• Alex Alien


    I have just finished an App for iPad, well my first game really, and it was approved by Apple on the 11-12-13, sweet, I had lots of fun creating Alex Alien and it just grew and grew, so many ideas kept creeping in, I never thought it would get finished for Christmas 2013, which was my goal date. I did it though and am very pleased with the end result, I spent a long time on the graphics and made sure the space backgrounds were highly detailed and authentic and also made sure the App supported the Retina iPad’s and iPad-mini’s, as you can probably tell I am still buzzing from creating this game and I still have so many more ideas to put into Alex Alien and am looking forward to working on Version 1.01, where you can expect to find lots more logic puzzles, more mazes and lots more meteor shower levels.

    My favourite part of creating the game was the wormhole section in “Alex’s Spaceship”, there are numerous screens each with four wormholes and the idea is to drag Alex to the correct wormhole, pick the wrong one and you may well end up back at the beginning, although if you are lucky you may end up on the same screen or just be put back a few, my partner Rita, spent an hour and a half playing just that section when she was beta testing for me and still never got to the end, there are hints though, watch the background planets and listen to the audio clues and you will survive the wormholes.

    The meteor section in “Alex Leaves Planet Vulcan” was fun as well, I had to make it a bit easier as I couldn’t even get through the meteor showers, so on some levels I removed a couple of meteors and on others I slowed them down, I also changed the code so that you would only be sent back to the same level if you got hit and not all the way back to the beginning as I had first coded in, I may well bring that back though as an ultra hard setting.

    Oh and the Creature Critters in “Creature Chorus” are most amusing they play notes through their behinds which is extremely comical in itself although even more so when you can play tunes with them, I have seen them bring a smile to the most hardened of beta testers, while they were knocking out a rendition of London Bridge 🙂

    You also get to try out the four different sections for free.

    • Play PeekABoo with Alex.
    • Figure out how to wake Alex.
    • Build a puzzle of the Earth
    • Play with the Moon Critters.

    App_Store_Badge_EN_0609Alex Alien is a free to download HD family adventure for iPad, and includes four sections that support in-app purchase; the background story is Alex is on his way to Vulcan’s Circle moon, where he is on his way to catch moon worms for his dinner.

    The first section “Alex Leaves Planet Vulcan” gives a brief introduction to Alex, then goes into a type of Whack A mole game, this bit is free :). When you buy the first section you get to help Alex navigate a meteor shower using his Jetpack, he then meets up with SpaceFly, who with your help shows Alex the way through the Oort clouds.

    The second section “Alex’s Spaceship” contains logic type puzzles, where you have to perform tasks like wake Alex, this bit is free, when you pay for section two you have more logic puzzles, and then you have to navigate your way through some wormholes to finally reach Alex’s goal and catch some moon worms.

    The third section “Alex’s Puzzles” contains jigsaw puzzles of the characters and scenery in the first two sections, the first puzzle is free and some of you may recognize the puzzle from my Udemy tutorial on How to Create Puzzle Pieces using Illustrator & Photoshop. when purchased you get Puzzles of the Planetary System, SpaceFly, Alex, the Moon Worms and a few other drag & drop type puzzles.

    The fourth section is for fun and amusement, and certainly created some amusement in our house, especially when I showed my misses what I was up to. “Creature Chorus” has moon critters that play music from their behinds, you can play with them for ten seconds, then when purchased you can play with them till you can’t laugh no more and you also get access to the included song book which contains five simple tunes to get you started.

    Alex Alien Copyright © Shane Hogan

    Alex-splash-ipadApp_Store_Badge_EN_0609Read More About Alex Alien – Bedtime Adventures Across the Universe

  • Creating Puzzle Pieces with Illustrator and Photoshop

    Learn to create puzzle pieces of any size or shape for use in your latest project or App using Photoshop & Illustrator.

    You will learn how to create a square puzzle template in Adobe Illustrator, then we go on to creating a circle puzzle template in Adobe Illustrator and import the template into Adobe Photoshop where we break it up into pieces, apply effects and export the individual pieces, which we then batch re-size and rename for use in your standard and retina iPad project.

    Recommend for anyone that that would like to have an easy to use reference on how to create puzzle pieces or templates for use in their latest project or App or anyone that has purchased ‘s Story Tellers Kit and would like to know how to create puzzle pieces the easy way.

    Create puzzles quickly and easily with minimum effort and without having to use the pen tool or purchase expensive limited plug-ins.

    Learn how to use the shape tools, line tool and shape builder tool in Illustrator.

    Learn How to use Photoshop’s trim and save for web tools.

    Get the low down on preparing your images for use in your project or App.

    Learn how to create a re-size action.

    Batch rename in Photoshop, adding -ipadhd extension to your images with minimum effort.

    This course is over an hour long and includes examples for creating a square template and a complete circle puzzle, and also includes templates for a triangle, a star, an ellipse and the working Photoshop and Illustrator files.

    Once complete you will be able to create a puzzle of any size or shape imaginable.

    I have also just added a new video on optimizing your workflow with keyboard short cuts.

    This course is available exclusively at and it is priced at $17 but wait, seeing as you lucky people found this course on my blog you can are entitled to a special discount coupon which you can use by clicking redeem a coupon and entering “loyalty-discount”.

    This means you get the complete course for just $5, saving $12 🙂

    So what are you waiting for here’s the discount link

    By Shane Hogan

  • ScaleViz Update 1.3.1

    I am currently working on an update for ScaleViz, which you can read more about here, although I’m taking a break this evening as my brain is in need of some down time, I am so passionate about ScaleViz and programing in general that when I get into developer mode, anyone or anything else around me become insignificant, the primal need to create kicks in and all rules go out the window, including, personal hygiene, food and sleep, sleep whats that then, it makes me laugh when people tell me they can’t sleep, I say, ‘get up and do something useful’.

    Here’s the code snippet for looping through frames, which updates our current swipe code, and I’ve now finished the new AS3 tutorial that shows you an easy way to Simulate Swipes in AS3 to help you increase your mobile development workflow, and it’s a lot easier than you may think.

    Buy ScaleViz To help you Master the Modes, Nail the CAGED system, learn all Major, Minor and Dominant, Chords, Arpeggios, Pentatonics and Modal Shapes in all positions, go from From Cowboy Chords to Soloing and become a Fretboard Master with ScaleViz today!

  • Setting up a Chroma Key Green Screen

    I am currently setting up a Chroma Key Green Screen in my office for future projects, and having looked around at all the various options, I thought that I would share with you the cheapest way to accomplish a fairly good approach to achieving this.

    eBay is your friend when it comes to buying stuff for cheap, because there are lots of sellers all offering the same items and they are all competing for each others business, although when you do find the item your looking for on eBay it is always worth checking Amazon to see if they have the item cheaper, just keep in mind that post & packing on Amazon it is often not listed and you could end up paying more if you purchase from a private seller. I ended up getting all the equipment I needed from eBay UK for £82.72 including all the lighting.

    My first purchase was a 45w (equivalent to 225w) Photography Daylight Light Bulb with a 5500K (full spectrum – Noon daylight) B22 (Bayonet fitting), at a cost of £8.49 + £2.89 p&p from seller “green-lamp-ltd“, this was for general lighting as anyone who has tried to film in HD under standard lighting will know that conventional light bulbs just can’t cut it as they produce too much noise and your videos can come out very grainy, also this time of year you can’t rely on the good old English weather and I consider myself lucky if the sun is in the right position to give me enough daylight to film for an hour, and that is no where near enough time, generally I’m just getting into my stride and the light fades.

    These bulbs are also good for SAD (seasonal Affective Disorder), and I can see why, because as soon as I switched it on I felt myself smiling, it’s just like having your own personal sun at your command whenever you need it, they give off an amazingly pure brilliant bright white light, and as a bonus they also save money on your electricity bill.

    Next the actual green screen itself, this was  purchased from seller “emilyandlily”, at a cost of £14.21 + 99p p&p, and for this you get a 6 X 9ft Chromakey Green Muslin Backdrop, made from very good quality material, that has the edges all stitched nicely, this was the perfect size for my needs but just in case you need to cover a larger wall, the same seller also offers a 10 x 20ft version for £35.51, which is a bargain compared to some of the other sellers.

    To stick it on the wall, you can either purchase a curtain pole, handy if you are planning to do some standard filming as you can easily fold it up so it’s out of the way when not needed or, if it’s going to be a permanent fixture you can grab some green push pins, I chose the latter option and bought them from seller “squidley_filbert”, at a cost of £1.05 + 65p p&p for 50, 2 lots of these should do the trick, luckily the wall that I have chosen is an internal wall and is made of plasterboard, perfect.

    Now, because you don’t want to cast any shadows onto your green screen you need to light it up, so my next purchase was 2 adjustable extending wall work lamps, purchased from seller “a1baron”, at a very reasonable price of £24.99 + 4.99 p&p, they take ES E27 bulbs and are rated at 60w, add to these some 45w (225w equivalent) Photography Daylight bulbs with a 5500K full spectrum and an E27 fitting, which I also purchased from the same seller I got my first bulb from and job done.

    Also as these lamps are extending I plan on screwing them to the wall so they can be fully extended so they just reach the green screen wall, this way I can also use them for extra lighting for standard filming.

    So that’s it my green screen equipment is all ready to go on my office back wall.

    Here’s the list of material’s purchased:

    Lamps from from eBay Member ID “a1baron”
    2 grey adjustable extending wall mounted extending work lamps
    Cost: £29.98 inc p&p

    Green push pins from eBay Member ID “squidley_filbert”
    100 Green Push Pins for cork notice boards
    Cost: £3.40 inc p&p

    Green Screen from eBay Member ID “emilyandlily”
    6 X 9ft Chromakey Green Muslin Backdrop
    Cost: £15.20 inc p&p

    Bulbs from eBay Member ID “green-lamp-ltd
    1 x 45w => 225w Photography Daylight 5500K B22 Light Bulb
    2 x 45w => 225w Photography Daylight 5500K E27 light bulb
    Cost: £34.14  inc p&p

    Total Cost: £82.72

  • Mindplace Light and Sound Meditation Machines – The Procyon

    The Procyon is an Audio-Visual Synthesizer made by a company called MindPlace, this is an awesome device that allows tranquility and profound states of focus and calm, from the first moment you ‘plug-in’, you’ll synchronize your consciousness to heightened states. Light and Sound Technology makes the experience of Zen-like mindfulness and inner peace possible, and can break habitual undesired states like anger and restlessness. A session on what are also known as mind machines will settle and compose your mind as well as enhance your mood.

    To find out more about Mind Machines visit MindPlace, these devices are the ultimate toy for the tech who has everything, and I can personally recommend the Procyon which I use for accelerated learning (Sessions 2-4), Creative Visualization (Sessions 40-45), or for just chilling, if you prefer you can just sit back and watch the light show, which when mixed with your favorite CD-quality digital audio tracks from your home stereo, computer, mp3 player, or smartphone, you have the perfect psychedelic symphony for a fantastical journey to the deepest reaches of the mind and beyond.

    Mind Meditation Machines from MindPlace come in three different configurations called, Kasina, Proteus, and Procyon.


    I am currently working on some screencasts for the digital version of Audio Strobe called SynchroMuse (dAS), you can find the tutorial videos here, note this is an on-going project and as such video content is subject to change, I should also point out there is no need to program these devices for standard usage, just plug in and play one of the fifty meticulously-crafted sessions, which showcase the vast capabilities of the system and are all build upon scientific studies to deliver tracks that entertain and sync your consciousness to the highest levels of human awareness.

    While we’re on the subject of the mind, I have to mention, Dr. Jonathan Royle, who provides expert training in all things hypnotic, and NLPPA approved Neuro Linguistic Programming courses, and who’s seminars and training courses I can also personally recommend, having attended at least three so far, one of which was called “There’s no Such Thing as Hypnosis”,  which is a very informative, entertaining and mind expanding course, for more information visit