it’s so rare to find such a gem alive and well on the internet, and this isn’t a just a site that a web programmer / owner / ISP (web hotel) forgot, this is a living breathing website that is updated quite frequently, and is linked.

Great Design = Form/function. If this site hasn’t been redesigned in gawd knows how many years, it must be doing something right? ( eller?)

VVVVVV – information overload

Where to begin! There are, so many different and important things that I wish to convey that are encapsulated in a microsecond flash of harmonic synaptic activity.

POINT 1 VVVVVV – Veni Vidi Vici

I have to bring people up to speed. I’m talking about a game, a simple flash game. Just a very well designed and well built flash game, where the critics are hailing the creator a Terry Cavanagh a Game Design Genius . Now Download, or play online then come back and read up on my ramblings about why I think we can learn a lot about design (UX, Onboarding, Art-direction, Gaming Goals) from this example.
Read more »

Content Shuffle

Right, got a few tips from friends and colleagues.

Having a blog/portfolio is a little confusing, so I’m trying a new ways to re-organise the site’s content, and how people can view/keep up to date easily, as in the near future I’ll be spamming out my own blog with links, and overly personal pictures with self indulgence references that no-one but myself would ever understand,
whilst at the same time providing prospective employers a chance to view my greatest achievements in a hurry.

WordPress likes to keep everything in date order, so I can’t show something kick arse straight away if I did it a year or two ago.

So, long story made……even longer;  I’ve added a Portfolio [Hall of Fame] :
part – plugin, part PHP Theme hack. Not to mention I made a diabolical filter system, blog or portfolio(news straddles both), all to simplify your  browsing needs.