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Reassessing my future as a game developer

Okay.  Real talk.  Lately, my motivation to work on Psycutlery has been on the wane.  To get to the point, I have long pondered a significant change of direction, seeking to reassess the whole creative and technological process.


And then, one day, Windows 10 updated, and suddenly, my PC wasn’t even good enough to run my own game anymore.  I suppose I should be saying, “Microsoft, no.  BAD Microsoft!” but the truth is… my computer kinda sorta is getting on in years.


Pictured: my computer.


Well, okay, maybe that picture isn’t entirely accurate.  You got me.  HERE is my computer.



You know, I never, initially, considered myself to be a game developer first and foremost.  It was just a sort of fun thing I did on the side of my illustration work.  So therefore, when looking for a PC, my prerequisite was, more or less, “runs Photoshop,” and by golly, them ancient Greeks gave me what I needed at an affordable price.


Yes, I prooooobably should be stuffing Microsoft in the crate for the night and telling them, “no treats,” but more than anything, this sparked something of a realization.  If I am to take this whole gamedev thing seriously, I should REALLY get with the times.


Does this mean a new computer?  Possibly.  But, in truth, there is so much more to the whole “embracing the future” shtick than simply a better computer.


To explain… I have long been stuck in a sort of technological time loop involving the game development software I have casually tinkered around with since the 1990’s.  It worked for me and for what I did.


My safe zone.


It began with the now ancient “Klik and Play,” which gradually evolved, over the years, into what is now known as “Clickteam Fusion.”  This line of software gave me many happy memories and shaped my psychological development as I know it.


It helped me to grow.  To learn.  To love.  To share.  To recite redundant clichés.


But alas, as I grew, Clickteam Fusion was, at its heart, still the “Klik and Play” from way back when.  Soon, the growth it inspired in me would outclass its own.


Therefore, the time has come to remove the training wheels.  With a heavy heart in tow, I must now say goodbye to my beloved Clickteam software.


And you know what that means, right?


Yeah, I’m scrapping everything and restarting from scratch.


[OH NO etc.]


A difficult decision, to be sure, but ultimately, I feel the final product will only benefit from it.  I’d be lying if I wasn’t overcome with feelings of, “gosh, I sure hope I know what I am doing.” After all, the next question on the table is: if not Clickteam Fusion, then what?  I am leaning towards the Unity engine right now – a coding environment of which my experience can best be summed up as “Jack squat.  Nada.”  But hey, I’m always one for a fun learning experience.


And besides… I was planning on putting the game on hiatus anyway, for the sake of focusing on art and other assets.  Good time to learn the basics, no?


Uh… aren’t you being a TEENSY bit drastic?


Maybe, but one needs to consider the future.  Clickteam Fusion served its purpose as an educational tool.  However, it lacks the feasibility to smoothly port games beyond its original PC / Windows environment.  Judging by social media feedback (or more-or-less general lack thereof), along with the mountains of comments on this blog (which are totally there, you just have to squint harder), I personally – I am not speaking for anybody else here – don’t see this project resonating in any significant (or even moderate) capacity with the general PC gamer audience…


…without sticking Waluigi in it or something.  Gotta love copyright infringement, huh?  It is here I must, reluctantly, discuss my somewhat admittedly embarrassing past as… siiiigh… a fangame developer.


At least original enough not to be perceived as lawyer bait… overtly, anyway.


I’d always stick a disclaimer on the startup screen of every fangame, stating that it is only to be distributed strictly as FREEWARE, and that it is in no way endorsed or condoned by the owners of the original properties.  Even still, I wasn’t sure I fully grasped the legal implications of the whole deal.  Should I have shown my work to the general PC gamer base, I’m sure I would have been rightfully spat upon.  However, there is a genuine audience for this sort of thing.


I found an audience of Nintendo fans, who happened to enjoy freeware games on their PCs.  But first and foremost… they were Nintendo fans.  They loved Psycho Waluigi up there.  They loved it enough to compare it to Nintendo’s official work.  It would become referenced in other fan projects, picked up by some significant YouTubers and Let’s Players, and even going so far as to spawn a notable crack pairing involving Waluigi and one of the game’s original characters.  Can’t make this stuff up, kids.


Thus far, Psycutlery, its all-original spiritual successor, has mainly just picked up that last bit.  With Spark the Electric Jester, apparently.  At least, that’s what I’ve been told.  But ahem.


What I am saying is that I feel Nintendo fans would be more receptive to my work.  I count myself among that group, so I know what kind of games I want to play.  The jokes about how ancient my computer is up there?  Yeah, that should clue you in on how much of a PC gamer I am.  Not to knock other platforms, they’re perfectly fine (and in many ways, superior, depending on who you are and what you want) – but I’m sure I speak for all Nintendo fans when I know where I would rather play my games.


Now, excuse me while I get in my time machine, and take a picture of Psycutlery being played in the future.


See?  See what I’m getting at?

I don’t feel I need to explain what.  Just look.

Do you see it?!


No?  Do I need to tell you?

Oooooh, if you insist…


Look closely at the photo.  And… THERE IT IS!  I FOUND MY PENCIL SHARPENER!  Seriously, look behind K.K. Slider.  Dog with the guitar.  The cylinder-shaped thing behind him!  This is a true story: I had seriously been looking for that thing for a long time, but then I go and snap this photo, and lo!  It was hiding under my monitor.  I saw it in the photo before even seeing it person.


So, yeah, I finally found my pencil sharpener.  That is all.  Have a nice day!



Oh, something about Psycutlery on 3DS you say?


Well, that photo is in fact legit, but…


The 3DS here is running the browser app, viewing a screenshot of Psycutlery.  Because of course it is.


As you can see, somebody, i.e. me, is desperate enough to play into such a fantasy to go as far as to create the closest thing possible to a real-life replica.  And strangely, I am not the only one who feels this way about my work – Psycho Waluigi on PSP, anyone?


But, is all this truly a fantasy?  Well, it probably won’t come to the 3DS.  Oh, no.  I’m thinking something a bit bigger.  More modern.



You know, I was about to Photoshop a screenshot of my game onto the above image, but now that I think about it… why?  Why would I when a very real possibility, however faint, really and truly exists?


Granted, it’s QUITE the long shot right now, but ultimately, it’s a goal worth working towards.  And with this change in direction, I feel like this is the first step, if nothing more.


So, here’s where we’re at.

Psycutlery, in its current state, will be scrapped in the favor of restarting it in a more versatile, more empowering coding environment.  The scrapped version might still be released freely as a sort of proof-of-concept prototype.


Coding and game design will be put on hiatus while I focus on additional art assets and such for the game.  During this time, I will also research and attempt to learn new game design software, most likely Unity.


The goal, ultimately, will be to have the game released on Nintendo consoles, although a PC version may still happen (worth a shot, anyway).  Nothing is set in stone, no promises and so on… who can say what the future holds.


That’s the long and the short of it.  Another time, another place.  We’ll be in touch.

Foons and Fashion

Kitchen utensil fashion is a growing industry in the world of Psycutlery.

Hey.  If you can dress up your dog, why can’t you dress up your foons and sporks?!  After all, since kitchen utensils exist for the sake common etiquette, cleanliness and overall decency — why would you eat your ramen noodle soup with a NAKED spork?!


So, naturally, since Psycutlery is a game for all ages, the magical, floating spork at the center of it all had to wear something.  Since the player character, Lillian the Alien wears green bows in her hair, the natural choice of foon fashion would be a similar green ribbon, yes?

The ribbon would soon come to define the spork’s character, to the point where it became more or less a part of its “body.”  This was emphasized in these very early, VERY ROUGH sketches of the character:

If you look closely, you’ll see that the fringes of the ribbons were its “hands.”

And indeed, the ribbon was long intended to be a permanent fixture of the spork.  Never to be removed.  Especially not in public.  Because that would be disturbing.

However, all of that would change when I decided to not in any way rip off Donkey Kong Country Returns, a game that I have NEVER EVEN HEARD OF and throw in support for silhouette-based levels.

Who is Dankey Kang, anyway?

Like my inspiration, I wanted the key features of the main characters to shine through the darkness.  In order for that to happen, said features needed to exist on a separate layer from the rest of the blackened part of the screen.

Yeeeeah, the ribbon?  It needed to be forcefully ripped off of the spork’s base sprite, and made into its own sprite on a separate layer in order for the effect to work…

…and with the ribbon no longer being a part of the spork’s sprite, there came new possibilities.

What else can your tableware wear?

Why limit the spork to just the ribbon, when it could also wear:

  • A spinning bow tie!
  • Fancy pearl necklace!
  • Warm winter scarf!
  • A fake moustache!
  • Some kinda… rainbow… feather collar thing?  I dunno.
  • An Olympic gold medal!
  • …and 24 additional accessories to come (all to be decided)!

These accessories don’t have any actual effect on the gameplay, for the ability to look COMPLETELY FABULOUS is game-breaking enough, as everybody well knows.  Besides, there are other items on the screen that actually do do things — breath mints that temporarily grant unlimited uses of Lillian’s breath powers, mouthwash that restores health, and a toad amulet that grants temporary invincibility.  These were thrown in to justify the idea of having an “items” menu for the accessories… or in that case, do the accessories justify the items?  HMMMM!

Interestingly enough, there is also a power-up the blurs the line between “item” and “accessory,” and here it is, floating about in a shop:

The Monocle of Might doubles the power of your basic attack, while transforming your psychic weapon into the most refined and sophisticated piece of silverware this side of the galaxy.  And yes, it stacks with the other accessories too.

Mustache and monocle: a truly classic combination.

Why yes, there are so many ways to dress up the ol’ spork.  If you so desire, you can even have it wear nothing at all–


Gosh.  So much for this being a game that kids can play.  Oh well.


So, what do you think the spork should wear?  We have 24 accessory slots to fill out, so now is the time to send any suggestions my way.  Let me know — your ideas could be in the game, perhaps!

Eyes in Everything reveals… EVERYTHING!

Ahem.  Good afternoon, my loyal legions of lovely readers, who may or may not actually exist outside of my imagination!  Perhaps you might recall that eons ago, I stated that my next post would contain a treasure trove of information detailing how that wacky “Psycutlery” game came to be.  Uh, I did state that, right?  Or was that a figment of my imagination as well?!

The point I am getting at is that I had this detailed post planned in my head… only for a kind fellow by the name of CM30 to come along and ask me and Jon the music/marketing guy for an interview.  And all of a sudden, those vast details I was about to impart to this very location had all but spilled out onto CM30’s up and coming game journalism website, Gaming Reinvented.  What I am saying is, check ’em out!

Eyes in Everything interviewed at Gaming Reinvented!

Give that link a click!

In the interview, we discuss many things about Eyes in Everything and Psycutlery… like how it originally began as a sort of Yoshi spoof, and how its protagonist, Lillian the Alien, was essentially Yoshi at first; and how the unicorn that she rides, Darkles, was also essentially Yoshi at first, and how grand it would be if Yoshi could ride a Yoshi.

You’ll also get a glimpse at my first website that I made almost two decades ago.  Scary.

Let’s test this thing out!

I am here to address the painful lack of psychic-powered, spork-themed video games on the market today with this game-type-thing called “Psycutlery.”  You should totally play it.

Click here to get it so you can totally play it!

Perhaps you may be wondering why I called it a “game-type thing” rather than a “game.”

That’s because I have only just begun making it, so at this point it serves as a “proof of concept” or an “engine test” or whatever fancy technobabble term you choose to describe a single playable level, whose sole purpose is to demonstrate the features and give folks some ideas about what this project will be like for when it becomes an actual game. The level herein may not even be in the final game, it’s only there to give ideas and so on.

So anyway!

Run, jump, control a one-eyed spork with your mind, and DEVOUR EVIL!

You play as a space traveler named “Lillian the Alien,” and you eat everything.  And completely wreck everything else.


…And ride unicorns.


It’s only going to get crazier from there.

So, yeah, please try out the demo and let me know what you think.  One thing you may be thinking is what was thinking when I decided to make a video game about a magical eyeball spork, buuuuuuuut we’re gonna leave all that for the next post.  So until then, our music guy will probably be posting updates with FANCY MOVING PICTURES on The Twitter.  And possibly The Facebook, too.

There’s more spork-slinging madness on the way, so stay tuned!