I've been making a game.

Friday, January 16, 2015 | 29

Howdy folks. I'd first like to apologize because I haven't been playing MMORPG's enough to really write about them. This is for two reasons in particular:

  1. They're all so bad.
  2. I'm making a stupid computer game for fun.

While the former doesn't appear to be changing any time soon, I thought I'd update everyone on exactly what I'm doing just so there is something new on the site outside of more awful MR. POD episodes.

Working Title.

ChickenSword is a single player game about a chicken and his best friend/weapon. Basically it's like Zelda 2 (platform combat + worldmap) with a bunch of features, like encounters I'm drawing from Baldur's Gate, and some other stuff I don't really care to explain right now. Here's a gif.

I've built most of the game systems already, so the game is playable but has very little content. If you'd like to try it out, shoot me and email and I'll try and get you a working build you can mess around with.

What about I Hate MMORPG's?

HOPEFULLY I'll get some inspiration from this experience, but if not, Richard Garriott has informally agreed to join me on MR. POD for a chat, and I still get pissed off about stuff ALL THE TIME. In other words, there's nothing to worry about.

I have a devlog at TIGSource for anyone who wants to follow along, but I post way more stuff on twitter.

If you'd like me to post dev updates here as well, leave a comment, but I don't see many people finding this process super-interesting. Here's another gif.


MR. POD Episode 9

Saturday, December 20, 2014 | 18

Miguelito and indie game developer Nathan Ranney (@ratcasket) say stuff about indie game development and twitter. It's good. Watch it fuckers.

Check out the audio version by subscribing to the RSS on mrpod.tv or stream it on Hipcast.


MR. POD Episode 7

Monday, November 24, 2014 | 34

Ryan is back for the best episode of MR. POD yet (high bar?)! Mig and Ryan venture into the dark tunnel of Brazilian steakhouses, World of Warcraft, Mortal Online, and other junk. Warning: poorly conceived deep-voice talking inside!



MR. POD Episode 6

Monday, November 17, 2014 | 5

Miguelito and Nateryl cover the most important question: Who is the biggest videogame badass? We also talk about Gaming Mouses, Retro Games, New Games, and Kickstarter.

Check out the YouTube version for extra (stupid) content.



What happened to video games?

Saturday, November 8, 2014 | 9

When I was a child, an elderly gypsy woman told me that one day I'd be old and no longer enjoy video games. My original hypothesis was that the passage of time wears everyone down, and eventually things I enjoyed would all become mundane and predictable. The prophecy has come to pass, and I have concluded that my hypothesis was wrong.

I'm not the problem.

I still to this day enjoy those very games that I feared I would lose. I replay old DOS, NES, and SNES games from a more experienced and discerning pair of eyes, and yet they hold up and, in some cases, even surpass modern offerings that cost millions of dollars to produce. That's fucking embarrassing.

Yes, I would like some rye, actually...

Rather than using cop-out excuses like, "You always love your firsts!", or whatever bullshit an idiot might tell you, I've decided to examine the classics with fresh eyes in order to determine why we've all fallen so far. Through (mostly) introspection I've uncovered a few possible reasons...

Reason 1: In storytelling, less can be more.

Picture this: You're a weak and tiny white man, and it is your dream to win the professional boxing circuit. With each victory your mind becomes more agile as you begin to notice the subtle patterns that exist in the universe and slowly bend these forces to your will. This is the story of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out, and, while far fetched, it is far more compelling and believable than the twenty-million lines of dialog in Divinity - Original Sin.

Why kill ninjas? To save Ronnie. Good enough!

In the early 90s game developers only had an extremely finite amount of storage space in which to produce their games, and in many cases they had to choose between dialog and entire portions of the game. This forced them to design games that were self-explanatory, which worked EXTREMELY well for classic RPG's because it was our job as a player to interpret the world as we saw it. While technology now allows us to spoon feed gamers a narrative, the notion that more story means better story simply isn't true. We didn't know exactly why Mario wanted to save the Princess, but the void allowed our mind to construct a mythos around him that was far more touching and personal than Commander Shepard's alien dating sims (Mass Effect).

Would Link have been more likable if he prattled on with hit or miss quips? No. Speaking of badasses...

Reason 2: Child Protagonists are awesome.

As adults, we're all extremely aware of the danger we're in each day, so when I see adult protagonists put up against the forces of evil in any context other than running away I don't buy it. In Link to the Past, the game starts with your old fat uncle telling you to chill the fuck out (Walking Dead parallel?) and because you're a child you immediately rush headlong into danger completely unarmed. I'd like to think that Link's special power is that he's far too inept to be fully aware of the scope of the danger he's constantly in. Because of this, he doesn't tell everyone immediately to fuck off when they ask him, a child, to save the world over and over. Let's not forget that other than his willingness to die for complete strangers, Link had no special powers at all, yet we believe in his character because children don't have ulterior motives.

I know I, an adult, couldn't do shit... But you're like 8 years old now...

Many (not all) early games featured child protagonists, but it seems like they've been phased out slowly in American games as they become more realistic. In a world where numerous countries ban violence, it's not far fetched that publishers would avoid controversial characters so that their games can be played by Australians. Our culture is so fucking soft. When the aliens invade, it will likely be the children that lead the charge against them.

Reason 3: Secret shit.

With the cost of game development rapidly increasing to unsustainable levels, the likelihood that a game developer is going to make content that most people won't see their first time playing has plummeted to near-zero. How many times have you played Chrono Trigger, and actually done everything? You can't. You have to play multiple times through doing different things to experience different results because the game is tailored for the gamer's experience, not to ensure that none of the budget is wasted.

The fuck?

This, as I stated, is likely a product of game studios getting too big and pushing technical limits at the expense of creative ones. Games used to be a form artistic expression, and you could really feel the hands that worked on them, but now the most 'successful' games are developed by hundreds of people and lack the vision and continuity of small-team studios of yore.

There are exceptions, such as Bethesda, where attention is paid to voluntary and secret content, but it is also becoming more popular to force gamers to buy these side-quests in the form of DLC... which is dumb. Indie studios that are smaller seem to be more focused on making game content procedurally than actually tailoring adventures in a fun and meaningful way, so they're not really much better in this area, despite lacking budget constraints.

Or maybe I just don't play new games...

It's entirely possible that all of this is wrong because, quite frankly, I don't buy consoles. All I know is what I've seen, and if things continue the way they're going, eventually games will all become movies with occasional quick-time events. That will be the day I withdraw from civilization and become the sewer king.

I'm going to go back to playing Super Metroid now, a game with a strong female protagonist... HEAR THAT ANITA!?


MR. POD Episode 5

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

On Episode 5 of MR. POD I am joined by random nerd Butch as we explore garbage game media, euthanasia, stupid super heroes, and audio equipment. If you'd like to be a fill-in guest on one of the numerous weeks Ryan is unavailable, send me a message in the contact section of the website.

Check out the YouTube version for extra (stupid) content.



MR. POD Episode 4

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Joined by Guest Host Nateryl, Miguelito talks about crappy office chairs, indie games, Trove, Rift, and a litany of other pointless nerd-topics.

Check out the YouTube version for extra (stupid) content.



I want talk about #GamerGate

Monday, October 20, 2014 | 17

What I don't want to do is be linked in any way to either side of the argument. I Hate MMORPG's was created primarily to shine a light on the types of bullshit coverage games (particularly MMORPG's) were receiving, so when people reject any sort of movement that highlights irresponsible journalism in any form I take it as a personal attack.

Despite some of the hyperbole on the site, I'm a reasonable adult, father, and husband who loves all non-dipshits regardless of color or creed. Because of this, I'm extremely disappointed that I even have to give a disclaimer before talking about the year's most ludicrous controversial topic: #GamerGate.

For-profit journalism presents an ethical paradox.

The role of a journalist is to provide accurate information to citizens who don't have time to do their own research. These journalists provide a service by spending their time and energy on acquiring credible sources of information. Any buffer on information represents a failure to accomplish the specified goal of a journalist. Because of the nature of the internet, this service is not funded by those who consume the media, but instead by the advertising and sponsorship of, in some cases, the very entities that the journalist is reporting on.

This circle-jerk-news situation has resulted in the abject failure of traditional news sources to present factual (critical) reports on corporate groups that pay their salaries. The larger the media source, the more corrupting influences are attempting to manipulate information (see: CNN, FoxNews, MSNBC).

The only difference between traditional journalism and game journalism is that a poor review of a game doesn't create a race-war and set civil discourse back 20 years. This is why I'm confused by the selective outrage of #GamerGate, and wonder why the same standards haven't been required of all forms of journalism.

Unethical reporting in this context just isn't that big of a deal.

What is a big deal is how polarized our society has become. Social justice has become a team sport where both sides attempt to generate headlines with outlandish claims, and journalists flourish because there is news to report that doesn't have a corporate sponsor. The problem is that the natural biases of journalists cause them to take the logical side (their own side) and equate all members of the counter movement with the most severely deranged ones. The shocking truth is that...

It is possible to acknowledge clear conflicts of interest without hating women, children, possums, etc.

It is also in the best interest of those you criticize to call you Hitler. Take it for what it is, a desperate attempt to divert attention from the real issue. Most of the people on both sides of #GamerGate think that violence against women is a bad thing, but those people aren't interesting to talk about and, again, isn't profitable. In fact, gamers are more morally conscious than your run-of-the-mill working class alcoholic, likely because they numerous outlets for free expression.

I also acknowledge that there are evil people in this world who care way too much what women do with their vaginas. Those people aren't important to any discussion because they're lashing out from a position of shame or jealousy from whatever cave or basement dwelling they reside in. Men and women are equally shitty when it comes to being corrupted by dollar signs and genitalia. Get over it.

Which side is correct?

The argument has been too-far derailed by individuals who profit off of the appearance of injustice to even tell what we're talking about anymore. If your goal is to have journalism be more ethical and less controlled by corporate molestation, you have an argument. If you think that people shouldn't threaten violence against women because they have healthy sexual relationships with consenting adults, you probably have a case there as well.

Nothing else to do but launch a kickstarter campaign make videos about how men in games are too dumb and muscley. It's unrealistic and it shames us all. Also, this is a joke (you have to tell people now, apparently).

Also, fuck Polygon. You know what you're doing...

You have ads disabled, just like all smart people. Good job!

Ads disabled. Sweet!