Memorable bosses, guys.

Arcade bosses, dude

Atari bosses, people.

Dreamcast bosses, ladies and gentlemen.

NES Bosses, folks

Shantae (Half Djinn)

So as you can tell from my gushing post the other night, I love me some 2D “jump shooters” – and so does the company where I work, WayForward.

They announced a kickstarter today with some wicked sweet hand-drawn art.  Do you like beautiful platform adventure games?  Of course you do.

(click here to visit the fancy Kickstarter page)

For those who’ve never played Shantae, the games are like Battle of Olympus, Simon’s Quest, etc.  But with more of a Metroidvania flare and detailed Zelda-style dungeons.

Also it has a female protagonist so points right there.

For all you horror folks

I don’t talk about horror much on the blog these days, for obvious reasons.  But that doesn’t mean I have nothing to say!  CJ Melendez has been doing a series of articles for Rely on Horror with different game industry horror-type folks.  You should check it out.

Here’s mine.

There’s one with the well-spoken Jeremy Blaustein (my personal favorite)

And here’s one with the always entertaining Sam Barlow.

Mighty Kick Champs

Every once in a while, there’s a day that makes me realize just how blessed I am. Beyond living in a society where we can beam imaginary things through the air into everyone’s pockets as if by magic, of course.


Like, I make games, man.  I didn’t really have astronaut or cowboy aspirations as a child, I was pretty much content to pay the future no thought at all.  That is, until I played a little game called Mega Man II.  Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

I don’t know what it was about Mega Man II specifically. After all, I’d played really good games before. But something about this one in particular really drove home that games were things made by people–and that I had to be one of those people.  While it could have been the excellent controls, colorful graphics, imaginative design, or paradigm-shifting music… I tend to think it had more to do with the passion that bled out of every pixel of the game.  For those who have never cared enough about Mega Man to pay attention–MMII was not a game that was planned to happen.  The team from Mega Man (the original) loved the concept so much, seeing its potential beyond what they could accomplish the first time, that they begged their superiors to let them design the game in their off hours.  This was somehow agreed to, and they did just that–creating one of the finest action games of all time.

It’s hard to argue with passion like that, and it’s easy to see why it makes great games.  It tends to inspire 9 year olds, as well.  Mega Man II was the mutagenic ooze that gave me my powers.

(A coincidence for you trivia buffs–our family friend called to invite me over to play Super Famicom the day I beat the original Mega Man… an event which led to me testing games for Virgin and so on from there)

So it’s crazy to think that after that inspiration led to where I am today, with the knowledge that my game could be somebody’s very first game.  I hope it inspires in them the same wonder that Space Invaders did in me.  If I’m lucky, the passion my team poured into Adventure Time will come through even a fraction of the amount that Mega Man II’s did.  We’re certainly working very hard on it.

That hard work had us all in the office today, and I was quite pleased as a few things came together and really made things “click”.  It was a good feeling, to be there working hard on a fun game in a rad universe, one of my best friends and I leading the team.  My wife had stopped by to give some feedback too.  Thousands of miles away, people were actually playing a demo of my game at PAX as my team sweated away to bring it all together!

What a great feeling–I could scarcely be happier!  Then, another thing happened at PAX, not far from all those people playing my game.

Keiji Inafune, oft called the “Father of Mega Man”, unveiled the greatest Kickstarter reveal video you will ever see.

Then… another of my best friends showed up at work and the lot of us geeked out together over (literally I guess) the second-coming of Mega Man.  It’s insane to think that’s actually happening, and that somewhere in the same convention center, in some corner, my game is near all the madness.

I’m pinching myself every day that I’m finally making games for a living–a sincere thanks to all the people who helped inspire, support, and encourage me along the way.  And Special Thanks to Mr. Inafune for his wonderful games.  Please consider supporting this one.  I mean it’s only been 7 hours and they’ve already gotten 1/3 of their goal. Don’t you want to be a part of the fastest Kickstarter ever?

(But don’t empty your wallet, as there are other worthy Kickstarter projects too!)

SNES Bosses, man

So here’s a thing

I posted this on a forum but I guess it’s kind of important so I’ll post it here too.  Just keep in mind any references to “here” aren’t here like here.  They’re here like there.


Yes I know the thread was locked, but this is kind of important so feel free to ban me or whatnot.

So I still haven’t read what exactly was said (by either party) in the whole ordeal, but the key “thing” is that Phil Fish got tired of the last 6 or so years of his life being never ending flaming effigies of him on every gaming forum on the ‘net, and “ragequit the industry.”

This resulted in a bunch of posts (here and elsewhere) of people shaking their finger with sentiments like “Well if he couldn’t handle a little bit of internet flaming he has no business being a professional anyway.”

Those sentiments are stupid, and people who feel that way are wrong.

Nobody deserves the kind of hate that pours forth when you’re on the wrong end of the internet. The sheer hateful froth that spews out is shameful and disgusting. People without lives, emboldened by their Dark Elf desktop wallpaper, speak the horrible hidden thoughts they keep buried under civility and social inequity in real life. The bullied become the worst, most merciless bullies–throwing red-faced keyboard tantrums and then pushing back their chairs with a sense of self-righteous satisfaction the world is a better place because THEY told another human being to eat his own mother’s **** while choking on a dick and dying in a fire made of cancer.

Hitler is not on the internet. People doing actual terrible things don’t have time to tweet their opinions on game design. So nobody you could possibly attack on the internet actually deserves to put up with your issues.

But my message here is for the apologists–the people who go “well what did Fish expect?”

You guys must have a really low opinion of society and human potential to just accept this. Of course the real fact of the matter is you don’t know how bad it is. It’s pretty terrible.

The hate doesn’t come in digestible chunks. These aren’t single EMails that float in one at a time, able to be easily ignored. This is a flood, an unending torrent of spite.

Artists, or “people who make games” in this case, don’t do their thing because they want to play their own games. They do it to express themselves. This is how they interface with the world at large–how they shout “This is me” to the rest of us. Artists don’t need everyone to love what they do–but they do want to be acknowledged.

This leads us game folks to check out what people are saying about our games.

When you’re the brunt of the internet hate parade, you don’t get to pick out the bad messages to see useful feedback. We’re talking about tiny seeds of positive messages in a vast desert of shouted expletives. There is nowhere you can turn to get anything HONEST, let alone positive, because most of the dissenters have never experienced your game–most of them never intend to. Many wouldn’t even have the game on their radar if YOU weren’t attached, but since you are its their mission to make you regret it.

So Talking Time’s answer to Fish is, what, just don’t read the internet? Just don’t care whether or not the last 4 years of your life mattered at all? Well that’s what he did–he quit trying. Because what’s the point, if Fish isn’t even allowed to find out what people think of his art?

Something you may not realize: when you make games, your friends stop playing the games you make. And if they do play them, they stop telling you. And if you find out, and ask what they thought, they give non-committal feedback like “No it was good” or “I enjoyed it” or “It wasn’t my thing.” The people you love and rely on won’t actually help you either way. They dodge the question. You don’t care if they hated it–but you want to KNOW and you want to know WHY because their opinion matters and you want to be BETTER. You want to know that joke you thought of that reminded you of Billy actually made Billy smile. That he laughed. Billy’s always been there for you and you want your art to show Billy that–and you’ll never know.

The internet is all there is.

I’m no fan of Phil Fish. I only liked Fez until it got all full of itself and became Fish lording his genius intellect over me at every turn. I think he’s said some really stupid things in really public places.

But I know how it feels to see a Facebook message notification, or a blog comment, and feel a sinking feeling because it’s just going to be ignorant nonsense trash–like the last 30 messages, and like the next 30. I know what it’s like to feel like your career in a field you love so much amounts to nothing, because only a tiny handful of people actually give a damn about what you do (compared to what seems like a neverending legion of people who would cheer if you died). But you have to go back–you have to squint and keep your mouth closed because somewhere in that blizzard of noxious gas is someone who hugged their dad because of Shattered Memories, or someone who got through an illness because of Trauma Center, or someone who thought Rocket Knight would never come back.

The internet at large–that is, the mass of faceless, opinion-spewing mob mentality–is disgusting, shameless, and unrelenting. Maybe Fish should have a thicker skin, and maybe he shouldn’t take it so seriously. But cut him some slack. YOU get to wake up every morning without the knowledge someone will detail exactly how much you suck before the day is through.