Thursday, January 23, 2014



Yep, there we go... hit the big 30... and from now on it's not going to get better, right? - At least I remember I read somewhere that in this age the body has used up all it's bonus regenerative potential and essentially nothing new will be build by default. So in other words the body only uses what is there until it's gone. Seems like a stupid masterplan, but who knows where I got that information from and even the doctors change their opinions like underpants. At least in my heart and my mind I still feel like 16. - That has to be enough!

Thanks for all the congratulations and birthday greetings and let me share with you some of my really awesome presents:

First up: An original Gameboy!! - Isn't that great? I've somehow lost mine years ago because I forgot it in the somewhere in the house and my father decided to give it to somebody! - Luckily he didn't get his hands on most of my games and even more lucky for me that I can now play those "lost" treasures like Solar Striker, Bionic Command and Terminator again. Next in line: Remember me for the Xbox 360. I have heard so many great things about this game and I am really looking forward to finally play it. Expect a review, of course. And now look at that great book to the right; I think it's a must for every Zelda fan. Unfortunately the first 60 pages or so are only about Skyward Sword, which up to this day I simply refuse to play just from the looks of it. But the rest is pure and utmost important The Legend of Zelda knowledge together with beautiful illustrations.

This pretty blue thing is called "RS-I" (I think) and I got it from my girlfriend. I have never heard about this handheld but I think it's awesome. It is a portable system featuring a lit color display and sound together with a library of about 180 NES games, fully illegal (I suppose) from - you guessed it: China. I don't care and I am very happy about such a great present! Coming up next: A Minecraft cube. Simply the best for my bedside table to keep the creepers away at night! And last but not least, I finally got my long overdue Start Trek uniform!!! "Make it so." - Do I really need to say more? From now on Halo gaming will take place on a whole different level...

Play more! Thank more!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014



I just edited my blog pages and finally introduced a new section Submit. Since I love doing reviews as well as games in general, especially the "smaller" ones, I thought it'd be a good idea to implement the official option for all you great indie game developers out there to get your work reviewed here. Well, that and the fact that I can't yet get a sponsoring deal where I get AAA titles shipped to my doorsteps. - Haha! No, I am just kidding. I seriously love the indie scene and I simply find it sad that due to how the videogame industry works so many gamers still miss out on so many awesome, homebrewn titles.

By going social I've already seen several great indie games that are being developed by highly motivated and skilled individuals. I can relate a lot to what those poeple are doing and I think with blogging about it they can get at least some support and recognition.

It basically doesn't matter to me at what stage your project currently is. I don't need a running beta, or even a prototype. - Yes, that would be helpful since I could already test a lot of stuff and give you bug reports next to general feedback. Still, I will also gladly write about your ideas in general if you aren't that far along the road yet. I guess you should have at least some basic website and information for me to work with, but just contact me and we can talk about it.

Play more! Submit more!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Hello everyone!

I know I've been very quiet and rather busy during the last weeks, but I think it was totally worth it. With this post I think it is time to tell you something about me; As you might have guessed by now, I love videogames. More than that, I always wanted to make one. I remember those days back in school when I fooled around in Turbo Pascal and me and my friends were actually programming games on our TI-92 calculators as if it was yesterday. Ever since I continued trying and repeatedly failed badly. Yes, I learned a ton of stuff from reading, trying and basically doing it - most importantly, that making a game (and it really doesn't matter how simply you want it to be) is hard as hell.

I guess some of you can relate to that pretty good. - Ever heard those common platitudes like "Don't underestimate the work", "Start simple", "Actual development time = your best guess * pi" and so on? Seriously, I tried really hard and above all I always prepared everything as good as possible. But let me tell you something: For me all those "useful hints" are bullshit. They don't help you if you want to do something like a game, because no matter what at some point it will grow bigger and the effort (either time or money you need to put into) will be multiplied. Furthermore developing something on your own is always constraint by a lot of factors and is effected greatly by your real life. You see,... there are ups but more frequently there are downs, there's probably that voice in your head that is always thriving for the maximum and that will not be satisfied with the average, there are weeks when you crunch through and get only a couple of hours to rest, there are expectations and there's pressure, constantly. Beyond that, as I mentioned before, there is that thing called reality - or rather life; events you can't influence but that in turn can destroy the most ambitious plans over night.

One of the most frustrating things about single-handedly making a game is that you can so easily be overwhelmed by the effort you need to put into it and sometimes not even the best game design document and project plan can protect you from that. If you are dedicated you can pull yourself out from the dark hole you find yourself in more than one time, but everything is limited and at some point (maybe when something else in your life happens) you can't anymore. My last attempt of creating a game had so bad physical as well as social repercussions, that I really tried to put that idea behind me. I told myself that it is useless and that it is impossible for me to develop something on my own. As I said, lowering expectations might be a good start, but for me - although I agree that "simple is good" - simple is also just not enough.


So what has changed? Well, first of all I couldn't do it... I was still doing concepts of games in my head and on paper. I was playing with that tool, thinking about creating a Point&Click adventure, programming on this end and trying to make that fancy puzzle game I always wanted to create, and so on. Somehow I can't. I can't put the thought of making a game behind me. So the thing that has changed is the realization that I am tied to videogames and that I just can't put them behind me and be happy with something else in my life. What didn't change however is my attitude towards making a game completely by myself. I simply know that this is impossible because although my life got a lot better it still remains complicated. You remember this dark hole I talked about before? All that struggles of development could be possible to overcome if there was somebody with you in on the same project; somebody who finds the bug in your code at a glance instead of several days later - be it by coincidence or due to knowledge, somebody to tell you that you need to take a break, to drag you out of that dark hole of frustration, someone to exchange ideas with, someone you can count on to be as motivated as you are. I told myself I will not attempt to create a game on my own until I find at least one person like this... Truth be told I haven't, yet... but - and this is probably the most important part that has changed and that made me think intensely over the turn of the year: Before, I always tried to be as closed as possible about the games I was developing. Be it from paranoia or whatnot, but I couldn't stand the idea to make anything public regarding my development. Now, since I took the leap and started to blog and use social networking services I think quite differently. I found a lot of like-minded and nice people on G+ and Twitter. All day long I see ambitious and motivated people developing their games because they believe in them. I know it maybe sounds stupid but now I don't feel that alone anymore, I feel sympathy. Like I said, I don't have a partner on this, but I feel like that it may be possible that someone notices my project and that probably someone wants to get in on it. The least that can happen is that I will get some motivational comments or feedback in general which in turn will help me a lot. I have decided to give it another shot. This time with the support of social networks. I might have to start solo on this but I think everything is possible with a bit of networked exposure.

So, let me close this announcement by assuring you that I will of course not stop doing reviews of games. I know too damn well that I will never stop playing and having to say something about the game I played on the one side, and also that I can't put all of my energy into this new project on the other side. Yes, dedication is the foundation but again - especially working solo - you need something else to put your mind on as well. Putting 100% in it at the current stage will most likely lead to obsession, health problems and probably even insanity - trust me, I've been there.

I know you all want to know something about the game I will be doing, but I don't want to let the cat out of the bag just yet. For now I am in a big planning phase (including blog page changes, and so on) but in one of my next posts you will be hearing more. Thanks for the support in advance. - Naturally, I encourage you to leave comments already. :)

Play more! Develop more!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014



For this year's christmas and new year holidays I spent my time in a small but charming hut in the mountains with friends. Of course we played lots of board and card games but somehow I knew there would be time to play some videogames as well. I was prepared. With me was Alone in the Dark. A true classic for videogame historians and a must for everyone that enjoys the Survival Horror genre and wants to reveal the actual roots of it.

Alone in the Dark was published by Infogrames in 1992 and it was an astonishing game for its time. The graphics were new, interesting and basically ground-breaking for me, given I never saw some pure 3D characters among the countless Point&Click or Jump&Run games I was playing at that time. But even more intriguing than the graphics was one of the best archetype stories and settings that has yet to be reached by more than a handful of games; Derceto, an old mansion on the outskirts of an urban town, curses, magic, zombies, ghosts, the paranormal and of course death and fear!

As soon as Edward Carnby steps into the yard and some creepy creature watches him moving towards the house and probably even walking up to the rooftop, anybody - even today - will feel a strong tense building up. Although the mansion doesn't seem very big, with one door after another closing behind you, you know that there is danger waiting behind every corner... Yes, this game is hard. There were no checkpoints in those days, no quick-time events that could save your life and hints about what you're supposed to do that can be best described as confusing. You could save the game anytime but that didn't change the fact that this game was and still is hard as hell! - You could simply run out of ammo, destroy items that you would need later on, make a false step or even just open a wrong door or read a deadly book... death was everywhere, waiting without - or maybe too cryptic - warnings.

When I was about 11 years old, I couldn't beat that game - not even together with my best friend of that time and whole weekends to try. I had to settle this score and this time I finally did it. It took me about five restarts of the game and still a lot of try and error since I was still not capable of deciphering all those cryptic hints in that game. I feel like I accomplished something now. I beat the newest Resident Evil, which I think I already cursed to dust for being anything but Resident Evil on some previous occasion, in a day and it gave me nothing but frustration and anger. Now that I beat Alone in the Dark I finally know again how it feels to accomplish something in a game.

Since I know quite a lot about game design and I could observe and analyze the simplicity of that game very well, I was terribly motivated to conceive and start to do a modern remake of it right away. Like so often somebody was faster however and I found an awesome looking and ambitious project on the internet:

Although it seems like this had potential to become one of the best remakes ever made, according to the blog of the creators it seems the project has been cancelled a while ago... It seems the blog needs to be updated. Maybe they are working on it again? Maybe not? I will try to contact them and get more information. In the meantime you could check it out and support guillaumecolomb. I just hope they will keep it a bit more close to the original or probably allow for some "classic mode" without quick-time events and so on. This game was hard and it has to stay that way!

If you haven't played Alone in the Dark yet, I highly recommend getting a DOS-Box and get it running. Just don't come too close to the ghost of the lady in the chair as well as to any other parts except the one and only original from 1992 and the great looking remake. Seriously, all other parts of this franchise on all kind of systems (except maybe the second) are absolutely not worth it!

Play more! Accomplish more!