Category Archives: Personal Life

EBF5 at Play Expo Glasgow

Hey guys, me and Ronja will be exhibiting EBF5 at the Play Expo in Glasgow on the 9th and 10th of June! They’re nice enough to give free tables to small local game devs, so I have to take advantage of that. It’s our first time exhibiting, so we’ll probably embarrass ourselves. I wonder how many fans I have in Glasgow… probably enough for at least a few people to recognise me I hope. Mostly I’m expecting the kinds of comments I get on YouTube: “I remember EBF3, I didn’t know the series was still around!”

The timing is a bit unfortunate, as I’m in the middle of moving and would also need a bit more time to finish the EBF5 beta. I’ll probably just polish the Battle Demo a little bit and make it more presentable. It would have been nice to get feedback on the beta, but oh well!

Anyway, the Play Expo is pretty cool. It’s not as big as some of the events in England, but it’s got a lot of fun stuff to see like classic consoles, arcade games and pinball machines, and can easily keep you entertained for at least a day. If you live near Glasgow, you have no excuse not to go now.

Brb, Moving

Hey guys, all the battles in EBF5 have been defined. Most of what’s left to do is stitching all of the parts together, the title menu, tons of testing and balancing, translations, and the final boss. Then after that there’s still some promotional stuff like trailers and store pages etc. But it’s getting there. People who have volunteered to translate are getting a bit impatient, but I’ll get round to contacting you soon-ish. Still need a month or so before I’m ready to organise that.

I was supposed to be buying a house, but the seller is having trouble moving, so that’s been delayed. I’m moving back in with my parents for now – hopefully not for too long, but who knows. Maybe it will be a chance to take a break from work.

But while that’s happening, you guys can tell me what you want from Newgame+ in EBF5. Like usual, I don’t want to put much work into it, but I do want it to be a fun way to replay the game. Did you prefer it in EBF3 where you could just rush through the game again with super powerful players? Or did you like EBF4′s version where monsters got much stronger and you could keep levelling up for longer? If I do that again I’ll have to balance it a bit better.

In other news, I’ve been suffering quite heavily from nostalgia lately, and have been playing lots of games on Kongregate and Newgrounds again – old stuff and new. I’m probably too young to feel this way, but it feels like a huge part of my life is over. Flash games and whatever replaces them will still be around, yet I feel that some of the magic is gone, now that they’re no longer the cutting-edge of the creative space. I feel like the old man who doesn’t like what kids these days are into, because I had better entertainment in my day. Oh well. Maybe I’ll just have to keep making games in my style and prove it.

I read through my EBF4 postmortem, and I really need to update that soon. Back when I wrote that I felt like EBF4 was a failure and that I didn’t have much future making PC games, but since then EBF4 came out and Steam and was hugely successful there. Now my problem is that EBF4 might have been the height of my career and I won’t manage to make another game that’s so successful. That’s a bit silly of thing to worry about, I suppose.

I really need to blog more. It’s very therapeutic and a nice way to connect with people. I’ve got a few long ones that I’ve been meaning to write for a while, so maybe while I’m stranded at my parents house I can write some of those. I know I’m not the best at replying to comments, but I do read them all and appreciate them.

Bowls and Cats

My pottery classes are finished and here’s the final results. I didn’t quite manage to make a Zelda pot, but some of my bowls turned out okay. I guess I can use some of them for snacks.

I’m not very happy with the figures though. Making them bigger would have made them a lot easier to paint neatly (the tallest are about 2 inches). Also you really need some practice with the glazes to see how they turn out, as only the black came out as thick as I wanted.

I’d like to try using coloured clay at some point to make figures again. I think skipping the step of painting might lead to better results for me.

Armos Mosaic

Here’s my first ever mosaic: It’s an Armos from Zelda!

Turns out my amazing idea of doing pixel art backfired a bit when I realised that the tiles were actually a bit too big, and now you can’t really see the design unless you’re standing a few metres away. Oh well.

Mosaics get my approval. Making them is relaxing and there’s not a lot that can go horribly wrong.


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.

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.

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.

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.