Spinnortality was in PC gamer! And some updates

Hello everyone! A quick update:

In case anyone missed it, Spinnortality has a landing page! You can go there for screenshots, videos and general info about the game.

It also made it through Greenlight, so will be on Steam. Thank you so much to everyone who voted for it! ūüôā

Spinnortality’s going well. I took it to Vienna’s ReVersed festival where it was well-recieved – I also got a lot of very good feedback, so thanks to everyone who played and commented! It was also previewed in PC Gamer, which I’m thrilled with: I’ve been reading PC Gamer for years but never hoped one of my games might end up there.

Spinnortality at ReVersed; also my first time using a human-sized poster, which was less calamitous than it could have been.

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Music! (and other updates)

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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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