Wednesday, 6 November 2013

AudioBrush is launched

AudioBrush is now launched and I'm going to discontinue this blog as there is now an official website. If you somehow reached this blog then please visit the official website for the latest News, Downloads, Screenshots and more.


Sunday, 20 October 2013

It's all happening!

The time is near, everything is set for the release of AudioBrush, currently to the iOS platform only - others to come later.

So it's in the approval process with Apple at the moment and expected to be released on the 10th November.

Meanwhile, there's a new website up and from now on that is where everything will be. This blog was purely for ease during the development phases, and quiet deservingly needs an update. Head on over to the new site to check it out: Official Website

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

ActionScript Developers!

Are you a ActionScript Developer? Do you have what it takes to....

Enough with that cheese, AudioBrush is looking for developers to add to it's arsenal. You'll be a part of the crew who's going to be making the next best music game for mobile and Facebook. Interested? Take a look at the spec

Essential skills are:

- OO Actionscript 3.0 (AIR)
- MVC Frameworks
- Flash Product Workflow
- Gaming Experience (preferably mobile)

Desireable skills:

- Knowledge of audio engineering/programming (frequency bands, FFT, etc)
- Facebook Graph API
- Knowledge of REST
- iOS / Android / Browser / Desktop experience
- Music games knowledge and understanding
- Platform dependant frameworks (eg. GameCenter, Push Notification etc)
- NodeJS
- Git (GitHub)
- Ant
- Efficient and Ecomonic effects (eg particle effects)

What you will be doing:

- What ever hours you like
- Google Hangouts with client and server developers
- Developing - of course, from your own computer, at home or wherever it is you work
- Workflow management over Trello - will keep you updated on everyone else and everyone else updated on what you're doing.

What do you get? Well it depends on your experience and what you will be capable of working on, you will be thrown in at the deep end, of course we will tell you how things work and get you up to speed. You will not be expected to sign contracts. We welcome anyone who already has a job and wants to be a part of AudioBrush in their evenings or weekends. Our main development times are 1PM - 4AM GMT+1 which I believe is 5AM - 8PM PST, Monday -> Sunday.

Most importantly you will be part of a great up-coming game and potentially be a part of something a lot, lot bigger.

Now that's all out the way, should you be interested then do send me an email or call and we can have a conversation about how we can proceed. We're extremely laid back so there is no need for formalities, just as long as your not in your pants when you're on call.

Contact me ---> Email Ollie
or if you like you can call (UK) ---> 01322 400 119

Monday, 16 September 2013

Progress Update

Hey crew, just an update on what's happening, AudioBrush, from a couple of days ago is back on full-time development - which is great!

Server enthusiast Jon Parsons has just put together the first build of the REST API which will be the core of the back-end so to speak. Before this AudioBrush was only using a rather primitive MySQL database as this is the extent of my personal server knowledge. Anyway the scale of this is pretty big, in it's current form being able to handle around 2mill users and around 20k con-current users - by the flick of a switch - literally, this scale can be made bigger by any increment. NICE!

So on the client side the code to get all this fancy new server stuff working is implemented just need to get it all tested and secure.

The development process of AudioBrush is no longer open to the public, but in a few weeks time this won't matter as you will all be able to grab your copy from the mobile stores!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The leap of fail + GESTURES wooo!

It saddens me to say that the press release of the AudioBrush Kickstarter campaign ended up being a massive failure. If you would like to find out the reason why read the next paragraph.

The press release for AudioBrush was sent out on Thursday 18th of July. The response from the press was great and many of which wanted a version to play so they could give AudioBrush a spin for themselves. Anticipating a positive reaction from the press the Kickstart Campaign was launched shortly before finding out the the Apple Developer website was down since the 18th of July. Thus stopping AudioBrush from being installed on new devices and in-turn, prevented AudioBrush from being played by the press teams. Unfortunately this meant that despite a good response from the press the light dimmed and lost all energy.

As this is the case, I will be taking the project down and hopefully starting fresh in the not-too-distant future.

So I say thank you for your support so far! This will not fault my ambition to continue with AudioBrush, it will be bigger and better than ever!

Iiiiiinnnn other news, gestures is a new feature that is currently being developed for AudioBrush.

Gestures will be a new feature which allow you to make use of the beautiful brush you use to control your way through beats with style. Creating gestures between successful beat collections will give you extra bonus points for being artistic!

Gestures will be available soon to the beta participants.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Kickstarter Launched!

So AudioBrush's Kickstarter Project launched today. The target: £10k.

Up for grabs in-return for your lovely generosity is a bunch of limited edition features only available to Kickstarter pledgers, a load of in-game credits and other various goodies. So head on over the the Kickstarter Project page to have a peek.

KS Project Page:

There are some other great financial targets for AudioBrush to get to, which will make AudioBrush even better than it was planned to be, with features such as multiplayer and much more.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

AudioBrush hits up Android

Yup you heard, AudioBrush is now available on the Android platform. Players on this platform will experience the exact same game as iOS users.

Facebook is still built in natively so there is no messing around and music is still delivered in the same way. Currently you will need to have MP3's only, as the current version on Android will only support this audio file type.

So people with Android - hit up the BETA page and get on the AudioBrush bandwagon!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Server Dev Underway!

Server development was planned today and whilst my input was most definitely not vast, Mr. Parsons sounded like he knew what he was talking about.

BETA Testers will know that there currently is a back-end system which hosts the scores and user data, but it's nowhere near big enough to handle a public audience.

This is where Jon Parsons has stepped in, he will be mongo-ing the databases and node-ifying the server stacks. Mr. Parsons and I had quite an interesting up-bringing into the gaming industry, we worked together after he successfully passed my employment interview, from which point it was a long and epic battle of client vs. server sided arguments. Every work day was a vocal battle of who was right and wrong, however a trip to the pub after a long day usually settled the waters.

Many years have now passed and I must say, as much as it pains me to say it, I do trust his judgement, so I say good luck JP.

I managed to dig out a photo of us both during a visit to Tiger bar in Amsterdam, I'm pretty sure we're mid argument...

Monday, 15 July 2013

Moving on...

AudioBrush is moving along again now, I've a new member of the craw - Matt Clark, who will be managing the community up until launch and beyond!

A Kickstarter project is just on it's way through the approval process so that should be up and running for you all to have a browse and hopefully support!

In case you haven't already been there, the AudioBrush Facebook community it now active and we officially made our first post today! So head on over there and hit that Like button! (Or press the one below).

Visit AudioBrush on Facebook

Tuesday, 18 June 2013


Hey everyone, just a quick update on what's happening. I've paused my work on AudioBrush because of my actual work that pays bills. As soon as things die down I'll be back on AudioBrush.

Sunday, 19 May 2013


This week sees the introduction the of classic multiplier, collect beats without missing and increase it - plain and simple! This weeks updates:

- Now supports, .m4a, .wav and .aiff in edition to .mp3
- Handles protected tracks
- Gameplay updated
- Multipliers added
- Themes added (currently via settings menu)
- In-game streak updates
- Fix for authorising Facebook after long inactivity period
- Leaderboard updates
- Additional elements added to the "colour swipe" phases.
- General bug fixes

Here are the latest screenshots:

Sunday, 12 May 2013


Another great development weekend gone by, here is the latest vid, sorry about the quality the FPS on AirServer is poopy:

This week:
- Gameplay Updates
- Leaderboards (Facebook Required)
- Offline Mode Complete (no Facebook required)
- Star Power Mode
- Game Settings
- OpenGraph stories
- Profile Pictures
- Pause Menu
- Stability Improvements

Facebook was the main priority this time, there are now a load of opengraph actions and stories which will be published to your wall should you choose to do so. Leaderboards are done currently allow you to view the top 10 players for any track and the highscores amongst your Facebook friends.

I've stuck a release date in the pipeline, July. I would like to get AudioBrush out there on or before my Birthday (25th July), but we shall see how things pan out.

I went to go and show a few buddies of mine the game today, turns out the trains were not running properly so I had to get a rail replacement service. I whipped out the old iPad and stuff playing away and coming up with ideas. GUESS WHAT! Some dude was looking at me play and came over and asked me, "'Squooz me mate, what's the name of that app?". It took about exactly 0.001 seconds for my face to have the mostly cheesy, cocky-like grin on it, to which I replied, "Oh, well it's called AudioBrush". The chat continued and resulted with him being amazed basically. YES, I HAVE A GROUPIE!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Scoring and UI!

Another week gone by, but this was a rather exciting weekend. Branding (as you may have noticed), Facebook App/OpenGraph, user interface and scoring!

I'll lay off all the chit chat can give you some jay pegs.

Facebook Stuff:

User Interface:

And here is a video of the app so far...

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Art with Audio

So, another weekend gone. This week I've put art and audio together, by which I mean I applied some of the algorithm to the arty-farty elements of the game.

Bare in mind the beats are not synced correctly and obviously they don't yet have any collision detection for them to be collected. But for the most part, I guess you can get a better understanding of the concept =).

Here's the badly recorded, 30 FPS video:

Friday, 26 April 2013

Fullscreen 60 FPS - The ultimate mobile milestone

60 FPS is that magic number that makes gaming look and feel great, but achieving this on mobile devices has been a rather large challenge for a game that has fullscreen, graphically heavy gameplay.

There were a number of ways I tried to get it running at 60 FPS on iPad 2 / iPhone 4 and after the 4th attempt I've cracked it!

Attempt 1 & 2:
Firstly I started out thinking that all I have to do is create a bitmap the size of the screen and then let the built in actionscript "bitmap.scroll" method do the leg work. But no this was probably one of the worse results I received during the tests (around 21 - 25 FPS on iPad mini). Shortly after this I thought maybe making the bitmap size a power of two, so rather than 1024*768, 1024*1024, but nope, still no good, in fact worse.

I assumed that the GPU would automatically handle all the lengthly calculations - which is does in a sense but the blasted Flash DisplayList kept on rending it's dirty regions - filthy displaylist!

Attempt 3:
I then looked into using Stage3D (AKA Molehill), as using the stage3d features in AIR on mobile directly utilises the GPU. So the theory is that I generate a quad from two triangles and texture the quad with bitmapdata.

It worked a dream, but it was the "uploadTextureFromBitmap()" method that killed it this time. Even though there was no display list being used, parsing the bitmap data each frame to the texture on the quad was still too heavy but was a vast improvement - 31 - 40 FPS.

Attempt 4:
So scrolling bitmapdata is too heavy as the fullscreen displaylist has to be updated every frame, stage3D doesn't quite meet the mark - what's next? Fullscreen? does it need to be? Yes, but wait...

I went back to the original method but this time rather than scrolling the bitmapdata, why not scroll a bitmap object- or more accurately, why not scroll multiple bitmaps objects? Turns out creating more bitmaps was the key.

I've created a grid/array of bitmaps, each bitmap being 256*256, enough to fill more than the screen, each bitmap object is then cached as a bitmap (bare with me). This means that when the bush is over a section of this grid only a 256*256 section of the screen is being updated because of the display list, the rest is cached (because i set the object to be cached) and handled directly by the GPU. 60 FPS - BOOM!

All that was left to do is to reposition the bitmaps when they go offscreen to wrap around again so stop the need to create new ones every time a new row or column of bitmaps is required.

I've put together a short video to demonstrate how the new method is working (also offset the bitmaps so you can see that they are being removed and repositioned, and also coloured them so you can see the individual bitmaps themselves).

The video is recorded at 30 FPS, but a promise you it's running at 60 =).

Sunday, 14 April 2013

New Brush!

I've cracked the brush technique, it's 4:07am here and I have dentist at 9am, gonne grab some sleep and I'll explain later!

Comparison Video:

Saturday, 13 April 2013

The AudioBrush Blog

Hey Everyone,

Doesn't every indie game have some sort of blog? Well at least all the good ones usually do, so I guess to make AudioBrush good I need a blog? - RE-turd logic.

Anyhow, for those of you that don't know AudioBrush it's something that has been in my tremendously lacking arsenal of games for a while, it's a rhythmic, artist, beat detection game. Back when AudioSurf was released on Steam I couldn't stop playing it simply because every time I played one of my favourite songs on it i thought - "man, why didn't I come up with something as awesome as this".

Meanwhile in my jealousy I learned ActionScript and started playing about with sounds, waveforms / FFT etc. Whoopty-do I made a few EQ bars bob up and down.

Eventually (2009) I was able to put together something which at the time I thought was a few levels higher than Superman 64, which is pretty shyt for those who don't know.

It wasn't until the beginning of 2012 when some random Mancunian guy that I was working with said - "dude, this game is pretty awesome - why don't you put it on iOS".


Upset by the fact that this; unable to speak properly, guy from manchester, came up with a somewhat good idea I pursued this chance and the next day AudioBrush was on iOS (privately).

To keep this shorter than it's going to be if I continue on with life stories - cutting a long story short, I;ve been on and off the development up until now and much more progress will be made in the coming weeks.

Here are a few links should you be interested:

AudioSurf Website:
AudioSurf Gameplay:

Superman 64:

AudioBrush Playlist:

Below is a video of how the new algorithm for AudioBrush works.