There’s a new Substream Beta available now.

This is pretty much the full game, nearly ready for release. It’s an “open beta” in that you’re free to share with any friends who you think may enjoy it too, but please do not distribute it on public file shares. I’d love any feedback you have for me of course!



I started developing Substream in 2010, nine years for many people is a long time to maintain interest in a hobby project, developing a game is no exception.

At first Substream was a big focus and I poured a lot of time into it. In 2014 I tried a Kickstarter for Substream, which got some nice coverage but sadly failed. Kickstarter is really hard by the way. Anyone who gets funded totally deserves it. You have to get everything right. I had this idea I could finish up a playable demo and manage Kicktarter promotion at the same time. Don’t try that. Have your demo ready. Have everything ready.

Anyways. I really enjoyed developing this game. A “labour of love”. So I continued developing it in my free time, now and then, over many years. There’s been intense periods, and many months where I did nothing. Most days now I don’t think about it. But I also couldn’t leave it unfinished. So about a year ago, May 2017, I got to a point where I could say the game was “feature complete”.

But at the finishing line I lost motivation. I started to look at Steam integration into my custom C++/DirectX engine (because buying good game engines cost major monies in 2010, and also writing my own game engine has been a fantastic experience). I started to look at all the businessy things and forms I need to complete to get there. Boring.

Substream has some new stuff I haven’t shown online. There are now five unique levels. New music and enemies and weapons. Two playable aircraft which form two different game modes. It takes an hour or two to complete, so not a long game. But fun and still unique.

How to conclude this blog post? Well, I have sat on a finished game for a year. I still don’t want to not release it so something will happen. I don’t want to say it will happen this year because, well, I’ve done that a few times already. I have every intention of releasing it when I have the time, motivation and headspace to pick it up again.



I took part in Global Game Jam for the second time this year. I worked in a team of two over forty eight hours and tackled a new engine called Amulet, coding in Lua. Myself and fierydrake created a memory game where you learn a sequence of sounds, words and patterns that build over time. We managed to get the fully game playable by the end of the jam. I’ve polished it a little for You can play this game in a browser or download it for Windows or Linux. From The Top on



This is a guide on how to help the Asus Zenbook laptop with a 13.3” 3400 × 1600 QHD screen to display the color yellow. This is something a laptop screen should probably be able to do straight out of the box, but there are dozens of posts online asking why yellow displays as a dark mustard color and how to fix it.

There is an unofficial BIOS update on the internet that is supposed to improve this. I ran it on my own laptop but it didn’t seem to do anything for me. It’s not included in this guide as I’ve had several reports that it can stop a screen working permanently; it works for some people but it seems like a huge risk.

But I experimented further with a bunch of software and found a set of steps that gave me a good result, and that I haven’t seen described elsewhere. The steps below worked on a QHD Asus Zenbook UX303LN running Windows 10. My understanding is that this mustard problem still affects the newer UX303LB and UX303UB models. In theory I guess this guide would help the yellow problem on those laptops too…

1. Drivers

  • Install the latest nVidia GeForce drivers for your 840M or 940M.
  • Uninstall “ASUS Splendid Video Enhancement Technology”, if it’s installed.

2. Intel HD Contrast

  • Download the latest drivers for the Intel HD graphics. One of these three…
    Intel 4400 drivers for UX303LN.
    Intel 5500 drivers for UX303LB.
    Intel 520 drivers for UX303UB.
  • As part of the installation make sure you choose to install the Intel HD Graphics Control Panel.
  • Once installed, right click the desktop and choose “Graphics Properties”, then “Display”, then “Color Settings”.
  • Now drop your Contrast to 40.

The first thing you’ll notice is that this makes the screen dimmer, and you think it’s a setting you’re not going to want to keep. The antidote to this is to increase the screen brightness. But… if you use the Intel HD Graphics Control Panel to increase the brightness its software driver changes the color curve so that you end up with a smaller range of colors being output. Instead…

  • I recommend increasing the screen brightness using the [Fn] and [F6] keys. This sends more power to the screen to make it brighter.

3. Refresh Rate Nudge

If you have the same experience as me, setting this contrast just improved the yellow but when you unplug the power the screen somehow readjusts itself back again. (Watch the palette in MS Paint in the three seconds after you unplug). After a while I discovered one weird trick to make it permanent…

  • With the contrast set to 40, right click the desktop, choose “Display Settings”, “Advanced display settings”, “Display adapter properties”, then “Monitor”.
  • Change the Screen refresh rate to 48Hz, click “Apply”, then change it back to 60Hz and click “OK”.
  • Now this sticks even when I restart the laptop.

There’s definitely something strange with the configuration of these screens. This is a lot of hoops to jump through to achieve something that should definitely be a standard feature of any screen. It took me some time and experimentation to find this solution but I’ve had some kind of yellow ever since.



This month I took part in a nine day game jam. #procjam was my second game jam, the first one I took part in on the web, and the first where I worked solo. The theme was to “make something that makes something”. Making a game was optional though, so I made ProcBreaks – a procedural breakbeat generator. It’s a Unity program that designs drum patterns, making a kind of dance music that mixes and evolves over time. I definitely had fun making this, I feel like I finally “get” game jams.

And I reached the goals I hoped to achieve with it. Since the jam I’ve found it actually quite listenable. Usually the first thirty seconds are a bit strange; I notice that it’s not the best or most natural music I’ve ever heard and the timings seem to be a little off. But once it goes through a few changes I get the jist of it and as musical “background noise” it makes an acceptable infinite mixtape.