Author Archives: John Eriksson

Blood Trade

This my latest budget deck project for Magic the Gathering. It’s made for the casual format, but is also valid to be played in Modern. The deck is designed to be fun and includes some neat tricks and surprises.

The main technique is sacrifice but it also depends on some side effect damage from Blood Artist and Impact Tremors. The main sacrifice fodder is Bloodsoaked Champion and Mogg War Marshal but other cards has proven to be very useful as well, like Pawn of Ulamog and Elemental Mastery.

A common win scenario is to beef up a creature using sacrifices, attack with it and then Fling it to finish the opponent off. If you manage to slap on a Dying Wish before the Fling you can actually double the damage and gain some life in the process.

You can also create a formidable Fling bomb if you attach an Elemental Mastery on a Bloodthrone Vampire, sacrifice a few creatures, tap the vampire to create a lot of tokens and then sacrifice the tokens. She is now one big vampire bomb that you can detonate using Fling or Rite of Consumption. Kaboom!

I actually managed to win a game the other day using the above scenario, but the opponent lost the game before I even managed to detonate the bomb. The Blood Artist and the Impact Tremors claimed the kill while I was busy sacrificing creatures and creating tokens. :-)

Blood Trade
Creatures (21)
4  Bloodsoaked Champion
2  Mortician Beetle
4  Bloodthrone Vampire
2  Blood Artist
3  Mogg War Marshal
2  Pawn of Ulamog
2  Desecration Demon
2  Abyssal Persecutor

Other spells (15)
2  Tragic Slip
2  Fling
2  Rite of Consumption
2  Impact Tremors
1  Dying Wish
3  Fallen Ideal
2  Act of Treason
1  Elemental Mastery

Lands (24)
4  Bloodfell Caves
7  Mountain
13  Swamp

Sideboard (15)
1  Bubbling Cauldron
2  Coat with Venom
2  Dreadbore
2  Duress
2  Marsh Casualties
2  Ricochet Trap
1  Shadows of the Past
2  Tainted Remedy
2  Vandalblast

Piki Piki – Quick update

I really was planning to add a longer post about the progress of my new game Piki Piki (f.k.a. The Farting Hedgehog). But then I started to design a new level, and then the clock was about an hour past bedtime.

Well, anyway, the game is coming along really fine and I’ve now reached the so long-awaited moment in development where it’s finally time to start to produce a lot of levels. It takes a lot of tweaking to get the timing right but the process is really smooth and just plain fun! :-D

Tomorrow I’ll hopefully add some images from the game, if I don’t get stuck in another level design of course.

Happy Farting!

Loading a view from a XIB

Ever since they where introduced I’ve been a huge fan of using storyboards in Xcode. Storyboards gives you a great overview of the flow in an app and in some cases even replaces the need of a separate mockup tool. But storyboards also have a huge disadvantage; By being stored in a single file it’s practically impossible to have several developers working on the same storyboard file at the same time. It is also rather cumbersome to reuse views and components in other projects when they are embedded in a storyboard file. All of this has made me go back to using single XIB-files again. XIB-files gives you a lot more flexibility and you can have XIB-files for all sorts of UI-components if you like.

But XIBs has their issues to. For example, I think it looks rather messy to load your UI components like this:

In order to getter a little bit cleaner code I packed this functionality up in a category like this:

Then by importing this category and make sure you’ve named your XIB files the same as your classes you can now get a little bit cleaner code.

Unity: Start with selected scene

Sometimes when you test your code in Unity you really need to start from a specific scene. There is no way (that I know of) to get Unity to do this for you, but since it’s really simple to extend the editor with your own code I wrote a simple script that saves the current scene and loads a menu scene before running. When you’re done testing, you run the same method again and your last scene will be loaded for you.

Thank you, Unity for making my life so easy!

Which way is up?

We have all been there sometime. You wake up and have absolutly no clue where you are or even which way is up. If you’re an app this happens all the time. But here’s a simple cure;

Right tool for the job

It always strike me how much easier life gets when you use the right tools for the job. I mean try mowing the lawn using a snow thrower, it’s just no fun! (Not that mowing the lawn is all that fun even if you do use the correct tool, but it’s nevertheless easier)


Using the right tools also helps when developing games. I recently learned how to use the game development IDE Unity and I really love it. It really feels like Unity is built not only for game developers but also by game developers. They really know how to make the development process run smoothly.

In my opinion the biggest advantage is the built in Asset Store and more specific the never ending collection of plugins to extend the editor with new features. Take level building for example. Right now I’m working on a rather simple plattform game. In my first designs I used tiled maps, a well tested technique where you build the level by piecing together different shaped tiles. It’s a tedious work and even if you have a lot of tiles you can’t get all the shapes you’d like. But then I found the Ferr2D plugin and suddenly I saw the light! In Ferr2D you first setup the materials to be used for the top, bottom, left and right edges and the filling texture. Then you just creates meshes in what ever form you like and the Ferr2D plugin makes sure it looks good! Don’t get me wrong, creating a level still takes time. But it’s much easier and it’s so much more fun using the right tools!

Dead Meat

When you have played Magic: The Gathering for some time you’ll notice that the box of spare cards is constantly growing. This box is the home for all those homeless cards that you got in booster packs (or from other sources) and that just doesn’t fit in one of your current decks. It might be because the theme doesn’t fit or because you lack some cards to make a certain mechanism tick.

But then, when the rain is pouring down outside and you have some time to spare, you can open up the box, sort your cards in nice piles and then build a couple of really fun casual game decks and play them against one another. Who knows, maybe you’ll even find some new favourites among your forgotten cards?

Here’s a deck from this weekends casual games.

Dead Meat
Creatures (19)
2  Tenacious Dead
2  Child of Night
2  Corpse Hauler
1  Gnawing Zombie
2  Gutter Skulk
2  Blood Bairn
1  Dead Reveler
1  Lifebane Zombie
1  Undead Minotaur
2  Accursed Spirit
1  Liliana’s Reaver
2  Sengir Vampire

Lands (24)
8  Forest
1  Radiant Fountain
15  Swamp

Other spells (17)
1  Caravan Vigil
1  Fog
2  Giant Growth
2  Prey Upon
2  Vile Rebirth
1  Altar’s Reap
1  Naturalize
1  Staff of the Death Magus
2  Trollhide
1  Launch Party
1  Midnight Recovery
1  Well of Lost Dreams
1  Creeping Renaissance