Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Give Me The Rights To Snail Mail Or Else

[silence]

Well, here we are. Two videos and all I've got is radio silence from the now-defunct Sandlot Games.

Daniel Bernstein, I think you should make very sure that this message is not lost on you.

If you do not give me the rights to Snail Mail, people will. get. hurt. I can't say how and I can't say who, but this is the last straw, Sandlot Games. I've tried and tried to get into contact with you, e-mailing whoever I could possibly find to give me the rights and nothing. seems. to work.

I suggest you just bite the bullet and give me Snail Mail before bad things start happening. I've written a nice little list of the potential weapons I could use and since this is already a really short video, let me pad it out a bit.

I'll use knives. Guns. Swords. Katanas, specifically. Explosives, like C4, dynamite, TNT, C5, AK-47s, kitchen knives, butter knives, butcher knives, Ashton Kutcher's knives, large blades without handles, small blades that are only handles.

High-velocity chewing gum. Balls of thumb-tacks. Balls of drawing pins. Balls of hedgehog needles. Balls of porcupine needles. Balls of forks you find, weevils. I'll attack you with wildlife. Squirrels. Chipmunks. Rats. Mice. Rice.

[start to fade out]

Sugar, spice and everything nice. Sawblades. Sore spades. More maids. Four plays. Drawer maize. A gun. I'll throw the clip at you. I'll throw the bullet at you. I'll throw the barrel, or travel to put a mullet on you.

I'll plant a tree in your name. I'll brand a bee with propane. I'll cover your face in glue.

Brace your Gru. Grace your you. Shoot your gig. Boot your pig. Loot your brig. Tend your house. End a mouse. Defend a mouse. Pretend to douse.

E-mail me, Daniel.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

I Demand The Rights To Snail Mail

So needless to say, I didn't really get a response on my last video about the rights to Snail Mail. I'm not entirely sure why, I thought I made a fairly reasonable proposition, I laid out my case pretty clearly and I thought I kind of logically stepped you through why I deserve the rights to Snail Mail.

In a nutshell, that was seemingly the wrong approach to take, so I'll try a new one.

I demand the rights to Snail Mail. I've laid out very clearly why and how I deserve them, and now I believe that I need to take them. I will not be offering any form of compensation, since I genuinely think that the rights to Snail Mail should be mine, and the current state of affairs is actually unfair to me. I think you recognize this, Sandlot Games. I think you're trying to twist my arm into making me... pay you? Let me tell you that's not going to happen.

Again, I'm reasonable. I'm a reasonable person, I think I'm mature enough to handle the rights to Snail Mail. I won't reiterate too much since I don't want to waste your time, just like you're wasting mine by refusing to even answer my proposition.

So here's what's going to happen. I'm going to write, record and upload this video to my YouTube channel. The former CEO of Sandlot Games, Daniel Bernstein, is going to e-mail me, telling me that he'll give me the rights to Snail Mail FOR FREE, and he'll expect nothing else from me. Daniel Bernstein will also be expected to hire a lawyer to draft a contract so that he cannot go back on his promise.

We'll agree to the terms in the contract, and I'll own the IP to Snail Mail. I'm not asking, Daniel, I'm telling you what's about to happen, and I hope you're listening. If you're not the one in charge of the Snail Mail IP, I suppose I'll have to take the same steps with the appropriate person but I will expect you to tell me who I have to talk to.

I'm believe I'm being as reasonable as I can be given the circumstances. I think that yeah, this is unfair to me and really at this point I'm still being too kind. If I was an angrier person, maybe I'd make you pay me just to TAKE the rights to Snail Mail. But I'm not. I'm making a simple offer.

Let's not let this go on any further. E-mail me, Daniel.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

MULTI-TECH - Let's Talk About My New Project



In a sentence, MULTI-TECH is a rogue-like bullet hell vidja game where you play as a dude on a scrappy, self-built spacecraft that you have to fix, upgrade and build yourself.

In my mind, it's kind of a fusion between FTL and Enter The Gungeon, even though I'm taking some fairly large design liberties with each of them. I'm basically using Enter The Gungeon as a reference point for game juice and FTL because you can upgrade your ship. Kind of a loose comparison in retrospect but I'll have these games in mind during development so I might as well put it out there.

As I'm sure you can see judging by the B-roll that I've got playing here, not a lot's really happening on-screen. That's because I only started working on this game at all on Tuesday, and I've put the majority of work into the pixel art for the time being which is miraculously turning out pretty decently so far.

With regard to the player character's ship that you can see at some point in the video footage, I'm not sure if that's gonna stay the same and I highly suspect that it won't. I'll maybe experiment with some player-generated ship design stuff, but that could get complicated kind of fast so I'm not making any promises.

More likely, I'm going to re-make it at some point. I don't want it to look like that for the whole game, at the time of script-writing I've not even done the animations for shooting those bullets yet so it looks kind of boring and flat, but I am kind of aiming for the look that this spaceship was literally built from a rusty barrel and had a few peripherals slapped on like a thruster and a gun.

The idea is that the player will salvage broken tech components, fix them up by combining them or some other system that I've yet to come up with and apply them to the ship. The ship will have 4 "power cores", each of which is able to supply power to one of these tech components, so it could be like a gun upgrade, a shield, something like that.

I should have mentioned before this point that there will hopefully be bosses in this game as long as I can actually make the pixel art for them without it looking weird and bad. When the player has all but won a boss fight, the boss will remain at critically low HP. The camera would zoom in on the ship itself, showing the human player character and prompt them to run between all 4 cores to engage a big ol super-laser-beam to finish off the boss.

This is kind of just a fun way to finish off a battle, but also it helps to reinforce that the player is running a ship all by himself, where most pilots would have a crew of a few people to help him out.

The only real worry I have about this project thus far is that I'm not sure if it's focused on one central element enough. In my mind, the focus is definitely the "combine tech and upgrade your ship" thing, but I'm not sure if that's actually interesting enough, let alone whether it gets overshadowed by other systems and aspects of gameplay.

I should also note that this isn't gonna be small project like Mushroom: The Ruckus, I'm expecting it to be a bit larger than Mass O' Kyzt. Hopefully it won't take longer than 9 months, but if it does then that's fine, since I wasted a lot of time in the dev cycle for Mass O' Kyzt that I feel I've learned to avoid doing. At least after that project, I feel confident that the time I spend working on MULTI-TECH isn't going to be running around in a circle aimlessly.

I've got a much clearer image of what the design is, plus I don't have school now so I'll be working essentially twice as fast as I did on Mass O' Kyzt, possibly even faster than that since school saps a lot of time and energy.

Anyway, I'm super excited about this project and I genuinely think it'll be really good. Thanks for watching and stay tuned for more videos about MULTI-TECH, the next game in the AlexHoratio saga.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Why I Deserve The Rights To Snail Mail

For those of you who don't know, Snail Mail is a casual game developed by the now-defunct Sandlot Games in 2004. When I was a wee lad I used to play that game kind of a lot since it was fun and funny at the same time.

Now I'm not going to get too far into the merits of Snail Mail, and I'll keep the summary brief. Basically, you play as Turbo the Snail and your job is to deliver intergalactic mail while trying to avoid falling into the cosmic abyss or running face-first into enemy slugs.

The game plays nicely, the jokes are pleasant and it's a nice way to unwind if your brain is too melted or worn down to play something more taxing.

So let's get to the title of this video, why do i deserve the rights to Snail Mail? First, let me make it clear that I don't want to get anything from the original Snail Mail, the profits from that will still go to whatever legal entity is collecting revenue from Sandlot Games these days.

All I want is to legally and contractually own the intellectual property and associated trademarks of Snail Mail, so that theoretically I could choose to make a sequel, I could choose to write a book in the expanded universe or I could even just use Turbo the Snail as a character as I see fit. I want that freedom. I want the option.

I might not even end up using the IP, which is part of why this is such an appealing idea for either Sandlot Games, the also defunct Digital Chocolate, this company called RockYou, or the lead guy who worked on Snail Mail who I think works at Ubisoft now or something.

The point is that someone more eager to use the IP might not be thinking clearly. The excitement of owning such a property might actually end up clouding their ability to set an appropriate goal. If someone comes to you saying that they'll create an 800-episode webseries based on your IP, you tell them to get lost since that's not likely to happen, and even if it does happen it won't be good.

I'm saying: "Hey. I want the rights to Snail Mail. Maybe I'll use them, maybe I won't. I'm waiting for a good opportunity to use it."

It's the side of reason and it's a sensible deal to make. Who knows, maybe I'll use it in such a way that actually nets whoever some publicity, money or whatever else. It's not like they're ever gonna make Snail Mail 2 or use any Snail Mail related imagery in anything ever. It's basically a dead-end for them unless they give it to me- a reasonable, well-adjusted 18 year old who genuinely deserves the rights to Snail Mail.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

A Long-Awaited Return (For Good!)

Wow, I'm back! Oh god, finally, yikes. I've been gone for like a month, I mean what th-

[cut]

So you loyal viewers are probably either wondering where I've been, or you've been wondering who I am because you forgot about me in the time I've been gone. For the latter camp, I'm Alex and I make video games and sometimes YouTube videos about video games which can be informative, educational or just telling you how my own games are going.

For the people who are just wondering where I've been, in short I've been busy with exams. However, on Monday the 26th I had my final exam and now I am free... forever! That's the last round of exams that I've got so now I guess it's time to venture on into the brave new world of full-time game development.

Of course, that's assuming that my parents don't tell to get a part-time job so I stop wasting my life chasing a rainbow, but I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

So what does this mean in terms that you care about? Well for one, YouTube videos will become a lot more regular since I won't really have much else on my mind. Also, I'll be able to commit a LOT more time towards game development since again- nothing else to really have to do right now.

So basically, this means more content for you and less negative stress for me. Let's face it, the overall amount of stress is probably gonna stay pretty constant since game development is HARD, but at least this is stress that 1) I brought on myself and 2) I'll probably quite enjoy because I enjoy game development.

Now what else has been going on? I wouldn't ask that question if I didn't have a good answer for it so I guess this is as good a time as any to announce...

Mass O' Kyzt+! Or whatever name we decide to give it in the end. So there are a few things to address here, the first of which is yes- this is a remaster of Mass O' Kyzt, that game that I finished like 6 or so months ago. Since that game had a lot of issues and things which I really should have ironed out before release, a friend of mine has decided to pick up the slack and re-make Mass O' Kyzt in the Unity engine with a few adjustments.

The friend of mine doing all this is of course the talented Alex Carpenter, who created "Squirm", that game that Jim Sterling liked, and has been working on his next game "Float" for the past 6 decades. I should note at this point that Alex Carpenter is indeed in his 70s, so it's really nice of him to work through a bingo night or two to get this done.

For real though, Alex Carpenter is cool. He's doing this re-make primarily to practice his multiplayer programming skills, so that he can later apply those skills to his main big project, Float. That means that Mass O' Kyzt+ will indeed have some kind of multiplayer, 2 new worlds, more achievements(and less nonsense ones) and a bunch of quality-of-life changes.

I'm really looking forward to this, and since it's my intellectual property and this YouTube channel is basically thinly-veiled commercials you all should be looking forward to it too.

However, Mass O' Kyzt+ is not intended to really keep me busy at all since I don't really know how Unity works and this is first and foremost a practice project for Alex to get to grips with some stuff he needs for Float. That means that I'll be working on my next game concurrently with Mass O' Kyzt+ but well.. I think that's territory best left to another video. Winking emoticon.

So thanks for watching and stay tuned for more YouTube videos at a reasonable pace, and also then a remake of a game I did, and then also a new game entirely which I've yet to even come up with yet but I guess I have like three days to do it because this is how my upload schedule works. Oh dear.