A variation on the classic game of Snap!


Definitely one to play with the kids. I made a decision early on not to involve any play that might have the potential of inflicting rough treatment on your new phone, that said, it was also important to maintain the essence of the game – which, as a kid, I still remember of course the anticipation and excitement of screaming … SNAP!!!





In addition to the basic game I thought it would be nice to have some different playing surfaces and also the ability to add your own back to the playing cards (utilising the phones’ camera).  The idea is to have a photograph of each of the players – with a bonus being the identification of who owns the score boards immediately above – an option that can be added from the extended menu.

In the App store now at just 99c (79p).


Goblin Harvest!

I have teamed up with Ian Williams (of Textise.Net and the Textise App fame) to work on a Windows Phone 7.1 strategy game to be called ‘Goblin Harvest’.  It’s my first real collaborative experience working on Windows Phone and I am pretty excited about it.


After several lengthy sessions (yes, down the pub) to hammer out ideas, the base graphics are done (OK still more work needed there!) and the gameplay is (almost fully) documented!

Coding has begun in earnest using the beta Mango SDK with a view to making this one of the first Mango based games to come out of the UK.image

Its a bit too early to discuss gameplay (developed by Ian Williams) safe to say that it  is tried and tested and already proving to be popular with local testers.

With a requirement to be able to view the whole board, but also to focus in on a specific areas of gameplay ‘pinch to zoom’ plays an important part in the design,  as does the rules engine that manages the randomised board layout – making every game unique.

Stand by for a Goblin Winter!

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Shove Halfpenny Special Promotion!

To celebrate reaching 10,000 apps in the Marketplace Web Services UK is running a special promotion on the price of one of the first apps to hit the platform from the UK, Shove Halfpenny,down to just 79p (99c).

Back in 2009, before the release of the Windows Phone SDK this game was one of the first games prototyped specifically for the platform in the UK. The production of this early PC based Silverlight version meant that this was one of the first independently produced Apps to be show working on the early Windows Phone 7 prototype hardware devices.

Shove Ha’Penny is a fun family orientated pub strategy game from the UK. Play takes place on a board with the objective being to ‘shove’ coins such that they come to a halt between the parallel lines painted on the board. The game can be played by 1 or 2 players (or teams) with play lasting a matter of seconds, minutes or even hours, as desired (the game will automatically save when the phone is used for other purposes and resume where it left off).



A rolling score is maintained along with an indication of the efficiency of each player (expressed as a percentage of the coins they have scored with). Different coins can be chosen (UK, US and European) and a full set of rules (this is a simple game) are included.




In case there is any doubt, scoring coins are marked with a green blob, and non scoring with red. Behind the game a sophisticated physics engine gives play a surprisingly realistic element to gameplay.

Shove Halfpenny App:


Celebrating 10,000 Apps on the Marketplace! #wp7

Shove Halfpenny


Since finding out that the world championships for this old pub game are often held locally (Cheltenham & Bath) it has been in the back of my mind to bring this game to Windows Phone 7.  My Dad remembers playing and I picked his brain for the rules, essentially the objective is to get 3 coins between the white lines “the beds” using as few coins as possible (5 old Half Pennies are used – I raided the coin collection* I had as a child and polished up some old Half Pennies (Ha’pennies) using some Worcestershire sauce (try it!) – these are the coins you see in the app.ShoveOptions

A little more research reveals that there are 3 main board types “Wood” (Mahogany), “Slate” and “Glass”*.  I decided to offer each of the board types as options in the game, each having slightly differing surfaces and consequential playing experiences (I have mimicked the different surface types using different physics settings within the app options page).

I am in the fortunate position of being able to visit these local pubs to glean more information on this historic game, which I hope to add to the app by way of ‘bonus information’ (!).

The classic board (above left), still available to purchase today (around 70.00).

* I may have to add some other coins from this collection to help give this app an international appeal!

** Apparently stone was also used, although I have not come across an example of this board.

What’s Missing?

At the time of writing the following is planned:

  • Turn by turn playing over XBOX live (still waiting to hear back from wpgames at Microsoft – who are those guys?
  • Additional Game Scoring (traditionally done along the sides of the board)
  • Coin choices (I am thinking ‘Dimes’ as an option?)
  • Social Network integration
  • Basic Help (Rules)
  • Historical Background Information  (I am hoping I can get hold of some old photos of the pubs in question so that there is a loose tie in to !