Saturday, November 14, 2015

Update (aka excuses aplenty)

So yeah, three months without so much as a peep save for my twitter.  Now, this isn't indie game related, so if you came to see what I'm doing game wise you'll be disappointed.  This is more of a personal bit here that I don't mind sharing with people.

Been very occupied with other things, trying new ideas and learning new things while being very occupied with my day job, mainly going down my long list of self improvement.  Finishing a videogame was one of them, though while it's not doing as well as I would have hoped, sometimes it takes time to get noticed.  Don't get me wrong, I WANT to do more.  However, I do want to take a small break from game making to pursue other interests.

Did a thing for Dodge-Fu, which I still have a prototype but I'm considering making it a free facebookish browser game that I might be able to sell if it gets popular enough.  As a matter of fact, that will probably be my next venture... see if I can make something and sell it to a bigger company.

I'm thankful I saw Baxter's Venture to the end since most projects I tend to quit when losing interest or get heavily discouraged... because that's a thing that's been hindering any form of success for as long as I can remember.  It prompted me to start on other things on myself that are long over due.

Current self-improvement project:  Me losing weight and getting in shape.

Now, while I'm not morbidly obese, I am fat.  Well, not as much NOW as I have dropped a good 20 pounds since mid September.  Thought I lost that much in a week, turns out it was a broken scale.  I was getting heavy over the summer, eating what I wanted and not caring because of finally being free and independent since 2013.  Went up to 255lb which is pretty bad for a 5' 10" guy.  Might of been higher, so mid September I started ditching processed foods, sugars, and breads and started eating more veggies, whole grains, fruits, and lean meats.  Went back to 2% milk, swiss cheese, and greek yogurt for my dairy fix.  Green tea instead of coffee because I always had to have those fattening creams and sugars in my coffee.

While it's a "no-shit-Sherlock" thing to do, it's something I should of done a long time ago.  Been a large man my whole life, growing up poor or having overweight people around you it's difficult to eat healthy when all they want is bad food, so it becomes a habit, especially since I was the one having to do all the grocery shopping for three people.  As of now however I currently weigh 235 and packing on muscle at the same time, so the number is dropping slow, but steady.  I actually look almost thin, with bits of fat poking out so it's only a matter of months before I look healthy.

For example, I have large shirts that I couldn't wear.  XL would barely hide my gut... now my Large shirts are getting looser by the week, XLs look way too big on me now.  For giggles, I wore a medium shirt... fit's pretty well, though its snug around my biceps and chest.

I work out six days a week since the beginning of October.  30mins of weights for three days, 30mins of cardio/HIIT for three days alternating between the two and I'm already seeing results as now the middle of November. (Thanks Body Project!!)  Hoping by the end of this year, I'll be down to the 220s and looking lean and muscular, and I'll continue to go further until I see my abs.  It's becoming a bit of an addiction.

Been buying weights for home use, since a gym would take up too much of my time... though I'm reconsidering it.

Next self-improvement project:  Getting back out there in the public!

This one is a bit loaded.  The whole point of losing the weight and getting in shape is to boost my confidence level over 9000 points.  (old meme, don't care, sue me)  The confidence I need to make new friends and relationships, and new career opportunities.  End game is moving out of this small Arizona town for good.

I'm 35, put myself in a rut going to college at 23 and getting a degree I can't use anymore and in debt that makes it difficult to save.  Naturally, I bought this on myself because last decade the internet wasn't that big and no where near enough information to prevent me from making the decision to enroll in the Art Institute.  It's not even a career path I really want to pursue anymore.  Not even sure if I can attend a grad school of my choice now... but that's okay.  Mistakes have been made, need to move on.

I've been considering doing Youtube for fun... been saying it for months but there seems to be a crippling doubt on doing it due to my age.  I mean, who wants to watch a 35 year old nobody play/talk about videogames?  Maybe pursue voice acting?  Vblog about nothing but random topical humor and geek culture?  Honestly I have to consider my age and audience and expand beyond videogames while making videogaming be part of it.  To be blunt, my interest in gaming has waned due to lack of time and enthusiasm but I still love playing them, but I can do so much more now that my interests have widened.

Examples (current):  Cooking, learning studies, topical interests,
Examples (to come): Learning new languages (fumbling), video editing

The angle is similar to Seinfeld, talk about nothing but it's something people could be entertained or even learn a bit.

My equipment isn't very good, but I'll have to make due with what I have... if I can get a good camera, I'll be set.

Next, NEXT self-improvement project:  Getting back into drawing.

My neglected talent... traded it to learn how to make videogames, it became stagnant so I have to retrain myself.  I want to take another stab at creating a comic series, but this time instead of in color I want to see if black and white will do.  Don't have many details, but I've been inspired by the Boondocks, Venture Bros, and Modern Archie to make something cool and fun.

I've let rejections from publications and other artists discourage me from this goal, which I need to go back and improve and try harder.  Flaked out on collabs due to lack of interest which I'm not proud of.  Found out I actually still like drawing cartoons, and perhaps it's something I should of never gave up on.

I've set some goals, now I just need to reach them.  Wish me luck!

Thank you for reading.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Playstation fans need to chill.

Before I continue

"casts Flameshield"

Now then.  E3 has come and went over a month ago.  Gamescom just finished if I recall.  There was quite the presentation for upcoming Xbox One games, namely Scalebound, Quantum Break, and Crackdown 3.

Crackdown 3 was shown as a demo utilizing the cloud structure, once used as a laugh among gaming fans as one of many bad presses for Microsoft since the Xbox One's launch.  Now has shown an amazing level of detail in multiplayer destruction using the cloud's ability to store data online and allows for high levels of rendering detail.

In short, particles actually break into individual pieces without slowing the system down... and this was pre-alpha footage.  The amount of detailed destruction was far beyond what few games have produced, mainly Red Faction Guerrilla that's being touted around alot.

Shortly after, message boards exploded with the same console fanboys going at each others throats over how this may or may not give Xbox One that much needed edge over the PS4.  Though from my perspective it seems more of the PS4 fans saying "W-well, so fucking what, it's no big deal, it's still a shitty console because it's Microsoft!"  or "That's nothing, Sony makes bank with PS4 so it's not like they can't do it too!" With chosen posters posting what they call "facts and math" to assure the WORLD that the PS4's dominance can not be challenged ever, like unwitting peasants ensuring the masses the one true console king will forever stay on its throne uncontested because heresy.  It's like when something good happens to anything Xbox, the Playstation Defense Force will swoop down to remind us of it's mediocrity and we should feel bad for picking the less-than-stellar console, y'know because Microsoft.

And we thought PC snobs were bad.

It used to be the running gag among gamers that Micorsoft is this eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil greedy corporation that's out to ruin gaming.  Some morons try to make the same argument for Sony's Playstation back in the 90s.  Last gen the 360 practically dominated western, I SAID WESTERN KNEE-JERK REACTIONISTS, market while PS3 eventually managed to get a leg up in Europe and obviously Japan because, well Japan.  Now, PS4 is dominating the home console market by a very large margin while Xbox is in a distant second. 

Playstation fans love to remind anyone who likes the Xbox One that it's a second place console, similar to PC Master Racers reminding console gamers we wasted 400 dollars on a black box that can't run 4k.  

They hate on Xbox One:

  • because it can't do 1080p third party.  
  • because it used to be the more expensive console, 
  • because it can't get very many Japanese third parties to support it
  • because Microsoft is an evil greedy corporation that wants to spy on us
  • because Microsoft
  • because of the parity clause, because of Call of Du... Oh, that went Playstation focused?  Nevermind!
My point is the one good thing that's actually very impressive for the technology involved that isn't from the "chosen console" is shunned upon because Xbox One owners were happy with something that the Playstation doesn't have.  I haven't seen ONE Xbox One owner starting a flame war with the Playstation campground... no, it's the other way around, they starting coming to threads and just pouring salt(metaphor for hate) all over the place.

In fact, many threads taking POSITIVE about anything Xbox or Microsoft is met with a sea of salty negativity as if we shouldn't even consider it at all.  

For example, moneyhatting a third party exclusive.  When Microsoft does it, they're EVIL, they're the cancer to the gaming industry, they're what's wrong with gaming today, blah, blah, blah.  When Sony does it... they're fucking heroes.  Not a lot of bitching went on when they money hatted Street Fighter V, Shenmue, or Final Fantasy (XI and 13 did appear on the 360)... or Metal Gear.

The bias is strong, and god forbid you point it out.  It's like throwing a rock in Legion Territory, you'd be lucky if you make it out alive.  I'm not denying that the Playstation 4 offers the best of gaming right now, just pointing out the sheer childishness to the arguements.

Also, lately Microsoft has been doing much changing to try and make amends for the negative press they had since the Xbox One's reveal.  Every step they take however gets met with much cynicism to out right denial.  People tend to forget how cocky Sony and the Playstation were when PS3 was announced... $600 dollars remember?  I should know, I was dumb enough to buy one at that price!

Some huge net positives for Microsoft as of THIS YEAR:

  • Backwards compatibility FOR PHYSICAL COPIES (save your games on the cloud first kids)
  • Releasing Rare from Kinect Duty
  • Rare Replay
  • Scalebound, from the makers of Bayonetta and Metal Gear Rising
  • Announcing a far more diverse line-up of games that AREN'T all FPS and Sports.
  • A Battletoad in Killer Instinct!
  • Future streaming capabilities with Windows 10, which is a boon for gaming channels
  • Adding keyboard and mouse support... MMOs incoming?  

We have Sunset Overdrive, one of the funnest games from 2014 that's a colorful open world platformer.  That was a start.  People are so neck deep in bias against Microsoft they don't want to even acknowledge that they're TRYING... and that makes me very disappointing at people in this hobby.

Before you label me a fanboy, at least try to hear me out.

I've gamed since the atari 2600 and the NES.  I've grown with the industry and my tastes have changed.  I chose to purchase an Xbox One to play with friends and to get Sunset Overdrive.  Also, my positive reception with the 360 let me to this... I got the system without the kinect and it was 20 bucks cheaper.

Trust me, I had a nasty case of PS4 envy.  But as I spend time going over exclusives for both systems... Xbox One has the better lot for now, and now is what's important.  I'll probably end up with a PS4 later down the line, but there are no must have's I'm interested in.

I've played Last of Us, and Second Son felt very rushed and short.  God of War didn't interest me much either.  Uncharted, as cool as it is, felt more like an on rails action game that lost me in the second game.  Also, my anime phase has long since dissipated.  I'm not interested in the otaku catered franchises many hold dear... they just don't click with me.  Guilty Gear maybe... but I dunno.  Sucks that I'll miss out on Dragon Quest but last one I played put me to sleep, like with Suikoden 3.

I blame Bethesda RPGs for spoiling me with an open world RPG where I immerse myself with a character you can make.  I could care less for Halo and Gears, but Destiny I could get into.  Not a racing or sports fan either... so you'd think I should of picked the PS4 for better third party right?  Probably.

But, Sunset Overdrive was the dealbreaker.  There's nothing like that on Playstation... unless there was a sequel that's multiplat, I wouldn't be surprised since the same thing happened to Saints Row.  Scalebound looks very impressive and Crackdown will help with the Saints Row itch.  Quantam Break reminds me of the combination of Infamous meets Watchdogs so I'll give it a go.  Killer Instinct and I go way back.

Personally it's very hard for me to justify owning two gaming consoles where 10% of it's library are exclusives.  And from where I'm sitting, Microsoft's offerings entice me more than what Playstation has to offer... that's just this consumers opinion.

I wish fans would just live and let live and not get so defensive because the "lesser" console has some new toys to play with.  You guys are in the far lead with some games coming out two years from now, be thankful companies flock to your console and not be so smug about it when others aren't so fortunate.

This isn't the Microsoft from 2013 you're dealing with anymore.  Times change.

That's all.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Baxter's Venture Director's Cut released!

After many months, the time is now!  Baxter's Venture Director's Cut is officially on Steam

Hopefully, there shouldn't be any issues that I've overlooked.  Everyone's machines are different, but that shouldn't pose too much problems, unless they don't have Java installed since there are HTML5 games that require it if I'm not mistaken.

All in all, first Steam release and it's only $3.99!  


Sunday, July 12, 2015

An old friend I never got to meet.

Now for those of you who aren't as familiar with the people in the gaming industry, this is Satoru Iwata.  He's was the CEO of Nintendo for quite some time.   Along with Miyomoto, Reggie, and Sakurai, they ran the S.S.NES across vast virtual seas with many of us who were willing to sail along.

He was an adept game developer, worked on coding for Pokemon, Balloon Fight and Earthbound.  A true pioneer for the industry.  While some of us didn't always agree with his decisions, you'd be hard pressed to deny the kind of impact he has left in his legacy. 

It's a pretty big deal, that the flag outside Nintendo HQ in Japan is at half mast right now.  He had one of the hardest jobs in the industry, yet maintain the quality of life that the rest of the gaming industry should really take after.  He is one of the very VERY few CEOs that understood the need for success and sacrifice, an example is that after the disappointing sales of the Wii U he volunteered his own salary to be cut in half so the company could stay afloat.

For the industry, it's a very big loss.  And I want to thank you for all you have done in your service.  

He among with many others in his position created a means of entertainment.  We would spend hours infront of the television watching pixels move about the screen.  For some, it was another past time, a hobby.  For others it was the escape for those with a turbulant life such as myself.  Where people would never understand our need to stick with the world of gaming, back when it was considered a very geeky (taboo even) way of living.  For example, I lived in a world full of constant misery, be it my own family, friends, and the rest of the world when I was forced to deal with the dark side of humanity.  It looked like there was no escape from the hell that was created for me to endure for most of my life  until 1989, when I begged my parents for a Nintendo.  It was then I was introduced to the wide world of videogames, a place to escape to.  A world of happiness that needed any willing participant to answer it's call whether it was a princess or two that needed saving, helping bipedal animals stop a simian megalomaniac, or to aid a bounty hunter navigate a mysterious planet.

If I had a bad day at school, issues with the people at work, or members of my family would put me down to make themselves feel better, or being betrayed by people I once called friends, gaming was always there to cheer me up.

I'm sure there will be some insensitive SOB that will roll their eyes reading this, probably someone very close to me.  And frankly I don't care about them, not like I used to...  that is how gaming changed me for the better.  It was also good to know that there are millions of likeminded people who share this sentiment.  (Or so I hope!)

Satoru Iwata, thank you for all you've done for us, God speed.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Baxter's Venture Director's Cut has been officially greenlit for Steam!

Embedded image permalink


I must say this has been a great weekend.  I'd like to take a moment to thank all you supporters out there who wanted to see the game succeed and followed my endeavors.

Right now I'm still going back to keep my OCD at ease making sure this game has no issues with it, of course with any game there will be flaws, but hopefully not game breaking ones... I didn't see any and the ones that I have saw were fixed on the spot.  There were some more tweaks like animations, and changing areas that wont lag you like the main hub.

This week I plan on uploading the game to steam.  I've checked out if there are any possible way to add achievements, at the moment it doesn't like there is anyway to add them to Construct 2 until after I download some things and only after I get accepted so it doesn't leave me with much time to implement.  I want to see if I still need a plug in or just upload the game and add them later.

Either way this is a big day for GGWorks, and I'm thankful to share it with everyone.


In other news, Fallout 4 releases this year, November 10!  Bethesda showed a very expansive demo of the game including customisable weapons AND armor!  Also a fortress you can make!  This is going to be much bigger than Skyrim... probably bigger than FFXIV, and I couldn't be happier.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Okay, I'm on to something now.


Just thought I'd drop a line to show a little bit of progress.  Last week I started character sprites for the protaginist for an action game.  He looked a bit Mortal Kombatesque and ended up scrapping it.

Second design which isn't shown was a more modern setting, a throwback to my defunct XNA project that never got off the ground.  It was going to be a throwback to River City Ransom where you fight a mad pastor of a megachurch who managed to lift a portion of a state into the sky gradually getting higher and higher, because he believes they'll be in Heaven once they die in space.  It was a game where I mostly poke fun at right wing stereotypes, racists, republicans and the kind of a-holes that use Christianity and the Bible as an excuse to be smug stuck up SOBs that believe they're above being called out for doing wrong...  

Sorry, got off on a tangent there.

It started to become more of a personal grudge of mine I'd LOVE to poke fun at, but I have to remember that this has to be more than just a civilian vs evil religious cult.  Maybe I could do the bounty hunter angle.  Since in his world, law enforcement has become some sparse that bounty hunting/mercenary became a big deal in that day and age.

Geo's personality is cold, reckless, witty, and holds a grudge over the way he was treated in the past so he has a bit of a cynical demeanor.  He desires to live a carefree life, but despises the kind of people who take advantage of others... like a mad pastor hell bent on sacrificing thousands of people in hopes of getting into heaven.  His backstory gets darker, but I wont spoil it.

He works for a former Spec Ops trainer who runs a small bounty hunting business with a techie, a unreliable female hunter with a hot streak.  I have plans for the ending thanks to Suicide Squad influence.  Geo hunt's small fry rednecks and KKK wannabes and turns them in for a decent profit... which made him more money than his day job.  The mad pastor hunt will be his ticket into the big leagues, and a personal grudge he has to settle.

OOH  here is the design:

My re-re-redesign.  And good timing since I was on a Contra kick lately watching some old vids.  Hard Corps actually implemented alternate routes, which will also be a thing for this game since there are optional targets for you to hunt... with some hidden targets as well. 

I also like the animated look.  Remember this sprite is enlarged, so the real thing will be smaller... depending on the size of your monitor.

Working for a former Spec Op member granted him access to his suit and weapon.

Here's hoping I'll have a level done before the week is out.


Unless Prison of Elders keep's me distracted...  but stay tuned!

Sunday, May 3, 2015


Because it's been a while.

I'm revamping act one to resemble a casino/theme park rather than a carnival.  One thing I learned is that people see the carnival theme and suddenly shy away from wanting to give the game a chance... which is a shame, it's probably insecurity for the most part unless you have a dark tone to go along with it.

I was honestly no better until I reached my 30s and went back to the world of Nintendo and colorful graphics.

Sorry for the sudden lag, I tried to make the gifs just low enough for the more rural connections.

I've been going back and re-evaluating the game, adding animations and changing stuff.  While the game is just waiting for the greenlight over on Steam, I'm sort of stuck on where to put this game.

Even for stand alone PC, there are few places that allow me to publish without insane thresholds (Desura) or low file size game submission.  Other distributors outright rejected the game, it seems there isn't much in the way for self-publish for a HTML5 game unless you're willing to sacrifice getting some kind of compensation for years of hard work.

This game with all the effects and animations won't function on the Wii U I'm afraid.  HTML5 support on a home console is still in it's infancy and probably won't change anytime soon... the controls just a tad more complex for smartphone (No way in hell am I putting this on Android though)... though if I had the money to get a mac I could fit the bill for an app store fee I'd be all over iTunes.  

My other option is to rebuild the game from scratch on another engine... which I'd rather start a new project entirely.  In a way, I feel stuck.  Perhaps I should seek out a publisher that's interested in this game... maybe that's what I need to do.  

Any thoughts?


In other news... 

Now for those who follow, I know I made promises on games that haven't gotten off the ground.  Dodge-Fu, High School Reunion horror game, etc.  Plans for Youtube and Twitch?  Still afraid of the unknown, I get discouraged easily when plans fall though... and the weird feeling of being a 30 something male doing youtube commentary about the gaming industry.  You can blame that on being raised in a conservative hive-mind world where you have to reach certain milestones while shunning any form of creativity because it doesn't pay the bills.

Truth is, I forget to gauge the time and energy to learn a new engine and the cost of developing for other platforms.  I'm still a Wii U dev, but haven't produced anything in months because my projects wouldn't work with the current engine I'm using and I haven't been able to afford a dev kit.  I was hanging with my friends for days on end on Destiny and when back to FFXIV in time for Heavensward, but now I've found myself with free time to think things were put in perspective.

Real life I have a full time job, but every penny goes towards bills, food, my pets, rent, and debts... the price of going to college without that fancy job at the end really puts a damper on saving money... lately it's been even more so thanks to unexpected personal events.

What does this have to do with anything?  Well, I just haven't decided on if I should raise money for my projects... I was expecting Baxter's Adventure to be on Steam to help fund the Wii U stuff, but as you can see that isn't going to happen anytime soon.  Porting this game as it is won't suffice either, it's too big and resource demanding.

However, I'm willing to give it a chance on NEW projects.  I have a plan to start a GoFundMe campaign, a seemingly inexpensive one... to get the funds needed for 3 Wii U projects.  I'm not going to do Kickstarter, I don't have the means to reward backers and it's more for small team projects than solo ventures like GGWorks.

I'm looking at doing 2-3 prototypes in Construct 2, real simplistic, possibly retro/arcade themed games of long forgotten franchises.

-A "Shatterhand" themed game that takes bits from Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania and the first TMNT game.  Think of a faster paced "Bad Dudes"

-Zelda themed dungeon crawler with a female protagonist, it'll feel like Link's Awkening and Adventure of Link

-Adventure Island or a remastered port of Baxter's Pocket Venture

These will act like mini trailers of what to expect for the Wii-U.

With the three prototypes combined, I am Captia... *ahem*  I mean this will give donators and idea of what to expect for the Wii U gaming console.  I'll work on one at a time, and place them on the E-Shop.  I know there is a market for these games, even though Wii U has the smallest install base, it's perfect for me since I'm one person and not a team of people.  And the fans of the console really appreciate indies and the niche games rarely found on other platforms.

The funds would cover:  Dev kits (possibly both for future Unity projects, my biggest goal is to learn Unity if I ever get to quit my day job haha.) music and sound for the games, overhead (I'd like to own my own studio away from home.) production costs for both games and software for youtube (better quality trailers so I'm not using movie maker and bandicam) Software and Dev kits are the biggest expenses obviously, and get top priority and music for royalty free websites.  There are a large amount of chiptune artists out there who make great music just begging to be used!

As far as incentives, I'll work on that.  I'll start with inexpensive stuff like t-shirts and such.


I have considered Patreon, not sure if I should do that since I'm not really a content creator with a well established fanbase.

Anyway, what do you think?