Category Archives: Personal Life

Thoughts About Patreon

Lately I’ve been thinking about making a Patreon, but just bringing that up makes me feel a bit dirty. I don’t want to start double-dipping or locking people out of content that is free at the moment, so I’m writing this blog to discuss my thoughts.

Here’s some perks to me having an income on Patreon:
• My income would be a bit less volatile month to month and year to year. Currently in some months I get 30x what I get in others. I’m used to this but it does make financial planning a bit complicated, especially when working on a project over many years.
• It gives people another way to support me. I get asked about donations, preorders, kickstarters, etc. every once in a while, and Patreon makes more sense to me than any of those.
• Most game stores take 30% of my earnings, and some take even more than that. So it would be a more efficient way of getting money straight to me for those who are concerned with that. (Patreon only takes 5% as I understand it)
• It gives me a way of releasing demos to a small group of people, which would be useful with spoiler-full stuff. For example, I’d like to get a bunch of people to test the entire EBF5 world map, but I don’t want to release that publicly cause it’s obviously full of spoilers.
• I’d get more money overall, which you may or may not think I deserve. I don’t *need* more money, but 2017 is shaping up to be my worst year in a while, as I haven’t published any games in a few years now.
• I’d be able to make some smaller free games again without needing to worry about a sustainable income. Games that on their own probably wouldn’t be worth buying. (And with Greenlight gone I could easily put them on Steam as well) (alternatively it could lead to free updates for EBF5 post-release)

Here’s some perks for patrons that I’ve thought about:
• Early access to spoilerific demos or very early and buggy stuff. Anything that I wouldn’t want to release publicly for a while.
• Requests for little favours that I’ve thought about doing but haven’t quite gotten round to. For example, releasing a blog post on a specific topic, releasing some existing artwork as a wallpaper, releasing bits of source code, etc. This stuff I’d also make publicly available later, so I’m not doing it just for the patrons.
• Some little perks on the EBF Discord, such as having a colorful username and the ability to post images on any channel. (still within the rules, of course)
• Using it as an alternative payment method for buying my games. (not sure how well this would work, but if someone’s sent me enough money through Patreon I can send them Steam or Humble keys or whatever)

What I’m NOT going to use Patreon for:
• Letting patrons influence my games’ content in any way that isn’t available to everyone else.
• Giving out perks that would use up a lot of my time on things that aren’t game development.
• Locking stuff that would normally be free behind a paywall. I would only put stuff on Patreon that I’m currently not releasing at all.

So that’s it I think. Of course what I would do with Patreon depends on how much support I get on there, and what people would find most beneficial. But first I want to hear from fans; Does this sound okay? Are there any perks you’d like to see? Are there any concerns you have?

Aquasharks!

That’s the Aquasharks pretty much complete. (I’m actually missing the smallest set)
Now I just need to collect the other factions…

sharks2And right after building that I destroyed it and built this next thing…
Working with these strange parts was a challenge but also a lot of fun. They lead to some really funky looking architecture.
shark lab

Finland Blog 2

Hey guys, I’ve been in Finland for the last two weeks, mostly visiting Ronja’s friends and family in Helsinki and Turku, like last time. I don’t feel like writing about all that again, so I’ll just quickly note that I visited the zoo and Uspenski Cathedral, as far as major tourist destinations are concerned. Instead I’ve been taking mental notes about how Finland compares to the United Kingdom. So here’s a list of pros and cons:

PROS:
• There’s tons of cyclists and cycling infrastructure. Renting bikes is cheap and there’s lots of cycling paths. Cycling is viable way of getting around cities here.
• You’re allowed to drink alcohol in public! This makes picnics a viable social activity.
• People in Finland are on average very fit. There’s no obesity epidemic around there like in the UK.
• Public services are much better than in the UK. The cities are quite clean, public transport is good, parks are well maintained, etc.
• Finnish homes are built very warm to help you survive the cold winters.
• There’s a lot of old cars on the road here. Good place to see some classics. Also not a lot of cars on the road in general.
• Finland has lots of natural forests, lakes and seaside, much of which is within walking distance or within the major cities.

CONS:
• There’s tons of cyclists, and their etiquette is terrible! They don’t wear helmets or alert you when they’re coming up behind you. They’re also allowed on sidewalks, so you’ll be dodging them constantly.
• You’re allowed to drink in public, so there’s a lot of old drunk guys and other weirdos wandering around.
• People in Finland are on average very fit. The men make me feel insecure and the women are too skinny for my tastes.
• All those public services must cost a lot, and as a result taxes are high and goods are expensive. (a reason for all those old cars)
• Finnish homes are built very warm and don’t have air conditioners. Summers here are thus uncomfortably warm indoors.
• There’s noticeably more smokers than in the UK, and a lot of cigarette butts lying around *everywhere*.
• Surprisingly, Finland has a lot more murders, suicides, and traffic fatalities than the UK! (life expectancy is roughly equal in both though)
• The UK wins when it comes to hillwalking and mountain destinations. Most of Finland is pretty flat.

Overall there’s a lot of trade offs there. Keep in mind I’ve only visited Finland in summer and haven’t strayed further than 2 hours away from Helsinki. I guess both countries score very well in general, and you can’t go wrong living in either of them.

Also, Finland has some really good juice packaging:
fin packaging

Scottish Borders

I spent the weekend in a tiny village in the Scottish countryside with Ronja and 12 best friends. It was a bit rough for a spoiled city brat like myself, but I managed.

The highlight of the trip was a bunch of us bathing in a freezing river, and trying to mount an unstable unicorn float while battling against the current. Fun stuff.

There was also a field of donkeys next to our house, which provided some amusement as they stared at us and made silly donkey sounds.

I think the most striking realisation from the trip was how much healthier life is without internet and hundreds of distractions. Whenever I had a moment to spare, I’d either take a walk, clean up a bit, or find some silly traditional game to play with my friends. Much better use of time than checking my phone constantly like an addict. There was much less on my mind, which I think is something many people need these days.

I need to incorporate more of that feeling into my regular city life.
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RIP System Drive

So I’m starting my day as usual, having coffee and watching a few YouTube videos, when suddenly the internet disconnects, programs stop responding, and then I get an unusual error message: “Microsoft Windows:  The application is not responding. ”

That’s strange, never seen that before. Usually it’s just Windows Explorer that crashes. After that the computer restarted and my system hard drive was dead. I spent a day waiting for a new one (Thankful for Amazon prime), and then another day reinstalling all of my programs.

During my break I read Terrible Old Games You’ve Probably Never Heard Of by Ashens, and the Dictator’s Handbook by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alistair Smith. Books are cool when I get a chance to read them.

It’s been a while since I did any work on my hardware, and I needed a bigger system drive anyway, so this was a good excuse I suppose. The 60GB SSD was too small, and I’ve replaced it with a second Samsung 250GB 850 Pro. These one’s are supposed to last at least 10 years? That’ll be impressive, the dead one lasted 6.

I don’t think I lost anything important.

Also I destroyed the dead hard drive, for security, of course:
dead

Collecting Useless Junk

Lately I’ve started some new collections, and I’m wondering how long I’ll have fun with them before they turn into problems. A year ago I got back into Lego, but I’ve already gotten bored of the new stuff, and have specifically started collecting 90s sci-fi Lego. I got a few Aquazone subs, and I’ll probably continue with those. But all this Lego is taking up shelf space, and I know my love for it won’t last forever.  (I’ve already totally forgotten about my Amiibos, after collecting around 50 of them…)
crab

I also picked up the Samorost 3 Vinyl, since the art is so pretty. I haven’t played the game yet, but I’ll get round to that soon. Earlier this year Ronja got me the Hello Internet podcast vinyl, so this is turning into a bit of a collection too.

I’ve got this weird relationship with stuff, where collecting it gives me massive pleasure, but I also know that at some point it’ll just be wasting space and collecting dust. I tell myself I’ll give it to some deserving kids later, but chances are it’ll just go into storage because I don’t want to let go completely. That’s life I guess.
vin

 

I played games all week

Hey guys, I’m back from my gaming binge. I cleared out a lot of games that were on my playlist, and tried to relax a bit in general. It’s been a long time since I played so many video games in a week.

I started off with Shadows of Adam, which is a SNES-like JRPG that had quite a strong nostalgic impact on me. I spent so much of my teenage years playing Final Fantasy, Golden Sun, Chrono Trigger and all that, but it’s been a very long time since I’ve played a traditional JRPG. The newer stuff doesn’t grip me at all, and I haven’t replayed the old games cause I’m sick of random battles and the huge time sink. Maybe I should give the Final Fantasy re-releases a try, since they seem to have some nice convenience features. Final Fantasy 9 in particular, that’s my favourite. Anyway, Shadows of Adam was a mediocre game I guess, but it got me thinking about JRPGs again, which was nice.

I finally got round to finishing The Witness… well, the regular stuff anyway. I’ll probably keep working on the optional puzzles over time, as I’ve already done quite a lot of them. I think this is my favourite puzzle game ever. I’ve never been so captivated by a puzzle game before, I usually get bored of them quite quickly. I’ve played it for 30 hours and I’m still into it, even though it’s a very slow and often frustrating experience. The game just keeps calling me to explore and try to figure everything out. I think it’s the complete lack of instructions that does it for me. It just leaves me alone to wander around and curiously poke things at my own pace. Also, Ronja challenged me to beat the game without taking any notes. I’m quite proud of myself for achieving that, I think it stretched my memory a bit.

And finally, I got into the Shantae games. The music and character animations are so good. I was a bit surprised at how sexual the games are. I thought it was just going to be a sexy main character, but it goes a lot further than that, with tons of innuendo and weird fetish material. Not complaining at all. I started off playing Pirate’s Curse, which I enjoyed a lot until the later levels. It turns out I sabotaged my enjoyment of the game because I didn’t realize you could buy permanent attack upgrades, and all of the enemies had crazy amounts of health as a result. So that sucked. I played it through again on pirate mode, going for most of the achievements and getting 100% of the items. The levels designs are soooo good for speed running. You don’t even realize until you return to the earlier levels with all of your new abilities. So that game made me a fan of the series instantly. I played Half Genie Hero next, which in terms of gameplay and story I think was actually inferior to the previous game. It just wasn’t as gripping. But it was still a good game overall, and totally recommend the series.

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Brb

I won’t be working on EBF5 in March btw. I’ll be pushing out some maintenance updates to EBF3 and 4 and also just taking time off to catch up on games and stuff.

I’m playing Shadows of Adam on Steam at the moment. It’s worth checking out if you want something like the SNES Final Fantasy games but without random battles.
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Back from Malta

Hey guys, I just spent a week in Malta with Ronja, my brother, and his girlfriend. It was quite an adventure. This holiday was planned without my input, so it was all surprises for me. All I knew was that Malta was located somewhere around Spain or Italy, and was probably a lot like those places. (and it turns out it was)

We went in winter to save money, and the weather was kind of crazy. When the sun was out it was great, but as soon as it leaves it’s time to add two layers of clothing. Even at it’s worst it was still way warmer than Scotland though, so I can’t complain there. But the bigger issue was that the homes there don’t have central heating and not enough blankets, so we had to struggle a bit with inefficient electric heaters and air conditioners. The places were also very damp, drafty and dusty. We got used to it. It was all Airbnb places we stayed at. Maybe hotels were a bit nicer. Maybe not.

Another issue is that not a lot of tourist stuff was even open! Tons of restaurants and even some tourist attractions didn’t bother opening in Winter. Oh well, at least it wasn’t crowded.

That’s the complaints out of the way. Malta was really pretty! We stayed 4 nights on the main island and 3 nights on the smaller island Gozo, seeing both a lot of the towns and also a lot of the countryside. The architecture was all a bit samey, with everything being made from limestone, but there was still plenty of nicely decorated homes and churches, with all sorts of statues and patterns. The towns were all very cosy with everything squeezed in very close together (I guess you could call them cramped, but I liked it in this case). We visited a small cave under a house. The capital city Valletta had some impressive fortifications and cannon firing ceremonies.

3ofmalta

The seaside cliffs and arches and caves were great. We took a brief ride around them on a tiny boat – it rocked so much it was like a terrifying rollercoaster. Probably the highlight of the trip there. I also loved the mediterranean trees! I took a lot of tree photos to hopefully inspire EBF5 a bit.

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Visited some megalithic temples, which were 5,000 years old. You really have to use your imagination with those. It’s awesome that buildings from so long ago are still around… but they’re really not that impressive if you just look at them – they’re just a pile of rocks. So you gotta learn some of the history to get into it – I’ll have to find some documentaries!
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I need to mention that the traffic was mental. Malta has tons of cars for such a small country, and very tight roads. The drivers seem to be like those in Italy: very aggressive, trying to overtake the instant they need to slow down a tiny bit. The cars had many battle scars. There was also tons of old cars! Not fashionably old ones, just normal old. It reminded me of the 90s in a nostalgic way. Same goes for most of the technology there. They have all of the new stuff, but tons of old stuff is still lingering around too. They’re really taking their time updating things.

Well, I think that’s all of my thoughts out.