GI Joe – New Set – Fright In Flight

The third box-set I contributed to for Cotswold Collectibles was Fright In Flight.

Greg Brown wanted me to reproduce a version of the GI Joe Adventure Team Jetpack, used in several sets during the Adventure Team’s original run in the 1970s.

We call it the XP-1 Personal Rocket Pack

Based on a marketing photo which showed the jetpack with moving joysticks and cables from the underside to the jets, in white and black, I reproduced this as accurately as I could.

Hasbro did produce this jetpack as the Rocket Pack, but with much fewer parts, and less color. The engines, for example, were a single color (white or silver), and the platform was a single color (black or red), and the joysticks did not move. The cables were never added.

I added cylinders under the white deck, secured by black panels, which held nails to strengthen the joysticks. Thin 3D printed cylinders tend to snap like twigs. Without the reinforcement, this never would have been possible.

I also used white cording to act as power cables, leading from just below the joysticks to a place on the deck that was just next to the rockets. The rocket pieces were made of 3 separate parts in black and white, and slotted into the flight platform. The unit secures to the pilot with a waist strap and straps to secure the engines to the legs.

Cotswold added a figure, Pterasaur, a red jumpsuit, white helmet with red visor and boots. It comes packed in a box with original art.

I also produced a set of blueprints as I do with a lot of my toys. They act as instructions, collectible, and just a nice piece of verisimilitude.

Impossible Mission – 3D Printed Robots

Recently I saw a 3D print of a robot and a runner from Impossible Mission, probably the best game ever written for the Commodore 64.

It is a marvel of perfection, that game.

And I have seen 3D prints before from these models. I found them on Thingiverse, by PixelPoldi.

They even appear in a book about the game and its sequel.

And so I downloaded the models and cut them up so they could be printed in multiple colors. The models on Thingiverse were single solids. Also, the models were designed to be pixel-square, which is not how a Commodore 64 screen works.

Pixels for a Commodore 64 screen in NTSC (where I lived and played) is 1 to .75, so they are a tad taller than they are wide. I scaled the models accordingly.

My results:

However, the more I looked at the robot, the less I liked it.

Comparing the pixel models from screenshots, I could see a couple of things that didn’t sit right with me.

First, the C64 Robot is created from a multi-colored sprite, which doubles the pixel width. So there are no single pixels, yet the model had several.

I printed out the actual sprite images, and used them to completely remodel a new, more accurate version of my Robot.

First thing I noticed was that instead of having a circular eye-piece, the sprite shows quite a wide rectangular eye-piece, much bigger than I remembered, when facing the camera.

(Note that the robots appear in-game in various colors, and I chose a different color scheme than the pixel images I found.)

I fixed some other things too, so that when facing the side, my new model was 100% pixel accurate. Sideways was a different issue, though.

The pixels were impossible. Modeled, the robot would have to have a painted face with no depth. But I managed even to make that work by making a front piece with 45 degree sides that fit into the eye-piece.

Here then is my final model, and you can even see that, while the rotating robot is intended to depict a cylinder, my version works pretty well.

 

Here they are, with floors modeled from the game, as display bases:

GI Joe Set – Naestor

In 2019 Greg Brown and Cotswold Collectibles created Naestor.

He created a green figure, (head and hands) with red flocked hair. He had an outfit and a chest piece made.

My job was to create his gear.

For some time now, I was hoping to find a use for my Arctic Blaster, a weapon I created as an intense heat ray used to melt through ice walls, for Arctic adventures.

The weapon was pretty cool, but the handles were weak. They couldn’t really be printed any stronger. So I had to redesign it just a tad to fit a screw along the shaft to the body. It worked well.

But of course for this set I had to make a black and green version:

Since it is a fairly heavy piece of plastic, I knew I couldn’t just let a 12″ figure hold it, the arms would fall. So I created a neck strap which solved that problem.

The weapon was intended to be held by the gut, with two hands, the body then being able to brace the kickback from a heavy energy beam.

I used the GI Joe Collector’s Club figure of Darkon as a test subject. (Don’t worry, he’s ok.)

But we wanted something to make it stand out.

JET BOOTS!

Who wouldn’t want Jet Boots!?!?

So I set out to make small jets that clip onto tall boots. Simple, really.

And that was Naestor.

And if anyone tries to convince you the name Naestor contains my name backwards… well that’s just silly…

GI Joe – New Set – Catastrophe In The Gulf

The second boxed set Greg Brown put together for Cotswold Collectibles this year was another set that nicely pays homage to original GI Joe Adventure Team sets РCatastrophe in the Gulf.

Based around a very nice Hammerhead Shark, Greg also sourced some great new Scuba gear, and a working motor!

My part was to create an Undersea Sled which could fit the motor, and a Rebreather Oxygen System with Mask.

Undersea Sled

But first things first. I had to get started on the showpiece – the Undersea Sled.

First, a rough sketch to get our heads in the same space.

Yep. This is how I start. With rough concepts that I don’t really elaborate on on paper. At least not always. The concept is a quick sketch to get an idea across. By that time, my mind already has the idea much more solid, and in full 3D. Sometimes I take time to draw them out more carefully and even add color, on paper, before starting. Not this time.

I wanted to start with a familiar base, something that looked like mine, so I used the main body of my Helijet Pack. The body was actually quite conducive to the Sea Sled design, with some alterations.

First, I wanted a water-jet system that could be used for propulsion, and not look dumb.

My first thought was a set of boot jets I had created previously.

I incorporated those boot jets into the design of the Undersea Sled, enlarging and scaling them appropriately, until they fit the design.

Here is a screenshot I sent Greg of the model early on:

This 3D model is actually a little later in the process. I had already updated the arms.

But the early prints came out pretty well:

A sharp-eyed person may notice I’m using pink. I often use seldom-used colors to prototype, so I don’t waste the good stuff.

Then came prints in real colors.


Note that at this time, I thought a curved arm might work, but I opted against it, as it didn’t fit with my other designs, such as the Flight Pack, which uses a similar body, but has some vital angular parts.

Some images of the prototype as it was being developed:

I chose a blue that closely matched the Scuba Suit Greg had made.

Rebreather Tank And Mask

Once Greg liked what he saw, I started on the Rebreather. I had concepted out something like a futuristic SCUBA tank, with twin tanks, held at the bottom only, fitted to the body and strapped into place, with hoses to a mask.

Which I modeled up and sent Greg a screenshot:

First print:

Greg saw the prototype and thought it looked too much like the Rocketeer’s Jet Pack, and I have to say… I agreed. It hadn’t struck me before, but on looking at it in that light, I could see the problem.

And Greg had a bit of an idea of what he wanted for it, and soon enough, my sketches were looking more like what he had in mind.

So I switched gears completely, and went with a more modernistic, less future-retro approach.

I added a very obvious tank at the bottom, which gives it a functional feel, while also being completely recognizable as a SCUBA tank, which would feed a hose into the body, then two hoses would feed into the mask.

Mask

We settled on this, and then I began working on the hoses and mask.

My first issue was that a small part that should hold some detail (the Mask) could be printed with the FDM printers I use for most of my toys, but I felt for this one, I should use my new Resin printer, the Anycubic Photon.

Printing things for the Photon is a bit harder, and can fail easier, so I’m not all that eager to make whole large parts with it (with some exceptions) but for smaller things, I thought it was time to give it a try.

I modeled them so the paracord I would use as hoses would fit into the sides, and epoxy into place nicely.

But the real quiz was – how the heck am I supposed to attach this to the head?

I didn’t want to add yet another piece of elastic, given that the Goggles had their own, which fitted onto the SCUBA hood.

So I thought – why not put the SCUBA hood to good use?

I figured if I made tabs that would fit along the cheeks of a head, inside the hood, it would hold rather nicely.

Really, the last thing to do was the hoses and elastic attachment which was a bit complicated, since I didn’t want an elastic for the Rebreather, and a different one for the Sea Sled.

I decided to loop them together. This way, you could use one, or the other, individually – or both as a single strap.

The last thing was how to hose it all together.

Blue paracord fits into the tank, connecting it to the body. Then two hoses go to the mask.

And after adding one of my very popular wrist Cuff Communicator/Controllers, with new sticker of a sea wreck, we called it done.

GI Joe – New Set – Polar Bear Attack

I make 3D printed toys for Cotswold Collectibles. For several years, Greg Brown and I worked on a nice series of toys for collectors to use with their 12″ action figures.

Greg has always wanted these adventure sets to include their own box and art. The original owner of Cotswold was very good to me, very supportive, but was a bit reluctant to make boxes and art for the sets.

This year Greg took over ownership of Cotswold Collectibles and has now put out two boxed Elite Brigade Adventure Sets.

The first is Polar Bear Attack.

Using a Safari Ltd Polar Bear, Greg put together a figure with a great snow adventure outfit, with backpack, cover, satchel, snowshoes, boots, hat, etc.

My part was to repurpose the Tranquilizing Zooka I created for my own Save The Endangered Pygmy Rhino set that I entered into the Dallas GI Joe Convention.

Cotswold has sold a few versions of this bazooka over the years, with ammo darts. I even created a special insert for a large cloth backpack, and for a satchel, to contain some of the darts.

I was to make a white version of it, and use it in an Arctic Adventure scenario.

Also for this set, I created a tracking collar, with white elastic, you can fit around the Polar Bear’s neck.

 

Hero Cards

The game I work on as a Technical Artist currently is Game of Thrones: Conquest. It’s no secret.

This past summer we worked very hard to introduce a new feature called Hero Cards, which players can collect and build up to help them in gameplay.

https://cdn-prod.gotconquest.com/wp/uploads/2020/11/09113527/GoTCArtofHeroes_1920x1080-1024x576.jpg(Pic from contconquest.com)

Each hero card is based on a character from the show and game. The card case itself houses a card, and has a symbol in a hexagon at the upper left.

For this game feature, I mostly supported the artists through profiling and optimization efforts to gain as much memory and rendering efficiency as we could, while delivering a lot of content.

A great team worked on this, and our Art Lead wanted to give the art team a token of appreciation for what was, believe me, a long and intense effort, so he and I threw around a few ideas, and eventually figured out that with my new Resin 3D Printer (an Anycubic Photon) I could put together something tangible the whole art team could have as a reminder of their amazing work.

But it had to be a surprise.

Only artists directly involved in the making of these gifts could be told. The rest were kept in the dark until they began arriving at doorsteps.

The Idea

We hashed out the idea of doing a real solid hero card for each of the artists involved, with their name on the front, and a photo of them as a printed card that would be inserted into a slot in the body, and sit into the space provided by the frame.

It started with an artist giving me a model of the card case itself in 3D that I could work with. I set it up as a solid 3D model I could print, and got to work. I had to make some alterations, and model some details that only existed in sprite art, like the scale mail lower front panel.

This is the 3D model of the back, but not necessarily the finished card, which was undergoing revisions throughout this time.

Here, you can see an early prototype 3D model, sitting on the print bed in my printer’s slicing software:

But I also was thinking a bit ahead. What else might a person want to use this card case for? I figured many people I work with play Magic: The Gathering, so I immediately made sure the card space could fit a Magic Card, or several, if needed. The gap is large enough to fit maybe four cards stacked.

The Prototype

So I started printing prototypes before I got the final backing, and printed up an early prototype to see if it was even feasible.

Here, I printed a short base, to test even how I should attach it to the print bed for a good print. I wasn’t yet ready to print a whole card, just to see if it was even possible. I printed a section to test a few things:

  • Could it print at all?
  • Could I print it without a ton of supports that would “bite into” the model?
  • Could I print a card gap that would work?

Though not visible in the art piece above, each card has a section for stars, to show their power and how much you have advanced them. For the artists on the project I decided they all deserved full 7 stars, and all filled out.

The early result:

Seemed I was ok to go with the project. I could print a card (likely) without too much difficulty.

But it was early days.

Here is what happens when the raft and support pull away from the bed when printing. This print (painted – see below) shows what can happen. The entire bottom warped because of print raft cohesion. It is one of the main reasons 3D printing with resin DLP technology can fail. If you don’t have the exact right bed leveling, the bed can be warped against the print bed just a hair, and it will refuse to hold, and while the rest of the print may work, that base is forever warped.

Many tests had to happen before I was sure I could even complete the project.

But it wasn’t long before I had a fully successful print:

Early prototypes didn’t even have the back detail yet:

Early concept for the back: We changed it later.

At this point I tried a Magic Card in the space:

Oops. I did something wrong.

I did some adjustments to the card scaling, but the main problem was the card could slot too low into the case. I simply raised up the inner floor, and got a better result.

Painting

For the project the intent was to paint it like a metallic finish, but I wasn’t sure which color to use. While the final card ended up looking a bit more bronze, I went with a battered metal silver spray paint rattle can (Krylon?) and the result was not at all bad. Seen here in its more finished back:

But since the card has a very nice amber inset in the middle, I was lucky enough to have some very nice amber resin, and printed the inserts too, and they turned out amazing!

Finished Prototype

I soon had a pretty good prototype finished, to show. Using my own surname. Each finished card would have each person’s full name extruding from the front.

Then I had to figure out the best way to portray the stars. I played with simple yellow vinyl, cut out with my Cricut desktop cutter.

But while they were nice, the real stars are a gradation from orange to yellow, so I instead went with paper printed stickers, printed and cut with my Cricut.

And since the stars were fitted into beveled spaces, I needed some way to press them in for a more permanent adhesion. I created a pressing tool that fits exactly into the star space, to ensure a solid stick.

Display Stand

During the prototyping period, it was suggested people might want a display stand, and I said “nothing could be easier”. Once you have a solid model, it is very easy to make a stand and use the original model as a boolean subtract to cut out the space needed for the card to fit into.

And here was another place we could use the theme of the art, gears, to make a great stand, and in the same amber color I made the back insert out of.

Here is a finished prototype, on display. Each card would feature a photo of the artist with their name.

The Package

But that wasn’t enough.

In the game, when you purchase Hero items, you see an envelope for a single purchase, or a pack for a larger one. It is sealed with a wax seal on parchment of different designs.

I was determined to deliver them in a pack with a wax seal.

My Art Lead wrote a note of appreciation, which I printed on one side of parchment paper, which I then folded each card into and sealed it with hot wax using a wax seal I purchased.

And sealed each card inside a parchment note of appreciation, in purple was, with a symbol that was very similar to the actual symbol used in the game, in a purple color that was also one of the colors used in Hero Card purchases:

Mailed them all out when they were done, and – duh… I forgot to mail out the stands with them, so I had to mail out a second mailing later!

But in the end, every artist working on Heroes got their own Hero Card.

Space 1999 Eagle Hangar – Dinky Scale

The Eagle is the workhorse space ship for Moonbase Alpha in the TV series Space 1999, a 1970s Gerry Anderson production, beloved around the world.

In various episodes, we are shown glimpses of the huge underground hangars that hold and service the Eagles.

(Screenshots from The Catacombs archive)

In these shots, you can see that the walls of the hangars are made up of these protruding tetrahedrons, in a lattice almost like a beehive, with sections at the top that include windows, piping and other details, while some are just panels. There are also hangar doors and other features.

The simplicity of the walls made me think I could make a 3D printed set of module pieces that I could connect together to form various configurations of this hangar.

To start, I am making a simple wall with the paneled tops, and a corner beam. Later I may add a different detailed top, as well as a half-height tetrahedronal section as seen in some shots, as well as perhaps hangar doors, but for now, I’m sticking to a simple set.

To make these connect, I am using a bow-tie peg and slot. They are spaced to allow the tetrahedronal wall sections to flip upside down and connect correctly, and then the wall toppers can connect to the slots in the base length of those wall sections.

This allows for a custom-configurable wall series.

More later as I develop this set.




ATV RACCS Cargo Trailer

The Idea

During my summer vacation in Newfoundland this July I began sketching an idea for a trailer for the Halo Warthog. The sketches tried to use the contours of the body, which I would mold as side shells for an interior main cargo body, with wheels and an arm to attach to the Warthog.

While I was sitting around a very lovely rental cottage in Twillingate one evening…

…Greg Brown (Cotswold Collectibles) texted me and asked me if it would be possible to create and print a trailer for the GI Joe Adventure Team Vehicle (ATV).

I texted him back letting him know I was already designing one for the Warthog, so I was already thinking about it.

I got to work.

The GI Joe ATV

The GI Joe Adventure Team Vehicle (ATV) is a highly prized possession among Joe collectors. Many collectors have multiples. Originally, the ATV was sold in one of the most iconic GI Joe Adventure Team sets of all time – “Secret of the Mummy’s Tomb”.

This versatile six-wheeled vehicle came with a winch to haul up a newly-uncovered mummy. But it was far cleverer than that. Remove the winch, and you could put cargo rails into four slots in the body of the ATV. Those slots would later be re-used in a new version of the vehicle, now with tank tracks, called “The Trouble Shooter”. Now, a large electronic radio (with talking technology) would take up those four slots.

Could make it RACCS Compatible too…

One of the most versatile toys I have created was a collaboration between Greg and me. He wanted a platform that could fit over the cargo bay of the ATV/Trouble Shooter, which would fit into those four slots and hold various adventure equipment.

I wasn’t sure how that would work since my printers can’t print an object big enough to span that space. However, soon enough, I came up with a grid system on a two-part platform that snapped together for easy storage. Pegs on each side would snap perfectly and snugly into those four slots.

Greg wanted the new trailer to be able to slot the RACCS platform into it.

I did him one better.

The Plans

I began sketching, and while these are very rudimentary sketches, I shot them and sent them to Greg who seems to have no problem understanding what I’m trying to get across, though my drawing skills are not on display here. They are very rough sketches to flesh out the ideas:

This one shows my original concept as two halves, with the RACCS attached by separate tabs. The cargo section would fit into a frame, with curved springs for the wheels, and a metal axle between the wheels, riding under the body.

I changed a lot of that, to make it much simpler. I didn’t have to cut a metal axle, the plastic is strong enough to handle being a thick axle. And to avoid screwing or gluing the hub-cap into place I split the axle and made a wedge of the cap. Push the wedge into the splits until they snap and those wheels ain’t goin’ anywhere. And they spin nicely.

Below is a sketch of how I envisioned the built-in RACCS platform working. And it works exactly like this, and works great.

RACCS On Board

I incorporated the RACCS platform directly into the design of the trailer. And in a very clever way.


(RACCS closed and ready for action!)

Tabs in the side of the cargo body would fit into slots on the sides of slightly altered RACCS platform halves (otherwise identical to the original system) and it would allow the RACCS to slide into place over the cargo bay – and when not in use, slide out, angle downward, and store in the sides of the cargo bay itself. The tabs were square, and just fit into the slots. But at the end, those slim slots become a circle, and allow the platform to hinge upward, and then slot down the same tabs.


(RACCS out)


(RACCS up)


(RACCS stowed into the side.)

There are even slots in the floors for the connector pins on each side of the platform (which snap them together) to fit into.

Here’s where some serendipity comes into play:

As always I sent Greg a nearly complete prototype, and he discovered that the RACCS platform halves are fully functional when split open and pulled out to the sides. A completely unintentional bonus!

The RACCS Platform is optional. It can be removed simply by loosening the screws holding the body halves together, and re-tightening them.

Other Features

Other features I included are a folding leg which allows you to remove the trailer and have it stand upright as a mobile work station. Without this fold-down leg, the trailer would tilt forward and be useless.

Another: Notice in the original ATV there is a tab at the back with a brass eyelet. Clearly this is intended to tow cargo, but to my knowledge, HASBRO never used this feature.

This allows my Cargo Trailer to be towed, obviously.

So I added an identical tab to the back of my trailer. While the photo above shows it without the brass eyelet, I managed to find some perfect brass eyelets that fit like a glove into the tab, and acts identically to the original.

The upshot is you can daisy-chain these trailers as many as you like.

I took a photo of prototypes in a train:

The funky psychedelic one at the rear is an early print. I almost always print in colors I have a lot of but don’t use a lot. No need to waste the final colors on a prototype meant to test fit and function.

Sold As A Kit

Due to the size of this toy, I knew shipping a number of them to Cotswold Warehouse would be trouble, so Greg and I opted to offer this up as a kit. So I had to make it easy to assemble.

My printer’s maximum print capacity is not large enough to print the body as a single piece. So I had to cut it into four corners and make puzzle pieces out of them so they could snap together nicely.

If I was assembling it myself, I might just glue the parts together. Since Super Glue bonds to ABS so strongly it’s almost impossible to break, that would have worked fine.

But if people were going to assemble it, I wanted it to be as easy as possible.

So it’s designed to go together with screws, and as efficiently as I could engineer.

I also designed the body to be symmetrical. The wheels can fit into any slot on the sides, and the tow arm and rear hitch can fit into either end. This meant symmetrical screw holes too.

Two screws hold the sides together, and two each hold the tow arm and rear hitch, which has the dual purpose of attaching those pieces, and joining the two halves of the body.

A single screw connects the leg latch to the body. There are two screws to keep the axle assemblies on.

I used a metal nail, with the tip cut down, as a hitch peg, for strength.

I was able to use the Huxter Labs logo for the first time! I put them on the hub-caps and the tow arm.

Based on the AT Logo, I turned the A and T into an H which has a sort of L on the upper left.

Packaging

Normally when I ship my toys to Cotswold Collectibles, I use zip-lock bags and bubble-wrap, and pack them into large boxes. For this toy, sold as a kit, I would have to do something new.

I bought a bulk order of 4x6x6″ boxes to sell products on my ETSY store. These, it turns out, were perfect for packing this kit into. I worked out a fit system that allowed me to put a body corner in, put an axle on that, cover it with another body corner, repeat, then put the RACCS platform halves between them, the wheels on the side, and the rest of the parts in a zip-lock bag (including the screws and tow bolt) and they fit perfectly.

I printed instructions to fold into the package, and I printed a label for the box.

I used yellow duct-tape (AT Yellow) as my signature box seal.

My first fully packaged toy!

 

 

Don’t Go To Jail!

At my company, several times a year they host a Game Jam. Teams are given a week to come up with a game for judging. Since we use Unity, usually the teams write a game in Unity and have a bit of fun coming up with some cute little games.

This week we are holding one with the theme: “Don’t Go To Jail!”.

I usually don’t partake, as I’m usually way too busy doing my own thing, but this year my colleague Dan Parke asked me to consider helping him with a game idea, and I agreed to at least listen.

He pitched me an idea I was fascinated with right away. It was a physical game, not a computer game (as such) featuring hand movement in a game using a light sensor. The idea was to use your hand to manipulate a light on a project circuit board called Circuit Playground Express, holding it in one space for as long as you could. If you failed, you would “Go To Jail”, exactly the thing you’re supposed to avoid in this competition.

Dan thought a circuit board alone would not be very enjoyable, and was hoping I could 3D print something fun to house it in.

I was intrigued, and immediately came up with some sketched ideas for a casing for the game.

My first thought was, since I had made so many UFOs and other designs using Vending Machine bubbles, that the circuit board would perfectly fit under one, which would give us a nice first idea for a casing.

But with just the circuit board and a battery case to worry about, the casing could be quite small. But I thought since the theme was about jail, and the game idea was escaping arrest, that we needed to put this into a cartoon-like prisoner character.

My first sketch showed an angry moustachio’d villain, which I thought a bit too angry.

My second sketch was more emotive, a bit scared, hands up, perhaps in surrender.

And since we had exactly one week to create this game from the start, I knew I could call on existing creations to make this little guy work.

The hands and arms are almost unaltered from my WERBLZ characters:

And with that, I began modeling, and soon had this basic character modeled:

Prisoner 0110 was born.

The Circuit Playground Express has touch capacitance on some of the contact points around the periphery, and that came in very handy. I was worried, though, that the capacitance would not conduct through a metal screw or other metal bit, and touching the circuit board itself would be impractical as game play. So I immediately came up with the idea of using two cotter pins I had in my own inventory already, and used a Dremel to cut them down to size, and angle the ends so they could slip over the circuit board’s contacts.

With this plan, I began immediately to model a body and a collar (a manacle) that would allow me to use these two cotter pins to secure the collar to the body and act as the function buttons of the game. Dan programmed the pins to accept touch control, and I modeled (and re-modeled, and re-modeled) a collar that would fit the circuit board and hold down well with the cotter pins.

Here you see the prototype body in green, the collar base in pink (and an earlier prototype in purple) and the collar cap also in pink. (I use these colors for test prints because I don’t use them much for real, and this is better than wasting colors I have to buy a lot.)

After I assembled this all and got it working, I began detail modeling which involved slicing the body into stripes (for a prison uniform) and adding the other details. Starting with a base that could fit the battery container, and feed the wire up to the head, with room in the body for the extra length of wire.

I drew a sticker for the mouth, and 3D printed eyes, manacles for the wrists, and slots for the arms. Assembly began.

Here he is on my office desk, being tested before we began real iteration on the game itself:

Meanwhile we did some play testing and found that the game was not quite what it could be. Dan worked on it some more and came up with the idea of having to use your hand to move a single light around the rim of the board (there are 10 lights around the circumference) and then a single light would light up, which would soon add another light to the right or left of itself, then another, in an ever-increasing arc that would come at your light “character” on either side, and your job was to hold your hand in such a way as to not let your light collide with the encroaching lights.

After that was working, complete with sound samples to tell players what to do, the game was more or less complete, and even kept track of high scores.

With a few suggestions from me during game testing, I thought flashing all lights green 3 times would be a great way to indicate you won the level, and failure should result in 3 flashes of red. I thought that would be intuitive to players.

And Dan’s original chase lights were purple. I thought the universal color for police would be more immediately recognizable, so he changed those to blue.

Now you are represented by a green light, which you can play with before you begin the actual game. Then you’re on your own. You can move the light around the perimeter until the cops start homing in on you. Then you have to hold your hand steady to keep the prisoner where he is. IF you can hold out with the police lights to both your left and right and not move it into them for a given interval, you win the level. If you collide with their lights for too long, you lose the game and go back to jail.

This is the final version as will be played by our judges:

The left cotter pin triggers the game to Start, while the right one can recall the high score.

Game Jam ends exactly as I’m typing this, and judging has begun. Two judges already told me they really liked the game.

Cotswold Catalog – Spacey!

This catalog features three of my latest designs, mostly space-themed.

On the left is a metal box I found at Lowe’s, to which I added a harness and antennae, as well as other details. This is my Mobile Communications Pack.

On the right is the Extravehicular Mobility Unit 10. This is a full outfit, and my part is the space helmet and chest mount, belt and belt-mounted oxygen scrubber which eliminates the need for bulky oxygen packs. And a wrist controller.

In back is my new Wing Pack, known as SWIFT (Swing Wing Individual Flying Transport), which features a swing-wing action and stowable joystick controller.