James Mead by James Mead

Show and Tell 22

This meeting was held at the Cittie of Yorke on 13th July. It was a bit of a quiet one with just Chris, Ben and me in attendance, but enjoyable none-the-less. It was also the first one Chris had been to since he returned from the Antipodes. The pub was initially pretty busy with the after-work crowd, but fortunately we found seats OK.


Ben had been working through the SpriteKit tutorial and showed us one of the games in the tutorial, a physics puzzle game called “Cat Nap”, which looked pretty good. Ben is thinking about using SpriteKit to build a game for his kids related to pocket money.

Human Resource Machine

Ben also showed us a game he’d been playing. Human Resource Machine is a visual programming-based puzzle game. It uses the concept of an office worker assigned to perform tasks that involve moving objects between an inbox, an outbox, and to and from storage areas as a metaphor for assembly language concepts.

Sub hunt

I demonstrated the ZX Spectrum game, Sub hunt, which I wrote as a teenager and had published in a book. I’d recently got it running in a JavaScript ZX Spectrum emulator on a Github page, so I was able to show it working on my smart-phone. The game runs pretty sluggishly, but does seem to speed up after a while. It’s pretty basic, but it was fun to return to some software I wrote so long ago!

I had briefly looked into using the phone accelerometer to control the position of the ship, but the emulator didn’t seem to expose an appropriate interface to simulate key presses. And as far as I can tell it’s not possible to fire key press events fired programmatically, because it would be a security hole.

Until next time,

– James.

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