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Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar Weekly Update Mon 24th Jan 2011 8:16pm

Category: Weekly Updates

Sorry that this is later than usual; I would have written it yesterday but wasn't sure what to actually write.
I'm still not sure, but feel like I should at least write *something*, so let's see what I can come up with!

Firstly, a sponsor got back to me about Clarence's Big Chance, sort of, but only to say that the version I'd linked him to wasn't working, so I fixed it and told him that I had. I've yet to hear anything other than that.

I've been working on this Alora Fane thing and I've made good progress.
What I usually did with other games was make stuff up as I went along, jumping right into the game making by, say, adding the Field stuff so I could make the first plot area, then conversations and writing actual dialogue, then making the battle system when it came to needing to do battles...
That is, I'd start on the story and make the engine around it.

With THIS project, however, I'm trying to make the engine solid and working as much as can be before actually making any of the plot or resources, using only temporary practice areas to test all the mechanics first. It seems a wiser course of action and will likely lead to faster development.

I've done most of the menus and most of the battle system so far. These are both big, significant features, so with them working as they are, the game is rather playable and the engine could be said to be largely complete.
I'd also done the Field stuff for walking around, but I came across problems (of the sort that would seem trivial or not worth worrying about to anyone but the one working on, maybe), and as a result I've had to rethink how I'm going to approach the Field system...
So, sigh, I've had to rip apart and delete huge chunks off 'old' code to replace it with the new mechanics.
The differences are slight, and I'd not done all that much with the Field to begin with, so this reworking will only take a day or two.
I feel it's important to get it right though, so then I can potentially use this code for future projects... The original idea didn't work as well in practice as it did in my head.

So anyway, that's what I've been up to.

---

It's interesting how many people spoke up when money was mentioned last week, but not entirely surprising.
I'm likely going to go with that premium membership thing, based on the reactions, but not for a while. I'll wait until I've at least finished Alora Fane: Regression before really seriously thinking about it.

---

I haven't composed music in a while... I said a while ago that I planned to do some album of original music that I'd release in the hopes of making some m- ...bringing entertainment to peoples' lives, but I've only managed to compose two or three tracks for it thus far. It was not as easy as I hoped, largely due to the fogginess of my composing ability and the fact that sometimes I'm simply not motivated to compose.

It's much easier to compose something *specific*, to describe something, than it is to just come up with a random idea and make it into a full piece. This is the case for me, anyway.
So I'm considering doing a second MARDEK Piano Collections thing, or maybe another two if I decide to split this one in half and release it as two separate albums...

Originally I meant to go through each chapter and do a Piano Collections version of each, taking a few select tracks that I liked and adapting them.
However, I don't know if I'll go with that approach anymore, largely because the chapter 3 version became excessively bloated.

Instead, what I'll do is perhaps consider making two more 'themed' albums...
The first would be 'Character Themes', and the other might be 'Dungeons & Battles' or something like that.
The Character Themes one would contain adaptations of most character themes from all three chapters; definitely the themes of all the playable characters and music for other characters like Muriance, Clavis or the Saviours.
The Dungeons & Battles one would be for temple music and boss music and stuff.

So I want to try to do this 'Character Themes' one first. A quick plan shows that there'd be about 18 tracks to do for it (including two that I'd take directly from the first album: The Inventor and Enki's Theme).
That's a lot. The eight for the first album seemed to take ages, which is why I considered splitting the album in two.
I'll try to see how long each piece takes to adapt though. If I can go through them fairly quickly, I'll release it as one album, otherwise I'll consider splitting it.

The first Piano Collections thing wasn't exactly the height of popularity; it didn't make me a millionaire. And I think that the piano arrangements were a bit dodgy to play, too; I couldn't play most of them myself.
However, it has made a few sales so I hope that some people gained enjoyment for it, and I feel I want to try again at composing piano pieces that are actually comfortable to play.
It also gives me composing practice in general which I feel I need... It's much easier to get when I'm just adapting old pieces instead of coming up with new ideas.

So yes. I make no promises that I'll finish that at all, but I'll give it a try.

...Seems I rambled on for longer about THAT than anything else, even though I don't consider it all that significant! Oh well!

Anyway, so much for not having anything to write!
27 comments

 

27 Commentson 11 roots

ploki122`s Avatar
Rating Orb ploki122 18 Canada CholericPhlegmatic 10C 4F
7 years ago | (5)
Awww, I'm pretty disappointed to see that you won't make another piano collection, to tell you the truth I absolutely loved the first one (and still do). I even often listen to it before going to sleep.
Sunflower`s Avatar
Rating Orb β Sunflower 19 Poland PhlegmaticSanguine 73C 22F
7 years ago | (4)
Err... where Pseudo said that he won't make another Piano Collection? I can find only information about different way of dividing it into albums: instead of MARDEK 2 and MARDEK 3 he would make "Character Themes" and "Dungeons & Battles". I can't see where he said he won't make other Piano Collections at all. Or maybe it's my comprehension reading? o_O
ploki122`s Avatar
Rating Orb ploki122 18 Canada CholericPhlegmatic 10C 4F
7 years ago | (0)
No, sorry, I was the one misunderstanding :P Actually even Pseudo replied to tell me he *will* make other Piano Collections, just organised differently...
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
7 years ago | (4)
I said that I *will* make other Piano Collections, just not one for each chapter since they'll be organised differently instead.
ploki122`s Avatar
Rating Orb ploki122 18 Canada CholericPhlegmatic 10C 4F
7 years ago | (0)
Phew, sorry for the overreaction then, it's my bad for misunderstanding... And i'm really happy to see that you will continue doing them
aetherX`s Avatar
Rating Orb aetherX 12 Singapore MelancholicCholeric 12C 9F
7 years ago | (6)
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf, I feel that you work too hard. And I feel this site takes your effort for granted. Okay, I'm only 11, I'm not one to say tis, blah, blah, blah, but I think that you should take a break every now and then. You don't HAVE to work your brains out for us. I mean, if you were to write code for 10 hours a day, get crushed by it, become depressed, tired and stuff, it would only make it worse.

Right?

Yeah. I know you won't respond to this, but do you at least take breaks on weekends?
Bellamyfan`s Avatar
Rating Orb Bellamyfan 18 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic 24C 1F
7 years ago | (3)
the issue when you take a break while working on your own is that you can lose momentum. Sure, it's great to get a little time to relax and such, but it can cause the death of a project. I've had friends who start out great, finish a game half way, then kill it by taking a "short" break. Laziness and procrastination are mass murderers in the field of game production.
Supergnash`s Avatar
Rating Orb Supergnash 18 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 354C 145F
7 years ago | (3)
Maybe he could do like, smaller things that might make him feel that things are going well. He didn't seem to happy with the sprites that he did (although I was in the chat and they looked pretty good when he showed us them). Maybe he could do something easier like coming up with plot things or doing some other art or something. Of course I don't know what he finds "easy" but I hope he does it.
woolfguy`s Avatar
Rating Orb woolfguy 15 Ireland PhlegmaticSanguine 37C 2F
7 years ago | (5)
Firstly some advice to those too young to buy stuff on the internet.
A friend of mine recently told me about something called a V3 card. Its something you can get so long as you have a bank account that allows you to buy things over the internet. If you have a bank account ask them about it. Don't ask directly for a V3 card though. They may only be called that in Ireland and I'm not even certain thats what they're called. I have a post office account and they don't give them out. But I know my friend uses his a lot. If you can't get anything like that paying online IS safe so long as you use paypal.
Minsafo`s Avatar
Rating Orb Minsafo 21 Poland MelancholicPhlegmatic 5C 6F
7 years ago | (5)
The proper name is 3V card and it is a kind of debit card which is only available in few countries (Ireland, United Kingdom, Canada and probably Netherlands) and it can only be purchased by people who are at least 16. The rest is exactly as you say.
Anyway it reminded me about prepaid cards: you can purchase such card in most of the banks, you don't need a bank account, you don't need to pay for having nor purchasing it (this one is not a rule though, depends on bank) and it allows you to pay over the internet even if you're not adult. There is just one thing: as far as I know if you are not adult, you cannot purchase such card, at least not personally in bank, without presence of your parents. Though you should be able to do it online without them.
vakamax`s Avatar
Rating Orb vakamax 17 United States PhlegmaticMelancholic 12C 23F
7 years ago | (6)
One little question. Say I were to own a premium membership on the website. Would you permit me to upload a Let's Play of one of the premium games on this website to Youtube?
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
7 years ago | (7)
I'm not sure... I mean, on the one hand, it'd be showing to people something that they'd otherwise need to pay for, so they may not be inclined to pay for it if they've already seen all the plot.
But on the other hand, it could attract more people to come and pay if they see you playing through it and want to have a go themselves... Hmm. It's hard to tell.
It won't happen for a while though, but many 'Let's Play' things are probably from games people would have to pay for anyway, so... I don't know.
vakamax`s Avatar
Rating Orb vakamax 17 United States PhlegmaticMelancholic 12C 23F
7 years ago | (0)
When I, personally, watch videos of someone playing a game, I tend to want to play it myself, if only so that I can 100% it, which is just in my nature. I'm not sure how many other people are like that, but if a majority people are, the little taste of it might cause them to REALLY want to play it.
Then again, I only have 20 subscribers.
Supergnash`s Avatar
Rating Orb Supergnash 18 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 354C 145F
7 years ago | (4)
I know this was directed at pseudo, but I just want to give an idea.
Maybe if you do a let's play for premium games, you could just skip through or somehow cover up the major plot stuff, they will then see the game play (which will be good) and will probably become interested in finding out what happens and if they would enjoy playing it.
vakamax`s Avatar
Rating Orb vakamax 17 United States PhlegmaticMelancholic 12C 23F
7 years ago | (1)
Hmm, yes, a problem with that is that it would go against EVERY fiber of my completionist nature, and I'd be left with a lingering sense of failure. It's still a good idea, nontheless.
DeNovo`s Avatar
Rating Orb E β DeNovo 24 United States MelancholicSanguine 244C 201F
7 years ago | (7)
Coming up with a good idea is the hardest part of being creative! :D After you've gotten the idea, I've found that the process becomes one of using developed skills to fill in the blanks. I've gotten stuck looking for the right word when writing, or looking for the right twist in a story, and often found that the best way to get inspired is to stop trying so hard. The best ideas, for me at least, never pop up where or how I expect them. This unpredictability is probably part of why inspiration is as compelling as it is. Common options to induce this sort of thing include travel (exposing yourself to new experiences), scrutiny (changing the way you see everyday things), and drugs!

I've been wondering for a while now, actually--given how established your name is in the flash game community, is it reasonable for you to start showing your games to sponsors before it's complete as a way of determining potential interest? I imagine this could ease your sponsorship process and switch things around so that you'd have a sponsorship deal as you were placing the finishing touches, instead of adding the undeniably anxious process of waiting for offers...
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
7 years ago | (6)
I think that with my current project, I'll probably contact them before the game's finished because yes, I'd assume that they'd show interest in it because of my reputation and stuff. Mainly I'm interested in Kongregate being my sponsor (assuming the give the best offer, of course), and since MARDEK did as well as it did on that site, I'd hope that that would encourage them to sponsor other RPGs by me.
The reason I never did this before was because I never had any idea how long it would take me to actually finish the game once it seemed 'almost done'... Like with MARDEK 3, I started beta testing hoping to be done in a week or two, and it ended up taking several months. It'd be a pain making people who wanted to pay me wait that long.
But since I feel my planning is better now, hopefully that won't really be an issue anymore.
Kendzi`s Avatar
Rating Orb Kendzi 22 Germany PhlegmaticMelancholic 11C 0F
7 years ago | (9)
Umm, just a thought:
I don't know if you applied for sponsorship with the same link at all potential sponsors...
If so, the link may have been broken in all your mails and the people working there may have just thought: "Oh well, another childish attempt to get money -- delete."
That could have been the reason you weren't hearing anything from them.

My regards, Kendzi
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
7 years ago | (9)
I already realised that and resent the email (including an apology/explanation) to all of the people that I originally contacted as soon as I'd fixed it.
quiznossubs92`s Avatar
Rating Orb quiznossubs92 19 United States MelancholicCholeric 34C 0F
7 years ago | (6)
Well for me the music of your games has always been something to have as enjoyable background music to a game, which i suppose is the entire point. If you really enjoy making your own music that much and you can keep producing the quality of music you've made for games so far I'd say go for it. No need to get an outside music developer to help out. Did you release sheet music for the Mardek Piano Collections 1 album? If so i didn't realize. I play a bit of piano myself and it would be fun to learn to play some of your tunes. Will definitely give your next album a look if you're still going to be including sheet music.
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
7 years ago | (8)
The MARDEK Piano Collections 1 does include sheet music, yes, though they were my first real attempts at making something remotely playable, so they might be awkward to play.
I'm hoping to do things differently with the next album, making the music more playable (so then I can play it myself if nothing else).
Supergnash`s Avatar
Rating Orb Supergnash 18 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 354C 145F
7 years ago | (7)
Glad you finally got a response from your sponsors about CBC, even if it wasn't what you expected, hopefully we'll be able to play it soon. Should be good...
Err.. Also, well don on AF:R on getting things done and your new way of doing things and stuff...
Ok I'm really running out of things to say now.

Good luck with making the piano collections and stuff, hope you don't have any/too many major problems with anything and hope we can get 3 or 4 games released this year, big or small.
ThePuma765`s Avatar
Rating Orb ThePuma765 13 United States PhlegmaticCholeric 67C 0F
7 years ago | (11)
Hmm, I'm happy to see progress. I like things neat (well mostly anyways) and complete. By the looks of it, I think your doing a pretty darn good job Psuedo. I like the fact that you already have it planned out it kinda makes stuff easier. I am glad to know that people (excuse me sponsors) are trying to actually play. ( I really wanna play C.B.C, if you can't tell.) Alora Fane actually sounds like it is gonna be good and by actually I mean really good. But hey as long as you don't stress yourself you'll be fine. Also don't worry too much about the music yet I mean hey you haven't gotten to it yet, just pace yourself and don't get going to fast, or you'll wind up like me stumbling over my feet trying to correct what I've done. I don't really have much else but to say but good luck, and think when this is all said and done you'll have something new to cross of your extremly long list, or you know at least you'll have the sense of accomplishment. Don't give up, just keep trying. (Words of my grandfather R.I.P)

God Give Thanks, God Give Grace
Rating Orb ThePuma765
Bellamyfan`s Avatar
Rating Orb Bellamyfan 18 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic 24C 1F
7 years ago | (12)
Sounds like everything's coming along pretty well. Alora Fane's really gotten me excited.
With everything on your plate, it seems like you're really doing well and not procrastinating nearly as much as I would.
The music is the one thing that i think could be dealt with in a different manner. I know a few other developers and what they'll usually do is find a collaborater that will do all of the music for them. It might have its drawbacks, but it really speeds up the process with everything going on, and can sometimes allow for a better theme from someone more specialized in the field. I enjoy your music on the piano, but it seems like you spend a good amount of time on it and end up stressing over it a bit too much.
It's all your choice, but I still think that getting help from someone on the music end of things would really reduce the stress.
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
7 years ago | (12)
Composing the music is perhaps my favourite part of making games. I've even said before somewhere that I make games just so then I have something to compose for, and that's still largely true.
To me, the music is far more than some largely meaningless construction added just because it's expected that there'd be some; it's not just another cog in the works. I use the music to convey what visuals can't and to add more layers to the meaning of situations. I like to use 'leitmotifs' to create dramatic effects or give plot clues, and so on. The music of a game is to me 'half the experience', and the way that I become most attached to it, perhaps.
So asking someone else to do the music would be like asking someone else to write the dialogue; both are just as important to me and I put a lot of effort into each.
I'm not really that good of a composer, but I try. It's something I want to improve at, and I have been doing over the years, since I've been practising by composing for my games. It can be difficult to do, but it's not really 'stressful' (think of it like a good puzzle; not 'stressful' but not easy), and it's immensely satisfying when it's done.

Anyway, though, if I were to get anyone to help me with anything, the music would be the very last thing that I'd want someone else to do because it means so much to me.
Bellamyfan`s Avatar
Rating Orb Bellamyfan 18 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic 24C 1F
7 years ago | (7)
Well, I can't say I blame you. I'm a musician myself and part of my reason for going to school for computer science is so that I can work my music into that. If it means that much to you, then by all means continue your composing, but I don't take back my comment that you should try to reduce the stress of doing 5 solo projects at once. I know what it's like to work with a million items on your plate, and while I wouldn't say slow down (because you might lose all momentum), I would definately recommend getting some help with something to lower the work load.
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