This is part of “A Look Back On My Old Games“.
– Previous: Old Games –
Title: “Tales of Thaeron – The Dream Weaver” (“Tales of Thaeron” series was formerly called “Cylaic”)
Date: August 2012 (first demo), worked on until + 2016
Notes: Made in Game Maker Studio. My biggest game project to date (February 2017). This game was based off an old 2011 project of mine, simply named “Cylaic”, and has a lot of development history. In its first iteration, the game’s plot was about the return of five ancient dragons who were put to sleep for a thousand years, by the legendary hero Cylas (his descendants are called the “Cylaic”).
In 2015, I grew increasingly discontent with the pretty superficial plot (kill the dragons, save the world, get the girl) and decided to do a massive overhaul in April by changing the plotline to focus on the conflict between Angels and Demons, change the combat style from turn-based, “Final Fantasy”-style combat to “realtime” combat and do some aesthetical changes. To go along with the new plot, I changed the game’s name to “The Dream Weaver”, referring to the antagonist “Midnight” (a Demon who can control dreams). The dragons were completely removed from the plot.
The game has gone through many changes and has quite a lot of enjoyable and varied content. Development is currently indefinitely halted because the scope of the game as simply too big for a single developer, and it would be better to spend the time on other projects.
Title: Bloc Inc
Date: June 2015
Notes: A 2D puzzle platformer featuring a green slime protagonist. The puzzles revolved around blocks with specific functions and the “wiring” that powers some of them. A small side project during development of Cylaic. Not finished, made about 5 levels.
This is the nice theme music I made for it.
Story: I started development on this just as a fun puzzle game, but since I am obsessed with story, I thought it would be nice to have some “nature versus technology” thematics put in there. The levels would become more “natural” as the game progressed, but I never got to that stage. This “nature versus technology” theme would later return in “Harmony”.
Date: December 2016
Notes: Harmony is a 2D puzzle platformer revolving around music. It features the protagonist Xeno, a man who crash lands on an alien planet, and finds a powerful piece of multi-functional technology – the “Harmonic Modulator”. The Harmonic Modulator can use sound waves to fight, hack and harmonize with certain living beings, environments and objects to unlock their secrets.
Story: It would (or will, there’s still a chance it will be made eventually) feature a plot in which Xeno, a stranger in a strange world, goes to seek out the secret truth of this world. This secret would turn out to be that (spoilers!) the entire universe is a hyper-advanced simulation made by “real” humans, to investigate human nature and advancement. At the end, Xeno manages to contact one of the creators of this universe, who programmed in this way of contacting the real world as an easter egg, and he explains all this to Xeno. Xeno will also then be judged based upon how he interacted with the world around him: did he kill living creatures, or did he knock them out? Did he destroy hostile technology, or did he reprogram them to become friendly? All in all, some interesting concepts, but I need to get the scope and the gameplay right.
After looking back on all the games I’ve made, there are several things that I notice. First of all, there’s been an inevitable positive evolution in the quality of my games: as I learned how to code, my games became more complex and less buggy (Cubeland, for example, was an enormous bugfest while games like S.A.D. and Soul Rip were relatively stable). I also started getting better at drawing sprites and adjusting aesthetics, and my ideas (story-wise and gameplay-wise) became more and more original (though still of course taking inspiration).
Looking at the timeline, it also becomes clear that the more complex and the larger the scope of my games became, that I took longer to make them. Do note that almost all games here are ones I’ve published somewhere, so there are definitely loads of incomplete, unpublished and forgotten projects that I left out.
Over the years I’ve managed to “taste” a lot of roles in the game development process, like programmer, artist, sound design (I used to mess around with piano recordings, Mario Paint Composer and currently in FL Studio), 3D Modeling (messing around in Sketchup at Blender, currently in 3Ds Max), Game Designer, … so I’ve had a lot of time to figure out exactly what I want to do as a professional
I’ve been writing stories since I’ve been about seven years old, and have been creating imaginary worlds for as long as I can remember. For me, games are a way of breathing life into worlds and stories that I made in my head, so the rest of the world can enjoy it through the most interactive medium (games).
To me, creating games is not just about creating fun experiences, but about immersing people in my worlds and pulling them out of this sometimes problematic world we live in, and to create lasting memories – to inspire others would be an honour and a dream come true. I remember having the greatest of times as a kid when I played in my own made up world, with my own stories and characters, and wish to share that world with others.
This is why I’m sure I want to create games. Even if I had all the money in the world, nothing would stop me from creating, writing, making and playing – to me, being a game developer is more than a profession… (prepare for cheese) it’s a calling.