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3 years ago


◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: IdeasMARDEKPlans
I probably will work on MARDEK some more!!
But it's most likely going to be an episodic reboot of the series, starting from the beginning with many altered ideas.
Change is good, right? Why, there's nothing that people like more than seeing the things they've grown attached to changed almost beyond recognition.

Anyway, I wrote about it at length here: ∞ LINK ∞
3 years ago


◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: IdeasMARDEK
I just wrote an ∞ Alora Fane blog post ∞, but I was thinking as I wrote it and came up with an idea at the end that I'll summarise here.

Basically, I've discovered Patreon, and with it, hope! I've always hoped that I might one day become a regular creator of content, but the thought of receiving only pathetically meagre recompense (from my sites' adverts) for 12-hour workdays 7 days a week was off-putting, to say the least. It fuelled my depression, and made me constantly question whether I even wanted to do this 'stupid games thing'. Whether it'd just lead to poverty, hopelessness, and more misery. Adverts only generate a trickle of pennies at the best of times, you see, and all the other game release and promotion things seemed, uh... beyond my social skills. It's all about making connections and promoting yourself and putting a price tag on your work; things I'm really bad at.

Patreon, however, allows supporters to donate what's basically pocket change to creators on a monthly basis, or every time they produce a new installment of whatever it is that they make. I've noticed that some good webcomic authors are earning fat four-figure incomes a month from this. That's great! It really does make me very hopeful indeed.

Of course, I'd need to be producing regular content first...

Patreon is like Kickstarter, and I've considered running a Kickstarter campaign before. However, that, too, seems beyond my social skills, and I hate how you have to make a whole bunch of rubbish like tea cosies with the characters' faces on, or perform private lap dances to people who pledge more than $5000 or whatever; it seems like half the effort of doing a Kickstarter thing is in making the trinkets that people expect for their charity, rather than making the product itself.

I thought about doing a MARDEK 4 Kickstarter, asking for some obscene amount of money like $100,000 (well, obscene to a garden-variety, run-of-the-mill teenager, probably, but it's peanuts in game development funding terms, apparently), which, if successful, would definitely make me abandon everything to spend however months or years it took to make the game...

But what if instead I turn the beacon of hope that is Patreon to shine on MARDEK?!

I mean, there are two clear facts:
1. People want more MARDEK, and
2. Patreon is all about donations for regular content providers.

What, then, if I could provide MARDEK-related content regularly, at which point people might pay me for it?

For a long time now, I've been wanting to make some episodic project that I'd update on a weekly or fortnightly basis; usually I envision it as some kind of RPG, but I'm never sure what. Sort of like an interactive webcomic, but with each 'page' being a playable dungeon and various plot scenes instead. I never seemed to act on this idea, though; it was always some distant dream.

But why don't I do that with MARDEK? There's no reason why I couldn't!

If I DID, it'd mean that there'd be no MARDEK 4 as such... but rather the MARDEK plot would develop gradually, every week or two weeks or months or however long it takes (I really have no idea). Updates would probably be in the form of a new dungeon with plot scenes, and perhaps they'd each follow different characters. Data could be transferred between the installments, of course.

Come to think of it, maybe I HAVE had this idea before... But it's never seemed so realistic. With Patreon, funding would be very, well, clear; I wouldn't have to rely on unreliably and paltry advert revenue, nor would I have to worry about releasing each chapter to portals and dealing with sponsorships and all the accompanying hassle. It really would be possible to do something like this, then.

Again, I want to point out that I'm making no promises!! However, I will say that this lights me up; it seems like it really could work. I'll definitely be thinking about it over the coming days!

Edit: Actually, if I did this, I wonder how people would feel about me starting from the beginning, and remaking the existing chapters with enhanced graphics and minor rewrites to reflect my developing skills and ideas. It'd mean that I could dive in very soon and make a big buffer for myself as I planned what might happen next in the story (I've only got a vague outline of the other five chapters at the moment), and it'd also mean that nobody would have to find and play the other three chapters in order to understand what was going on (it seems more than a bit user-unfriendly, that). HMM.

The first three chapters wouldn't be re-released AS chapters, but as individual dungeons as part of this ongoing thing. Like the first update might be The Dragon's castle. The next might be the rest of chapter 1. Then the gem mine (was that even what it was called? Wow, it's been so long!), then the, uh... well, you get the idea. They'd probably be added every week or so, and they'd probably look strikingly different to the currently available chapters!

Any engine tweaks - like to the battle system - would affect all uploaded instalments, too, because they'd all run on the same code, only loading in scenario information.

I really do want to make it clear that I'm not saying this definitely will happen, or that it'll happen any time soon... However, it is an exciting thought!

Another edit, as ideas buzz around in my head: I've been wanting to move my projects over to my Alora Fane world for a while now, which is much more satisfying to me on many levels... Returning to the setting of MARDEK seems like a step backwards in so many ways, as Alora Fane was born of rough ideas used in MARDEK but then refined over several years.

BUT. What if I were to rewrite MARDEK such that it was actually set in Alora Fane, with all the sentiments and petals and five races and all that?!

There are some snags - what would the annunaki be? - but wow, that could really result in a fresh new take on the story, especially if I were remaking the chapters anyway. Mardek would be a Bliss Bold who lived in the Belfan province in the Bronze Archipelago! Emela might be the guardian of the Sorrow Temple. HMM!!

The plot would remain mostly the same, of course - Rohoph would still posses Mardek, Moric would arrive to do something about this, then Qualna, etc - though it'd be nice to at least reword a lot of it as I do feel I've grown a lot creatively since I wrote it (imagine being bound to something you wrote almost a decade ago!).

There are a lot of things I'd need to tweak to get that to work, and I can feel the backlash already... But maybe it could be really, really interesting, for me as an artist and hopefully for any players, too. The world of Alora Fane IS much more fleshed-out in my mind, after all, and I feel it's much more novel than the Generic Fantasy World that MARDEK takes place in.

Many ideas...! I think I'll play around with them tomorrow and see where I might possibly go with this!!
3 years ago

Monthly Update!!1

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: Plans
WHOOPS AGAIN. I don't know how many people check this place - or even care about my developments - these days, but for those who do, I'll try and provide a summary of what's going on at the moment, plans-wise.

First of all, I reached a personal nadir recently and seriously considered jumping off the mortal coil. I'm better now. The experience opened my eyes to a lot of things, though, and made me aware that I have two options at this point: evolve or die. I'm going to have to change the person that I am if I want to change my lot in life, and I've been making efforts to that effect. Positive thinking and all that. It's working! Or at least I hope it is.

The game I mentioned in my last post, called Yden, is done now; it's simply a matter of testing and then releasing it. I've no idea what it's best to release it on, though, and as such I'm doing tons of research. I'm really out of the whole game marketing scene - I barely even play games these days, especially not indie ones - but I'm trying to immerse myself in it as much as I can and learn as much as I can. Marketing is a skill like any other, and I've already taught myself everything I need to make my games, so this shouldn't be TOO different to all of that...

I've also been thinking about MARDEK recently... Or rather, I've been thinking about money, and I wondered whether MARDEK 4 might be a 'guaranteed' way to make some of that in the way that some of my other projects might not. I PROMISE NOTHING, but I'll be thinking about working on that over the coming weeks. That doesn't mean that I will work on it; just that I'll be considering it. The main reason that puts me off is the time investment; it'll likely take months to finish, and I don't feel I can really afford that at this point. I'd much rather finish quicker things and go from there.

My list of priorities looks something like this at the moment:

- Research the games scene to see how best to release Yden
- Finish some AFC quests that aren't horrendously off-putting so then I can finally get it out of the damned door!
- Develop Miasmon to a point where it's playable but not 'done'; it'll have regular updates, but I just want to get started.
- Think about MARDEK 4 alongside all of that.

I wrote more about this on the Alora Fane site: ∞ LINK ∞