A question that has particular been on my mind is – how do I approach my aspirations in a way that is both fulfilling & ethical, yet realistic? How do I do this whilst holding to my own values?
Like the questions I had before, I don’t have a clear answer for this. To be fair, this post isn’t about looking for an answer but rather the affect this question had on me in regards to a major aspiration of mine.
You see, in 2016 a part of me gave up on my dream of making games. These are my reasons:
Having knowledge that the world is more screwed then I thought, my wish to make games, & the kind of games I wanted to make, feel comparatively trivial & unimportant (that was a truly sad thought for me). A part of me feels obliged to help the world get truly better in some way. I’m still not sure how I can help but I don’t think providing another form of escapism is the way.
I had reached a point where just thinking about making games brought about feelings of frustration, self-disappointment, & apathy. I’d tried many approaches that all lead to similar results, each one not able to account for my own shortcomings.
I have an awful habit of stating I’ll do something & not actually doing it for whatever reason. I’ve become really sick of being that kind of guy. I’ve become hesitant to say I’ll do anything, unless I seem to be already doing it.
I’ve known for a long time that its difficult to get into the games industry, & that surviving or even making a living from it is even more difficult. Hell, I know how difficult it can be just to try & make one game, I’ve been trying to do it alone since graduating in 2013. I admit the task has only become more daunting over time.
I like games, but I’ve become disgusted with the mainstream games industry. Cultural toxicity aside, it’s market driven nature has become more apparent to me. Any regard for experimentation, artistic expression, & the effects of the medium is seemingly relegated to indies, small studios, & critics, since everyone else is comfortable with games “just being games”. I feel like this point alone is worthy of it’s own post (I know, more to write about!).
Hello, I thought I’d end up writing about the uncertainty of my job as my contract ended yesterday, but now I have good news. For those who haven’t kept up with my work situation, or forgot, I’d advise reading July & August before reading the next part.
My boss has presented his case about the future & value of my team (& my own role) to his own boss &, from what I can tell, he has no problem with me going part-time. Now we’re just waiting for those above him to approve. This could take a while since apparently there’s a backlog of matters they must see to first.
In the meantime, he has given me a 3 month extension on a part-time basis. I haven’t received any actual paperwork for this yet, but it’s agreed between us that my standard days for the rest of this year starting next week are Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday; with days changing to suit the needs of the team as they arise.
So yep, it’s kinda official now – I’m no longer working full-time. Yeays!!Continue reading
Hello, I actually wrote this out in a single afternoon.
This month I’ve become more weary of working full-time & was looking forward to a change in situation, but this last week has been kinda weird for me in an oddly ironic way.
My contract was set to end this coming week & it occurred to me that I hadn’t taken any leave since April. I’d asked about the leave I’d accumulated & was advised to simply sit on it for now. The policy is I’d be paid out for any annual leave I haven’t taken, but this wasn’t the case for sick leave. I’d been advised to simply use it since I hadn’t actually taken any sick days. My plan was to use it to make this current weekend extra long & go visit my parents + dogs in Te Anau again.
Well, this past week my body decided now was the time of the year to be sick.Continue reading
I don’t have anything planned for this week so I’ll keep this short. This is partially because it’s the Easter weekend but more because I spontaneously said I’d be the Dungeon Master for my flat last weekend. Since then I’ve been brainstorming almost constantly about what the campaign would be & I had a practice session on Friday.Continue reading
Hello, I have another in-progress system I want to share. This is for the combat aspect of the storytelling RPG idea I mentioned last time.
It is a turn-based system that takes place on a grid battlefield, separate from the world map. I wanted to come up with something where movement & positioning were highly important; something that played like Chess. I also wanted to avoid hit dice rolls but still allow the opportunity to avoid an attack, so I’ve included a reaction aspect to it.Continue reading
Hello, I’ve been playing around with an old idea for a randomly generated storytelling RPG; I probably won’t be able to implement it for a good while but it’s still fun to think about it. One thing I don’t want it to be is a pure hack’n slash game (though I won’t stop the player from choosing to play this way). I want it to be viable to play as a silver tongue pacifist & for conversing with people & monsters to be as engaging as fighting them.
This is something very few games seem to try. The majority of the time you’re dealing with dialogue trees, persuasion checks, &/or picking the right line to get a better outcome. This can be good for dealing with explicit lines of dialogue, but it doesn’t make for a very engaging system & I sometimes find myself just button mashing the skip option on replays (an infamous example is visiting a Pokemon Centre).
The only games I can think of doing something different are The Sims & Undertale. Both of these games don’t feature explicit dialogue choices but rather more generic actions, like “tell a joke”, “compliment”, or “flex your muscles”. I feel this allows the player to better personalize the experience by letting them fill in the empty spaces whilst giving them more agency over their own character; rather than deciding which line best matches their persona.
It’s based on this approach that I’d like to do my conversation system. The system I have so far is incomplete but I feel it’s worth sharing.Continue reading
Hello, thanks to a suggestion from Remelic on the last post I’ve tried prototyping with a smaller board this time (13×13 spaces) & it worked. It was pretty cool finally getting to do this. It was kind of like being a kid again, except I took notes of what I was doing.
The prototype had these aspects:
A player critter
About 20 resources of one type – you need these to lay an egg (I really need to think of some other uses for resources).
About five each of three kinds of critters: a charger, a shooter, & a ‘rail shooter’ that charges up per shot – the odd critter respawns in a area out of sight of the player.
About 20? impassable ‘solid rock’ spaces.
About 10 ‘hazard’ spaces that damage all adjacent spaces when hit (I imagine these to be clumps of sap or gelatinous acid).
‘Earth’ spaces which filled up almost all the rest of the board. These can be dug out.
All of these were randomly scattered on the board except for the player, I don’t want them starting near a critter.Continue reading
Hi, it’s been a while since I did something about a game project. I confess I haven’t really been working on anything in over month; the break/moving made me very lazy :P. But now I have some things I’d like to try out.
Yesterday I wanted to try creating a couple of prototypes but just trying to get one idea setup somehow took all afternoon & I still wasn’t able to play it :(. I did this using components from boardgames I have & anything else that works.
First I should explain what the idea was that took so long. You play as an ‘alien critter’ in a randomized subterranean world inhabited by other critters. Gameplay would comprise of skittering & digging your way through the world, eating resources, & fight various types of critters, each with their abilities you can earn by eating enough of them. Every critter has a single hit point, including you, & you’ll need to lay eggs to respawn when you die. Depending on how well I make this, I may include other features like growing resources in crops & spawning allies via eggs.Continue reading