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July 06th 2015

So, there's an update for PHQ. It felt strange opening up those old files. There's code in there that's been collecting dust for twelve years. I'm not sure if I'll add more stuff.

One year before finishing Halfquake Sunrise, I wanted to update PHQ and basically start creating it from scratch. It ended up being a big overhaul, but not that sort of reboot I actually had in mind. I'm not sure we'll ever get so see that, but I've still got my notes and ideas lingering around.

Why update PHQ at all though? I like trying out small new ideas. And a lot of these ideas would be online anyway and have some form of multiplayer. PHQ lets me do that, there's already a user account system and insane chaos was always a thing in PHQ anyway. So, maybe there will be more.

I haven't finished Walter's Deal just yet, but I'm slowly trying to get back into making games. My next game isn't something entirely new, but it requires getting to know Unity, so it will take a bit (and maybe a small test game here and there) to actually go into development. Meanwhile I'll try and have some fun on the side, and sometimes it will include you.

I'd like to bring up Patreon once again. It's very motivating for me and it makes me stick to some sort of schedule. I'm still not comfortable taking people's money, and I should not write about this so openly, but by having my Patreon page up I fear every day that what I do is not enough, even if it's just a dollar a month that I'm given. I try to post trivia stuff there as much as possible, like my unfinished game Defenergy, or some form of status update about my current projects, but I'm not sure if that's enough or whether it meets expectations.

Meeting expectations has been a theme in a lot of my projects, and I've usually been able to downplay the importance of fulfilling expectations and to just do my thing as long as I like doing it. I'm just not sure if I'm cut out to do this. But I'll continue to try and have surprises ready, because ultimately that is what I like to do and that is what you can expect: something that hopefully surprises and entertains, even if just for a minute.

I remember writing stories when I was in my early teens and sharing them with my cousin. She usually laughed and had a great time, and afterwards I always sat down and figured out a way to make her laugh again the next time we'd meet. The funny thing was, at one point I thought I had written something absolutely hilarious, but she only managed to chuckle. She finished reading and I knew, it hadn't met her expectations. I tried again, realizing what I had done wrong, and I spun this whole series of stories into some kind of epic tale of totally irrational characters and events. She laughed again, but I also noticed, that was it, that's as far as I can take these stories and these characters. It was over.

You sense when something's done, like the death of PHQ. Injecting some off-the-wall features will not bring it back to life, but I guess we can still have a little bit of fun.

I know that about Halfquake in general. It's time to move on. Heck, I sometimes don't even know why I still call myself "muddasheep", other than that's what can be read everywhere in all the credits of my projects, so that won't go away anytime soon.

My next project is a tough thing. I'm not sure I'm ready for something totally new. Maybe Halfquake is exactly what I'm here to do. Maybe it's what I like to do most, combining puzzles with some form of adventure, strange humor and my passion for music. Maybe it just needs a new name, so I can be free of the Halfquake spirit, and still create a spiritual successor.

I'm not sure. As I was recently told, primarily I should finish what I start. That means completing Walter's Deal. But I'll keep brainstorming new stuff on the side. And learn Unity.

And I'll make sure there's something small every now and then for you to explore and make you wonder about the state of my mind. Like that one time, many years ago, when I showed my old website to a classmate and I was told to seek help.

Well, at least you know what to expect of me. More or less.

June 03rd 2015

Back in the days of Personal Halfquake development, one active player continued to send me the most elaborate suggestions for the game. There were a handful of people who I could talk to about ideas, but not many like Khimitsu, who went into the smallest of details, showing me once and for all that random game design is simply not good!

For PHQ, I took lots of inspiration from the game Final Fantasy XI, in which basic progression was based purely on chance, such as weapon or crafting skill-ups. What I loved about random rewards was the thrill of finally getting them; what I hated was the disappointment and anger that built up from not being favored by luck. Honestly, it seemed like the perfect mix for a game based on Halfquake.

But Khimitsu (or Futeko, as he calls himself today) insisted: Random is ultimately a bad game design choice; there will always be one super unlucky player who will get nothing, and there will always be the incredibly lucky one who always gets everything at their first try. And to this day, I design games avoiding this very issue that Khim presented to me.

I learned to value Khim's input more and more over the years. But just recently, something he did flat out inspired me: He fulfilled one of his dreams and flew to South Africa to work as a volunteer in a Wild Animal Ranch to get up close to his favourite animals - cheetahs.

The approach to just do it reminded me that one should never give up. If you have a dream, make it happen, or at least try. Thanks to people like Khim I've got the courage and motivation to do so.

So once again, thank you, Khim.

Speaking of getting things done: After a family incident (I wrote about it on Patreon), I'm back on track with Walter's Deal and closing in on the finish line. I've got solid ideas for the book cover and the website is almost done as well.

Something also clicked in my head and I've had a very interesting idea for my first standalone game project. I'll be talking more about it soon.

If you want to see more of my thoughts, or if you want to help out Mr. Dragon below, join me.

May 11th 2015

Apparently I'm 31 years old now. I'm not sure how it happened, but I guess overnight. Despite my age, I'm still spending time on creating strange things, like books about teleportation. Which is proof that I haven't grown up completely just yet. I'm filing that away for next Sunday (but I'll probably forget).

Anyway! Walter's Deal is coming along, I just have to read it once more and meanwhile I'll probably get feedback from beta-readers. If you would like to be a part of it, you know where to find me.

Apart from that, I'd also like to talk to you about a thing called Patreon.

I know some of you have tried to show your support with your hard earned money in the past, and the shop is kind of awkward for that (what's a "Pawesome Edition" anyway?!). That's why I've set up my Patreon Page, which is basically a subscription. For example, you give me a dollar each month, and I'll be there to post about what's going on with my projects (and my life) (almost) every day.

Basically it's about you firing some motivation my way. In return, since I'm almost done writing, I'll start making more games like "The Shortest Game", "Phrasegames", "Download Master", "ScarCity", ...

Oops. You saw nothing.

April 07th 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen, your re-remix is served.

Thanks again Kowi, Szaladin and Task - that was a fun exercise!

March 17th 2015

The remixes are in! Get ready for some ear candy:

Thanks a lot for your remixes! I'll follow up with the re-remix soon. If anyone still wants to try their luck and outmatch the above works, here's the source file.

Walter's Deal is also almost done, I'll probably need another one or two months until it's finished. If anyone wants to help me beta-read it, let me know.




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