A wee labour of love

Reflections

An update…er, if that’s the right word

I get a fair few emails about this game/not a game; demanding updates and also a few requests for assets.

By trade i sculpt miniatures for a living and it takes a ton of time so i don’t get to actually come back to this. The issue is that i have reached the natural edge of my ability to do anything with it. I need to actually retrain and spend a fair amount of time on this to take it further but i simply don’t enjoy coding. I really don’t.

Think… a carrier bag of sick… that’s how i feel about coding and learning to code.

Think… a muffin with a little bit of poo in the middle… that’s how i feel about animation and painstakingly drawing every pixel in the key poses.

I don’t want to write this off as i do love coming back it it now and again but i honestly do not have the time to animate all the characters, paint all the backgrounds and then spaz my way through the coding  to make it work.

I am blown away by how much traffic this site still gets and i really wish i could just drop everything and make the game i have written.

Now it’s time to be a real dick about stuff…..

To all those who want STL’s of the models i made – Nope. Never going to happen. You want to print my work out god knows how many times??? Jog on.

To all those who want to ‘take the game off my hands’ – Sorry no. i love this game and i do love mucking about with it in my own way. Most of these emails come from people who make, to be brutally honest, really bad looking games and i just couldn’t do that.

So by now you’ll probably think i’m a colossal wanker… annnnnnd that’s kind of right. I started out with emails from good people who were just happy to see something exist about a program they love. It was great! But now the emails i get are of people demanding things. My time. Assets. Replies.

I just deleted a whole rant about my thoughts on those people – Personal growth, yay!

Anyway, i really wish i could give you real fans the game you actually deserve but i just don’t have that kind of time anymore. maybe in the future.

All the best and long live the Dwarf!

Andrew.

 

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Well, now… This IS taking a while, isn’t it…

Just another short progress update… insomuch as there has been some!

I got hung up for a while (about 2 months) on the concept art. I felt i couldn’t move forward with the game at all if i couldn’t design just one, measly, tiny environment. Seriously, it was a problem. BUT…… (insert dramatic music here(doooo it!)) I remembered an article written by the creators of Monkey Island. In it, they said that one of the first things they did was to get the game working and then worry about the artwork later.

So that’s what i did and I’m currently patchng together Chapter 1  Part 1, using the most piecemeal pixel graphics that’ll do and i have to say:

IT’S SOOOOOO MUCH MORE REWARDING!!!!!!

Things are moving ahead at a steady pace now as I’m getting in about 4hours of work every night. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not going to be A1 finished anytime soon but i can actually see the end of it as a real thing.

Some puzzles that worked fine on the paper have become indecipherable in-game tests and have had to be re-written on the fly; more dialogue has been added as I’ve been going because, try as i might, i can’t play the character and not have him talking to me in that light-hearted MI style way =)

OK, so, back to it! I’ll update this site when the game goes into first testing (doing this with just graphics that say “Kitchen” and “blowtorch” on them) but is sound from a coding point of view.

God for Queen Liz and the devil take the hindmost! (what? it’s a thing, honest!)


A Word On Opposition

People have said to me that this project is far too grand to complete and that i should scale it down to make it achievable.

I’ve been told that if i want to be a games designer then start small with ideas that i can build up, change adapt and finish

I’ve been told that games design should come from building all assets first and then adding gameplay to it and gradually building a story from there.

I’ve been told that story isn’t important to the game

To all of this i say the following:

I don’t want to be a games designer.

im not trying to write a red dwarf story.

im not trying to make a red dwarf game.

i want to create something that can make red dwarf fans truly feel like they’re involved in the show. im trying to make something which will allow people to have experiences and make warm memories of being closer to something they love. to allow the audience to participate and affect changes. I, like any fan, want to make something that furthers our connection.

Red Dwarf isn’t the best tv program and a lot of it isn’t really funny. i love it not because it’s the best but because it’s nostalgic and reminds me of different points in my life. its something which has spanned my entire adult life and has comforted me when going through bad times. it’s caused excitement about new shows and it has provided, at times, an actual moral compass on some issues.

i was recently hit by a car on my way home from work and suffered a spinal fracture and open wrist fracture. in 6 days i have learned to write with my left hand better than i could my right. What i thought would never be possible is now necessary. I have had to remain still in a back brace and sit and think for what seemed like ages but was really only 2 weeks in bed. in this time i realised that my problems with the game are coming from trying to fulfill people’s expectations. i know what this game has to be and that’s what im going to build. it may take me years and i may wander off from time to time but….

I’m making it for me and anyone like me.

No more pressure.