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May 30th, 2013
Comments Off on Perfection coming to E3!

Perfection coming to E3!

No big deal, but… Perfection. was selected by IndieCade to be showcased at E3! I’ll be among 20 developers repping indie games in the heart of the biggest game convention in the world. 🙂 …Okay, it’s kind of a big deal!

Perfection has otherwise been doing alright. I’ve enjoyed reading many of the reviews coming in, good and bad–I think the game really spoke to some people, and offended others, and I’m proud of both. There’s a listing of reviews on the website.

May 6th, 2013
Comments Off on Free song from “Perfection.”

Free song from “Perfection.”

Hey guys! Only TWO days until Perfection comes out.

But have I mentioned that the game’s soundtrack is amazing, composed by Omni-Psyence? Because it is, and with the game he’ll also be launching his bandcamp for the first time with the full game soundtrack, for free! Plus some extra surprises… 😉

Here’s a sneak preview.

And just in case you missed it, here’s the trailer for the game again. See you guys in 2!

December 20th, 2012
Comments Off on Phantasmaburbia 66% off HOLIDAY SALE!!

Phantasmaburbia 66% off HOLIDAY SALE!!

Until January 2, 2013, Phantasmaburbia will be available for a third of its usual price. Holy cow!! If you know about the game and have been on he fence about getting it because of price, NOW IS THE TIME TO GET IT.

I’m still working on the Mac port; I’ve had a number of technical issues along the way, but it *is* still coming. Just slower than I want! I mention this here because when it is done you will have access to it if you’ve already bought the game, so if you’re waiting for the game to come out on Mac it’s still a pretty good steal right now!

That’s all for now! Happy Holidays!

August 10th, 2012
Comments Off on Phanta Kickstarter!

Phanta Kickstarter!

We’re doing this!

The plan is to pick up some money we need last minute to finish up things and add some missing assets (especially the music, where we’re missing the most). We’re offering copies of the game, bonus stuff, and beta testing access through here as well, so if you’re somebody who wants his hands officially on the game then by all means, please consider kicking us a little bit!

And share this! We would really appreciate that. Thank you!

Brave is not good

I’m not exactly an avid film critic and I don’t make a habit of getting very opinionated and shouting it to the skies (about anything). But Pixar’s Brave came out the other day; I really wanted to love it and I went to the midnight premiere, and by golly, I really did not like it. Normally I’d be content to not like it and leave it there, but what bothers me is that nobody else seems to see what I see. All I’ve seen are fanatical postings of how spectacular is, and how GREAT the main character is, and I’ve even seen people suggest it may be Pixar’s best film yet. What?!

So I want to just take a moment here and go through the film and outline by biggest issues. If nothing else, it will be cathartic for me. And if anyone ever feels like rebutting me on it, be my guest. I would love for somebody to explain to me what I’m missing here.

Continue reading…

Productivity vs. Humanity

I’ve been doing lots of pondering, as I’m often prone to. As of late my pondering’s been centered on a pretty specific facet of my life that’s relevant to this blog. It’s something I think I only really began to be cognizant of at some point midway through the development of Dubloon, and since then has only ballooned, particularly as I’ve gotten farther into my work on Phantasmaburbia.

In considering the general path of my life, a particular trend has been very visible in the last handful of years. There was a point in my life when I was a pretty socially active person. I always had semi-artistic leanings, sure. I drew comics and came up with card games and ran a website or two, maybe, but these were all expressions of various interests which I might have introduced to strangers as factoids alongside my favorite color or my favorite Pokemon. And then I started to get into making computer games.

I think the first really visible signs actually came when I was finishing Assassin Blue. I was running a website at the time (which is still online) where I posted scans of doodles in my notebooks. It wasn’t anything great or special, but it was one of the things I did for fun and I was still in the process of cultivating a steady stream of visitors. And then one day I stopped. You can even see now that on my last update to the site I reassured that I was going to update on a regular schedule that week, and never did. I never even came back to correct myself or to apologize. I completely and honestly forgot about it entirely, and spent that entire week focusing on Assassin Blue stuff. And then the next week, and the next. Whoops!

The trend from there gets only more predictable, and largely already known to this blog’s readership. I went on to work on more games. Slowly I stopped actively drawing apart from compulsion. I had a promising start as a writer of fiction that quickly faded. I definitely stopped maintaining any sites that weren’t directly related to my games, let alone maintaining a presence on communities that had at most a tangential relation to my growing interest.

All of this is probably well and normal, really. I found my passion! I should be more than happy, and indeed satisfied with the gentle removal of the more nonessential parts of my day and life. But it started to become a very recognizable issue when I started to ebb away from friends as well.

The root of this isn’t that hard to trace. When I want to make a focused effort on my games, I fairly feel the need to distance myself from people. Such is the nature of focused work! But more and more this starts to express itself in a very literal decision of if on a given night I’m going to go see some pals and party or if I’m going to stay in and fine tune that level or finally get to doing that boss fight I’ve been planning out for the last week. And then that decision starts to create an impact in wider circles, an example being my sleep schedule. Too often nowadays do I find myself awake and restless when the rest of humanity is sound asleep, even when maybe I’m not quite feeling the game stuff at the moment! (This is the part where I check the clock and realize it’s close to 6 in the morning.)

I’m not complaining. I’m not pointing any fingers or calling any fouls here. This is actually what I chose for myself, sometimes through aloof persistence to my work but often through conscious choice. All of this begins to illustrate a very essential question of personal philosophy which I haven’t yet definitively answered for myself.

I see very clearly that there are two ideals at play which are at ends with each other. On one hand there is the social life in which one draws energy from the people around them and expresses themselves through their relationships with others, their lasting impact being the impression left on their peers. On the other is the working man who shuts himself in his study and works tirelessly to produce work(s) that epitomize their knowledge and skill, a perfect brainchild which serves to immortalize these people long after they and the people who knew them have left this Earth. We all know of a lot of great figures like this in history, and it seems true with little to no exception that all the great artists and thinkers who produced the most thoughtful, emotionally significant pieces lived a lifestyle like this latter one.

At this point I might once have stopped to say that these dual pursuits of intro and extroversion were not diametrically opposed and that one could, with desire and practice, be master of both. But more and more lately I’m second guessing this. They’re opposed in more ways than just literal time investment–when you choose whether to work or to socialize, you assign a value to those actions which is either greater or less than the other. You might like your friends very very much, but the more you let yourself be convinced that the most important things in your life are your achievements and productions, the more your friends become by definition distractions and less worthwhile investments. And even if that doesn’t reflect your sentiments, it’s the message that’s sent when you essentially ignore them for extended periods of time. Conversely, once you get up from your work and go see your friends it’s hard to pull away and come back, both in the span of that evening and in the long term as you’re seeing them more and more. There are plenty of people who don’t claim to have any particular hobby or talent or interest besides hanging out with their friends (and being a consumer of something, like listening to music or playing games)–and those people are perfectly interesting dudes with perfectly interesting lives!

I don’t think I’ve yet fallen totally completely into either territory, but I do ride that line frequently and for me it’s very easy to slip too far one way or the other for a long time. It was only really with Phantasmaburbia when I considered this balance in my life and decided to really let myself slide into that introverted zone and see how my production was affected. And now I’m facing the ramifications of that, and it’s made me thoughtful. I’m seeing how my friendships become more strained, and I’m also seeing how my gradual detachment from people gives the actual product a very different energy from the perspective of me, the creator. I’m starting to question what is indeed optimal for me, while I fear actually experimentally pulling back from my project in fear that I’ll somehow lose it. Which is pretty ridiculous to consider.

Obviously the “answer” is different for everybody and in all cases lies somewhere paradoxically between the two absolute extremes of introversion and extroversion. I didn’t really write this with the purpose of coming out with a conclusion, and indeed I haven’t yet even really reached one for myself yet. Just something that’s been on my mind, that maybe you might be interested in pondering as well.

Sleep’s for Chumps

Was about to write a bunch of tweets, then decided to just make a brief blog post instead.

I’ve been working really hard on Phanta these last few days! I’ve been weaving my time between this and [final] school projects, working several hours at a time and alternating between them (at the expense of sleep and food, naturally). It’s been very tiring, but very fulfilling as well. Meanwhile, Jason and Mack151 are working hard on resources as well… it’s quite thrilling to have such talented people at my fingertips. :]

You might be excited to know that this means a demo is fast approaching! The distribution for this one is going to be more exclusive, so if you’re somebody who wants to play more free content be sure to keep an eye over here. My hope is to post more specific details by next weekend, once the demo is actually prepared.

There are a LOT of exciting new things I’d love to share via screenshot, but I think some of them will be more fun if I keep them a surprise until later. For now, here’s a screen that demonstrates some new and improved battle graphics…


…Courtesy of Mack151. Whenever an attack is launched, a super pretty highres portrait of the attacker flashes across the screen! It might seem like a really minor change, but I’m seriously in love with these portraits and it does a lot to make battles feel more visually appealing.

We Heart Fanfics

I’ve teamed up with a few people who live in my dorm to make a new YouTube channel, titled “We Heart Fanfics.”

We find bad fanfiction and read it and laugh at it. We already have a couple videos up and there will be more to come. If laughing at others’ poor writing is your thing, you should totally check it out and subscribe or something.

Here’s the link to the channel page:

And here’s our most recent video:

If you have any terrible fanfiction you think we should check out, we’d love to hear from you.

Excerpt of a Scientific Philosophical Discussion at 2 AM

Hey, why not. A friend (whose name has been altered) and I had recently learned through wikipedia that some scientific theories proposed that there were 10 or 11 dimensions, which got us a-thinking about misc. physics and math philosophy questions. It was kind of fun and enlightening, and here’s an excerpt for your reading pleasure/brain food.


[2:00:18 AM] Rose: but doesn’t it freak you out that in the end all math is just a bunch of symbols we’ve agreed are real?
[2:01:07 AM] Banov: but math totally is real! right?
[2:01:21 AM] Rose: i mean to humans
[2:01:41 AM] Rose: but maybe it’s only true in our minds? whatever that means.
[2:02:22 AM] Banov: I want to say that math
[2:02:30 AM] Banov: can’t be just in our heads
[2:02:42 AM] Banov: rather it’s our way of defining what we observe
[2:03:07 AM] Banov: like if I have a bottle of orange cream soda on my desk and put a second one there, I have 2
[2:03:12 AM] Banov: 1 + 1 = 2
[2:04:00 AM] Rose: yes but once you get into higher mathematics… and even zero!
[2:04:20 AM] Rose: like what’s a cream soda divided by no cream sodas? No one knows
[2:04:27 AM] Banov: well
[2:04:43 AM] Banov: it approaches infinity on a graph…
[2:05:23 AM] Banov: it basically is infinity. but there’s nothing to actually divide by so really the entire problem, and its solution, can’t exist
[2:05:33 AM] Banov: (…is basically how I explain it to myself)
[2:06:02 AM] Rose: my point is even our own math proves that everything’s relative
[2:06:15 AM] Rose: and these are only the phenomena we can personally experience
[2:06:40 AM] Rose: like there are dimensions we can’t experience…
[2:07:19 AM] Rose: how can math that was created for four dimensions work for more than that without becoming horribly inaccurate or strained?
[2:08:24 AM] Banov: ah, you’re totally right
[2:08:51 AM] Banov: well I think there are 2 ways of looking at it
[2:09:18 AM] Banov: I mean the theories and equations that we’ve come to accept DO accurately define and predict the things we can observe
[2:09:27 AM] Banov: and that’s what they were made for
[2:09:59 AM | Edited 2:12:51 AM] Banov: so in the eyes of a dude who just wants a simple definition to explain the relationship of x and y, it’s all true and acceptable
[2:10:25 AM | Edited 2:13:06 AM] Banov: but what you and i are talking about is what happens when we look at other dimensions beyond what we can observe
[2:11:01 AM] Banov: x and y might be influenced by an infinite number of other indefinable unobservable factors and only APPEAR to be related 3-dimensionally to us
[2:11:52 AM] Banov: so the theories we’ve made to define them, while accurate, might not be “absolutely” true as they don’t account for every possible factor
[2:12:30 AM] Banov: and they probably never will. so when hawking says we’ll never reach an absolute understanding of everything, he’s probably right : d
[2:12:35 AM] Banov: probably.
[2:13:35 AM] Rose: yes. I guess it comes down to like if truth isn’t finite or absolute, how can it be true?
[2:13:44 AM] Rose: and nothing is absolute, so nothing is true
[2:13:55 AM] Rose: and therefore nothing’s wrong
[2:14:06 AM] Rose: it’s a weird mental asymptote
[2:15:34 AM] Banov: I have gained an all new understanding of this jar of salsa

5 Video Game OST Songs I Really Like

I just found this post in my drafts, basically entirely written but unposted. I haven’t laid out anything new for a while, so I figured I may as well throw this one out there.

These are just 5 OST songs that are mostly fairly obscure songs from popular games, which rarely are given an mention but I always treasured. Others are pretty popular well known OST songs but, whatever, they’re good too.

So, in no particular order:

Mother 3: Someone’s Memories (Pollyanna)

One of the most well-known tunes from a series known partly for its music, Pollyanna’s been written about a thousand times before and there’s little left for me to say about it. It’s about friendship and nostalgia. It’smplayed in Mother 3 during a particularly nostalgic scene and when I first saw it as a youtube video it brought a tear to my eye.

Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald: Petalburg City

Just some jolly town music! Seriously, this tune is catchy and I used to hum it pretty frequently.

Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald: Ever Grande City

You know, the music from Ruby/Sapphire was pretty darn good among Pokemon titles, looking back. This music is played after you finish the games’ final dungeon and are on your way to face the “final boss,” the Elite 4. It’s a song that congratulates you on a job well done, letting you know you’ve come a long way and you’re finally at the top. You’re ready to face the strongers trainers in Hoenn!

LOZ Wind Waker: Dragon Roost Island

Seriously beautiful stuff. A very evocative and pretty tune from a game whose music I dearly love. It’s a bit reminiscent of Gerudo Valley, the classic from Ocarina–but if you ask me, this is even better to listen to. It really does give you a feel for the stubborn, proud people of Dragon Roost Island and the beautiful summery island atmosphere you’re struck with with upon arrival.
Also recommended listening: A Live Version

Super Mario Land: World 2

Super Mario Land was one of my first games (as I once mentioned) and this particular world theme was just stunning. I used to play up to level 2-1, then turn up the volume and just hold it up to my ear so I could listen to the music until my time ran out and I died. Sigh.

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