A year ago I publicly announced Archmage Rises as a new kind of RPG. I’m happy to report Archmage Rises is now playable.
I was invited to be in demo showcase in Portland, OR last week. In the two and a half weeks leading up to the conference I scrambled/crunched to take all the disparate systems and jam it into something playable. In the wee hours the night before I flew out, I got it working!
The 50ish people watching the demo were spellbound.
(The power went out in the middle of the demo, but they didn’t leave, so that is a good sign, right?!?)
This experience convinced me I have enough of the game working to show a demo to all of you.
It’s been a while since I’ve done an update and I just returned from GDC, so this is a good time.
First, in my silence I’m programming a lot, sometimes 12hrs a day, and the game is really coming together. As an artist I spend so much time trying to make the work of my hands be as good as the vision in my head. Aspects of Archmage Rises are beyond what I imagined a year ago when I started this project. It is very exciting!
It was my first GDC and I didn’t know what to expect from it. (more…)
I was on the 35th floor in the north conference room. Through the window, I could see the gray, rainy Toronto skyline. I was here to learn about government funding programs for Digital Media. At my table was a television/documentary producer, a toy manufacturer, and two suits who looked so dull and cliché that I didn’t even introduce myself. The panel consisted of several government agency workers, a consultant, and a game developer. The information shared over two hours was good, but I enjoyed the spicy chicken wrap from the buffet a lot more.
As a wrap up, the organizer asked the panel what final words they would like to share with the roughly 40 people in attendance.
I’m relatively new to art appreciation. A big turning point for me was a few years back when I read John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Since then, my appreciation for art and the artists behind the work has continued to grow. I even have some Peter Max limited edition prints hanging on my walls.
I’m a huge fan of fantasy art and pretty much any game art coming out of TSR in the 1980s. There is something about the oil on canvas, seeing the stroke of the brush—which for me sort of elevates the work. I’m not complaining about the perfection found in digital painting—just that I like the “handmade” quality brush strokes bring.
Archmage Rises is a love letter to tabletop role-playing games. The art style is ’80s TSR for the modern area.
“Good artists copy, great artists steal.” – Pablo Picasso
Sid Meier’s Pirates! is arguably the most important game ever made . . . and it also ruined my week. You see, I’m working on Archmage Rises—and part of my elevator pitch is, “It’s like Pirates! but with mages and permadeath.”
“Live the Life” is exactly what this Pirate simulator delivers! (more…)
This past week, I focused my development efforts on the user interface (UI) of Archmage Rises. Proper software development methodology mandates that we should take on the highest priority, highest risk items first. We should do this to save enough time and energy to deal with the truly dangerous issues: the unknowns. Archmage Rises is a UI-heavy game, and the interface is core to the entire game experience. Fortunately, I’m working with the very talented UI artist Rick Grossenbacher.
Note: We’re only about a quarter of the way through the process, but I thought I’d share the approach and progress thus far. (more…)
Someone once told me, “When your hobby becomes your work, it’s time to find a new hobby.” This couldn’t be more right. And I couldn’t have been more wrong to ignore it.
I encounter many people who want to develop games but have not yet made the plunge for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they ask, “What is it like?” Usually, they ask for advice on how they can get started. Out of everything I could say, the concept of how making games fundamentally change someone’s enjoyment of themis the most difficult to express. It’s also the most difficult for them to hear – and the most important. The reason I am writing about this now is because I just had a fresh reminder playing Destiny, which launched worldwide this week.
This issue is not limited just to game developers. Game journalists, critics, and others face it as well. Here is the core question:
“Do you love games so much you are willing to sacrifice your enjoyment of them on the altar of Career?”
However, before I continue, I first need to define what a hobby actually is and why hobbies are so incredibly important to everyday life.
If you’ve been following these dev blogs, you’ll know that I have been living at my cottage for the last three and a half months. No, I wasn’t kicked out due to some indiscretion or ill-advised car purchase. I was living in the cottage so I could manage the little store I mentioned a couple weeks ago. After a job well done, it was time to come home.
So last week, my family arrived en masse to bring me back to civilization. Talk about an ironic reversal of what college students happen to be experiencing this week: I’m finally returning home, not leaving it. In fact, my week has been taken over by family matters and getting resituated. Although my wife is made of pure, delightful chaos, I am of the Spartan persuasion—and I happen to love order with a nice task list by my side. There were so many chores to do around the house once I was finally back. . . .
OK, it wasn’t this bad, but it felt that way.
Despite the upheaval, I can proudly announce two major developments for Archmage Rises: