Category Archives: Personal Life

Pottery Stuff

Hey guys, here’s the result of my first few pottery classes.
I’ve basically made myself some Halloween decorations!

I’m not a big fan of this medium so far. It just feels too imprecise for me.
There’s no way of knowing exactly how the glaze/paint will turn out, even if you’re experienced with it, making painted details very tricky. One has to stick to more abstract designs to make the most of it I think. Maybe I just need to play around with it more and see what works for me.
pottery

EBF5: Backgrounds 4

Here’s another bunch of backgrounds!

My trip to London and the Rezzed expo was cool.
I collected a lot of stickers and met a bunch of people, and saw some neat games – but will probably never play most of them due to my already huge wish list. The venue the event was hosted at was an old dock (it was pretty cool) and the event was largely focused on indie games. I’ll likely go again next year.

I ranted a lot about what happened to Flash, and a lot of other developers are in similar situations to mine: they started off making Flash games for fun but have since moved onto other types of work using newer tech, mostly Unity. (I’ll probably head that way after EBF5 too…)

I also visited the Imperial War Museum and the Tate Modern, with the former being a really cool historical collection of vehicles, weapons, and propaganda, and the latter being a lot of space wasted on crap modern art.
bgs4

Fused Glass Cats

Hey guys, I finished my fused glass classes and this is the final stuff I made.
I’m pretty happy with how they turned out, only thing I might have changed was to make their eyes translucent. Everyone else in the class was making many quick projects, I just spent around 9 hours making these small cats instead. I bet if I did them again it would be 3 times faster.

If you go back a few posts you can also see some coasters I made earlier.
glass cats

Fused Glass

Hey guys, I made some things out of fused glass.

A photo doesn’t really show off how shiny they are, so I’ll just say that they’re very shiny.
There’s a bit of trial and error involved – some glass changes colors when cooked, and some colors melt more than others, so you don’t always get what you expect. And cutting glass is tricky, if you do it wrong you can’t fix it.

The blue one turned out super smooth, some of the others less so. They’re supposed to be coasters but they may be a bit slippery and wobbly for that.

As my hobby turned into a grindy job, I’m looking for other creative things to do.
So I’ve signed up for all the arts and crafts workshops – more stuff to come later.
coasters

Snow Days!

Yesterday was the snowiest day in the UK in literally decades, and half the country shut down!
The police told everyone to stay home and car insurance companies voided everyone’s insurance!
People were panic buying and supermarkets ran out of bread and other supplies!
It was wonderful.

I got stranded at my parents house for two nights and built stuff. I made this fort with my mum, and expanded it with an archway once my brother arrived to help – that part was tricky. The fort seemed sturdy enough, but some of it collapsed overnight, and the rest was slowly on its way down, so I mercy-killed it for safety. In total the fort weighed 700kg. I’m super exhausted, but I have no regrets now. 
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The Story of Salazar Ratkin

Hey guys, my first ever Dungeons and Dragons character has reached retirement, so I figured I’d do a big write up of his story. A lot has obviously been cut out, to save time.

Salazar Ratkin was a scruffy druid who lived in the sewers for many years after his home town was wiped out by war and disease. He wielded his father’s thigh-bone as a magical staff, and learned to survive by eating rats and other small creatures. He could speak with plants and animals, but found that rats always had the most interesting tales to tell.

While on a routine visit to the surface world, Ratkin encountered a party of travellers who had been hired as caravan guards. Among them was Beorn, son of Beorn, a tough barbarian who would in time become Ratkin’s greatest friend and business partner. Although not one for socialising, Ratkin craved to see more of the world, and his magical abilities were an asset, so he was invited to join the party in their travels.

They uncovered hints that a great evil known as the Devourer was consuming the souls of the dead – and had set its sights on consuming the Gods themselves. But this story is not really about that party and their quest to save the world. Ratkin would go with them on many adventures, but his heart was always in a different place – he was on a search for meaning, and to find his place in the world.

Having been completely isolated from the outside world for so long, Ratkin was very distrusting and often racist towards anyone who wasn’t a human – sometimes even wasting critical time in battle to mock elves and halflings. He gradually became more accepting of others during his travels, but he continued to see every slight against him as part of some greater conspiracy, so occasionally fell back into his old ways.

In terms of fighting ability, Ratkin’s signature move was summoning giant bear-like rats to fight alongside him – which could easily overwhelm or corner enemies. He was also a talented healer, and a collector of powerful poisons and body parts. He considered himself a doctor and scientist, but many others would look at him an see a depraved lunatic. In the end his greatest talent was simply staying alive – he seems to have been born with naturally high stamina and good health, and could use many utility spells to escape from dangerous situations (such as climbing on walls like a spider, or transforming into an eagle).

After watching his stoutly religious ally, Justice Whamfore, die a worthless death in battle, Ratkin began to doubt the motives and eventually the existence of the Gods that many worshipped. There are so many types of powerful magic in the world, he figured, and yet the Gods could only communicate by… sending cryptic messages, granting good luck, or by changing the weather? If this was the extent of their power, they were not worth any praise, and could even be explained away entirely as the hallucinations of madmen and users of strange mushrooms, or just plain old chance happenings.

Ratkin became obsessed with the idea that the All-Faith, the world government, were using stories about non-existent Gods to control the population, and leading many believers wrongly to their deaths. He began to discuss his ideas with people like himself – the dirty lowlife of city slums. Many of them were instantly receptive of his teachings, as they saw hope for the first time in their lives, and they began to repeat them to others. Ratkin’s teachings however had no effect on men of higher social standing – they almost always proved to be resistant to conversion, and remained faithful to their delusions. Ratkin became wary of the upper classes, as they would certainly not support what he was doing. And so the cult of atheism began to slowly spread among the lowest classes of major cities, who began to live underground in an attempt to avoid attention. The members of the cult communicated through rats – by attaching messages to them, or by speaking directly to them.

Ratkin’s followers were not intelligent people. Attempts to integrate them with the party and put them to work had always backfired. They brought weapons to meetings and tried to indiscriminately shank anyone who did not bow down to Ratkin. In battle, they only focused on defending Ratkin, and often died swiftly. The only tasks they were exceptionally good at were simple suicide missions – such as burning down a building to destroy evidence. Ratkin began to have doubts about where his cult was heading, and if its members were even capable of functioning in any constructive way. However, a man named Lule had distinguished himself as the cult’s most talented manager. He seemed to take initiative and plan ahead, unlike the others. He had orchestrated the murder of a royal guard who came to investigate the cult. News of this event greatly troubled Ratkin, as it meant that the All-Faith were becoming aware of his activities, and he had just given them another reason to come after him. Ratkin used his magic to meld the guard’s body into a large stone in the sewers, hoping that it would never be found. Ratkin made a pact with Lule, giving him some of his magic powers, and creating a warlock. This was very illegal.

Lule was promoted and taken on a dungeon-crawl with the party to test his skills. He drew a short straw and was ordered to touch a cursed mirror, which promptly sucked out his soul and reduced him to an empty shell of a human. Upon completing the dungeon and slaying the boss, the party found an obsidian heart, full of many souls, including Lule’s. This was a phylactery that was being used to create a lich, so the obvious reaction should have been to destroy it immediately. For the first time, Ratkin began to feel responsible for his followers, and guilt-tripped the party into keeping the obsidian heart. With the help of Dennick, a powerful necromancer (who also happened to be the mayor of the city), Ratkin performed a resurrection spell to bring Lule’s soul back into his body. Resurrections were assumed to be impossible (on account of the Devourer eating souls), and attempting them was also very illegal. Lule immediately returned to the cult to spread word of his master’s divine deed.

Some months later, upon returning to the cult’s headquarters, Ratkin discovered that Lule had been hard at work, creating a race of rat-men. Ratkin’s followers had come to see him as a new god, capable of miraculous deeds. The cult’s membership was now several hundred strong, and Dennick had become aware of its existence. Dennick, being a friend of Ratkin’s (and also being culpable in some illegal activities), gave him two days to deal with this problem, before a crackdown would commence. Things had grown out of timid Ratkin’s control, and he was pushed forward by the zealousness of his followers. Ratkin only wished for the survival of his new family, and so ordered them to migrate to the slums of every town and city on the map. Many would not survive the journey, but those who did would continue to spread his teachings in the filthy depths.

Shortly afterwards, Ratkin recieved a letter urging him to meet with the All-Faith, to settle this matter once and for all. Ratkin sensed a trap, and set up fortifications in a nearby ruined monastery. He was accompanied by Lule, Beorn, and a selection of the finest warriors from the cult. They ate a mighty feast to boost their morale, and prepared natural traps – fog, vines, and living trees that would smash intruders. Ratkin had become a dungeon boss, and sent a counter-offer and invitation to the All-Faith.

The All-Faith had sent their most fanatical faction, the Purifiers, who’s mission it was to destroy heretics. They offered Ratkin a chance to surrender and be magically imprisoned for 1,000 years, in exchange for the lives of his followers. Ratkin strongly considered this offer, as several of his followers began to surrender. Chances of victory in battle were slim – but Ratkin had felt an untapped power building up inside of him, and this would be his only chance to use it. As the Purifiers rushed into the monastery, Ratkin ordered his followers to pray for him, while he began to mutilate himself – casting necrotic spells, and throwing himself onto the swords of the enemy soldiers. An angel appeared – a twisted abomination with many sets of limbs – and attempted to intervene. But it was too late, the ritual had succeeded, and Ratkin took on a new celestial form – half rat, half man, with wings and huge claws, and much larger than before. Ratkin and Beorn wrestled with the angel, while the cultists, living trees, and Purifiers duked it out and played support roles. It was an evenly matched battle, but Ratkin destroyed the angel with his last ounce of strength – ripping it apart with his claws while rats crawled out from his open wounds. The greatest symbol of the All-Faith had been defeated by sewer vermin.

The leader of the Purifiers made one final call for divine intervention, but no one came.
Ratkin gave his final orders – that his followers should look after each other and believe in themselves.
He then faded away and ascended to the celestial plane, to join the other Gods.

THE END

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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:
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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:
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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