I wasn’t planning on making another Flash game at home. I was going to get on with painting and finish what C++ I’d started to learn (because let’s face it, the only useful thing the Flash Player has added since version 9 is bug fixes - no one gives a shit about Stage3D when tools like Unity are more accommodating). But it occurred to me I was going to need a project to build in C++. Something small and quick. A game would be best because it would give me a UI and graphics framework I can use for other projects. I had just such an idea that had been rolling around my head since I made Turnament for Nitrome (pro-tip, don’t name your game after a popular mis-spelling, Google will bury it). Prototyping in Flash and then porting would be the best route. And so now I’m making Ending, a puzzle game about movement punctuated with Kurt Vonnegut quotes. I’m quite stunned at how addictive I find testing it.
Red Rogue - Ad Mortem
I’ve still some bugs to fix. I’ll get round to it, just not right now. RPGs are massively high maintenance. Squash one bug and two rise in its wake. If your favourite RPG dev seems a bit lax, trust me, they’re fucking exhausted.
The reception to Red Rogue, whilst never award winning, was good all the same. I never stumbled upon a review after release that simply said, “eh, it’s a bit shit”, or words to that effect. Certainly I got comments saying that but I’ve worked in entertainment long enough now to dismiss the idea of universal appeal. I never set out with Red Rogue to make everyone happy - certainly some of my favourite bands that I listen to don’t subscribe to that ideal. Imagine fellow heavy metal listeners if our bands started saying, “we feel we’re not popular enough, so we’re going to sound more like Nickleback from now on.” Not everyone will accept you for who you are, but it is better than being a fraud.
*I should add that the highlight of release was finding a TV-oh-god-there-went-five-hours-of-my-life-following-links-Tropes page for Red Rogue. You’ve not entertained someone unless you’re on TVTropes. And then, later on, in Russian, this review. Nice of them to translate the FAQ. God forbid I should receive bug reports in my own language.
Thanks yet again for all the kind words and reviews.
The Emperor’s New Clothes
I walked into the Crown in Islington a month ago and mentioned to Ed Key that I was feeling the fatigue of Emperor’s New Clothes syndrome. I simply don’t like a lot of popular indie games. It’s not that I need to play them more (I tried that with Swords and Sworcery on everyone’s insistence and now I fucking despise it). Ed took it personally because I’m possibly the only person to fall into an impotent rage whilst playing the Proteus beta. It locked me out of my computer - I couldn’t figure out how to tab out and it seemed to have this “forced immersion” thing going on. I was fucking livid - it was like some trumped up hippy malware.
But now I’m seeing everyone else using The Emperor’s New Clothes to refer to Proteus and I feel like I should clarify exactly what I meant by this story:
In Eric Berne’s What Do You Say After You Say Hello he proposes the idea that we structure our lives after popular stories. That these story archetypes help us to explain to others our adventures and also help us envision ourselves as the heroes of our own tale. And this is what I meant by The Emperor’s New Clothes. The need to point out something wrong, not because it is wrong, but because doing so makes you the hero of the tale.
I could certainly tell everyone that I don’t like the controls in Super Hexagon, that I got 30 levels into Offspring Fling and found no challenge whatsoever, that FTL is a bit too much like Diner Dash for my liking. And what would I be? The hero? Would everyone come to their senses and congratulate me for speaking my mind? Or should I just let everyone carry on having fun?
Proteus I found quite charming in the end. It’s currently the best this new Look-Em-Up genre has to offer. And it won’t be the last.