So I was pottering around on Twitter…

So I was pottering around on Twitter, as one does in the morning, and I came across a couple of articles about self-injury. This is something of an anomaly, as Twitter is full of games and comics and comics about games. Then I noticed that #selfharmawarenessday was trending, and so it made sense.

I released Air Pressure on this day several years ago for that reason. But that year no one seemed to talk about self-injury awareness, c’est la vie!

I think the hardest thing is getting people to see beyond the scars (or whichever other effects). Not just to the person underneath, but also the problem. It’s too easy to hand out quick fixes for self-injury – like snapping elastic bands or grabbing hold of some ice, but what’s the use in that if you’re still unhappy? Self-injury can be just a symptom, so it would be useful if it could be treated like that, and listened to as a meter of how much the injurer is suffering.

Perhaps that’s just how I am. I find it easy to accept self-injury as a symptom. It’s how I can tell that I should worry when my depression is getting dangerously bad. It’s how I can tell that my depression has gone away or is coming back. It’s something that’s either there, or not. I have no great story or technique to stopping – I just stop.

And I can accept it if it starts again.

Objectification

The other day I mentioned Kickstarter on my twitter. It was a sort of throw-away thought – a perhaps I would need to do it. It seems like a good plan, right? Do a project, get some money to finish it off. But then it hit me.

On Kickstarter, you need a video.

No way am I putting a video of me on the internet! I don’t want the internet to know what I look or sound like. Of course, there are other ways of making a video, but my first reaction was one of my gut sinking. I am not happy with how I look, and I don’t want to toss that to the wolves of the internet.

Objectification is about more than being reduced to your looks. It’s a fear that limits the way women dress and what women say. It’s losing your humanity and autonomy. It’s the pervasive cultural message that women are just pretty things there for the taking, which is one of the reasons men rape. It’s characters on a videogame box having breasts but no eyes.

You might as well be made of plastic.

This is why I find it hard to know what to make of #objectify (link) as a day of some lighthearted comments about men’s looks will not generate the same kind of anxiety women have. Keeping it nice means it’ll never turn sour, as it does for women. Smile nicely, or things will get worse.

Of course, I have no suggestion on solving things.

As for Kickstarter, I’ll probably make a video of my dog.

I wouldn’t usually ask, but…

Hello everyone,

It’s come to that time, that horrible time, when I find myself lacking money. I so far have been pottering along with enough to live, but in an unusual turn of events, I suddenly find myself with some medical bills.

The other week one of my molars broke. I called a dentist and was given the choice between a private emergency appointment, or a long, long wait on the NHS. Given that about a quarter of the tooth had broken, I went for the private appointment. It turns out that if I’d waited for the NHS, I would have lost the tooth (in addition to having a 4 week wait of pain).

The problem is, in order to fix just this tooth, it’ll cost me ¬£200.

The other problem is, in addition to that, I have about another £400 of dentistry that needs doing.

Fortunately I don’t have to pay for all of it at once. But even then, it’s a little more than I can afford. I really, really don’t want to lose my tooth though. I’m only really aiming to get enough to fix the tooth which is urgent – anything else is a bonus.

This is where you can help!

I am an artist, and I like drawing silly things. I would like to draw silly things you tell me to, in exchange for a little bit of money. If you give me $5 and an up to 10 word description, I will draw a postcard sized digital ink or paint sketch. Also, I will post them to http://drawingsforteeth.tumblr.com/ for all to see! :D It’s like a game of Draw Something, but instead of giving money to Zynga, you give it to me! (PS. I won’t draw porn :P )

Why would you want me to draw stuff?

I’ve had a couple of comics published, and worked on some cool games like LostWinds. I’ve had some comic art in temporary exhibits in the Cartoon Museum and Japanese Embassy in London. I’ve written lots of articles about drawing.

If you don’t want a drawing, but want something REAL

Please check out my etsy store – http://www.etsy.com/shop/bentosmile

If you don’t want anything but want to contribute

I don’t mind receiving tips, after all there’s lots of lovely free games to play. Just make sure I know it’s a tip and not for a drawing.

Why not make a game instead?

I’ve not got the resources to make a game at the moment – at least not one which I think is worth selling to you guys.

If I can’t draw the suggestion or you aren’t happy

I’ll give you a refund, of course.

How to send money

Please send $5 through Paypal to soundslikebuuu@noddingcat.net and include a drawing suggestion in the Paypal message. I’ll reply to confirm (and ask any questions if needed) and give you a ticket number, so you can see when to expect the drawing to appear.

Thank you! This is probably the hardest post I’ve ever had to make.

How to survive Ludum Dare like a PRO!

It’s Ludum Dare time! You don’t wanna be a loser do you? NO! You wanna make some games.

So, how do you survive 48 hours of making games and nothing else?

1. Use the same tools you usually do, unless you have GUTS!

You’ve got that engine and all that software for a reason. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! (Unless it is broke, in which case, fix it, fix it, fix it.) If you have the guts to try something new, get it all installed and running.

2. Food food food

Get food which is easy to make and tasty. It’s not a matter of the time it takes to make food, but the energy you spend preparing it. Use that energy for AWESOME GAMES instead! Buy stuff which will make you fat and happy if you want, or get some ‘real’ food like fruit/salad/veg. I get a bit of everything, ‘cos sometimes you need to eat something which has been alive, and sometimes you want to devour a muffin ‘cos your game won’t start.

3. Have a buddy

Ludum Dare gets lonely. Let’s arrange to be lonely together!

4. Find out the theme, then take a shower

Or take a walk, go jogging, spend far too long on the toilet… Whichever morning ritual suits you. It’ll clear your mind for magical idea time to start! (Note that you don’t need your buddy for taking a shower.)

5. Magical idea time!

Get your design tool of choice and start jotting down ideas. I always write lists and notes on paper, and have a stack of post it notes for designing maps. Sometimes the pad of paper has DINOSAURS on it, because dinosaurs are AWESOME!

If you get really, really stuck, the internet is your friend – just don’t spend too long browsing for inspiration. Or if you’ve got some other LDers around, have a chat about the theme.¬†Sometimes an obvious idea is better than nothing at all, especially if you’re in Ludum Dare for the experience of making a game. Don’t stress too much about it.

I often make a list of things I need in the game, and things I would like but aren’t so necessary. Then I make a checklist and tick things off as I finish them. It feels good, and I can give myself a cookie at milestones!

6. Make the game

Now you just have to make the game. Try to get something up an running quickly, either a test or a character moving around. Make art and code you can reuse a lot. Use anything you can to make your life easier. If it absolutely doesn’t work, think about how can you make it more simple.

7. Go crazy

At some point in the weekend, something will go wrong and you will want to give up. Or you will start to feel crazy with the amount of stressful work you’re putting in. Relax, step back, you are not alone! It’s only okay to feel despair if you PUSH IT DOWN and FIX YOUR GAME! Even if that means CHOPPING IT UP a bit.

8. Excuses are for WEAKLINGS!

I’ve had some Ludum Dares where I’ve had less than the usual amount of time. One of my favourite games was made when I had to spend 50% of my day looking after my new puppy, only working in 2 hour shifts. Even if you have less than the whole 48 hours, if you plan around it, you can still make a game to be proud of.

9. PANIC!

I always give myself a couple of hours before the deadline for making title screens, squishing tiny bugs and uploading and all that. Panicking is well and good, but KEEP GOING!

10. Have fun!

Making games is fun! REMEMBER THAT! :D

Many minigames!

Ah, I did it again! I forgot to update. Eep!

Here’s what I’ve made over the past few months. If you’re paying attention to twitter, you probably already played them all. But if you missed anything, well, here it is!

First up is Quest, a small jam game made super quickly. I mostly wanted to play around with low res faux-Spectrum look (it’s not accurate to it, as I was just having fun).

Next, my entry for Ludum Dare 20, >Start >Fight >Run. I didn’t get to polish it as much as I would have liked, as I didn’t have enough focus this time. Oh well. :)

Also, I made a silly but slightly offensive game about the Rapture. Save Them All! (Except Those Guys, They Don’t Deserve It)

Finally, I started learing AS3. I haven’t got very far yet, but I did make a port of one of my old jam games, Trap. (The original was made in less than an hour, so it’s a little throw-away. But as a test of getting stuff on a screen and working, it did its job. :3 ) Hope to have something more impressive soon-ish :D

New tiny visual novel

It’s close to Valentines day. Let’s have some games about love <3

Here.

It’s been too long!

I don’t know why, I got kind of distracted…

I made a bunch of games, but never got around to updating properly. Chances are if you read twitter you’ve seen all of these already, so this is just a quick post to round up all the games I’ve made since last June, but neglected to mention!

Escape
Cumulate Nimble
Trap
Daikon
Enemy of the Solid State
Unko’s Adventure in Magical Land
Bonbon’s Voyage
Happy Kitty Eats Christmas

Hope to have more games soon ^o^

Maverick Minibus!

Download, Windows only. VMU style demake of Maverick Bus XD (thanks Terry!)

PSA: TIGJam VMU jam

Bit of a pointless post… if anyone wants my template for VMU games, it’s here:

It has a gap in the screen area for a 4x resolution VMU game (so, 48×32 becomes 192×128). The image itself is 360×540. Hue/Sat adjust it for exciting new colours! XD

TIGJam The Game!

Download, Windows only. A game about making games! (You have to hammer Z+X to make a game before your confidence drops and you give up.)

Important Matter

Download, Windows only. A game about matter which is important, made on the theme of white holes. Press X or Z. (It’s not really a game) :)

Flash port: The Life Of A Pacifist Is Often Fraught With Conflict

Yay! There is now a Flash port of “…Pacifist…” available, courtesy of Marcus Richert (Raitendo). You can play it here on Newgrounds. Cheers! :)

TIGJam UK 3 – Fish!

On the theme of fish… and summer heat. :)

Download – Win, Mac, Linux.

(SPOILER!!! Inspired a bit by Neko Jiru)

TIGJam UK 3!

This! Today! Yes! :)

The Life Of A Pacifist Is Often Fraught With Conflict

New game about games. Another short visual novel. :)

Round up of junky games

I made a bunch of games, but I’m only just getting around to posting them. (They’re all pretty small…)

First, a visual novel thing. I’m not too happy with this, but mostly because I got frustrated with it halfway through. Still, it has some interesting bits I suppose.

Ludum Dare was a couple of weeks ago! I made this. Then…

…I made this in the last couple of hours of the competition.

Ludum Dare was fun. I met up with Terry, Perrin, and a bunch of other guys in CB2 to all work on LD together (but alone, as those are the rules!) It was nice to work in a more social setting, as LD tends to be a lonely lonely experience. XD

Although, this kind of emphasised for me exactly how much I don’t care for the scoring afterwards. I think it took away the fun somewhat.

Small updates

Made pages for all of my games now. :D And pretty listings on their category pages! Oooh! Now they will never get lost on this blog! :)

Also, I finally caved and put Duct up. I made this game back in December for Ludum Dare, and intended to finish it off by adding some music… but it’s coming around to time for the next one, and I didn’t get it done. So, it can go as it is. :) Here~

I liked playing with different shapes for all the maps in it. :) Although, I ran in to some horrible dialogue bugs which meant I had to hack it in there. (I came up with a better way of doing it since, so it’s fine.) It’s much more complex than my previous Ludum Dare entry, so I was reasonably pleased with it (aside from dialogue and music issues.)

Game was based on an article I read on the BBC, about how telling people nice things can make them more sad :D

Suicide Is NOT The Answer port

Here is something fun! Miroslav did a quick port of one of the Pirate Kart 2 games I did. Hoorah! (Way to choose the one which is the exact opposite of my last game, huh? XD )

Thank you to people who commented on Air Pressure, by the way, both here and on Newgrounds. :3

Air Pressure, Flash version.

There is now a Flash port of Air Pressure available to play. Courtesy of Mr. Raitendo (Marcus Richert)

Thanks! :D Now even people who don’t like downloading things can play. Hoorah!!!

New game: Air Pressure

Air Pressure is a visual novel game that I’ve been working on on-and-off for a while. It has only three different endings, but a lot of branches!

I hope you enjoy it. It is quite a serious game, I guess. :)

Download for Windows (8Mb)
Download for Mac (11Mb)
Download for Linux (8Mb)

Edit: For the benefit of people coming here via ByteJacker, there is a Flash version here :) (Ported by raitendo)