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October 09th 2015

Have you ever entered a theater and as you walk to your seat you look into the dozens of eyes of the audience, imagining that they're here for you?

No? Okay.

Yesterday, I saw someone doing it too; I can totally relate, it's an exciting feeling, even if it just lasts for a second or so (you can't do it longer, otherwise you look like a strange fool; or more so than usual).

Note: I watched "The Importance of Being Earnest", with Davit Suchet playing as Lady Bracknell, it was quite excellent!

I used to have more eyes on me, that's for sure. Nowadays it's mostly dead eyes, or eyes meeting me by accident (with a few brave and kind exceptions). My personal projects, my creative life - it's all over the place, right now. I have things nearing completion (my book, music stuff), but a part of me wants something bigger, something that would require my full and undivided attention.

Maybe I just need to finish what's on the plate to be able to see the bigger picture again - and I'm trying. Feedback for my book is trickling in, giving me more things to correct and rewrite. I've begun working on a piano album on the side and I'm adding to it whenever I can. And I'm currently working on another update for PHQ, which will be the last for a while.

I'm also slowly getting accustomed to Unity (making a quick Pong clone was quite helpful), and right now I'm working on a little game for my girlfriend. Unity is nice and all, but I find myself programming way too much with it. In the end, I just want to create, which is why Hammer was so convenient. There are Unity plugins that let you do stuff with visual logic, but since it's not built-in, I expect the compiler to yell at me whenever an update for Unity gets released, which isn't fun.

I'm just waiting for The Next Big Thing. Will it be Halfquake related? I don't know, maybe, maybe not.

Speaking of Halfquake (which I rarely don't!), I've written a small article about The Voice of Somos and interviewed Mike Hillard, who's the voice of Somos in Halfquake Sunrise.

And since we're still talking about Halfquake (I'm not even sorry), Robert Yang released a new game called Rinse and Repeat, which, at first glance, is a sexy shower simulator. Halfquake doesn't have sexy shower scenes, that's not the connection here. In fact, Robert was inspired by the Patience level (among other stimuli); having to wait for twenty minutes influenced his decision when coming up with a way to schedule the shower scenes. There's an in-depth blog post about it, which you should definitely check out.

In conclusion, I'm hoping to be able to at least finish one more thing this year, otherwise 2016 will be there to catch everything falling through the cracks. And right now, judging from the demolished house right in front of my window, those cracks are pretty damn huge.

September 04th 2015

More screenshots of Dmitriy's Postal 2 mod; check it out by clicking the image above, I wrapped it in a neat link just for this occasion.

And speaking of Postal 2 mods, here's an unfinished mod called HQ: The Last Escape. It's weird and delicious.

Kowi, a long-time lurker in the shadows, has released a new album called "Garbage Truck on Duty" - no wait, it's called RamBazAmbaLbUm and it's actually pretty good, especially "Malt". Give it a listen!

There's been another Personal Halfquake update, fixing lots of things, changing not that much. (The world is still on fire, I hear.)

Over on Patreon, I've posted more random trivia updates:
And finally, here's a shout out to my magnificent friends over at Patreon for reaching a certain cumulative reward: thank you H4ndy, thank you Michael. *tips hat*

As for me, I've been playing Until Dawn, it's very well done and has entertained us greatly. I give it a hearty recommendation, if that means anything to you. If it doesn't, just know that it has a song about death.

August 07th 2015

There's a new playthrough of the whole Halfquake Trilogy available on YouTube, done by Boy Lag. Here's Halfquake, Halfquake Amen, and Halfquake Sunrise; check it out, if you have the time, I think he did an excellent job (he even found a bug or two).

There has been another PHQ update, as well. People kicked the PHQ generator the first few days of August, and everything is back online now, but the black market has been destroyed, waiting for repair orders of the King or Queen. Who knows what will happen next...

I'm currently on vacation, but still working on my book; I keep trying to finish it as soon as possible. I still need more valuable feedback from my beta readers, which is going to take a little bit longer, as I'm adding more people to the list. I'm having doubts whether it's possible to finish it this year at all. At least, I can start working on other projects while waiting.

I've been talking about this before, but my next project will be a Unity game. Which, I can't tell exactly, but I guess there will be one or two test games to get a grip on the engine, and then continue doing something bigger. I'm really looking forward to it at this point, finally coming back to games, something interactive with a new soundtrack.

I'm also still posting trivia on my Patreon page, recently I talked about new games (The Royal Beam, BloggeRPG / LetteRPG), took a closer look at health problems in the Halfquake Trilogy, and revealed more details about the Halfquake Amen Comics.

I've also announced cumulative rewards, which you can check out here, if you're interested.

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.




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