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Tobias
2737 19 64

Coming Together

Posted by A Tobias 2 years ago
Sorry yet again about the delays and inactivity! It's not that I've stopped caring or drifted too far off course; I'm just working my way through a lot of difficult things right now. Still. I have three weeks free after next week, though, so I'll have more than enough time to resume work on games development. I'd like to write a bit here though about dipping my toe into the world of games playing, which I rarely do...

Though I've spent years of my life making games, I've said before that I rarely play them. This is because I began seeing them as the competition, and rather than feeling inspired by the work of others, I just felt inadequate if my own efforts couldn't compare. The fact that the world of gaming seemed to be inhabited almost entirely by the 'sort of person' I didn't see myself as is a big factor too. Anyway, I avoided games for ages.

Recently I've been playing Bravely Default (which I mentioned recently), and getting back into games a bit that way. But today, I delved into Hearthstone; a bit of a random thing for me, not something I'd normally seek out, but... Well, basically, of the two friends I've made here at university, I'm especially interested in keeping in touch with one during the impending summer holidays (during which I'll retreat back into isolation for like three months, which is good for games development but bad for my sanity). She's really into Hearthstone - a game she was introduced to by her boyfriend, it seems - and though it didn't immediately seem like my kind of thing, I felt I should at least give it a go so then we could do something together. I've only played it for a couple of hours so far, and I didn't hate what I saw, but it made me wonder what other options there might be.

She's not hugely into games in general, and nor am I (and I am aware of how silly that always sounds considering what I do), so it's difficult to find one we'd both care about.

My idea of a good, appealing game would be one where we could just explore a world together... Cooperative, not competitive. More of an adventure than a challenge. The game Journey (which I love) is a good example of what I mean, though annoyingly the whole point of that is that you play with a stranger.

A cursory perusal of the relevant tags on Steam reveals mostly the sorts of macho fare that made me feel that gaming isn't really for me. Fighting, conquest, crass silliness... I'm not saying there's anything wrong with these things; it just feels as if there's nothing that really matches the specific thing that I personally would enjoy. Something beautiful that fosters bonding and a feeling of immersive awe.

It makes me want to make such a game myself, but I'm not sure how I'd go about it. While I've not been actively developing games as quickly as I'd like recently (just little, unmotivated bits here and there), I've been going over a lot of ideas in my head. While I feel I should probably return to Taming Dreams, I feel more and more drawn to the other idea that I spoke of; the one built on the same engine but with a different feel and goal. Something I can make, finish and release on both mobiles and Steam without having to worry about carrying on with episodes forever.

I'll talk about it more later - posting concept drawings and my ideas as I develop them - but the gist is that you'd play as a woman ('female protagonist' is a popular tag on Steam for a reason) who is essentially struggling with feelings of loneliness, who wants to seek out and befriend others... or something. It'd deal with the Three (or six, depending on how you look at it) Ideals I've talked of before, and would involve - perhaps - the same 'agitation' system as Taming Dreams.

You'd roam around a world alone, meeting people who'd join your party and offer you quests. By completing their quests, you'd develop your relationship with them, learn more about them; sort of like how levelling up characters unlocked backstory stuff in MARDEK. There'd be a handful of these characters you could find by exploring the world - six, probably - though it's up to you which ones you find and let join you. It wouldn't have a linear story, but rather by befriending a number of people, you'd be able to unlock a final area and ending and such.

I have planned it in much more detail than this, but as I said, I'll talk about it in more depth in later posts (though I get the feeling I already have a bit in earlier ones), but that's the gist.

I'm not promising anything; I'm just going over my thoughts at the moment, tangled and tormented as they are. I'm excited about exploring possibilities!

On another note, here's a random portrait that has nothing to do with anything:



It's based on ∞ this photo of some random model ∞, though it's an idiosyncratic interpretation rather than a photorealistic carbon copy.

I hadn't painted anything in weeks (I've been neglecting literally everything as I forget everything about overcoming difficult feelings that I tried to teach and sink deeply into my own miserable mind), so I show this as a way of saying that I'm at least making some steps to return to a more productive state! Which feels good.
64
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on 15 Roots

19 Comments

25 United States
Ptyrell
2
Have you ever heard of or played the board game "Pandemic"? It is a cooperative game that has players (2-4) work together to find cures to 4 diseases while keeping outbreaks of the diseases to a minimum. I know some who don't like it purely because it isn't competitive, but I know plenty of others (such as my wife) who like it purely because it is cooperative. Co-op games are certainly geared towards a different target audience that is smaller than the typical gamer population, but people out there do like those types of games.
22 Belgium
bartje870
1
It's been 5,5 years now, you already could complete the last chapters of the original series of Mardek ..... but no, you did this, change it, , I'm just angry because , I put many hours in the three chapters for nothing, i've used to like you Pseu and the games you've made, :(. i've wanted to help you making the other's chapters, but i've gues this is the end of this chapter.
23 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic
Eclipse
4
I understand your frustration with him ending the old series, but you shouldn't say you dislike him now because of that now. He's a different person than he was before, wouldn't be able to continue the old series thanks to the engine he uses to make games now, as well as had many other attempts in these years to make successful games, those of which never suceeded much or were never complete due to loss of interest, toxifying his community for not making anything 'good'. There's also the fact that he never got anything out of making MARDEK free other than a community, which wasn't enough to support him or make him want to keep doing the things he did.

Pseudo/Tobias changed his username to get away from that old image of himself, and more than that, he had even TRIED to make a MARDEK 4 during the early stages of Taming Dream's development, but his interest wasn't there at all, and progress was so slow it was almost nonexistant, causing him to simply make another series based off of the old one, with the new universe he has created.

He also would NOT have been able to finish the entire series in 5.5 years... MARDEK 3 took 3 years to make, and chapter 4 was supposed to be almost as long... after finishing the game, he felt exhausted after making it... his life has only recently improved and gotten better in the last year or so. If he'd tried doing the other games, they wouldn't be as good (along with the fact he had only a rough idea of where the story was going), as he wouldn't have the drive to keep doing the same thing and use characters he felt he'd grown out of.

It's not that he doesn't like the series, he did a playthrough of it about a year ago and said he enjoyed it, but he just wouldn't be able to do it again. And it is nice you'd like to help him making the other chapters, but thanks to events on Fighunter and other things, he's had trouble connecting with a community from back then that just expects him to make games and nothing else... and they hate him because his life just happens to make it harder for him to make games, and the game they want isn't being made. He's also said before that 'working with other people' was not his cup of tea, thanks to his social insecurity and wanting it to be his vision and not a shared one that dampers the image he had in mind.

Taming Dreams isn't really a bad game at all, if you look at it as a different game and not compare it so solidly to MARDEK... it isn't MARDEK, and he only tied a lot of the things of the old series to the games BECAUSE people wanted it so much, and when it wasn't what they wanted, they threw a fit and instantly called it bad despite the great soundtrack and attention to detail. It may not be what people wanted, I certainly wasn't expecting it, but at least give it a chance before then, if you haven't already. Thanks to the complaints of it not being MARDEK, he even regrets tying it to the old series, but since he's already made it, he can only change things later on in the story, along with just bear it...

This isn't meant to be hostile or anything like that, just explain the situation he's in and why he's in it.
36 Bulgaria
Kal
2
bartje870, in addition to Eclipse's explanation: did you actually try Taming Dreams, especially Episode 2? (Episode 3 is even more interesting, but since you have to pay for it, I'll leave it out of my question.)

I, just like you, am a huge fan of Mardek. It was what brought me first to Fighunter and then here. (And yes, my playtime of Mardek 3 clocked at 150 hours. I wanted to find everything. :D)

Imagine my delight when I discovered that Taming Dreams is (or has the potential of becoming) even better! Over those years, I've grown up: violence no longer attracts (or even amuses) me. And fortunately for me, Pseudo has grown up too. :)

I understand everyone has different needs and desires. Still, I can't believe a genuine fan of Mardek won't recognize the similarities and evolution in Taming Dreams. I just cannot. :)
22 Australia
Jinan Dangor
3
I've been playing a game called Read Only Memory recently, a very story-based game, which you may be interested in. Jazzpunk is a puzzling/comedy game, with a very individual style. Another nice story game is The Novelist, and I've just finished playing The Dream Machine (a point and click adventure, very puzzle based but lots of story too).

Really, most of the non-violence games on Steam would have to be puzzle games or games that are entirely story based. I mean, the closest thing I can come to a non-puzzle not-too-much-story game would be Mirror's Edge, which is for the most part a parkour game.

Don't know if any of that'll help, but maybe one or two of those games'll catch your eye :)

Also, that portrait is beautiful, I love the way it isn't photorealistic, you've tried to capture not just what she looks like but what she makes you feel, or at least that's the way I see it :)
43 United States
Kalin
2
Yeah, most everything on Steam is going to be violent. But there are exceptions: ∞ Viridi ∞ is a houseplant simulator. I haven't played it myself, but it seems to be intended for people wanting a break from all the violence in other games (and the real world).
21 Brazil
BlackBear
1
So good to know that you are playing Hearthstone!

Though we didn't met yet properly, it would be a pleasure to have you as a fellow friend in HS.

You will find me as hBlackBear#1137. Hope to you around there!
17 Romania
Jordan Hale
2
Good he posted another update,atleast we know is not dead, nice painting
26 Brazil
Sir Vitor
3
Well...first all of all, nice painting.
Second, I and everybody here aprove the idea of a game that puts everybody together, playing and having fun.
But, and this is the third...
You can't put two things in a room without a competition arising. It is instinctive of human nature. People find stuff, want to get better in it, and when they get some achievement, they will show it to others! And people will challenge themselves with an " I can do it faster, or under harder conditions...", you probably have seen in game forums anywhere about guys that faced a boss without using special skills, or armor...you might even create a game without an internal system of achievements and rankings...but somewhere, in a dark forum, someone will brag and challlenge others.
Good luck, pal!

36 Spain
Lumine
2
Well...

I would recommend you "Dofus". It's a game I played some years ago. It is very very beautiful (and colourful) with a world very very large where you can choose between play alone, with one friend or with a whole guild. You can pvp if you want, do quests, pvm, explore, collect ingredients... and you can choose three jobs (between tailor, woodcutter, farmer, blacksmith and many more...), have pets, buy a house, get married...

The only and one disadvantage is how much extensive and full of possibilities it is. To my "tend to perfection and to complete whatever I start" mind that is a big problem if I want to live my life and don't get obsessed with one particular thing (a game in this case).

If by any chance you try it, I would like to read your opinion. I'm curious :)

Talking about your ideas and your drawing skills... Great and great.

Good luck!
22 Canada
Meglos
2
If you're looking for good co-op games, I'd highly recommend Divinity: Original Sin. It can be played as either co-op or single player, and is largely based around dialogue, exploration, and turn-based combat. The quests are extremely well-written and funny, and the characters are unique and fleshed out. Apart from this game, though it may sound too "mainstream" for you, I'd very much suggest playing the Witcher series, if only for their incredible storylines. But wait till they go on sale on Steam first :P
36 Bulgaria
Kal
5
Wow ... your portrait is so much more soulful than the original. These eyes ... wow.

(Or 'Wowser', as the female protagonist of Life is Strange would say. ;) Another game which may be up your alley ... but sadly squanders some of its potential in the end. :( )