Juggling stuff around has been frantic, but fun and now I might have cleared some time for some projects. Firstly, three animations I've made: Couch Potatoes, Love Bug and Egor are available to watch.
They're a bit of fun and I'll create more as we go along, mixed in with some other material. Like the new images section, where I'll share some creations like this comic strip style offering called 'equality of the sexes'. Hopefully they'll cheer up someones' day.
Some of these images will make it over to actual t-shirt designs, which will be expanded on with the things I create, as I really enjoy making them. I will of course be making shirt designs around the games I like, that way fellow fans can enjoy as well.
nature of the beast
Speaking of games, you know I have launched Kalzor: 2000, which is available drm free on the site and is also available on Steam. Well I'm working on several other games and seeing which would be a good fit to make.
These will take a long time to create as is the nature of the beast, but updates on game dev related stuff will be found in the games section, so look in there if that's your interest for very infrequent updates.
extra special on the lips
As for games I'll make content on, I think I'll stick with Skyrim and Fallout 4. Nothing comes close with games I want to make videos on. Again, episodes will most likely be few and far between, but the good news is they'll be free to watch. They'll be a version on YouTube and one here on Roley.co.uk
I'll be making designs around the games to sell on shirts, as well as introducing the creator pass on pages. Basically the creator pass will be viewers way of supporting the work I do and voting at the same time.
I'll add some awesome sauce to each video to make it extra special on the lips and follow it up with an article and some images here on the site as a side order for super fans.
It'll be interesting to see what evolves as time goes on, I have a few things in mind, but I want to see where it takes me.
Between the pittance in adverts and money directly from viewers via merch sales and creator passes, I'm hoping it's financially viable.
The great thing about the creator pass, is it will give those who support my work a direct voice to me, that way it will help me decide what to do next.
So there's all that to check out if you haven't already, I'm still into posters and I've taken up digital painting which is super time consuming, but awesome at the same time. I'll try fit painting into some of the poster designs to see how it looks, it just takes awhile as it's all pretty new to me.
Go check all the stuff I've mentioned, I think you should be pretty clued up by now and keep it frosty for upcoming stuff captain - kisses.
Steam took the long overdue decision to let customers decide what game they want to buy, by introducing Steam Direct. So I thought I'd see if some of my predictions for gaming were correct by entering the world's biggest market for PC gaming.
Now I've been gaming since as early as I can remember, written about the industry and of course you're well aware I've made videos on the subject too. Well now I'm developing my own games, so I think I'm in the best possible position to comment on the subject. I just wanted to cross the i's and dot the t's with this last check.
Turns out my earlier notion on how the gaming world is going is correct, so I can go ahead and take the correct course of action for me.
Kalzor: 2000 has done well considering the amount of competition
All in all my game Kalzor: 2000 has done well considering the amount of competition at the time. In a way, I kind of felt sorry for some independent game developers who didn't have my experience or knowledge of the industry. The system is going to chew them up, when really it doesn't have to be that way.
This is why I've created a new show called ©Love Indie Games, it's because I want these games to find the eyes they deserve. I can't help everyone, but if I can make a small difference to make some people happy, then it'll make me happy.
©Love Indie Games will bring eyeballs to games I've found on my internet travels, while I have a joke about. Nothing too serious.
game development style videos
As for the posters we spoke about last time, I keep making them every now and then. It's something I really enjoy and wish I could spend more time doing. I tried to record the process of me designing one recently, but found it too distracting.
I think I'll showcase them when I do updates or game development style videos. Definitely not a how to style or time-lapse video, probably just a shot of the work with me talking over it.
start producing videos again
I'm making room in my schedule to start producing videos again, which I'm looking forward to. The other day I was looking through some of the videos I've made and I was thinking, fuck me I made some underrated stuff. I think going forward I'd be much happier with a smaller supportive audience, rather than making something that appeals to others, but I don't enjoy creating.
That's the beauty of having my own site, I can do the things that work for me. Hopefully I can reach a niche audience who like my sense of humour.
As for the types of video, they will be varied until I find something that clicks. I already have a few things in mind, but I'll leave a bit of leeway
I used to have fun making some of the videos, the only problems happened when I had to make stuff fit the platform I was on. So the good news is I'll be able to get creating things the way they should be.
create more content
I'm looking to create more content and line of products that people enjoy, once I get a few things lined up. This all means that work on my current game will slow down until I get used to the new work load and fitting in real life stuff.
But as long as I appeal to a more mature clued up audience I think everything will be golden.
So I think that's it sweet cheeks, your all caught up. If there is anything I've missed I'll put it in our next catch up. Kisses.
Things have been a bit hectic recently and I have to be honest, frustration is starting to creep in. Working in the creative industry can often be like that, as working on projects can become long and drawn out, with some never actually seeing the light of day.
Non-physical thing's (like videos, art, software, music etc) the development-to-fulfilment cycle is long and sometimes even impossible to complete without someone other than you, enjoying what you've created. This is the direct opposite of creating something physical, which gives you constant feedback as you make it. And if no fucker other than you ever sees it, at least you like it and can enjoy it.
This outlook can kill a lot of projects, as ultimately you know the support won't be enough. In fact I've canned off quite a few long-form gaming related videos I'd been working on for a long time. The reasons are quite intricate, but it boils down to gaming being in a bad place and me ultimately questioning my return on making any game related content.
But what do you means? How is gaming in a bad place and why would you not get a return?
How is gaming in a bad place and why would you not get a return?
Let's be clear gaming is in a bad place, but most people wouldn't know it. Like say you were walking past a lake and suddenly, the pocket of earth containing trapped carbon dioxide under the lake bed was cracked, you wouldn't know what's going on until it was too late.
It's a super niche subject which I may touch on in the future, so for now I want to talk about returns.
Quite simply put, I'm doing the things that are worth my time doing. Not just financially, although that is very important, but I mean a sense of fulfilment. The whole point in doing a creative job is taking control of your future and building rich, rewarding experiences for yourself, not just other people.
But this is a catch-47 situation (much worse than catch-22). You can't just knock out a "quick" video, because they don't exist. Even something that takes only a minute or two to watch, may take a week or more to produce. And insultingly enough, people put a low monetary value on a video being less than 5 minutes, as in - not being worth anything, even if they did enjoy it (I know people are fucked up).
So if a compromise of my own fulfilment and viewers finding financial value in my work is to be achieved, my videos will have to have a certain level of quality. Which ultimately means they will be few and far between.
being creative versus making physical objects
I have come to terms with this and have worked out how to do it. I think about my long term plans and judge how what I'm doing will affect it, trying not to get caught up too much in short term turbulence. I've also learned to use producing physical things to scratch my creation reward itch (so to speak).
It's not a case of being creative versus making physical objects, it's a case of do both - this isn't an 'or' house.
So I'm off-setting the creative fatigue of making things like videos and games, by making real stuff again.
my own posters
I've started by creating my own posters for myself. This is art I've worked on for various reasons, that has now got the chance to be brought to life. Which I have to say is pretty enjoyable work. I made a poster the other day about a video I was going to do and while I binned the video, I at least got to make a poster from it.
I've got some other things in mind that can hopefully tie in with what I'm doing, but they will take longer to assemble.
my first Steam game
Work on my first Steam game(I mean I hope to get it on there) is very slow. Trying to create something that hasn't been done before is a long arduous task, especially when fighting off fatigue.
Early artwork is in place and some basic semblance of the gameplay is there, but there is a hell of a long way to go. The weird part is I'm looking forward to it. It's a long road, but like a knackered marathon runner, with blisters on his feet, feeling like he wishes he would die, I know the pain will be worth it when I look back on it - so I've got to finish.
My greatest unknown on the project is the advertising of it. Like where to do it and how long for? I'm sure I'll figure it out as I've got quite some time before that's even an issue anyway.
Kalzor's soundtrack on YouTube
Oh, I released Kalzor's soundtrack on YouTube so people can listen for free. It's got a retro theme that's in keeping with the game.
It won't be to everyone's tastes, but hopefully it will expose more people to the charming-end of games. If we just save the life of one kid it will be worth it.
All the posts earlier than this have just been dumped here on the same day, which is why they won't look so purdy. The reason is that they were old posts I made on static pages some time ago(they had no visible dates), rather than a dedicated blog section.
I really can't be arsed making these old posts look any better, but I promise to be a gentler lover in the future. Kisses.
A lesson that's took many years in the making to learn, but I now realise - is that I need to focus. You could easily put it down to an age thing, you know becoming more reflective of your life and whatnot. But I like to think it's because I'm growing.
Now this all coincides with a video I watched, from one of the indie developers at gaming studio Butterscotch Shenanigan's. It's titled "The Last Game I Make Before I Die", it details Samuel Coster's personal troubles and how he pushed himself on (I'll let the man tell you in his own words, he really gave a fantastic inspirational speech - see the video).
But the take away from it (at least for me) is that you really should focus on the things that matter to you, because you don't know when your last day is. Now this resonated with me because of things I've been going through in my personal life. Not that you should need a sign to take action - but this really is a sign to take action.
I want to quickly touch on health and particular, men's health.
It's something we don't take serious enough, particularly when we're young and we should. Things like depression and anxiety aren't supposed to be experienced by 'men'. Let me tell you now that's horseshit! Men do get depressed and suffer from anxiety, which make it all the more dangerous, as they often don't get help straight away because it's not perceived as 'macho'. Let me tell you what is manly, going to the doctors and taking care of business, no matter how trivial it may seem.
Like I said, I don't want to linger on this too much, but here is an interesting article written by the NHS "Anxiety and depression linked to increased cancer death risk".
The reason I mention this is you would think that creative industry jobs are safe, especially when compared to something like construction - but they're not. And I've worked in both, so I should know.
In overly simplified terms it's easy to come off the tracks, which has a knock-on affect. But rather than dwell on how you got there I want to cover the solution - focus! (See how it's all tied together? Not bad seeing as I'm half awake and eating cereal as I write this hey?).
To help you understand what I'm talking about, here is a little diagram I made from the video with Sam.
Now it's got just 4 sections - unimportant, important, non-urgent and urgent. You can place all your life's activities, hopes and dreams into this 4 section box. I encourage you to do so, write them in and see where you priorities are and where they should be instead.
I, like Sam, found that things that were important to me, found themselves relegated to the dangerous 'important but non-urgent' zone. It's been a long time coming, like I've said, but I'm re-ordering what's worth my time.
As I've decided I only want to do the things that matter to me I've cut YouTube, it's just toxic and worse than that - it's useless. I will occasionally use it to drum up a tiny bit of traffic, but outside of that my time is best spent elsewhere (which turns out to be here, you lucky son of a gun).
Oh I recently did a Prey Story Recap video, it was a bit tongue in cheek humour but a lot of fun. I didn't animate anything as the window to get a bit of traffic from it is very short. But I did draw every single scene myself and made the music in the background. Hopefully it can make enough cash directing people to the shirts that I can get a copy of Prey 2017 myself.
Since the last little chat we had I developed and released, a small space shooter game called Kalzor: 2000, it's available now using the Humble widget. It's a weirdly addictive game that you sink five or ten minutes in here and there, but adds up to a ton of gameplay time and most importantly it's fun. I developed it because I knew it would be quicker to produce than the current game I'm developing and it taught me a thing or two, which was cool because I always like learning new stuff.
As for my current game (the one I referred to in the last chat we had) I was putting together some art for it, and oh my god does it just seem right. I honestly want to show it to everyone so bad right now, but I'd be shooting myself in the foot revealing anything this early. Needless to say, when I can show it you I will.
The tricky thing I face in going independent is that 'independent' part. I have to weigh off bringing traffic in, and keeping quality up. But as long as I focus on doing what I want to do, everything else should fall into place. Hopefully the people who stumble upon me will see the effort that's gone into everything I do and fall in love with all the work.
As far as site traffic goes it's all good so far. The site is getting indexed and starting to be searched for, also bringing in search term results traffic too. As content grows I may need to do some outreach, but I hope word of mouth will save me the effort (I guy can dream).
I've picked some franchises I've always wanted to cover, so I'd thought I'd share some of their names this way you know what to expect. Deep breath: Fallout (1,2,3 and New Vegas), Bioshock (1 and 2) retro games (not naming them, until later), Skyrim (maybe earlier Elder Scrolls if there are any takers), GTA (from 3 to present), Red Dead Redemption (1 and 2). There will be more that I don't want to list at the moment, but you can already see there are a lot of things to be working on and hopefully you recognise somethings you like. So keep checking back in.
(I so really want to talk about my game.)