What's Cheese Up To These Days?

Icicle

Involvement November 2014 - Present

Status: Unreleased

URL: http://icicle-engine.org

Icicle is an in-development game engine focused on delivering text oriented experiences that I originally started while working on Winter's Wake for 7DFPS. It foregoes the parser and button based interfaces of traditional text and hypertext adventures in favour of first person "mouselook" style controls, and presents itself mechanically as a single verb point and click adventure game.

  • Application design
  • Programming

plus-x

Involvement: February 2021 - Present

Status: Released

URL: https://cheeseness.itch.io/plus-x

URL: https://gitlab.com/Cheeseness/plus-x

Sources Available: MIT

Early in 2021, I developed and released a small tool aimed at allowing developers on non-Unix operating systems to manage Unix style executable permisions.

  • Programming
  • Logo design

Para CMS

Status: Released, ongoing development

URL: http://para.jbushproductions.com

Source Available: GPL3

Para CMS is a GPL licenced, PHP based, light weight content management system that renders content from plain text files. It was originally created for the Big List of 3rd Party DRM on Steam as a replacement for Wordpress, allowing content to be maintained via a Git repository.

  • Designed Parasaurolophus used as mascot
  • Developed initial 0.1 release
  • Review commits
  • Manage project/community
  • Ongoing development

Transcriberer

Status: Released, ongoing development

URL: http://transcriberer.jbushproductions.com

Source Available: GPL3

Transcriberer is a GPL licenced, HTML and Javacript transcription aid, which exposes convenient keyboard shortcuts for playback control and time stamp insertion without the text input area losing focus.

I originally wrote Transciberer to assist with the creation of shownotes for SteamLUG Cast and for transcribing audio interviews for Cheese Talks.

  • Developed initial release
  • Designed page CSS
  • Ongoing development

Cheese Talks

Involvement: July 2011 - Present

URL: http://cheesetalks.twolofbees.com

Cheese Talks started by accident after I interviewed Steamworks/Vapor developer VoiDeD in an attempt to raise awareness of Vapor and investigate the accuracy of some of its download statistics. I needed somewhere to host that interview, so I pulled across an article I'd written about the behaviour of the TF2 community which was previously hosted on the main Two Lof Bees domain.

Shortly afterward, I did a three part interview with Desura's Linux Games Lead, Protektor, and the site grew from there, hosting the Humble Visualisations as well.

I get a lot of enjoyment about being an independent writer like this, and it's led to a number of interesting opportunities and helped me cross paths with some great people.

Open Source Developers Conference 2014

Involvement: September 2014 - October 2014

Status: Completed

URL: http://2014.osdc.com.au/

In September 2014, I was approached by conference lead organiser Arjen Lentz to design a shirt fitting with the 2014 conference's theme of openness, inclusiveness and connectivity. After working through several design concepts, we settled on a "shape mosaic" concept featuring a range of stylised representations of devices, appliances, utilities and people forming the shape of the OSDC koala logo.

Steam Database

Involvement: January 2013 - January 2014

Status: Completed

URL: https://steamdb.info

In January 2013, I was invited to work on the first of several iterations of the SteamDB logo, liaising with xPaw and Marlamin to create something that matched their vision and requirements.

  • Multiple logo designs

Stycil Tux

Status: Released

URL: http://twolofbees.com/artwork.php?iid=870

Originally, I created the "Stycil Tux" design for a project I was working on, but it didn't end up getting used. This was a little disappointing for me, and I spent a little while trying to find other things that I could retro fit it into. In the end, I decided that since I didn't have any specific use for it, but I still wanted to see it find some purpose somewhere, that licencing it for public use would be the best option.

Since then, the design has appeared on wine glasses, on t-shirts, and has been adopted as a logo by The Big List of Steam games on Linux. A derivative has also been used as a logo by the linux_gaming subreddit.

flibitijibibo Logo

Involvement: May 2012 - Present

URL: http://flibitijibibo.com

In 2012, I designed a custom logo and business card design for software developer/game porter/audio guy flibitijibibo. We had previously collaborated on a number of projects, and have more stuff on the go, but that's covered elsewhere.

  • "Cross-platform Audio ninja" logo design
  • Business card design

BlueHackers.org

Involvement: August 2011 - Present

Status: Unreleased, hiatus

In August 2011, BlueHackers.org founder Arjen Lentz contacted me to see if I'd be interested in creating some t-shirt designs that could be used to raise awareness of depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder. Whilst this project was put on hold in favour of another collaboration with Arjen, several designs have been finalised and will hopefully be used at some stage.

The Big List of 3rd Party DRM on Steam

Involvement: December 2011 - April 2013

URL: http://steamdrm.flibitijibibo.com

In December 2011, maintainer of The Big List of 3rd Party DRM on Steam maintainer asked if I'd like to design a new logo. Over the next few months, we discussed the idea of replacing the then-current wordpress site with something that would allow content to be managed in plain text, eventually resulting in the development of Para CMS.

In April 2013, the website was retired and its content migrated to PCGamingWiki.

  • Developed logo and revised website design
  • Developed custom content management system

Unannounced Board Game

Status: In development, ongoing

In August 2011, I was invited to collaborate on a board game. I decided to make use of Blender to create a cute, busy representation of modern daily life to use as the background for the board. I also assisted with development of game design concepts and testing.

  • Game design
  • Graphic design for cards and board

Wooden Snail

Involvement: May 2012

Status: Unreleased

In May 2012, I created a logo/mascot for a project called Wooden Snail by fellow SteamLUG collaborator meklu. Drawing upon the Trojan Horse tale as inspiration, I used Blender to create a cute scene depicting a wooden snail being pushed by a lone soldier.

Winter's Wake

Involvement: November 2014 - Present

Status: Unreleased, ongoing development

URL: http://winterswake.com

For the third 7 Day First Person Challenge, I prototyped a first person interpretation of a text adventure, attempting to re-create the kind of player-imagined experiences I recall from text adventures and books in a new and interesting way.

The result is a single verb point and click adventure with "mouselook" controls and text descriptions rather than graphics. Positional audio and background tinting provide additional orientation cues and help instill a sense of presence.

I am currently aiming for a 2016 release on Linux, Mac OS and Windows.

  • Game design
  • Engine programming
  • Cross platform programming
  • Writing
  • Initial sound design

Bat Egg

Involvement: March 2021 - Present

Status: Released

URL: http://bategg.twolofbees.com

URL: https://cheeseness.itch.io/bat-egg

Fulfilling promises from 2019, I created a long-planned flapformer game in which players must manage momentum, gravity, and stamina as a cute bat egg searching for its family.

  • Game design
  • Programming
  • Writing
  • 2D art
  • 3D art
  • Foley recording
  • Initial music
  • Trailer and promotional materials

Hive Time

Involvement: May 2019 - Present

Status: Released

URL: http://hivetime.twolofbees.com

URL: https://cheeseness.itch.io/hive-time

URL: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL57oGW0nMcYOJ3Uvu3es3zSDbWj7edirn

Hive Time started development as a 10 day game jam project created in collaboration with Mim at the end of April 2019. Following a positive reception to the jam prototype, I continued to work on the game until its eventual release in December 2019.

In addition to to general development summaries and a stream per month, I also kept a dev blog during development talking about additions/changes and the intent behind them.

In the year following release, I shipped a bunch of maintenance patches and content updates.

  • Game design
  • Programming
  • Writing
  • 2D art
  • 3D art
  • Foley recording
  • Promotional materials
  • Post-release content updates

Ruben the Claw Troll

Involvement: March 2018 - May 2018

Status: Released

URL: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1329533230

URL: https://cheeseness.itch.io/ruben-the-claw-troll

URL: https://www.patreon.com/posts/19378255

While working with Defiant on getting mod support ready for public consumption, I created an encounter chain exploring feelings and reflections on sharing life with a pet. Ruben The Claw Troll reimagines and reframes some of the real-life adventures of a labrador named Frodo.

  • Encounter design
  • Card art
  • Writing
  • 2D art

The Away Team

Involvement: July 2017 - Present

Status: Released

URL: http://awayteam.space/

URL: https://underflow-studios.itch.io/the-away-team

URL: https://store.steampowered.com/app/426290/The_Away_Team_Lost_Exodus/

URL: https://underflowstudios.com/the-away-team-lost-exodus-redesigning-the-argo/

URL: https://www.underflowstudios.com/the-away-team-lost-exodus-making-memories/

In 2017, I discovered a text-focused sci-fi game that I really liked. Eager to assist with resolving some Linux issues, I approached the game's lead developer about helping out, and eventually made an expansion-scale update aimed at solidifying and enhancing the game's existing identity.

  • Mac port
  • Game design
  • Programming
  • Writing
  • 2D art
  • Foley recording
  • Promotional materials

Bonesweeper

Involvement: February 2021 - Present

Status: Prototype released

URL: https://cheeseness.itch.io/bonesweeper

Early in February, I prototyped a game that reframes classic Minesweeper gameplay as excavating fossils of mesozoic animals, and exposes some progression via being able to assemble fossils into skeletons.

  • Game design
  • Programming
  • 3D art
  • Foley
  • Music

Cloud Courier

Involvement: September 2021 - Present

Status: Prototype released

URL: https://cheeseness.itch.io/cloud-courier

In Setpember 2021, I participated in the Stop Waiting For Godot Jam, creating a small game about delivering packages in a hot air balloon for villagers who live on floating islands in the sky.

After some time to reflect following the jam, my collaborators and I decided that we'd like to expand Cloud Courier into a slightly larger project, which we expect to grow slowly over time.

  • Game design
  • Programming
  • Additional 2D art
  • Foley

Honeycomb CRUNCH

Involvement: May 2019

Status: Released

URL: https://cheeseness.itch.io/honeycomb-crunch

URL: https://gitlab.com/Cheeseness/honeycomb-crunch

Sources Available: LGPL3, CC BY 4.0 Assets

For the May 2017 Tasmanian Linux User Group meeting, I gave a talk/demonstration on making games with the then-recently released Godot 3.1 engine. In preparation, I created a small avoid-the-obstacles game that I could do a code walkthrough of, and did a public release of sources.

  • Game design
  • Programming
  • 2D art
  • 3D art

The Spicy Meatball Saves The Day

Involvement: March 2017 - September 2017

Status: Released

URL: https://cheeseness.itch.io/spicy-meatball

Early in 2017, I created a lightly comedic superhero adventure game in the Icicle Engine for the Linux Game Jam.

Later in the year, I shipped a slightly more polished version along with a trailer.

  • Game design
  • Programming
  • Writing
  • 2D art
  • Additional sounds
  • Promotional materials

Supply Chain

Involvement: March 2020 - June 2020

Status: Released

URL: https://cheeseness.itch.io/supply-chain

URL: https://gitlab.com/Cheeseness/supply-chain

Sources Available: MIT, CC0 Assets

As part of introducing a friend to game development and the Godot engine, I pulled out a minimalist management sim game concept and went through the process of creating it together. In addition to releasing the game itself, we also released its sources and assets.

  • Game design
  • Programming
  • 2D art

Colossal Cave Adventure - Icicle Edition

Involvement: October 2016 - Present

Status: In development, demo builds available

URL: http://adventure.icicle-engine.org

URL: https://cheeseness.itch.io/colossal-cave

Colossal Cave Adventure - Icicle Edition is an Icicle engine remake of the 1976/7 terminal based text adventure game Adventure (also known as ADVENT, Colossal Cave and Colossal Cave Adventure), originally developed by Will Crowther and expanded by Don Woods.

This iteration of Adventure is being created as part of The Year of Adventure to celebrate Adventure's 40th anniversary. The Icicle engine exposes text oriented content through first person mouselook style controls and provides single verb point-and-click adventure style mechanics in place of a text parser. Colossal Cave Adventure - Icicle Edition aims to hold true to the spirit and atmosphere of the original game, but does make some content and puzzle concessions in order to fit better with the Icicle engine's interface and structure.

  • Engine development
  • Tools development
  • Additional writing
  • Website development
  • Packaging

Hidden Star

Involvement: April 2016 - Present

Status: In development, prototype builds available

URL: https://cheeseness.itch.io/hidden-star

URL: https://github.com/Cheeseness/hidden-star

Source Available: GPL3

Initially created for LOWREZJAM 2016, Hidden Star is a space exploration/trading/combat game presented at 64x64px.

  • Concept art
  • Created visual assets
  • Writing
  • Programming
  • Platform specific packaging

FLAT

Involvement: June 2012 - Present

Status: Released, ongoing development

URL: http://flat.jbushproductions.com

Source Available: GPL3

FLAT began as a game created for the 7 Day First Person Challenge in June 2012, a week long event in which I attempted to create a game from scratch with a team consisting of two other developers. During the event, I focused primarily on creating art assets in Blender and then batch rendering out to 2D sprite sequences using an array of cameras at set angles.

In the week following the 7DFPS event, I added additional features, art assets and gameplay fixes to make a more polished "post-7DFPS" build available. I also worked with composer Anton Riehl, who had offered to write a score for the game, and implemented a simple context sensitive music system.

In July 2012, we decided to release FLAT under the GPL in order to give others the opportunity to learn from or improve the game.

  • Created art assets for enemy skaters, pulse dragon, player weapons, environment crystals, and background elements
  • Voiced player and enemy pain sounds
  • Implemented music system
  • Game design, testing and balancing
  • Packaged Linux release builds
  • Ongoing maintenance

Crab Lab

Status: Concept

Crab Lab will be a small scale 2D puzzle game.

Unannounced Portal 2 Mod

Status: Concept

During 2012, I wrote a treatment and produced storyboards for a short Portal 2 mod which follows the experiences of a trapped Aperture Science employee around the time of GLaDOS' neurotoxin incident in a manner that pays homage to Valve's style of storytelling.

It's my intention to collaborate with a small team of other artists/developers, and the schedule for this project will depend on the convergence of availability.

Unannounced First/Third Person Exploration Game

Status: Concept, ongoing development

In 2012, I began concept work on a multiplayer first/third person exploration/puzzle game with another developer with whom I've previously collaborated.

At this stage in development, we are anticipating using Unity 4 and targeting Windows, MacOS and Linux.

  • Game design
  • Concept art
  • Story treatment

Fotham

Status: Unreleased, ongoing development

Fotham is the codename for a small scope mutliplayer top-down shooter developed by Valiant Systems.

Currently I am the only active developer on project Fotham.

  • Game design
  • Concept art
  • Initial prototyping

Unannounced Linux Release

Status: Unreleased, ongoing development

Involvement: December 2012 - Present

Towards the end of 2012, I was invited to assist with publishing a Linux verion of an existing indie game.

  • Packaging
  • Testing

Helping Other Devs

This document contains a partially complete list of games that I have helped out with in some form, including but not limited to offering advice, testing, providing code snippets, troubleshooting, participating in development, liasing with upstream projects/developers (big shout out to Levi Bard from Unity Technologies). Typically, this has been with regards to Linux support.

Inclusion in this list does not indicate that a Linux port has or ever will be published, nor does it speak to the quality and stability of Linux support. Inclusion in this list does not indicate any endorsement of me by the project's developer or vice versa (though I do think these are all pretty neat games!).

Access to builds/feedback opportunities that were part of normal experiences with crowdfunded or early access games is not included, neither is help provided to developers during game jams.

This list is woefully incomplete because I'm terrible and never kept notes. If your game is not here and I've lent you a hand in the past, please get in touch!

J Bush Productions

Involvement: July 2011 - Present

URL: http://jbushproductions.com

In 2011, after recovering from hand injuries, I decided to pursue freelance photography, graphic design and software development in favour of a more intensive "day job".

I'm most interested in building ongoing working relationships with people and collaborating on interesting and engaging projects.

I generally use a negotiated pay-what-you-want approach to pricing, which has been an interesting experiment.

Two Lof Bees

Involvement: March 2010 - Present

URL: http://twolofbees.com

Two Lof Bees originated as a means to store and catalogue notes, scribbles and drawings that Mim and I made for each other. We had noticed that other people seemed to be pretty excited by some of our drawings, so we decided to share them with the world.

It's an amazing feeling to know that your art brings happiness to others :)

Grumpy Bunny (Fiction)

Status: Unreleased, ongoing development

Grumpy Bunny is a Two Lof Bees picture book that I've written and am in the process of illustrating, which explores the impact of memory loss.

The Prince and the Princess (Fiction)

Status: Unreleased, ongoing development

The Prince and the Princess is a Two Lof Bees picture book based on a concept by Mim. We've collaborated heavily on writing and drawing, and are hoping for a 2013 release.

Unannounced Graphic Novel (Fiction)

Status: Concept

I have a short graphic novel that I've written an outline for which I intend to come back to at some stage.

@Cheeseness