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Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar WELL. Thu 6th Oct 2011 6:15pm

Category: Weekly Updates

Hello there. It has certainly been a while! I've been rather neglecting the site lately.

I've been all over the place recently in terms of projects and stuff, so I suppose I should explain things in as much detail as I can be bothered, in chronological order.

Some of what I say is sure to be poorly-received be many, since it seems like I'm falling into old, disappointing habits that I've said I've got out of, but clearly haven't... I know that, and it's probably the main reason I've neglected to report about these recent activities.

So anyway... I was SUPPOSED to be working on the new version of this site, and I'd almost done, except for a few key features. I was getting frustrated working on it, though, and being indecisive, too; I was getting less and less done on it each day. So I decided it'd be best to just take a break.

For whatever reason, I was searching through some folders on my computer, and came across an .exe file that I made years ago while trying to learn C++, before I even knew what Flash WAS. It was quite a relic.
It was a simple - VERY simple - text-based 'RPG' of sorts, which I actually originally wrote on one of those graphing calculators that some schools give you towards the end of your time there.

This .exe file brought back fond memories, I suppose, of when I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about programming; clueless, naive, and ignorant, but eager to learn all kinds of new things by teaching myself. I hadn't become jaded at that point.

So I was in a bit of a rut when I came across this file, and thought 'I didn't hate that game... I wonder what it would be like if I remade it with the skills that I have now? Not that I should; I have far too much to work on right now... But hmm, maybe I could try it just as a short, entertaining distraction?!'

So I did.

I'd actually 'remade' this game before, in 2007, before I made MARDEK. The game was called 'LONEWOLF' from the start, and predated my username. The 2007 version featured the first appearance of a character named 'Social Fox', who was the direct inspiration for the one who lived on Belfan, as well as the protagonist, who was called 'Lone Wolf' and wore green armour.

The first version on the calculator was a simple, crude, text-based affair... You were a generic, silent 'adventurer' who was supposed to 'save the village of Jetek from a curse'. You had a weapon, armour, gold, and experience. 'Gameplay' - if that's even the right word - consisted of selecting a location from a list - things like 'graveyard' or 'forest' - and then selecting a themed foe from that location to 'battle'; skeletons and zombies in the graveyard, wolves and plants and stuff for the forest.
Battles were just an exchange of blows with no subtlety; you did damage, they did damage, then you again, etc... You got experience from winning, and gold, and you could use your gold at the end of battles to upgrade your weapon or armour, or to rest in an inn to restore lost HP.
Each location had a boss; defeating it unlocked the next area.

I'd say it was a fairly solid but very bare-bones concept. Nothing special, but something I could easily expand upon.

The 2007 version, however, was a rather different beast. It involved some graphical elements, sort of, and you wandered text-basedly through an area made up of 'rooms'.
The interesting thing about it though was that it had a limb-based battle/equipment system. You had a head, torso, two legs, two arms, and, because I was feeling silly at the time, a 'todger', all of which could be given pieces of equipment to wear, or attacked and severed in battle.
Enemies, too, had limbs, and combat was about targetting these limbs one-by-one, reducing the HP that each limb had until the foe's total HP fell beneath a certain level, or a vital limb like a head or body was lost.

It was rather amusing, since you might fight, say, a wolf, which could be beaten in one go by lopping off its head, but that was a risky business since that part had good evasion, so it might bite off your todger as you swung at thin air, then your arms, meaning you could only headbutt it... All very easy features to add if I didn't have to worry about graphics.

That was the concept that interested me when I dug up that old fossil .exe file, the concept that I'd like to do again.

I tried it with Chimaera a while ago, but that never worked out, so I decided to go with the same you-are-a-human text-based setting.

So I started this game, and worked eagerly on it for about nine days before 'crashing' and reaching a point where I couldn't be bothered doing any more...
I made a lot of progress on it in that time, though, and it is a very playable game as it is. It was also a great distraction from my other projects like the new site or Miasmon; it got my passions burning again and rekindled my love of game design. Or something like that.

It's a shame I didn't finish it, because it would have been a nice surprise to present some finished game I'd never even mentioned before.
While I've given it up for now, though, I've merely pushed it aside rather than scrapping it, so I may well finish it at some point!
(Though I have my doubts that it would be widely appealing...)

After that distraction, I tried to get back to Miasmon... I wanted to compose some music for it, since it being silent is off-putting, and I'd be more compelled to work on it if I knew it had music, based on my experiences with other games.

But ugh... I've been having terrible luck with composing lately! Some kind of 'music block' or something, where I can't produce anything satisfactory, despite repeatedly trying... Several days of repeated failure put me off Miasmon for a while...

It was hard to get the Main Theme just right, you see... Once that was in place, I imagined that the rest would flow easily enough since I'd be able to use the theme as a recurring leitmotif...
But it was hard getting the feeling right due to the game's genre and setting... I wanted something 'adventurous' but also 'mysterious', but the pieces I was coming up with were too far in either direction; either Indiana Jones levels of 'adventure!' vibes, or moody, contemplative things... Some sounded nice, but just *didn't fit*...

Anyway, yes, due to struggling with that, I moved on to something else... It seems like I should have got back to the site, and I tried, but felt all drained just looking at it... I also came up with some interesting possibilities that made me unsure about the direction of the new site, so I decided to leave it to think more about what to do. I might write about my ideas at a later date.

Rating Orb M β Firequill and I had been talking for a while about working on a game together, since it does seem to be a fairly obvious and sensible thing to do, as it'd speed up development and we could use the skills that we were good at...
We talked about making a platformer, but it never really seemed to be getting beyond the 'just talking about it' phase... I became more and more interested in making a platformer again, though, so I did start such a thing alone.

Progress was fast, as I was able to use what I'd learned from working on Clarence. I made the main body of the engine in about a week, and I also designed it, for the first time, to be easily *reusable*. The engine's code is in a separate location to the game, which is what I don't normally do, meaning that to reuse it, I wouldn't need to gut the game and take what I'd need; I'd merely need to just tell a new game to *also* use that engine folder thing...
That's probably boring, obvious and poorly-explained, but it marks a significant development in my game design practices.

So anyway, I am still working on this platformer! I started it about ten days ago, and it is 'almost done'.
Rating Orb M β Firequill has been working on some graphics for it after all, so that will likely speed up development.
I tried to compose for it, too, and while it has been a struggle, I have successfully finished almost half the soundtrack in just two days!
Finally finishing some music has been a huge boost in my motivation, and I rather want to make the areas that they're supposed to be for, so I can see myself doing that fairly quickly.

I don't want to talk about the details of this game just yet, though. I will describe it in time, and I hope to be done with it in a couple of weeks.

It's been nice to have a break from my larger project, Miasmon, to work on small, fun things. I haven't abandoned the new site or Miasmon, though, and will return to them soon!

So yes. That is what I have been up to. Now that I have mentioned that, I'll probably get back to updating this site more regularly.
33 comments

 

33 Commentson 22 roots

Green Reuben`s Avatar
Rating Orb Green Reuben 16 New Zealand CholericPhlegmatic 167C 2F
6 years ago | (3)
Mate it's your life, do things at your own pace don't let us dictate what you do. We should all just be stoked that you have spent time to produce awesome games. Don't cater to the greedy, cater to those who appreciate the games you make and understand that you have your own life and problems.
Lightsmite`s Avatar
Rating Orb Lightsmite 18 China 1C 0F
6 years ago | (9)
Mother smeger!FASTER!I CAN'T WAIT!Mother smeger!Mother smeger!Mother smeger!Mother smeger!Mother smeger!Mother smeger!Mother smeg!Mother smeger!Mother smeger!Mother smeger!
Mother smeger!Mother smeger!Mother smeger!Mother smeger!Mother smeger!Mother smeger!Mother smeger!Mother smeger!
Seiryuu`s Avatar
Rating Orb Seiryuu 18 Canada PhlegmaticMelancholic 51C 65F
6 years ago | (2)
I honestly hope that you're just trolling. Really.
fighuass`s Avatar
Rating Orb fighuass 12 Netherlands CholericPhlegmatic 26C 12F
6 years ago | (5)
Would love it to play your game, but you should make some screenshots first. Im totaly behind you
sokhead`s Avatar
Rating Orb sokhead 17 South Korea 18C 20F
6 years ago | (3)
I think there were some screen shots on a older post.
Jared4242`s Avatar
Rating Orb Jared4242 15 United States SanguineMelancholic 4C 15F
6 years ago | (3)
Good to hear from you Pseudo! Don't feel bad about not being on the site (I haven't been here for 6 bloody months it seems!) & as I & many others on the site have told you , we prefer quality, not quantity!... However Mardek 4 would not exactly be unwelcome :D
Spiritlord`s Avatar
Rating Orb Spiritlord 15 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 71C 6F
6 years ago | (0)
Luckily for people like you, MARDEK 4 seems to have gone high on Pseudo's list of priorities. Although I wonder...does Pseudo really want to make it that soon, or have people just persuaded him to make it?
spargo`s Avatar
Rating Orb spargo 15 United States MelancholicSanguine 1C 0F
5 years ago | (2)
Does it really matter? The fact that it is high on the list is good enough for me. ;)
Jared4242`s Avatar
Rating Orb Jared4242 15 United States SanguineMelancholic 4C 15F
5 years ago | (1)
"People like me" I find that just a tad ... insensitive, but I'm sure you didn't mean it to be! Anyway, I want Pseudo to have fun doing his projects, & if that means not working on MARDEK 4, that's okay. I am happy regardless that he is working on it. You had a good point in retrospect...
bionclex`s Avatar
Rating Orb bionclex 13 United Kingdom PhlegmaticSanguine 1C 1F
6 years ago | (4)
Extremley inspiring post. Thank you for sharing this.
himaru47`s Avatar
Rating Orb himaru47 15 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic 7C 0F
6 years ago | (7)
I've been meaning to ask, would you mind loaning me the engine from Mardek so I could try my hand at my first flash game. I wan't thinking of selling it to a gaming website or anything like that, I just wanted to translate my favorite book series to flash.
DeNovo`s Avatar
Rating Orb E β DeNovo 24 United States MelancholicSanguine 244C 201F
6 years ago | (6)
It's worthwhile to note that for all the successful, new games out there, there are far more which never see the light of day. I would even go so far to say that a majority of these were not lost to technical or financial limitations. People have ideas, and try them out. When they feel like the idea isn't working the way the expected, it's completely reasonable to accept that this is as far as they can take the project, and move on. Naturally, for most people this is after many months of effort and shoehorning in parts which they aren't quite happy with, but it's very common and desirable, even, to know when an idea should be put aside.

One of the things I'm noticing is that you seem to hope that developing other games will inspire you to develop your current games. This produced your most recent chain of events, with several different projects trying to inspire the other one to reach completion. As such, I think it might be useful for you to try and see if there are any ideas you're excited to work on, but not necessarily going to force yourself to finish. I think most people on this site would understand, and even be supportive if you spent some time on a regular basis experimenting and trying out different ideas, and from what's happened so far I'm not sure the way you work will reliably produce games on a regular basis. It's certainly a problem if, after working on something you find far more interesting, you don't want to return to your main project, but by the same token it's very hard to jump from idea to idea and expect any project to be finished.

It seems like making games is fun for you, but not making every part of any game. Some parts are exciting, other parts are things you know very well how to do, but there are always things which slow your progress, and make you wonder if you shouldn't try something else. It is based on these observations that I believe you move away from committing to monolithic projects, and make a point of figuring out if there's a way to release games which you'd originally envisioned to be longer, more complex, or more interesting. I believe your goal was to make money; it's not the case that everything that you've yet to finish isn't worthless until it's done, and I'd like to think this will make significant contributions to your income as a flash developer if you work on something until you run out of steam, then try to turn it into something you could get sponsored in a few days.

This wouldn't mean giving up on the idea. The saying I heard a lot was "we'll leave that for version 2.0," and that applies here as well. It would be worthwhile to try to order your development so that you would have releasable versions well before all features are complete, but as far as I can tell you've written 4 RPGs so far which are in some playable state and yet somehow find yourself with nothing to show for it. I'd like to think that you have 4 decent RPGs you could upload for some money over the course of a few days, and another 4 RPGs which could only be bigger, better, and more enjoyable than the taste you offered in the original 4.

Maybe this will work, maybe it won't. I do think that you're putting yourself in situations where you don't need to feel as pressured or disappointed as you may.
FenderBender`s Avatar
Rating Orb FenderBender 14 United States PhlegmaticMelancholic 35C 5F
6 years ago | (1)
...I skimmed the post and then came across the words "LONEWOLF" which seems quite obvious that I saw it since it's all in capital letters. I decided to see what this was all about. Pseudo claimed that this was a relic and I gawked at the games descriptions and became enthralled.
Then suddenly, a surge went through me and I realized, "But what about Miasmon? I wish to see (or more like experience) the intriguing world of whimsical creatures!" That's okay though. The more time it takes means that the game will have more thought and complexity to it.
So it looks like there's a possibly that Pseudo has hefted another project. That could be good or bad...I, in my opinion, think that this is neither good or bad. You see, that means that there is yet another daunting task for Pseudo, but might also receive recognition for being very entertaining despite it basic text-based system.
I'm looking forward to it! (That is, if you decide to work on it.)
felipe970421`s Avatar
Rating Orb felipe970421 14 Colombia MelancholicPhlegmatic 33C 1F
6 years ago | (12)
WARNING: the are a little bit of spoilers in here

If you haven't made the plot yet, and plan to finish it, perhaps you could make it "Deugan's backstory", since the idea is that it is about "LONEWOLF", perhaps you can do it, I think it would be interesting to watch Mardek's story from another point of view
EmperorHiccup`s Avatar
Rating Orb EmperorHiccup 16 United States Phlegmatic 27C 32F
6 years ago | (8)
That would be really cool actually. I mean, the battle system itself is neat, but it'd be neat to hear about what Deugan was up to in between MARDEK 2 and 3. Unless that's all planned to be revealed as backstory and flashbacks in MARDEK 4 (and onward) or something. Even then, it'd be interesting to have a different point of view.
SAPPHIROS`s Avatar
Rating Orb SAPPHIROS 0 Holy See (Vatican City) 95C 106F
6 years ago | (7)
Hmm... If you read the dreamstones in MARDEK 3, then you would know that he was hanging out with the Water Guardian (SPOILERS or Emela)... Until he realised it wasn't right to do that. So he set out under a new name, Lone Wolf. The rest is pretty simple.
1 Reply
Lyle`s Avatar
Rating Orb Lyle 24 Australia 65C 28F
6 years ago | (16)
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH He's stopping in the middle of something before finishing it again to start on yet another completely new project! And another remake at that!

AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!

Was my first reaction. Then I kept reading more about that LONEWOLF remake and I actually quite liked that blog entry. There's something 'romantic' about the whole thing, like a sort of writers-block removal exercise, where you just spontaneously start working on something completely random with no commercial value, or even a reason - just for the subconscious purpose of reinspiring yourself, and getting rid of coders block/burnout. So I thought that was fair enough.
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