It’s been a while, a very busy while. Looking back at my last post, things couldn’t be any more different now to how they were then.

Back then I was freshly unemployed, a little concerned about finding a job, and fully expecting to be working on my first indie game, alone, for a while. Now I’m once again gainfully employed, at a great company, working on a great game, with a group of the most hard-working, talented people I know, people who together have decades of titles, centuries of experience in the industry, and the attitude to get the game out the door and into people’s hands. For this I count myself as extremely lucky, and I am very grateful.

Despite the day job, however, I’m still working on a few side projects – one of which is progressing solidly. I can’t say much more about it yet, but I’m pretty excited to see it slowly morphing from a vaguely-defined idea into a fully playable game. I’ll be posting more about it soon.

2010 has been a heck of a year, and I expect 2011 is going to blow it right out of the water.

May your ideas be fresh, and your projects fruitful. Happy 2011!


Life is change, as they say, and changes came to my life last week. Long story short – and I’m not really going to share the long version – my services were no longer required at the day job, so I got let go. Last Friday was my last day.

In the time since, I’ve been making plans for what I hope to achieve between now and my next bout of gainful employment. There’s a lot of different things I want to do, from writing, to working on art, to game development, and some catching up on my back catalog of games (I totally got Folklore for a steal a couple of weeks back).

I also went on a bit of a WoW binge, if only to get it out of my system early. My Death Knight had been sitting at level 73 or 74 for months, so I finally brushed him off and got him to 80. Ding, wewt, and all that. It loses some lustre after the first few times, and this is the 6th level 80 I have, so meh. Since my other 3 level 70+ characters are all paired up with ones the missus has, and the missus is busy playing other games right now, getting the DK to 80 was the only clear-cut goal I had left. Now that that’s out of the way, I can forget about WoW until, say, a month before Cataclysm, at which point I’ll probably go back and play with a vengeance to get that Loremaster of Kalimdor achievement I’m still missing.

In other gaming news, I’ve also been playing Hydorah. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s an old-school inspired side-scrolling shooter, with heavy inspiration drawn from Gradius to R-Type to Castlevania. The graphics are deliciously retro, there are branching paths, assorted weapons, power-ups, secrets, and other such old-school shmup goodness. In many ways, it’s very similar to what I’m hoping to do with Oneirius, hearkening back to the games that originated what is now known as the shoot ’em up genre, while at the same exploring the possibilities of its design space. Note: Locomalito’s site seems to be down, very likely due to their server exploding from the unexpected spike in bandwidth use. I think I saw them post on Twitter that there was a download mirror somewhere.

So, with my newlyfound free time, I hope to be posting on here more often, updating my deviant art with some new work, and hopefully finishing and publishing some games.

It’s been a while. I’m working on a meatier update, but for now just a quick update:

Got to go back to Spain to visit the family. It was nice to go back, it was nicer to be able to show my wife around my hometown, and it was nicest of all to see and hang out with my family an old friends.

I made some progress in my indie game development endeavours, the first product of which can be found here. It’s still a work in progress, but hey, check it out, give me feedback.

I was at GDC earlier this month, doing some coverage for The MMO Gamer. I’ve been working on writing out the stuff I covered, but RL has conspired against me again and again. Stuff should start appearing on there next week.

Speaking of The MMO Gamer, I was on their podcast last week, talking about GDC and MMOs. If you’re interested in the subject matter, do give us a listen.

Back to writing.

I haven’t updated in a while, I know. I’ve been busy with work, both work-work and after-work work. I’ve taken up Game Maker pretty seriously and have almost made it through all of the tutorial game projects in The Game Maker’s Apprentice. Apart from those, I have a few prototypes in various stages of development, and as soon as I’m done with the tutorials I’ll be jumping full-time into one of the prototypes with the aim of finishing a complete game. I can’t say what it’s about yet, but hopefully soon I’ll have something to show.

In other news, the spousal entity and I will be travelling to Spain over Christmas to go visit my family. It’s been over 4 years now since I moved to the States, so it’ll be nice to go back and see everyone. While I don’t expect to get much work done game-wise, I’ll be taking the laptop with GM installed on it, so perhaps something will come out of this small vacation. If nothing else, I’m sure I’ll get some gaming and some writing done, which will be good too.

I should probably have the time and inclination to write a post over Christmas break, unless I fall comatose from eating copious amounts of my mother’s delicious food. If there’s one thing I’ve missed, it’s the huge family meals she prepares on special occasions, like, say, Christmas.

So, it’s been a while since I posted, and today I’m especially motivated to write an update, so here goes:

Firstly, I got a new job, and now I’m working as a QA Tester at Gazillion. It’s a good job, and I’m enjoying it and learning many things every day.

Also in game development news, I’ve been learning to use Game Maker 7, and I’ve started working on my first game. It’s a little on the ambitious side for a first game, but I’m working on it dilligently. I’m keeping a devlog for it here. It’s still in the early stages, and most of my time right now is spent on spriting and other art assets, but I’m working on it. I will probably create a section here on the blog about it too and post updates on progress, so stay tuned.

In other game-related news, a while back Blizzard had a contest to submit names for Uniques (particularly rare and powerful items) for the upcoming Diablo III. The 5 names that are making into the game are: The Tormenter, Telranden’s Hand, Ruinstoke, Xephirian Amulet,and  Band of Hollow Whispers… As you might have figured out by now, Ruinstoke was my submission, so woot!

Finally, the whole mess with the Healthcare reform wrangling makes me very angry. Since I rant about it constantly on Twitter, I’m not going to say anything more on the subject, until I blow a whole post dedicated to the subject.

More soon.

I’ve not posted much recently, namely because I have a new job – another QA position, but this time at a development studio – and I’ve been busy acclimating to my new situation. I’m happy with it so far, I’ve only been there for just over a week and I’ve already learned a lot of things. Having hands-on time with some professional grade tools is great, as is working in an environment full of like-minded people with great ideas and passion, and seeing the day to day of a game developer’s life, as opposed to just interacting with the product in a finished or semi-finished state.

I’m looking forward to doing more writing once I’ve settled in. I also have a few things going on on the side. So it’s busy busy busy all the way. Still, I’m not complaining. I’ve been working for this for a long time now, and I’m grateful for the payoff.

More soon.

I’ve been hearing about Trine lately on Twitter, so I figured I’d get the free demo from Steam to check it out. As I was perusing Steam’s selection of free stuff, to my great surprise I saw the demo for Starscape was on there.  I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoyed Starscape, so now that the demo is available on Steam, you have no excuse not to try it. Plus, Moonpod are pretty awesome as a whole – they also developed Mr. Robot – and they’d probably appreciate your patronage.

Of course, you could always download the demo directly from Moonpod, whether you have Steam or not, or even buy it directly from them. 😉

There’s a lot of talk about how videogames are yet to have their Citizen Kane, and how when this game is released, we will be elevated to the same degree of cultural relevance as film and literature. But, recently, I’ve begun wondering if that’s really what videogames need.

Citizen Kane is a feat of cinematographic mastery, but there are many games out there that use visuals, game mechanics, and narrative elements successfully.

Star Trek, on the other hand, while perhaps not as technically impressive, has cultural and future relevance. Each of the serials, from the first one in the 1960’s, explores themes and situations which echoed events of our world which were relevant at the time. The money quote, from Roddenberry himself, is:

[By creating] a new world with new rules, I could make statements about sex, religion, Vietnam, politics, and intercontinental missiles. Indeed, we did make them on Star Trek: we were sending messages and fortunately they all got by the network.


So, following on my previous post on Cartography, and my comments on in-game stories, here’s another idea for a crafting profession.

The Loreweaver is a seeker of knowledge, a scholar of ancient languages and cultures, and is deeply interested in unearthing the history of the world. From a design standpoint, implementing the profession fulfills the following goals:

1. It is aimed at lore enthusiasts, those players who want to know more about the story of the world. One of the products of the profession is exactly that, in-game books dealing with history, mythology, culture and other such subjects.

2. As a crafting profession, it does not require exploring the world, killing monsters, or finding gear for progression.

3. It is a new way of delivering narrative to players.

4. It is an experiment in player-created content, after a fashion.


The discussions on questing and storytelling have been going on for a while, and I haven’t said much on the subject until now because personally I feel divided on the subject.

As a way of establishing a basis for my thoughts, here’s a little information about my playing habits in WoW:

I currently have the maximum number of characters allowed (50) scattered across a good dozen servers. I play mostly alliance characters, on PvE servers, but I have player all the racial and death knight newbie areas, and all races to at least level 20. On my main server, I have 10 alliance characters, 3 80’s, 4 70+, and three lowbies. I have one of each class (including death knight), at least one of each race, and all professions maxed or just about.