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Scraps Kickstarter and stuff

Wed, 27 Nov 2013

The Game

I’ve been working on my vehicle combat game Scraps full-time for over a year now. The basic building mechanics are all done and a multiplayer prototype is working, but it’s still months away from a solid alpha release where you can start playing proper multiplayer deathmatch games and I can start getting a few dollars coming in.

Originally when I started I’d hoped to have an Alpha release out by now, but once the project got going it became apparent that this was a bigger job (doesn’t that always happen?). I now have a much better idea of how long the game is going to take, but it’s a while, so I’m getting near the point where I’m thinking about getting some extra part-time work. Of course that’d slow down development even more.

However, Kickstarter has just become available in this country and it’s a good time to go for it. I’m looking for a bit of funding now, not to cover the whole of development, but to give me free reign to keep working on it full-time until it’s really ready to go. Chipping in $20NZD (~$16USD) or more also secures you a copy of the game.

Here's the link: Scraps on Kickstarter

Thanks to everyone who’s made a cool vehicle, reported a bug, or just been a fan on the journey so far. There’s more to come.

It's also now on Steam Greenlight: Scraps on Greenlight

The Music

Music fans deserve an update as well. First of all, you might be wondering why I went from an album with, y'know, meaning and art or whatever, to a game where you put vehicles together and shoot other vehicles. Well, this is a very old game idea. I've been wanting to play this since I was a kid as it has some of that childlike Lego building aspect. My more recent game ideas tend to have more of a "meaning" and "art" component, whatever meaning and art are, but that doesn't mean I don't have an enduring desire to build stuff and shoot stuff, so I'm making this first. It also probably has more mass appeal. There's something to be said for simple fun once in a while.

Unfortunately this is really taking up all my time, and I don't have any new music stuff. It's been a busy year. That doesn't mean I'll never have new music, but at the moment I haven't really been writing songs let alone recording them. Writing good songs also requires having good ideas to write about.

The fact that I don't have to do music work is an aspect that makes it more real anyway. Making games is my real job at the moment, and it's a cool job, but marketing isn't fun and the risk of failure is high. I've always recorded music primarily for myself and I'm glad that other people get to hear it, but even if no-one listens to it it's still essentially achieved its purpose. When I do release music, I don't have to say it's awesome and you should buy it or whatever, it can just be what it is. I'm lucky that my job is also one where I work on stuff that I want to make, so I can market it honestly. I couldn't work in a job where I have to push a product that I don't actually like.

I saw a thing the other day where a guy posted a game, with a title like "my friend just released this game but he thinks no-one will play it!" All the comments were marketing advice and admonition for the fact that the guy (whether it was truly his friend or he was really the "friend" himself) hadn't marketed it throughout development.

He needed to post in in these places, his search results were crap, he needed to send it out to press. What a terrible job he'd done, surely cheating himself out of his goal of a successful game. The supposed actual guy who made the game wasn't in attendance to give his opinion on all this, but the feeling was that apparently we can't create stuff for ourselves anymore. Apparently we have to want to share it with the entire world. If it's not disseminated, if it's not viral, if it's not worth something - on the NASDAQ, on Alexa, on Klout - it doesn't have value. "Art for art's sake is an empty phrase" indeed.

Scraps Builder Release

Wed, 15 May 2013

I've just put up a playable release of Scraps, the game I'm currently making, where you can try out the working features of the game. Namely, building a vehicle from parts and testing it out. Check it out here.

Taite Music Prize Finalists

Mon, 4 Mar 2013

I entered the Taite Music Prize competition this year, which is a music award with that rare quality that the choice of winner (ostensibly at least) has no bearing on the popularity or affiliations of the artist. The actual judging criteria are:

* Please consider the artistic merit, creativity, innovation and excellence of each album in its entirety.
* Judging criteria does not include album sales, artist popularity, recognition, previous awards, live or international achievements.

Finalists have just been announced. That article has kind of sucky formatting. Here's the list with listening links for all of them (my descriptions added):

If the entries do reflect who's popular, I suspect it doesn't help that there were 77 entries this year and a month to judge. Both the official judges and IMNZ members are asked to judge each album in its entirety, but that's about two and a half hours of unpaid listening to albums per day for a month. I'd hardly expect anyone to actually do that, and I wonder if a limit should be put on the number of entries. IMNZ members aren't forced to submit their top-10 selections, but of the preliminary judging board and the over 80 IMNZ members, there are only six hits recorded (not necessarily unique) to the listening link for my entry over that month.

Anyway, I went through all the albums and gave them at least a chance, and my shortlist came out quite different to the official selection. So here are some albums I think deserve a mention:

  • Bury Me Low - Bury Me Low
    Unpretentious, perfectly-executed folk (and it's not all quiet folk - listen to Chariot). This is my favourite nominee.
  • Urbantramper - Internet Freedom is Love
    I know the title sounds lame but give it a chance and it's actually some very clever and original electronic rock. Too bad about the auto-tune
  • Zen Mantra - How Many Padmes Hum?
    Another weird album title that turns out to have a great original sound. Too bad about Amplifier's 30-second-preview limit here
  • Minuit - Last Night You Saw This Band
    You've probably heard of Minuit already. Smart, original music here with pretty clever lyrics too
  • The Golden Awesome - Autumn
    Stupid band name. Terrible MS Paint artwork. Incredible sound! Shoegaze meets rock and they have a beautiful child. But very derivative of Loveless et al
  • The Whyld - Preface
    Interesting blend of “hip-hop/rap indie rock nz hiphop nz indie rock nz rap indie rock” (their tags). Some good lyrics. Tries to be more than just a collection of tracks (which is good)
  • James Duncan - Vanishing
    Commendable original sound. This is the sort of thing that we should probably be giving the Taite prize too. But then the music itself doesn't really grab me
  • Craig Tennis - Bleat Your Heart Out
    This is really decent indie pop stuff

Scraps dedicated website

Fri, 1 Mar 2013

Scraps now has a dedicated website! Check out www.scrapsgame.com. It will now be the main source for the latest information and media for the game.

Here's a video of some stuff working:

Skylight in Bundle In A Box

Tue, 11 Dec 2012

Skylight has just been added to the current Bundle In A Box. It's a pay-what-you-want bundle and this one has heaps of games.

Scraps DevLog

Sun, 9 Dec 2012

I've started a DevLog on TIGSource for my new game project: Scraps. Scraps is a game where you build your vehicle from parts, fight, and scavenge more parts from your enemies. This is a game I've been wanting to play for years but no-one's made it. The DevLog itself has a lot more information and will be updated as things are done: It's here.

A dedicated Scraps website will be coming sometime in the future. A couple of very, very early in development screenshots - almost everything here is a placeholder, unfinished, or missing:
Very early scraps build screen screenshot Very early scraps in game screenshot

A glimpse of something I'm working on

Fri, 7 Dec 2012

A quick and very early snapshot of something I'm working on. Build your vehicle from parts, fight, and scavenge parts from your fallen enemies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hcZxXP-UE4

Skylight on Desura

Tue, 9 Oct 2012

Skylight is now also available via Desura.
Desura Digital Distribution
The price is automatically converted to your local currency. In some places it'll also work out as a little more or less than the usual USD$2.50 due to regionalisation.

Note that you won't get a Desura activation if you use the direct purchase system on this website, so if you use Desura you might want to buy it through Desura. I don't think it's possible to automatically hand out Desura keys via the E-Junkie purchase system unfortunately.

Skylight is out!

Tue, 25 Sep 2012

Right, finally Skylight 1.0 is done and available now for only USD $2.50, plus there's a demo available.

Check it out.

Skylight 1.0 screenshot


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