Pretty lights and tentative release date!

I’ve been making steady progress on Spinnortality. Some highlights off the top of my head:


Everything¬†is prettier! The menus, the earth, the space background. I’ve tried to work on the game’s “fanciness” and I’m pleased with the results.

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Music! (and other updates)


I haven’t posted recently (soorrryyyy!):¬†I¬†was¬†either rushed off my feet or hard at work on Spinnortality. Here are some things I’ve done!

  • The game has music now, thanks to the very talented Anthony Kroytor of City Nights Tracks! We’ve decided to go with some eerie, drone-y synth music; different music layers fade in or out depending on what the player is doing. We’ve got a few tracks in-game and it seems to work pretty nicely! After wading through hours of not-quite-right Creative Commons music it’s such a relief to have Anthony on board: each piece he produces brings a different mood or ambience to the game, and they’re all a perfect fit for the kind of mood I want to create.

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Spinnortality updates

Spinnortality is going pretty well! Here’s what I’ve done recently:

  • The research tree is done for now. If I realise there aren’t enough branches later on I’ll add to it, but it’s good enough for the moment.
  • You now receive “decision” emails. Functionally these are just messages with choices at the end: “An opportunity has arisen! Should we take it, or ignore it?” They’re a bit basic right now but I want to make them more complex and allow for more expressive, interesting decision-making down the road.


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Sidequests and other distractions: the erosion of meaning in CRPG quests

[Note: I wrote this a while ago and forgot to publish it. I still think it’s quite interesting, so here we go!]

What is a quest?

A thing to get distracted from.

We’ve all been there, whether the game¬†du jour was a Fallout, an Elder Scroll or an Assassin’s Creed, where icons¬†dot the map like tempting candy – or pepper it¬†like buckshot. Replaying¬†Knights of the Old Republic¬†recently I received an important quest: investigate an ominous grove infested with dark energy, a focus of evil drawing things to the dark side. Surely it should have been my number one priority? But I wasn’t at all surprised that¬†it was¬†literally the last thing I did – after working through everything else on my to-do list.

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Twenty Dollar Gaming – and a thank you!

First up, thank you to everyone who’s played (and especially bought)¬†Masques and Murder!¬†Your support is amazing! Today we passed¬†both the 1000 downloads and 100 purchases milestones.

That won’t sound like much to the Jonathan Blows among you, but this is a¬†huge deal for me: although I’ve been making games for a few years now, none of them have been played by this many people, and none made any money. Since the game is available to download for free I honestly didn’t think anyone would pay; the fact so many have actually¬†parted with money¬†for something I made still boggles my mind. It’s also really helpful right now since funds have been low: now I don’t have to worry about rent! Hooray! Thank you everyone. ūüôā

But wait, there’s more! I’ve also started a new project: a podcast with friend and fellow game-enthusiast Andy Noelker.

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Comfort Food

Games are beautiful and amazing and art and all that shit. I truly believe this. I think the videogame is the artform of the 21st century, like the movie was the artform of the 20th. (Let’s just go with that grand, sweeping narrative, shall we? Yes, it’s comforting and I want that simplicity right now.)

But sometimes you don’t want The Seventh Seal or Citizen Kane. Sometimes you want to huddle up with a bowl of popcorn and watch, I don’t know,¬†Buffy.

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The world is a found object, and we are imperfect archeologists

So¬†I decided to get on TIGsource in a proper way. I¬†posted on there years ago but drifted away. This time, though, I made a post¬†about “Masques and Murder!” So I’m on there now, for realsies.

On my jaunt I stumbled upon¬†“Ultima Ratio Regum”. I’m a pretentious twit, so I know this is Latin for “The Final Argument of Kings”, and that this was proudly engraved on the elaborate barrels of Renaissance cannons. (Renaissance princes were also, I think, pretentious twits.) So I click it, because this is totally my thing.

I’m now a little bit obsessed with this game.

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