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Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar Weekly Update Sun 2nd Aug 2009 12:35pm

Category: Weekly Updates

Working on CARDECK was a motivating and rather enjoyable experience, since I was starting a new engine afresh and apparently that's the part of the development of games that I find the most exciting. I've now got to a point on that game where the engine's essentially done, but there's still all the content left to do, so my motivation waned...

I decided to use the experience to try to transfer the excitement of building a new engine to another project, so all this week I've been working on nothing other than Beast Signer!
Which is, uh, now in its fourth version... Hopefully THIS one will be the one that I'll stick with. And it seems likely I will, since I'm loads more experienced now and I've been building things to last, rather than doing what I did with the older versions and focusing more on how I'd figure out how to make things in the present... or something.

Anyway, it may excite you far too embarrassingly much to know that I'm going to make the development of this game rather open, so much so that I've already uploaded what I've done already!
[You can see it here.]
I've been updating that file every day, and will continue to do so for a while so you can see exactly how much I've done and watch it develop.
BE AWARE, HOWEVER, that you can't expect all features to be working from the outset. Currently very little WORKS as it would in the final version, so don't be so mind-numbingly stupid as to comment on the things that don't function properly. Saying such things for the sake of being amusing is also irritating since I'd bet a large portion of people would do that as if they're the only one to have thought to do so... Hmm. o_O

This is a sort of open development that I'd want to do more often, so then I can shape the game around feedback as I go along, rather than finding out after release that people don't like it. I'd do it with more of my games, but it should be understandable why a story-based game like MARDEK wouldn't work too well like this.

I've started with the battle system this time, whereas LAST time I tried to redo the engine, I did the menus and field mechanics and it just didn't work very well. The battle system is the 'meat' of the game, and having it done will feel like the game itself is mostly done. This is how I felt about CARDECK, after doing the duel system first.

I started [a forum thread] about Beast Signer v4, because I'm not yet certain on how various mechanics will work and suggestions would be useful, but I was disappointed in the amount of feedback so far... If you have suggestions about how skills, etc can work, then feel free to mention them in that thread or here.
Opinions on what I've done or planned so far are welcome too.
(Oh, and technical information is important to hear too. Does the game even fit on your tiny stone-age screens? Does the game lag? Etc?)

My schedule has MARDEK 3 assigned to all next week...
But should I work on that? Or should I continue focusing on Beast Signer, perhaps until I have a workable alpha version?
If I alternate weeks, with this week on Beast Signer, next on MARDEK 3, then Beast Signer, etc, then, uh, 'Work on the Final Battle' would be my MARDEK 3 task for about the 3rd of September... That won't be the end of development - there'll be loads to refine after that - but it just gives you an idea of what I still need to do.

I'll work on other projects like CARDECK whenever I've finished all the tasks I have to do on Beast Signer or MARDEK 3.

Raider 2 is still going through the sponsorship process... hmm.

EDIT: There's this thing called 'TipiT', apparently, which makes donating easier than ever... or so it seems. I've put one of its widgets on the right there - looks like a thermometer - and two at the bottom of the main page... If you're feeling generous, click them! It seems possible that you can donate even a few cents... though you have to donate at least $3 in total or something before money actually leaves whatever account you have. I'm not sure of the specifics.
Let's see if it works at all...


109 Commentson 36 roots

AHOOV`s Avatar
Rating Orb AHOOV 0 United States Melancholic 14C 6F
8 years ago | (0)
I kinda like the old one better, The new one is a bit more confusing and crowded
Fatalis`s Avatar
Rating Orb Fatalis 16 United States Sanguine 29C 44F
8 years ago | (0)
I will bring up my old comment: "Just get Mardek done and out of the way".
Andragon`s Avatar
Rating Orb Andragon 20 Antarctica 54C 0F
8 years ago | (0)
Hey, Pseudo, just wondering if you've played the game series "Geneforge." It's a neat indie series that, I think, provokes a lot of thought, similar to MARDEK.
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
8 years ago | (0)
I'm not familiar with it, no... I, uh, could look it up though, when I'm not busy working on my own games!
Since I'm working on MARDEK at the moment though, I bet it'd be unwise to play something that might inspire me at this point, lest I want to add and change stuff, delaying the release... o_O
Andragon`s Avatar
Rating Orb Andragon 20 Antarctica 54C 0F
8 years ago | (0)
Haha I agree. It's one of those long RPGs though, so take a look at it ONLY when you have lots of time... probably after MARDEK Ch. 3.
Crazycolorz5`s Avatar
Rating Orb Crazycolorz5 15 United States MelancholicCholeric 18C 11F
8 years ago | (0)
I think Mardek is much better than Beast Signer, though they are both really good.
Draghum`s Avatar
Rating Orb Draghum 14 United States Phlegmatic 19C 1F
8 years ago | (0)
I noticed gnome bring up a poll for sreen sizes... go 800x600!!!!!
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
8 years ago | (0)
Do you seriously use that resolution? o_O
Is your monitor also cog-powered and made of wood? Is the text as big as newspaper headlines?
Tinman`s Avatar
Rating Orb Tinman 21 Netherlands MelancholicPhlegmatic 17C 9F
8 years ago | (0)
Dude, resolution? If its to big you can always zoom out! If your browser isn't from before the big bang
1 Reply
Malthusis`s Avatar
Rating Orb Malthusis 17 Canada PhlegmaticCholeric 31C 21F
8 years ago | (0)
How is Raider Episode 2's sponsoring going?
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
8 years ago | (0)
Raider 2's sponsorship is still coming along annoyingly slowly... It'll be done eventually, but I'm not liking how slow it all is.
Hopefully it's getting to the end now though, but the offers I've got aren't quite as high as I'd hoped.
Ooneykcall`s Avatar
Rating Orb Ooneykcall 21 Russia CholericMelancholic 145C 61F
8 years ago | (0)
I must admit I totally agree with qwertyrobot.
I remember me saying you've got a kind of magic that makes your creations so attractive and intriguing et cetera, though I won't name it exactly. I'm not sure if you can. Probably you devote so much effort to it that it becomes (uh) enough to be a World; I mean, you may literally dive in it and swim in the atmosphere which is an odd blend of emotions, reason and sense. And stuff. Which is grand, because little people can do this, for no good reason!!!
qwertyrobot`s Avatar
Rating Orb qwertyrobot 18 United States SanguineMelancholic 74C 46F
8 years ago | (0)
Long post warning! Sorry for lack of conciseness.

I know very very little about graphics, animations and game development in general, although I've done some programming. So I appreciate the difficulty of your efforts, especially in making the engines, graphics, animations, maps and programmed plot (battles, monsters etc) of your games! And as an musician, I realize how difficult your artistic creation is. But I will proceed to comment on my wish for you to produce content for Mardek as fast as the inspiration comes and to continue to leave it on your schedule.

I just loaded up Mardek and played both chapters through in two days. They are still my favorite games on the internet. Here's why: You combine the very accessible RPG genre with art. The story is engaging, the art works and amplifies the context you have created, the music is very good at creating a mood (I found myself unconsciously being emotionally affected, and that doesn't happen often in quite that manner.) - essentially you have a coherent multi-media piece of art. I know that it must be difficult to create, and even more difficult because you are limited by computers and codes beyond the limit of your imagination but you do it incredibly well. Of the games that you are close to finishing, I think Mardek is still the one that is going to be the most sucessful in the long term.

1. Mardek is accessible. Raider's great - if you can play it. And I realize that much of your audience can play it, enjoy it, and will even repeat it to get a better score, thereby increasing ratings and ad revenue and other related things. But I'm not sure that the segment of your audience that can play the game is going to be the ones that are, for example, tipping you on Kongregate. Anyone with enough time and intelligence can play, enjoy and beat an RPG. And it will appeal to a wider variety of people.
2. The story. This applies to all of your games, and is the reason I'm such a fan of you as a developer. Your characters have depth. It's like a book - you read/play the game again because you will learn something new about the characters. And who doesn't want to grow up and kill dragons? One of the reasons that fantasy has such incredible popularity (and not just among teenagers) is that it appeals to the idealistic in all of us, and provides with an opportunity to escape the unfortunate limitations of the world we live in. Beyond that, the philosophy (especially in Chapter 2), the humor (throughout), and the emotional content of the characters (for example, Deugan's speeches in the Escape Pod room) make it a good read. You have content for various levels of thinking (and as a teenager, I certainly cannot claim to appreciate everything there) while making it incredibly enjoyable to experience.
3. The rest of the content. You're an artist, and a musician as well as a writer. Maybe you're not Shakespeare or Mozart (or maybe you are), but you have the ability to combine visual art, music, story, and all the engine and progression parts of the game-play into a final product that is amazing. Maybe I don't care that this particular monster has X health points (except while trying to kill him), but the fact that he's green and purple and moves in a certain way adds to the context of the world (whether the imagined castle of Chapter 1 or some other context). It appears that you either have some natural talent for this, or you go to great efforts to make sure that things like monsters really fit in with the location they will exist in. I understand how rather tedious and absolutely uninteresting animating such things would be (even though I admit only a rough idea of what that means), but in consideration of the whole, it's important!
Probably my favorite line from Mardek 2 (although I have many) is "Oh no! A plot unrelated boss monster". You have a touch for whatever that is exactly, suspense, humor, I don't quite know. But it's rather brilliant.

So. I'm sure animating monsters and making other content for Mardek is unappealing. And I certainly cannot argue with the artistic process and its pace. But if you feel like you have the inspiration to work on the game please do so!! No, I'm not saying "give up Raider and CARDECK and Beast Signer and etc.". I do not and will not only love Mardek. But I think the schedule idea you had running is somewhat promising, perhaps, and I hope that if you have the inspiration you can continue to fit Mardek in alongside the other games you are developing. I am convinced that it is a winner.

Sorry for taking so long to express what I wanted to say, and thank you for your time if you're still reading.
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
8 years ago | (0)
I know that people love MARDEK and that it will be very successful... It's just that for some reason, that thought alone isn't enough to motivate me, since I've been working on it for so many, many months that it gets tedious... Something else that also puts me off somewhat is the idea that people will probably high really high expectations for MARDEK 3, and if I don't do an absolutely amazing job, people will be disappointed since they've waited so long...
I've been focusing on MARDEK this week though, and it's very nearing completion now! It's so close that it might be done this month... But I'll talk about that in more detail in the Sunday update.

Anyway, it is good that you appreciate the effort put into MARDEK, because there WAS quite a lot.
And it's so annoying when people don't understand the effort involved and give it ratings of like 0/10 for trivial things like 'you can't examine objects to see descriptions of them' or 'it should have more CHOICES', which are both comments I've got before... >_>
Rupenis`s Avatar
Rating Orb ! Rupenis 14 New Zealand MelancholicCholeric 26C 12F
8 years ago | (0)
the new beast signer battle system is cool but what was wrong with the old one. And you can't kill the guy.
black magechill`s Avatar
Rating Orb black magechill 14 United States CholericMelancholic 398C 134F
8 years ago | (0)
The entire thing works without lag and fits my computer screen, which is from two thousand three. I think you're clear, graphics wise.
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