Keeping it real

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It is indeed possible to write a song, a novel, an episode, a story-heavy game, basing it totally on a good thought. A nice idea with which you have a cold, analytical, detached relationship.

But I think, if it is THE story for you, something close to your heart, close to your personality, something in which you invest a part of yourself and are quite worried how you should ever pull this off a second time – THAT might turn out great.

As I said, in this early early phase of writing a game, I try to be aware of what I want it to be BEFORE I write it. I don’t want to see where my writing takes me, and then find out “it’s not a game I would like”.
I sometimes have a problem with adventures when I see the pencil outlines: I see it was designed as a crime story “people will buy”, with a guy, and a girl, and a gun, and a car chase. I sometimes feel it’s “only a game”. Only another story. A run-of-the-mill novel.

This is OK, this can and will happen, people get paid to write scripts and books, those need to sell, and people cannot write their best thing ALL THE TIME.

But I don’t get paid, and it’s OK if I only complete ONE game script I personally think is great. And I can work on it as long as I like. So I will see that it will not be just another thing.

One of the strategies I follow is to base it on something close to me, to put several aspects of me into the character that hurt, that are complex and hard to grasp. I will use this script to delve deep into my soul and put some weird, painful, human, “real” things into the game.

It’s not a game “about me”, not at all. But the character will have an interesting past and a current situation that is also relevant to me and to many other people.

Before I blurt out what exactly he is and does, let me write on this a bit further. I tend to jump to ideas very fast and stick to them. I have to probe it a bit and see if it’s still good in a month…

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Baby steps

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The work on my “meaningful adventure” has begun. In my little spare time I managed to find my genre (mystery adventure), and lay out the 6 columns that a game has to rest on to be “brilliant” to ME. I don’t “know it all”, I just know what I like. And if it is to me the best script ever, it can’t really suck too hard for others. So, before I write one word, I exactly define the meta qualities everything must have or it will be trashed.

An interesting gamble: While I want to finish it and want to see it released and want it to reach many people, I deliberately refuse to  check the angle whether today’s audience will buy it. I don’t give a fuck. I want to have “that is one great game script” and not “stupid, but what a seller”. So, how good it might sell is not relevant. Publishers, similar to humans, are wrong all the time anyway. We only know what didn’t sell last time. And cold-heartedly reassemble past successes to a new sure-to-succeed-formula will only create a cold, empty zombie landscape of games that try too hard but are built of sand.

Good sign 1: I got 3 messages by people possibly interested in working on it with their company. Yes, I have many friends in the game business but I really did not expect anyone to give a rat’s arse about what I start to sketch in my little dungeon. But I take it as a boost of morale, nothing more. Maybe I WILL finish it!

Good sign 2: Two of my six columns concern the character and his place in everything. So I am trying to discard down to a short list of possible characters just right for my story (even though that story is still just a spark). I have one candidate I like, which makes a lot of sense and has many layers already. Just an idea, nothing more. My first try. But this morning, I make myself a drink and I realize I MISS that guy. What the fuck? Last time I missed a character from a game was Black Mirror 3 and Fahrenheit. Just MAYBE I really found a character close to my soul, that’s more or less 1 of my columns. You cannot write a meaningful big story about somebody you cannot relate to, or rather, who is not a part of you. You must not think like him, you must FEEL him. Or else it will be shallow, just another game. And that is NOT an option.

#GAMEDESIGN. <- Whenever you see that, run.

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[NOTE: I have redesigned the Game Design Category, you can now recognize it by it’s look, not the Hashtag Gamedesign – Me, January 2016]

It has begun. I have started to work on a game of a scale that can be finished by a team of 3. I don’t have that team, but I don’t have talent or experience, either. Who was ever stopped by that? See!

I am a composer in a world of game developers. It’s like working at the cash register in a brothel and never having sex. I am constantly creating, composing, designing… But I forgot to dream up stupid stuff… Maybe it’s that I miss the roleplaying days, where I created dozens of worlds…

Don’t know, fact is: I know where I am going. I know what kind of game I want to make. I have a few ideas.

I hav no team, but it’s no big deal. I can search one later. In case you wonder, these roles I will try to cover myself.

Writer
Composer
Sound Designer
Pimp (ing it to the publishers)

I have already written a dozen game stories and concepts for other people, not really for myself though. I have written stories and lyrics for albums, including long stories for concept albums. And composing/sound, well that’s my job. In those fields it will be KILLER. It’s me reputation on the line.

I “just” need

Artist and

Coder.

3 people should do. It’s a story-heavy game, I try to be very very low on ressources. It MUST be a simple approach… But that is far in the future. What I have to have now is something to dream about while I work, something to look into the clouds about and say “I wonder…”.  I will try to have THE Script. Then I might feel driven to finish it.

Job for Flash Programmer & Intern in Düsseldorf/Germany

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Hey,

a pal asked me to post this, sorry in German. It’s a not too unknown games-related company that is new into game development themselves, so they like me to post this without a name.

Flash Entwickler ActionScript (m/w):

Aufgabenfeld:

-Programmieren aufwändiger Flashanwendungen, -Spiele und -Animationen mit ActionScript 2/3

-Steuern von Eingabemasken und Datenbankabfragen (PHP) mittels Flash

-Optimieren von Flashanwendungen hinsichtlich Performance

 Profil:

-Profi für ActionScript 2.0/ 3.0

-Erfahrungen mit entsprechenden Werkzeugen

-Gute Kenntnisse in PHP und MySQL

-Grundkenntnisse in HTML und CSS

-Aufgeschlossener und kommunikativer Teamplayer

-Freude an der Umsetzung kreativer Ideen bei der Erschließung neuer Märkte

Nice to have:

-Erfahrung in der Gamesbranche

-Gute Kenntnisse im Umgang mit Social Media

-Gute Englischkenntnisse

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Flash Entwickler ActionScript (m/w) Praktikum:

Aufgabenfeld:

-Programmieren aufwändiger Flashanwendungen, -Spiele und -animationen mit ActionScript 2/3

-Steuern von Eingabemasken und Datenbankabfragen (PHP) mittels Flash

-Quality Assurance

-Kaffee Verzehr- kochen machen wir schon selber 🙂

Profil:

-Geschult in ActionScript 2/3

-Erfahrung im Umgang mit Adobe Werkzeugen

-Aufgeschlossener und kommunikativer Teamplayer

-Freude an der Umsetzung kreativer Ideen bei der Erschließung neuer Märkte

Nice to have:

-Grundkenntnisse in PHP und MySQL

-Grundkenntnisse in HTML und CSS

-Erfahrung in der Gamesbranche

-Gute Kenntnisse im Umgang mit Social Media

-Gute Englischkenntnisse

Contact me, I will forward you as an interestee and you will be contacted with more info.

Satachrist’s Castle

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While my machine is rendering, I am cleaning up my webserver. As I never delete anything, I find a lot of shit from 2001 (when I got that webspace). At that time, I was a wannabe webdesigner, quite new into Flash. I was never awesome, that’s why I am no longer working in that area.

Among the weirdest things I have ever done is this website for my good friend Martin, a dark author. It is half browser adventure, half website. You can read some of his short stories in there. Some links don’t work, and it was only half finished. I hate that, we had a lot of additional material ready and not inserted. We had dialogues and 2 more characters…

Sorry if it’s too crappy for your time. The beginning font is hard to read, click the T symbol to remove it. Also, the crappy art is my doing, and I play the first character you’ll meet. Almost the only one in there I am afraid.

Among the better features I think is the dialogue system, with the possibility to enter text at one point, and the interaction with the books in the library. Also, I like the part of dressing up as characters, and photoshopping them into crappy art. I don’t know what you think, but when i see it, I would love to finish an adventure in that style (with better graphics of course). If anyone is into that, hit me…

Side note: There is a preloader, the crows that land on the sign posts. Back in 2001, it actually took a while for the game to load. Today, no problem. Ohh, damn, the possibilities, I would love to do such a game right away…

–> Try it here  [UPDATED: Changed the link]

Screenshot of Satachrist's Castle

Screenshot of Satachrist’s Castle