Category Archives: Personal Life

I am dead

I was sick just before Christmas, and I’m starting off the new year by being sick again, woop. Sore throats don’t bother me much – the worst thing is when it comes with fatigue and I can’t do anything for a while. I’ve been binging the new Black Mirror (somewhat disappointing season) and documentaries about World War 2 and Vietnam (nothing like some history to put current events into perspective). Well here’s hoping that my energy comes back today or tomorrow.

Anyway, here’s some dogs:
Dogs_resting2

2017 in Review

Here’s my write up of 2017, with a list of the most memorable stuff. Nothing catastrophic happened this year, but the dullness of everyday life has worn me down a bit. Next year I’ll try to have more fun. I shouldn’t complain, it was a good year overall, and I got a variety of stuff done.

• My favourite games this year were Doom and The Witness. Other notable games include Snake Pass, Hunie Pop, Shantae: Pirate’s Curse, The End is Nigh, The Adventure Pals, Sentry Knight Tactics, Shadow of the Colossus, Ico, Abzu, Firewatch, Everyone’s Gone to Rapture, and Tadpole Treble.

• EBF4 was included in Humble’s Overwhelmingly Positive bundle with some other great games, and sold 135K super-discounted copies. This was extremely profitable, and resulted in very little user engagement.

• Went to Malta and saw ancient ruins, towns, crazy traffic, nearby islands, caves, seaside cliffs, and all that. We went in Winter so it was quite cold and not too lively.

• Visited Finland to see Ronja’s friends and family. Stayed around Helsinki and Turku again, and had a cosy weekend at the countryside. Also went to the zoo and had a vegetarian barbeque.

• Collecting Lego is getting out of hand now. I’ve got most of the old Aquazone sets now, and my mum keeps buying me whatever stuff she finds. At this point I have enough and should just play with what I have. Also went to a big Lego event at the SECC.

• Had a good weekend at the Scottish borders with my buddies. Trying to mount a floating unicorn in a fast moving river was a laugh.

• Ronja’s health is much better now and she’s getting some of the best grades in her class at Uni. Our relationship is still full of ups and downs, but things are better than last year.

• Witnessed a burning car and helped a little in the police investigation.

• The tiny amount of Bitcoin I mined in 2013 is now worth something, and I’ve been dragged into following Bitcoin news. This may be one of the dumbest crazes ever.

• Did a bit of hill walking at Loch Lomond, Edinburgh, the Cobbler, and the Devils Pulpit. Even though I’m reasonably fit these days, I still don’t do very much hiking/walking, and found some of these very challenging. Also visited Dumbarton castle and some Scottish country parks that I’ve never seen before.

• Got a huge new TV. Probably my best purchase ever. Played a bunch of couch co-op games with friends. Some favourites include Knight Squad, Overcooked and Ultimate Chicken Horse.

• Some other notable social events include me and Ronja’s humble birthday party, our Halloween cooking party, Lindsay’s Texas-themed birthday night at the Grand Ole Opry, Neil’s wedding, a few shows at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Christmas dinner with my friends, Christmas Eve with my family and dogs, and a crazy new year’s eve at Ben’s.

• Started posting EBF5 development videos on YouTube somewhat regularly, and they’re quite popular, with my channel being at over 8,000 subs now. Lots of people are interested. Definitely a better use of marketting time than using Twitter or Tumblr.

• I’ve become much less optimistic about information technology this year, and have started cutting down my usage of social media and huge tech giants that are trying to take over the world. (Looking at you Google, Facebook, Amazon…)

• Made an EBF Discord server for chatting about the games and making debugging easier. That’s at 4,000 members now, and has been a very useful way of interacting with fans.

• I read more books this year than in any other, around 20 overall. I credit this to spending less time on social media and on procrastination in general. Some notable ones were Rise of the Robots, Tribe, Brave New World, 1984, The Road to Wigan Pier, Ordinary Men, Dictator’s Handbook, and the first half of Better Angels of Our Nature.

• Dungeons and Dragons has become a consistent part of our lives. Salazar Ratkin is well on his way to becoming a powerful atheist cult leader.

• I made a Patreon page, which got a lot of support, despite me not having very much to give to my patrons yet (full world map and boss fight demos still to come).

• Made about 38% of EBF5 this year (Roughly the same as last year, maybe slightly less). As always, everything is taking longer than expected and I’m getting quite sick of working on it. But it’s also looking really good, and finishing it will be hugely satisfying (and hopefully very financially rewarding).

• Started looking to buy a house, visited a few and came close to buying one. The search continues into 2018!

Happy new year everybody btw!
2016 highlights

Christmas Giveaway Results

Hey guys, the Christmas Steam key giveaway is over and I’ve sent out 40 game keys by email!

The entry requirement for the giveaway was telling me a bit about your gaming life.
I got nearly 400 entries and a lot of stories. It was nice to see that many people got into gaming playing the sorts of games I played when I was younger: Zelda and Pokemon on Nintendo consoles, Heroes of Might and Magic and Age of Empires on PC, Final Fantasy games on PS1, old stuff on emulators, free MMO games like Maple Story, and a lot of Flash games too (though I still haven’t played Mardek). I was also reminded to play Doki Doki, Hollow Knight, Cuphead, and LISA. These games are on my radar, but as always it’s just a case of playing through everything else first.

I was mildly annoyed by how popular rogue-likes were though! I think games like Binding of Isaac, Dead Cells and Enter the Gungeon would have been better off with actual designed levels instead of randomly generated ones that you were forced to replay over and over. I guess some people like their nearly endless games. But I guess I am slightly out of touch these days, as I’ve not played Team Fortress 2, Dota 2, Overwatch or PUBG.

A few people mentioned that EBF4 was the first game they played on Steam, and got them into downloadable games. Most people were very long-time fans, but there were a few that just recently played my games for the first time. Apparently quite a few people have tried playing the EBF games co-op with a friend, with each person controlling a different character in battle. This is weird, but it’s also the sort of thing I might have tried when I was younger.

Anyway, thanks for all the holiday wishes and hope you’re all having a good time!

Here’s a guy I made:
2

Steam Winter Sale + Xmas Gaming

My games are 70% off during the Steam Winter sale!
http://store.steampowered.com/search/?term=ebf
(I’m so bored of posting about sales that my picture is not up date)

I borrowed my brother’s PS4 Pro over Christmas, my first 4K gaming experience on my huge new TV. And… it looks pretty good! The low framerate is pretty noticeable in some games, but in non-action games that’s acceptable I guess.

Until Dawn is a fun alternative to watching horror films. Everyone’s Gone to Rapture is… relaxing and pretty. Black Ops 3 campaign is generic and boring IMO. We’ll see how many games I get through over the holidays…steam-sale-copy

Fanart & Blog

Here’s some fanart from SunnyTheSunFlower.
They’ve done quite a lot of EBF artworks now.

In other news, I went on a little trip to Edinburgh over the weekend to attend a wedding reception. Restaurants and weddings and social events aren’t my thing, but I enjoyed the time in the car and Airbnb a lot. Basically I enjoyed the travelling but not so much the events that I went there for. I’m not very surprised by myself.

It’s my second time in Edinburgh over the last few months – last time I went during the Fringe festival to see some comedy shows with a buddy. That was fun. Edinburgh is a really picturesque city – much more attractive than Glasgow. I’ve been a few times as a kid, but did not appreciate it until having a good look at the place as an adult. So I’ll have to visit some more in the future. Driving near the city centre is hell though.

Also it’s surprisingly easy to read a whole book in half a day when you’re away from the computer. All this extra time magically appears that you didn’t know you had. I really need to try harder to not waste my time on anti-social media. I read Fahrenheit 451 and Lord of the Flies. Good stuff. I’m on a streak of super depressing books lately.

I think I need to get back into the habit of writing longer blogs instead of Tweeting tiny snippets of my life at random. Blogs seem much more useful in terms of organising thoughts and documenting experiences.

ebf_natalie_with_crystal_staff_by_sunnythesunflower-dbus4pe

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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