Thought it was about time I reveal a couple of projects on the go. It’s been quiet n the Pirat games front for a while as I focused on film work last year; the short film that I helped produce, Closedown, won Best Fiction at the Newlyn International Film Festival and we’re still waiting to hear back form festivals throughout the year to see where else it might show. Pretty exciting!
On the back of Closedown, I would like to get back into filmmaking with Very Long Road but also pull in my experience with amateur game development, and make a live action interactive video game! We already have a team to work with, but there’s a heck of a lot of pre-production to work on first, as it’s quite ambitious. It’s a sci-fi and plays with life-threatening decisions where your loyalties will be challenged, and you must try to keep your cover under increasingly dangerous scenarios. That’s about all I can say on that for now!
I will also be attending UK Ponycon 2018 in Nottingham this Autumn, and have a small plan for a little game to make to share at that event, so look forward to news on that some time this summer!
In terms of gaming, many things happened, but I suppose that’s an annual occurrence. Arguably the biggest positive thing is the phenomenal first year success of Ninty’s Switch. The biggest negative thing would definitely be microtransactions, but I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing about problems with MTXs and EA, so let’s move on.
My games of the year, in no particular order:
Night in the Woods Horizon Zero Dawn Sonic Mania Zelda: Breath of the Wild Super Mario Odyssey
The top 3 games I own on PS4, and the bottom 3 I bought for Switch. The stand-out PS4 game is definitely Horizon, which I played before I got my hands on Zelda; I was pleasantly surprised with the similarities in both games’ open world. But that doesn’t mean that I hold it above Night in the Woods as my personal preference for the best game of 2017. Like I said, no particular order; they’re all winners. Honorable mentions include Resident Evil 7 (I got a PSVR this year too, and man oh man is that game frightening, and it saved a franchise that I love), The Sexy Brutale (A time travelling puzzle game that feels like the best of classic point and click adventures), Ultimate Chicken Horse (the best multiplayer game, a brilliant cross between Super Mario Maker and Speedrunners, now finally on PS4), and Animal Crossing Pocket Camp (the mobile game that is there to be a pleasant experience at all times. Pokemon Go failed to deliver PVP and trading in any form in 2017, so it just lost this ‘honor’ to Pocket Camp).
What have I been up to?
Well I wrote a novel. Hoping to add a few more things in the new year, and edit the heck out of it before finally releasing it in 2018. It was written during November, as part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). If you’ve ever fancied writing a novel, this is a fantastic way to start: www.nanowrimo.org. You might have remembered the big Rebel Scum Marathon project that happened this summer, we raised over £700, smashing through our previous year’s total by quite some way. We raised for Macmillan Cancer Research and Winston’s Wish. Thank you to all our donors! Been working on the short film with our studioVery Long Road, which we thought we were finally happy enough with a “final” cut, until we let it lie for a while and now there are a few more things we’d like to edit before releasing, so look out for that in 2017. Work began on my next game. While I made a couple of Android games after my last “big” game, 8-nights, I don’t consider them to be on the same level as it, and certainly not on the same level as what I have started working on. I don’t plan this to be ready in 2018, so you might not hear much about it until then. The biggest project I plan to get out is an online animation tutorial with a buddy of mine, Sky. You will definitely be hearing more about this in the coming year! Might even be an app in development to tie-in with it. If you’re interested in animation, keep an eye out. Over at Pirat.uk, you might have noticed an appearance of Stampy, who is currently speeding his way through his early Unity game projects, and I hope will find the time to let you guys know about his work right here soon enough!
Last year the Rebel Scum Marathon raised over £500 for Macmillan Cancer Support. This year there are even more of us getting together to stream our effort playing some great games and make something fun to take part in and watch.
In 2017 our charities supported are Winston’s Wish (the childhood bereavement charity – www.winstonswish.org.uk) and Macmillan Cancer Support (supported by their Macmillan Game Heroes initiative – gameheroes.macmillan.org.uk), and throughout the 24 hours, those watching the stream can join in by voting for either charity on our website.
Most of us raising the money have been affected by either bereavement in our childhoods, or cancer in our loved ones, so we believe strongly in these two charities and hope that you could give generously to these causes through our fundraiser.
From here, you can watch the primary twitch stream, as well as a selection of other live streams from a number of other Rebel Scum gamers, so you can get a different perspective on your favourite games! The site also offers a chatroom to chat with us while we play. Feel free to jump onto the site and check in on us in various sleep-deprived states throughout the day and night.
The games currently shortlisted are:
Minecraft (for which we have a very fun custom map prepared)
Jackbox Games (in which you, the audience can participate)
Rocket League (our favourite sport in which cars hit balls)
GTA Online (with some crazy racetracks created by Rebel Scum)
Nidhogg (epic swordfighting tournament throughout the day)
There may be more confirmed closer to the time. A schedule will also be released soon)
The Rebel Scum 2017 are:
Please donate to the event and help us beat cancer, and support grieving children.
I have two showreels to show you. The first is my all-encompassing personal showreel, and the second is my showreel with a more corporate/commercial focus; showing the clients and businesses I’ve worked with, either as a freelancer, or working as part of a business, such as my time at HeadcastLab. Enjoy!
Corporate/Commercial Work Showreel
I used After Effects to animate the titles, and Photoshop to create the assets within.
The song is Brightly Fancy by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
What do you all think?
This is a new app that I made to provide yet another fun game that everyone at BUCK convention 2016 can play and share. Codes will be dotted about at different stands etc, and released periodically on twitter at the hash tag #BUCKBrigade. Also share the codes you find with others at the con and online to see how long it takes for everything to be found!
Here are a couple of codes that have already been released as part of the app’s launch: CUTIEMARKS and ONTHEMOOON
Free Android game! I made this in the wake of the Fine Brothers’ React World guffaw.
It’s a game in which you play as the React Brothers, reacting to whatever they can to stop losing so many subscribers!
I cannot believe that my game was downloaded 10,000 times. I want to thank everyone who even gave it the time of day to look at in the Google Play Store! I set out to see if I could show my love for the Five Nights at Freddy’s games into my own original title. I wanted the game to be hard and to make the player think and try things out. This proved to make people hate the difficulty level and get confused about how to not die, so the biggest improvement in the new version is an Easy Mode!
I hope you all enjoy the new update to this game. Please share it wherever you can, and I sincerely hope you have fun!
UPDATE: The game has a new version to play. More info on this post.
I have jumped back into game development and I thought I’d stretch my legs by having a crack at a horror game inspired by the brilliant Scott Cawthon 5 Nights at Freddy’s games. 5 Nights 3 was being teased when I started development on this game, but if you’re familiar with those games, don’t expect a direct clone here!
8 Nights contains two unique enemies that will keep you jumping back and forth to keep both in check, and to boot there is a generator that you must make sure is always running if you’re going to make it through the night. Do your best to see if you can survive the 8 nights and you will be rewarded with the original story playing out night by night which were voiced by the bar’s actual staff Rick and Toby!
Hurriedly, the reader scans down the text to make sure that the Steaming Pile of Shame wasn’t something scatological. The article opens with the assurance that this Pile of Shame pertains to the owning of unplayed video games. With a sigh of relief, the reader reads on…
I have owned my current Steam account since 2010, when I relinquished my old account to my brother in order to build my own separate games library. Coincidentally 2010 introduced the digital gaming community to the Humble Bundle, but I’ll get into that later. In the past 4 years I have acquired titles at the staggering rate of over 100 games per year. Yes, my library is closing in on that sweet 500 games milestone. Here’s where the shame comes into it; I have only played 22.5% of these games. I think that this is a little unfair, as the ‘unplayed’ count includes games that I own and have played on other systems, for example GTA: San Andreas, which I have completed on console a couple of times, but only own on Steam due to its inclusion in a Rockstar Games bundle. Regardless, 22.5% use of hundreds of things that I have spent my money on is a staggeringly low percentage, hence the shame.
I know that I am not alone in owning more than I can chew. I have seen subreddits dedicated to helping alleviate the Steam backlog, and countless memes about Steam Sales emptying wallets. But why do we do it? Why do we allow ourselves to add to these shameful piles of unplayed games? Well the contributing factors are quite numerous, which is why the problem seems to be getting out of hand!
Steam sales. Perhaps the most common method of acquiring unplayed games is via the “It’s so cheap now, I should get it before the price rises” mentality of Steam’s seasonal sales. On top of the “practically-a-steal” pricing, Steam also waves incentives in front of hapless sale-goers. A badge and experience points for purchasing from a particular type of sale for example. It might sound like a trap for the foolish, but when you see a game you want with an extra, even if superfluous, reason to buy it; there is no holding back.
Indie Bundles. I mentioned before that the release of the Humble Bundle coincided with the beginning of my Steam journey. This is because games bundles are the next largest benefactor to the Pile of Shame. Steam sales have bundles too (whether they are for particular games series’ or specific to individual publishers), but you purchase those knowing that you want most of the games. When it comes to indie bundles, I have found myself only wanting one or two of the games, but the recommended price is often lower than the full cost of the standalone game! This means you pay less than usual for the game(s) that you want, and you also get a handful of other titles to play later! I will say here that I tend to push up above the minimum or average price because at the end of the day we buy games online to support the publishers, and digital sales are extremely important for indie developers so please; always push above the average.
New games! New games get released all the time. With gaming being so social, it is quite important to keep up to date with the latest popular releases so you can talk about them with your friends, or have more people to play with online. This means that older games which you fully intend to play get pushed back. More games get released, and perhaps you haven’t finished that previously new game. Whatever the reason, the unplayed games that we own get pushed back and back, until they become socially irrelevant, or are completely forgotten.
Well I think that it is about time that we do something to shrink this Pile of Shame. As much as we can think about different ways to trick Steam into thinking that we have fewer unplayed games there really is only one solution: PLAY YOUR DAMN GAMES! And that is what I fully intend to do! With so many ways to skin this metaphorical rabbit, I have chosen to take a weekly trip into my rabbit hole and play a game or two from my Pile of Shame. To help me stick to a weekly schedule I am also filming my play sessions to be released on The Killer Bits webshow.
Because the pile is so big, I can’t possibly make it 100% of the way through every game. Instead I have decided to set myself a limit. I will play each game for a couple of hours to see what it is like. The next problem is choosing where to start. I have decided to reach out to the YouTube and Reddit communities, asking for them to choose between a selection of games that I would like to play. That way I know which game other pile-of-shamers might want to see. The videos that I produce will provide a taster of each game for viewers, and hopefully a few of them will also have a backlog, and the games that I present to them will help them decide whether or not to play. However you approach your pile, and in whichever order you choose to play them, I hope you can be inspired to actually get playing. Since beginning my Pile of Shame journey, I have found a few gems that I know I would have otherwise not made time to play. I have the viewers to thank for selecting these great games and helping me on my journey. I know that my approach is far from original, but that’s okay; I would recommend that everyone makes a schedule and reaches out to the online community for help. I am having fun doing it, and I will always be happy to share my experience of games with other gamers.
Good luck on your journey through you unplayed games. Let me know how you are approaching them, and what you have found, whether you have uncovered some treasures, or absolute stinkers. And finally, please check in on the Pile of Shame over at The Killer Bits; see what I am playing this week, and feel free to drop a comment and vote on next week’s show. Even if you read this article months or years after it was published, I doubt I will have finished the pile, so stop on by!
Featured image by http://customsaga.deviantart.com/