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December 19th 2006

I got an answer from the ModDB guys:

"Your mod received 131 points which is very good. You required 210 points to make the Top 100 however."

Anyway.

Change of plans. You knew this would be coming. I said and told myself that I want to finish PHQ by December 21st this year. Well, that's not gonna happen. The only thing left to do is the PvP mode. Everything has been planned out and I still need to draw about 30 creature images. But that's not the real problem. The problem is that I'm not satisfied with the details of the PvP mode. I've had some additional ideas yesterday which will turn the whole thing into something at least a bit enjoyable. So, I guess this will take the whole January as well. I'm really angry because of the fact that I just can't let go of PHQ, but I don't want to leave the PvP spot blank and neither do I want to fill it with only half of what I could do with it. And I'm frustrated because I fell for the addiction called 'content'. I recently watched season 2 of Lost and I got the Wii and it distracts me quite a bit. I suppose all that's left until December 21st is planning for the PvP mode - if I get the time.

My brain is eagerly awaiting the PHQ development break. I can hardly wait to go on with Antaran and the HQA Comics full time. But it will have to wait until end of January...

Also, I shouldn't really talk about it here (not yet at least), but I need to write it down for myself. I want to get out of here. I have yet to find a way to do so, but the gist of it is that I want to be a full time ... well, I guess it falls under the category "artist", although I find myself disliking this definition because usually artists are arrogant mac users who think their stuff is the best in the world. Okay, I guess since I'm probably one of the most arrogant persons who create something you could say I'm an artist. Anyway.

I thought of what I could do if I were a full-time artist. I could finally produce the music story of a knight that has been in my head for a very long time. I would finally be able to update PHQ, weekly, without sacrificing time from other projects. I could write books. I would love to. The muddasheep homepage needs a makeover and I'm thinking of merging it completely with the farm, making a new system for all the content stuff, and all PHQ articles would be directly implemented as well. I could finally continue with the HQA Comics and finish it - and start a completely new comic in the same or different universe with daily updates. And not to forget, Halfquake Sunrise. The monthly magazine with 10 pages full of random stuff. The translation of old stories of mine into English. I could finally go back and work on the game 'I'm a Dragon'.

But I don't know how I can be a full-time artist when there's no money involved. After all I still have to eat and drive around in my car and buy DVDs every now and then. Okay, I could maybe try to live without the food. Seriously though, I think I could live with a monthly income of 600 Euro, emphasis on 'live', which means I would be alive, but probably somewhere in a one room apartment with no toilet. So, I need to sell my stuff. But would anyone buy my stuff? If yes, for how long? You see, the basic job offers the security of a regular income. I wouldn't have this. I would probably work more than in my regular job, but I would get much less money for it (that's what you get for "freedom"). Now I don't want to be rich (even if I sang the opposite ...), but I want to be able to live just like I do now. And at the moment I 'only' get 300 more. So 600 wouldn't be so bad for finally being able to do what I want, full-time.

So, my question to you guys is: Would you buy my stuff? I guess, since you're reading this you've been around here for a bit and you've come to know me and my devotion towards my projects. I described above what I would offer and I'm sure there would be a lot more once I finally had the freedom my creativity needs. But again, what could you buy? The monthly magazine, music in CD format, books, t-shirts (finally), maybe artworks that are solely created for being purchased, or you could simply donate to see the freely available projects grow (PHQ, IAD, Antaran, Comics, HQS).

The next problem is, there isn't enough of you. And I know one reason for that is that everything around here is a mess. There should be one site with all the content. That's quite an obstacle to overcome, but with enough free time I could finally implement the muddasheep.com redesign that has been floating around in my head for about a month now.

I want to do this. I really want to do this and the more I think about it the better it gets. The only problem is money, so I might have to save up for one year first so that I have a bit of a buffer. The whole thing won't happen in one day, sure. And while saving up I can try to get the attention of a broader audience. But for that I need content and time. And I hope I'll be able to use more of the latter and spend it on the first.

Next year is definitely going to be interesting.

December 11th 2006

Found something today that pretty much summarizes everything I've said in previous posts:

"We all die. The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will."

December 06th 2006

I'm proud to give you the Somos (Expulsion Remix) notes. Thanks to TheNameless (actual remix, notation), KiddiKai (digitalizing/scanning notes) and Kowi (Midi version). Download the file if you're interested.

Also, I just found out that Toyoch still has his site up and running and even has all the new songs from my album Remains translated into Japanese. Awesome, man.

November 20th 2006

I've assembled a small HQA video for the moddb mod of the year votings. You can watch it here or download the high quality version here.

November 16th 2006

ModDB.com is hosting a Mod of the Year 2006 voting. If you have some spare minutes you can vote for Halfquake Amen. Thanks!

Also I now have a MySpace Profile. Whatever that's worth.

As for myself, the end of the year is coming closer again. The past few months were quite a rough ride and I don't expect the coming months to be any calmer. I'll be trying hard to focus on my projects. Especially Personal Halfquake. I will try to push myself to the limits until January 1st 2007 for PHQ. I will implement a new PvP system, creature images, a little christmas event and anything else I've still on my mind. What happens on January 1st 2007?

Well, let's put it this way. Personal Halfquake has been under development since late 2002, starting about one or two months after the HQA release. The gameplay of PHQ is open-ended, which means there's no real ending, which also means that developing never ends either. I've tried a few times to abort the project but I've always come back for more updates. According to my working history I have spent 288 hours working on PHQ since February 27th this year, that's roughly an hour per day. So, with about 4 years of developing time (since fall 2002) it comes down to about 1,500 hours of work in total, give or take.

Was it worth it? Definitely. Personal Halfquake is one of the most important projects in my life. I learned so many lessons, so many things about how to make games, how to produce convenient and user friendly applications and how players react to certain game mechanics. And of course, I got a lot of new friends.

I don't want to give up PHQ, that's never going to happen. This community will live as long as there's some kind of internet in the form as we know it today and as long as my heart beats. But come January 1st 2007 I will try to go new ways.

Try? Yes. I know myself. PHQ is an attention whore. It will try to draw me back in and embrace me again. Nevertheless I want to work on new projects and expand my horizon. I want to try to get away from PHQ development as far as possible. It won't be easy as it is quite a habit of mine to just check PHQ and fix small things here and there and - whoops - another three hours are gone.

So, again, I will squeeze every minute into PHQ until the end of 2006, which marks the end of PHQ development. However, this doesn't mean that I won't come back with totally new ideas and throw code all over the place some time again. But first I want to do the following things: In the beginning of 2007 I will try to finish Antaran and the HQA Comics. When that's done I will devote all my spare time to the other beast in the darkness - Halfquake Sunrise. With PHQ, Antaran and the HQA Comics out of the way there will be nothing (or at least not much) that is going to stop me. I will aim for a 1st Quartal 2008 release. It will be based on Half-Life 1 with the addition of Spirit of Half-Life version 1.4.

I'm not promising anything. What you have read now is just what I'm planning to do and usually plans have a risk of failure. Plus, what I plan today might interfere with my plans tomorrow. So don't take my word for the things above.

But if my plans are going to be executed properly, there's definitely a lot of excitement to look forward to.

Have a nice day.

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