Monday, February 3, 2014

Breakthrough, Response, and Transition

That up there? That's a video of a guy that I don't know playing "Digital Toilet World".

That kills me.

Here's the thing about me. I've been making games with Game Maker ever since I was 12. The first few years, I only shared the (terrible) games I made with my friends. By the time I was 13 or 14, I had discovered  this amateur entry-level first person shooter software called Silent Walk, and so I had made some (pretty bad) shooter games and shared them with the Silent Walk community, most of the members of which were boys my age. During my high school years, Silent Walk ceased to satisfy my creative needs, and I resumed work with Game Maker. I had published (mediocre) games on Game Maker's website and received maybe a dozen or so plays for each of my games (one of which was How to Fly). Having those dozen plays from strangers made my day. The possibility that people who didn't know me could choose to play my games, and that some of them could even like them, was inconceivable to me. I didn't care how few people played my games - the fact that there were people mattered.

It was during my high school years and early college years that I had really discovered the indie game scene. I had discovered the games of developers like Terry CavanaghStephen Lavelle, Bento Smile, Christine Love, Amon26, Jonas Kyratzes, Anna Anthropy, Daniel Remar, Jason Rohrer, Cactus, thecatamites, and countless others. Most of the people above were my heroes. I played and idolized their games. I wanted to be one of them.

Before I reached adulthood, started this blog, and shared Waker on the Tigsource forums, I was just a kid who, in his spare time, made little games that his friends and family would occasionally play. Now, that's all changing. Over the past year, people I've never met have been blogging about Waker's development, following it, and are offering to write music for it. "Digital Toilet World" has been downloaded over a hundred times, ranked well enough in Ludum Dare, has a "Let's Play" video, and was posted to by Terry Cavanagh, one of my goddamn teenage heroes.

It's not much press, but holy shit, it's press. This is a transitional period for me as a game developer. It might be a little obnoxious, but I am probably going to freak out with every piece of publicity I receive for a while. It's just a phase I'm going through, please bear with me.

And thanks for playing and reading! For those of you keeping score at home, this is my 100th blog post here. I've undergone a lot of change as a developer and as a person since I started writing; I can't wait to see what the next 100 will bring.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Recommendation: Standstill Girl

Okay, so I'm a little late to the party, but vgperson (the person who translated the very excellent Mad Father which I talked about heretranslated this fantastic short JRPG called Standstill Girl. I'm having trouble describing the game without sounding ridiculous, so I'll let it explain itself:

Alice is a girl who lives in the Land of Time, in the care of a boy named Tiska.
One day, when the hands of the Great Clock are mysteriously scattered, the Land of Life comes to a standstill.
Though it's Tiska's job as a warden of time to recover the hands, Alice can't help
but be curious...

It's short, but tells a unique story very well, and has a fantastic, streamlined turn based battle system that elegantly fixes all of the usual flaws with JRPG combat. I haven't enjoyed a JRPG this much in a while. Give it a play!