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Still Alive!

Posted by A Tobias 2 years ago
Sorry about the lack of updates here and with games recently! I'm having huge difficulties with time management and motivation, still... Nothing new, just more of the same. I won't have any university work to do for the next few weeks, though, and I've come to terms with certain other things, so I'm hoping to return to games development very soon.

I do feel bad about not providing more content, especially if people are waiting for or interested in what I do... It's just that I've done this whole games making thing for so long and the stress of social isolation (and dealing with difficult people online) was so great... Now the reality of actually having in-person social connections for the first time in years is causing me to very much prioritise that. I feel that by doing so, I'm stockpiling experiences and inspirations that'll allow me to make my games better; it was sort of silly to write games about social interactions despite not having any myself.

I've only glanced at the comments here, and it seems like there's arguing going on or something? I haven't the emotional energy to deal with that right now, so sorry about taking a while to get around to replying to anything.

While I do often wonder whether I want to devote any of my energy to games development ("might it be better", I wonder, "to devote it all to reading about academic psychology stuff to prepare myself for a future career in that?"), I feel I have developed the relevant skills to the point where I can use them to make something that might have some kind of impact... It'd be a waste to not use them. I'm just struggling at the moment, since if given the choice between seeing my newfound friends or sitting in my room toiling away for countless hours on some fantasy that may or may not please faceless internet strangers, I'll choose the former (wouldn't you?). I know that everyone must find a balance between work and play, but I suppose I went years with all work and no play, and now that I have the chance to play, I'm going too far in the opposite direction... Or something.

I don't know. Hopefully I'll get back on track again soon, anyway. Sorry about the delays.
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on 6 Roots


35 Switzerland INTJ LSI 5w6 RcoeI ICR MelancholicCholeric
After having observed everything for about 2 years now, I think it's time to throw in my opinion. It doesn't just have to do with the actual post only.

As maybe most of the people here, I found Mardek one of the very best free online games and especially Mardek 3 became sort of an 'all time favourite' to me. Beside of a very addicting gameplay with interesting ideas, it also had an almost perfect 'depth'... at least that's how I find it. That's how I found my way here, because I really hoped part 4 would come out somewhen.

I've read most of the reasons why the work on the original Mardek was abandonned... and since the games were free, although not liking it, there was absolutely no reason to complain.

Also a lot of other projects seem to have been started, but abandonned as well... for reasons I don't have to repeat here I think.

However, to me, it feels a bit like there hasn't been much progress at all during the last few years from what I have seen. I actually also have serious doubts the alone fane project is coming anywhere close to an end. It's not that I couldn't wait. But observing what has been going on REALLY makes me doubt this is leading anywhere here. And it seems I'm not alone with that.

To be honest, I'd rather prefer Tobias would directly state that he's going to quit this project and state this here. The real-life is always more important, and it just seems to me he can't handle both. It feels a bit like on one side, he just 'somehow' tries to not disappoint anyone here too much, but on the other side also doesn't have the energy to really focus on anything here. But he's totally into improving his real-life and that's what must have priority now. I don't think he can finally discover real happyness otherwise.

And now, although some may not like it, I also have to critisize a bit. Looking on patreon it can be seen he gets over 300$ each month, for having barely served any results. I know a lot of players want to keep supporting him... but not seeing any progress but earning quite some money for this just is 'wrong' in my opinion. PLUS now there is also a potential income for the alona fane episodes... usually, you either get the money from patreon to make the stuff free, or else you get the money from the game directly... but both?!

Now I'm not sure if the money he already got from patreon also sort of 'forces' him to 'somehow' continue with alora fane. But as I said, I think it would be better to probably quit the patreon thing and force on his private life at least for a while... would be better for himself and as well for the people waiting for updates... at least then everything would be clear. And maybe Tobias could come back in a few months (or years) and continue... when in better life-mood.

I've discovered in my own life that motivation makes extreme differences what I can do. It's probably even my main 'engine', how I work ;-).

One last thing: People with depression are VERY difficult to handle... one wrong word might destroy a lot. And trying to force a depressive person to do something may lead to the opposite. therefore, I hope for my part that my words weren't too harsh.

And I apologize for my truly horrible English
29 United Kingdom INFJ EII 459 SxSo RLxaI AIS MelancholicPhlegmatic
I know this is two weeks old, but I've only just got around to replying to it now. Sorry about that!

I understand where you're coming from, and it is all true, of course. My intentions and ideals often don't turn into reality, but I think this is fairly common for a lot of creative people; it's just not usually apparent because most people don't see the failures, they just see the eventual successes that emerge after a long period of nothing much.

Though I also understand that my own circumstances are perhaps unusual because of the lack of real-world social support. Most more successful or reliable creators have friends to turn to, collaborate with, etc, and that must make a world of difference. I appreciate the online support I get, but since there's always a chance that there'll be day-ruining comments amongst the nice ones, often I take ages to read them at all (as I have here), and their effect isn't as potent as it might otherwise be.

My output decreased over time because my isolation continued and my mental state degraded as a result of it. As the years of loneliness went on, it became harder and harder to stick with things, to stay motivated, to find anything to feel even remotely happy about. So I came here to university to change that, and did, but that too has led to its own delays just because it's such a huge change that it's been taking ages to adjust.

I feel though that now I'm getting to the point where I might be able to juggle both games development and my real-world life at the same time.

I do very much want to continue with my games, and I always intend to do so. I'd hate to say that I'm giving up, because I don't want to! My games bring me pleasure... when I have the motivation to work on them, at least. It's just that that motivation is sadly far from reliable, and largely not within my control. I have been trying various things to bring it within my control, though, and, well, it may take time, but I'm hoping to get there soon.

As for Patreon, I appreciate that people support me via that because they care about me as a person rather than about getting 'results', so to speak. That's the biggest difference, I think, between Patreon and being a customer who simply buys products. Also, I've earned almost nothing from purchases of the Taming Dreams app so far, so it's not like I'm earning mega money there and still asking for donations. I can't not feel bad about taking money and not 'delivering', but I know that many people have said that they enjoy my posts as much as my games, so it's not like I'm producing nothing.

I really wish I were a more reliable person. That I wasn't cursed with a difficult mind. But I have at least started on the journey towards taming that mind. I just apologise that it is taking time.
2 Antarctica INFP ILI 4w3 SpSx RLUAI SRI MelancholicPhlegmatic
Tobias, some of your fans really want to become your friends, me included, because we know how it feels to be in your position.
Just saying, in case you need help.
35 Switzerland INTJ LSI 5w6 RcoeI ICR MelancholicCholeric
If you really want to finish your games and this helps you in your progress, there is absolutely no reason not to do so.

I just have the feeling, that, at least at the moment, you mainly keep on doing your games because you don't want to disappoint your fans (I might of course be very wrong with that)... I actually hope you're still doing them because the games bring you pleasure.

In my main language, there is a 'saying' which translates to something like 'sometimes you have to destroy all the bridges behind you'... which mainly means sometimes you have to move on, not looking back. You probably sort of did this with Mardek. And what I mean to say with this is: Focus on what is really important to you at the moment. University has changed a lot for you obviously. And I'm happy for you you've found some real-life friends there. Just one little thing about that: I don't think it's a very good idea to play a game just because one of these friends play it... it won't change anything I think and, speaking for myself, I would not even want that my close friends play the same games as I do... for me, the games I play are mainly for 'withdrawing' from the rest of the world, means, having some time for myself.

To end this post with something positive: The fact you have a lot of people here caring about you, waiting for new games etc. proves that you did quite some great things. May it be Mardek, may it be your deep inside thoughts... and your 'difficult mind' may complicate your life at some points, but you wouldn't be the same with a 'simple mind'... if you had such a mind, you wouldn't have been able to impress a lot of your fans, though your life would probably be easier ;-)
19 United States INFP LII SoSp RLUAI AIE PhlegmaticSanguine
I was actually just thinking of sending a "How are you doing?" PM or something, I'm a little annoyed with myself for missing the blog post. Ohwell.

I know how you feel (to some extent) about the backswing that comes with sudden social activity (I may be trying to fix that in myself, actually). Going a long time without anything, and suddenly getting it back always leaves you wanting more of it. It really is a matter of finding that balance, though!

If I could offer any suggestion for this, what I do is try to involve people I like spending time with while doing the work I need to do. While it's easier with free periods and such at school, I still invite people to just hang out, while I multitask and do homework or the like. (Given my ADD, I think it makes both turn out a little better in the long run...?) I could be playing a game with them while we work on their comic, or we could be writing while showing eachother videos. It slows production somewhat, but... it makes it less of a burden, I feel.

So maybe start a skype call with them while you work? I don't know if that starts to fall under 'that's an internet friend' things for you, but maybe having met them in person can help to bridge that gap? Do assignments together (if you were in the same, class, right?) and let the conversation continue, transitioning into other things you'd work on?

... At least, that works for me. Maybe for you?

As for that arguement, Jordan Hale had been voicing some unpopular - and somewhat insensitive- opinions, and wasn't responding considerately or understandingly to our replies. I think things should be fine now, though time will tell.

So, basically, yay! You're okay! I'm glad you are!
17 Romania
Jordan Hale
can you not say my name? i find it rude that im the voice of negative opinion, im not the only one so dont give me ''credit'' for having ''unpopular'' opinions ,i request you delete My name please

17 Romania
Jordan Hale
also i was his biggest fan but after what he has done, Abandon mardek,Deliverance,raider,fig hunter, beast singer,etc. What im supposed to say? I Love that you abandoned your other games cause you only give a damn about taming dreams and barely please dont tell me im negative im dissapointed im honestly hating him ,He might as well just drop the act and stop sayng that he cares about us and his games,he doesn;t give a crap from a long time ago, You will see he will quit gaming soon,not that he was doing game development anymore
19 United States INFP LII SoSp RLUAI AIE PhlegmaticSanguine
I can understand you not wanting your name, I would remove that (if I could, that is).

But you are speaking for you, not everyone. You are stating what you think as if it were fact, which it is not. You are absolutely entitled to your opinions, but you don't speak for him, you don't know his thoughts and feelings, and you don't know what will happen.

And he has stated legitimate reasons for discontinuing those series, you've just been disregarding them so you feel like you have reason to hate him, no? If not, what explanation can you offer?

17 Romania
Jordan Hale
Fine,if it just my opinion i will keep it to myself but it sucks that you accuse me of bein a negativist also post my name? But you didn't answer my question what happend to the other games? Not just mardek if it where only mardek might be accepteble but all of his other games? really?!
19 United States INFP LII SoSp RLUAI AIE PhlegmaticSanguine
I believe he has stated on Fighunter (and here too, probably) that a lot of them not longer are appealing concepts, or were stories he had no plans for. Deliverance in specific, I remember it saying on the page that it was discontinued for it's sloppy coding, or old coding, I think.
17 Romania
Jordan Hale
I know about deliverance but all of his past work is not appealing? how? just becouse he did it when he was a teenager? [i belive he stated that in a post] What will he do in the future? more taming dreams? then for me i have no more interest in his games ,g'day
23 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic
You've said the only problem you had with Taming Dreams was you had to pay for additional episodes, which I've explained was only done so Tobias can keep living his life... he's also said numerous times that he would put no price if he could, but the world doesn't work that way. Some things can't be avoided, and he couldn't have gotten anywhere with MARDEK being free forever, as nice as that would be in a perfect world. Is taking Taming Dreams down a whole point because of the small, not often paid for parts of the game that aren't even required and each episode coming out months and months after each other really fair? That shouldn't stop you from playing the game at all!

He's not some game developing slave who puts out products just to the masses, he makes them because he wants to and he wants others to feel what he's felt.

Like we've said, no matter how much you whine and complain about something, it doesn't change a thing. It more likely ruins your chances of getting anywhere at all.

As for why he no longer found it appealing, it was mostly due to the old coding and 'poorly written' script. Deliverance and many of his games before that had clunky interfaces, which were annoying for him to work with. Also, he didn't know where the script was going in many of his works, MARDEK included, which caused him to have to improvise a lot.

It's not like he hates MARDEK like you think... in fact, he admits he can see why people like it and had been enjoying it in some of his old blogs of this site, if you bother to look them up.

You've said multiple times we have no interest in his games, but that's simply not true. Many of us wouldn't reference the games or state how much we liked them if we DIDN'T enjoy them... to be more specific, half the people wouldn't have come to this site if we didn't have interest in his work.

Anyway, as for why he's left a lot of his games alone, here's some information I've obtained in his blog posts or from other things he's said:

Cyber Ortek: The idea no longer appealed to him, he felt the game didn't have much depth to it, and while it was his first 'proper' flash game, he wasn't skilled enough or invested enough to keep working on it.

Beast Singer Alpha: This was mostly abandoned as he didn't like the simple Miasmon/monsters he designed. He still likes the idea of a virtual world, but since the idea was originally intended to be an online MMO, and since he was a one-man-team, he would design the monsters to be done quickly, hence why there's a lot of palette swaps and repeat animations. About midway through, it became too much work, and he simply put it down.

Miasmon: This one's more interesting. Tobias/Pseudo put a lot of effort into these monster designs, and generally liked them (else he wouldn't have re-used some of them for TD), but unfortunately, he had a lot of monsters to design, so many it became tiresome, and along with that, around that time he found a better looking program to animate the monsters, making him want to redo the whole already in place system. More than that, he found composing themes for every character to be too much work, hence why only Crayden has a battle theme. Not only that, but due to life issues and wanting to do other stuff, he eventually stopped the project for a new version... he also wasn't a fan of the naughtier, more profane script he had thrown in.

Programmon: Not much work was ever done on this, except a few area maps and monster sprites. This and beast signer were in a sense precursors of Miasmon.

AF:C : This one had the entire soundtrack done, and it was mostly complete... all that had been left were a few assets here and there, some interface fixing, and some more animating. He was 'nearly done', but he wanted to do a demo to get players into the world and how to work the game, but he could never get it right... the times he did finish it, it was very poorly received, lowering his motivation on the product. Pseudo/Tobias has said many times he intends to release the prototype at some point as a curio (like Deliverance and Beast Signer), but until then, we'll have to wait.

Raider: He did this as a platformer in his early years, but as time went on, he felt Ark didn't have much character besides the 'generic hero', and he found it hard to keep up the personality in the character he didn't have, so he stopped the series for a time. Others can probably give you more details on this game than me!

MARDEK RPG: I think we've provided more than enough points in previous points for me to need to explain this.


I could go on, but I think you get the point by now... he had a lot of reason for doing what he's done, and it's THANKS to people complaining like this that he shut down fig and stopped going to the chat... it's hurt him, and insulting him further will just open up the wound more. Sure, you can hate the change he made, but don't hate him as a person, as you've never bothered to try to talk to him or even understand him, you just focus on his games and that's it.
17 Romania
Jordan Hale
Thank you for doing research for me,that Explains alot why he stopped, but still im extremly nostalgic for his old games or another game than taming dreams cause TD doesn't appeal to me, and yes i didn;t hope that his games will be free forever though i hate the idea of paying for evreything in this life not just games, to clarify that so you dont misunderstand me i mean that evrey service or friendship or dates or Etc. costs money in this life,Familyes helping each other for money for example but i can't make a good exaple right now,anyway now i feel better that you told me his reasons still i fear where thoese changes will lead,will he continue?, will appealing content stop? will he quit becouse he has a busy life? guess that doesn;t consern me g'day
25 United States SanguineCholeric
Come on man. You're complaining over paying a little bit of money for ONE game, which is Taming Dreams. He gave you free games, then go on to say you can't pay him because of friends, family, and dates? Excuses to hide that you're cheap. I'm in the same situation and I can still pay money for his games.

Maybe he decides to stop making games, so what? Why do you care? It's obvious you don't financially support his games anyways because you're cheap.

We get it. You miss the old Mardek for nostalgia. Go play some old games then.
25 Germany
I actually understand your point of view. I sort of started psychology around the same time as you in Maastricht and i consider it as work. I actually decided to put my studies in front of everything. While i don't do that always i go to interesting lectures in my free time and everything. I think it is important to focus on your development... and it even feels good, so that you have more energy to do stuff. Just don't forget that the more you do (especially with people) the more energy you are likely to have to work on other projects, such as this.
25 United States INFP 936 SoSx RLUAI ISA PhlegmaticMelancholic
It's good to know that you're alive!
25 United States SanguineCholeric
I wish I could find the short comic of the difference between early bloomers and late bloomers.

Basically, it shows a caterpillar who hatches early into a butterfly. It goes into sports, gets girl butterlies(while the late bloomer butterfly looks on in sadness), gets married, gets into an unwanted career field, gets a midlife crisis, then ultimately is confused over who they are.

Right below is the late bloomer. The caterpillar starts off confused. Turns into a butterfly, and wonders what they are. The butterfly is sad, does self reflecting in it's 20's. Then in its 30's, things change. The caterpillar is now happy, with the girl butterfly, while the early bloomer looks on in sadness.

For the most part, I see this is somewhat true. You're a late bloomer, and your fun years are ahead of you. Yes, it sucks to be a late bloomer at first, but in the long run, are more satisfied with our lives. We appreciate things we never had early on. We also do a lot of self reflecting, where early bloomers go through a midlife crisis.

Honestly, it's up to you if you want to keep making games. There's plenty of games out there, but you only have one life. If you truly enjoy making games, go for it. If not, well like I said, it's your choice.
22 Netherlands ISTJ 513 PhlegmaticMelancholic
Evan Rye
A Tobias said:
I've only glanced at the comments here, and it seems like there's arguing going on or something?

Someone was voicing his disapproval of your decisions in a spam-like manner. Others tried to reason with him about his opinions and his spamming, but he wouldn't quite understand. I don't think his intentions were malevolent, though.